You can almost read your future
in the resinous hop-oil haze.
There seems to be a consensus view
on Summit hops, one of the newer varieties of high-alpha humulus lupus
to hit the American craft brewing scene, and one that the folks over at Drake's Brewing in San Leandro aim to explore more thoroughly
, along with the help of fifteen of their closest brewing friends. And while we probably won't be making it down for the July 8, "one hop sixteen ways" tasting, we did get to take one specimen for a drive around the park (literally) when we took a keg of Iron Springs'
Bay Area Summit Ale to a typically sub-arctic 4th of July
hullaballoo in Golden Gate Park yesterday. Whereas the rest of the country looks for the lightest and most easily thirst-quenching ales for a mid-summer celebration such as Independence Day, we here in San Francisco seek out something strong, rich, and warming, to stave off the frost hidden in the folds of the summer sea's ferocious foggy winds. Happily, this beer proved to be a welcome accompaniment to a wonderfully typical July bbq.
San Francisco's world-famous
July 4th fireworks display
It being the first such event in years
where we had no keg of our own with which to supply the thirsty crowds (I know, I'm as shocked as you!), we were lucky enough to be able to grab said keg o' B.A. Summit on the way into the city, which also offered up an opportunity to preview next weekend's tasting experience. Against such challenging pairings as cheesy elk sausage, forever-and-a-day-marinated chipotle pork tenderloin, and leek and veal weisswurst
, this bold, hop-driven E.S.B.I.P.A. (Extra Special Bitter India Pale Ale) held its own, the bracing bitterness cutting cleanly through the smoke to refresh the palate with a wickedly piney, citrusey finish. [Someone, I won't say who, remarked on the "herbal" qualities of the Summit hop aroma. So yes, you could fairly enough add "fat bud" to that list.]
Oh, the secrets within!
Many thanks to Mr. Altman
(not to be confused with the guy who wrote the lyrics to the theme song from M*A*S*H)for making this available for our preview, and to a fine standing at next week's Summit Summit
. Stop by the pub soon to find this on tap as well as his new Czechered Past (Bounced Czech? Czech's In The Mail? Lemme Czech?) Pilsner, also on draught, maybe more appropriate for the Fairfax version of summer than the one down by the water.