Lesson #1: Just because a beer is a “special release” it doesn’t mean it will be good.
Lesson #2: Finishing 3/4 of a bottle of wine after 3+ beers on an empty stomach is a bad idea. Especially if it’s over 95 out. I apologise for any incomprehensible issues with this post.
This Brewer’s Reserve has been aging
taking up valuable space for a while now, so with the heat index broaching 100, and my life frustration approaching ∞, I decided this would be a good decision.
Lesson #3: When you’ve never made a good decision in you life after 29 years, it’s a pretty good indication you never will.
This was special release #5, a “wheat ale brew with lemongrass and muscat grape juice with lemongrass added.” Yea, lemongrass gets mentioned twice.
It pours a orange colour with virtually no head. It smells, well, funky. Very earthy and floral, maybe a slight citrus.
It tastes, well, funky. Malty core no doubt, citrus (lemon egad!), and some solid alcohol finish. It’s a very coarse finish and not really enjoyable.
Maybe I was wrong, but I assumed this would be a nice refreshing beer on a hot day. Nope. It is, however, 9%, so it did accomplish the most important goal of all alcohol.
This past weekend, Squirrel and I went on a beer tour organized by North Bay Brewery Tours. Of course, it involved a social coupon (when you drink as much beer as I do, every little bit helps) that made it two for one, and it was worth every penny. The tour guides know their stuff and will make sure that you get to try a lot of local beers that you can’t find out here. Plus, you’re essentially on a beer bus with a lot of people who like beer. Really hard to go wrong with that in any situation.
The tour started off at Lagunitas before moving onto HopMonk Tavern (brewpub), a homebrew store, and Third Street Aleworks (brewpub in Santa Rosa). Consequently, this update is going to be California heavy, and most of the beers can’t be found here, but perhaps it’ll give you some insight into beers to look for if you’re ever in the Bay Area.
Widmer Bros Dark Saison (found at Wagner’s; reviewed here)
Auburn Alehouse Gold Digger IPA
Port Brewing Hot Rocks Lager
Magnolia Proving Ground IPA
Lagunitas Censored Rich Copper Ale (aka The Kronic)
Lagunitas Lucky 13.alt
Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale
HopMonk Tavern Dunkelweizen
HopMonk Tavern Tavern Ale
Third Street Aleworks Hedrick & Hagen
Third Street Aleworks Puddle Jumper
Third Street Aleworks Armstrong
Southern Pacific Amber Ale
Southern Pacific Helles Lager
Caldera Brewing IPA
Those weren’t all the beers that I had, just the ones that count towards my 366. Lagunitas’ tasting included their Czech Pilsner, IPA, and Pale Ale, and HopMonk served us Russian River’s Pliny the Elder and Moonlight’s Death and Taxes. If you do go to SF anytime before I finally finish a SF bar guide, try to hit up Southern Pacific’s brewpub in the Mission; they brew some pretty great beers and carry some of the other awesome West Coast brews.
Last year turned into a roast of an absent Sam. This year Sam showed up (less the material he forgot in a cab), and it was just as funny. Full details of the East Coast v. West Coast throw-down when I recover.
Well, well, well. I am finally able to review Anchor Brewing’s Spring seasonal, Anchor Bock. I originally heard about this beer while touring their facilities last Summer, but it was too late to sample or find it. Then I found it on tap somewhere, but I was too far into the night to take coherent notes. Then I went to Wagner’s on Wisconsin to use my four-cases of personally selected-singles for the price of two Groupon Between that load, my trip to Total Wine, and Tonzi’s care packages, I should have a lot of material.
Anyways, on to the review. I was looking forward to trying this beer since it had the word ‘Bock’ in it and that is half the name of my favorite beer. Heck, they both have goats on them
Color/Pour: No surprise: it pours a dark brown with a small tan head that is maybe .2 inch high but dissipated quickly, like 10 seconds quickly. The color is right, but how quickly the head disappeared is a tad unusual for a traditional bock, so I feel comfortable comparing this to American-made bock beers.
Smell: Sweet malty smell which is too be expected; however, it is sweeter than my beloved Shiner Bock. Panic has not set in just yet, but the goat herd is getting antsy.
Taste: Sweeter and heavier than Shiner Bock. Whereas the Eye of the Hawk toed the line between an Ale and Barleywine; this one seems to close to a porter, which is not a bad thing. Shiner aside, most bock beers tend to this spectrum.
Body: True to bock form, it has a lighter body than you’d expect from a beer with this dark of the color. It does not finish super clean though and instead lingers in that last bit of your jaw.
All in all, I have had better crafted bock beers, and I’m not just counting Shiner Bock. The beer completely lost me once I started consuming it. It was not bad, but I found it too sweet and did not like the aftertaste it left, so in my very biased opinion, I say ‘Meh’ to this beer. It’s worth a try, but I don’t think I’ll be having it again anytime soon.