The Good Beer Co.’s Brandon Fender thumps down a can of beer in front of me and says nothing. We’re in his wooden tasting room on Fourth Street in downtown Santa Ana, and I know he’s dying to spill the details.
“This is Extra Thix,” he says as he adopts a karate pose. “It’s kind of made in the mold of a barleywine or an old ale . . . like, with pre-monoculture fermentation.”
I tap my chin, perplexed. “What the heck does that mean?”
“I guess it’s like what a barleywine or old ale would have been like 100 to 150 years ago,” Fender responds.
“Monoculture fermentation, like how things fermented before science,” he answers. “It’s kind of tongue-in-cheek calling it that.”
With an 8 percent ABV, Extra Thix is a collaboration with the bad boys at Anaheim’s Bottle Logic and the hip-skipper collabagician at Horus Aged Ales. Two mashes were boiled for three hours, fermented in stainless steel, then racked into third-hand Madagascar bourbon barrels.
If a port wine producer did a collaboration with Tootsie Pops, the end result would probably taste something like this. The caramelized sugars, vanilla and chocolatey oak come together like a black cherry sucker. There’s acidity, sweetness and a kiss of booze. As it sits on your lips as if it were a cherry-cola lip gloss, its mild carbonation keeps you going back for another sip.
Pair with skating at the local roller rink or a Beck concert.
The Good Beer Co., 309 W. Fourth St., Santa Ana, (714) 714-2988; thegoodbeerco.com.
Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, level 1 WSET in Wine, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest happening this June!