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Old 09-10-2009, 02:11 AM   #1
jonalexdeval
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Default odd or original west coast breweries

I was looking at the dogfish head website just now:

The Brews | Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales

and was lamenting the fact that I could not get any of their rare beers since I am here on the West coast (CA). Does anyone have any favorite micro breweries here in the West that specialize in rare or odd beers... fruits, berliner weisses, revivals of endangered european styles, etc.?

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Old 09-10-2009, 05:21 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonalexdeval View Post
I was looking at the dogfish head website just now:

The Brews | Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales

and was lamenting the fact that I could not get any of their rare beers since I am here on the West coast (CA). Does anyone have any favorite micro breweries here in the West that specialize in rare or odd beers... fruits, berliner weisses, revivals of endangered european styles, etc.?
You can get some DFH out here, no problem. Not all of their stuff makes it, but enough that you can get a good idea of what they do. 60 and 90 minute, Midas Touch, Palo Santo Marron, raison D'Etre, Black and Blue, Red and White, I've seen Fort out here, and the rest are an easy trade away.

As for local stuff... There's a ton. It all just depends on what you're looking for. the Bruery makes a Berliner Weisse that is really good. They also make a ton of interesting other beer, and just put out their Autumn Maple which is a beer made with yams. Russian River makes great sour beers, and if you like big beer flavor with fruit, you should buy a bottle of Consecration. That beer is insane. "Rare" is also a term that means little to me. I would be more concerned with "exceptional", because 120 Minute IPA is "rare" but not great. I'd be happier with a bottle of Speedway Stout, Ballast Point's Sculpin IPA (which is limited release I guess), and many others.

Not a lot of breweries do odd recreations of ancient beer, and there's a reason for that. They're novel, but not very good.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Where in CA are you? Maybe I can help further.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:22 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I'm in Oakland. I'm sure there's some good retail beer stores around here, I just haven't gotten around to investigating it extensively. I like trying "different" things. I recently had my first braggot and cysers at a local meadery/brewery, which I liked. I'm just tired of the pale ale/stout/porter/amber/etc. routine that seems so common to craft breweries in the US. I like the Belgians, but they're a little heavy and sweet. I love Bavarian hefes, but there's only so many I can get my hands on.

I did just find some festina peche (DFH) at the local BevMo. I'm getting to the point where I'd rather spend more even for less if it means quality. The DFH Fort and Pangea caught my eye. I'll check those others out that you mentioned.

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Old 09-11-2009, 12:51 AM   #4
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Are you nuts? You have access to Russian River and Lost Abbey.

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Old 09-11-2009, 01:36 AM   #5
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Are you nuts? You have access to Russian River and Lost Abbey.
I'm not a Lost Abbey fan, but Russian River is sooooo great.

Edit: I'd still look into Lost Abbey. i am in the minority here.
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:36 AM   #6
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haha... thanks. Yeah, I've spent most of my time looking for european imports. I've kinda been an anti-american beer snob so far but I want to expand my horizons.

I've had Pliny the Elder on draft... was actually a bit underwhelmed for some reason. I should check out some of their others though judging by their website. Lost Abbey is of course mega-popular in the local pubs here. But see, here again, I've been a little underwhelmed. Maybe I've just been taking these local breweries for granted, not sure. I like the tangerine... probably my favorite. Great White's not bad. Downtown Brown is like EVERYONE'S staple dark ale in the bay area... not too bad. 8-ball stout is average. Raspberry brown is pretty good I'll admit. I haven't had the others.

Maybe I'm asking for too much? I just drank my DFH festina peche and I think that's more along the lines I'm talking about. Granted, it's nothing SUPER special, but at least it's different from the routine styles... you know, throw a little citrus in the hefe, a little berry in the brown, choco in the stout. West coast ales seem so heavy. Yeah, I'm very picky... that's why I went to euro beers like franziskaner (my fav).... hehe

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Old 09-11-2009, 03:07 AM   #7
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Can't really say where to get beers out your way, but can chime in on some DFH. I think my problem is that I over-anticipate every DFH I get a hold of. Many of their brews are better classified as malt beverages than beer (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). The Pangea is excellent along with the Theobroma. I could leave the Sah-tea (and I really wanted to be a viking) and chateau jiahu behind. I think I just love their approach to beer so much that I can't wait to try everything I see.

A friend of mine was just telling me the other day about some bar around here that has several gruit beers available... I can't wait!

I'm not sure how trades work, but would be open to finding out.

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Old 09-11-2009, 03:38 PM   #8
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If you're underwhelmed by Pliny and your favorite beer is Franziskaner, I'd say you and I are beer worlds apart. Look into the RR sours and see if that's unusual enough for you. I think fetina peche is kind of boring, but I don't like most fruit beers.

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Old 09-11-2009, 03:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizzlybrew View Post
A friend of mine was just telling me the other day about some bar around here that has several gruit beers available... I can't wait!
Assuming you are in Douglasville, PA, care to name the bar?


I think most major pockets of the country have their own little niche breweries, some distribute, some don't. Of the ones that distribute, they never distribute, they never send all of the offerings. I know DFH is on the west coast, because I have seen some of the more broadly available beers at BevMo, but you guys don't seem to get some of the more small, crafty brews they have. I know Theambora and Pangea will not make it there. But at the same time, we only seem to get like 25% of Bear republic, Green Flash and Pizza Port out here. I think I finally started seeing kegs of The Breuery's offerings in the bars out here, they are CA based as well. I have read good things about this place.
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:57 PM   #10
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You need to get out more...

Even the most established micro in your town has rare-exceptional beers:
Anchor Our Barrel Ale
Anchor Our Barrel Ale - Anchor Brewing Company - BeerAdvocate

Go to the Trappist.
Get on the Bart and hit Toronado & City Beer

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