The craft beer revolution has a lot in common with the Farmer’s Markets and eat local movements. Now it seems, rather than being content with pairing beer with a great meal, brewers are putting the farm into the foam (as the brewing folks at Twisted Pine in Boulder have labeled their upcoming Carrot IPA.)
Now instead of a V8, you can have a pint of beer that is made with pumpkins, peppers, tomatillos, tea and even mushrooms! Now, there has always been a history of fruit in beer from shandy’s and radler’s to lambics. Sometimes the fruit is added to cut some of the sour notes or to complement a wheat beer. But there has been a resurgence of using the full palate of farm options available recently.
And you don’t have to fly to Colorado to do it. You just have to head to Blue Palms on the 19th to the Farmers Market FestivALE!!! . While there you can sip the Stone Mixtape beer that includes most of what Simon & Garfunkel had at the Scarborough Fair. Minus the parsley. Or you could try the latest beer from bay area brewer, Almanac whose previous beers featured plums and blood oranges and whose third offering is using fennel!
If you can stand the heat, you can taste chipotle in your stout or try the famous Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point with habanero peppers added. There will be some fruited beers on offer as well so that you can fill out your food pyramid for the day.
Just don’t try to claim that this is your daily dose of leafy greens. There is no kale or spinach beers. That I know of. Yet.
The beer of the week comes from craft beer pioneers, the Widmer Brothers of Portland. Spiced IPA is a collaboration (just like last week) between Widmer and the Quaff home brew club of San Diego. Quaff stands for Quality Ale and Fermentation Fraternity. The multi-state pair have added a twist to the now traditional West Coast IPA by adding assam black tea and a host of spices like ginger, cinanamon, clove, cardamom and black pepper to it. Spiced IPA is part of the Widmer Rotator IPA series that has seen a rye IPA, a bold Citra IPA and Falconer’s Flight (a new hop varietal).
Your homework this week is to start using the term solera. Because you will need to as The Bruery’s Fruet, fourth anniversary beer starts hitting fine craft beer establishments across Los Angeles just in time for American Craft Beer Week. It is a very time intensive process of aging beer. You fill barrels with this year’s beer, then next year you bottle some of the year 1 beer and add in the year 2 beer. Then next year you bottle some of the 1+2 blend and add in year 3. Now picture this with many more barrels. Thankfully the Bruery is keeping track of what year is in what barrel for us.
The beer of the week comes from craft beer pioneers, the Beer Search Party.