by Sean on December 14, 2017

An early economic gift popped up over social media from the California Craft Brewers Association….

5 years and 587 breweries started up in California. That is amazing.  And my eye picked out another pair of numbers that might be even more important in the future.  Over 91% of residents are within 10 miles of a brewery.  With that kind of base, taprooms can become that 3rd place hub that can really put down roots.  Even die hard (It’s Christmas) water lager fans will be tempted to try “their” community brewery if they can be there in a few minutes from work on a Friday, or it is near their favorite restaurant, or they have just driven by and seen a crowd outside.

Now when do you think California hits the 1,000 mark?


Georgia is Santa’s next stop for some southern IPA that is surely not a misfit for the current popular style, Island of Misfits from Red Hare.


Beer is Poppin’?

by Sean on December 13, 2017

As I was doing some CyberMonday shopping, I came across this from the fun website ThinkGeek. Don’t know if I would order it except for a gag but thought I would pass it on to those who like to tease people at Christmas.


Holiday Beer # 20 – Yellow Snow from Rogue

by Sean on December 13, 2017

Rogue Brewing has changed up the look of Yellow Snow and taken it back to nature…

Also, one of the rare pilsners on the list.


I went into this book with high hopes. I have been on a bit of a King kick so I figured this would be another thriller/horror ride. Plus I love the novella format too.

But only the fourth of the set from Strange Weather was what I was looking for. And worse, the longest piece, Loaded, seemed an easy mark about our gun culture. Plus it was quite grim. Neither side of the debate would feel good after reading it and maybe that was the point. Aloft, the third tale, was weird with a lead character that I found annoying at times and didn’t end well. The book started with Snapshot which had a good thing going but the mechanics of the mysterious camera were never really explained so some of the scares were lost to me. I would have liked to have seen the gun polemic shortened to give more room for the other stories to fully firm.

The last story, Rain, was the clear winner. Great idea playing into our fear of the changing climate with a great and new type of lead character. She had spunk and was smart. The plot was scary and horrible at the same time and could possibly be real.

Here are some beer choices to “pair” with the book
Bottle Logic Stronger than Fiction Strong Ale
Maine Beer Co. Peeper
Burial Beer Weathered Scythe


Holiday Beer # 19 – Winter UFO from Harpoon

by Sean on December 12, 2017

A rare winter hefeweizen. This time from Harpoon. Winter UFO has vanilla and coffee added.


I have been a loyal subscriber to Beer Advocate magazine and have read about their various and sundry events on the other coast and finally (perhaps as a Christmas present) I got to cover the first Los Angeles appearance of the Extreme Beer Fest.

And the locale turned out to be unexpected in a John McClane bursting through plate glass windows via fire hose kind of way with Alan Rickman shooting weaponry behind. Up on the lucky 13th floor of the California Market in DTLA, beers lined the walls…

Beers from East Coast to West were on offer. A list over 250+ long and most extreme in the ABV definition of the word. My three best breweries of Session 1 were de Garde from coastal Oregon, Finback from NYC and The Rare Barrel from the Bay Area. All three were basically walk up and order a beer affairs since the madding crowds had decided (apparently in advance and without input from me) that Great Notion. J. Wakefield and Weldworks were to be the darlings of the ball.

The empty floor turned out to be a great idea. Traversing back and forth was easy with the occasional cutting through snaking lines. Water was available in plentiful amounts as was food (including donuts and the awesome Beer Belly). The program for the event was helpful and the glasses were one of the rare style that I actually didn’t want to leave at the event. A little plastic wine glass minus stem with a divot for your dainty finger to hold.

I tasted 15 beers over a few hours and ran across quite a few that I need to recommend. Polyphonic DIPA from Finback was tied with DeLorean Dust from Alvarado Street for best hoppy offering. Sours was a two way race between de Garde and Rare Barrel with Purple Kriek and The Florist almost equal to Sloe Daze and An Awfully Big Adventure from the latter. But the Iced version of Spittin’ and Cussin’ from Smog City was near those peaks as well. Captain Lawrence, which used to be a darling, seemed ignored for some strange reason because their NE IPA Powder Dreams was excellent as was their brett’d IPA.

This event showcased that Beer Advocate has done this before. The lines were set-up, elevator help had been enlisted and all seemed smooth. There could have been more tables (two-tops) so that people could photograph the beers (hint hint) but the views were amazing….


Go big flavors with today’s holiday stout from Jekyll Brewing that has chocolate and coffee and peppermint.


Random Brewery Tour # 1 – Lord Hobo

by Sean on December 10, 2017

The first “random” brewery tour for December is one that might be sending some of their NE IPA our way. Saw a job posting for a sales manager for Lord Hobo on the West Coast.

Massachusetts brewed for both “Lords and Hobo’s alike, we all deserve to drink like royalty.” Here are the four cans that I would drink from a regal chair or couch.

Steal This Can IPA
“This West-Coast inspired IPA features 4 notable hop varieties to produce poignant citrus notes with pine and hop bitterness. A malt bill that includes Pilsner malts and American Red Wheat gives this IPA a healthy mouth feel.”

Consolation Prize Double IPA
“A full-bodied Double IPA that glows a magnificent hazy orange. Heavily dry-hopped with Jarrylo, Azacca & Mosaic resulting in big notes of pineapple, mango, honeydew with a notable Pilsner malt backbone. Dangerously drinkable and surprisingly mellow.”

Glorious Galaxy Pale Ale
“This beautifully smooth New England-Style Pale Ale pours a hazy, straw color. A double-dose of sought-after Galaxy hops delivers a silky peach-grape aroma, tropical fruit flavors, and an elegant mouth feel.”

Hobo Life Session IPA
“Hobo Life Session IPA is heavily dry-hopped with Citra and rests on 20% flaked oats. Refreshing and bright with notes of lime and grapefruit zest to entertain the palate, Hobo Life is a go-to for any session.”


We head back to my hometown of Portland for our next Winter Warmer from Ex Novo, Liquid Sweater…”PDX Red Ale with rich caramel & dark fruit notes. Willamette hops & spicy herbal finish.”