- AleSmith Speedway Stout: Mostra Coffee & Coconut | Imperial Stout (12%): Arguably the most beloved of all coffee stouts in San Diego, AleSmith Brewing’s Speedway Stout has seen scores of variations over the years. Some are one-offs, only to be glimpsed during annual Speedway Grand Prix events during San Diego Beer Week, but others recur on draft around town for special occasions. Now a chosen few are even making their way into cans. With a curious resemblance to the ever-popular Hawaiian Speedway Stout, this edition includes coconut and coffee originating from the Philippines, El Salvador and Brazil, all roasted at Mostra Coffee.
- Russian River Intinction | Oak-aged Sour Beer (8.3%)
Intinction was one of my absolute favorite beers of 2019, the year bottles first appeared in distribution. A light-bodied pilsner base malt is augmented by the juice of Sauvignon Blanc grapes, dosed with Brettanomyces (no lactobacillus or pediococcus) and aged in used Sauvignon Blanc wine barrels. Highly effervescent and with fine acidity from the grapes (not any souring bacteria) this is a beer that would appeal to wine drinkers, as well. I am utterly delighted that this beer from Russian River Brewing has returned to the shelves after a ten-month bottle-conditioning slumber, and just in time for summer weather.
- Societe Bulbous Flowers | Hazy IPA (7.2%)
Mirabile dictu! Societe Brewing has brewed, packaged and released a hazy IPA. Available as a spring seasonal, this unprecedented break with tradition promises a “full bloom” of hops, with aromas of pineapple and “freshly squeezed citrus”. The specific hop varietals are not known at time of writing, but perhaps after opening one we all can venture some educated guesses!