Needed or Not? – CandyCorn Whiskey

Look, I know you see Fireball selling like, well, fire and yes, spooky season is here but goddamn no one wants candy corn flavored whiskey.  

Two alternative names, free of charge: call it sugared up beginners whiskey and leave it at that.  Or just label it, whiskey that was passed over as inferior by everyone else so we dumped a but ton of sugar in it and are now trying to recoup the cost of the sugar.

And to breweries, do not even think of a candy corn beer.

Bourbon Bourbon County

One of my favorite bourbon stops in Kentucky was Bardstown Bourbon and they have a very craft beer like Collaborative Series. 

They have a bourbon aged in Foursquare rum barrels and now an upcycled bourbon….

“Made with our friends at Goose Island, the limited release features a blend of 6- and 7-year Kentucky bourbon aged an additional 12 months in stout soaked barrels that held the brewery’s beloved Bourbon County Brand Stout. The finished blend was then married with a beautiful 9-year Kentucky bourbon, creating an expression bursting with chocolate malt and dried cherry.”

Maybe my anti-Goose Island mood is waning since (more than likely) they will be sold off like all the other craft breweries Bud bought.

Start as an Acorn

Time to sing the praises of my college, Linfield as The Acorn to Oak Wine Experience is now open.  It is the University’s student-run wine bar located at  546 N.E. Third St. (the main McMinnville drag) and is open noon-8 p.m. Friday-Sunday and 3-8 p.m. Monday and Thursday. 

It is both tasting room and a hands on experience for Linfield students.  “From viticulture to wine marketing, students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in every aspect, all while being guided by seasoned industry professionals.”

Next time you visit Heater Allen and Gold Dot and Golden Valley for beer, get some wine too.

In the Tap Lines for October 2023

Fall is probably my favorite season even though the biggest holidays of the year (my birthday and Christmas) do not fall (sorry) inside its months. The switch from SoCal summer to milder temps and the Festbiers just make me happy. Enough about me, let’s get to what will be covered this month…

~ e-visits to (3) breweries from Richmond, Va.

~ special featured reviews of fall seasonal beers

~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events

~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark

~ A Book & A Beer reads Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to Strike Force Five

~ Sports & A Beer returns with re-aligning college football

~ New Beer Releases and Best Beers of the Month

~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

The Firkin for September 2023

I do not remember which brewery finally put me over the top but this month, I am officially done with photos and videos of spilled beer.

First is was the glamour shots of beer caught in freeze frame like a reverse waterfall flying up out of a glass, then it was the varied and sundry contests where beer ended up on the floor and lately it has been brewery staff drinking from a can but ending up with more on them and their clothes.

Maybe it is a sign of approaching geezerhood but as craft beer prices rise, wasting beer for a few digital thumbs up seems wrong. As a viewer, I wonder how many takes were needed for these videos. And as someone in a drought zone, I am heavily conscious of the amount of water it takes to brew beer and then add in the water needed to clean up after each Tik Tok stunt.

Then I break out my list of things breweries should do before uploading these videos like have an up to date tap list available, have your opening hours consistent on all platforms, keeping your website updated. Ya’ know, the basics.

I know that stuff is boring admin and doing video shoots is more fun and doesn’t seem so much like work but this beer fan is going to scroll right by spilt beer because that shit is sticky.

Best Beers of September 2023

It was grand to have some draft Trillium this month so I need to put Headroom Hazy DIPA on the best of list for the month. I also have to shout out a dopplebock from Ventura Coast Brewing, Earth Day for being such a pleasant style change from all the hops. Speaking of, I was shocked to see that my AmaWhole FoodsZon had bottles of Russian River’s Hop Growers IPA – CLS Farms edition in their cooler. It was light and delicious.

But my winner is from Oregon, Cascade Brewing’s Tartini. Sour but not puckeringly so. And by goodness, it had botanicals not only in the beer description but in the beer itself. Lovely light spice note. On the nose for gin fans.

Pittsburgh Brewery # 3 – Bona Fide Beer Co. 

Time to leave Pittsburgh but before we go, let’s stop at Bona Fide Beer Co. for a taster flight.

Lager – “Easy drinking American Lager. Mild fruity and floral aroma, subtle toasted malt flavors balanced with crisp bitterness. Finishes clean.”

Bitter – “The finest UK 2-Row barley and specialty malts with a distinct bitterness from Target hops.”

Crumb Imperial Pumpkin Spice Ale – “A rich, pie crust inpsired ale with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger & clove from Penzey’s Spices.”

IPA – “American IPA. Aromas of clementine and grapefruit prepare your pallet for a citrus forward hop profile followed by sweet malt flavors underneath.”