Monday, February 25, 2013


Say what you will about San Francisco's 21ST AMENDMENT BREWING, but man, they've really hit their stride the past couple of years. Virtually every new can that hits the shelves is a full-on winner, and they make the second-best beer in all of San Francisco, the amazing "Allies Win The War". (Second only to Speakeasy's "Betrayal" on the Beer Samizdat scorecard). I've even added them to our "Oppression-Fighting Brewers" list; only the greats have the honor of getting on that rarified list. I don't get out to the brewery as much as I used to, but Giants season is about to start, and I always save 45 minutes or so before each game to go on into the pub and sample whatever new ale they're pourin'. Here are a couple of new 21A cans that recently came out, which I grabbed and quaffed with extreme prejudice:

21ST AMENDMENT - "MAROONED ON HOG ISLAND" - Well, this stout is made with oyster shells from the local Hog Island Oyster Company. Does that make your thirst multiply in exponential fashion? Then this is the beer for you, my friends, as it's been seriously taken over by oyster brininess all the way. There's not much smell, but what a taste! It does have the classic roasted stout feel, but it's creamy and briny and full of really superb umami. I expected something kind of middling and instead had the best dark ale of 2013 so far. 9/10.

21ST AMENDMENT - "SNEAK ATTACK SAISON" - This farmhouse ale is brewed with cardamom and glows a pretty intense yellow. It's fruity with some hops, and medium carbonation. 6.2% alcohol, about par for the saison course. A little bit of an Americanized version of the Belgian dry saison here, but no complaints – as usual with 21A, it's really, really good. 7.5/10.


Derrick said...

I thought Oyster Shells in a stout was going to taste awful, but "Marooned" turned out to be one of the best I've had. I'd have to agree that in the last couple years, 21st Amendment has gone from "meh" to knocking out one hit after another.

Mark said...

Not particularly familiar with Oyster stouts, but I do have me a can of "Marooned" that sounds like it will be a good place to start!

Jay Hinman said...

Yeah, this was a surprise to me as well. Henhouse Brewing in Petaluma also make an oyster stout, but 21A's is a revelation and that one's just "good enough".

bobulated said...

Sneak Attack is right; that first taste of cardamom is almost overwhelming before the palate adjusts but it is a great beer. I've also used it for cooking some chili and as a braise for pork. Good times.