8% ABV from a bomber
One of the fun things about beer trading is getting sent stuff you absolutely have no interest in. I’m being serious. Every place in America has those certain beers that locals know about, and love, but that for some reason no one else seems to know about and love. Everyone knows about California’s Russian Rivers and AleSmiths and Stones, etc., but few have probably heard of Marin Brewing Co. So, of course, when a local Californian like my pal Jay at Hedonist Beer Jive hooks me up with some West Coast beers I surely know, and had asked for, something like this White Knuckle DIPA stuck out like a store thumb and you can’t help but being like, “What the hell is this?! I’ve never seen this on BA’s Top 100! I’ve never heard about this being released on a one-day only $15 a bottle, four bottle limit party! Surely this beer sucks.”
But of course it doesn’t. There’s a reason why a smart guy and a savvy beer drinker like Jay insisted I have it. And God bless him cause Goddamn is this good. Wow! Just a juicy, juicy smell and full of tasty hops goodness. Packed with grapefruit and a tropical mango/peach/apricot-like melange of fruit flavors this is one complex sucker. Piney yet with a balanced bitter/sweetness finish it just tickles the tongue. I loved every sip of this one and drew out my enjoyment of the bomber so long you would have thought I was Tantric.
I really don’t understand why this beer isn’t more notable. It’s even more bizarre that it get a solid, solid “A” on Beer Advocate. Yeah, well then why in the heck isn’t every non-California beer dork demanding his California buddies send him some?! You really should as it’s honestly one of the best IPAs I’ve ever had and one of the more unique ones too. I really see no flaw in it AT ALL.
Telegraph California Ale
6.2% ABV from a corked-and-caged 750
A second heretofore-unknown-to-me California beer that Jay insisted I try was the aptly named California Ale from Telegraph Brewing Company. Listed as a “California Common,” the only beer I’ve had of that style, and I would guess you have to, is the iconoclastic Anchor Steam. But I haven’t had an Anchor Steam in ages so I don’t exactly remember the calling card of the style. This beer poured incredibly frothy and foamy. I loooooved the aroma of it and the first taste was fairly enjoyable. It tasted like a malty saison to me if that paradox could possibly makes sense. “Belgianish,” it was yeasty and bananay yet caramely. A bit of an oddball. I found it a little too carbonated, a little too thin of mouthfeel, but overall not too bad. I was glad to try it.