Now that L.A. Beer Week is in the rearview, it’s time to highlight a six-pack of my favorite beers from the past week’s celebration.
1. Boomtown Brewery Aliso Strong Dark Ale
During the DTLA United event, I ordered this dark ale because of the history behind the name. But this simple, old school beer won me over as an excellent sipping beer. Many hefty beers never let you forget it. This beer was turned down just a notch which made it really enjoyable and let the malt and caramel tastes to stand out.
2. Cascade Brewing Figaro Sour Ale
Chardonnay barrels and lemon dominate this wild ale from Portland’s premier sour house, but in speaking with one of Cascade’s blenders, it is the figs (that don’t really leap from the beer) that pull this really complex beer together. Hence the name.
Last year, these two breweries shared sandwiches and now they are back with a Brett IPA that is a lovely sipper and gives straight shots of Brett and bitterness in equal measure. The beer has a cloudy orange juice look. With a sticky juicy taste to the back. The Brett isn’t big barnyard which is good as it lets a guava aroma room.
4. Stone Brewing Co. Mocha IPA
Really a double IPA, clocking in over 9% ABV but also really smooth and would probably shine even more on nitro. What garners this beer a spot on the list is that the hop aroma comes through and lingers which usually doesn’t happen with coffee beers. Those beans steal most shows but not here. This is a nicely balanced IPA.
5. Angel City Brewery Strawberry Gose
Setting aside that this wasn’t really a Gose, it was a real strawberry bomb. But unlike many strawberry beers, this one wasn’t sticky sweet or in the realm of Jolly Ranchers. The extra zippy tartness of the beer nicely undercut the fruit. And it was certainly a pretty beer to look at with it’s hazy pink/red color looking good in a goblet.
6. Lost Abbey / Saison Dupont Deux Amis
You could probably do no wrong with the famous Dupont yeast and any brewery but Deux Amis benefits from the addition Tomme Arthur and the Lost Abbey along with a few Amarillo and Simcoe hops. You should be a fan of the regular Saison Dupont and the Dry-Hopped seasonal version that is out now and really track this new beer down too.
The Beer for the Week comes in the Nitro format. Firestone Walker Brewing Co. has already had one Nitro under its belt with their Nitro Merlin Milk Stout and now their standard bearer English-style bitter, DBA (aka Double Barrel Ale) gets the Nitrogenated treatment. This version of DBA will look and taste quite close to a traditional British cask ale. The malts in the recipe are accentuated by the creamy mouthfeel that Nitro dispense imparts. This beer is also an excuse to try out their new Venice-ish Propagator location.
Your Homework for the week is to go Dutch on the New Belgium Fat Tire and Friends Variety box that is in stores. Then the two (or more) of your beer loving friends should taste your way through each variant to see which one is the winner for not only taste, but for most imaginative re-imagining and which beer is the closest to the original Fat Tire. The beer that launched New Belgium into the major multi-regional player that it is.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.