So true story, I’m enjoying a lovely late brunch this weekend at the Cliffs Resort (holy jumping whales Batman!) when one of my ladyfriends makes the cardinal mistake of declaring to me that they “don’t like beer”. Yeah you do, I respond. You just haven’t had a good beer yet. No, I’m not talking about budweiser, coors, shock top…you get the picture. I’m talking craft beer; beer that like good wine, you can’t readily find at the AM/PM.
A good craft beer is sensory- just like wine. We ladies love sensory experiences; fragrances, spices, flowers, wine, chocolate. All of the above notes are present in a good beer. In fact, more and more craft beers and wines are mixing and intermingling with each other. Take Justin Smith of Saxum Wines, he collaborated famously with Matt Brynildson of Firestone Brewing for their Anniversary Ale; Dogfish Head’s Red & White is a belgian witbier with notes of orange and coriander and is fermented with Pinot Noir grapes, and Heretic’s Worry is aged in Chardonnay barrels.
Blending is a niche with craft beer that is currently on its way up. Brewmasters like Brynildson will bring several Brewmasters from other breweries to create collaborations, such as my friend Brux, or winemakers to achieve a unique blend and mouth feel to their beers. One Pub working with creating their own blends is The Libertine in Morro Bay, and yes, we talk about this place…a lot, go, seriously. Blends are a great way experiment with your particular palate- which brings me back to my misinformed friend (Hi Hana!). I tossed her into the car and drove her up to Morro Bay for a little backpedaling. I started the tasting off with the Dogfish Head Sahtea- (Hana likes Chai Tea lattes, Perfect!), the Sahtea is a beautiful finnish style beer brimming with notes of chai, orange, and cardamom. We moved on to the Lips of Faith Valentine- a smooth, slightly sparkly Cranberry wit bier, and finally, the beautiful Sophie from Goose Island. My friend immediately relents, admits she likes beer and we learn that Belgians and sours work well with her. I won’t admit to the I-told-you-so dance, but there was some celebration, yes.
Just like wine ladies, taste around and try it before you discount beer. Tap Rooms like Figueroa Mountain offer tasting flights of each of their beers, Craft Brew Pubs are popping up in our area for a reason; check out the Libertine, Eureka Burger’s tap take-overs, and the Boardroom in Pismo.