Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Canned Beer from San Diego — Mike Hess Brewing vs. Modern Times

Mike Hess Brewing
Habitus Rye IPA
ABV 8.0%
Modern Times 
Blazing World Amber
ABV 6.8%

San Diego is serious about craft beer. During our short visit a couple of months ago we planned on checking out a bunch of the San Diego stalwarts like Green Flash, Stone, Speedway, Alesmith, Ballast Point, Lost Abbey/Port and Pizza Port. When we got there, however, we were far more intrigued by the vast number of smaller breweries that don't currently distribute to Oregon. We ended up checking out Acoustic Ales, Societe Brewing, Council Brewing, Belching Beaver Brewing (possibly the worst name for a brewery, ever) and Modern Times. We didn't make it to the Mike Hess brewery, but did sample their beers at an event where they were pouring. This battle features two of my personal favorite beers from the trip. They are not the same style, but who cares? They are both in cool cans, both from San Diego and I make the rules.

Beer #1 (Mike Hess Habitus Rye IPA) was a bright orange. The nose featured pine and pineapple hop notes, sweet honey malts and a spicy rye character. The rye really stood out in the flavor with a distinct spiciness to go along with the piny, herbal hops. It finished moderately bitter with a smooth spicy finish.

Beer #2 (Modern Times Blazing World Amber) was more of a brownish orange. The aroma was very complex with a sweet and fruity malt backbone combined with some serious dank (as they so aptly describe it), cat-pee, marijuana funkiness. The flavor was very rich with some smoky and sweet pipe-tobacco along with toasted wood and an intense, herbal hoppiness throughout. The finish had a solid bitterness with some slight smoke and herbal funk.

I had a really hard time choosing as I think both of these beers are amazing. The Habitus is probably the best Rye IPA I've tried and the Blazing World is unique, experimental and absolutely delicious. I ended up choosing the Blazing World because it is just unlike any other beer I've tasted and I give them huge props for putting something so unfamiliar in their permanent lineup. It was an easy decision for Ellen, however, as she went with the stellar Habitus mainly because she found the super intense richness and aggressive funky hoppiness of the Blazing World to be borderline offensive.  

Split decision: Ellen chose the Habitus, I chose the Blazing World

No comments:

Post a Comment