Review – Unity 22 IPA from Highland Park Brewery

Time to give the verdict on the 2022 Unity beer, an IPA from Highland Park Brewery.

The label has a Muppet feel to it which is cool with the logos on the left but not so much with the reaching hands from the word Unity.

The beer pours a dark orange and right off the bat loads of Concord grape here. A lemon note backs that up. Medium to low bitterness level to me. This review is from first day of release so it was at freshness peak. It is light and refreshing and as it warms up more tropical flavors appear.


The Brewers Association made no big waves in their 2022 beer style guidelines. Clarity, spelling and grammar being the key words in their press release.

As the craft beer landscape continues to evolve, we want to ensure that our Beer Style Guidelines continue to be a trusted resource worldwide and are in stride with the innovation that continues to be brought forward,” said Chris Swersey, competition director, Brewers Association. “We took 2022 as a year to focus on housekeeping, to address some discrepancies within the exiting beer styles, and for a small number of significant updates to certain beer styles.”

Stay tuned for GABF in the fall to see who comes up with medals.

Beer Review – Speedway Stout NEW variant from AleSmith

First beer box in the mail prize goes to AleSmith! And it is a long name. Speedway Stout with Madagascar vanilla and Ceylon Alba cinnamon.

This stout pours a pitch black. Lovely coffee cream head and lacing as well. I wondered, as I opened the can, would the vanilla out sweet the cinnamon? Or would the spice blow away the creamy notes?

To me, the two disparate ingredients meld together. The cinnamon has a red hot thing going on but it is tamped down by the vanilla making the mouthfeel less spiky. It is almost as each sip highlights one then the next sip focuses on the other.

Thankfully both flavors represent making this a grand start to the 2022 Speedway year.

In the Tap Lines for January 2022

header_attractionsWelcome to 2022!  I have a feeling that it will be a better year than the two previous.  Maybe that is optimism or just that I keep seeing new beers pop up and it makes me hopeful.  Have a blessed new year!

~ e-visits to (3) breweries that I would like to visit in 2022
~ special featured reviews of beer brewed in LA
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to Close to Death
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

The Firkin for December 2021

It is easy to proclaim at the end of each year that the last twelve months were a crazy rollercoaster. But I think we need to look at this in three year increments instead of one year.

2020 had a different trajectory than 2021 and 2022 will (hopefully) be the last part of the trilogy of the Covid years.

I said hopefully because it may look a little bleak at the moment with Omicron and the January surge that will follow the holiday. But breweries hung in there and new ones opened. Both may have been by a hair but it did.

I think that beer life will improve this year, maybe by June we won’t be looking over our shoulders. It may not be enough for some breweries but I think it might allow for some positive churn.

But whatever happens, it will be crazy.

Pink in 2022

Hop supplier Yakima Chief Hops , have the details on their custom 5th annual Pink Boots Blend of hops. The blend changes each year, and sales help to fund the Pink Boots Society whose mission is to assist, inspire, and encourage women in the fermented and alcoholic beverage industry. International Women’s Day will be on March 8th, 2022. Expect some great beers later that month.

Here is the mix…