This week, Gene has a monochromatic trio of selections with each beer representing a single color as depicted by its iconography…
- WHITE: Alvarado Street Mai Tai White Label | West Coast IPA (8.5%)
If there were annual awards for beauty in beer-level graphic design, Alvarado Street Brewery would surely triumph every year. Their iconic Mai Tai is not only a wonderful all-Mosaic IPA, but also displays its plumage in the form of mirror-image flamingos against a tiled background. The rare “White Label” edition of Mai Tai strips away all of those bright colors and leaves us with what appears to be an over-exposed film negative, like a Rorschach ink-blot test. Everybody may see different visions upon beholding this blindingly white can, but only in tasting the beer can we find out what they are!
- GREEN: Eppig Hoppy Pilsner | Dry-hopped Pilsner (5.5%): While the rest of us enjoyed the sun this weekend, the tireless employees at Eppig Brewing were canning off their Hoppy Pilsner for the first time! Though the base malt might be old standby Weyermann, the hops are classic Pacific Northwest: Mosaic and Centennial. Look for the forest-green cans for bright hopping layered over a crisp lager.
- BLACK: Pöhjala XO Öö | Barrel-aged Baltic Porter (10%): The tiny nation of Estonia, perched atop the eastern rim of the Baltic Sea, has long punched above its weight innovatively. With larger and more powerful neighbors exerting dominance over them (and friendlier linguistic cousins just across the gulf of Finland), the Estonians have had to be resourceful. Also, it gets really cold there. I paid a visit one November and was lucky to leave with all my toes intact. Such influences and weather have led to deep, dark, brooding imperial stouts and Baltic porters from leading light Pöhjala Brewery. This edition of their base recipe Öö, which translates to “night”, was encased in used Cognac barrels, resulting in an oily, unctuous creation