by Sean on March 3, 2017


#LABW9 is packed with beer happenings!
Make the most of the remaining days of L.A. Beer Week by checking the calendar for event information.

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Blazer Draft 2017

by Sean on June 23, 2017

Yesterday, the salary capped-out Blazers had three late 1st round picks to use in the 2017 NBA draft.

If I was the GM, I would have dangled the 15 pick along with Allen Crabbe or Evan Turner’s bloated contract to anyone who would bite. Then I would take Jordan Bell from the UO for defense and hustle and Isiah Hartenstein to stash overseas and groom to be a Nurkic apprentice.

After the smoke had cleared, let’s call them “my” team traded their 15 and 20 picks for the #10 from Sacramento to select Zach Collins from Gonzaga and used the remaining pick on Caleb Swanigan from Purdue.

Based on their college team, here are some beers to toast the new arrivals to Rip City.

For Collins, it is easy. No-Li Brewhouse makes a cream ale by the name of Gonzaga or maybe Stellar Stout in the hopes that he will blossom into our starting power forward.

I couldn’t find a brewery in West Layfayette in a quick google search, but Indiana has a great number and I found an appropriate beer for Swanigan at Sun King Brewing. Big Iron English Barleywine or Bring the Hops, because Portland needs some rebounding.

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Make Mine Rare

by Sean on June 23, 2017


When Stout brings out kegs and special bottles for a festival, they are not your garden variety beers. You will find quite a few foreign beers which might be a good course correction after L.A. beer-ing this week.

So you might want to check out the latest beer list for their upcoming July 1st Rare Beer event, right HERE!

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Adverse Affects

by Sean on June 22, 2017


ombining the aggression of North American hops with the tranquility of traditional pilsner malts, the next release in Firestone Walker’s Leo v. Ursus Chronology achieves the improbable: a big, bold beer made for summertime sipping.

Adversus—an unfiltered double IPA—is set to be unveiled at all Firestone Walker locations this Saturday, and will roll into Firestone Walker’s national markets for a limited time starting next week.

“We’ve always wanted to use a light European-style pilsner malt for brewing an IPA, and this was our opportunity,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “Some of the more delicate malt nuances might be lost because we are hopping the bejusus out of this beer, but the pilsner malt still provides a certain palate levity that is fitting for the summer season.”

Adversus marks the second release in the Leo v. Ursus Chronology that was launched in late February. The chronology is composed of limited one-off beers released on a quarterly basis. Adversus will land in different Firestone Walker markets at variable times this June in both draft and 16-ounce can (four-pack) formats. It will be available for a short period before yielding to the next release in the Leo. v. Ursus Chronology.

High and Dry

“Adversus is high on aromatics, balanced in bitterness and relatively light in color owing to the pilsner malts,” Brynildson said.

Adversus is prodigiously dry hopped with a blend of Pacific Northwest hops, with an emphasis on Ekuanot—creating an intriguing aroma profile of stone fruit, pineapple, mango and pine resin. There is also a pungent element that creates a suggestion of, in Brynildson’s words, “dank piña colada.”

The hoppy character is balanced on the palate with a sense of dryness rooted in pilsner malts from Gambrinus Malting, a small malt house in British Columbia managed by Matthias Haaben.

“For me, it’s the most authentic pilsner malt malted in North America,” Brynildson said. “Matthias is a classic German brewing school graduate, and everything they do is very artisanal in style and method.”

He added, “The touch of dryness is what distinguishes Adversus. From the nose, you might expect something stickier, but instead you get this soft, refreshing finish.”

# # #

Firestone Walker Brewing Company is a pioneering regional craft brewery founded in 1996 and located on the coast of California. Firestone Walker’s main brewery in Paso Robles produces a diverse portfolio ranging from iconic pale ales to vintage barrel-aged beers. The Barrelworks facility in Buellton makes eccentric wild ales, while the Propagator pilot brewhouse in Venice specializes in R&D beers and limited local offerings. For more information: FirestoneBeer.com.

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Timber!

by Sean on June 22, 2017


Portland has a slew of MLS Timbers beers but the latest celebrates the chainsaw toting Timber Jim. This new NW IPA is not only organic per Hopworks usual MO but will also help out Meals on Wheels as a portion of each sale will be donated to the charity.

I will be contacting my Mom for a special delivery of this new beer.

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The River is NOW not Dry

by Sean on June 21, 2017


Finally, after months of waiting, Dry River Brewing will start to have limited tap room hours! Now they won’t be the only brewery without fans inside trying the beers.

Days & Hours
Friday & Saturday 4pm to 10pm
Sunday 1pm to 6pm

Specific Days
July 1st and 2nd
July 14th, 15th and 16th
August 4th, 5th and 6th
August 18th, 19th and 20th
September 1st, 2nd and 3rd
September 15th, 16th and 17th

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Recap – MacLeod’s 3rd Anniversary

by Sean on June 21, 2017


Sometimes it takes me time to catch-up. In the case of MacLeod’s, it took until anniversary three before I made it out to try their cask ale extravaganza.

In addition to their main bar, which held their house cask beers plus three from their staff brewing program. There was a wooden set-just as you entered the taproom and one back in the brewery to showcase beers from a wide swath of local L.A. breweries.

An intriguing aspect was that two past MacLeod brewers had beers tapped from their new breweries, Andy Black at Yorkshire Square brought Castle Dangerous Export Stout and Josiah Blomquist at Iron Triangle had their Dark Ale.

There were also a pair of intriguing sours available as well. Both Dry River and Cellador were in casks next to each other. With the Firegold # 6 with grapefruit from the latter being particulary good. I also enjoyed the Ladyface IPA with tangerine and habanero. Not too spicy and not too fruity but both flavors came through well.

Despite the overbearing valley heat, everyone was having a good time mingling and going from cask and cask.

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Yesterday, I posted up some photos and notes of my experience at the Kick-Off Festival for L.A. Beer Week. I had a grand old time with my only difficulty being pacing myself in the heat.

Last year, I poured beer and that insulates you from what is going on around you to an extent. Fest goers are much happier when beer is being poured in their glass. This year, I was right up front as people streamed into L.A. Center Studios and that is where most of my notes are from and about.

Let’s dip into my suggestion box and see what we find….
SIGNS – Not much, if any, was seen around the L.A. Center Studios. Where it was most conspicuous is at the entrance. First, I saw no sign pointing you to where it was. No sign for volunteer entrance. Nothing for media. There needed to be those plus a sign signifying where the VIP line started and another saying General Admission line started. Maybe a line on the concrete with a volunteer (like me) standing there. Plus more signs posted along the line routes telling people where to line up and then another person walking the line, telling people which line they were in and what would be happening when the floodgates opened. There is literally no going overboard with signage and information.

That extends to the second slip in the suggestion box, BOOTH ID – Some breweries brought their A tents, but in summer fest season couple with L.A. Beer Week, some people can’t or simply don’t have them. So some sort of uniform sign (yeah, back on this kick again) so that you can easily find a brewery, and while we are at it. Placards that say what beers are being poured. Some breweries will use them and others won’t need them but at least you are covered.

Our next suggestion is targeted to NEW BREWERIES – There needed to be more love thrown their way. Maybe cluster the new breweries together on the grassy area. Maybe have a passport where you win a prize for trying a beer from at least five of the new breweries.

Finally, SHADE / MISTERS – I know it is an expense but two years on the hot tarmac a block off of the 110 Freeway in June sorta requires it. Maybe put it by the stage and encourage dancing in that area.

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Most brewery websites have the same generic “origin story” on their About page. The Honky Tonk Brewing site has that too, but they also convey this funny story about a classic Johnny Cash song that “tells the tale of a GM assembly line worker’s ingenious plan to steal all the parts to build a Cadillac one piece at a time and put it all back together before he retires. Johnny’s plan worked out just about like our plan to build this brewery one piece at a time. It’s fired up and running but we get a few strange looks every now and then. The beer tastes mighty fine and “It didn’t cost us a dime!” I like that a brewery has a sense of humor and isn’t full of themselves.

Now onto what beers I would put into a taster tray….

TN Jed
“A unique American wheat beer created especially to be a year- round beer for a broad TENNESSEE audience. It’s crafty, but you don’t need to twist your mustache to enjoy. Slightly sweet from a healthy does of Caramel malts, finishes clean with low bitterness.”

LeBrown James
“A dark, chocolatey brown ale brewed with flaked oats making it smooth & full bodied with a dry finish. This beer is rounded out with a generous dosage of hops, giving it just the right amount of bitterness.”

West Coast IPA
“True to the style, our West Coast IPA is a Hop BOMB! loaded with “C” hops to 85 IBUs. We dry hop it for a big hoppy aroma. It’s dry, citrsuy, with notes of grapefruit & orange with a lasting bitterness.”

Blackberry Berliner Weisse
“Our Spring Seasonal Blackberry Berliner Weisse is tart & approachable. The addition of ripe Oregon Blackberries is the perfect compliment to the taste bud tingling sour affect of the Berliner Weisse style. This beer pours a beautiful magenta color and sits at 4.3% ABV”

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LABW9 Kick-Off Festival – The Good

by Sean on June 19, 2017

Saturday marked the 9th L.A. Beer Week starting with the Kick-Off Festival celebrating the L.A. County Brewer’s Guild members.

Here are some photos and notes from the hot and muggy day…

To show my gratitude for all that the Guild does for independent beer, I volunteered and was assigned the front lines. Scanning tickets and wristbanding guests at the entrance to the ever growing list of breweries.

After my duty was done, the first beer that I had poured into my cool little glass was the Unity 2017 IPA which was bright and refreshing in the heat. My first really wow beer was (the above) cerveza from the new Brewery Rex…

Firestone Walker had a cool tent with David Walker in attendance pouring beers like the new Adversus. And there were plenty of hops abounding like Melting Faces from Transplants…

… or two from Burbank’s Lincoln Beer…

You could get the wonderful Don’t Maize Me Bro from Eagle Rock, or a pilsner from Mumford. But my favorites on the day were the Firegold # 6 from Cellador which had a great balance of grapefruit, pith and sour. State Brewing had a orange and mega hazy From Here to Gardena that is on my list to get again as soon as I can. Lastly, I got one of the last pours of the anniversary Seis Del Segundo from El Segundo BC which really well balanced.

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Review – Frank Morelli from Rob Ruben’s

June 19, 2017

On to another West Coast interpretation of Hazy IPA, this one from Rob Rubens. Upon initial pour Frank Morelli (weird typing an actual name as beer name) doesn’t seem cloudy. But when finished it does have that grapefruit juice look to it. There is a tropical meets stone fruit aroma but with the first sip, […]

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