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American Voo Doo

Oggi’s production arm releases two forms of its imperial stout.

The second I laid eyes on a bottle of Left Coast Voo Doo American Stout (produced by Left Coast Brewing Co., the brewing operation from which most of the beers of the Oggi’s brewpub and pizzeria chain are crafted), I knew the perfect place to consume it. Adorned with a skeleton wearing a top hat and brandishing a skull-topped walking stick, it reminded me of images I’d seen in great plentitude in perhaps my favorite place on the face of the Earth — New Orleans, Louisiana. As fate would have it, I was headed to NOLA the following week, providing an opportunity to sample this dark beer named after a dark art deeply rooted in that city’s heritage.

That all sounds very romantic, but it wasn’t really the allure of drinking a beer called Voo Doo in the land of voodoo and its legendary practitioner, Marie Laveau, that had me so excited. I was just glad to have a tasty, high octane craft beer along with me in the Crescent City. While there are a handful of venues serving good beer in New Orleans (most notably The Avenue Pub), artisanal beer has yet to really gain much traction there. Slowly but surely, however, bars and restaurants are starting to feature local lagers and ales (in that order). Thing is, they just don’t stand up to the quality of Southern California’s rightfully renowned brews, making a bomber snugly tucked between layers of clothing in a checked bag a necessity for a beer nut like me.

It was worth carrying the extra 22 ounces. Coming in at 8.5% alcohol-by-volume — a rather modest ABV for an imperial stout, actually — the Voo Doo is well balanced and not the least bit sweet. Many versions of this style produced throughout the country veer toward the syrupy end of the sweetness scale as brewers seek to boost alcohol into the double digits. Because of its savory nature, it’s easy to pick out a coffee-like roastiness and cola nuttiness along with touches of earthy herbal tea, black peppercorn skins, and even a bit of sarsaparilla. The seasonal beer recently made its way into the local market along with a new, barrel-aged version stored in bourbon- and rye-soaked oak for nine months. Aptly enough, that one registers at 10% ABV thanks to the spirits.

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The second I laid eyes on a bottle of Left Coast Voo Doo American Stout (produced by Left Coast Brewing Co., the brewing operation from which most of the beers of the Oggi’s brewpub and pizzeria chain are crafted), I knew the perfect place to consume it. Adorned with a skeleton wearing a top hat and brandishing a skull-topped walking stick, it reminded me of images I’d seen in great plentitude in perhaps my favorite place on the face of the Earth — New Orleans, Louisiana. As fate would have it, I was headed to NOLA the following week, providing an opportunity to sample this dark beer named after a dark art deeply rooted in that city’s heritage.

That all sounds very romantic, but it wasn’t really the allure of drinking a beer called Voo Doo in the land of voodoo and its legendary practitioner, Marie Laveau, that had me so excited. I was just glad to have a tasty, high octane craft beer along with me in the Crescent City. While there are a handful of venues serving good beer in New Orleans (most notably The Avenue Pub), artisanal beer has yet to really gain much traction there. Slowly but surely, however, bars and restaurants are starting to feature local lagers and ales (in that order). Thing is, they just don’t stand up to the quality of Southern California’s rightfully renowned brews, making a bomber snugly tucked between layers of clothing in a checked bag a necessity for a beer nut like me.

It was worth carrying the extra 22 ounces. Coming in at 8.5% alcohol-by-volume — a rather modest ABV for an imperial stout, actually — the Voo Doo is well balanced and not the least bit sweet. Many versions of this style produced throughout the country veer toward the syrupy end of the sweetness scale as brewers seek to boost alcohol into the double digits. Because of its savory nature, it’s easy to pick out a coffee-like roastiness and cola nuttiness along with touches of earthy herbal tea, black peppercorn skins, and even a bit of sarsaparilla. The seasonal beer recently made its way into the local market along with a new, barrel-aged version stored in bourbon- and rye-soaked oak for nine months. Aptly enough, that one registers at 10% ABV thanks to the spirits.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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