Yes! It’s that special time of year where you get to express the love you have for your significant other… or listen to Eric Cameron’s “All By Myself” in the fetal position – all alone.
Although either are somewhat common approaches to celebrating February 14, they don’t necessarily help the beer geek feel completely loved. Bombarded by pink hearts, chocolate gifts, and fancy dinners (and Eric Cameron), let me suggest to you for this Valentine’s Day the ultimate omega ending that will seal the deal for both of your happinesses:
BAY AREA BREWERIES
Let’s start off with a brewery that has been impressing people within the beer industry, as well as their Inner Sunset neighbors. Kim Sturdavant has been making some excellent beers and the Pain Au Chocolat is no exception. This is a Belgian milk brown ale with chocolate. Sweet, milk chocolate bread! Talk about a luxurious gift to your beer-lovin’ sweetie pie.
Photo: Social Kitchen
Cellarmaker Brewing – Mad Nibs
Haven’t we heard enough of these guys already? Nope, still not enough and they keep going! This rich and decadent double milk stout is aged on vanilla beans and TCHO cocoa nibs! This beer doubly enhances what we know of a sweet & full-bodied milk stout into an 8.1 percent alcohol liquid seduction. Please, ma’am, may I have some more?
Photo: Chelle13e Untappd
First time I took a whiff of this beer, I laughed out of joy and disbelief because it smelled exactly like s’mores. This stout is brewed with actual graham crackers, chocolate malt, and natural toasted marshmallow flavoring. It’s a s’more beer! If you’re the outdoorsy type, take your honey on a hike and spend a romantic evening in front of a campfire with this delicious stout.
Photo: High Water Brewing Co.
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. – Eclipse Imperial Stout (aged in Four Roses barrels)
The Eclipse series is the most popular and highly-sought after beers from FiftyFifty. Their well-executed bourbon barrel-aged stouts are impeccable. Although not a Valentine’s Day beer, per se, the Four Roses barrel-aged Eclipse would be the most lovely of gestures to give to him, her, or to yourself along with a batch of roses (that would be kinda weird to give yourself flowers… but whatever you’re into. It’s San Francisco!). Don’t forget the red wax on the tip!
Photo: Flickr (adamjackson1984)
Non-BAY AREA BREWERIES within distribution
Some people are already sweet enough that they don’t need all this chocolate and dessert beer goodness. If you’re stuck in this holiday conundrum, then this is your Valentine’s beer. A malty amber ale with that San Diego hoppiness smoothen out that sweet edge.
Anchorage Brewing Co. – Love Buzz
Love Buzz is the first beer that come to mind when I think of Valentine’s Day beers (if I ever do). If you are into funky saisons with elegance yet a sour tinge, you need to do yourself a favor and buy this gorgeous beer. I try to be objective in my reviews but I will openly say that, to this day, this is on my top five favorite beers. Brewed with rose hips, peppercorn, orange peel, Citra hops, and aged in Pinot Noir barrels. How can you not fall in love with this beer? Drink it fresh to experience the dance on your taste buds between the rose hip fragrance and the beer.
Photo: Winton White
The Commons Brewery – Brotherly Love
We’re on to the big, burly & dark Belgians now. This brewery is based in Portland, the city of beer, focusing mainly on Belgian-styles from light saisons to this wonderful brew. Brotherly Love is an excellent beer that is 10 percent alcohol, aged in second used bourbon barrels with sour cherries and cocoa nibs. This brother has heavy molasses, cinnamon, char, dark cherries and dark chocolate notes that beckons to be shared with your honey here in San Francisco.
Photo: The Commons Brewery
Editor’s note: Winton White is an employee of Anchor Brewing Co.