Dogs, Books, and Beer. Not necessarily in that order.

Pursuit of Hoppiness Imperial Red Ale

Grand Teton Pursuit of HoppinessAll the way from Victor, Idaho comes Grand Teton Brewing’s Pursuit of Hoppiness Imperial Red Ale. I’ll admit it; this wasn’t my first choice tonight. He’Brew’s Lenny Bruce tribute RIPA caught my eye first. But when I picked up the four pack, the bottom fell out, sending bottles falling to the Whole Foods floor. What a comedian! Fortunately, nothing broke, but I was a little gun shy after my near beer-tastrophy, so I opted for the gold foil and hop-covered label of Pursuit of Hoppiness instead. Continue reading

Double Daddy Imperial IPA

Speakeasy Double Daddy Imperial IPAIt’s been a while since I’ve had a Speakeasy, maybe a few years. Their Big Daddy IPA and Prohibition Pale Ale were a staple of Night Shade house parties circa 2007-2008. And you’ve gotta admire the tenacity of a San Francisco independent. Plus, shifty eyes on the bottleneck. So, how is Double Daddy? Continue reading

Orange & Black Congrats Ale!

Moylan's Orange & Black Congrats AleAlas, the Giants lost today. But that’s no reason not to enjoy a World Champions commemorative beer, right? Moylan’s Orange & Black Congrats Ale is a “smooth, American black ale brewed with orange zest.” And the lineup sounds promising. Or should I fear the beer(d)? Continue reading

Double Jack Double IPA

Firestone Walker Double JackAs promised last weekend, I’m delving a little deeper into Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s catalog. Tonight, from the Proprietors Reserve Series: Double Jack Double IPA.

Double Jack pours red-gold with a massive, clumpy head. Bright on the nose: floral hops and grapefruit. Taste delivers on smell’s promise: grapefruit and hops up front. Candied malt and sticky caramel dance on the tongue. Fruity finish, with a nice alcohol burn and lasting bitterness. An excellent upgrade.

Union Jack IPA

Firestone Walker Union JackFirestone Walker Brewing Company claims “Passion for the Pale” on Union Jack’s label and it wears their medals on it’s cap. Plus, lion vs. bear fisticuffs and a proper British pint are their logo. You’ve got my attention, Firestone. But is it hubris or street cred? Let’s find out… Continue reading


New Belgium SahtiDescribed as “a Finnish rye ale brewed with Juniper” that is “Cascade and Amarillo hopped, orange and lemon peel spiced,” Sahti pours a light, hazy amber with a thin, cloudwhite head. Citrus on the nose, lemony. Citrus and hops on the tongue, with soda pop carbonation. Nice and bitter up front, but light-bodied so it hits the top of palate, then falls down the throat with only a little back-of-throat burn. First impression was that it lacked a little something, but Sahti becomes more complex, and juniper becomes recognizable, as it approaches room temperature.

Bitter American

21st Amendment Bitter AmericanIf you put a chimpanzee in a space suit on your product, I will buy it.

Bitter American pours clear, light amber with a frothy two-finger head that leaves little in the way of lacing. Mouthwateringly piney on the nose. Citrus and hops on the tongue, with light carbonation. Continue reading

Monk’s Blood

21st Amendment Monk's BloodMonk’s Blood from 21st Amendment is a Belgian-style dark ale brewed with cinnamon, vanilla, oak chips and dried figs. Makes you wanna sit up and chant. Continue reading

Fireside Chat

21st Amendment Fireside ChatAdult Beverage knocks one back with FDR tonight, sampling a Fireside Chat–in a can–from 21st Amendment Brewery. This one’s a winter ale–perfect for a snow-threatening night–with spices added, so I’ve got the fireplace lit and vintage jazz on the radio… Continue reading

Victory at Sea Imperial Porter

Ballast Point Victory at SeaBallast Point’s Victory at Sea is a coffee vanilla imperial porter with a dreadlocked skeletal helmsman (complete with skeletal parrot) adorning its label. As a lifelong fan of undead pirates, I had to pick one up. But does the beer live up to the pure awesomeness of the artwork? Continue reading