A good craft beer bar will offer the latest brews from local and hard to get breweries, will usually stay open a little later, and some offer a menu full of delicious bites to pair with your pours. My go to craft beer bar is Mission Bar in Downtown Santa Ana, a small place with two pool tables, flat screen TV’s and music – an all around cool place to hang out with it’s ever rotating list of great tasting craft brews. I recently ordered Shotgun Golf by Asylum Brewing in AleAHeim, it was described as a hoppy unfiltered lager but came to find out that it’s actually a Kellerbier or Zwickelbier.
I had never heard of or drank a Kellerbier so I called Asylum Brewing to ask for some details on this style. Chris Brown, head of brewing operations was very helpful in explaining the origin of Shotgun Golf 5.7% ABV. Shotgun Golf can also be described as a Hazy Pale Ale to give you an idea of what to expect, fact is Kellerbier style goes back a few hundred years so it was Hazy before Hazy was Hazy. Kellerbier means “cellar beer” in German and before refrigeration was brewed cask style and kept in caves to keep the temp down for fermentation. It’s unfiltered and not pasteurized giving it a cloudy or hazy appearance. And what Asylum Brewing did, was take this old school style and gave it a West Coast twist: copious amounts of Mosaic Hops, a smidge of Amarillo Hops, German yeast and malts so you have a hop forward ale that’s perfectly bitter with slight notes of tropical fruit that finishes clean as a whistle. It’s refreshing, approachable, and goes down way too easy.
Brewmaster Brown tells me he named the beer Shotgun Golf after the infamous Hunter S. Thompson-Bill Murray story where in the middle of the night Hunter calls Murray to tell him of his new sport he had invented, the combination of shooting a golf ball in mid air with a shotgun. The idea of combining two completely unrelated acts inspired Brown to take a seldom seen German style of brewing and fuse it with our West Coast love of hops. Shotgun Golf is available at Mission Bar in Santa Ana and at Asylum Brewing in Anaheim. Here’s to the brewpubs that keep us from dying of thirst! Cheers!
Asylum Brewing, 2970 E. La Palma Ave., Ste D, Anaheim, (949) 396-2099; www.asylumbrewingcompany.com.