Last Weekend's Beer, Today

Eno Sarris, August 08, 2016

Went to a winery in Sonoma on Saturday, and it was a bizarre experience. These people are like me, I thought, except different. They enjoy tasting the different, nuanced, wonderful ways you can approach an adult beverage -- their beverage choice was just different. In between the perfect weather and glorious views, pickup soccer and frisbee, the live music, and the wood-oven pizzas, I thought maybe I could get with this. 

But the acid reflux on a beverage made from grapes is just too much for me. I love Italy, but my esophagus would never survive living there. 

Modern Times Blazing World Hoppy Amber
Dogfish Head Flesh & Blood IPA

IPA day! Whoops, I forgot Blazing World was a hoppy amber. Boo. It tastes like Nugget Nectar plus Alpine Nelson, that was their aim and they nailed it. So that's two IPAs. It's an IPA to me. 

Probably just to get the untappd IPA day badge that I was sure existed, I had one of my remaining Flesh & Bloods. I'm a shallow man. The beer is boring bordering on bad. If you use fruit to get your fruitiness, you become a fruit beer. Sounds obvious, but my favorite fruity IPAs are still IPAs, they just have expertly put together hop bills. 

Wild Card Short & Sassy Saison
Rare Barrel Trop It Like It's Hop Hoppy Sour
Rare Barrel Another World Red Sour
Fieldwork Daypack Pale Ale
Fieldwork St. Thomas IPA

Stopped by The Trappist after getting a ban-mhi at a local shop, and had a saison that smelled like a citra IPA. Love that fruity nose going in. Once I got to the Saison part, things got more conventional, though. Fresh, crisp, and light, it was a good saison. But the fruit was nowhere to be found on the taste, not like a Funkwerks Tropic King or anything. 

I think I like Rare Barrel's dark sours better than their golden ones. Trop It was a pineapple hoppy sour, and it smelled beautiful. But on the taste, I felt something was dulled. Something wasn't either as crisp or as full of body as you can get if you choose that road in the woods correctly. Sweet, pineapple, tart, but also dull and lifeless in the middle. In all, you get an enjoyable beer because you enter and depart on good notes, but in the middle you find yourself searching for meaning. 

Another World was... another world entirely. This red sour came with all of the wood you can handle, and the red sour gave it body and finished tart enough that you just want to dive back in. If you go to Rare Barrel, or trade for one, get Ensorcelled (their dark raspberry, gold-winning sour) or Another World. Wise Guise -- which has Ensorcelled and their golden sour blended within -- is as far white as I'll go, said the white man.

Another trip to Fieldwork, another satisfied customer. Daypack is just a lovely light session pale with great taste. What more can you ask for except some fruit. St. Thomas comes with the fruit, and the dankness, and inspired the brewer to call it a fruity dank armpit. I laughed and agreed, but then did not agree with his idea that we should all love dank armpits. I have been successfully conditioned to prefer shaven, dry, perfumed armpits. I still love St. Thomas, and I still love Alex Tweet, its brewer.

Firestone Walker Pivo Pils
Revolution Brewing Citra-Hero IPA
Urban Chestnut Schnicklefritz Berliner Weisse

Brought the Pivo Pils for my father. I knew he'd like it. He did. We enjoyed this crisp pilsner together, and it was a bonding moment, for about five seconds, until my short-nap-having two-year-old decided to throw another fit and I had to go find his juice. CAN'T DAD HAVE SOME OF HIS JUICE IN PEACE.

Citra-Hero brought that Citra melon to a great beer, I have no complaints. My father somehow switched his Pivo out with my Citra Hero for a while and didn't notice anything until I said something. He tried to cover afterwards, but those beers aren't all that close in taste. That's fine. He knows a lot more about tools and fixing houses than I do. We all know something. 

I offered him some Shnicklefritz -- which read as a wheaty lemony tart Hefe, I would call it a Hefe even though they have it as a Berliner Weisse -- and he just wrinkled his nose. I know, the wheat taste is a thing. It's like the sour taste. Either you dig it or you don't. (I did.)

Almanac Mandarina Tart Saison
Fieldwork Galaxy Juice Northeast IPA
Fieldwork St. Thomas IPA
In This League Podcast The Bogman Dry-Hopped Amber

Loved the tart gose-like Mandarina Saison. It wasn't a dirty saison, or a funky one, but I'm sure by definition it was a saison. I'd say it felt much like a San Peligrino Blood Orange -- bubbly, (more) tart, spicy as my four year old calls it, and sweet. Not at all sad I have a sixer of cans, and am throwing it into some trades. 

That Galaxy Juice. Worth a whole post. And the St. Thomas will figure in.

Shout out to my homeboys at In This League. They sent me Zombie Dust, the Citra-Hero, and two home brews. I had the dry-hopped Amber, which smelled nice, was pretty shook up (might be the travel) and had a nice calm thick amber mouthfeel. I don't like Fat Tire, but this was a more mellow Fat Tire that I could get into. Much better than any homebrew I ever did. 

What beers surprised you this weekend?