I have a good amount of friends who like good beer. The amount of people I know that only know about over adverted lite beer is very small. A couple of friends brought up that we should do a beer tasting. I thought this was a good way to explore new beers and I’m always looking to add more favorites to the list. City Beer Store here in San Francisco is an excellent source for beer. I needed to get beer that myself and everybody else had never had before. I needed to get a wide range of beers for a horizontal tasting. I needed to get a wide range of ABVs, IBUs, colors, origins, and types. I spent quite a while at city beer. The first several beers were easy to pick out as I already had them in mind. The last ones took twice as long to pick out. I chose twelve and two of the beers I previously had already but all the others were brand new. I researched the beers and laid out a tasting order. I picked up some bland crackers and popcorn for palate cleansing. Ten people were ready to try some new and great beers. As it’s been a couple weeks since the tasting and I didn’t take any notes, my recollection of certain qualities is lacking.
Abita Brewing Company - S.O.S. (Save Our Shore)
I thought a pilsner was a good way to start. Really light and lower to average ABV. I’m not a huge fan of pilsners and this one wasn’t the best but was still good. The name comes from an organization aimed at restoring the Louisiana Coast. Since Abita is located in Abita Springs, LA, they produced this beer and .75¢ of each bottle is donated to the cause.
Odonata Beer Company - Saison Ale
They got really creative with the name of this beer. Still, this saison was very tasty. Like any saison should have, there were the spices. There was also a bit of sweetness, which is different than any other saison I have had.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery - Sah’tea
This one was a huge hit with everyone. I was very interested in this one and it didn’t disappoint. I didn’t find it really drinkable. That’s a huge bottle and I would have to split it with several people to enjoy. I wish I could remember anything about this beer as it is very different.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery - Theobroma
Another very different beer brought to us by DFH. I was really excited about this one but found it to be lacking. Nothing special or awesome about it. Almost tasted flat. There’s a great story behind this beer and you should head over to DFH’s website and check it out. It’s classified as a chile beer. Most of the beer is just chocolate and a type of chile. I wanted a spicy drink that reminded me of a chocolate stout. I got neither. A fellow taster ate some pizza that had jalepenos on it. He then went back to drinking this beer and the spiciness of the jalepeno brought out more flavor. Still didn’t give it a better grade though.
Unibroue - La Fin Du Monde
A great tripel. Have had this one before a few times. Very drinkable.
Brouwerij Westmalle - Westmalle Trappist Dubbel
It seems the further the night went on, the less I can remember about these beers. The grade probably reflects why I can’t remember anything, not a good trappist.
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV - St. Bernaradus Abt 12
I have heard that this is the best widely available Belgian you can get. I strongly agree with that statement. Great example of an excellent Belgian. This should be enjoyed by all.
Allagash - Allagash Four Ale
Another great quad. Not quite as good as St. Bernie up there, but still very good. Add another Allagash to my list that in no way has dissapointed me.
Brauerei Aying - Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock
My beer tastes have definitely changed. I remember when this used to be one of my favorite beers. I liked the dark beers a lot back then. Still enjoy it but don’t prefer it. A good German beer from a true German brewer.
AleSmith Brewing Company - Old Numbskull Barley Wine Ale
I am a little weird when it comes to barley wines. Sometimes I really like them, sometimes they turn me off. This time I enjoyed it. Pretty basic barley wine here.
Stone/Ballast Point/Kelsey McNair - San Diego County Session Ale
My third collaboration from Stone and my least favorite. I really wish this was a lot better. It’s hoppy and borders between and pale ale and an IPA. It’s low ABV would make it a great beer for drinking several of without worrying about higher ABV. Not bad but not great.
Ballast Point Brewing Company - Sculpin IPA
What a great IPA. Very drinkable and classic. Definitely will be picking up more of this when I don’t have to split one bottle with ten people.
When the tasting was concluded there were two options; Join in on a deep theological debate or watch Mystery Science Theatre 3000. The photo below illustrates my choice.