The beer situation was both old- and new-school. Most of the time it was Lagunitas IPA, which is about as old-school as my first regular IPA (Sierra). Then we hit the Budweiser beer tents, and lo and behold, there's Point the Way IPA from recently-acquired Golden Road in Los Angeles. Because of that acquisition, of course.
And then I brought a sixtel from a brewery that's going to open up in December. Federation Brewing looks like it's ready to go, and I enjoyed the newest of new beers as I met up with old friends.
Half Acre Gone Away IPA
Walked this Half Acre from City Beer Store into my first couple of reunion events, and it was fun and bright. Hazy and grapefruit, Gone Away felt like a West Coast IPA 1.0 -- pine and citrus -- but it didn't have the same malt backbone, and instead ended with that bright and easy golden pale quality that Half Acre knows how to do so well. Like a West Coast 1.5, really.
Hey, Lagunitas IPA is *definitely* better than the adjunct lager offerings that might have been provided otherwise.
Tied House Coastal Fog Pale Ale
Palo Alto Koelsch
I'm not a huge Tied House fan, but since it was a pale ale, the amber/bitter/dusty quality that sometimes invades their beers wasn't as cumbersome. I'll take a red/dusty pale if it's fruity or if it's light, which is why I like individual beers in the suites of pales that New Belgium and Deschutes make, but not all of them. I guess 'pale ale' is the safest style to get from a brewery that makes you suspicious.
The Palo Alto was fine. I was sitting at the Coffee House on campus, where I spent way too much of my time as a student. Mostly felt good, though.
More reunion events afterwards. Raucous. Lots of yelling and talking, and little remembered.
Golden Road Point the Way IPA
Federation Behind You! Blonde Ale
The tailgate on Saturday is for children, and for AIB beers. I'm not sure that having a Point the Way is actually a much better solution than having the big beer lagers there. What if craft had all been about pilsners and I could reach for a Firestone Walker Pivo Pils or even a Trumer Pils instead of that IPA? I would have been happier with that choice.
Federation's Blonde Ale was a nice, sweet and crisp blonde more on the lager side than Belgian. I would rather have had it than the Golden Road or the Big Lagers. I enjoyed seeing my old deck, and remembering all the crazy things that happened there. I met my wife in the Enchanted Broccoli Forest, so it was nice to see the sun set there again with my children playing in that meadow.
Lagunitas Born Yesterday Pale Ale
Modern Times Trueland American Pale
Mikkeller Simcoe IPA
Almanac El Dorado Hoppy Sour
Sunday, I finally got to decide my own beer, and I had the best Lagunitas there is. What a beautiful beer. It's a wet hop but it's bright, which is the best trick you can pull, almost. Because you get that wet vegetable thickness from the wet hop, but then a great citra finish. This one is melon and vegetable before finishing bright, and it's one of my favorite beers. I'm not sure it'll go everywhere in Lagunitas' distribution range. If you see it, get it.
Trueland was pretty sweet. It had some brighness, and wasn't terrible, nothing from Modern Times is terrible. Fruity, sure, and not syrupy or sweet on the level of a big DIPA, but still sweet for style, without enough other things going on to make it amazing. Simcoe Amarillo, which makes two Simcoe beers this weekend that were misses for me, because...
I can't read this stupid thing on the bottom of the Mikkeller. Is it old? Tastes meh or old.
Love the Almanac Hoppy Sours, but this one wasn't my very favorite. I like the grape quality, but the effect was really sour and grapey as a whole, for me. Still like Mosaic best.
How did you survive the weekend?