Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The new cans in town

Firestone Walker 805

This summer, Firestone Walker is getting into the canning business. The first one off the line? Their
ever-present 805 blonde ale. Perhaps you've seen a billboard or two around town?

The canning line's test run will be done in early May, with the goal being to release the 805 cans by Memorial Day. The line will be in a separate building at the main Paso Robles brewery location. Once it's up and running, you will be able to peek through a window and see it in action.

Saint Archer

San Diego's Saint Archer Brewery have canned up their four flagship brews - IPA, Blonde Ale, Pale Ale and White Ale! They are now available across Southern California. To celebrate the launch of their craft beer in cans and illustrate the logical transition for this brand, the Saint Archer team made this short film documenting a skate/surf road trip up the California coast:

Saint Archer Brewing Co.- CANS from Saint Archer Brewery on Vimeo.

Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada's beer camp series has a unique twist this year. They will be collaborating with 12 other breweries across the country to put out a 12 pack of beer with a collab from each one included. Two of those beers will be in cans.  Isn't that veeirrrdd???  While that sounds like a bit of a silly gimmick, the breweries in the collaboration are super serious. These are the two beers to be featured in cans for this release:

Yonder Bock Tropical Maibock - Cigar City

Yonder Bock is a summery twist on the robust blonde bock. Its silky, semi-sweet malt body is bolstered by a blend of new and experimental hops that impart bright, fruity hop aromas of guava, mango and passion fruit.

CANfusion Rye Bock - Oskar blues

CANfusion is a dry-hop rye bock with a complex malt body that launches a peppery blast from the rye, balanced by a fruity hop aroma. As the style suggests,it was dry-hopped for an added aroma punch from the unique citrusy and spice-like Australian Ella hop varietal.

Keep an eye out for this collab 12 pack come some time late this year or early next year.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Good Glug Guide: London’s Best Craft Beer Pubs Part 2

Hey, finally the second part in the supposed five part series! (I've been busy)

In case you forgot, My brother from across the pond, Ben Holbrook (on behalf of contacted me about posting a bit of his work and I am pretty excited to feature it. He did a pretty sweet list of 5 of the best craft beer pubs in London (as you could probably tell from the title) and I wanted to share them with you guys! You may think that they have plenty to choose from in the craft beer market being so close to Germany and Belgium, but they are really just coming into their own on the London craft beer scene. More and more microbrews are popping up in old London towne in a very similar fashion to our beloved Los Angeles. Those beers need a good place to be enjoyed and here is the second you should hit up if you find yourself in London.

Beer Porn at Euston Tap
Not so very long ago, all good British train stations had a decent pub, serving cask ales and local brews. That all changed, of course, as chain brands became all-powerful and coffee became the traveller’s tipple of choice. But at Euston, potentially one of London’s least sensational train stations, you’ll discover the legendary Euston Tap. Housed in a Grade II-listed building, this watering hole is a true and worthy throwback.

With a staggering 150 different beers available by the bottle, and an ever-changing selection of draught beers on tap, this is a wild and uncensored display of beer porn. Famed for its selection of rare craft ales on draughts, which includes the Matuska Raptor IPA from the Czech Republic and the Anchor Humming Ale from ye-old-craft-beer-faithful, San Francisco.

Are you mad? This is about the beer! There’s no food here.

With the quirky beer pumps and old iron features, this ancient, worn out old bar is a truly unique and rewarding experience. Just follow the neon sign and people with big smiley fices outside.

Euston Tap, 190 Euston Road, London, NW1 2EF

Friday, April 11, 2014

Hangar 24 Airfest & 6th Anniversary

Maybe I’m a nerd, but I love a good air show.  I haven’t been to one in years.  If you love air shows or you’re looking to try something new you should check out Hangar 24’s Airfest and 6th Anniversary Celebration.  This is one event that I feel physical pain when I miss every year.  I hear nothing but great things from the people that went last year.  It’s a great excuse to make the trek to Redlands to check this place out.  Tickets are pretty reasonable at $10 for Friday and $15 for Saturday ($5 for kids and $5 for parking).  VIP is pretty steep at $200 bones, but it comes with a ton of perks if you’re a high roller.  If I'm not working or completely broke you'll see me there!
Protip: always bring sunscreen and sunglasses.

Here’s more info!

“This year's Airfest and 6th Anniversary Celebration will bring together our favorite beers from six years of brewing and pair them with world-class aviation displays, a huge lineup of food vendors, and two days of music featuring major headliners. Here's what we've got planned:

-A selection of more than 30 Hangar 24 beers from throughout our years brewing, including rare selections pulled from our archives.

-The release of our 6th Anniversary Ale in 22oz bottles.

-An evening of Country music featuring headliner JT Hodges on Friday, May 16th

-A full day and night of rock and electric with headliners Everclear on Saturday, May 17th.

-Non-stop aerobatic shows from some of the best pilots in the world, including a performance by an RCAF CF-18 Hornet. One of the only shows the Canadian Forces CF18 Demo Team will do in the US in 2014!

-Over 40 food vendors, including a mix of Tasting Room favorites and brand-new trucks!

Stay tuned to this page in the coming weeks, we'll be posting more info on a daily basis as the event dates draw closer.

Event Website:
Music Lineup:
Aviation Lineup:
Buy Tickets:

Friday's Country Lineup (Gates open @ 4pm) 
JT Hodges
One more band TBA

Saturday’s Rock/Electric Lineup (Gates open @ 9am)
The BellRays
Quetzal Guerrero
Moonsville Collective
Kid Gramophone

Parking this year will be managed by a professional parking management company, so be sure to purchase your parking pass with your tickets to ensure easy and quick access to the festival. We will also have bike racks available!

Our Tasting Room will be open both days until 9pm each night with all regular options, and limited bottles of our 6th Anniversary Ale available for purchase.

We’ve been brewing across from the Redlands Airport for almost 6 years now, and our location is no accident. Our love for beer and aviation is matched only by our love for this community and the support it has given us. We can’t wait to bring everything together, throw open the gates and welcome you to the 2nd annual Airfest on May 16th and 17th!”

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Golden Road's new brew

Some exciting news from golden road! They have teamed up with their very first retail distributor, whole foods, to bring you guys a special summer release saison.  I attended a special panel of brewers and whole foods employees to choose one beer out of four that were specially homebrewed by whole foods employees. 
This will be the first offering of a potential series of beers brewed at golden road and being distributed only at whole foods and only in California for the rest of the year.  The beers will be golden road branded and use the winning beer as a jumping off point for mass production. 
So what was the final selection? A grapefruit saison! It is clear and crisp, with just the right citrus notes. I'm very excited about this as I feel like grapefruit saisons have the perfect mix of flavors to make a summer beer. 

Weekend roundup

There's a lot of stuff going on this weekend. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend any of it as I'll be in Phoenix! We have the 4th anniversary of one of our favorite bars, Tony's Darts Away!  It should be really cool and they will have all the California brewed beers you could dream of on hand. As well as the Darts Away Ipa that they brew over at Golden Road.
I'm also really excited for our the first beer event we are putting on in conjunction with Bierkast and Beer of Tomorrow. The Board Beer Geek Tavern will be a celebration of the union between beer geekery and board game geekery. Come down and drink a special cask beer from Eagle Rock Brewery and play some board games with like minded folks!

Tony's Darts Away Fourth anniversary!
We're celebrating FOUR years of craft beer, good eats, and community on April 5-6th for #TDA4th and we're bringing out the big guns! Join us for hourly tappings of special California-brewed beers that are near and dear to our hearts (and palates). This weekend will also mark the much anticipated return of our Darts Away IPA (which we helped brew with our sister company Golden Road Brewing)!

Whether you love hops, malts, or funky sours -- we'll have a super-special beer on our taplist for you! We'll be releasing the taplist via TWITTER leading up to the event, so be sure to follow us (at) tonysdartsaway or keep your eyes peeled on this event page for when we put up the whole list.

There is no admission fee to our anniversary party, but we will have a special Batch of commemorative pint glass for sale for $10 (includes a pour of Darts Away IPA)!

Just a few beers to look forward to from 10am-7pm Saturday & Sunday:
Grapefruit Sculpin from @Ballast Point
Angel's Share from The Lost Abbey
BeRazzled from The Bruery 

Board Beer Geek Tavern
Come out to celebrate International Tabletop day and experience a throwback to the days of yore. Battle with your fellow beer lovers in a game of Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Seven Wonders, Pandemic, and more!

Tickets Here:

The ticket price includes:
- Your choice of Board game to battle your friends with
*Settlers of Catan
*Ticket to Ride
*Seven Wonders
*And many more!
- Live Acoustic Music
- 1 Imperial Pint (20 0z) of craft beer
- Taco Bar

If you would like to bring your own game to the event, please contact

Monday, March 31, 2014

Firkfest Recap

Last weekend Josh and I made the trek down to Farmer’s Park in Anaheim for the first annual Firkfest. If you don't know what Firkfest is, it's a beer fest centered around cask beer (A Firkin is another name for the cask) started by OC Beer Blog’s Greg Nagel.  OC Beer Blog is just like LA Beer Blog, except it’s based in Orange County, popular, and well respected.

As I mentioned in the previous post about Firkfest, I’ve been getting bored with beer fests.  Usually you’ll find the same breweries pouring their flagship beers.  It’s all great beer, but I can get this beer around the corner and I don’t need to drive an hour just to risk my life getting home.  The average beer fest is more for guys in their early 20’s that want to party and get shitfaced.  The vibe at Firkfest was just what I was looking for.  Very laid back.  Every single person there was there to taste great beer and I didn’t run into a douchebag or a sweaty bro all day.

Name a great brewery from LA or OC and they had a cask there.  Have you had Monkish Brewing’s Shaolin Kick?  Yes?  What about with Sichuan peppercorns, Sriracha and Thai Basil?  I didn’t think so.  It’s also great to get favorites like Firestone Walker’s Velvet Merlin cask conditioned.  I love that beer and it brought it to another level for me.  There were so many great beers that it made it impossible to have a line.  The only line I got in for a beer was for Bottle Logic Leche Mole on Bourbon Chips, but that was because they tapped it an hour after the fest started and even then I probably only waited 5 minutes.
LA  Ale Works, Firkin it up!

They also had great local food options. Games like corn hole and giant jenga, and a DJ.

I had some really high expectations for this event and they were totally exceeded.  I even had to play it cool so I could drive home and I STILL had a great time.  Greg knocked it out of the park.  If you didn’t go this year you should immediately go “like” the Firkfest page on Facebook and make sure to get tickets early when they go on sale next year.

If you want to see more Firkfest action, check out the facebook gallery for the rest of the sweet ass photos that we took! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

805 in the 818?

If you're like me and have eyes, you've probably seen the multitude of billboards around town lately showcasing the big 805 logo.  If you don't have eyes, you're probably some sort of deep sea creature or were in an unfortunate smelting accident. Either way, thanks for reading!

Firestone Walker has been aggressively pushing their 805 beer brand into our quaint little berg of Los Angeles this year.  It has been popping up at more and more of peoples favorite bars and watering holes. With the aim of replacing peoples go to beers of bud and Coors with an undercover craft beer. They've even hired a gentleman to go out to local bars and preach the gospel of FW.

If you haven't heard of 805 or need a refresher on the brand, check it out


A beer crafted for the coast.  805 is a light, approachable brew.  Born from an all malt recipe and finished with a touch of hops, it's slightly sweet with a clean finish.  805 is the perfect followup to that ultimate surf session or to reward a hard day's work. 

While I'm excited to have 805 in our midst as it is a good, light ale, I'm a bit confused by it suddenly surging
down into LA. I mean, the beer is all about being local to the 805. It's on every piece of advertising they've ever made for it. There's nothing wrong with expanding distribution, but it seems a bit disingenuous to me.  Maybe it's the territorial southern Californian in me but I feel like we should have an 818 beer or even a 213 as that was the original Los Angeles area code. I know we're not just 818 down here, but there's a bit of hometown pride. It's like the visiting team is being cheered in our stadium and they are rubbing it in our faces.

For reals

Maybe I'm just full of shit in my head? People seem to think so(my girlfriend especially). But at least one local brewery is taking this seriously and releasing a counter to it with the "329 days of summer" lager.  While these are not my favorite styles of beer, I will certainly be rooting for the home team when it comes to my choice of easy drinking summer beer.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

More Beer From Firestone?

Hello and welcome to LA Firestone Walker blog!  Is it just me or am I writing about them every
week?  Yup, I just checked, it’s true.   We’re fanboys and it’s for a good reason.  They make great beer and they’re awesome folks.  Here is some info about a couple beers you should be looking for in the near future.  I've tried both of them and they're great, but you shouldn't take my word for it.  Buy both of them, taste them, and then tell me I'm right.  I love being right.

“Opal” Dry-Hopped Saison

Paso Robles, CA—Firestone Walker Brewing Company is going back to the farm with the release of Opal, a rootsy, rustic dry-hopped saison that merges Belgian tradition with West Coast style.

“We’ve been playing around with farmhouse ales for years, exploring and fine tuning all sorts of variations,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “With Opal, we are finally ready to make the jump to our first-ever bottled saison.”

Starting this month, Opal will be available in 22-ounce bottles in select markets across the United States with a suggested retail price of $5.99. Opal will also be available at select draft accounts.

Opal is an unfiltered interpretation of the classic saisons that originated from the farmhouses of southern Belgium’s Wallonia region, dating back to the 1700s.

In true agrarian beer fashion, Opal is loaded with rustic grains and spicy Belgian yeastiness, with a hazy namesake opalescence in the glass. Into this mix comes a dimension of dry-hopped brightness, layering in notes of fragrant citrus and tropical fruit.

“Don’t expect a lot of bitterness,” Brynildson said. “The dry-hopping is geared toward creating this zesty, lemony floral Sauv Blanc aroma, which provides an intriguing complement to the estery clove character of the saison yeast.”

Opal’s Ingredients (or Most of Them)

Opal is brewed in stainless steel with Belgian saison yeast and Weyermann Pilsner malt as well as malted and unmalted wheat. Styrian Golding and Amarillo provide the hop base, with dry hopping courtesy of Hallertau Blanc. “We’re usually very transparent when it comes to the ingredients of our beers,” Brynildson said. “But Belgian brewers tend to be a bit cagey with the details, and that’s what gives a lot of farmhouse ales their mystique. So if there’s a secret spice in Opal, I’m not telling.”

Tasting Notes

Inviting lemongrass and gooseberry meet peppery spice and fresh grain aromas. Spicy Belgian yeast create a complex yet dry canvas with splashes of citrus and stone fruit with a bright tropical white wine finish. Hop bitterness is assertive yet harmonious, rounding out as slightly tart and refreshing.

Availability: Year Round / Proprietor’s Reserve Series

ABV: 7.5%   IBU: 35   Color: 4 SRM 

Retail: $5.99 / 22oz Bottle

2014 Parabola

Paso Robles, CA—Like no other vintage before it, the 2014 Parabola by Firestone Walker Brewing Company is a beer of darkness and immensity, a beast that bares its teeth with a highest-ever 14% ABV—and yet its bite remains refined. 

“The flavor profile of this beer is pretty intense, but it also offers this creamy dark chocolate and polished milled cocoa character that keeps the bitterness in check,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “So you’ve got this massive beer that goes down smoothly. It’s the smoothest, most integrated Parabola release to date.”

The 2014 Parabola is a Russian imperial oatmeal stout that was aged for a full year in a blend of barrels from Elijah Craig, Four Roses, Pappy Van Winkle, Woodford Reserve and Buffalo Trace.

“Our program keeps maturing each year, relative to our ability to get this mix of barrels from high-end bourbon producers,” Brynildson said. “We’ve identified distillers whom we really like, and we’ve worked hard to maintain connections with them. It’s less about extracting whopping bourbon notes and more about getting this integrated barrel character with complex flavors.”

The Parabola recipe and brewing methods remain the same every year, so vintage variation is rooted in barrel selection. “Every vintage is slightly different,” Brynildson said. “That’s the beauty and the point of making vintage beers.”

The 2014 Parabola is limited to 3,500 cases of 22-ounce bottles. It will be available in select markets across the United States starting this month. The suggested retail is $16.99.

Also, be on the lookout for Easy Jack.  It’ll be available for the summer.  It’s a session IPA and it’ll be taking the place of Solace.  Some people will be bummed to see Solace go, but hop lovers will be happy.  We should start seeing cans soon, starting with 805.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Firestone Walker Feral One release

"your glassware, sir"
This weekend, Craig, myself and several other of the blogging community went up to the Firestone Walker Buellton tap room for what I thought was going to be a simple "Get your bottle and get the hell out" bottle release.

I was very wrong. 

David Walker himself said to me, "You know we always look after you guys". "You guys" not just being us cool kid bloggers, but also everyone who came to the event and everyone who drinks their beers. Not only was there the Feral One bottle release, but there was also a mini beer fest inside the Barrelworks! All the beers were paired with a food item that the chefs were busting their asses to get prepped to support the huge amount of people that showed up.

Ain't no party like a Firestone Walker party!

Check out the beers they had:
Winter Wookey
Easy Jack
Parabola 2014
Sour Opal
Lil Opal
Saucerful of Secrets
Agrestic #9 and #16
Hat Trick
And of course Feral One

I want this, always...
They had some really great food pairings. Kudos to their Cicerone. I really, really liked the Winter Wookey paired with the Elk sloppy joe. That was the beer/food pairing I was born to eat. The Hat Trick was also paired with a delicious white cheddar that mixed really well also. Unfortunately for me, a lot of the food they offered was seafood related and I can't eat that, so I just had to tough it out with beer and seconds on sloppy joes.

This was a super cool event and just goes to show you, if you ever have the chance to go to anything that Firestone Walker is putting on... just go! They pull out all the stops and definitely take care of the people that support them.  Oh, and they make great beer. There's that as well.

Check out the Facebook a bit later as I will be uploading the majority of the photos Craig and I took into a gallery there. Cheers!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Three Weavers Kickstarter

Last November it was announced that Alexandra Nowell was leaving Kinetic Brewing and taking a job as brewmaster at Three Weavers Brewing.  At the time most people had never heard of Three Weavers.  They were in the planning stages of building a new brewery and were still looking for a location.  This was an opportunity for Alexandra to build something from the beginning and for Leanne Weaver it was a great way to get a lot of people interested in Three Weavers Brewing before there was any brewing.  Alex is a talented young brewer with a proven track record and a couple of awards under her belt.

A few months went by with little bits of information coming out, but all that changed last week.  The plan is to begin brewing in May, but the tasting room won’t be open till June.  A Kickstarter Campaign is set to launch during a party tonight, March 6th.  It’s at the Glendale Tap at 7pm, Josh and I will be there.

Check out the Kickstarter page here:

There has been considerable backlash against people using Kickstarter lately.  I don’t really understand it, nobody is twisting your arm.  Check out the rewards, if it looks cool, and you have some extra money, go ahead and chip in.  Maybe you’ll get a kick out of the fact that you helped them out, especially if you live close by.  This brewery is going to cost a LOT more money than any Kickstarter is going to generate, and it’s looking like it will become a great addition to the LA beer scene.  Too much good beer is never a problem.