Saturday, October 8, 2011


Back before it was cool to have a favorite beer, I had a favorite beer. It's not cool now - I know that. The beer was BOONT AMBER, and it was and continues to be made by ANDERSON VALLEY BREWING in Boonville, CA. Back when my microbrew consumption consisted of whatever was newest & most interesting-looking in 6-packs at Safeway in the '90s, Boont Amber was it for me - a classic malty red ale that still tastes amazing when fresh on draft. Because of it, Anderson Valley was my "favorite" brewery as well - and yet, and I say this with as much self-incredulity I can muster - I don't think I ever had a single IPA by them.

I decided to rectify this situation this past week and also try to pull myself back into the Anderson Valley orbit after years of totally ignoring these guys. It's not fair, but their once-standout product has been superceded by better product, and so I always pass by their wares whilst shopping for quality ales. Anyway, I went and got a HOP OTTIN' IPA in a frosty can - a whole sixer for a camping trip, in fact - and then decided to get an IMPERIAL IPA to boot. Here's what I found out once I allowed them to quench my unquenchable thirst for good beer:

ANDERSON VALLEY 20TH ANNIVERSARY IMPERIAL IPA - This is a total grapefruit bomb! Why didn't you folks tell me??!? Fruity, creamy malts and strong Pacific Northwest hops. A little sweet and extremely hoppy. Perfect in a 12-ounce size - no doubt this 8.7% ABV beer is an "imperial", as they say. 7/10.

ANDERSON VALLEY HOP OTTIN' IPA - Would you believe their "single" IPA is even better? Oh, it's only been around for twenty some-off years and I'm just now getting around to trying it. A terrific balance between hops and malts. Also a little creamy and just refreshing & biting across the board. Total professional's IPA. 8/10.

These two have restored my faith in the brand. Count on Beer Samizdat reviewing any & all newcomers to the AVBC lineup in the months to come.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's cool to have a favorite beer and it's cool if its anything by Anderson Valley