Calicraft Brewing Company - The City
- ABV: 6.4%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 65
- Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass, Mug, Wide Flute
- Malts: 2-Row
- Hops: Columbus, Centennial, Simcoe
Presenting a bright pale golden color with great clarity and plenty of sticky foam, The City looks great in the glass, and smells even better. Very pungent and lively aromas jump out of the glass, including resinous pine, lemon, grapefruit zest, big spicy notes, and a potpourri-like floral character. Built with 100% 2-row pale malt, there's little in the way of caramel or toast on the palate; instead, The City is crafted in a "NorCal" style that de-emphasizes maltiness in favor of full-throttle hops. That being said, the pale malt provides plenty of support and body, along with a central crackery character. Hop bitterness is firm, but not insane, which is plenty to keep this IPA bone dry from start to lingering finish. Look for the hop aromas to come forth in the flavor too, with very juicy citrus zest, big resinous herbal notes, exotic spice, and wisps of tropical fruit. Calicraft recommends pairing with hors d'oeuvres or "dive bar peanuts." To that, we'd add sweet & sour shrimp, baked lemon chicken, or Polynesian-style pizza. Cheers!
Calicraft Brewing Company, based in Walnut Creek, California, is a relative newcomer, having celebrated their 5th anniversary in May of this year, but its roots go back a long way – to the dreams of a nine-year-old boy. Zac Taylor, Calicraft’s Sales & Marketing Manager, gave us the back story for how Calicraft came together. The brewery’s founder, Blaine Landberg, grew up in Willows, California, up near Chico and its landmark of Sierra Nevada. His family had a holiday tradition of seeing which adults could bring along the most interesting beers, and Blaine’s homebrewing Uncle Gary would bring over his own creations, featuring everything from labels with kangaroos ("Hoppin Good Time") to others with names like "Your Mom’s Favorite Pale Ale." The young Blaine found these beers hilarious, and was enthralled.
Fast forward a few years, to when Blaine started working in his first brewery: his UC Berkeley dorm room, back when he was 19 years old. That initial batch began its fateful journey as a Duvel clone with California Starthistle honey, which was far too sweet until he fermented it with a Champagne yeast. The result yielded one of the best beers he'd ever tried, and would end up as the prototype for one of Calicraft's flagship brews, Buzzerkeley (although an additional 15 years of tinkering was involved in perfecting the beer Calicraft sells today). Currently, Zac explains, “We’re trying to push the boundaries of beer styles using California-sourced ingredients.” Other highlights include the easy-drinking Coast Kölsch; Oaktown, their bold, oak-aged brown ale; The City IPA; Chez Panisse, their collab with Alice Water’s famous Berkeley establishment using organic anise hyssop, Meyer lemon leaf, and lemon verbena blossom; and their multiple Barrel Project beers, featuring various fruits and wine grape pomace from Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. We look forward to seeing what they come up with next. (Be on the lookout for one of their limited release beers to appear in our Rare Beer Club soon!) For more info about the brewery and their Walnut Creek Taproom, call 925-478-8103 or visit www.calicraft.com.
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