Beer Discovery Tasting – 2.0

Beer & Desserts! It’s true it works! My test subjects all agreed that it tasted great. Thanks to all who came over and tried out three brews that you should try for dessert.

First off, was Briem 1809 Berliner Weisse either without or with raspberry syrup. Very acidic. Cloudy. Nice and tart. For a delicate beer it traveled well. With berry syrup not so good to my palate. I had hoped to get some woodruff syrup to try as well but I was denied. But the sour went really well with the buttery shortbread and I imagine would be awesome with a good cupcake or cheesecake.

Second, Ephemere from Unibroue. Really nice apple taste and smell. Light and refreshing and oh so very easy to drink. Also poured a little hazy. Paired with gruyere and gouda cheese. Would be great with a fondue.

Finally, what the crowds were most curious about, the beer float! Two options were made available. HUB Survival 7-Grain Stout or Maui Coconut Porter. Both were delicious but the crowd response for the coffee taste of the HUB was overwhelming. A great full bodied Stout with low alcohol but loads of taste. Smells like roasted coffee. Jet black color. The coconut porter worked well too and would probably taste better with chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla.

Breakfast beer?


You will be.

Immerse one of these little devils in cold water for six minutes, give it a quick stir and, voilà, a pint of foaming beer (3.8% ABV).

The sachets contain freeze-dried triple-fermented hop concentrate, gypsum and a CO2/nitrogen-based foaming agent.

Also available: German Lager, Irish Stout, Old North Country Ale and Middle Earth Mead.

Guest Review of Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence

“First taste is smokey followed by pretty strong alcohol ending in a biting bitter. No real chocolate taste. Complex and full but for a chocolate stout give me the Rogue. Drank it over three days while doing input for work. ”

This beer usually retails for over $12.00 if you are lucky so this sounds like a thumbs down to me.

from Mr. Frank Zappa

You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.

~ Frank Zappa

Breweries far from the maddening crowd

It is easy to neglect parts of the U.S. because we fly over them or they are too far from what we call civilization so I would like to highlight two breweries doing their thing away from the major metropolitan areas.

First is Salmon River Brewing. Started by two couples who wanted to brew beer in McCall, Idaho for locals and visitors. Their regular beers include Udaho Gold, Sweep Boat Stout, PFD Pale Ale and Salmon River Quiver IPA. Their bar is awesomely rustic. When you want to get away but not from beer.

mt. emily
The Mt. Emily Alehouse is the only brewery in LaGrande, Oregon! They produce an Oregon Blonde Ale, Heifer-Weizen, Paleface Ale, Northwest Porter and Mr. Big and olde English Ale / IPA. They have a mug club if you want to join and get a little extra in your glass when you visit.

Something to think about…

“Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed – Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, ‘It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.” – Jack Handy

Unibroue Tasting

If you weren’t at Bottle Rock in Culver City on Monday then you missed a treat. Unibroue was pouring 7 beers plus a special for only $15.00. Here are my thoughts…

Blanche de Chambly
– bubbly and carbonated. Light straw in color. Had a wine aroma. Easy to drink. Not as spicy as I would like in a white beer.

Ephemere – bubbly as well. Apple taste was not as pronounced as in previous bottles. Nice farmhouse aroma. One of favorites.

Don de Dieu – caramel smell. Triple Wheat ale. Lovely orange-golden color. A little spice on the back end. Probably my second favorite.

Maudite – very alcoholy even though less ABV’s than the Don de Dieu. Complex but not in a good way. Flavors seemed to fight each other.

La Fin du Monde – very similar to the Don de Dieu but with much more of an alcoholic bite to it. Beautiful golden color.

Trois Pistoles – lovely dark color. Not much aroma. Better balance of flavors than the Maudite.

La Terrible – biggest ABV of the bunch but also very lovely. Nice lace on the glass. Dry.

As a special treat, there was a Unibroue beer served up that you cannot get here in Southern California. La Seigneuriale. What they call a Belgian Strong Pale. In English it means, Lord of the Manor. Very nice amber with lots of competing flavors that don’t get in the way of each other. It is my bronze winner of the night.


L.A. Times Beer Travels

Let me set the scene, it is Sunday morning, I am a little groggy still and looking forward to the Maltose Falcons club meeting. I open up the Sunday paper and there on the cover BEER!

I am thinking this is great. Then I read the articles. The San Diego beer tour article is the best of the two but lacking much beer descriptions or interviews with brewers. And why column space was used repeatedly about getting drunk and unruly behavior is beyond me.

But it is a paragon of journalism compared to the other article about the beer scene on the central coast and San Francisco. Mike Pitsker and Don Erickson who cover this section of California for the Celebrator magazine could have written a more informative article in their sleep. The writer goes to Santa Barbara and passes on Telegraph and Hollister. He can’t even find Russian River Brewing! Then while in San Francisco doesn’t talk about 21st Amendment, Toronado, Lagunitas. The list of missed opportunities could go on forever.

I beseech the L.A. Times to use the guys who know beer to write about it.