Category Archives: Specialty Brews

drink responsibly, and enjoy these recommendations

Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. Wanted: Joaquin Murrieta Chile Pepper Beer

(Always drink responsibly.  Seek help when alcohol affects your life and the lives of those around you.  For readers of a legal drinking age.)

wanted

wanted

Beers that are infused, brewed, enhanced, or spiced by non-beer flavors often fall flat of meeting the expectations elicited by their labels.  When Zach the chile lover saw this bottle of Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co.‘s cerveza-style lager, the novelty intrigued him.  What could a chile pepper beer taste like, if a brewery managed to get it right?  This label features, apart from the glare I give to misbehaving students and pets, the promise of Fresno chiles.  We were prepared for another flop, but be assured, there are no guises here – Wanted: Joaquin Murrieta Chile Pepper Beer is one spicy brew.  At 5.5% ABV and 21 IBU, in theory this beer is light and easy to go down.  In practice, my lips were still tingling about 10 minutes after my last sip.  Zach, as a chile lover and supertaster, said the flavor of the Fresno chiles is “spot on, spot on!”  If you’re one of those that loves to abuse their palate with spiciness, you should consider this beer.  It’s not enough that it qualifies to be at our next heat-themed dinner party.

Rogue Morimoto Imperial Pilsner

(Always drink responsibly.  Seek help when alcohol affects your life and the lives of those around you.  For readers of a legal drinking age.)

morimoto

morimoto

Since 2003, internationally acclaimed Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Rogue Ales have put forth a signature series of beers.  All are chemical, additive, and preservative free (like most of Rogue’s brews); two of them are made with soba, an integral ingredient in Japanese cooking and also known as buckwheat; and one was the lucky beer that I picked tonight for this post, with 8.8% ABV and 74 IBU.  Morimoto Imperial Pilsner is a little hoppy at the beginning of a sip, quickly turning before even swallowing to finish with a malty aftertaste.  Like the layers of flavor in sushi, this beer has dimension instead of tasting the same throughout each sip.  In fact, its recommended dinner pairing is sushi – highly appropriate and well designed to match that cuisine.

Shipyard Brewing Co. Smashed Pumpkin Ale

(Always drink responsibly.  Seek help when alcohol affects your life and the lives of those around you.  For readers of a legal drinking age.)

smashed pumpkin

smashed pumpkin

Shipyard Brewing Co. is coming up on its 20th year, and for the last four years, the seasonal Smashed Pumpkin Ale has delighted the palates of many.  It is pleasing to the eye for is gorgeous golden hue, the nose for the aroma of spiced pumpkin pie, and the tongue for the taste… oh, the taste.  Let me preface by saying that I am not a big pumpkin fan.  Sure, I’ll have a slice or two at the holidays, but you’ll never find me in line for a pumpkin coffee concoction.  This beer, though, is something special and I am fiercely impressed.  At 9% ABV and 28 IBU, it is heady but not so dense that it throws off the flavor.  The sweet and earthy pumpkin and nutmeg combination, ubiquitous at this point in the year, is very well balanced by the mild hops and malts – it definitely tastes like beer, but with the most pleasant addition of the essence of pumpkin pie.  I will still never, ever go out for a pumpkin coffee, but I will look for this beer now, every October.  If you are a pumpkin fanatic, you would be out of your gourd not to try this beer.