Leprechaun Beer Review – Guinness vs. Guinness 0.0

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I tend to stay in on the drinking holidays and today I am doing the same with a taste test. Guinness vs. Itself but its non-alcoholic sibling.

And to make it a little more interesting, gonna do this blind and see if the 0 is easy to taste. My wife laughed at the suggestion since most of my N/A experience boils down to “too thin.”

But this blind nearly fooled me. They both pour that familiar darl brown almost black. Both have the widget The 0 Draught has a more pronounced Guinness smoke and chocolate combo compared to the draught we know and love on this particular day in particular. But, the taste was noticeably thinner with a touch of wine sour as well. That lack of fullness was enough for me to semi-comfortably pick it out.

The aroma was probably amplified for the 0 to compensate and in that lies a lesson for others making N/A beers. Pull focus away from the thinness inherent in these beers with aroma and you can get close to the original.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

In the Tap Lines for March 2019

We have entered the last month of the first quarter.  How are you doing on your craft beer resolutions?  Visited new and re-visited old?  Made a beer trip out of your comfort zone?  Tried a new style of beer?  Well time to get crackin’!

~ e-visits to three breweries from small towns like Double Barley Brewing, Mackinaw Brewing and Mountains Walking
~ special featured reviews of more Figueroa Mountain beers including their new Point Conception IPA
~ 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 The Traveling Cat Chronicles
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

Here are two events to get your March started in the Los Angeles craft beer world:
1) March 2nd – Border X Grand Opening
2) March 9th – Select Beer Store’s 7th Anniversary

Only Stout

If you are a fan of malt then Andy Black and Yorkshire Square Brewery have the event for you! The N’Owt but Stout Festival features dark beer on cask and kegs on March 17th.

Three bars will be serving starting at Noon on St. Patrick’s Day and at 2pm there will be a panel extolling dark beers and malt.

This is a ticketed event and it said ticket will get you…
– Snazzy commemorative glass
– Infinite pours of all beer from 12-5pm
– Access to the Brewer Panel

Double the Taps

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day (or as I call it, stay at home night) Eagle Rock Brewery will have an additional 8 taps to their existing 8. For the non-math majors, that is 16 taps plus two beer engines for the occasional cask.

Even greater, is that because ERB has so many low ABV beers, you can try tasters of more beers! Plus it will make events like their upcoming Session Fest, all the better. Even greater-ish, it might mean that Solidarity makes its way on tap more often.

Bruery Reserve Society

Normally, I do not go out on St. Patrick’s Day. And if provoked, I will declare that it is a beer beginners night and I don’t fancy my chances on the road from other revelers and police checkpoints.

BUT…(and you all probably saw that coming), if the Bruery is throwing their Reserve Society Celebration that day? Exceptions are made.

Beer buddy Richard and I arrived in slightly rainy and slightly cold Anaheim in the afternoon to get in line for the festivities not knowing how it would play out since it was our first time at this event.

I had heard through the beer hop bines that last year’s party was not optimal. But from the start, this celebration was smooth as 2009 Papier. We were allowed in the tent early to avoid more rain. Check in was quick and painless and after the initial long lines as people targeted their must have beers most lines throughout the 3 1/2 hours were very short. You could walk up and get Chocolate Rain in no time flat.

The choices were ridiculously great. Papier, Coton and Cuir. Black Tuesday. Multiple versions of Carmen and Smoking Wood oh and Eagle Rock brought Libertine and Deuce, Bootleggers had Black Phoenix and Knuckle Sandwich, Hangar 24 had Pugachev’s Cobra and their DIPA and TAPS brought the awesome Imperial Balinese Stout and Crystal Pils.

But this was THE place to have Bruery beers. And my favorite was Sour in the Rye with Kumquats (Thanks Dave for the recommendation). Fruity and tart and well balanced. Just awesome. I had my first taste of ISO:FT and Carmen with Kiwi too.
And for those in the Irish mood, you could get a beer dosed with Centennial hop oil. My green beer was Humulus Lager and boy was it green and hoppy.

Oh and great food from Beachwood (love the blue cheese grits), plenty of water and soda and enough room that you did not feel cramped. I just wish I had more than ten tickets and another couple of days to work through the whole list of beers!

Safety 1st – Craft Beer 2nd

For those who must go out and party in honor of casting snakes off a cold, wet island, PLEASE, AND I MEAN PLEASE!

Do not drink and drive.

Use your smartphone and get a taxi. Tweet a sober friend to take you home. Don’t endanger anyone else. It is selfish.

(Tomorrow, we return to normal fun beer posts)

New plan for St. Patrick’s Day

You would expect a craft beer fan to love St. Patrick’s Day.
Well, I don’t. Not because of the Irish people mind you. But because of how it has become an “excuse to drink too much” day.

Imagine you are Brandon Roy of the Portland Trailblazers. He is the best in the NBA (just saying). Now imagine one game a year where you have to play hoops with players from the couch potato league and not LaMarcus or Camby or Rudy Fernandez. That is what St. Patrick’s Day is to me. People who gulp neon green beer, just to get drunk. People who don’t drink Irish Stout all year, show up and get plastered. Then moan over getting pulled over by the cops.

Afficionados like me then have to deal with the anti-alcohol people the rest of the year because of these bone-headed bingers.

Of course, in this analogy, I am nowhere the beer guy that Brandon Roy is the basketball all-star.

Here are my proposals:
1. Use St. Patrick’s Day to cleanse your palate. Then return to normal craft beer imbibing the next day. Your tastebuds need a break after all the DIPA’s you’ve had anyway.
2. Avoid the crowded bars and drink a special beer at home with friends. This year, I am opening and sharing Bridgeport’s Highland Ambush. You won’t have to deal with long lines at your favorite beer bar and being pinched by strangers or faux Irish dancing.