American Pale Ale, 5.25%
Russian River Brewing Company lies squarely within wine country in Sonoma County, while founder Vinnie Cilurzo stems from a winemaking family in Temecula. He has spent his entire life in the company of vintners and is familiar with their habits, foibles and preferences. Adopting their credo for the title of this beer, Russian River makes the rhetorical point that wine is not necessarily the drink of choice for pickers and cellar(wo)men while toiling on a hot harvest day, but rather beer. This zippy, hoppy pale may be dedicated to those who produce our wine, but can be enjoyed by all.
Enegren continues to hew to lagers, and we are all the better for it. Celebrating their own 10th anniversary (“Zehn” = “ten” auf Deutsch), this commemorative pilsner aims a bit higher in its final gravity at 6.1% ABV. With Bohemian pilsner malt yet domestically grown Saaz and a touch of Mt. Hood hops, Zehnfest is a beer befitting of their achievements over the past decade. Prost!
– Infinite Stout Season Imperial Stout, 9%
Making the argument that stouts can be savored all year round, Cellarmaker has bestowed upon us a spiced chocolate edition. With cacao, vanilla, cinnamon and cayenne, this is a mélange of flavors atop of a firm imperial stout base. The can-art depicts a lido scene with bathers in swimsuits in the background, while in the foreground (rather surreally) a person dressed in full winter gear makes ready to spike a beach volleyball.