Sean Suggests for January 2023

Let’s take a little drive around SoCal to taste all sorts of hops from Noble to un-named and Pilsner to IIPA to start the year off right.

Bottle LogicSemplicitá Italian Pilsner – 5.2% “Saphir and Saaz hops tout delicate aromas of pine and white flowers and transition to the palate with an up-front bitterness. It lingers for a moment and folds into the fresh bready sweetness of the malt base with a medium-light body and effervescent carbonation.”

El Segundo BrewingSimcoe West Coast IPA – 6.8% – “Once again, we love a hop so much, we had no choice but to name a beer after it. Simcoe’s been around since 2000, making it a classic hop of the West Coast IPA. There’s been plenty of hops that have made a splash since then, but Simcoe has a certain… je ne sais quoi that keeps us coming back for more.”

Ogopogo Brewing / Harland Beer Co.Merlion 2 DDH Hazy IIPA – 8.5% – “With Citra, Incognito Citra, HBC 586 and HBC 586 Cryo.”

Italian Hands

Italian Pilsners are hanging in there as a sub-style which is good news to me, since I like any and all form of pilsner as an IPA antidote.  Trademark Brewing has their version, names Talking Hands. Described by the brewery as “Light, bright and crisp, and dry hopped with Tettnang and Saphir hops for a delightful bouquet of floral citrus and spice.”

Jon and Vinny and an Italian Pils

Crowns & Hops has joined ampersand forces with restaurant team Jon & Vinny for an “Italian Style Pilsner dry hopped with Amarillo & Simcoe hops for a beautiful floral and citrus aroma coupled with a crisp dry finish.”

Per the Inglewood brewery, “Greensleeves is in honor of the global impact of jazz and a celebration of access to culture. Arguably one of the most impactful forms of American Art created by Black Americans of African descent was that of jazz.

Considering that Jon & Vinny are the food suppliers to SoFi Stadium, I would hazard a guess this pils will be available there.

Dynamic Duo

There are collaborations and then there are super collaborations. Highland Park + Beachwood, well that is the level above super.

Here are the double details…

Natural Born Shredder – West Coast-style IPA, our version of the previous beer collab released at Highland Park Brewery.

No Chestnuts in This Beer – Hoppy & crisp Italian-style pilsner, just in time as the warm weather creeps upon us for this pilsner.”

A Book & A Beer – The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante

Elena Ferrante burst onto the literature scene with her Neopolitan trio of books that started with My Brilliant Friend. I did not read those, in fact, her latest novel The Lying Life of Adults is the first of hers that I have read.

And it’s certainly makes my teen angst pale in comparison. It is a comparison that sets the events in motion as the worldly father compares his teenage daughter to his sister, whom he hates. At first it seems a comparison based on physical appearance but is actually deeper.

The daughter, Giovanna, demands to meet this aunt and from there her orbit becomes widened and secrets and lies and family history start to show. It is a cracker of a book. Loaded with emotional bombs going off.

To pair with this, I would recommend starting with that sub-style, Italian pilsner then you can move on to a sour IPA because there is acrimony aplenty and you will need to match it.


If you can’t make it to the Figueroa Mountain Lagerville event this year, well you can take a little piece home with this 5-way collaboration on an Italian Style Pilsner. Central Coasters love the Tipopils and this looks to be an homage to that style.