Name: 21st Amendment Brewery
Location: San Francisco, CA
Type: Production brewery
Available in DC Market: Yes
What you need to know: Let’s get this out of the way. I don’t honestly give a damn about craft beer in cans. Bear with me, many of my favorite beers come in cans, so I’m not saying I don’t care about the craft beer that comes in cans. What I mean is it really doesn’t matter to me whether a beer comes in a bottle or a can because I rarely drink straight from a bottle or a can and neither should you. There is a constantly growing list of breweries that are canning their beers. Oskar Blues might come to mind first, but that list is always growing (DC Brau anyone?). 21st Amendment Brewing in San Francisco was one of the first to distribute craft beer in cans. I suppose there is something to be said for that kind of trailblazing.
Beer #1: Bitter American (“Extra Pale Ale” / 4.4 % ABV)
Beer Advocate: 88 (236 Reviews )
Rate Beer: 93 overall, 96 style
Notes: I remember when this beer first showed up in a little birreria in Georgetown. It was a couple summers before DC had a production brewery and it was 100 degrees in the shade. This hop-forward American riff on the classic English session ale is the perfect accompaniment to your summer in the swamp.
Beer #2: Back in Black (Black IPA / 6.8 % ABV )
Beer Advocate: 83 (545 Reviews) Rate Beer: 94 overall, 74 style
Notes: 21st Amendment debuted this beer in 2009 at the beginning of the Black IPA craze. This is one of the better examples of the style and the AC/DC reference makes it hard not to love. The dark malt works well with the subtle, comparatively speaking, amount of hops and does a great job of masking the ABV.
Bitters, and English-style ales in general, are not widely popular on American craft palates. Nico and Shuan should be applauded for tackling this style with an American twist. Back in Black IPA returns but in my opinion Bitter American is really the star of the show. However, if you are new to Black IPAs or Cascadian Dark Ales this is an excellent example. This beer will leave you asking ‘why don’t more Cascadian Dark Ales taste like this?’
This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2012 SAVOR participants.
Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.