Best Beers of November 2020

Brewyard is the winner of the month! Best beer two weeks running with the Bourbon Barrel- Aged Pumpkin Spice Dark Wheat which worked really well as an antidote for pastry or other barrel beers that are just too big. The other beer was Kalinga Pilsner which went for adding Calamansi fruit to the mix instead of doing a hopped version. It went against the grain like the pumpkin beer.

Special mention to a classic of Christmas which was my last beer of the month. Literally still drinking it now, the St. Bernardus Christmas ale which is just a wonder of holiday spice. So nice when the weather is cold.

Names to Look For

Quick hop post for y’all.

Remember these two hop names because I bet you will be seeing them in beers next year and more I need 2022.

First up is Australia- Eclipse. Then to New Zealand for – Nectaron.

Distance Christmas Beer # 2 – The Bruery Barrel-Aged Twelve Days Collection

Day 2 of our keeping distant but staying in the holiday spirit is a big ol’ box of barrel-aged beers from The Bruery.

“12 years, 12 beers. This limited edition collection includes a 2019 version of all twelve of our original 12 Days of Christmas Series releases. From Partridge to Drummers, we’ve got you covered. We took the original recipes and created a fresh version for you to taste in this collectible box. Finish your collection, or try side by side with your original. Creating this box was no small feat, but conversely this release is extremely limited and available only once, every 12 years.”


Charity beers have been a bright beer light this year and in 2020 fashion, we ain’t done yet. Great Notion Brewing in Portland has a new one, named Reparations Imperial Stout. All (100%) of the proceeds will be donated towards The National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) in support of bill HR-40

The brewery was buoyed by the success of the Black is Beautiful Beer program from Weathered Souls in Texas so they are inviting other breweries to do their versions. You can read more at

Happy Thanksgiving

Patience. We are close to a vaccine. So please do not spread the virus at literally the second to last holiday of the year just to eat turkey next to a cousin who you only see once a year. Make this year a Zoom-sgiving. Stay safe and enjoy your beer in your holiday bubble so next year can be a return to normal.


Beer Book Review – Hops by Kenneth Helphand

History. Beer has plenty of it if you look behind the curtain of hops. Kenneth Helphand has compiled some really cool photographs including some Dorothea Lange ones in his book about the hop world way, way back in the day.

This is a specific book. You are not going to get what varietals were made or even much talk about the end product. This is first and foremost a curated set of photos of the people in the hop fields. You also get recollections from people who went picking and from newspaper mentions as well. It does lead to a certain sameness. A group of people in front of a row of hops or surrounding a barrel filled with the days pick. But then you look a little closer and you see Chinese faces, Native American faces, recent immigrant faces.

You see, the everyday racist slights in the advertisements for workers. Or a YWCA camp set- up as a safe haven for women working the fields. You also get a glimpse into camp life with dances, movies, company store and living in tents until the harvest is complete.

It also leads me to want a similar book but of the current hop season. Let’s see the faces who grow and pick and bale our hops now.

Also, love to see my last name in a book…even if he is just standing around

What a View

El Segundo has found a winning design template for their latest Tone Series IPAs. I really liked the green of the softball field on a previous can, and now we are treated to the expanse of sand along with a solitary tower and transport. Many are working with new views from home but this one is a great workplace.

Oh, and the beer inside is…

Style: West Coast IPA (obviously)
Hops- LORAL / Centennial / Idaho 7