As you might expect after seeing my last post on Strong Beer Month, I went on quite a bender last week and tried out all six strong beers at Magnolia and five out of six at 21st Amendment. Last night, I had the final hole punched (the Lord and Master, from 21st Amendment) in my Strong Beer Ticket and the bartender kindly wrapped up a clean 2011 Strong Beer Glass in newspaper for me as my prize.
From 21st Amendment, my favorite beer was the Imperial Jack (also pictured above). It has a nice dark cloudy red color and has a great smooth malty flavor with a little kick of alcohol at the end. No surprise as to why Imperial Jack won Gold Medal in the Strong Beer category in the 2010 Beer World Cup. Imperial Jack is actually a creation of Elizabeth Street Brewery and is being hosted by 21st Amendment. Check out this article for some more in depth knowledge on the creation of Imperial Jack.
Two Lane Blacktop, an Imperial Black India Pale Ale (BIPA) by 21st Amendment:
I was really excited to try this one out as I have been a big fan on the emerging BIPA style. This one actually fell a little short of my expectations, though. Personally, I like a little bit more roasted malt flavor in a BIPA. That said, I will still try it again.
From Magnolia I LOVED the Rye Rye Rocco:
This is probably my favorite of all of them this year. It has a great malty flavor from the rye, with a peppery, dry finish. It was delicious with Magnolia's fried pig ears.
Promise Land Imperial IPA, an annual favorite for hop-heads that want a kick in the face:
Tweezer Triple, another annual favorite if you're a Belgian beer fan:
It is an Abbey Tripel that is golden and strong with a fruity and spicy yeast finish.
Magnolia also has cheese pairings with each of their strong beers. Last year however, they had both cheese and small plate pairings. I miss those small plate pairings, but I still highly recommend the cheese pairings.
Now I have the perfect vessel to sample my home brewed Triple IPA that I will tap very soon. I love it when things live up to their expectations, and this year's Strong Beer did just that. The glass is really cool this year too!
Happy strong beer month! And don't forget to checkout SF Beer Week through next week, if you are in town.