Sunday, December 25, 2016

My Christmas Alcohaul

Thanks to my wife and kids, I've come away this Christmas with five exciting beers from under the tree: Mike Hess Brewing's My Other Vice Berliner Weisse (San Diego, CA); New Braunfels Brewing Company's Bauernhaus Über Weizenbock (New Braunfels, TX); Wicked Weed Brewing's Silencio bourbon barrel-aged black sour ale, and Genesis blonde sour ale fermented with tropical fruits (Asheville, NC); and, Fullsteam Brewing's First Frost foraged persimmon ale (Durham, NC).

Those, and a beer glass filled with orange gummies, and vanilla marshmallows as "foam"!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Review: Drake's 2016 Jolly Rodger "Translatlantic Winter Warmer"

In mid November, Drake's Brewing Co., in San Leandro (CA), released its 2016 edition of their Jolly Rodger Ale, and I was lucky enough to be sent a sample bottle.

For over two decades, Drake’s has held to their tradition of brewing a totally new beer every year for Jolly Rodger. This year’s version --which should be available through January-- is described as a "Transatlantic Winter Warmer."  It is made with the addition of dark candi sugar and a Belgian ale yeast, which account, I suppose for the "trans-Atlantic" part.

In the glass, the 2016 Jolly Rodger Ale is a lovely-looking beer. Dark copper-colored, almost red -thanks, to a great extent, I expect, to the candi sugar.  The head is not long-lasting, but the beer is nicely carbonated, even effervescent upon first tasting. 

It is malty, and spicy --not in a pumpkin pie-kind of way, but to my mind, more reminiscent of ginger bread or spice cake--- but not overpoweringly so.  The Belgian yest character is evident right up front, as is the candi sugar, but in the background there are notes of dried fruits --maybe of  dark cherries, maybe of prunes or raisins.

Both, in terms of flavor, and of alcohol (10% abv), it is indeed a warmer, but it is not a heavy beer.  With how cold it is tonight, I'm indeed glad I decided to pop open the bottle..

Further stats:  31 IBU | 10.0% ABV | 21.0° Plato O.G. | 4.5° Plato F.G.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Beer delivered to your door?

Lunch growler delivery (1909)

In early summer the restaurant take-out delivery service DoorDash experimented in southern California with adding alcohol to the list of items it would deliver.  It seems the results were, by all accounts, encouraging.

In fact, I know someone who tried it in San Diego --a land with many worthwhile breweries-- and he was very pleased. He said that it was as easy as getting online and placing the orders, and a bit later "the guy comes to your door, and says 'hello sir, here's your pizza, here's your beer'. It's great!"

Now DoorDash beer delivery has come to the SF Bay area.  Granted, the geographical area in which it available is still limited; it's basically the Peninsula, down to San Jose, and the East Bay cities (except for a few places, such as Hayward, San Leandro, and Richmond),  and a few cities as far east as the vicinity of the Highway 24-Highway 680 interchange.  However, it is here, and looking to expand.

And it gets better, as now we also have Hopsy

Hopsy is a brand new Bay Area-based beer delivery service.  For the price of the beer and a small delivery charge, Hopsy will deliver 32 oz. growlers right to your door during a window selected by you.  So far, the Hopsy delivery area is basically Alameda County cities west of the Berkeley-Oakland hills, and San Francisco, but they are certainly looking to expand.

They're working with about two dozen local breweries, so there is plenty to choose from!