The base beer is a Pilsner aged in Sauvignon Blanc barrels with the addition of Sauvignon Blanc grape juice from the 2018 harvest for a secondary fermentation. The juice and barrels are from Dutton Vineyards in the Russian River wine appellation here in Sonoma County. There is no lactobacillus or pediococcus added to the beer, only brettanomyces. The tart acidity comes from the wine grapes. This beer is delicate and beautifully balanced, a perfect refresher on a warm summer day!
Russian River makes world class sours and Intinction is a good example of their expertise. I can’t imagine a better blend of Pilsner malt, white wine grape influence, and sour acidity. Reading the label I imagined something muddy, not understanding how Pilsner malt and white wine would work together. I wisely gave Russian River the benefit of the doubt and was rewarded with a complex and refreshing beer, that manages to delightfully highlight each of its ingredients. The Pilsner malt takes the stage at first, but the beer has a lovely oaky white wine finish.
In the ancient Greek myths, ambrosia is the drink of the gods, often depicted as conferring longevity or immortality upon whoever consumed it.
It’s also a fruit salad popularized in the late 19th century.
Now it’s a beer.
Angry Chair and Westbrook’s collaboration, “ambrosia-inspired” Zoose Joose is a wheat ale brewed with tangerine, pineapple, cherry, coconut, lactose and marshmallows.
The most notable thing about this beer is how well all the adjuncts work together. It is surprisingly not muddled, with each ingredient providing a distinct flavor. The cherry, pineapple, and lactose/marshmallow were up front for me, with the coconut contributing the least. The beer had minimal head and light carbonation.
I found the inclusion of lactose and marshmallow to be a bit much. I think the beer would be better with one or the other, or less of both. Overall, a really interesting and tasty brew though.
Dust Bowl Buck
This Hazy Double IPA isn’t second fiddle. You’re gonna have love as soon as you taste the clean citrus hop flavor. Open up your heart to the smooth, silky mouthfeel. This beer is a surprisingly crushable at 8.5% so try to act naturally. My heart skips a beat with the juiciness of Amarillo, Citra and Mosaic hops.
Sierra Nevada Estate Farmhouse
Like Sierra Nevada, I was born in Chico in 1980, so I love seeing their Estate beers. It’s great to see them branch out from their usual Estate IPAs.
This Estate Farmhouse Ale was spontaneously fermented in a peach orchard and aged in wine barrels. The wine barrel influence is evident, with some sweetness, and a hint of farmhouse funk. Overall a bit sweet, muddy, and boring. I’d prefer some more distinct farmhouse flavor and less toffee maltiness, but I like the new direction they seem to be taking with this addition.
Russian River STS Pils
The dark days of Russian River not distributing to Chico are finally over. Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig, and STS suddenly showed up all over town recently.
This “Keller-style Pils” is delightful! It’s super crisp with a dry, bitter finish. It’s packed full of bready malt and lemony/peppery/earthy hops.
This is a world class pilsner, and I’m stoked to have it more readily available.
Tahoe Mountain’s Mayor of Midtown
This take on a Hazy IPA was tasty, but not what I expected. I’m curious about what yeast they used for this as it has hints of belgian flavors. Definitely yeast forward for an IPA, with earthy, melon hop flavor and medium bitterness. This beer reminds me of Toppling Goliath’s Pseudo Sue, but not quite as good.
Double Nickel’s Weekend Warrior
This Hazy Pale Ale is double dry-hopped with Idaho and Citra. It’s a really nice showcase for these citrusy hops. Weekend Warrrior has a sweet orange aroma and is packed with orange, mango, and lime flavor. Weighing in at only 26 IBU it still has a noticeable bitterness, particularly lingering in the finish. It has a medium body and foamy white head that dissipates quickly. Double Nickel nails it once it again with this delightful brew. I also appreciate the 19.2 oz tall can!
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Emails to the mailing list will be rare and hopefully you’ll find them interesting. To give you an idea of what you’re in for we’ve included the content from our first email that we sent out last week below:
Welcome to Beer Mail!
This is the inaugural BeerSelfie mailing list email to update you on what we’re up to. Don’t worry, these will be rare, but there’s an unsubscribe link below if you aren’t interested in receiving another.
Now that the days are getting longer and hotter here in California, circumstances call for a light drinking beer and sitting on the porch into the evening. As pilsners and kolsches tend to dominate most beer drinkers lists during hot weather, the monotony of fizzy yellow beer can lead many to search for a different taste for summer. I recently had the opportunity to sample Firestone Walker’s Rosalie, a beer rosé, and was impressed by its subtle fruit flavors and drinkability. As a brewery that sprung up in a southern California vineyard, Rosalie feels right at home as it is co-fermented primarily with Chardonnay grapes.
The hibiscus flower added to this brew stand out well against the mild fruitiness imparted by the Chardonnay grapes and are a featured flavor. Further, they add a bright pink color to the beer that is noticeable from the initial pour. This brew pours with little if any head, adding to the wine aesthetic, with little carbonation making it that much more quaffable. At only 10 IBUs there’s little here for hop heads but making it quite accessible to the wine converts who may be making the jump to sours and goses. Overall, at five percent ABV, this beer rosé makes for a fine summer drinker or any time you find yourself relaxing under the sun.
We employ an old-world style of brewing rarely found in America but practiced extensively throughout central Europe. We source only the best authentic ingredients, and use a time-consuming mash, open fermentation, and secondary lagering process. The result has achieved both regional and national acclaim, but more importantly, the satisfaction of loyal beer drinkers who appreciate our beer-making efforts.
I got to try the majority of their regular lineup. Each of them were superbly well crafted and on point for their style.
Pilz is clean, crisp, and refreshing. It has a really nice balance of bready malts and grassy hops. A great example of one of my favorite beer styles.
I didn’t like the Grodziskie, but don’t let that dissuade you from trying it as I’ve yet to find a smoked beer I enjoyed. I can tell this is a well made beer. Under all that smokiness it is perfectly balanced. I just do not enjoy the smoked flavor.
They’ve transformed this beer using Saison yeast and Lactobacillus Planterum to make Watermelon Funk.
This beer is also refreshing, but with a funky twist. The added tartness mixes with the prominent watermelon flavor to bring out more of a watermelon rind flavor. This blends nicely with a lemony tartness. The spicy Saison flavors dance in the background for some really nice complexity to this summertime brew. They’ve pulled of a complex and interesting beer that is still super approachable and easy drinking.
I tried four great beers from Figueroa Mountain Brewing in Buelton, California. Previously I’d only tried their award winning brown ale (see below) so it was great to get a feel for more of their lineup.
Lizard’s Mouth Imperial IPA
This is a big bitter hop bomb full of tropical fruit flavor. It’s fairly boozy, not hiding the 9% ABV.
This lager weighs in at 4.5% ABV and 10 IBU. This is what light american lagers should aspire to. All of the refreshing crispness without sacrificing the flavor. It’s a bit watery, but there is still a surprising amount of cereal malt flavor.
Hoppy Poppy IPA
This is an easy drinking IPA bursting with citrus and pine hop flavor. It is very smooth with a moderate bitterness.
Did you know New Holland Brewing makes spirits? I didn’t until I came across their Beer Barrel Bourbon. They have a full line of whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, and liqueur, but their bourbon aged in barrels that contained their Dragon’s Milk Stout obviously stood out to me.
You’ve probably heard of New Holland’s Bourbon Barrel-aged Dragon’s Milk Stout. It has an “Excellent” rating on Beer Advocate. It’s one of the most popular, and widely distributed, barrel-aged Stouts. New Holland’s Beer Barrel Bourbon spends three months in the same barrels before being bottled.
Tasting Dragon’s Milk and Beer Barrel Bourbon side by side was a real treat. The influence they have on each other is apparent, and both are improved by the other’s contributions.
I used the Beer Barrel Bourbon in an Old Fashioned with 5 by 5 bitters, simple sugar, and a maraschino cherry garnish.
Now, since you’ve made it this far, I’ll let you in on something: I don’t know anything about spirits. I mostly stick to beer and wine. I won’t pretend to actually review this bourbon. It certainly tasted bourbony, but I can’t tell you how it compares to other bourbons. I do think those last three months in a beer barrel adds some unique and enjoyable flavors.
I do feel qualified to review Dragon’s Milk Stout. The thing that stands out the most for me with this beer is how much bourbon influence it has, without any added bourbon heat. This is as smooth as you’re going to get for an 11% ABV beer. I’ve never enjoyed bourbon flavor more!
I also enjoyed the Beer Barrel Bourbon “neat,” and that also tasted bourbony.