Best Beers of February 2021 + IPA Standings

Considering that Utopias and de Garde was drunk this month, the pickings for best we’re still pretty slim. I really liked aspects of the Samuel Adams old beer and the Strata hop wild ale but both were pretty one sided affairs.

Oddly enough, where I found balance was in the big beers of Shadow Puppet. Both of their triple IPA’s found the sweet spot of hops, alcohol and texture. Rational Exuberance and Efficiency TIPA’s are my February best choices. The 12 ounces cans from the Livermore brewery reminded me of the beer El Segundo big IPA’s. Strong and hoppy in equal measure.

On to the top three IPA’s of 2021, Strata Aerobic from Highland Park Brewery drops out and The Coachman from Societe drops to third as Quintette from Indie Brewing grabs the number 2 slot just behind Visions from Offshoot Beer Co. Quintette an anniversary IPA from the DTLA brewery packed a punch but was also light on its feet. I finished the can and immediately wished that I had another.

Sean Suggests for February 2021

Two reds and an oak for this month. It highlights that even in these heady beer times it can be hard to find just three red ales to fill out the scorecard.

LIGHT

SLO Brew Reggae Red – 5.6% – “This one-of-a-kind ale was born at our brewpub amidst influential musical acts of California’s 90’s reggae movement. A harmony of seven different malts, three types of hops, and a dash of hemp seeds makes Reggae Red a crowd pleaser.”

MEDIUM

Common Space Double Red – 7.5% – “Our Double Red brings the rich caramel flavors you expect, without the heavy, stickiness that weighs down some reds. Double Red has a huge charge of Cryo-hops to brighten and lift the caramel flavors up, and create a beer that is hoppy, malty, bold, and delicious.”

BIGGEST

Faction Oakes Imperial Stout on Nitro – 8.5%- “Our Russian Imperial Stout with oak chips. Shake the can and pour straight to activate the Nitro!”

In the Tap Lines for February 2021

header_attractionsYes, this here blog is California centered due to my LA living.  But this month, we will kick it up a notch since California Craft Beer Week is taking over the SF Beer Week slot this year. Plus a hush-hush secret beer review is coming too  

~ e-visits to (3) breweries here in California
~ special featured reviews of beers of (4) special beers from The Bruery
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events (Far in the future events)
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads Deacon King Kong by James McBride
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to KingCast
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

Sean Suggests for February 2020

In my birthday month, I look to some weird beers, since I am pretty weird. I found three new beers with fruit that I found super interesting.

~Light
Cellador Goseque- 4.7%
“This Gose-style ale was fermented on Summer Grand nectarines from Masumoto Family Farm, and is drinking great! It’s light and refreshing with very mellow acidity and noticeable salinity, brewed with Coriander and Sea Salt.”

~Medium
Almanac / Strange Brewing Mapache – 6.2%
“Collaboration with Strange Brewing Co. in Buenos Aires. Sour Ale Aged In Oak Barrels With Blueberries, Plums, Peaches & Pears. This fruity sour ale was brewed with the masked menaces at Strange Brewing, hailing all the way from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mapache, or raccoon in English, is inspired by rustic farmhouse beers and is packed with blueberries, plums, peaches, and pears.”

~BIG
Ogopogo Borries – 7.2%
“Pastry sour with raspberries and donuts. Borries are a type of hellhound that roam the Netherlands. They may live both in water and on land. They walk differently from regular dogs. Using their two left or right legs simultaneously with each step. This gives their stride a sway that is unmistakably the walk of a Borries. When a Bories runs, its tail positions parallel to its spine. Some said the sight of a Borries was a bad omen, foretelling dangers. When a Borries approaches you, there’s not really any hope of outrunning it. The best thing to do is be still. Don’t talk or move, don’t even blink.”

In the Tap Lines for February 2020

header_attractionsFebruary will find me back in Astoria for the second time in as many years.  This time to visit during Stout month.  Reports from the Oregon Coast as well as birthday beers are to be expected but first there will be a little bowl of Super…

~ e-visits to (3)  off the beaten path breweries like Everybody’s Brewing in Washington State, Taos Mesa Brewing in New Mexico and Zillicoah Beer Company in Asheville.
~ special featured reviews of beers that are low alcohol and/or low calorie
~ Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads The Department of Sensitive Crimes by Alexander McCall Smith
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to The City – Season 2 – Reno
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

Here are two events to get your February started in the Los Angeles craft beer world:
1) February 3rd – Brew Lab at Dry River Brewing
2) February 15th – Los Angeles Ale Works 3rd Anniversary

Sean Suggests for February 2019


For January, let’s look to the darker side and to devils and doubts.

~LIGHT
Bear Republic/ Sonoma Tart 5.20% ABV
“A pleasantly sour golden ale kissed with guava and passion fruit. Delicious fruit flavors with a sweet and tart finish.”

~MEDIUM
Little Beast / Ferme Rouge 7.50% ABV
“Oak-Aged Tart Red Ale. Our mixed-culture farmhouse red ale has bright flavors resulting from a balance of developed malt character, toasted oak and soft acidity. Unfiltered and bottle conditioned.”

~BIG
Indie Brewing / Nobody Walks in LA IPA 8.00% ABV
“A double dry hopped double IPA featuring Sabro, Styrian Wolf and Moutere hops.”

All of these beers can be found at Sunset Beer Co. (unless they got bought up real quick)

In the Tap Lines for February 2019

header_attractions
We have come around the sun to my birthday month again.  Planning a trip to Temecula for some beer visiting as well as a planned trip to Ventura plus this little Super Bowl game as well.  Should be a fun read this month.

~ e-visits to three breweries from San Diego, new to the scene like Kairoa Brewing, Kilowatt Brewing and Double Peak Brewing
~ special featured reviews of Flagship February beers
~ Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads Only to Sleep by Lawrence Osborne
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

Here are two events to get your February started in the Los Angeles craft beer world:
1) February 8th – The Shroud Unveiling Day at Bravery Brewing
2) February 9th – Broxton Brewery launch day

Sean Suggests for February 2018

header_beer_shopping_list
Let’s talk color, or more specifically, color and texture by starting with a Hazy IPA, moving on to the clarity of a West Coast DIPA and then finally the dark malts of a strong coffee beer.

~LIGHT
Bootlegger’s/ CLOUDWARE IPA6.3% ABV
“This Hazy IPA has an Orange juice-like appearance with fruit juice aromas of passionfruit, lemon, and stonefruit. The low bitterness and high fruitiness make for a very drinkable hazy IPA”>

~MEDIUM
MacLeod/ DOUBLED OVER HAPPY DIPA8.3% ABV
“An homage to the west coast, Macleod Ale’s “Doubled Over Happy” is all of the citrus, dank, and pine on the nose you want from an IPA, all while having a perfect malt blend on the palate for an easy drinking, balanced, crisp DIPA.”>

~DARK
Founders/ SUMATRA BROWN9.0% ABV
“This bold, imperial brown ale gets its body from a team of malts including Caramel malt for sweetness, flaked barley for dense foam, a bit of Chocolate malt for its deep color and Aromatic and Munich malts to add even more depth. German and Perle hops add a touch of bitterness to balance the malty sweetness. The addition of rich Sumatra coffee takes this perfectly balanced imperial brown ale to a decadent level.”>

All of these beers can be found at Sunset Beer Co. (unless they got bought up real quick)

In the Tap Lines for February 2018

header_attractions
We are back around the horn to birthday month! Time to decide what beer I want to imbibe as a special treat to me. While I do that, the blog will keep going with…

~ e-visits to three breweries from Canada
~ special featured reviews of beers NOT IPA’s (except for one)
~ Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

Here are two events to get your February started in the Los Angeles craft beer world:
1) February 6th – Bruery, Bruery Terruex & Offshoot Beer Co at Tony’s Darts Away
2) February 10th – L.A. Ale Works 1st Anniversary

Sean Suggests for February 2017

header_beer_shopping_list
For February, let’s go with the color red. I know it is a day after Valentine’s Day but beer (like cards and chocolates) shouldn’t be just one day a year.

~LIGHT
Dieu du Ciel/ Rosee D’Hibiscus 5.9% ABV
“The Rosée d’Hibiscus is a soft spoken wheat beer. The rose colour comes from the hibiscus flowers added during the brewing process. The aromas and flavour of this tropical flower are very prominent in the beer, giving it a slight acidity and a very agreeable fragrance. It is the perfect thirst quencher on a hot summer day.”

~MEDIUM
Crux Fermentation/ Banished-Better Off Red 7.00% ABV
“Flanders Reds may be called the Burgundies of Belgium, but we age our take on this complex, slightly tart style in Oregon Pinot Noir barrels for nearly a year. A fresh batch will present spicier notes while older versions pick up more oak and yield cherry flavors. So we blended them figuring we’re better off presenting this exotic mélange simultaneously. “

~DARK
Logsdon/ Ceraus 8.5% ABV
“From Hood River, Oregon near the orchards of the Fruit Loop, a Flanders Style Red Ale with organic cherries.”

All of these beers can be found at Sunset Beer Co. (unless they got bought up real quick)