Skip to content

Local Libations: San Diego Beer Week 2011

2011 November 11

By Kat Durant

Sierra-Nevada-Rare-Beer-ShowcaseSan Diego, CASan Diego Beer Week is here! Actually it really goes on for more like 2 weeks, so even better!  Each day there are many events to choose from to enjoy the Beer Week festivities.  I had a hard time deciding which event to focus on for this post, in the end I was inspired to check out a new beer bar just down the street from me called Tiger! Tiger!; this past Tuesday they hosted a Sierra Nevada Rare Beer Showcase.

Sierra Nevada was an early pioneer of hop driven pale ale in the American craft beer industry. I first tried their now infamous Sierra Nevada Pale Ale back in 1992 and I thought it was horrible! Who would want to drink such a bitter beer? Well, I (along with the rest of the world) have come a long way baby.

CLICK HERE for the full post and beer tasting!

Tiger! Tiger! had so so many Sierra Nevada options to choose from but the first one that caught my eye was the Yippie Rye Aye. The “rye” was what lured me in as I’m a huge fan of it in my whiskey and thought why not try it in beer form.  It was a good looking beer, caramel colored with a nice creamy head. I could taste the rye followed by a rich peppery bite.  I decided to order the Malaspina oysters with chanterelles, bacon and parmesan cheese to go with the Yippie Rye Aye and it was a great match.  The oysters were smoky and rich and the weight of the beer was complementary.

As the night wore on I tried a couple more beers and of course I couldn’t stay away from the “Bourbon” Barrel aged Trippel. Although I’m not a huge fan of Belgian style beers, I really loved this beer. It was in your face with the smell of bourbon and alcohol. Very aggressive flavor and taste, woody and sweet, it seemed like it should be served in a snifter glass.  Still, it was very light for a barrel aged beer, not too thick but with a nice Belgian finish.

The third beer I tried was very unusual (something you’d only find on tap during beer week for sure).  It was called 20th Street and comes in three varieties – each sporting a different type of hops. What a great lesson in hops and great for conversation! I picked the Chinook hops, which I’d never even heard of. The beer had a dry, tobacco flavor. You could really taste the grain, kinda like chewing on hay, with an almost mineral finish. Very odd, not hoppy like an IPA but it still had floral tastes. As I continued to nibble my way through the evening at Tiger! Tiger! I found that the 20th Street went really well with salty food. Tip: their sandwiches come with the best chips I’ve ever had.

All and all a great way to spend a night in San Diego, wish you could all be here!