Breweries "Visited"

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bear With Me Here....

Beer #214 Barrel 45 Wet Hop Wild Racer 5 / Bear Republic Brewing Company, Healdsburg, CA

Today's beer comes from Bear Republic, which we visited in person during our swing through Sonoma.  There's a bear waiting for you when you walk in the front door:
Bears!  And.... bunnies?
Oops... that's not Bear Republic, that's my living room.  Here's a better shot of their Bear:
Bear: "Wait, where the ladies at?"
I drank the Barrel 45 Wet Hop Wild Racer 5, and while that name is a bit unwieldy, the beer itself is a delightful experience.  It pours with an apricot color and no head, and you get a floral, citrus aroma.  When you take a sip, you're instantly greeted with some expected IPA flavors like orange and grapefruit, although they are more prominent and sour than you'd find in an average IPA.  What surprises you is a buttery or butterscotch flavor in there (which I assume is from the barrel aging), which balances some of the tartness.  From what I gathered while I was there, Bear Republic took Racer 5, their popular and hoppy IPA, then re-fermented it with wild yeast and bacteria to spin this beer in a different but funky and awesome direction.  My final note on this beer: "GREAT!"  We hit Bear after our second day of winery tastings, so my adjectives list may have been a bit stunted.  However, the fact remains this 7.5% ABV wild ale was an amazing beer.

This appears to be a very limited release beer, as it's already no longer on tap in their brewpub.  Another unusual find we unearthed on vacation!  This one is definitely headed for my Top 25; the seventeenth beer to be afforded that honor so far.

Thing to Think About Today:
With bears on the brain, I could either drop some clips from 70's cult hit BJ and the Bear, a sitcom about a truck driver with a chimp (named Bear) for a best friend - OR - I could drop some Barenaked Ladies:

I think I chose wisely, even if they are from Canada.

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