Before Russian River opened their Windsor facility, Blind Pig was not to be found in bottles around San Diego. Locating it on draft in my neighborhood – whether at the now-shuttered Toronado, Tiger! Tiger! or eternal survivor Live Wire – was reason for jubilation, and usually caused me to stop reading the draft-list any further. Carrying on the name of Vinnie Cilurzo’s first brewery, a Temecula operation that was active in the mid-to-late 1990s, Blind Pig is a marvelous expression of classic Pacific Northwest hops, with that ineffable citrus/pine dichotomy that forms deep memories. The lower ABV – especially compared to bigger brother Pliny the Elder – means that Pigs often come in multiples. Cheers!
Fun fact: the word for bicycle in German is Farhrrad, literally meaning “drive-wheel”. This is often shortened to simply Rad, especially when stating by which mode of transportation one traveled – mit dem Rad (with the wheel) means “by bike”. A Radler is therefore a bicyclist! Originally a Bavarian combination of pale lager and lemonade dispensed in equal parts on draft (so as to be thirst-quenching but not intoxicating, ensuring the ability to bike in a straight line), the style has evolved to encompass all manner of soft drinks. The best one ever created, however, is that of Stiegl in neighboring Salzburg just over the Austrian border, which incorporates grapefruit soda in place of the lemonade. Spritzy, citric, light-bodied and refreshing, this is also a requirement in my household when sipping mezcal. ¡Salud / Prost!