Lompoc Sidebar to sample their Spring lineup of beers. It was a fun and informative experience, and also was very cool to hear about the brews from the source: The Brewers - Lompoc owner Jerry Fechter and brewers Bryan Kielty and Irena Bierzynski. Dave Fleming wasn't there for the event as he had other things going on.
List of Spring Beers:
Heaven’s Helles, a golden, straw-colored German style pale lager that features a floral aroma and a clean, crisp finish. 5.3% ABV
1060 EZ Taxation Ale, made with pale malt and corn, using Noble hops in the kettle. It's light straw in color, with a malty nose and a mildly sweet mid-mouthfeel provided by the corn. It has a light, dry, and crisp finish. 6% ABV
Cherry Bomb, our Proletariat Red fermented in Maryhill Winery Port barrels with 40 pounds of sour cherries. It features a big cherry aroma with a fruit forward flavor, finishing dry with a touch of oak. 6.2% ABV
Valley of Hops IPA, a classic NW style IPA with a mild body and tons of hops. Centennials, Cascades, Clusters, Meridians, Perles, and Crystals throughout provide a huge hop aroma with a spicy finish for a pleasant IPA that is deliciously drinkable. 5.8% ABV
Ryeteous Badger Belgian Style Red, a very spicy, full flavored, intense Belgian style ale. The extreme spiciness come from the addition of malted rye and a large number of hops. It is full-bodied yet easy drinking. 5.2% ABV
Stout Out Loud, a stout that falls between a dry Irish stout and an oatmeal stout. It has a pitch black color with slight hints of coffee, chocolate and roast flavors with a creamy mouthfeel. 4.1% ABV------------------------------------
- The Heaven's Helles was a very nice Helles which was a nice straw yellow brew, had a nice grassy bitter hop, was a very smooth and light drinker, and contained a nice little touch of spice. The bready yeast, light sulfur aspect, and pretty look made for a very tasty beer.
- The 1060 EZ taxation Ale was a nice lighter version of a corn adjunct brew they had made in previous years. This one ranked in at 6% ABV where in the past it was in the 8's. It's hid a lot in the aroma which lacked, and was quite the simple beer really. Light esters, grain, sweet corn, and a light herbal hop flavor made for an easy drinker. I suggested that perhaps with the theme, and tax time for many who may owe money.. they ought to knock the price-point down on this one. It was solid, but wasn't a big 'wow' beer for me that evening.
- The Kick Axe Dry-Hopped Pale was solid as usual, and had a wonderful Cascade hop aroma and flavor. I was actually able to name the hop before I learned that it was used almost exclusively in the beer. Very drinkable brew with great zesty pine, citrus, and spicy hops. Like it much better this year than the last.
- Valley of Hops was a nice light beer which I though was a little vegetative. Light biscuit, medium body, and very bitter which I liked. The bitterness is what stood out for me most on this one. Solid beer, but again, not one of the ones that really stood out.
- Ryeteous Badger Belgian Style Red was a nice yeasty biscuity spicy and almost smokey Belgian which had a very nice dose of rye. I am a big fan of rye beers, but not so much Belgians. They pulled this one off though. Nicely dry, grassy bitter hops balanced a nice caramel sweetness and tea-like hop. Very well carbonated.
- Stout Out Loud was fantastic. I made sure I had a full glass of this sessionable stout which had a wonderful medium body, and full flavor. For only 4.1% ABV, this stout hit high marks along with those that are from 5-7%. Light coffee malts shined through perfectly along with some nice oat and wheat flavors. It is stated that it is a mix of what I call an American Sweet Stout (Oatmeal), and an Irish Style Stout (Which is more commonly more dry and bitter). I got more of the Irish in the flavor which is perfect, because I prefer a real stout like that. If I wanted a porter, I'd buy a porter.
Also they have a collaboration brew in the works with Breakside Brewing slated for May 10th, as well as 'Barrel Night' May 16th.