A Podcast & A Beer – A History of Coffee

Might be more iced coffee time than hot but either way I suggest you check out A History of Coffee podcast.

Hosted by documentary maker James Harper and professional historian Jonathan Morris cover the history of coffee, sustainability, the rise of craft coffee and the future of coffee.

It is a six episode series with nearly as many bonus episodes and the hosts strike a good balance of positive and negative, light and dark.

This is a bit of a no brainer. Look to the stout section of your beer shop cooler and search out their coffee beers. But to throw a twist, look for a golden coffee stout. Or to get even twistier, look for one of the Oregon coffee IPA’s like Java the Hop from Fort George or Cold Brew IPA from Rogue Ales.

Sales Data

First, I suggest you take a quick read of Bart Watson’s take on the first half sales numbers for 2022. You can click right HERE for that.

Now what leapt out at me wasn’t so much the numbers for on premise or OpenTable reservation data but a term that was new to me, channel shift.

Now it is just a fancy way of saying that people bought beer from different places but it is quite interesting to see how the swirling will they-won’t they of Covid restrictions and lessening thereof has thrown things out of whack.

Pivoting is good and was practically required of breweries but it does making reading the tea leaves much harder. Toss in supply chain snafus and airline flight cancellations and each year becomes an unenviable sorting task for Watson.

Review – 2 Fremont Collaborations

Fremont Brewing of Seattle (and Earth) has a pretty solid reputation and thankfully we get a bit of their beers here in L.A. Specifically a couple of IPA collaborations with sone equally well-known breweries…

Let’s start with Specific Void the ominous sounding IPA with Burial Beer Co.. Even the NW Fremont bird on the label has a museum exhibit quality to it.

This smells very NW to me. Pine backed by a slight fruit note. Very precisely targeted. Little banana on the taste. More malt than hops initially. Has a soft quality to it. Tastes closer to a Belgian Pale Ale to me and not in a bad way.

The next partner is Bale Breaker who also farm hops, so why not put those hops into a Cold IPA, Cultivision. Bird seems a little less goth on this label. Great aroma here. Quite earthy and dank to start. Very crisp. A bright yellow color to this one. Grassy overall.

I would take the Cultivision over Specific Void based just on crispness alone.

2-reka

Today, Eureka Brewing opens location #2 and it is quite a bit of distance from their Gardena brewery and taproom. Thousand Oaks to be exact.

They are taking over a Dudes Brewing spot on Thousand Oaks Blvd.

NamiPA

For the fourth year running, Pizza Port has combo’d with Pure Project on a beer and for 2022 that beer is Nami.  An IPA, which you probably already guessed.  What struck me was how pretty the label was, that Japanese inspired blue ocean is very cool.

1st Visit – Los Angeles Ale Works at Ivy Station

When I was in Portland, I visited a coffee shop that was next door to a bottle shop which was part of an apartment complex. It made me wonder what it would be like to have that availibility so close.

If you live at the Ivy Station in Culver City you now have an outpost of Los Angeles Ale Works an elevator ride away.

Yesterday, I was able to step inside for the first time. The color scheme is great, warm blues with wooden slats plus blue speckled countertops. The space is rectangular and a bit smaller than I expected with a corridor of outside seating facing the Metro.

I liked the little touches on the chairs….

…and the beer list was full. No lack of choices…

…this a great addition to what is becoming a Metro beer crawl with Santa Monica Brew Works to the west and Party Beer to the east. Dodger and Angel City FC fans will have a great place to pre-game as well.

A Book & A Beer – Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby

Some books you have to read with a capital R, others just propel you page by page. Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby is the latter.

Despite that propulsion, I was left with questions about characters questionable choices throughout the book. As hard as Cosby tries and as hard-headed as main character Beauregard “Bug” Montage is, selling his daddy’s car is so plainly the best course of action that the suffering wife character becomes one dimensional whenever she asks him to sell it.

Damn great name for a lead character though, especially the last name.

Secondly, throwing in with n’er do well or even n’er do the bare minimum Ronnie Sessions is just big stupid.

I can certainly see this as a movie, hopefully a limited series which might be able to flesh characters out more.

Beer wise, the soon-to-open L.A. brewery driven would be a hip choice or head to El Segundo for Upshift Brewing and order either the Usual Suspects Hazy IPA or go bigger to Double Clutch DIPA.

NJ Brewery Tour # 1 – The Seed – A Living Beer Project

Our first stop in the Garden State is The Seed, what they have sub-titled A Living Beer Project. Both really cool brewery names.

Here are some taster flight ideas from this unique brewery….

Poetry in Motion / Full Circle – “A blend of young, aged hop forward, stainless steel saison and mature barrel fermented and aged saison.”

Danko Rye Lager – “Amber lager brewed using 100% Rabbit Hill Farms grains. Brewed to highlight a single rye varietal, Danko rye.”

As Simple As Reflections? Heirloom Corn Lager – “Brewed in collaboration with our dearest friends at Bonn Place Brewing with PA barley and Bloody Butcher corn. Hopped entirely with NJ hops.”

Stay Awhile English Dark Mild – “A beautifully light, crisp, yet full little beer brewed with English pale, brown, amber, and pale chocolate malts. Hopped exclusively with whole cone Goldings. Notes of cleanly interwoven fresh ground coffee, hearth loaves, and the first hoodie evenings of the fall.”