Brew the Right Thing: SN&R's semi-maybe regular beer blog post

“Brew the Right Thing” will be a (semi) weekly or regular (or whenever I damn feel like it) blog post about the craftiest of beer, the Sacto brew scene, and so on. I used to do a weekly column in SN&R with the same title, but I’m a little rusty, so be patient.

The goal will be to serve and help our brew-drinking readers. There’s a shitton of brew out there, and as someone who spends a lot of time thinking about brew, I feel obliged to hold your hand as you figure out what you want to spend your cash on, plus direct you to fun new beers. And, of course, highlight the good and tsk-tsk the bad. 

In brief: Read this weekly (or not) blog post for beer tips, brew huzzahs and the requisite Nick Miller trash talk.

So it begins!

To start each week, I’ll roll up my sleeves and drink a beer. I’ll try to do this at work, with the rest of the staff, because this is SN&R, and that’s how gernalism works in our free-and-wild weekly world.

The first brew we poured was the new collaboration from Knee Deep Brewing Co. in Auburn and Kern River Brewing Co. down south, an imperial/double India Pale Ale called Deep River. We drank this brew on November 21, and at that time it had spent just 15 days in the bottle. So fresh, so clean. Gotta drink those IPAs young.

But fret not: This DIPA, as the acronym goes, is still under a month-old if you see it out on shelves now, which means it’s still relatively fresh and worth grabbing. 

Well, I’d say it’s worth seeking out if you are a fast-loving, hard-to-the-core IPA fan. I felt mixed about the brew’s lingering heat (its ABV is 8 percent ABV) and gently sweet, perhaps caramel finish. I’m more partial to more rustic IPAs with big floral notes, which I feel hide alcohol a little better. I’m also not much of a fan of balanced malt-hop profiles, either—which means I pretty much dislike all locally brewed IPAs (I’m kidding, I’m kidding … or am I?). 

I did very much admire Deep River’s dry and pine-y front and muted malt finish. This is a very solid brew in a style that I seldom partake.

As I mentioned, this beer is a collaboration with Kern River, east of Bakersfield, who is most well known for their Citra IPA, which is highly regarded among ravenous beer nerds/snobs/enthusiasts (they have a lottery to buy it, it trades on the trading sites, and in general is a real pain in the ass to acquire). Deep River was brewed just outside Sacto, however, in Auburn at Knee Deep’s huge facility off Bell Road. (I recommend a visit to this spot, but with the caveat that you’ll have a hard time driving anywhere after, due to Knee Deep’s high-octane brew menu.)

Deep River’s been flying off shelves lately—I saw more than six gone in a matter of an hour at Pangaea Bier Café in Curtis Park this past weekend, and they’d reloaded at Capitol Tap Room, too.

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