World Beer Cup 2010

Looks like my adopted state of California ran away with 45 medals in Chicago and my home state of Oregon was 2nd with 13. With the Trailblazers beating the Lakers yesterday, I think we are even.

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For a great statistical (yes, numbers and math) round-up, check out the great Brookston Beer Bulletin HERE.

D’oh

As in chocolate donut beer. This is one of those beers that may polarize people into two camps. The camp who think it can’t possibly work and the camp who believe it’s just crazy enough to be good.
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I would be willing to taste it but I hope it is more chocolate and beer than it is doughnut.

Culver City Beer Festival

OK, technically it is called LA Beer Fest. But I reserve that name for the LA Beer Week finale. With that quibbling aside, here are some photos and some beer reviews from this yearly event at the Sony Pictures studio lot.

Upon getting into the fest, there was a nice contingent of good locals. The Bruery, Strand Brewing, Hangar 24 & Karl Strauss. So, I started for Hangar 24 and an IPA to wake up the palate. It was a close second to my favorite beer. Very bitter but not pucker inducing. I came back and had their porter for the first time later as well.

Then I headed over to the Bruery and had a taste of Mischief. Got the murky portion from the bottom and it was still quite good.
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After a disappointing IPA from Shipyard, I had yet another well balanced and exciting beer from Ladyface Ales. Their DIPA, Chesebrough. Floral and strong. I could have two or three of these beauties.

Next up was the Black Cauldron porter. A little too syrupy but still a really good roasted porter. Coffee notes and beer go so well together. Right next to the Cauldron was the Requiem Espresso Stout which too me is right on target. A great beer. It was only around three o’clock and beer was starting to run out. Einhorn tapped out. Mission Brewing was closed. The Strand and The Bruery were empty.

I did get to try an organic beer from Eel River. Triple Exultation. A very good strong ale. Not typical fare for this type of festival but a nice change.

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I finished up the tour with two lighter beers. Lhasa from Tibet and Che from right here in LA. It was no contest, Angel City’s Che was far superior. For a simple beer there was alot of notes in it.

Here are the pros and cons….

PRO – good representation of California beers. Sierra Nevada, Stone, The Bruery.
CON – no special beers to speak of, Sierra XXX poured for about 1 minute before it was gone.

PRO – beautiful day and good location with ample parking
CON – seemed oversold this year. lots of foot traffic

PRO – not a lot of corporate water lager
CON – not enough beer. too many empty booths and empty kegs.

I have been two years now and I think it is enough. This is a good overview of craft beer but could use a little more beer geekery and less frat boy ambience.

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Peace Tree Brewing

Who says that there isn’t good beer in the heartland?

Maybe if I am lucky, I will be able to mark Iowa off my list with one of the fine craft beers from…..
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Here is a little backstory (from their website) about the name Peace Tree.
“Our name, Peace Tree Brewing Company, is also a reminder, a prompting of our past where different cultures met to discuss, trade, and come to agreements. The Peace Tree is a historic grand sycamore tree that was located near the town of Red Rock under what is now Lake Red Rock. Supposedly the old sycamore was a place where Indians met for generations, then became a meeting place for fur traders. Indian treaties were negotiated here and there is some speculation that it marks the Red Rock Line.

Our hope is that the beer made under the Peace Tree label will be a shared with friends and strangers alike and catalyst for conversations, new friendships and important agreements – in line with the lore of infamous Peace Tree of Red Rock.”

And it seems they have an IPA that would be to my liking…
“Hop Wrangler: Joe’s multinational take on a classic IPA. IPA’s are known for their intense hop bitterness, flavor and aromas. First, Joe used American and English malt, then American and English hops are added during the mash, first wort, boil, and finally it’s dry hopped for aroma. Belgium gets involved with the yeast and a special candy sugar finish for smoothness and flavor.”

another Stone 3 Way

Just when you are sick and tired of hearing another collaboration story. Here comes another one to re-excite….
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El Camino takes you on a drive from San Diego to San Francisco with a stop in Paso Robles. I have liked previous incarnations but I have one potential roadblock.

Figs! I didn’t like them in Monk’s Blood and I hope they don’t dominate this beer cause they ruin things for my palate. I am not scared off and won’t try it but I will be wary.

two MORE Welsh breweries

Our Welsh journey continues with two more breweries mentioned by Pete Brown that I thought should be shared with more people this side of the pond.

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Otley Brewing

Here are two beers from Otley that intrigue me.
O1
ABV 4.O%
Our flagship brew. A pale straw colour ale with
heavy hop aromas, a thirst quenching bitterness
and a big nose aroma.
O3 BOSS
ABV 4.4%
Traditional chestnut ale with Northdown
and Challenger hops, quaffable enjoyment.

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Kingstone Brewery

Here are the two beers that jumped out at me. The first two I will try if/when I get to travel through Wales.
Humptys Fuddle
“Our IPA, dangerously smooth at 5.8% ABV, is a warming, oaky-smoky tipple. Humpty has a slightly sweet floral nose, a balanced level of malt supporting the hops and finally a subtle but slightly citrusy finish.”

Classic Bitter
“The name says it all. This is our award-winning Classic Bitter – a balanced, disctinctively hoppy, dry ale with a floral nose and smooth well-balanced finish. Classic is brewed with pale and crystal malted barley, bittered with a quartet of hops – Northern Brewer, Cascade, Willamette (a Fuggles hybrid) and Brambling Cross.

The Great Taste Awards, which is organised by the Guild of Fine Food and often referred to as the Oscars of the food industry, is this year celebrating its 15th anniversary. A Great Taste Award is the authoritative, independent standard for Britain’s fine food sector: the gold & black logo is the benchmark for independently proven fine food. Our Classic bitter was awarded the 2* Great Taste Award in 2008.”

Man Walks into a Pub

I have been reading Pete Brown’s excellent beer books in reverse order. Just to be contrary I guess. I have finished Hops and Glory and Three Sheets to the Wind and that leaves me with only…
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Even though Three Sheets traveled to my hometown of Portland, Oregon, I much prefer Hops and Glory because of the great history that was interwoven into the modern day IPA journey. We will see how is first book stacks up!