Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pacific Beach Ale House St. Sideburns Winter Ale

Another beer I ordered from Pacific Beach Ale House in California was St. Sideburns Winter Ale. I understand that in southern California in February it was in the 50s, but it was still technically winter so I am allowed to order this beer, right? The beer has an amber color with a thin white filmy head. The aroma is malty with a light ginger spice accent. The taste is malty with nutmeg and ginger and a tasty alcohol bite. The alcohol content is 7.1% ABV. I thought that this winter beer was very good and tasty and did not feel out of place in the warm winter air.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Pacific Beach Ale House Toumaline Tripel

While in Pacific Beach, California, my friends and I stopped into Pacific Beach Ale House for dinner and drinks. The first beer I ordered was the Toumaline Tripel. The beer has a copper color with a bubbly white head. The aroma is sweet and malty with candisugar. The taste is sweet and malty with light Belgian hop bite and a candisugar finish. The alcohol content is 9% ABV. The Toumaline Tripel had an excellent taste and sweetness. The hops on the finish completely balanced the sweetness on the front end of the beer.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Belgium Trippel

While in California, I also picked up a six pack of New Belgium Trippel. The beer has a light gold color with a very thin filmy white head. The aroma is sweet with a heavy banana smell. The taste is very sweet with banana on the front end and a nice pepper kick. The beer finishes with a light hop bite with a sweet candisugar flavor. The alcohol content is 7.8% ABV. I thought that this was a very good trippel. It may not rank up there with the beers brewed in Belgium, but it is a very good american trippel.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Belgium Ranger India Pale Ale

Another beer out of the sampler pack from New Belgium was the new Ranger India Pale Ale. The beer has a golden color with a bubbly white head. The smell consists of sweet hops and lemon. The taste is very light and lemony after first with a tangerine accent. The taste transforms into a light and not overpowering hop accent rather than bite. The alcohol content is alcohol content is 6.5% ABV. I thought that the Ranger IPA was a very good beer and would be excellent to introduce someone to the IPA world, as it is not overly hoppy and well balanced.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Stone Brewery Master Pairings Around the World

On my recent trip to San Diego, two of my friends and I made a trip to the (somewhat) new Stone Brewing Company and Bistro for a beer pairing dinner titled Master Pairings Around the World. Tickets were $40 for the five-course meal. I will apologize in advance for the absence of a few photos of the food and beer, and I was so enthralled with the pairings that I forgot to take a photo of the meal and beer.

The meal started with a plate of cheeses and meats themed from Europe. The menu included traditional French country pate of truffled pork, duck liver mousse, Italian prosciutto, Spanish-style lamb chorizo, Nuremberg bratwurst, French brie de nangis, and Spanish Manchego. The first course beer pairing was Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux. The beer has a yellow-gold color with a filmy and bubbly white head. The taste consisted of banana and orange citrus. The alcohol content is 9.5% ABV. I really enjoyed the Avec Les Bons Voeux and I thought that it paired really well with the cheeses. The slightly spicy cheese really worked with the citrus flavors in the beer.

The second course was themed from Southeast Asia- India/Thailand. The food provided was mussels in green curry sauce with lemon grass, lime leaves, galangal, shallots, garlic, and cilantro. The pairing beer was the 2009 AleSmith Decadence. The beer had a deep amber color with a light head. It smelled of fig, banana, and raisins. The taste was full of banana with a complimentary underlying of fig and raisin. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. The pairing with the mussels brought out the candisugar and was, in my opinion, the best pairing of the night.

The third pairing was themed from the United States. The course consisted of macaroni and cheese with Cheswick white cheddar, Buffalo meatloaf sandwich and garlic mashed potatoes, and traditional New England style clam chowder. It was a little odd to receive the clam chowder in a double shot glass, but made for some interesting dinner conversation. The food was paired with Stone's own Oaked Arrogant Bastard. The beer had the same characteristics as Arrogant Bastard (see my previous review here) but came with an addition of an oak aroma. The taste transformed to be a little rounded and not quite as hoppy as Arrogant Bastard. However, I was surprised that pairing the Oaked Arrogant Bastard with the macaroni and cheese brought the hops back to the mellowed Bastard.

The fourth course was themed from Oahaca, Mexico The food presented was duck mole with Spanish rice. The beer pairing was Augustiner Brau Maximator. The beer has a dark copper color with no head. It smells strongly of raisins with a light fig undertone. The taste is spicy and heavy on the raisin with a nice alcohol bite. I thought that the duck smoothed out the bite, but wasn't the best pairing of the night. I could see the direction of the pairing, a chocolaty duck with a dark and sweet fruit beer, but it didn't quite connect.

The final course was themed as Asian/French Fusion. The dessert provided was three different crème brulees: green tea, citron, and chocolate ginger. The dessert was paired with Schloss Eggenberg Samichlaus. The beer has an amber color and no head at all. The smell is sweet consisting of fig and with hints of candisugar. The taste is sweet with raisin and fig. I thought that the Samichlaus paired really well with the ginger crème brulee, but not as much with the orange crème brulee, which was the best of the three crème brulees.

Overall, this was an amazing experience. If you ever have the chance to check out the Stone Brewery, please jump on the chance. Stone strives to grow their own spices for the food and bring in locally grown and raised food products. The result is some of the best tasting food I have had from a brewery. I would also go as far as to say that Stone is the best brewery I have been to, and I haven't even taken the tour yet. I plan on making a return trip as soon as possible.

Monday, March 1, 2010

New Belgium Might Arrow Pale Ale

While in California, we picked up a sampler pack of New Belgium Beers. I have previous had Fat Tire and 1554 out of the pack, but I was intrigued to try the Mighty Arrow Pale Ale. The beer has a nice pale golden yellow color with a light bubbly white head. The aroma is lightly citrus and fresh crisp hops. The taste is lightly malty and bitey with a toffee undertone and a crisp hop bite with a sweet orange and lemon citrus finish. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. I really enjoyed this Pale Ale and would definitely recommend it. I liked the sweet toffee finish after the fresh hop bite.