Across the Golden State

What to brew for the Golden State to help raise funds for the California Craft Brewers Association? Instead of one recipe for a whole state load of California brewers, those playing along will be “choosing their own beer style to brew.” How many beer styles do you think that might be?

Below is more information from the press release:

“Formed in 1989, the CCBA is the oldest state trade association representing craft breweries. CCBA has primarily funded its mission with funds derived from membership dues and large-scale industry and consumer events. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CCBA was forced to cancel numerous conferences and the annual CA Craft Beer Summit in both 2020 and 2021.”

CCBA Brewers Collaboration fundraiser was made possible through the generous support of CCBA allied trade members including Crosby Hops, The County Malt Group Custom Label, and Vessel Packaging who donated ingredients and discounted services for the project.”

“CCBA Brewers Collaboration beer will be available in packaged beer at participating brewery locations throughout the state beginning in mid-July and throughout the summer and early fall. More information on the fundraiser, how to get involved, and participating brewery map visit are posted on their website.”

CCBA Summit Brewery # 2 – Crooked Lane

Stop 2 is in Auburn for the lauded (by the recent CCBA Summit), Crooked Lane Brewing. I had their 1-2 Punch Peach / Mango IPA and quite enjoyed it. Now here are some other beers that you may like…

Crimson American Red Ale – “Our Crooked twist on the American Red Ale is delightfully malty with a hint of hops, featuring locally crafted malt from Admiral Maltings. Deliciously balanced, Crimson will be a big hit with fans of this sought-after style.”

Throttle Therapy Brut IPA – “Dubbed THE IPA of summer by our brewing staff, this crushable Brut IPA is high on hop octane with a crisp malt backbone, reminiscent of a dry hopped Pilsner.”

Roaky Mandarina IPA – “Generous additions of mandarin juice and citrus-forward hops combine in the juicy Roaky Mandarina IPA. ‘Roaky’ means Hazy, owing to the New England IPA yeast, and celebrates mandarins & hops in a uniquely refreshing beer.”

Nightfall at the Barn – “Another magically delicious beer in our series of collaborations with Drake’s Brewing Co., Nightfall at the Barn is a decadent and rich Russian Imperial Stout, with unparalleled smooth malt flavors.” 

CCBA 2019 – Recap & Photos

Now that the California Craft Beer Summit is complete, here are some photos from the State of the Beer State…

Start with two CA brewing legends, Vinnie – Russian River and Ken – Sierra Nevada
The Tiki-fied LA County Brewers Guild booth.
Food & Beer Pairing # 1
Food & Beer Pairing # 2
Crooked Lane, the winner of the California Cup this year.
One of my favorite breweries pouring at the Summit Festival this year.
Me gazing at all the beer.

CCBA 2019 – The Festival

Saturday comes and I am trundling down to Long Beach from Glendale for the third time for the festival that ends the California Craft Beer Summit

First, the line of tents for this festival was an impressive sight. It just kept going off into the distance. So, yes, there was a lot of California beer being poured  

Let’s dive into my best and worst of the small percentage of beers that I could safely sample:

My Best in Show

1. Temescal Brewing Belgo Belgian Pale Ale

2. Cellarmaker Wild Gooseberry Chase IPA

3. Original Pattern Scotch Ale

The Belgo was so good, that I almost wanted to camp at the Temescal booth and have all three of their beers  (I did have the Pils which was quite good). It had a big Belgian yeast character married to a Pale and touch hoppy ale.  Cellarmaker had a trio of IPA’s in cans.  I tried two and again almost went back for number three.  Gooseberry was a crushing hit of Nelson Sauvin hops.  Lastly, Original Pattern brought a freshly kegged Scotch Ale that was lovely and balanced.  

The M’eh List

1. Karl Strauss / Russian River New California IPA

2. Flatland Brewing Middle of Somewhere Else Sour

When you pair anyone with Russian River, the beer should be great.  This IPA would have been boring for a British IPA.  No hop presence at all.  The dry hopped meets apricot sour from Flatland was just butter and apricot.  Pastry sour?


CCBA 2019 – Day 1 – Recap

Long BeachDay 1 of the California Craft Beer Summit, here is what I learned about beer and the Golden State…

The day started with a “Pioneer” presentation, a look back at 1989 when the precursor group to the CCBA started. It was a slick presentation with a drawer- full of anecdotes about what it was like in the early days. John Martin of Drakes, Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada, Chris Cramer of Karl Strauss and Tom McCormick of the CCBA were interviewed by another legend in Vinnie Cilurzo. There were secret payoffs, equipment sales from jail and lenient inspectors involved.

Next up was the “numbers” presentation. Bart Watson, the statistics maven for the Brewers Association showed the industry numbers and the contradictory story that they were telling us. The sky isn’t falling. It’s just that the competition is more than it has ever been and that taking a peek into how the post millennial generation is buying might just be a smart thing to do. He also touched on seltzer (including the entrance of Bud Light seltzer) and how closings are still incredibly low for such a mature market. As always, Watson was engaging and funny and made me wish my economics teachers were this much fun.

The expo hall was open by now but I wanted to take in another seminar and one labeled Beer Trends struck my fancy. It ended up being a discussion of four beer styles with a California example poured of Pilsner, kolsch, saison and a sour. It was good info but currently none of those beers are trending unless you count Italian pilsners.

Then it was time to taste some beers and see all the gadgets and gaskets on the trade floor. There were also tap talks and chef demos which got swallowed up in the general hall noise. That leads to a pro tip. Sit up front. That way you hear what is being said and you are first for samples. The best section, for me, was another food and beer pairing area. Time slots of a couple hours allowed for people to wander up when hungry to get a Pale ale with tacos, or Oud Bruin with ice cream. Quick and delicious.

Day 2 news coming tomorrow.

CCBA Summit Brewery # 1 – Flat Fish Brewing

Our first California stop, in honor of the California Craft Beer Summit in Long Beach is Flat Fish Brewing Company of not-so far away Camarillo.

Here are some of their IPA choices with the last two scheduled to be on tap at the CCBA Fest.

Long Drift IPA – ” Get a fresh bite of peach fuzz out of this one as the Mosaic comes forward through the aroma and enhances its juicy palate. The Citra provides a refreshing citrus-forward, west coast signature. Don’t miss the Simcoe bittering addition that gives a hint of berry!”

Pelican Bay IPA – ” This beer is a showcase for Simcoe and Amarillo hops used throughout the brewing process. The combination delivers a clean light tropical profile with plenty of bitterness for a nice finish. The Pelican Bay malt bill is a little lighter than the Long Drift IPA.”

Turbot Charge Double Red IPA – ” Bite into the dense layered hops in this Red Double IPA. Clocking in at 95 IBUs of well-integrated hops and a solid malt backbone!”

California Craft Beer Summit – Festival Picks

The festival after the Summit activities has a lot of breweries, consider this your primer on which booths you should target during the fest….

I have compiled 20 beers to try (plus a duo from the White Labs booth) not in any particular order that caught my beer eye.

Blaker Brewing – Vanilla Bean Milk Stout
Burgeon Beer Co. – Clever Kiwi Nelson Hopped Pilsner
Cellador – Clockworks Rustic Saison with Orange Zest and Cardomom
Cellarmaker – Christopher Riwakan Pale Ale
Device – Rice Crispy Boi Rice Lager
Dionysus – Rest in Funk 1 – Black Currants
Faction / Anchorage – Diverge IPA
GameCraft – A-wa-wa-wa-wa! Italian Pilsner
JackRabbit – Czechmate Pilsner
Karl Strauss / Russian River New California IPA
Moksa – Hop Collage NE IPA
New Glory – Ubahdank IPA
Poseidon Brewing – Ironclad Irish-Style Red Ale
Rare Barrel – Blurred T Tart Saison aged in oak barrels with Tempranillo grapes
Seaward Brewing – Sea Plus Dry Hopped Pilsner
Skyland Ale Works – Saison Sans Gluten
Temescal Brewing – Pils
Ten Mile – Jamaican Monk Belgian Tripel aged in Jamaican Rum Barrels
Wave Maiden – Comber Damiana Herbal Ale
Yolo Brewing – The Riceman Cometh Rice lager

and then White Labs has (2) NE IPA’s with one big difference, the yeast.

In the Tap Lines for September 2019

header_attractionsThis month the big event is in Long Beach as the California Craft Beer Summit comes south for their 2019 iteration.  There will be tips about the festival as well as events surrounding the gathering of the state’s brewers in the coastal town.

~ e-visits to three breweries coming to Long Beach for the Summit Beer Festival
~ special featured reviews of beers in the tall chimney hat can format
~ 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 Kafka by the Shore
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to 30 for 30 – The Sterling Affairs
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

Here are two events to get your September started in the Los Angeles craft beer world:
1) September 21st – Craft Beer LB Festival
2) September 21st – Oktoberfest Kick-Off at Rasselbock Long Beach