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.

Recap – Welcome to the Wood Cellar

I will be in Torrance for two straight Saturdays and the first stop is the Wood Cellar of Smog City as they blowout their barrel-aged beers.

Here is my report:
I had (5) tasters and it was tough choosing what to have. But I had two really great beers on contention for my Best Of 2018 list starting with…
Citra Quercus – Bright hop presence to this blended beer adds lemon notes to the sour creating a near lemonade taste that is fabulous.
Super Spittin’ and Cussin’ – Great spice character and heavy on the sour in this “Ice wine” styled brown with just a little bit of anise to add complexity.

The other three Wood Cellar beers were more interesting and fun but did not reach the heights of my “winners”…
Spiced Summer Saison – mild spice, little lemon, smooth
Moroccan Cuddlebug – very spice forward. Sour comes through but the fruit is lost
Enoki – earthy, funky, nutty

The other highlight was the tour of their wild area that included meeting Cesar, the barrel whisperer and Toby, the inoculator. Hopefully I will be able to glean more Wood and Wild notes from them at a less busy time. We also saw their extra hard work with persimmons.

As usual Laurie and Porter were great hosts. Going out of their way to make sure people were not only having fun and great beer but also being challenged and educated too.

Heartland Brewery # 1 – Prairie Artisan Ales

Our first stop is in Oklahoma and Prairie Artisan Ales.  I start here because their beers have made their way out to L.A. (though I have yet to buy one of yet).


It is run by the Healey brothers, Chase and Colin.  And their focus is on the wonderful Saison style.  They have multiple versions to try but here are the ones that strike me off the bat….

Prairie Standard (and it’s super cool comics label)
Prairie Standard is our everyday beer. Its a light, crisp saison with a hoppy finish. This beer is dry hopped 1lb per bbl with Motueka hops. A lovely New Zealand hop with a spicy lime like flavor and aroma.

Prairie Hop
Prairie Hop is our hop driven saison. This beer is packed with Simcoe and Citra hops. Notes of peach, mango, and tangerine can be found in the flavor and aroma of this beer. The beer finishes dry which helps the hops jump out of the glass flavor wise.