In the Tap Lines for September 2021

header_attractionsHello September.  Where the first two weeks are filled with Fest and Pumpkin beers which then disappear before tge month is over.  Why? Cause ‘Merica needs to move on to the next holiday pronto.  But let’s drink in the here and the now this month.

~ e-visits to (3) breweries in college football towns
~ special featured reviews of beers bought from City Beer Store
~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 Tell the Machine Goodnight by Katie Williams
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to Gene & Roger
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

In the Tap Lines for September 2020

header_attractionsSoCal just suffered through some heat but I hope that September begins the slow winding down of temperatures.  Still no good news on the ol’ Virus front but it seems that breweries are still being left out of the open up groups.  I will say it again, here is to hoping September will be better.

~ e-visits to (3) breweries from the Oakland area in honor of Kamala Harris.
~ special featured reviews of beers from Fieldwork Brewing.  One hazy and one dark lager
~ Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events (Far in the future events)
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to Land of the Giants – Netflix
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

Virtual Hop Picking

Yup, every damn thing I see going to have the word “virtual” in front of it. But, this virtual harvest is making me look forward to September. Check out the SCHEDULE and you will see som technical stuff but they are going g to name a new hop and other fun stuff too. If you are a hop fan, this will make you bitter in a good way.

The Firkin for September 2019

Best of Show. Considering that to truly find the best IPA brewed in the US would probably take you years and thousands of dollars and your liver, I am finding competitions less illuminating and below that are the internet Best in Style pieces that pop up from time to time.

Recently the California Craft Brewers Association held a Cup but only a 1/3 of breweries participated and none sent their full range for obvious logistic reasons. I have no doubt that the winner was a damn fine beer but “BEST”? Methinks the sample size is not full strength.

Same with a recent Vinepair Top 15 IPA list. There are so many variables at play. Availability, freshness, judging styles, palate fatigue but one each from Washington and Oregon with the Washington one being Elysian? That strains credulity. I can’t imagine trying to crown a best IPA in Los Angeles. There are too many. Some gone in a blink of an eye.

Maybe if I was made of money and had a Tardis to get me to that just tapped moment, I could do it. But until that day arrives, I just don’t hold much stock in these lists.

Currently, I prefer the personal, party of one list. The totally subjective form where one knowledgeable (hopefully) person submits what they like.

Sean Suggests for September 2018

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Let’s stray from the IP-Yeah! for a second straight month and head to the lighter side. Why? Because it is still kinda global warm here in SoCal.

~LIGHT
Cervecería de Colima / Colimita 4.20% ABV
“Colimita is the motivation and raison d’être of Cervecería de Colima. It emerged to represent the beautiful simplicity of this tropical garden under the volcano, of this which is the favorite land of the sun.”

~MEDIUM
Enegren Brewing / Edel Pils 4.80% ABV
“Crisp, clean and refreshing traditional German-Style Pilsner. Brewed with German Pilsner malts and German noble hops, this is a easy drinking summer beer with a just enough hop bite.”

~BIG
Almanac / Vibes Pilsner 5.30% ABV
“Vibes Pilsner is our hoppy NorCal twist on the classic Pilsner style. Brewed with California-grown and malted Admiral Pilsner malt, and dry-hopped with Hüll Melon, Citra and Motueka for dank lemon-lime aromas, this ultra crisp lager is all good.”

All of these beers can be found at Sunset Beer Co. (unless they got bought up real quick)

In the Tap Lines for September 2018

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OktoFest beers are starting to show up as if to will us out of one of the continuously hit SoCal summers in memories. Raise a glass to fall coming and to the coming pumpkin debate and other social media debates. Let’s keep talking people. Don’t retreat to a corner!

~ e-visits to three cider houses in British Columbia. Left Field Cider, The Naramata Cider Co. and Dominion Cider
~ special featured reviews of canned beers from Figueroa Mountain
~ 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 Taco USA by Gustavo Arellano
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

Here are two events to get your September started in the Los Angeles craft beer world:
1) September 5thStalking Horse 1st Anniversary
2) September 9thSeeing Double at Angel City

The Firkin for September 2017


PicoBrew, Brewie, Mini Brew, EZ Brew, WilliamsWarn, Hopii and Hopsy. Now taking a cue from Last Week Tonight, if I told you that one of those home brew system names was fake, would you be certain you knew which one? Or that one isn’t even a home brew appliance at all?

Reading through a recent NPR article about the rise of beer gadgets had my head spinning at the amount of choices for a really unproven niche.

And what spins my head a few more revolutions is the fact that there is so much beer out there on shelves, ready-to-go that you would probably have to forgo since these beer machines are not on the cheap side. Now, maybe that is for the better. You would expect a high price to create high quality. But the costs, to me, outweigh, the endeavor. The appeal of brewing at home is to create something that is yours, something you can’t get on store shelves. Or you are doing it to master the art and science of the process. These machines are basically producing a simulacrum of an available beer.

Especially when you are tied to ingredient packs to make your beer. Those packs are obviously where the margins lie for profit and for branding opportunities with breweries but when I look at these machines, I see those K-Cup coffee makers that have had more press about their recycling downside than how great the coffee is.

If I were selling these, I would hit up each and every brewery operating. That is where you can sell for that price as an R&D product for those brewers with little time left over in a day.

By the way, Hopsy is not a home brew system and EZ Brew is my own word invention.

Sean Suggests for September 2017

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This month it is Fire and Fresh Hops. There are more IPA’s than you can shake multiple sticks at but the least I can do is add at least one non-hoppy option.

~LIGHT
Fremont/ Field to Ferment6% ABV
“Brewing is the craft of blending science with artistry then introducing the mystical. Field to Ferment exemplifies this adventure. We brew this fresh hop ale throughout the entire hop harvest in Yakima highlighting different hop varieties as they are harvested. Field to Ferment represents a colossal collaboration between the brewery and our hop farmers. We will make countless trips between the fields in Yakima and the brewery in Fremont, loaded with tens of thousands of pounds of fresh, juicy hops. Nothing is fresher, nothing is better for a brewer.”

~MEDIUM
Fort Point/ Animal IPA7% ABV
“This is a big, wild and aromatic IPA. Amarillo and Meridian hops give the beer a thick orange mid-palate that’s balanced with a classic IPA bitterness.”

~DARK
Aecht Schlenkerla/ Eiche Oak Smoke8% ABV
“While for the classic “Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier” traditionally beech has been – and still is – used, the malt for “Schlenkerla Oak Smoke” is kilned with Oak wood. The resulting Schlenkerla Oak Smoke Malt has a smoother and more multi layered smoky note than the intensely aromatic Beech Smoke Malt. The hence complex smokiness in the “Schlenkerla Oak Smoke” is paired with the multifaceted bitterness of finest Hallertau aroma hops. With 8% alcohol and amber color it matures for months in the deep brewery cellars underneath Bamberg into a special treat for smoke beer lovers.”

All of these beers can be found at Sunset Beer Co. (unless they got bought up real quick)

In the Tap Lines for September 2017

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Los Angeles is entering the last two months of summer. This is the time for that last hurrah of kolsch, helles and the lighter side of the beer world before heading into our version of Autumn. This month I have “planned” the following….

~ e-visits to three breweries from Houston, Texas. Doubtful any of them will have beers named Harvey anytime soon.
~ special featured reviews of Cloudwater Brew Co.
~ 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 IT from Stephen King
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

Here are two events to get your August started in the Los Angeles craft beer world:
1) September 9th – Buy a Dog a Beer Festival at Wolf Creek Brewing
2) September 16th-17th – Saaztoberfest Weekend at Angel City.

Sean Suggests for September 2016

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We finally found some days with grey mornings and maybe fall has arrived here in Los Angeles. Which means you are free to speak the verboten word pumpkin. Not that I will yet.

~LIGHT
Bell’s/ Octoberfest 5.8% ABV
“A coppery amber lager that showcases a full bodied, malty flavor that is balanced by a refreshing bitterness derived from fine noble hops.”

~MEDIUM
Hopf Weissbrauerei / Spezial Weisse 6.0% ABV
“The Festive: After more than traditional recipes, with great care and high quality ingredients we brew this special wheat beer in its unique red-gold color. The typical fruitiness, with full white beer flavor and an exclusive malt flavor bring Hopf Special White to a palatable and sparkling drinking experience. “

~DARK
Almanac/ White Label 7.5% ABV
“This beer pairs two “blancs”: California-grown Muscat Blanc grapes and German Hallertau Blanc hops. Blended together in wine barrels and large oak foudres, White Label emerges from the casks as a unique hybrid of beer and wine. The combination of white grapes and tropical-aroma hops creates a luscious nose of ripe apricot, lychee and lemongrass. Finished with a touch of coriander, this complex sipper is a perfect pairing for dishes like mussels steamed in coconut curry, fresh pad thai, and macadamia crusted halibut. “