Kern River Citra | Double IPA (8%)
An iconic, cult-favorite beer. Once upon a time, enthusiasts had no choice but to make the arduous drive up the twisty mountain roads northeast of Bakersfield to reach Kern River Brewing so as to pick up this annual release. To see the beer in cans (16-ounce cans, no less!) on the shelf at the shop is really astonishing. Though its namesake varietal, Citra, is predominant, this is no single-hop IPA. There is also bright, orangey Amarillo hiding in its midst. The real danger with this beer is its drinkability. Despite firm DIPA status with an ABV (alcohol-by-volume) of 8%, the texture and finish implies a beer far lower in alcohol.
Highland Park New View | Hoppy Lager (5.7%)
In their ongoing explorations of the intersection between lagers and hops, Highland Park Brewery brings us New View. Its a bit higher in ABV (like their much-beloved Timbo Pils) with a generous chill haze and a blend of Citra, Strata and newcomer Talus in the dry-hop. With esoteric “third-eye” can iconography suggesting enlightenment, this beer may open your mind to untrammeled possibilities of aroma and flavor. Note: This beer is available only at Bottlecraft’s North Park and Little Italy locations.
Oskar Blues Death By Coconut | Coconut Porter (6.5%)
Rarely does a beer’s title so accurately reflect its demeanor. Rarer still is the coconut beer that does not simply smell and taste of sunscreen. Oskar Blues Brewery hit upon a perfect formula when they first debuted this beer in autumn 2015, and have made no mistakes in making it a perennial release since then. This is Mounds and Almond Joy in beer form; a decadent (but not cloying) treat.