NBA City Brewery Tour # 3 – Ope! Brewing in Milwaukee

Our third quarter stop around NBA cities is the new home of famed and former Blazer Damian Lillard, the Milwaukee Bucks so let’s head to a brewery in town before a Giannis and Dame game., Ope! Brewing.

But Is It Traditional? Kölsch

“This traditional style is clean, crisp, and delicate, using traditional Kolsch yeast and traditional German hops. Enjoy it anywhere you want to feel traditional, or not…”


“This here is our American laaager don’tcha know. Crafted from only the finest of ingredients and whole lotta love. Crisp, light, and refreshing, perfect for a day on the boat fishing, or sitting on the beach.”

Jeez Louise IPA

“With Galaxy, Nelson Sauvin and Amarillo Hops, this brew has the perfect combo of juicy, fruit forward hop flavors to satisfy any craving!”

A Stop and a Score Oatmeal Porter with Almond

“This Oatmeal Porter has the right combo of flavors to get you back in the game! With Almond and Vanilla chiming in to help seal the deal. Just like Bucks Legend Johnny Mac used to say on the broadcast – All we need is A Stop and A Score and we’ll be back in the game!”

NBA City Brewery Tour # 2 – Portland Labyrinth Forge Brewing

You knew I was going to make a stop in Portland for my Blazers who are not doing too bad despite the youth and the injury bug that has hit them with Simons, Henderson and a freakin’ Time Lord getting hurt.

And as the Blazers remake a roster so too has Labyrinth Forge Brewing has taken the former Hair of the Dog space on the Eastside over.

Here is what I would pick for a taster flight…

Heinzelmänn Kölsch-style ale – “In northern German folklore, Heinzelmänn was a lucky household spirit… so long as he was appeased. This is our take on the traditional kölsch .”

Noble Citizens Pale Lager – “In honor of the 14 noble citizens of Athens that were sacrificed to the minotaur in the Greek myth when King Minos’ son died, we brewed this limited edition, tasty beer. It was brewed with Imperial Yeast’s Cable Car, all pilsner malt and the noble Styrian Celeia and Northern Brewer hops.”

Hoptaur PNW IPA – “Deep in the heart of Labyrinth Forge resides our hero and inspiration, the Hoptaur. This fearless Northwest IPA is the spawn of locally sourced craft malt and heroic amounts of Bravo and Centennial hops to add classical citrus and pine flavors and aromas. Dare to get lost with Hoptaur, and tell your tale at #getlostwithyourbeer! Watch out for the Fresh Hop versions of this every fall!”

Juløl Winter Ale – “

Collaboration with Ridgewalker brewing in 2022 for the Scandanavian Fest.

In 1075, the King of Norway decreed that all farmsteads must supply their employees and slaves with Christmas beer. In that tradition this beer does not fail. Dark malts combined with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. All the ingredients to warm you up.”

NBA City Brewery Tour # 1 – San Antonio – Künstler Brewing

You cannot talk hoops without talking about the French phenom, Victor Wembanyana. Rail thin with a wing span that you have to see to believe, Spurs fans are going to enjoy watching him play.

I could not a Saison brewery in San Antonio but there is an artistic brewery, Künstler Brewing that is Tex-Deutsch that is a good stand-in. So, let’s get a flight….

Behind the Couch – “My first Bière De Garde, was in collaboration with another homebrewer, Jeremy Banas a local beer historian and author. We brewed it in 2013, on a system unfamiliar to us, and let’s just say all kinds of things went wrong, producing lots of sweat, cursing, (maybe some tears) and a scorched wort. We bottled it anyway, and I literally stashed my share behind the couch, hoping I could forget the failed brew day. A year later, while drinking with friends, we tasted through everything I had on tap, and I was asked: “What else do you have?” Somehow I remembered the “behind the couch beer” and thought it would be good to at least try, maybe laugh about it, and then finally dump it. Long story short: I was almost sad that I had to share such a fine brew with anyone!”

Rosemary’s Honey Oats – “Rosemary pours in a luscious shade of orange. Aromas of rosemary that can be mistaken for an exotic, piney hop character greet the nose. On the palette there is an interesting floral play created by the hops and the rosemary. The oats supply a rich, full texture. Everything is underscored with hints of honey which lightens up the body, and adds a touch of mystery. This one drinks extremely refreshing.”

Tejano Coffee Porter – “This is a Robust Porter base with lots of malty, chocolate undertones, perfect for the 15 lbs of coffee we added to 3 BBLs. We try to support local business if at all possible. For this brew we wanted to highlight Quantum Coffee Company for their amazing coffee roasting abilities. They are also teachers of physics and math.”

Richmond Brewery Tour # 3 – Bingo Beer Co.

Our last Richmond stop is a winner, if you have G33. It is Bingo Beer Co. and they even have a Chelsea FC looking beer…

….but let’s pick out a few other beers for a taster tray.

Fest Friends German-Style Fest Lager – “Brewed in the modern pale Festbier style, our collaboration with Richmond’s beloved Maymont Foundation is medium-light bodied & smooth with a lil crusty-bread and spicy Tettnang Noble hop character. A decoction mash regimine provides profound malt depth while still keeping this one highly drinkable, and our house lager yeast ties it all together for a rich yet still crispy drinking experience.”

Smoked Bock Bamberg-Style Rauchbier – “Ready to go for autumn, we brew our traditional Bock-style Lager with BEECHWOOD-SMOKED BARLEY. Munich & Vienna malts give it a classic toasty-toffeed profile while RAUCHMALZ lends smokey campfire-like depth. All of this is balanced by juuuust the right amount of Noble Hops. “

Patio Vibes Grissette – “Our multi-grain Grisette-style Ale pairs brilliantly with the haze of Summer. With its low ABV, medium-light body, zippy carbonation, and a dazzling yeast and hop interplay, this refresher is poised to become your go-to for hot afternoons that fade into long nights. Patio Vibes is so cool, it’ll leave you tempted to turn off the AC and open your windows to the warmth outside. Belgian style.”

McMansion Hazy DIPA – “We’re talking about the massive juicy, tropical hop flavor and aroma bursting forth from McMansion, our 100% Citra hopped hazy DIPA. Brewed with generous amounts of wheat, McMansion’s foundation is a soft, smooth body supporting multiple stories of passionfruit, ripe melon, citrus, and berry hop character.”

Richmond Brewery Tour # 2 – Triple Crossing

The second Richmond brewery is Triple Crossing Brewery. They have three locations but I am going to focus on and pull from the Downtown location for this super sized taster tray…

Starting light with their German Tiny Pils and then an Oak Aged lager, Bohem and finishing the light trifecta with a sour ale, Off the Beaten Path with Pink Lemons.

Moving up in weight to IPA’s, I would pick the trio of Pocket Knife, Mosaic triangles and Tropical Falcon and then finish big with DIPA’s Interstellar Burst and Nectar & Knife before finishing the trilogy with a barleywine, Summer Jetlag.

Richmond Brewery Tour # 1 – Benchtop Brewing

I read a really great emotional piece of beer writing by Em Sauter that was set in Richmond (read it HERE) and that led me to look at that beer scene for October. Starting at Benchtop Brewing, founded by Eric Tennant.

Let’s check out their tap list ….

Polotmavy 12° Czech Ruby Lager for starters then move onto Crimson Gaze a hoppy red ale because I always want to check out the less seen style then a sour Jam Pact with Cherry / Strawberry / Blueberry. Then I would finish with Walter’s Brunch a coffee porter with cacao nibs and maple syrup.

In the Tap Lines for October 2023

Fall is probably my favorite season even though the biggest holidays of the year (my birthday and Christmas) do not fall (sorry) inside its months. The switch from SoCal summer to milder temps and the Festbiers just make me happy. Enough about me, let’s get to what will be covered this month…

~ e-visits to (3) breweries from Richmond, Va.

~ special featured reviews of fall seasonal beers

~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 Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to Strike Force Five

~ Sports & A Beer returns with re-aligning college football

~ New Beer Releases and Best Beers of the Month

~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

Pittsburgh Brewery # 3 – Bona Fide Beer Co. 

Time to leave Pittsburgh but before we go, let’s stop at Bona Fide Beer Co. for a taster flight.

Lager – “Easy drinking American Lager. Mild fruity and floral aroma, subtle toasted malt flavors balanced with crisp bitterness. Finishes clean.”

Bitter – “The finest UK 2-Row barley and specialty malts with a distinct bitterness from Target hops.”

Crumb Imperial Pumpkin Spice Ale – “A rich, pie crust inpsired ale with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger & clove from Penzey’s Spices.”

IPA – “American IPA. Aromas of clementine and grapefruit prepare your pallet for a citrus forward hop profile followed by sweet malt flavors underneath.”

Pittsburgh Brewery # 2 – Hitchhiker Brewing

Hitchhiker Brewing has the simple thumb as their logo and now a couple taprooms to enjoy their beers including Mt. Lebanon and Sharpsburg.

Let’s create a flight from both!

Conversion Dry Hopped Blonde – “Brewed with Pilsner malt. Hopped lightly with Amarillo and dry hopped with a touch of Amarillo. Notes of Lemon peel, fresh bread, crackers, and blossoms.”

No Way Summer Stout – “Brewed with Caramel and Dark Malts and fermented with our house yeast blend. Notes of Coffee, Chocolate, and Caramel. A refreshing, crushable Stout.”

15th and Canal Pale Ale – “Brewed with oats. Hopped with Citra and Mosaic. Named after our production brewery and tap room in Sharpsburg. Notes of pine needles, blueberries, pineapple, and grapefruit.”

Faux Real IPA – “Brewed with Oats and Wheat. Hopped with Nelson Sauvin, Cashmere, and Simcoe.”

Pittsburgh Brewery Tour # 1 – Trace Brewing

Wave the Terrible Towel, time to visit Pittsburgh and the first stop is Trace Brewing. Noodling through their website, I noticed that they have a vocational program which is the first that I have seen on a brewery website.

Time to dive into the taster tray…

Pinhole – “Cream Ale brewed in collaboration with our good friends and neighbors at Bankrupt Bodega. Light and crushable, brewed with flaked corn and noble hops.”

Agio Italian Pilsner – “Pilsner brewed with Eraclea pilsner malt, which is made from barley grown near the Adriatic Sea northeast of Venice, Italy. The beer was hopped with Magnum, Saaz and Hallertau Tradition in the kettle, and then dryhopped with Mandarina Bavaria, Hallertau Blanc, and Hallertau Tradition. Crisp and hoppy with notes of noble hop citrus, fresh cut grass, and standing in a field after a rainstorm.”

Foeder Kellerbier – “Our house Kellerbier aged for two months in an American oak foeder. Floral and lemon hop character with caramel and vanilla notes from the oak.”

Sure, You’re Right NE Hazy IPA – “IPA brewed with Citra and Idaho 7 hops. Notes of Pineapple, Overripe Stone Fruit and Spicy Honey. Dedicated to the best MC with no chain you ever heard.”