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by Sean on April 21, 2016


THE Hops List

by Sean on June 28, 2016

265. That is a lot of hops. And Julian Healey has created a handy dictionary for each one.
Each Hop merits a short description along with brewmaster notes as well as flavors/aroma characteristics and most common usage.

This may be geared more toward the home brewer but if you pick up a digital version, you can also make quick reference while you are drinking your next IPA.



by Sean on June 28, 2016

Drake’s is adding their voice to the chorus of those lending a hand to those in Orlando, Florida. A rye IPA that was created for San Francisco Pride this year will now also lend its profits from sales to the victims and families of the shooting. Again, all we have to do is order one if we see it. And drink it with pride.



by Sean on June 27, 2016

Anniversary beers tend to be big and the cumulative vision of the previous years. Ninkasi certainly follows that blueprint with the release N10, a “commemorative Imperial Blended Ale”.

N10 is crafted of 50% Imperial Stout, 10% Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, 12.5% Imperial Total Domination IPA, 12.5% Imperial Maiden the Shade IPA, and 15% Critical Hit Barleywine.

But then again, having two IPA’s in the mix isn’t the usual template and since IPA is 25% of the mix, this may be a rare beer that you don’t cellar that long.


A Central Addition to LA

by Sean on June 27, 2016

The name and logo seem just like any other….
…but underneath the hood, it is not one brewery but a contract brewery for start-ups. Instead of sneaking in a batch inbetween others. This Chicago facility brews exclusively for others. And the key component is that it will also feature a tap room for those beers to be sold at.

It would be great if each major beer city had an establishment like this. Not only would it prospectively weed out the brewers who are not up to snuff but it would also alleviate the out-of-town drive to the Bay Area or parts way east of the city for LA brewers who want to brew beer before they have a facility.

Just re-name it Grand Central.


#LABW8 – Belgium in Glendale

by Sean on June 26, 2016

L.A. is large, if you haven’t noticed, and sometimes great beer events are held too far away for me to get to. Heck, trying to get to Hollywood from Burbank on a weekday to a 7pm event is stressful.

So when I heard that the famed brewmaster from Brasserie Dupont was going to be in town for L.A. Beer Week, I said a little prayer that the event would be in striking distance. It wasn’t. But then, luck smiled on me and my Eastside/Valley Beer Week plans. Olivier Dedeycker would be making a stop in my city at the Glendale Tap!

It was scheduled at 9pm but in beer time that means something else. I waited until after 10pm drinking the insanely good Deux Amis without nary a sign of the famed brewer or the other famed partner, Tomme Arthur.

Thankfully, earlier in the day. Tomato Pie was on the agenda as well as beers from Glendale’s Brewyard Beer Co.
First up was the new Brewyard Perky DIPL coming in at 9.3% which makes it the biggest beer that the duo have concocted to date and it took quite a bit of work and first time making it jitters.  Initially I go watermelon notes but then there was quite a mineral laden bitterness that really followed.  Some beers don’t fit the style that they are talked of but this beer is a DIPL for sure.

To simultaneously ramp down and jolt up, I tasted the Sunday Morning Joe.  Which was grand. The light base of the beer really left room for the coffee to shine which it did.  More and more, I like coffee beers that aren’t laid on top of large, grand stouts.

Then onto the Tap where Deux Amis waited…
…and the beer is just so good. The only review I need to convey is that if you see it on tap or in bottles, BUY IT! It has a Hefeweizen clove aroma but it is so smooth with an undertone of hops. Simple and complex at the same time. I amend my previous suggestion. Buy it. Also buy the dry hopped Saison and the “plain” Saison Dupont and invite friends over for a tasting.

I did mention it was good? Right?


BrewDad’s got a Beer Store!

by Sean on June 26, 2016

I met the illustrious and boisterous BrewDad at the first Beer Bloggers Conference and I have met up with him every twice in a while through the years since and now he has parlayed a job at Top Rung Brewing into owning his own beer bar & bottle shop.

In early July, he will take over NW Caps & Taps of Bonney Lake and it will become the shorter and sweeter named, BrewDad’s of Bonney Lake.

Next time you are in the upper part of Washington set Siri, Waze, Google Maps to Bonney Lake and WA-410 to get some BrewDad hospitality and a beer of course.


#LABW8 – DTLA United

by Sean on June 25, 2016

Last night was the night for Downtown LA beer to shine. L.A. Beer Hop was shuttling from Boomtown in the North East to Iron Triangle in the South and each brewery in between.
DTLA United
I did not stop at each and everyone but I did get a few pints and here is the report from the LABW8 evening….
lady roja
Thank God for ½ pours and tasters. A long night stretched ahead starting at Boomtown where Dry River was the guest and where I started my beer ordering with their Cigana Brett IPA. It had a strong does of bitterness which was cut by heavy horse blanket notes. This was old school Brett. Then I moved on to the the other beer on offer, Lady Roja. The first of two red/pink beers that I would have on the evening. It had a lot of pie spice notes and heavy hibiscus but neither was too overbearing.

Then it was over to the Boomtown side of the room to try their Aliso – Belgian Strong Dark. This beer was right on point for me. Nice hit of Candi sugar, bit of bitterness, and it had good strength to it. Probably my favorite of the night. Then it was on the bus to….
dtla hop
Iron Triangle where I picked up a pair of new hoppy samplers starting with the Sluice Gate IPA. Nice. Probably a notch above the vast swath of IPA’s that are just fine. It had good body and aroma and I paired it with the Jawbone Black IPA. Which to me was not so hoppy. More on the dark malt side of the equation. There was a lurking grapefruit flavor in the back but that didn’t match well with the malt to me. I also had a few sips of the Socially Awkward Berliner. There is an initial burst but then the tart fades too quickly. Left with wheat notes.

Then the next stop was….
…Angel City to try the premier of their Strawberry Gose. First off, strawberries are hard to add to beer. This is probably one of the better attempts at utilizing the berry. Now is it a gose? No. But there was a huge aroma and it was very tart and very cloudy pink. It worked for me.

Overall, this was a great way to get people to enjoy the beers at the breweries. There was a couple of things to add for next year. The buses stopped at 10pm and Mumford closed up shop around that time. Each of the LA Beer Hop buses should have had that fact displayed to help people plan. My group was left without a bus at Iron Triangle and had to get back to the center of action via alternate methods. Had we known the closing times, we could have planned our time more effectively. My second thought was that information about the breweries in DTLA could have been on the bus to pass out to. If the goal of the night is to get people to try new breweries, then a little bit of info might be a good sales pitch.

I just wish there had been more time to sneak in one more brewery before the clock struck last call.


The 2nd Nitro

by Sean on June 25, 2016

Here is the quote that should make you place an order at the bar, “DBA is the beer that started it all for us in 1996, but this may be its truest form yet,” said David Walker.

The English-style bitter, Double Barrel Ale (DBA) from Firestone Walker will be on offer nitro style. This is the 2nd nitro after Velvet Merlin and they have picked another from the stable that really will be affected by the dispense. I highly suggest trying regular one night and make notes and then get a pint nitro’d and see what differences you spot.


#LABW8 – Beer Belly goes to Oregon

by Sean on June 24, 2016

As a native of Milwaukie, Oregon, when I saw that Beer Belly was using #LABW8 for a night of Oregonian beers, it was literally the first thing on my calendar for the week.

And the list was full of rare in L.A. beers. I had my eye on the Session IPA from Breakside and the Banished Barrel-Aged Freakcake from Crux Fermentation. Both of which did not live up to my expectations. Rainbows & Unicorns was really light and just not hoppy at all. Freakcake was sour with a Christmas-y spice profile that finished with a teeny-tiny bourbon barrel push at the end.

Luckily, other beers did live up to the hype. Both Cascade sours were excellent with Figaro getting the nod over Shrieking Violet because it was more complex all around. Buoy Beer’s NW Red Ale seemed more ESB’ish to me but was a good finish to the night.

On nights like these, I wish there was a mega-taster flight. Maybe 3oz pours of each beer. Or I will have to wait for next year, and maybe Beer Belly goes to Oregon, Part 2.


Into the….

June 24, 2016

The siren call of the IPA is luring even the most Belgian-y of breweries with Monkish getting a huge response to their one-off cans of hoppy goodness and now Brewery Ommegang is following up their Nirvana IPA with a new Double IPA, the Great Beyond. From the brewery’s statistics division, “Nirvana debuted almost exactly one-year […]

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