I was invited back to the Tasting Room with Tom Leykis to talk about fall beers, and the show is now up to listen to! I always have a great time tasting brews in the studio with Tom, and for this episode I brought in five brews. Here’s what we drank, and a link to the show:
I know that Tom is a wine lover and a hop head, so I wanted to avoid the typical parade of pumpkin brews that everyone seems to love when talking about beer for autumn. I decided instead to bring in some great dark beers, and we started with a Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker. The seasonal oatmeal stout is the epitome of dark, rich, and drinkable, and it would prime our pallets for the next two beers, both porters. The first was the return of Karl Strauss’ Peanut Butter Cup Porter – a robust porter with cocoa nibs and peanuts that is really great. Big chocolate flavor with a smooth nuttiness and a pleasantly dry finish. Karl Strauss has really been doing a great job with these 25th Anniversary celebration special releases, and I highly recommend the PB Cup Porter – the chocolate flavor is really incredible.
Next up was the new Smoked Porter variant from Stone Brewing – Chocolate and Orange Peel. I had high expectations for this beer – Smoked Porter is an underrated gem in the Stone line up, and I’ve enjoyed the special editions so far, but this one just didn’t do it for me. The chocolate and orange flavors were too muted and the smoky quality was way out of balance. It just didn’t’ coalesce into a “wow” beer like the PB Cup Porter did.
My goal was to express to the listeners that autumn beers are about more than just pumpkin spice, fall is also harvest seasons, and that means fresh hop beer! For the next brew I brought out High Tide IPA from Port Brewing. This fresh hop IPA is one of my favorites of the fresh hop season, and I really love the range of hop-flavors that are present in the dry and drinkable ale.
Finally, playing off the fact that it was 85 degrees in Burbank when we taped the show, I brought in a Logsdon Seizoen Bretta to try. Not a fall beer, but a beer that is perfect for LA’s lingering summer temperatures, and a brew that is great with foods from hearty salads to fish and chicken, and a cheese plate’s best buddy.
Every time I finish taping a show with Tom I get the itch to start a podcast. I don’t think it will ever happen, but it’s fun to think about.
Give the show a listen and let me know what you think!