Thursday, February 6, 2014

Beer #170-178 / Day #34-36: Adventures In Old Man Beer

The week started like any other... the usual workday followed by an evening of sampling new beers:
*BROOKLYN BLAST IPA - Beer #170, a tasty hybrid of English style IPA with some West Coast kick.  I still haven't found any Brooklyn Brewery stock in SoCal.
*FLYING FISH ABBEY DUBBEL - Beer #171, a thick, malty, tasty treat from this Jersey brewer. Another one I don't see in SoCal.
*DESCHUTES / GREAT LAKES COLLABORATION CLASS OF '88 IMPERIAL SMOKED PORTER - Beer #172, Whoa!  This is a beer to find at all costs. This is the most delicious BBQ melted down to liquid form.  The best qualities of a porter and a rauchbier, if they mated and spawned.

PBR is soooo 2010.
The following day, my Wife sent me a message about the Atwater Tavern serving Olympia.  This was my stepdad’s go-to beer for about 30 years straight, until the brewery was sold.  Since then, Oly’s distribution is more limited, and according to the old man, their recipe changed as well. You can’t find it in SoCal, or most of NorCal for that matter.  Of course, by doing this Atwater Tavern is baiting a hook for flannel-clad hipsters who want to try this old staple, more for the irony than for the fact that it’s a marginally palatable lager.  Call it the “new thing” for any beardo who’s sick of drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon.  I got a good chuckle out of it, and didn’t think much of it until it was time for the weekly INFEST union meeting with Domino & Denunzio. 

'Merica... fugg yeah!
This week we patronized Joe's Great American Bar & Grill in Burbank.  This joint is what you expect from your average American bar… semi-attentive service, dreary regulars, average food, and a beer selection on par with the corner liquor store.  And yet, in spite of all of this mundane Americana, I appreciated the fact that they serve shit beer, but without irony. As proof, no PBR!  Joe’s isn’t out to impress anybody.  Take it or leave it.  This is the ideal Old Man Bar with Old Man Beer.  And with our grey beards, Domino and I decided to roll with it.  When in Rome...We kicked it off with a COORS – Beer # 173.  What appealed to me most about this was the retro bottle, a small, fist-sized grenade.  It feels good, and makes you feel American and proud.  Shit, I was ready to buy a shotgun and some camouflage and go duck hunting. This Coors was malty with a sweet finish. I could see getting a stomach ache after a day of drinking these.

Next, we went for ROLLING ROCK EXTRA PALE - Beer #174.  We chose this because I can't remember the last time I saw a Rolling Rock, outside of 1995.  Rolling Rock doesn't taste like anything whatsoever, especially after the Coors. It's like mineral water. Does Crystal Geyser bottle this beer? Devoid of flavor, or anything resembling substance. I didn't know they still made Rolling Rock.  Maybe they don't.  For all I know, this bar is trapped in the '90s and carries leftover dusty cases of Rolling Rock next to the final, remaining bottles of Zima.

First bathroom selfie. Seemed appropriate.
 We finished the Old Man Beer trifecta with an AMSTEL LIGHT - Beer #175. Amstel Light brings back that sense memory of trying my first beer at the age of 13... although that beer was actually an Oly.  It just tastes like "beer".  Not good, not bad, it just "is”.  Years ago, The Wife & I found a copy of the band Ambrosia’s technical rider (list of requirements provided to the club).  One that we’ve never forgotten was a request for a case of “premium beer”, and it noted Amstel Light an example.  Nice, nice, very nice.

Warming up for the Blue Man Group
We left for practice, so I hit a random liquor store on Burbank Blvd, and in spite of the corner store stigma, this place carried a damn good selection of beer, including one I needed to try before it was too late.  At practice Domino & I split the STONE ENJOY BY 02.14.14 IPA - Beer #176.  After our cavalcade of middle-of-the-road beers (or maybe that's end-of-the-road), he compared it to drinking a pine tree. All of the Enjoy By IPAs have that extreme hop crunch, kinda citrusy, and after shitty beer I can see how it also has a bit of a tree-y bite.

Last night, I went back to my fancy 12 ozers with the SANTA FE BREWING PALE ALE - Beer #177, and the SIERRA NEVADA BEER CAMP #94 BELGIAN STYLE BLACK IPA - Beer #178.

From the sublime to the ridiculous, and back to the sublime once again.


  1. Hey Chris! I am a fellow punk/hardcore person and beer nerd. I was just told by Alex Sanchez that you are a beer fan too and that you have a blog about it. I just added you as a friend on Untappd too. Anyways, I enjoy the blog and your music. Cheers!

    Rich Booher

    PS I think we may have met once a long time ago in the late 90s or something when Spazz played the PCH Club. I was in a band called Dirty Dirt & the Dirts at the time and we played a really long fest there with you guys once.

  2. Nice to hear from you, Rich! Welcome aboard!