Monday, April 24, 2017

Need a Mule

The Bruery's Offshoot Beer Co. is having its first can release this week.  I wrote about Offshoot here.  The two beers being released are an IPA and a double IPA.  The only problem is that you need to pick up these limited release beers at the brewery, and you only have a week-long window in which to claim your purchase.  Unless you live in Orange County, or are up in the Los Angeles area on a regular basis, it will be tough get these beers, especially since the Placentia brewery is not on a major freeway. 

Sparks Pale Ale

I had a bottle of Mikkeller Brewing's delicious Sparks (Gnister) Pale Ale last night.  This 5.6% abv pale ale is a light on the palate beer that was one of the more earthy tasting beers I can remember.  Its up front, piquant, almost vegetable character smoothed into the finish. This clear, gold, almost orange beer has a rough, shallow foam.  Sparks is not setting any new pale ale standards, and with its dark color feels a bit retro, which is to its credit.  This blog will always appreciate the brewery that can do the basics well, like Mikkeller does with Sparks.  In an age of hazy beers, which I like and which Mikkeller also does well, having a solid, great tasting pale ale is almost a rarity. 

I saw this San Diego Magazine list of the past year's top beers from four San Diego County publicans.  There are many new breweries on this list.  Of the forty beers on the list, Mikkeller only shows up once (and Stone not once).  I know these guys try way more beers than I do, but the beers I have tried from Mikkeller have all been standouts.  I get that a list full of hard-to-find beers is what to expect from a pub owner, but having an accessible beer is alright, too.  Sparks is that beer.

Benchmark In Bay Park

I was recently in the Bay Park area of San Diego, near Napier Street and Ashton Street and thought it would make a good location for a tasting room.  Even though its close to Coronado Brewing, and not far from Bitter Brothers and Ballast Point, or even Modern Times and Bay City, this little pocket of Bay Park, with its restaurants and a coffee house has its own charm.  San Diego Eater is reporting that Benchmark Brewing plans to open a satellite tasting room at 4112 Napier Street by the end of summer, so I guess I am not the only one who thought the area was a good beer location. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Offshoot Beer Co.

I read a tweet on Saturday morning, April 1, 2017, that The Bruery had formed a new company, Offshoot Beer Co.,  to release IPAs, a style The Bruery had vowed to never release.  I immediately thought this was fantastic, The Bruery finally brewing complex IPAs, but then my saner self realized this was an epic April 1st prank - maybe the best ever.  I tempered my joy.

But on April 2, I still was reading tweets about Offshoot Beer Co.  It had a Facebook page that looked legitimate, a web page on The Bruery's website, a logo, and some cool can designs shown below.  You know, I guess The Bruery figured out a way to stay true to its claim never to brew an IPA, while brewing IPAs. 

Offshoot will "specialize in hoppy beers, primarily IPAs and Double IPAs, in 16 oz cans that will be available directly from our brewery in limited supply and on a monthly basis."  These beers will be hard to find, but that is part of the fun.  The Bruery is no stranger to hoppy beers, and with its Humulus Imperial Lager The Bruery showed it was IPA-curious.  With so many new hops available, and the rise of cloudy IPAs, I can only imagine what kind of creative IPAs Offshoot is going to brew.  Here is information on its first two IPAs:

Fashionably Late™ a juicy, hazy IPA
Hops: Citra, El Dorado, and Mandarina Bavaria
Malts: Two-Row and Pale Wheat malts, rolled oats
Yeast: S-04
ABV: 6.5%

Better Late Than Never™ a juicy, hazy Double IPA
Hops: Mosaic, Vic Secret, Citra
Malts: Golden Promise, Wheat Malt
Yeast: BSI-Barbarian
ABV: 8.5%

These beers are scheduled for a late April release.  I have to admit, part of me still thinks this is some kind of elaborate joke.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Padre Fail

Gee, it is crap on Stone Brewing week (pun intended).  Today's San Diego Union Tribune's buiness section's front page has a headline blaring:  "At Petco, A Loss for Stone, Wins for AleSmith, Resident and Anheuser-Busch."  The headline does not seem to fully match the article.  Padre management decided to replace Stone Brewing's beer garden with some other pub concept.  You can still get Stone beers throughout Petco.   AleSmith's fantastic .394 Pale Ale, a beer brewed with Tony Gwynn, is the key beer in a new place called .394.  Good for AleSmith.  Local brewery Resident, gets a shot at the pub replacing the Stone beer garden, "for now" as the article warns. (If Resident can't keep up the Padres will replace it with that refreshing, kinda crafty Shock Top beer that comes with an orange slice.)  Come on Resident, deliver.

The big story of the article is Aneheuser-Busch dominating Petco's beer sales.  A-B's former craft breweries Elysian and 10 Barrel gets their own stands, and its Grupo Modelo unit is selling Michelada Especiales, in carts around Petco.  How much money did A-B pay the Padres to increase its exposure?  This is comes at the expense of local brewers.  In solidarity with Stone, I will drink Stone beers at home as I watch the triple-A Padres lose to major league teams.  The news about A-B's takeover of Petco's beer and yesterday's embarrassing opening day loss shows the misguided priorities of the Padre's bush league management.

No Sh#t

No, Stone Brewing did not brew a beer with reclaimed sewage.  It brewed a beer called Full Circle IPA to highlight purified reclaimed water with Pure Water San Diego's filtration system.  All breweries use filtered tap water, and a portion of tap water is recycled water.  I recommend listening to the March 31, 2017, Voice of San Diego podcast, where the first five or so minutes are devoted to the Stone Brewing misunderstanding and where San Diego gets its water.