Tahoe Mountain Pink Pants – Tahoe Mountain Brewing is the hidden gem of the area, if not all of California. They have very limited distribution and they seem to get overshadowed by nearby Fifty Fifty Brewing (which is excellent, but kind of a one trick pony w/ Eclipse). I’m consistently blown away by Tahoe Mountain’s brews. Their Tahoe City restaurant is good but they seem to save the crazy stuff for their Truckee tasting room. Pink Pants is their Hot Pants Berliner Weisse with hibiscus and lemongrass added. It is spectacular! You know you’ve ordered wisely when the brewer rolls out of the brewing area and pours the same thing you’re drinking. You should probably drive to Truckee California right now and order this beer.
Great Notion Blueberry Muffin – Normally I’d complain when an adjunct flavor completely dominates a beer’s flavor. However, Great Notion so completely nailed the natural flavor of tart, fresh blueberries that there is no room for complaint with Blueberry Muffin.
Moonraker The Holy Hermit & Dojo – I had a sampler at the brewery and didn’t take notes, but these were my two favorite Moonraker IPAs. This was my first Moonraker experience and both of these lived up to the hype. I liked both of them a lot more than their Yojo which had a weird creamy (almost buttery) mouthfeel that wasn’t a good match for the tropical hops for me. They both edged out Alpha Tide as well.
Moonraker Radiant Moon – Again with the sampler and the lack of notes, but this one was memorable. I actually rated this Saison higher on Untappd than I rated their famous IPAs.
Waganupa Cherry Chocolate Stout – A bit thin-bodied but the natural taste of the chocolate with the cherry sweetness in the background really impressed me.
Claim 52 Fluffy – Many of the west coast breweries are taking a crack at the hazy IPA style, but I feel like this is the one that succeeded the most for me so far. Fluffy is the perfect name for this brew. They really nailed the mouth feel on this one. The hop flavor and mellow bitterness were also excellent.