Price is relative

I want to get something off my chest. I do not care what beer costs. There, I said it. And I don’t regret it.

I just had Magic Hat # 9 recently. It was one of the best beers I have had in a while. It really made an impression. I could have been charged $8.00 for it and it would have been worth it.

How can I say that when I am “at liberty” employment wise. Shouldn’t I be going cheap. NO. I want to taste the best beer, not any beer. The point is not to get drunk. The point is to savor and explore. That is part of the reason why I started this blog. I want to guide people to better beer.

I firmly believe that it is better to have one really awesome experience of 16 ounces than it is to get a sixer and feel woozy.

The esteemed Garrett Oliver explains via cheese and bread this same theory. Are you going to buy white bread and pre-packaged cheese slices or would it be better to have great farmhouse cheddar on a baguette from the local bakery?

Same goes with beer. I’ll skimp elsewhere.

Goose Island

Belgian is obviously the style of 2009. From The Bruery in Orange County to Ommegang in New York, it is where the cutting edge of brewing is happening.

Now I hear through the grapevine about two new offerings from Chicago’s Goose Island. Juliet which is a Belgian Sour and Sofie which is a farmhouse ale. They are now on my ever expanding list of beers I really need to taste.

If you have sampled them and have an opinion you would like to vent then comment below. I would enjoy seeing what people think.

Taplister of Portland, OR was founded in February 2009 by tech and beer geeks, Kerry Finsand, Scott Wray, Ken Baer & Kevin Scaldeferri. With the singular goal of creating a community resource that helps you find what craft beers are on tap in Portland, Oregon. has achieved this by creating the first live beer search engine using the popular social network Twitter. Beer Fans can visit and search to see where their favorite beers are on tap. Mobile users can download the free iPhone app called Beer Signal or use the mobile version of to search for their favorite beers. In addition has installed Pubcams at EastBurn & Saraveza that displays a live feed of their tap boards on

City Beer Store


I stumbled upon this wonderful store when I was passing through San Francisco. Over 300 different bottles of really great stuff. I purchased Siamese Twin from Uncommon Brewers, some obscure Norwegian beer with spruce tips and the seldom seen Kriek from New Belgium. And if that is not enough, you can sit and have tastes while you are there!

There should be a place like this in every city worth its salt.

Christmas in July

Sure it’s hot outside, but it’ll be cooler than ever at Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey’s first Christmas in July Celebration and Fundraiser, Saturday, July 25, 2009 from noon to 7pm.

Beer releases:

* Santa’s Little Helper (Bourbon Barrel-aged) – 22ounce bottles; 6 bottle limit
* Older Viscosity 2009 – 375ml bottles; 12 bottle limit
* Duck Duck Gooze (yes, that Duck Duck Gooze) – 750ml bottles; 6 bottle limit
* The Angel’s Share (Bourbon Barrel-aged) – 750ml bottles; 6 bottle limit

Food & Beer:

* Food Stylings from our own Chef Vince Marsaglia
* Tastings – Duck, Duck Gooze, Older Viscosity & Santa’s Little Helper (Bourbon)
* On Tap – All of Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey’s regular line-up


* A Visit from St. Nick – Get your photo with Santa Claus in the Barrel Room
* Live Music – Special musical guests, The Professors

Toys for Tots drive and fundraiser:

* Toy Drive – Bring a new, unwrapped toy values at $15 or more to benefit Toys for Tots
* Giving Tree – give a $15 donation to Toys for Tots & you get to select a gift from under the Christmas Tree (Gifts include many rarities from our barrel archives – Isabelle Proxiums, Cuvee de Tomme, Veritas `04, and more!

The Details:

* When: Saturday, July 25, 2009; 12pm to 7pm. Beer and bottle release sales begin at 12pm. Santa arrives at 1pm. Food and music begins at 3pm.
* Where: Lost Abbey / Port Brewing Co., San Marcos, San Diego County, CA
* How Much: Food, music and photos with Santa are FREE! We are, however, asking everyone who attends to bring a new, unwrapped toy valued at $15 or more to donate to Toys for Tots. (Beers are all regular price.)

Session Black

Those cute, little, stubby red-labeled bottles from Full Sail are such a hit that brand extension was inevitable. What we get is a dark lager at 5.4 abv.

They will come in the same cases as the regular but with slate grey coloring and a more malty taste. I will be harassing my local Whole Foods to start stocking it soon.

Why should I trust / read the Beer Search Party blog?

The reason that I post all of this “beer stuff” ?

I want people to drink better beer.

That is it. You are not going to see ads for Budweiser or MillerCoors on this blog. Hell, the only ad on this blog was added today, July 4th, for a charity. There are not going to be negative posts about people or products. This blog is about “searching” and “locating” great beer. Not tearing down lite beer. More eloquent people can do that.

I just want to talk to people about the beer I am drinking, beer tastings that I present, places to drink great beer, the breweries that are crafting great seasonals and so on. To keep up with all that is going on, you will see one or two short posts a day. So even if you miss a day or two, it won’t take you days to catch up.

My goal is to be a beer guide (like Siskel or Ebert was for movies). Then eventually, I want to own a store that sells quality beer and has a couple of taps so that people can come in and talk with me about what they like and dislike. A new type of bottle shop.

To get there, I will need monetary help. No getting around that. Hopefully, I will be able to bootstrap this goal myself. But in the meantime, I sell branded merch through CafePress and soon I will have a “buy me a beer” link (if I can work out the technical side of it). But you, the reader, need not feel guilty about reading without literally buying into it.

If I suggest one beer that makes one person re-think what beer is and what it could be then this blog has succeeded.

Naja's Place


After fighting traffic and horrible directions, I finally got to Naja’s Place in Redondo Beach for the very 1st time. Right on the boardwalk, looking out at the harbor, Naja’s is a total beach bum joint with a twist. Awesome list of beers.


I started with my first taste of Magic Hat beer. I had # 9 and it was absolutely delicious. A wheat and citrus mix that has great balance. Nice carbonation. I now need to try more of their line-up because now I am even more interested. Refreshing beer with every sip.


I made a complete 180 on the second beer as you can see from the above photo. Sierra Nevada’s Empire Strikes Black. This looked really good. Great espresso foam on top. Great roasty smell. As the wind came off the harbor, this warmed me up. Very smooth. Malt forward but not aggressive. Coffee notes throughout.