Beer in the USA: Land of Opportunity (to Drink Great Beer) Part II

February 24, 2013

If you missed Part I, it examined different breweries in the Eastern States while we were in New York City. In this second part, I’ve included the “Western Conference” breweries. You’ll notice Michigan here and, while not technically in the West, it’s still west of NYC.

Rogue Brewing Company (2320 OSU Drive, Newport, OR,

I picked these two up from a liquor store while in New Jersey. I’d always heard good things about Oregon and this is just another big thumbs up!

rogue chocolate stout

Chocolate Stout (6%) – a delicious stout embedded with everything chocolate. The perfect after-dinner nightcap.

Dead Guy Ale (6.5%) – a maibock style ale. If porter is my new favourite type of beer, then bock (in all its variations) is the next type I want to get know better.

Stone Brewing Company (1999 Citracado Parkway, San Diego, CA,

Smoked Porter (5.9%) – in their own words, “this worldly libation is dark, smooth, and complex, with rich chocolate and coffee flavors suffused with subtle smokiness from the addition of peat-smoked malt.” An accurate description and a truly outstanding drop.

stone smoked porter

Imperial Russian Stout (10.5%) – this beer is described as “massive” and I totally agree. Intensely aromatic and heavy on the palate, this was amazing! Imperial Russian Stouts should really be on everyone’s bucket list. I sampled this one at Rattle N Hum (14 E 33rd St, NYC,

Arrogant Bastard Ale (7.2%) – another brilliant ale that is aptly named. I think you may get the feeling that I enjoyed Stone’s work!

Peculier Pub (145 Bleecker St, NYC,

peculier pub

This was a great place with the walls decorated in bottle-cap inspired art and the wooden tables engraved with all those who’ve come before. I think this is a university student hangout and we timed our arrival just as an exuberant group were leaving, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves:

Founders Brewing Company (235 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI,

Dirty Bastard Wee Heavy (8.5%) – dark ruby in colour and brewed with seven varieties of imported malts. Hints of smoke and peat, paired with a malty richness and the right amount of hops. This was fantastic and in keeping with the “Bastard” theme, I followed it up with the Stone Arrogant Bastard mentioned above.

The Stag’s Head (252 E 51st St, NYC,

Following on from Part I, here’s the other brew I got stuck into:

Left Hand Brewing Company (1265 Boston Avenue, Longmont, CO,

Sawtooth Ale (5.3%) – their original flagship beer, the malty chewiness and earthy hops make for a fine experience. This was enjoyed with food in a great atmosphere.

rattle n hum nyc

Rattle n Hum

Coopers Craft & Kitchen (87 2nd Ave, NYC,

Here are the other two I tried as part of my four mini-pint sampler (see Part I for the others):

Anderson Valley Brewing Company (17700 Hwy 253, Boonville, CA,

Winter Solstice (6.9%) – a deep amber hue with a rich, malty taste. Toffee, caramel and spices tantalize the senses while the creamy finish makes everything worthwhile. A brilliant drop!

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers (1195 Evans Ave, San Francisco, CA,

Betrayal (8.2%) – a sweet caramel sweetness with scintillating aromatic hops. A beauty!

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (1075 East 20th St, Chico, CA,

I’m pretty sure most people have had a Sierra Nevada brew over the years. I remember Andrea raving about them when I first came to the US and they sure pack a punch!

Torpedo Extra IPA (7.2%) – the first beer to feature their “Hop Torpedo”, which is a revolutionary dry-hopping device that controls how much hop aroma is imparted into the beer without adding additional bitterness. I first tried this in Australia and I’ve always gone back for more.

Celebration Fresh Hop Ale (6.8%) – an American-style IPA with intense citrus and pine aromas. It also features Cascade, Centennial and Chinook hops in honour of Sierra Nevada. This was aptly the beer I rang the New Year in and it was wonderful.

rattle n hum

Stone’s Imperial Russian Stout

One day, we’ll have to do a countrywide road trip to find every brewery/pub/backyard shack that makes its own delicious nectar! Only then, will I be truly satisfied!

What’s your favourite US beer?

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  1. Comment by Jess @UsedYorkCity

    Jess @UsedYorkCity Reply February 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I’m more of a vino drinker myself, but love the idea of a local pub to go to for a really good brew! Will definitely be suggesting these NYC spots to my brewskie drinking friends! Thanks!:-)

    • Comment by John

      John February 25, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      You’re most welcome, Jess. I do love my vino too, but brewskies rule the roost more often that not!

  2. Comment by memographer

    memographer Reply February 25, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Everything outside of NYC is East, Andrea ;)
    You got a nice collection here. I wish I had a magic wand… You know what I mean :)

    • Comment by John

      John February 25, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      It’s actually John here and I wish I had a magic wand, too!

  3. Pingback: Beer In the USA: Land Of Opportunity (To Drink Great Beer) Part I :: - Travel the World

  4. Comment by D.J. - The World of Deej

    D.J. - The World of Deej Reply February 26, 2013 at 12:13 am

    Great spots and beers…I’ve enjoyed more than a few Sierra Nevadas in my day:)

    • Comment by John

      John February 26, 2013 at 8:08 am

      They’re damn good, aren’t they :)

  5. Comment by Kevin Revolinski

    Kevin Revolinski Reply February 26, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Michigan just gets one, eh? A good one at that, but Michigan is going ballistic with great beer, up over 125 breweries and still adding them every month. New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk Ale is unreal. Plus Bell’s, Dark Horse, Short’s, Kuhnhenn, Jolly Pumpkin… good lord the list goes on, and Wisconsin’s really lighting it up as well. If you really want to see how good the Midwest has it, check out Madison’s Great Taste of the Midwest in August. Tickets go on sale and sell out May 1. It’s so good that a couple of West Coast breweries come and do a tap take over on the pre-party night just to be part of the fun. (Midwest brewers only at the fest).

    • Comment by John

      John February 26, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      That sounds amazing, Kevin! Sadly, Founders was the only one I came across in NYC during my short stint. But I’ll remember those for next time I’m in the Midwest, for sure :)

  6. Comment by Randy (Mr. TWS)

    Randy (Mr. TWS) Reply February 26, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    I really enjoyed this post. I read this in the morning and it made me crave a beer. They all sound delicious. Even though we live near wine country in CA and I mostly drink wine, I’m from Wisconsin and beer is still my favorite beverage. The pictures are great.

    • Comment by John

      John February 26, 2013 at 11:21 pm

      Cheers, Randy! Beer in the morning is certainly underrated ;)

    • Comment by John

      John February 26, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      Sierra and Stone are right up there with the best, Debbie!

  7. Comment by Jennifer

    Jennifer Reply February 27, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Chocolate beer?! That’s one even I might try!

    • Comment by John

      John February 27, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Chocolate stouts and porters make the world a better place :)

  8. Comment by Ali

    Ali Reply February 27, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I’m not much of a fan of dark beers, but if I ever have a chance to try the chocolate one, I’m going for it!

    • Comment by John

      John February 27, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      That sounds like a plan, Ali!

  9. Comment by TammyOnTheMove

    TammyOnTheMove Reply March 1, 2013 at 2:18 am

    Chocolate stout? I grew up in Germany and we drink a lot of weird stuff with our beer, but I have never heard of a chocolate tasting beer before. I feel intrigued to find one now.

    • Comment by John

      John March 1, 2013 at 6:45 am

      If you like chocolate, then you’re on a winner!

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