Friday, September 4, 2015

A (SECOND) TRIP TO FIELDWORK BREWING

We're obviously well past the point of cliche in our modern beer economy to say, "There are so many choices - I just can't keep up". No kidding, right? There are several half-dozen San Francisco Bay Area breweries, beer halls, and craft-centric restaurants I've yet to conquer, which is why I was pleased as goddamn punch to pay a second visit to Berkeley's FIELDWORK BREWING earlier this week. The first time I was smack in the middle of Beer Samizdat's "quiet period" - i.e. the year we disappeared - but I was so sufficiently impressed w/ the place that I vowed a return, and maybe even another one after that. Fieldwork's a welcome edition to our 'lil family of first-class brewers, and it's gratifying to see the East Bay community take such a shine to them this past year.

What you're looking at here is an actual photo taken of one of their beers - in this case, the "Hanging Valley Grapefruit Saison". FIELDWORK shift and change their lineup pretty regularly. Located in a burgeoning and newly bustling industrial part of North Berkeley, the brewery, I'm told, is a big hit around town for their IPAs, but each and every visit marks at least 5-6 new things on draft that weren't there the last time. I can confirm this myself, albeit the fact that it was six months between visits for me.

So anyway, they've got space to grow and move in their big, high-ceiling warehouse. No bottles as of yet, just growlers to go, but it's clear that even on a quiet Wednesday night they're pulling in rabid fans left and right who don't care about that sort of thing. Now I don't get the sense that barrel aging is quite a thing for them yet, but maybe because the beers are currently aging. In barrels. Me, I decided to go with ales with odd twists, like that grapefruit saison (which, truth be told, I did not like at all), and "Sawhorse Rye IPA", which was light on the rye and exceptionally drinkable. Crushable, I think is the word you kids use.

The evening's winner by a mile was their "WHITE MOCHA GOLDEN STOUT". It wasn't golden - more of an orange/brown - and I don't really know how it could conceivably be called a stout, but that's just the way moderne beer is these days, isn't it? What a fantastic beer. Smells like candy, drinks like ambrosia, and supposedly is brewed with coffee from CATAHOULA COFFEE from nearby Richmond, CA. Was great to see at least one of my choices hit one out of the park, which is what I remembered from my previous visit as well.

Get Fieldwork on your itinerary at once, and think about grabbing an entire plank of tasters like this fella did.

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