NBA Playoffs Brewery Tour # 1 – Circa Brewing Co. of Brooklyn

Don’t count me a fan of two thirds of the Brooklyn Nets superteam. Durant I like though so let’s talk Brooklyn beer for him…

Below are some beers that I would like to sample at Circa Brewing Co.

Desperate Pleasures – “Get a taste of summer with this red(ish) ale with a hint of strawberries.”

Spacelab Weisse – “We straddle the European continent with this brew. Combining the grist bill of a Belgian Wit with the yeast and fermentation of a Bavarian Weiibier, this beer bursts with orange peel, banana, nastercium, and vanilla.”

In Defense of the Genre – “Believe it or not, there was a galaxy long ago where double IPA’s were bitter. Like tongue coating, face puckering, eye watering IBU levels that dared you to have another. This beer is the modern mutation of that bygone era. Aggressively triple dry hopped with Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Columbus, this brew bursts with pine, citrus rind, and juicy fruit flavors and aromas. Hints of toasted sugar and honey smooth out the high octane ABV.”

Next Season

The NBA season was steamrolled by the virus but that may have been for the best considering how my beloved Blazers were struggling and it gave time for Deschutes to craft a new lager with the red and black color scheme to prepare for the draft.

Rip City Brewery # 1 – Ruse Brewing

Portland has not blazed out of the NBA gates to start the season but a brewery that has gotten a lot of buzz is Ruse Brewing. Founded by Shaun Kallis and Devin Benware they are deep into the yeast having “custom Brett strains called Stargazer and Suburban Brett”

Here are the beers that I would put into a first taster tray…

Evertide Helles Lager, Phantom Shore Citra Extra Pale Ale, Dreamscape Blended Saison, Dream Language Vienna Lager and Stages of Sundown Imperial Stout.

NBA City Brewery # 3 – Bellwoods Brewery in Toronto


Our last NBA city to visit is Toronto, home of the Kawhi’s. Sorry, Raptors. Before the season began there was a lot of back and forth about making the coaching change and adding Kawhi Leonard. But so far, so good for the team that always seems close but hasn’t gotten over the hump.

The brewery for the purpose of this post is Bellwoods. They have grown to two breweries as well as bottle shops. Below are my choices for an initial taster tray before or after the Raptors play.

Jutsu – “an American pale ale made with a blend of two different yeasts. This APA is highly drinkable with low bitterness and refreshing citrus and melon notes.”

Bring Out Your Dead 2018 – “Our annual (so long as we didn’t open a production facility that year) imperial stout aged in cognac barrels has emerged from oak classy as ever, ready to impress in a glass near you.”

Goblin Sauce – “a huge imperial IPA that utilizes a simple pale malt bill while harnessing the unrivaled intensity of Lupulin Powder – a magical, concentrated hop potion that contains exponentially more alpha acids and way less vegetal matter than regular hop pellets. And we loved the first dry hop round so much that we decided to double up.”.

Grisette – “earning the esteemed title of our very first beer fermented entirely in oak (aka The Foeder Pyramid™). It’s a low ABV, refreshing sipper dry-hopped with French Strisselspalt hops (a variety that’s as fun to say as it is delicious). The beer itself is dry, with soft brett aromatics, and complementary herbal, floral, and citrus notes.”

Hoppy Table beer – From the Ossington brewpub comes a sessionable, refreshing beer brewed with wheat and pilsner malts, that we lightly dry hop with a mix of noble varieties (and a pinch of citra). Quenching, subtly fruity, and incredibly easy to make disappear.

NBA City Brewery # 2 – City Lights Brewing Co. in Milwaukee


The second surprising team in the NBA are the Bucks of Milwaukee. New coach and a deepened bench along with a certain Greek Freak have lifted them to the top of Eastern Conference talk.

The brewery to visit is based in an old building from 1902 that used to house the Milwaukee Gas Light Company. City Lights Brewing Company has taken over the West Side Water Works Campus as their brewing home.

Here are the Midwestern beers that I would taste in an initial tasters tray….

Belgian Wit – “Old school meets new school in this Belgian style Wit Beer. Traditional Hallertau Mittlefruh hops are used along with additions of coriander and orange peel late in the boil. We chose Belgian Wheat yeast for subtle fruity esters and very light phenolic notes as to not overpower the other subtle flavors. To make this style a bit more interesting and we’ve added a fresh twist with the late additions of Huell Melon hops and 400 lbs of pink guava puree for a delightfully balanced fruity finish. The delicate balance of orange peel, coriander, hops, and pink guava puree make for a delightfully quenching summertime beer.”

Amber Ale – “If the hops and malt of this Amber Ale were on either end of a see-saw; it would sit at a standstill parallel with the ground. With a blend of German Tradition hops and American Willamette hops, there is just enough hop bitterness, flavor, and aroma to keep your nose and taste buds wanting more. A combination of 5 different malts give this beer a hint of caramel sweetness, a splash of breadiness, and just the right amount of character to make this simple style wanting your taste buds to do The Waltz.”

Mosaic Pale Ale – “This powerful version of a mid-western pale ale sweeps the palate with mango, lemon, citrus, tropical fruit and stone fruit. This multitude of flavor sinks deep into the taste buds, briefly clinging to the roof of the mouth which enlivens the palate and adds zest. Flowery citrus notes dominate by mid-serving, masterfully integrating with the patina of delicate bitterness that finishes with a 5.3 ABV smoothness. The palate cleansing hop character comes courtesy of Mosaic and Ekuanot hop varieties from the Pacific Northwest.”

Hazy IPA – “Massive late additions of Citra, Mosaic, and Amarillo hops give this beer a strong tropical aroma and flavor. A simple grain bill of 2 row base malt, wheat, and flaked oats give this beer a beautiful full body; and the high protein content contributes to a pleasant haze. To further accentuate the tropical flavor and aroma we double dry hop this beer with Vic Secret hops.”

Doppelbock – “This is a full-bodied beer with a rich brown color accented with dark amber hues. We have lightly hopped this beer with traditional German hops just enough to offset the malty sweetness. Malt and yeast reign supreme in this beer brewed with 100% German malts and German lager yeast. This beer is rich in melanoidins and has notes of chocolate; caramel and toasted bread.”

NBA City Brewery # 1 – Porchlight Brewing Co. in Sacramento

I am going to focus on those NBA cities with rising teams, which takes us to the surprising city of Sacramento which has had a boffo (for them) start to their NBA season.

And the brewery to visit is….

Porchlight Brewing Co. on the East Side of the capitol city near Cal State – Sacramento. I wanted to pick a few beers whose names resonate with the current Kings squad and their fortunes.

Hype Train basketball pundits are wondering if their hot start is real
NE style IPA, super juicy

Victor Mexican lager they will need to play with the “it” style of fast pace just like Mexican lagers are the new wave
Vienna Style Mexican Lager 4.5% ABV

Hardknox Double IPA they have had tough years but maybe playoffs are coming
West Coast Style IPA 8% ABV
2018 CA State Fair Silver Medal Winner

Down Range Stout they are going to need to take some more 3 pointers as the season winds on
Irish Stout, 5.8% ABV

In the Tap Lines for November 2018

header_attractions
As Los Angeles makes the slow transition from summer to late summer before heading to early summer, we can start to look at the bigger beers, the snifter beers. While also searching for the perfect beer to go with the fall sports season. Stay tuned for both this month.

~ e-visits to three breweries in NBA cities.
~ special featured reviews of beers over 10% ABV
~ 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 Big Game by Mark Leibovich
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

Here are two events to get your November started in the Los Angeles craft beer world:
1) November 10 – Three Weavers 4th Anniversary
2) November 16 to 18 – Brewery Draconum 1st Anniversary

A Podcast & A Beer – The Ringer

I listen to quite a few NBA podcasts during the regular season but recently the one that I go to the most is The Ringer. Now that name isn’t as catchy or cool as Grantland but the site has that DNA embedded flavor in it so the podcasts are fun and a deep dive into all things NBA.

No matter which team you root for, unless they are super irrelevant, this pod will keep you up to date. This year has been especially fun to listen to the endless dissections of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Since both the Blake-less Clippers and the Walton and LaVar show are both struggling, it would be appropriate to stop at the new Dankness Dojo and order up a flight of the most IBU heavy beers and savor the bitterness.

Blazer Draft 2017

Yesterday, the salary capped-out Blazers had three late 1st round picks to use in the 2017 NBA draft.

If I was the GM, I would have dangled the 15 pick along with Allen Crabbe or Evan Turner’s bloated contract to anyone who would bite. Then I would take Jordan Bell from the UO for defense and hustle and Isiah Hartenstein to stash overseas and groom to be a Nurkic apprentice.

After the smoke had cleared, let’s call them “my” team traded their 15 and 20 picks for the #10 from Sacramento to select Zach Collins from Gonzaga and used the remaining pick on Caleb Swanigan from Purdue.

Based on their college team, here are some beers to toast the new arrivals to Rip City.

For Collins, it is easy. No-Li Brewhouse makes a cream ale by the name of Gonzaga or maybe Stellar Stout in the hopes that he will blossom into our starting power forward.

I couldn’t find a brewery in West Layfayette in a quick google search, but Indiana has a great number and I found an appropriate beer for Swanigan at Sun King Brewing. Big Iron English Barleywine or Bring the Hops, because Portland needs some rebounding.

Beer, Blazers, basketball

It has been eons since I last saw a Portland Trailblazer game. But this year, as a birthday present for myself, I saw Lillard & McCollum and the new crew take on the Utah Jazz at Moda Center (for how long that name will last is anybody’s guess).

Before the confetti fell on a hard fought 115-111 win, I had a 10 Barrel beer (Riding Solo) in the first half and a Laurelwood beer (Project Pale) in the second.
IMG_6038
The Moda Center has a plethora of beer choices. 10 Barrel (with Bud help, I have to assume) has commandeered the Pines bar on the 3rd level but Laurelwood has cart in multiple spots, there is a huge Pyramid bar plus Widmer is easy to find as well.

$9.75 is a stiff cost for a beer when most in Portland set you back 4 to 5 but it is a typical to low end of the captive customer cost.
IMG_6057
You can always take the Max to Dr. Jack’s to get some beer and food or head to Upright Brewing nearby too. And that is just within a block or two. Expand out to five or six and the choices grow even more.