The Firkin for June 2022

Americans both love a redemption story AND quickly tire of outrage. Don’t believe me? Wander to this LINK from Paste Magazine. And don’t TL:DR it either.

Americans and craft beer fans have all the beer choices available. I could “cancel” a brewery a day for years without making a dent in the number of IPAs in my ‘fridge. Which is why Vorel’s point of having a long memory is both important, AND not that hard.

Here is what you do:

  • open the notes app on your phone
  • creat new note and label, Do NOT Buy Beer From
  • add the breweries from Women of the Bevolution’s website that are distributed in your area
  • next time you are beer shopping, check that list

Not hard. You are not tracking the full journey of the fish at a seafood counter or who made the phone you just used to make a note.

Oh and next thing to do, stay tired of Tired Hands and their shithousery. We don’t need their beer. And you can tell their Instagram lawyers that.

Best Beers of June 2022

LABW13 ran its course this month and I have picked a beer tasted at the Cellador Friends Fest as well as an L.A beer as my four best for the month. It’s just not the sane beer.

Non-LA favorites were the Ledge Bier from Great Notion Brewing. It was a very gin and botanical lager to me and it was more silky than I expect a lager to me. And yet, really struck me as good. Staying with Great Notion but with a collaboration with Fremont Brewing, Mr. Sun II. This hazy DIPA ticked all the hazy boxes that I have and was just fruity all the way.

In LA, Chilloo IPA re-gained the winning ways of Brouwerij West and revived an interest in driving down to their coastal brewery. That leaves North Park and my favorite beer of the month with a fantastic name as well, Ancient Civilization West Coast DIPA which I liked more than its sibling, City of the Future Hazy DIPA.

June Brewery # 3 – Eternal City Brewing

Our last stop is in Rome and Eternal City Brewing. How is that related to June, you ask? Sources claim June is named after Lucius Junius Brutus, founder of the Roman Republic.

Tiber Beer – “Light beer, golden in color with white and fine foam. Drinkable and thirst-quenching due to the low alcohol content which also makes it easy to drink. The herbaceous and slightly fruity aromas of the American hops used blend with the flavor of the malt and make it an unmistakable beer, different from all the lagers you have tasted before.”

Dea Golden Ale – “La Dea is a Golden Ale with a classic golden color.  Apparently it is a “simple” beer but the floral and slightly fruity scents denote a special and brilliant character.”

XXI Quattro – “Blanche with a characteristic straw yellow color with white and compact foam, the XXI QUATTRO on the nose takes us to the Mediterranean scrubs due to the intense scent of rosemary.  On the palate we find the balsamic of rosemary and the citric of lemon that make it a fresh and thirst-quenching beer.”

Cinzia Bock -“This bock faithfully follows the style of belonging. Deep ruby ​​color, compact foam, very present malty notes, red fruit and caramel on the palate, make it a round and pleasant beer. On the nose we find red fruit, caramel and a light herbaceous given by hops.”

Drinking in Another State

Last Friday, what was unofficial became official when Roe V Wade was overturned despite most of the country not wanting to change.

Beer is For Everyone has jumped into action with a beer to work around this very bad, no good decision. You can read all of the details HERE.

Everyone who thinks that women should, oh I don’t know, have the right to choose will need to band together to create a giant work around to render this anti-justice moot.

Travel Writing

Stone has a new One Batch Dispatch out now, Travelogue Triple IPA. 

This is a big one, as they describe, “Our trek started with Amarillo hops – a favorite from Stone history that we’ve fallen in love with all over again – combined with Loral and Mosaic. Meanwhile, we used flaked wheat and oats, which you’d typically see used in a hazy beer, but filtered this one for a classic, bright appearance. 

That all went according to plan. But the surprise came when this beer that we expected to be a double IPA, came out at a massive 10.7% ABV. Despite the big alcohol content, this beer is incredibly smooth, letting the intense tropical & citrus notes shine with a glorious lingering hoppiness.”

Coconut – Wheat – Horchata

King Harbor Brewing has a new spin on a Horchata inspired beer, Coco-Chata starts life as a wheat beer.  Here is the explainer from the brewery, “This cerveza was inspired by horchata, that heavenly and sweet rice drink you have with your tacos. It’s loaded with toasted rice, raw and toasted coconut, Madagascar vanilla beans, cinnamon blend and lactose. Each sip gives you balanced notes of cinnamon, sweet vanilla, rice, and coconut on the back end.”

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.