Monday, 26 March 2012
I hail from the east coast. So my knowledge of west coast beers is limited. Here are a few that I know or have heard that hang at the top the list for me. I also threw in a little Texas love and some other western beer hot spots that don't touch the Pacific.
I recently returned from a six week trip down the west coast and through half of the south. I spent more time seeking out the local brews in bars than running to the attractions or on tour buses. I was emphatic on drinking a new beer from each state, city, or region.
In San Francisco and Seattle I went on pub crawls. I experienced new beers and made new friends. There's nothing better than sharing a drink and conversation with a new friend. Even after a couple weeks removed from my travels the beer memories stand strong.
As in the previous group the livelihood of these beers depend on your votes. I'll present a quick look with my own personal relationship to each beer, and you can give me your vote. If your preferred west coast beer isn't here, then tell me what it is.
1. Sierra Nevada Pale
On the east or west coast you can relax with this California native in your hand during a nice summer day. The pale ale is good, but I prefer their IPA.
2. Blue Moon
For me, sitting on the dock of the bay at the Jersey shore, this beer is one of my favorites. This ale is known for its smooth, tasty, and orange flavored nature that attracts all beer drinkers.
Whether it's the Summer Honey, Harvest Pumpkin, Winter Abbey, Spring Blonde, or Belgian White, everyone has their favorite Blue Moon. The smell of a freshly sliced orange in my beer never grows old.
3. Shock Top
This Belgian styled wheat beer attracts beer drinks with its orange, lime and lemon peel flavors combining for a good beer. The real question that faces you is, Blue Moon or Shock Top?
4. Widmer Brothers
I spent three months working at a bar that had this beer on tap, 2 days in Oregon, and yet even the rumors of the tasty oatmeal porter haven't pulled me in yet. Widmer Brothers sits at the top of my beer to-do list.
5. The Green Flash
Apparently, in an instant before sunset, a green flash shoots forth above the setting sun and can only be seen if you look closely. I saw the Green Flash countless times in San Diego. Did I witness the phenomena at the beach or from a mountain top?
No, the Green Flash was available at almost every bar. This San Diego native beer kicks butt. Whatever bar I visited in my 11 day stay in the city, I ensured there was a Green Flash in my hand at all times.
6. Kona Longboard Lager
My brother introduced me to this cool, easy-going, summer beer at the Jersey shore. Yes, this Hawaiian brew sells in NJ. This ranks up there as one of my favorite beers. Kona's Pipeline Porterisn't shabby, but I prefer the lager.
Two weeks ago I came to know Shiner's name in Houston, TX. My brother-in-law bought two cases of Shiner variety packs. At dinner or for a little dessert I guzzled down what the Shiner, TX brewing company had to offer.
I drank the Blonde, the Black Lager, Hefeweizen, Pale Ale, Light Blonde, the Dortmunder, and the Shiner Bock. I know Texas obsesses over oil, football and baseball, but their beers are pretty tasty.
8. New Belgium Fat Tire
"You got to try Fat Tire...It's awesome. And they Don't sell it east of the Mississippi." My brother's words stuck to me like glue before travelling west for the first time. But four months before I stepped foot west of the Mississippi, Fat Tire had already made the drive to the east coast.
Before I knew it, Fat Tire drafts were sold in local DC bars and the tall bottles crowded the fridges of liquor stores. I wasn't nearly as astounded as my brother, but it's a good tasting beer. I defer to my east coast beer Yuengling.
9. Pliny the Elder
I've only heard rumors of this miraculous double IPA. I'm a huge fan of IPAs and I came to appreciate them even more in San Diego. But, not knowing of its greatness, I ignored it on the beer menu chalkboard in Hamilton's Tavern in southern California. I've yet to taste the glory of theRussian River Brewing Co., but I look forward to the day.
What are your 3 favorite beers from this group?