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Epic Stops In San Francisco

My friend Luke Nicholas, the founder and brewer for New Zealand’s Epic Beer, was in town on Monday for a couple of days, before flying to Delaware to do a collaboration brew with Sam Calagione at Dogfish Head. I met up with him at 21st Amendment for a quick drink and to try two of his new beers.

The first, a stout, was also a collaboration between the Thornbridge Brewery in the UK. Rich and chocolately, it was a very nice stout. The second, Oaked Aged Armageddon IPA, is Luke’s regular IPA, but aged on lightly toasted oak. It uses all American hops: Cascade, Centennial, Columbus and Simcoe. At 66 IBUs it’s a big, hoppy, floral IPA. But for New Zealand — whose mainstream lagers are even lighter than our mainstream lagers — it’s so huge it’s … well, epic. But the toasted oak adds a nice dimension that’s subtle but a welcome addition.

Luke and Zambo.

Also, new head 21A head brewer Zambo was just tapping their most recent creation, a Belgian-style IPA, similar to the Belgian Pale Ale they did last year, but hoppier, of course.

Me and Luke outside 21A.

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