Heading to the islands for our last brewery and distillery combo with Maui Brewing and Kupu Spirits.
Let’s check out two Hawaiian spirits and two beers….
Kupu White Whiskey – “Distilled from Malted Barley and Corn, aged at least 808 minutes in new oak barrels. Use this unembellished White Whiskey in place of vodka, rum, or tequila in your favorite cocktail.”
Pono Life Hazy IPA – “Notes of Juicy Pineapple, Mango, and Candied Tangerine.”
Kupu Gin – “Distilled from grain and a proprietary blend of botanicals including juniper, makrut lime, local oranges, lemon peel, licorice root and hibiscus. Refined to perfection.”
Pineapple Chi Chi – “Nitro Golden Ale brewed with local pineapple and freshly toasted coconut.”
As you can see from their website banner, long time Oregon brewery, Rogue does beer, spirits and dabbles in the CBD too.
I am going to highlight two beers and two spirits that I would like to taste. I will do the same with the other brewery/distillery combos later this month.
Colossal Claude – “It’s been a few decades since a Colossal Claude sighting has been reported, but we’re fairly certain the massive sea monster has been laying low off the coast of his favorite brewery. Word has it that after years of terrifying sailors and feasting on salmon he acquired a taste for hops. So we brewed this Imperial IPA with a colossal dose of Cascade, Chinook, Citro and Strata hops in hope of coaxing Claude out to join us for a pint.“
Pinot Barrel Farmhouse Gin – “With an abundance of freshly drained Oregon Pinot noir barrels, it only makes sense to capitalize on the flavors locked within them. For this unique gin, we fill Pinot noir barrels with our Farmhouse Gin and let it rest for six months. The result is a complexly layered gin that tastes great on its own and mixed in cocktails.“
Shakespeare Stout Nitro – “Rogue Ales was originally founded in Ashland, a Southern Oregon college town home to the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Inspired by this festival, we introduced this English-style oatmeal stout as one of our three original beers when our first pub opened in Ashland in 1988. It has remained in our product line ever since, earning the most awards and highest ratings of any of our beers.“
Oregon Rye Malt Whiskey – “One of few malted rye whiskeys, the malting process in Rogue’s hand-crafted Oregon Rye Malt softens the spice notes typical of rye whiskeys and makes for a more approachable whiskey that builds in flavor. The barley in the mash bill (52% rye, 48% barley) further rounds out the taste and mouthfeel creating an easy sipping experience. Complex nuttiness is softened by light caramel and a hint of citrus leading to cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper.“
It wasn’t all beer in Long Beach, I also slipped in a visit to Portuguese Bend Distillery as well.
The bright corner space has the distillery off to the right, a hole-y wooden boat hanging above as well as an L-shaped patio. This is a third restaurant concept from the Navarro’s, Brenda and Luis who also have Lola’s and Social List in town.
Simon Haxton is the distillery and currently they have a pair each of vodkas and gins. Both the hibiscus tinged gin and the “regular” are quite strong. Lots of fusel burn to each that covers over some of the normal gin notes that I would have liked to have tasted. I did have a cocktail, the Yes Please and it was nice and strong though heavy with ice.
The food, in this case the Southern Fried Chicken was straight down the middle comfort food. The mashed potatoes and gravy was great and the chicken was nicely breaded while still moist too. The rest of the menu hews to that comfort side with burgers and meat based dishes.
The next spirit coming after the Breakwater Vodka and the Smoke Bay and Donna Rosa gins will be a rum which will lead to more cocktails that I think will be the focus especially during the summer and fall.
Colorado Boulevard has grown into a cool food & bevarage boulevard from Eagle Rock to Figueroa. And perhaps there will be a distilling addition as well.
This is early stages yet and I would expect the City of L.A. might bury the project in paperwork and inertia but the team behind the Four Cafe is planning on a distillery for their new location, code name Relentless.
The future restaurant is basically across the street from where they are now.
Cocktail afficionados, purists and artisans may blanch at the idea of canned drinks, I think it just might work for Ballast Point. I have concerns about how “fresh” they may be even though the press release calls them “shelf stable” which I find a bit disconcerting.
But at a $15.00 four-pack price point, they are super affordable considering how high end the spirits are and being a G&T fan, but not really the best G&T blender makes them even more desirable.
I will skip the Bloody Mary since I can’t stomach tomato juice but the two Rum varietals with cola or ginger look tasty too.
Before you tuck into the 2014 Christmas Ale from Anchor Brewing. How about you test this intriguing beer experiment? They are tapping their distillery arm for their rye sour mash blending it with a regular mash recipe and they end up, “creating a unique piquancy.”
Thus they can have a tart but not sour base for their 7th Zymaster beer that they add the English Ale yeast to plus a mere four additions of the much loved Nelson Sauvin hop from New Zealand.
Can tartness and the grape qualities of the hop co-exist. I will be trying it for sure.