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Brother Thelonious

Brother Thelonious

I’m a big Thelonious Monk fan so when I saw a beer made in his honor, I had to get it right away. It’s called Brother Thelonious, and it’s a “Belgian Style Abbey Ale” made by North Coast Brewing.

This beer has a caramel tang to it with some hints of molasses, and a really nice creaminess. When you pour it, you get a sizable amount of head, which I think is a good signal that you should take your time to appreciate it. I recommend sipping this one to Monk’s Dream or, since it was brewed in California, Thelonious Alone in San Francisco might be appropriate.

Another reason to drink Brother Thelonious: North Coast Brewing makes a gift to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in support of Jazz education for every bottle sold.

Anchor Porter

Anchor - Porter

I don’t normally think of porters as summer-time beers, but it’s cloudy and rainy here today, and nothing beats a good porter on a gloomy afternoon. My favorite is San Francisco’s Anchor Porter.

I like porters in the same way I like coffee: solid, and without any gimmicky flavors. Just like I want coffee to taste like strong coffee, and not hazelnut, I want my porter to taste like porter, and not like mocha or oatmeal. Don’t get me wrong – the Anchor Porter does have all the overtones of caramel and chocolate that you expect alongside those malts, but they aren’t overwhelming. That’s because the Anchor is crafted and well-balanced.

Dark, creamy, smooth, and just about perfect. If it’s foggy your way, I recommend the Anchor Porter.

New Belgium Ranger IPA

New Belgium Ranger IPA

I just discovered it’s American Craft Beer Week! So to celebrate (well it’s a good excuse anyway), I’ve been drinking some New Belgium – more specifically the Ranger IPA. Apparently that makes me a beer ranger.

Anyway, what I like about this beer is how it combines the citrus / floral / fruity flavors of three different hops with the dark caramel of malts. The Ranger IPA is definitely my favorite of all the New Belgium beers, and I highly recommend it.