Beachwood | One Flew West | West Coast IPA, 7.1%
Do you enjoy Amalgamator or Citraholic? Household names by this point, each flawless West Coast IPA from Beachwood emphasizes (respectively) the Mosaic and Citra varietals in the dry-hop. Further exploring these variations on a theme, Beachwood has a new one spotlighting El Dorado hops. Referencing the nursery rhyme about three geese (“One flew east / one flew west / one flew over the cuckoo’s nest”) cements Beachwood’s insistence on West Coast. El Dorado – named after the mythical city of gold feverishly imagined by avaricious conquistadors – has intense glinting green aromas, like hop cotton candy or watermelon Jolly Ranchers. Enjoy this one before it flies away!
2) Enegren | Foliage Autumn Pale Lager | 5.5%
With a light copper-toned coloration suggesting the changing of the leaves, Foliage gently ushers us into what passes for the colder months in Southern California. This beer (pronounced “Foilage” if you are Marge Simpson) has a sturdy maltiness and is liberally hopped with Pacific Northwest mainstays Cascade and Chinook for a piney sensory experience. Fans of classic American Pale Ales may have just found their lager for the season.
3) de Garde | Kriek Prèmiere | Fruited Sour Ale, 8.4%
On the Oregonian coastline, Tilamook is famed for its cheddar and for its resident spontaneous fermentation brewery, de Garde. Available only sporadically in 750ml bottles with minimalist black-and-white typewritten labels, this tiny outfit has brought the town wide renown among sour and wild beer-fans. Kriek Prèmiere, inspired by true Belgian Kriek in the lambic tradition, pours a gorgeous crimson hue with pink foam dancing atop. Aromas of not just the flesh of the cherries but also the almondy undertones of their pits – in conjunction with the higher-than-average ABV – make this a wonderful winter warmer of a sour beer.