At the Bend

It wasn’t all beer in Long Beach, I also slipped in a visit to Portuguese Bend Distillery as well.

The bright corner space has the distillery off to the right, a hole-y wooden boat hanging above as well as an L-shaped patio. This is a third restaurant concept from the Navarro’s, Brenda and Luis who also have Lola’s and Social List in town.

Simon Haxton is the distillery and currently they have a pair each of vodkas and gins. Both the hibiscus tinged gin and the “regular” are quite strong. Lots of fusel burn to each that covers over some of the normal gin notes that I would have liked to have tasted. I did have a cocktail, the Yes Please and it was nice and strong though heavy with ice.

The food, in this case the Southern Fried Chicken was straight down the middle comfort food. The mashed potatoes and gravy was great and the chicken was nicely breaded while still moist too. The rest of the menu hews to that comfort side with burgers and meat based dishes.

The next spirit coming after the Breakwater Vodka and the Smoke Bay and Donna Rosa gins will be a rum which will lead to more cocktails that I think will be the focus especially during the summer and fall.

Two New Caskmates

Jameson Whiskey is going “hyperlocal” with two new editions of Irish Whiskey. Here is the quick summary, ” The Jameson Caskmates Hyperlocal Limited Editions were conceived when Bale Breaker Brewing and Revolution Brewing traveled to Ireland earlier this year to brew their signature beers and season Jameson casks. Jameson then reused these casks for their whiskey, resulting in two different and distinct Jameson Caskmates Editions that have been patiently finished in local craft beer-seasoned barrels.”

Considering the hops that Bale Breaker may have used from their own farm, makes me pick that one first but Revolution Brewing is no slouch either.

Bourbon Re:Found

Usually, I am a gin guy or in a Rye Whiskey mood but when you see that Re:Find has already sold out their first two batches of bourbon, it makes you think they may have something there. Personally, I would like to get a set of 1/2 size bottles of the Rye and the Bourbon as a set.

Rogue Spirits Canned

Just catching up to the fact that Rogue has taken its Spirits to the next logical extension and canned cocktails. For me, the green cucumber lime is the first choice since I am a gin man with the ginger lime mule being my second choice. I am wondering where the whiskey drinks are though.

FWIBF – From Napa

When I was at the Venice locale of Firestone Walker, I noticed this poster…

I was immediately drawn to the bottle on the left, seeing as how not to many Saisons come our way from Firestone Walker. I am sure that many more are drooling over the Parabola with aging on wine barrels.


One of the benefits of having streaming services so hungry for content is that you can see documentaries that cover the spectrum of topics. Competitive baristas or a quick history of, say, Bourbon.

Neat – A History of Bourbon is beautifully shot. Stuffed to almost the breaking point with images of Bourbon being splashed into glasses. The film covers major points in Bourbon history such as the Bonded Act and Congress enshrining the drink as only Made in America followed by the creation of single barrel and small batch bourbons. Summarized a bit too much but still clearly expressed.

But the true heart of the story are two people who needed much more screen time, Freddie Johnson and Marianne Barnes. Johnson who is a third generation employee as a tour guide tour guide for Buffalo Trace speaks very eloquently especially about his father and relationships. Very touching stuff. Barnes is the master distiller for a new (as of filming) distillery, Castle & Key—a new Kentucky distillery. She is the first female master distiller in Kentucky since Prohibition and I would love to have heard more about her journey in Bourbon.

Beware, you will want some Bourbon on hand and you may want to make an Old Fashioned at the end.

Hops Meet Wine

I have had a few hopped ciders. None of which lit my world on fire. I have also had beers aged in wine barrels, some of which have been really good.

Now, thanks to Buttonwood Winery, I can taste how hops fit with a Sauvignon Blanc. Meet Hop On…

Not much in the way of hops here. Makes it kind of hard to review. It might be a good white wine but without the bitterness or aroma or any presence of hops, there just isn’t much to say. If you have friends or family that like wine and beer, it might be a fun gift but it will probably puzzle people more than be interesting.