Fireman's Brew Brewnette
Here's a nice autumnal beer, a double bock made with two German hops and eight kinds of malt. That should give you some idea of the balance: Malt rules. It pours very red, almost the color of Port, with a medium tan head. The nose is malty, the palate flowing with chocolate and molasses. But it's not heavy, and it's only mildly hopped. The finish is relatively short.
It's one solution to that problem that drives wine people crazy every year — what to serve at Thanksgiving dinner, with its profusion of sweet, sour and savory elements. Brewnette's maltiness and mild hopping make it a comfortable foil for everything.
Feel-good angle: The brewery was established by two firemen and donates some of its proceeds to the families of fallen firefighters. But this is no hobby beer; it's very slickly made indeed.
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Style: a smooth, dark, über-malty double bock, full of roasted flavors
Price: $9 per six-pack, and $1.89 per 12-ounce bottle
Where to find it: Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463, http://www.hitime wine.net; Beverage Warehouse in Los Angeles, (310) 306-2822, http://www.beveragewarehouse.com.