Review – Snakebite From Gigantic

by Sean on August 28, 2015

Many moons ago, I embarked on a month-long visit to London as a college theatre course.  My naive beer and alcohol knowledge consisted of wine information gleaned from my parents and college parties.  For some reason, I became enamored of the Snakebite a 1/2 lager – 1/2 cider concoction with black currant added.  It was not good.

But now, memories paint it in a different light and Gigantic Brewing has teamed with Cider Riot! and Beau’s All Natural Brewing to make a 2015 version of the Snakebite. The Gigantic version is Kolsch fermented with apple juice and black currant .

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How will it compare to my faded recollections?  Let’s see….

Right off the bat the currant and apple flavors pop. Thankfully, it isn’t in a sweetened juice way as this ale/cider hybrid gets very dry, very quickly. There is a biscuity undertone and a bit of watery lightness on the back of the tongue to stave off a complete drying effect. This amber/red streaked colored beer still retains a beer-iness even though the aroma has a bit of mint quality to it. Like drinking a sour ale, this rewards the fan who slowly takes it in rather than as a quick refresher type of beer.

On my new (patent pending) rating scale of, Buy It! – get a bottle. Try It. – get a taster. Shy from It. – get something else first  Snakebite gets a Buy It!

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In the Future

by Sean on August 28, 2015

File under, wait until later….

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I am most excited to see and taste their Triple IPA!  1.21 Gigawatt IIIPA (oh, and see all three movies, OK the first movie and that’s it)

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Cosmic Lands in Torrance

by Sean on August 27, 2015

Cosmic Ales drifted off the craft beer radar. Without a hone base and relying on contract brewing left customers without a reliable path to their beer. That has now changed….

Here is the website announcement:
“1 block west of Western and just south of Del Amo blvd. It’s the perfect location for us nestled in between Smog City, Monkish and the Dudes. What better company to be in!

We’ve already begun the renovations so stay tuned for a lively tasting room with many more great beers from our new Cosmic brew house”

Cosmic will need to up their game to attract people used to visiting the fabulous duo of Monkish and Smog City.
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Chocolate Coast

by Sean on August 27, 2015

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Sometimes when I read a restaurant menu, I will see a dish that looks so good and then there is a twist ingredient that I really don’t understand why it’s involved.  Sometimes that dish works and is really good.  Coffee in a red sauce on pasta.  Other times, it just dies on the plate.

I get that same feeling from this cool named and even cooler labeled Barbary Coast from Almanac.  I am hip to the chocolate, kinda bummed from chili pepper, then intrigued by the oak and then confused by the sea salt.  Will this beer coalesce?  Who knows?  But Almanac has a great history.

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I started my duo of Reinheitsgebot influenced beers from Santa Barbara’s Pure Order Brewing with what they call a red wheat with the moniker Red Eye. They reference dunkel on the label but this beer felt lighter with hints of strawberry to it. Did I hold onto it for too long?  Was my first thought upon sipping for the first time. Before long though a light grain taste started peeking through the hazy, dull and nearly black beer. The promised raisin notes surfaced as well.

Crooked Neck Hefe has a better name and a cool tall tie-in to the Santa Barbara Zoo but I fear it also fell into a too old trap.  Hints of clove and banana are underneath. But there is a starting to turn edge to it that even some warming up can’t alleviate. I can’t in good conscience review it here.  What I do know is that these beers either didn’t have good transport to L.A. or they were more delicate than others in the style.

I will try again and amend this post with further results.

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Reflective

by Sean on August 26, 2015

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Coasters are marketing tools. But they can also be used for art. And now they can also be used to light your way. Reflector Protectors takes the form of the coaster but once you peel the top layer off and affix it to your clothing it becomes reflective.

Conceived by the Edward Snell and Co. in South Africa it was created to help slow a nearly inconceivable and grim statistic that an estimated five pedestrians are killed per night walking home from a bar. Hopefully the reflectors will hop the pond and become available here for our bicycle culture.

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Throne Redux

by Sean on August 25, 2015

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The latest season of Game of Thrones is over which means repeats for those fanatics. Which includes beer fanatics. Brewery Ommegang is re-releasing the first two offerings in the brewery’s Game of Thrones Series.

Returning are Irone Throne, the blonde ale and the stout, Take the Black all in one handy pack with a Game of Thrones glass.  You can probably foresee like Melisandre that the other two beers will probably come back as well.

You will find both beer on draft in September, along with 750ml bottles and gift sets. ERP, $22.99.

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Year of Podcasts – Strange Brews

by Sean on August 25, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 9.00.30 PMThe call letters WBEZ might get you thinking about Ira Glass and This American Life but Strange Brews is the craft beer version.  Giving you a Windy City perspective on beer.   The podcast hosted by Andrew Gill and Alison Cuddy has won “Best Beer Podcast” from the North American Guild of Beer Writers.  Which shows the cred it has within the industry.

As you have seen through the year, I much prefer podcasts that move along, have interesting guests but don’t get bogged down by the hosts jibber-jabber.

If I could point to an individual podcast or three to listen to off the bat would be the mini-expose of Not Your Father’s Root Beer.  Then I would dive back into a normal sized and segmented one with Founders Brewing as the lead story.

For us West Coasters, Strange Brews will give you a load of knowledge about what is going on to the east of us.

 

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Java Nitro’d

by Sean on August 24, 2015

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A new addition from the Nitro specialists at Left Hand. Is a coffee porter that will get the equivalent of the latte treatment.  I love trying these nitro beers up against their regular counterparts.

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History of Beer via Comics

by Sean on August 24, 2015

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The trio of writer Jonathan Hennessey and illustrator Aaron McConnell with the able assistance of professional brewer Mike Smith have fashioned a new way of looking at the history of beer. The world of comics.

The Comic Book History of Beer goes ALL the way back to the very beginning and using a style that only the comic/graphic novel medium can truly heighten, you get a historical tour with fun facts that isn’t dry and dusty and rooted in biology and chemistry. Instead of “wording” about yeast, you get graphics instead.

Looks to be a fun read.

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