Thursday, April 7, 2011

National Beer Day: What are you drinking?

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.”
-Todd Alström, Founder, BeerAdvocate
“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.”
-Sam Calagione, Founder and President, Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales
“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)!”
-Lee Chase, co-owner Blind Lady Ale House, Founder/Brewer Automatic Brewing Company
Lee Chase, nano-brew extraordinaire, boxer, lover.
BuckBean Brewing’s Very Noddy. They have it at Toronado, and I had to try it just because of the name. Pure awesomeness.”
-Misty Birchall, Owner, PubCakes
Why yes, I would love another one! Misty Birchall handing out her beer-y confections at theMission Valley Craft Beer Festival.
“Since I drink beer “professionally,” I focus on whatever beer I’m reviewing. Today that’s Lightning’s Thunderweizen Ale.”
-Peter Rowe, staff writer, San Diego Union Tribune
“A fresh batch of Avery Maharaja just hit San Diego and it’s one of my favorites. It’s easy to find right now and it’s best FRESH!”
-Jeff “Flash” Gordon, Founder,
“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,
“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…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, CEO, Stone Brewing Company
Greg Koch of Stone Brewing Company and Melani Gordon, founder of 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, Community Marketing Manager, Karl Strauss Brewing Company
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.”
-Arsalun Tafazoli, owner, Neighborhood Ale House
“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.”
-Mat Bates, Senior Radio Program Manager, Slacker Radio
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.”
-Jeff Hammett, Blogger, San Diego Beer Blog
Last but not least…
“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!”
-Amy T. Granite, Queen,
Sam Calagione and I at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, 2010.

  1. Wow Amy. You are a mad blogging scientist. If there was a beer blog off today – you win. Thank you so much for including us in this post. Truly honored. Truly honored to have my Greg Face tattoo while being photographed with Greg. Ha!
  2. You had me at “On…” I’ve fallen….Great read!….it’s great to see the faces in front of my beer googles! Keep this shit up…and you’ll have stalkers like Mel.
  3. Who doesn’t like to drink beers in their underwear? Great post! Hope to see you and the usual suspects at CityBeat on Sat.
  4. Cheers!! My name is Justin Smith, and I am the founder of National Beer Day. When I started this holiday almost 3 years ago, I had no idea it would get so big so fast. It’s good to see this important day in our history start to get the recognition it deserves. Thank you for helping spread the word about one of my favorite days of the year!
  5. Nicely done, Granite. My candidate would be Marron Acidifie, a collaboration ale between The Bruery and Cigar City Brewing that knocked my socks off at the #TakinOva Sunday Supper Club. Slightly sour, complex, roasty, toasty, and luscious. Now I’m off to see if I can get one of those genius Pubcakes shirts. WHAT?
  6. Dude, so jealous you got to hang out with Sam. That would be my BF’s ultimate.
    I am heading up to the bruery this weekend, and now hoping they have salt of the earth. That sounds so awesome.