It can be easy to fall into a beer buying rut. Whether you are chasing the latest releases or even just supporting your local brewery in trying times. But in this time of transition from one president to the next, from one season to the next, from one holiday to the next, this marks a good time to pause and consider the beer selection you have made in the last eleven months and how you can change in the final month.
It would be better to keep everything mixed up year round but especially this year, without taster trays or travel, 16oz IPA cans have taken over. Right now there is one bottle in my beer fridge. ONE. I am as guilty as the next person.
What have you not had a lot of this year? Use December as your testing ground. For me, barrel-ages beers have been in shorter supply. For you, it might be sours or Belgian beers. Whatever style has been missed, rectify that situation. Maybe, ask for that style of beer for a Christmas present.
Peel the Label is an infrequent series with no photos or links. Just opinion.
Not a fan of pastry stouts or other sticky sweet beers but considering their stellar IPA track record and the addition of Nitro, makes this Faction beer sound like a lot of fun to taste. And they didn’t Nesquick IP the label either. Glad that L.A. gets shipments from them.
Since this month has been filled with divisiveness, I thought the title of this podcast was quite appropriate. You’re Wrong About hosted by Sarah Marshall and Michael Hobbes reconsiders the public perception of a person.
Be I think Princess Diana, O..J., or Jessica Simpson. The duo dives into the story and look at it in new ways.
This leads me to the beer. Personally, I think the name would be perfect for a beer podcast. Two hosts that disagree about beer (respectfully of course) and who combined make us all think differently about beer and pushes us from the opinion hills we have all set up camp on.
For me, this means thinking about sweetness in beer. Not a fan. But maybe in the realm of the milkshake and pastry is a beer that I would really like. Challenge yourself to find a beer style that you have pushed away and find a better version of it.
Time to have a hoppy but distanced Turkey Day with….
Distanced Hop Luck – “This modern West Coast IPA features loads of Simcoe, Mosaic, Amarillo, and Centennial hops. Clocking in at 45 IBU, Distanced Hopluck is bright with intense aromatics, and refreshing on the palate with light bitterness. Pair with your Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving celebrations!”
Friendsgiving – “We’re making Friendsgiving virtual this year! This hazy double IPA features Galaxy, Mosaic, Motueka, and Cashmere hops resulting in a juicy concoction bursting with intense tropical fruit flavors and a hint of dankness. Pair with a Distanced Hopluck or your potluck!”
There is a nice mix of lists from Crafts Beer & Brewing magazine. Bordering on too many almost. You have a main Best of featuring twenty beers of which I had three. Then there are readers choice categories in top 50, favorite brewery by category and a who brews it best by style. Then there are five more Best of’s from different contributors.
From an LA perspective Monkish gets their hazy (and stout) love but Highland Park is making some serious inroads and could almost be considered 1B from our area. Speaking of, the excellent Glendale Tap in my adopted town made the best beer list which s quite the commendation.
The sheer amount of beers can lead to overload but you can see patterns emerge as you see breweries show up on multiple lists. You may have to make notes in the margins but this is a lot of helpful leads.
I find that returning after an absence beers to be just as exciting as brand new beers and that goes double when it is a returning IPA from Beachwood Brewing. Hopernicus is another excellent Shrago DIPA. Catch it quick.
We start this Brewyard Beer Co. two-fer review with Kalinga Pilsner which is really crisp with a lovely balanced flavor of the Calamansi. Citrus with a twist. Pours a super clear dark yellow. The malt and fruit take turns as the lead. Plus the label design is excellent.
Next onto the Star Wars inspired Ube Wan and boy that is a strange color of beer. Has a Kool-Aid quality. This beer has me divided. There is a candy, milkshake quality that is good in small doses which this beer has in not small doses but there is just enough bitterness here to cut it back a bit.
Since I had three Black Tuesday variants from The Bruery, I thought it appropriate to have instead of just my line opinion, three total. So, here goes…
Guest reviewers Jennie and Richard and I cracked open the Vanilla double barrel and the initial reaction was not good. Overly sweet and masking the bourbon barrel of the original while being 1.2% higher in ABV. I found it unbalanced and overly sweet.
The Maple double barrel got better though still mixed reviews probably due to the fact that the maple was less pronounced and was in better balance with the base beer. It too was 1.1% higher in ABV. I liked it better than the vanilla getting a pancakes and syrup vibe.
The Port Barrel variant was the most complex. Different adjectives flowed which was a good sign. Considered overall a sitting by the fire with a snifter beer. I thought it showed off the barrel better and had Belgian and cider characteristics.
Not great was the main takeaway with Maple and Vanilla a distant 2nd and 3rd overall and the Port version winning mostly because it wasn’t as sweet as the other two.