They say…

Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor


Moonlight Death & Taxes

ABV: 5%
Origin: Santa Rosa, California, USA

Death & Taxes Black Beer

The name refers to the old proverb about certainty, attributed among many others to Benjamin Franklin. And it’s a quality that I’ve come to associate over the past few years with Moonlight beers – the certainty that the beer I’m about to taste is at least interesting and quite likely excellent.

Most people I’ve spoken to who’ve also encountered Brian Hunt’s beers feel the same, yet they’re limited to a modest production – only about 1,000 US barrels (1,200hl) a year, and with distribution over a limited area. Brian started the brewery in 1992 in an old barn in the countryside north of Santa Rosa, in Sonoma County on the outlying flanks of the San Francisco Bay Area. It moved to a purpose built facility closer to town in 2003. There are no bottles – Brian insists the beers taste their best only in kegs.

Moonlight beers are artisanal, eccentric and distinctive without shouting out for attention like some more notorious Californian craft brews. The fact that the flagship beer, Death & Taxes, is an inspired take on a sums up the approach.

The beer is a very dark brown, near black, with a foamy beige head and a rich chocolatey dark malt aroma. A very firm but clean and smooth palate is dry and sacky with little sweetness, some coffee and chocolate flavours and a bit more hops than expected, but not overwhelmingly so. A long developing and perfectly controlled and balanced chocolate and bitterish roast finish turns powdery on the tongue. It’s sophisticated and flavourful but still wonderfully refreshing.

I sampled the beer during another very pleasant session at one of my favourite San Francisco beer venues, the Monks Kettle in the Mission.

1 comment to Moonlight Death & Taxes

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