Sf Beer Week has lived up to all my expectations. A ton of great events, and a realization that I may need to take some vacation time next year to get more in. That being said, I garnered enough fodder for three fairly hearty posts.
Right off the bat, I must admit that i am pretty mad at myself for not making the Opening Gala. Forgot to buy tickets before it was too late, then when I had an opportunity to get tickets, I could not get back to SF from Palo Alto in time to make it (that darn work thing and traffic). Next year this will not happen again. Luckily I had some good beers that night away from the Gala, including a Moylan’s Hop Craic IIIIPA.
Drakes – I kicked off my SF Beer Week Saturday morning by doing a quick East Bay run to Drake’s and Faction. Neither had a Beer Week event, but I had been wanting to try the Hopocalypse series so made the trek.
Hopocalypse Black Label was a IIIPA beast.
12.5% and 100+ IBUs.
Pours dark, almost amber. Minimal head.
Taste is in line with the nose, juicy tropical fruits and some citrusy hints. Hops are present but balanced by the tropical fruit as well as the lingering sweetness. Almost a brown sugar sweetness. Slightly oily and smooth. Super drinkable, although I could not drink too many of them due to the sweet tones.
Fun beer and look forward to next year’s.
Hopocalypse Green Label (also heard it called White Label) was a more traditional, west coast DIPA.
9.3% and 100+ IBUs.
Pours a copper/orange hue with some lingering head.
Good bitterness and hoppy taste from the get go. Grapefruit comes through throughout. Hint of sweetness but nothing compared to the Black Label.
Overall, a very enjoyable and drinkable DIPA.
Drake’s is in a somewhat odd location, behind a Walmart in San Leandro, but worth the trek. I enjoy all of their beers (wife really enjoyed the sour she had as well), there were snacks and some heavier food options, and most importantly, outdoor seating to bring the pup. It was raining and we were able to sit in a covered area, but on a sunny day there are other outdoor tables, along with plenty inside seating. Will be back for sure.
The Willows – IPAs v. Sours
Sunday evening included a visit to the Willows for their IPA v. Sours event. Unsurprisingly, I went for some IPAs. The bar was pretty packed but I was able to get a Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, an Evil Twin Molotov Cocktail, and my favorite, Almanac “Don’t Call it Frisco” DIPA.
Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA
18% (yes, 18%) and 120 IBUs.
How this beer is 18% is beyond me. Nothing like a barleywine, but instead a sweet, malty, IPA. Barely any boozy flavor or heat. Some hops in the nose but piney sap, hops and tropical notes. Pretty well balanced and thoroughly enjoyable. I cannot imagine drinking more than one or two, but it was a great experience.
Almanac Don’t Call it Frisco
This was my winner for the night. This one was apparently brewed only for SF Beer Week, and (According to tweets from Almanac) was a one time deal. That is a shame.
Poured a cloudy, golden/orange. Piney and citrus nose. Big citrus and hop flavors. Bitterness is crisp but balanced. Very smooth, very drinkable, very fresh. All in all a damn good DIPA. Hope to see it again one day.
Evil Twin Molotov Cocktail
Evil Twin’s was my least favorite of the night. 13%, unsure on IBUs.
Unfortunately, it was somewhat like 120 Minute’s little brother. Similar flavor, however sweeter and more boozy. Fun, but not as good as 120 Minute. Maybe having alongside the 120 Minute was unfair.
One of the many benefits of SF Beer Week is trying placed you have been wanting to try but have found an excuse not too. The Willows and this event was a perfect example. I will for sure be going back to the Willows because of going for this event.
The first few days of Beer Week saw some other events and good beers, but these were the highlights. However, the week was young and there was much fun to be had, and blogs to be posted in the near future.