Back to De Ranke

Belgian brewer De Ranke has a new beer… a dark ale aged on wood. Divert your eyes from the local IPAs for a second and see if this one pops up of the foreign section. Dark ales are fun palate cleansers to have.


Not much Avery news (other than their re-branding earlier this year), but that changes with their milestone 25th Anniversary ale. And they go with the Dark Ale. I like the choice to lean into their dark side.

Not Hawkins

Beachwood Brewing will soon be releasing the third beer in Beachwood Brewing’s 2014 series of barrel-aged beers, Sadie.


Tasting notes from the brewery describe Sadie as having “Rich accents of caramel and vanilla are carefully intertwined with delicate notes of oak and toasted oats.”

SADIE will be released as a limited edition beer on Tuesday, October 14th at 6pm at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach and Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, California.

Saduewill be available in 22oz. bottles on October 14th at 6pm at both Beachwood locations for the price of $25.

Review – Maillard’s Odyssey from Bell’s Brewery & Sierra Nevada

I will be reviewing ALL 13 of the special Sierra Nevada Beer Camp collaborations this month.  I had my non-drinking wife randomly select the order and the next beer on the docket is from Bell’s Brewery, Maillard’s Odyssey.


I think I have a contender for favorite. The MO pours similar to the previous Double Latte. A very dark brown with an espresso head. But then it veers off as I get a crazy mix of flavors. Coffee. Chocolate. Fig. And even a bracing dose of hops.

And it is very zippy. Not viscous or syrupy at all. At the end I start getting a slight burnt char flavor that just stacks on top of the rest to form a really interesting brew. This beer and the New Glarus were the most anticipated in my mind because we don’t get them here in LA and this works great.


Up from the Cellar – Vintage Ale from Trader Joe’s 2010

The private label beers at Trader Joe’s fall into two camps. The “Really cheap and it Shows” and the “I Can’t Believe They aren’t Charging More.”

The Unibroue beers fall into the latter and I have squirreled away 2010-2012 vintages that were labeled as Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale. I will only review the two oldest though. Maybe save 2012 and get 2014 to compare against each other.

Here is what I said about this beer years ago, Aroma is not malty or roasted. Rich smelling. Pours dark brown close to black. Alot of plum type flavor in here. A faint touch of spice. The cheeks warm up but only after a few sips.

Now it is time to see how 4 years has treated this Canadian Dark ale with spices…..


First off, the cork came out beautifully. Two seconds later it was a grade school science fair exhibit that delayed my drinking whilst I cleaned up sticky beer from the counter.

Once I had it in the glass, the smell of cherries and plums greeted the nose. Almost juice like in aroma. A pretty taupe pattern of lacing on the glass. Taste wise, the Belgian yeast influence seemed to have faded a bit. There was a bit of thinness too that I don’t remember from before and the booziness isn’t as apparent. After the fruit notes the biggest flavor is a wine tannin hit. The spice which was faint has completely left the building.

Coming in at 9%, this beer shows signs of losing strength. Still plenty of flavor here but the complimentary notes which rounded out the taste are gone, leaving a more acidic ale with a fruit focus in its place.


The Verdict – I think I let this one sit for a year too long.  The fruit forward nature is a bit too much.

Alaska Brewery # 4

One of the new terms craft beer terms of 2010 is Nano-Brewery. And Baranof Island, fits that bill in my mind.

Here is their main list:
Silver Bay IPA
Lord Baranov’s Dark Ale
Baranof Brown Ale
Halibut Point Hefeweizen
Redoubt Red Ale
Peril Strait Pale Ale

They are based in Sitka and they brew with a 1 3/4 barrel system and handcraft their beer in 45 gallon batches. They sell growlers to go too!