Sunday, November 4, 2012

Had a chance to stop by a relatively new brew pub, Elevation 66 in El Cerrito today. They were out of their mild stout, but lucky for me they had a more intense one on tap, "Old 66," an imperial stout, with a 9.5 percent ABV. That's more my speed. While I typically prefer rich, dry and oily stouts in the colder months, today's high 60s complimented this beverage's lighter texture despite the high ABV. It didn't feel heavy on the tongue at all. I was actually surprised at how refreshing this beer was. Had notes of coffee and dark chocolate, as to be expected, but also some interesting fruit notes as well. The owner told me they're aging some of this in barrel as well and should release it in 8 weeks or so -- would love to come back and try that.
They also had on the board a blood orange apple cider from Two Rivers. I had to try it. Came out looking like strawberry soda. This very light and dry, unexpected for a cider, and the apple notes weren't that dominant. Instead the blood orange and other citrus notes really shown through. The carbonation reminded me of soda, very effervescent, big bubbles, unlike the craft beer I usually drink. Not sure I could drink a whole glass of this, but it was interesting approach to cider.
Finally, I got a sample of their Rye Barrel Red. I don't typically go for this style of beer, but wanted to see how it turned out with some age on it. I really liked it -- there was some slight bing cherry notes in the glass, and the hops came through clean and bright. I'd definitely give this a second shot. Oh, and the food was excellent as well - had some smoky pork tacos:

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