Sean Suggests for September 2021

I am looking forward to GABF ’22. But thought I would toss in a few beers out now that could describe the mammoth Denver beer fest.


Russian River It Takes A Lot Of Great Beer – 5.2% “There is an old familiar saying in the wine business: “It takes a lot of great beer to make great wine!” Winemakers, cellar workers, and grape pickers alike rarely (if ever) reach for a nice big glass of red wine in the middle of harvest. Wine is quite delicious, but not very refreshing on a hot summer day. The beverage of choice during harvest is BEER! Ice-cold, refreshing, and thirst-quenching BEER! The beer in this bottle is a toast to our winemaking friends who work around the clock during harvest to make world-class wine right here in our own back yard!”


Cellador ++Good- 6.4% “Fermented and aged in neutral French oak wine barrels with a mixed culture of saison years, brettanomyces and lactic acid producing bacteria. Brewed with Bohemian Pilsner Vienna, Spelt, Oats and Wildflower Honey.”


Radiant Beer Co. Another Saturday Night DIPA – 8.5% “Another Saturday Night, and you’ve got this tropical and citrus-forward, low bitterness double IPA loaded with punchy hop notes of mango sorbet, Maui punch pixie sticks, fruit sherbet, pineapple, and peach gummy candy. In an awesome way, it’s balanced with notes of ruby red grapefruit, a hint of pine, and a dry finish with well-hidden alcohol presence.”

Sean Suggests for March 2021

Pandemic sanctions might be lifted enough to have a small St. Patrick’s so get some Irish cheer while still playing it safe instead of hoping for luck.


Carlow Brewing O’Haras Irish Stout- 4.3% – “O’Hara’s Irish Stout has a robust roast flavour complemented by a full-bodied and smooth mouth feel. The generous addition of Fuggle hops lends a tart bitterness to the dry espresso-like finish. This sessionable stout beer is filled with rich complex coffee aromas mingled with light liquorice notes. The combination of traditional stout hops with an extra pinch of roast barley allows us to stay true to Irish tradition, recreating a taste so often yearned for by stout drinkers.”


Indie Brewing O’Malley’s Irish Stout – 5.2% – “Dry, coffee-like. Bitter cocoa and mild earthiness.”


Lincoln Beer Co. Paddy’s Favorite Irish Cream Stout – 8.5%- “‘Paddy’s Favorite’ is the harmonious result achieved blending chocolate malts, roasted barley and Irish cream together in a swirl of decadence known as an Irish Cream Stout. iIt’ssmooth and balanced but packs enough punch to kick-start your jig!”

Sean Suggests for November 2020

November is a perfect month to crack open some stouts. Here are three to warm up your fall.


AleSmith Black Velvet Nitro Stout – 5.2% – “This velvety, nitro-infused oatmeal stout abounds with notes of chocolate, coffee, and cream. Its smooth body and luscious finish make it eminently drinkable on any occasion.”


Allagash North Sky Stout – 7.5% – “Like a clear night lit by stars, this silky Belgian-inspired stout balances light notes of fruit and sweetness with roasty malt. Inspired by late evenings spent around a crackling campfire, North Sky is brewed to merge lightness and darkness into a super-sippable stout.”


Beachwood Sadie Stout – 13% – “Bourbon barrel aged Dark Ale. Perfect for this weather, Sadie tastes of vanilla, oak, caramel, and oats.”

Sean Suggests for July 2020

An all California list this month to celebrate staying inside for even more time than initially thought. You can also find Odell’s and Great Notion here in L.A. if you need more sheltering in place beverages.


Almanac The Future is Fluid IPA/ 6% – “A West Coast IPA dry-hopped with Mosaic, Sabro, Simcoe and Glacier brewed by the women of Almanac in support of the Pink Boots Society.”


Common Space Cocoa Stout/ 7% – “This rich chocolate cocoa stout is a mouthful of deliciousness. Mmmmm. It will take you back o your childhood. It’s like chocolate milk for adults. Smooth, luscious, rich cocoa drink.”


Stone Brewing Ruined Again IPA/ 10.8% – “In 2002, we introduced Stone Ruination IPA (and its imposing100+ IBUs) as the first year-round West Coast double IPA on the planet. Then in 2012, in commemoration of its 10th anniversary, we introduced a new beer that would grow to be known as Stone RuinTen Triple IPA. Now, we’re bringing that back in all its over-the-top, cranked-to-11, maximum hoppy splendor, using every brewing technique in our arsenal to squeeze every last bit of magic out of a truly staggering amount of hops. It’s been 18 years of beautifully bitter evolution, and this stage dive into a mosh pit of hops is bigger and bitter-er than ever.”

Sean Suggests for June 2020

This month, I am picking some fruit fun beers. Maybe I will feel brave enough to visit one of SoCal’s excellent farmers markets and pick up some of the great array of fruit they sell.


Modern Times Mai Tai Fruitlands – “is tart, fruity, & frighteningly delicious. The sour, salty base beer lays down a stellar foundation for heavy doses of orange, lime, & pineapple, yielding a ridiculously tasty wall-to-wall tropical fiesta. It’s a marvelous mix of elements that collides with your mouth like a fruit-filled asteroid of flavor traveling at the supersonic speed of party.” ABV 4.8%


Thorn Brewing Cherry Sour – “The Low Hanging sours are fruited American-style sour ales. They are each made with the same golden ale base, but the real fruit added during fermentation rotates every three months.” ABV 6%


Ogopogo / Mason Aleworks Hodgee – “Pastry sour with pineapple, vanilla, and milk sugar.” ABV 8%

Sean Suggests for April 2020

Since beer shopping is a different experience these days, the monthly column has to change with the times and today the BUY list is a pair of beers starting with the same base.

Here is the info from Cellador…”If you didn’t know, we brew all our wort at MacLeod in Van Nuys; so in a certain sense every beer we make is a collaboration with them. For this we thought it would be fun to do a twist on something that neither of us are particularly known for. I worked with the brewers David and Stephen to create a standard west coast IPA recipe which we took and fermented in oak barrels with our house mixed cultures (as is our wort). It aged in oak for seven months, then we dry hopped it with Lemon Drop and El Dorado, and bottle conditioned it with local orange flower blossom honey. As our version was getting close to ready, MacLeod brewed the same recipe but did a standard clean version, which will be released in cans and crowlers Monday April 13th. We really hope that you’ll get both versions to try side by side and experience the ways in which using mixed-cultures can drastically change a beer.”

Sean Suggests for August 2016

At halftime of every soccer game that I played as a youngster, there were quartered oranges to suck on. Primeval Gatorade as it were. To this day, too much orange in the diet causes me grief but in beer it is a different story. Hence the theme of this month.

Libertine/ Soccer Mom 6.0% ABV
“A great summer sipper bursting with tangerines and oranges sourced from our friends at Stepladder Ranch. We took our Gouden Foeder base and aged it on freshly picked oranges and tangerines giving our tart funky golden ale a huge citrus burst! This screams summer on the soccer field.”

BAIRD/ The Carpenter’s Mikan 6.1% ABV
“This special fruit beer originated unexpectedly, but naturally, from the earnest and genuine friendship forged between a Carpenter and a Brewer. The Brewer never intended to embark on the path of fruit ale production but was led there by the creative inspiration of the Carpenter as well as by the Carpenter’s wonderful orchard that was teeming with delicious citrus fruit. This fruit ale is inspired by the rich tradition of craftmanship in Japan – the ‘Shokunin’ spirit – which is embodied in the Carpenter.

The mikans used in this brew are fresh, succulent, and local — harvested on the land and by the hand of the Carpenter. The Baird brewers hand-process the harvested mikans, shaving off the outer skin of the peel and pressing the juice. Both peel shavings and juice are combined with wholesome, traditional and minimally processed malt and hops (characteristic of Baird Beer). The result is a product greater than the sum of its parts — as is true in the case of great human friendship.”

Mikkeller/ SpontanOrange 7.7% ABV
“A Spontaneously fermented limbic style ale, Brewed and barrel aged on oranges at De Proef in Belgium. “

Sean Suggests for May 2015

Let’s head to the farmer’s market for this month’s suggestions and pick up some fruit beers raspberries, strawberries and pears make appearances this month.

Avery/ Raspberry Sour 6.5% ABV
“Luscious ripe red raspberries are elegantly intertwined with a bountiful amount of lactic acidity and delicate barrel nuances to cultivate this stunning sour ale.”

Almanac/ Farmer’s Reserve Strawberry 7.0% ABV
“A celebration of the summer harvest, this blond sour ale is loaded with coastal Seascape Strawberries grown at Dirty Girl Farms in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains. These delicious juicy berries are swept by cool evening ocean breezes and drenched in warm daytime sun before being hand-picked and added to this tart and refreshing ale.n”

New Belgium/ Pear Ginger Ale 7.0% ABV
“Our latest Lips of Faith release updates the Victorian-era ginger beer with whimsical additions of pear and lemon peel, creating a zesty, invigorating summer sipper crafted for beer glasses and mixologists’ cocktail shakers alike. Warming, spicy ginger punctuates a lively wash of sunny lemon, pear and bready white wheat for a sip that starts sweet, but finishes with just the right amount of heat. Drink it straight, no chaser, or put a new spin on a classic gimlet.”

Sean Suggests for February 2015

header_beer_shopping_listFor February, a slight change of pace.  Let’s go low ABV and let’s go hyper L.A. local with three very tasty beers that won’t knock you off your stool.


Noble Ale Works/ Dirt McGirt  4.70% ABV

“Our dirty blonde is a slight variation on the traditional blonde ale. We set the base with Bohemian Pilsher malt and then added in Vienna and Munich malts for a change to bring a soft breadiness to the beer, while still keeping the overall perception light and super drinkable.”


MacLeod Ales/ Barclay Perkins 1941 3.9% ABV

“A proper historical recipe for a bit of a challenge.  Interesting recipe as it has lactose, inverted sugar, and oats which I believe is rather unusual”


Eagle Rock Brewing/ Li’l Fred 3.90% ABV

Have you met the newest member to our little family? Meet Lil Fred! He’s a red mild with super tasty toast and nutty notes.