Live Oak Brewing

Our southwestern swing continues with Austin’s Live Oak Brewing. They focus on authentic European style beers like….

Primus – Winter Seasonal
Our new winter seasonal, Primus (pronounced, “pre moose”), is a dark, rich German-style Weizen beer (beer made with wheat malt) fermented with a very particular strain of brewers’ yeast that gives this beer it’s unique spicy and fruity character. The unfiltered beer has the characteristic clove and banana flavors familiar to HefeWeizen drinkers but with a darker and richer roasty malt character that is typical of some German-style Bock beers. The alcohol strength will be around 8%. Available November – January

Liberation Ale – Winter Seasonal
With about 6.0% ABV, this one will surely warm the ol’ gullet during a cold central Texas winter – both days! Our India Pale Ale (IPA) is light in color and strong in hop character. Dry hopping with Cascade hops, gives this winter favorite a delicious citrus note reminiscent of a Texas Ruby Red. Yes, it’s warming but you don’t need to be huddled around the furnace to enjoy this one! IPA fans really love this ale during a beautiful Texas winter on the porch or indoors.

38 Degrees Alehouse


Last night I had a great beer conversation with Clay Harding from 38 Degrees Ale House in Alhambra. It will be appearing either in next weeks FoodGPS beer blast or the next. (Depending upon my writing speed).

In the meantime, I highly suggest making the trek to Alhambra. Clay has a some really good draught beers and some amazing bottles. Victory at Sea from Ballast Point is on there. Also be sure to ask if there are any special bottles not on the printed beer bible. As you can imagine it is hard to constantly update a list in this ever growing beer world.

Session # 39


Here is the May 2010 topic:
“Who’s brewed some of your favorite collaborations?
Who have been some of your favorite collaborators?
Who would you like to see in a future collaboration?”

For me, the first two are easy so let’s dispense with those right away.

Favorite collaboration is the John-John series. I know technically that both John’s work under the Rogue umbrella. But the brewer meets distiller meets the criteria for me. And the Rogue Hazelnut mixed with rum barrels is one of my favorite beers. I can’t wait to grab a bottle of the Juniper aged in gin barrels.

Favorite collaborators are the geniuses from Stone Brewing. I’m sure I will be joined by many others in voting for them just based on the Maui / Ken Schmidt porter collaboration but working with an all-star dream team of BrewDog, 21st Amendment, Firestone-Walker and Jolly Pumpkin is amazing.

Future collaborations is such a tough one. There are just so many choices. So I had to set some rules.
1. Breweries with different styles but not philosophies.
2. Breweries that haven’t collaborated with each other before.
3. Only three breweries and what beer style I would like to see.
With that groundwork in place, here are the three breweries and why I selected them + what beer should be made….drumroll please…..

Eagle Rock Brewery
Captured by Porches Brewing
Black Star Co-Op

First reason why – All relatively new. No preconceptions of what to do or how to do it.
Second Reason why – The first two are from my hometown (Portland) and adopted hometown (Los Angeles). And Black Star is just cool for doing this Co-Op style.

I would love to see them make a simple style with a twist. Perhaps a rye pale ale or a multi-grain porter.

Italian Beers & BBQ

The hot brewery country is still the ever re-imagining US but if you haven’t tried Italian craft beer yet then you are missing out on something amazing. It is influenced by Slow Food, Belgian beer and food. And if you are in Southern California between the 6th and 9th you can taste some truly imaginative beers that Celebrator writer Tomm Carroll has selected along with Gabe Gordon from the great Beachwood BBQ

Two Great tastes that taste great together.

Farmer’s Tan

Beer labels are artwork in my opinion and this one from Southern Tier is even better than their Christmas Krampus…
It is for a new pale ale from the New York brewery that they dedicate to “… our farmer friends of today for cultivating the ingredients the are responsible for the beers we now enjoy. Their laborious days spent ourdoors under the hot sun earn them respect, as well as a mark of distinction: the farmer’s tan. Yes, the inevitable red and white hallmark of hard work.”

Single Hop craze

Mikkeller started the trend (as far as I can tell) and now others are jumping on the bandwagon. There are citra hop IPA’s hitting the market from breweries like Kern River and now two other notable breweries are getting in on the action.
Bear Republic has the awesome Apex amongst other great IPA’s but the new one that caught my attention was…
American IPA
ABV: 6.0% IBU: varies
Rebellion is a single hop pale ale brewed to showcase different hop varietals. Always brewed with the same malt base and IBUs, the character of the hop really shines through.

Then Terminal Gravity in tiny Enterprise, Oregon comes out with single hop DIPA’s! Using the “C” hops of Centennial, Chinook and Columbus.

Most of these are draft only so search for them.

The Homebrew Chef

One of the people that I really would like to meet from the world of beer is the HomeBrew Chef, Sean Paxton.


Just go to the recipe page to see some delicious ideas. Wit braised chicken or garlic IPA mashed potatoes. And, if you get the chance to attend one of his special dinners. TAKE IT!

Mikkeller Beer Bar

I do not know how a person can brew across the world and have another job and now provide enough beer for bar dedicated to his excellent concoctions. Mikkel must work 27 hours a day. I am glad he does though.

“The grand opening of the Mikkeller beer bar in Viktoriagade 8BC, Vesterbro, Copenhagen will take place on wednesday May 5th at 17:00.
The opening will feature a huge number of new beers from Mikkeller and beers from the best brewers in Europe and the US. The opening events will go on and new beers will be tapped from May 5th-May 8th.”

Beer Dim Sum

Don’t be confused. This is not pairing craft beer with Chinese food. (That’s an idea for another day). No, this is a great beer tasting idea that the Belmont Station folks created. They rummaged around their excellent store and bier cafe, which you must visit. They pulled out some aged beers. What follows is a list that should blow your mind…
Stone Oaked Bastard 2006 & 2007
Stone Vertical Epic 07-07-07
Stone Vertical Epic 08-08-08
Stone Double Bastard 2006
Stone IRS 2006
Full Sail Top Sail 2008 & 2010
Full Sail Black Gold 2009
Full Sail Imperial Stout 2008
Full Sail Wreck the Halls 2006
Bridgeport Old Knucklehead 2009
Roots Epic 2008
Deschutes Abyss 2007, 2008 & 2009
Hair of the Dog Fred from the Wood 2006 & 2008

They named it Vintage Beer Dim Sum and each beer cost a different number of $1 tickets– from one to five tickets, depending on its rarity. Part of the proceeds went to charity.

This is a great idea. I am kicking myself that I did not think of it. You bought your tickets and the beer would come around. You could choose to use your ticket or tickets, or not. It wasn’t a tasting where you could feel cheated because you are the one choosing!

This is exactly how I am going to hold my next tasting event.



“We present Parabola, the first-ever bottling of this barrel-aged Imperial Stout. Just 1,000 cases [22 oz. bottles] were produced. This bold beer features nuances of bourbon and tobacco aroma. Rich dark chocolate flavors meld with charred oak, dark cherry and espresso finishing smooth on the palate. Parabola is best enjoyed in moderation and is a perfect addition to chocolate desserts.”

Tobacco? Charred Oak?
Now dark cherry and espresso, I can understand. But will it make me swoon like Velvet Merkin does?