XMAS BEER – Parrots and Palm Trees

Karl Strauss has taken a page from The Bruery playbook and has embarked on a beach bum version of the 12 Days of Christmas.

Here is their initial offering according to their press release:
“Parrot in a Palm Tree is a big festive beer. Baltic Porters are known for their rich, dark fruit flavors. Loaded with espresso, dark chocolate, and fruit flavors, this northern European style is similar to a less roasty version of a Russian Imperial Stout. To bring out the raisin and plum flavors in the beer, a portion was aged in tawny port wine barrels from neighbors down the street at San Pasqual Winery. “In the last few years we’ve seen a trend toward barrel aging and we thought rather than putting this beer into bourbon barrels, it would pair better with a sweet, fruity tawny port. We called our friends at San Pasqual Winery and the rest is history,” says Paul Segura, Brewmaster for Karl Strauss. After several months in the barrels, the aged beer was blended with a fresh batch creating a subtle oak and port-like finish.

Weighing in at 8.5%, this beer is a great after dinner sipper, pairing equally well with chocolate and fruit desserts. Karl Strauss Executive Chef, Gunther Emathinger, created a special beer-shake to celebrate the release–blending the Baltic Porter and vanilla bean ice-cream for a festive holiday treat. If you have the willpower and patience, this beer will get better with age and can be enjoyed for several years to come.

Parrot in a Palm Tree is the first release in the company’s “Twelve Days of Christmas San Diego Style” series, naming each installment with a wink to life along the coast. The first in a series of twelve, Parrot in a Palm Tree plays off of the 12 Days Of Christmas, with a distinctively San Diego twist. “Living in San Diego we don’t have partridges, but we do have squawking parrots. We thought this would be a fun nod to the locals,” says Paul. Look for the second installment of the series next holiday season”

Hess Brewing

One thing that amazes me about the recent spate of brewery openings is that seemingly mature markets seems to bear new entries. Portland keeps growing as does San Diego. Which is the location of a new-ish brewery I would like to spotlight.

Hess Brewing is according to their website, “San Diego’s first licensed nano-brewery. Nano, as in small, hand-crafted batches, one point six barrels at a time (that’s just 51 gallons each batch).”.

They have five uniquely named beers in their roster:
Claritas – kolsch
Grazias – Vienna cream ale
Intrepidus – IPA
Amplus – San Diego pale ale
Ex Umbris – stout

Let’s get Oktober started

from the re-invigorated Karl Strauss…

“Karl Strauss Oktoberfest is back! The company’s original award winning seasonal beer is a reminder to Southern Californian’s that fall is just around the corner. “We brew Oktoberfest as a tribute to Karl’s heritage and as a toast to the world’s largest beer party in Munich,” says Paul Segura, Karl Strauss Brewmaster. “This beer has a ton of rich, malty flavor, but it’s smooth enough to be enjoyed by the liter.”

Unlike most beers that begin with base malt and add specialty malts for flavor, Karl Strauss Oktoberfest is made from 100% specialty malts. A flavorful blend of Vienna, Munich, and Carahell malts create a toasty, nutty flavor that is characteristic of the style. To balance out the sweetness from the malts, the brewers stayed true to tradition using imported Hallertau Perle hops for a spicy finish.

After cold fermenting for several weeks, the golden hued lager is cellared at 50-degrees for an additional three weeks, creating an incredibly smooth finish. Weighing in at 5% ABV, this exceptional session lager is a great complement to traditional Oktoberfest fare, including grilled meats, burgers, and of course, sausages.

Due to an increase in demand, the Company will be brewing 33% more Oktoberfest than last year. Karl Strauss Oktoberfest is available in six-packs and on draft across southern California. Whether you’re rocking lederhosen at the bar or celebrating with friends, enjoy this beer while you can because this party only happens once a year. Prost.”

San Diego Beer Week – press release

Here is the official scoop on this year’s San Diego festivities:
“Building off the success of the first San Diego Beer Week, the San Diego Brewers Guild is preparing for San Diego Beer Week 2010 (SDBW), November 5-14, 2010. San Diego Beer Week is a ten-day celebration inspiring people to drink local, craft beer and promoting San Diego’s thriving brewing culture with more than 500 events happening across the county. San Diego Beer Week will kick off with the Brewers Guild Festival and conclude with the Chef Celebration of San Diego Beer, a gourmet beer and food-pairing event.
San Diego is home to more than 35 brew houses and has gained an international reputation for brewing inspired beers. The city recently brought home more medals at the 2010 World Beer Cup than the traditional beer countries of England, Germany, and Belgium combined. With the popularity of craft beer on the rise, San Diego is poised to be the capital of beer tourism in the United States.
SDBW’s inaugural year included more than 300 events spread across San Diego County with an estimated attendance of 20,000 people. Events ranged from specialty beer dinners to beer and cheese pairings to meet and greets with local brewers. “Our goal is to create a variety of events to engage all levels of craft beer drinkers,” says Adam Carbonell, president, San Diego Brewers Guild. “If you’re new to craft beer you can check out a local pint night or take a brewery tour, and if you’re more seasoned you might enjoy a sour ales night or beer and chocolate tasting.”
“San Diego Beer Week is a great opportunity for our city to position itself as the number one beer tourism destination,” says Carbonell. San Diego Beer Week has partnered with several San Diego hotels to work out special room rates and Beer Week travel packages. “San Diego is a great place to visit and in November we’ve still got beautiful weather. Add Beer Week on top of that and there’s no reason not to visit!”
San Diego Beer Week is taking place Friday November 5th through Sunday November 14th, 2010 throughout the county, with new events posted frequently on the official website. For general information about San Diego Beer Week including complete event listings, sponsors, public transportation, and accommodations, visit www.SDBW.org
About San Diego Beer Week
San Diego Beer Week promotes San Diego’s thriving craft beer culture by sponsoring a ten-day countywide festival that attracts beer tourism, fosters knowledge of our regional brewing heritage, and serves as a showcase for San Diego’s breweries, restaurants, pubs, and other businesses with ties to the craft beer community. For more information and a current list of events visit SDBW.org, www.twitter.com/sdbeerweek or www.facebook.com/san.diego.beer.week. Cheers.”


Start making your plans!

Yulesmith for 4th of July

It would be downright un-American not to have a bomber of this on Independence Day.

“Hop heads rejoice! Our latest seasonal, Summer YuleSmith Holiday Ale, is scheduled for release in late June. Packaged in a red and blue 22 oz. bottle, Summer YuleSmith is a bold and flavorful Double IPA. An abundance of American varietal hops gives this beer its’ signature flavor and aroma profile, full of citrus, pine, and grapefruit-like characteristics. The hops also lend balance to the malty sweetness, adding to the overall smoothness of the body and mouthfeel.”


If Greg Koch of Stone has a favorite place to go, it should be a favorite place for us too!

Neighborhood (follow this link to their BEER LIST) has a medium sized tap list with some good choices like Bashah and Vertical Epic 07 07 07.

They are located at:
777 G Street
San Diego, CA 92101-6418
(619) 446-0002

Lost Abbey – Framboise de Amarosa

As opposed to quite a few beer geeks, I like fruit beers. When done well they are (heresy) better than high abv Stout bombs. So as I perused the Lost Abbey 2010 release schedule, this beer really stood out…
“Framboise de Amarosa. This is a barrel aged raspberry beer that has been aging in our distribution warehouse since last summer. In July, we had farm fresh raspberries delivered to our brewery and they went directly into all manners of barrels. And because it didn’t have enough Raspberry character, we added more fruit to the barrels in November.”

Coming Soon

Starting on the 15th of this month, all posts will cover the 1st LA Beer Week. Reviews of the parties, reviews of the beer, photos and maybe even a little video.

Also, in a week or two, I will make available a Beer Travel Planner for the Northern San Diego area as a sample of what I can do for you. Free is a good price!

Christmas in July

Sure it’s hot outside, but it’ll be cooler than ever at Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey’s first Christmas in July Celebration and Fundraiser, Saturday, July 25, 2009 from noon to 7pm.

Beer releases:

* Santa’s Little Helper (Bourbon Barrel-aged) – 22ounce bottles; 6 bottle limit
* Older Viscosity 2009 – 375ml bottles; 12 bottle limit
* Duck Duck Gooze (yes, that Duck Duck Gooze) – 750ml bottles; 6 bottle limit
* The Angel’s Share (Bourbon Barrel-aged) – 750ml bottles; 6 bottle limit

Food & Beer:

* Food Stylings from our own Chef Vince Marsaglia
* Tastings – Duck, Duck Gooze, Older Viscosity & Santa’s Little Helper (Bourbon)
* On Tap – All of Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey’s regular line-up


* A Visit from St. Nick – Get your photo with Santa Claus in the Barrel Room
* Live Music – Special musical guests, The Professors

Toys for Tots drive and fundraiser:

* Toy Drive – Bring a new, unwrapped toy values at $15 or more to benefit Toys for Tots
* Giving Tree – give a $15 donation to Toys for Tots & you get to select a gift from under the Christmas Tree (Gifts include many rarities from our barrel archives – Isabelle Proxiums, Cuvee de Tomme, Veritas `04, and more!

The Details:

* When: Saturday, July 25, 2009; 12pm to 7pm. Beer and bottle release sales begin at 12pm. Santa arrives at 1pm. Food and music begins at 3pm.
* Where: Lost Abbey / Port Brewing Co., San Marcos, San Diego County, CA
* How Much: Food, music and photos with Santa are FREE! We are, however, asking everyone who attends to bring a new, unwrapped toy valued at $15 or more to donate to Toys for Tots. (Beers are all regular price.)