Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. 5th Anniversary Doppelbock: Lagers aren’t typically known for their richness, but that’s the hand played by this whopper of a brew, which was aged for eight months in rum and vanilla extract barrels. The planning for this celebratory ale started more than a year ago, in part because rum barrels are much harder to come by than whiskey or wine casks, and are often in comparably poor shape.
“Doppelbock by nature has more of a cola taste to it, and the idea was to put it into rum barrels and get that Cuba Libre, that rum-and-coke taste,” said the brewery’s co-owner Jaime Dietenhofer of the chocolate-y results. “It’s the best anniversary beer we’ve brewed by far. People who aren’t even into beer think it’s approachable.” The hearty base of traditional Munich malts boosted alcohol levels into the danger zone, but, as Dietenhofer explained, “It’s a really smooth 12 percent.”
The beer is available in 22-ounce bottles and on tap at all of Fig Mountain’s taprooms, including its sixth in Westlake Village, which opens this week. Dietenhofer is happily pleased with his young company’s steady success, which he attributes to the fast-paced growth of the entire craft brew industry. “Consumers are so much more educated and discerning now,” he said. “It’s making the good guys better.”