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Last Weekend's Beer, Today

Eno Sarris, April 25, 2016 -   

My favorite kind of routine weekend. Cover some baseball Friday, hit up a few San Francisco beer spots, watch some basketball and hang with the boys around the house the rest of the way. My four-year-old was on point ("actually, I'll tell you something"), there was only a little bit of yelling and hitting, and most of that had to do with the Warriors' loss Thursday night. 

Thursday
Alpine Hop Boxed IPA
Lagunitas Waldos Special Ale

My kingdom for a line of Hop Boxed into my house. Into my mouth. First, I'd want a vat that could sit in my kitchen and give me that plus plus melon smell at all times. If it could somehow sit there and not get stale or uncarbonated, and then flit into my fridge for a beer that came fresh into my glass with bubbles and that plus fruity IPA taste, I'd be king. Also, a great IPA to have on 4/21. Or 4/20. 

The Waldos is also a great beer to have on 4/21, since the Waldos were the ones that created 4/20, apparently, because they met at 4:20 every afternoon to go collectively search for an amazing crop of weed that was growing near their Marin high school. I was a little hard on Waldos when we talked about six packs on Friday, but it's because it's so strong (11%) that it's hard to belly up for yet another 12 ouncer at the end of the night. I've left some remnants in my glass. But I like it. It reminds me of Brown Shugga, the beer that came before Sucks -- Big. Malty. Alcoholic. And bitter enough to make you want to have another drink. 

Friday
Marin Dirty Bomb Saison
Marin 3 Flowers IPA
Cellarmaker Dobis Plus

Marin Brewing, man. It gets lost among the California breweries, but it shouldn't. The Dirty Bomb had some of that brett funk and fruit juice that makes the best saisons what they are, but it didn't go full hog on the funk. Makes it more soiffable and 'refreshing' than even something like Funkwerks' Tropic King, but then it takes a step back on overall taste. Still really nice. And the 3 Flowers is a bit like Flower Power from Ithaca in that it's a super floral IPA, but this one comes with rye and a bit of fruit in there, so I'd move it ahead. It's really excellent! 

The Dobis Plus! Take a look at it in the header image again. It's the West Coast Milkshake. We'll have to test it soon, because my sense is that the haze comes from dry-hopping the poop out of this beer. But it's very Tree House like in that it's got all that dank grass and fruit, with plus mouthfeel, and a nice dry finish. Anything with Cellarmaker and Dobis on it is a must drink, and this one requires more research to figure out how it fits into the North East IPA situation that's forming.

Saturday
Almanac Mosaic Sour
Almanac Apricot de Brettaville Sour
New Helvetia Thunderbeast IPA
Coronado / Bear Republic By Land and By Sea Rye IPA
Ninkasi Hop Cooler IPA

When you've got nowhere to go, and you spend all day drinking, and you've got some people to help you sample the beers, you can really run all through a gamut of beers. 

Bro in law helped me through the sours, though those things are small anyway. The Mosaic was really nice -- the Citra is still my favorite, but Mosaic gives you all the fun of a fruity hops while ending with a tart golden sour bite. The Apricot de Brettaville could use a tiny bit more brett funk and a tiny bit more fruit to really nail a complex taste, it's still a bit straight sour. I'll go to bat for the Almanac hoppy sours, though, the hops give them a depth of taste that their fruit sours are inching towards. 

Never heard of New Helvetia but the man at City Beer Store had my back. He called it well balanced and was right. Floral, fruity, juicy, and, yeah, it's the West Coast, so malty -- the Thunderbeast had everything, and not turned up to 11. Everything, in its right place. No qualms at all about putting this one in a package. Served as a reminder, to me -- along with 3 Flowers -- that we don't all have to jump into the grassy fruit milkshake thing with both feet. There are other ways to be excellent. 

I didn't love the Rye IPA -- it was too much rye -- but the Hop Cooler felt almost exactly like Fresh Squeezed. Maybe it was lacking a little bit of stone fruitiness, maybe it was all citrust, but it was citrus, sweet, big, with that dusty bitter aftertaste that both Ninkasi and Deschutes impart on their IPAs. I would guess it's the yeast, now, after years of drinking. It's in all their beers, pale or no. 

Sunday
Logsdon The Conversion Sour Farmhouse
Drake's Hopocalypse White Label DIPA
Almanac Elephant Heart de Brettaville Sour
Stone Delicious IPA
Sufferfest Taper IPA

It says sour on the label, but think tart. Think lemon tart saison, with enough funk to give the thing body. Not a ton of pepper either. Just a perfect Sunday noon-time beer to start the Warriors game. Even my wife, who doesn't love sours, dug on this one. If we get more Logsdon in our lives because their financing situation is different, then we can count ourselves as winners. Well, hopefully you like brett. 

This is excellent. So excellent. Aroma of grapes and citrus. Appearance of light gold, early morning sunlight. Medium body -- good mouthfeel but tidy finish, bubbly and citrus on the end. Soft hoppy taste, some bread, but a ton of citrus and grape, with some pine but not enough to make this dank. The bit of wheat makes for good mouthfeel and a bit of breadiness without being at all overwhelmed. The best of the series. 

Then I ended the weekend on a blah note. The Almanac sour was super hairy. I got the plum or whatever an Elephant Heart is -- hopefully not elephant heart -- but along with the brett, it was super hairy, like ingesting horse hide with your horse blanket.

The two IPAs at the end are low-glutent and no-gluten and they just came off as low-rent versions of Enjoy By and Fat Tire. If a sufferer of celiac can drink them, then go ahead, they aren't terrible. I'm just glad I have a choice.  

How was your weekend of drink?

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