The Booth Brewing Co. was initially founded in Seoul, South Korea, in 2013, and it relocated brewing operations to Eureka in 2017. Occupying the former brewhouse of Northern California’s stalwart Lost Coast Brewery when Lost Coast moved to a larger, brand-new facility, The Booth is the first Asian craft brewery with American operations.
The Booth features a spirit of fun, embodied in its can artwork by artist Soña Lee highlighting the whimsical character Boothman. Representatives from the brewery recently visited CRU wine bar in Redwood City with a sampling of their beers on draft and in cans.
EurekaSeoul Citra Hop Ale poured a hazy straw color with low white head with an aroma that managed to be both catty/piney and highlight sweet tropical mango and pineapple notes at the same time. The flavor was similar to the aroma, and a mild alcohol heat from the 6.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) melded nicely with a pronounced, but not overwhelming, hop bitterness. With medium body and moderate carbonation, the beer finished dry, with a prickly yet refreshing hop bitterness in the back of the throat.
Kukmin IPA was a very clear light gold color, with low white head and mild hop aromas of citrus and pine. Initially coming across as more of a pale ale than an IPA (perhaps because it followed the intensity of EurekaSeoul in my tasting, though the ABV was the same and the International Bitterness Units level was very close), the hop character emerged as the beer warmed. Light sweet malts formed a backdrop for firm hop bitterness and a light pine hop flavor that revealed grapefruit zest as it warmed. A smooth well-balanced finish followed the moderate body and carbonation.
California Red Ale
The Booth plans to open its taproom this summer. Because it doesn’t have one yet, representatives were unable to brew and serve their own version of Sierra Nevada’s Resilience IPA as a fundraiser for victims of the Camp Fire that ravaged Paradise last the fall. Instead, The Booth brewed its California Red Ale (with Boothman donning firefighter gear on the can, naturally). Deep mahogany color,
and very clear, California Red Ale featured a long-lasting dense off-white head and moderate carbonation. The rich bready malt aroma and flavor included touches of toffee,
with a mild hop bitterness for balance. Hop flavor was minimal, and the medium-bodied brew finished with a malty smoothness.
Dancing Cow Milk Stout
A deep, dark brown color and a thick, persistent tan head accompanied the fluffy, airy body of the Dancing Cow Milk Stout. Well-balanced lactose sweetness and roasted malt character, with minimal hop character, were present in both the aroma and flavor. Medium carbonation accentuated the long, smooth, pleasant finish.
Other brews in The Booth’s lineup included the Fun Follower Witbier with Szechuan peppercorns and lemongrass, as well as a series of experimental hoppy beers dubbed Make This Happen, including single-hop beers made with Centennial, Simcoe, Belma and Ekuanot hops. The brewery encourages people to rate the Make This Happen beers in the Untappd app, and the beers receiving the highest ratings will be added to the regular year-round lineup.
Derek Wolfgram is a Certified Beer Judge through the Beer Judge Certification Program and an officer of the Silicon Valley Sudzers homebrew club. For more information, visit sudzers.org.