Beers I Have Known — 3 Sheeps Brewing Fresh Coast

fresh coast

This series of posts is dedicated to the many, many six packs, pony kegs and pints that have sauntered into my life at one point or another.

As summer slowly wobbles to its inevitable topple and stillness, I’ve been thinking of my happy discoveries from the past few months, especially those beers that seemed to taste especially good when offering myself a reward for working up a sweat in the out of doors. I have a few beautiful standbys that fulfill that particular hankering, but there’s always room for a few more.

That brings me to Fresh Coast, billed as a “juicy pale ale” by the fine people at 3 Sheeps Brewing, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. It is what it claims to be, delivering one of those bursts of refreshment that can set the tongue and soul reeling with equal rapture. With cunning undercurrents of complexity, the beer adheres to the compelling tenet of drinkability.

I’m don’t mean to imply that this beer can only be enjoyed in the summer sun, but I know when the calendar circles around to this season again, my craving for it is going to fiercely reassert itself.

 

 

Beers I Have Known — Cellarmaker Brewing Co. Turok: Mosaic Hunter

turok

This series of posts is dedicated to the many, many six packs, pony kegs and pints that have sauntered into my life at one point or another.

It has gotten extremely difficult to be a beer connoisseur — or beer snob, if you prefer — in this era of constantly proliferating craft breweries. In a metropolitan area of any significance, there are likely to be a dozen craft brewers vying for attention, and a mere visitor is mightily challenged to discern the local heroes from the disasters keeping their business afloat solely on the untainted palates of the hapless souls who have been shielded from all warnings. For this reason, I am always grateful for a guide.

Left to my own wobbly devices, I may or may not have found my way to Cellarmaker Brewing Co. on my current visit to San Francisco. Regardless, the urging of a trusted drinking buddy sat me on one of their stools tonight, and I am grateful for the intervention. The lack of personal accomplishment in finding my way there doesn’t bother me. I managed to order a Turok: Mosaic Hunter, a delicious IPA, without eagerly announcing to all within range that I knew all about the comic book to which the oddball name referred. That restraint was achievement enough for one evening.

 

Beers I Have Known: Stevens Point Brewery Smiley Blue Pils

This series of posts is dedicated to the many, many six packs, pony kegs and pints that have sauntered into my life at one point or another.

Smiley

I have the more treasured of places set aside in my heart for the Central Wisconsin brewery that provided a sudsy crutch for me during my college years, which sends me back for their wares again and again. We’re a long way from the days when Point Special was only joined occasionally by its chunky cohort, Point Bock. Now the array of side offerings from Stevens Point Brewery can be a little dizzying, especially for those, like me, who tends to happily see the classic blue bullets — the nickname for the flagship beer because of its bright blue can — as a fine default. It may not be a fancy beer, but sometimes it’s the only beer I need.

Over the weekend, my attempt to properly stock a friend’s refrigerator as an expression of gratitude gave me cause to sample most of the rest of the brews offered by Stevens Point Brewery with regularity. And I was reminded that, while they are not admittedly not crafted with equal deftness, some of the spinoffs are pure joy in a glass themselves.

I probably wouldn’t slide a glass of Smiley Blue, Stevens Point Brewery’s Czech pilsner, across the table to a refined beer connoisseur and expect them to be dazzled. For me, though, I’ll gladly down a couple of these, feeling smitten the whole time. Crisp and flavorful, with a hint of the distinctive hoppy funk that marks it as a Point, having a icy cold Smiley Blue invariably prompts me to my own version of the expression that’s right there in the name.

Beers I Have Known: Toppling Goliath King Sue

This series of posts is dedicated to the many, many six packs, pony kegs and pints that have sauntered into my life at one point or another.

king sue

I try not to get too caught up in the chase for beers that are deliberately hard to come but, but there are exceptions. Since returning to the Upper Midwest, my household has gone all in on Toppling Goliath, the Iowa-based craft brewer routinely included on lists that try to wrangle the sprawling beer community into some summation of “the best.”

Previously, I wrote about the good fortune that led to our introduction to the brewery via the then-vexingly-elusive pseudoSue. Today, that beer’s complicated cousin — the double IPA called King Sue — landed in stores in the college town I call home. There’s a rule in this house about King Sue: When it it near, we seek it out. After extra miles on the afternoon commute — and more stops than I care to admit — we have a few tantalizing bottles chilling in the beer fridge.

I still feel a little silly for bounding around so fervently when there are plenty of other fine, fine beverages on premises. That sense of sheepishness will fade, though, as soon as I get to pop off the first bottle cap.

Previous entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Beers I Have Known” tag.

Beers I Have Known: Asheville Brewing Company Perfect Day IPA

This series of posts is dedicated to the many, many six packs, pony kegs and pints that have sauntered into my life at one point or another.

perfect day

I probably haven’t given quite enough credit to Asheville for giving me back the pleasure of beer. Over fifteen years ago, I moved from Wisconsin — where beer is practically dropped into the bassinets of hospital maternity wards — to Florida. The Sunshine State had many welcome compensations, led by an escape from abusive blizzards. Good beer — merely palatable beer, even — was dreadfully difficult to come by, though.

I had all but given up on having a well-stocked fridge when I moved to the lovely mountain town on the western side of North Carolina. But when I asked my new fellow citizens about the must-visit places as I became acquainted with Asheville, the upstart craft breweries were mentioned over and over again. Having been to a brew pub or two, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. I did not.

I had occasional to walk those highly sloped streets again in recent days, and the beer scene has only grown, itself a remarkable occurrence since it already seemed to have been closing in on the saturation point when I moved away just two not-so-short years ago. I wish I could have explored more, and a woozy tourist tour is undoubtedly in my future. Instead, I mostly stuck with mainstays, those beers I knew would make me happy, even as the took a meat tenderizer to my strained liver.

That glass of Perfect Day IPA, one of the gems of Asheville Brewing Company, was just as good as I expected it to be. Thanks again to my favorite cesspool of sin.

Beers I Have Known: Heater Allen Pils

This series of posts is dedicated to the many, many six packs, pony kegs and pints that have sauntered into my life at one point or another.

helles

Dear Portland,

Back in the earliest years of the Beer City USA online voting competition, I saw you as a disliked rival to my modest little mountain town. I was living in Asheville, North Carolina, which regularly took the top spot in the competition, much to, as we were made to understand, the chagrin of residents of Oregon’s most populous city.  At the time, I took some puffed up local pride in our small-ish city dominance of the major metropolis a couple thousand miles to the northwest, no matter how resolutely funky that metropolis was.

Now that I’ve spent a few days in your happy burg, with not only fine establishments within the city limits but a bevy of craft brewers whose wares rumble into local purveyors of adult beverages, I fully understand your agitation.

I’m still proud of Asheville and long for the beers made there, but I sincerely apologize for my prideful brattiness. Your beers are fantastic, from the first I drank — the Heater Allen Pils pictured above — to the cool, refreshing beverage that sits before me as I type my way through my airport wait.

Sincerely,

A Fan

 

Previous entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Beers I Have Known” tag.