Campo di Bocce Located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains just south of San Jose is the small town of Los Gatos. Los Gatos is a well known town in the South Bay for being as small as it is. The town is known for beautiful scenery, great restaurants, a nice downtown, and highway 9.
I recently attended an event at Campo di Bocce. I was very excited because I love playing bocce ball. The only thing I knew about the place is they had great bocce courts and host the Madden / Mariucci battle of the bay charity bocce tournament every year where many 49er and Raider players and alumni play. http://www.maddenmariuccibocce.com
They have a impressive selection of Italian and craft beer for a venue of its type. I highly recommend this place!
I came upon these beers a my local grocery outlet. First I saw Stubborn jack and thought that sounds cool, what is it. I saw it was a smoked Porter and I love porters. Then I saw the price. $4.99 for a four pack? That is cheep I have to try it. Then the next isle they had another ass kisser beer, a Vanilla Pale ale called Zeedonka and its $4.99 a four pack also? Oh yeah it’s on.
I looked up this brewery and Ass Kisser Ales is a family owned company owned by Ass Kisser Beverage company and they contract brew with Mendincino brewing Co in Ukia, CA
Zeedonka – Vanilla Pale Ale – ABV 5.5% – Golden yellow color with a nice foamy white head. The scent has a good amount of vanilla extract. I was a little put off because I didn’t smell any hops. The taste is light and clean with a creamy vanilla flavor. The beer is thinner then most pale ales but that makes it taste even more like cream soda in beer form. I also don’t taste any hops. I like it. It’s a good beer with a good twist. I give it 3.75 out of 5
Stubborn Jack – Smoked Porter – ABV 6% – The color is black as midnight with a thin tan head with no lacing. The scent is strong of smoked malt. The mouth feel is pretty thin but the smoked flavor is good without being over powering. If there was ever a session smoked porter, this is a perfect one. It’s a strong beer. I give it a 3.75 out of 5.
I am a new fan of Ass Kisser ales! Both these beers were very strong, good session beers and for the price I would take that all day, any day. I even told some beer heads about them.
Traveling Oak Imperial Stout – Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Exclusive for Yard House – (Paso Robles, CA United States) – ABV 14% – IBU 82 Black color with a nice tan head. Scent of oak, malt and you get the whiskey scent also. First sip starts smooth with oak and smoke then burns with a hard alcohol hit and then goes bitter. The hit is smoke is big on the back end. Every taste after that first gets a nice mix of smokey and oaky. When warned the smoke is stronger and dryer with a mellow burn. This one lived up to every bit of the hype! it got a 5 out of 5 from me.
From Yardhouse: Traveling Oak is an incredibly rare, barrel-aged beer imagined by our team and handcrafted by our friends at Firestone Walker. Take one of the world’s best imperial stouts and age it in oak barrels that have held both a world-class bourbon and mezcal. The journey began with two oak barrels in Kentucky where they held Old Rip Van Winkle Bourbon for over a decade, allowing them to age and mature to perfection. From there the barrels traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico where they were filled with Del Maguey Mezcal adding layers of smoky fruit notes to the wood. The barrels were then emptied and sent to Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Paso Robles, California where they were filled with Parabola Imperial Stout and aged for over one year. Parabola’s combination of roasted coffee, dark chocolate and molasses melds seamlessly with the bold bourbon character, smoky mezcal finish and oak. The result is an exceptionally delicious and unique beer that will never be made again.
New Glarus Brewing Company is based in New Glaus, Wisconsin. They have two breweries. The breweries are owned and operated by the husband and wife team Dan and Deborah Carey. Dan is the brewmaster and co-owner while Deborah is the founder and President. This is an amazing story of a couple working together for their love of beer and since their start in 1993 New Glarus has become one of the top breweries in the USA and the world. While their beers are only sold in Wisconsin by design they are heavily sought after by craft beer heads all over America.
I wish I could go to my local craft beer shop and buy bottles of New Glarus beers but I admire and respect their love for their state and dedication to stay local. They only use 100% natural ingredients and you can tell in every sip. The fruit beers they make are the perfect amount of fresh fruit.
I have been lucky enough to have met some people who have visited Wisconsin and brought New Glarus beer home. My wife is picky about beer but she now loves New Glarus Brewing.
New Glarus Brewing Company Beer’s I have had so far:
Serendipity – ABV 4% 4.9 out of 5 Sour Ale with Cherries, Apples and cranberries aged in oak barrels. This is my wife and I’s favorite New Glarus beer and one of our favorite beers of all time
Strawberry Rhubarb – ABV 4% 4.8 out of 5 Sour Ale with Strawberries and Rhubarb aged in Oak Barrels. This is a close second favorite so close it’s almost a tie.
Apple Ale (Thumbprint Series) – ABV 4% 4.7 out of 5
Cran-bic (Thumbprint Series) – ABV 6% 3.7 out of 5
Oud Bruin (Thumbprint Series) – ABV 5.6% 4 out of 5
Bi-Weekly Beer Review #18
Hoparillo 3x IPA – Knee Deep Brewing Co (Auburn, CA) ABV 11.1% This Triple IPA is Brewed with Citra, Mosaic and Amarillo Hops.
A dark golden color with a white head. This has one of the strongest hop scent I ever had. Sweet hops that tarts up to a strong hop burn. I really like this triple IPA.
Bi-Weekly Beer Review Episode #17
Weihenstephaner – Vitus – Weizenbock – ABV 7.7% – Brewed under the purity law of 1516 in Freising, Bavaria, Germany
Bright yellow non see threw color with a foamy white head. Scent of banana and wheat. Sweet taste with a banana finish. Crisp, fresh but strong, full bodied and full flavored. Very tasty and a reminder what a traditional high Quilty beer is! This beer makes me crave the Hofbräuhaus. This beer rates at a strong 4.2 out of 5 for me.
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Bi-Weekly Beer Review Episode 16
7 Swans a Swimming – The Bruery (Placentia, CA, USA) 11% ABV – Belgian Quad
Dark brown color with a creamy tan yellowish head and constant lacing. The scent is of dried fruit and malt. Creamy fruit and malt flavor. I get hints of burnt sugar or Carmel, dried fruits and even an almost raisin taste. The high ABV gives a bit of burn in the after taste.
This Christmas series by the Bruery has been great. I found out about it in year 5 so I was a little late to the game. I went out yesterday and got two bottles of 7 Swans a Swimming, one to drink (Which I did last night with two of my neighbors) and one to age for 5 more years. I now have a bottle of 4 Calling Birds, 5 Golden Rings, 6 Geese a Laying, 6 Geese a Laying Barrel Aged and 7 Swans a swimming aging until 12 Drummers Drumming comes out and then do the vertical of 4 – 12.
Bourbon County Brand Stout – Goose Island Beer Co. (Chicago, IL) ABV 13.8% 5 out 5
This is the second year the Bourbon County Brand series by goose island has been released in the San Francisco Bay Area. This year the release has been more of a trickle then a major all at once release. This has made it very hard to find and they sell out the same day or even within hours of a store getting a shipment. BCBS Coffee has been almost in heard of. This is still one of my favorite beer series.
Color is black as midnight with the dark tan head. The scent is strong of bourbon in Oak with a wild punch of the malt. It is the aroma of the gods. Strong taste of the bourbon in the first sip then mellows out for a sweet malty oaky flavor. There’s hints of cocoa in the flavor and a sweet almost vanilla hint
As it warms the chocolate flavor really comes out and the bourbon mellows to a nice smooth mouth feel.
Bi-Weekly Beer Review Episode # 15
Atomic Kangarue – The Bruery (Placentia, Orange County, CA) Produced in Collaboration with Smog City (Torrance, CA) ABV 9.5% 4 out of 5 Dry – Hopped Sour Ale with Grapes
They brewed this with 2 grape varieties and Dry Hopped with Amarillo Hops
Bright orange color with a thick white head and well carbonated. The scent is light and fruity. You can really smell the hops and grapes. This Ale has a bright sour flavor. I get the sweetness of grapes first then it turns sour and I get the dry hop in the back end.
It is a great sour and very different from what I’ve seen. I love new and unusual beers! My Neighbor said its the best sour he has ever had.