On April 7th 1933, beer sales became legal in the United States again after the 13-year dry spell known as Prohibition. If you’re raising a glass today, pour a little out for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the man who granted back America’s beer drinking rights by repealing the Volstead Act. In doing so, 3.2% ABV beer could be produced, sold and consumed months before the 21st Amendment was ratified, which legalized booze altogether.
In honor of this pivotal day in history and to celebrate the flourishing craft beer movement in America 78 years later, I reached out to some of the industry’s finest with the simple question: “What is your beer-of-the-moment?”
“I was accused of being on a Jolly Pumpkin kick this week. Last night I enjoyed Jolly Pumpkin Maracaibo Especial on-draught paired with a Mahi Mahi Taco w/ green chili aioli, red cabbage salsa. It was … so … damn … good (said in my best Shatner inner voice). Tuesday was Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura on draught. I really dig their beers.”
“Tonight, I am drinking our Indian Brown Ale, and I put a bottle of SKA Brewery’s Toasters Ale in my fridge to have après dinner. Here’s to everyone across this country lifting pints from small, truly-indie craft breweries this evening! Cheers.”
“I have an issue with Red Poppy from Lost Abbey in San Marcos. While I was out of town for business (yes, the Sour Beer Symposium at Russian River followed by the Craft Brewers Conference is *all* business:), I returned to Blind Lady to realize that someone drank my keg of Red Poppy! We had Red Poppy on tap a few weeks before, and I was torn when it ran out…and super excited to get another keg. Well, I missed out on that second keg altogether. Lame. I wake up and go to bed cursing…the only thing that helps is Craftsman’s Honesty Ale (barrel-aged sour cherry)!”
“Salt of the Earth by The Bruery. I had it for the first time last weekend at The Bruery Provisions. One sip, and I headed over to the fridge and bought 4 bottles. Why? 2 words: truffle salt. This beer was heaven with my tri-tip at Sunday night’s BBQ.”
-Melani Gordon, Founder, TapHunter.com
“Definitely a Black IPA. I love their great hoppy aromas and flavors, combined by the roasty / chocolatey backnotes. No, I’m not choosing Black IPA because Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale is currently the #1 rated Black IPA on both BeerAdvocate.com andRateBeer.com…I’m choosing the style because it’s the first thing that comes to mind when asked the question ‘quick, what beer comes to mind when you think of the most interesting beer you’ve been enjoying lately.’ Any other response would have been dishonest.”
Greg Koch of Stone Brewing Company and Melani Gordon, founder of TapHunter.com at the East Village Block Party earlier this week.
“To be perfectly honest, I’ve been most impressed lately with simple, traditional beer styles that are brewed well. I had a really excellent kolsch at Hamilton’s Tavern on Saturday brewed by Iron Fist and I’m always a fan of our Pintail Pale Ale. Not to sound too cliché but sometimes less IS more. I like to see brewers master the basics before trying to imperialize the shit out of styles for the sake of being extreme.”
Ryan Ross loves drinking “simple, traditional beer styles” in his underwear.
“We tapped a keg of Allagash barrel-aged Odyssey on Monday night and it was gone by Tuesday afternoon. It’s a wheat beer with 10% ABV; a portion of it is aged in a stainless steel tank, and the other in oak barrels for 6 months, then it’s mixed. Usually I’m not a fan of experimental beers, but Rob Todd, in my opinion, is one of the best brewers in the country and he pulls it off.”
“Obviously, I’m a total homer when it comes to beer. I drink San Diego beer whenever possible, and spread the good word when I’m on the road. On the local tip, my default beer is Mission’s IPA- I always keep a few bombers in my beer fridge. Windmill Farms is always well stocked. I also love my adopted hometown of Reno…whenever I go back to visit I try to bring back some of Great Basin Brewing Co.’s Ichthyosaur IPA. The perfect post-snowboarding beer.”
Former local radio show host Mat Bates is an avid beer drinker, music aficionado, and overall popular San Diego dude. Photo courtesy Stephen Kallao.
“I’d have to say right now it’s Lost Abbey’s Red Poppy. It’s pricey, and not exactly easy to find, but damn it’s good. It’s full of cherry flavor with a bit of oak and a tongue biting tartness found in only the sourest of beers. It’s good out of the bottle but absolutely amazing on draft. Sadly it will be gone soon and we’ll have to wait another year for more.”
“I love sours around this time of year and through summer. My beer-of-the-moment is Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge. It’s a nicely balanced Flanders Red; just sweet enough with the perfect cherry-tart. I first had this beer at Blind Lady Ale House, but most recently (this week) at Neighborhood Ale House. Cheers beers!”