Weird-Ass Beer of the Week: Siamese Twin Ale

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Santa Cruz's Uncommon Brewers is a rarity among micro-breweries in that its beer is canned rather than bottled. That makes the brewery's Siamese Twin Ale doubly rare: it's made with lemongrass, coriander, and kaffir lime leaves, which, if not completely original, is, I'm pretty sure, the first such brew to be commercialized.

Despite these unusual spices, the beer at first encounter seems like a fairly conventional Belgian-style double: brown, malty, strong (8.5%), and slightly sweet--not too different from the Afflingen Dobble and Anderson Valley Brother David's Double I usually keep on hand. The big difference comes in the slightly bitter, assertively spicy finish.

This tasty local beer is priced quite competitively, at least at City Beer, where I found it. Each $3 can is 16 ounces, which is to say, one pint. Brother David's and Afflingen come in 22 ounce bottles, and my most recent purchases cost me $6.50 and $7 respectively, which works out to around $5 a pint. See uncommonbrewers.com for other places to find Siamese Twin and Uncommon Brewers' other organic beers, both in cans and on tap.

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