Barcelos Brews: Alvarado Street Brewery

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. But, if you don’t believe in God, then let me call if proof that my boyfriend loves me and wants me to be happy. Even though he was sick for our anniversary weekend and couldn’t drink, Jimmy still took me to Alvarado Street Brewery — one of my favorites! — and watched me drink tasty, tasty beers without him while he was stuck with iced tea.

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What a gorgeous sight. Oh, and there’s beer, too!

If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is.

Sweet and sour, just how I like it

Is the point of getting a flight to try new things? Yes, but I’m a creature of habit. The sours were brand new, but the dark beers were old friends. I came here for them, damnit. As usual, my reviews are going from left to right.

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Kettle Cooler, #margtime, The Best Part of Waking Up, Motor Oil No. 2

Kettle Cooler

Say hello to your new favorite crushable summer sour. Orange, pineapple, and vanilla? Give it to me, It manages to be sweet without losing the sourness I expect a sour ale. If you’ve enjoyed Cactus Cooler soda, the inspiration for this beer, you’ll love this. 8.3/10

#margtime

What is this sorcery? This margarita magic? How did they make a beer taste like a marg?! Okay, sober me isn’t quite as surprised. A margarita is sour. A gose is sour. With ingredients like lime, yuzu, and sea salt from nearby Big Sur, your taste buds will be fooled.

Hand this beer to your margarita quaffing friend who says they don’t like beer (I already have someone in mind) and see if you can fool them. I bet you will. 8.5/10

The Best Part of Waking Up

…is this beer in your cup! Okay, I don’t actually advocate drinking first thing in the morning unless brunch is involved, but this coffee milk stout is great any time of day. The coffee is locally sourced from nearby Carmel Valley Coffee Roasters, too! At only 5.5% ABV, it’s very drinkable and not at all bitter thanks to its milky sweetness. If you can’t quit stouts but don’t want to drink something strong enough to knock you down, this is for you. 9/10

Motor Oil No. 2

Then again, if you’re me, a high ABV stout in the middle of summer is no issue for you. This American Imperial stout weighs in at a hefty 11.5% ABV and contains a collection of the usual suspects: cacao butter, cacao nibs, vanilla. However, what makes this beer special is the addition of raspberry. Raspberry + chocolate is one of my favorite flavor combinations, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen this combo in any other beer. This is truly something special. +10/10

Incoming shameless plug

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Me plotting how I’m gonna spin this vacation into as many blog posts as possible.

Don’t let me dark and sour fixation fool you; Alvarado Street does a lot of other great beers. They’re harder the find the further you get from their home in Monterey, but if you ever see one on tap, I highly recommend you try it. You won’t be disappointed.

The food at their home base on Alvarado Street was also excellent, so stay tuned for my Monterey Day Trip Guide for more on that and other things to do if you ever find yourself in Monterey for the day.

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