Tonight, I’m having a Red Trolley Ale from Karl Strauss brewery, the first of the several dozen breweries now populating the San Diego area. Takes me back….this was one of the first craft beers that caught my attention back in the mid-’90s. Here are the initial culprits behind my beer fandom:
1. Karl Strauss Red Trolley Ale (nice caramel finish, a medium-bodied red ale that’s been around a long time now but just starting to win some big-time awards).
2. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (once and always, a consistently great beer and a standard-bearer for all American pale ales. I expect to hear a lot of people give a shout out to this classic from Chico, CA).
3. Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale (another medium-bodied ale, British style, the initial flagship offering from the Firestone guys back when they were still quasi-affiliated with their dad’s winery in Santa Barbara County. I think they’ve now moved the entire operation to Paso Robles).
Anyway….there ya go. Don’t blame me, blame these guys for packing some actual flavor and depth into something I used to think was just carbonated bottlings from the urinalysis lab! I try all kinds of beers nowadays, and I’ve kind of gravitated toward West Coast IPAs heavy on the IBUs (International Bitterness Units), and slowly getting into the Belgian and Cali-Belgian stuff.
But the question I have for my fellow quality beer drinking enthusiasts, hopheads, and pint glass collecting nerds is this:
I wanna know what craft beers (or even imports) got you interested in beer in the first place?