Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Here is a link to a KPBS video and article on San Diego's White Labs, the biochemistry firm that specializes in creating high quality yeast strains for the craft beer industry. The link is a bit old, the original story ran in late March, but it is still worth the time to read the article and watch the video. (NSFW warning: the video contains excessive beer porn.) White Labs dates to the mid-1990s, and its growth has matched that of the craft industry. It supplies yeast to not only San Diego's and Southern California's brewers, but brewers across the country and internationally. It has locations in four states, Europe, and Asia. White Labs even brews its own beers to test first hand its varied yeast strains. It has tasting rooms at its San Diego headquarters and its Boulder lab, where you can discern the sharp influence of yeast on a style of beer, holding all other ingredients constant. A visit to a White Labs' tasting room could result in a beer geek mind implosion.
Monday, May 16, 2016
Mike Hess Brewing's Claritas kolsch-style beer won a deserved Gold Medal at the World Beer Cup on May 7th. A few days later I went into Mike Hess Brewing's Ocean Beach tasting room to buy a six-pack of Claritas and was told someone had bought the entire stock of Claritas after it had won the medal. What a douchebag move. Claritas is an excellent beer, but it is far from rare. It is not Pliny the Younger, a limited, once-a-year release; it is brewed year-round and widely available. Cleaning out the tasting room fridge of a brewer's core beer is not just rude but unsavvy and unsophisticated, too. Winning a Gold Medal does not signify scarcity, it rewards a quality beer.
Monday, May 2, 2016
I know I should be writing about Stone Brewing's new True Craft plan that commits $100 million to provide craft brewers the needed capital to avoid the grasp of macro brewers. This sounds great, but I can't yet focus on it. I am too amazed by Stone's latest version of Enjoy By. The addition of tangerine to this hop heavyweight is nothing short of stunning. My May is shot, as the window to buy Enjoy By 5.30.2016 is now less than a month. The sweet tangerine mixed with the citrus-flavored hops is a perfect combination. Initially, I was wary of fruit additives to beers, but I like the beers brewed with grapefruit and blood orange and lemon and now tangerine. Stone continues to brew stellar beers while saving the craft beer industry.