Last Weekend's Beer, Today

Eno Sarris, October 17, 2016

Was expecting a box to to arrive this week to supplement my beer stash. The box went to the wrong person, which is the first such mishap I've had in beer trading. Sad! 

Of course, I could have gone to the store, but I had enough leftovers in the fridge that I thought I'd rough it. It got a little hairy Sunday, but then it rained all day and made the barrel-aged dark beer that much more delicious. 

The good part about "clean-out" weekends is that you have beers from all over the country. I enjoyed the fruits of Viriginia, Oklahoma, California, and Missouri this weekend, and each was delectable in their own ways. 

Port City Derecho Common
Prairie Funky Gold Mosaic Sour

I tried to stay neutral in Thursday's deciding Game Five between the Dodgers and Nationals by drinking a California Common from a Virginia brewer, but the fans weren't having it and decided it didn't skew Los Angeles enough. That's fine, my sweet but bright Derecho was delectable, almost like an American Pils. Nice way to start out the wekend. 

I probably should have held on to the Funky Gold, but I hoarded it all to myself. The Funky Gold smelled like juicy fruit gum, and then had a fresh bright golden sour finish, but the mosaic couldn't help itself. I still got some vegetable thickness. It wasn't bad, but Citra avoids this sort of situation. Citra-hopped sours remain my favorite. 

Tioga-Sequoia General Sherman Double Dry-Hopped IPA
Stone Ruination 2.0 IPA

It's been a year or two since I first had the General Sherman, perhaps Fresno's best beer. Or at least, it was a couple years back. It's funny how much difference a year can make in your tastes. I hovered over the four-star rating I once gave it, because now it just tasted like a West Coast IPA with a heavy Cascade dry-hopping. That's fine, and enjoyable, so the four stayed. But I'd want to lighten it up a bit in body or bitterness before I moved past four stars. 

Speaking of old and bitter, Ruination was a big whoof for me. Just terrible. I almost didn't want to drink it, and I resented it because it affirmed all the negative opinions my extended family has of craft beer. It's so bitter I almost made the Bitter Beer Face on it. And it's not redeemed by citrus or grapefruit or stone fruit, nor is it even really balanced by a big malt profile. Maybe it is, I dunno. I couldn't get past how bitter it was. Completely unenjoyable. 

Fieldwork Cirque Farmhouse Ale
Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin

After all the joking about Brettanomyces and brewing with wild ales and wearing body condoms in the brewery to stop contamination, I didn't think Fieldwork would do a Brett beer. I'm glad they did, because it reminded me that all Brett beers don't need to be horse blanket hazy funk bombs. Tweet did his thing and created a clean, bright saison with Brett in it. Not to say that there isn't any funk in it, or none of that Brett earthiness, because that was there. But it was more of a clean, bright Saison thank a cloudy nose-tickler like the sort that Crooked Stave makes. 

Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest
4Hands Rapture Imp Stout

Finished off the last Oktoberfest just as the real Oktoberfest was ending, so yay me. The real winner of the night, though, was that insane 4Hands double Stout. Wow. Smelled like chocolate and molasses and whiskey and tasted like rye whiskey with melted chocolate. Super big, didn't hide the alcohol (11.5%) but did envelope the alcohol and make it part of the rye whiskey burn. Maybe a tad hot, I didn't give it five stars, but I did enjoy drinking every minute of it. 

Where did your drinking (virtually) take you this weekend?