Friday, July 31, 2009

More Cascade Sours

Glad I found Cascade brewing, great sour beer. GREAT beer. Close to Russian River Temptation, but this is a 9.2% abv sour beer, we were very surprised. This brewery from Portland area is about to hit big time. Bout time we got some west coast sour beers from the north around here!! Wow
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My first Cascade sour at Hamilton's Tavern

This is their Kriek, very good, similar to Lost Abbey Red Poppy but not as much wood/tannin flavor in it. Different style of course but a very good kriek in and of itself.
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Thursday, July 30, 2009

T. Phillip's Alehouse, La Verne, CA

We use to frequent this spot when my buddy went to ULV in undergrad. Lots of taps, a good number of good taps... Stone IPA, Arrogant Bastard, Alaskan IPA, Lagunitas, Firestone, New Belgium, Anderson Valley, Lost Coast, along with all the cheap stuff. I got me a couple Alaskan IPA's, a VERY solid IPA that probably doesn't get enough recognition.

At the same time I just realized La Verne has a street fair on Thursdays... I thought Upland was the only one......
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Port Brewing Hop 15

This is my first Hop 15 in a loooong time... And it's tasty, AND boozy. Yay for 10% beer!
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Drakes IPA @ Hollingsheads Deli

Pre-Angels game drinkin at Hollingshead's Deli in Orange. Nice pre-game crowd in here as usual. Drakes IPA, best pour I've ever had of it. Crisp and super hoppy, and very fresh tasting. Drakes IPA just skyrocketed up my list of favorite IPA's.....
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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Firestone Double Jack IPA

At the Paso Robles location today. The beer is 9.5% ABV. Smell is obviously hoppy, kinda orange marmalade (I'm thinking from centennial hops and crystal malt combination..?), but the aroma is also boozy at the same time (altho a bit less than Maharaja). The taste is without a doubt sweet but on the drier side for a DIPA which is great. Hop flavors are earthy, like leafy, citrusy (orange) and caramel. I really like this DIPA, but it's obviously bigger in all aspects than say our standard Pliny the Elder. JRhode- highly recommended. (EDIT: I used the term "boozy" a little loosley here. It really isn't that boozy. Maharaja is boozy. Hop 15 is boozy. Avery The Beast is boozy. Double Jack has some obvious heat but it is nowhere near as prevalent as the others)
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Frog & Peach Pub, downtown SLO

1) Some of their tap handles
2) Which one do I have?
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Friday, July 24, 2009

Firestone Taproom, Buelton

1) View of the bar
2) Double Jack DIPA delicious!!
3) Timmins and an Unfiltered Double Barrel Ale
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Brewer's Art Ozzy

As always, thanks a million to my friend Brian, aka The Baltimore Beer Guy, for another bottle of this. One of the best Belgian Strong Pale Ales I've had. This bottle has such an awesome candy, maple syrup like aroma, something I've never noticed in past bottles of Ozzy. The taste is also less spicy/peppery and more sweet and fruity. Too bad most of the country has no idea who Brewer's Art is because they make some fantastic beer.
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Perfect night for a Russian River Damnation

Actually I would argue any night is a good night for this, but as we sit here watching Sideways before our trip to Pismo this weekend it is hitting the spot extra nicely. This bottle is I believe at least 6-7 months old (batch 47), and pours with verrry generous carbonation. Taste is right on, earthy, musty, yeasty, a tad fruity, very dry.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Newport Beach Brewing Co. Pelican Pale Ale

Brewed with Cascade hops... Actually tastes quite a bit similar to Stone Pale Ale even though there's no cascade hops in that.

My first trip to Newport Brewing Company was nice. The beers were good (not great or anything) and the food was quite good as was the atmosphere. I also tried their German Hefe which was tasty, although I found their IPA to be lacking any sort of punch. We also tried their Belgian Pale Ale (6.3%) which was good and very heavy on the Belgian yeast flavor. It's kinda sad I never knew about this place when I lived a few miles away from it in my undergrad days.

Stone's 3rd Annual Sour Beer Fest Recap

Not even the sweltering heat which unexpectedly showed up in [Escondido] could ruin what was Stone's best sour fest yet. Each year the fest has grown, now into the hundreds (I would estimate 400-500 sour fest goers), and at this rate Stone will soon have to book Cal State San Marcos twice a year for their parties. As if the tap list wasn't good enough last year, Dr. Bill - Stone's newest beer guy - was able to arrange a massive list of sour beers spanning from San Diego to Portland to Michigan and of course all the way to where sour beer finds its roots, Belgium.

We arrived down there at 11am ready to indulge ourselves. The line for on-site ticket purchases was an early indicator how big this thing was gonna be (online ticket sales were stopped at 250). As I made my way in I stopped by the first of three locations where they were pouring beers. The first sample I went with was a Ballast Point Hout Geuze. Unfortunately I didn't really take any notes and all the flavors begin to be muddled in your head as the day wears on but this geuze by Ballast Point was a real winner. My friend tried their Hout Dark Cherry and had good things to say as well, so two thumbs up to Ballast Point who at this time can't really do much wrong. The next beer I figured I would go with would be what I expect was the culprit of very long lines at tent B. That beer would be Lost Abbey's Duck Duck Gooze. This was another winner, which I probably didn't even need to tell you. The next handful of tasters were sampled from Valley Brewing and New Belgium. Standing out was New Belgium's Spicy Folie (it was surely spicy, slightly roasty, but didn't have near the acidity of La Folie) and Love Barrel #3(4) which was a sour roundhouse kick to the face, and New Belgium's Bottlework's 10th Anniv sour (amazing!). My favorite from Valley was their DysFunktion-Ale Part Deux although I can't remember what it tasted like. Oh, Valley's Chilie Wonka (mildly spicy) was also solid beer and a cult hit this day.

To digress a bit, JTH got a call from JRhode and said that Greg (Stone CEO) twittered he was going to have a special sampling for whoever could find the Bischofia tree in the next hour. After a lot of walking around the gardens, checking google on our mobile phones to find out what the hell a Bischofia tree looked like, and constantly checking for more updates via TwitterBerry, we (or at least JTH) finally spotted the group assembling for a toast with a Boon Mariage Parfait 2003. Pretty cool stuff.

As the day wore on and our hydration wore down the few beers that I remember specifically were the always-amazing Lost Abbey Cuvee de Tomme, Russian River Sanctification (which seems to now get funkier and funkier every batch), and Drake's George Brett Tripel (a very delicious funktified tripel). At the same time I reaffirmed that Hanssen's Oude Kriek is probably the best kriek in the world. I was actually finding it hard to use my last couple taster tickets until JTH motivated me and we finished with somewhat of a sour flurry before heading out and over to Pizza Port. (Major thing of note- Three Floyds Pride & Joy ESB was actually on tap at PP Carlsbad....)

We had a very nice time talking to the owner of Valley Brewing, which is now a must-stop (in Stockton) on my next trip north, and the brewer from Captain Lawrence out in NY. Two very cool guys indeed.

Overall it was just a great day. It doesn't get much better than having a ridiculous amount of awesome sour beers in one place and having your money to sample those go to charity. There was really only one disappointment of the day which I don't even really wanna talk about because it's from a brewery who has always been near and dear to my heart (looking at you Deschutes). Can't wait to see what next year brings!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Public House Temecula

Blind Pig... This might be overkill after Stone Sour fest and pizza port Carlsbad...
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Friday, July 17, 2009


No I'm not enjoying it... The beer that is... Gimme a crown n coke
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Alesmith Summer Yulesmith

At lucky baldwins, my first taste from this year's summer version. Not as outright hoppy as I remember. More round... Not necessarily a good thing. Just a tad too much sweetness. In the end I did not really like this beer, and I have liked it before (not loved it). But my friend Spencer and some random chick who is a Coors Light drinker really liked it.

This is how I celebrate being done with board exams...

(As long as I passed both of them)... Green Flash DIPA- the definition of grapefruity beer. I could sure go for a nice cold Blue Dot IPA and chips tonight too... Hmm we'll see what the rest of the day brings...

Yum, Hair of the Dog Blue Dot IPA and chips

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Berliner weisse, my favorite Bruery beer
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Saturday, July 11, 2009


Pabst in a can in Hollywood... Wow!
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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

San Francisco Beer Questions

I'm pretty close to finalizing a few day trip to the Bay Area, mostly up to Santa Rosa because that's my favorite place to stay, but I can't go through San Francisco without stopping for a while. A mandatory first stop in the early afternoon will be Toronado, of course. But there are a few other places I am thinking of grabbing a beer at, just to check them out.

First is The Monk's Kettle. This place looks really cool and I like their mix of local drafts.

Another is Magnolia Brewpub. I've heard a lot of talk about this place as being a solid brewpub, and that's something I don't do enough these days: head to a brewpub and sample their wide selection of styles.

A third I've pondered is La Trappe. I love the dark basement look of the place and it has the highest reviews of any of these places, but the all-Belgian draft selection doesn't do much for me. I can get almost all of those beers anywhere, yet their bottle list is very extensive. Looks like a fairly expensive place and not sure it's worth it just to go have a bottle of Belgian beer.

A sausage from Rosamunde and a slice from Blondie's and I'll be set.

Any thoughts for me on the aformentioned beer establishments if I could only hit 1 of them?

Joseph Brau Summer Brew Kolsch style

Nana picked up a 6'r of this brew at Trader Joe's for me and had a frosted mug ready to go when I came over for lunch today. Pretty awesome huh? Well overall it was awesome but the beer tasted like a Pilsner Urquel from the green bottles. Nothing to write home about but nice to accompany Nana's homemade calzones.
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Stone 13th anniv imp red ale

Holy shit that is some RAW stuff right there... I could definitely not drink a whole pint of that, and now I will go take care of my vaginitis
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Russian River IPA @ Beachwood

Planning a trip to russian river w/ my buddy Milty for july 20-24 at this very moment
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Drake's Belgian Ale at Beachwood

Really easy drinking Belgian... Has got to be a Belgian single
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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Recent/Upcoming Happenings

Well it's getting close to the end. Two months of board exam studying culminates with 1 test this week and 1 next week. Things have recently been pretty bleak on the beer path for me after suffering a major bout of gastroenteritis a week ago in which I think I lost about 5 gallons of water from my body in one night. Since then it's been kinda hard to want to eat or drink anything. Hopefully I'll be ready to roll on some stuff soon....

Sunday July 19th- Stone Sour Fest. This is almost a can't-miss this year. The list is even more amazing than last year, and last year was pretty damn good. Sipping sours in the Sunday sun makes for a very nice day. It sounds like they are expanding the designated sour fest area too, which is nice because last year at the little outside bar it got kinda crowded.

Pismo Beach July 24-26. Heading up with some friends to stay at my buddy Pat's place. We usually hit the Firestone in Buelton on the way up, but this time we're going to the brewery in Paso Robles. Apparently after that we're going to do some wine tasting along the 42 before ending up at the seafood restaurant of all seafood restaurants. If time permits somehow, I would love to give Hollister Brewing Company another whirl on the way up through Santa Barbara, as well as Telegraph which I've yet to visit.