Review – 5 and 8

In my beer pecking order, I tend to go for collaboration beers a lot but close by in preference is an Anniversary beer. Today I will be tasting 2 IPAversary beers.

First is Burn 5, a West Coast IPA from Burnin’ Daylight in Lomita, California. B5 pours a dark orange color and the initial taste is a bit of Sweet Tart candy and dried orange peel. The aroma is light tangerine to me. Quite light in the mouthfeel though a bracing pine bitterness comes in at the end.

For their 8th, Ventura’s MadeWest Brewing went for a DIPA. Pours a yellowy orange color in the pint glass. Very strong initially but that quickly fades into a pleasing citrus melange. The bitterness does linger on the palate. Also cleverly clocks in at 8% abv.


Looks like another new L.A. based beer is out.  Grown Folks’, Front Porch, an American Light Lager at a sessionable 4.5% ABV. Grown Folks has three hard seltzers as well – Peach Cobbler, Ambrosia, and Key Lime.

Grown Folks was founded by Danica Dias in 2021 and takes inspiration from her grandma and her Creole background. The lager will be available in Los Angeles and a few other cities.

A Book & A Beer – Black AF History by Michael Harriot

I have said it before and I will probably say it a million more times but there is so much more to history than the boring incantations of specific dates and the cookie cutter history written by the victors.

I wish that Michael Harriot’s book Black AF History had been on my history class reading list because I would have been well entertained while also learning.

Harriot is funny but underneath that funny are some cutting remarks and bringing some well known historical figures down a peg as you can see from the cover of the book. But this history is more about giving time in the spotlight to people from history that you should go and Google right now like Juan Garrido, Musa I and Ida B. Wells. And you need to go over the study questions at the end of each chapter. It is a clever way the author reinforces points made. If you want to study American History, this had better be part of the curriculum.

No weird style or new trendy beer for this book. Go out and buy a 4-pack from a local black-owned brewery. Here in Los Angeles it would be Crowns & Hops but a quick (second) Google search will find one in your local area or one that you can buy from further away.

Sean Suggests for February 2024

As much as I enjoy a good themed beer shopping list, sometimes you just want to go around the style horn and end up with a wide variety of beers. Here are three to try…

Highland Park Brewery Bird Bier – 5.2% – “Witbier brewed with locally grown Buddha’s Hand plus Purple Sage & Pink Peppercorn foraged from The Audubon Center at Debs Park!”

Topa Topa Brewing Pava Rosa Sangria-style Kettle Sour – 6.5% – “Brewed in collaboration with Carhartt Family Wines.” 

MadeWest 8th Anniversary DIPA – 8% – “West Coast Double IPA with notes of pink grapefruit, blueberry and pine. Hopped with Nelson, Simcoe Cryo and Mosaic Incognito in the whirlpool followed by a generous dry hop of Vista, Mosaic, Ekuanot & Columbus Cryo.”

ERB at 14

Eagle Rock Brewery is turning 14 in 2024 and, of course, there will be a big anniversary party and their new roommate Party Beer Co. will be attending this joint Pajama Party there on Saturday, Feb. 17th from noon – 6pm. 

Per anniversary tradition there will be special beer offerings plus karaoke, Mario Cart and food trucks.

Did I mention a pinata?

Best Label?

Hop Culture, the allied beer writing arm of Untappd, came out with their best beer labels of 2023, which you can check out right HERE.

With a few exceptions, I was not in agreement with picks because there was a certain gothic swirly tattoo darkness to a lot of labels plus Humble Sea whose labels for sure stand out but are not for me.

But enough of my side eye, I want to point out that two of my favorites from SoCal were on the list. Brouwerij West and Everywhere Beer Co. A tip of the hat to them.

Gin Day – Lindemans Old Kriek

Time to talk gin again bit this time with both a Belgian and beer twist to it as Lindemans, known for their sweeter fruited lambics and some harder to find distinctly Belgian beers also has a gin! And it is made from Old Kriek distillate!

You know that I will be seeing how I can get myself some.

Gin Day – Rested v Aged

I have been intrigued by barrel-aged gins and even have bought a couple but both were lightly aged and on not pungent wood, as it were.  That changes with the new releases from The Botanist.

One is Islay Cask Aged and the second is Islay Cask Rested Gin. The latter “has been matured in cask for a minimum of 6 months, and Aged has been matured for a minimum of 3 years.”

The Botanist has a big selection of botanicals that just might meld with an Islay cask.