ERB at 14

Eagle Rock Brewery is turning 14 in 2024 and, of course, there will be a big anniversary party and their new roommate Party Beer Co. will be attending this joint Pajama Party there on Saturday, Feb. 17th from noon – 6pm. 

Per anniversary tradition there will be special beer offerings plus karaoke, Mario Cart and food trucks.

Did I mention a pinata?

Best Label?

Hop Culture, the allied beer writing arm of Untappd, came out with their best beer labels of 2023, which you can check out right HERE.

With a few exceptions, I was not in agreement with picks because there was a certain gothic swirly tattoo darkness to a lot of labels plus Humble Sea whose labels for sure stand out but are not for me.

But enough of my side eye, I want to point out that two of my favorites from SoCal were on the list. Brouwerij West and Everywhere Beer Co. A tip of the hat to them.

Gin Day – Lindemans Old Kriek

Time to talk gin again bit this time with both a Belgian and beer twist to it as Lindemans, known for their sweeter fruited lambics and some harder to find distinctly Belgian beers also has a gin! And it is made from Old Kriek distillate!

You know that I will be seeing how I can get myself some.

Gin Day – Rested v Aged

I have been intrigued by barrel-aged gins and even have bought a couple but both were lightly aged and on not pungent wood, as it were.  That changes with the new releases from The Botanist.

One is Islay Cask Aged and the second is Islay Cask Rested Gin. The latter “has been matured in cask for a minimum of 6 months, and Aged has been matured for a minimum of 3 years.”

The Botanist has a big selection of botanicals that just might meld with an Islay cask.

Tomorrow @ 10AM

One of my favorite parts of the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival brewery announcement is finding the new invitees, seeing which foreign breweries are flying in and the number of my home state, Oregon breweries (7 this year!) in attendance.

There is not really a weak link in the bunch. But let me take a different tack this year, there are a few breweries that I would bench for a year to let in a few more fresh faces.

Revolution out of Chicago is great but I would love to see Funkytown or Turner Haus involved to bring a bit of diversity in.

Omnipollo and Garage Project garner big lines. I mean big lines but I would like to see some English or Scottish micros in California, The Kernel or Thornbridge come to mind.

I would also like to see a Mexican craft brewery involved as well, I think that would add a new dimension to the festival. Or maybe Bow & Arrow out of New Mexico.

I think removing the big line breweries would have the effect of creating more exploration. Instead of waiting 20-30 minutes for one beer, you might try two beers from breweries you don’t know much about plus a food sample.

This is, of course, the most nitpicky of posts you will read about FWIBF. It is such a fantastic festival that you have to resort to it so as not to repeat ones self.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10am. If you haven’t been, try.

A Podcast & A Beer – True Detective: Night Country

True Detective is back in creepy form with the 4th installment, aka Night Country. The sign of a good show and a talked about one is when the streamer also plumps for a podcast as well.

And care has been taken from the jump by having an indigenous member of the Alaskan community serve as host. Alice Qannik Glenn is an activist and podcaster and does a good job moving each episode along and pulling information about both the process of creating this show as well as additional information about Alaska and its peoples. I kinda wish they would delve a bit deeper into the Easter Eggs and possibilities of what’s to come but it is a small quibble about a good companion piece to the show.

Obviously, the best choice would be something from Anchorage Brewing or Alaskan Brewing but we hear in SoCal do not see much of those brands. Ditto for anything from Iceland where the series was filmed. The next obvious choice would be to have a new cold IPA each episode to match the corpse-sicles in the show.

That leaves me thinking about the dark, since the show is set when the sun is not shining. Russia has made weird claims on Alaska recently plus Putin is a dick so we will steer away from a Russian Imperial stout and instead look for Baltic Porters.

Uncommon

Despite the name and rumors swirling about an Anchor Brewing comeback, the California Common is not that common on beer menus and I do nor think that Russian River Brewing would launch one during the Pliny Season but here we are.

And its an interesting malt too, read on…

“Excited to announce our collaboration with craft maltster Valley Malt from Western Massachusetts! Established in 2010 by Andrea and Christian Stanley, Valley Malt specializes in malting grains for breweries and distilleries while sourcing from farms primarily around the Northeast. For our collaboration we used Golden Valley Pale malt in a California Common beer recipe which really showcases this malted barley.”

On the Table

We do not have enough Belgian-style table beers in the world, so I am glad to see that The Bruery has canned up their La Petite Provision, an “easy-drinking and full of flavor thanks to additions of Thai basil and lemongrass to the brew. Herbal, floral, and slightly sweet…”

Washington State Brewery Tour # 1 – Dalliance Beer Project

Dalliance Beer Project is a unique brewery start-up in the hop country of Yakima, Washington. Led by Andrew Pytel and Tristan Karosas of Single Hill Brewing with artist Jamaica Zoglman.  Art will be the driver and the beer will be made to match.  

There will be no core beers, everything will be one and done starting with their Tarot Project.  (beer and tarot are a trend, as will be my confusion with tarot)

First pulled from the deck will be The Fool, a German-style Pilsner, and Five of Wings, a hazy IPA. The release schedule is two beers at a time until all the cards are done.