After taking a break for a few days I was feeling re-charged and ready for the second half of Beer Week! If you didn’t get a chance to read about my adventures earlier in the week you can do so here: MrHoppy’s Beer Week Recap Part 1
Day 7 ( Wednesday)
It was hump day and there were no shortage of events happening in the 505! My son had a Little League game so I had to wait a bit later than usual to head out. I decided that the Mini Cask Fest at Quarter Celtic would be a good choice. Since I still hadn’t tried their Collaboration beer with Dialogue Brewing it was a two beer with 1 stone type of deal.
I tried the Irish Conversation first and was very pleased. A very clean and flavorful rye beer. It was so good that I took a crowler home with me later along with their Denali Pale. With all the tastings throughout the week it can be hard to keep track so I try to take bottles, cans, growlers, crowlers home of my favorites whenever I can.
Next up was the main event of the night: Mini Cask Fest. The cask fest was out on the patio because… well.. casks can get messy! The Mini Cask Fest featured four cask aged beers including a Chocolate Hefe (What?!), Vanilla Cream Quarter Porter, Kill or be KILT (a Wee Heavy), and Rye’t Side of Dublin dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin.
Not wanting to save the dark and heavy beer for last I decide to KILL, the kill or be KILT. It was sweet and thick with caramel coming to to mind as it went down. Next up the vanilla porter which was excellent! I’m not sure why vanilla beers taste so goo on cask but they always do and this was no exception for sure. Saving the hoppy beer for last I moved on to the Chocolate Hefeweizen. To be honest I wast sure how the hefeweizen yeast was going to blend with chocolate flavors but Quarter Celtic pulled it off. The chocolate was present but very subtle which let the Hefe flavors lead the way. The chocolate did however add a nice sweetness on finish with the chocolate left to linger.
Finally I was on to their rye, Rye’t Side of Dublin dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin. For those of you unfamiliar with Nelson Sauvin, they are hops developed in New Zealand that give off flavors described as gooseberry and grape. The finish is a fruity wine like quality similar to their name sake Sauvignon Blanc wine. Mixed with the slight spicy character of the rye malt body, balanced out for a delicious hop forward cask aged ale.
Day 8 ( Thursday)
My kids had little leagues games again so I wasn’t able to attend any events in the evening. I did venture out mid day for the Marble Guava Gose Special Release at Sandia Saloon. This was first time at the Sandia Saloon and I was impressed with the selection of good beer they had to offer. It was an easy decision for me this time as I was a man on a mission. I ordered the Guava Gose and was informed I was the first of the day to do so! You can’t get any fresher than that and it tasted just like fresh fruit.
I had guava only a few times because it’s not the easiest fruit to come by which makes it even rarer to find in a beer. I really enjoyed the guava that dominated the fore front of the flavor profile. The base style was a Gose, which has a slight salty sour finish that perfectly balances out the fruit. I believe this is a limited release so if you’d like to try it I’d get there quickly.
Day 9 (Friday)
Friday night I set out on the town with MrsHoppy. We started by heading to Gecko’s for diner. We both ordered the Passion Fruit Wit by La Cumbre they had tapped the night before. I already knew it was good and wanted another glass while it was available. MrsHoppy took my word for it. After that I had a pretty good Strawberry Lager by Abita. It tasted a lot like strawberry but more like Nesquik than real strawberries. Still good though. After dinner we took a short stroll down to Nob Hill Bar & Grill.
NHBG had quite a few events going on throughout beer week and at this point had accumulated a beer lineup resembling a baseball allstar team from the steroid era. Everyone was a guaranteed home run. On top of that our waitress was nice enough to let us sample a few beers before we made our decision. I decided on one of the Goose Island sisters Halia. The peach was super mellow but overall a smooth and tasty beer as expected.
MrsHoppy ordered one of my favorites, Krieky Bones, a cherry kriek from Firestone Walker’s Barrelworks. This beer starts out as Flanders Red style beer aged 24 months in a French oak foeder. Sour cherries are added and allowed a secondary fermentation. The result is absolute sour cherry goodness. This stuff is extremely limited availability and usually only in bottles. Needless to say I sampled a few sips!
Some of the other rare taps we tasted at Nob Hill Bar & Grill include: Blueberry & Elderberry from Cascade Brewing (sours), Velvet Yeti from Great Divide Brewing, Bourbon County Stout 2016 also by Goose Island, 20th Anniversary Encore Series: 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing.
By this time we were warmed up, dinnered up and ready to sample! We headed for the main event of out night, the Tower of Sour at NY Pizza Dept/ Back Alley Draft House. The tower of sour is a mini beer fest featuring stickily sour beer from both local and regional craft breweries. They had several options for entry. I opted for the unlimited samples and MrsHoppy got the 6 sample pass.
We should have gotten an earlier start on the night because by the time we arrived a few of the rarer beers had already sold out. Either way there was still plenty of amazing sour, beer most of which I had never tried.This is one of those times I wish I had a voice recorder because I tried so many new beers in such a short period of time it was hard to keep track of them all. I did however check in all of the beers I sampled on Untappd so at least I’d have all the names of sours I tasted. In additional I will highlight the stand out beers that I remember.
Bretta Rose (Batch 3) from Firestone Walker. Flemish Giant, Zard-Alu, Crossover and my favorite of the group Pina Agria, all from Odell. Strawberry Gose from La Cumbre. Upslope had several beers I really liked including American Brett and my favorite Champagne Saison with Nelson Sauvin. They also had a photo booth which we thoroughly enjoyed! There was also Lime Pilsner from Uinta, and Rosetta from Ommegang. New Belgian Brewing offered a French Oak Saison and Clutch (Lips of Faith).Marble was repping the 505 strong with several tasty sour offerings including La Blanche, Blackberry Gose, Cranberry Gose and my personal favorite Rita! Mod Project Pineapple Gose from Ska Brewing. Dialogue brewing had their Berliner Weisse and Raspberry Sour. Otra Vez from Sierra Nevada. Sour Connor from Rio Grande & Sierra Blancha. With Rodenbach Grand Cru, Echt Kriekenbier, Barbe Noire, and Duchesse de Bourgogne ending out the list.
This event and night was by far my favorite of Beer Week for several reasons. One I got to enjoy a night out with MrsHoppy and no kids which is always fun! On top of that I sampled so many amazing and hard to finds beers from so many different breweries in one place. It was amazing. In addition I love sour beer styles and they aren’t the most common so it was fun to attend an event dedicated strictly to sours.
Day 10 ( Saturday)
Kids had Baseball again all day so I couldn’t attend any major events during the day. I was also pretty beat from the week and decided to take the night off as well.
Day 11 (Sunday)
I mustered up enough energy to swing by Canteen Brewery to taste their recent sour, Social Capital. It was higher on the sour scale which I love and had very unique flavors including lemongrass, coconut and basil. I also sipped a small glass of Super Smalls Session IPA an easy drinking citrus IPA.
Beer Week was super fun this year with an absolutely mind boggling number of amazing events. It’s always hard to choice what events to attend and cover while I try to blend my personal preferences with trying to go to and cover as many events as possible. I hope you all enjoyed reading about my adventures and if you missed beer week yourself just remember there is always next year!