Monday, July 6, 2015

Firk through the heart

A few short months ago (why so soon, right?) I had the great pleasure of pouring at and enjoying the casks of the second annual Firkfest. If you didn't go, or hadn't heard my plaintive cries to get tickets on the facebook, then you should feel bad!  This year the Firkfest included over 50 casks of beer from 30 of socals best breweries and 9 chefs from the area who participated in a chili cookoff. All of which was hosted by my vastly more popular and handsome OC counterpart, Greg Nagel

The Nagelest - photo credit to www.beerandbaking.com

Craig and I decided to come out of hibernation for this event for a couple reasons:
 A) How awesome the previous years Firkfest was
 B) Beer
 C) Greg needed some help. The kind of help only beer nerds like us could provide

We actually got to spend a few hours pouring beer for one of our favorite breweries, MacLeod Brewing co! They brought a huge beer rack that held 6 pins. 2 of which were brewed with the help of fellow LA Beer Blogger Aaron Champion from www.caskalela.com. All the beers were amazing, but people were really going crazy for the Session Gap after the mid-afternoon heat started up. People had a ton of questions about beer and about MacLeod so it felt pretty awesome to be able to help them out the best I could. We even had a couple people stay around for the entire 6 beer tour de MacLeod. Most of all we got to enjoy the company of some excellent beer lovers!

After our pouring duties were done, we got to enjoy the rest of the fest. There were so many great cask beers on display it's hard to say which was best. But I gotta say, there's no need to drop a bunch of extra stuff into the beer for just the second event. Just trying some of the offerings on cask is interesting enough. There were some amazing offerings from noble and some great spicy beers. Some of the familiar faces were missing which was a little disappointing. Eagle Rock and 3 weavers apparently couldn't make the event for one reason or another. I also got to try several of the chili offerings including the eventual winners chili monstrosity... Slater's 50/50 came up with a frito chili cheese mashup that was literally my dream of chili cheese frito deliciousness come to life.

The Firkfest will mostly be remembered due to a rare treat... This was one of @yourpicssuck real life appearances! He was using his traditional dance moves to woo all the ladies of the fest. When I saw him last, a large crowd had gathered to hear his ministrations #educateyourself

All in all the fest was much improved over last year. There were even enough toilets to sate the needs of double the attendance of the previous year which was one of my few nit picking complaints about last year. Even though it's located in the awful OC, it's still worth the trip to enjoy the great beers that the brewers bring out and the hospitality of Nagel and crew

Monday, June 15, 2015

The best of L.A. Beer week 2015 part 1

Hey all! We're back for another L.A. beer week and this one is earlier than ever. It's like two beer weeks for the price of one! Or like... One beer week... for the actual price of one. Who can tell with all this craziness going on in the world?

With the restructuring of LA beer week last year, a lot of things changed. This year is no different as the kick off even is now in June! (as you may have inferred from the timing of this post and... ya know, living in the world) So I wanted to take a few moments to highlight some of the events that I think will be super sweet this year. Starting of course with...



Saturday, June 20th - The LABW7 kick off event!
Featuring over 50 breweries, multiple food trucks and every member of the LA brewers guild they could scrape together, this event is what kicked off beer week last year and what will be kicking it into high gear this year. In order to be a bit more centrally located and to make sure people have all the public transport options in the world, they have moved the event to Exposition park just south of downtown Los Angeles. So make sure you have your route planned on your flavor of public transportation as you will be having ALL the beers. Oh, also The #worldfamous Jemma Wilson will be speaking at the event! Can you believe it!!!!?!?!?!

Sunday, June 21st - Cask and ye shall receive
This event is a triple threat. In addition to being Father's day and LABW, it is also the first anniversary of one of our favorite breweries, MacLeod! There are three sessions to this beer event. The first one features a panel featuring our friends from BPLA and Cask Ale LA talking about cask beers and their influence on the LA beer industry. The other two feature awesome beer and your chance to drink it.
http://labeerweek.dola.com/events/2015/6/21/cask-ye-shall-receive-2-0

Monday, June 22nd - Pink boots LA beer garden
Support lady brewers, support LA, support continuing to make awesome beer! While the list for this hasn't been announced yet, I'm sure Alex will bring out the goods from Three Weavers.
http://labeerweek.dola.com/events/2015/6/22/pink-boots-l-a-beer-garden

Tuesday, June 23rd - Eagle rock Brewery's battle of the bands
On Tuesday, take a break from celebrating the best beer LA has to offer and see the brewers of the best beer shred it for four hours. Oh wait, who am I kidding, the best beer in LA will also be there! Special shout out to Chris from Three weavers who will be shredding this up.
http://labeerweek.dola.com/events/2015/6/23/eagle-rock-brewery-s-battle-of-the-bands

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

6th Annual Vegan Beer Fest

Hey guys, it's been a while! I wanted to take a minute to make sure everyone had the word about the 6th Vegan Beer fest. This beer fest and the people who put it on are near and dear to my heart. They were the first lovely people to allow me to talk about their event on the internet and this year is going to be their biggest and best ever so I have to talk about it, right?

For those of you that have been in the past, you are familiar with the big lot on sunset. It was hot, dusty and parking sucked but at least you got some good beer and vegan food in you, right? Well this year you don't have to worry about those things! Well... this is California so it will most likely still be hot... But this year the event is being held at The Rose Bowl! Parking will be plentiful and you won't have to drive to Hollywood. Those are both wins in my book.

Check out the details:
  • Just like every year, you will receive your very own LAVBFF glass and unlimited pours from 40 breweries featuring over 100 different beers. There will also be 40 restaurants and food vendors supplying various vegan foods and snacks. The food is not part of the ticket price though, so bring some cash money to feed yourself. 
  • General admission door time will be at 1pm. 
  • VIP admission includes separate entrance, early entry at 12pm, and access to the VIP lounge with exclusive pours.
While you're there, make sure to check out some of my favorites.  Bells (This'll be the first beer fest I've been to where they are pouring. Super exciting!), Golden Road (of course), Noble, Three Weavers, and El Segundo. I can't wait to see how they set all these guys up at the Rose Bowl.

Oh, and I guess knowing where to get tickets would be good. Get them here! And watch the facebook this week as I'll be giving away a pair of tickets to someone as soon as I figure out how I want to give them away.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Budweiser: SHOTS FIRED

If you were living under a rock or just don't particularly care for sportsball, you may not have heard about the commercial that the MacroBeer company Budweiser aired during halftime. Please let me enlighten you.


This could possibly be the best thing the big beer companies have ever done to support craft beer. There was always a somewhat unspoken "us vs them" mentality in the craft beer community regarding the relationship between macro and micro beer. Budweiser just used the internet troll argument on one of the most public of stages and it just makes them look like idiots.

They are talking down to craft beer lovers and making it sound like hard work and care goes into the brewing of budweiser. And anyone who likes a Pumpkin Peach ale is an idiot for not drinking piss flavored corn and yeast juice. As an aside and if you would like a bit of irony, Elysian brewery who the abinbev company owns, makes a pumpkin peach ale. So they are actually talking down to their own potential customers.

Bud is "for people who like beer brewed the hard way."... What does that even mean? All the ingredients and recipes are dumped into a program, moved through the brewing process by automated pumps into the fermentation chambers where they are monitored by computers for temperature and co2 levels in budweiser plants. So who is brewing this the hard way? Are we supposed to feel sympathetic to those over worked pumps? Is the Bender analog in the Bud plant not getting paid overtime?

You have to think to yourself, "Self, what is the point of a commercial?". If I were to answer for your self, I would say the point is to sell a product. Then who was the intended target of this commercial?
Maybe it was Craig's uncle who refuses to drink most anything but Bud Light. But why would you need to sell him more beer? He's already sold.
Maybe they are trying to change people's minds who drink craft beer? By insulting them and calling them hipsters? And why would they buy craft beer companies if they just want people to drink more bud?
Or Maybe they are just jackasses who are buying into their own hype and declining market share. Who thought this would be a good way to get more people on their side since "Murica, fuck yeah".

All I really know is that you should keep an eye out for the "Pumpkin Peach Ale Fest 2015".

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Angel City's "For the Sake of Ale"

Tonight, at the Japanese-American Cultural & Community Center in downtown, join me for the release of "For the Sake of Ale", the latest of Angel City's bottle releases! Inspired by the brewery’s neighbors in Little Tokyo, Angel City has combined their brewing expertise with traditional Japanese sake fermentation methods to create a unique style of beer. The beer uses a traditional sake-style rice and koji fermentation which balance naturally with the malted barley and hops. Huge floral notes blend with fruit flavors of pear and pineapple, then round out with a signature, dry finish. For the Sake of Ale weighs in at 9.2% ABV and should be a really interesting beer.


“This is one of our greatest brewing experiments to date,” said Angel City brewer, Layton Cutler. “We’re excited about the beer, and the fact that it has a relevant cultural reference. Being next to Little Tokyo and in such a diverse neighborhood, there is constant inspiration and this is one great result.” 

Angel City will be serving samples of For the Sake of Ale alongside viewings of Arts District artist, JW Pippen’s Jugatsuzakura. His piece is a riveting new samurai-themed sculpture using oak barrel staves from Angel City brewing barrels. This sculpture ties together Pippen’s continued interest in Japanese culture and love of the Los Angeles Arts District. During the event sushi and mochi will also be served. There are three tasting sessions throughout the evening – 6:00pm, 7:00pm and 8:00pm. To purchase a ticket to the event and for more information, visit the “For the Sake of Ale Tasting Party” page on Eventbrite.

Starting November 20th, For the Sake of Ale will be available in limited 22oz bottles at the Angel City Public House and very limited draft throughout Los Angeles. Use the beer finder to locate it outside of the Public House: www.angelcitybrewery.com/beer/find/.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Goose Island rarities at the Goat!

Just a quick one for everybody today. Next Wednesday, November 26th join us at the Surly Goat for a tap takeover of epic proportions. The Goat got a hold of some of the true barrel aged rarities from Goose Island and will have them on tap for You next week! I know some people are down on Goose Island due to who owns them, but that really hasn't stopped their Bourbon County line from being outstanding. 

Check out this Tap List:

2014 Bourbon County Vanilla
2014 Bourbon County Coffee
2013 Bourbon County Stout
2014 Bourbon County Stout
2013 Bourbon County Barleywine
2014 Bourbon County Barleywine
The Muddy Imperial Stout
Madame Rose Flanders Oud Bruin
Class of '88 Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Rambler IPA
The Illinois Double IPA
Matilda Lambicus
Festivity Brown Ale
Père Jacques Dubbel
Matilda Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Sofie Saison
Goose Island IPA
Bottles: 2013 Bourbon County Backyard Rye with Berries

That is not a bad gathering of beers if I say so myself. So come on out next Wednesday and drink some bad ass beers with LA's finest beer drinkers at the Surly Goat!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Art of Craft

Did you ever wonder how your favorite breweries came up with their sweet logos? Did you ever want to hear John Verive talk for several hours? Well, you can have both of these things as the American Institute for Graphic Arts is hosting a panel to discuss brewery branding and brewing techniques.

As Los Angeles’ beer community continues to grow, AIGA LA will recognize those who are part of its roots with an experienced panel that’s ready to talk beer, batches and solid first drafts.  The event will take place on Wednesday, November 12, from 7PM-9PM at Golden Road Brewing.

John Verive (Founder of Beer of Tomorrow, Certified Cicerone® and freelance writer for The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles magazine and Beer Paper LA) will moderate Asif Ahmed (Art Director, Golden Road Brewing), Lee Bakofsky (Brewer and Packaging Manager, Eagle Rock Brewery) and Andrew Bakofsky (Marketing Manager and Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewery) as they share their stories, experiences and insights into how LA’s most prominent beer brands were born and cultivated.  

The ticket price includes one GRB beer unless you are a member of the AIGA. Then you get two...
Prices are as follows:

Tickets
AIGA Members (Supporter) $20
AIGA Members (Contributor) $25
Non-Members $30

Monday, November 3, 2014

Come support Bernie Wire and Wounded Warrior

It's been a while since I've had time to post, but i can take a couple minutes out of my day for anything that supports the wounded warrior protect. What am I talking about? The opening reception for Bernie Wire's latest exhibit of photos in the Ramona Room at Mohawk Bend.

The Reception takes place Tuesday November 11th, from 5:30 -7:30. After the reception the party will continue in the bar until 9:30ish. There will also be a running slide show of hundreds of Bernie's photos from years past to the present.

This year’s exhibit titled “Drink the Beer You Love – Love the Beer You Drink” features images of hops, breweries, bottles and taps. This exhibit will have 10, 24x36 inch and one 36x36 inch prints on aluminum. This works by infusing dyes directly into specially coated aluminum sheets, which produces vibrant colors with an amazing luminescence.

The exhibit opens on Veterans Day and $100 from each print sold will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. I would like to encourage everyone to make a donation no matter what amount. http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/

Thursday, September 25, 2014

LA Beer Week 6 Kickoff

For the last five years, LA beer week was all about the big finale at Union Station. It was the culminating event of the week and capped it off with a good amount of all the beers you could drink from around town and beyond.

This year with the stepping down of the former organizers, there was a gap for the beer week that the newly formed L.A. brewers guild willingly stepped in to fill.
They decided to depart from the previous format of an end of the week celebration at union station to a beginning of the week kick off in Chinatown. Still just a train ride away from union station, the event provided some much needed breathing room for all the brewers and attendees that the previous years did not. As an extra bonus, it was outdoors in the shade so everyone wasn't sweating their asses off!

All 25 members of the brewers guild were in attendance showing off their latest and greatest brews for the thirsty crowd. We're not big enough to have an L.A. only beer week, but we're getting there pretty quickly.
Some of my favorite brewers from the fest were:
Beachwood brewing co: Vulcanizer Collab with Drakes. A 7.1 abv west coast ipa.
Reverend Nats: This cider maker form Oregon brought the goods. They had an amazing fresh hopped apricot cider and a heavily hopped 10% Apple cider.
Highland park Brewery: My favorite from them so far was their Beer Spaceship.  A somewhat lightly hyped session ipa

All in all, I'd have to say that this year was a significant improvement over last year's event. The organizers really worked hard to ensure that everyone would have a good, safe time. Cheers to them and Fran specifically for making it happen, cap'n!

Monday, September 15, 2014

LA Beer Blog's guide to LA Beer Week 6!

Every year, you see lots of people post about how cool all the beer week events are and how much fun they had and yadda yadda yadda... This year, I want to make sure to be the swiss army knife of blogs and give you everything you need to be prepared for this years LA Beer Week!

Oh, in case you don't know, LA Beer Week is a series of beer related events that go from Sep 20-28 in the Los Angeles area. These events celebrate drinking local and partaking in the craft beer community. On to the events!

Sep 19th-30th The Coaster Show - While  LABW officially starts the 20th, the last couple of years it has been kicked off a couple weeks earlier by the Coaster Show. This is a cool, art focused event where artists from all over LA come together to do their art on the coaster medium. If you don't have any idea what I'm talking about, check out more info here.

Sep 20th LA Beer Week kickoff - This is kind of a big deal. In the past, there has been the finale at union station to cap off LABW. This year, since the beer week is under new management, they decided to do a kick off event instead to get everyone in the beer week mood!
This event is unfortunately sold out as of yesterday, but I still had to mention it since it is where the party will be. If you have tickets already, I'll see you there!

Sep 21 ERB brewers brunch - If you happen to find yourself a little hungover after the kick off, you should definitely go get yourself some hair of the dog with Jeremy and crew at ERB on Sunday! Chef Jerry will be serving up some tasty goodies and ERB will be fully functional and ready to serve all the Unity you will need.


Sep 23rd Cask and ye shall receive - MacLeod Ale Brewing Co is putting on it's first cask specific event. There will be casks from several breweries, people talking about cask beer, and an all around good time. Make sure you get to this a little early. It is free and there is not that much room in the tap room.

Sep 24th Fullpint takes over the oinkster - The Oinkster Eagle Rock is hosting the super cool crew from The Full Pint. The Full Pint crew is picking their favorite Drafts and Bottled beers, and we will be offering a couple exclusive food items made especially for The Full Pint peeps.

Sep 25th Meeting of the guilds - Three of California's brewers guilds are meeting up at Mohawk bend and bringing some of their best beers in a tap take over. So basically the best beer from San Diego, LA, and San Francisco will be on tap. Do you really need to know more than that?

Sep 27th Walker's wild ride - Walker's Wild Ride has become somewhat of a tradition when it comes to cool beer things happening in LA. If you're not familiar, David Walker (of Firestone Walker fame) loads a bunch of kegs of really good FW beer into his Land Rover and drives around town with them. Making stops at all the bars where the children have been good. He's pretty much the Santa Claus of craft beer. Except more British.

Sep 28th Block party with smog city and monkish - To close out beer week, you may want to spend some time at the Glendale Tap. They are bringing you two of the best breweries in LA in a end of week tap takeover. Smog City always brings the goods and this gives people in LA a chance to try some of Torrance's finest representatives.