In solidarity with government workers shutout from their jobs, this week’s edition of Five Beers to Know is being produced with minimum effort. I’m sure this empty symbolic gesture will get the ball rolling on negotiations (hopefully a big, Temple of Doom-style ball sent in the general direction of the White House).
Just kidding (kinda). In this week’s edition of Five Beers to Know, we are focusing solely on five new collaboration beers that will be released during the 11th Annual San Francisco Beer Week Opening Gala, hosted by the San Francisco Bay Area Brewers Guild, on Feb. 1. And get this: All of the beers will also be available in packaged form too. No small feat in the shutdown era.
“While it’s far from the most significant effect of the federal shutdown, when the government approval of beer labels is halted, California breweries are prevented from distributing new cans or bottles out of state. Likewise, the fate of new beers coming in from outside states is placed in limbo,” said Joanne Marino, Executive Director of the Bay Area Brewers Guild. “However, these five audacious local collaboration beers, as with most other California-only releases, are exempt from federal label requirements when purchased and poured in state, so all five will be on tap at the Opening Gala and available at various SF Beer Week events, shutdown or no shutdown.”
All of the beer recipes below included fresh California-grown malts donated by Admiral Maltings, the state’s only maltery and one of the nation’s few traditional floor-malting facilities (which you can read all about right here). These five special beers will be accompanied by scores of new releases and additional un-official collaboration brews — 125 independent craft breweries presenting over 300 beers. Tickets for the SF Beer Week Opening Gala are available in advance right here.
Enough yacking, here are your five beers to know this week. Send your own new beers into [email protected] for possible inclusion after our wall gets built.
Fruit of the Dragon
Brewed by 21st Amendment Brewery in San Leandro, CA, Fruit of the Dragon represents the beer design thinking of the Bay Area Brewers Guild’s East Bay brewers. Starting with Admiral Pilsner malt, incorporating honey and Dragon Fruit, this ale was bittered lightly with Warrior hops. It was then deftly dry hopped with Calypso, El Dorado and Lemon Drop hops. 5.9% ABV, 45 IBUs
North of the Wall
White Brut IPA
Produced at Bear Republic Brewing Co. in Cloverdale, CA, this collaboration pulled together the Bay Area Brewers Guild’s North Bay brewers to create a mash-up IPA. North of the Wall unites the best components of the juicy and brut IPA flavors with a hint of Belgian Wit. Created with blended yeast strains and local Admiral malt, its Citra, Mosaic, Galaxy, Hull Melon and Hallertau Blanc hops provide a big pop with full fruit flavors on a dry finish. 6.5%, 80 IBUs
Valley of the Dragons
Kveik Double IPA
This collaboration between the Bay Area Brewers Guild’s Silicon Valley brewers was brewed by Strike Brewing Co. in its San Jose, CA, facility. Valley of the Dragons features Patwin Wheat, Admiral Malting’s first ever wheat malt, and is fermented with a Kveik yeast strain isolated from a traditional Norwegian farmstead. Unique Kveik yeast esters, combined with a monstrous dry hop of Slovenian Dragon hops, create wonderful flavors of cantaloupe, passion fruit, and citrus. 8% ABV, 30 IBUs
At Half Moon Bay Brewing Co., on the coast in Half Moon Bay, CA, the Bay Area Brewers Guild’s Coast brewers conspired to create a Kölsch Style ale brewed with Admiral Pilsner Malt, then colored outside the lines by finishing with Hallertau Blanc and Galaxy hops and a touch of aromatic lime leaves. 5.4% ABV, 30 IBUs
This brainchild of the Bay Area Brewers Guild members within the city limits of San Francisco was executed at the production facilities of Fort Point Beer Co. Farallon was designed to be lightly tart with a bone-dry finish and the green aromas of freshly cut pineapple fields. The beer is named for the remote barren islands that provide a bird sanctuary outside the Golden Gate, a real place dragons might enjoy. 6.6% ABV