Friday, May 10, 2013

Lompoc at Beer

Last night we again took advantage of our new location, this time striking out to the west a few blocks to visit Beer. Open for less than a year, Beer is a beer bar with 10 taps and plenty of bottles to choose from. We had been there a couple of times previously but this was the first time it was nice enough to enjoy the small sidewalk patio. We went to meet up with a couple of friends and there was the extra bonus that Lompoc brewers Brian and Irena were on hand with four of their beers pouring.

With it being such a lovely, warm evening I couldn't resist starting out with Saison The Beach even though I'm not much of a Saison fan in general.

Saison The Beach: Golden in color, this Belgian Style Farmhouse ale had grapefruit zest, candied ginger and black peppercorns added to the brew for a citrus and peppery finish, while the Belgian Farmhouse yeast strain added spicy, earthy notes. 5.8% ABV

The beer turned out to be fairly mild on the Saison characteristics with the ginger and citrus coming to the forefront, resulting in a beer I really enjoyed.

The other three pouring were Electric Sheep IPA, Bourbon Barrel Peach Wheat and Dark Side Porter.

Electric Sheep IPA: The 5th in our Sci Fi IPA series was named for Phillip K. Dick's novel, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" Bright amber in color with a citrus and tropical fruit aroma and flavor, there is a slightly resinous and piney hop bitterness. 6.8% ABV

Bourbon Barrel Peach Wheat: Brewed in September 2012 and fermented in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels with 200 pounds of peaches for a strong peach aroma with hints of oak that finishes slightly tart. 5.8% ABV

Dark Side Porter: This robust porter is black in color and features a soft roastiness in the nose, with hints of toffee, a slight nuttiness and rich chocolate flavors. 6.2% ABV

I tried Mag's IPA and was surprised to find that I enjoyed my Saison more. Something about the hops used just didn't do it for me and I would have liked there to have been more carbonation. The Bourbon Barrel Peach Wheat was however quite good. Starting out with a huge bourbon aroma, the flavor was more subdued with a slight tartness in addition to the peach flavor. If there could have been even more tartness and any hint of carbonation it would have really hit it out of the park. Perhaps Lompoc will brew this again with a couple of tweaks (hint, hint, pretty please).

Generally I would have ordered up the porter but with the warm evening surrounding me I just couldn't get behind the style. Instead I followed up on the tart seed that the Bourbon Barrel Peach Wheat had planted and went with Myrtle from The Commons.

If you haven't yet checked out Beer, find a time to stop in. While they don't serve food, right next door is Meat Cheese Bread and next to them is a Thai place called Sunee's. We've had food from both before and they each get two thumbs up. Oh, and if you're an equal opportunity drinker there's Enso Winery on the same block.

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