Best Microbrew - 2011
Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment
We assembled a panel of brewmasters, epicures, and just plain suds lovers to select this year's best local microbrew. The verdict was overwhelming: Monk's Blood, a spicy, bracing special-occasion ale crafted by Nico Freccia and Shaun O'Sullivan of SOMA's 21st Amendment Brewery. This dark Belgian-style beer is brewed with cinnamon, vanilla, eight varieties of malt, imported Belgian sugar, and lots of Northwestern hops to cut the sweetness and then aged with oak chips and dried black Mission figs. The result is bittersweet and a little flowery, with a nice balance between fruit and spice, a tongue-tingling hoppy afterbite, and a snarky, boozy 8.3 percent kick to boot. Available at the brewery and in the can at discerning Bay Area liquor outlets.