Beer Reviews by Tom Becham

chronicOnce again, I find myself reviewing canned craft beer offerings. This time, the outcome is much better than previously.

The first in line is Pizza Port’s Carlsbad Chronic. Pizza Port has a long, illustrious history in the craft beer world. It gave rise to legendary brewer Tomme Arthur (winner of more Great American Beer festival medals than any other individual), and to offshoots Lost Abbey and Port Brewing. Until now, all Pizza Port beers had been confined to its brewpubs.

There are only four different varieties of beer currently under the Pizza Port label, but that should increase soon, and more the better!

The Carlsbad Chronic can has label art that mocks its own name a bit, with something that looks like (but isn’t) a marijuana leaf. The joke here is that Pizza Port caters to the beach crowd of San Diego County, a demographic widely believed to be “Crispy Critters”. It also implies that the beer is habit forming, which is entirely correct.

Carlsbad Chronic is a beautiful clear red-brown ale that pours with a decent, but short-lived head. There is some thin lace in the glass as you drain it. It is all malt on the nose, a dark bread and caramel olfactory tease.

The flavor is like some of the most balanced efforts of traditional German brewers, or Samuel Adams best efforts. It is malty juuuuuust up to the point of being sweet, then the maltiness is knocked down by an earthy hop. The tastes are the same bready, caramel ones the aroma suggests. The finish is pleasant, but exceedingly short.

The point of this beer is that it is a “session ale”; it clocks in at only 4.9% ABV, it is perilously drinkable, and while the flavor is pleasant, it won’t overwhelm one’s taste buds or clash with any food. This is the kind of beer that Bud, Miller and Coors *wish* they could make. This is worth finding.

Second under the microscope is Uncommon Brewer’s Bacon Brown Ale. Continue reading “Beer Reviews by Tom Becham”