Whoever decided to combine our favorite sweets with beer was a genius, and this week’s new Bay Area releases seem to agree. With rich, chocolate-y porters, milkshake IPAs and ales that sing of biscuits and honey, it’s a good week to have a sweet tooth. (Don’t worry classic IPA lovers, there’s lots of great stuff for you, too.)
Armistice Brewing – This Richmond brewery has proven in the past week that happy hour is the new teatime with its two newest releases. The Tea and Crumpets English golden ale, coming in at 5 percent alcohol, was brewed with actual crumpets, and splashed with Earl Grey tea at the end of fermentation. With notes of citrus and tea underneath the flavors of biscuits and honey, it belongs in a teacup almost as much as it belongs in your pint glass.
The 2nd Best Bitter is another beer fresh on the taps, brewed in a style they swear you’ve never heard of. This sessionable English best bitter is light-bodied with herbal undertones and mild bitterness, and also boasts a flavor profile reminiscent of toast and biscuits.
Novel Brewing – Two new IPAs rolled out of the Oakland based brewery this week, including the American IPA called Plot Line. At 6 percent alcohol, it is full-bodied and dry, with notes of citrus and pine coming from a hop blend including Centennial, Cascade and Summit.
The new double IPA, Double Grainbow, rings in at 8.3 percent alcohol and gives out flavors of pine and grapefruit hops deriving from CTZ, Citra and Centennial. In their own eloquent words, it also has a “malt bulletproof body that fortifies your belly like a WWII bomb shelter.”
Sonoma Springs Brewing – Hitting the taps up in Sonoma is a Milkshake IPA; a hazy-style beer made with lactose, peaches and vanilla beans. It is creamy from the lactose, sweet from the peaches and vanilla that co-mingled with the oat and wheat during fermentation, and slightly bitter from Simcoe, Mosaic and Citra hops.
Cellarmaker Brewing – Packing intensely rich flavor into an 8 percent alcohol beer, this SOMA brewery is now pumping out Best Fiends: a porter with aromas of freshly baked chocolate goods, cigar tobacco and malted milk ball. It uses high quality English malts, has no adjuncts added and comes with so much potency you might mistake it for an Imperial Stout.
Alpha Acid – The Belmont brewery just released a West Coast IPA called “Mas Lupulos” (More Hops), their spin of a very classic style. It uses Mosaic, Amarillo and Simcoe hops to create the familiar blend, as well as different types of yeast to add to the sharp and forward taste.