Good afternoon fellow Beer Barrelites. Once more, Low Commander is here to ramble on about some beer he tried this past week, allowing make it snow to full dedicate himself to his fantastic Oscar’s previews. “But if the Oscar’s were last night,” you might ask, “why are you filling in now?”
I know I’ve profiled a lot of IPAs the last few times I’ve been guest hosting the Beer Barrel, so I decided to do something a little different this time. Believe it or not, IPAs are not my favorite kind of beer; they just happen to be more common for some of the more rare seasonal releases, and there certainly are more widely available throughout San Diego than many other types. That’s why this time, I’d like to travel quite a bit further up the coast and talk about Alvarado Street
Alvarado Street has made big names for themselves in the recent years, after opening in 2014. As can be seen from their website’s category listings, the majority of their beers are on the hoppier side of things, and I’ll admit that’s really where I know them from, specifically more on the side of their Hazy IPAs, A few days before trying the topic of this week’s Beer Barrel, I tried their “Best Part of Waking Up” Nitro Milk Stout with Coffee, Cacao & Vanilla on tap. It was very nice, but I felt the flavors were a little more muted than I would have liked – possibly from being on nitro. It was because of this I decided pick up a can of Local Shred Red, rather than the stout.
Local Shred Red is an American style amber ale brewed with a “fuck ton” of different types of malts and Centennial and Amarillo hops. Sitting at 7.2% ABV and 50 IBUs, this is a fairly easy drinking ale that will do some serious damage if you have more than one quickly. As you can see from the headline image, it pours a coppery crimson color, with low carbonation and barely any head. The smell was rather piney, like that of a pale ale. (I got a little too excited trying to enjoy the scent that I ended up giving myself a Belgian dip in the process.) The taste is very neat and not overly complex. At first, it reminds me of a Hazy IPA in that it washes over the whole mouth with an almost, but not quite juicy way, but definitely so in the nose. That gives way to a coppery sweetness that I’ve always associated with a good Red. The copper taste is a lot more mild though, really making it stand out from your more average Reds, like Lagunita’s Censored, which can often seem like someone threw a penny in your glass. Unlike most other Reds though, it is not dry. Quite the opposite in fact. The juiciness gives it a long lasting aftertaste that makes this one of the better additions to this style that I’ve had in a long time.
If you can get your hands on some, I highly recommend this as a good sipping beer. It may be a little piney for folks that aren’t very big IPA fans, but the malts definitely tone that down quite a bit, for a crisp and delicious product. If you can get your hands on one of these, along with any of Alvarado’s offerings, I would highly recommend it.