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Nov 15, 2007 08:03 AM

East Coaster in CA for Thanksgiving Needs Beer Help


I'm a New Yorker who will be in Palp Alto for Thanksgiving week. I know there is a Thanksgiving beer thread, but I am looking for:

a) Good west coast beer, typically unavailable in NY that I shouldn't leave CA without having tried.
b) Same as above but specifically suited for Turkey Day.

Thanks--and many thanks to this board in general--in the past month, I've enjoyed Dogfish Pumpkin and Sam Smith Nut Brown Ale and am definitely a better man for it!

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  1. Russian River, for sure. Those are some of the best beers being made on the planet (and no, that's not hyperbole). Look for Damnation, Temptation, Supplication, Beatification, Sanctification (noticing a theme?). You should also look for Drake's barrel-aged beers. They're in small bottles, and are a great Bay Area brewer. Look for the brandy barrel-aged old ale, and the bourbon barrel-aged barleywine.

    North Coast is another good NorCal brewer, their Old Stock Ale is amazing. Also worth seeking out for sure.

    Thanksgiving beers, I'd say look for the Anchor releases: Porter, Old Foghorn barleywine, and the 2007 release of their Christmas beer. All three have loads of malt character.

    Enjoy your trip, and happy beering.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Josh

      Old Stock Ale is indeed amazing. I wish I could find it in MA. I thought most of North Coast's beers were merely okay, but the OSA is remarkable.

    2. Other Bay Area brewers would be Bear Republic (Racer 5 IPA, Hot Rod Rye, Big Bear Black Stout, Red Rocket Ale in particular) and Moylan's (Hopsickle DIPA, Ryan O'Sullivan Imperial Stout in particular). Bison Brewing's Farmhouse Ale is a very nice saison. Lagunitas' beers like Kill Ugly Radio IPA, Imperial Red, Maximus. Anderson Valley Brewing also. All of these are available in bottles all around the Bay. Many of those are pretty "big" beers but all those brewers, of course, make good regular IPAs, pale ales, porters, etc.

      Depending on where you're willing to go, you could find bottled Alesmith beers and possibly, Port Brewing/Lost Abbey in the Bay Area. Most likely, you'd have to go to a few particular stores in San Francisco or Berkeley to find them but those are two of the best brewers in the country, let alone SoCal/California. Other San Diego beers to look for would be Green Flash Brewing and Ballast Point which are now available in the Bay Area. And you can probably get Stone Brewing's beer in New York now.

      The are some local microbrewers and brewpubs with some good beer also.

      If you want some specific places to look for any of this, I can point you in the right direction.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ultramagnetic

        Lagunitas, Bear Republic and Anderson Valley are available in NYC.

        I will second Russian River, I really miss their beers on this coast. All of those ending in ation are world class. No hyperbole there either. If you like double IPAs try their Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger, great examples of the style. I have only had the two moylans suggested above and both were worth looking out for.

        Alesmith was my local brewery when I lived in SD, they make a great lineup of beers. Try any one you can.

      2. You should also check out Toronado and 21st Amendment if you actually go into San Francisco.

        8 Replies
          1. re: abu applesauce

            Looks like I'll be making a trip to the russian River Brewery
            Thanks again

            1. re: abu applesauce

              bring me back some temptation and beatification

              1. re: MVNYC

                Don't forget the Sanctification, while you're at it, and the Perdition.

                1. re: Josh

                  you might need to ship those out to me, i cant get them here.

                  1. re: MVNYC

                    Wish I could. I can't get them here either. I only managed to try them because I went to Whole Foods on my last two trips to San Fran and brought a couple home with me.

                    Last trip up there, I prepared by bringing an extra bag with me, for my clothes, with the intention of filling my suitcase w/ bottles. I picked up several obscurities from Rogue's pub, and a couple of Russian River Perdition, and wrapped them in bubble wrap. Unfortunately, two broke at SFO, and I had to buy these crazy padded plastic bags they make for transporting bottles.

                    One that survived was a phenomenal Rogue beer called Oregon Golden Ale. Name isn't much, but what a tremendous beer. Super malty, and very deep, rich dark gold color. Unlike anything I've ever had. Wish I'd picked up more than one.

                    1. re: Josh

                      Yeah, "Golden Ale" isn't the most auspicious name for a brew, but the Rogue product is tasty and full-bodied.

                      I've been to the Rogue pub in SF. I had a good couple of pints there, but the bomber of Shakespeare Stout I took back with me proved to be hideously stale.

                      1. re: Kenji

                        Wow, that sucks. I have yet to open either of the two Belgian tripels I got from there. Hopefully they aren't stale. I did notice that they don't store their beer as well as they could. Some of it is pretty near that big picture window, so it wouldn't surprise me if some of them get light struck.