In true 21st century style, a digital listing of available suds sits above the bar. Like a fat kid waiting for his double scoop at the ice cream truck, I tend to get a little excited when I gaze up at their 80” big screen listing of craft beers.
Look for their "meet the brewery" nights, where a few of their taps will be festooned with a particular local brewery's beer. The brewers themselves join in and are available to quench your curiosity about their brews.
With all of this, it’s no wonder Blue Palms wanted to celebrate their 3rd successful year on August 13th, with what else, MORE BEER.
The craft beer garden, just outside the bar, consisted of awesome selections from Sierra Nevada, Stone, Firestone, Deschutes, Ballast Point and North Coast – just to name a few. I enjoyed a Lost Abbey Red Poppy 2011 and Deliverance 2010 outside. Inside the bar, yep, was more beer. Russian River Redemption 2010, Lagunitas Fusion 6 and Ballast Point Even Keel Session were all on tap.
The kicker? Stone’s very own Greg Koch was there and sharing – for the first time ever – his 15th Anniversary Ale.
I literally got goose bumps when I read this on the hand out.
The Stone line continued back to the DJ stand with eager beer drinkers waiting with their glass to get a world debut taste of the celebratory beer. And I was no exception…I went back for seconds. This Imperial Black IPA commemorates 15 years of brewing excellence. As Stone Brewing President & co-founder Steve Wagner explains, they “…lightheartedly lay claim to our own style, dubbing it ‘Escondidian,’ both as an homage to our hometown of Escondido, CA and as a gentle ribbing to those Black IPA fans worshipping a false Cascadian idol.”
The 10.8% abv, 100 IBUs Columbus & Citra hopped Black IPA is both piney and rich. The four malts used, including Cara-Bohemian and Chocolate Malt give it the dark notes of coffee and cocoa. It was hoppy, yet incredibly smooth and had amazing balance.
Suggested pairings, provided by "Dr." Bill Sysak
• Appetizer/Main course: BBQ ribs, raw oysters, seafood cocktail, nachos, French onion soup, chili, porterhouse steak, lamb/wild game, merguez sausage, Portobello burgers
• Desserts: Tiramisu, plum tart, strong dark chocolate, Fig Newtons
• Cheeses: Aged Gouda or English Cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Maytag Blue, Gorgonzola Dolce
• Cigars: Oliva Serie V Maduro Especial, Juan Lopez Selección No. 2, CAO LX2 Toro, 601 Blue Box-Pressed Maduro Toro
Greg Koch jumped on stage after a warm welcome from Blue Palms owner, Brian Lenzo. His spiel, which was more of a sermon among craft brewers, was fiery and intoxicating (no pun intended).
Give us choice. Give us quality. Give us great beer.
Cheers to that and many more craft beer related anniversaries!