Sloeber & XH

When you have had as many beers as I have had, surprises don’t happen frequently and when they do they are usually of the bad variety.  But lately, I have had some really good but really odd flavors.  Sloeber from Belgium has a sort of apple-esque quality but it has an sweet alcohol back.  It is really hard to find the right words for.  It is delicate and the most un-Belgian, Belgian beer I have had.

The XH aged in Sake casks from Hitachino is another odd taste.  You get a hint of sake but also fruit and grain.  It is a beer that at first tastes not like a beer but then all the flavors meld and it is wonderful.  I do not know how many people will like either of these but to me they fall into the category of “what is this? It tastes really good.”

Discovery Nights

Starting in April, I will be conducting Beer Discovery Nights and then posting results and comments right here on the Search Party blog.  Details are still to be worked out but there will be 4 beers on the docket either from one style or one brewery plus the St. Bernard Find of the Night and some munchies that pair well with the beer. Space will be limited.

Two beers cooling in my fridge

I went to a new wine and beer store today and found (2) beers that I have never seen before and piqued my beer interest. One is a Belgian called Sloeber. I have never heard of the brewery or their beer so this is uncharted territory. Second is another offering from Hitachino in Japan. XH matured in sake casks. Should be interesting.


Jolly Pumpkin Brewing

These guys do some seriously great Belgian beer. I have had their Bam Bier and La Roja.  Very good.  Subtle too, which is good for a Belgian beer.  They have many great special beers too.  Newly out is one called Firefly.  According to Beer Advocate they are the 8th best brewery in America.


A beer I want to try, maybe you should too

I have heard some good things about this beer and I think this weekend I will have to give it a try.  One reason that I haven’t yet is that it is in cans.  I have this bias (slowly receding) against cans due to Pabst and Olympia.  The second is that I am not a big porter fan.  But some times you have to take a leap and try something new.


The St. Patrick's Day choice

Special beer drinking occasions  (like St. Patrick’s Day) can lead to staring at the store selection and going back and forth between the tried and true, Guinness, or something new. Here is my suggestion, do a stout/porter tasting.  Start with Guinness then head off and try stouts from your local area.  In California, try a Telegraph Stock Porter. On the East Coast try the Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. In Oregon, Deschutes the Abyss is a monster and well worth the price.  Or pick up a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout.  Avery has some great dark beers or you can try Bell’s Expedition Stout.  Give little tasters of each and have a vote.  See which is a fan favorite.

What I am drinking right now


The label is a little too Easter trippy but this is a nice light Belgian ale with a taste of lavender. This is my favorite from The Bruery. It is a notch above the usual Belgian. This and Urthel’s Hop-It have been the best of the year for me so far.

2 Brooklyn Beer books

These two books are musts for any beer library.  You had better have a beer library or at least one book by Michael Jackson.  Beer School is a great business accented account of how the Brooklyn Brewery was born and nurtured to where it is today.  Very interesting on the intricacies of selling beer and creating a entreprenurial mind set.

To cover the beer and food pairing phenomenon, you have to read The Brewmaster’s Table.  It is an excellent guide to food and beer.  If you don’t learn something new, then you are the one true beer geek god.


Great beer bar

If you are in Los Angeles and you venture to the east side, then you must visit the Verdugo Bar. Great, concentrated beer list. Exactly what I would have in a bar. The owner, Ryan knows beer, you can’t go wrong with his list. Corsendonk Apple. Pliny the Elder.