Monday, May 31, 2010

Dieu du Ciel: Aphrodite

Memorial Day means staying in bed all day making the Lumberjack watch Veronica Mars.  It also means trying a new beer!

Dieu du Ciel Aphrodite (Stout, 6.5% ABV, also called Aphrodisiaque) is delicious.  It's the chocolatiest stout I think I've ever had, but the chocolate flavour is nice and delicate.  It would be great with vanilla ice cream if I was still allowed to eat sugar.  The beer is dark dark brown and very viscous; it really coats the glass.  It's sweet, but not too syrupy, and has a hint of roasted notes to it.  It has a nice low ABV - which is especially good since it would be easy to drink a lot of this.  It's a little pricey, though - $6 for a 12oz. bottle.  But hey, it's Canadian.

Bella was not quite as excited about it as we were.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Back at Pacific Coast, having the delicious Maharaja again. The hops
are so fun - definitely present, but delicate and tasty instead of
acidic. Has a strong lemony/citrus scent. Syrupy on my lips after
sipping. Tastes almost like lavender and honey. Clear, amber - very
pretty. Definitely a hit!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Infamous Pliny the Younger!

We originally went to Beer Revolution, before I remembered (as we stared at the shut door) that it's closed on Mondays.  Oops.  Luckily Pacific Coast Brewing is right up the road, so I was still able to get a beer with my newly unemployed friend Repeat.

He knows and likes beer on his own, but clearly was entertained by me giving him suggestions.  I started looking at the menu, and...HOLY SHIT.  The tap list was out of control.  It included Stone Vertical Epic, Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Fritz & Ken Ale, Angel's Share, Speakeasy Scarface Stout, Old Rasputin, Maharaja, and...Pliny the Younger.

Now, those of you (all 3 of you?) who read this know that I used to hate IPAs, and am only recently discovering a few delicious ones.  But even I have heard all the hoopla about this Pliny the Younger.  It sold out in like 36 minutes during SF Beer Week?  Or something equally ridiculous.  People are obsessed with this beer.  So to see it casually listed on the menu meant I simply had to try it.

Although HOLY CRAP that's an awesome tap list - and that wasn't even all of the options!

So, I got Pliny the Younger.  ABV 11%!  Our server actually reminded me how strong it is.  I guess he didn't think the little lady could handle it?

I have to say: eh, it's pretty good.  It smelled VERY strongly of hops.  My nose is not fancy enough to decipher the different scents - to me, it was just super hoppy.  It was light amber/gold, with no real head to speak of.  It was sweet and watery when sipped, but had a syrupy feel on my lips afterward.  It was nice, sweet, and subtle.  It "rinses clean" as Repeat said.  Overall, the first half of the glass was really nice.  However, after just stopped being all that great.  Maybe the hops killed my palate, I don't know.  But it's not a beer I would drink a lot of.

Repeat got the Scarface Stoute (OR SO WE THOUGHT), and I liked it, as usual, although it had a strong Kahlua flavour that I didn't remember from last time I had it.  For our second beers, I had the Fritz & Ken Sierra Nevada which was delicious as usual, only more tobacco-y this time than before.  Repeat got Maharaja at my suggestion, which was just as amazing as the first time I had it.  This time the dried nectarine/apricot flavour was more pronounced.  So delicious!

It was a pretty nice evening, until the bill came.  Everything was fine except they charged us for a $12 Rasputin instead of the $6 Scarface Stout.  When we pointed that out (the server who had taken our order had gone home, so the server giving us the bill didn't know for sure what we had ordered), she said she would have to check with the bartender...then he showed up a few minutes later and said "what do you want me to do with this Rasputin?"  Repeat said, justifiably "uh, charge us for the beer we ordered?" and the dude gave us really weird attitude.  Finally he left without saying what was going on.  At that point I realized why Repeat's "Scarface Stout" tasted different than it had before - oops.  But I've had Rasputin, and this wasn't familiar at all.  Oh well.  Finally the server brought us the correct bill, but was kind of snotty about it - then wouldn't give us change forever, as if she thought she was getting a 40% tip for her troubles.  When Repeat finally went up and asked for change, the bartender just slid the change at him down the bar and ignored him.  Hmm.

Pacific Coast Brewing: delicious beer options, but could definitely use some work in the customer service field.

Odonata Saison (on tap) at Beer Revolution

We went to Beer Revolution for a "Meet the Brewers" event Saturday, May 22.  Those events are always a little weird, since it's hard to figure out what exactly to say to the brewers other than "hey man, this beer is really good."  I chatted briefly with Peter, the brewer, and Rick, the sales/marketing guy, and they were very nice as I told them that indeed, their beer is good.

REALLY good.

Odonata Saison (Saison, 6% ABV) is incredibly delicious.  It's foggy and honey-coloured, with a fluffy white head that dissipates pretty quickly.  It has a faint, dusty smell.  It feels great, syrupy and gentle, really soft in the mouth.  It's almost a little chewy, if that makes sense.  It tastes sweet (but not sugary) and lemony.  The aftertaste is lovely - it really fills up your whole mouth and is almost slightly peppery.  Overall it's delicious, and I like how complex it is.  Drinking it was very enjoyable, and I had a lot of different thoughts and impressions.  That's always fun.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it.  So instead, here's the Lumberjack trying to fly my kite when we went up to a vinyard yesterday.  The Saison makes things feel rosy and summery like this photo.

(side note: locals should definitely keep an eye on this newish brewery in Sacramento - I'm super excited to see what beers are still to come!  Odonata Beer Company seems quite promising.)

We each ordered a Saison (even got the glasses to go with it!  yay glassware!), then both tried an additional beer:

I had Brasserie de Silly Scotch Silly (Scotch Ale, 8% ABV).  It had the strongest honey scent I've ever smelled in a beer - it seriously smelled like someone just poured a bottle of honey inside the glass.  It had a really pretty, dark ruby colour.  It mostly just tasted like water & honey - the honey flavour was so intense that it made any other flavours just seem watery and non-existent.  The aftertaste had a little more yeast/beer in it, which was nice.  But overall the honey was too overwhelming.

The Lumberjack had Eel River Triple Exultation (Old Ale, 9.7% ABV) which I thought was delicious.  It smelled strongly of bourbon/liquor, but was very sweet and pruney, slightly like raisins.  It was very smooth, and very tasty.  Quite drinkable, but a little high in the ABV to have too much.

Unfortunately it wasn't until our last few sips that we realized we each preferred the other's beer.  Oops.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Jai Alai - more beer trading!

Our second mystery beer from Kevin in Florida is another IPA. This one's from Southern Tier, and it's pretty tasty. It smells floral and hoppy, and like maple syrup. The flavour is nice - the hops have a slight bite, but it tastes a little like honey so it's sweetened up.  The aftertaste is a little bitter, but overall I really like it.

It's a good beer for a summery day, but also works well at 11pm on my bedside table while the Lumberjack works in the other room and listens to opera. If this is what cohabitation is like, I'm looking forward to July 1.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Weyerbacher by TRADE!

Our third trade box arrived yesterday, and had a ton of exciting beers from the South/East Coast for us to try.  First up, Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA (Imperial IPA, 9% APV).

Look, I am pouring it carefully into the Lumberjack's glass (that's show makeup, not my usual face - don't be alarmed).

After the first sip, we both said "woah."  Which is a good description of this beer.  It smells like a barleywine, sweet and caramel.  It's a pretty honey colour, and leaves pretty lace foam on the edges of the glass.

And the taste!  Oh, IPA, you are delicious.  I had no idea.  It's light, but also thick, and it almost had a coffee stout flavour to it - as if there was a little Speedway Stout mixed in.  Definitely hoppy, but in a nice, pleasant way - nothing kicked me in the teeth.  Very drinkable, and all around awesome.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

boyfriend and glassware

We try to always use correct glassware with our beers.  We are slowly purchasing all the different styles so that we can always use the right glass with the right beer.  This really does make the beer taste better...but also it's just fun for my little Virgo brain.

However.  Sometimes it's good to break the rules.  Yesterday, the Lumberjack surprised me after work with an impromptu picnic, complete with New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red (Fruit Beer, 5.1% ABV) which many of you may recall is impossible to buy in California (or anywhere outside Wisconsin).  Served in paper cups.

After a couple of difficult, stress/anxiety-inducing days, drinking Impossible to Find but So Delicious beer out of a paper coffee cup, while looking at the the Bay, with my Lumberjack: totally perfect.

And holy SHIT that beer is good.