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by Sean on April 21, 2016



by Sean on September 24, 2016

The duo of The Bruery and Bruery Terreux (now fully separated with their own tasting rooms) have not separated “Barrel-Aged Beer Day” which returns for its fourth year on Friday, October 7, 2016.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate and make it easier to raise a snifter and toast your favorite barrel-aged craft beer.

Added to the festivities this year is The Bruery & Goat Group Collaboration Beer. Here is how the press release describes the blend: it “is a single batch blend of Black Tuesday, White Oak Sap, and Mash aged in Buffalo Trace barrels sourced by the Goat Group.”

This is draft only and can be found at The Bruery in Orange County as well as the following Goat establishments around Los Angeles:

The Surly Goat West Hollywood
The Surly Goat Encino
The Blind Donkey Pasadena
The Blind Donkey Long Beach
Verdugo Bar Glassell Park


Bigger CoCoNut

by Sean on September 24, 2016

I know that Maui Brewing has re-branded and the CoCoNut porter is in a much better designed can (IMO) and by the name of Hiwa now but I will always call it by the OG name of CoCoNut. This new beer, I will call whatever they want…


Cotton (Beer) Candy

by Sean on September 23, 2016

OK, strange to see beer flavored cotton candy. I don’t know if anyone over 25 can un-ironically order this from Chocolate Story. And I don’t know how spun sugar translates from beer. They should slap IPA on it and it would sell more.


DTLA Bus Crawl

by Sean on September 23, 2016

After a pretty successful run during our most recent L.A. Beer Week, the DTLA Breweries United free shuttle service from brewery to brewery returns with the addition of Indie Brewing to the route. It’s a great way to visit all the breweries without navigating Alameda in a car.
The one thing to note though is that the shuttle ends on the nose. Which means if you are at Indie or Iron Triangle and your car is up in the Arts District or you are taking the Gold Line from the Arts District then you will be stuck on an island and calling for Lyft service. So take the rides to the further reaches and then work back.


For the second blind tasting, I chose pale ale, American-style, and I chose two distinctive beer cities and two distinctive breweries as subjects.

Would I be able to discern San Diego from Portland? Pizza Port’s new Graveyard Pale Ale or Gigantic’s Scrilla Pale Ale?

Beer 1 – pours an orange color with a tea and fruit punch aroma. This is crisp and very light and the fruit punch notes are quite prevalent. A bit tilted to the watery side.

Beer 2 – pours a bright yellow. Very vegetal with a strong cat pee note to it. That follows through to the beer which is not a favorite to me though the base malts hold it up better.

My guess is that 2 is Pizza Port and 1 is Gigantic. Am I right?
I was! But it was based on a hunch and not something concrete. I guessed that a lighter IPA wouldn’t fly as far in San Diego. Plus Graveyard smells like one. So two hints pushed me in that direction.


A Book & A Beer – Hamilton – The Revolution

by Sean on September 22, 2016

Hamilton – The Revolutionis half annotated lyrics and half the backstory to how the musical went from White House performance to mixtape to phenomenon. And I don’t say phenomenon lightly. Even Dick Cheney, ex-Vice President apparently likes it. This despite it being so closely associated with President Obama.

This is a heavy and handsome book that is well designed. You can put on the soundtrack and hear the words being sung or you can read after listening to the amazing soundtrack. If you only get one take-away from this book, it’s that the passion from Everyone involved was amazing. To create a really old-school constructed musical using both history and hip-hop is a strange and daunting task.

For me, the power of the correctly chosen word is what gets me the most. Even a quickly said word is pondered to see if it doesn’t tip a secret too soon or is too esoteric. Just great stuff.

Beer wise, I have a multitude of options. Since Alexander Hamilton was an adopted New Yorker, I have to go with a New York Beer first, maybe even something sold at the famed Fraunces Tavern, something from Grimm Artisanal Ales like Purple Prose to match his writing chops. Ommegang and their Great Beyond evokes where one might go after a duel and both are as bitter as Burr and other Founding Fathers. You can also go with the traditional Sam Adams Boston Lager since the patriot and brewer is name checked in the show. Another hoppy choice would be from Alpine here in San Diego, Duet is perfect for a musical n


SMBW is tasting

by Sean on September 21, 2016

Out of the blue, it seems, that Santa Monica Brew Works has opened!
For us Eastsiders, this could be a chance to take the Expo Line to Bergamot Station, then have a short 15 minute walk to the brewery.


RIP – Artisan Ales

by Sean on September 21, 2016

Well, this is shocking news to me. And sad as well. Artisan Ales was the subject of a couple pieces that I wrote in the past including a fun ride-along, day in the life of a sales rep.

Aside from those fond memories, we are left with more of a hole in the craft beer landscape now. The one vital and extremely hard link in the chain is getting the beer to consumers. You can self-distribute but that takes resources in equipment and people. With LA being so spread out and hard to navigate in a timely manner, we need more independent (call them boutique) distributors not less. Where Craftsman and Noble Ale Works go from here will be important in the near future as is the distribution fate of Oregon breweries Logsdon and Double Mountain.

I do not know the reasons why Artisan Ales closed up shop and to me that is water under the bridge because the long term implications are bigger because what we need are two types of distributors for two sizes of breweries in Los Angeles that most need help.

1) for the small breweries that are wanting to create a wider footprint
2) for the medium/small breweries that are getting into packaging

We need steps up, so that a brewery can grow in a logical and linear way. Maybe we will get that needed infrastructure in the wake of this.


Obscured Milk

by Sean on September 20, 2016

If you are in the market for a less popular style, then the newest offering from Smog City might be up your alley.
Leche Oscura is a milk stout which the brewery newsletter describes as the “perfect transitional beer for the seasons.” I concur with that. It will fill you up but not warm you up. That touch of sweetness blends right into fall.


Sacramento Brewery # 2 – Track 7

September 20, 2016

The very first Sacramento brewery that I visited was Track 7 after Day 1 of the California Craft Beer Summit. My beer buddy and I Lyfted to the Curtis Park location and ambled outside to enjoy the beers and the weather and the smell of the food truck nearby. You can currently get Panic IPA […]

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