Like clockwork, I will see something on the social media and the beer travel bug will strike, sometimes it is brewing and distilling. Which leads to Crux Fermentation meeting Pursuit Distilling and me wanting to travel to Bend again.
As is often the case with Strand Brewing, they tease a new venture in advance and then it gets a little lost before it comes to fruition.
I posted about their distilling a few months back and now, as you can see from the photo, whiskey and vodka under the Strand moniker has arrived.
Available at their taproom to go.
The second distilling stop is New Holland. Much like the first stop, Rogue, they are an old school longtime craft brewer. Let’s dive into a pair of spirits matched with a pair of beers.
Barrel Aged Knickerbocker Gin – “Knickerbocker Gin, conditioned in spent New Holland Spirits barrels, makes a delicious barrel-aged gin. Toasty notes from the spirit-soaked wood accentuate the vibrant juniper character and provide a deep and smooth contrast to the lively aromatics.”
Cabin Fever Brown Ale – “Cabin Fever is a roasty brown ale and a hearty, comforting companion for long, mind-bending winters.”
Beer Barrel Rye – “Putting our bourbon in Dragon’s Milk barrels worked so well, that we wanted to see what it would do to rye whiskey. Beer Barrel Rye takes a similar journey through new American oak barrels before getting the Dragon’s Milk barrel treatment. Aromas of vanilla and allspice lead to flavors of honey and almond, before a lingering, spicy finish.”
Fear Cognac Barrel Aged Baltic Porter – “The base beer for Fear is a baltic porter, brewed with figs and aged in hand-selected Cognac barrels for one full year before being finished with vanilla to provide a complex assortment of decadent flavors. This release represents the self-doubt and fear of failure that accompanies a pursuit of change.”
Temecula has come to Eagle Rock in the form of Relentless Brewing. I have spoken with the folks behind the bar, restaurant and distillery but here are my first impressions…
The corner space is a bit small with a reverse L shaped bar fronted by a few stools with crown cap seats (which I thought was a nice design touch). There are a few tables in front with a garage door that can be opened onto Colorado Boulevard. With the tables and stools filed, the place can get a bit loud. That volume and the liquor bottles on shelves make this look on initial blush like a regular cocktail bar.
Beer wise it is primarily other local beers now. Relentless soft opened during L.A. Beer Week so having options like Imperial Western, Lincoln, Indie, Smog City and Boomtown was a smart go since they did not have their own beers available in quantity yet. They have around 18 taps and the beer menu is divided into light and refreshing, malty, hoppier and sours and funks.
The only house beers were in the hoppy and sour categories. I ordered Blitz Storm Hazy but it was out and bartender somewhat weirdly recommended an Offshoot Hazy instead of something from their own line. So I picked out an IPA and a sour to taste. Below are my mini-reviews…
Dank You So Much – OK. Piney, West Coast. Sticky. Some citrus peel, a skosh bit of butter
Tequila My Vibe – quite tart. Guava forward. Pretty cocktail color. Tequila barrel doesn’t really show. Maybe some apricot and really light peach
As ubiquitous as fruit in hoppy IPA’s, is hops in cider. But more rare, is hops in spirits. But Double Mountain of Hood River (and Portland) has come out with Oregon Oak aged whiskey that is infused with a combo of Cascade and Apollo hops. That sounds like a good start to a craft beer cocktail.
Looks like DTLA will be gaining another distiller. Our/Vodka will be opening at the end of the month. I missed a preview but this is what to look for in the vodka aisle….
The distillery is backed by drinks company Pernod Ricard and is the 9th in the chain that stretches from Houston to Paris to Detroit with locals involved in each locale.
Once recovered from L.A. Beer Week, I will see if I can sneak in a visit.
Cismontane has been bubbling in the background. Bottles are available but I haven’t seen many events or tap handles of late. Now I may have the reason behind that sorta absence.
They are building a tasting room, additional brewing facilities and a DISTILLERY too! The tasting room will be the first online later this month (fingers crossed on my part). The distillery will be second and very well may be the 1st ever in Orange County. And of course, last will be the brewing kettles and fermenters. They always are.
They address is 1409 East Warner in Suite C in Santa Ana, not Rancho Santa Margarita.