By ELI MORGAN
Special to the Tribune
Mendocino Brewing Company, Ukiah, California (formerly located in Hopland, California, since 1983)
Blue Heron Pale Ale, 6 percent ABV (alcohol by volume). This beer is truly an original West Coast style Pale Ale. Long before the acronym “IPA” was a household name, there was “CPA,” or California pale ale, if you will. This magnificent ale has been around for 33 years, groundbreaking the entire microbrew industry. The pour is perfect with a nice thick white head floating atop Liquid Gold and a White Satin “Brussels lace” around the glass after every drink. Nice grassy nose followed by perfectly balanced malt body with very present bitter hops that cut right through the sweetness of the malted barley. Perfectly married, luscious, always delicious West Coast Style Pale Ale – the original Blue Heron Pale Ale. This beer can be found at the Marina Market and many other stores around town. Prost!
Andechs klosterbrauerei, Andechs, Germany since 1455.
Weissbier Hell 5.5 percent ABV super premium Bavarian ale. The word “Helles” means pale in German. This pale wheat beer contains a proportion of German wheat, barley malt, hops and yeast – that’s it, even though German Purity Laws (the Reinheitsgebot) doesn’t apply to export markets. Drinking this beer is truly a medieval experience. The pour is wonderful with a thick alabaster white head with plenty of lace work around the glass after every drink. The nose is full of zesty Bavarian wheat, which quickly turns into thirst-quenching wheat and barley dancing delightfully on the palate. The finish is nicely subtle in the way that it lets you know you’ve had a wheat beer. The perfect break beer in between your double IPAs, quads, and Imperial stouts. You can find Andechs Weissbier Hell at Monument Wines & Spirits in Concord.
Eli Morgan is a 43-year-old lifelong Martinez resident who has been actively beer hunting since 1992. In those days, you really had to get out of town in order to get a decent beer.