Review – A Trio from Mumford Brewing

With their 7th Anniversary recently passed, it seemed a good time to review three Mumford Brewing beers including their 10.76% TIPA…

Return Visit WC DIPA – collaboration with Cerebral Brewing. I like the repeated Return Visit in red on the yellow label. Bright and clear orange color in the glass. Getting candied orange peel to start that settles into a WC dankness. The DIPA strength shows.

Rolling Blackout Coffee Stout – milk chocolate is the aroma order of the day, Coffee is low here. Getting more vanilla than anything as it warms. A bit if metallic note intrudes here as well.

7th Anniversary TIPA – ticks the hazy boxes than toggles up the ABV. Soft hazy mouthfeel with tropical fruit and grassiness. If I had to describe using just one word, that word would be thick. This is a texturally heavy beer.

Lost in Funk

Beachwood’s Blendery recently re-opened and here is a good reason to re-visit or first visit, Funk Yeah Lost Time Blend, what they are calling the “best of the best.”

50% of the Funk Yeah blend and 50% of two exceptional four-year-old barrels. It will be available in bottles and on draft while supplies last.

A Book & A Beer – When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East

I really liked the first Quan Barry book that I read, We Ride Upon Sticks which combined girls lacrosse with witchcraft. It was well funny with a dark undercurrent to it.

The new book is a world away. Literally. Mongolia is the location and twin brothers go on the search for the next Dalai Lama. The brothers paths have diverged from the other and they know what the other is thinking in unguarded moments when defenses are down, yet neither knows the other really.

The chapters are super short. One to two pages, three at most. That format fits the monastic simplicity and also propels the reader to the next chapter especially with the philosophic chapter titles such as Every House is a Hotel or Two Notes Spiraling Up Into the Dark.

The descriptions of life in Mongolia such as the food is really interesting and the posse that joins them on the search have their own stories to tell. And by the time the book ends, it has grown to be quite profound in its look at a persons path through the world.

I do not think you will find much in the way of Mongolian beer at your local store. But there are monastic beers you could find and rescue instead of the latest IPA on the shelf and I know it is not in season but maybe a dopplebock would make a good choice, one with the -ator ending in the name.

Past Breaking News (Part 2) – West, East and Far East

How’s this for beer business water cooler talk…

Sapporo U.S.A., maker of the number one selling Asian beer brand in the United States, and Stone Brewing, one of America’s largest and most innovative craft beer brands, have reached an agreement for Sapporo U.S.A. to acquire Stone Brewing. Supporting both business’ long-term growth strategies in the U.S. market, the transaction is expected to close in August 2022. “

Could this work? Sapporo already controls Anchor and aside from can label designs that are a little plain, seem to be in the same craft brewing pecking order as they were before. But though Stone has slipped into seltzers and brand extending Buenaveza lagers, it is still primarily a hop house something Sapporo is decidedly not.

Sapporo does seem to have a California heritage brewery soft spot. Stone is a world brand despite the pullback from Berlin and having both a West Coast and East Coast brewing operation has benefits. Though if I signed on to brew at Stone and I was suddenly making Sapporo for a living, it might be stunting creatively.

For some, the past bold statements from Greg Koch and initiatives to keep craft independent will be “flip flop” fodder for semi-humorous tweets but to me…

The big question that I fall back to is that despite the relative security of a stable parent company, what happens if Stone doesn’t generate money at the clip required. What happens then? Or what if Sapporo decides five years down the road that they want out of a hyper competitive California and U.S. beer market?

As with Anchor Brewing, only time will tell if the two can work together. Maybe Sapporo, Stone and Anchor can do a Hoppy Holiday lager for Christmas.

Past Breaking News (Part 1)- Figueroa Bend

Well, this news can be filed under BIG.  Figueroa Mountain Brewing will be taking over four brewpubs currently held by Tony Yanow.  Bluebird Brasserie, Broxton, Stalking Horse and the biggie Mohawk Bend.

You can read all about the changes coming HERE from Hopped which broke the news on the eve of L.A. Beer Week.

Per my usual operating procedure, I needed to sit with the news a bit before I commented.  I think that any time a medium/ large chain like FMB can add a stand-alone pilot and R&D brewery is a no-brainer.  I also like the idea of a lager centric brewery, a little less but if that craft lager train arrives in trend town, it will be a super smart play.

The other two, confuse me, Mexican styled lagers are big but that could have been rolled into the German lagerhaus plan.  The SoCal Cerveceros are in the ascendancy with members opening and running breweries across L.A. which makes that Agua Sante idea much less appealing.

As for Mohawk Bend, will it be FMB Presents Mohawk Bend?  Or Mohawk Bend a FMB Joint?  I don’t see how it furthers the brand.  The absence of Sunset Beer might help but it seems more restaurant play than brewing. And it gives me a bit off more than can be chewed vibe.

Time will tell of course and I will be most interested to see which of the four locations becomes the busiest.

Relax, Don’t Worry. Learn About Homebrew

Some may consider having a building at a prestigious university named after them proof of a life well led. But I would argue that having brewing equipment named after you is even better.

Which leads to a fundraising campaign as brewing legend Charlie Papazian explains, “Metropolitan State University of Denver plans to name their 3 ½ barrel brewing laboratory after me. The Charlie Papazian Brewing Education Lab.

In effect they are commemorating the role that homebrewers and beer enthusiasts like you and I have played in making the world a better place for the enjoyment of beer. Who would have thought that! I enjoy being involved with initiatives that help assure great beer for the future.”

Sharpe at 7

Each year (when Portland has a first round pick), I take the opportunity to make tenuous beer connections and since the Blazers tanked semi-succesfully to pick #7, I definitely had to have an NBA draft post this year.

Since Shaedon Sharpe basically has a stop over at Kentucky, let’s instead head to the province of Ontario in Canada.

So let’s go to London and what I hope Rip City will become, a Powerhouse.

They have a smoked pineapple Gose that sounds great but since I am thinking about an NBA ‘ship, their Daydream Dunkels sounds even better this day.

Also, welcome to PDX, Jerami Grant!

Mexican Lager Showdown

Arts District Brewing is known for their beer judging and on Sunday the 26th they will open their patio to Mexican-Style Lagers brewed right here in L.A.

24 (yes, you read that number correctly) of the L.A. County Brewers Guild will have lagers at the ready AND A dollar from all pints & half pints goes back to the guild.

Winners will be announced and you can agree or disagree after that. What you will agree on, is that the beers were good.

Review – Unity 22 IPA from Highland Park Brewery

Time to give the verdict on the 2022 Unity beer, an IPA from Highland Park Brewery.

The label has a Muppet feel to it which is cool with the logos on the left but not so much with the reaching hands from the word Unity.

The beer pours a dark orange and right off the bat loads of Concord grape here. A lemon note backs that up. Medium to low bitterness level to me. This review is from first day of release so it was at freshness peak. It is light and refreshing and as it warms up more tropical flavors appear.