Featured Review – Steel Beach Lager from Mike Hess Brewing

Let’s review a lager! Haven’t done enough of that. And continuing on the theme of south of L.A. breweries we head to Mike Hess Brewing for their Steel Beach lager.

I do like the drink straight from the can pop top from Hess. Big malty aroma up front. Not a super light beer though there are some scrubbing bubbles here. Getting some sugary notes as well. Some toast notes come through as well. I would classify as a Vienna Lager. As such, it does the job and then some.

Review – Lion Claaws from Los Angeles Ale Works and Firestone Walker

This milkshake collab between Los Angeles Ale Works and the Firestone Walker – Propagator pours like a grapefruit juice. The aroma is pineapple mixed with coconut. First taste unveils a lot of lactose. A lot. This is sugary. Only little over a week old and the hops of a DIPA are just not to be found. There is some orange juice but that just creates a creamsicle effect.

As it warms some of the bitterness starts to peek through but by then the battle has been won by the lactose. Strong fun flavors but the balance is off to me.

Featured Review – Brought A Jacket Didn’t Need It from Mumford

Up there with the great beer names that I have run across is the new session IPA collaboration from DTLAs Mumford Brewing and Cerebral Brewing.
Definite hazy aroma, almost like lupulin powder (if that was used). Has that hazy scrape on the tongue. Finishes a bit watery though so that scrape isn’t full. The can art and design s really cool. The beer itself looks like grapefruit juice. Dank bitterness taste lingers for awhile. First time I have seen Enigma hop broadcast as a selling point. Grassy more than citrus.

Featured Review – Vicious Mosquito IPA from Sunriver

After the great experience with the Cocoa Cow, I had to crack open the canned IPA from GABF winning Sunriver Brewing, Vicious Mosquito.

Pours a light orange color. Chilled is more dank. When it warms though this beer pops with tropical notes. Almost like two different beers. That hop bitterness bites on both sides but softens in the latter to make for a really interesting beer. Aroma is a bit woodsy. Combined with the excellent Parks & Wrecke DIPA that I had make Sunriver 3 for 3.

Featured Pumpkin Beer Review – Pumpkin Ale from Kennebunkport Brewing

This was literally the only pumpkin beer that I found in Trader Joe’s on a late September day. Two years ago, they would have been gone. Already sold.

The new canned version of Pumpkin Ale from the Kennebunkport Brewing Company comes in the orange accented 12oz. My last last Untappd score for this beer was 1.0 for the bottled version. This canned version tastes better than that but still not super. The pumpkin taste actually seems less pie and more actual pumpkin. It is still too sweet to my taste buds and on the thin side but leaves with a nice pie spice finish.

Label Review – Fun Light from Noble Ale Works

Not much Noble Ale Works beer makes its way north to Glendale, more canning resources shifted over to the 16oz IPA’s. Though, I must admit that the names are as funny as every.

Speaking of fun, the new can design for their new cream ale is quite good, ditching the hop face creepiness of their hop bombs and instead going for a 1/2 regal and 1/2 Industrial lager look to them. I would have added a little royal purple to the shadow of the word fun to break up the gold but I like the flow of the lines from back to front of the can.

Featured Review – Sunbather from Angel City

Angel City hasn’t done canning that I know of so it is interesting that they are starting with a Sour IPA, Sunbather. A beer canned right here in L.A.

I tried the kettle soured beer (from the tap) and was pleasantly surprised. It is not Sour but has a tang of tartness that allows for the Citra hops and particularly, the toast-centric malts to shine on through. This is the first of the series which will use a single, different hop each time.

It will be interesting to see which hop comes next. My bet is on Mosaic.

Review – Count Hopula Red IPA

I know it isn’t October but when presented with the opportunity to try my first, From the Vault series beer from SanTan Brewing, I threw holidays to the wind.


Count Hopula a doesn’t quite pour blood red though there is a tint of darkness in the brown colored beer. At first I wasn’t enjoying it and I didn’t quite know why. It’s plenty hoppy for sure. But there is a spicy rye character and some heavy malt taste that aren’t working in concert for me. Three flavors going off in different directions.

I started to think that maybe this was an old can. But try as I might, no bottled on date was to be found so I don’t know for sure. But this beer gets a negative score from me.