Want To Visit in 2022 Brewery # 2 – Gamecraft Brewing

Next up in my beer travel in SoCal wish list is Gamecraft Brewing in Laguna Hills.

And here are some taster tray picks…

Czechpoint – “a Czech-Style Dark Lager collaboration with Resident Brewing of San Diego. Malt-forward, medium bodied, smooth finish. Enjoy notes of chocolate, roast, dates and toffee.”

Piranha Plant – “hop forward pilsner, brewed and dry hopped with German noble hops, Opal and Saphir. Notes of citrus, orange blossom, and red berries with underlying tones of herbs and spices. A plant with a bite.”

Otaku – “Like American-style Lagers, Japanese Rice Lagers are brewed with rice in addition to barley in the mash. Rice provides fermentable sugars for the yeasts that produce alcohol, while keeping the beer light in color and body. Hop bitterness is low but mildly perceptible, providing a balance to the grain sweetness. Crisp and refreshing, with a slightly dry finish.”

Face McShooty – “West Coast IPA, with a very simple malt bill to give a foundation for the hops. Amarillo, Ekaunot and Simcoe. Notes of citrus, peach, pine, orange, grapefruit and pineapple.”

Want to Visit in 2022 Brewery # 1 – Wagon Wheel Brewing

First we travel north to Oxnard and Wagon Wheel Brewing. Opened in the auspicious year of 2020.

Let’s dive into what I would put into a taster tray…

Swanky Bear Hazy IPA – “Swanky Bear is our first Hazy Single IPA featuring Simcoe and Citra hops. Soft citrus and stone fruit flavors pair well with the silky mouthfeel of this crushable Hazy IPA.”

Switch Back IPA – “This West Coast IPA is light, pale and dry. Nelson, Simcoe and Chinook hops leap from the glass with pineapple and grapefruit aromas balanced with a crackery malt backdrop. This IPA is fruity and dank with a lean but expressive bitterness.”

Road Rash DIPA – “Road Rash is a high octane Hazy Double IPA with a rider friendly delivery. Layered with German Pilsner, American Oat Malt and Wheat, this beverage goes down smooth. The Galaxy and Citra deliver the bottom end power with intense notes of orange, tangerine and grapefruit.”

Best of Brewery # 3 – Grist House Brewery

Our last stop for all of 2021 is in Pittsburgh at Grist House Brewery.

Let’s see what is in their house…

Twilight Hour Czech Amber Lager – “A sessionable lager full of flavor that is ideal for the winter months. This 14° Czech Amber lager was brewed with Bohemian pilsner and a variety of Crystal, Munich, and Vienna malts that lend flavors of caramel, biscuits, and honey. Hopped with CZ Saaz for balance and slight spice flavors and fermented cold with Czech Pilsen yeast.”

Frosted Silence Dessert Sour – “A beer to warm your soul in the cold winter months. Tart red plums and apple cider combine perfectly with cinnamon and vanilla for a delightful frosted treat.”

Clean Line West Coast IPA – “With big aroma and inviting bitterness, this West Coast IPA may rock the boat. Brewed with Ekuanot, Mosaic, and Simcoe, Canoe Rocker boasts delightful notes of tropical fruit and citrus.”

Siberian Highway Imperial Stout – “This Russian Imperial Stout was aged 12 months in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels and condition on cacao nibs, Indian Mysore coffee from Allegheny Coffee & Tea, Madagascar Vanilla beans, Cinnamon, Cascabel peppers, and Lactose.”

Best of Brewery # 2 – Cohesion Brewing Company

To Colorado and Czech beers at third Cohesion Brewing Company.

Let’s have some lagers, shall we?

Cohesion 10º: Světlé Výčepní Pivo (Pale Draft Beer) “Single decocted lager with a light hop flavor and touch of malt sweetness. The most commonly consumed style in the Czech Republic. Honey, refreshing, smooth.”

Cohesion Polotmavý: Ležák 12º (Half Dark Lager) “Our amber lager with a name that translates to “half dark”. Rich notes of caramel malty goodness are balanced by herbal hop flavors, and a touch of bitterness. Malty, nutty, balanced.”

Cohesion 12º: Světlý Ležák (Pale Lager) “Our version of the most famous Czech lager – the original pilsner from Pilsner Urquell falling in this style. A full bodied malty lager with a rounded bitterness. Sweet hay, herbal, pleasant bitterness.”

Cohesion Tmavý: 14º Tmavý Speciální Pivo (Special Dark Beer) “Dark brown with rich malt flavors, this double decocted lager has flavors of toffee and a touch dark chocolate, with a light finish. Rich, toasted malt, full-bodied.”

Best of Brewery # 1 – Roaring Table

I read through the 2021 Best Of… issue of Craft Beer & Brewing magazine to select three that grabbed my attention. Let’s start with Roaring Table Brewing Co. from Lake Zurich, Illinois.

12 Degree Czech Dark Lager – “Coming in at 4.4 abv this tmavé pivo features pilsen, caramel, roasted and toasted malts. Smooth, crisp and perfect for this time in the Midwest. Na Zdravi!!! And before you ask.. no we are no fluent..”

Ex Libris Wild Ale – “This blonde mixed-fermentation beer comes Solera-style from our Foeder Crafters oak foeder, which we first filled in July 2017.”

Frequency # 2 Pineapple Soursop – “Our tart and funky foeder base aged 14 months on fruit purée in a second-use Chardonnay barrel. Big sweet-tart pineapple and subtle coconut on a dry and zesty body. “

Supergigantic Metafantastic Hazy DIPA – “Get your haze, your hazy days, your metagaze on those metaplays, the one where the one is the one. Get a turtle, get a tortoise, here we are now, thus comport us.”

Fresh Hop Winner # 3 – Single Hill Brewing Company

The Gold medal went to Energy Cone from Single Hill Brewing in Yakima.

Here are my choices to guide you when you visit…

Adams Pilsner– “Naturally brewed from the finest Northwest malts and Yakima Valley hops, Adams is a refreshing, every-day drinker. A pilsner that is true to the craft and easy on the palate, this crispy mountain beer has been deemed: “The bubbly of gold ribbon feast beers.”

Future Echoes Bold IPA – “Future Echoes is back, and this time it’s showcasing Simcoe, Bravo, and experimental hop 17701 from Hopsteiner. This Bold IPA leans into the bitterness of a traditional west-coast IPA, while bringing the noise with modern hop flavors of peach, pear, & bitter orange peel.”

Raz Rocketship – “Carrying a massive payload of raspberries on board a German-style sour wheat base, Raz Rocket is jammy, tart and refreshing. Try it yourself and see why we think it’s out of this world!”

Osa Major Imperial Stout – “Featuring deeper black color and darker chocolate and fuller roast flavors than in its little sibling, Osa Major is a roaring, intense Imperial Stout.”

Fresh Hop Winner # 2 – Pinthouse Pizza North

Silver was awarded to Fresh Hop Green Battles from Pinthouse Pizza North, no strangers to GABF medals.

Let’s pick a few other beers to sample from this four location brewery….

Magical Pils – “fruity and spicy hop profile, Pilsner malt, and a soft mouthfeel”

Bearded Seal Dry Irish Stout – “Our flagship Dry Irish Stout is a little bolder than the commercial example most people are familiar with, and is filled with aromas and flavors of roasted coffee and dark chocolate balanced with a nice dry finish.”

American Slang Dry Hopped Saison – “Spring Peach, Pomelo, White Pepper & Rustic Ingredients. Dry hopped with Amarillo and Citra”

Electric Union India Pale Kolsch – “Stone Fruit, Peach Rings, Grapefruit Zest. Hopped with Simcoe, Azacca, Mosaic, Chinook and Cashmere.”

Fresh Hop Winner # 1 – Burke-Gilman Brewing Co.

Bronze went to Seems So Long Since We Walked in the Moonlight from Burke-Gilman Brewing Co. in Seattle.

Here are some options for when you find yourself in their taproom…

Eminence Grisette – not often do you see this style

My Own West Enemy IPA – “West coast IPA with Citra, Mosaic, Amarillo, cryo Chinook”

Baboom Belgian Dark Strong – whiskey barrel aged.

Černý kov Czech Dark Lager – have to have a lager or pilsner

Modern British Brewery # 3 – SixºNorth

The final stop for this mini-dive into Modern British Beer is the town of Laurencekirk, south of Aberdeenshire and SixºNorth, per Matthew Curtis, “Lindsay and his team have channeled the influence and flavours of Belgian beers into something resolutely Scottish.”

Here are some suggestions to try…

Brevet Honey Heather Saison – “Spicy and floral Saison with a sweet nuance. All ingredients sourced from within 30 miles of our brewery in Laurencekirk, Scotland.”

Green Listed NZ Keller Pils – “A delicious Keller Pils that’s unfiltered yet clean & crisp! We’ve dry hopped with Motueka giving a delicate, floral edge.⁣⁣”

Hopclassic Begian IPA – “Hopclassic is a full-flavoured Belgian IPA. The bitterness is well integrated in true Belgian style with a pleasant kick at the end. Hopclassic is packed full of hop character and is very refreshing on the palate.”

Chapeau Triple Hop – “Chapeau is us tipping our hat to Duvel’s Tripel Hop. This special beer was dry hopped with Citra to provide a fruity yet refined flavour whilst the earthy spiciness of the Saaz & Styrian Goldings hops contribute to a long, bittersweet finish.”

Feral Earth

I don’t normally post about beers that are pert near impossible to land so think of this as an early recognition for what may be a new L.A. brewery.

The San Pedro nano is Feral Earth, helmed by Javier Rodriguez who also brews over at Brewjeria. Keep an eye out and snag a bottle if you can.