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Half Dome is an Amber Ale brewed with a combination of two-row Pale and Caramel malts. The beer is hopped twice during the 90-min. boil, once 30 minutes into the boil with Northern Brewer hops and then again at 60 minutes with Brewer’s Gold hops. The Northern Brewer hops are used primarily for their bittering contributions while the Brewer’s Gold are used for aroma. A proprietary ale yeast strain is used.
Immediately note a rich malty sweet nose with some floral hop tones evident. Look for average head retention in this amber, reddish-brown, clear, medium-bodied beer. Amber Ales are a style open to interpretation, and we like Yosemite’s interpretation a lot. Note a nice floral hop character without too much bitterness. The beer is carbonated at a low rate which allows for an easier identification of the flavors apparent. Overall, a very well-balanced, highly drinkable and flavorful interpretation of an American Amber Ale.
The Yosemite Brewing Co. was founded in 1995 shortly after founders Frank Munoz and Tolley Gorham began contemplation on how they might make a living that allowed them to live in the beautiful mountain community of Mariposa, just outside of Yosemite National Park. The dynamic duo dismissed several pipe dreams including gold panning because frankly, they seemed like a lot of work. One monumental evening, while watching snow fall and drinking beer, the two decided to inventory their skill set and concluded that one obvious thing that they were both good at and enjoyed doing was drinking beer. So it was agreed that their new venture should be centered on this staple in their lives.The talk was first of how they could drink beer for a living, but that notion was quickly dismissed due to the fact that there are so many people that are willing to perform the task for free. Next came the idea of selling beer. But whose beer would they sell? It seemed that there were already salesmen for all of the brands of beer available at the time so they decided to make their own beer. Never mind the fact that neither knew anything about beer other than how to open a bottle and drink it. When the name for the beer came into question, the answer was obvious: "Frank and Tolley’s Good Beer". It only took another beer or two to realize that the marketing potential for a beer which such a name would probably preclude selling enough to make any money.The founders settled on the notion of taking advantage of the majestic park they lived so close to (and the some 4 million that visit it each year) and hence the name of the brewery was established. The boys formed a joint venture with the Meadows Ranch Café and both now occupy a large warehouse that effectively serves as a brewery and brewpub. In addition to the two beers featured this month, Yosemite also produces El Capitan Dark, a brown porter.For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, call (209) 742-5713
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