Thursday, February 14, 2013


Yeah, I know it's a bit of a drag when some beer blogger who doesn't live in your town prattles on and on about some beer that you can only get in his town. But who knows, perhaps my review shall inspire any non-SF Bay Area residents reading Beer Samizdat this morning to get on a Greyhound and hightail out to the west coast for the second half of SF Beer Week. You've still got through this weekend, friends, and from what they're telling me there's still beer left in the kegs.

8 Bay Area brewers got together before the festivities and made a beer together. There are the fabled "gypsy" brewers, who flounce around from brewery to brewery with whimsy and panache, making their beers on other people's equipment before packing their belongings and quickly scampering out of town. Perhaps you're heard of some of them: Bison Organic Beer, Calicraft, Highwater Brewing, Lucky Hand, Oakland Brewing Co., Pacific Brew Labs, Triple Voodoo & Uncommon Brewers. I've certainly reviewed beer from just about every one of them on this site. They're calling themselves the "BAND OF GYPSIES", a nod to both their status - and to Hendrix, man! 

Anyway, they made this 10.5% ABV Belgian quadrupel called "THE BELGIAN TRAMP" and it's pretty big and bold - and really good. It has a rich, deep intensity and tastes of plum and dates. At first I thought it was a dubbel, because it had more yeastiness and less sweetness that a typical bomb-drop quad, but then in the finish and aftertaste it became pretty clear that yep, this is a sweet one, tempered by roasted malt and a little dryness. Their promo materials call it "sticky sweet", but I think they're not doing themselves justice. That's what they call all the quads. This one's a nice find and limited and all that, so seek it out if you can (Rosamunde in San Francisco has it on draft now). 7.5/10.

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