By William Brand
Thursday, September 25th, 2008 at 3:34 pm in Uncategorized.
The Pro-Am competition at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver each October is a contest where professional brewers and home brewers team up and brew a beer. I haven’t paid much attention to the contest – there’s just too much going on at the GABF to deal with it. Besides, how can anyone taste the beer?
Well, this year there are at least two places in the Bay Area, and more likely many others, where you can taste a pro-am beer:
- On tap at the 21st Amendment, 563 Second St. in San Francisco: “Tasty” brewed by 21st co-founder Shaun O’Sullivan and homebrewer Mike McDole of the Diablo Order of Zymiracle Enthusiasts (DOZE), a hombrew club based in Concord, CA.
- On tap at Triple Rock , 1920 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley: North Berkeley Double IPA, brewed by head brewer Rodger Davis and homebrewer Nathan Smith, Mad Zymurgists, Dublin, CA.. Among other awards, Nate’s Imperial IPA won best of show this summer at the Alameda County Fair. Rodger earned serious stars as the head brewer at Drake’s in San Leandro. He took over at Triple Rock this summer after Christian Kazakoff signed on at Iron Springs in Fairfax.
Tasty is 5.8 percent ABV, 55 IBUs. It’s a medium copper color, pours with a little bit of foam that leaves a nice lacework trail down the side of the glass. It starts out dry with a rising hoppy finish. It’s a very drinkable, hoppy, American style pale ale. Once it warms up, the malt-hop balance improves and it becomes damn good, highly drinkable.
I haven’t tasted Triple Rock’s North Oakland Double IPA, but Rodger says it’s 9 percent, made with a lot of Simcoe, Centennial and Columbus hops. It’s basically made with two-row, pale malt with a bit of speciality malt for color. It’s 80 IBUs, unfiltered. Sounds delicious.
By the way, Rodger says he currently has all the beers he entered in the various Great American Beer Festival competition on tap right now at Triple Rock:
- A Belgian-style pale ale, 5.8 percent, made with a Trappist yeast, dry hopped with mild and spicy Mt. Hood and Styrian Golding hops.
- A German-style Schwarz beer,
- Pinnacle Pale Ale, 4.8 percent
- Monkey Head, 8 percent, sold in bottles on Thursdays.
Rodger said he’s also made a harvest ale. “We took a bunch of fresh hops and threw down some Pinacle on top of the hops,” Rodger said.
Besides Triple Rock’s own beer, Rodger currently has Valley Brewing’s Uberhoppy on tap. If you’ve never tried the beers made by Steve Altimari at Valley in Stockton, this is a great one to try. Hint: Plan on BARTing it, don’t drink this puppy and expect to drive away.
Here are the notes on that from Steve Altimari at Valley.
- A massively hopped Imperial IPA brewed to celebrate Valley Brews 10th anniversary. 1 pound of hops were added every 10 minutes during a 100 minute boil, a total of 10 different boiling hops. 4 different fresh hops were used in the hopback and then the beer was passed through a chamber containing 10 lbs of fresh hops on the way from the serving tanks to the bar taps. Hopperiffic. Approx. 10.5% ABV