|It's this guy's fault...|
Now in 2014 Witte and I are still close friends, despite the massive East-West mileage gap. And when one of his current bands Municipal Waste asked one of my bands To The Point to open for them on a two-show SoCal stint, it was a no-brainer. Appropriately enough, the first show in LA was sponsored by Pabst Brewing. In addition to the gigs, Dave & I agreed to dedicate as many hours as possible to serious beering.
Witte flew in on Thursday, and we hit the ground running with a visit to the GLENDALE TAP, a former hole in the wall, scary dive bar turned hipster haven. They sport a rapidly rotating list of drafts and some impressive bottles to boot. Definitely a destination for flannel-clad, bearded 20-somethings pursuing the latest in “craft” offerings. We met up with Adam Greenwood, the bassist who replaced me a few years ago in the line-up for the band Despise You, to share some braus & discuss ideas for a possible beer-focused webseries. I tried an ALMANAC beer I surprisingly didn’t love, GOLDEN GATE GOSE, but the brewery’s name was quickly redeemed when I ordered the solid ALMANAC IPA. We all ordered several rounds of unique brews, and shared tastes of everything around the table. Several selections pleased me immensely… THE BRUERY TRADE WINDS TRIPEL WITH THAI BASIL, EPIC BREWING BRAINLESS ON PEACHES, LOGSDON FARMHOUSE ALES OAK AGED BRETTA, and EPIC BREWING IMPERIAL STOUT. Not bad for a weeknight.
Friday night was the self-described Pabst “Nuclear Keg Party” at the Echoplex. The line of long haired, black T-shirt clad partiers awaiting entry was easily a quarter mile down the block to Echo Park. My band To The Point was opening the show at 9pm, and I was looking forward to getting it over with. I sort of enjoy performing, but when I’m in the opening band, it’s even less exciting, and my main focus is to get through it without any major catastrophes so I can relax and enjoy the rest of the show. LA has always been one of my favorite places to play, and tonight was no different. Witte’s headlining band Municipal Waste has a large and loyal following. They’re also a traditional ‘80s style thrash metal band, whereas To The Point is awkward, stop & start hardcore punk, devoid of metal or solos. Would we go over well with this crowd? I breathed a sigh of relief when the room responded positively, immediately moshing, cheering, sharing beers and clearly ready to party.
Our band is slightly
out of our element on a “real” stage, as we’re more accustomed to playing on an
impromptu set up in a rented hall or warehouse. Despite the silly “rock”
smoke machine, and the illuminated Pabst neon sign behind us, the set felt
good, and we actually sounded pretty damn solid from what I could tell. Mission accomplished, I
relaxed in the cramped backstage, hunting for something non-Pabst to
consume. Witte has a serious contingent of friends and fans who are well
aware of his beer acumen, so there were a few rounds of nice bottles brought
back and hidden under the mountain
of PBRs. Reaching
into the chilly tubs, bobbing for beer, I pulled out bottle after bottle of
quality brau, most of which I had already tried this year. Eventually, a
few surfaced which were new for my list, and despite the crazed atmosphere, the backstage revelers displayed proper decorum by passing around bottles to share
for tasting. GREAT DIVIDE BREWING SHOWDOWN RYE IPA, HERETIC BREWING EVIL TWIN,
and BALLAST POINT FATHOM IPL were the few that were new for me. I missed
the middle band The Shrine, distracted by catching up with old friends and
Then it was the moment everyone waited for: The
Waste. They haven’t played in a while, but you could have fooled
me. The playing was flawless, the crowd was whipped into a relentless
frenzy from the first note to the last. Garbage cans were thrown.
Beer was sprayed in every direction. Middle-aged dudes who haven’t done a
stage dive in 10-20 years were doing stage dives. Pants were pulled
down. Backflips off stage. Sweat. Mayhem. Best of all,
everyone was smiling. The show was over somewhat early, so The Wife and I
stopped in to The Red Lion, sharing a couple German braus for a quick
nitecap. The kitchen was closed. The beer was decent. The
crowd was young, and definitely not “our people”. We called it a night
& I had to be content with only five claimable beers for the day. Not
|To The Pabst|
|The Wife and The Waste|
|Log Em All|
Our second show was supposed to be Saturday, but was inexplicably moved to Sunday. Saturday was now an “off day”. No matter. There’s plenty of untapped tasting opportunities in LA and The OC. We picked up Witte’s buddy from ASCAP Etan Rosenbloom and headed down to Placentia to THE BRUERY. This was a first time for us all, and in retrospect I’m kicking myself in the ass for waiting so long to make the pilgrimage here. Not only does this establishment create some of the most innovative, pioneering, and all-around tasty brews, but after continually raising the bar of excellence so high, likewise their prices have followed suit. Aside from a handful of flagship beers that retail around $8-12, the standard for Bruery output seems to be in the $20-30 range these days. Way too rich for my blood, so imagine how stoked I was to discover their tasting room offered roughly 30 of their unique beers, and all available as reasonably priced samplers, as cheap as $1 each. Between the four of us we ordered multiple samplers which we shared, and ended up blasting through a good 26 tasters, most of which were new to my Big Year. Way to rack ‘em up. A few truly limited beers were on a separate lists for “members only”, but the staff was kind enough to let us sample the FLOYD D’RUE collaboration beer with 3 FLOYDS, a rum barrel aged imperial porter which, frankly, tasted like Jagermeister. This destination is a must for any serious or adventurous beer drinker. Each new taster was as delectable as the previous. With this many incredible beers, I decided my usual note-taking was absurd. The stock descriptions of each brew said it all. And each one was pure perfection.
|A Noble attempt at tasting everything|
At this point, Etan had loosened up, and was clearly a sheet or two into the wind. He hinted repeatedly and not so subtly about stopping at taco trucks if we “wanted to”. We were full, but it kept coming up, so clearly this fella was starving. Heading back from behind The Orange Curtain, up to LA, we made a pit stop in Boyle Heights, which by chance lead us to a destination I had heard about but never sought out: RAMIREZ BEVERAGE CENTER Located in one of the most unlikely areas of LA, half of this store is like a beer supermarket, with numerous bottles I’ve never seen in California, like Bell’s Brewery. I’m convinced this is one of the only destinations in the country where you’ll find cholos with neck tattoos discussing the attributes of fruity esters in specialty beers. Witte and I purchased a few bottles to share, shuttled Etan home, and headed back to my place for swimming, chilling, and beering, with a quick evening detour to visit Grill Em All’s Ryan & Kevine Harkins for some burgers, dogs, and braus. But we weren’t partying tonight. Tomorrow we were leaving early, in search of the Holy Grail.
Back in October 2012, Witte invited a ton of friends to meet up in Denver at the Great American Beer Festival, indisputably the largest beerfest in the country. I was the only one who didn’t flake. Thanks to some press passes, we were able to gain immediate access to each GABF session without cramming our way in behind tens of thousands of eager, unwashed masses. The very first booth Witte insisted on visiting was Alpine Beer Company. I live in California & I’d never heard of them, yet they’re only about two and a half hours south of where I live. He excitedly gushed about what a revelation their Duet IPA was, and he was right, as usual. It was an unparalleled hop bomb, rivaled only by classics of the genre like Pliny. Since that day, every time Witte has visited Southern California, he has mentioned, “We should visit Alpine”. Our time has always been limited, and as great as Alpine is, a five hour road trip usually doesn’t sound too appealing.
|Alpine photo bomb|
This visit was different. Our second show was in San Diego. We had all day to explore breweries. We hit the road at 9am, made a pit stop in Boyle Heights for breakfast tacos from a street vendor, and made a beeline for the promised land of Alpine, jamming ‘70s prog rock the whole way. Deep Purple, Kansas, Ambrosia. Slightly later than we hoped, but still early enough to beat the rush, we hit the rustic mountain town of Alpine, roughly 30 minutes east of SD proper. This is one of those small towns where all of the local businesses take the easy way out and name themselves after the town itself. Alpine Lumber. Alpine Bowling. Alpine Real Estate. Alpine Pest Control. Alpine Books. At last… ALPINE BEER COMPANY, a small and unassuming brewery on the main (and only) drag through town. Unless you were in the know, you’d have no clue that this place is masturbatory fodder for beer geeks nationwide.
It was lunchtime and fortunately they not only served taster flights, but they had a café. We ordered tasters of everything available, which ended up being 12 different beers. A few of them I had already enjoyed this year, but most were new for my 2014 list, including the majority of their legendary IPAs, of both the flagship and the obscure variety. Their non-IPA beers are decent but nothing to write home about, with the exception of the exceptional BOURBON BARREL AGED ODIN'S RAVEN, but their IPAs are world class, and highly sought after in beer geek circles. There it was, flowing freely, the godly DUET, along with the LUPULIN STAR, the sessionable BABY FACE, PURE HOPPINESS (which I had already proudly claimed this year as Beer #1,000), and the proprietary in-house blend DU-HOP, a mix of Duet and Pure Hoppiness. We chowed on the beef-and-an-egg-with-gravy-over-fries “poutine”, served on a paper plate with a plastic fork, shared every beer in the house, and chatted up the friendly staff. This day was already absolute perfection, and we were just kicking it off.
|The Promised Land|
Next stop, we headed back West to the industrial parks and hit SOCIETE BREWING COMPANY. I had sampled some of their brews this time last year at the Mammoth Bluesapalooza beer fest, and I recall walking away with a so-so impression of their output. This visit was the polar opposite. We loitered in their vast tasting room, and sampled every single beer, and there wasn’t a single one that could even be considered “average”. These folks know exactly what they’re doing. All were extremely impressive and distinct, not to mention all 13 we tasted were unique to my Big Year and claimable. Great single hop IPAs, nice stouts, rich Belgian styles, they’ve got it all.
|Products of Societe|
|Intergalactic sans Beastie Boys|
Witte and I detoured to my Dad’s house, to check in, drop off our bags, and spend some brief quality time visiting, since we were crashing there for the evening. Daddy Dodge has always been supportive of my endeavors, even when he doesn’t fully understand them. Their guest room was taken over by a momma cat and five kittens who they recently agreed to foster. I volunteered to crash on the couch. Witte eagerly claimed the room with the family of cats.
We drove downtown to load-in to the Casbah, tonight’s shoebox of a venue, and a staple of the San Diego underground music scene for 20 years. Directly in the flight path and less than half a mile from the International Airport, this club has a capacity of maybe 130, but San Diego has never been a big turnout kinda town. San Diegans do everything possible to make you aware that they aren’t second fiddle to Los Angeles, secretly aware that they really are. Municipal Waste could easily fill an 800 capacity venue in LA, but 130 people is oddly a challenge to lure into a venue in SD.
It was still early, and fortunately we were within walking distance of Little Italy. While we should have invested some quality time at Bottlecraft, instead we hit BALLAST POINT for food and samplers of their “R&D” beers which are constantly revolving taps of experimental brews. My last experience a few months prior at Ballast Point’s Old Grove location was phenomenal, despite the crowds; each beer a revelation in brewing excellence. This time…. well…. not so much. The majority of the R&D beers this time around were so indistinct, I had difficult time figuring out which one was which. And the food was surprisingly sub-par. So much so that I felt like I needed a diaper the minute we left the tasting room.
This day was the finale of the legendary San Diego Comic-Con, so the neighborhood was riddled with out of town geeks of every shape and size. I silently chuckled at the sight of old dudes carrying huge bags of swag, wearing Captain America shirts. I scoffed, but is it any more embarrassing than middle aged dudes like myself wearing black T-shirts of old punk bands? And driving hours away from home to play noisy music and barely get paid gas money? And to do it for a good 30 years straight? Now who’s the real out of town geek?
|No Clash jokes, please|
The show kicked off at a reasonable hour with local thrash metal acts Eukaryst and Witchaven, two tight, and energetic bands, followed by yours truly and To The Point. As with the LA show, we were a fast hardcore punk band on a basically all-metal bill. Unlike the LA show, in SD we went over like a lead balloon. The second I spoke into the mic I wished I had brought a pin with me, so I could hear it drop. While the crowd wasn’t antagonistic in any way, they were also completely non-responsive, and completely non-stoked that we were on stage absorbing valuable life minutes from them that should have been occupied by pure metal instead. I was in this situation in 1986 with my high school skate punk band Legion Of Doom, and I reacted indignantly, urging everyone in the room to “support the scene” while they mercilessly heckled me and told me to do things like “play the skin flute”. 28 years and countless shows later I knew better. We were out of our element. Who cares. There’s no way to really win, so just have fun with it… don’t mock the crowd, have a good time, and maybe a few individuals will eventually warm up. As it turned out, what started as an arctic blast of a reception, eventually melted into a smattering of polite applause and minor participation towards the end of the set. I headed to an air-conditioned corner to drink Bulliet Rye shots while Municipal Waste righteously and rightfully rocked the Casbah (yeah, I had to say the obvious).
A little after midnight, we were already packed up & ready to go. Dave and I were up for a quick nightcap, but with it being late on a Sunday, we were S.O.L. The anticipated spots were not open til the usual 2am tonight. We cruised North Park. No Toronado. No Modern Times. Total bust. Whatever. It was getting late, and we were better off going to bed. After all, we had another day of tasting ahead of us, so it’s best to cut our loses and head back to Pop’s. I flopped around the whole evening on a stiff, uneven couch, while Dave tossed and turned in the other room, randomly tormented by kittens leaping in every direction and batting him in the face.
Monday we awoke bleary eyed, but ready to roll. After a quick family breakfast full of meat and starch, Witte and I drove to the ocean to visit PIZZA PORT OCEAN BEACH as soon as they opened. All Pizza Port locations are famous for brewing their own raster of formidable proprietary beers. Witte introduced me to head brewer “Nacho” and we requested our standard tasters: “One of everything”. Soon enough we were joined by a few of the members of last night’s opener Eukaryst. Bassist Gino Fontana works here as well, and this young man is living the dream. He’s a 20-something metal dude in a beautiful beach city, who landed a job making the best pizzas in town, learned at work how to make the best beer in town, and has now brewed his own beer, named after his band, which is for sale at Pizza Port: EUKARYST SINISTER IMPERIAL STOUT. Hell, they even taped a music video in the brewery itself. Sadly, the keg was blown when Witte and I arrived, so out of 17 proprietary beers we sampled, Sinister was not one of them. These were metal dudes, who really could have given two shits who I was, but I was with Witte, The Master, who has basically set the benchmark for extreme music over the past two decades, and these guys knew it, so by association I was hooked up.
|Livin' the dream, you wish you were this guy|
Dave needed to return his gear, and his car, and make it to LAX for a late flight. Even though it was noon, I was aware of the impending horrors of Southland traffic, so we reluctantly left San Diego County earlier than either of us wanted to. After a long drive, stops at Paiste, and a drum rental spot, we didn’t reach my house until about 6pm, starved and a little cranky from lack of food and beer. I popped a couple bottles, we snacked, then headed to the South Bay to return his car. Everything in LA takes a long time, and this was no exception. Although we envisioned a day filled with non-stop beer, at this point we only had an hour before Witte had to be at LAX for his red-eye home, so we wrapped up the weekend at NAJA'S PLACE at the Redondo Beach Pier. A local legend for their 88 taps, it’s a spot I’ve always wanted to like, but have always had a difficult time doing so. This evening was no different. There was hardly anyone there on a Monday night, yet the small handful of drinkers present were even louder than the “new country” horseshit being blasted at volume 11. The view of the small harbor was picturesque, the weather this evening was perfect, the beer itself was great, but I just didn’t want to be here. After a token Pliny, and a few other tastes, we ran to LAX, and the Beer Guru ascended towards the East like the great, hoppy Buddha that he is.
Thursday 7/24 – New Release tasting at Vendome, a few at home, and a trip to Glendale Tap
1463 - SURF BREWERY SHAKA CITRA IPA - Tropical fruit, mildly bitter, and clean like a session IPA.
1464 - SHMALTZ BREWING HE'BREW ST. LENNY'S BELGIAN RYE DOUBLE IPA – Heavy on the rye, mild caramel finish, slight bite almost like a rauchbier.
1465 - ALASKAN BREWING PILOT SERIES IMPERIAL RED – Roasty caramel, malt, and fruit.
1466 - THE BRUERY SMOKING WOOD BOURBON BARREL AGED (2014) – Heavy smoke & chocolate, a superior smoked imperial rye porter, so crazy good I had to buy a bottle for later.
1467 - SIERRA NEVADA / BALLAST POINT COLLABORATION BEER CAMP ELECTRIC RAY IPL - The Bruery Humulus is still king of all IPLs, but this is a close 2nd.
1468 - SIERRA NEVADA / ASHEVILLE BREWERS ALLIANCE COLLABORATION TATER RIDGE SCOTTISH ALE - Brewed with sweet potatoes. These guys are getting wacky now.
1469 - SIERRA NEVADA / ALLAGASH COLLABORATION MYRON'S WALK BELGIAN STYLE PALE ALE - Sounds boring, tastes excellent. I love this one.
1470 - THE LOST ABBEY SERPENT'S STOUT - Oily and awesome, better than most Lost Abbey ales
1471 - ALMANAC GOLDEN GATE GOSE - Second Almanac beer I didn't love, I'm tasting rosemary.
1472 - THE BRUERY TRADE WINDS TRIPEL WITH THAI BASIL - Just killer, they didn't go over the top, just hints of spice to keep it perfectly balanced.
1473 - ALMANAC IPA - Crisp full bodied and damn good, tastes like a double.
1474 - NINKASI BREWING TRICERAHOPS DOUBLE IPA - Malty, hoppy, well rounded, perfectly executed.
1475 - EPIC BREWING BRAINLESS ON PEACHES - Excellent. I don't taste the cask but it's a nice, evenly balanced mildly fruity brau.
1476 - LOGSDON FARMHOUSE ALES OAK AGED BRETTA - One of the best, killer saison that stands out from your average farmhouse ale.
1477 - EPIC BREWING IMPERIAL STOUT – Mildly hoppy, way impressive, dense
1478 - STONE BREWING IMPERIAL RUSSIAN STOUT (2014) – Excellent, thick & chocolatey
Friday 7/25 – Echoplex backstage and a quick visit to the Red Lion.
1479 - GREAT DIVIDE BREWING SHOWDOWN RYE IPA – Yum.
1480 - HERETIC BREWING EVIL TWIN – Tasty mildly hoppy imperial red.
1481 - BALLAST POINT FATHOM IPL – Lighter like a session IPA, I dig it.
1482 – WARSTEINER PREMIUM DUNKEL - One of two late night at the Red Lion Inn, this one was better than the Landbier.
1483 - BRAUEREI VELTINS GREVENSTEINER LANDBIER – S’OK but I wouldn’t order it again.
Saturday 7/26 – The Bruery tasting room. Mind = blown. Noble tasting room. Then several closer to home. I spent my time enjoying, and practically no time taking notes.
1484 - THE BRUERY FLOYD D'RUE – Bourbon barrel aged imperial porter…. Tastes like a Jager shot
1485 - THE BRUERY BOIS FUME – Bourbon barrel aged old ale, smoked porter blend
1486 - THE BRUERY SUCRE BOURBON BARREL AGED – Bourbon barrel aged English style old ale
1487 - THE BRUERY 5 GOLDEN RINGS BOURBON BARREL AGED – Bourbon barrel aged golden ale with pineapple, cinnamon, and allspice
1488 - THE BRUERY THE WANDERER – Dark sour ale with blackberries & cherries
1489 - THE BRUERY HUMULUS HBC 462 – Very light single hopped blonde ale
1490 - THE BRUERY BERAZZLED – Sour blonde with raspberries
1491 - THE BRUERY OUDE TART (2014) – Sour Flemish-style red ale aged in wine barrels
|Never trust a skinny beer drinker|
1493 - THE BRUERY COUVERTEUR – Belgian dubbel with cacao nibs and vanilla beans
1494 - THE BRUERY SOUR IN THE RYE WITH PINEAPPLE AND COCONUT
1495 - THE BRUERY OUDE TART (2012) - Sour Flemish-style red ale aged in wine barrels
1496 - THE BRUERY BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS – New American oak Anniversary ale with 20% maple syrup aged in Fess Parker port barrels
1497 - THE BRUERY SAISON RUE (2014) – Farmhouse-style saison
1498 - THE BRUERY / BOTTLE LOGIC COLLABORATION TUMESCENCE – Saison brewed with fruit and herbs
1499 - THE BRUERY TART OF DARKNESS WITH CACAO & VANILLA – Sour stout with cacao and vanilla
1500 - THE BRUERY AUTUMN MAPLE BOURBON BARREL AGED
1501 - THE BRUERY HUMULUS HBC 430 – Another variation on the single hopped blonde ale, I recall this one was better than the HBC 462
1502 - THE BRUERY TART OF DARKNESS (2014) – Legendary sour barrel aged stout
1503 - NOBLE ALE WORKS SIPPER-SAURUS – Mexican style lager, served with a lime, made by Tyler King from The Bruery.
1504 - NOBLE ALE WORKS CUDDLE PUDDLE – German style Sticke Alt bier created by the brewer from TAPS
1505 - NOBLE ALE WORKS ALEXANDRA NOWELL'S TRANSPACIFIC SAISON – Created by one of the brewers from the up & coming Inglewood brewery Three Weavers. Probably my favorite Noble of the day.
1506 - NOBLE ALE WORKS BREAKAWAY PALE ALE – Hoppy and easy drinking.
1507 - NOBLE ALE WORKS PINK & YELLOW – Like a Summer Shandy, but really, really freakin’ good.
1508 - CUCAPA BREWING LOOKOUT BLONDE ALE – One of the only Mexican “craft” breweries I’ve had the opportunity to try. Perfect pool beer. Good thing we were actually in the pool when we shared it.
1509 - FREIGEIST BIERKULTUR FREIGEIST GEISTERZUG – A “spruced traditional gose”. Piney and herby, funky and good.
1510 - BRASSERIE DE SILLY SILLY SOUR – This is a really nice sour, Silly.
1511 - ANGEL CITY BREWERY DARK RYE LAGER BOURBON BARREL (2014) – Never seen this before. Glad to see something new from Angel City finally. Heavy rye and malty deliciousness.
1512 – AVERY SALVATION – Left over from the Echoplex stash. Avery is flawless.
1513 - GOLDEN ROAD CABRILLO KOLSCH – Their flagship canned kolsch, reliable and tasty as hell.
Sunday 7/27 – San Diego County tour with The Master. A crazy amount of tasting, but hardly any note-taking. Not necessary.
1514 - ALPINE BEER COMPANY WILLY VANILLY – Vanilla added to the Willy lager.
1515 - ALPINE BEER COMPANY MANDARIN NECTAR – OK, not a favorite
1516 - ALPINE BEER COMPANY IRISH RED – Good.
1517 - ALPINE BEER COMPANY CAPTAIN STOUT – Good.
1518 - ALPINE BEER COMPANY BOURBON BARREL AGED ODIN'S RAVEN – I’ve never even seen the standard Odin’s Raven stout, let alone this treat.
1519 - ALPINE BEER COMPANY BABY FACE – Excellent session IPA
1520 - ALPINE BEER COMPANY LUPULIN STAR – Now you’re talking.
1521 - ALPINE BEER COMPANY DUET – This is the beer that started it all for me & Witte. Perfection.
1523 - SOCIETE BREWING THE BACHELOR AMARILLO SINGLE HOP IPA
1524 - SOCIETE BREWING THE BACHELOR CITRA SINGLE HOP IPA
1525 - SOCIETE BREWING THE BACHELOR MOSAIC SINGLE HOP IPA
1526 - SOCIETE BREWING THE APPRENTICE IPA
1527 - SOCIETE BREWING THE PUPIL IPA
1528 - SOCIETE BREWING THE PUGILIST DRY STOUT
1529 - SOCIETE BREWING THE BUTCHER IMPERIAL STOUT
1530 - SOCIETE BREWING THE PUBLICAN HOPPY ALE – Smooth n’ hoppy, good one
1531 - SOCIETE BREWING THE SCRAPPER SD DARK ALE – Very tasty & malty and a bit o’ hops
1532 - SOCIETE BREWING THE GLEANER SAISON WITH CALIFORNIA SAGEBRUSH – Awesome and refreshing with fruity esters up the wazoo
1533 - SOCIETE BREWING THE HARLOT BELGIAN BLONDE – Extra piney and sagey
1534 - SOCIETE BREWING THE MADAM BELGIAN STRONG GOLDEN – A tropical fruit bomb
1536 - WHITE LABS PEANUT BUTTER CUP PORTER WLP013 LONDON YEAST – Candy corn, big time
1537 - WHITE LABS PEANUT BUTTER CUP PORTER WLP380 HEFEWEIZEN YEAST – More pure PB essence
1538 - WHITE LABS LEEUWENHOEK SAISON WLP670 AMERICAN FARMHOUSE YEAST BLEND
1539 - WHITE LABS PASTEUR PORTER WLP006 BEDFORD BRITISH YEAST
1540 - WHITE LABS PASTEUR PORTER WLP051 CALIFORNIA ALE V YEAST
1541 - WHITE LABS PASTEUR PORTER WLP005 BRITISH ALE YEAST
1542 - WHITE LABS PASTEUR PORTER WLP862 CRY HAVOC LAGER YEAST
1543 - INTERGALACTIC BREWING WORMHOLE WIT
1544 - INTERGALACTIC BREWING BROWN COAT ALE
1545 - INTERGALACTIC BREWING ANDROMEDA IPA
1546 - INTERGALACTIC BREWING RED SHIRT #21 IMPERIAL IPA
1547 - INTERGALACTIC BREWING PLANET INVADER RUSSIAN IMPERIAL STOUT
1548 - INTERGALACTIC BREWING BEAM ME UP SCOTCH ALE WEE HEAVY – Why didn’t they call this “Beam Me Up, Scotchy”? A missed opportunity.
1550 - BALLAST POINT Q.U.A.F.F. ROGGENBIER
1551 - BALLAST POINT LUNGFISH OAK SMOKED HELLES LAGER
1552 - BALLAST POINT ALT HANDS ON DECK
1553 - BALLAST POINT REEL BOSSES AMERICAN WHEAT WITH FRUIT
1554 - BALLAST POINT SALES AND ALES AGAVE CREAM ALE
Monday 7/28 – Trying everything at Pizza Port Ocean Beach with Witte, and wrapping up at home. Again, not interested in note taking. Just focusing on enjoying what we’re tasting.
1555 - PIZZA PORT (OCEAN BEACH) TEAR DOWN THE WALL BERLINER WEISSE
1556 - PIZZA PORT (OCEAN BEACH) OC CHRONIC AMBER
1557 - PIZZA PORT (OCEAN BEACH) NERF HERDER ENGLISH DARK MILD
1558 - PIZZA PORT (OCEAN BEACH) MICANO QUAD-DIZZLE BELGIAN QUAD WITH RAISINS
1559 - PIZZA PORT (OCEAN BEACH) CHINGON IMPERIAL IPA WITH MANGO, LIME ZEST, & CAYENNE
1560 - PIZZA PORT (OCEAN BEACH) NORSE WOMAN IPA
1561 - PIZZA PORT (OCEAN BEACH) BRONX BOMBER IMPERIAL IPA
1562 - PIZZA PORT (OCEAN BEACH) JETTY IPA
1563 - PIZZA PORT (OCEAN BEACH) NO SURF CREAM ALE
1564 - PIZZA PORT (OCEAN BEACH) SHARK BITE HOPPY RED
1565 - PIZZA PORT (OCEAN BEACH) GUILLAUME BELGIAN STYLE WIHTE
1566 - PIZZA PORT (OCEAN BEACH) SUNSET CLIFFS SAISON
1567 - PIZZA PORT (OCEAN BEACH) LA FLAMA DORADA TRIPEL
1568 - PIZZA PORT (OCEAN BEACH) ABRAHAM DRINKIN' AMERICAN WHEAT
1569 - PIZZA PORT (OCEAN BEACH) BEER HUNTER EPISODE 2 SAISON WITH KIWI
1570 - PIZZA PORT (OCEAN BEACH) LUKE SKYGUY PALE ALE
1571 - THORN ST. BREWERY SPICY SESSION – Lovin’ chile beers this year. This one is right up there with all the awesome Thorn St. output.
1572 - HERMITAGE BREWING CITRA SINGLE HOP IPA – Damn good. Thanks Chris Wilder for enlightening me to this brewery that I’d written off in previous years.
1573 - NOGNE O #100 BARLEY WINE – What’s Norwegian for “Yum”?
1574 - DRAKE'S BREWING AROMA COMA – Seasonal IPA, I’m a frake for Drake’s
1575 - FACTION BREWING OATMEAL STOUT – Naja’s Place, Redondo Beach – Despite the new country being blasted at volume 11, and the douchey patrons, still a great view and a good selection of unique brews. Really taking a cotton to this newer Alameda, CA brewery.
Tuesday 7/29 – Home Sweet Home
1576 - SIERRA NEVADA / RUSSIAN RIVER COLLBORATION BEER CAMP YVAN THE GREAT HOPPY BLONDE
1577 - ALASKAN BREWING ICY BAY IPA
1578 - SIERRA NEVADA / VICTORY COLLABORATION BEER CAMP ALT ROUTE
1579 - EVIL TWIN / STILLWATER / STONE COLLABORATION THE PERFECT CRIME BLACK SMOKED SAISON
Wednesday 7/30 – Date Night at home watching the premiere of Sharknado 2
1580 - THREE FLOYDS ALPHA KING – Legendary. My co-worker Sean Casey truly my hero for bringing this back from Chicago.
1581 - STEVE ENDERS HOMEBREW (PALO ALTO, CA) OAKED CITRA – When is some brewery going to hire this guy. Every homebrew I’ve had from Mr. Enders is the end-all be-all.
1582 - GOOSE ISLAND BEER CO. PERE JACQUES (2013) – Whoa, I forgot how good Goose Island could be. Thanks Sean Casey for bringing this back from The Windy City.
1583 – AVERY KARMA BELGIAN STYLE PALE ALE – Avery always delivers, but the previous 3 are tough acts to follow.
Thursday 7/31 – After work tasters at Tony’s, and a few late night tasters on the town with The Wife
1584 - PORT BREWING GROMMET SESSION IPA – Yum.
1585 - BLACK DIAMOND BREWING RAMPAGE IMPERIAL IPA – Heavy duty, didn’t know Black Diamond was this good.
1586 - KNEE DEEP BREWING HOPOHOLIC 4x IPA – Strangely enough not as over the top potent as expected.
1587 - THE LOST ABBEY JUDGMENT DAY BELGIAN QUAD - OK
1588 - BALLAST POINT STEAMBOAT BLACK LAGER – Oh baby that’s good. I’m a sucker for black lagers.
1590 - GREAT DIVIDE BREWING CLAYMORE SCOTCH ALE – Wee heavy, and way tasty.
1591 - OMMEGANG WITTE – At The Falls, DTLA. Really good. Named after my beer BBF. Not really, but he gets people sending him pics of this beer weekly.
1592 - EPIC BREWING CO. CAPT'N CROMPTON'S PALE ALE – Tasty.
1593 - CRAFTSMAN BREWING POPPYFIELDS – S’OK
1594 - THE LOST ABBEY AVANT GARDE - OK
1595 - CRAFTSMAN BREWING URSA MINOR – A drinkable sour from Craftsman
1596 - EVIL TWIN BREWING ASHTRAY HEART SMOKED IMPERIAL STOUT – At the Hermosillo, inky, smoky, perfection.
1597 - LOST COAST BREWING TANGERINE WHEAT – Soda pop. Blech.
1598 - TUCHER BRAU TUCHER HELLES HEFE WEIZEN – Surprisingly full bodied. Danke.
1599 - SCUTTLEBUTT BREWING GALE FORCE IPA – I like everything from Washington.
1600 - MACLEOD ALE BREWING COMPANY THE SESSION GAP ORDINARY BITTER – On cask, finally a brewery in San Fernando Valley.
1601 - MACLEOD ALE BREWING COMPANY THE LITTLE SPREE YORKSHIRE PALE ALE – On cask, loverly.
1602 - MACLEOD ALE BREWING COMPANY THE KING'S TAXES SCOTTISH 60 SHILLING – On cask, diggin’ it.
1603 - MACLEOD ALE BREWING COMPANY JACKIE TAR BROWN STOUT – English style stout, lighter and sessionable like all of their selections.
|Yes, Jello shots still exist|
1605 - FIGUEROA MOUNTAIN BREWING PARADISE RD PILSNER – Tasty. Especially while watching Drunk Karaoke at The Cork, Van Nuys.
1606 - FIGUEROA MOUNTAIN BREWING FMB 101 KOLSCH STYLE ALE – This hole in the wall actually had another beer that I haven’t had. Cray!
1607 - KIUCHI BREWERY HITACHINO NEST XH MATURED IN SAKE CASKS – Umai!
Saturday 8/2 – Afternoon sampling in Downtown LA with The Wife
1608 - CISMONTANE BREWING BLACK'S DAWN – A favorite from recent years, a nice, thick, oily coffee stout, both toothsome and affordable.
1609 - BLACK DIAMOND BREWING WHITE WITCH IPA – Dismissed this as a hack brewery, but this hop sauce is solid.
1610 - STONE BREWING ARROGANT BASTARD BOURBON BARREL AGED – Not as rich as expected, but not a letdown by any means.
1611 - IRONFIRE BREWING GUNSLINGER GOLD – Decent.
1612 - STONE BREWING DOUBLE BASTARD ALE (2013) – The bomb, and then some.
1613 - MOYLAN'S BREWERY DRAGOON'S DRY IRISH STOUT – On nitro, dark and tasty.
1615 - DOUBLE MOUNTAIN CLUSTERF#CK IPA – A clusterf#ckin’ good one.
1616 - KIUCHI BREWERY ANABI PLUM WEIZEN – Wow, unique. Unlike any other beer. Great.
1617 - KIUCHI BREWERY HITACHINO NEST DAI DAI ALE IPA – Doesn’t taste like your standard IPA, that’s Japan for ya…
1618 - KIUCHI BREWERY HITACHINO NEST ALE BREWED WITH GINGER – Again, really unique. Sugoi!
1619 - KIUCHI BREWERY HITACHINO NEST ESPRESSO STOUT – I’m going to marry this beer.
1620 - STRAND BREWING MUSASHI BLACK IPA – A beer that’s hoppy and dark? Sign me up.
1621 - NOBLE ALE WORKS NAUGHTY SAUCE – Dig it. Although golden milk stouts kinda freak me out.
1622 - BUTTERNUT’S BEER AND ALE HEINNIEWEISSE WEISSEBIER – Farmhouse-ish, pretty darn good, one of the better Butternut’s efforts.
1623 - EEL RIVER BREWING CALIFORNIA BLONDE ALE – Pointless.
1624 - MISSION BREWERY CARRACK IMPERIAL RED - Yarrr matey, red skies at night, sailor’s delight! Delicious ye be!
Sunday 8/3 – A few at home, and many at Vendome’s weekend tasting & bottle share
1625 – SKA BREWING MODUS HOPERANDI – Been wanting to try this all year, finally available in Cali. Solid hop bomb.
1626 – RHINELANDER BREWING BOATSWAIN DOUBLE IPA – Not bad for a Trader Joe’s house ale, not amazing, and not very hoppy, but malty and decent. The price is right, that’s for sure.
1627 – DEVIL’S CANYON BREWING BELLE BIERE BRUT CALIFORNIA SPARKLING ALE - Fruity and sparkly champagne style ale, the wife would love this.
1628 – TELEGRAPH BREWING BUELLTON SILENT PARTNER - Still got mine in the fridge, yet to hear the album, but just tried it at a Vendome tasting, light and farmhousey
1629 – MOTHER EARTH BREW CO. KISMET IPA - Major cannabis overload, skunky and crunchy as hell
|Hair of some other dog|
1631 – EL SEGUNDO BREWING BLUE HOUSE IPA - Slightly malty. Delicious.
1632 – BLACK MARKET BREWING QUADROPHENIA - Belgian style brewed with coconut palm sugar, so damn tasty.
1633 – HANGAR 24 BARREL ROLL NO. 4 HAMMERHEAD (2014) - Hands down best H24 to date, heavy caramel up front, heavy malt on the back, barleywine aged in rye n bourbon barrels.
1634 – FIGUEROA MOUNTAIN BREWING LIZARD’S MOUTH IMPERIAL IPA - Piney, skunky DIPA, best Fig Mtn to date.
1635 – SANTE ADAIRIUS RUSTIC ALES DEAF STEWART - Sour witbier, big time pineapple with some pucker, totally refreshing. Thanks Chris Wilder!
1636 – ART’S HOMEBREW RASPBERRY WHEAT - Damn that's tasty, courtesy of a Vendome Liquors bottleshare regular, refreshing and superior to most fruit beers on the market.
1637 – ALMANAC CERISE SOUR BLOND - Welcome to Pucker Town. Population: This. Strangely mustardy on the nose.
1638 – ALMANAC DARK PUMPKIN SOUR - Pumpkin, spices, aged in wine barrels - Hohoho - total holiday winter warmer type beer.
1639 – EL SEGUNDO MOSAIC BLUE HOUSE PALE - Light, crispy, delicately hoppy like a session IPA.
Monday 8/4 – Tasting at home
1640 - WORLD BREWS BARREL TROLLEY IPA NO. 2 - Malty IPA, not super hoppy, for some reason I thought this would be cheap and crappy. It's not bad.
1641 - BISON BREWING ORGANIC HONEY BASIL – Whatever.
1642 - BELCHING BEAVER BEAVER'S MILK STOUT - Sweet, rich, inky, chocolatey, with a silky mouthfeel. Good one.
1643 - RUSSIAN RIVER BREWING SANCTIFICATION SOUR BLONDE - 100% brettanomyces sour. Not heavy pucker, but just enough to give it complexity. Astoundingly easy to drink.
Tuesday 8/5 – The Other Door, Burbank and Infest practice
1644 - LAGUNITAS BREWING DAYTIME FRACTIONAL IPA - Great session IPA.
1645 – UNIBROUE BLANCHE DE CHAMBLY – Wheaty & satisfying.
1646 - BIERBROUWERIJ DE KONINGSHOEVEN LA TRAPPE DUBBEL - Malty caramelly, a real treat.
1647 - MODELO ESPECIAL CHELADA – Que lastima!
1648 - REDHOOK ALE BREWERY AUDIBLE ALE – Eh.
Wednesday 8/6 – Tony’s tasters and a couple at home
1649 - NOBLE ALE WORKS HOPS OF HOPE - Unfiltered session IPA, nice sharp hoppiness, straw colored, crisp bite, for a great cause.
1650 - FACTION BREWING ALES FOR ALS IPA - Standard IPA, mildly hoppy, for a great cause.
1651 - STRAND BREWING ATTICUS IPA - Reddish-amber, malty IPA from a South Bay fave
1652 - GOLDEN ROAD SURFLINER FOR ALS - Golden, straight forward IPA for a great cause
1653 - DRAKE'S BREWING GOODBYE PORKPIE RYE - Smooth, light, easy drinking rye pale. Proceeds go to fight ALS.
1654 - SPRECHER BREWING ABBEY TRIPLE - Slightly syrupy, heavily fruity Belgian style triple