Two shots down and the world is opening up. Took more time to get here than I thought last year but plans for trips are already being made and they will probably include some beer. Now let’s take a trip into what is coming up on the blog.
~ e-visits to (3) breweries NBA Playoff cities.
~ special featured reviews of beers from Eureka Brewing
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events (not as far in the future now, events)
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads Time Lord Victorious – All Flesh is Grass
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to My Dad Wrote a Porno
~ 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.
The May podcast suggestion comes from a recommendation from my sister…
Christian movies are ripe to be made fun of. Usually because story takes a back seat to a sermon. Most of the time the acting is below par, the money spent is noticeably less and rarely do the films garner more than a niche audience.
They mention Shiner Bock and Lonestar beer in the Bells of Innocence podcast.
This is my second novel from Emily St. John Mandel that I have read preceded by Station Eleven which was an interesting read but I was a little off-put by the voice and style of the author. I liked the backdrop for this book which is a Ponzi scheme that characters become enmeshed in.
And for the most part I liked the book. Oddly, the architect of the investment theft has his moment in the book and his story is the most affecting and filled with ghosts of memory. In fact, the people inside the scheme and that section of the book was by far the most gripping. The lead character though is a bit slack and not a story mover which may explain the flashbacks and forwards and the long character list. I also got the feeling that the books are of the same universe but because Station Eleven was set in post pandemic world that the timelines were muddy.
Because of the grift element, I would recommend either finding a ‘whale’ beer in your fridge or purchase a beer that is all hype. Not because I think that hyped beers are bad but because, this book makes you think of how people can be swindled and if you are in the mindset, you can judge the beer more by the contents than the cover.
You can say the name of this Hefeweizen from Burbank’s Trustworthy Brewing in a flat map app voice or remember back to the days of paper Thomas Guides. Either way, for our freeway pocked landscape, that is a great name.
Speaking of iconic Los Angeles, you don’t rank very many people higher than Vin Scully, and I don’t even like baseball. But this Topa Topa and Tarantula Hill Hazy DIPA has a fantastic name…
I ever so wrongly predicted that hard seltzers would be a “Here today, gone tomorrow” fad. They are now part of the beverage landscape and being added to brewery tap lists practically daily.
But I am going to double down – die on this hill proclaim that I do not think FMB’s (flavored malt beverages) are long for this world.
Oh, they will still be around but you won’t see the land rush from every brewery to make them. And when they lose interest or too much market share, then the pullback will begin. The major problem will be that the little breweries will be fighting over a pie that the big players can easily add themselves into and dominate.
Right now, your SABInBev’s, your Coors and Miller do not want to spend money on ingredients and time to make beer that competes with craft breweries. They steadfastly refuse entry into the world of IPAs, dopplebocks and Saisons, so craft has the run of that playground. Not so with hard seltzer where they can brand extend and create hundreds of flavors that are not far off from artisanal products.
I have tried many hard seltzers. Sone way too candy like for me and others that are subtle but none yet have struck me as un-replicable.
My April Top Two have European roots. But with modern twists. Los Angeles Ale Works came out with their Lemon Grab Belgian Wit which went all in on lemon instead of the orange peel and it worked really well. Bright without the lemonade acidity. Second beer is Loafer from Eagle Rock Brewery. A rustic saison made with upcycled bread from an L.A. bakery. I bought it for the conservation angle and new collaboration idea and ended up enjoying just the beer itself.
After a month of no change on the IPA leaderboard, there is a new number 3. Idaho 7 IPA from Crooked Stave is full and pillowy with a pine Christmas flavor along with a touch of grapefruit pith. Both sticky and soft this Colorado IPA even finishes with a touch of Concord grape.
3. Crooked Stave Idaho 7 IPA
2. Indie Brewing Quintette
1. Offshoot Beer Co. DDH Visions
Except for March Madness time of year, I don’t know what is on TruTV…
…but that might change with Backyard Bar Wars which will hit screens in July of this year. Hosted by Chris Distefano the show pits two backyards vs each other to see which has the best home bar. I assume the usual invisible handymen will do the constructing.
Is it Needed or Not – Well that depends on the comedian host. If Distefano is fun and not in the way, then this could be escapist fun with the occasional good idea for our own bars (outside or in). I don’t expect to see taps of craft beer but maybe a LA local might appear. So, the verdict is smack dab in the Needed.
Collaborations. But not the normal kind are the theme for April. Be it with coffee people, bakery people or pink booted people, beer can be made with practically anything and certainly everyone.
Eagle Rock Brewery Loafer Rustic Ale – 5.5% “Rustic ale made with bread. Made in collaboration with Bub & Grandma’s in part of the Zero Waste LA initiative.“
Indie Brewing Squad Hazy DIPA- 8% – “This double hazy IPA was brewed by the women of Indie Brewing Company on International Women’s Day. This beer also spotlights the Pink Boots Society which promotes women in the beer industry.”
AleSmith Brewing Speedway Stout Mostra Coffee – 12% – “For this special edition of our signature imperial stout we partnered up with our friends at Mostra Coffee to provide their artisanal flair. Combined with copious amounts of coconut, this beer has intense notes of chocolate, roast, dark fruit, and a touch of milky sweetness, creating a perfect decadent blend of flavors.”
Advertising is mostly utilitarian or, frankly, crap but some ads pop into the national consciousness. The story behind the ads that do click is the remit of Tagline. How do they come together? And the very first episode is about a beer, Dos Equis and The Most Interesting Man in the World.
How an SNL sketch and a song about George Washington proved the inspiration for a pair of writers bored with a client who seemed impossible is a great back story. Just the fact that this series of spots has two taglines is great.
You can grab a Dos Equis but I would say that you should go to a bottle shop and look for the most interesting label in the cooler case. Then look at why you find that interesting. Is it the color? The font? The information?