Saturday, July 14, 2012


Just the night before, some guy had been shot at random right around the corner in front of a movie theater, but that wasn't gonna stop this pampered San Franciscan from venturing into the dark, grimy heart of Oakland, CA to embark on a session beer session at the newly-famous BEER REVOLUTION bar & beer store. Man, Beer Revolution got even better this past year, upping their tap count from something under 20 to something much closer to 50 (!). They're leading the charge for East Bay brewers and have multiple tap handles devoted to the new guard - folks like Heretic, Dying Vines, High Water, Oakland Brewing Company, Linden Street and others. My pal Uli and I decided that we were going to go low-ABV tonight, and only drink beers under 6% - the better to shuck, jive, tell tall tales & still drive home.

Here's what I tried, both Northern California beers from relatively new brewers:

HIGH WATER BREWING - "BERLINER REISS" - I figured if I'm ever going to cure this mental block I have around the Berliner weiss style of beer - a tart, sour, acidic wheat ale - I just need to dig in and start ordering them. This one helped set me on the right path. It's a smooth, very light, apricot- and lemon-tinged fruit ale with a mild funk about it. It's actually made with rice, hence the name. I believe this made it even lighter and approachable than it otherwise would be, and I could absolutely see ordering one of these by name again. Progress! 7/10.

DUST BOWL BREWING - "XR471 PALE ALE" - Had to ask the bartender who Dust Bowl Brewing were and from whence they came - "Turlock", came the answer. Turlock! In the central valley of California, the likely home of whatever fruits and vegetables you ate today! Well, this pale ale was one to beat the proverbial band. Mild hoppiness, and a clean, lingering aftertaste made for one of the best pale ale's I've had this year. Huge flavor, medium carbonation and a new beer that I'm crossing my fingers gets bottled or canned soon, 'cause you're going to want to buy one. 8/10.

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