Sunday, December 16, 2007

Full Sail Session Premium Lager

On Friday the 14th, me, my wife, and some family friends decided to drive down to Douglas County immediately south of Carson City in search of a neighborhood adorned with Christmas lights. Unfortunately, we couldn't find the neighborhood, or we did and they just weren't doing the lights this year, so the travel down south was a bust. However, we decided to stop in Carson at Red's Old 395 Grill. What's so special about this place? They boast an impressive "vault" of 101 beers, whether on tap or in bottles. They even have hundreds, if not thousands of bottles lined up along the wall.

I was beyond impressed and overwhelmed with all the choices that the restaurant had to offer, beer-wise. But I wanted to have a beer that I don't usually have the opportunity to snag. So I decided upon a Full Sail Session Premium Lager, brewed by the Full Sail Brewing Co. of Hood River, Oregon. I've had their Amber Ale before, and I've always wanted to try some of their other beers.

Full Sail Brewing was founded in the small Columbia Gorge town in old Diamond fruit cannery in 1987. At the time, Oregon was starting to become a beer haven and Hood River was gaining notoriety for windsurfing, which is why the brewery is named Full Sail. What really put Full Sail on the map was A.) their ability to put their microbrews in a bottle, something that critics said was almost impossible, and B.) Full Sail Amber's gold medal at the 1989 Great American Beer Festival. Still another milestone was achieved when the company became entirely employee-owned in 1999, with profits split evenly amongst its 47 workers, a fact that they boast on their web site and bottles. Recently they've brewed another beer, Session Premium Lager, as a hearkening back to the beers that were popular before the wrath of Prohibition. Like Red Stripe, this one is sold in a pre-Prohibition-era 11 oz. stubby bottle which helps it stand out amongst other beers. (Full Sail Story, Session Lager)

Here come the stats:

Full Sail Session Premium Lager
BREWERY: Full Sail Brewing Co., Hood River, OR, USA
STYLE: Continental pilsner
AWARDS: 2007 World Beer Awards (World's Best Premium Lager), 2007 North American Beer Awards Gold Medal Award Winner, 2007 L.A. County Fair Silver Award Winner, "a silver medal in a New Zealand international beer competition"

The awards came from the November 2007 newsletter (currently found here). I plan on placing a call to the brewery to pick up all the remaining information, as well as clarify the awards.

The beer arrived in the stubby bottle, which I poured delicately into the glass (see, I'm trying to improve my pouring technique), resulting in an amber colored beer with no head in a frosted mug. It had a relatively strong aroma of wheat and hops. The taste also had a strong wheat flavor with a hint of hops and strong carbonation. The finish was very smooth and grainy-tasting. The whole experience was very pleasing to the mouth.

I enjoyed this beer a lot, and it was a great thirst-quencher as I was waiting for my delicious chicken fajitas. Pick one up at a liquor store or grocery store near you. Your great-grandfather would be proud.


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