Burning Beard Where Vultures Fare | German-style Pilsner (5.2%)
Jeff Widerkehr at El Cajon’s Burning Beard Brewing is one of our local champions of lagers, to great effect. Better still, the titles of his beers always have a (sometimes occluded) cultural reference. This one manages the neat trick of multiple layers. The 1968 British film Where Eagles Dare was at once a World War II-set action movie and a spy thriller combined into one, with its centerpiece an impregnable Nazi castle which the Allied protagonists must infiltrate. The American satirical institution MAD Magazine duly printed a spoof, from which this pilsner takes its name. The beer itself showcases the regal Hallertau Mittlfrüh hop varietal, with floral aromas and a firm bitter finish.
Moksa How Are You Doing? | Hazy IPA (7%)
This beer’s title doubles as a question we all perhaps ought to be asking one another more frequently, given the unprecedented year now coming to an end. With a signature pillowy texture, expressively estery yeast and a dry-hop regiment of Citra and Nelson, this hazy IPA from NorCal’s Moksa Brewing is not a total panacea for isolation…so give your friends or family a call while drinking one!
Karl Strauss Peanut Butter Cup Porter | Porter (5.4%)
A perennial San Diego favorite from venerable Karl Strauss Brewing, which sadly skipped a year altogether in 2019. Devotees will be delighted by its limited return for the holiday season and New Year. With a roasted-peanut aroma that never veers into powdery or dusty territory, wrapped around a chocolaty malt base, this beer nailed the sensory intersection of childhood nostalgia and brewing long before the current pastry-stout craze.