States Rights

by Sean on March 21, 2017

Is it just me, or is Budweiser suddenly making jabs at our current dysfunctional federal government?

First there was their Busch history reboot/retcon that was a hallelujah to immigrants during the most hallowed of Super Bowls.

Now, the Belgian (barely) beer brewer is pushing a states right agenda. Last year was “America” bedazzled cans with the Budweiser name scrubbed for patriotism. Now, they are rolling out labels for all 50 states. California replaces America as does the catch phrase “Eureka” and the Golden State in smaller fonts below it.

We have gone from….

…to this…

…and soon ….

So many questions – Are County beers next? Did the area code idea fizzle? Will someone crazed completist try to acquire all 50 cans?


Out Back

by Sean on March 21, 2017

Los Angeles has had some controversy with granny apartments and AirBnB. Structures in the backyards that pay the bills for the main house since LA property costs are sooo high.

Maybe there is another use for the backyard….

The website Wide Open Country posted about Bar Sheds recently and it almost made me wish, I had a backyard where I could serve up my beer. (and relieve my wife from my hoarding ‘fridge space).

I have been to a couple and like the atmosphere of garden and kegs.


Featured Review – Paloma-Rita by Toolbox

by Sean on March 20, 2017

I have only sampled a couple two or three beers from Toolbox Brewing of San Diego and all have been quite good. Nothing has really wowed me yet. But I feel that the deeper I get into their catalog of sours, that I will soon find one that makes me sit back and ponder. Paloma-Rita pours a deep orange. Fruity almost sour patch kid candy aroma which pulls back into citrus. As I take stock of the flavors I find some wheat in the back just ahead of the smidgen of salt. The stars of the show are the Lime & lemon, which are strong. There is a high acidity and after finishing the bottle while watching some March Madness, I felt that having another beer after would be too much.


Ignited Brewery # 2 – Rouleur Brewing

by Sean on March 20, 2017

Our second ignited stop is in Carlsbad for the European cycling themed Rouleur Brewing. Here are the San Diego beers with a Belgian twist that I would check out….

The Domestique Blonde Ale – “This beer is designed to be approachable yet memorable with a soft malt backbone and delicate Noble hop bitterness, keeping it from being too heavy or sweet. The aroma is slightly grainy, yet not astringent, and the forward palate is reminiscent of malted milkshake, grain and honey. The finish is dry and crisp with just the slightest hop bitterness. Well rounded, smooth and reliable.”

The Sprinteur Red Ale – “displays a rich and brilliant ruby red hue. The flavor and mouthfeel offer a chewy malt complexity reminiscent of dark caramel and dark fruits. The body forward beer is balanced with a dose of fresh fruity-citrusy hops. Visually pleasing, full-bodied and inspirational.”

The Puncheur Pale Ale – “This is the go-to beer of the pack, offering something for everyone. This beer has a brilliant gold color with warm hints of red in its hue. The malt and hop bills, as well as yeast character, lend it an overall fruity character. This beer is a perfect balance of malt and hops in both aroma and flavor. Resilient, fruity, and reliable.”

The Clydesdale India Pale Ale – “Rouleur takes the “Italian cooking” approach to IPAs: Few ingredients that are of high-quality yet not necessarily uncommon; balanced perfectly with a twist. ROULEUR’s India Pale Ale is “hoppy” in flavor and aroma, but not bracingly bitter, sessionable-ish in terms of alcohol content, and different enough to be memorable and go the full distance. Clean, purposeful and without pretense.”

The Grimpeur Dark Ale – “is very dark…nearly black. This beer is malt heavy yet balanced with a chocolatey and dark-caramelly flavor and aroma with a very faint roast character. With just enough hop character for balance, this is an all dark-malt-forward beer with a Belgian finish. Thick, creamy and focused on reaching the top.”


Australia in America

by Sean on March 19, 2017

Looks like we might be getting an infusion of beers from down under from the on-point named Australian Brewery.

Three different styles of their canned craft beer will be sent to America from the Sydney based brewery – Saison Ale, Pilsner and Pale Ale.

Saison D’Heretique – “…a delicate light beer featuring French and Belgian yeast with a balanced flavor. Introduced to your senses is a hint of white pepper, a touch of clove, and a subtle but smooth citrusy shot to the palate.”

Australian style Pale Ale – “…a cloudy pale beer exuding rich aromas of passion fruit and a citrusy base. With a refreshing and flavor filled hit to your taste buds, this crisp pacific style pale ale is refreshing and full of flavor. The use of Australian style galaxy hops creates a tropically flavored beer that will quench your thirst…”

New World Pilsner – “…a German feel with an Aussie spin. Taking the palest of Australian malts and combining them with powerful perfumed new world hops, Australian Brewery has produced a Pilsner that is simply refreshing.”

If they land in L.A., I will try to review them here.


Be Logical

by Sean on March 19, 2017

If I had been given the following True/False question, I would have gotten it wrong.

Have AleSmith and Pizza Port collaborated on a beer?

Now they have, which means that trick questions are now more logical. And of course it is hoppy, we aren’t living in a bizarro world.


Closing South and North

by Sean on March 18, 2017

Two breweries to the south and north of L.A. have called it quits. The combination of slowed growth with increasing competition is probably the wellspring of trouble for both Valiant of Orange County and Speakeasy from the Bay Area and it might foretell further closures ahead (or not).

Valiant seemed to fall due to specific business model choices whereas Speakeasy just fell behind the zeitgeist. Both though, I believe were OK as long as the nationwide sales numbers were growing in double digits. When that trended downward, the music stopped and the pair found themselves without a chair. And if more chairs are removed, more might call it quits.

We must remember though, that this all new territory for craft beer. The U.S. has never had this many breweries before. California, alone, has more than 800! Even foreigners like Guinness, BrewDog and Mikkeller have facilities or plans for them stateside. The Global beer sellers have gobbled up breweries across the nation and are loss leader spending like crazy. A brewery starting in 2015 versus one starting today would face radically different business climates.

My guess is that there is more turbulence ahead. Which makes your beer dollar a very potent vote, use it.


Casual Friday – Dry River & Kinetic

by Sean on March 18, 2017

The L.A. County Brewers Guild is impressive in where they can combine craft beer with diverse events and Casual Fridays at Walt Disney Concert Hall is one to check out. I have posted about this program before and it is back on Friday, March 31 with a duo of composers and breweries,

Mozart and Haydn are on the concert bill and after the music has died down you can enjoy a complimentary beer tasting from Dry River Brewing and Kinetic Brewing along with members of the LA Phil.
Check out the link HERE for more info.


Pulls Have Been Stopped

by Sean on March 17, 2017

The City of Los Angeles would probably have a much higher number of breweries if the government knew how to handle permitting a brewery. In my 8 years of blogging about beer in L.A., that has yet to happen. There is either no political will to do so or the inertia is just too much.

To counter that indifference that borders on hostility, breweries have been liberal about pulling temporary permits. It is a loophole that has been used in DTLA but apparently somewhere in the bowels of the city, someone noticed a spike in these permits and grew wise to what was being done.

That is my best guess. The optics for a municipal government to drop the hammer and appear pro-active rather than letting things slide by are obvious. Especially when it comes to alcohol. I had a bad feeling that if it was done too much that this would happen, but perhaps this can be the impetus for change because both Cellador and Hand Brewed are in craft beer areas that are underserved and they deserve better for their hard work.


DTLA Invades Mikkeller DTLA

by Sean on March 17, 2017

Mikkeller Bar in DTLA has already been collaborative with Arts District Brewing and now they are congregating all the DTLA beer makers under their Olympic Boulevard roof tomorrow night for taps filled with “exclusive & limited run beers, as well as local favorites…”

beers from the following: