- Pure Project | Fieldwork | Murkeley | Hazy Double IPA, 8.5%
It is difficult to express how excited I am that this beer has hit distribution in cans for the first time. Originally brewed as a one-off in December 2017, it is a now-recurring collaboration between Pure Project here in San Diego and respected West Berkeley stalwart Fieldwork. The original name of the beer was “UC Murkeley”, with a beautiful depiction of the Campanile clock-tower on the University of California’s campus against a stark white background. As Berkeley is my hometown – I grew up just a mile from that iconic spire and cannot hear its resonant carillon tones without indelible nostalgia – this beer has a great deal of meaning to me. That it is a stellar example of the hazy double IPA is almost a bonus.
- pFriem | Pilsner | Czech-Style Pilsner, 4.9%
Even within the extraordinary beer landscape of Hood River, pFriem Family Brewers is a gem. Their labels are utilitarian and straightforward; the titles of the beers are simply lifted from the styles that they exhibit. Yet very few breweries can execute such a wide range thereof, from hops to lagers to sours to barrel-aged beers. pFriem Pilsner is a no-frills, grassy and all-around delightful pale lager, with clean cracker malt and a whiff of white grapes. Kegs tend to sell out instantly around San Diego, but thankfully the can-drops have been steadily increasing of late. A good beer for a good price!
- Cascade | A Thousand Beers Between | Barrel-Aged Sour Beer, 5.5%
Cascade Brewing has distinguished itself for more than a decade and a half as the source of the finest barrel-aged sour beers in the Pacific Northwest. In recent years, they have transitioned away from 750mls towards smaller-format bottles and even cans! This has gone hand-in-glove with a consistent schedule of new releases, which run the gamut from variations on a theme to recipe debuts. A Thousand Beers Between is aged for up to two years in used wine-barrels with the local raspberries as well as the zest of tangerine – a tangy, acidic and altogether delicious sour ale.