California is such a prolific beer producing state that we have needed to break their local brews into two parts. A couple of weeks ago I gave you Part 1. Now prepare for the sequel. I’m of course hoping it’s a sequel in the Empire Strikes Back, Godfather II style rather than the Species II, or Cruel Intentions II style. Bet you didn’t even know they made a Cruel intentions II did you – It was basically soft porn, or, um, so I’ve be told, not having seen it myself of course.
But let’s get to some beer tasting. First up is what many would consider to be San Francisco’s most famous beer. Anchor Steam Beer. Now I’ve only tasted Steam Beer once before. It was Mountain Goat’s version and I didn’t really like it. At the time I was told by my Brother, wait to you get to San Francisco and taste it in its natural setting.
Was it better? Not really. I found the Mountain Goat version gassy, which I have to admit is not a weakness I could throw at this one, but I still found it a boring beer. Refreshing enough, but really nothing that exciting in terms of malts, hops or interest. Schooner
It did however come in a nice plastic bottle which I thought was unusual. This was probably because I was drinking it on a boat (the boat back from Alcatraz). This of course allowed me to pretend I was one of the Back of the Ferry boys, and even try out some Beer porn, that’s the Golden Gate bridge in the background kids.
The next two beers we had when we were at 21st Amendment. Because beer drinkers, and craft beer brewers are a friendly lot it’s possible to drink competitors beers in the brewery of others. Can you imagine going to the CUB factory in Abbotsford and being offered a Toohey’s Extra Dry? I don’t think so.
But 21st Amendment was happy to sell a couple of other Californian brews. The first of these was Drake’s Black Robusto Porter. Now with a name like that you won’t be surprised that this brew was pitch black with a foamy tea coloured head. It had roasted coffee smell, and definite coffee flavours, but they don’t linger as it ends quite crisp. A very nice beer – Pint
They also sold us another brew Speakeasy Double Daddy IPA. This is like their IPA which we had tried in the backpackers, but doubled, meaning more alcohol (9.5% vs a mere 6.5% for the Big Daddy) more malt and more hops, all adding up to more flavour.
It was a yellow colour with a ring of white head around the edges of the glass. It smelt of passionfruit, and had a surprisingly smooth taste, with some interesting hop characters coming through. A seriously good beer – Pint.
And last but not least was the last beer I had on my last night in the US of A. (But not my last beer, we will get to that eventually). We found overselves in an upmarket bar, that I’m sure none of our fellow backpackers could afford. We were watching a Lakers game, that we could have been watching anywhere. I was drinking an Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, which smelt of coffee, and tasted of bitter coffee as well. It was a black beer with a ring of brown head at the top which laced quite nicely as I worked my way through the beer. It was easy to drink, but still an good brew – Pint.
Now the interesting thing about Anderson Valley is that they speak a different language in the town/valley/brewery. That’s right it might be in Northern California but they speak fluent Boontling. I know you don’t believe me, but check out this video. (I note they may speak a different language, but they still have facial hair, because everyone know good beards = good beer)