San Francisco’s Fort Point Beer Company presents this collaboration with Germany’s Freigeist. Manzanita is a heavily smoked ale made from malt that’s been smoked with both beechwood and manzanita (a common evergreen shrub) branches.
The overpowering smokiness on the nose is reminiscent of apple wood smoke, crispy bacon, and mesquite. The palate is quite sweet, heavy apple and orange fruitiness leading quickly to more of the aforementioned smoke flavors, which take on some notes of roasted nuts and chicory coffee. Saphir hops add a very light bitterness to the proceedings, but the smoke is so overpowering that it quickly begins to dominate the experience from start to finish, which otherwise comes through with some stale coffee notes.
B / $8 per 22 oz bottle / fortpointbeer.com