Hop and Vine LIVE Beer Tasting!

Hop and Vine

It’s Friday night and time for another beer tasting! This week, my wife and I had a date night at “Hop and Vine”, a little bistro on The Alameda in Santa Clara, California! We went ahead and tasted eight beers and reviewed them!

So, please, go get your favorite beverage, sit down, kick back and enjoy as we do our tasting!

Our first beer is…


Hop and Vine

BEER: The Pitchfork (Pear Cider)
BREWERY: Sonoma Cider – Healdsburg, CA
ABV: 6%
MATT: 4/5

LOOK: Pale gold and clear

SCENT: Pear for days

MOUTHFEEL/TASTE: Thin mouthfeel and very sweet and light. Goes down like champagne.

FINAL REFLECTIONS: This is a fun beer — if you like ciders. This sucker is deadly. You can’t really taste the booze because it’s masked by the flavor of the pears. Apple on the back end. Very crushable, even at 6% ABV. Refreshing as hell.





Hop and Vine

BEER: Funky Foeder (Farmhouse Ale)
BREWERY: Russian River Brewing Company – Windsor, CA
ABV: 7%
MATT: 2.75/5
DANIELLE: 2.75/5

LOOK: Dark gold and cloudy

SCENT: Strawberry/watermelon

MOUTHFEEL/TASTE: Lots of bitter and sour to it…no real flavor to it

FINAL REFLECTIONS: This tastes strangely earthy for a sour and goes down as bitter. No real flavor to be had. Not one of our favorites.





BEER: Fresca Hibiscus (Gose w/ Hibiscus)
BREWERY: Camino Brewing – San Jose, CA
ABV: 4.2%
MATT: 3/5

LOOK: Very red color and hazy

SCENT: Very sour/tart scent

MOUTHFEEL/TASTE: Thin and tastes sour — but in a good way like strawberries.

FINAL REFLECTIONS: Danielle liked it more than I did, comparing it to a sweet champagne. I thought it was a decent sour but left much to be desired.





BEER: Beatification (Wild Ale)
BREWERY: Russian River Brewing Company – Windsor, CA
ABV: 6%
MATT: 2.75/5

LOOK: Gold and hazy

SCENT: Very unique herbal scent with fruit

MOUTHFEEL/TASTE: Very sour — though not as sour as a regular sour beer — with some citrus.

FINAL REFLECTIONS: It’s sour with some orange peel to it. Beyond that, there isn’t much appeal as if you’ve tasted one sour, you’ve tasted them all.





BEER: Mango Bomb IPA
BREWERY: Full Circle Brewing Company – Fresno, CA
ABV: 9.5%
MATT: 3.75/5

LOOK: Gold and slightly hazy

SCENT: Mango on the nose and maybe some tropical fruit

MOUTHFEEL/TASTE: Bitter and dry — but nicely offset by the mango flavoring.

FINAL REFLECTIONS: A nicely done IPA that isn’t too bitter and goes down somewhat dry — but has a really nice mango flavoring that completes everything.





BEER: Contents Under Fresher IPA
BREWERY: Lagunitas Brewing Company – Petaluma, CA
ABV: 7.7%
MATT: 3.75/5
DANIELLE: 3.75/5

LOOK: Gold and clear

SCENT: Tropical fruit almost like a tiki cocktail

MOUTHFEEL/TASTE: Tropical fruit but not much bite to it.

FINAL REFLECTIONS: A nice “juicy” style IPA but not much carbonation to it, which is odd. Was also expecting more of a bite. Still, a good IPA, especially for a party.





BEER: The Claw (Imperial IPA)
BREWERY: Narrative Fermentations – San Jose, CA
ABV: 8.2%
MATT: 3.5/5

LOOK: Gold and very hazy all the way through

SCENT: Sweet, almost saccharin

MOUTHFEEL/TASTE: Good hazy beer with a sweet flavor — but almost like somebody poured a punch of sugar into the brewing vat.

FINAL REFLECTIONS: Very saccharin on the tongue but not wholly unpleasant. Just wish there was more character past the sugar taste.





BEER: Captain Save-a-Hop (Pineapple IPA)
BREWERY: Full Circle Brewing Company – Fresno, CA
ABV: 7.1%
MATT: 4/5

LOOK: Gold and clear

SCENT: A lot of pineapple if you try hard enough

MOUTHFEEL/TASTE: Good IPA flavoring but there’s not much “pineapple” to be had.

FINAL REFLECTIONS: Very good IPA but there’s more “pine” than “pineapple”. That’s not so bad since a good IPA should have some pine to it.


FINAL THOUGHTS: Another solid tasting with eight good beers comprised of four sour/farmhouse/ale style beers and four IPA’s.




NEXT WEEK: We have another great selection of beers! Stay tuned!

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