April Cerveceros

The SoCal Cerveceros will take over La Plaza de Cultura y Artes in late April with another gathering of their home brewing crew. The largest Latino brew club in the country and one that has been getting more attention not just in Los Angeles.

Plus proceeds from the ticket price benefit the Gumball Foundation and LA Plaza’s educational programs.  Drink beer and help a good cause.

You BrewDog

For those home brewers out there who like to compare their work to the pros or who like BrewDog beers but can’t get them. Now you can with 63 of BrewDog’s recipes.

“A decade in the making, DIY Dog was one of the best things we have ever done. Every single BrewDog recipe released, for free, to the global homebrewing community who have supported us since we began all those years ago. Hundreds of prospective brewdays, laid out in black and white. Just add malt, hops, water and yeast. But time moves on. Luckily so do we.”

How to Brew – Revised

When I think of home brewing gurus. Three names leap to mind. Charlie Papazian of course. Drew Beechum of Maltose Falcons fame and then John Palmer who literally wrote the book How to Brew.

And now he has gone an updated it. Subtitled Everything You Need to Know to Brew Great Beer Every Time was last revised in 2006. Extra emphasis has been placed on “Palmer’s Top 5 Brewing Priorities” and five brand new chapters have been added covering malting, adjusting wate for style as well as brewing strong beers, fruit beers and sours.

Head over to the Brewers Publications wing of the Brewers Association to order your copy.

Not Throwing Away Their Shot

Here are the 2017 Winners of the 20th Sam Adams Longshot competition:
Graham Johnson’s (Boston Beer employee) – Coffeehead Imperial Stout

“The beer in his own words:
Coffee, chocolate, and dark fruit notes on the nose. Strong, thick mouthfeel – coats your mouth. Finishes slightly sweet but doesn’t overpower the strong coffee essence.”

Duane Wilson’s (with co-brewer Mike Edwards) – Wild Child

“The beer in his own words:
I first get an aroma of fresh apricots. As you taste the beer you taste sour with a nice dryness. This morphs into the tartness of kumquats with a subtle apricot background followed by a lingering tartness on your tongue.”

David Cousino’s – Barnstorm Saison

“The beer in his own words:
A nice farmhouse ale with soft malt character, delicate floral notes, and a hint of pepper.”

I am glad that the hops were left out this year, though I wish that the Lichtenhainer that was in final consideration had made it to the final three.

Homebrew by Mail

Most “Beer of the Month” clubs will send a randomized set of pro beer to your doorstep. And it can be a good way to get your hands on beer that you normally would not see on your store shelves in your neck of the woods. You also usually receive info on the beer and brewery as well.

But Noble Brewer takes this concept and adds a wrinkle to it. It isn’t beer from an established brewery. The beer that will be shipped to you is home brew! Well, to be absolutely technical, it is a home brew recipe that is brewed and bottled at a contract brewery and given a fancy label and shipped to you.

Will the beer be good? You would certainly hope so because you are paying $15 a bomber without knowing the vetting process for the home brewer or the recipe. If you have been lucky enough to attend a home brew club party, you will know that even the best club with talented members can either get too experimental or the beer will just not work for one technical reason or another from recipe to equipment failure.

If I had mad money lying around, I would take a flyer on this club but without some assurance, I will wait and see instead.

Home Brew Review – Cranberry Wheat

Well, it is certainly a wheat beer. But for the life of me, the cranberries are hard to find. And that is the only ding I can levy against this home brew. It is crisp.  The flavors linger without cloying. There is a subtle tartness to the aroma as well, that I really enjoy.

The power of cranberry would have added such a potent effect to this beer and made it a really good match with a salad with blue cheese dressing. As it is, there is a touch too much wheat and not enough punch to make that match.


Home Brew Review – Imperial Pepper

Now I am not a fan of the “heat”.  I keep trying pepper laced beers and I keep having to hose my burning tongue down.


But this beer gives me a nice hit of spice mixed with vanilla and chocolate.  Balance!  Thanks God for the brew that mixes well.  There is a really heady capsaicin hit on the nose that worried me but the flavor brings out a milder and milk stoutier taste that I like. Even though no lactose was added

Some people enjoying the “crime” and “punishment” of pepper, but I much prefer the balance and this beer has it.

Monrovia is Home Brewing

Monrovia now has a shoppe for the home brewing crowd and it is pretty close to a place in Monrovia that craft beer fans already know about, Pacific Plate.

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The Monrovia Homebrew shop will hopefully be an incubator for brewing talent that home brew stores are known for being.  Plus it will be cool to see if they can attract a home brew club to compete with the Yeastsiders, the Falcons and the Pacific Gravity.  They opened on the 3rd so by now the kinks should be worked out,

Home Brew Review – (Maeby) Kolsch

This is a home brew review month bonus. But not from the same home brewer.

So my beer buddy Richard has made a 2nd effort at home brewing. His first an IPA that tasted like a pretty decent ESB set the bar high. And now after streaming seasons of Arrested Development his Maeby Kolsch is ready…
Well. This one needs some work. It pours a muddy orange color when I would expect a bright yellow. There is zero head after some weak soapy bubbles fade. The taste merely hints at Kolsch. It is weak and watery. It is almost like watered down lemonade/ice tea. Little to no aroma here. It isn’t offensive, per se, but it doesn’t scream beer to me. Tastes more like bad citrus tea.

Now what style will he try to brew next?

Home Brew Review – Chivas Regal Dubbel

My whiskey appreciation has grown by leaps and bounds. In fact, I need to get a few mini-bottles and do a taste test so this beer is a perfect gateway.

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Similar to the Egg Nog concoction, this beer is strong with the Chivas Regal. Very smooth with the rough edges of alcohol shaved off. And it is quite tasty. It almost has a cocktail quality to it. The whiskey taste is really well done, almost like an essence or concentrate.

My two quibbles are the fact that the aroma is a little too meek. Granted this is not a barrel-aged beer but I was hoping to get more of the delicious smells of the Chivas. Secondly, the body of this could be a little heartier. It didn’t seem Dubbel-y enough. More malt would make this more beer and less cocktail.