One of my favorite things about being nomadic is the ability to meet up with our mobile friends in different places all over the country. It was a very rare a occasion when we were stationary to have friends come along with us or meet us when traveling as their lifestyles didn’t allow for extended travel. However, it seems to happen quite a bit when your friends live in mobile residences.
So here we are in the California desert near Anza-Borrego state park with nine other rigs to ring in the new year. This tradition started three new year’s ago when we discovered the NuRVers after a couple months of being on the road. Without making a point to plan it this way we have spent all four of our New Year’s on the road with several of these rigs.
Before we met up I proposed a bottle share for a chance to share some unique beers that everybody might not try otherwise. These aren’t beer geeks, but rather travelers who have an interest in beer and exposure to new things is something they naturally seek out anyways. We all brought a big bottle of something they had never tried before and used 3-4 oz pours to give everything a try.
We ended up with two Nut Brown ales, one from AleSmith and the other from Mammoth Brewing. This was a new style to many in the group, but they quickly showed a fondness for it with the AleSmith beer winning out in terms of overall flavor. The sweetness of these beers balanced the nutty fragrances and after tastes.
We had two hoppy beers in the form of Mission Brewing’s Conquistador Pale Ale and Bear Republic’s Racer 5 IPA. For many it was their first experience with the classic IPA from Bear Republic, and seemed to be less approachable then the others. It had the most remaining in the bottle when all was said and done (don’t worry I gave it a good home). The aggressive hop character was a too much for some of those less accustomed to hops while the Mission Pale Ale was a more subtle hop interaction that had a couple people saying “I think I could like hops”.
The Hangar 24 Orange Wheat was initially a beer of interest in the group but quickly warmed and seemed like a watered down cross over beer that didn’t really execute on the flavors it promised. It was quickly put aside for more interesting endeavors.
To round out the collection we had a Barrel Aged Brrrbon beer from Widmer Bros and I brought a Love Child No. 3 from Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City. I enjoyed the Brrrbon initially despite the extremely cloudy pour. Unfortunately it had some off flavors that became more apart as the beer warmed.
The Love child No 3 was easily the most unique and most of the tasters had never had a wild ale before but appreciated the unusual taste. Most admitted that while it was tasty they could only have a small glass of it which was perfect since bottle shares allow you try many different beers and styles with out having to commit to drinking the whole thing.
I was impressed with the group’s openness to these new flavors and I think they all will continue exploring new beers as they travel from here on out. When you live on the road full time there is no excuse not to beer travel and see where teh hops and grains will lead you.