- Half Acre Brewing | Vallejo | West Coast IPA, 6.7%
I am absolutely delighted that Chicago’s Half Acre Brewing has (as of the start of this calendar year) begun periodic distribution into the Southern California beer-market. Their flagship Daisy Cutter and core beer Bodem are stellar statements of intent, with a house style that is instantly recognizable and beautiful can-art to match. The latest drop includes recurring recipe Vallejo for the first time, a Nelson-hopped West Coast IPA with a gauzy, wispy painting of the shoreline on its label, almost reminiscent of the aesthetic of Pizza Port. Stay tuned for more exciting beers from this multifarious Midwest brewery!
- Altamont Beer Works | Mac Drizzle Gold | Golden Ale, 5.2%
The late, legendary rapper Mac Dre was a living personification of the Bay Area’s hyphy scene. With a penchant for verbal anachronisms (“har de har har”, “no-sirree-Bob” and the repeated use of the word “thy” cropped up in his libretti), not to mention bars that knocked hard, Dre could be both serious and ironic simultaneously. An inveterate storyteller, his compositions grounded the listener in a sense of time and place, name-checking Valley Joe, the Berkeley Marina and “the world’s biggest little city”. Nearby Altamont Beer Works pays tribute to the D.R.E. with a multitude of beers in their portfolio – the Gold edition is a hoppy Golden Ale with his visage emblazoned on the can. Come on get stupid with me!
- Hello Friend | Cellarmaker | Smoke and A Pancake | Imperial Coffee Maple Porter, 10.1%
Speaking of the Berkeley Marina… a short distance away lies The Rare Barrel, a house of barrel-aged sour ales of great renown. Evidently not content with mastery within the world of acidic beers, they recently began a subsidiary brand making “clean” (i.e. without wild yeast or bacteria) brews, invariably collaborations – hence its moniker “Hello Friend”. They have cooked up a breakfast beer for the ages with the incomparable Cellarmaker across the water in San Francisco, inspired by the latter’s Coffee & Cigarettes. Smoked roasted malts, maple syrup and coffee amalgamate into a decadent porter for savoring.