Four Peaks Kilt Lifter

Today I cracked a can of Arizona’s most popular local beer, and one of my first American crafts many years ago: Four Peaks Kilt Lifter. While it isn’t as much of a statement as I personally like a Scottish style to be, it still holds a special place in my heart (I think it made me feel like a man when all my buddies were drinking cheap swill).

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Kilt Lifter starts with an especially sweet brown sugar nose followed by a bready malt taste.  Light carbonation, light mouth feel, and some light caramel in a nice clean finish.  Hops aren’t very present and it drinks like a session beer.

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Kilt Lifter | Four Peaks Brewing Company (Tempe, Arizona) | Scottish Style  Ale | 6.0% ABV 

My final recommendation:  Grab a 6 of cans and drink  them with Dad.  He’ll appreciate the smooth flavor, how easy it is to drink, and that always-classic aluminum can that he’ll be chuggin’ from.

 

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Fireside Chat

Good evening, friends.  I hope this address finds you in good company, cozy and warm.  Perhaps you’re relaxing with a loved one beside a crackling fire, or visiting with family and friends while a Christmas tree sparkles in the background.  Wherever you may be, you are most likely in need of the perfect beer to pair with the season and add to your holiday spirit.  “Like a kick in the butt and a hug at the same time,” 21st Amendment’s Fireside Chat winter spiced ale is the kind of beer that makes every holiday occasion just a little more festive.

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A not-so-subtle twist on a English-style ale, Fireside Chat elevates the traditional with the addition of cocoa nibs and a unique collection of hand selected spices from 21A’s co-founder and Brewmaster Shaun O’Sullivan.  The result is a Winter Warmer brewed “to share and to celebrate the warmth, aromas and flavors of the season.”  Sweet malt and fruit on the nose.  Alcohol present up front, but finishes smooth with a bitter spice and lingering warmth on the tongue.  Simply put, I LOVE THIS BEER and nobody should have to celebrate the holiday’s without it.

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Fireside Chat | 21st Amendment Brewery (San Francisco, CA) | Winter Warmer | 7.9% ABV

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LumberYard Flagstaff IPA

Arizona’s most decorated IPA hails from Flagstaff, Arizona where the fresh air and tall pines must have influenced the flavors in this little can of happiness!  A true-to-the-style brew, LumberYard IPA is mild on the nose, which is surprising considering the grapefruit and pine that it boasts to the tongue.  A lot of hops up front, a kick of fruit and pepper in the middle, and a solid malt on the home stretch.  It left a proud and somewhat arrogant bitter on my palette which I enjoyed for a second before going right back for more.  The biggest thing that stood out to me about this beer is the fact that I only bought one.  So stupid.

LumberYard Flagstaff IPA | Lumberyard Brewing Company (Flagstaff, Arizona) | American IPA | 6.1% ABV

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All About Altitude

This award-winning ESB comes from Lumberyard Brewing Company in Flagstaff, AZ where “it’s all about altitude.”  In 2010 it was awarded the silver in its category, so my expectation were high.  Lumberyard delivered.  Pours a beautiful amber color with a thin head that disappears quickly.  Mild and sweet malts finish hoppy and bitter.  Kinda makes me wish I was drinking it beside a campfire on a cool Flagstaff evening.  I’m regretting only buying a single when I was in AZ, at only 5.8% this beer is perfectly sessionable.  Good stuff, Lumberyard… Can’t wait to try the IPA!

Red Ale | Lumberyard Brewing Company (Flagstaff, Arizona) | Special Bitter | 5.8% ABV

Sunbru Sunday

Kicking off the Arizona lineup is Four Peaks Brewing Co’s Tribute to the German Kölsch, Sunbru.  Beautifully light and pale in color, and equally light and a bit sweet on the palate.  Sunbru finishes dry, just the way you want it to on a warm, sunny day.  This might be the perfect day-drinking beer for those hot Tempe days, but I’m thankful to be enjoying it in the warm Los Angeles sun.

 

Sunbru | Four Peaks Brewing Company (Tempe, Arizona) | Kölsch -Style Ale | 5.1% ABV 

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21A is Back in Black

Friday night greeted me with a special doorstep delivery from an establishment I’ve been ever-curious about… San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewery.  In a note to the brewery, I expressed my interest in their beer and asked where I might find it in the LA area.  A timely response from Diana notified me of the unfortunate lack of distribution in Southern California.  21A demand seems to have exceeded supply… a good problem to have if you ask me.  Thankfully, Diana wasn’t content to let the conversation stop there.  She was so kind as to send me a few sample, which you’ll be reading about here in over the next few days.

First to shine is the 21st Amendment Back in Black – a rich and complex black IPA  shy of neither hop nor malt.  Instead of favoring one, it embraces the bold presence of each, boasts them proudly and frankly confuses me.  The jet-black color intrigues, the cocoa and coffee scent persuades, and the perfect balance of pine, citrus, and roasted malt delivers.  This beer is truly like no other.  Without a doubt, Back in Black is a must-drink in the Beer Can Revolution lineup.

Luckily for us all, 21A has worked out an agreement with bevmo.com for delivery, so fresh cans of California beer are but a click away!  Do yourself a favor… order them all.

Back in Black | 21st Amendment Brewery (San Francisco, California) | Black IPA | 6.8% ABV | $8.99/6-pack.

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Golden Road Hefeweizen

At the same time LA’s newest craft brewery launched their cans of the west coast style IPA raved about in my previous post, they also released their equally-fantastic weissbier, Golden Road Hefeweizen.  While I don’t typically run for wheat beers, I was especially excited about this fresh and local take on a classic style.  I’ll never pretend to pickup every flavor note in a beer, but there is an obvious banana aroma that greets the nose while some spice balances nicely with the wheat.  In a word… fresh.  Like its companion, the “honest pint” can features more photography from LA local photographer Nate  Miller.

If you’re curious, Golden Road will be in the South Bay this weekend for Whole Foods El Segundo’s craft beer festival.  Head over, meet the crew, drink some beer, and take home a 6-pack of LA’s newest cans while you’re at it.

Golden Road Hefeweizen | Golden Road Brewing (Los Angeles, California) | Weissbier | 4.6% ABV | $11.99/6-pack.

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LA Points The Way

My most anticipated release of the year has finally found its way into my fridge.  Golden Road Brewing has blessed the local markets with their Point The Way IPA, in a beautiful photo-printed 16-ounce can… an honest pint.  I first tried Point The Way at their grand opening back in October 2011, and have since been anxiously awaiting the release of the very first local craft cans to hit Los Angeles.  Not only is the beer simply spectacular, but the can is dressed in a rockin’ photo from a local Los Angeles photographer.  This classic west coast IPA boasts big, bright hops while only weighing in at 5.2% ABV… so please, have a second.

Point The Way IPA | Golden Road Brewing (Los Angeles, California) | American IPA | 5.2% ABV | $11.99/6-pack.

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The Winter Warmer

The winter season is finally here, and everyone from coast to coast is kicking it off one way or another.  Hats and scarves are out in full force, Christmas tree lots are sprouting up on every corner, and traffic is officially a nightmare in Southern California.  This year, the folks at Anderson Valley are making their first contribution to the spirit of the season with the 2011 release of the ever-popular Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale… this year in a can!!  Creamy and smooth for those hearty holiday meals, and just enough hop and spice to keep you cozy all winter long.  BCR thanks you, AVBC, and sends you the warmest of wishes for the holiday season!

Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale | Anderson Valley Brewing Company (Boonville, California) | Winter Warmer | 6.9% ABV | $9.99/6-pack.

Visit Anderson Valley’s Website

I’m thankful for beer

The perfect holiday calls for the perfect seasonal beer.  This one-liter can of Paulaner Oktoberfest severed a dual purpose this Thanksgiving by keeping both my thirst quenched and my turkey well-basted.  The perfect flavor for the season.  Although not an “American Canned Craft,” Paulaner still deserves the attention and respect of the revolution.  Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Paulaner Oktoberfest Wiesn | Paulaner Brauerei GmbH & Co. KG (Germany) | Märzen / Oktoberfest  | 6.0% ABV |