In 2000, Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan founded 21st Amendment Brewing in the South Park neighborhood of San Francisco, California. As avid beer enthusiasts, Freccia and O’Sullivan were determined to establish an ongoing celebration of the overturned 21st Amendment to the Constitution (that's the one that repealed Prohibition) and gave their brewery the amendment's namesake to commemorate it.
21st Amendment is a California institution at this point, held in high regard by locals and beyond - not to mention in the skies, as it was one of the first canned craft beers available on flights (Virgin America). The brewery's location, which also has a brewpub, is in the heart of San Francisco near SFMOMA and AT&T Stadium, where the Giants play. In our 2 O’Clock Tasting this week, we tried four different cans from the brewery, ranging from the year-round Bitter American Hop Session Ale, Brew Free or Die! IPA and Back in Black Black IPA to their seasonal summer brew Hell or High Watermelon Fruit Beer.
Read on for our tasting notes, we would also love to hear what you think in our comment section!
Hell or High Watermelon was our first beer of the tasting. A seasonal fruit beer with a wheat base, Hell or High Watermelon was a hazy and bright yellow in color, and was also described as the color of melted butter and lemon peel. Tiny bubbles flew throughout the glass, which was topped with a fine, white head. The name definitely matches this beer's aroma - fresh, pickled and candy watermelon came through on the nose as well as in the flavor, with the slightest bit of sourness.
Next on our tasting list was the heavily hopped session ale Bitter American. Topped with a bone-colored head, Bitter American was full of tiny bubbles and was very clear, with colors of copper and apple juice mentioned. Pine and grassy aromas dominated this session ale, and slight caramel aromas also were noted. A smooth mouthfeel ended with lots of bitterness and a little grassiness.
Brew Free or Die! is an American IPA that was clear and the color of golden daybright, topped with a natural cream head with bubbles resembling those of Champagne. The aroma was filled with pine, citrus grapefruit and malty cornhusk. Like most IPAs, Brew Free or Die! was bitter, and had lots of grapefruit flavors and a nice bite at the end.
We really enjoyed 21st Amendment's Black IPA, Back in Black. A clear, cola-colored beer, Back in Black had ruby and candied orange hues and was topped with a pillowy tan head. Chocolate covered cherries, caramel and plums were some of the aromas noted, and we tasted roasty coffee in the beer's smooth body.
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