Featured Review – Old Jetty Barrel-Aged Barleywine 2019 from El Segundo Brewing

Continuing the reviews of beers bought from the Glendale Tap cellar, we go old with the 2019 barrel-aged Barleywine release of Old Jetty from El Segundo Brewing.

This ale was aged in bourbon barrels and strides in at 13.2% ABV. Old Jetty is both prickly and smooth at the same time. There is loads of bourbon character but at the same time the sweetness is restrained. A bit of syrup note here. Great brunch beer.

The 2019 Statistical Breakdown

Time to gaze back at the drinking stats that I kept for 2019. Starting with the big picture and then drilling down a little bit.

2019 saw an average weekly consumption of 159.95 ounces or 31.99 ounces per drinking day. I do not have alcohol two days out of every week. This was a 7.86 ounce drop in consumption from 2018 and 44.36 less then when I first started in 2016.On average the ABV for the year was 6.74% and I spent around $45.32 per week on beer.

Over the year the high week of ounces was 247 and the low was 124. Highest ABV week was 8.33% and lowest 5.37%.

There were 738 beers on the spreadsheet with 358 being IPA (48.5%), there were 58 Barrel-Aged or Sours (7.9% which is too low and needs to be rectified in 2020) as well as 36 collaboration beers.

These beers were distributed geographically as 57 from Los Angeles breweries, 70 from California, 17 were foreign, 23 from Oregon (my home state so I track it separately) and 25 from the other 48 states.

Most popular breweries begin and end with Firestone Walker which had the most check-ins at 53 and ounces at 584. Other repeated favorites were Sierra Nevada, Eagle Rock Brewery, El Segundo Brewing, Angel City Brewery, Stone, Smog City Brewing and Beachwood. All of which are old-school not the hippest breweries around.

Overall, I was 3oz on average below my target goal. A goal that I am keeping steady for the next year. I really felt it when I overdid it and that is because I think my body had re-calibrated to the lower amount. Trying to dive lower might result in even more headaches. Also the easier way to reduce at this point would be to remove another drinking day from the week.

Now onto 2020!

CCBA 2019 – Recap & Photos

Now that the California Craft Beer Summit is complete, here are some photos from the State of the Beer State…

Start with two CA brewing legends, Vinnie – Russian River and Ken – Sierra Nevada
The Tiki-fied LA County Brewers Guild booth.
Food & Beer Pairing # 1
Food & Beer Pairing # 2
Crooked Lane, the winner of the California Cup this year.
One of my favorite breweries pouring at the Summit Festival this year.
Me gazing at all the beer.

Review – Unity 2019

When I went to Sunset Beer to pick-up a 4-pack of the 2019 Unity, I saw an empty cooler where the beers should have been lined up. I turned to the helpful staff who pointed me where I needed to go in the store and off I went with my prize.

Truth be told, I was kinda hoping for something more strange this year. Maybe some fruit or herb that is local to the Claremont area where Claremont Craft Ales is located could have been added.

But the fact that the cans were in short supply must mean a level of popularity that the style still draws and economics does factor into the equation when selecting a beer style.

And yet, this beer, fine as it is, seemed like something down the middle. It is a bigger beer, north of 8% but other than that it was a DIPA. It lacked a certain spark in the aroma, flavor profile or bitterness. Park this beer amidst three or four other West Coast Old-School DIPA’s and I could not have picked it out or said, that it had an ingredient that screamed L.A.

I know that a Unity beer will evolve. It can’t always be strange beers and it does need to be of the moment. The moment now seems simple and businesslike

Q1 Drinking Statistics

Didn’t think that I would continue on in my ever OCD quest of cataloging what I drink? Well, another quarter in the books and this year the goal is to get the drinking finally down to the amount that it will stay. Basically (2) pints a night or less with (2) no drinking days each week. The latter has been in affect since this time 2016.

Previously on Sean’s drinking stats, I started in 2016 with over 200 ounces a week and as of last year was done to 168.  The goal for 2019 is to hit 163 and through March 31st, I am at an average of 159.13 with my highest week being 166.  Four weeks of 160 was the final total.  So all good on that front.  The most boring stat is still ABV which is currently at 6.41% compared to 6.31% from last year.  Either I need to add way more high ABV beers because trying to go low will not be as easily done.

Where I am really falling down is variety.  A hair over half of the beers drunk are IPA.  A mere 14 being Sours or barrel-aged beers.  75 don’t fall into those three broad categories.  But maybe heading to the Smog City Anniversary this month will boost that sour number a bit.

Lastly, the following are the best beers that I had each week.  Some beers may be on this list that would not win any other week than the one they happened to but that is luck of the draw.

8 Bit Brewing – Oregon Pale Ale

Allagash – White Ale

Brooklyn Brewery – Stonewall IPA

Eagle Rock – Plan 9 Imperial Pilsner

El Segundo / Pizza Port – Surfin’ Bird DIPA

Firestone Walker – Auld L’Enzyme Brut IPA

Firestone Walker – Mind Haze IPA

Fonta Flora – Check the Cheers

Fremont Brewing – Winter Ale

Russian River – Shadow of a Doubt Porter

Russian River – Happy Hops IPA

Three Weavers / Coedo – Komorebi Tart IPA

Topa Topa – Dozer Line Black Lager

Sean Suggests for January 2019

For January, let’s look to the darker side and to devils and doubts.

Fall Brewing / Devil’s Right Hand 5.40% ABV
“Crisp, Clean, Toasty, Amber Lager.”

Smog City / Devil Up a Tree 6.60% ABV
“Foudre Saison blended with wine barrel-aged brown and blonde ales. Dry hopped with Citra and Topaz hops. “

Russian River / Shadow of a Doubt Porter 9.86% ABV
“Named after the great Hitchcock movie filmed in Santa Rosa in 1943. This Imperial Porter packs a rich chocolate and light smoked malt character with a very soft, dry finish.”

All of these beers can be found at Sunset Beer Co. (unless they got bought up real quick)

The 2019 BSP Disclaimer

Each year, I start the blogging calendar with a disclaimer. As a beer blogger, I feel it is important to be clear about my rules of the road.

Every beer, brewery, event, restaurant reviewed on this site whether paid for or complimentary will get the same treatment when reviewed. If I don’t like the beer, it will be described as a beer that I did not like, even if it was handed to me by the brewer and I like the brewer.

If I forget, (which probably will happen, because it has before) to mention how I got a beer or a pass to an event, then go back and read the previous paragraph.

I clearly want the Los Angeles local beer scene to continue to flourish and I want craft beer in general to do so as well. So, my reviews will also take that into consideration. Some points in 2019 will require cheerleading and others require harsh sentences. It shouldn’t take a reader too long to see where I stand. (Probably by January 5th)

I will be as impartial and truthful as I can be while also staying as opinionated as usual.

2019 Pioneers

When I first started blogging about beer, I heard about a documentary in the works about it helmed by Jay Sheveck. News would pop up here and there but then it seemed the project had died on the bine, as it were.

But then Facebook brought this to my timeline:

I checked the website and it appears that sometime mid next year, Beer Pioneers might actually be released. (Whether streaming or DVD or subscription remains to be seen)

I do like the New Albion meets Oregon Trail game look of the poster and the roster of beer names is impressive so let’s hope I can review it sometime next year.