Tichu is a popular Chinese card game that I would describe as a cross between Pinochle and Poker. It's highly interactive and each play is a tough choice to make. The goal is to get rid of your cards first by playing progressively higher combinations of cards in each trick (single, pair, full house, straight, etc). It's a partnership game, so reading your partner plays a big part too.
Our beer selection for the night was:
- Ballast Point - Big Eye IPA: A great all-around IPA from one of the great San Diego breweries. Great flavor, easy to drink, yet packs a decent punch at 7%. You can't go wrong with this.
- Mikkeller - Koppi Coffee IPA: Mikkeller has quite a few unique brews out there (Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, I'm looking at you.) This is one of them. I had never heard of a Coffee IPA before tonight, so was excited to try it. However, while I thought the brew was quite delicious and a unique twist on your typical IPA, I tasted no coffee whatsoever. The color was a hazy amber, much lighter than I expected from a coffee beer. There were no coffee notes in the nose. And only a slight hint in the flavor. I enjoyed this, but if you try it, don't expect bold coffee flavors here.
- Karl Strauss - Parrot in a Palm Tree: Great choice by my dad in bringing this delicious Baltic Porter from Karl Strauss. KS is really stepping it up with their seasonal releases. I think they've seen the huge market in San Diego for specialty craft beers. They don't disappoint with this one! It's one of the best porters I've ever tasted. Aging it in port barrels gives it a unique taste compared to other porters.
- Avery - Dihos Dactylion: I picked this up on my last trip to Denver. I was in the bottle shop and I asked the guy there what were some local beers that I wouldn't be able to get back home. He brought this one out of the back room for me. It was the last bottle! Now, we do get Avery beer here in San Diego. But this was an extremely limited release. I believe there were only 264 cases bottled. It was a sour ale aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, over 10%. Very tart and sweet, but not so harsh as a Flanders Red can be. I found it to be very smooth and easy to drink, though I don't know if I'd enjoy drinking a whole bottle. This was a good one to end the night with.