Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Brew Hopping US Style

Getting decent ale in the States is not as difficult as it once was now that craft brewing has become so popular. Every major town and city appears to have it's own brewhouse and these are generally speaking the place for a night out in preference to the bloody awful diner chains.

A couple (one in San Diego & the other in Duluth) were sampled on our latest trip and both provided excellent beer, food and hospitality. A comprehensive range of house ale was on offer, but jumping in about halfway down the menu was the best tactic. The weaker so called European styles, ranging between 3.5% & 5.5%, weren't really worth bothering with as the very cold temperature at which they were served tended to kill any flavour.

However for fans of beer that's been "hopped to death" (like me*), these two breweries had plenty to recommend them. From Coronado it was the 7% Island IPA that got the vote and several pitchers were greedily slimmed. Fitger's of Duluth had a similar strength IPA called El Nino with no fewer than six hop varieties used, and it was this one that got the nod as beer of the fortnight. In fact probably more of a reason to go back there than any outside chance of seeing Boreal Owl!!
Many thanks to Lori for recommending and taking us to Coronado and to Mike for showing us where Fitger's was (even though he couldn't stand the stuff!).

* No I've not been hopped to death!!