Our final featured Fig Mtn beer is their Golden Coffee ale, Zero to Sexy.
Pours a bright and beautiful garnet color. Big fluffy head. Lovely lacing on the side of the glass. Coffee and cream aroma hits the nose first. Almost has an ice cream quality to it. The coffee is the leading flavor component. Milk chocolate note is there in the back which supplies not a mocha but that milky tone. Lovely dessert beer. Good use of both their chocolate and coffee suppliers…
We have entered the last month of the first quarter. How are you doing on your craft beer resolutions? Visited new and re-visited old? Made a beer trip out of your comfort zone? Tried a new style of beer? Well time to get crackin’!
~ e-visits to three breweries from small towns like Double Barley Brewing, Mackinaw Brewing and Mountains Walking
~ special featured reviews of more Figueroa Mountain beers including their new Point Conception IPA
~ 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 Traveling Cat Chronicles
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.
Here are two events to get your March started in the Los Angeles craft beer world:
1) March 2nd – Border X Grand Opening
2) March 9th – Select Beer Store’s 7th Anniversary
Now we taste test the lighte side of Figueroa Mountain. 101 and Light. Which will win this battle?
The “light” beer is really good. If I had been given this blind, I would not have said it was calorie counting beer. It does not taste thin at all. Light pours a bright yellow color. The aroma almost has a slight funk to it but mostly just malt presence. It is not a bubbly beer at all and doesn’t scream flavor at you. Just a super mellow unwatery beer.
101 by contrast tasted way lighter. I would have picked this as the light beer in a hot second. It almost has a watery taste. A highly mineral water taste at that. It is zippier and crisper but most certainly more lawnmower or first beer of the night. Not much grain character to it and not layered with flavor either.
Of the two, I would choose the light. Not just for Heavenly-The Good Place reasons either.
If you are nearing lupulin overdose, hold on. There is a festival coming in May that can help.
Figueroa Mountain will be hosting their 1st Lagerville event at their Buellton based brewery on May 19th. L.A. locals like Eagle Rock, Enegren and King Harbor will be in attendance along with TAPS, Chapman Crafted , Brewery Rex and other known names.
A portion of the receipts will benefit the Los Padres Forest Watch, a charity that FigMtn has been working with for years.
Keep up to date with new over on Instahoot @lagerville.
Beer travel in LA is different than other cities. Freeways are not easy, so once I get to a location, I plan to hit multiple spots. When I visited Westlake Village, I was expecting two breweries and ended up with a bonus one.
First stop is the southermost outpost of Figueroa Mountain Brewing.
There a casual outdoor mall setting meets prospector camp vibe was in effect. Despite a plethora of employees, the service was a bit on the slow and not paying attention side. Maybe, sittin’ at the bar is the way to go. The parmesan tots were excellent though and the beer list, see here….
…was stellar and long. Both the Chamuco brown ale aged in tequila and mezcal barrels and The Gipper, dry hopped lager were excellent. Tequila barrels are under used or poorly used but not in this case and though I am not a fan of Reagan, a vote for the Gipper is also a vote against Cruz/Trump.
The main reason for the visit was for the grand opening of Westlake Brewing Co.. The brewery shares a warehouse space with 101 Cider and had cider on tap at their really long bar and for sale in a cooler.
I was surprised to taste that their IPA is nice and bright and the best of the bunch. Surprised because it is such an over done style that to make something that breaks out can be very hard. The rest of the line-up was a bit below par for me. The Mistress blonde ale tasted like it had sat in a cider barrel for too long. The Red Sky raspberry version of their Cloud Cover wit tastes like the filling of a raspberry donut. That was preferable to The Master which tasted like cooking vanilla and had no discernible coffee note to it.
While searching for the Westlake brewery, I saw a food truck and made the assumption that it must be where the brewery was, I was partially right. It was a brewery but it was the unknown to me Five Threads Brewing. Since me and beer buddy Richard were already there, we popped in to see the place and try a couple.
And I was glad that I did. The Game Day Cream Ale was well done as was the Jessica Imperial Red with had a nice cereal malt flavor lurking behind the hops. The Winter Pantry Black IPA was very smoke malt forward but still nicely balanced. I wished that I had started here instead of Westlake. As a bonus if you order 4 tasters the 5th is free. That is a damn good deal.
And the bonus is that the always great Ladyface is on the way back to LA.
The winning combination found by Noble Ale Works with their Naughty Sauce was bound to be imitated. Stone had a hand in on that action and now from the north, Figueroa Mountain is proffering up a Golden Mocha Stout.
And though I don’t know how the name matches the beer style the color is pitch perfect. Certainly golden enough to fool someone who is new to lighter hued coffee ales. The smell starts off with a cigar aroma first that slides into a darker type of coffee roast smell. Another sleight of hand. The taste continues that cigar push. Almost ashy I would say. There is quite a bit of sweetness that is in fighting mode against that cigar but in the end it is a push until the next sip and the burnt paper takes back over.
I really like aspects of this beer but it really doubles down too hard on that cigar which I presume is the after effects of the roast of the coffee. Maybe Fig Mtn. will try this again next year with a different roast or roaster. I would love to compare how the coffee is adding or subtracting from the rest of the recipe.
You don’t need to compete with wine. In fact, you can and should collaborate with them. That sentiment is growing in popularity as wineries and breweries come together in competition at pairing dinners or in breweries using old wine barrels for aging. Now add Figueroa Mountain to the collaborator list.
Whole Foods Market was the intermediary for this occasion. Though it wasn’t the hardest solution to solve since “…Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company 163 steps from our (Margerum Wine Company) door…” says Margerum Wine Company winemaker Jason Barrette.
More from the press release, “Together with the winemakers from Margerum Wine Company, a team from Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company and Whole Foods Market created a unique Belgian-style beer blended with wine called Bieré de Ménage. This is the first of Fig Mtn Brew’s Liquamentum series which will become its own brand later this spring featuring unique concoctions such as beer-wine hybrids.”
Bieré de Ménage will be unleashed on the beer and wine worlds during a special event on Thursday, May 15 in their Santa Barbara Taproom and the next day Friday, May 16, 2014 in their main Buellton Taproom.
Story Tavern in Burbank which is just over a year old now will be doubling their space with a party tonight.
To celebrate the expansion of 8 more taps and a game room, “Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company will be in the house this Thursday at 6:30PM to shower Story’s patrons with a wealth of delicious rarities, most of which have previously never been available in LA! Flights will be available.”
Draft List: Bag of Cats IPL, San Rafael Red Ale, Magpie Porter ,Monkeys with TypeRYEters ,Our Belgian Pale ,Irish Stout ,Wrangler Wheat and on CASK: Hoppy Poppy IPA