Friday, September 17, 2010

Alesmith Expands Tasting Room Hours

Finally!  I have missed Alesmith's tasting room more than once with its brief opening hours.  I just received an email stating that Alesmith's tasting room will now have some decent hours.  Here is the text from the email:
We're excited to announce longer hours of operation at our retail Tasting Bar! You can now visit us for beer samples, growler fills and bottle & keg sales on Thursday from 2:00pm-6:00pm, Friday from 2:00pm-6:00pm and Saturday from 12:00pm-6:00pm.  Please call us ahead of time if you are planning on bringing a group of ten (10) or more.  

A tour of the brewery is conducted on the last Saturday of each month, starting at 12:30pm by AleSmith owner Peter Zien.  You will see and learn how AleSmith beers are brewed and have an opportunity to sample AleSmith beers at the conclusion of the approximately 1 hour tour.  Please call (858.549.9888) or email ( to find out about our tour-only specials and to reserve your spot!
The email also announced that Alesmith's fall seasonal, Evil Dead Red, will be released next Thursday, September 23rd.  I am trying to remember whether I've had this beer before (I don't think so), because I get it confused with Alesmith's other red ale special release, My Bloody Valentine.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I Fart In Your General Direction

The Lost Abbey is suing Moylan's over tap handles. Peter Rowe's blog has a picture of the similar looking handles.  The tap handles in question look like medieval weapons.  Tomme Arthur and Brendan Moylan should ditch the lawyers, don their mail, grab their respective tap handle, and have a battle to decide who gets final claim to the Celtic cross.

Or maybe Arthur and Moylan could have a couple of beers together and then taunt each other:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Russian River Consecration

I used to think that brewers aging their beer in wine barrels was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, and that the brewers were suffering from wine envy.  Of course I reached those conclusions without actually trying a wine barrel-aged beer.  I have now had several barrel-aged beers and they were good.   In the case of Russian River's Consecration, it was sublime.  It is one of the best beers I have had this year.

Consecration, which is aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, is wine-like in its aroma, but it's clearly not wine, and the first taste lets you know that the brewers were not trying to make it taste like wine.  It is in its own orbit at the outer limits of the beer universe.   The beer was in a corked, 375 ml bottle.  The beer poured with small, thin white foam that quickly disappeared, leaving a clear, deep orange colored beer.  It is a remarkably smooth beer, despite its complexity and forward sour presence.  The finish is hops and alcohol, with the alcohol becoming more prominent as the beer warms, but you'd still be hard pressed to guess the beer had a 10% abv. 

Consecration is delicious.  This is a grown-up, barrel-aged sour and if you have never had a sour, you may need time to let it grow on you.  It is worth the effort.  It is now my sour benchmark, and I'll judge all subsequent sours and barrel-aged beers against it.  For what it's worth, Consecration is ranked thirty-third on BeerAdocate's Top Beers on the Plant list.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Stone Brewing Tasting Room in South Park

San Diego Beer Blog and City Beat are reporting that Stone Brewing is opening a tasting room on 30th Street in South Park.  San Diego Beer Blog reprints a Stone email announcing the new store, which is expected to open before the end of 2010.  The announcement states that growler fills will be available along with other Stone merchandise (and I hope Sawyer's Triple).  This is good news, and I hope Stone keeps growler prices similar to those at its brewery, because a half gallon growler fill is only $9, and bigger beers like Ruination are only $14.  I will try to post updates on the Stone store as I find them.

Update: San Diego Union's beer columnist Peter Rowe blogs about the Stone shop, too.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Beer Hype

I just received an email from The Bruery about its super-hyped Black Tuesday, which I post below:
The response was not unprecedented. In fact, the precedent was set last year when hundreds of our beloved fans stood anxiously around our building for hours on end, trying to get themselves a ticket into our Black Tuesday celebration. We hoped, and still believe, that online sales would be a far more convenient way for us to sell the tickets and for you to get them without having to waste an entire day in our parking lot without a promise of beer. Unfortunately, the company who runs our ecommerce server didn't seem to think the response would be so great. We did all we could and warned them numerous times in the past two weeks, even reminding them yesterday that this morning was going to be crazy, but you know how that story ends.

Clearly, things didn't end up going to plan. The server crashed before we could even update the page with the sales info due to constant refreshes in the minutes just before 9am. We're sorry. If there was something we could have done immediately to remedy this we would have, but along with the server, our internet also kicked the bucket. We couldn't even send an email to update everyone. In fact, this email isn't even being written from The Bruery offices.

On that note, here is your update.

BLACK TUESDAY TICKETS WILL BE ONSALE TOMORROW AT 9AM. We are setting up a new, dedicated server and we are told that it will work. All of the below info still remains true. If for some reason this changes, we will email you tonight or prior to 9am tomorrow.

We are extremely sorry for this hiccup in our planning and we hope it didn't ruin your mornings or your opinion of our beer.

The Bruery
The Bruery's website has details for those that want to buy Black Tuesday.  I will pass.  I just don't get worked up for the high alcohol imperial stouts.  That being said, I would like to try Black Tuesday at some point, I am just too lazy to jump through all the hoops that the demand for this beer requires.