Jen Pearson Design bottle opener

JenPearson_BottleOpenerOne of the positive things about “craft beer people” is that we make shopping for presents relatively easy.  In the same way that golfers get deluged with golf-related gifts, our holidays and birthdays usually herald bounties of beer, brewery-branded merchandise and related items like books, glassware, decorations and bottle openers.

Every veteran craft beer nut has at least half a dozen lovely but largely unused novelty bottle openers occupying space at the bottom of a crowded kitchen drawer right now, waiting along with koozies and cardboard coasters for an inevitable purge.

What sets the sleek but sturdy bottle opener created by Jen Pearson Design apart from the rest is the simple and beautiful design.  The geometrically balanced shape and buffed white brass color is so aesthetically pleasing yet non-intrusive, you would never think to hide it in a drawer.  You will want to leave this piece out on your desk all the time, whether you’re planning to enjoy a cold one or not.

On the other hand, if you are planning to pop a bottle or two, this lightweight, palm-sized piece does the job with elegant style.  Based out of Oakland, Jen Pearson Design is dedicated to elevating the aesthetic value of everyday items, as with her apothecary matchstick bottle or her test tube flower vase.  To get more information or place an order, visit jenpearsondesign.com/store.

 

 

Mosaic Saison – Anchorage Brewing Company

mosiac-saison_bttl6.5% ABV
Purchased at Capitol Beer and Taproom ($14.99?/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

This saison made with brettanomyces and “fermented in oak tanks” pours a pale, lemonade yellow with a fluffy, mid-sized ivory head.  Mosaic Saison offers a lovely nose that blends the funkiness of the farmhouse with the zest of a hop field – lemons, grapefruit peel, wild yeast, grass, and hay all show up, indicating tart and refreshing flavors ahead.  The first swallow is all that and more – with the barnyard funk, cracker-y Mosaic hops, and abundant but not overpowering citrus, it tastes like your favorite saison mixed with your favorite pale ale, with all of it cohered and given shape by the rich, oaky notes. Smooth, delicious, and complex, this outstanding beer has all the makings of a hot weather habit-former, and more than holds its own against beloved Anchorage staples like Bitter Monk.

  5 Toasts

 

 

   5 Toasts

 

His and Hers Beer Notes – Sudwerk Uncle Fester

Our latest beer notes, Sudwerk’s Uncle Fester are up on Eat Drink Films. Cheers!

EatDrinkFilms.com

by Daniel Barnes and Darcey Self-Barnes

Uncle Fester Batch #4 (Sudwerk) 9.3% ABV Available at Sudwerk Dock Store through Brewers Cut membership (16.9 oz. bottle) and poured into mini wine glasses. This barrel-aged doppelbock from Sudwerk.

Uncle Fester Batch #4 (Sudwerk)

9.3% ABV

Available at Sudwerk Dock Store through Brewers Cut membership (16.9 oz. bottle) and poured into mini wine glasses.

View original post 199 more words

Hoppy New Year

Beery Christmas

iso-instagram

Paris of the West – Almanac Beer Company

Beer bottle9.5% ABV
Purchased at Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa ($5.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

This “Quadrupel ale brewed with flame raisins, candi sugar and oranges” pours a date-like dark brown with a small, off-white head.  The richly inviting nose offers classic Belgian Quad aromas of raisins, dark fruits, nuts and a hint of maple, but the first swallow beckoned some unexpected flavors, especially on the sharp and seltzer-y finish. It’s no wonder the bottle suggests pairing Paris of the West with Roquefort cheese, and even as the brew warmed, it became apparent that we probably needed food to fully bring out the flavors.  That seltzer aftertaste is likely due to the unusual addition of oranges, as subsequent sips brought forth fruitcake-like flavors of citrus peel and dried fruits and nuts.  Not fully successful but consistently interesting, and I love the willingness of Almanac to push the envelope on familiar beer styles.

  3 Toasts

 

Almanac-ParisoftheWest

 

   3 Toasts

 

Punk’in Drublic – Coronado Brewing Company

punkindrublic_bttl8% ABV
Purchased at Der Biergarten in Sacramento ($6/13 oz. serving) and poured into tulip glasses.

This “imperial pumpkin beer” and highly anticipated fall seasonal from San Diego-based Coronado Brewing Company pours a burnt orange with a slight, white sand-colored head.  True to its NOFX-inspired name, it smells of drunken pumpkins, both the flesh and the seeds, along with dark fruits and autumnal spices.  Punk’in Drublic brings robust pumpkin pie flavors to the front on the first sip, with subtle cinnamon and allspice notes that become more pronounced on subsequent swallows, but it’s still more pumpkin-y and less kitschy or sweet than most beers in this style.  It’s a real rarity – a pumpkin beer with complexity, as brown sugar and honey sweetness play off the savory spices and juicy pumpkin.

  4 Toasts

Punk'inDrublic

   4 Toasts

 

Paradox – Skully Barrel No. 26

paradox8.0% ABV
Purchased at Capitol Beer and Tap Room (16.9 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

This “sour golden ale brewed with mango, chili, sea salt, and natural flavors and aged in oak barrels” from Colorado-based Paradox pours a dark burnt orange with a big-bubbled, hazy sliver of foam that all but disappears upon impact with the glass.  The nose offers a sour-y aroma of tart fruits, melons, Pixie Stix, and just a whiff of heat from the chili.  I got a lot more than a whiff of chili on the first swallow, although the lingering burn is balanced well by a salty finish.  More tequila-like lime and cantaloupe and green apple come through than the promised mango flavors, but it’s all nicely rounded out by mouth-coating wine tannins, with the salt continually beckoning you back for another sip.  As is the case with most “hot” beers, a little bit of Skully Barrel No. 26 goes a long way, so splitting a 16.9 oz. bottle between two people is just about perfect.

  3.5 Toasts

 

Parradox

   4 Toasts

 

Lectio Divina – Saint Somewhere Brewing Company

lectio-divina-bttl10% ABV
Purchased through Rare Beer Club and poured into tulip glasses.

This “Belgian-style Amber” was brewed by Florida-based Saint Somewhere Brewing Company with their own house yeast, and open fermentation techniques were employed.  It pours an opaque chestnut brown with a cumulus cloud of a dirty blonde head.  Lecto Divina boasts a lovely nose of fruity Belgian yeast, dates, dark fruits, and tropical nuts.  Despite the quad-like color and nose, the beer is actually quite tart on the first swallow, heavy on green apples and other sour fruits.  With its peppery yeast and tongue-coating flavor, Lectio Divina is almost saison-like, and while it’s a fine beer now, Saint Somewhere expects it to mellow and ripen with age.

  4 Toasts

StSomewhere

 

   4 Toasts

 

Bokonon – Shady Oak Barrel House

 

bokonon_bttl6.75% ABV
Purchased at Taylor’s Market in Sacramento ($12.49/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

This inaugural offering from Santa Rosa-based Shady Oak Barrel House pours a gorgeous light gold with a foamy, bright white head.  Inspired by the works of Kurt Vonnegut, the brettanomyces-heavy Bokonon exudes tart and earthy farmhouse aromas – lemons, grass, barnyard funk, Belgian yeast, and minerals dominate the nose.  It’s also a little bit metallic, on the nose and on the first swallow, but it’s brimming with Belgian complexity, with mellow citrus and freshly mowed lawn holding the front line while the more tart and aggressive flavors guard the rear.  Bokonon offers a whole lot of funk and must, not all of it entirely pleasing, and yet I kept going back to discover more about this fascinating and challenging beer.

  3.5 Toasts

Bokonon

   4 Toasts

 

Post Navigation