I haven’t done a beer review/recommendation post recently, but a couple of things have really lit my fire in the last couple weeks and they are mostly seasonal, so pretty time sensitive if you want to enjoy them as well. Rating system is based on 5 stars and mirrors what I rate the beer on Untappd.
Citra Fresh Hop Phaedrus – Culmination Brewing (4.75 stars): Holy Cow! If you like citrus hops (like I do) this is the beer for you. Super strong flavors of orange and grapefruit from the Citra, not overly bitter, very smooth and easy drinking. Get this one while you can! (6.9% ABV, 65 IBU)
Fresh Hop Fresh Prince of Ales – Gilgamesh Brewing (4.25 stars): Really good fresh hop beer. Bursting with aroma and strong hop flavor without being overly bitter. (6.3% ABV, 88 IBU).
Mosaic Me Crazy – Two Kilts Brewing (4.5 stars): Another citrus bomb, if that’s what you’re into. Sometimes hops can come across as “orange” or “grapefruit” or “lemon”, and sometimes just generic “citrus”, but that’s still OK. It’s probably a blend of everything so it doesn’t stick out as one specifically but you know it’s citrus when you get it. (9.6% ABV, 90 IBU).
Grand Mimosa – Ciderboys Cider (Wisconsin) (4.75 stars): Ok, so this is a really unique and interesting cider. This is a blend of tart red apples and orange juice. It’s fairly sweet (for a cider) and it legit tastes like a mimosa. Essentially, fizzy alcoholic orange juice, but it’s really good. I’d imagine this is pretty hard to find in the PNW, but it’s currently on tap (or was) at Valley Growlers in Happy Valley. (5.0% ABV)
2009 Bourbon County Stout – Goose Island Brewing (4.75 stars): Yes, this is cheating. This is less seasonal and more “if you can find it” It helps to have friends who love to share even when that means popping open something really rare. What I would say about this, is if you can get a hold of any year I would do it. Yeah, yeah I know they are owned by the big boys now. This 2009 was as good as the fresh 2014 I tasted on tap at the release party last year. This beer holds up and ages well. You can stash this one away for a special occasion and it won’t dissapoint. (13% ABV, 60 IBU).
Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen – Privatbrauerei Ayinger, Germany (4.5 stars): It’s that time of year, Oktoberfest! If you can get this beer fresh I would highly recommend it. It’s a crisp, malty lager in traditional German style. I had it on draft at the Oktoberfest in Mt. Angel, Oregon and it was really nice. In fact, all the German beer I had there was on point. This is just the one I would recommend to others. (5.8% ABV, 25 IBU)
My last recommendation is actually for a book. and a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails by Wayne Curtis. My wife bought it for me since I love rum and it looked interesting and it’s a really good read. He basically traces rum through the path of North American history, starting with the Spanish Conquistadors and the Pirates all the way up to modern day, using rum and rum cocktails that were popular at those time periods as the centerpieces. It doesn’t get too in depth with the history stuff but dips it’s toe in just enough for a history buff like me. He doesn’t shy away from “hard”
topics like slavery and war and how those shaped thirsts and appetites of those time periods. From Pirates to Tiki Bars to Mojitos, this book covers it all and it tells a really good story. This book made me want rum (bought a bottle of Bacardi Gold) and also the fixings for a good bar like bitters, mixers etc. It also makes me really interested to delve into the world of the super premium rums which are aged for 20+ years intended to be sipped neat like whiskey. Dare to dream. I’m sure they are out of my price range, but the book is not a bad place to start!