Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey Day beer fans!

Have a fantastic day, however you wish to spend it. Be it football, family, fistfights with family or festbiers.

Back to regular beer programming tomorrow, along with the annual Christmas Seasonal beer survey.


Needed or Not – Beer Cheese Pretzels

I still do not know what really constitutes beer cheese.  Is there even beer in the cheese? Or is it just a bit of malty flavor?

That being said, transferring cheese flavor to a pretzel cannot be easy.  Adding a beer cheese to a pretzel must be harder.

So, this would be Needed or Not based on one taste of the pretzel.  If it ain’t good, or at least to the American level of saltiness then the vote is Not Needed.

Bruery Supper Club

The Bruery is starting a supper club and they have chosen the highly regarded and much written about Oaxacan fare at Guelaguetza as the first restaurant in the series.

As you can see from the menu, this was a wide ranging set of foods and beer. I have to start by saying that the Moles were as advertised. Really flavorful and really a festival. It was great on the chips at the start of the night as well. The Chiles Rellenos were also quite good.

The beers, as expected, were well up to the high Bruery standards. Many were beers that I had not tasted in a long time and it was great to be reacquainted with them. Especially Or Xata and Mischief which seemed quite hopped up to me.

Strangely though, despite both sides being excellent, the pairings didn’t really fly. The Helles with the ceviche was the best of the bunch but even that was a bit dull. The tequila barrel-aged Siesta Saturday with the beautiful looking corn dessert, Nicuatole was a complete mismatch. The big burly beer ran over the delicate and subtle texture of the dessert. I would have paired the Helles here or the Gose.

Do not let that stop you from following along to see when and where The Bruery will supper with next. Food and beer pairings is an art and a science and sometimes it clicks and sometimes it just misses.

Needed or Not – The Dive Bar

Cut to the chase.  Not needed.  A light flavorless seen better days beer simply ain’t gonna add much of anything to chocolate or ice cream.  I bet that if blindfolded, you could not taste the difference between plain and “High Life”. 

But if a craft brewery added a stout or a fruited sour to an ice cream treat, then I would be 100% on board.  But adding water beer, nah.

SMBW Squared

There are “gets” when it comes to food at breweries and Santa Monica Brew Works snared a great restaurant free agent in Emmy Squared Pizza.

My famously picky better half ranks this pizza just below her favorite, We’re Pouring and I have to agree. The ‘Roni pie is brimming with pepperoni and has that nice slightly caramelized soft crust.

The place was packed on a recent Saturday but I think the beers need to rise to the level of the pizza. Maybe even brew a beer specifically to pair with it. The XPA and Inclined IPA are good but could be brightened considerably in my view.


I have had beer floats. Beer ice cream. Milkshake IPA’s but never have I seen the following combination…

HINT – look in the bottom right corner

Pour the beer over a popsicle? Obviously it is far more fun than a beer slushie monstrosity and I give all kudos to Bottle Logic Brewing for upping the beer and dessert paring stakes. But now I gotta find the right popsicle flavor.


It is not often that I am jazzed about the food options at a brewery in Los Angeles. It is usually not about food quality either. It is mostly that I pick a weekend destination based on the beer. So I end up with whomever is there when I am.

All preamble to the exciting news that APL BBQ from noted chef Adam Perry Lang will be on hand each weekend at Strand Brewing in Torrance from Father’s Day weekend until September.

In the holy trinity of food that pairs with beer, pizza, tacos and BBQ would be my choices and to get the buzzworthy BBQ is an added inducement to head to Torrance.