Among the San Diego beers, there is one thing that I look forward to twice every year. That is the Yulesmith from Alesmith, a specialty brew that is released each Summer and Winter. Each year it is fantastic and this year’s is no exception. Unlike most specialty Summer ales, which tend to be on the lighter side, the Summer Yulesmith is a hopped up Double IPA at a nice solid 8.5%. This would go well with the new recipe of Hop Head Red and West Coast IPA from Green Flash.
This beer pours a nice middle color on the IPA scale, similar to a light amber. It has plenty of light citrus flavor and pine balanced out by enough malts that it doesn’t get too in-your-face. I might have liked more hops in this beer but I also appreciate attempts to balance out a beer. From the bitterness I tasted this is probably somewhere around 85 IBU, so it is a good middle ground for those hooked on the bitter brews.
Summer Yulesmith is available in 22oz bottles at most of the stores where you see Alesmith beers and at the tasting room. This is the perfect beer to use to bring your hop head friends along to the Alesmith tasting room if they haven’t been there yet.
I’ve been going to Alesmith for so long that I can’t remember exactly when I first tried their beers. It may have been when the guy at Bevmo suggested I try their Speedway Stout. Over the years I have been to the brewery a number of times. This time, I stopped in to try their new collaboration beer with Monkey’s Paw Brewing called Ashes of the Dead, a brown ale at 6.66%.
I only had a taster of Ashes of the Dead. It had a solid flavor for a brown ale and the smoky flavor wasn’t too much to become overpowering. Still, I was craving some hopps so I had to have an 8oz of Evil Dead Red. I had this one before in a bomber (22oz bottle) but I had to try it fresh on tap. It is hard to explain exactly the difference but every beer tastes better fresh on tap.
On tap you could really taste the hop flavors in the Evil Dead Red. It has a nice citrus kick to it that balances out the otherwise malty flavors of the beer. I asked whether these two beers are exactly 6.66% and was told that they get as close as possible. There is a certain amount to which you can’t control the percentage no matter how much you try but it is close enough.
Alesmith has long been one of my favorite San Diego breweries. If you like stouts and don’t mind them a little sweet, the Speedway Stout is always worth drinking. They have some solid darker Belgian style beers and occasionally some seasonal beers that highlight the hopps. Come by the tasting room to see what tickles your fancy.
Alesmith brought back the Evil Dead Red for 2014 in 22oz bombers and on tap around town. As always, it is slightly more hoppy in the bottles than on tap and still the same great beer!