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Peter LaFrance

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Taste of... Brew Free of Die IPA

A taste of Brew Free of Die IPA

21st Amendment Brewery
563 2nd St
San Francisco, California 94107
(415) 369-0900

Preface: This brew was sent to me as part of a promotional plan by 21st Amendment Brewery that involved an online tasting. These notes have not been influenced by reading promotional material or any other review of this brew.

I am including this preface to inform the reader of any and all circumstances that might be conceived of a creating a biased review or a conflict of interest regarding the choice of words used in the following review. I could go on and on with semi-legal jargon but I guess you will just have to trust me eh?

The following are my tasting notes:

Appearance: This is a golden bronze brew with not overpowering carbonation. It is topped with a fairly dense golden tan rocky head of small to medium-size bubbles.

Aroma: The first impression is a clean clear combination of sweet malt and hops. A second impression brings more of the malts out. A third lingering impression introduces a bit of the hops but still maintains a rich malty aroma.

Mouth feel: Here is a medium bodied beer that gets a little help in building its body from the mild carbonation.

Flavor: After the first chilly refreshing sensation, the sweet malt flavors are the first flavors followed by a relatively light hop bitterness. The second sensation continues with the rich roasted malt flavor while the hops bitterness is left fighting for recognition. The third sip introduces a slight mineral sensation that ties together the aggressive malt and a less than aggressive hop bitterness.

Finish: The finish is nonaggressive, concentrating more on the malt than the hops but allowing the hops a very pleasant exit.

Comments: This is a surprisingly light IPA that seems to fit all summer season because it lacks the aggressive characteristics hop flavors that normally make this a cool weather beer. Should you be invited to a beach party this summer it would do you no harm to take a case of the spear along the matter what food is served. I feel it is one of the most refreshing IPAs I've ever tasted.

The Brewery:

What others say:



Saturday, March 5, 2011

Some tail and Brown Shugga

The dish features a cut of meat that is not user friendly in its complexity. That is to say, there are many bones to chew here. This is a good thing if the long and slow cooking included spices and peppers that leave you simmering, not scorched; heat that leaves you wanting more. The chunks of sweet potato, not yam, add richness to the sauce and the dish is presented on a bed of kale. The sweet flavors of the meat, the simmer of the spices, richness of the potato and the bitter kale are a complex but highly entertaining combination of flavors.

The beverage most suited to enhancing the flavors of the dish in concert, and showing off a bit itself was an obvious choice of the barman and myself… Brown Shugga from Lagunitis Brewing Company.

Brown Shugga offers a lush rich roasted, almost “brown sugar” base flavor with only a touch of tang from the bittering hops made even toastier by about 9% alcohol by volume. These flavors complement and refresh the sweet and spice of the dish. The refreshing cool brew, rich and warming at the same time meets the luscious heat of the dish and good things happen. The relatively high alcohol content meets the simmering peppers and both are rendered too tame for safety. Distracted by the selection of tap handles I never got to order a second serving. I would have…