Yeast of Burden

JC, the owner of Alvarado Street Brewery and I had spent the entire day writing work emails and texting each other from across the room, while his crack team of misfit brewers, along with our head brewer Stephen, meticulously brewed up an amazing murky pale ale collaboration we had been brainstorming for months. Once finished, we headed to the beach to celebrate the day.

“Santa Cruz is that way!”, we turned and saw a car loaded with patchy bearded 20 somethings, with vape smoke billowing out of their mid 90’s Isuzu Trooper, shouting and pointing to the North. We were here to chug beer and surf, and no Monterey burnouts were going to stop us. We cheered 750 ml bottles of each others wild ales, and chugged them down on the sand while laughing, as these armchair beach quarterbacks sat in their haze Bro vape SUV. We ‘saluted’ the peanut gallery and headed out to solid head high surf, with an evening glass-off on a lightly crowded Monterey beach.

This experience encapsulates the vibe of this beer. Yes, it’s a pale ale. No, it’s not a ‘brite’ beer, but a murky, ‘hazy’, pale ale, and yes, some people might not get it at first. Just like those Bros on the beach, we were hesitant too. I haven’t always seen eye to eye with a beer that is golden in color, yet you can’t shine a flashlight through. Then I met the crew at Alvarado Street, and they, just like their hazy beers, grew on me. Done right, these ‘yeast forward’ beers can be amazing, just like Alvarado's brewer Andrew’s wispy mustache. What is that haze? Why does it polarize our beer community? I don’t know, but Alvarado Street makes amazing ones, and I WANT ON THAT HAZE TRAIN! 

I called JC and we brainstormed a fun take on a pale ale, which brought us to Yeast of Burden. A fun, hazy, pale ale, 16 ounce can and all. We chose Medusa hops for a huge dry hopping and it finished out at 5.2% abv. Medusa, mainly because it’s fun to say, MEDUSA….. and Simcoe, because of it’s insane aromatics and flavor contributions. The label art is all of the brewers involved heads, pasted on the Stones ‘Some Girls’ album cover that features the Beast of Burden song that inspired the brew. 

These are meant to be consumed fresh, and like the waves that day, will be gone too soon; so grab some if you can and remember, the beach isn’t always better around the next point, and two Bros is two too many in a vaping Isuzu.

Tyler Clark


Sean Zurbriggen