Once again I’ve fallen way behind in offering my thoughts on the beers that brewers send to me as samples and that’s just not right. Then again, if I don’t keep using as much of my time and energy as possible on the task of keeping a roof over my head. they’d have no place to send the beers, would they? ‘Tis a conundrum. So, better late than even later, here are some brief comments on some recent arrivals.
Silly Sour (great name and sounds like a perfect moniker for a character in a cartoon series about brewers if such a thing should ever happen, but it won’t because “think of the children!”) is brewed at Brasserie de Silly in Wallonia, Belgium and is, according to the accompanying literature, the first brew from Wallonia “to use a predominant amount of soured ale” (87% to be exact, blended with 13% Saison). While I’m not as crazed about sour beers as a good portion of the beer world seems to be these days, I do enjoy them and Silly, at 5.5%, was most pleasant and refreshing for my taste.
Coronado Brewing Co., located in the California town of the same name, sent me their Stupid Stout, a 9% Imperial version. It’s a winter seasonal which is part of Coronado’s Crown Series of yearly and seasonal releases. Very, very tasty, dark and roasty and chocolatey and just the thing for a cold winter’s night. The name, according to the accompanying press release, is based on the beer’s “stupid amount of hops.” The package also contained a Coronado coaster and I admit I laughed out loud at the slogan it featured: “Brewing is our middle name.” Seems so obvious, I have to wonder if anyone ever used that line before.
By the way, apologies for using canned pix of labels for illustration here, but I didn’t remember to take photos of the bottles prior to opening them and neglected to save them after finishing them. Another fine performance on my part.
Finally, I have mentioned several times that the fine folks at Stone Brewing Co. provide me with samples with impressive regularity (I pretty much get every they release in this market). Well, Suede Imperial Porter, a collaboration by brewmaster Mitch Steele with a pair of brewers of the female lady persuasion, Tonya Cornett of Oregon’s 10 Barrel Brewing Co. and Megan O’Leary Parisi of Washington DC’s Blue Jacket, just might be my favorite beer among all those in that steady stream of samples. Here’s what I have to say about it in “Hooking Up,” my regular column on collaborative beers which will appear in the new issue of Ale Street News, which should be appearing at good beer locations all around in the next week or so:
The initial concept was to use ingredients indigenous to Southern California, which turned out to be avocado honey, dried jasmine and calendula flowers plucked from Stone Farms in North County San Diego. Suede came in at 9.6% and has distinctive nose and flavor notes of sweetness which play together against the backdrop of coffee and chocolate which you’d expect from the style.