Leaks and Butter

QC. Quality Control.  It is super important.  And devilishly hard to harness, especially when working with bugs and critters. Even for large outfits like Hangar 24 and for places that have encountered taste issues before, like The Bruery.

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Both of which encountered issues recently which highlight the other side of QC.  Informing the public of QC issues and offering concrete solutions.

Hangar 24 had some bottles of their Sanguinello sprout leaks through wax due to a balky piece of equipment. The Bruery had to track down why some bottles of Hottenroth with peaches were more diacetyl heavy.

Both breweries explained the situation in clear language and took steps to ameliorate the problem. Either by tossing the bottling equipment or storing the beer at different temperatures.

The next step is to add that problem to what I call the “watch list”. This is a simple list of problems that have occurred.  But it does not end there. It is incumbent on breweries to also look at that list and make a second list of what could occur.

The other piece to the puzzle is to have plans, in place, to make your customers and fans happy-ish if something does goes haywire. Which it will because, you know, life happens.

Sean Suggests for April 2014


A very SoCal list for April.  We roam from 10 minutes from my home to Golden Road, then take a looooong drive to Redlands for a new IPA and then pick up one of my favorite beers of the year so far, made with a nut that I wouldn’t touch if you handed one to me.


Golden Road 329 Lager 4.8% ABV

“Medium-bodied, crisp and refreshing, 329 Lager is perfectly suited for L.A.’s outdoor culture and a drinkable complement to summer barbecues, beach hangouts, baseball games and everything in between. A balanced combination of Bravo, Tradition, and Opal hops, the merican-style lager emanates a delicate floral finish with notes of honeysuckle and jasmine.”


Hangar 24/ Betty IPA 6.5% ABV

“Betty is an American IPA boasting a blend of Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe and Centennial hops. We spent 8 months perfecting this hop blend, and we love the huge range of juicy aromas and flavors we were able to hit: tropical fruit, citrus zest, berries, stone fruit and pine are all packed in… ”


Monkish/ Seme Della Vita 9.4% ABV

“Belgian-style tripel brewed with pistachios and vanilla beans”

Pugachev goes Royale


Hangar 24 Craft Brewery and their brand new branding are back for round 2 of their Barrel-Aged Beer Festival this December 7th, from 11am-4pm at their Redlands based Brewery.

This is your chance to sample many, many beers from the Hangar’s extensive barrel-aging program including the infamous Pugachev’s Cobra. To sweeten the pot, a brand new entry in the Barrel Roll series will be introduced: the very limited Pugachev Royale.

This was a fun event last year.  It is a long drive (unless you live out in the IE) but a good sized but not huge crowd was spread through the getting bigger brewery complex. And even though some of the rarer beers went quickly there was no wont of good beer choices.


A Slow Roll


“Slow roll: A demanding maneuver in which the pilot slowly rotates the longitudinal axis of the aircraft 360 degrees while maintaining level flight.”

I missed this beer at their recent anniversary bash (which drew in big crowds from what I hear) but I hope to get a taste of this new barrel aged offering from H24.  I want to see how a golden ale does in Bourbon barrels.

“This fruity, complex ale evolved over time to its present state – hence the name, Slow Roll. In November, we began it as a Belgian-style golden ale. We then racked the beer into bourbon barrels. Six months later, our anniversary beer is ready to perform. Admire the light copper color in your glass. Take in the aromas of pear, banana, and spice, with gentle oak and caramel notes. The first sip will reveal even more nuance, with soft caramel and bourbon in the background. It starts very effervescent, followed by a dry finish. We invite you to celebrate with us and enjoy Slow Roll, a limited edition bottling of our Fifth Anniversary ale.”

Review – Hangar 24 Helles Lager

Today’s review is of a beer that I have had a few times before from the rapidly expanding brewery from Redlands, Hangar 24. Now they are known in the beer geek circles for their Barrel Roll series and their flagship Orange Wheat, but for daily drinking (a table beer as it were) there is no match for their Helles lager. And it is now in cans and due for a re-review.
It pours a light straw color. The aroma isn’t pungent or grab you at all but then you take a sip and it is a solid mix of carbonation, silky smoothness with a touch of sweetness. It isn’t dry but it doesn’t have the cloying Sugar Pop sweetness that you get from the B-M-C industrial water lagers. It is filling and tasty and right for the Helles style.
Now is this beer gonna blow you away? Does it have a big hop presence? Or a big ABV to it? Nope. But if you review it for what it is, then you will see what a good job Hangar does with it. The same could be said of their Alt-Bier as well. A style forgotten by the current craft beer culture but is solid nonetheless. I highly recommend having a case of this around. It is perfect to wean people off mass produced beer but still tasty enough for the discerning craft drinker.

Xmas 2012 – Hangar 24 / Warmer

Our final holiday entrant comes from Hangar 24. It is part of the Local Fields series and goes by the name of Warmer. Which L.A. certainly is.

“Warmer, is strong, rich ale that combines holiday flavors including cinnamon, maple syrup, caramel malts and fresh spruce from the San Bernardino Mountains. The combination is a nice compliment to the cool season. Warmer’s ABV is 7.8 percent.

The Local Fields Series was launched in early 2012 and is comprised of six beers, all brewed once per year with a different local ingredient. Other ingredients in Hangar 24’s Local Fields beers include red wine grapes, dates, blood oranges, apricots and pumpkins all of which were grown close to the brewery in Redlands, CA.”

Sean suggests for December

This month I pick out another grab bag of beers going from light(ish) to heavy. We start with Boulevard which is now distributing in L.A., then head to Redlands for a winter beer from Hangar 24 before getting a Widmer special release with a southwestern twist.

“Hang”in around the Barrel

I wish Redlands was a little closer to Glendale. But then again, it is probably why their special events are so much fun and with little to no lines even during a great barrel aged beer event at Hangar 24.

They are known for their excellent Orange Wheat (now in cans, along with their Helles) but beer geeks know them for their “Barrel Roll Series” of beers. It started with Immelman’s five years ago and this year they released Chandelle. And then re-released Pugachev’s Cobra from year three.

I was finally able to catch up on Immelman (in two versions) as well as Roll # 2, Humpty Bump. And even though I missed the apricot accented Chandelle, there was plenty to choose from, especially if you like rye whiskey barrels.

Immelman (the bourbon version) was my co-favorite of the day in a tie with a rye whiskey barrel version of their 4th Anniversary Dopplesticke.

The staff was friendly and helpful. As mentioned, lines were practically non-existent from the time I arrived two hours in until I left two hours later. Some of the bottled offerings were running dry but you could spend your six drink tickets on multiple versions of Pugachev’s or sit at one station and have an enjoyable time and get your $25 worth. The pours were very generous considering the weight of some of the beers and you could gaze upon their new canning line and huge tanks in the newest part of the facility.

So keep your eye’s peeled for their next event. You will not regret it.