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.”

Review – CCBA Box # 2

The second pairing from the California Craft Brewers Association is another NorCal duo.

Bike Dog and Urban Roots from Sacramento bring us rainbows and poodles.

Starting with the Hazy Pale Ale – Guys, Gals and Non-Binary Pals which pours a haze lemonade color which is followed by a big lemon aroma. Guessing there is some Citra involved here. A bitter beginning melts into softness. Quite a yeasty filling character from this one.

Next is Make It Easy IPA from Bike Dog. This West Coast IPA pours bright yellow clear. Almost looks like a pilsner. A bit of cat pee on the aroma but that fades as you get a clean and crisp IPA.

Review – CCBA Summer Box # 1

I have been really enjoying the best of California breweries boxes that I have bought through the California Craft Brewers Association. And this month, the summer box arrived so it is time to dig into reviews of some of the noteworthy beers from it.

We start with two styles that are off the beaten track. A double named beer from Sierra Nevada and a cream ale with a candy twist from High Water Brewing.

I was psyched to have the pale bock but the yellow / orange hued beer was a little one note. A nice malty note with a touch of apple cider but not much else and for a beer that is 6.8%, it tasted bigger alcohol wise. A twelve ounce can would have sufficed.

Break Apart was as advertised. Big orange aroma and flavor. Soft, giving it a creamsicle taste that was quite nice. I didn’t get a large hit of chocolate but the little amount there conveyed that Christmas orange taste.

Review – CCBA Holiday Box

This is the second virtual festival assortment from the California Craft Brewers Association and with 10 beers total (I will touch on 6 of them) from up and down the state, let’s dive into some mini-reviews…

All Clouds Everything from New Glory – Super big pineapple notes. Like opening a can of sliced pineapple rings. Very soft texture but still holds a charge of bitterness.

831 from Sante Adairius – Not my favorite label design for sure. Quite dank with both pine and menthol notes shining through. One word review would be woodsy.

Today’s Forecast from Pizza Port – Another solid seasonal IPA from Pizza Port. High bitterness, Concord grape notes, toasty malt and nicely crisp.

Peanut Butter Cup Narwhal from Sierra Nevada – Just wow. They nailed the aroma and the flavor doesn’t strike you as sickly sweet. The light bourbon touch of this super rare beer takes it to a higher level.

Lazy Lasers from Three Weavers – Murderers Row of hops from El Dorado to Motueka to Citra and my new favorite Strata. Getting jasmine flowery perfume notes and as it warms more tangerine. Strong bitterness at first then earns into a softer texture.

Apricot Sournova from Almanac – Sour upon opening the can. Getting a little oak, a little apricot and zero vanilla bean. Gets more lemonade flavor as it warms. Thankfully not super sour but everything needs to be amped up.

CCBA @ Home

Since my social media-ing takes a back seat to life and my blog, I miss out on blink or you’ll miss it deals. But, for once, I did not and was one of a mere 500 to purchase the California Craft Brewers Association “at home” beer box which is the stand in for the annual conference.

No matter the beers inside, this was an excellent overall shopping experience. Easy to navigate. Informative emails. The CCBA laid out what was going to happen, and then did it. One package held the goodies above and then came the beer..

…8 total. The three above being my most looked forward to. It came in a HUGE box. I thought to myself, packaging overkill and groaned. But inside was a nice surprise. The beers were inside a compostable cooler from Vericool. Instead of bubble wrap, there was an environmentally friendly, not styrofoam padding that apparently dissolves in water and the rest of the box is recyclable.

Very impressive.

The last piece of the puzzle are a series of videos about the beers. I am looking forward to watching those as I drink the beers.


Institution Ale Company has added to the California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) range of beers with their ominously named Surviving California IPA. I don’t know what kind weird Westworld meets drama mask theme is about but I do like the lemony tumbleweed.

CCBA Summit Brewery # 3 – Pine & Palm Brewing

The final California stop is in Fresno and Pine & Palm Brewing. The brewery was established in 2014 by owner Roger Noguera and lives now in a newer bigger space in North Fresno.

Here is what I would sample from a first taster tray…

Krispie Boi – “Citra Dry Hopped Lager”

Office Beer IPA – “Collaboration with 411”

Sleepy Time Barrel-Aged Barleywine – ” 2018 Release of Sleepy Time Barleywine. Aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels”

3rd Anniversary Barrel-Aged Stout – ” Aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels with Madagascar Vanilla beans”

Review – Thirty Years Strong from Three Weavers

The CCBA goodie bag had a canned treat tucked inside. A 30 Years Strong IPA. Once the Summit was finished, I decided to crack this open while looking over my photos and prom material from the 3-Day event.

Bit of a missed opportunity with the label. Doesn’t say 30 years or CCBA to me. Just a generic cityscape. I imagine what Brouwerij West or Highland Park could have done.

The muddy haze of lemonade ice tea is evident.  The beer has a bright citric acid aroma.  Getting orange and lemon mix. Tiny touch of creamy character. Hop bitterness is there but tilted more to silky as it sticks on the top of the mouth. There is a rough alcoholic burst at the beginning as well.