May 4th (Star Wars Day) will see the return of Drake’s Brewing’s (San Leandro, CA) Alpha Session. The true session beer (<4% ABV) is their “Nor Cal Bitter,” a hoppy brew that clocks at jsut 3.8% ABV.
With a simple base of 2-row barley, Maris Otter, and C-45 malt, our California style shines through with a classic mix of West Coast hops, followed by a generous dry hop of Simcoe, Citra, and CTZ for a piney, citrusy beer that’s just about perfect as we head into the long, hot, beer soaked days of lawnmower and festival season.
Style: English-style Bitter
Availability: 12oz bottles, Draft
Drake’s Brewing is asking their fans what they want to see Jolly Doger will be this year. Essentially, what makes you Jolly? Each year, the beer is different. Just look at the few:
2011: Black IPA
2010: Imperial Red Ale
2009: Imperial Brown Ale
2008: American Strong Ale
This seasonal orange beast boasts a hop arsenal of Magnum, Chinook, Simcoe, Citra, and CTZ and a three-hop dry-hop that will convert all who drink it into hop-heads and send its devotees into the beer rapture with its tantalizing, heady aroma and crisp slap of citrus and pine… Alright, so maybe we’re waxing poetic a little… we get that way about this beer.
Style: Imperial IPA
Availability: 22oz bombers
Drake’s Brewing Company’s Jolly Rodger changes each year. 2011 marks the 22nd brewing of this beer, destined to be a black IPA style. 2010 was an imperial red ale.
For our 2011 Jolly Rodger we’ve crossed over to the Dark side and brought loads of hops along for the trip to make an Imperial Dark IPA. Starting with just the right blend of American 2-row barley, dark roasted barley and Rye to give the beer its smooth mouthfeel and intimidating darkness, we then hit it hard with Chinook, Citra and CTZ hops to give it a classic “West Coast” style hoppy aroma and flavor. Smooth, crisp and hop-forward, but with a heart of darkness.
Style: Imperial Black IPA
Availability: 22oz bombers, Draft
8.75% ABV, 90 IBUs