This post is a continuation of the 2015 New Beer Every Day Beer Diary Challenge, #ottbeerdiary. Over the course of 2015, I drank at least one new beer every day. Please read the background in the link above, and enjoy reading about the most recently tasted beers below. This year I may deviate from the diary format in some posts, hoping to concentrate more on the locations and the breweries I am enjoying. If you’d like to join the challenge as well, let me know in the comments below. You can catch up on all of our posts as part of the challenge under the tag ottbeerdiary.
Day 394: January 29, 2016
Up early for the drive up north to Sacramento and then to Santa Rosa.
Last night I loaded up my rental SUV with all of the wine we had left at Erin’s parents’ house from old wine clubs. Perhaps 100 bottles or so, and also including some beers I left behind when I returned to the Netherlands after my time in San Diego.
Today, we unfortunately got a slightly later start that I had hoped, and after 2.5 hours from Torrance to the Pasadena area, we had a clear ride up the rest of the way to Sacramento. Managed to drop everything off in storage and then popped over to Sal’s Tacos in West Sacramento for some lunch. Always some of the best Mexican eats around!
We were meeting Todd and Gloria of Todd Taylor Wines in Clarksburg around 4, to pick up the rest of our wine club shipments from them, some of them dating back a few years! I’m so happy to have these in hand, such great wines, from such great people! They even wound up throwing in an extra case of wines! So I left behind one of the bottles of beer I brought for the bottle share tomorrow, a Saint Lamvinus from Cantillon. I do hope Todd enjoys it!
Dropped the rest of the wine in storage again, and then an actually not horrible drive over to Santa Rosa. I have to say, with the rain and traffic, it was pretty hairy a few times, and when the jet lag started kicking in, it got worse, but we made it!
It was after 9PM when we got to the hotel, and we were both pretty full from Sal’s still, so no real dinner tonight.
But I still needed my beer of the night, so I decided to head over to Russian River Brewing Company, which I had never visited before. Only a 15-minute walk from the hotel, not bad at all!
Name: Russian River Tasting Flight
Producer: Russian River Brewing Company
Alcohol content: Various
Bottle size: 2 oz. per taste
Purchased from: Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, California
Twenty-one different beers on draft today at Russian River. I had no idea what to do, but then I saw two guys outside with some impressive tasting boards, and they had a spare seat at their table…so I decided to join them!
The beers in my Full Sampler Set – which included all 21 beers they had available, for $22.00:
Aud Blonde – 4.5% Blonde Ale – Citrusy bitter. Quite tasty.
OVL Stout – 4.4% Dry Irish Stout – Dark roasted flavors. A little watery, but quite good.
STS Pils – 5.3% Pilsner – Nice pils. Hoppy.
Dribble Belt – 4.2% Hoppy Session Ale – Nice hoppy session ale. Really nice bitterness.
Hop 2 It – 5.8% Single Hop Brew – Smooth, fruity flavor. Decent bitterness.
Happy Hops – 5.8% American Pale Ale – Very hoppy. Green, grassy flavor.
Row 2, Hill 56 – 5.8% Pale Ale – 100% Simcoe hoppiness.
Blind Pig IPA – 6.25% IPA – Smooth hoppy. Slightly fruity.
Confirm Nor Deny – 7.7% American Dark Ale – Dark but very hoppy. Surprisingly good.
Pliny the Elder – 8.0% Double IPA – What can I say? It’s Pliny!
Shadow of a Doubt – 9.86% Imperial Porter – Wow. Dark cocoa really tasty. Hoppy.
Belgian Inspired Ales
Perdition – 6.1% Bierre de Sonoma – Quite an excellent Biere de Garde.
Redemption – 4.8% Belgian-inspired Single – Quite a nice blonde. Fruity and a wee bit bitter.
Damnation – 7.75% Golden Ale – Fruity with some hoppy bitterness.
Defenestration – 7.25% Hoppy Blonde Ale – Hoppy blonde. Dry. Quite good.
Rejection – 6.3% Black Ale – Broken hearted Valentine’s Day beer. Spiced. But more fruity.
Salvation – 9.0% Strong Dark Ale – Fruity and spicy. Pretty tasty.
Sanctification – 6.75% 100% Brett Fermented – Sour aroma. Fruity and sour flavor. Quite delicious.
Temptation – 7.5% Sour Bonde Ale – Sour blonde. Quite tasty. Ok. Being impressed with the sours here.
Supplication – 7.0% Sour Brown Ale – A beautiful sour base with rich flavors. I had a taste of a 6 year old version as well. WOW! Age this one. It gets better!!!
Consecration – 10.0% Sour Dark Ale – My lord. Raisiny aroma. Rich sour flavor. Wee bit sweet. A bit bitter. Excellent, but I do prefer supplication.
Hoppy California Ales, and Sour Belgian-inspired Ales. Definitely their forte! Their dark beers work when hoppy or sour, but no real heavy stouts or such here. I enjoyed every beer I had. I do wish I was able to stay a little longer to try some of their special beers they had in the back, such as more of the aged Supplication.
And as the evening was also the informal kick-off to the Ratebeer Best awards weekend, there were quite a lot of top-tier brewers from around the world present, and I would have loved to talk some more with them. Plus, I later heard that that mystery 22nd tap at the end of the line may have had a little pre-release of Pliny the Younger coming out of it…
But, I made it onto the last free shuttle provided by On Tap Beer Tours back to the Hyatt Vineyard Creek, where the awards were to be held tomorrow/ Courtyard by Marriott, where I was using some expiring points for our stay. A great tour service for those who wish to explore the region without needing to risk driving under the influence. And they had some Lagunitas A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale on draft on the shuttle, too!