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, www.rogue.com)
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!
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, www.stonebrew.com)
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.
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, rattlenhumbarnyc.com)
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, www.peculierpub.com)
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, www.foundersbrewing.com)
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, www.thestagsheadnyc.com)
Following on from Part I, here’s the other brew I got stuck into:
Left Hand Brewing Company (1265 Boston Avenue, Longmont, CO, www.lefthandbrewing.com)
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.
Coopers Craft & Kitchen (87 2nd Ave, NYC, www.coopersnyc.com)
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, www.avbc.com)
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, www.goodbeer.com)
Betrayal (8.2%) - a sweet caramel sweetness with scintillating aromatic hops. A beauty!
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (1075 East 20th St, Chico, CA, www.sierranevada.com)
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.
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?