need home brew supplies?

by Sean on April 21, 2016

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Those in South Minneapolis will get to look through a wall-sized window and either watch the paint dry or look at the foudres where mixed-fermentation magic will be going on inside the wood. Wild Mind Artisan Ales beers will be aged for anywhere from six to 12 months.

Brewer/Founder Matt Waddell has plans to dedicate most of his 16 draft lines to the wild and farmhouse-style ales. Amping up the sour and brett as time passes and customers acclimate to the beer.
Since they literally opened a day or so ago, those fancy beers like barrel-fermented saisons won’t be at the tap room now but you will be able to try their Table Beer, Hoppy French Saison, Hoppy Rye Wild Ale among others.

All thanks to the foudres and Waddell’s “Carefully chaotic” style.

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Return to Brouwerij West

by Sean on July 30, 2016

A few photos and notes from my recent return trip to Brouwerij West to catch up with Brian Mercer and to see how the beers are evolving in San Pedro.
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The Popfuji pilsner in just a few short weeks has become a number one seller in the tap room with the occasional IPA (2 distinct versions) being number 2 which is not at all surprising but I had hoped that the sours and Saisons would be selling more.
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Production is ramping up but the logistics of which beers to brew and the waiting involved has slowed distribution but look for Popfuji in 4-packs and special releases to show up on shelves in the coming months.
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Also look for more experimentation as a small tank has been added to increase taproom only specials. Think plums.

Big thanks to Brian and Dave for the tasting flight and informative beer talk.

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Holy (not yet) Guacamole

by Sean on July 29, 2016

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Now, I am not a fan of avocados or guacamole but the Avocado Ale from Angel City is actually very interesting. And for the 4th year the DTLA brewery will be celebrating with an all-day ‘cado event.

And $1 from every Avocado Ale will go to support “The Ron Finley Project and their goals of transforming our food deserts in to food forrests!”

You will get…

*Avocado Ale food pairings by: Taqueria El Severo, The Surfer Taco,TheGrilledCheeseTruck, Salt & Straw Ice Cream, Lawless Jerky & The Bikini Bakery!

*Avocados and prizes will be available for sale from our partners at Eco Farms Avocados

*Brewer-led tours from 12-6p will be free, open to the public & first come/ first served

*Specialty beer flight & michelada bars

*Avocado Bazaar presented by Raven Gypsies

*Avocado Amusements

*Avocado photo booth

*Gallery exhibit presented by Art Share-LA

*Live music from 2-7p

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Holy Cheese!

by Sean on July 29, 2016

Sometimes pairing cheese and beer is daunting. Hell, picking the right beer and/or cheese means staring at a cooler and second-guessing yourself.

But your helpful Cicerone’s have laid out an easy chart to make the process easier….
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Memorize or print out the next time you are at your beer/cheese monger’s.

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Circus City

by Sean on July 28, 2016

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With Lagunitas Brewing Company coming to Azusa means that one of their signature events will be coming soon. Their epic Beer Circus will be unveiled in big cities Miami, Chicago, New York and smaller like Petaluma, Azusa.

Keep in mind, it is an adult themed circus where you will see things they cannot unsee and …

“Each Circus will benefit a local non-profit and we look forward to sharing some freaktacular entertainment, amazing sights, foot stomping music and lots & lots of beer & food.”
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Brew City

by Sean on July 28, 2016

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This blog doesn’t cover the Anaheim beer sceneas much as it probably should. (There will be Terreux coverage coming next month.) When I saw THIS post, I knew that I needed to brew it forward with special emphasis on the newbies that will be opening to make Anaheim a true beer destination: Unsung Brewing Co. & Silo Brewing + an outpost of Karl Strauss Brewing Co. too.

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Want this? Stop That.

by Sean on July 27, 2016

For the mega-brew merger to go forward, along with divesting certain properties, it looks like the Federal Government also added some much needed assistance for smaller brewers. Whether it will be enough is another question.

1. The “Voluntary” AB Incentive for Performance plan is now shelved. This plan incentivized distributors who shut out brands that ABInBev did not want competing. The Department of Justice, in the settlement, wrote that it “prohibits ABI from instituting or continuing practices and programs that disincentivize distributors from selling and promoting the beers of ABI’s high-end and other rivals.”

2. Buying distributors is now capped as well. With ABInBev owning somewhere in the neighborhood of 7%, they will be barred from going over 10%. Which they more than likely will do.
Rest assured that the Brewers Association will be closely monitoring the situation. The group has been opposed to the merger of ABInBev with SABMiller from the get-go but, at least, there was some help given by the DOJ.

I have been of the opinion that if any of the industrial foreign owned breweries wanted to buy up little craft ones that it was sad to me personally but also part of the evolution into a new world of craft beer business. They could buy a brewery a month for years and not dent the overall numbers.

What I was worried about was that the beer that I wanted could be blocked from shelves or poorly handled by a distributor who was beholden to ABInBev or SABMiller. That blockage could seriously hamper the growth of a brewery.

Now we will see how well the rules are followed.

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4,656

by Sean on July 27, 2016


Here are the latest stats from the Brewer’s Association : “As of June 30, a record high of 4,656 breweries were operating in the U.S, an increase of 917 breweries over the same time period of the previous year. Additionally, there were approximately 2,200 breweries in planning.”

917 breweries in a year! That is a big number for a maturing marketplace. If my scratchpad math is right, that is right around 20% more.

The other positive number is that there are still way more openings than closings. Even with a decrease in growth to 8%, there hasn’t been any major bloodletting.

Next, onto the “in planning” number. I would like to know specifically the criteria for this one. Are there tiers to it? Long-term in planners who have been on the list for years or are these all new since the last number? I would like to see a breakout of this category because closing numbers are one negative indicator but the first one will be the drying up of the pipeline. But if the pipeline numbers are wonky, well then we may not know till later that the tide has turned.

Anyhoo, check out the video. If nothing else, with Bart Watson on board, we are getting a steady stream of data to parse.

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In Flux

by Sean on July 26, 2016

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The annual release of Fluxus from Allagash Brewing had sorta fallen off the radar with the influx of new beers from outside the state but an added ingredient and different barrel-aging has it back on the to-buy list when I see it on shelves. (which should be any day now.)

The 2016 version is a saison that is “brewed with a plethora of Allagash base malt, including barley, rye, and wheat. After a heathy dosing of Noble hops, and ginger root, the beer was then partially aged in gin barrels. The barrels previously held Barr Hill Tom Cat Gin, made by Caledonia Spirits in Hardwick, Vermont.”

There are not enough gin and tequila aged beers out there and even less that start with a Saison. The question is how strong will that ginger be?

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Liquid Bread

July 26, 2016

For those of you near Torrance and with time this week might want to check out the latest new beer from….. Celiac Attack is a 5.1% English Bock Bier which is a rarely to never seen style in these parts plus it gives those with a sensitivity to those who are overly sensitive a chance […]

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