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Last Weekend's Beer, Today

Eno Sarris, September 21, 2015 -   

The heaven that is a regular weekend can't be overrated. Time with the boys, with the wife, with the beer, and no moving to do, no big projects, no traveling -- nothing happened, and it was glorious. 

Thursday 

Fort Point Villager IPA
Evil Twin Double Barrel Jesus

Okay, I supposed something happened. Got together with friends from middle school over a nice meal with a nice beer. The Villager was bright and floral enough to look past the fact that it might not be the most innovative or amazing beer you've ever tried. And is a great meal really the best place to break out a hops monster or a crazy sour? I think maybe not. You want to eat the food first, the beer is a garnish.  

Go to the bar -- or your other friend's house, a friend that cares about beer more -- and *then* you open up the Double Barrel shotty of a beer. Yes, his second child, only a few months old, means that the boys are relegated to the kitchen and hushed tones, but those hushed tones can still curse up a storm when drinking the Jesus. Everything is so much on that beer. All of the chocolate notes up front. And then it almost tastes like bourbon on the back half because it's so boozy and woody. A few years back I would have wrinkled my nose at this beer and said  if I wanted to have bourbon I'd have bourbon, but now: I enjoyed this beer. It was Big.

Friday

Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest
Knee Deep Breaking Bud IPA
Allegash Fluxus (2015)

Oktoberfest, which is a collaboration with Brauhaus Riegele, actually did something huge. I don't know if I should give the beer the entire credit, but it made me remember Germany, it activated some nostalgia, and then it also reminded me that America has put a great new spin on things. It's an Oktoberfest, but there is some hops-driven brightness to it that I don't rememeber from Germany. I really enjoyed this beer, but -- like with reggae music in general -- I didn't know if I was qualified to really see through my own biases and really review the beer right. If you make me feel like Jamaica or Germany, without denigrating America, you will have my attention and gratitude.

The Breaking Bud may have the worst label of all time if you ask me. 

Am I wrong? I mean, I know there are all sorts of misogynistic labels out there and the Game of Groans beer labels have done the corporate tie-in but being a stupid weed reference while being essentially a corporate tie-in, and referencing a non-existent element... maybe I'm wrong, but this one hits me in all the wrong places. Too bad because it's a huge floral IPA that people should try. In this, and Lupulin River, there's something that mitigates the HOP BOMB in their other beers. Maybe more sweetness? More interesting hops? Since Lupulin River is a collaboration, this is my favorite beer of theirs. And you may see it soon, since the brewery was bought. 

And once again I found myself in the kitchen whispering to a friend over an expensive beer, except this time, the beer wasnt up to the challenge. This year's Fluxus -- a hoppy ale instead of the last Fluxus stout I had -- tastes just like a boring Belgian Golden Ale. I gave this beer chance after chance to give me something and I got nothing. It was well-executed and uninteresting at the same time. 

Saturday

Fieldwork Torrential DIPA
Central Valley Breakfast Sour
El Segundo Hammerland DIPA

Okay we did something, it looks like. We went to an airplane museum, too. The three-year-old loved the 'toy store' and we came home with plenty of airplanes and helicopters that he quickly broke. My reward was a trip to San Carlos and Laurel street. I snuck into Ale Arsenal for a few bottles (see: Sunday) and then we ate at The Refuge. I had chicken and waffles and it was excellent if you cared. I love dipping sauces. I also love Fieldwork. Torrential was the Big Fruity DIPA I was waiting for from them, and it didn't disappoint. Imagine Blazing World without as much thickness and a little more drinkability. So big and floral fruity and yet finished fresh. More. 

We snuck in a second beer before we left, and I got a sour that tasted of lychees and metal. The lychee taste was strong and interesting enough that I gave the thing three stars or something. But I didn't want it again. I guess I should have given it two or two and a half. Weird to think this now, after the fact, but even on my check in, I wondered if I should dock it more points. Eh, in any case, don't buy this beer. 

Night time after those required a hammer. El Segundo makes reliably great IPAs, so this one wasn't bad. But I have had better El Segundos, even this weekend. 

Sunday

Modern Times Oneida Session IPA
El Segundo Mayberry IPA 
Almanac Citra Sour
Crux Fermentation Better of Red
Almanac Dogpatch Sour

Didn't do anything Sunday but watch the Niners get creamed, the Mets get creamed, and Dan Serafini's Bar Rescue, in among chasing children. Par-boiled and -steamed some potatoes and brocolli, respectively, and finished them on the grill, with some sausages. Good day.

I'm glad I started with the Oneida and some water, because that session was good. Not as fruity as Easy Jack, but coming with good flavor despite the ABV. Easy to drink, ready to grill. 

The El Segundo Mayberry might be my favorite from that brewery, and I called those guys up for an interview just because I liked their IPAs so much. They love Alpine and I love Alpine and so it makes sense. They make big fruity slick IPAs and this mosaic IPA might be their best. It's not a whale, but it's worth asking a California trade partner for as a throw-in, and Hop Tanker is the best other one they've got. And that one's fresh right now. 

Almanac's sours are so so so sour and that's what the dogpatch is all about. I struggled through the end of that one. But I couldn't get enough of the Citra Sour, which tasted more like a tropical gose maybe. Well, at least that one wasn't as sour as their other beers. That Hoppy Sour comes with fruit and hops and sour finish, and it's worth getting. If you're turned off of Almanac, know that they hired a new blender and the new Blueberry this fall will be his. That, and this hoppy sour series, and the new pumpkin sour, means you should probably give them at least one or three more chances. 

Crux makes some good beers but this didn't quite hit the mark. Some vanilla and cherry notes, but a really mild flanders red that needed more punch, in my estimation. 

Hey so maybe I did do something this weekend.

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