Looking to expand your beer palate in 2012? Get suggestions from the super hoppy beers that San Diego brewers are known for to the gateway beers that will warm up your palette so you can compete with that engineer beer geek neighbor of yours. Not to worry, these beers are available at your local San Diego brewery or specialty bottle shop.
San Diego Brews
1. Alpine Nelson, Golden Rye IPA
One of many outstanding IPAs brewed by Alpine this one is a standout. The New Zealand grown Nelson Sauvin hop gives this IPA a great citrus (grapefruit, tangerine, etc) aroma and flavor
2. Green Flash Hop Head Red, Red India Pale Ale
Green Flash “San Diego’ed” this Red Ale into a Red IPA with loads of hops. Think hoppy Red Ale or sweet caramel IPA, either direction you come at it you’ll arrive here happy.
3. Ballast Point Victory at Sea, Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter
Get your nose down in there and inhale the coffee and vanilla aromas. Those along with chocolate come through in the flavor without it being too “big” a beer.
Other US Brews
4. New Belgium La Folie, Sour Brown Ale
This wonderfully tart, dry, and earthy Flanders style ale is only released once per year but it’s worth grabbing a few bottles (or more) when you can.
5. Allagash Curieux, Bourbon Barrel Aged Tripel
Pretty unique to see a Tripel aged in bourbon barrels but this really works. Drink this while enjoying some crème brulée and thank me later.
6. Rochefort 10, Belgian Quadrupel
Great dark fruits in the aroma and taste of this Trappist ale. Silky smooth for 11.3% this is a winter evening sipper.
7. Orval Trappist Ale, Belgian Pale Ale
Bright, floral, mildly fruity, with a little bit of funk from the late addition of Brettanomyces, enjoy this from a goblet while relaxing on your patio.
8. Saison Dupont, Saison/Farmhouse Ale
Our household’s go-to “food beer” this spicy, yeasty, slightly funky Saison is a standard. Buy a case and keep it around, you can pull one of these out to pair with any meal.
Full printed article appeared in San Diego Magazine