Czech Hop Culture

There is a really good series of articles over at Hop Culture about Czech beer and brewing.  This link sends you to an article about tapsters but there is a really cool fresh hop Budvar piece and a piece about the Kazbek hop too.

Where To Go, When You Go, to Oregon

When I travel, either solo or with wife, once the travel is booked the second thing that I do is start looking for breweries to visit.

But getting current and smart recommendations which should be easy in this internet age, only sporadically is. Usually, hours of operation are out of date, can’t find taplists or food menus. I tend to now have plans B and C in my pocket wherever I go. Because I expect that location A may be closed.

Bit of a preamble to very exciting news from the Beervana Blog and esteemed drinks writer Jeff Alworth about a new (and large) project that will help beer travelers plan trips to Oregon.

Read the announcement HERE.

Once up and running, it could be an invaluable travel resource and a clearinghouse of Oregon craft beer information.


I have given shout outs to San Diego Beer News and Brandon Hernandez a few times on this blog and have used his brewery travel guides to help when visiting a beer inundated part of the country and now he has a new guide up appropriate for hop season, Walla Walla.

One of my beer bucket list items, climate change permitting, is to visit that major hop growing area during harvest, and I will book mark the Walla Walla via San Diego page for sure.

Oregon Beer Trip – Post 2

Time to pick up where I left off. I visited pFriem again after peeking through at close by Ferment Brewing but finding the food menu a little more to my liking.

There I had the half pours of the Jammy Pale Ale and Coconut IPA. The latter was a toe over the line too much coconut but the jammy pale had a great watermelon note to it that I really enjoyed.

The next day was a jaunt through the orchards that comprise the Hood River Fruit Loop. It was the early end of cherry season but apricots were aplenty as were cideries along the way including at Draper Girls where I had an excellent sampling of eight of their ciders in teeny portions including a French Pear and Lavender one that struck my fancy.

Our last stop was Mt. View Orchards who, in addition to a farmstand have a winery, cidery and brewery in a new building with a grand view of Mount Hood. After a false start getting a pour of the wrong beer, I settled in with the eponymous IPA which was middle of the road but that view more than made up for it.

Next day, up the hill I went to Timberline Lodge. There at the snug Blue Ox Bar on the ground floor I sipped an Ice Axe IPA from Mt. Hood Brewing while the pizza oven filled the space with wonderful aromas.

There will be future posts on a duo of Stark Street breweries as well as Wilderton N/A Spirits.

Planes, Trains and Beer

Yup, those are taps on a train. Maybe Amtrak should look into premium-izing some of their routes with beer on tap. Considering the sorry state of planes even taking you to your destination not to mention the security and change in beer flavor at altitude the train could differentiate itself as luxury travel.

SD Beer Weekend

If you need help in choosing a weekend that would be optimum for visiting San Diego, well, read on….. “The 2nd-Annual SD Beer Weekend presented by the San Diego Brewers Guild will take place Friday, June 9 to Sunday, June 11. The now annual celebration of the local independent craft beer scene is a prelude to San Diego Beer Week in the fall.”

Think of it as a teaser trailer for the full movie.

Bourbon & Kentucky Report # 2

Tuesday was no reservation day. We picked three distilleries and walked in to see what they had to offer. First up was Heaven Hill and their stable of brands. I picked….

…the Heaven Hill Family Flight with the Evan Williams coming out the winner. The bar was cool as was the history exhibit of the five brothers that have run the distillery.

Stops two and three were Preservation and Makers Mark. Both had great grounds but S IV was more my style. Even on a Tuesday, it was a real cool spot down in a hollow with a creek running through it and bourbon slushies. And black and red coordinated buildings.

Back in the town, we made several visits to the oldest bourbon bar at the Old Talbott Tavern which is where we were staying. It doesn’t really play up the historical aspect as much as I expected and the drinks were fine but I had classier presented drinks. I had more beers there than bourbon.

Bourbon & Kentucky Report # 1

Travel Day Sunday went smoothly from LAX to Muhammad Ali Airport. Once settling in near the Ohio River, it was time to find some bourbon. And find a flight of rye we did at Doc Crow’s on Main Street with Michters coming out on top of the four.

With the New Riff, second. The middle pair were too hot on the palate for me. Then to finish off the night, my first ever Mint Julep…

Monday brought rain and the Frazier Museum to get some Bourbon history. There was a really well done interactive portion as well including a put the barrel back together section. Plus the gift store has a great selection of Kentucky gifts.

After a horsey detour to the famous Churchill Downs, we headed down to the bourbon capital, Bardstown. Where we are staying at the oldest hotel in the area plus it has the oldest bourbon bar. More on that later. The first distillery stop and only one open in our Monday time frame was Boundary Oak near Fort Knox.

I would avoid the lavender and cinnamon versions and stick to the classic named My Old Kentucky Home which had a nice kick and a really nice corn taste to it. The cask strength Lincoln was nice too.

More bourbon to come!

Just a Thought -Part 1

L.A. craft beer at the airport.  Why isn’t there more there?  I was set to thinking about this when I read (somewhere) that an America whiskey maker was setting up shop in a Paris airport.

Couldn’t there be a cart or a pop-up Welcome to L.A. Craft beer spot at LAX? It could be to-go only or a little biergarten area where either weary travelers could disembark from the plane and have a drink or a place where you could get a last minute gift before heading home.

It could rotate between Torrance breweries for a month, then DTLA, then Long Beach to keep things fresh and new.  Merch could be up for sale as well.  Teaming up with a winery or local spirits makers would work too.

Might make me think about flying more.