Book Review – Whiskey Women

I have been listening to Fred Minnick on the Bourbon Pursuit podcast that he contributes to and then I saw he had a book about women and whiskey and bought it.

Whenever I read a book about women in history, I wonder what the world would be like if weak men weren’t so damn scared of women.  

Whiskey Women brings a few women from whiskey history to the fore and if any of them had as much rope to use as men did, wow, would Bourbon, Scotch and Whiskey be different.

We learn about poitin in Ireland, bootleggers in America and peat in Scotland through names new to me that should be talked about far more than they are now.

To me, the most fascinating tales were of the wives and daughters who inherited distilleries and proceeded to run them very well.  Basically men had to die for a woman to run a distillery.  

Thankfully, this is shifting in the right direction but it is still too slow for my taste.  Minnick shows page after page and woman after woman that we miss out when we don’t allow everyone to rise to their potential.

Take Care of Yo’ Self

Or treat yo’ self to a N/A beer from Three Magnets Brewing under their Self Care line.

Their IPA won a recent Oregonian newspaper N/A taste test AND they have a bubblegum glitter beer. You do have to buy two packs minimum so there you go for your first order.

1st Visit – Arrow Lodge DTLA

On a recent Saturday, I struck out for the Arts District to visit the new DTLA location of Arrow Lodge Brewing. Arrived a hair late behind a ton of runners who stop at breweries in between running or maybe vice versa.

That long wait time snafu aside, the corner space of the Covina brewery’s DTLA taproom is a bit spare looking and does not have the outdoorsy camp vibe of the original.  Concrete floors and walls with a few L.A. sports murals of Fernando Valenzuela and Kobe Bryant.  Only a small patio space too and quite loud when full.  

Not that I need a big beer list but there were only 8 beers on tap with three being sours / fruited beers. Considering the rain and cold that L.A. rarely gets, a couple heartier beers would have been good.

I liked the name, so I ordered up the Zig Zag Zig IPA which was solid. The beertender did a a tremendous job with the rush crowd and made me feel at home despite the LA Galaxy jersey. (RCTID)

With both Angel City and Arts District within a few minutes slow walk, you can grab one beer at each while avoiding the running crowds.


I am not your go-to guy for blind tastings. Too much beer out there for me to drink which precludes honing in on a specific beer. Maybe this easy game would help….

You just need to be able to count and have enough beers on hand to taste blind.

1 Point – identifying a simple beer characteristic (ALE OR LAGER?).

2 Points – identifying the beer’s general category (PORTER OR STOUT?).

3 Points – identifying the specific beer type (OATMEAL STOUT OR IRISH STOUT?).

Full Points – Naming the exact brewery and beer. If you guess wrong, you lose the other points gained.

Know Yourself

You can’t miss the Frida Kahlo mural at Trademark Brewing but you may not have seen or remember the quote from her that is on it, “I am my own muse, I am the subject I know best.”

Obviously, they needed a Kahlo inspired beer so there now is My Own Muse, a “West Coast Pilsner that features this year’s exciting hop blend of Loral, Ekuanot, and HBC 586.”

Oregon Beer Day – Double Decker

Oh how I would love to live near this….

The Rachel and Rose Double Decker is half coffee shop and half pub. It is in Portland but if a sibling were here in Los Angeles, the upper half would be open all the time and you probably wouldn’t need the heated seats much.

Oregon Beer Day – Gold Dot

Two Oregon titans are combining on a new project that will land in my college town of McMinnville.

Lisa Allen, head brewer at Heater Allen known for fantastic pilsners, and Kevin Davey, who as brewmaster at Wayfinder— led the Cold IPA trend are combining forces.

The Heater Allen brewery in McMinnville, Oregon, will also launch a new venture and line of beers at the facility to be called Gold Dot

If you are looking for the next hot beer style, it may be born at this new brewery partnership. And Gold Dot is now on the Oregon list the next time I visit.


Belgian brewer Lindemans has two new mixed fermentation beers coming out under the Tarot name.  Both are low in sugar and have no sweeteners or colorants.

“The brilliant, golden blonde Tarot d’Or has a beautiful white foam collar. The pleasant, sultry aroma refers to mango, lemon and honey melon, among other things, with nuances of ripe pear. The flavor is full, juicy and round with hints of ripe exotic fruit. The beer has a nice sweet and sour balance and a pleasant, smooth drink.

Tarot Noir is also a blend of high-fasting beer and lambic to which blueberries, blackberries and black elderberries have been added. The beer colors dark purple in the glass and has a full, compact foam collar and a sultry and intense aroma of dark and red fruit (black berry, cherry, cherry, strawberry… ). The natural flavor is juicy and round and reminiscent of red and black berries with a hint of cherries. Tarot Noir has a nice acidity and a surprisingly soft and fresh drink.”

d’Or would be my first choice but Noir sounds great too.

California Craft Beer Summit – Final Thoughts

The theme for this year’s Summit was “unsteady”. My flight from BUR to SMF didn’t even toss peanuts to us due to the bumps. With crazy bank shenanigans and big competition from Bourbon and RTD’s, it seemed that everyone was a bit on edge. The future just seems wobbly.

While on the floor I saw little activity around a lot of the equipment booths and others seemed a bit heavy on banking and finance institutions.

Their was also some placement stategery going on. In the past, regions of California would pour their beers from one spot and you would see the hop folks clustered and the equipment booths together. This time around there was no clustering at all. You could have a malt seller next to a sanitation booth and one or both may have poured beers. And there was no signs as to what was pouring. So, as an LA person, I could not easily scope out the beers of the Bay Area or San Diego.

My guess being that in an effort to get all attendees to all booths, they mixed it all up to draw people in to give booths more exposure and chances to interact with people. It seemed, to me, the changes were exhibitor impact based and away from ease for attendees. Because if you were in the market for fruit puree, you were gonna walk.

The festival also was the same length as I remember but Monday was a political day of action with a Welcome event so you didn’t really go to the Convention Center until Tuesday and Wednesday was a half-day. That gave the Summit both breathing room and condensed the activity.

The education was still top notch. Lots of great information to be had. The events were excellent outside of the Summit and, as usual, the ship was run well and on-time. Imagine trying to pour Pliny to a huge crowd. Hard to do.

So, what did I take from the event? Loads of info that I will read about, a small understanding of the breweries in Sacramento that I could visit and a feeling that though there may be turbulence ahead, there may also be smooth pockets of air as well.