Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Two Awesome Californian Imperial Stouts

I've taken to drinking Imperial Stout craft beers.  I find them to be satisfying and delicious.  Karl Strauss  Brewing, San Diego California makes a wonderful Wreck Alley Imperial Stout.  I picked it up at my local Ralph's supermarket the day before the Superbowl, and drank it just after kickoff the next day.  Lagunitas Imperial Stout, brewed in Petalum California ("Doggone Good!") was a tasty craft beer as well.  I Think I picked it up at Total Wine last month, but I am not sure.   I know Trader Joes doesn't have it, as they looked at me as if I was speaking Greek when I asked them if they had any last week.  It might have been Albertsons.... ?  I enjoy asking waitresses at new restaurants that Dr Desert Flower and I visit "do you have any local beers?" "Yes, we have a XYZ IPA" they sometimes reply.  "Any Imperial Stouts?"  .. and they look at me as if I have just inquired if they have any Burmese Pythons, very confused. "A glass of water will be fine for now, as I look over your wine list".
See, the nice thing about local craft beers here in California, is that it is much easier to find them in multiple retail outlets than it was in Arizona or South Carolina.  They're made locally, distributed widely, and in high demand by discerning Californian beer drinkers.  So there is no shortage of supply or demand.

Both Karl Strauss and Lagunitas make IPAs, but I am honestly not a fan of IPAs.  Too heavy on the hops for shock value and impressive bitterness.  Similar to how many Californian red wines are too heavy on the oak.  Don't blast my taste buds with hops, oak, tabasco, or hot chilies (as Chengdu China Sichuan food does).  No, instead, give my taste buds a complex mix of subtle and nuanced flavors that delight the senses, instead of over-whelming them.

I will be sure to note further Imperial Stouts here, as I find and enjoy them.  Stay tuned.

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