There can only be one undistributed beer of the week. The competition is fierce in San Diego's beer community, but someone has to take the title. This week's best undistributed beer is...
BELCHING BEAVER: TINY RICK
STYLE: Pale ale
Pair with: Carrot cake
Belching Beaver is more commonly known for their deliciously flavored stouts that are strong in flavor and easy to enjoy. That's why this beer, Tiny Rick, is such a refreshing one from the team at BB. Instead of a dark beer, it's a light, hop-forward pale ale with tropical notes of mango and melon.
This beer comes to us from Thomas Peters, brewer at Belching Beaver. Tiny Rick is a unique beer for the brewery because it's not what you typically think of when you think Belching Beaver beers. Although they cover a range of styles in their lineup now, it's only recently that people started to gravitate towards them and step away from the popular go-to, the Peanut Butter Stout.
"This beer's brewing process is pretty straight-forward. It's made with some two-row [barley] and a little bit of golden naked oats in the mash profile. It's a simple mosaic whirlpool, and then after the beer is done fermenting, I dry hopped it with about two pounds per barrel of Mosaic and Nelson hops. It has a big tropical fruit taste," said Peters.
Tiny Rick was somewhat of a happy accident for Belching Beaver.
"I had intended to brew a different kind of beer with this base. In our freezer here at the brewery, some of our bags are in boxes. I went to grab a bag, not realizing that someone had moved them around and put the wrong box in there. When the beer was done fermenting, I realized it was quite a bit more bitter than I was intending. So I made it into something new, without having to get rid of the whole batch," Peters said.
This style is something that is nice to see Belching Beaver take a stab at. It's not an IPA or another rendition of the stout; it's a solid, hoppy pale which is becoming a top pick for those burnt out on the sometimes bitter West Coast IPA. The Nelson hops give this beer that dank characteristic while still offering some melon-based, fruity notes.
"Pale ales are great, especially since they are making a comeback. It used to be one of the most popular beer styles, and then it started to be less so once IPAs came around. It's lower in alcohol, but you still get the full flavor of the hops," he said.
Sipable and tasty, this brew is good enough to have two. It's also low enough in alcohol at 4.7-percent to make that a perfectly acceptable thing to do on any given day.
Tiny Rick, which get its name from the character on "Rick and Morty," will be available starting Friday, Dec. 2 at Belching Beaver. Get it while it's cold!
4223 30th St., North Park. 980 Park Center Drive, Vista. belchingbeaver.com