Thursday, March 23, 2017

Mikkeller Haze

I went to San Francisco and found good beers brewed in San Diego.  Mikkeller Bar in San Francisco sold four-packs of Bushel of Haze IPA, brewed at Mikkeller's San Diego brewery.  Bushel of Haze is was what I'd call a new style IPA, heavy in hop flavors, not excessively bitter, and cloudy.  It had a tantalizing floral whiff on its finish that added a bit of je ne sais quoi.  It is an Amarillo single-hop New England-style beer.  

Bushel of Haze was not heavy or overpowering, which I now find hard to believe.  I did not realize until writing this post and checking for facts on Mikkeller's website that this beer has an 8.9% abv and is a double IPA.  You won't know it drinking it.  I really need to be better about checking beer abvs.  I heard "haze IPA" and that was all I needed.  I'm not sure I would have bought this four-pack if I knew it was 8.9% abv, but in this case ignorance really was bliss.  

I trekked to Mikkeller Bar with the goal of buying a t-shirt.   Mikkeller did not have one in my size so I purchased Bushel of Haze instead.  Some consolation prize.  The restaurant/bar was crowded and noisy.  I felt out of place, much older than the other people in the bar.  I decided to have a beer in solidarity with beer drinkers over thirty.  Pariah that I was, I staked a claim on a small section of a long shelf and ordered an IPA.  The beer was named Hver Anden Uge and was brewed with Amarillo, Paradise, and El Dorado hops.  I have no idea what the name means or how to pronounce it, but it was pure gold.  (My lame picture of Hver Anden Uge does not flatter the beer, as it blends into the wood shelf.)

I noted that Hver Anden Uge was sweet and tinged with the taste of onions, along with a citrusy, earthy mix, too.  I have noticed many new IPAs with oniony flavors, which brings a better taste to an IPA than you think it would.  It must tamp down the flavor smothering bitterness of hops and allow other flavors to appear.   Hver Anden Uge, which sounds like a drunk saying "have another one," is a hazy beer.  Like Bushel of Haze, Hver Anden Uge is brewed in San Diego.  I need to visit Mikkeller's brewery and tasting room soon.  It is cranking out some good beers, and maybe there is some age diversity, too. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

So Sad

This is rare non-beer post.  I just read the New York Times' obituary of former major league manager Dallas Green, who managed the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies to a World Series title.  These two paragraphs are heartbreaking:
In his later years, Green struggled to recover after the shooting death of his 9-year-old granddaughter, Christina-Taylor Green, who was one of six people killed in the failed assassination attempt on Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011.

Two years later, on the release of his autobiography, “The Mouth That Roared,” he conceded that he was still dealing with the death. “They say time heals,” he said. “Time, I don’t think, will ever heal that part of my life.”
It reminded my of a passage in William Maxwell's haunting autobiographical novel So Long, See You Tomorrow, where years after his mother's death when he was ten, he realized he had not gotten over it. 
I meant to say to the fatherly man who was not my father, the elderly Viennese, another exile, with thick glasses and a Germanic accent, I meant to say I couldn't bear it, but what came out of my mouth was "I can't bear it."  This statement was followed by a flood of tears such as I hadn't ever known before, not even in my childhood.  I got up from the leather couch and, I somehow knew, with his permission left his office and the building and walked down Sixth Avenue to my office.  New York City is a place where one can weep on the sidewalk in perfect privacy.
Other children could have borne it, have borne it.  My older brother did, somehow.  I couldn't.
Godspeed Dallas Green.

South Bay (San Diego) Beer Revolt

The Voice of San Diego published an article last week on craft beer in the South Bay area of San Diego, which includes Chula Vista, National City, and Imperial Beach.  The point of the article is that major craft breweries have avoided the South Bay due to the assumption that residents only have "taste buds for macro brews, like Bud Light, Corona and Dos Equis."  Anyone who visits a local San Diego brewery knows that the craft beer drinker stereotype of twentysomething bearded white guys is wrong. 

If nothing else, this blog has advocated that quality beer prevails.  This is happening now in the South Bay.  Local residents have taken up the craft beer challenge and are opening restaurants, bars, and breweries.  It sounds like 3rd Avenue in Chula Vista is the epicenter of the #SouthBayUprising.  Note the picture in the article of the guy drinking a beer at La Bella Pizza Garden, the mug is huge.  It alone is reason enough to explore Chula Vista's beer scene.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Heady Topper Article

My last post was on hazy IPAs.  I saw this article from Longreads the day after I wrote the post.  It is an excellent article on Heady Topper, the beer from Vermont's Alchemist Brewery credited with starting the cloudy beer trend.  The article details how Alchemist had its brewery wiped out by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 and how the brewery's recovery from disaster and focus on brewing helped Heady Topper rise to cult status.  Ultimately, it is an uplifting story about a beer that sounds fantastic and the people who make it.