Stone Saison – Stone Brewing

Stone Saison labelI like to think I have my finger on the pulse of Southern California beer, and for the most part I can say that I know a good deal of whats going on and coming up in the LA beer scene. Stone Saison was the exception to this. When they posted the picture on Twitter, I wasn’t sure if it was an early April fools joke or not. After talking about it with Brewmaster Mitch Steele and getting to try it myself, I can attest that this beer is no joke. Continue reading

The Messenger – Noble Ale Works / Three Weavers

Noble Ale Works Three Weavers The Messenger pourI’ve been a big fan of Noble Ale Works for a while now, but haven’t gotten around to writing about them because their bottles are a bit hard to find at times. But the other night one literally landed in my lap and I knew it was time to make it happen. The Messenger is a “Citrusy IPA” made in collaboration with Three Weavers and, as always, is another great IPA from Noble and promises great things to come from Three Weavers.

For anyone who’s new to the greater LA beer scene or been under a rock for the past year, Noble Ale Works is based in Anaheim, CA and have been knocking it out of the park with some really great beers like Naughty Sauce, their golden milk stout with coffee, and their Showers IPA series, with the current release being the Simcoe Showers double IPA. Three Weavers on the other hand is just getting started. They have only a few days left on their Kickstarter campaign, but they are on their way to being up and running in Inglewood in the very near future. Continue reading

Tony’s Darts Away 4th Anniversary / IPA Release

Tony's before renovation.

Tony’s before renovation.

It’s hard to believe today, but not so long ago Burbank and the surrounding area was a craft beer wasteland. Then, small breweries and other craft establishments began popping up all over Los Angeles in the dawn of this new wave of craft beer. There was a growing demand for a local spot to serve those in the Burbank and the Toluca Lake area. Rising to this challenge was Tony’s Darts Away, a re-imagined version of an existing bar dating back to 1978.

Prior to its purchase and redesign this Magnolia Blvd dive bar was known for cheap beer, dart games, and colorful stories of infamous locals, including an incident involving a one-legged man being put through a table. (As relayed by Craig Berry of La-Beer-Blog) Continue reading

Game of Thrones – Fire And Blood Red Ale – Ommegang

Ommegang Game of Thrones Fire and Blood Red Ale labelIf you haven’t noticed yet, Game of Thrones is about to start-up again (as evident by the billboards all over town). To coincide with this, the next beer in Ommegang’s Game of Thrones series has been introduced. This time around the beer is the Fire and Blood Red Ale, an homage to the motto of House Targaryen and taking inspiration from the rebirth of Daenerys Targaryen’s three dragons, Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion.

The brewers at Ommegang took inspiration for this brew from the nomadic nature of the House Targaryen, choosing to include rye and spelt as they are both fermentable grains that can be found in desert like climates. To represent the dragons of House Targaryen, they added de-seeded ancho chiles to the brew to give it an ever so slight kick. For the bottle release they created three different labels for the beer, one for each of Daenerys’ dragons, that will be randomly mixed in each case. Continue reading

Mikhail’s Odd – Stone Brewing

Stone Mikhail's Odd labelStone has been pumping out a great imperial Russian stout for many years now, but for the most part they have stuck with what works and haven’t made many changes. The few exceptions include the very rare 2008 bourbon barrel aged version and the 2013 Espresso variant, both of which received very high ratings and praises across the net. So this year the brewers at Stone decided to grace us with two barrel aged versions of Imperial Russian Stout, Fyodor’s Classic and Mikhail’s Odd. As the names might indicate, Fyodor’s Classic is bourbon barrel aged 2013 Imperial Russian Stout and Mikhail’s Odd is bourbon barrel aged 2013 Espresso Russian Imperial Stout. Continue reading

329 Lager – Golden Road

20140321-235952.jpgGolden Road has made a decent name for themselves with their IPAs and hefeweizen, but have never ventured into the bottom fermenting world of lagers. That changes with the introduction of 329 Lager, an easy drinking beer that pays homage to our generally agreeable climate here in Southern California. The name of the beer comes from the statistic that Los Angeles averages 329 days of sunny weather a year, a fact to which most of the rest of the country shakes their fists at us for.

Though not exactly a very adventurous beer in style or ingredients, that’s kind of its mission. Golden Road hope to appeal to those who may not be accustomed to some of the more intense styles and flavors that have become synonymous with the craft beer scene. That being said, they still wanted to make a beer they would enjoy. To keep things interesting they used Bravo, Tradition, and Opal hops to give the beer a nice mix of grassy, floral, and citrus notes. Continue reading

Casks & Barleywines This Weekend: Firkfest and Sam Fest

FirkfestThis weekend has two great events to look forward to. The first is a bit out of my usual radius, but guarantees to be a great time. Firkfest is the the creation of Greg Nagel of OC Beer Blog and Brad Kominek of Noble Ale Works. For those not up on their lingo, a firkin is the container in which cask ale is fermented and eventually served from. In the craft beer scene, cask ales have been a way of playing with different beers by adding hops, spices, and fruits to create interesting one off beers. So as you might have guessed, Firkfest will be featuring casks from 30 Southern California breweries. The event will be held at Farmers Park in Anaheim on Saturday March 22, 2014. Your ticket gets you unlimited pours from noon to 4pm and a commemorative glass. Tickets run $50, but we’ve got a special discount code that brings the price down to $40. Just use the code MOTHERCOLONY during checkout. Continue reading

Feral One – Firestone Walker

Firestone Walker Feral One labelFirestone Walker reached a milestone for their Barrelworks wild beer endeavor, their first bottled sour. Feral One represents a cuvée of their efforts over the last few years and the beginning of more great things to come.

Since its beginnings, several of Firestone Walker’s brewers have been playing around with wild beers, at times hiding barrels under blankets in the back of the Paso Robles brewery. In January 2013, Firestone Walker legitimized their wild beer efforts by establishing the Barrelworks at their secondary facility in Buellton, CA. Since then, they have been serving up their sour and funky brews in there Barrelworks taproom as well as bringing out kegs for some special events, like Walker’s Wild Ride. Continue reading

Beer Preview: Firestone Walker Easy Jack

Firestone Walker Easy Jack labelWell it turns out my predictions were right last week. Firestone Walker debuted their brand new session IPA, Easy Jack, at the release of Feral One. I was lucky enough to be there to get to try it and get all the fresh dirt on the future of this brew.

So let’s recap a bit first. Last year Firestone Walker announced that they’d be retiring two beers, Reserve Porter and Solace, to make way for Opal, a dry hopped saison, and Easy Jack, a session IPA. For a quick primer on what exactly a session IPA is check out my review of Pizza Port Ponto SIPA. This beer really doesn’t come as much of a surprise with almost every major player in craft beer getting a session IPA on the market, but something that they’d surely put their own spin on. Continue reading