Stop # 2 in our don’t buy from wolves in sheep’s clothing is in Oakland at the authorial Novel Brewing.

I love the writerly names of the beers and the following five would be in my taster tray:
Prose Gose
Point of View Pils
Paperback Porter
Narrator Black Rye IPA
Bookend Brown Ale

And I have a couple of suggestions for future beers:
3rd Person 3 Hop IPA
Carriage Return Kriek


When I hear that Pete Brown has a new book out, it goes on my radar to read as soon as I can. He has the ability to be folksy and technical and to cut through the noise surrounding a topic. Be it IPA history or Shakespeare’s Local.

The history of how apples spread across the country is a fascinating one followed by the fascinating topic of how to graft an apple tree to make sure you get the same type of apple, as is re-creating heritage apples and creating new apple varieties.

I mean who amongst us knew that apples basically migrated from Kazakhstan? I liked that the book was structured to follow the growing season and that each chapter had such tidbits of information. Once I grew accustomed to the fact that this was more of a shallow skim across the world of apples with some deeper dives, the book grew on me more and more.

For someone with little knowledge of apples barring a few trips to Oak Glen here in SoCal, this book provides a lot of fun facts.

To drink, well, it’s obvious ain’t it?

Golden State Cider
“Mighty Dry is a champagne-like cider that pairs perfectly with any moment of the day. It’s just dry enough. It’s perfectly balanced, and crispy (if not crispier) as biting into a freshly picked apple.”

101 Cider House
Scrumpy, the flagship cider is their hazy meets barnyard version

Reverend Nat’s
“My newest release is Revival Hard Apple and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share it with you. I start with a secret blend of Washington-grown apples and add piloncillo, dark brown evaporated cane juice, purchased direct from Michoacan, Mexico. I ferment this dark base to all the way to dry using two exotic yeast strains: a beer yeast known for the round mouthfeel in Saisons and a rarely-used secret culture which produces aromas of pineapple, guava and peaches. This cider is brilliantly golden in color and deeply complex while remaining subtly familiar, with just the right amount of sweetness and acidity to be an everyday beverage.”


1st Visit – Lagunitas Azusa

by Sean on April 19, 2017

I rode the rails to Azusa a few days back to check out the current state of the mega complex that Lagunitas is building since they now have opened up a temporary taproom, to taste their wares in.

Here is my report in photos….

No room for Azusa on the barrel tables.

It’s a bit purple inside.

A bit purple this side too.

Waldo’s was tapped but the bartender quipped that the menu would not be reprinted.

I will talk more about my OK first visit on Food GPS.


Yorkshire in Torrance

by Sean on April 19, 2017

In honor of today’s cask ale opening of Yorkshire Square right next to the big Honda HQ, here are some photos from the inside….

The first three taps

The Tenant Pale Ale

The Beer List and ABV hieroglyphs

The cascading pour


Roden-can # 2

by Sean on April 18, 2017

When I heard that Rodenbach was canning and that Fruitage would be the name, I set my sets to pay special attention to the foreign section of the cold case and now I will double that attention as their “Classic” will be in cans as well.

Rodenbach calls it a Flanders Red-Brown Beer that is created using “mixed main fermentation and maturation in oak casks (“foeders”)” and consisting of “3/4 young beer and 1/4 beer matured two years in oak.”

When found, I will certainly be reviewing.



by Sean on April 18, 2017

Recently, I sat down with Steve Ezell from CraftX to talk about the vision for this new type of craft beer of the month club. That will be detailed over on Food GPS in two days time.



by Sean on April 17, 2017

May 20th Smog City will celebrate another year of serving up beers (now in 2 locations!).

Here are the details:
“Saturday, May 20th, we will be hosting our annual VIP session from 11-1pm and general entry from 1-10pm. Our awesome team brewed a special anniversary beer for this very special occasion. This year it’s a Tart Saison with Tangerine! Keep an eye out, our VIP session is ticketed and limited to 200 attendees and this year we have a couple tricks up our collective brewer’s sleeves. Tickets on sale at noon on April to come, join our newsletter (through our website) for special release info!”

Get it? Good.



by Sean on April 17, 2017

Trademark Brewing recently signed the lease for a space in Long Beach according to a post that I saw recently on Facebook. (always trust Facebook, right?)

Set a Google alert, or have your calendar on your phone ping to remind you to check back on the progress.


1st Quarter Stats

by Sean on April 16, 2017

With one 1/4 of the year in the history books, and with the US still standing despite our current not-my-president, it is time for a quick look at the numbers of my beer drinking.

This little Excel spreadsheet was initially done to track spending primarily and then sheer tonnage of drinking. It has diversified a bit with the addition of ABV and a limited style selector.

When we ended 2016 I was spending $60.95 a week and drinking 204.31 ounces with an average ABV of 6.74%.

To compare and contrast, so far in 2017 that spending number is down significantly to $42.25 a week. Partially chalked up to beers bought for me for my birthday and an increase in media samples. But also due in part to the fact that the amount number is down 14oz to 190 even. The ABV saw the least dramatic shift down to 6.58%. But the ABV has been the slowest to change and in a much tighter band.

I have been quite aware of the amount each week, more so than last year and have made progress in decreasing the ounces drunk each night. This is part of the reasoning behind tracking the beer is to make myself cognizant of what I am doing and then make alterations.

Speaking of altering…

The style descriptor is a quick and dirty measurement. For each beer, I tag it with a Y or N. Y for the “Big 3” styles. IPA, Sour and Barrel-Aged. And those three show up 152 times as opposed to 77 for everything else.

Which tells me that I need to diversify for Q2.


Bear Republic has added to their Racer series with a new car style, so to speak, Fastback Racer DIPA.

The beer pours a pretty bright and orange and clear. Lovely bit of foam on the top with nice bubbling to it. A cross of pine and orange peel greets the nose as I stick it into that foam. This really tastes strong and I would classify it as a triple or Imperial. I mean 10.4%! That strength comes through in the flavor. Everything else comes in behind that power which makes it a bit of a disappointment, I guess. Citrus is peeking out here and there but not very often. It makes the beer a bit one dimensional.