This week's Best Things is dominated by fruit but used in a variety of beer styles which kept things interesting (and pretty to boot).
Yachats Salal Sour - Sitting at the top of the heap according to our taste buds is one of the first beers Yachats has bottled. We've known Charlie and Jenna for awhile and are thrilled to see their beers making it up to Portland. This one presents with a tart, fruity aroma and an absolutely gorgeous color. Made with local, wild salal berries (used by the indigenous people of Cascadia for generations) it is a clean, drinkable fruit sour. Keep 'em coming!
StormBreaker Guava Man - "Don't judge a book by the cover" definitely applies to this beer. Looking like cloudy grapefruit juice the appearance belies the delicious flavor, which is in fact pithy as well as hoppy, that is found upon drinking it.
North Coast Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse - We were surprised to see North Coast making this style of beer but couldn't pass up trying it. While we found it to be a bit on the sweet end of the fruit Berliner Weisse spectrum it was very drinkable with a real cherry flavor, the result of using real Michigan Montmorency cherries. Apparently it's a very limited release beer so if you're intrigued and see it you'd better grab it now or settle for regretting it later.
Modern Times Black House Nitro w/Coffee, Coconut & Cocoa - A take on the brewery's oatmeal coffee stout, there is an impressive amount of flavor - mild coconut, coffee and hop bitterness - packed into its 5.8% ABV. We continue to be impressed with beer after beer from this brewery and are excited to have a newcomer that is so solid in our market.
McMenamins Captain Neon's Mango Double IPA - We loved the colorful can artwork from first glance and were very pleased with the beer inside. At 9%+ ABV it's not surprising that the aroma is somewhat boozy. What may be surprising is that it doesn't drink that heavy. The combination of dry-hopping with Amarillo, Citra, Mosaic and Chinook and use of mango puree creates a yummy, hoppy flavor that may or may not have led to the consumption of multiple cans one evening (under the watchful eyes of Thing 1 and Thing 2).
If you've had any of these beers we'd love to hear what you thought of them. And if you've had anything outstanding you think should be on our radar, let us know.