California: The End

Friday night was rainy in Southern California, which apparently doesn’t happen too often (go figure).  After I was done at the conference I decided to check out a store I had heard a lot about before, Bevmo.  Without further ado, here are the last beers I enjoyed while in California, with some crappy pictures due to the lighting in my room:

Firestone Walker DBA

Firestone Walker was one of the breweries I really wanted to try when on the West Coast.  Their Double Barrel Ale pours a nice reddish amber color with a small bit of white head.  The smell is lightly hopped with East Kent Goldings and has a good amount of caramel malt aroma.  The taste is full of caramel malt, a touch of toffee, a slight hop character, and some toasty base malt flavor.  Like all fine English beers, there is just enough carbonation to feel it prickle on your tongue and it has a light body to round things out.  At first taste I wasn’t pleased, but as I drank more I really began to like it.  4.5/5.0Firestone Walker Union Jack

Firestone Walker Union Jack had a really great crystal clear, golden color.  The aroma was dominated by Centennial hop character with a touch of pineapple.  The flavor is also controlled by my favorite of the C-hops, with a small amount of malt character to balance.  Good body with a lower than normal carbonation which I enjoy.  This tastes a lot like a drier version of Bell’s Two Hearted, one of my favorite American IPAs.  4.5/5.0Alesmith IPA

Despite what the picture shows, this beer looks almost identical to Union Jack.  The aroma is similar as well, but with a dash of Amarillo hops added in to the mix.  The beer is lightly carbonated on the palate, with very little malt and remaining dry…not too bitter.  4.0/5.0Gordon Biersch Pilsner

I had some time to kill when I got to the airport on Saturday at 9am, and there was a bar right when I exited the security area.  Gordon Biersch is primarily a successful chain of brewpubs, similar to Iron Hill in Pennsylvania and Delaware.  This beer was described to me simply as “Pilsner” even though GB brews both German and Bohemian interpretations of the style.

The color is dark straw/light gold with a nice white cap of foam.  The aroma has a distinctively lager characteristic with a sweet, grainy Pilsner malt smell.  There might just be a hint of spicy hops in the nose as well.  From the taste I determined one thing – this is either a terrible example of a German Pils, or a decent Czech Pils.  I am inclined to go with the latter.  Rich maltiness with a light bitterness and no hop character in the taste.  Finishes clean with a good level of carbonation.  Good morning beer.  3.5/5.0

Overall, my time in California was great and I tried several awesome beers.  I’d like to go back some time and hit up a few of the breweries and brewpubs.


One Response to “California: The End”

  1. It never rains in California, but girl, don’t they warn ya?
    It pours, man, it pours

    Glad you enjoyed the California brews but I’m surprised you didn’t bring your glass..

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