So there I was, browsing the Mustang Daily’s website, when low and behold I see that the Cal Poly Brew Crew now has their own column to rival mine.
No big deal, I thought as I read the column, which was packed with information and knowledge well beyond my scope of comprehension.
Eventually I got scared enough to text the head honcho to make sure that I hadn’t been fired.
“No sir, the Cal Poly community loves your brand of irreverence and idiocy,” the text said. “We’ll run both.”
OK, so maybe it didn’t say that exactly, but I was happy to know that I was going to remain (un)gainfully employed.
It was exciting because I knew I’d be tasting a limited release from a local favorite — Firestone Brewery.
It wouldn’t be the same to just taste the beer without putting down my thoughts on it.
Firestone has been a staple of Central Coast brewing for quite a while now, carving out its own little niche in the California and Nevada beer markets.
The brewery is traditionally known for its award-winning pale ales, the best of which (in my opinion) is the California Pale Ale.
But every so often, Firestone offers a limited release of a different type of beer, such as Solace — the beer I tasted this week.
Solace is an unfiltered wheat beer, which deviates from the Firestone norm. It’s been marketed as the kind of beer you would drink on a warm afternoon; the brewery calls it a “Summertime Fusion Beer.”
It does kind of seem like a fusion between a Saison, which I wrote about a while back, and a Hefeweizen, so I can see where the name comes from.
The beer has a fruity, citrusy scent. The citrus was really strong to me. But everyone seems to have a different nose; my honker definitely picked out the citrus and lemon.
Unfortunately, an issue I had, and hopefully this isn’t too snobbish for you, is that the head retention was quite minimal.
Some of you might say, “Who cares about head retention?”
Well, I’m picky, so I care about it and you should too. It adds to the flavor and body of the beverage.
The first Solace I poured into my tulip glass had very little head at all, so I figured on the second pour I’d get more aggressive to create more; that didn’t work.
On the third pour, I literally dumped the bottle into my glass as quickly as I could, which finally created a little more head.
If you’re like me, and you’re a big fan of (beer) head, you’ll want to get as aggressive a pour in as you can. But even then, it dissipated by my second or third sip.
Nevertheless, this beer is tasty. For a beer that is 6 percent ABV, it seems very sessionable.
The citrus that I could smell lingers in the taste, but is not overpowering as the scent led me to believe. There’s a hint of clove but not too much and also what seems to be a honey-like aftertaste.
To be fair, the beer grew on me. After I drank the first one I thought to myself, “No wonder they don’t release this beer year-round.”
But it really got on my good side quickly.
I know most beers grow on people after they’ve had more than three in a session, but this one has grown enough to make me think that another six-pack is in order.
That’s all for this week from me. For the informative and generally better column, read the Cal Poly Brew Crew’s offering on Thursday.