Gene's Picks 9/27/21
1) Fremont - Field to Ferment
Wet-Hopped Pale Ale, 6.0%
Even within the rarefied category of wet-hopped beers, Fremont stands out. Their deservedly laudatory Field to Ferment series serves to kick-start the autumn every year, with a judicious 6% pale ale base upon which the fresh green hop-cones are allowed to express themselves. The earliest versions of this perennial favorite distributed to California a few years back were single-hop expressions - Centennial towards the beginning of the season, Citra a few weeks later - but now Fremont has wandered towards a dual-hop medley. The only release this year is a Simcoe/Centennial blend, causing a gorgeous citrus/pine dichotomy. Drink now - it won't get any fresher!
2) Cellarmaker - Gold Stallion
California Pilsner, 5.2%
A Cellarmaker drop is an occasion we all look forward to at Bottlecraft, and the one that pulled in on Friday is a doozy. Accompanying a healthy smattering of IPAs (both West Coast and hazy) and some funky mixed-fermentation saisons is this little gem of a beer. With low-SRM pilsner malt and a touch of rice, Gold Stallion is a zippy, lemony, light-bodied and altogether refreshing lager. The equine imagery on the can nods towards mass-market products, while the Golden Gate Bridge in the backdrop firmly grounds the viewer in San Francisco.
3) Pasteur Street - Dragonfruit Gose
Pasteur Street is at it again! The only craft brewery in Vietnam to make its way to our shores, this operation headquartered in Hồ Chí Minh City has previously impressed with their Passionfruit Wheat in cans. Alongside that returning beer we now see a companion piece in Dragonfruit Gose. Layered over the lower ABV and light saltiness inherent to the style is a healthy dose of dragonfruit (also known as pitaya), whose searing acidity and vibrant mauve coloration make it noticeable in any beer. There is a historical resonance at work as well, as Gose has its roots in what later was to become East Germany, a country that forged longstanding cultural and economic links with Vietnam in the latter half of the 20th century. To this day Germany hosts the second-largest Vietnamese diaspora in Europe, behind only former colonial power France. Dzô!