San Francisco Beer Week was happily invaded on Fat Tuesday by beers from the East.
Dogfish Head from Delaware burst into Noc Noc and The Sycamore with a volley of its off-centered ales for off-centered people. Portland, Maine-based Allagash Brewing, meanwhile, made its own foray into Beer Week at Pi Bar. And Unibroue and Dieu du Ciel introduced a taste of Eastern Canada, along with traditional poutine, to Rosamunde in the Mission.
Such incursions during Beer Week are to be expected. Although beers from East of the Rockies are not by any stretch of the imagination local, they are widely available in the Bay Area and are typically prized by beer drinkers. Who hasn’t enjoyed Allagash White or Curieux, or Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA and Palo Santo Marron?
Moreover, the distributors made available beers that we don’t typically see. Among the more unusual offerings from Dogfish Head were 120-Minute IPA, Birra Etrusca Bronze, Immort Ale, Noble Rot, Chicory Stout, Olde School Barleywine, Positive Contact, Urkontinent, and two of my favorite homages to musicians: Hellhound on My Ale, an Imperial IPA tribute to bluesman Robert Johnson, and Bitches Brew, an Imperial Stout that celebrates Miles Davis’ iconic album of the same name.
For its part, Allagash resurrected its sublime wild ale Avance, which beer site Beeradvocate has listed as “no longer available.” Fortunately, rumors of its demise appear to have been exaggerated. Avance is like strawberry preserves in a glass, but without the overpowering sweetness.
Also making an appearance locally was the legendary and formidable Bourbon County Stout from Goose Island Brewing in Chicago. So far, at least, Goose Island’s acquisition by mega distributor InBev does not seem to have diminished the quality of the beers.
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