Tuesday, July 10, 2012

AW, HORSE BLANKET!

Easily the best term to come out of beer dorkdom is "horse blanket", a descriptor often applied to musty, yeasty, bacteria-laden ales allowed to ferment with wild yeasts and that therefore give off a barnyard-ish odor and taste. You'll often find it applied to wild ales, to some of the funkier saisons or Belgian golden ales, or to the bier de gardes, the latter of which is the purported category that this ANDERSON VALLEY "HORSE TONGUE WHEAT" belongs to. Here I was, while I was drinking it, thinking that I'd finally found a "Berliner Weiss" that I liked (I've had nothing but failure with this beer style to date, which says more about me than it does this classic German funky wheat style). 

In San Francisco the best Whole Foods store in town in located in the neighborhood of Potrero Hill, and this particular Whole Foods also has a phenomenal beer selection and a new beer bar (!) located downstairs called STEEP BREW. My wife has noticed that I've been volunteering to do the grocery shopping more often lately, and that I tend to take a little longer than I used to coming home with said groceries. Thanks, Steep Brew. I popped over there this past weekend to do the "family grocery run" and ordered somewhat at random, settling on this "wheat" beer from the Boonville crew, assuming it was a light hefeweizen, given that it's a mere 5% alcohol.

Yeah, call me very surprised when I got into the sour, tangy, lemon/pepper "horse blanket" taste of this bier de garde. Well, listen - it's definitely refreshing once you dig in. It pours an opaque yellow and has high carbonation, while also leaving a ton of fresh, lingering lacing on the glass. If this were put in bottles, though - particularly with the word "wheat" in the name - it would likely have the highest return rate in the history of beer. It's not for the novice, nor for the sour-challenged. It's soapy, sure, but when you penetrate that horse-blanket wall you're left with a very delicious, fresh and clean-tasting ale that I'd gladly ask for by name again. 8/10.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Jay you're back! I know you were writing on your other blog but glad to see this one back sir!