Beer 511

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

Author: juan (Page 1 of 13)

Alvarado Street Brewery tap room in Salinas (CA)

Here’s a collage of some images from a visit I made yesterday to Alvarado Street Brewery’s production facility and tap room in Salinas.

The brewery and tap room had been on my list for a while but, somehow or another, I never managed to get there whenever I was in Salinas.  Yesterday, however, I was in town and I had a few spare moments before leaving, so I decided to give it a shot.

The brewery is in an industrial area of town, and if you know Salinas you know that that means mainly agriculture-related businesses.  They start their days early, and so things shut down early as well.  As I drove to the brewery a little after 5:30 in the afternoon, the area was pretty much deserted except for a couple of guys at a food truck and some straggler semis pulling out of some of the plants.  I thought, “Man, this place is dead.”

The tasting room, however, was hopping. Alvarado Street has managed to create a really nice, almost intimate, space in the midst of fermentation tanks and what could’ve been a kind of cold industrial warehouse. Consequently, the place was packed with people –a lot them clearly just off work from the surrounding plants– having a good time and enjoying some quite tasty beers.

After sampling a few of Alvarado Street’s brews, I asked my server to point me to one that I really should not leave without trying. He steered me toward Minesweeper IPA.

Minesweeper is very pleasant 55 IBU, 7% ABV, hazy IPA.  It is not as “juicy” nor as bitter as some examples that have come into prominence lately, but that actually enhances its drinkability.   My server pointed out that Minesweeper was “the one that really put us on the map.”

 

 

Alvarado Street Brewery  & Tasting Room
1315 Dayton Street, Suite E
Salinas, CA 93901

www.alvaradostreetbrewery.com

 

 

Farm Creek Brewing closing and relocating

Tonight Farm Creek Brewing Co. in Walnut Creek rang “last call” and closed it’s doors to the public for the last time.

On Sept. 11th Farm Creek announced the closing:

Farm Creek Friends,

From the beginning, Farm Creek Brewing has always been about family. And community. We’re proud to be part of an amazing community of supporters and friends. But, we’re missing out on time with our families back home in the south. We can always make more beer, but we can’t make more time.

Heather and I have decided that it’s time for us to create the next chapter of the Farm Creek story.

We will be closing the taproom and brewery in Walnut Creek, California and relocating Farm Creek. The Janinda’s are going home.

The taproom will be open during normal business hours until September 23. We’ll begin disassembling the brewery and taproom shortly after that.

This past year has been an adventure for us and we’re glad we could share it with you. Now, come by the taproom and share another beer with us. And be ready to come visit us on the east coast soon!

Cheers!

Randy and Heather

Farm Creek had recently marked it first anniversary. In the year that it was open, the Janindas had turned Farm Creek into a beloved local institution, the epitome of a small, independent, hard-working and all-hands-on-deck family-owned brewery.

It is fair to say that, though we all wish them well as they relocate to Georgia, they shall be missed.

Drake’s Aroma Coma 2x IPA

In July, San Leandro’s Drake’s  Brewing Company released their latest edition of Aroma Coma IPA.  The company sent me a sample bottle, along with a nifty branded glass to drink it in, which I found waiting for me upon my return from Peru.

The 2017 Aroma Coma is double IPA.  The brewery press release indicates that they have added more Citra hops and more rye malt and light caramel malt. The ABV has also been bumped up to 8.0%.

I found Aroma Coma 2x IPA to be intensely hoppy –as befits a double IPA– with citrus notes, particularly grapefruit and a touch of orange. It is malty, which helps balance the hoppiness.  It is a big beer, but not over-the-top in any regard, and is easy to drink. I’ve gotta say, I found it altogether pleasant and a lovely way to treat myself after the workday.

 

Tasty IPA

A little over a week ago 21st Amendment Brewery in San Leandro (CA) released the latest in its “Insurrection” series, an IPA brewed in collaboration with and named after homebrewer Mike McDole, aka “Tasty”.

As explained in the brewery’s press release:

At one point, Mike “Tasty” McDole was just a mild-mannered home brewer who stumbled into the universe of The Brewing Network, the premier multimedia website for brewers and beer lovers. A regular on the Network’s “Session” show, Tasty gained notoriety with advice to listeners that was 50% informative, 35% conversation and the remainder too inappropriate for this paragraph.

Today, Tasty’s legendary status among the craft beer community is trademarked by his award-winning home brew recipes and his signature caricature sticker, which you’ll find affixed at nearly every good beer place around the country. And so with great pleasure, and McDole’s personal sticker of approval, 21st Amendment Brewery presents a delicious collaboration, Tasty IPA, a beer that is rooted in friendship, created for the common love of home brewing and dedicated to the American beer beauty known as Tasty McDole.

Tasty is, of course, a regular at The Hop Grenade tap room and bottle shop in Concord, which is also home to the Brewing Network’s studio.   As it happens, Mike is also a longtime member of my homebrew club, the Diablo Order of Zymiracle Enthusiasts (DOZE), and a friend of mine.  A bunch of us DOZErs met him at the Hop Grenade on Monday night for Tasty IPA’s premiere on draught outside the brewery itself.

Tasty IPA is a 6.8% ABV, straw-colored IPA hopped with CTZ in the boil, and dry-hopped with Citra, Mosaic, and Ekuanot lupulin powder.  The aroma is crisp, with some citrus and pine, while there is some pine and fruits in the flavor.

The word “balanced” maybe gets overused, but in this case its use is warranted I think. Even though Tasty IPA clocks in at 70 IBUs, one would’d never guess it.  The hops don’t smack one in the face.  There is a pronounced bitterness, to be sure, but it plays nicely off the maltiness of the brew. It goes down really easily, believe me.

Tasty IPA is a really nice beer, and a fitting tribute to its namesake.

 

La Cerveteca (Lima, Peru)

A sign of the growing popularity of craft beer in Peru is the recent appearance of specialty shops dedicated to Peruvian craft beer and imports, such as La Cerveteca.

La Cerveteca is a small storefront operation, but it offers a widely representative selection of Peruvian craft beer from all over the country, and a few craft brews from neighboring countries, such as Chile, as well as imported beer –mainly from Belgium. They also sell some brewery swag such as posters, T-shirts, logo glassware, etc.

Most of the beer is stored at room temperature, but I was told that the stock rotates frequently.  There is also an upright glass-fronted fridge which holds more bottles.

La Cerveteca is located at 319 Ave. Ernesto Diez Canseco, Miraflores.  They’ve only been open nine months, but the guy running the place when I visited said it had been going well so far.

(There is also another bottle shop: La Bodega Cervercera, at the El Polo II shopping center in Lima’s Surco district.  La Bodega Cervecera is an outgrowth of an online beer retailer by the same name.  Although the website has been around for two years, the brick-and-mortar storefront just opened in June and I have yet to visit it.)

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