Saturday, February 28, 2009

Brewday Beers

Kevin came over to enjoy a nice brewday and he brought along a growler of Ruination. Might have been the best tasting Ruination I've ever had. We had some Italian sandwiches to go along with it.

Here's the setup in the backyard. Nothing too extravagant. I went all-grain for this batch and used the brew-in-a-bag (BIAB) method. Went pretty smoothly, I actually got the efficiency I was counting on (65%). Obviously that's not great but for a small batch it doesn't really matter. You can see the Pilsner grain, flaked wheat and flaked oats sitting in the mash.

Draining the bag and sparging it is kind of a hassle. I'll leave it at that for now.

Spencer and Kevin had free run of the fridge and Spencer decided to go with a Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. That's a damn good beer. Kevin decided to go with a Nugget Nectar. He's always posing like this with his Nugget Nectars.

I went with the awesome Green Flash West Coast IPA.

Kevin lost focus at about this time and started taking pictures in the backyard.

The last beer of the long afternoon was Allagash Interlude (2007), a Belgian strong pale ale aged in french merlot and sirah oak barrels. They use two strains of yeast- one is a standard Belgian strain and the other is Brettanomyces. It has a really crazy wine like and acidic/tart smell to it, but the taste isn't very tart. It's more wine-like. Very hard beer to describe but a VERY good beer overall. Kind of an eye opener to me in terms of something new. Haven't really experienced that feeling lately. Allagash's website said this beer goes well with sharp cheese, so that's exactly what we paired it with.

That was pretty much it. I have a headache now and don't really wanna touch beer for at least a week or two.

Bunch of New Beers Had Tonight

Went over to Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe tonight. Didn't expect much from their tap lineup as Belgian Beer Fest was still going on and I wasn't impressed with their lineup 2 weeks ago. This day was actually better now. Out of the 4 beers I had tonight, all four were new to me. The first was Abbey Des Rocs Triple Imperial (10% ABV). It was a milk chocolate brown (maybe slightly darker), pretty sweet, medium-light body, and super easy to drink. Not a whole lot of roastiness going on in it, just a bit of sweet, alcohol, and Belgian flavors. Good Stuff. The next beer was a Murphy's Irish Stout. Never had that beer so decided what the hell. Felt like comparing it to the ultra bland Guinness that I've had within the last month. It was a bit better than Guinness as it had a little more roastiness (albeit not much). The next beer was a bottle of Lost Abbey's Serpent Stout. Lucky B's priced this at $10 a bottle. It must've been a mistake or something. It totally didn't fit within the pricing of their other beers (ie Ommegang Abbey Ale for $15). I jumped all over this deal and ordered it. This beer reeked of cocoa powder in the nose and tasted of smooth unsweetened intense dark chocolate with a bit of sweet fruit. We left Lucky B's and walked up to a dive up the street called Buccaneer which had PBR on tap. At this point my best judgments were behind me so I ordered up a pint. We watched a band play a couple songs and then we left, with about 3/4th's of a glass of PBR still sitting there. We topped off the night with some awesome burritos from Alberto's. Good night overall. It's very rare that I ever try more than 1 or 2 new beers in one night anymore. And I'm going to bed now after posting-under-the-influence here.

The Delirium Cafe beer menu as of last night...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Green Flash West Coast IPA

It took me a handful of stops over the last week to finally pick up a 6'r of Green Flash West Coast IPA. It seems like in the 909 it is almost impossible to find certain beers very fresh. I was in a BevMo this morning and there was 1 Green Flash WCIPA 6'r left in the fridge (and in the whole store). Since Green Flash does not put any sort of freshness info on their bottle, there is no way to know how old it is. So I looked around at a couple other beers. The Union Jack was about 6 months old- bad. They still had cases of Deschutes Hop Trip, easily past its prime by now. I was a little skeptical of how fresh the Green Flash might be so I bolted. I ended up biting the bullet at a store less than a mile away from me called Liquorama that seemed to have a little more of it in stock, so I figured it may be a somewhat fresh, though I still had my worries (I don't really like to throw away $11 for a stale 6 pack).

Opening one up at home tonight, I realized this stuff is still in very good condition. Hits the nose with a ton of grapefruit off the bat and the taste is as assertive as always with a huge lingering bitter bite. Really looking forward to finishing off that 6-pack with Kevin on Saturday when we homebrew.

On my day off today I also took a little trip over to Riverside to hit MoreBeer!, my new favorite homebrew shop. Being such a huge operation, they have tons of everything you want in stock. I love my little shop down the street but he doesn't keep a lot of stuff in stock. This Saturday I'm brewing up a quenching beer for my graduation party in May. It's going to be a Witbier. The recipe is as follows:

  • 3.0 lbs Belgian Pilsner malt
  • 2.75 lbs flaked wheat
  • 0.50 lbs flaked oats
  • 0.75 oz Hallertauer hops at 90 min
  • 0.25 oz coriander
  • 0.25 oz Curacao bitter orange peel
  • 0.25 oz Valencia orange zest (or 0.50 oz if I can't get any Curacao by Saturday)
  • 0.10 oz Grains of Paradise (if I can find any)
  • WLP400 Belgian Wit yeast
It's only gonna be a little over 3 gallons with an ABV of 4.5-5.0%. I was hoping they would have some acidified malt in stock so I could throw a couple oz's in the beer to give it a little acidic bite, but it was only for online order. I've never brewed this style so I at least hope it comes out easy to drink and tasty.

On that graduation party subject, I've started to think about what beers should be on hand. My mom doesn't care how much it costs but I don't want to spend excessively. There are two possible routes I can take here (ok three, i'll get to that...). I can go fill up some of my various growlers- I would probably get growlers from Alpine (Pure Hoppiness and any other IPA's they have at the time), Pizza Port/Lost Abbey (El Camino IPA and Red Barn), Stone (Ruination), Green Flash (WCIPA and Imperial IPA), and The Bruery (Berliner Weisse). Probably about 10 growlers total (5 gallons) focusing on mostly hoppy beers, and a few 6-packs of various offerings. The other option would be to get a 5 gallon keg of something which would be cheaper than filling up all the various growlers, because growler fills are generally $10-15 a pop. A 5 gallon keg of something good will be $75-85. Highest on my list that are easy to obtain would be Wipeout IPA from BevMo or Green Flash West Coast IPA from Hi-Times. It's never too early to start thinking about important details like this. Oh yeah, the 3rd option would be to get a full keg of PBR for only $90! Ah the choices.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Peche Mortel, An Imperial Coffee Stout

I really haven't come across an Imperial Coffee beer I didn't like. Ballast Point Victory at Sea Imperial Coffee Porter was awesome. Pizza Port makes a coffee beer that is very good. Founder's Breakfast Stout is a double chocolate and coffee stout, and again, awesome. I've loved em all, and I don't even really drink coffee. Anyway, Peche Mortel hails from the most unexpected of places; Canada (blame Canada). It's also ranked #13 on the Beer Advocate list of best beers in the world. This one is packed with coffee, roastiness, and a little chocolate. It's damn good, and somewhat a coincidence that I'm drinking this at the same time the fellas at Booze Reviews are drinking one as well, 120 miles away.

The Rise of Temptation, Decline of Nectar, and an Average Southampton

I poured what was my first full glass of Batch 003 Temptation which was released a little less than a year ago. I've had a few bottles of this within that time, but only in small samples by splitting bottles. I couldn't detect much differences from Batch 002 in those samples but today shed quite a bit of light on that subject. What I noticed was a much more prevalent mustiness in the aroma, like that of a blue cheese. I thought it was pretty awesome. There seems to be less chardonnay barrel character in this than before, although it's obviously still one of the major influences on this beer. And I'm not sure if my palate has just gotten more use to sours in the last couple years, but this seemed to be a lot less tart than before. Either way, it was awesome, and I even thought a little bit better than batch 002. 4.7/5

The next issue is of the famed Nugget Nectar. I had one last night and it just didn't wow me, or really even satisfy me at all, which would be a first. Now, this thing was bottled about 5-6 weeks ago, which should render it still plenty fresh, especially being kept in a fridge around 34F the entire time. I don't know what it was but it just didn't do it for me. In fact, to be honest, this year's batch just isn't doing much for me as it is, compared to last year's. I don't think anyone has noticed much, if any difference from last year, so I'll probably chalk this up to my increasing lupulin threshold shift that has been taking place in the last year.

Lastly, a new beer I tasted with my buddy Kevin last week was the Southampton Grand Cru. This thing has been in the top 100 on Beer Advocate (not sure if it is right now or not), and I'm scratching my head at why that is. It's basically a combination of witbier spices in a beefed up Belgian pale ale body. They used coriander, orange peel, and star anise in this. I don't think it went well with the sweet body at all. Those spices work great in a witbier, where the body is that unmalted wheat that lends a nice wheaty or mild tartness to it. The body of this beer had to of been some caramelly Caravienne or something like that. I don't know but it wasn't great. It wasn't a drain pour either. Just disappointing I guess.

Friday, February 20, 2009

What's On Tap for the Weekend

Fighting the LA morning and afternoon traffic has gotten my energy down in my first week of psych rotation, and I've started to come down with a cold. I haven't even had a beer since Sunday morning and since I'll be staying close to home this weekend the beer choices are somewhat limited. Hollingshead's is closed on weekends and Lucky Baldwin's tap list sucks right now with all the pedestrian Belgian's. One opportunity this opens up is a visit to The Bruery, which it seems like I haven't been able to do in forever since I seem to be going somewhere every Friday or Saturday. One new release is their Saison De Lente, which if Saison Rue was any indicator (or any of their other beers for that matter), it'll be a kickass saison (something we can always make room for).

Just a few miles away in Fullerton is a newer brewery called Bootlegger's. I've seen some of their beers in bottles at the nearby Hollingshead's Deli but haven't tried them. A few weeks ago Hollingshead's had their Rustic Rye IPA on tap which just by the name (and its 85 IBUs) sounds delicious. They only appear to have public tasting hours from 2-7pm on Fridays so unfortunately I won't be able to visit this place for a while, but it's near the top of my list.

If all else fails I'll have to find myself either dipping into my own fridge (something I should probably do more often). Or perhaps a trip to The Verdugo is in order for Friday or Saturday night...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Another San Diego Wrap Up

We got to O'Brien's right at opening and enjoyed a few hours of fun there. I started off with an Alpine Pure Hoppiness (right) and Kevin went with a Blind Pig (left). I have been staying away from the Pure Hop for a while, even though it is one of my favorite beers. I was reminded today how delicious it was. As a side note, one of the best glasses I've ever had of Pure Hop was when I poured it into a big tulip glass. The smell was amplified using that glass. In a pint glass you don't get maximum aromatics coming out of it. I tried the grilled cheese for the first time, pretty f'ing good, except it's quite small. The garlic fries ALWAYS come through. I could eat like 5 orders of those things.

As we waited for the Blackburn vs. Coventry City game to come on we needed another pint. I went with the Alesmith My Blood Valentine while Kev went with a Pliny the Elder. The Alesmith was an interesting beer. Not sure what style it was, I would maybe say more towards a Red Ale with some small porter character in it. There was very slight roastiness and actually an interesting hop component as well. It came across as juicy, even with the darker malt. Interesting, enjoyable, but probably not one I would go back to.

The last beer we went with at O'Brien's was Green Flash West Coast IPA. I had this beer when I first got into craft beer, loved it, then never had it again till a few weeks ago. Now I must say it's without a doubt one of the best IPA's out there (in the world). I would have to say when it comes to single IPA's it's all about Russian River IPA, Blind Pig, and Green Flash West Coast IPA. After many chants of "Oh Nottingham (clap clap clap), Oh Nottingham (clap clap clap), Oh Nottingham is full of fun, it's full of tits, fanny, and forest, oh Nottingham is full of fun" and "He's here, he's there, he's swearin' everywhere, Joe Kinnneeeear, Joe Kinnneeeear" we packed up and headed over to Hamilton's.

Hamilton's Tavern had a cool special going on today. $3.50 glasses of Karl Strauss beers (they had like 6 or 7 on tap, and 1 on cask) as well as a free buffet!!! First we started out, from left to right, with the Karl Strauss Tripel, DIPA, and Saison. The tripel and saison were very nice, in the little bit I had of them, the DIPA was not so much. At first I thought it had an awesome smell, something I didn't really expect from Karl Strauss (yes a bit of maybe unwarranted prejudice in there). However, as I kept drinking it, it just wasn't good. It was sweet, syrupy, maybe vegetal... very strange overall. Kevin snapped a cool picture of the saison by itself...

Now, onto that free buffet. Damn it was good. White rice with shrimp, spicy red beans and rice, garlic bread, cornbread and boiled seafood mix- crawfish, corn on the cobb, and potatoes. We each had 2 plates and I'm still burping shrimp. Accompanying the food is the Karl Stauss Chocolate Oatmeal Stout on cask. It was not too shabby. Kinda thin in body overall and lacked the full amount of roastiness I expected but it was good, especially to put out the fire from the spices in the food.

A good day overall. Somewhat of a quick trip, as we got down there at noon and got back home at 8:30. It's always a good day when you get to spend time at O'Brien's and Hamilton's. I'm also happy to report Steve was on time to pick up his girlfriend from work this time.

Exotic Sausage and Beer in Downtown LA - Wurstkuche Restaurant

Feel like a duck & bacon sausage? How about alligator & hickory smoked pork? Maybe rattlesnake & rabbit with jalapeno is more up your alley. Those are some of the things that Wurstkuche Restaurant in Downtown LA is serving up. Course, they do a lot of regular sausages as well, but they have some interesting exotics as mentioned. The real kicker here is you can have a fine malted beverage to accompany your alligator. How about an Allagash White or Reissdorf Koelsch? St Bernardus ABT 12 or Old Rasputin? Those are some of the selections they have on their draft beer menu which comprises 12 Belgian, 8 German, and 3 American brews (including Pabst Blue Ribbon!!!!). There are also a handful of quality bottled beers from each country. I haven't been here but I'll eventually stop in here when I'm in the Downtown area and not planning on spending all my time at the awesome whiskey-heaven-on-earth, Seven Grand.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Year Old Anchor Old Foghorn

Been raining all day here with a high right now of 42F which sounds like an opportune time to try a new beer. Ok I've had Anchor Old Foghorn before but in a small sample, and it was about a 4 year old vintage, AND it was after having some Pliny the Younger. I remember really liking the Old Foghorn but my perception of it may have been fogged due to all the aforementioned factors. I don't usually drink barleywines and can off the top of my head name the ones I've ever had- Sierra Nevada Bigfood, Stone Old Guardian, Old Foghorn, Alesmith Old Numbsull, and an infected Green Flash Barleywine. But it's been quite a while since my last, so I've been looking forward to this one I've been stashing away for a rainy day.

This beer was bottled on April 2nd, 2007, as per the code on the back of "7AB." It's a moderate 8.8% ABV. The aroma contains a nice amount of fruit... apples are the specific thing I pick up as well as a little bit of cherry. And there's a lot of sugary stuff in the background. The taste has a nice smoothness to it. It's very clean tasting and bitterness is almost absent. It's pretty simple at least as far as what I'm getting in terms of fruit and a little bit of caramelized malt. I wonder if they use a ton of Marris Otter as their base malt? As I sip on, I get pleny of raisin.

This is a really good cold weather sipper as I get through most of the glass here. Very fruity and raisiny when it warms up. Highly recommended.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Saturday San Diego Itinerary

My buddy Kevin and I are going to be traveling to San Diego for some beer and soccer watching this Saturday. Our plans are to hit O'Brien's at opening, around noon, and take in the FA Cup match between Blackburn and Coventry City at 12:30. After a couple/few hours at O'Brien's we will probably venture south into North park and hit either Hamilton's or Blind Lady Alehouse, or maybe even Downtown Johnny Brown's. I love Hamilton's so much and I've heard a lot about their beer cheese soup that I may just have to do that. We'll probably be playing this second stop by ear though. When we head home in the evening we'll definitely be stopping by Stone for a growler fill, as they are doing fills of my 2nd favorite beer at Stone- Smoked Porter w/ vanilla beans.

There may or may not be an Alpine trip thrown in to get a couple growlers of Duet and Pure Hoppiness and O'Briens IPA. That will be a last minute decision.

UPDATE: No Alpine trip... not this time. I don't actually need more beer in my fridge. However we do plan on being at O'Brien's from around 12-3pm or so, and then most likely Hamilton's after that.

Celebrating The End of 4th Rotation

4 down, 2 to go. Graduation in 3 months.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Giving White Knuckle A Second Chance

I received a Marin White Knuckle DIPA in a trade a few months back that turned into a drain pour. With all the great things I'd heard about this beer, it was about the most disappointing experience I've had with a double IPA. Obviously the beer was somewhat old. How old I'll never know, but since my local liquor store guy had just received some new bottles I decided to give it another go.

As I sit here and sip it I must say I'm a little more satisfied this time, but not totally impressed. The hop flavors coming out of this beer are pretty nice, and it's got a pretty good Pliny-like aroma with more concentration on the floral or vegetal aspect, but it's still good, and fairly fresh smelling. The taste puts me in a mindset of somewhere between Santa Rosa and Pennsylvania. It's like a tug-of-war between West Coast and East Coast IPA characteristics. There's almost too much malt behind it, which seems to be close to the toasted variety, or maybe it's just burnt caramel. Along with it is a nice floral hoppiness and a moderate to high bitterness to finish it off. The beer level in my glass is receding pretty fast, but I can't say I completely love it.

After a quick cost-benefit analysis, for $10 a bomber I won't ever be purchasing this again. 33.8oz of bottled Elder for the same price and ABV% is the right way to go in my mind.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lucky Baldwin's 10th Annual Belgian Beer Festival

Lucky Baldwins Pub
Pasadena & Sierra Madre
Saturday, 14th February - Sunday, 1st March 2009

  • 51 Belgian beers on tap at the same time
  • We will have over 80 different Belgian Beers on tap in the 2 weeks of the festival.
  • Lucky Baldwins/St. Feuillien Commemorative Glass &Festival T-shirt available.
  • As well as, some delicious Belgian dishes on the menu

I've been to this for about the past 4 years and much of the really good stuff kicks after about 2 days, but I'll be over at the Delirium on Sunday the 15th in the AM for the Manchester United game and have a glass or two of some good Belgian beer. I'll try to grab a list and put it online.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ranking Southern Californa Beer Bars

Here are my top 5 MUST visit beer bars/pubs in the southern half of California. Granted, I haven't been to every beer bar, nor have I even been to every highly regarded place. Remember, this doesn't take into account breweries or tasting rooms... we'll get to that later. But in my experiences here are the best pubs or bars for beer so far...

1. O'Brien's Pub, San Diego. Self-proclaimed "the hoppiest place on earth," O'Brien's doesn't have as many taps as a lot of places these days with around 20 total, but they are filled with top notch beers, and usually pretty hoppy beers. You can easily see what is on tap at any time so I don't need to go into that, but what I love about this place is the atmosphere. It doesn't get any better than sitting down at a table in one of their comfortable vintage green office chairs and ordering up a burger with garlic fries (which seem more like garlic with some fries tossed in) to go along with your Blind Pig or Racer 5.

2. Hamilton's Tavern, San Diego. I'm so thankful I finally made it here after wanting to go for a long time. The tap list is second to none and excels in diversity and harder to find local brews. Usually I hate really cramped, packed places, and Hamilton's does get very packed on a weekend night, but there's something about this place that makes me not really care too much. It's a minor challenge to order something at the bar. You have to go old school and flag the bartender or just kinda shout out your order when they pass or make eye contact. I've never really liked to do that but there are so many people trying to order it'd be almost impossible for the bartender to know who should be the next to order.

3. Hollingshead's Deli, Orange. Hollingshead's is truly unique. I'm not sure I know of a place around that mimics it, except maybe City Beer Store in SF. This is a deli and beer bar all wrapped inside a beer store shell. There are a handful of tables in the wider middle isle and about 12 seats at the bar. You are always surrounded by bottles of beers, whether it be on shelves, in coolers, or sitting up on the bar right in front of its draught version. The three generations of Hollingshead's fellows keep things going behind the bar, at the cash register, and out in the isles. They also have pretty killer options on tap, which is basically a prerequisite to be on this top 5 list anyway, so I probably didn't need to mention that.

4. Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach. Beachwood's setting is quite unique. It's a little hole-in-the-wall BBQ place (with kick-ass food) that serves a diverse lineup of craft beer that will always include a couple things you've probably never seen on tap, or at least haven't seen in a while. Gabe, the owner, goes out of his way to try to obtain obscure beers. They use a pegged wall with square chalkboards hanging for each beer as their menu. While it's nice to know a certain bar will have a specific beer always on (ie O'Brien's having Pliny the Elder or Blind Pig 24/7), you won't get that at Beachwood, so don't expect it. Each and every tap changes frequently and is usually never replaced by the same beer. You can probably always find something new here.

5. Churchill's, San Marcos. I don't know what exactly it is I love about Churchill's other than their beer and great service. I just like the feel of this English pub. Oh yeah, now I remember, their roast beef dip sandwich. But anyway, they have a handful of really good rotating taps and some permanent ones with nice local offerings like Lightning Thunderweizen or Green Flash West Coast IPA. A killer bottle list here too. If you're visiting from out of the area and want some of those special release hard to find Lost Abbey or Russian River beers, you'll probably find them at Churchill's.

Honorable Mention: Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe, Sierra Madre. Maybe a sentimental choice because it's my "local" pub (being 20 miles away) but they do enough to keep things interesting here. It's an English pub with a big Belgian beer influence. Lots of standard Belgian's on tap with a handful of English brews. There's also around 10 American beers usually on here that include stuff from Craftsman, Stone, Anchor, and Sierra Nevada usually, with some other oddballs thrown in.

Just missed the cut:

  • Father's Office, Santa Monica - Pretty good tap lineup that doesn't change too often, amazing burger, but overall a little too trendy to pull me in on regular occasion.
  • Back Abbey, Claremont - Another amazing burger, and a tap list of all imported beers; most Belgian. Having a few beers here can break your wallet though. It's always crowded too with snobbish Claremont people and when it's chilly it's hard to sit outside because there is only 1 heat lamp.
  • Toronado, San Diego. Now if we weren't just talking about Southern California, the Toronado in San Francisco would make the top 3 on my list, but the newer version down in San Diego doesn't quite hit the spot for me. There are no doubt some great beers on tap, but it just doesn't seem to have a whole lot of character, yet.
Places that have a lot of potential to be on this list but I haven't been to yet: Naja's Place (Redondo Beach), Ritual Tavern (San Diego), The Tap Room (San Diego), Downtown Johnny Brown's (San Diego), Live Wire Bar (San Diego), The Linkery (San Diego)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Younger and Consecration

Well, I expected the first keg of Pliny the Younger at Hollingshead's Deli to last at least 5 or 6 days (as it usually does over there) but guess what, it blew in less than 2 days. Talk about beer geeks coming out of the woodwork this year. Anyway, Hollingshead's put on a keg of Consecration right after that and wow was that good. Consecration doesn't look like much in the glass, but it is bursting with sourness, wood, and cherry (I don't even think there is any cherry in there but it seems like it).

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Weyerbacher Merry Monks' Tripel

I received Weyerbacher's Merry Monk Belgian Style Golden Ale, which they classify as a tripel in a recent trade. It was thrown in as an extra and I had not previously been aware of this brew. The beer clocks in at a hefty 9.3% ABV and is bottle conditioned.

Poured into my Brewer's Art Chalice I get a nice built up white fluffy thin foam on a light golden body. Tons of bubbles rise from the bottom of this. The monks on the bottle portray what must be the monk way of life. They look really happy and it must be because of the beer in their glasses. If I had seen this on career day in high school I would be a monk right now.

The aroma is very sweet, and very aromatic. The Belgian yeast phenols are in there somewhere. The taste is a lot like the smell in which that Belgian earthiness from the phenols takes a back seat and instead I get candied plumb, not because I know what candied plumb tastes like, but because it's a sugary fruit type of smell and saying "candied plumb" is more interesting. There's some banana-y esters as well. Really good tasting brew, though I think it could beef up its Belgian feel a bit. The taste also finishes pretty sweet, I think it could improve by drying out a bit.

Congrats to Weyerbacher, this is the first beer in 4 I've tried from them that I liked. I struck out with the Pumpking and Hops Infusion and didn't completely enjoy Double Simcoe. Merry Monks however is a fantastic beer. 4.1/5

Vintage Stone at Beachwood BBQ

Beachwood BBQ over in Seal Beach has some interesting drafts on right now (when don't they?). Well, they have Stone Imperial Russian Stout from 2005-2008 on tap, as well as a 2008 version on cask. It looks like you can get a taster flight of them too for somewhere around $7. If none of that stuff tickles your fancy (shit, I haven't heard that expression in a long time), then there's a ton of other great stuff to pick from like New Belgium La Folie, Marin White Knuckle DIPA, or Lost Abbey Red Barn.

There is so much great stuff on tap right now throughout the Southland and yet so little time to get to it. Be careful out in the rain wherever you are headed.

UPDATE: the 2006 IRS was gone after the first day. Weird huh? 05, 07 and 08 were still on today, but I passed and went with some lighter fare... a Red Barn and Damnation. Red Barn has to be one of the better saisons around, but I've always loved it.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Pliny The Younger Watch 2009

It's that time of year again. Pliny the Younger, one of the best beers ever created burst from the taps today up at the Russian River brewpub. Some beers are all hype and no substance, but Pliny the Younger is the furthest from that. Growler fills costing $30-36 will be shipped from the Bay Area to people all across the country who will give half their cellar to have a taste of what is not available to most people in the nation. This year, SOB will try to document the appearances and disappearances of Pliny the Younger at Southern California beer establishments. Go ahead and bookmark this page and return for updates or contribute information by leaving a comment. I don't have any inside info, just compiling facts & rumors from different sources on the web or in person.

Release date: 2/2/09, at the Russian River Brewpub in Santa Rosa, CA.


  • 1/30 O'Brien's in San Diego had two special 5 gallon pre-release kegs on tap which lasted 20 whole minutes.
  • 2/5 - Hollingshead's Deli has tapped into their first keg. (Hollingshead's keg blew around 6:30pm on 2/6. They only received one keg but expects a couple more to be delivered next week)
  • 2/6, Friday, at 6pm The Daily Pint in Santa Monica will tap kegs of Younger and Consecration as a tribute to Pacific Gravity homebrew club. Open to all.
  • 2/6, Friday, at 8pm The Verdugo in Glassell Park Los Angeles will be tapping their first keg.
  • 2/6, Friday, Tustin Brewing Company will host a Russian River night which will include the Younger on tap.
  • 2/6, Friday, at 11:30am Younger will be on tap as Toronado SD opens (thanks Nat)
  • 2/7, Saturday, at 5pm O'Brien's will have a keg on tap.
  • 2/7, Saturday, Hamilton's in San Diego shows Younger currently on tap.
  • 2/7, Saturday, Blind Lady Alehouse in San Diego has on tap per JRhode.
  • 2/10, Tuesday, Beachwood BBQ, should be tapping a keg around 4pm today. (only lasted one night)
  • 2/10, Tuesday, on tap at Pizza Port in San Clemente (and probably the other Pizza Ports too)
  • 2/12, Thursday, should be on tap at 5pm at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego.
  • ***Pliny is now showing up at pretty much every good beer establishment, often in multiple kegs, so get out and find it, it shouldn't be too hard!***

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Suds and Stuff

My fridge at home... unfortunately I wasn't gonna be watching the super bowl at home. But had to throw it up to compare....

See how many beers you can identify. There might be a prize. But probably not.

Thankfully I was at least watching it over at this house. After some Pig and Pliny I moved on to Private Stock and cokes. This was the special fridge for people who liked good beer. The other cooler had Avery White Rascals (still a good beer but more approachable) and cokes and water.

At the halftime I won a drawing for a super bowl coin. You can't really see it but it's pretty sweet. It's 24kt. 1 of 5,000. That's gotta be worth at least 5 bucks. And oh yeah... Don't bRUIN your life. Fucla.

As 3rd quarter started we tried a new beer. This was pretty good. Malheur Brut Reserve. Very Belgiany, lots of earth and fruit going on in it. A good Belgian strong pale... one girl said it smelled like shit... she doesn't know her Belgian yeast.

After the game we broke out the Blue Label. About 80% of the people there were rooting for Arizona. I was just rooting for Pitt to piss them off.

These chocolates kicked ass. Nice shot of alcohol in them.

Dakota was out.