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Notes from a Mobster

Notes from a Mobster

Review of: Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
By: Avery Glasser
Rating: 5
Read review on Judy’s Book.

First off, I have to admit, I’ve been a Speakeasy Mobster and shareholder since the late 1990s – so I am a little biased. As much as I love the current lineup of bottled beers: Big Daddy IPA, Prohibition Ale, Double Daddy Imperial IPA and the Untouchable Pale Ale (and the elusive Godfather Barleywine), it’s the keg-only and the dearly departed brews that made this brewery tops in my book.

Keg Only:
The Bootlegger Black Lager holds up to the classic Sapporo Black and the archetype of the style: Kostritzer Schwartzbier. Malty and a little sweet, but also refreshing. There’s a reason they’re commonly called black pilsners.

The Shylock Maibock is also a great example of a German spring bock beer. Strong but balanced with a sweet malty character.

Even the Satchmo Stout, which should be bottled as there is a real lack of good local stouts, is a fantastic beer… nice and roasty and proof that stouts can aspire to be more than a Guinness.

However, the three best, most unique beers are ones that are unfortunately not being made any more.

White Lightning – their attempt at a berliner weisse, a sour beer that had undergone lactic fermentation. Even though it was a pain to produce and a bigger pain to clean out of the tanks and pipes, it was an amazing beer when stored and served properly (the trick was to make sure some live yeast made it into the glass like with a Belgian beer)

Common Beer – The San Francisco Common Beer was quite possibly the best beer produced on the west coast when it came to pairing with food, and it’s a shame that restaurants all throughout the Bay Area didn’t stock it. Maybe it was the name, or maybe the restaurant industry lacked the vision to pair a domestic beer with food the way they do now with Belgian brews. Either way, it is sorely missed.

Finally, the best of the bunch: Untouchable Lager – a perfect Maerzen beer, and possibly the best California-made lager I have ever had. This beer was fantastic, but unfortunately suffered in sales because the local market is biased towards ales.

The city is much better for having Speakeasy supplying its bars with fresh, local brew.

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