Let’s Cuddle

by Sean on May 29, 2015

Personally, a Cuddlebug sounds more dangerous than a Sabre Toothed Squirrel.
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But a sour blonde with both peaches and apricots sounds too delicious to pass up. And at $12 a bottle, it is on the easier to purchase side than others on the market.

If you are a stonefruit fan then head to Smog City tomorrow and pick up a bottle or two. And if they have any other sours on, give them a try too.

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My DD

by Sean on May 29, 2015

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BeMyDD (Be My Designated Driver), if you don’t like the attitude of the Uber founder and find Lyft wanting, or if you just like to have as many options for getting to craft beer events around Los Angeles then here is that 3rd choice.

The new website has updated their look to make navigation easier. “The service costs US$14-$19.50 an hour, depending on location..” or you can use the Pickup Service (US$25 pickup fee + $3.45 per mile). “Two drivers arrive, one to take the customer home in their car and one to follow behind to retrieve the BeMyDD driver.”

To celebrate the website’s launch, BeMyDD will be offering a US$20 discount for first time customers who sign up at www.bemydd.com/launch and use the promo code: LAUNCH.

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Pubs & Profs

by Sean on May 28, 2015

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Let’s just say that my college is pretty cool.  Aside from a kick-ass softball squad, Linfield has a new series kick off coming up that is right in my wheelhouse.  Except for being in Portland and not L.A.  Here’s the blurb: the “Pubs & Profs event is for all alumni, parents, students and friends of Linfield College. Every few months, we will invite a Linfield professor to publicly present a culturally or socially relevant topic for our community. These events will typically be held at restaurants, pubs, breweries and wine bars in the Pacific Northwest.”

If all my classes were based on dinosaurs and beer at Lucky Labrador, well, I would have been to every class every single day. The first P&P is on Thursday, June 11 with Dr. Leonard Finkleman, assistant professor of philosophy, with a presentation on “Fuzzy” Logic: Dinosaur Feathers, Jurassic Park, and the Philosophy of Science.

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Pedal Away

by Sean on May 28, 2015

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I am of two minds on the Beer Bike bill that recently passed through the California State Senate.  None of it really concerning the presence (or non-presence as California would have it) of alcohol on the multi-seat bikes.

Biking is bleeping hazardous in LA. And even in the relatively brewery friendly area of Torrance, there would be a lot of pedaling on streets with cars.  Cars sometimes driven by people who consider anything in their way a moral affront to their person.  Now I now that most of these multi-person beer bikes will not be pedaling from brewery to brewery.  Rather going from bar to bar and probably on beach boardwalk routes.  But road sharing and Angelenos are mutually exclusive.

Which leads to my second problem.  Drunk ass partyers giving imbibing a bad name.  I don’t want to be at a craft beer bar and see a load of out of breath, sweaty people in pretzel necklaces coming in the door.  At best, the public will see rowdy behavior and at worst liability issues when one falls off the bike.  And you know that someone will.  Once that happens, calls for more regulation of alcohol will rear up again.

Besides, I much prefer the Beer Bus model and we have an excellent one in L.A. Beer Hop.

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Bud at it Again

by Sean on May 27, 2015

So Budweiser would have us pair artisanal burgers with fancy buns and all sorts of toppings with their beer.

Here is the thing though.  People who enjoy a really good burger probably don’t want your Big Mac beer. Again, ABInBev, who are you advertising too?  Just show semi normal men with hot women and an outdoor grill. That is your diminishing market. 

You may have also seen that they have bought David Chang and his loathing of craft beer to judge a burger contest as well. But Chang lost cred with craft beer and is probably unknown to Bud fans so the only winner is whoever pockets the prize money and then drain pours the Budweiser. 

Maybe if a Don Draper were around, he could explain what is going on but from my perspective, Budweiser is losing its marketing touch.

Oh and the clinking bottles at the end was a little aggressive, or was that me worrying about broken glass?

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The Brickhouse of Beer

by Sean on May 27, 2015

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If a homebrewer gets married, you can bet that she/he will brew up a special batch of beer for the special day. (and might even give a few bottles away to the lucky). But if you are not a homebrewer, then you usually end up with whatever:

A) The caterer uses
B) The reception hall has a deal with

What if there was a third option?

What if there was someone who could navigate the wedding industry and the tied deals and alcohol rules plus deliver great beer to your guests from local breweries that paired with the food being served? What if it was served in tulips engraved with the names of the bride and groom?

Tossing that out there during this run-up to wedding season (there is one of those right? like basketball and soccer?) because I have heard stories of being offered Light or Light (Bud or Coors) in extremely classy cans, no less. Usually nothing on tap and nothing that could possibly be paired with dinner.

Maybe team up with a cocktail expert and a wine expert to become a trio of wedding beverages to please all the guests.

Granted, figuring out why wedding DJ’s always play that stupid Brickhouse song might be more important but so is finding a great stout to pair with the wedding cake.

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Our last featured review is a wit by the name of Lost Meridian from Base Camp Brewing of Portland.

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This found Wit pours a pleasing hazy orange color. You never know with witbiers, where the brewer wants to take it. Floral, perfumey could be an option or more citrus notes.

Lost Meridian has both. Layered with creamsicle orange and tea-like tannin notes there is also a potpourri touch as well, especially in the aroma. It is dry and bitter as each sip finishes. You could probably also characterize it as being redolent of orange jell-o. But that finish keeps that from getting too out of hand.

Neither flavor knock my socks off though and I would like an edge of spice to round out this beer.

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Goose It

by Sean on May 26, 2015

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I must say that I do like currants more than Gooseberries but I am curious as how to either, let alone combined, will work in a sour. But Mammoth Brewing Company has their spin on it for their 2015 Harvest Series. I might just be adventurous to try it.

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Trapped

by Sean on May 25, 2015

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And then there were eleven.

Italy has joined the Trappist League along with Belgium, The Netherlands, Austria and the U.S. Tre Fontane (Three Springs) Monastery is in Rome.

You will need to either have a religious history friend or handy access to Wikipedia to learn more about why it is called that and it’s relationship with St. Paul because I will focus on the beer. Though the monastery does also make olive oil, honey, chocolates and a Trappist liquer.

The beer is Three Fountains Tripel clocking in at 8.5* ABV and brewed with Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus that is planted in fields near the Monastery.

Time will tell if Tre Fontane and Spencer can garner the acclaim that the other Trappists have gained.

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In the Meantime

by Sean on May 25, 2015

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The thriving craft beer scene in England is off the radar for most in L.A. aside from watching BrewDogs and they are Scottish. Those in the know may have had a beer or two but most, like me, have to watch from afar while reading British beer blogs.

So the uproar that accompanied the sale of Elysian or 10 Barrel to ABInBev will probably not be matched by news of Meantime Brewing’s sale to SAB Miller aka Miller/Coors, aka SABMillerCoorsBlueMoon10thandBlake. (which doesn’t fit on a logo very well).

Meantime based in Greenwich (hence the name) apparently looked at where they wanted to be down the road and found the best way to get them there was joining forces rather than the alternatives. And it seems that the shareholders are on board. All 60 of them including friends, family and employees.

I am less worried about Meantime than I am about the inevitable theories that will multiply across the web about who is next on the buying block and is this a trend that will get even faster leading to the conclusion that someone will post that they hope that their brewery will lose their business if they ever contemplated selling.

Stealing from Oprah for a moment, here is what I know to be true:
More breweries will sell
More breweries will merge
More breweries will open
More breweries will close

Those four items may be harder or easier to do depending on laws, consumer demand, droughts and other factors but we will not see the dark time of just light American lagers anytime soon.

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