Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Rambling Reviews 3.7.2017 : Brews from Santa Clara Valley, Left Coast, and Karl Stauss

Saratoga Gap Scotch Ale at Taplands
It's been awhile since I last rambled on beers. A bunch of busy work weeks will do that. Still, I've been able to squeeze in a few beers along the way, so let's ramble about three of them.

I was able drop by Santa Clara's Taplands hosting a Santa Clara Valley Brewing (SCVB) tap take-over as part of SF Beer Week. There I enjoyed SCVB's Saratoga Gap Scotch Ale, full of toffee, some smokiness, and a little sweetness. There's also some noticeable fruit character to the brew, and SCVB Brand Manager Peter Estaniel was on hand for the evening and as we chatted about the beer, he pointed out some of it's similarities to SCVB's fine New Almaden Imperial Red Ale. All the flavors come together rather nicely and at 9.6% abv, you'll want to sip it slowly.
Left Coast's Voodoo Stout on the floor
of an LED Lighting trade show

After that evening at Taplands, work started getting pretty intense and blogging came to pretty much a complete stand still. At an LED Lighting Trade Show at the Anaheim Convention Center, I enjoyed a Voodoo Stout from San Clemente's Left Coast Brewing, albeit in a plastic cup, poured at the late hour of the trade show. It's a rather full bodied stout with a creamy consistency with some sweetness and lots of milk chocolate character. Nice way to end a
trade show and I can only imagine how much better it would taste with a proper glass.

Trudging back to the hotel after a long day at the trade show, I made my way to the empty hotel bar. For a cheap hotel mostly catering to tourists going to Disneyland, they actually had a pretty decent selection for the eight taps they had set up. I went with Queen of Tarts from Karl Strauss and what a great choice that turned out to be. Aged in wood with Michigan tart cherries, the cherries and light sourness played well off the underlying brown ale. A pretty amazing beer to find in an dingy, empty hotel bar. Further proof that you can find great beer anywhere.
Karl Strauss Queen of Tarts, all alone in
quiet hotel bar in Anaheim

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