Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Deschutes The Abyss coming to City Beer, Fantome to Berkeley

By William Brand
Wednesday, January 16th, 2008 at 6:25 pm in Uncategorized.

I’ve written a lot about beer events recently, including the goodbye/hello party tonight at 7 p.m. (Jan. 16, 2008) at Schooner’s Grille & Brewery in Antioch – the place has been sold. But for those of us who are into good beer, beer stores are worthy of mention as well.

Got info from two today: City Beer, 1168 Folsom St. in San Francisco, 415-503-1033 and Ledger’s Liquors,1399 University Ave. in Berkeley, 510-540-9243.

Craig Wathen at City Beer says he’ll have The Abyss, the barrel-aged imperial stout from Deschutes, Bend, OR. on tap Thursday (Jan. 17) beginning at 5 p.m. and, most important, he’ll have bottles for sale as well.

Here’s what Deschutes says about the beer:

“This exceptionally popular imperial stout, aged in French oak, pinot noir, and bourbon barrels since March, has immense depth with its rich and complex flavors. True to its name, subtle notes of coffee, chocolate, molasses and licorice pull you in deeper and deeper. Cherry bark and vanilla bean added during the dry-hopping process are the proverbial “cherry on top”! “

I haven’t tried it either, but this is a beer that tasters at ratebeer.com rate at 100. Hmmm. Gotta try this stuff.

Ed Ledger at Ledger’s Liquors, meanwhile, says he’s been promised cases of The Abyss, but not until next week.

However, he’s just got in a complete line of Fantome, the Belgian new wave brewery, including the rarely seen La Dalmatienne regular Fantome****, a beer I dearly love.

He also have a complete stock of Russian River beers, the sour, the sweet and they all sell out rapidly, he says. He constantly hears from fans on the East Coast looking for Russian River beers, he says.

Ed also passes on gossip about Russian River’s new brewery now being built about a mile from the brewpub in Santa Rosa. First bottled beer, he hears, may be Blind Pig IPA, the original beer from owner Vinnie Cilurzo’s first micro in his native Temecula, CA. Personally, I’m praying for Pliny the Elder in bottles. Gotta ask Vinnie when I see him next.

Also, Ed adds, he has a stock of the Michelob Gift Packs from Anheuser-Busch. Each pack contains a 24 oz. bottle of Michelob Chocolate and Michelob Cherry, plus a commemorative glass. The packs sold for $24.95.

Ed intends to knock the price down to at least $18.99. At that price, it might be worth buying. I think I will. Both beers are excellent and will last for a year or two.

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