Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

Craft Beer Crosscut 12.5.18: A Flight of 21st Amendment

Ron Swarner


Beer-Flights-Logo-no-wordsFlash back to the Roaring Twenties, when America was in the midst of the Prohibition: Booze was banned, stealthy speakeasies adorned Tacoma, and the Paramount Theatre sat in Tacoma’s Proctor District, which later became Peaks and Pints bottle shop, taproom and eatery in November 2016. Prohibition, the law that prohibited the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol in the United States, was ratified as the 18th amendment on Jan. 16, 1919, and went into effect on Jan. 16, 1920. In other words, 98 years ago was a very sad day. Dec. 5, 1933, passage of the 21st Amendment, brought an end to Prohibition. You might think there are already enough reasons to party in December. You might think there are enough holidays prominently featuring the consumption of alcoholic beverages. You would be wrong. The anniversary of the day Prohibition was repealed, today, is fast becoming a favorite holiday. We think that deserves five 21st Amendment Brewery craft beers. In 2000, Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan founded 21st Amendment Brewery in the South Park neighborhood of San Francisco, California. As avid beer enthusiasts, Freccia and O’Sullivan were determined to establish an ongoing celebration of the overturned 21st Amendment to the Constitution and gave their brewery the amendment’s namesake to commemorate it. Cheers to Repeal Day, 21st Amendment Brewery and our Craft Beer Crosscut 12.5.18: A Flight of 21st Amendment.

Craft Beer Crosscut 12.5.18: A Flight of 21st Amendment

21st-Amendment-El-Sully-Tacoma21st Amendment El Sully

4.8% ABV, 19 IBU

21st Amendment’s El Sully is much more than a crisp Mexican-style lager with light notes of spice from Northern Brewer hops. Corn, plus Pale and Munich malts, provide a creamy texture and combine with the hops create a light-bodied, low alcohol, flavorful and complex lager. It hits the nose with sweet Pilsner malt aroma with delicate biscuit, lemon citrus, slight toast and a touch of honey. On the tongue, we taste a lot for such a light lager. We get some light Pilsner malt with a medium-sweet biscuit presence, but not overly sweet. The floral, earthy hops flavors blend right in, with a low-key pleasant bitterness. Expect a slight apple note toward the end of the sip.

21st-Amendment-El-Sully-Tacoma21st Amendment Fireside Chat

7.9% ABV, 45 IBU

21st Amendment Brewery produces a line of very tasty brews including Fireside Chat, a winter ale with a nod toward Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Depression-era radio addresses. (Franklin Roosevelt won the 1932 presidential election based in large part on his promise to repeal the 18th Amendment. He did so incrementally, beginning by legalizing the sale of beer, and ending with the 21st Amendment, the first and only time an amendment to the Constitution has ever been repealed.) On the nose, all the typical winter warmer flavors are accounted for: roasted malts, cinnamon, ginger, caramel, clove and a smidgen of orange peel. Big notes of cinnamon and ginger lie in wait up front, with a touch of subtle orange peel and some clove with a big ginger sendoff, washing in some cinnamon, bread notes and subtle chocolate, too.

21st-Amendment-A-Terrible-Idea-Tacoma21st Amendment A Terrible Idea

6.8% ABV, 55 IBU

In collaboration with Bay Area friends at Fieldwork Brewing (who know a “little” about hops in beers) 21st Amendment brings you A Terrible Idea. Brewed with malted and naked oats, as well as unmalted wheat, A Terrible Idea receives a massive dry hop of Citra and Mosaic for strong hop flavors and aromas, coupled with juicy notes of peach, orange, mango and pineapple. The grain bill and silky yeast offer a creamy mouthfeel.

21st-Amendment-Tasty-IPA-Tacoma21st Amendment Tasty IPA

6.8% ABV, 70 IBU

21st Amendment Brewery collaborated with legendary homebrewer Mike “Tasty” McDole to create a tasty hazy IPA, called Tasty IPA, aggressively hopped with Citra, Mosaic lupulin powder and Ekuanot hop pellets. For the uninitiated, lupulin powder is made from the heart of the hop, where the hop resins and oils reside. Tasty IPA sports bright, fresh flavors and aromas of tropical stone fruits and pine, with a hint of spiciness. The beer’s distinctive label art was drawn by Tasty’s son, Mark McDole.

21st-Amendment-Tasty-IPA-Tacoma21st Amendment Brew Free! Or Die IPA (Blood Orange)

7% ABV, 70 IBU

Fruit forward beers across the board have been a very popular seller for 21st Amendment. After the breakaway success of Hell or High Watermelon Wheat beer, brewmaster Shaun O’Sullivan decided to go the blood orange route with Brew Free! Or Die. Ever since O’Sullivan first introduced Brew Free! Or Die to the beer festival circuit, there has been a palpable buzz from patrons who can’t get enough of the citrusy combo of Citra hops and orange. It hits the nose with strong orange, with notes of pine and fragrant ale malts. The taste is medium bitter, but sweetened by strong orange and subtle pine.