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Official Team BEER-FI (Beer Appreciation Thread!) - Page 133

post #1981 of 1991

I'm still pretty active with keeping up on local craft beer releases and events here in the Bay Area.  Just not as active posting about it :/

post #1982 of 1991

I've been drinking a lot, but don't go on Head-Fi much anymore. My favorite recent brew is the Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin. I'm not a fruit beer guy, but this one is done right. Great IPA base with a nice grapefruit nose and subtle grapefruit taste. If these weren't 7% I could drink a lot of them!!

post #1983 of 1991
The Grapefruit Sculpin is pretty good. Definitely better than the habanero, which burned to the poin of masking all the other flavors.

My weapon of choice lately has been Heady Topper, which really is a great IPA.
post #1984 of 1991

I'll have to keep an eye out for the "Heady Topper", that looks tasty. I wonder if they distribute to California??

post #1985 of 1991

Unfortunately Heady isn't available outside Vermont in typical circumstances. It pops up occasionally when the brewers bring some to other places, but it doesn't last long. I honestly haven't found that many top shelf beers to live up to the unbelievable hype, but this is definitely at the top of my list for IPAs. There is nothing particularly special about it, it just tastes clean the way an imperial IPA should.

 

 

I still have four 4 packs of this left, so I've been trying to make my way through it while it is still good.

post #1986 of 1991

I traded for a couple of 4 packs of Heady Topper a few years back.  Definitely a great DIPA, but comparable to decent DIPA's distributed in CA like Sculpin or Stone's Enjoy By.  The only DIPA's not available here I'd actively seek out again are ones produced by Hill Farmstead or Fatheads (Head Hunter and Hop Juju are both amazing).  However, I've decided to stop trying to trade for every single new hot beer because it's impossible to keep up with nowadays.  And it got expensive shipping 30 lb boxes of 'olive oil' across the country constantly.


Edited by daigo - 3/25/15 at 9:39am
post #1987 of 1991

I like Sculpin, but it is overpriced and not really "special" to me. The Enjoy By doesn't really do anything for me. I'm not a huge fan of many of the "West Coast IPAs", many of them taste too earthy to me. Not sure that makes sense, but those who I've said that to here understand. I tend to be more of an East Coast kind of guy, something that has been fine lately because we have been getting some really top shelf stuff, especially from local NJ/NY/PA brewers. The brewing scene within 50 miles or so of NYC has been unbelievably good lately.

 

I picked up the Heady on a ski trip to Vermont last month and we went pretty far out of our way to get to Hill Farmstead. What a mistake. Their hours are 12-5, we got there around 12:30 to find around 60 waiting inside. There are two lines, one for bottles, one for growler fills and tastings and everyone is waiting in the growler fills line. Let me point out that there was a fill limit of five growlers per person and everyone had five growlers. The tastings didn't begin until the front third of the line, where an employee would come and fill "orders" and bring back 2-3 tasting glasses at a time. We waited for an hour, during which the line didn't move. Not even a bit. They had one guy filling growlers and it was taking close to 5 minutes per fill. With each person having 5 growlers.

 

So yeah, after an hour we decided to visit Lost Nation, a much smaller brewery with good beer and food and no line. The funny thing is that Lost Nation was full of others who had been in line with us and also bailed. We did wind up with two bottles of Dorothy from Hill Farmstead, but overall not worth the trip for me. It was much easier to get many of their beers on tap around Burlington. The only funny thing was these two guys with Florida plates in the car that literally filled their car up with beer. I'm talking the limit of growlers, 10+ cases of bottles and glasses. It was kind of humorous to watch.

post #1988 of 1991

Last night's conquest, Weyerbacher Sunday Morning Stout. Let me preface this by saying I love bourbon. And I love bourbon barrel aged beers. When I had Founder's KBS for the first time a few years ago, it had none of that sweet, syrupy vanilla sweetness I love from my favorite barrel aged stouts. And it was a huge disappointment. For my money, Bourbon County Stout is still very high on the list of my favorite beers. Especially the two and three year old bottles I am sitting on. Liquid deliciousness, but I digress.

 

Well this beer tastes very much like I remember KBS to taste. Which isn't a bad thing. This is much cheaper and I don't feel like I have to bribe a local store owner or stalk to distributor beer truck drivers (people here do this) to be able to get it. Getting a four pack of it without selling my soul allows me to get used to the taste after a few bottles and age some to see how it is in the future.

 

This beer was very complex, the coffee comes through pretty strong for me at the end, after some of the alcohol has gone away. This is definitely a hot beer, there is no mistake it was aged in bourbon barrels. As it warmed up though, it got better and better. Definitely a sipper though. Overall I would definitely recommend at least trying this if you are a fan of the style of beer.

 

post #1989 of 1991
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkz View Post
 

I like Sculpin, but it is overpriced and not really "special" to me. The Enjoy By doesn't really do anything for me. I'm not a huge fan of many of the "West Coast IPAs", many of them taste too earthy to me. Not sure that makes sense, but those who I've said that to here understand. I tend to be more of an East Coast kind of guy, something that has been fine lately because we have been getting some really top shelf stuff, especially from local NJ/NY/PA brewers. The brewing scene within 50 miles or so of NYC has been unbelievably good lately.

 

I guess we'll just have to differ there since earthy and herbal is pretty much how I describe most of the older east coast and midwest IPA I've tried in the past.  West coast IPAs started using more of the fruit and citrus forward hops like Simcoe, Amarillo and Citra and that's pretty much what most brewers use in newer IPA's across the country in the recent craft beer craze.  

 

Also, that Weyerbacher beer sounds delicious!


Edited by daigo - 3/26/15 at 9:25am
post #1990 of 1991

We must be talking variations of the same thing. I am much more a fan of the citrus tasting IPAs over the earthier ones. The super earthy tasting IPAs that come to mind are those from places like Green Flash, some of the Stone beers, and a few others. The Heady has a very citrusy taste to me. Some locals around here make some really good citrus tasting IPAs such as those from Kane Brewing (Head High) or Carton Brewing (077XX), both in the Jersey Shore area.

 

Another of my favorite impossible to find IPAs is Lunch from Maine Beer Company. Another simple and wonderful IPA, unfortunately the brewery is small and they don't distribute much. Also highly rated east coast IPA is the former Ghandibot (name is being changed due to complaints) from NEBCO. I find that a bit over rated but still a solid brew.

 

Daigo, you are lucky to be in such a great area for beers. Plus you must have an almost unlimited supply of Pliny there. :D Unfortunately that stuff is unobtainable here outside of Philly, and even then I feel lucky I was able to try some a few years ago. But I will say, we are starting to see more and more great beer come out of the Tri-State area. Its a great time to be a beer fan.

post #1991 of 1991

Ah, I loved Lunch from Maine Beer Co when I was able to get some fresh bottles.  Some of their pales are also very nice.  Ghandibot I finally tried out of the can but it was also only ok for me.  On the Wings of Armageddon was also something I last traded for about a year ago before I put a stop to that and it was very good.  It's just good to see there are so many good beers everywhere in the country now, that I would love to travel more within the US just to try more.  

 

I can't complain about living the in the Bay Area though, as we do have some great breweries here.  In addition to Russian River, some new ones like Sante Adairius, The Rare Barrel and Cellarmaker have all been putting out fantastic beers.  There are many other good places though, like San Diego, Portland (loved my snowboarding/beer trip up there last year), Chicago (went during Chicago beer week a few years back, fantastic), Philadelphia and I'm sure many more areas.  

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