Tomorrow, as threatened in an earlier post, (Boy am I time traveling) I will discuss some of the NorCal breweries with big reputations and which ones exceeded my expectations and which were let downs. Not big let downs, but lesser than stellar. I re-read the post and thought it might be too much of a bummer for the end of the year, though still informative, so here are a pair of threes
my 3 favorite beers from the trip
Mikkeller Limoncello Tart IPA
Firestone Walker Bretta Weisse
Russian River Aud Blonde
3 new breweries to watch for from Nor Cal
Headlands Brewing in the North Bay
St. Florians Brewery in Windsor
Cali-Craft Brewing in Walnut Creek
and one last great place for beer up North, Belly – Left Coast Kitchen & Taproom
On Food GPS tomorrow, I will be giving a list of possible beer gifts for beer geeks.
One that I left off is the…
Stuff the stockings of friends and relatives with a simple card that says “Let’s go out for a beer, the first one is on me!” Because part of craft beer is getting together and trying beers with friends. And as hokey as it sounds most friends and relatives would probably rather go out for a beer than try to figure out what shirt size you are or get you a shot glass from the Phoenix airport.
And it sure beats the heck out of a free hug card for sure.
Food GPS has been running my choices of Top 10 California beer styles. I have covered IPA’s and stouts and now it is time to do a round-up of Holiday beers!
A quick glance at my blog shows my love for the style(s) that encompass the gamut of beer creativity. And one of the best, in my opinion is the Anchor Christmas label and their website has added a cool feature that showcases all the labels in the series…
Check out the range right HERE
Tomorrow on Food GPS, I will talk briefly about Colonia Taco Lounge, Cucapa and Ensenada Beers and the like. To whet your whistle, a simple one – two punch of the taco menu and the Horchata Stout from Ensenada.
Tomorrow in my weekly Food GPS post, I will highlight ten beer-y spots in Pasadena that as a beer lover, you should have visited or should be planning on visiting.
But I wanted to highlight a few other places that are Pasadena adjacent that you should also keep in mind….
in Highland Park
Maximiliano and the Hermosillo
Pacific Plate Brewing and Certified Market
38 Degrees and Grill ’em All
On the November 14th edition of Brew and You on Food GPS, I compare the craft beer scene in Los Angeles to that of Chicago.
This is NOT meant to be a contest
Now I don’t think having Best Beer Cities or Best Beer Bar polls are of much use. Yeah, they can show a traveler where to go but beyond that it is mostly bragging rights and a gold star on a website. There are top tier beer towns, mediocre towns, towns that have a growing rep and newbies.
I believe that it is more than a little unhelpful to compare the City of Angels to places like San Diego or Denver. Primarily because the economics and people and politics are crazy different.
And also because those places have had a lengthy history of beer. You can compare Seattle to Portland because they have similar timelines that you can base comparisons on. Los Angeles is like no other in that respect, so you have to search harder for cities that you can measure against.
Read the post and see if how I compare two cities when it comes to craft beer is more 3-D than an online poll.
Must be a coincidence that the next Food GPS column selects 10 Great Stouts brewed in California one day before International Stout Day!
If you haven’t joined in on the fun, then use tomorrow’s column to prepare yourself for Friday! And then follow the action at #Stoutday
Erin Peters, the founder of Stout Day recommends the following stouts for us in SoCal….
Cismontane Black’s Dawn, Beachwood BBQ Udder Love, Smog City Groundwork Coffee Porter, The Bruery Tart of Darkness.
In tomorrow’s Food GPS Brew & You column, I touch on three wildly different beers that I was too scared to try until now but for those in an unadventurous mood, here are the Top 5 Pumpkin beers as rated on RateBeer.
1. Midnight Sun T.R.E.A.T. Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter (Oak Aged)
2. Selins Grove Pumpkin Ale
3. Southern Tier Oaked Pumking
4. Avery Rumpkin
5. The Bruery Autumn Maple (Barrel aged)
How many have you had?
My favorite pumpkin ale is from TAPS in Brea. Victor Novak has crafted a beer that has the spice notes but is pumpkiny. Like having a slice of pie.
Tomorrow on Food GPS, I will talk about the spate of recent craft beer immigration into Los Angeles.
But if you spin around 180 degrees, there is a need for our local beers to make the rounds out of state as well. Sure, some get seen and rewarded at the Great American Beer Festival, but it is hard to make an impression when it is one taster glass out of 30-40- or 50.
Golden Road has been in the vanguard on branching out into markets and during San Francisco Beer Week, our brewing peep’s have a venue for an L.A. Tap night but until our breweries get bigger the best way to create an L.A. craft beer image is for us, the most vocal fans, to spread out beer far and wide. When you go home for the holidays, if Los Angeles is not your final Turkey/Xmas destination, take some beer FROM HERE home.
Yes, you will have to check it but Southwest lets bags fly free. And you can put beer in a bag. Grab a sampler of beer to pass to your buddies and family. Or if you don’t want to share, tweet that you are drinking our beer somewhere else or Instagram it. (just not in sepia, God how I loathe that).
Tomorrow, the Food GPS “Where to go for Craft Beer” series returns with a survey of the South Bay. Previously, I took a look at Downtown LA and at the Hollywood area. As a travel guide for those who either are new to Los Angeles or native Angeleno’s who want to explore out of the area that they live or work in.
Those first two “neighborhoods” as it were are pretty easy to identify. They have boundaries that are pretty well set. And so does the South Bay, but people (like me) from the Glendale area may not know what those boundaries are per se.
So to prepare for my picks, here is a handy map detailing where we will be headed tomorrow…..
As always, if you have suggestions that I missed. Let me know. My list of craft beer places is long but I want to be as informed as possible and will add even more.