#LABW8 – Polly Want a Whiskey?

Reverse barrel time for #LABW8 as Steve Lipp, owner of Alexnder Murray & Co, and the esteemed David Walker, of Firestone Walker Brewing Company, will be pub crawling this Saturday, June 25th to showcase their collaboration Polly’s Casks in Santa Monica.
What are Polly’s Casks? It is a “Highland Single Malt Scotch that has been aged in Bourbon Casks previously used to age American Craft Beer.”

The three bar crawl will feature specialty cocktails with Alexander Murray Scotch whisky line along with Firestone Walker’s core and specialty beers (Parabajava Coffee, Sticky Monkeee Qua). Participating bars include: The Basement Tavern, Areal, and The Library Alehouse.

Jameson LA

Supply and demand. Barrels are at a premium in craft beer land. Each new brewery dreams of a barrel aging program, which means that getting your hands on one is like getting your hands on enough hops.
So landing a barrel or three from Jameson Irish Whiskey is a coup. And Angel City of DTLA came back from Ireland with barrels as part of the Jameson Drinking Buddies program.
Angel City Brewery in Los Angeles was one of five American breweries that also included Captain Lawrence Brewing Company in New York, Deep Ellum Brewing Company in Dallas, Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver, and Hilliard’s Beer in Seattle.

Each brewery got a ticket to the distillery in Ireland and was tasked with making a beer that reflected the barrel and their neighborhood where they brew.

Plus the whole thing was filmed and you can see what Angel City got involved with at JamesonNeighborhood.com. From there you can learn about the Angel City Imperial Irish Ale and the other four beers.

Obviously a tasting will be held at some point and you can either Social Media-ize the brewery to find out when it will happen.


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In Hollywood, there is the oft-repeated phrase, “But I really want to direct.” Actors become directors as do writers and producers. The same motivation seems to be in place for breweries. I want to brew but I really want to have a barrel-aging program.

Not, of course, a bad thing. It just came to mind when hearing about the second release in the Scientific Series from Surf Brewery, of Ventura. The limited release Oil Piers Porter, aged in French Oak Merlot barrels came out in mid-February.

“The culmination of close to three years of barrel aging in French oak and artful blending at their newly established barrel aging warehouse in Moorpark, CA., has resulted in this dark porter featuring lush flavors from the barrel on top of rich chocolate malt with just enough oak flavor to draw out the finish.”

Coming next from the Scientific Series barrels will be a Belgian Tripel, a blonde, plus more porter and a Flanders red sour.

Roll Out Your Own Barrel

2670Rogue Brewing has it’s own hop farm, fruit trees, malt and rye and now they are taking the vertical integration one step further with the Rolling Thunder Barrel Works that they call with typical Rogue-ishness “a tree to table cooperage at the Rogue Ales and Spirits World Headquarters in Newport, Oregon.”

They are going to age their “Oregon made beer and spirits, crafted with Oregon grown ingredients, in barrels we crafted ourselves from Oregon White Oak.”

They will harvest wood from the Oregon Coast Range and then the “white oak pieces will be seasoned in terroir of the Willamette Valley and in the ocean air of Newport.”

And they are going to do it old-world style which means hand-crafted.  Which means it will take time but I love the idea and I hope that more breweries with the means and supply see this as an example of taking the art of brewing into the art of cooperage too.

De Garde Brewing

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Tillamook is known for the cheese but now it also has a cool sounding brewery too. Trevor Rogers is behind De Garde Brewing and according to no less of an expert than Belmont Station of Portland, he is “utilizing yeasts he cultured from the local environment and an assortment of fun barrels to produce an array of unique beers with complex flavors.”

Here is a partial list of the unique offerings:
Chenin Blanc Regards (Double India wild ale with wine grapes)
Tempranillo Desay (wild Saison with wine grapes)
Italian Plum Desay (wild Saison, hasn’t been poured yet)
Cherry Desay
Cranberry Bu Weisse

Mikkeller – Educational beers

As is usual with me, I learn something new every day. Today’s nugget is that the nomadic Mikkeller is working on a third series of single ingredient beers.

I said to myself, “3?” Apparently, I completely missed the barrel series that showcased one beer in different barrels to see the effects from what was liquor was previously in that barrel. Hopefully, I can get a bottle of one of those and review it here.

Second, is the single hop series that I blather on about from time to time because it is such a great idea and each beer is fantastic in a non-educational setting. New single hop beers on the horizon include Summit, Apollo, Bravo, Citra and Sorachi Ace. I am especially geeked out about the last two.

Here is the list of single hop beers already out:
East Kent Golding
Nelson Sauvin

The third lesson is on yeast! Now this should be really fascinating. The same base beer is being used but with these different strains of yeast: lager, U.S. ale, Belgian Ale/Trappist, Weiss and Brettanomyces.