The middle of the week saw a few more events for me and a few more great beers. I found myself wishing I had taken a day or two off to really immerse myself in the fun, but as it worked out, I had a pretty busy work week and was somewhat limited in the events I could go to.
Rose and Crown IPA Day
Wednesday saw me attend the Rose and Crown event, which was labeled as an IPA Day, but in reality was a battle for the Pliny the Younger. I headed over to the Rose and Crown around 10:55 and ended up being in line until 12:30 and missed the PTY by about 10 people. My last post in this series will deal solely with the Pliny hunt/craze/shitshow so I will save that for now.
In the end, I did enjoy a Pliny the Elder as my consolation prize. I have not yet written a review on the Pliny the Elder, so will do an abridged one now. Personally, I have never been as impressed by Pliny the Elder as most people. It is a solid beer, but the true genius in it may just be the intentional or unintentional marketing and limited availability. There is a sense of accomplishment when you get one on draft or have a “friend” at a store who will save some for you or let you know when they are coming in. The beer itself is very good, but the hunt is where people seem to lose sight. Elder pours a deep golden orange. Limited head that tends to stick to the glass. Nose is strong citrus, pine and pineapple notes. Flavor mimics the nose with some substantial hoppy bitterness. Fairly crisp, and the fresher the better it seems. One fallback for me is it is fairly dry. It is a great beer, but it does not distinguish itself for me as some people suggest. I actually may even prefer Blind Pig. 94/100
Firestone Tap Takeover at Steep Brew Potrero (Whole Foods)
Thursday was a tough call for me, Firestone Tap Takeover or Ballast Point Tap Takeover at Public House. I opted for Firestone’s event as I had had many of the Ballast Point beers already. In a perfect world, or if I did not have to work early the next morning, I would have hit both (cue the boos).
I had the Double Jack and a Sucaba at the Firestone Event. There was an option to do three samples and a cheese pairing, but I was only interested in one of the beers offered for the pairing.
I have had every iteration in the “Jack” Series (Union Jack, Easy Jack, Wookey Jack, Double Jack) and am thoroughly impressed with all of them.
Double Jack rings in at 9.5% ABV and 85 IBUs. Pour is a nice fairly clear orange with a decent frothy head. Nose fills of grapefruit and oranges with a ton of hops. The flavor is piney with full frontal hops, but still balanced and smooth. Nice sticky mouthfeel with some minimal malty sweetness.
A really quality DIPA. 93/100
I also tried the §ucaba, which is a monster Barleywine. Heavy on the bourbon and boozyness, this is a sipper for sure.
Other Events, Stand Outs
I had intended to cheat on IPA and go to the Almanac and Friends Sourfest at Public House on Friday night, however at 3:30 the line was already 40 deep, and I was in a suit and did not want to wait in the sun for a non-IPA event. When I went back at 5, there was still a significant line, so headed across the street to Lucky Strike for some Lagunitas. In two hours at Lucky Strike, the line at Public House never really diminished, so I never made.
I was able to enjoy a few beers at StrEAT Food SOMA the next day, including the Bear Republic Hop Shovel. Nice, floral beer, and was pretty solid on the hot day that Saturday was. This event was just “OK”, especially considering a few of the beers sold out pretty quick. I was hoping to try 101 North’s Heroine IPA but they were sold out by 12:45.
I also tried the Money Paw/Drake’s Special SF Beer Week collabo at Public House, which was decent. It was very smooth, but also fairly run of the mill. Nothing that particularly stood out about that one, but it is always cool to see breweries work together.
A mentioned, to really embrace all Beer Week offers, you have to take a day or two off. Wednesday in particular was chock-full of events, and would have loved to have Wednesday and Thursday off to enjoy and recover…next year.
I will have one more blog on SF Beer Week soon, with a focus on the unicorn of West Coast craft beer.