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.

Widmer 84-09

Here is my first taste of Widmer’s 25th Anniversary Double Alt. This is not a beer for the faint of heart.

Beer Float

I am so ahead of the curve. I have a beer & dessert tasting with floats made with HUB 7 Grain Stout and Maui Coconut Porter now this is happening….

The Golden State/Scoops vs. BottleRock/Milk in L.A. Beer Float Showdown

Posted July 3, 2009 at 9:50 am on FOOD GPS

The Golden State caused a sensation when co-owners Jason Bernstein and James Starr introduced beer floats to Los Angeles. They combined Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout with Scoops ice cream. BottleRock LA recently entered the float fray when resident beer expert Alex Macy decided to mix-and-match Milk ice cream with beers from their 18 taps. One of his signature floats: Ommegang Rouge with cherry sorbet.

On July 26 at 3:30 PM, come to Blue Palms Brewhouse and help to choose a champion in the first L.A. Beer Float Showdown. Everybody who attends is allowed to vote on two beer floats from each competitor. Four total. A score sheet will allow every attendee to judge the beer floats according to flavor and originality. The competitors are currently working on their flavor combinations and won’t reveal them until the showdown.

Tickets cost $23 if you RSVP to joshua@foodgps.com prior to the event. Pay in cash at the door. Day-of admission is $28, but there’s no guarantee we’ll have space left, so be sure to RSVP now.

Proceeds cover the cost of the beer and ice cream, but the bulk of the money goes to charity. The L.A. Beer Float Showdown benefits 826LA, the non-profit writing and tutoring program for kids 6-18, founded by author Dave Eggers and educator Nínive Calegari.

Hope to see you at Blue Palms Brewhouse as we continue to build the L.A. beer community.

Beer DVD reviews


Today, I watched “Beer Wars” and “The American Brew” back to back. I think that they both have their strong points but American Brew wins my Beer Oscar.

The American Brew is way too short (in a good way) and I really enjoyed the clips left on the cutting room floor. It shows the basics of making beer along with a brief history of beer in America. And it has great commentators including Daniel Okrent, Charlie Papazian, Fritz Maytag and Dick Cantwell among others. It has a specific aim and it hits it straight on. Since, I love educating people about beer and its turbulent history in America, this is a great tool to use.

Beer Wars on the other hand has a major beer flaw in it, though it is not a dramatic flaw. The focus is on Sam Calagione from the wonderful Dogfish Head and on the creator of Moonshot Caffeine Beer and Edison Light, Rhonda Kallman. To a lesser extent it is a screed against the three-tiered distribution system and the dominance of ABINBEV / SABMILLERCOORS.

Both Sam and Rhonda have wonderful entrepreneurial spirit. But Sam understands that he is a brewer first and second and third and a salesman fourth. Rhonda is all sales all the time and that hurts her. She becomes a product not a craft. I totally understand why the beer community is so mixed on this movie. On one hand it celebrates creative beer and then extols the wonders of marketed beer. It is good drama but not good beer.

4th of July Beers

It is our patriotic duty to get our economy humming again by celebrating the diversity of American beer. A declaration of beer independence so to speak. Here are some choices that will go great on a hot 4th of July afternoon…..

Full Sail Session Lager (or Session Black) – great beer that you can have more than one of as the sun beats down.

Pikeland Pils – celebrate the true American pils not the watered down rice/corn stuff.

Mama’s Little Yella Pils – another great canned pils.

Haymaker Extra Pale – light, refreshing with a spicy, citrusy finish.

Liberty Ale – a beer from the dawn of the craft brewing age.