From the Beer Writer: La Mesa’s downtown Village area received an infusion of Scottish heritage when the Fourpenny House opened last June. From a warm, homey interior design to a hearty Scottish-inspired menu and wide array of Scotch, it had a lot to offer. The only thing lacking for the brewpub was…beer. The opening-day brewer had trouble keeping it on the board, usually having only one or two ales on tap. All that changed when former ChuckAlek Independent Brewers fermentationist Samantha Olson came on board. A recent visit to Fourpenny House turned up an octet of varied beers. Of them all, Pacific Crest Pale best exemplifies what Olson brings to the table. A version brewed using the recipe that preceded her tenure was a little sweet, overbearingly herbaceous and low in hop allure, while Olson’s revised spin was crisp, dry, spicy, more gold than orange, brimming with hop aromatics and impressively balanced for a beer infused with numerous next-level ingredients (juniper berries, lemongrass, sage, rye). If this is a vision of Fourpenny House’s future, the horizon is bright, indeed.
From the Brewer: “Pacific Crest is a rye pale ale with juniper, sage and lemongrass. The original idea for the beer was to create a flavor profile that recreated the memory of waking up in the morning after camping along the Pacific Crest Trail. After drinking a few pints of our original version, I decided it tasted too much like our Beatrix Blonde, which is a blonde ale with chamomile and lemon verbena, and that Pacific Crest needed to be reimagined to diversify our core beer line-up. In this new version, I took my PCT hiking experiences and imparted them into the beer. I usually have the full-impact hiking experience, which I wanted to come through in the beer. That would include being snapped by a pine-tree branch, so I dry-hopped the beer with Chinook and Simcoe hops in addition to the juniper berries. Lemongrass represents splashing down in a grass-rimmed pond. Wading through sage brush led to sage. And the crisp, refreshing finish on this beer reminds me of summiting Bishop Pass. For a taste of the PCT, drop by Fourpenny House and enjoy this beer!”—Samantha Olson, Head Brewer, Fourpenny House