Show Some Love for our Beer Selection too!


Everyone knows Amazing Grapes sells wine but not many know we also have an awesome variety of craft beer as well! I wanted to take a break from my wine blogging to focus on some of our beers, and hey, why not start with one of our most popular selling varieties; IPAS!

Because we have a large range of IPA’s I had our “beer guy”, Daniel Cuppels, hand me some that were worthy of being highlighted.

Pliny the Elder The first beer he came up with was “Pliny the Elder”.  It’s brewed with Amarillo, Centennial, CTZ and Simcoe hops. Copper in color and 8% in alcohol by volume, it is well-balanced with malt, hops and alcohol, slightly bitter with a fresh hop aroma of floral, citrus and pine. But this beer is best enjoyed fresh, hence the reason for the brewery making it in such a limited supply. But there’s a cool story behind this name. In 2000, a friend of the brewery, Vic Kralj (who owns the Bistro in Hayward, California), decided to host his first-ever Double IPA festival. He invited 10 breweries, 6 of which (including Russian River) had to brew something unique since they didn’t have anything that would fall into this beer category. One of the brewers had an idea for a recipe, but not a name. Thus, from a long time in research, books and brainstorming, the brewery came up with “Pliny the Elder”. The person they named it after (Pliny) lived in the first century (23 to 79 AD). According to history, he and his colleagues either created the botanical name or at least wrote about “Lupus Salictarius” or “hops”, which is currently known as “Humulus Lupulus”. Cool stuff, I know! Oh, and you should try our “Beef on Weck” with this beer. Way awesome.

Next up is “Stone Enjoy by IPA”. What’s so awesome about this beer is that while freshness is a key component of many beers-especially big, citrusy, floral IPAs, Stone has taken it further in this IPA. They specifically brewed it not to last. Yea! They not only went to the extensive lengths to ensure you are getting this beer in your hands within an extraordinarily short window, they made sure that the Enjoy By date isn’t randomly etched in tiny text somewhere on the label to be overlooked by all but the most attentive retailers and consumers. Their enjoy_by_110912biggest reason was to send a clear message with the name of their beer that there is no better time than right now to enjoy this delicious IPA. This would also pair really well with our “BBQ Chicken Quesadilla”.

tumblr_meiq88NAJS1r88g5fo1_500 How about some “Ballast Point Sculpin”? This delicious beer showcases bright flavors and aromas of apricot, peach, mango and lemon. The lighter body also brings out the crispness of the hops. This ale won a gold medal at the World Beer Cup in 2010 in the International Pale Ale category. The fish on the label is a cool addition because the Sculpin fish has poisonous spikes on its fins that can give a strong sting. Ironically, the meat from the Sculpin is considered some of the tastiest. Something that has a sting but tastes great, sounds like a Ballast Point India Pale Ale! Oh, and try it with our “Sesame-Crusted Seared Ahi”.

Now for the “Knee Deep Simtra” triple IPA. Your eyes will be greeted by a clear dark amber color. You’ll then smell big citrus hops infused with orange, tangerine, pineapple, grapefruit and mango. There is some caramel and toffee notes in the background as well. The first thing you taste is the citrus followed by the fruits I mentioned a moment ago. There are some malt notes that will give way to a touch of sweetness but that soon diminishes as the finish is really bitter. The mouth-feel would be considered as a medium-body with moderate carbonation. Definitely a big seller and it would go well with our “Popeye’s Pizza”.

sculpin-ipa-3833 Now last but not least is the “Deviant Dale’s” by Oskar Blues Brewery. This beer was born at the crossroads in a juke joint. It has foreboding aromas of citrus, grapefruit rind and piney resins with a copper-ball-of-fire color and inscrutable finish. This beer won the 2011 GABF (Great American Beer Festival) Silver Medal in the American IPA Category. The liquid is medium-full bodied and sticky on the tongue, very resinous. The taste is juicy grapefruit, only moderately bitter. There is a solid backbone that keeps the bitterness in check. The aftertaste is fresh lemon zest instead of hop bitterness and the alcoholic presence won’t really show much until the beer warms. Another good buy for sure and definitely something tha6942307630_ef98aefcfc_zt would pair well with our “Pastrami Sliders”!

Now these are just five of the beers we can carry, so you should head on in and check out our full selection. And once you get here and find yourself staring at our wide range of unique beers and seem lost, don’t worry, all is indeed not lost. Just ask for Daniel, the “beer guy”. You ask it and he knows it. He’ll have you leaving with great recommendations that you’ll keep coming back for.

Until then…here’s my fun quote of the day. “Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer.” ~Arnold Schwarzenegger (now say that quote in his accent…)