The cat puns continue at Party Beer Co. with their new Ariosto a 5% ABV Japanese lager describes by the brewery as “Crisp and ultra-dry, hopped with Slovenian Celeia.”

Though cats are dangerous enough without giving them weaponry.

A Powerful 2021

Usually the Power Plant rolls in in keg form and you get a fancy glass and a half pour of this truly big TIPA. Things haven’t been usual so instead we get it in 16oz cans from El Segundo this year. It will be worth it but make sure to take your time enjoying it.

Wishes Delayed

One of the fun points in the LA beer calendar is being delayed a bit for safety reasons which I applaud. Here’s are the details on the coming Infinite Wishes release from Smog City.

“One of the best parts about Wishes Day is getting to try all the variants, talk about your favorite variant (or the OG) with you, which one you’re most surprised by, and which one you’re going to buy a whole case of. Since we can’t share that experience with you if we can’t serve beer onsite, we’ve decided that delaying the release was the best thing to do right now. Also, Wishes day always draws a huge crowd (yay!) and we all know that now is not the time for crowds, even if it’s for an amazing beer. 

What we can tell you is that we are concocting 4 delicious variants in addition to the straight IW release and no matter what, the day is going to look different than it has in the past. Rest assured, we are working on creative ways to encapsulate the excitement and thrills of Wishes Day while still keeping our community safe!”

Go Back

Now, if a delivery truck could go back in time think of the possibilities. For now, just be aware that two cool Ventura County breweries have teamed up on an IPA that is not hazy or West Coast. Maybe East Coast Clear is the next thing. And we would have Topa Topa and Casa Agria to thank.

Oh, Snap

One resolution for 2021 is to sample other pursuits coming from breweries. Be it cider, seltzer or coffee. Mostly the first and third items on that list. Which is why, I was excited to see this new coffee from Chapman Crafted. I will be interested to see how snap chilled compares to cold brewed which does not fit my particular taste.

Beer History & Writing

I kinda prefer to-do vs resolution. I think the latter though stronger is more often lost by the second week of January. That is prelude to the fact that one of my to-do’s this year is to listen to more of the programming from the Beer Writers Guild (NAGBW). Last week writers/ historians Maureen Ogle and Liz Garibay spoke about writing about alcohol through the lens of history.

Here are some nuggets of wisdom that I picked up….

  • Ogle is working on a book about August Schell and his brewery
  • keep historians in mind when writing about beer but not the usual suspects
  • you can tie current events to the past because what may seem new probably happened before
  • I will be interested in the 2021 Beer Culture Summit from all the praise heaped on the 2020 version
  • there is a book about Hawaii beer history coming from Paul Kan and another writer Isco working on something about Oklahoma brewing history

A Podcast & A Beer – From Now

I generally focus on non-fiction when it comes to this monthly feature but to start off the year, let’s go into outer space. Here is the logline: “a lost spaceship named USS Hope returns to Earth after 35 years, one shocking lone survivor disembarks—and chaos almost immediately ensues.” Starring the voices of Game of Thrones actor Richard Madden and Brian Cox from Succession.

Now, you can find many a beer with a space theme but I would suggest that you look for IPAs with Galaxy hops as the lead. Maybe compare and contrast a West Coast version vs a hazy one.

A deeper cut would be to drink beers from breweries that are older than 35 years. See how those “surviving” breweries are doing.

An even deeper cut would be this….

…a newl re-released beer from Institution Ale Company that has the word hope and a skeletal astronaut. “Hope Unknown is back in 4-packs for the first time in over 2 years! Hope Unknown is a Double IPA hopped with Azacca, Ekuanot, Mosaic and Simcoe. Expect big flavors of melon, papaya, stone fruit and pine. Hope Unknown has high bitterness, dry body and a crisp finish.”

Peel the Label – Social Media Defiance

I waited a couple days to ruminate before wading into the “I’m Right, You’re Wrong” Covid wars but felt that I should add my two cents in for a middle perspective.

The topic, you may ask, is posting on social media that you are going to open your brewery/restaurant despite explicit orders not to. Now I truly empathize with, in this case, Pedals & Pints Brewery up in the Thousand Oaks area. They grand opened a few days before California shut down dining back in March. That sucks. They seem to care about their employees and they say they will be stringent in cleaning, though you could clean every surface and one sick person without a mask will undo all the scrubbing.

They have been whipsawed by government at every label and received little to no actual help. Again, that sucks. I have railed against the haphazard, whatever is easiest approach multiple times on this blog that Newsom has decreed.

But, life is about timing and boy did Pedal & Pints not factor that in. You simply cannot say no when patients are being cared for in a hospital gift shop. Yup, that happened. Might still be happening. You simply cannot say no when each day brings new records for positive Covid cases. It sucks but all you are doing is asking the government to shut you down and fine you. And, you are dividing potential customers into the I don’t care about rules camp and the I ain’t gonna visit that hot zone camp.

I sure as heck ain’t gonna go there. It may be outside dining but I bet the air under that tent will have some viral component because people will be sitting there for long periods of time without masks. And the people there will be the Covid deniers / chin diaper mask brigade.

You just have to wait until the vaccine gets out there more and slowly open back up without posting it almost over the socials. It’s the right thing to do even though the government hasn’t done right by you.

Peel the Label is an infrequent series with no photos or links. Just opinion.