Welcome to week two of my Octoberfest experiment! While I've never been to the real deal in Germany, Octoberfest seasonal brews are probably my favorite seasonal offerings of the year. Over the duration of September and into October, I am going to be trying many of the seasonal brews available in San Antonio, with the aim of crowning the best Octoberfest brew.
You've likely seen, in recent years, reports of the growing craft beer movement in the US having a tremendous impact on local economies. Small brewers are creating hubs of activity spurring economic growth, but on the other side of the world, beer is literally building cities. Or, should I say rebuilding.
Over the last few years, the United States has become increasingly open to Marijuana. Between multiple polls, public debates and the sweeping legislative changes seeing states increasingly accept medicinal and/or recreational marijuana use, it's clear that the United States of America is increasingly "green" friendly.
If you've ever checked out the craft beer communities of prevalent social networks, odds are you have come across Stone Brewing before. Creating popular brews such as Ruination and Tangerine Express, Stone Brewing's reputation for quality craft beer lays on a solid foundation. The only Stone beer I had tried in the past was Arrogant Bastard, which is in a grey area as it was originally a Stone brand but went solo in 2015. As far as I can tell, it is still owned by the same people.
This is a beer that, seemingly, needs no introduction. Pliny the Elder has captivated the craft community for quite some time. Brewed by Russian River, based of of California, Pliny has developed a reputation for punching you in the mouth with 100 IBU of hops, but doing it in a lovable, classy way. With 174,000 reviews ratings on Untappd, Pliny has managed to maintain an obscenely high 4.55/5. So when I was presented an opportunity to do a beer trade for a couple bottles, I jumped at the chance.
While Sierra Nevada is a world-renowned craft brewery, particularly due to its annual Beer Camp release, I had never tried one of their beers before. I picked this one up as something to consider in my Battle of the Beers - Summer Brews article. In this review, I welcome myself to the world of Sierra Nevada with their 2017 Summerfest Pilsner.
Following my trial of JosephsBrau Hefeweizen, I was excited to try their Summer Brew. Having seen it ranked as the third best beer exclusively carried by Trader Joes, in this Business Insider article, I knew this would be good. The hefeweizen obliterated my expectations going in. While its not the most amazing beer I have ever tried, it is a damn good one - and, at $1.17 a bottle, I was not going to complain.
Oh Trader Joe's, the mecca for upper-middle class citizens looking for off-brand, high quality edible products. While I had never shopped here before, I knew many people who seemingly lived and died by the products available at the Californian retailer. And honestly, I wouldn't ever have thought to visit Trader Joe's and evaluate its beer offerings until I read this. Intrigued by Trader Joe's surprisingly deep roster of in-house brew, I decided to stop by and see what the fuss was about.