A couple of unique California beers….

Ok, a few beers back here in San Jose.  I have to admit, back east I was able to find a huge variety of cool new styles and things to enjoy…back here I’m kind of in the land of IPAs. So, to keep it interesting I decided to look for something smaller batch or unique. Lucky me, I found a few!  One IPA and one Belgian Pale Ale! #winning

Hermitage Brewery – Ale of the Imp

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Presentation:  Really nice orange color with a decent head, not overwhelming but looks pretty good.  Very nice scent with a decent orange kind of smell.  Not very earthy which is great, personally I’m not a huge fan of the earthy grass flavored IPA so color me happy when the citrus pops.

Style: Imperial IPA

Brewery: Hermitage Brewery

ABV: 8%

Method: Standard IPA glass

Overall taste: Ok, so I really liked this beer.  Great taste, very light and easy to drink.  Here’s the thing, it’s 99.9 IBU (International Bitterness Units) which means it’s REALLY bitter.  If you like that kind of thing (I do) it basically just wrecks your palate with flavor.  YES!

Recommended drinking location:  You can drink this anytime, anywhere really.  Good summer beer and good with a burger.

Ideal consumption amount:  You can drink a couple of these for sure….don’t be shy.

Similar Beers:  Very similar to Stone Ruination which they’ve discontinued and will do limited releases but this is a pretty unique style that I think is pretty unappreciated.

Balast Point – Homework Series Batch #5

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Presentation:  First, I’m a HUGE fan of the Belgian Pale Ale.  Generally a really nice level of hop, not too much but IBU which makes it very easy to drink.  This was another really beautiful beer.  Poured well out of the bottle with a very light foamy head on it.  What I really love about this beer is that it’s from the Ballast Point Homework series so it won the Ballast Point employee home brew series and everyone loves a winner.

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Brewery: Balast Point (a Suds of Liberty favorite)

ABV: 6.8%

Method: 22oz Beer Glass

Overall taste: Super smooth and easy flowing flavor here.  It’s only got 39 IBUs so it’s not to bitter but for a Belgian Pale Ale it’s the right amount of hop.  One thing I like about this style and this beer in particular is the flowery, hoppy flavor that comes though in the aftertaste.

Recommended drinking location:  Two places I’d recommend.  First, in a pub or bar….great volume drinking beer but sadly,  don’t think you can get this on draft.  So, in lieu of a bar…..drink this one outside at a BBQ or concert

Ideal consumption amount:  Until you’re feeling groovy

Similar Beers:  So, the Avery Karma is pretty similar.  Beer Advocate compares it to Blue Moon but I don’t see that comparison.  Another good one.

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