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.
Some heavy-hitting wish-list beers got crossed off this weekend, and while one was less than thrilling, another stood up to the hype to be named our Pick of the Weekend.
Friday evening was spent at Hollywood’s Stout Burger where I was able to try two beers that I’ve been hunting for. First up was the new fresh-hop IPA from Deschutes Brewery: Chasin Freshies! Deschutes is known for their fresh-hop ales, and this is the first year that they’ve bottled Freshies which uses freshly harvested heirloom cascade hops. I had high hopes for the beer, but found it disappointing. It seemed out-of-balance with a malt profile that was too assertive and a surprisingly subdued hop-character. I was expecting a resinous kick like the smacked in the face with a pine bough flavor of Sierra Nevada’s cascade-heavy Celebration, but the Deschutes IPA was far more subtle. I’m not writing it off, but the first impression was disappointing (and I’m not alone in this opinion.)
Somewhat desperate for a real hop-monster after the first pint I jumped at a bomber of Alpine Brewing’s highly regarded Nelson IPA from Stout’s bottle list. I’ve been told this beer is something special, and the IPA did not disappoint. It was even more delicious that I’d had hoped. The beer was golden hued and had a medium body. The aroma was redolent with tangerine pith and that pine resin I missed from the Deschutes beer. The addition of rye malt lent a complexity and subtle spice underneath the thick layer of hoppy flavors. Nelson packed all the flavor and aroma of some of the best Double IPAs into a 7%ABV powerhouse single IPA. Next time I find a bottle of this I won’t be splitting it with the table…
Sunday featured a visit to Blue Palms Brewhouse for their annual Pumpkin Palooza, and while Julie sampled flights of pumpkin beers I stuck to straight porters, stouts, and IPAs. One notable beer that I han’t had before was the Tall Dark and Handsome from Noble Ale Works. This “black IPA” had a great balance of fruity hops and delicate roasty grains. The dark and hoppy beer was balance and very drinkable, and it complemented the pumpkin chicken noodle soup excellently. Noble Ale Works continues to impress me with their well crafted beers.
Sunday evening was wrapped up with yet another wish-list beer: Gueuze Tilquin, a complex and delicate sour that was a fantastic accompaniment to a cheese-plate. The gueuze was tart and funky, and it had an unexpected bracing bitterness in the finish. I’ve been enjoying gueuzes more-and-more and this beer was a step-above some of the other’s I’ve had recently. (It also has the best label of the weekend’s beers.)
The Ladyface Ichabod III Picture City Pumpkin Porter on cask was a luxurious and delicious beer that blew all of my previous pumpkin beer favorites out of the water! The aroma alone reminded me of baking gingerbread on a cold day, while the flavors of this porter were a perfect balance of spice and squash with some cocoa hints for good measure – it tasted like a dessert beer without being sweet at all. An instant favorite for sure.