Monday, February 15, 2010

SF Beer Week: Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Night at Toronado

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Night

February 11, 2010

Location: Toronado, 547 Haight, San Francisco, California
Time(s): 6PM+
Admission: no charge

Another SF Beer night, another night we stumble upon Toronado. Well, actually, we went because we tried to go to The Page after hearing they had Pliny the Younger on draft. But by the time we got there it was kicked, so instead of being utterly disappointed once again, we headed to Toronado for their Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Night. The program is what Sierra Nevada calls "Beer Camp".  For Beer Camp, they invite people who work in the beer industry to go and spend a couple of days at Sierra Nevada.  The first day is spent exploring the brewery, sampling beer, and learning about the history and future of Sierra Nevada.  On the second day, campers meet with the brewers in their research and development brewery.  There they come up with a recipe that they would like to brew, in any style in which they choose.  Once they come up with a style, projected abv, and recipe, they brew the beer.  When the beer is ready they have the kegs shipped back to their establishments and have their own micro release beer on tap. 

We tried in order: Edge of Darkness, Golden Ticket, Hopstar, and Hoptimum.

Edge of Darkness- is a brown ale made with star anise and molasses made by Beer camp #12. 6.75% abv. It poured an opaque dark brown with a light cream head. It smelled of roasted malt, a hint of raisin and some light hops. It tasted light with a good malt character, some anise flavors, chocolate milk, good hop bitterness and an espresso ending. It had a good drinkability to it for being so light.

Golden Ticket-Beer Camp #14 created this Baltic Porter. 7.3% abv. It's the most talked about beer camp beers. It poured eclipse black. It  had roasted malt, molasses, espresso and chocolate aromas. It tasted like molasses, malt, toffee, and some hop bitterness. It had a buttery aftertaste.

Hopstar- IPA made with Simcoe, Chinook, Amarillo and Magnum hops.  7.5% abv. Made by Beer Camp #17, including member from Toronado and City Beer Store. It is the first beer camp beer to ever be torpedoed, which is Sierra Nevada's proprietary dry hop method. It poured a golden yellow. It smelled of hops, citrus, grapefruit with a hint of caramel. It had a good bitterness to it, was very dry with pine, woods, grass and a hint of citrus flavors, minus grapefruit.  Very drinkable.

Hoptimum- Made at Beer Camp #19 and 10.4%. It had members from Toronado, Zeigeist, Pi Bar, Barclays and the B Street Bistro. It's an Imperial IPA with pale and Munich malts, Simcoe, Chinook, Citra and Magnum hops. It poured a yellowish brown. It smelled of lemon citrus, hops and grass. It tasted light with some bitterness, some sweetness but not too hoppy.

All in all, a good night of drinking at Toronado yet again.

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