As I continued my road trip across America, I continued to pick up many new beers. This week, I have one from Oregon and one from Southern California that I want to share with you all.
I’ll start off with SoCal’s Mother Earth Brew Co.
Mother Earth Brew Co was founded in 2008 by three brewers in California and should not be confused with Mother Earth Brewing, which is located in North Carolina. From their humble start in a garage they have grown considerably and are now call a 20,000+ foot building in Vista, California home, which is just a tad north of San Diego (near Escondido and Stone Brewing).
However, they are looking to grow yet again as, just earlier this year, they broke ground on a new 40,000 square-foot facility just west of Boise, Idaho and will look to expand their distribution from there. Currently you can only find Mother Earth Brew Co. in California
Boo Koo is one of their year-round IPAs and will run you just about $6.99 for a 22-ounce bomber. This IPA is made with Mosaic and Simcoe hops and some simple light grains to give it a slightly cloudy golden straw color. Nearly two fingers of white, airy head topped the beer initially before slowly bubbling down to about half an inch.
On the nose there were Boo Koo notes of juicy tropical fruits and melon with some dank piney hops sitting behind the fruit. The pale malts were there as well, they just weren't getting in the way of the delicious smelling hop bill that controls the aroma.
A slight carbonation starts off the beer before the Simcoe hops show up with an earthy and piney flavor to the beer. The Mosaic hops, not to be outdone, flooded my taste buds towards the end of the sip with those melon and citrus flavors. The end of the sip ends with some dryness to it, but it's a pretty good first taste. And the 6.5% ABV is hidden really well behind the pine and melon flavors and is basically untraceable.
As I drink this beer further I noticed that, on the tongue, just as in the smell, the light grains don't do much to stop the hops...but only act as a backing taste to the hop flavors. That means that Boo Koo, which sits at 65 IBU, ends with a slight piney bitterness. Another thing this beer leaves behind is some nice lacing. Fuzzy bubble lines clearly show off each sip of mine as the beer disappears from my glass.
Overall, this was a very tasty IPA. Sure there was a small bitter ending to Boo Koo...but what are IPAs without hops and some bitterness?! The flavors more than made up for the tiny it had. I haven't had a lot by Mother Earth but the few that I've had have been really solid beers. Boo Koo is no exception! 8/10
Next up, Oregon's Three Creeks and their Hoodoo Voodoo.
Sisters, Oregon is a small town of about 2,000 people near Bend, Oregon...but it also houses Three Creeks Brewing Company. Three Creeks is small brewery that prides themselves on using local hops, water from the Cascade Mountains, and malts from all over the world in their brews. They have two facilities in the city; a brewery with a 30-barrel system and a smaller brewpub that has an additional 10-barrel system.
As of right now they only offer seven brews and you can only find them in Oregon and parts of southern Washington.
Hoodoo Voodoo is their mainstream IPA and will only run you $4.50 for a 22-ounce bomber, so the price is right. This Northwest-style IPA poured a very dark copper color and looked more like a red ale than an IPA. There was a moderate amount of off-white, almost tan, foam that built up just over a fingers worth atop the beer.
There were many subtle notes in this beer, with no one characteristic dominating the aroma. Hoppy pine and citrus notes were there. So were some earthy undertones and some oatmeal-like and bready malt in the background.
With a smell this subtle, I was very curious as to which would emerge in the taste. And, after my first sip, I can say the taste was the exact same way. It was pleasant and pretty good but lacked any real identity.
Up front there was a sharp carbonation that fizzed on my tongue, waking up my taste buds. As the bubbles faded out the hops built up in a strange way.
First some spicy/piney hops invaded my mouth but then the floral and citrus flavors faded up on the backend...like someone was controlling a volume knob and decided to turn slowly fade down the pine and build up the citrus for the last few moments.
The sip ended pretty dry and with a slight bitterness lingering on. But the 82 IBU aren't nearly as prominent as I thought they would be originally, as the slightly bready malt cuts them down nicely.
As I continued to drain the glass of my beer, two things happened. One; the moderate amount of head did a fantastic job marking my sips and lacking the spots in between with a web-work of bubbles. And two; I found myself enjoying this brew more and more.
When I first tried it (a mere four paragraphs above), I said it lacked any real identity...and, while all the flavors are more subdued than I would wish for, the little kick of citrus at the end was a nice surprise each and every time. The more I drank it the more it grew on me...to the point where it was a pretty solid IPA.
It had a nice balance to it, a pretty light aftertaste - dryness and all - and was pretty smooth for a beer with 82 IBU and an ABV of 6.2%. Plus the price was right too. I'm pretty glad I got to try this brew. Not my favorite but certainly worth a try! 8/10