Last Weekend's Beer, Today

Eno Sarris, May 16, 2016

Friday night, late, I had one more beer in me, and everyone was asleep. I had a choice between having something that wasn't a big deal by myself and holding on to the special stuff to share with my wife when she was awake again the next day.

I drank the beer by myself, cackling practically. 

Black Sands SMASH Rakau IPA
Black Sands Beach Head Triple IPA
Lagunitas Aunt Sally Sour

I wrote Friday about my Black Sands experience. In short: I wasn't sure the place had an identity.  The SMASH was meh, and though the Triple IPA was pretty decent, it was one beer, and not one I'd write home about. Still had that syrupy strong alcohol taste of a Triple IPA, it did not free itself of the shackles of the style. 

And maybe it was style that made me shrug at Aunt Sally. It's not very sour for a sour, and not very hoppy for a supposedly hoppy beer. But! It might actually be a decent crossover for those that want to dip a toe in it. I suppose Goses and Berliner Weisses are really the way to do *that* however. 

Other Half / Arizona Wilderness City Slickers Pale Ale
Crux Fermentation Cast Out IPA
Grimm Tesseract IPA

I suppose my selfish drinking of the Tesseract late at night, by myself, was about the fact that I didn't want to trade down at the end of the night. The City Slickers was an exellent start to the weekend, a grapefruit IPA with lemon zest that made me real suspicious until I drank it. I mean the thing was pink! It tasted like a Grapefruit Sculpin, more sessioned, with lemon zest on top. Not bad, right? 

Crux has a better beer in Half Hitch, their Mosaic romp, but Cast Out is decent, too. It's not as stone fruity and fun as the Half Hitch -- Cast Out doesn't match the fruit in the nose in the taste and becomes more of a standard lemon pine IPA after the early buzz -- but it's a good beer, too. I need to get to Bend. 

Altamont Hop Arsenal IPA (nitro)
Mikkeller Beer Geek Vanilla Shake 
Stone Enjoy By Tangerine IPA
Tap It IPA

The day started for me with my 19-month-old in my first favorite craft beer spot, the Rose & Crown in Palo Alto. We had the fish and chips and I had a nitro IPA that was all kinds of floral and fruity and smooth. I'm into nitro IPAs every once in a while, but want it to have started bitter so that the nitro smooths it out and doesn't take it into milk stout territory. A smooth, sweet ale without much bite is the dark side of nitro. 

Whoo boy that Beer Geek! Whoo boy. Felt like shaking my fingers after the first few sips. It's so much chocolate, so much vanilla, so much coffee, so much stout. And it was like 80 degrees on my patio, so maybe it was a weird combo, or it's not my style, but I felt like it punched me in the mouth and it took half the beer to fell normal and really appreciate it. 

The Enjoy By Tangerine didn't really have that problem, although it was along the most mostest line of reasoning. It's a ton of citrus and sweetness and dankness. It's an Enjoy By, of course, with tangerine for chrissakes. The Tap It never had a chance. 

Woodfour Sour Saison
Fieldwork Sea Farmer IPA
Altamont Magically Hopilicious DIPA
Saint Archer Mosaic IPA

Sunday was for research for the book, so we went drinking in Oakland, or so the story goes. The Lost & Found in uptown had a great mix of upscale bar food and 30 taps worth thinking about, but only three were IPAs or DIPAs! Weird, right? I tried two of the three, with a taste of the Fieldwork Sea Farmer, a salted grapefruit IPA that was like hai-ya to the grapefruit in a good way, and then the Altamont Imperial Oatmeal IPA, which wasn't something I'd seen written down before but ended up being a slightly malty thickbodied double with some amber characteristics. 

The Saint Archer was many hours later, at home, and though their session version of this is the best beer they make, this one was an okay second place. This is damning with faint praise, considering the esteem in which I hold the rest of their beers, but that's life.

Did you have a beer by yourself, cackling in the night?