Our Bottlecraft North Park manager, Gene, selects his favorite beers of the week. You can stay up to date on our beer shop favorites through our news feed and also through our Instagram.
1. Fremont | Head Full of Fresh Hops | Wet-Hopped Hazy IPA, 6.8%
Rare indeed does a brewery land back-to-back inclusions in this weekly column. Fremont’s wet-hopped program is so advanced that it merits such a spotlight. A riff on their recurring Head Full of Dynomite [sic] series – already an excellent hazy IPA with rotating varietals – this beer features fresh cones dropped into the brew-kettle under 24 hours from picking. This year’s combination is a blend of Mosaic and the mysterious HBC 586 from the Pacific Northwest. Drink it today, as it won’t be any fresher tomorrow!
Hats off to Ryan Fields, erstwhile brewer at The Lost Abbey, Pizza Port San Clemente and Beachwood Blendery. A grounding at such excellent breweries prepared him well to launch his own operation in Atascadero, between Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo in Central California. This weekend, Wild Fields won three gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival as well as the Brewery of the Year designation in the 500-1,000 barrels category – truly a stunning accomplishment by any and all metrics. This Oktoberfest lager will serve as a suitable toast!
3. Off Color | Yuzu Fierce | Yuzu Berliner Weisse, 3.8%
Chicago’s extraordinary craft beer scene is sprawling, mercurial and welcoming enough to handle a healthy eccentricity. Having left Goose Island after their acquisition by AB InBev, John Laffler opened Off Color in 2013 and began brewing one of the wildest array of creations seen yet in that city. With whimsical pen-ink artwork and cheerful insouciance (sample text from list of ingredients: “HOPS: None of your business”), Off Color specializes in farmhouse ales and low-ABV sour beers. YuzuFierce is an example of the latter, a riff on “Fierce“, their fantastic recipe for a traditional Berliner Weisse. The base edition already exhibits lemony lactic acid notes from the kettle-souring process, but this iteration turns the dial up on those characteristics with an infusion of yuzu fruit. Truly a tart lemonade for adults!