The crack of a bat. The roar of a crowd. Who isn’t thrilled to see the fireworks burst from the top of Angel Stadium during Major League Baseball’s opening week. Across the 57 freeway at the Ponda, the Ducks are set to make the playoffs despite a rocky start, and just a little down the road, hundreds of thousands of people will walk through the Disneyland Resort. With all that buzz, it’s easy to forget that thousands of at-risk kids surround these places.
ACT Anaheim (Accelerated Change Together) sponsors programs for at-risk Anaheim youth, and two local brewers have collaborated on a beer and plan to give a portion of its proceeds to the cause. Long-time O.C. brewer Victor Novak of Golden Road Pub-Orange County and Tim Barro of Backstreet Brewery crafted an 8% ABV Baltic porter called Act of Kindness, and it’s delicious.
The beer pours deep black, is capped with a thin tan head, and it’s bursting with rich, malty sweetness. As it warms, aromas of Tootsie Rolls, black licorice, molasses, and sugar plums pop out near the end of the pint. The style was born out of English ale influence, but became a big dark lager out of necessity because ale temps were hard to achieve in 18th century Baltic states. Today’s craft brewers aim for a Russian Imperial Stout (Ale), but ferment the style with a historically accurate lager yeast, giving it an inherent smoothness that cleans up on the finish. At 8%, the beer is pint-worthy and pairs well with a nice cigar around a fire pit.
The beer is available at both breweries for a limited time, just a 20-minute walk from one another around Angel Stadium.
Backstreet Brewery, 1884 S. Santa Cruz St., Anaheim
Golden Road Pub-Orange County, 2210 E. Orangewood Ave., Anaheim