For our second installment of the Beer of the Week segment, I turn to one of my recent go-to favorites. But before we get there, a little about me. I used to be a creature of habit: I’d wear the same style shirts, eat the same meals while out and I’d always choose from a very limited selection of beers. However, over the last 5 years or so, I have flipped that switch and gone full speed in the other direction. While I still have no fashion sense, it is rare that I order the same beer twice in one sitting. That switch occurred when I start collecting beer ‘credits’ from loyalty programs in places like Taco Mac, World of Beer and the Flying Saucer. But that’s a post for another day.

I say all of that to shed light on how I found my new go-to favorite beer. It was in perusing the extensive beer list at Taco Mac-Crabapple that I found this and gave it a whirl. And what a treat that was for me! This is not an expensive, super-fancy beer to be saved for a special occasion. And it certainly is not a “pound a half-case before kickoff” beer either. It is a very nice, smooth beer that has great balance and is perfect to enjoy over dinner with friends, at a backyard BBQ or any other social occasion. And it’s a nice conversation-starter, too. Not everyone has heard of it … yet.

Enough preamble, this week’s BOTW is Left Hand Sawtooth. Left Hand is a brewery in Longmont, Colorado and creates fantastic choices like the 400-Pound Monkey, Good Juju and St. Vrain Tripel. But their signature beer is the Sawtooth. This is an ESB (Extra Special Bitter), but don’t let the word ‘bitter’ fool you. This is a perfectly balanced beer that has a slight hint of citrus aroma and flavor. The first time I had this was on Thursday May 28, 2009 at the Taco Mac in Crabapple (Roswell), GA. Yes, moments like this are that memorable. Right now, the best way to get Sawtooth is in the 12-pack mixer, which includes 4 each of Sawtooth, Black Jack Porter, Milk Stout and the 400-Pound Monkey. Do yourself a flavor and grab one today!

And you’re welcome.
Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

Each week, I will highlight a beer I have had recently that struck me as particularly good.  And worth visiting your local pub or package store to find.

For our first installment, I’ll go with something super-extra fun and unique.  As a major fan of Dogfish Head 60 and 90-minute IPAs, I was intrigued when the bartender suggested I try “Dogfish Head 61-minute IPA.”  I had not heard of it before, but was obviously intrigued.  The 61 is basically the same as the 60, but with ONE added ingredient – syrah grape must.  (A quick Google search tells me that ‘must’ is fresh grape juice, plus all the other stuff – skin, seeds and stems.)  And that fantastically yummy deliciousness mixed in with the equally phenomenal 60-minute elixir combine to form a truly unique and wonderful flavor.

I am not usually a huge proponent of fruit-based beers.  They’re okay, but not something I go out of my way to order.  The 61-minute though was different.  This had the slightest hint of grape/wine flavor without crossing the line into becoming a sweet, syrupy fruit beer.  This was an instance of a beer that grew on me over time.  “Time”, in this case, was about 30 seconds – enough time to get through my second sip.  It has a very smooth texture with great flavor.  Imagine a sip of your favorite red wine poured into your favorite beer.  (And according to Dogfish Head, that’s where the idea came from.)

Do yourself a flavor and find this one – it is worth a try.

As always, thanks for reading and make sure to enter your email address to the right so that you can follow my weekly beer ramblings.

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington