Here I am staring down another “crafty” beer. I told myself after all of my Shock Top soapboxing, that these abominations by AB InBev and MillerCoors were not worth further blog space. Unfortunately, when I go to a place like The Tinhorn to pound fried pickles, I see that their Blonde Ale (a Karl Strauss contract brew) is sandwiched between both Shock Top and Blue Moon. I stare at the tap handles, wondering how many pints they have poured and my stomach turns. I just want to grab some barfly and shake him like Nic Cage having a fit. I want to tell him life is too short. I want to tell him to have some fucking respect for himself, then jump up on the bar, kicking the taps until they snap off and fly across the room injuring one of those god damned pool players blocking the front door thinking about the bullshit shot they are about to miss. But I digress, even though the sight of their flagship crafty swill makes me want to vomit, I wasn’t truly compelled to make a return visit to crafty town until the recent wave of absurd marketing. In the end, it was the graffiti-covered, Tongue Thai-ed edition of Blue Moon that made this article mandatory.
Raised in Massachusetts I can remember a time when Sam Adams (Boston Beer Co.) was a tiny upstart fighting its way into New England bars and restaurants. They were the craft beer David to AB InBev‘s Goliath. A few decades later and you’d be hard pressed to find a bar, restaurant, of beer retailer that doesn’t carry a variety of Sam Adams. They have become the largest “craft” brewery in the world, even having the ceiling raised on the definition of craft brewing as it reached the Brewers Association limits in 2011. The explosion of microbreweries in recent years has all but officially labelled them a “macro” and in an attempt to maintain craft status, they have unleashed limited release, barrel-aged, and small batch brews, from which I have selected Third Voyage Double IPA for review. Continue reading
As we all wait for Jeff our fearless leader to recover from his foot surgery (which if you ask me was the result of a shark attack ending in the bare-handed murder of the sea’s most feared predator by LA’s most ferocious blogger), it has fallen upon me to root through his beer cellar and review his backlog of spring offerings. Today’s sample; Idiot IPA by Coronado Brewing Company. Highly rated on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer, I was more than willing to do my part and experience this great IPA. Continue reading
After Jeff’s recent expedition to the Santa Ynez Valley I was intrigued by tales of Figueroa Mountain. After all, any tap room with enough class to add a horseshoe pit to their patio is getting off on the right foot with me. So on a recent trip to my local bottle shop I decided to grab some Danish Style Red Lager. I will start by saying that I expected this beer to be good, but not necessarily something in my wheelhouse. It’s not a style I seek out or encounter often, but I was pleasantly surprised by its profile and quality. Continue reading
In this post-recession era of American capitalism, I think it is responsible for consumers and manufacturers alike to seek out quality products in their own backyard. Several brewers come to mind when I think of the symbiotic relationship between the California farmer and local brewers, but with a 132 year old tradition of producing beer exclusively with California-grown ingredients, Ruhstaller Beer is about a century ahead of the curve. Continue reading
Having thoroughly enjoyed my first encounter with Clown Shoes, Blaecorn Unidragon, I am not the least bit surprised that Vampire Slayer acheived an equal quality. The brew is balanced if nothing else and offers a fantastic flavor profile packaged in a creamy, enjoyable body. For lovers of high ABV stouts that get it right in all the right places, this may be one of the better values on the market. Continue reading
Continuing on my quest to conquer the expansive Belgian aisle of Vendome in Toluca Lake, I happened upon Reinaert Flemish Wild Ale by De Proef Brouwerij. Bottles donning things like “Brettanomyces” or “Triple Fermented” rarely miss my basket. Boozey and complex, the brew is tasty and worth a try for lovers of Belgian style ales. Continue reading
There’s a new name in the craft beer scene in LA, Beercentricity, a new group dedicated to sharing the stories behind the beverage we all love to drink. Founded by Josh Gustin, a long time beer enthusiast, the group wants to help foster an appreciation of craft beer for both its innate qualities and the stories behind the beer.
Every once in a while I have a beer that really surprises me. This was the case with Imperial Tanilla by Knee Deep Brewing Co. I went into the experience half expecting to be bombarded by too much vanilla, or worse, a remarkably fake syrupy variety of the flavor. What I discovered was a skillfully crafted porter that defied my expectations and delivered in all the right places. Light yet robust, the beer offers something for lovers of rich dark beer while keeping drinkability high. Continue reading
Arriving a tad early for lunch in the newly renovated section of Far Bar in Little Tokyo, I was pleasantly surprised to see a list of beers from Eagle Rock Brewery being offered for just $4.00 a serving, which was in preparation for the next day’s Eagle Rock Brunch and Sushi Pairing. A fan of Manifesto, their witbier, I had a feeling that the Ginger Saison would be right up my alley. It ended up being a dangerously drinkable brew that I ordered several times over, despite a massive list of alternatives. Available for a limited time, I suggest lovers of the style get it while the getting is good. Continue reading