Breweries "Visited"

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Beer 210: Why Hello There, Karl Strauss!

On Day #2 in San Diego, we ventured due north to visit La Jolla.  It was a great trip.  We saw some contemporary art...

...then I was attacked by a shark.  It was touch and go for a bit but I made it...

...fortunate for me because the final stop in La Jolla was the Karl Strauss Brewing Company.  There was a delicious sampler awaiting my arrival.

And a good time was had by all!

I know you're wondering what was in that sampler. For that information, you'll need to visit Gary's review on our visit.  Those are his beers! And yes, it took me awhile to figure out why none of them looked like a Russian Imperial Stout.

Here is my sampler in various stages of consumption.  (Note the bonus beer!)

From left to right...

Not pictured:  Wreck Alley Russian Imperial Stout weighing in at a solid 9.5% ABV.  It poured black with a tan head.  Smelled of coffee and roasted malt.  It drank with a thinness and had a nice sweet-tinged flavor that finished with a great roasted-ness.  There were hints of licorice in there as well.  It was named for the area of ship wrecks off the coast of Mission Beach...lots of mystery in those depths.  Lots of great flavor in this beer!  

Pictured above but not below:  Windansea Wheat.  A hefeweizen.  Lovely hazy straw color with very little head.  Smells of banana with citrus notes.  It drank with a full, creamy body with flavors of peppery spice, citrus and banana ester.  Exactly what is expected in a hefeweizen.  Best part of this beer?  THERE WAS NO CITRUS WEDGE SERVED WITH IT!  5.1% ABV.

Next up is the Amber Lager. It's the first beer ever brewed at the brewery.  It is a solid lager that I thoroughly enjoyed.  If this is what I was making, I'd certainly open a brewery!  It's made with caramel and Munich malts and is double-filtered to give it that bright and beautiful color.  It's just slightly biscuit-y and there's a bit of caramel roundness to it.  Easy to drink.  4.2% ABV.

Then came the Flan-Diddly-Anders Flanders red ale.  5.5% ABV.  Honestly it wasn't the greatest Flanders red ale I've had but it was good.  It was tart and earthy but still  retained a malty profile.  I tend to like this style of beer when it's punch-me-in-the-chops tart and sour.  Maybe this one is best described as a gateway to bigger and bolder versions?

Finally there was the bonus pour -- the Boardwalk Black Rye IPA.  It was on cask and looked like coffee in the glass...dark opaque brown.  It had a thick tan head that lingered.  It was creamy, almost lactic, which was surprising for an IPA.  There were roasted notes, but it was definitely hop dominant.  

Hopefully as the Karl Strauss empire expands, I'll start seeing it on the east coast.  I can't say that I've ever seen it and that makes me kind of sad.  Until next time, Karl...


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