Founder, Tomme Arthur, is from San Diego and is particularly known for his Belgian-style beers. Arthur got hooked on beer in college – and not just in the usual kind of way. His roommate and his roommate’s father had traveled in Europe (including Belgium) and, in turn, they introduced him to a whole world of different beer styles and traditions. Subsequently, he became so enamored with the beverage and the world of brewing that in 1996, at the age of 23, he took a job at a start-up San Diego brewery. That brewery quickly folded due to poor management but, by his own account, Arthur was exposed to some pretty tasty beer-making in the process. It was only several years later that he opened up a brewery of his own and, eventually, he took over a brewing facility from Stone Brewing Company in San Marcos, CA. This is the company’s current base of operations and where Arthur began making both American ales and the Belgian-inspired Lost Abbey beers.
Arthur continues to supervise beer production at the company. Six beers are issued under the Lost Abbey label year-round: Inferno Ale, Avant Garde, Lost and Found, Red Barn, Devotion and Judgment Day. Additionally, a number of seasonal and specialty releases are offered at various times throughout the year.
For this post, I wanted to focus on Inferno Ale, a Golden Strong ale. This beer is made with German Magnum and Saaz hops, Belgian yeast strains and uses a secret ingredient or two for drama. It pours a fiery orange in the glass and is simply gorgeous to look at. It weighs in at 8.5%ABV, but you’d never guess it by taste, masked by a clever spicy bite and a long fruity middle with a moderate carbonation. Inferno Ale is great by itself but really shines when paired with spicy and serious dishes – think Red Mole, Carnitas or citrusy fish tacos.
Among the many hats he wears, Eric Meyer is the beer buyer, grillmaster and a cheesemonger at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge.