Beer Review – London Lager from Machine House Brewery and Lowercase Brewing

I have been jonesing to try a beer from Seattle’s Machine House Brewery. It seems to be a brewery where the best is draft but thanks to some Lowercase Brewing beers sprinkled into Los Angeles, I get to try the collaboration London Lager from the can.

“A traditional base of Simpsons Lager malt and Crisp Floor Malted Maris Otter with some of the finest East Kent Goldings. We decided to recruit some Hallertau Mittelfruh hops from Germany because Lowercase are Mittelfruh Children.”

To me, this is a classic watch Premier League highlights beer. Light orange in color. Lovely malt aroma on the nose. Soft and delicate mouthfeel. Nothing really dominates. All subtlety. Some potpourri and orange pith with a tiny metallic clang.

Beer Review – 15th Anniversary DIPA from Bootleggers

It has been some time since I had a beer from Fullerton’s Bootleggers Brewery. But I found a nice, big beer to break that bad streak on…

This beer comes across first and foremost as strong. Big pine and earthy bitterness dominate. When first opened, I did get an initial grapefruit nose but that faded off quickly. Getting a tiny touch of menthol here too. Quite a different DIPA than the current fruit forward styles but not really to my liking to be honest.

Beer Review – A Trio of Oregon Beers

Some great Oregon breweries have been sneaking into the L.A. beer market of late. I have seen a bit of Wayfinder Beer and Heater Allen and lately pFriem Family Brewers too.

So instead of a single review or a duo, it is time for a trilogy of Oregon beers in one post. Three different styles but only one best of show….

Wayfinder Beer Russian Circles Black Pilsner – if you closed your eyes and drank this, at first, you would certainly know it was a pilsner but you would probably then lean towards either German or Czech styled. There is a bit of roast, Malliard reaction in the aroma and taste but overall this is a really nice, hearty pilsner.

Heater Allen Pink Boots Brew – the famous McMinnville lager brewery utilized the 2023 Pink Boots hop blend for this pale ale. Quite a melange of hop notes here. Getting pine and some citrus and even a touch of strawberry as well. A bit slick on the tongue as well.

pFriem Sparkling IPA – pours a dark orange. Initial taste is a bit of marmalade paired with pear as well. Was expecting more bubbles due to the name but there is a swirl of flavors. The label name checks seven fruits including sugar covered strawberry which is quite specific. Just a crazy four dimensional IPA.

My Winner – Due to the complexity, I select the pFriem but this was a close contest for sure.

Sour Day – Beer Review – Lucky 13 from Eagle Rock Brewery

Semi- quietly, Eagle Rock Brewery hit year 13. So, time to review their anniversary sour…

This blended sour ale from Wood #0011 pours a muddy red color. Aroma wise, the sour is there a bit but no cherry taste pops up. First sip is very weird. Getting very pastry bread hit right off the top. Not super sour. As it warms up a skosh, the cherry pie flavors take the foreground but that aggressive breadiness is still there at the back. If I could hold that cherry note all the way through would like this better.

Beer Review – San Pancho Mexican Lager from Anchor Brewing

The doorbell rang on a recent Tuesday, and lo and behold, I had a package from Anchor Brewing. I tore it open to find a lovely media sample box for their San Pancho Mexican lager.

That means, time to review…

First, I sampled the Yucca chips. Thumbs up. Then the Choco Amaranth squares. Not a thumb up or down. SP pours a bright orange color and the first sip reveals an interesting combination of nicely lager-y with an undercurrent of citrus. Not lime per se but certainly citrus. It is quite zippy on the tongue with a bit of metallic aftertaste. I am glad there was no faux lime experience, so the beer gets the biggest thumbs up.

Featured Beer Review – Two Coffee beers

Who will reign caffeine supreme between Half Acre Beer and Bellwoods Brewery?

Starting with the latter first, A Stout with Coffee from Bellwoods has a real big coffee aroma to it that is real nice. There is a creaminess to it as well that works really well. Thirdly, there is a bit of honey sweetness as well so you get a bit of an iced latte effect. The only downside here is that this is really thin to me. At 5% this is closer to being a brown ale than a stout.

Big Hugs pours with a lovely espresso head. There is less coffee on the nose and double the ABV of the Bellwoods beer. There is a creaminess to this as well but punctuated by an anise like sharpness. I have to admit that I like the black can as well. It fits with both coffee and imperial stout. This is a simple beer. Not getting layers of flavors. Would not label as a coffee beer actually and that is why, the winner is Bellwoods.

Beer Review – The OG Infinite Wishes from Smog City Brewing

Yes, variants are fun. But, let’s focus on the base or as Smog City Brewing calls it, the OG of their barrel-aged Infinite Wishes.

This imperial stout is aged in bourbon barrels for a year. Here is my take on the 2023 version…

…IW23OG (sorry for the clumsy acronym) pours jet black with espresso swirls on the surface. I get a little syrup nose to start with just a skosh of wooden barrel. For such a high ABV beer, it is more sparkly than silky. Getting a bit of dark chocolate flavor. A little sweet and a fair share of char as well. Barely an alcohol burn at all when sipping. Really good and really simple.

Leprechaun Beer Review – Guinness vs. Guinness 0.0

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I tend to stay in on the drinking holidays and today I am doing the same with a taste test. Guinness vs. Itself but its non-alcoholic sibling.

And to make it a little more interesting, gonna do this blind and see if the 0 is easy to taste. My wife laughed at the suggestion since most of my N/A experience boils down to “too thin.”

But this blind nearly fooled me. They both pour that familiar darl brown almost black. Both have the widget The 0 Draught has a more pronounced Guinness smoke and chocolate combo compared to the draught we know and love on this particular day in particular. But, the taste was noticeably thinner with a touch of wine sour as well. That lack of fullness was enough for me to semi-comfortably pick it out.

The aroma was probably amplified for the 0 to compensate and in that lies a lesson for others making N/A beers. Pull focus away from the thinness inherent in these beers with aroma and you can get close to the original.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

Beer Review – Single Hop Pilsner – Elixir from Enegren Brewing

Time to see if I like the Elixir Hop. Checking out the latest single hop pilsner from Enegren Brewing.

First up a primer on Elixir from Yakima Valley Hops, “Elixir is a new and exciting hop variety developed in the legendary growing region of Alsace, France. Elixir is a robust and complex hop that offers unique aromas of cognac, leather, and tobacco that are backed by sweet citrus fruits as well rose and lovage. Elixir is well suited for darker styles but can also be incorporated into fruit-forward styles or even spicy saisons.”

This is a really complex low alcohol pilsner. Getting a lot of red fruit initially followed by rose and flowery potpourri notes. It pours a bright and super clear yellow. You can see through it. I am not getting the bigger robust flavors like the cognac and tobacco but there is a real earthiness to it. That said, this is quenching and silky at the same time.