Landed in the rain of Sacramento with time to visit breweries before the main event of the California Craft Beer Summit. First up was Urban Roots and their BBQ.
A great selection of beers and boy did that smokehouse smell good. I had the 10 Degree Czech Lager in a big ol’ mug and it was fantastic. I followed that with Mizzenmast a gin barrel aged Saison was good too. The food was excellent and the space was well run and nicely decorated.
Next up is a return visit to the Midtown Sacramento outpost of Fieldwork Brewing. Since last I visited, the space was much smaller and minus the pizza. The beer, especially flagship Pulp was fantastic. The two Belgian beers were a little below par to me. And an imperial stout was wicked marshmallow overload.
Last spot for the day was Loyal Legion, the Sacramento outpost of a Portland beer bar. Damn, it was a long beer list and the first two I picked were empty. Third choice was a brand new brewery to me, Old Caz. Decent IPA but not a Wow!
Stop # 2 is in Pomona where Neon Bear Brewing resides next door to a neon museum storage facility, hence the bright name.
Let’s shed some light on their beers…
….I would start with Honey Laundrin’ a rather hefty honey blonde ale at 7.5% then move on to the Near Dark Schwarzbier before going back a bit to their cream ale, Near Light. Gotta try an IPA so Beach Beer their WC IPA is my choice before finishing with a sour stout, Sweet Sorrow.
Thanks to my lovely spouse, I got a Blind Barrels tasting for my birthday.
Here are my thoughts on the spirits and how it worked…
First, the first reveal of the four varieties
A. Corsair Triple Smoke American Single Malt Whiskey
B. Broken Barrel Barrel Pick Rye Whiskey
C. RY3 Cask Strength Blended Rye finished in Toasted Barrels
D. Krobar Cask Strength Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Second, my ranking was D nudging slightly ahead of B and C who were tied with A being a very far distant fourth because I am not a fan of smoke in my whiskey. The Krobar had just enough vanilla to it that it balanced out the cask strength. A was only 80 proof while B through D were all between 106 to 120 proof.
And that was my only real issue with this specific box. A was such an outlier that it was either gonna win by a country mile or be dead last. I might have liked all cask strength but maybe have one be have a finish instead of two, one be rye instead of two and have the proof range be 100 to 120. Maybe that is because I prefer teasing out the subtle difference.
But this is a fun way to taste and the reveal is as easy to do with the QR Code. And I know now to look for Krobar spirits.
Brewjeria has a Benefit Beer Release on the way. They have “teamed up with Mexicali Biennial to make a Farmhouse ale, or as we’re calling it ‘Cerveza del Campo’ with local Oro Blanco Grapefruit. This beer will be available on tap and in four packs on March 25th.”
And if you want to pair the beer art, the Mexicali Biennial recently launched a new exhibition “Land of Milk & Honey’ at the Cheech Center which is on my list of SoCal places to visit. But maybe they should call the exhibit Beer & Honey instead.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I tend to stay in on the drinking holidays and today I am doing the same with a taste test. Guinness vs. Itself but its non-alcoholic sibling.
And to make it a little more interesting, gonna do this blind and see if the 0 is easy to taste. My wife laughed at the suggestion since most of my N/A experience boils down to “too thin.”
But this blind nearly fooled me. They both pour that familiar darl brown almost black. Both have the widget The 0 Draught has a more pronounced Guinness smoke and chocolate combo compared to the draught we know and love on this particular day in particular. But, the taste was noticeably thinner with a touch of wine sour as well. That lack of fullness was enough for me to semi-comfortably pick it out.
The aroma was probably amplified for the 0 to compensate and in that lies a lesson for others making N/A beers. Pull focus away from the thinness inherent in these beers with aroma and you can get close to the original.
Last month, I listened to comedians trying to come up with a plausible Sci-Fi pilot. Well, that same team has released (on Valentine’s Day of course), Let’s Make a Rom-Com.
Ryan Beil, Maddy Kelly, and Mark Chavez are appealing as hosts / romance writers and because they are both really trying to write a romantic comedy while simultaneously learning about why and how one clicks makes the podcast really work.
For beer, I would head to chocolate. Chocolate stouts. German chocolate pastry beer. Bottle Logic in Orange County has a plethora of beers like that. Or if you want to dig deeper, pick a past or current relationship and where you “met cute” and pick a beer from that city.