So, I finished my training with a minimum of a couple of hours to kill – I couldn’t check my bags until 4 hours before my flight at the earliest, and it was closer to 8 hours until the flight. What to do? Hmm… how about a scenic drive to Half Moon Bay? Oh, look, they make beer there! Imagine that!
En Passant – Dry-Hopped Belgian Ale at 6.2% ABV | 38 IBU – 8/10
Appearance: Opaque straw with one finger of creamy white head, excellent retention and lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, yeast esters, crackery malt, light dry funk. (8/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, moderate bitter, light peppery spice and funk. (8/10) Medium-light body, moderate-soft carbonation, off-dry mild bitter finish. (4/5)
Might be the best Mandarina implementation I’ve had. Pleasant citrus leads over mild Belgian yeast esters. Really pretty, too, with excellent retention and lacing. (16/20)
Saison – Saison at 6% ABV | 25 IBU – 6.5/10
Appearance: Hazy pale straw with a short white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, soapy clinging lacing. (3/5) Aroma: toasted bread, stone fruit, honey, hint of burnt rubber. (6/10) Taste: moderate-low sweet, mild bitter. (7/10) Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry short duration finish. (3/5)
Not terrible, but not as good as their Belgian Ale. Hints of burnt rubber/band-aid slightly mar the aroma, but the taste and finish are decent enough. Acceptable, but not one to prioritize. (13/20)
IPA – American IPA at 6.1% ABV | 80 IBU – 7/10
Appearance: Hazy pale gold with one finger of fluffy ivory head, good retention and decent lacing. (4/5) Aroma: grapefruit, pine, caramel. (7/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (7/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)
Nice straightforward A/IPA. Nothing earth-shattering, but pleasant and fairly easy drinking despite the tending high bitterness. (14/20)
Full Swing – American IPA at 6.6% ABV | 80 IBU – 7.5/10
Appearance: Clear pale gold with one finger of fluffy off-white head, good retention and decent lacing. (4/5) Aroma: slightly dank pine, tropical fruit, grapefruit, pale malt. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Medium slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (3/5)
Pleasant West Coast-style A/IPA, with slightly dank pine leading the way in front of tropical fruits and pithy citrus. Another one that’s easy to drink despite the higher bitterness. (15/20)
Simconed – American IPA at 6.2% ABV | 65 IBU – 7.5/10
Appearance: Slightly hazy pale gold with a short fluffy off-white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, patchy clingy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: citrus, pale malt, hint of dank pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry bitter finish. (3/5)
Solid example of a Simcoe-hopped ale. In particular, there’s no hint of the cattiness this hop can exhibit. Really quite pleasant. (15/20)
Hop Dogma Brewing Silly Gimmick – Imperial IPA at 8% ABV – 7/10
Appearance: Opaque pale gold with one finger of fluffy off-white head diminishing rapidly to a thin ring, clingy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: citrus, resiny pine, tropical fruit, caramel. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, warming bitter finish. (3/5)
Yeah, I know, it’s not Half Moon Bay Brewing, but I can’t resist an NE/IPA. Problem is, this isn’t “really” an NE/IPA. It sort of is, I guess, but there’s more emphasis on slightly dank pine, and less bright juicy citrus than I expect of the style. Enjoyable, but not really what it’s claiming to be. (14/20)
Consumed but not photographed: Seafood Duo, ceviche and tuna poké. Also good fun.
Well, that was fun! Now just a couple of cans of their Word on the Street NE/IPA to stick in my checked bags and it’s off to the airport!