Monday, May 13, 2019

Nude Beach Beer Run

I am recently returned from a short trip to Big Sur, California, where we attended a memorial celebration for my late uncle. It was a very California send-off for a very California kind of guy who left us far too soon and will be deeply missed. In fact, it was so California a celebration that we illegally scattered his ashes at a beach that could potentially have contained nude bathers. And—of course—there was beer.

90. Firestone Walker (Paso Robles, CA) - Union Jack IPA

“This aggressively hopped West Coast IPA showcases stunning pineapple, citrus and piney aromas along with exceptional dry hop flavors of grapefruit and tangerine. This intense brew finds its balance in honey-like pale malt sweetness. The name Union Jack is a nod to the colonial origins of the IPA style, and to the British expatriate who co-founded our brewery.”

According to the website, there are nine different kinds of hops in this beer. I got more of a tropical flavor than citrus or pine. Had two of these at the restaurant inside the Big Sur Lodge, so could not investigate further; but if I see this one out in the wild here in flyover country, I’m all over it. (I believe I may have mixed my tenses there.)

91. North Coast (Fort Bragg, CA) - Scrimshaw

“Named for the delicate engravings popularized by 19th century seafarers, Scrimshaw is a fresh tasting Pilsner brewed in the finest European tradition using Munich malt and Hallertauer and Tettnang hops. Scrimshaw has a subtle hop character, a crisp, clean palate, and a dry finish.”

Drank this one at the Nepenthe restaurant between the illegal scattering of the ashes at Pfeiffer Beach and the memorial fête at the Henry Miller Memorial Library. It was not bad, but not especially memorable.

92. Firestone Walker (Paso Robles, CA) - Luponic Distortion

“No fruits. No flavorings. No shortcuts. Just the magic of 100 percent natural hops, expertly blended to offer mindbending flavors with each numbered release.”

Yeah, but I didn’t know about the numbered release thing until just now when I looked it up for the blog entry, so I don’t know which one of these I had at Nepenthe. I did like it, though. I tasted tropical notes that made me think it was hopped with Citra. According to the website, I should have been drinking Luponic Distortion 012, with “explosive flavors of tangerine, honeydew and strawberry gummy.” I do not recall tasting any of those.

93. Anchor Brewing (San Francisco, CA) - Anchor Steam

“Anchor Steam© Beer owes its deep amber color, thick, creamy head, and rich distinctive flavor to a historic brewing process like none other.”

Okay. And to show just how thoroughly uncultured I am when it comes to this stuff: to me, this is basically just beer. If someone offers me one of these, I take it and drink it happily. It’s beer. Do I go looking for it when I’m out buying beer? No.

94. Anchor Brewing (San Francisco, CA) - Brewers’ Pale Ale Citra Hop Blend

“Brewers’ Pale Ale is an evolving hop series, yet it remains a crisp and quaffable American Pale Ale packed with hop aroma and flavor.”

I really used to prefer bottled beer to canned beer, but no longer. This one was really good, especially while girding my loins to read some remarks about my uncle that my mom had written. I have never done public speaking well, but I think I pulled it off. I don’t give all the credit to this Citra brew, but I suppose that I am not too proud to acknowledge that it might have helped. Would love to run across it in cans or on tap somewhere.

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