While enjoying this deceptively warm winter in California, we are often torn on what to drink; lighter beers to accompany the warmer days or darker suds to keep warm during the colder evenings? Luckily, many beers traverse between these two styles, making them enjoyable at any time of day or year. The following are a few examples of what I am drinking during these winter months.
Hailing from Oscar Blues Brewing Bompany in Longmont, Colorado “Mama’s Little Yella Pils” ($9.99/6 pack) is a beer close to my heart, as I consider it one of the best examples of an American made Pilsner. Light hops impart a slightly heavier body, notes of grassy yeast throughout, finishing crisp and refreshing. This is a very enjoyable and dangerously drinkable beer. It would pair well with more aggressively flavored cuisine such as Indian or Thai, offering a restoring wash over your palette.
For all the hop-heads we take a look at “Blue House IPA” ($6.99) from El Segundo Brewing from Los Angeles. This beer does a beautiful job showcasing the marriage between malts and hops. Upon the first sip your palette is assaulted by dank, soapy hops that enforce tropical fruit characteristics. Then, taking a bit of a detour from the typical west coast “hop bomb”, resinous and sticky malts come into play. The malts give a sweet and chewy texture to accompany the bitter and floral hops. This is a very well crafted and balanced beer. I would pair this beer with white meat or fish, as the heavier body will compliment the softer flavor notes from the food.
For a darker imbibing we stay local and enjoy San Francisco’s Speakeasy Brewing’s “Black Hand” ($5.99). This is a milk stout (a stout with lactose added to it), presenting notes of dusted chocolate up front, a creamy yet substantial body, roasted malts give it a pleasant nuttiness, all making for a delicious and refreshing milk stout. The roasted and creamy qualities of this beer would compliment more decadent foods, such as donuts or chocolate covered almonds.
Sit back and enjoy this weather we are having, as each day brings a new surprise, just as many of these beers do.
Kirill C., Beltramo’s Beer Staff