Monday, September 28, 2009

German Beers

Steve's Uncle from Germany brought these beers over the pond for us to try. Apparently it's a very local brewery to them. These beers were really tasty... The pilsner and hefe were awesome. We returned the favor and let him taste Sculpin and Serpent Stout and he spit both of them out... Germans...
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Friday's San Diego Beer Run

Thanks to an interview I had in Rancho Bernardo we had an excuse to hit some of the San Diego beer circuit last Friday. I hope one day it will be as easy for me to get a day off whenever I want as it is for Pat and Spencer who accompanied me. Guess that's how it goes when you work for mom and pop or the government. They dropped me off at my interview destination around 10am and went searching for beer. Nothing was really open so I guess they hit a Denny's that had some Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. By the time I was through with my stuff they were at the Chili's in the parking lot of where I was. Chili's had Stone IPA in bottles-- Nice!! I think that's better than what Chili's up in our area offers.

After a beer at Chili's we hit Ballast Point around noon. Unfortunately nothing great on tap, I chose the lager (4.2%) while Spencer and Pat went with the Big Eye IPA and Sextent Stout, respectively. I love the beer color spectrum covered here. The better news was that Sculpin IPA was just bottled the day before so I picked up a few bottles of that.

From Ballast Point we headed over to O'Brien's for lunch. To accompany the heaps of garlic fries we ate I had an Alpine Duet which tasted A LOT like Nelson to me (very grapey, really sweet). The second beer I tried was Pizza Port Belgian IPA (I forget its exact name). It was ok, but nowhere near as good as Green Flash Le Freak, which to me is the standard of an American made Belgian IPA (and still better than all the real Belgian IPAs).

On our way back north to go home we stopped at Stone. I had a Perdition (pictured in the middle) but was a little tired at this point and didn't really enjoy it as I usually do. I still contend that the best time to enjoy a Russian River Perdition is before noon, preferably between 8 and 10am.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Beer in the Inland Empire

There are better beers out here in the IE - think Hangar 24, BJ's, or places that carry Stone - but sometimes you find yourself where ya gotta drink this stuff, it's horrible but in good company it's fine. On second thought, you should really never have to drink this stuff.
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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Russian River Janet's Brown Ale

I was given this growler by a couple friends who happened to stop by Russian River in Santa Rosa on their way back down to Southern California from Oregon. They asked the bartender which beer on tap would be the rarest to someone who lived down in this area and he recommended a new beer from Russian River, Janet's Brown Ale. The story behind this beer made it especially cool to me. Over the last couple years I listened to The Brewing Network quite a bit, going back through their archives and listening to everything. One of the brewcasters goes by the name of Mike McDole, who you may remember for winning a spot in the Sam Adams Longshot competition with his Double IPA that is more or less a Pliny the Elder clone. Well, I remember him talking quite a bit, especially on The Jamil Show, about his brown ale. Turns out Russian River decided to brew this beer with him.

We cracked the growler open today during the start of the USC-Ohio State game. What I remember of his recipe was that it's along the lines of an imperial brown (I think up there around 8% ABV) and is hopped a ton. And it is. A good amount of hops in this, no mistake. You get a real green sorta flavor from the hops... some pine and maybe grassy. The body is quite toasty with some chocolate to it, but not too much. It's actually a real easy drinking beer, the body not being too thick (probably slightly more thin than Indian Brown). A real winner of a brown ale, with a little different take on the style. A big thanks to my friends Loren and Rene for picking this up. Loren was able to share part of the growler and he along with everyone else who sampled some really liked it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Daily Pint's Stone Vertical Epic Release Night Recap

Wednesday night's 09.09.09 Vertical Epic release was a big success at The Daily Pint in Santa Monica. After braving a bit of heavy traffic on the 10 fwy filled with people who were probably heading to see the pier's 100th year birthday party firework show we arrived at a pretty packed bar. The bartenders were working their magic and it didn't take long before we got our pours of 09.09.09. To be honest I was expecting a bit more. It was a good beer, don't get me wrong, but other than what I may normally expect out of an imperial porter there seemed to be nothing else. I didn't get any citrus from the tangerine peel, or vanilla from the vanilla beans. Even the Belgian yeast quality seemed to be very muted. I'll be opening up the bottle of this beer tomorrow and hope it leaves me with a different impression.

Aside from the Vertical Epic, lots of other good Stone beer was flowing, most notably the Smoked Porter with vanilla bean. It was the most vanilla tasting batch I've had, by far. It was the perfect beer to wash down my Frank's Hot Dogs "Hot" Dog with extra hot sauce. Tasty dog but I must say it was quite overpriced. $5 for something that wasn't even that big? I thought you only paid that much for a hot dog at Dodger games. I could get 2 huge ass burritos from a taco truck for the same price as that hot dog. Aaanyway, it was a fun night with the Beer Geek LA gathering going on there, and it was good to finally meet the head Beer Geek... er "Beer Guy" - Dave - of Hair of the Dog Dave fame who I have conversed with for a couple/few years via email and these blogs. Thanks for the glass of La Folie by the way Dave, if you still read this.

The Daily Pint is definitely worth future stops on my trips out to the west side.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Funny Thread On BeerAdvocate

Title: Do west coast BA's rave about east coast DIPA's like us east coaster do a west coast DIPA?

Didn't even read the thread but the question posed makes me LOL

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wednesday's 09.09.09 Vertical Epic Day in Santa Monica

As Ron Burgundy once said, "That is GOOD news!" Actually it's awesome news coming from the Daily Pint in Santa Monica.

Vertical Epic Day falls on a Wednesday this year, so we’ve got some very special mid-week beers that are going on tomorrow. On deck to be tapped tomorrow are a whole handful of Stone beers, including 09.09.09, Sublimely Self Righteous, Arrogant Bastard, Oaked Bastard, Old Guardian, 13th Anniversary, and Imperial Russian Stout.

The always popular Vanilla Bean Porter will be tapped as well, but this time we’ve got a keg and not a firkin! This beer is extremely rare outside of the brewery and will be a special treat for all you fans of the cask version. Here’s an article from the Stone Blog about the creation of this beer.

In addition to these great beers, the Pint will also be welcoming the Let’s Be Frank hot dog wagon, which will be serving up fine 100% beef hot dogs. For more information on Let’s Be Frank, you can check out their webpage for their mission statement and info on sustainable farming, or follow their truck on Twitter.

The frankomobile will be around from 6ish-9pm, so come on out to the Pint for some 09.09.09 Vertical Epic and some great dogs!

I think this will generate my frist trip to this popular beer bar.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Beer of the First College Football Saturday

The best time of the year arrived yesterday and that would be USC football season. The tailgate beer we decided to go with was Sierra Nevada Kellerweis, the beer which has replaced the old Sierra Nevada Wheat Beer in their year round lineup. I definitely can't throw up a formal review yet because we were drinking these out of their bottles, but it was definitely a tasty and easy beer to throw a handful down before the game, especially on this hot hot morning in LA! That won't be the last time I spend some quality time with the Kellerweis.

As is tradition, we concluded the tailgate with a toast that includes Stone beer. Most often the beer of choice here is Stone Ruination, but superstition dictates that Ruination is specifically only needed for a couple certain games. So for San Jose State I decided to pick up a Stone 13th Anniversary. The toast always includes our friend Brian, The Baltimore Beer Guy, but it's always my sister who calls him so I have no idea what he was drinking for the toast yesterday. What say you Brian?

As for the 13th Imperial Red Ale... I took a sip of my friend's pint a month or so ago at a bar and didn't care for it. I just didn't know how I would be able to drink something so ridiculously aggressive and enjoy it (it tasted like Tongue Buckler x2). But yesterday it was so smooth and deliciously hoppy. Maybe it was the plastic cups (ha)? Everyone else liked it as well.

I can already tell you what the toasting beer will be for next week when USC travels to Columbus to face Ohio State. Stone's 09.09.09 Vertical Epic comes out this week and it sounds delicious. A Belgian Imperial Porter brewed with malted barley of the chocolate variety, tangerine peel, dark candi sugar, and vanilla bean. This really strikes my beer geek nerve because Stone uses that vanilla bean so well (see Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean) and I'm sure they've done a good job here. The Belgian yeast thing should make this recipe interesting as well. Will be looking forward to that in a week.