The last couple of years, I’ve migrated my preferred beer selection from standard IPA’s to hazy IPA’s. They tend to be fruitier, lighter, and easier to drink, and are particularly delicious in the warm weather. However, they lack the potent, bitter, hoppiness of original IPA’s and the sweetness comes through more, so sometimes, after a few too many hazys, I definitely crave an original IPA to balance out the palate.
COVID-19 hit in March, and shelter-in place orders trickled down the coast, beginning in Northern California, making its way down to San Diego County. Since shelter-in-place took effect, we have stocked up from Bevmo on a couple of occasions and taken the time to try different beers. While I didn’t buy into the toilet paper or hand sanitizer panic (somewhat to my detriment, however, as we have a pretty sad supply of hand sanitizer), I certainly did panic when I saw that some states were considering banning alcohol sales, and that there could be a beer supply problem due to shortage in CO2. Ultimately, it did not end up being a problem, and there has been plenty of beer to go around (thus far).
The Goose Island pictured below is not a hazy, but was unexpectedly citrusy, fruity, and well-balanced. I was not a huge fan of Goose Island’s original IPA, so this one took me by surprise. Price was also something to gloat about – not a lot of solid beers are going for $7.99 a six-pack, so I considered this a win. Both Lagunitas hazys had a similar feel. Lagunitas tends to be sort of unmemorable for me (no different from their original IPA) – drinkable and good enough, but probably not good enough to buy again if it isn’t on sale.
Since bars and restaurants were forcibly closed for an extended period of time, we watched sadly as longstanding neighborhood breweries went out of business. When we saw that Lost Abbey, which had opened just shortly before the coronavirus madness, was selling beers to go, we picked up a few bottles. They were selling them for very reasonable prices, comparable to retail. We’ve had the Judgment Day quad before, but it is no joke. Strong as hell, deep flavors (currant, raisin, warm Belgian spices).
Quarantine has not been too bad for us, as we have a yard, good weather, good books, and a few hiking trails nearby on which to enjoy our beers. There’s a lot of crazy shit going on, and it’s a good time to count blessings.