Best Beers of September 2021 + IPA Ranking

Let’s reverse order and cut to the IPA chase, there was a close contender to crack the Top 3 but the collaboration between Ogogopo Brewing and Three Weavers on a Strata Fresh Hop ale didn’t quite climb the heights so the list remains

3. Chapman Crafted Old Towne Block Party Year 5 DDH DIPA

2. Offshoot Beer Co. DDH Visions

1, Beachwood / Highland Park Natural Born Shredders

Other than Arachne, the Strata beer previously mentioned the other winners for September were Radiant Beer Co. and This is Happening DDH, There Does Not Exist’s Vague Future Black IPA and then my winner, Single Fermented Duvel. Damn, this is a beer that I need to drink way more often. Best two words to describe it are sparkle and spice.

In the Tap Lines for September 2021

header_attractionsHello September.  Where the first two weeks are filled with Fest and Pumpkin beers which then disappear before tge month is over.  Why? Cause ‘Merica needs to move on to the next holiday pronto.  But let’s drink in the here and the now this month.

~ e-visits to (3) breweries in college football towns
~ special featured reviews of beers bought from City Beer Store
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads Tell the Machine Goodnight by Katie Williams
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to Gene & Roger
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

Best Beers of July 2021 + IPA Ranking

Let’s go straight to the top, my favorite beer of the month is Natural Born Shredders from the combined talents of Beachwood Brewing and Highland Park Brewery. This IPA has a Wonderful aroma.  Bright with dried fruit and pine. As it warms sone cat pee notes creep in. Loads of tangerine flavor.  Overall light mouthfeel.  Nice bitterness bite that lingers.

So let’s update the IPA rankings before mentioning a couple honorable mentions.

3 – Crooked Stave Idaho 7 IPA

2 – Offshoot Beer Co. DDH Visions

1 – Beachwood / Highland Park Natural Born Shredders

Two other really great beers wowed me this month. Total Boss Red IPA from Smog City was malty and hoppy and filling in equal measure. Radiant Beer Co. and their Can Down By the River Motivational Lager which from can design to flavor was great.

2021 Mid-Year Stats

Time to look back at the first six months of the drinking year and tease out sone fun statistics about what I have been drinking.

16 breweries were brand new to me.

I still drank more West Coast IPA’s than Hazies 69 to 43

Smog City was the most drunk from brewery with 19 followed closely by Firestone Walker with 17

Firestone Walker leads with best beers of the week with 3. Lagunitas and Radiant each have 2.

Of 327 total beers – 156 were IPA, 24 Pilsner/Lager, 23 Barrel-Aged and 11 Sour

The Best Beers of May 2021 + IPA Standings

Time to check in on the best beers that I had this month. First off is Pally Pils from Green Cheek in Anaheim, I went to try their cold IPA but was taken by their Italian Pilsner instead. Then traveling to Belgium via El Segundo, the noted IPA house has a Belgian Strong Ale, Gouden Arm which was strong indeed and just an excellent departure for the brewery.

But the winner was the collaboration between Long Beach Beer Lab and Ambitious Ales called Affogat-oats. A triple IPA with oats and lactose and coffee. I would have added it to my IPA best but it was such a style mash -up. Coffee and cream and then sweetness and a touch of bitterness

Two beers that Three Weavers made almost cracked the top three of the IPA list. The latest batch of Light Trails was bright and grape-y and the Crowns and Knots collab with Crowns & Hops was winner was well. The top remains unchanged.

3. Crooked Stave Idaho 7 IPA

2. Indie Brewing Quintette IPA

  1. Offshoot Beer Co. DDH Visions

Best Beers of April 2021 + IPA Standings

My April Top Two have European roots. But with modern twists. Los Angeles Ale Works came out with their Lemon Grab Belgian Wit which went all in on lemon instead of the orange peel and it worked really well. Bright without the lemonade acidity. Second beer is Loafer from Eagle Rock Brewery. A rustic saison made with upcycled bread from an L.A. bakery. I bought it for the conservation angle and new collaboration idea and ended up enjoying just the beer itself.

After a month of no change on the IPA leaderboard, there is a new number 3. Idaho 7 IPA from Crooked Stave is full and pillowy with a pine Christmas flavor along with a touch of grapefruit pith. Both sticky and soft this Colorado IPA even finishes with a touch of Concord grape.

3. Crooked Stave Idaho 7 IPA

2. Indie Brewing Quintette

1. Offshoot Beer Co. DDH Visions

In the Tap Lines for March 2021

header_attractionsMoving on to the third month of the year with a little more hope in our step.  Vaccines are getting into arms which means we inch ever closer to life pre-pandemic with taster trays and not being forced to purchase meals.  

~ e-visits to (3) breweries known for nitro ales.
~ special featured reviews of beers from The Bruery for the second month in a row!
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events (Far in the future events)
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads Awkward Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to No Such Thing as a Fish
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

Best Beers of February 2021 + IPA Standings

Considering that Utopias and de Garde was drunk this month, the pickings for best we’re still pretty slim. I really liked aspects of the Samuel Adams old beer and the Strata hop wild ale but both were pretty one sided affairs.

Oddly enough, where I found balance was in the big beers of Shadow Puppet. Both of their triple IPA’s found the sweet spot of hops, alcohol and texture. Rational Exuberance and Efficiency TIPA’s are my February best choices. The 12 ounces cans from the Livermore brewery reminded me of the beer El Segundo big IPA’s. Strong and hoppy in equal measure.

On to the top three IPA’s of 2021, Strata Aerobic from Highland Park Brewery drops out and The Coachman from Societe drops to third as Quintette from Indie Brewing grabs the number 2 slot just behind Visions from Offshoot Beer Co. Quintette an anniversary IPA from the DTLA brewery packed a punch but was also light on its feet. I finished the can and immediately wished that I had another.

Best Beers of October 2020

Sadly, no pumpkin beers made the list for best of the month, thankfully no winter seasonals did either. In the bronze and silver spots are the Gaviota Coffee Ale reviewed on this very blog at the beginning of the month. I still remember that bright green coffee bean flavor. Next is a beer I had yesterday, Tiki IPA from AleSmith. This beer popped with coconut aroma in a way that other tiki themed beers haven’t and then it settled into a well done IPA.

The winner though is Black Tuesday from The Bruery. So smooth and surprisingly not needing to age to get to that point. Just a lovely bourbon barrel beer just in time for the fall.

Best Beers of August 2020

Another month in the books, and it’s time to unveil my best beers of the month.

Two Pale Ales nearly took the top spots, Friendly Skies from Los Angeles Ale Works and XTRA Citra from Surly Brewing were bright hop spots.

But the winners were from the California Craft Beer Summit At Home pack, one not easy to get and one that you can now more easily find. Canopy from Fieldwork Brewing is the third Pale Ale on the list. It was a bright bouquet of fruity and earthy hops that was also bright on the palate. Harlot a Belgian Blonde from Societe Brewing took that simple style and jazzed it up with Belgian tones. Delightful with each sip.