The Beer Market in Peru (January 2018, 42 pages), an analysis of the Peruvian beer market published by the Lima office of the Flanders Investment & Trade agency.
About a week and a half ago, took advantage of invitation to attend an Autumn Beer Tasting Session led by Dane Volek, Anchor’s Pilot Brewer at Anchor Public Taps.
Up until now Anchor’s tap room has not been generally open to the public, and the only way to taste Anchor beer at the brewery was to attend a special event or manage to grab a hard-to-get spots on a tour. Anchor’s new taproom, Anchor Public Taps, changes that by being open 7 days a week and offering pretty much all of Anchor’s beers on tap to the public, hence the name “Public Taps”.
Located just across the street from the main Anchor brewery itself on Potrero Hill in San Francisco, Anchor Public Taps also houses Anchor Brewing’s 7-bbl pilot brewery, which produces many beers offered only on tap, and only at Anchor Public Taps. In addition it also hosts Anchor’s growing barrel-aging program, including some “funky” barrels.
Volek led our group through a line-up of four beers that “you would want to drink on an evening in the Fall”.
These are my notes from that night on each of the beers:
Blood Orange Blonde
orange prominent in the nose, some hop aroma. light body, gold to light-amber in color not much maltiness or bitterness, slight fruity sweetness lingers on the palate
Fog Breaker IPA
citrus and pine hoppiness in the nose Pine and citrus bitterness in the mouth gold in color, light body and mouthfeel bitterness lingers
triple IPA 9.3% fruitiness in the nose: citrus and then … strawberries! Marked strawberry character in the flavour as well. Hop bitterness is attenuated by the sweetness. The sweetness lingers on the palate, leaving a sharp bitterness as it fades. Very interesting beer.
Pronounced coffee notes in the aroma and taste. Coffee, roast, and hop bitterness balanced by malty sweetness.
In addition to those four, Volek threw in a few additions and surprises.
The first of these was a Märzen, of which we got serve ourselvesdirectly from the sampling port on the fermenter. Next, the group was able to taste a brown ale that had been fermenting for only 24 hours. It pretty much was like tasting unconverted wort –which is, in fact, what it was.
Finally, we got a preview taste of this year’s Merry Christmas and Happy New Year beer and a sneak peek at the label and packaging.
Produced afresh each year from a different recipe, and with a different image of a tree on the label, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year changes from year to year. This year’s version –which goes on sale in November– is less robust or roasty than previous years’ versions. Less like a stout and more like a barley wine, but still with some spice character: coriander, cloves, …
Today I am offering my impressions of Piel Roja from Pacha Cerveza Artesanal. This bottle was given to me by Pacha’s owner and brewer, Adrián Calle, during my visit to the Red Cervecera Perú’s brewpub in August, and I’ve been saving it cold until now.
Piel Roja is an 40 IBU, 6.5% abv, India Red Ale, a style also known as a Red IPA. It is a deep copper or light brown, somewhere in the range of 18-20 SRM. The name of the beer, Piel Roja, which in English we’d translate as Redskin, is an allusion to the style and color of the beer.
Upon pouring hop and citrus aromas waft out of the glass even before it is put to the nose. The white foam subsides quickly but is easily rousted again. Lacing present when the glass is swirled, but it doesn’t hold for long. That said, my bottle was appropriately carbonated,
Upon savouring, maltiness and hop bitterness are the first impressions, followed by a light roastyness. It is a medium-bodied, mildly dry beer. Grapefruit and pine notes last in the mouth beyond the latest sip. Piel Roja is a solidly done, enjoyable brew.
Braupakt is a collaboration brew between Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan, considered the world’s oldest extant brewery, and California craft-brew pioneers, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Braupakt, in fact, literally means “brewing pact”.
Released in the US this past Spring, Braupakt is a limited-edition brew. (I am reviewing a sample bottle I received from the PR company.)
Braupakt is a light amber, 6% abv, ~35 IBU beer. It is somewhat hazy, as befits a wheat beer.
Poured into the glass it immediately raised a beautiful cream-colored rocky head, but the beer itself is not aggressively carbonated. I got coriander and in the nose upon first approach, and some peach, with banana emerging a bit later in the aroma. At the end there is a distinct malt aroma.
In the flavor, meanwhile, I detected peach, bananas and cloves, with some floral characteristics emerging as the beer warms. I’m thinking: violets, or perhaps roses.
Braupakt has a bit more hop bitterness than I might have expected in a German hefeweißbier. The beer is brewed with German Hallertauer hops and finished with the very-American Amarillo and Chinook hops. While all that might turn off some style purists, I think that in Braupakt it harmonized pretty well.
I found Braupakt to be in fact quite lovely and, I think, worth checking out. And, you should look for it now, as it is likely to be a one-off.
Last weekend, on my way to Dobbins for the Northern California Homebrewers Festival (NCHF), I stopped for lunch at Sutter Butter Brewing, in Yuba City.
Founded in 2011 in downtown Yuba City, Sutter Buttes is, as far as I can discern, that city’s only commercial brewery, and I know it to be a frequent stop for homebrewers and beer geeks on the way to Chico or to NCHF.
The tap room is pleasant, if a bit dated in its decor style, but it’s got it going on where it counts. The staff is pleasant and friendly, the food is good (try the Reuben sandwich), and the beer is spot on.
I ordered a flight and let my server choose the beers for me. She selected the hefeweizen, Annie’s Almond Brown, Riley’s Red Ale, and Franklin DIPA.
The hefe (5.5%, 10 IBU) was quite good. It had everything one expects and looks for in hefeweizen. Riley’s Red (6%, 55 IBU) was also very good. The brewery’s blurb says it “has all the best features of an American craft red ale, but still grounded with Irish style”. I’m not that familiar with the style so I’ll have to take their word on it, but I can say that I liked it and you’d not go wrong in ordering it. The Franklin DIPA (8%, 100 IBU) was also very good. Not as malt-forward as some DIPA’s but also not a face-puckering hop bomb. It’s a DIPA that one could easily drink several of. As for the brown (5.5%, 20 IBU), a beer “dry hopped” with local almonds, it was tasty, but honestly, I was not able to detect any almond notes.
The star for me, however, was the glass of Blackie Ford’s Hop Riot. Named after the leader of the Wheatland hop workers strike of 1913, it is an 8.8%, 90 IBU, imperial black IPA.
It is strong, hoppy, and dark-tasting, if that’s a thing, but without the roastyness of a stout or a porter. I can’t say that I’m super keen on black IPA’s as a style, but Blackie Ford’s is solid example of what can be achieved with the style.
Sutter Buttes Brewing
421 Center St
Yuba City, CA