Beer 511

Exploring Craft Beer and Homebrew in Peru (Country Code 51) and the USA (Country Code 1)

‘Tres Diablos” by Danville Brewing Co.

Today’s review is of Tres Diablos triple IPA by Danville Brewing Co. (Danville, California). Tres Diablos is a beer released every February, timed to coincide with Beer Week.

Tres Diablos pours with a nice dense head, with multiply-sized bubbles, that takes a while to subside. It is a clear, translucent beer, and, from the can, it presented very little haze in my glass.

In the nose, it offers mostly citrus – orange blossom, a subtle bit of tangerine. Upon tasting, it has a fruity bitterness, with touches of melon, mango, and pine, with a notable sweetness to back up the bitterness, and a creamy, smooth mouthfeel.

There is a residual sweetness and lingering bitterness in the aftertaste, but -unlike even many “single” IPAs- it is not cloying or resinous in the mouth or aftertaste. You feel you could have this one and still taste something other than hops afterward.

Tres Diablos is easy to like, and dangerously easy to drink. You could have one, and another one could go down quite well. It is an outstanding beer.

CA Beer Week 2021

In any other year this would be a time when we in the San Francisco Bay Area would be prepping for one of the World’s largest series of beer-themed events: San Francisco Beer Week. Normally, SF Beer Week involves, not just the huge Opening Gala, but hundreds of beer events in all nine counties surrounding the bay, and even further afield, such as in Sacramento, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties.

This year, thanks to the pandemic, all the regional beer weeks are being condensed into one event series, CA Craft Beer Week. And, like so much else in these times, it is going remote.

There are going to be a number of online events in the planning. Interested participants are being encouraged to purchase a tasting kit consisting of “8 or 12 craft brews each, … and exclusive branded goodies not available anywhere else”. Also included are cheese pairing recommendations in consultation with Whole Foods Market.

While having to be mindful of costs and the market situation, Bay Area breweries have not been content to dispense with all the trappings of a normal Beer Week, and several have made sure to produce special beers for this time of year.

Russian River Brewing cancelled brewery releases of its famed Pliny the Younger, but offered if for sale online starting this morning. Unsurprisingly, it sold out inside of 5 minutes.

Heretic Brewing will also be issuing its triple IPA, Evil Three, in February. It offered online pre-orders through the end of January (but I’m told that it has sold out as of today).

Danville Brewing Co., released its TIPA, Tres Diablos, last week. It is available now for take-away sales in cans, and for on-premises (albeit outdoor) consumption.

Drake’s Brewing Co. will be releasing Hopocalypse Imperial IPA, with presale packs available for pick up at its San Leandro brewery on February 10th.

Epidemic Ales, in Concord, will be offering a 3-pack of special releases, including their Cataclysm Triple IPA, which was so well-received when it debuted last year.

Similarly, Shadow Puppet Brewing, in Livermore, will also be offering a special six-pack of their biggest, highest ABV beers.

Keep your eye on the California Craft Beer Week webpage for details on these and other upcoming events!


Rabbit Hole Saison

Today I am sharing my impressions of Rabbit Hole French-Style Saison from Alaro Brewing in downtown Sacramento (California).

Rabbit Hole is an amber-colored beer, almost copper in hue. It has a malty aroma, with some floral and citrus – tangerine, maybe kumquat. It is not as carbonated as I might’ve expected from a saison but it does present a moderate head that subsides within a couple of minutes.

In the mouth it presents an effervescent crispness on the palate and citrus notes similar to those present in the aroma. It is moderately bitter, but not as bitter as a pale ale or, certainly, an IPA. It is more akin in hoppiness to a pilsner. I tasted notes of stonefruit, most reminiscent of apricot. Or perhaps a very ripe loquat.

It finishes with a lingering bitterness that is pleasant and not overpowering.

Very pleasant overall and a good recommendation by the server at the brewpub!

Anchor 2020 Holiday Ale

The holiday season is upon us and to add to the seasonal cheer, we have the arrival of Winter seasonal beers. For forty-six years Anchor has upheld that tradition with its Our Special Ale.

Their 2020 edition of Our Special Ale (sample bottles provided by Anchor Brewing) is a very dark, almost black, ale with a ruby translucence when held up to the light. It presents a moderate head, that subsides quickly to a ring around the edges of the glass. When swirled in the glass there is ample but short-lived lacing. I didn’t notice any “legs” or “tears”- the clear streams that alcoholic beverages sometimes leave on the sides of the glass.

It presents sweet notes in the nose: molasses, caramel, cloves, light cinnamon.  Overall, the aroma reminds me of gingerbread or spice cake.  I didn’t notice any hop aroma.

Sweetness is the most immediately noticeable flavor component.  It is not a particularly hoppy beer, but there is definitely a bitter backbone to support all that malty sweetness.   Some dark chocolate and coffee character, and graham cracker, too.  A few spice notes in there as well: cinnamon, black pepper, orange peel.  A little vanilla.

It has 7% alcohol by volume, but doesn’t come off as strong or alcoholey. And, despite the notable malt sweetness, it is a medium-bodied drink, with a dry finish, and a slightly bitter aftertaste, ending with a lingering dark roast coffee note.

It is smooth and easy to drink, and I think it would prove approachable even to those who say that they don’t usually like dark beers.

An aside on the packaging: You may have observed that rather than the usual single tree, this year’s label features three trees. According to the brewery’s literature, this is only the second time that multiple trees are shown on the label. In this case, the image represents The Three Graces, an iconic trio in Yosemite National Park’s Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. They are meant to evoke “togetherness and hope in a year when so much time has been spent apart”.

2020 Peruvian Beer Cup

On Saturday the winners of the 2020 edition of the Peruvian Beer Cup – Copa Peruana de Cervezas -were announced.

Like much else this year, this edition (the 5th) of the competition had to be conducted much differently than in previous years, with much of it having to be done remotely. However, the organizers overcame any obstacles that that presented and the competition went ahead successfully.

Without any more ado, here are the winners:

Bronze

  • Chichtenhainer – Psycho Brewery
    (31A. Alternative Grain Beer)
  • Cafe – Cumbres Cerveza Artesanal – Café
    (30A. Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer)
  • Wacacha – Nowhere
    (X4. Catharina Sour)
  • Trappist Single – Abadía Inca
    (26A. Trappist Single)
  • Quinoa Porter – Zenith Cervecería Artesanal
    (31A. Alternative Grain Beer)
  • Russian Imperial Stout – Edición Aniversario – 7 Vidas
    (20C. Imperial Stout)
  • Barba Verde – Almirante Brewing
    (14. American IPA)
  • The Chronic – Almirante Brewing
    (22A. Double IPA)
  • Strawberry Sweet Stout – Tierra Virgen
    (29A. Fruit Beer)
  • Cervecería Lönka – Cervecería Lönka
    (4C. Helles Bock)
  • Floki – Jack Vled & Co.
    (4A. Munich Bock)
  • Lima 1 Quad – Lima 1
    (18. Belgian Dark Strong Ale)
  • X7 Smoked Porter – 7 Vidas
    (32A. Classic Style Smoked Beer)
  • Magic Stout – Tempo
    (16A. Sweet Stout)

SILVER

  • Viking Blood – Almirante Brewing
    (21B. Specialty IPA: Black IPA)
  • In The Clouds – Almirante Brewing
    (21B. New England IPA)
  • № 2 – Cusco Beer Company
    (6A. Märzen)
  • Sol del Valle – Cervecería del Valle Sagrado
    (29A. Fruit Beer)
  • Witbier – Jack Vled & Co.
    (24A. Witbier)
  • Zenith Navidad – Zenith Cervecería Artesanal
    (30C. Winter Seasonal Beer)
  • Day Dreams – Nowhere
    (21B. Specialty IPA: White IPA)

GOLD

  • Cats n’ Roses – 7 Vidas
    (33B. Specialty Wood-Aged Beer)
  • Calibre 12 – Nowhere
    (20C. Imperial Stout)
  • esquiSOURfrenia – Psycho Brewery
    (28C. Wild Specialty Beer)

BEST OF SHOW

3rd Place:
Calibre 12 – Nowhere
(20C. Imperial Stout)

2nd Place:
esquiSOURfrenia – Psycho Brewery
(28C. Wild Specialty Beer)

1st Place:
Cats n’ Roses – 7 Vidas
(33B. Specialty Wood-Aged Beer)

BOS Brewery:
Nowhere

The virtual Awards Ceremony can be viewed HERE.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS!

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