I first heard about this beer when Santa Clara Valley brewing posted on their Facebook page a picture of the label and information of the beer. I got excited because I have been happy with this brewery and I have been trying all their beers plus I just love red ales. I have loved how SCVB has been using local history to name their beers. It was really cool learning about New Almaden which I never knew existed prior to reading the labels on the beer. I researched and read a lot and looked at photos about New Almaden San Jose.
New Almaden mine is south of San Jose in the Capitancillas mountain range. This was a quicksilver mine that mined Cinnabar, a red rock that contains a high level of mercury. The mine operated from the 1870’s until 1976. The mine and mountains have history older then that going back to the Ohlone Indians who used the cinnabar in their face paint. In 1820 a Mexican settler found the ore and the mine. During California’s gold rush this mine produced the most mercury in the world. During the civil war President Lincoln dispatched a Calvary unit from San Francisco to take the mine in the name of the United States government to produce money for the North. The miners would not give up the mine and to avoid a battle the Calvary unit left empty handed.
On top of the amazing history I found out about the many hiking trails up at New Almaden so I planed a hiking trip with my wife and two young sons. We started the hike which was mostly up hill for over a mile. It was hard on the kids but we made it up to English Camp and had lunch. It was a good time and very beautiful. To my family New Almaden Red was the beer that sparked a great hike.
New Almaden Red Ale – Santa Clara Valley Brewing – ABV 10% – Dark red amber color with a nice copper head. Scent of roasted malts and Carmel. Taste of hops and malts. The strong hops and malts make for a complex flavor profile. It is a truly strong red ale brining in a high ABV of 10%. This is a solid red ale!
Written by: Brian Wimsett
Edited by: Monica Wimsett