Belgian Stuffed

You still have most of this month to plan a trip to the OG beer garden of Los Angeles. Below is what should tempt you.

“The month of May is very special for the Stuffed Sandwich. The Stuffed Sandwich opened in May of 1976 – 45 years ago.

We always celebrate with Belgium Beers on draft.”

Here is this month’s selection:

BROUWERIJ ST. BERNARDUS – WATOU, BELGIUM
ST. BERNARDUS WIT ‘2020’
Traditional Belgian White Ale developed and brewed in collaboration with the Legendary Master Brewer Pierre Celis (known for the original white ale recipe- Hoegaarden White) wheaty, apple-like tartness with notes of coriander & orange, very refreshing

BRASSERIE ST. FEUILLIEN – LE ROEULX,HAINAUT, BELGIUM
ST. FEUILLIEN BLONDE – ‘2020’
Belgian Blonde Ale brewed with spices & citrus, nice mix of Belgian yeast, malt and coriander, slight bitterness on the finish

BROUWERIJ BOSTEELS – BUGGENHOUT, EAST FLANDERS, BELGIUM
KWAK PAUWEL AMBER ALE ‘2020’
Belgian Strong Ale with a nice taste of caramel, malt and dried fruit; has some sweetness with a hint of vinegar on the finish

BRASSERIE D’ACHOUFFE – ACHOUFFE, BELGIUM
LA CHOUFFE GOLDEN ALE ‘2021’
Belgian Golden Ale an unfiltered blonde ale brewed with coriander & invert sugar syrup; hints of fruit, spices, sugar and caramel

SCOURMONT ABBEY TRAPPIST BIERES DE CHIMAY – BAILEUX, BELGIUM
CHIMAY PREMIERE RED ‘2019’
Belgian Red (Dubbel) Ale brewed by monks at their monastery; nice blend of dried fruit, candy & caramel; slightly sweet/slightly tart

BROUWERIJ DE HALVE MAAN – BRUGES, WEST FLANDERS, BELGIUM
STRAFFE HENDRIK BRUGS TRIPEL ‘ 2020’
Belgian Tripel brewed in the city of Bruges since 1856. Top fermented and is still brewed according to the original recipe all these years later; has taste of spices, cloves, coriander, ginger and black pepper, semi-bitter finish

BRASSERIE DUPONT – TOURPET, BELGIUM
DUPONE AVEC LES BONS VOEUX ‘2020’
Belgian Saison brewed for the holidays – Bons Voeux means Good Wishes; higher alcohol for a Saison than most saisons, hints of apples, spicy and floral

BROUWERIJ VAN STEENBERGE NV, ERTVELDE, BELGIUM
MONK’S CAFE FLEMISH SOUR ALE ‘2020’
Belgian Sour Flemish Ale – it’s a blend of young and older beers, taste of wine, dried fruit, berries and caramel; has a sweet/sour finish

BROUWERIJ DE BRABANDERE NV – BAVIKHOVE, BELGIUM
PETRUS AGED RED ALE (SOUR CHERRY) ‘2019’
Belgian Red Ale aged in oak foeders; the base is a double brown ale 15% Petrus Pale Ale is added to provide a dry character andslight sour flavor, fresh cherries are added towards the end ofbrewing; nice blend of sweet and sour

Coming Next:

June: LA County Beers on Draft!
July: Summer Beers on Draft!!
August: Sweet and Sour Beers on Draft!!!

Featured Review – Nature Nut from Athletic Brewing

Peanut butter beers are the rage right now, but what would an N/A one taste like? Let’s see what Athletic Brewing can do with Nature Nut a collaboration with Justin’s Nut Butters.

Double N pours a nearly black color. The aroma has a slight peanut butter aroma to it. Akin to the smell when you stir up a natural peanut butter when first opened. Again, Athletic has made a beer that does not taste thin like others in this category. There is a bit of a cherry note amidst the carbonation that hits upon first taste which quickly leaves and then a pleasant but light peanut tastes lingers.

Help the Butterfly

image from the Five Threads Facebook page

Five Threads Brewing north of L.A. in Westlake Village is “releasing an Organic IPA with a special cause at its core. Vanishing Beauty is our effort to rally support for the critically endangered Western Monarch Butterfly. Numbers of these majestic migrators have fallen from 4.5 million to 2,000 in just the last 40 years. Integral to the pollination of much of our local flora, these creatures must be protected at all costs, and a portion of the sales from Vanishing Beauty will be put to that use.

Vanishing Beauty was brewed with 100% organic ingredients including Bravo, Simcoe, Sultana, Calipso, and Mosaic hops. Expect a light and crisp body buoyed by notes of grapefruit zest and a subtle floral medley. This can with a cause is available today in our tasting room and online, and if you’d like to do even more to help protect the Western Monarch Butterfly please visit our website to find out how you can make a difference.”

The brewery is also releasing a quintuple IPA named 5X as well. A hoppy way to help the earth.

Sip, Silence, Repeat

Unlike some, I like a good barleywine now and again and if it is from The Lost Abbey, you can double that emotion. But even more appealing is the idea forwarded by the Abbey of a “contemplative pause”. Good idea for all beers but even better for this beer style.

A Book & A Beer – The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

This is my second novel from Emily St. John Mandel that I have read preceded by Station Eleven which was an interesting read but I was a little off-put by the voice and style of the author. I liked the backdrop for this book which is a Ponzi scheme that characters become enmeshed in.

And for the most part I liked the book. Oddly, the architect of the investment theft has his moment in the book and his story is the most affecting and filled with ghosts of memory. In fact, the people inside the scheme and that section of the book was by far the most gripping. The lead character though is a bit slack and not a story mover which may explain the flashbacks and forwards and the long character list. I also got the feeling that the books are of the same universe but because Station Eleven was set in post pandemic world that the timelines were muddy.

Because of the grift element, I would recommend either finding a ‘whale’ beer in your fridge or purchase a beer that is all hype. Not because I think that hyped beers are bad but because, this book makes you think of how people can be swindled and if you are in the mindset, you can judge the beer more by the contents than the cover.

Boont Branding

This year Anchor Brewing unveiled a re-branding that didn’t pass muster in many people’s opinion and now another heritage NorCal brewery has done it, but I think that most people will be absolutely fine with the Anderson Valley design changes….

I think the antlered bear is playful and Pixar-ish and I like the forested landscape at the bottom of the label. Having chunks of educational material on either side works for me too. The only mid-step (and it is slight) is the font of the brewery name on the blue banner. I think it is a little plain to my eyes.

This refresh along with plans for a destination taproom shows, to me, that this brewery is giving a good effort to change with the times.

Diverse Resource

Support for minority owned businesses is crucial but figuring where to spend your beer money does require time, thankfully the Beervana Blog has a super handy spreadsheet.

Check it out HERE and if you know of a brewery missed, then add it in the comments section to make this even more helpful of a list.

1st Visit – Lawless Brewing in North Hollywood

The end of April saw the opening of Lawless Brewing and I quickly hopped over to check it out for a first visit.

The warehouse space outside doesn’t hint at the silver, metallic two floor space inside. There is the usual bar and indoor seating but because of the height it doesn’t seem constrained. Personally, I hope the mezzanine seating is opened because you can get a nice view of the brewing area and have some people watching.

The beer list was split in thirds by pilsner/lager, hoppy and stout. Between myself and beer buddy Richard, we tasted at least one from each category and found the light beers the best of the group. I voted the Mexican Lager winner with the Bohemian pilsner second over the West Coast IPA.

The time we visited issues arose for both their QR code menu and ordering system as well as their credit card system but the staff was friendly and gave updates and were flexible which made all the difference. That is key to return visits which is also helped by a new Single Hop Strata pils that is in the pipeline.

NoHo to Bur

Looks like the corner property that was once the brewing operations for Simmzy’s is staying in the beer family…

Brews Brothers who have a spot in the North Hollywood Arts District are taking the Media District location. I do not see anywhere in a cursory internet search if they will brew or not there but they have a pretty good amount of taps to fill.

West Coast Poetry

Stone does not mess around with their double IPA’s. And they have a new “ode” to the classic West Coast style that they popularized in San Diego. Plus it will probably be in the 22oz format so it will be truly a nod to craft IPA past. A