Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Stone's Vertical Epic Series 08.08.08 hits stores next week. Here is part of the bottle label:

The description says it a Belgian Triple that is hopped up with American hops. It is a very dry pale golden beer with tastes of spice, ester and fruit, along with a crisp bitterness, and it is very, very generously hopped. (I don't know what ester is either even after looking it up in the dictionary.)

This beer is going to be awesome.

Monday, July 28, 2008

To The Bird

Here is a picture of my friend Ken and his bird, Bear, getting ready to swig Russian River's Blind Pig. Even Bear got caught up in the hype surrounding the release of Blind Pig in bottles and needed a taster. This bird must have been a beer geek in a past life, because it loves hoppy beers and hot salsa.

The Bruery

I had my first beer from The Bruery a week and half ago. It was its Orchard White, a Belgian witbier. I got it at Texas Liquors in Carlsbad that is located up the street from Pizza Port.

Here is a picture of the beer. It was light in color, but had a distinct Belgian flavor. It's a great tasting, quality beer. It has a yang to its ying in a Black Orchard (black wit) that I hope to try in the near future.

The Bruery is a new craft brewery in Orange County. Los Angeles is a beer desert and The Bruery is helping fill a huge void. The owner is a young attorney who realized he'd rather brew good beer than practice law. I read so many legal documents for my work that I can't argue with his career choice. The Brurery is brewing sophisticated Belgian-style beers, no amber ales, oatmeal stouts or other forgettable beer styles that are the typical brewery defaults. In a world where most peoples' version of a craft beer is Sam Adams or Fat Tire, The Bruery has jumped right to extreme beers. The Bruery is the future of the craft beer industry - making beer for people that care about what they eat and drink, not a formula approach designed for the masses. (The Bruery is not alone in this philosophy.) The craft beer market is ready for this type of brewer, and I look forward to supporting it and wish it success.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Victory Prima Pils

I picked up a Victory Prima Pils at the Pizza Port Bottle Shop. My wife thought it was too funky-skunky. It had a little skunk to it, but that is function of style, not a beer gone bad.

I liked it and could easily had a few more. I think it's too hot in California to brew too much pilsner so that is why I tried Victory. Plus, with all those Germans in Pennsylvania, I figured their heritage would show through. You won't be disappointed with this beer.

As a side note, I also picked up a growler of Pizza Port's Party Pants Pilsner (I think that was its name). It was really good, too. It debunks my theory about California being too hot to brew a good pilsner. This beer seemed somewhat more mellow than the Prima, but still had that crisp, slightly sour taste of a pilsner.

Cumberland Brews

I have some beer blogging to catch-up on. The first post is on Cumberland Brews in Louisville.

A friend and Beer Rover correspondent spent a week in Louisville, Kentucky earlier this year. He visited most of the local beer places, and said that Cumberland was by far the best Louisville had to offer. I have included a picture of a coaster from the brewpub. It has good food and good beer.

BeerAdvocate did not list a link to its website, but the overall ratings were strong, with an average rating of A-.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Anheuser-Busch and Seaworld

It looks like InBev is going to take over Anheuser-Busch. I don't care much and don't think it will change the American macro beer market. Miller is foreign owned, Coors is foreign owned and now Bud will be foreign owned. Miller drinkers don't know it's foreign owned, and soon enough Bud drinkers won't either.

The only time I drink anything Bud-related is at Seaworld, which is owned by Anheuser-Busch and is about two miles from my house. Seaworld has a beer garden where it offers free tasters of Bud and other Anheuser-Busch beers. I was there last night and had two tasters of some beer called Stone Mill Organic Pale Ale, and it was not too bad. I would miss this about Seaworld if InBev decides to sell AB's amusement parks. On the other hand, if InBev offers expanded free tasters the InBev-AB merger could be great!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Telegraph Brewing

Telegraph Brewing Company of Santa Barbara makes good beer, but they are hard to find. I go to Ventura County quite a bit, but only know of one store that sells it, and it only has a special release. I want to visit the brewery and try several of its offerings, but haven't found the time to trek to Santa Barbara.

I got the beer pictured here, Telegraph's California Ale, at the Pizza Port Bottle Shop in Carlsbad. It comes in a 750 ml bottle, which is a great start. The picture makes the beer look dark, but it has a light, but flavorful taste, not indicative of its rich color. I have had one previous California Ale, and don't remember it as dark as this one. It poured a cloudy, deep amber with a good, white head that quickly dissipated. Malts and yeast were present.

It may say California on the label, but it has a distinct Belgian taste. To me, it tasted like a Belgian farmhouse ale. BeerAdvocate calls it a saison/farmhouse ale, so may taste buds are not too far off. (Surprisingly, the BeerAdvocate website only gives it an overall B rating, I would rate it A- at a minimum.) This is an enjoyable, refreshing beer and an excellent summer beer. It only has 6.2% alcohol so it won't put you away for the evening. I recommend trying Telegraph's offerings if you can find them.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tender Greens

We just had dinner at a new restaurant called Tender Greens. I guess it's a Los Angeles-based chain whose goal is to provide fresh food, mostly salads and vegetables, with limited, but quality, meat, chicken and fish. I will give it props for having only local beer - Ballast Point's Pale Ale, Karl Strauss' Windansea Wheat Hefeweizen, Coronado's Mermaid Red Ale and Stone's Pale Ale. There is not a Bud Light or Coors Light in sight. I hope the owners can avoid Anheuser-Busch's full court press and keep the beer local.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Random Updates

Stone's 12th Anniversary Party is August 16th. The festival is at Cal State San Marcos this year after several stints in vacant lots next to the Stone Brewery. I have been to this event three times (7th, 9th and 10th) and it is a great beer experience. I see that The Bruery from Orange County is going to be there along with some Belgian brewers, in addition to the usual group of brewers... Alesmith is releasing its summer Yulesmith on July 3rd. This is a Double IPA, and one of my favorites. It is a little Christmas in July. You can buy bombers Thursday starting at 1:00 at the brewery for $7... The $30 Isabelle Proximus, made by Lost Abbey, Allagash, Avery, Dogfish and Russian River, went on sale last Saturday. It did not sell out and now Lost Abbey's Patron Saints (which includes me) and Sinners get first crack at the remaining stock. Sales start Thursday, July 3rd, at 8:00 in the morning. I haven't decided whether to fork down the $30, but I am guessing I won't pass on the opportunity...

Update: Punted on the Proximus