Thursday, December 22, 2011

21st Amendment/Ninkasi Collaboration - Allies Win the War!

First day finally off of work and as expected it was spent running all over town!

Historically that first day of vacation is reserved for my "chores", running errands that can't be done after work and are at this point probably long overdue.

Then, I couldn't even come home to relax after all that exhaustion because we had dinner plans with my parents and Aunt & Uncle who were visiting from out of town. It's still three days from Christmas and the holiday family-shuffle begins!

Now I am settling in to watch the pre-recorded Chelsea vs. Tottenham match from earlier today, hopeful that my Blues can make up a few points on the Manchester clubs.

I am also drinking the 21st Amendment/Ninkasi Collaboration - Allies Win the War!. This canned brew is an 8.5% ABV, 52 IBUs ale brewed with dates. I have sampled several beers from 21st Amendment before, but this is my first contact with suds from Ninkasi - a brewery in Eugene, Oregon.

I thought it was cool that both breweries involved in making this beer brought ingredients indigenous to their locale to the table in its creation. The guys from San Francisco decided to make something unique by incorporating California dates, and the Oregonites chocked the beer full of Northwestern hops.

For those of you that have never had California dates, you are really missing out! They are not unlike a raisin, but they are somewhat sweeter with a nuttier flavor and a meatier texture. They bring back some great memories for me because they were a great treat that my siblings and I looked forward to when we would visit my grandparents in SoCal.

Another thing that catches my attention is a picture on the can...It is a world-famous photograph of a World War II wartime meeting between Winston Churchill, FDR and Joseph Stalin (the "Big Three") at the Yalta Conference, except the faces have been replaced by brewers from the two companies. As a history buff enamored by all things WWII related, it was a cool nod along with the newspaper-esque can, and their previous release - Fireside Chat.

This beer pours a dark mahogany color, clear with a two-finger head of off-white lace. It smells piney of those unmistakable Oregon hops and the first sip starts bitter and slowly warms into fruity sweetness. This is a great beer for the season, when you see a lot of brews made with figs, dates, plums, currants and other tree fruits. However, it is the sturdy hop presence that really sets it apart!

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