Featured Review – I Love It by Noble Ale Works

If memory serves, this IPA from Noble Ale Works won at the L.A. IPA Festival in the past. So I thought that I would re-visit since I am doing Orange County beers to review this month. I Love It starts pine forward with a grapefruit aroma. High, sticky amount of bitterness. Lovely light orange color in the glass. Overall dank and woodsy with a bit of a burn at the back end too. 

Noble Hits Double Digits

I don’t venture south of L.A. County often as I should in person or on this blog. So to remedy the last half, cheers to Noble Ale Works as they have reached anniversary # 10.

This will be a ticketed event with no “day of” tickets sold which means you best head over to the website to pick yours up if you want to celebrate with the royal crew on March 23rd.

Upcoming Anniversaries

There are 60+ breweries in the L.A. County Brewers Guild, which means that there could conceivably be an anniversary each and every weekend of the year with more to spare.

So, here is a quick Anniversary rundown for the next month+…(including some Orange County friends too!)

March 3rd – Noble Ale Works – 7
March 3rd – Brouwerij West – 2
March 3rd – Pacific Plate (Glendale) 1
March 10th – Monkish – 6
March 17th – Phantom Carriage – 3
March 24th – Sanctum – 4
April 25th – Smog City – 5

Label Review – Fun Light from Noble Ale Works

Not much Noble Ale Works beer makes its way north to Glendale, more canning resources shifted over to the 16oz IPA’s. Though, I must admit that the names are as funny as every.

Speaking of fun, the new can design for their new cream ale is quite good, ditching the hop face creepiness of their hop bombs and instead going for a 1/2 regal and 1/2 Industrial lager look to them. I would have added a little royal purple to the shadow of the word fun to break up the gold but I like the flow of the lines from back to front of the can.

A New Price

Brewer movement is now an accepted fact of life in craft beer world but even with that foreknowledge, some departures still hold the element of surprise.

Evan Price leaving Noble Ale Works behind is one such move. Price and his staff displayed such an outward fun dynamic and created such goofy beer names that to my eye, it would take something huge to separate.

That huge event is Price going for his own brewery. Kudos to him for taking that plunge and kudos to Noble for being gracious about it.

Because of the crew that Price built up including new head man Brad Kominek, I doubt Noble will skip a beat as it expands into cans with their new logo and it will be great to see what comes next for Price (whatever and wherever that may be)….

Up from the Cellar – Gone to Plaid from Noble Ale Works

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We return to the cellar and in honor of the Noble Ale Works wins at the recent Craft Brewers Conference, I have cracked open a Wee Heavy from the Anaheim based brewery.

Gone to Plaid pours a dark brown with red tinting to it. A woody sweet aroma greets the nose. Initially a little caramel sweet but a light drying bitterness closes the gap fairly quickly. This is a cheek warmer for sure. The label mentions fruit cake, toffee and brandy and I concur with that last descriptor the most. This has the weight of that spirit running through it.

I don’t quite remember when this was purchased or where but the Scotch Ale has been in my hands for close to a year and a half. This beer is based on a recipe from home Brewer Darren Shelton who won best of show at the Anaheim Fest of Ales in 2013.

The beer may have lost some brightness that would have added to the flavor by subtracting out done of the sweetness but I think this beer could have aged into something really port-like with more time.

SoCal to the World

My Facebook and Twitter feed was hijacked yesterday by loads of good news from the World Beer Cup which was a bonus add on to the Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia which already was making me social media jealous.
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Beachwood picked up a prestigious Large Brewpub of the Year win and Noble Ale Works racked up an overall win in the Small Brewery category.  Overall California brought in 39 (if my counting is right this early in the morning) medals with Eagle Rock going gold for their Yearling sour, Beachwood and Noble should have had chairs on stage, TAPS pulled in multiple medals continuing their impressive string since the new brewing team took over, Tustin and Smog City with their shared past will share memories of winning too with a bronze and silver respectively.

You can check the full list HERE. But it is impressive considering this competition was open to the world.  But a microcosm of the current beer culture could be found in the Sour German category where  Oregon and California nabbed the one and two slots with a German brewery coming in third!

The Golden State brewers were warriors last night.  Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have nothing on the brewing splash that SoCal made in Philly.

 

 

A Book & A Beer – The Maintenance of Headway

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The Maintenance of Headway is slight book is the London bus driver equivalent of The Office (take your pick of British or US versions).  Droll, quiet and quietly funny on each and every page.  Anybody who has worked with weirdos and the rules from above will be bookmarking pages to talk about.  Our narrator takes us through some sorta eventful days in the life of a bus driver in London.  The ending is a quiet (again with that word) shocker but really in tune with what has happened before.  A gem of a book.

So this is set in London, so for us Angeleno’s when we talk British, that means MacLeod’s from Van Nuys and since the theme of the Underground is “Mind the Gap”, I would start with The Session Gap. An Ordinary Bitter at 3.5% that would not be out of place in the hand of one of the gents from the book.

And since tea is a big part of the book, my second pick would be from Noble Ale Works.  Earl Grey Dinghy.  Now I know that is a seasonal but Evan Price has been doing some cool British inspired beers so maybe check out The Londoner, a fun English Porter.

Or, you could just randomly choose a British beer (preferably from a shoppe that has a good turnover, because foreign beer suffers getting here).  I would look for something from Meantime like their London Lager.

 

Sean Suggests for February 2015

header_beer_shopping_listFor February, a slight change of pace.  Let’s go low ABV and let’s go hyper L.A. local with three very tasty beers that won’t knock you off your stool.

~LIGHT

Noble Ale Works/ Dirt McGirt  4.70% ABV

“Our dirty blonde is a slight variation on the traditional blonde ale. We set the base with Bohemian Pilsher malt and then added in Vienna and Munich malts for a change to bring a soft breadiness to the beer, while still keeping the overall perception light and super drinkable.”

~ANOTHER LIGHT

MacLeod Ales/ Barclay Perkins 1941 3.9% ABV

“A proper historical recipe for a bit of a challenge.  Interesting recipe as it has lactose, inverted sugar, and oats which I believe is rather unusual”

~ALSO LIGHT

Eagle Rock Brewing/ Li’l Fred 3.90% ABV

Have you met the newest member to our little family? Meet Lil Fred! He’s a red mild with super tasty toast and nutty notes.