“When our fair city’s Beer Week rolls around each November, it is often pointed out (almost axiomatically) that every week in San Diego is Beer Week. This echoes my personal relationship with Bike To Work Day. If you live in or spend a lot of time in North Park or the greater Uptown area, you have likely seen me trundle by on my Raleigh hybrid – a solid, unprepossessing commuter bike. This year the day falls on Thursday the 19th of May – I’ll see you out there on two wheels!”
1. Urban Roots | Like Riding a Bike | West Coast IPA, 6.2%
The Sacramento area has vaulted from a near-zero beer scene to one of respectability in a very short time. Apart from Moonraker and Moksa, a bright star on the up-and-up is Urban Roots, a Black-owned brewery with a BBQ arm. Like Riding A Bike displays a rider with a hop-cone for a head bursting through a cubic wall on a bike with ramhorn handlebars. The beer itself is hopped judiciously with Simcoe and Mosaic, a mother-daughter combo of varietals. Some things you never forget…
2. Stiegl | Grapefruit Radler | Radler, 3.2%
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!
3. Hoof Hearted | Fitness Freak | Pastry Stout, 14%
The irreverent goofballs at Hoof Hearted are always cooking up something viscous and sticky in their brew-kettle. The label-art for Fitness Freak leans into the Jane Fonda aesthetic with a cartoony depiction of stationary bicyclists wearing virtual-reality goggles. The beer itself belies the name, topping out at 14% ABV and stuffed with maple syrup, coffee and vanilla. Absurd is the word!