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.

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.

June Brewery # 2 – Barnaby Brewing Co.

North to Alaska and JUNEau to visit Barnaby Brewing Co.

Let’s grab a couple taster trays to try out the following from the BBC.

OMG I Love Trees – Imperial Spruce Tip Blonde

Theresa’s Meadow – Altbier

Jiggle Jiggle Wiggle Wiggle – Tropical Stout

Rodeo Clowns – Flanders Red

Slack Tide – BA English Barley Wine aged in Cherry Brandy Barrels

Guava Blood Orange – Imperial American Sour Aged in Tequila Barrels

A Podcast & A Beer – Doctor Who: Redacted

I am usually a non-fiction podcast listener but I have quite enjoyed the seven episodes that I have listened to so far of Doctor Who: Redacted.

People are going missing. Forgetting seems to be happening to everyone and three intrepid podcasters try to track down the mystery of what is happening and why a mysterious blue box is involved.

For me, fiction audio needs to have immersive techniques used. Bring in the foley artists, use echos and other sound tricks. Actors reading can take you only so far and DW: Redacted is using a lot of effects that work really well with the story created that has a lot of Whovian history shout outs. Though they have been way tooo heavy with the Doctor. Who? dialogue. We know this is about memory, no need to bang on about it so often.

That quibble aside, the twenty minute episodes move fast and are give room for each of the three main characters, Abby, Shauna and Cleo to tell their stories.

To pair with this podcast you can go one of two ways, three if you want to use it as an excuse to have British beer. One is to have beers brewed by women to match with our protagonists.

The other option being to pick a beer that embodies the spirit of someone no longer with us. A beer that brings back a memory. I might pick up a wine/beer hybrid that is a combo of what my dad drank and what I drink. Take a walk down memory lane.

The Firkin for May 2022

Though I always carry my trusty iPad around with me, there are more times where I prefer not to go online.

The whisky makers at Glengoyne had a similar thought, I guess, because they have hatched The Offline Edition of their whiskey that comes in a box with a mini Faraday cage inside that can block the signals of up to four phones.

That got me to thinking that brewery taprooms could have offline nights or a section of the space dedicated to those who want to enjoy their beer and not enjoy their beer whilst also glancing at their phones every minute.

You could then focus that nervous phone energy into talking to the beertender about the beers on tap, or simply savoring your beer.

I know that this culture likes to extol being connected but maybe we can discard this bit of multi-tasking and put the phones away.

Best Beers of May 2022

The Premier League finished this month and with it came post-mortems and best of and worst of lists. What these lists has in common was expectations. A player expected to score goals who did vs one who didn’t. A player who was injured vs one who wasn’t.

Or a player who came cheap and overperformed vs an expensive player that was just OK.

Same can be said of beers, a beer gifted to you vs. a beer you hunted down and paid top dollar for.

This month, I was kindly gifted two beers from Shades Brewing in Utah. Had never heard of the brewery before and they were sours which I have less of due to stomach responses.

But the Passion Fruit Sour and Plum Berliner Weisse were easily the best of the bunch and if ever in the Salt Lake state, I would encourage a visit.

Sean Suggests for May 2022

This month is all California with a leaning to styles not normally seen or ingredients not as often used.

Firestone Walker / Green CheekParrotphrase – 4.5% “We teamed up with Green Cheek Beer Co. to create Parrotphrase, a limited-edition Dry-Hopped Grisette with crisp flavors of passionfruit and guava. Parrotphrase will be the Welcome Beer at the Invitational Beer Festival.”

Cellador AlesGolden Healer – 5% “an intensely aromatic, and reminds me of the perfumey quality of walking by a guava tree in Southern California in the fall. The base beer has lots of depth, with classic Farmhouse beer character, which plays well with the slightly herbal note of the guavas.”

Beachwood BrewingBarrel Aged Full Malted Jacket Scotch Ale – 12% – “Bringing back our two-time GABF award-winning Full Malted Jacket Bourbon Barrel-Aged Scotch Ale. With its NEW partner in crime, Full Malted Jacket RYE Barrel-Aged Scotch Ale. You’ll taste accents of vanilla and toasted oak that meld seamlessly with notes of toffee and caramel.

A Podcast & A Beer – Dishing on Julia

Time to get foodie with Julia Child and the companion podcast to the HBO Max series, Julia.

Companion podcasts are a big thing right now. Any prestige series needs to have a podcast where the creators talk about making the show. And I can’t get enough of them.

That said, this podcast is 2/3 good. It is broken into a section re-cap which I skip by, one section talking to people involved with the show and a final section with someone from the broader food world. And there is some fascinating tidbits to be learned just about Julia’s husband Paul alone.

When it comes to beer, this is the time to globe trot like Julia did before and with Paul. Massachusetts. China. Sri Lanka. Holland. And especially France. So look for Biere de Garde, Grissette and Saisons. For bonus points pick up 1903 Lager from Craftsman Brewing in Pasadena where Julia was born.

A Book & A Beer – The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

John Scalzi has written a rollicking novel thar skewers greed and corporations while making heroes of scientists and a lead character who “lifts things” and loves sci-fi.

On the negative side, this reads like a B movie script. Stock characters, creature, juvenile humor and obvious villain. But it is a quick and short read so if you can turn your brain off a for the duration then you will enjoy the read like I did.

There is also an alternate universe, so, for beer you can choose to dig deep and find some altbier or sticke alts which will also add some heft to this light adventure.

You could also do the opposite of what is beer popular in this world and think about what beers might be the rage if time and events had unfurled differently.

In the Tap Lines for May 2022


Moving into May with another month of fun beer news and maybe even longer visits to breweries and even maybier festivals but for sure, this…

~ e-visits to (3) breweries in NBA playoff team cities
~ special featured reviews of Abnormal beers
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads The Kaiju Preservation Society
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to Dishing on Julia
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.