Tale of a favored IPA (india pale ale) found.
My journey into this new favorite IPA started Friday January 27, 2012. A friend had seen a local bar on the food network with great reviews. G. (my friend) inquired if the O’lady and I would join he and his date at the Broken Record on Geneva Ave. in San Francisco, CA. Although the bar is in a known “ruff” area of SF, it’s billed as full of “Mission Hipsters“. This description seemed to suit the atmosphere of the establishment very well.
Since the Broken Record was walking distance (.5mi) from the house. After work the better half and I decided to take a stroll at 5:00pm to meet with our friends at the saloon. Walking would afford us the ability to partake in a few drinks, and not worry about a ride home.
The wife and I so enjoyed the atmosphere, food, and beer, the next day I had to get online to find out about this Drake’s Brewing Co. With a flash of the keyboard, a quick Google search lead me to the Drake’s website. Well low and behold they were announcing this Hopocalypse tasting party to be held at the barrel house Feb. 4th, 2012. I knew I had to check that out.
The next day Sat. January 28, 2012 the email invite from me went out to several friends. Most of these were friends we haven’t seen in a few months. I hoped they would be happy to hear from me, and to join us at this new adventure at Drake’s Barrel House. It was also only two days before wifey’s birthday so I mentioned that for extra incentive. Within two days I had a positive RSVP from each friend.
I buckled down to wait the week before it was time to meet up with our friends to hang out, celebrate, and try some great beer together.
Getting to the barrel house seemed easy enough. The address was on the website. Type it into Google Maps, and our GPS in our truck, no problem…. right? The tasting began at 10:00am. We left San Francisco at 11:00am and expected to be at the barrel house in San Leandro by 11:30am. We looked at Google Maps and could see the party was behind San Leandro Walmart which was accurate. GPS is another story. We plopped in the address and followed along. It got us close but the “You have arrived at your destination” brought us to the front facade of a nondescript building that had nothing to do with beer. After driving around the area for about 5 minutes we found it just as Google Maps had shown, behind Walmart. This is a fairly large shopping center in San Leandro with several popular stores besides Walmart, so finding parking ate up another 5 minutes or so, before we could partake of good friends and beer.
- No one under 21 years old.
- No pets
- No smoking
I guess my grey whiskers gave away my age. The gate attendants stamped my hand, and let me in without a second glance.
As soon as I got past the gate, and maneuvered my way through the casual patio area, I was on a mission. An IPA tasting mission. We were about two hours late for the 10:00am opening at this point. The place had about 150 beer lovers either relaxing on the patio, taking a brewery tour, or standing inside the barrel house, waiting to be served their favorite selection of beer.
Drakes has a large selection of beer on tap or in bottle ready for your drinking pleasure. I’m partial to IPA so there were only a few tasting targets for me to hit that day. Entering the barrel house there was a crowd of about 50 in 5 or 6 lines in front of the serving bar. A few folks that had already been served were standing around chatting and enjoying their refreshments. In the beginning the lines moved quickly, but as the day wore on it seemed the wait in line went from 5 min. to 20 min. to get to the beer. No hurry though. It was nice to relax, soak in the atmosphere, and chat with friends about beer.
What can I say here? I LOVED IT! Drakes regular IPA is hoppy, bitter, dark, with a heavy texture. Drakes Hopocalypse Double IPA is a tad sweeter, and lighter, with plenty of hop finish, with a cloudy amber hue. Hopocalypse Triple Black Label IPA is the champagne of the three. Crystal clear golden amber color with just enough caramely sweetness to give an apple aftertaste, but with enough hop in the end that you barely notice the +12%ABV. Thank you ma’am may I have another. After four 10oz glasses of the Triple black label I was feelin’ mighty fine. Love the high content craft beers. Taste great and no 6 pack bloat or running to the restroom every few minutes to unload.
Overall my friends and I had a great time (as you can see by all the smiles and good cheer) at this years Hopocalypse. I can see myself visiting often to get more of the golden ale produced at Drakes. We will be keeping a close eye on other Drakes events, and look forward to next years Hopocalypse release!