Monday is here, and it’s time to start another week. Pick of the Weekend is our weekly post where we recap our favorite brews of the weekend past.
Between the Grand Opening of the Stone Brewing Company Store in Pasadena and the Hollywood On-Tap festival we got to sample many new beers as well as some old favorites this weekend, and even with the cooling weather we kept going back to the hoppy treats.
The Stone Brewing event on Thursday afternoon celebrating the “official” opening of the company store was a great industry-insider party – you have to love an industry where bloggers are considered “insiders” – and the tap-list was full of exceptional Stone beers. There was an intensely spicy version of Ruination dosed with Habanero peppers. There was the second version of the blended beer put together by the Stone Brewers: the dark and rich Mix Tape Vol. 2 (Beer Guy LA has the details on the new blend). But my favorite was the surprise appearance of the ultra-fresh Enjoy By 11.09.12 IPA.
I like this beer more every time I get the chance to have a glass of it. Enjoy By has rich and pungent hop flavors and aromas that threaten to overwhelm the malt body, but they never do. Mossy and grassy the layers of hops remind me of a fresh-hop IPA and this is yet another home run Double IPA from Stone.
Speaking of fresh hop ales, another stand-out beer from the weekend was the Citrafuge XPA by Kinetic Brewing. The Lancaster-based brewery has been showing regularly at festivals as well as on more and more tap-lists around town, and we’ve been able to sample their beers a few times. Steve, the head brewer, was manning the booth and pouring a new 5.5%ABV fresh-hop XPA that was one of the highlights of the festival for me. The beer was light and drinkable with an extremely dense and earthy hop flavor. The unique hop flavors was buoyed by a round bitterness and lighter body resulting in a very drinkable pale ale. Give it a shot if you get the chance!
Two other notable hoppy beers made an impression on me over the weekend: the Hoppy Poppy from the Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company was a delightfully floral IPA, and the Tap It IPA – the beer that took the gold medal for IPAs at GABF this month – was excellent as well. I’ve talked to a few of my colleagues who were underwhelmed by Tap It Brewing’s award winner, but I found it to be an extremely well-balanced and un-audacious West Coast IPA. I can certainly see how the judges in Denver rated the beer so highly.
What was your stand-out beer of the weekend?