I was on my way to Little Beast last Sunday and it struck me that one o’clock is an odd time to start a brunch. Brunch is a portmanteau (French for remix) of breakfast and lunch and one o’clock seems a lot like lunchtime to me. Except for this most minor of flaws, it was foodie heaven.
This beer tasting “brunch” organized by Hopsession was all about Modern Times Beer. Modern Times is a three-year-old brewery, based in and delivering only to Southern California. The fact that the brewer likes to go on vacation to Thailand is the only reason this beer is available here. Hopsession provided two kegs of the lovely stuff. A wheat ale called Fortunate Islands and an amber ale named Blazing World, both quite hoppy with IPA characteristics.
Fortunate Islands packs quite a lot of IPA flavor for a wheat beer resulting in a complex mix of restrained bitterness and citrusy flavors. Although it’s more flavor heavy than your average wheat beer it’s still a good session beer, especially with an abv of 4.8%.
Blazing World shares characteristics of both double IPAs and amber ales. It has a complex hop flavor completed by a lovely bitterness. Immerse yourself in its palate; this is definitely a beer that needs to be enjoyed at a slower rate, especially with an abv of 6.8%.
Before I continue praising Hopsession’s beer selection, Little Beast’s chef deserves some attention too. The food for this “brunch” was simple yet delicious and held all the savory characteristics that go well with beer. Although the delicious fried chicken flavored with thyme and lemon was the star of the show, everything else was on point as well. Little Beasts’ reputation remains unblemished.
After a couple of beers a certain confusion about what day of the week it was started fogged up my brain. To make things worse, or better depending on how you look at it, Hopsession’s captain Jakob M. Rasmussen decided to let us taste the City of the Sun and the City of the dead. Two, according to Jakob, very seasonal and extremely rare bottles. The former an IPA and the latter a stout. The stout’s flavor is out of this world (hence the name perhaps). Barrel aged coffee beans were used to create it and it packs a world of flavors ranging from bourbon to oak, vanilla and Guatemalan coffee. The fruity and pungent IPA aroma that is The City of the Sun brings us back to life.
I guess it’s unnecessary to say all these beers received scores above 95 on ratebeer.com. I guess it’s unnecessary to argue about the starting hour of brunch as well. An afternoon of great food and even greater beer ends and all beings are jolly and gay.
All these beers (and more) are available for purchase at Mikkeller or directly from Hopsession. Check the contact section of their website for more information.
Article by Alexander Eeckhout