Located in a strip mall all the way out in Trinity, Infusion Brewing Co. is one of the bay area’s sleeper breweries. Despite its low-key presence, Infusion has churned out no small volume of excellent beer, clearly a major factor in the full house during its two-year anniversary party at the end of January.
For the anniversary, Infusion released The Second of Many, a coffee-infused milk stout brewed specifically for the occasion. This is a follow-up to The First of Many, brewed originally for the one-year party and brewed again for this year’s festivities. Let’s chat about it.
The First of Many is intended to be an anniversary beer for the brewery, but its release close to Valentine’s Day couldn’t be better. This beer — a hefty, 11.2 percent alcohol by volume imperial raspberry oatmeal stout — belongs on the table with dessert after a nice Valentine’s dinner. Wine? Who needs it?
The original was a much lighter beer, at 8.6 percent by volume, and the strength of this version shows. It’s not hot or overly boozy, but there’s some real weight to it, like a liqueur-filled truffle, only a touch less viscous.
The base beer would be worth a visit, but it’s the addition of raspberry and cacao nibs that transform it from a big beer into a brew resembling a cordial. Picking off nuance and subtlety is a fool’s errand here — this is a big, liquid chocolate-covered raspberry.
Whether by design or not, The First of Many is as good a Valentine’s Day beer as you’re likely to find. Never considered such a thing? Swing by Infusion’s tasting room to sample it on tap ($6) or grab a 16-ounce growler to go ($6.50).
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