November 16th

That date sees a pile-up of anniversaries to choose from…

Highpoint Brewing in San Dimas turns

Lincoln Beer Co. in Burbank and Brewery Draconum in Newhall achieve the 2 year mark.

And the longest runner is Alosta Brewing out in Covina who celebrate # 6.

2nd Visit (x2) – Arrow Lodge & Alosta

Since my Mighty Linfield Wildcats were playing in Redlands under the lights, I thought it would be a good time to re-visit a couple breweries along the route.

I chose two within walking distance spots on the Arrow Highway, Alosta and Arrow Lodge. Here is a duo of 2nd visit reports…

I walk in and see that there are (3) spaces to sit (after I place my taster tray order).  You have the main room, a space to the side and then a weird outdoor area that looks to be just an ungraded outdoor space where tables and charis have just been plonked down onto.  Not quite a biergarten but I guess nice when the inside is loud.  Like any home, stuff accrues, for example the side room has two pinball machines flanking a TV. Well-worn chairs and tables on one side.  Couches the other. Outdoor lighting strung up.  Medals in shadow boxes, a bunch of games on a shelf.  The place needs a little interior design love.

The taster tray was a little tatty as well, but here are my quick reviews of the beers:

Highway 39 – super light yellow. Nice grain taste.  

Los Guerrero’s Mexican Lager – nice.  Little sweetness. Pear note

Hazebangers Ball IPA – nice initially. Not hazy at all. More IPL to me

1887 Tripel – close to what I like. A little too much menthol though.

Overall – Medium. Nothing off but nothing really sings either.

The Lodge is packed and loud but with activities taking precedence over TVs.  There is a tented area inside, complete with picnic table and fake campfire and chairs.  Who wouldn’t want to sit there? Lots of pinball sounds reverberating but only one TV.  The beer menu is a bit more adventurous and on the current trends.  Milkshake, hazy and pastry our on the board.  Multiple IPA 4-packs available most with $20 price tags.  The vibe here is more my style even with kids bopping around.

Cup of Ambition – weird, nutty, coconut cream pie no hops at all. Light end pastry stout

Dank Goodness – great Nelson aroma of Concord grape. Really nice. ABV shows itself.  Harsher, the more you drink

Roll With It – has that hazy look down. Pineapple and lactose. Thick tasting

After Hours – pastry stout. 11%abv. Chocolate big here.  Wicked sweet.  Coconut  aplenty, could not finish the taster.

Final ScoreLinfield 19 vs University of Redlands 27 – thanks to injuries and a shyster ref who thinks forward passes are fumbles.

Review – Alosta in Cans

Recently at Sunset Beer, I spied the Alosta Brewing logo on cans. I grabbed both and now it is judgement time.

Starting with the 39 Highway lager which pours a pretty and bubbly darkish yellow tint. I catch a little bit of metallic in the aroma alongside the grain. This lager has a bit of sharpness that is balanced out by a grain based sweetness. With a bit more floral notes, this would be quite good.

I think the historical backstory on this beer is quite cool. Learning about lost cities of SoCal while having a beer. The initial taste of Spadra is good but quickly turns to mineral flavors that never quite leaves. There is a soft fruit aroma hidden in there and it tastes watery to me. More like a session IPA. That fruit aroma leads to a fruit punch taste which is hidden as well in the almost savory quality of the bitterness.

I would take the Highway over Spadra.


Most breweries are, lets face it, will not wind up in architecture magazines. Unless it is “Inudstrial Park Chic”. But Pomona based Alosta Brewing has done the next best thing. And it is a cool beer meets Halloween event minus pumpkins.

They are releasing their new DIPA “Second Empire.” Second Empire is a style of architecture which is embodied in Disney’s haunted mansion. But there is another example, the Philips Mansion in Pomona conveniently located next to a cemetary.

The DIPA houses a blend of Citra, Amarillo, Apollo, and Cascade hops at a striking 76 IBU’s.

The brewery has partnered with the Pomona Historical Society for a special bottle release event.

Here are the details from the website: “Pre-order your bottle(s) of “Second Empire” and then come by the mansion on Friday, Oct. 14th between 7:30-10pm and not only pick up your order, but enjoy a sample or two. Best of all, you will be able to take a nighttime tour of the mansion itself. A portion of every bottle we sell will be donated to the Pomona Historical Society to help in their effort of restoring the Philips Mansion for future generations to enjoy.”

In the Tap Lines for November 2014

header_attractionsLast November this blog went dark as I focused on my first attempt at NaNoWriMo. AKA, National Novel Writing Month.  I will be running that word gauntlet again this year so there will be less posting than usual but enough to keep you informed about great new beers and events in the Los Angeles area.  Plus I will again start my annual Christmas Beer Blog Advent Post Calendar.  AKA, an assortment of Holiday ales from around the country and the world.  But only AFTER Thanksgiving (which is later this year).

~ e-visits to three breweries from cities that may challenge for the NBA crown this year
~ video reviews of two gluten-free beers from the Canadian brewer, Glutenberg
~ two more beers will come up from the BSP cellar to be reviewed.
~ Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world
~ … and Session # 93 will converge bloggers onto a single topic, this month it is beer travel

Here are two events to get your November started in the Los Angeles craft beer world:
1) November 8th Alosta Brewing 1 Year Anniversary
2) November 11th Friends of Local Beer photography exhibit at Mohawk Bend

New Brewery Saturday

With the recent spate of breweries opening hither and yon here in the L.A. Metroplex, it was time to check out some new places.  To make things easier for the reader, I will address the same topics at each brewery from what I had (which is the most important), the ambience and what the potential looks like.

First StopAlosta Brewing in Covina


What did I have? – A sampler tray of the last 5 on the list.  The last two that I tried were the strongest of the group with the Brown Porter coming in 2nd to the Oatmeal Stout which had a pleasing silky mouthfeel to it.  Unfortunately, the remainder were not up to my snuff.  The IPA was especially disappointing with a soapy sort of non-hoppy taste.  The Saison and the British Pale were fine but a taster was enough.

Ambience? – Nice big space.  Plenty of seating and a view of the brewery that looks to have some room to grow.  A little on the antique side but I like the big banner with the logo on the wall. Another plus is no TV.

Potential? – Plenty.  Minus the IPA, the beers can become , with tweaks, really solid.  Saw some barrels  in the back as well, so maybe there will be some special releases down the road.


Second StopSanctum Brewing in Pomona


What did I have? – A sampler tray of all six beers they had.  The Dubbel was very nice.  Glad to see one on the menu.  The Chocolate Stout was also tasty.  Nice milk chocolate notes.  The Blonde and apple Blonde were so-so.  The apple blonde needed to be differentiated from the regular either by making it drier or amping up the apple.  The British mild came out way undercooked.  Very wort-ish.  And the IPA was also not right.

Ambience? – Located in an old packinghouse amidst an artist colony, this spot was great.  What I expect from a brewery tasting room.  Lots of wood.  Again no TV which is a plus.  Good amount of seating and a brewery dog too.  The benches were a bit wobbly though.

Potential? – Sanctum had the widest quality swings for sure. But they are really new and still working on the first batches so time should make the beers more consistent across the board and if the dubbel is an indication, it could really take off.


Third StopClaremont Craft Ales in Claremont


What did I have? – A sampler tray of all six beers beers in an actual tray!  Now, this is it.  This brewery is the oldest and it shows.  They have a wide variety of beers and all were consistent.  The special releases won praise from my partner in touring, Richard and I thought that the coffee beers were really well done and tasty.  The Jacaranda Rye was also a standout for me.

Ambience? – This is a proto-typical Cali brewery spot.  In an industrial park, a bit warehousy with a roped off parking lot patio.  Big TV was at the ready for a certain football game.  But the place was packed.  Food was available from a sort-of food truck too.

Potential? – I don’t mean to be too Pollyanna-esque but I think they could pull fans from LA.  Solid stuff all the way around.