Beer Worth Earning

A Beer Worth Earning

A Beer Worth Earning

Mendocino Brewing Red Tail Ale By Derrick Peterman When Mendocino Brewing’s Red Tail Ale hit the shelves over 30 years ago, it was a radically different beer during a time when light industrial lagers dominated the beer market. While a lot has changed in California’s beer landscape since then, this brew remains one of the classics. Amber ales aren’t always the most exciting beers in these days of über-hoppy IPAs and everything-but-the kitchen-sink brews you’ll find these days, but beers like Red Tail Ale are underrated. It’s drinkable, yet hardly boring. It’s complex, with its caramel character accented with deeply toasted malt note and an earthy finish. A radical brew when it debuted long ago, and pretty damn good today....
A Beer Worth Earning

A Beer Worth Earning

New Belgium’s Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale By Derrick Peterman Ice cream and beer is an unlikely combination, but New Belgium Brewing and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream pull it off with their winter release of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale. They’re partnering with Protect our Winters (POW), an outdoor sports organization devoted to raising awareness for climate change. In addition to a portion of the beer’s proceeds being donated to POW, the three organizations are planning a series of rallies across the country with letter writing stations, POW athletes speaking out about the dangers of climate change, raffles, and of course beer and ice cream. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale is brewed with chocolate, vanilla, and brown sugar added to a Blonde Ale base. The resulting light golden brown ale suggests cookie dough in liquid form, without being heavy or syrupy sweet. It’s a tasty,...
A Beer Worth Earning: Stone Brewing’s Imperial Russian Stout 2015 Release

A Beer Worth Earning: Stone Brewing’s Imperial Russian Stout 2015 Release

Stone Brewing Co. Imperial Russian Stout Stone Brewing Co. in San Diego is known for producing “big character” beers. Specifically hop-intense pale ales like their “Ruination”, which includes their unique “Enjoy By” line. The “enjoy by” line encourages drinkers to consume the beer by a printed date for maximum freshness. Courtesy Stone Brewing Co. However, Stone’s Imperial Russian Stout is a far cry from their hoppy best sellers. This 2015 Release is a malty, indulgent beer that pours heavier and darker than used motor oil. It is extremely complex with notes of chocolate, coffee, currant, and anise (a flavor similar to black licorice). This beer is almost a meal in itself- perfect for after a century ride, a hike up half-dome, or a day chasing surf breaks. The 2015 Imperial Russian Stout is sold in 22oz bottles, and touts a hefty 10.6 ABV. This brew did a number on me-...
A Beer Worth Earning: Bear Republic’s Grand Am Pale Ale

A Beer Worth Earning: Bear Republic’s Grand Am Pale Ale

Bear Republic: Grand Am Pale Ale Bear Republic Brewing in Healdsburg is best known for their iconic Racer 5 IPA. As good as Racer 5 is, it unfortunately overshadows the rest of Bear Republic’s excellent line-up. Case in point is Bear Republic’s Grand Am Pale Ale, a hop forward Pale Ale that could probably pass for an IPA if you didn’t know any better. Grand Am has a lot of the classic piney and grapefruit flavors you’ll find in West Coast beers, but more restrained in balance with the sturdy malt backbone than an IPA. The result is a drinkable and more accessible beer for those who prefer a little less hop wallop. There’s more to Bear Republic than just brewing great beer. Bear Republic is making big investments to become carbon neutral. They are installing the world’s first bioelectrically enhanced wastewater pretreatment plant. This system will provide 25%...
A Beer Worth Earning: Deschutes’ Black Butte Porter

A Beer Worth Earning: Deschutes’ Black Butte Porter

Deschutes’ Black Butte Porter Black Butte Porter is one beer that really needs no introduction. One of the original three beers Deschutes Brewery brewed when it started back in 1988, it’s become one of the most popular craft beers in the country. But did you know there really is a Black Butte the porter is named after? Black Butte is actually an extinct volcano, rising up over 6,000 feet above sea level in the Deschutes National Forest about 20 miles northwest of Bend, OR where the Deschutes brewery is located. Plenty of Deschutes employees hike up to the top of it, with more than a few carrying the namesake porter in their backpacks up to enjoy at the summit. As for the beer itself, Beer Connoisseur recently gave it an “Exceptional” rating, describing it as “A rich me’lange of dark chocolate and roast malt … displays hints of toasted...
A Beer Worth Earning: People’s Porter

A Beer Worth Earning: People’s Porter

Sana Cruz Mountain Brewing: People’s Porter One of the first organic beers I ever tried remains one of my favorites.  It’s The People’s Porter from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing (SCMB). This beer started as a homebrew between brewer Emily Thomas of SCMB  and Tom Perrozi behind the brewery. It turned out to be such a hit that SCMB decided to add it to its regular line-up. It’s brewed with cold pressed organic coffee which really shines through its roasted malt and smoky character. A little vanilla is added to round all those great flavors. Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing’s tap room with its earthy, quirky interior on the West Side of Santa Cruz has long been a place road cyclists and mountain bikers have congregated at the end of their rides to refuel with a pint or two.  There will soon be more room to accommodate the increasing crowd of bikers,...
A Beer Worth Earning: Omission

A Beer Worth Earning: Omission

Omission had a mission … to brew a great craft beer with traditional beer ingredients that everyone could enjoy – even those with gluten intolerance. Mission accomplished. Unlike other gluten-free options, Omission is brewed with barley which contains gluten. However, with a proprietary brewing process designed to remove gluten later in the bottling process, each bottle contains a low enough level of gluten that it meets the FDA standard to be considered safe for persons with gluten allergies. But how does it taste? We’ve run all three varieties (IPA, Pale Ale, Lager) by our most hardcore beer drinkers who give each and every brew a hearty high five and ask for more! Learn more at www.omissionbeer.com...
A Beer Worth Earning: Fresh Squeezed IPA

A Beer Worth Earning: Fresh Squeezed IPA

Deschutes’ Fresh Squeezed IPA Fresh Squeezed IPA originally started as an experimental beer available only at its brew pub, but as the word got out, it became a seasonal release as part of Deschutes’ Bond Series. The momentum continued to build and it’s now a permanent fixture in the Deschutes line-up. Describing the phenomenon, assistant Brewmaster Veronica Vega explained, “We couldn’t keep this beer on the shelf last year due to its popularity, so we’re excited to share this damn tasty beer with even more people this year.” Fresh Squeezed IPA has plenty of juicy, citrus flavor and aroma due to generous additions of Citra, Mosaic and Nugget hops. There’s also a little bit of pepperiness and sweet, toasted amber malt to round out the flavor....
A Beer Worth Earning: Chain Breaker White IPA

A Beer Worth Earning: Chain Breaker White IPA

Chain Breaker White IPA by Deschutes Our Beer Worth Earning is a unique and tasty offering from Deschutes Brewery, Chain Breaker White IPA. It’s brewed a lot like a standard Wit Beer, the popular Belgian style brewed with wheat, coriander and orange peel. But Deschutes, a brewery well known for its fresh hop flavors, then adds an extra kick of Citra and Cascade hops to bring a citrusy and slightly piney bitterness into the mix. At 55 IBU, it’s not as bitter as your favorite IPA, but the hops give the refreshing brew an extra robustness. Here’s to your only chain breaker being this great beer at the end of your ride. — Derrick Peterman...
Brewery Tours

Brewery Tours

Touring Four Innovative California Breweries By Derrick Peterman There’s a revolution going on in this country–born largely in California–that has nothing to do with music, politics, or some insanely great gadget. It’s a revolution in beer, a beverage that’s existed for over 5,000 years and continues to be reinvented to this day. Large breweries run by multinational corporations producing unoriginal, fl at tasting yellow lagers are dramatically losing market share to a growing fl eet of smaller independent companies. These breweries are concocting a wide variety of rich, fl avorful, and unique brews. Increasingly, beer drinkers are enjoying the endless fl avor combinations and possibilities of microbrews, and becoming more aware about where their beer comes from. California breweries are major pioneers of this movement. Unlike most businesses with tightly protected company secrets, many breweries happily throw open their doors to let you experience their sights, sounds, and tastes. Check...
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