Double Dutch

I spend quite a bit of words on the fact that many styles seem to have gone down in trajectory. Another one to add to the list are sour stouts or sour with chocolate. Cascade Brewing is adding Dutch cocoa powder back into the mix along with vanilla bean for an intriguing combo with a sour double porter.

El Lúpolo And St. Patrick

After reading this fun piece on the cocktail El Lúpolo

I started to think about the beer fads like beer cocktails that came and went but should still be part of a beer fans repertoire. First to come to mind was beer floats which would work especially well today with St. Patrick’s not being the brewery party this year. Get some Guinness or a nitro stout and pair it with some artisanal ice creams.

Another MIA fad is pairing beer and chocolate . On the few occasions that beer pairings are talked about, it is usually with cheese but chocolate needs to get a few more chances to intermingle flavors.

Keep experimenting even without the fad seal of approval.

Chocolate Smog

If you have neither had a fancy bottle from the Wood Cellar at Smog City Brewing or have had wild and chocolate then the new, Fancy Chocolate will knock both items off of your bucket list.

Here is what the Torrance brewery has to say about this beer, “this deeply nuanced Dark Wild Ale with Berries brings a complex presence of bakers chocolate and espresso with aromas of bright berry fruit and hints of toasty barrels eliciting the sense of enjoying a delicious bar of fruited dark chocolate.”

A Bit of a Turn

Firestone Walker can do a wide variety of beers but even with that skill, there are some flavors that I do not associate with them. Pils, sure. IPA for sure. Sours and Wild Ales for damn sure. Barrel-aged of course but chocolate cherry stout? No doubt they will pull it off but I like that they are doing something off their Central Coast path. And canning it too.

Chocolate & Oysters

I am glad to see an oyster stout, any oyster stout being produced. I think it is a cool sub-style and the fact that Gigantic is adding chocolate as a co-ingredient is brilliant. Sort of like a sea salt chocolate. Dark chocolate fans should look for this.

Need a Calculator

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If you are going to celebrate 20 years of brewing, you might as well go for a 20% ABV beer because at age 30 trying to hit 30% ABV is much, much more difficult. So enter Higher Math from Dogfish Head which is coming to market in October.

It is a golden ale that is then fermented with both cherries and cocoa nibs. Probably not in large amounts so look to your favorite beer bar and see if they will have a special party to celebrate what may be rare kegs.

NB + B&J

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Salted caramel brownie ale. Sounds too much by even Ben & Jerry standards. Maybe if it is light enough on both the salt and the base beer then the chocolate notes and the caramel will be able to play off each other in a balanced way. But New Belgium does have a way with chocolate and they have done stranger beers.

LA Beer Week – Day 4 – Bottle Room


As if last night wasn’t enough, back on the road to Whittier and The Bottle Room for Deschutes beer and chocolate….

Who needs dinner when you can start with dessert. Well, I almost did that last night. Placed an order for the chocolate dessert sampler and the two Deschutes beers (Black Butte and Jubelale) after sitting down. Then realized I should probably have some food first. And since I wanted to save the beer to pair with the desserts, I sampled Strand Brewing’s 2nd Anniversary braggot.
It was quite good. Braggots are hit or miss for me but this had a nice interplay of honey, vanilla and spice. A great fall beer for cool nights. (LA should get one of those in November).
Then it was on to the dessert.
. The cake was soooo rich. That was a wicked mixture of caramel and chocolate that came oozing out of the middle. I am much more a pie guy, but molten cakes rank really high too. The chocolates were also great. There was blue cheese lurking in the small square and it was good. Again, I shall close with the beer. I had the Jubelale 2011 at the Beer Bloggers conference this year and this was a chance to see if my initial reaction would be changed. It hasn’t. But it doesn’t scream winter ale to me. The Black Butte was quite good and matched the richness of the desserts better..

As usual, I was wowed again by the food of Tony Alcazar and the great tap list.

Great Divide in LA

If you want to get a craft beer geek salivating then just say the word Yeti. To the normal population, it is just a creature of myth. To the beer nerds it is a beer with many different spins from the Great Divide Brewery in Denver. A favored stop on the GABF tour.

Limited amounts of their beer would make it here to LA but now the bounty increases! And the place to be is Blue Palms on Hollywood. (With their new parking system). You can try out some Yeti and other delightful Divide beer.