Dual Review – Infinite Wishes 2020 and Infinite Wishes / Peanut Butter 2021

Normally, I would review the standard Infinite Wishes as well as any and all 2021 variants. Since normal is still a few months away, I have cracked open a 2020 as well as the Peanut Butter Cup version.

Now let’s review these two from Smog City

Oh the Wishes I should have made this time last year.  But let’s talk about this waxed Bourbon Barrel Imperial stout, which the label describes as “a bourbon chocolate pie”.  I initially get a red wine vinous note along with a touch of coconut.  As it warms up, the chocolate starts to cone through. A mix of milk and dark versions.  A tiny hint of oak adds a different taste along with a bit more carbonated sparkle than I expected. 

Now let’s turn to Reeses, Jeff, Skippy or wherever your personal peanut butter fix comes from…

Big peanut hit upon popping the bottlecap.  It is not a candy aroma or taste though.  More peanut butter cookie to me.  Maybe a cookie dough effect. Less carbonated than the previous Infinite Wishes which I think works better. The bourbon barrel flavors are effectively removed. I wish that some more of that remained to create a boozy cookie simulacrum. 

New in Portland

Being an expat Portlander and not being able to return home to try Oregon beers has been trying to say the least and the New School Beer + Cider blog is not helping by posting a rundown of new breweries coming to the state. I strongly encourage you to check out the full list but below are the breweries (and contract brewery) that struck me as places to visit.

A brewery, in a formerly church with a gorgeous bar like that. What a great drinking environment.

A new Japanese and food based brewery is a really nice addition to the beer scene.

Contract brewing has always needed more facilities and more people focused on smaller breweries. Back Forty ticks both of those boxes and does distilling too.

That is one wicked cool logo and the fact that they will focus on the wild side of beer is even cooler.

IPA – Best In 2021

Followers of this Blog will know of my ambivalence to Best of… Lists. I even cast a skeptical eye at GABF medals because there is just no way of truly knowing what the “best” is, it is merely a snapshot of a small slice of “best” to me.

That being said, this year let me conduct a different way of choosing a best. It will be a year long experiment. It will be for two types of IPAs, Hazy and West Coast. I pick those two because I will more than likely drink more of them than any other style and they will be widely available as we move (hopefully) out of lockdown. It will not be exhaustive. More California with a smattering of Oregon, Washington and other states. It will be subjective. Very subjective.

Updates will arrive each month with a top three leaderboard as well as list of all the IPAs tasted so you can follow along.

Virtual Cider

Almost missed this one, but you still have a few days to order some cider sincerely Cidercon 2021 will be virtual this year. Below are the days emails:

“Since 2013, Cider Summit has been the unofficial culmination of the annual cider industry gathering – CiderCon. Both events have had to pivot this year but we’re still working together to celebrate our amazing cider community. We’ve created two festival to-go tasting kits, featuring many of our closest cider friends from around the country:

Festival Favorites – Our Festival Favorites kit includes an assortment of eight ciders from Vermont to California. You’ll also receive two Cider Summit logo 6-ounce stemless tasting glasses, apple & pear stress balls, access to the guided virtual tasting on February 6 and small promotional items from participating cidermakers. The base price is $54.95 (plus taxes/fees).

Artisanal Import – Our Artisanal Import kit will include offerings from British Columbia, England, France and Spain. You’ll also receive two Cider Summit logo 6-ounce stemless tasting glasses, apple & pear stress balls, a Cider Summit bar towel, access to the guided virtual tasting on February 6, and small promotional items from participating cidermakers. The base price is $59.95 (plus taxes/fees).

Shipment is available throughout the U.S. via our friends at Press Then Press. Please visit our Producers page for product selection details.”

The Yearly BSP Disclaimer for 2021

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

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 2021 will require cheerleading (more so this year than the past) and others require harsh sentences. I am not subtle so I am sure you will figure it out quickly.

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

SF Now CA for 2021

About this time the e-mails from SF Beer Week start arriving like a Christmas gift, but this year that ends with news of no Firestone Walker Invitational in 2021 also gets a jolt of good news as SF Beer Week will be California Beer Week in February.

Sign up for e-mail alerts to purchase beers for virtual tastings.

2021

As much as it pains me to write these words, I do not see myself attending a beer event until at least March of next year. It also pains me to think that 2020 might not be the only year called a dumpster fire either.

The reason I say this is because, as I work the timeline backwards from February would require a workable vaccine to be found about, oh, now. Why? Because to ramp up vaccine production and get it distributed and then get the remaining Americans to get the shot is going to take time, three months or so is my eyeball reckoning. If we can get the anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers to participate.

Then breweries who have not already pushed their events will need to quick time hustle to safely hold a festival and have all the special beer glass made, tickets sold, beers brewed with a diminished post office and airline and hotel industry. Oh and no one wanting to Lyft in or out.

And if all the timing breaks right, you now have to convince fans to come out to what will be a smaller festival because there will be some breweries who will be reluctant to attend.

I don’t see it.

Are You Ready for Some… Three Weavers

It may not be ready when T. Swift opens the new Inglewood Stadium next year but Three Weavers will have a large 20,000-square-foot  presence in the stadium.  There will be a beer garden + opening in 2021 in the Hollywood Park development.

The beer garden per sources “will feature plenty of room for on-site brewing, as well as seating by way of outdoor tables and space for live music.” It is quite amazing that any sort of true craft presence is being invited into one of these projects.  The big beer cabal usually puts the kibosh on any sort competitors even at lesser pro sports venues, let alone a biggie like the NFL.