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by Sean on April 21, 2016


The Rebel Alliance

by Sean on May 23, 2016

There seems to be a clustering effect when it comes to breweries in the Los Angeles area. Be it in Westlake Village or Torrance or Downtown L.A., breweries seem to set-up shop within walking distance of another.

Even closer and wide ranging is the The Bridgeworks Beverage Alliance in Pennsylvania. A trio of craft beverage manufacturers are right next to each other in a renovated Mack Truck Factory.

It is part of a manufacturing incubator program, and it includes three different types of alcoholic beverages Colony Meadery – County Seat Spirits – HiJinx Brewing Co..

Incubators seem to be on the downswing, at least, from a news perspective. There was a time, years back, when you would hear about one or the other in the tech world but maybe it is something that should be re-examined when it comes to beer. Because of equipment costs, rental costs and permits and dealing with the various cities, might encourage investor groups to pool money and knowledge.

I have heard brewers speak about how other brewers helped them out with a permit here or how-to deal with the city. So there always seemed to be an informal type of mentoring but there is a need for starter space. Somewhere to legally brew and sell your beer in that in-between space of home brewing to running your own brewery. That happened out in Riverside where Polymath Brewing, Delicious Science and Seven Brothers were working co-op style.

The hunt for the “just right” location could be undertaken at a less fevered pace if a brewer could be making and fine tuning beer and building a brand in the meantime. Maybe L.A. could have a sake house, next to a brewery, next to an artisanal food court?


More Brewing North of Us

by Sean on May 23, 2016

In addition to Third Window that I touched upon earlier this month, two more breweries from north of L.A. have entered the fray in past months and the first, MadeWest Brewing Company of Ventura, CA started distributing their core Pale Ale and IPA in March.
The MadeWest tasting room is located at 1744 Donlon Street in Ventura, and is open 7 days a week with ample indoor and patio seating.

And in Goleta you will find the M. Special brewery whose brewhouse is helmed by Joshua Ellis and will have a “portfolio of beers … ranging from flavors IPA’s to a Crisp American Lager.”


BP lands in LBC

by Sean on May 22, 2016

Looks like Ballast Point is using their Constellation billions to make a push north into Long Beach. The San Diego brewer will be taking over a spot on the aptly named Marina Drive and opening in (probably) late summer of this year.
They will follow Firestone Walker into the L.A. beer and food market with Modern Times coming as well.

There is also a possibility of small-batch brewing being done on site as well. Maybe leading to L.A. only beers from the maker of Sculpin and a host of crazy popular fruit beers. Most of which I am not a fan of but Sculpin is still, after all these years, one of the best IPA’s out there.

With Smog City also rolling into Long Beach, the city is swelling with great beer.


Wine to Beer

by Sean on May 22, 2016

Even the least ardent wine drinkers probably is familiar with the winery brand of Kendall-Jackson. Now the wine label is joining team craft beer with the construction of a new 25,000-barrel brewery in Sonoma County.

Seismic Brewing Company is being pushed forward in Santa Rosa, by Christopher Jackson who is still an owner of the Jackson Wine business.

The slated for fall brewery has attracted brewers from both Firestone Walker and Anderson Valley which is a good start for sure.

More updates to come when they arrive on the interwebs.


Statistics and damn lies

by Sean on May 21, 2016

So the first five weeks of tracking my beer intake and spending are in the books and one immediate take-away is that is has affected my drinking a bit. I set a weekly max. In this case, 240 ounces over 5 days. Sort of like a salary cap in the NBA. I could go over it without consequence but I wanted some sort of demarcation point.

In the first two weeks, I was butting up against that max number which led me to pull back the remaining three to the point where I was trying to comfortably land below that threshold.

Here are my numbers:
The low week was 176 ounces and the high week was 236.
Averaging out to 208.6 ounces per 5 day period.
Or drilling down to 40.84 ounces per day.
The biggest day was about 60 when I visited the Azusa location for next year’s opening Lagunitas Brewery. The combination of free plus riding Metro plus a long period of time led to that total.
Saturday and Sunday (obviously) were the big drinking days accounting for 49% of what was drunk each week.
Saturday was the biggest day on average with 56.8 ounces per day.

If I needed to cut down to a lower figure, Saturday would be where I started. Losing one regular sized beer from that day would be a start but getting that average below 50 would probably be better.

After the next five weeks, I will update the averages and let you know what transpired.


I opened up my Bruery box for this post of Up From the Cellar and found that I either have anniversary or Christmas beers from the Orange County brewery that just held their Poterie anniversary.  The only outliers were two bottles of Black Tuesday and one White Chocolate.  So I brought up the WC.  Once I hacked the serious wax from the bottle cap the beer pours a deep orange color and quite bubbly at first which took me aback. The aroma is white chocolate for sure but not as strong as remembered from past tastings which was the first hint of trouble.

I think I held this one too long by a few months because there is a little too much in the way of sour notes or should I say cider-ness to it. That means a loss of velvetness from the original which was very smooth to the point of 5 stars on Untappd from yours truly. The aged White Chocolate has a medicinal hump that eventually falls back into the vanilla/chocolate swirl but it takes too long to get there and only stays for a fleeting moment.

That is part and parcel with aged beer though.  You try some that have lost just too much from the original.


With a nod to the Artist formerly known as, we head to Minnesota next to Burning Brothers Brewing whose About declares, “Burning Brothers is committed 100% to gluten-free. We don’t use gluten-free filtering, gluten-free enzymes or any other gluten-free gimmicks. Instead we use naturally gluten-free ingredients to create great-tasting and unique beers for you.”

Without further ado, here are the beers that I would put in my taster tray:
“Parched” Lime Shandy: “The citrus notes of our all American hops combined with the lime of our shandy will have you salsa dancing in no time. Our fans state that “Parched” taste like summer. Not too sweet with a nice tart that balances with the hops like they were meant to be together.”

English Mild: “Subtle, crisp bitterness on the front finishes with a touch of biscuit and nuts on the back. This session style comes in at a low alcohol (~3.0% ABV) and is intended to be a lightly-flavored, easy to drink and malt-accented beer.”

“Pyro” American Pale Ale: “An American twist on an English bitter, this light fruity beer is a drink that can be enjoyed at any time! We substitute the traditional English flavor with our own unique blend of American hops. Note the initial taste of orange followed by just a hint of grapefruit. Three years in the making, our APA stands strong against any other APA on the market.”

“Roasted” Coffee Strong Ale: “Beer is one of the oldest beverages humans have produced, and Arabs began cultivating coffee in the 14th century. With histories like that, and our love for coffee being almost as great as our love for beer, how could we not combine the two? “Roasted” is a single-hopped strong ale blended with cold brewed coffee. Because we never heat the coffee, the bitter oils in the coffee remain present, but not dominant. This creates a smooth balance of bitter and sweet with hints of caramel. This award winner took third place in a brewing competition, yet we forgot to tell them it was gluten-free.”


News & Notes – DTLA Version

by Sean on May 19, 2016

Despite Monday being a beer off-day for me, I headed down to Angel City to hear what some of the DTLA breweries had to say about the area and the growth of LA beer as well as their fledgling DTLA Brewers United group.

I took notes and when I got home, a trend emerged. They were mostly about Mumford Brewing. Not a smack at all against the others on the panel but what was piquing my interest were three things from the Skidrokyo brewery…

1. Cloudy IPA is coming this weekend. Will our West-Coast San Diego culture join this trend?
2. Mumford is looking into canning and getting some core beers onto shelves
3. June 12th is the date for the 1st Mumford anniversary. They will have a Russian Imperial Stout in three different variants.

Other tidbits, Indie Brewing is looking at end of year for their tap room to be open. Arts District Brewing is looking at creating a “Study Room” for the more beer obsessed and geeky. Plus this fall, their just might be a DTLA only brewfest.


In the Almanac filed under Cans

by Sean on May 19, 2016

Another California brewer has entered the realm of canning….
Almanac will be putting their Fresh Beer Series into cans with the really well designed Google Map-pish San Francisco designed labels.

I don’t think I have seen either the Pilsner or Mandarina yet but methinks a variety pack might be in the future. Or at least I hope so.


Another Cinco

May 19, 2016

The (now) venerable Beer Belly in Koreatown is turning 5 this year! And they pull no punches when it comes to what is on tap. Plus they love wings. Even Volcanic ones that would make my head explode. Do yourself a favor and head over (it is Metro adjacent) and you will find yourself trying […]

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