What happens when you give a rich and malty red ale a West Coast spin? Yup, that's right. You get this hop-heavy beer with a chewy caramel center from Port Brewing Company. Living up to its name, this one definitely has some bite.
Shark Attack Double Red Ale from Port Brewing Company, San Marcos, CA (Double red ale, 9.5% ABV)
Cloudy russet-brown against the light with some ruby glints. The cap of sticky foam sticks around all the way to the bottom of the glass.
Mmmm! Sweet orange and spicy toffee pudding.
Lots of stinging grapefruit juice upfront, mellowing out to fresh-squeezed orange juice and soft caramels in the middle. Spicy for sure, especially a warming hit of clove. A burnt molasses flavor emerges after a few sips. This beer reminds me of a fruit chutney: simultaneously sweet and savory, and strangely addictive.
The dual personality of this beer makes it an interesting taste adventure, for sure. Bitter hops stand directly opposite the fruity-sweet malts, prickly vs. chewy. It's not a beer that I would want every day, but definitely a good one for special occasions. Also, look out for that ABV: it hits you before you know it.
This feels like a perfect summer-into-fall beer. Wait for a cool evening and then sip it alongside a bowl of hearty stew.
What do you think of this beer?
Check Out the Brewery! Port Brewing Company, San Marcos, CA
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(Image: Emma Christensen)