I had a long weekend of drinking excellent beer. It started with leaving work at lunch on Wednesday (yay for 1/2 days!) and making a routine stop at a local bottle shop. To my surprise, they had put Stone's Enjoy By 12-21-12 IPA on the shelf. So I picked one up.
Definitely one of the best beers produced by Stone. Tons of fruity, floral hops without overpowering bitterness, and easy to drink at over 9%.
Hops bill: Calypso, Super Galena, Simcoe, Delta, Target, Amarillo, Motueka, Citra, Cascade, New Zealand Nelson Sauvin, and Australian Galaxy
Next up was Thanksgiving Day, celebrated with the following:
All were very tasty brews. The 75 minute is a great beer with a creamy mouthfeel and really nice subtle maple hint. After drinking Treat and Brewtality, I could really taste Midnight Sun's house yeast flavor coming through.
Friday we went out after the crowds had died down to grab some food and see a movie (Skyfall.) We hit The Yard House for food where I had a Stone Ruination (not nearly as good as Enjoy By) and a Old Rasputin on nitro:
The Yard House happy hour didn't disappoint, and neither did 007.
Saturday we hung with the family some more and went wine tasting on our way to the coast for dinner. We made time to stop by the Bay Area's new hot brewery, Sante Adairius Rustic Ales. Carl Hungus is a huge fan of this brewery and has been trying to get me to go there, and I finally did! It's located in Capitola, just south of Santa Cruz.
Sante Adairius recently won the People's Choice award at a local, very popular Barrel Aged Beer Festival at The Bistro in Hayward. And let me be the first to tell you - they totally lived up to the accolades.
They have a small, well-decorated and furnished tasting area in the front part of their brewery. They were quite busy, so I didn't ask to take a look at the brewhouse, but next time I'll see if I can sneak a peek. I heard they just got a big foeder in house that they were working on swelling, which they will eventually use for their house saison base.
We sat down to try the only 2 beers they had on tap, a 100% Citra pale ale and their porter. The Citra was light, mildly bitter with a nice citrus finish. The porter was amazing - rich, creamy mouthfeel with a really nice roasted malt and caramel backbone. Not too bitter, which I find to be undesirable in many porters.
The star of the day was their West Ashley - a brett saison brewed with Apricots. I cannot describe this beer other than to say that it's less sour and more cohesive than Cascade's Apricot sour, and way fruitier and more flavorful than Cantillon's Fou Foune. They didn't label the bottles yet, so it was $15 for a 750ml for in-house consumption, and worth every penny. The pic below shows 2 glasses of the West Ashley and one each of the others.
I also picked up a bottle of their Belgian Imperial Stout aged in syrah barrels with boysenberries added.
Sante Adairius is a winner. If they continue crafting beer at the same level, they will quickly become my favorite brewery.
Lastly, I attended a large bottle share at a local bar called Grape and Grain. Lots of BeerAdvocate guys there sharing good, rare, and hard to obtain beers. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:
Highlights included: RR Consecration Batch 3, 2009 and 2012 Lost Abbey Cuvee de Tomme, Cantillon Iris, Fou Foune, Mammouche and Saint Lamvinus, Fifty Fifty Annularity, New Holland Night Tripper, Weyerbacher Riserva (Thanks JFryauff!), Midnight Sun Berserker and Kern River Just Outstanding from a growler.
After this long weekend, I am thankful for good beer.
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