The third and final stop on Balter’s Mouth Holiday of the USA takes us to Figueroa Mountain Brewing on California’s Central Coast. Balter’s head brewer Scotty Hargrave visited California, FM’s head brewer Kevin Ashford visited the Gold Coast, and with Scotty’s hop noggin and Kevin’s lager brain they made a “Santa Barbara Pils, with some dusting of Southern Hemisphere hops.” Watch the video of the whole process (plus a sweet long distance relationship between the two guys) here.
One look at the liquid in the glass and I couldn’t help but think: "All things bright and beautiful." [I hope you indulged yourself with at least one verse-chorus of the hymn, Mick – Editor] The stunning clarity makes this beer like those lakes that are so clean and transparent it makes an optical illusion.
I’ve said before that I like a good hoppy lager, and this certainly fits the bill. It’s a pils with the trimmings of a modern West Coast IPA. It's certainly modern – with Loral, Motueka and Mosaic hops bring pineapple and other tropical notes – but unlike Moe, Scotty and Kevin wouldn’t dream of getting rid of the dank. There’s a waft of weedy character sitting with a little earthiness, keeping the WC vibes alive and well.
And, yet, it certainly is still a clean pils at the end of the day; the hop flavours all pack up their belongings and leave the place neat and tidy behind them, giving a small gift of bitterness as if to say: "Thanks for your hospitality."
Published October 20, 2023 2023-10-20 00:00:00