Show Pride

It is easy to get dragged down into the muck and start Twittering to and about breweries when they name a beer something offensive (light or full on, doesn’t matter), but I thought instead of just thumbs up emoji-ing the above image, that I wanted to say how cool this is. How many tourists are going to get their photo in front of the most iconic brewery gate? Plus it ties in with sports which has its own issues to work on when it comes to inclusivity and masculinity so it works on two levels.

Guin & Timm

I do not know when this beer came about, if it’s a retired beer or if it is being sold in the US but when I saw that Guinness spun two of their beers into a blend with Timmermans of Belgium, I really wanted it.  This Lambic meets stout is a mix of Guinness West Indies Porter (1801), Guinness Special Export (first brewed in 1944 exclusively for John Martin) and Timmermans Oude Kriek (the world’s oldest lambic brewery).

The description from the Timmermans website sounds delicious, “A unique dark beer with a subtle pink hue in the foam. Aromas of chocolate, oak & cherry. Full flavoured and beautifully balanced.”

Guinness & Bulleit

Brewed in Dublin. Aged in Baltimore. The latest from Guinness is their famous Stout Aged in Bulleit Bourbon Barrels. The Antwerpen Stout variant was aged for eight months in the barrels at the recently Open Gate Brewery in Maryland.

This location was once the Maryland Distilling Company that opened back in 1933.

The press release touts “powerful and full-bodied notes of bittersweet chocolate and aged fruits, the stout spent eight months aging in Bulleit Bourbon barrels, adding a layer of oaky richness and complexity to the beer.”

It is in very limited supply in the U.S. with four packs of 11.2oz bottles selling for a suggested retail price of $19.99.

A Book & A Beer – Miss Subways by David Duchovny

Yes, it is that David Duchovny of X-Files and Californication. And Miss Subways is his third book but the first that I have read.

The book follows Emer, a teacher in New York City whose romantic life is complicated not only by the usual pressures of life but by the existence of Gods of long ago erase her boyfriend Con, from her life, only for them to re-connect. It is a rom-com mixed with Neil Gaiman lite and chock-filled with contemporary asides.

Overall, I like quite a few of the ideas in the book. Quotes in the subway cars amidst the ads and people on phones is well done. Duchovny has selected telling quotes without being too obvious. I like the school characters as well. From the principal Sidney to her friend Izzy and even the three troublesome students have single but cool dimensions to them. New York is given a lived in and local character as well which adds a nice dimension.

The boyfriend with the weird Gaelic name seems a bit wimpy to me, especially in comparison to Emer. She could do a lot better, is something I uttered out loud on a couple of occasions. And that shortcoming sort of cuts the book’s knees out from under it. Con doesn’t have to be perfect but he seems weak even for someone who has proverbially sold his love.

Now if this blog came to you from New York and not Los Angeles, the beer choosing would be a lot easier. Most New York beer doesn’t really make it out to us but considering the romantic nature of the book, I really do need to pick an Other Half beer, so I will go for Short, Dark and Handsome, their Stout.

In wider release, since their is plenty of Irish in this book, Guinness would be a good choice. Or you could go light and go for Harp instead since that musical instrument has more romance behind it.

More local, head to Ogopogo Brewing in San Gabriel and pick up their stout, Ashrays. Those are mythical water creatures and the book deals heavily in myths but as the kicker, they are sometimes called the water lovers or water ghosts.

Baltimore Blonde

Looks like the Americanized Guinness is starting on the easy drinking side for their first big Maryland brewery release…

I do like the Maryland state flag in the background and I hope this blonde is a good choice for summer.


Take a peek at this video….

…I don’t know how people will react to the famous dark beer brewers creating a light option but I would be very interested in trying it.

Guinness 200

On International Stout Day, I found myself near Staples Center at a party thrown by Guinness to celebrate the release of their new Guinness 200th Anniversary Ale.
Was there nitro ice cream? Yes.
Was there coffee infused Guinness? Yes.
Was Guinness Blonde available or the Nitro IPA? The former for some unknown reason considering that it sure wasn’t Blonde Ale day.

I wish I had this truck in my parking spot.

The verdict on the new beer: It is a nice companion piece to the draught and Foreign Export (which I also tried) but it wasn’t strikingly different like the Antwerpen Stout is. Don’t let that nitpickery make you think that I didn’t like because I did. But it is almost less a variant and more of a slight tweak. I did hear that a barrel-aged version might be coming from the Maryland office. That really intrigues me.