Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ridiculous, useless, & probably untrue beer facts #5

According to The Code of Hammurabi of ancient Babylonia (c. 1750 B.C.) a merchant could be put to death for diluting beer.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How much is too much for a pint?

Prices of everything are going up, food and drink included. From the hops crisis of a few years back to the general increase in cost of ingredients, equipment, and labor, beer prices have been increasing as well. How much, though, is reasonable to charge for a pint of beer? There are still places in cities such as Las Vegas where a pint (yes, pint) can be had for under $2. On the other hand, I have seen pint (yes, pint) prices here in San Diego broach the $10 mark! Specialty beers surely cost more to make, thus the final cost will be more, but when does the dollar amount make the beer cost prohibitive? Personally, I don't like to pay even $5 for a pint, and try to find specials or happy hours that feature brews as low as $3.50. I'll pay more, especially for limited releases, but I wonder how many establishments raise the prices as demand rises instead of keeping them fair to us, the beer drinking public, all the time. Even if they have to keep their prices a bit higher during regular times, at least give a decent discount during happy hours or late night time frames. And please, don't advertise $5 pints, whatever time of day, and expect us to thank you for it! Will prices drop? Not likely. Do I want the quality to go down? Not at all. All I ask is a fair price for the product. How do we accomplish this? We all have to keep restaurants and bars in check and let them know that we expect them to keep their prices reasonable. If you know of a place doing just that, let us all know. Spread the word about your favorite places so that we may all enjoy them. When the demand becomes clear, others will follow. Supply and demand works both ways. Demand fair prices and the supply will be there.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

A beer for every occasion

One of my favorite things about beer is its versatility. You truly can find a beer to pair with any meal. Tables are about to be loaded with one of the biggest meals of the year, but what beer (or beers) will pair with your turkey feast? Dr. Bill Sysak of Stone Brewing Co. has put together a nice guide that can be found here. You now have no excuse for not having the perfect beer for this, or any other, perfect meal.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011


What Would Washington Drink? This is a fun little article exploring just that. The recipe it references looks like it would be fun to try. I like the simple terms and items the recipe at the bottom of the article uses. This is a recipe anyone could try, and a good introduction to home brewing. What would Washington drink? Grab some supplies, try the recipe, and find out!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sour beers becoming mainstream?

There is no doubt about it, sour beers are an acquired taste. I have tried to open the eyes of many to the wonders of a fine sour, but have made very little headway. In fact, I fear that each sour I try to introduce to the uninitiated may in fact be pushing them further away from giving the style the chance it deserves. Maybe it is my presentation, who knows. The style is, however, making its way into the mainstream, sort of. The Food Network show, Chopped, gives chefs a mystery basket of ingredients that must be incorporated into a serving of food. The ingredients are usually very unique, and would not normally be put together. In a recent episode, "Sour Beer", as the generic label read, made an appearance. Is it the growing popularity of the brew that catapulted it onto the show, or the fact that is it a "weird" ingredient? I don't know, but I was happy to see this fantastic style of beer represented in any way on a popular cooking show. Who knows, this may be the start of great things to come for this sleeping giant of a beer.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What has bacon, peanut butter, and 111 taps?

Slater's 50/50 San Diego, and it's now open! I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this Orange County institution since I posted this last month. Check out this great piece, along with a mouth-watering video, on Thrillist. After watching that video there is nothing left to do but get in the car and drive to Liberty Station. Just try to beat me there!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

El Cajon Brewing Co. grand opening

With the soft opening almost a month ago to the day, El Cajon Brewing Co. celebrates its grand opening today at 4:00pm. The following is their Facebook post from earlier today.

"Today is the BIG DAY!!! GRAND OPENING! GRAND OPENING! We start at 4 PM with free appetizers like, Buffalo Wings, Jalapeno Poppers and a few other delights.......then we have our special release Bourbon Barrel aged Honey Nut Brown Ale that is really really good.....festivities start at 4 PM !!!!"

Go show your support for this fledgling brewery by drinking their awesome beer and eating their free appetizers!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

American Beer Blogger

Here is yet another attempt at a craft beer themed TV show. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for it, but these shows never seem to last (remember Brew Masters with Dogfish Head's Sam Calagione on Discovery?). It seems that funding for the show is not even secured yet, and we are being invited to help. The promo looks good, and it may be a worthwhile investment if it gets off the ground. I wonder if anyone would pay me to travel the country drinking beer? Stay tuned!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What do I like about the world of beer?

This question is way too broad to be answered, period. However, a big reason I am drawn to all things beer is because no matter how much I know about the subject, there will always be more that I don't know. I will never be an expert, rather a student. It would be impossible to know everything there is to know about this frothy subject. That's the beauty. Learning from one another. I learn something new every day. I would, in turn, like to think that I am able to pass on a nugget of knowledge to someone else each day as well. I will never be done learning, so I must always proceed forward in my beer exploration. I encourage you to do the same. Learning from each other about one of the most wonderful substances on earth. What a wonderful concept.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011


I am always excited about a new release from Stone Brewing Co., particularly when it is another edition to the Vertical Epic series. While I find this year’s release to be an acquired taste, in terms of depth and complexity it doesn’t disappoint. The beer poured a deep reddish amber, with a fairly dense one to two finger head. Although the head was thick, it dissipated fairly quickly. The nose of the brew was very malty at first, and the base of the beer, with it’s 9.4% alcohol content, reminded me of an Imperial Amber. The twist to this year’s tale is the addition of Anaheim chilies and cinnamon. The cinnamon blended seamlessly with the chilies which were quite predominant, although no heat was present. The chili flavor, while nice, made the beer extremely rich. Had heat accompanied the flavor, this beer would have been very difficult to get through. As I got acclimatized to the chili flavor, the nose took on the aroma of chilies as well, bringing the beer full circle. I have had several chili beers which were much more assertive than this one, so I must respect the balance shown in the brewing of this unique beer. A thirst quencher it may not be, but for an intriguing journey into some flavors not usually associated with beer, I recommend this second to the last installment in the Vertical Epic franchise.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Where, in Colorado, I was!

Where was I this time? I'll give you a few hints. White Rascal. Old Jubilation. The Reverend. Maharaja. The Beast. Do any of these fine brews sound familiar? They come from an awesome Colorado brewery that's one of my personal favorites, and can be found quite readily on store shelves and flowing from taps all around San Diego as well. If you haven't guessed it yet, it's Avery Brewing Co. of Boulder, Colorado. If you've spent any time around beer, you are most likely familiar with this brewing giant. When I say "giant" I refer to the beers, not necessarily the brewery. It's situated in the back of a small industrial complex, and driving down the road there is no hint of the thriving brewery that sits just behind a carwash and auto repair shop. As seen here, they have a nice sized barrel-aging room for their more experimental brews, which usually include wild and sour ales. The tasting room has been expanded recently, and now bleeds onto an outside patio area. The atmosphere is fun and loud, but it's laid back enough that you can bring the whole family. If you're already a fan of Avery, or if you're just looking for something different and happen to be in the Boulder area, stop by for a taster, pint, or even a tour. You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Where, in Colorado, was I?

I'll let you know tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Who said that?

"Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer."
- Dave Barry

Sunday, November 6, 2011

World Beer Awards 2011

I'm not familiar with the World Beer Awards, but the following is from their website.

"Welcome to the winners guide to the World Beer Awards 2011, the global awards selecting the very best internationally recognised beer styles from around the world.

Judging is blind with regional style heats held in Europe, the USA and Asia under the careful eye of a regional Chairman.

They select the style winner in each region, which is then tasted against the other regional winners to select the World’ss Best Style.

From these world winners judges can then select the World’s Best Ale, Lager, Stout & Porter and Wheat Beer. The pages of this year’s World Beer Awards guide identify winners by style and by category, we hope you enjoy this year’s findings and the fantastic range of beers they represent.

Enjoy exploring this incredible selection of outstanding beers."

Check out the winners here.

Friday, November 4, 2011

San Diego Beer Week 2011

It's finally here. Let's all cheer. Yay for beer! That was cheesy, I know. Who cares. Let's get out there and have some fun this week. Safe fun, but fun nonetheless. Check here to learn about the growing list of activities for the next 10 days. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happy International Stout Day!

Yep, another day dedicated to a beer. That doesn't bother me a bit! Today we honor the glorious stout. While not one of my favorite styles (gasp!), when treated to some barrel aging it rises to the top of my list (ahhh!). Go to the official website to celebrate this wonderful brew. However you choose to celebrate, make sure to set some time aside today to enjoy this classic style.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

America's foamiest city

Here is a nice article about "San Diego's Top Brewers", a new book that profiles 18 of the county's most successful breweries and the San Diego beer scene. Check out this post from July for more details. The book makes a great addition to your collection, so pick up a copy and take it to the release party at Mission Brewery this Friday, which you find out about here. The San Diego beer scene is thriving, and it's great to have that energy put into book form for all to enjoy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Drop the Macros!

We are all used to seeing the standard macro brews on tap at most beer-serving restaurants. This is a scene I would love to see changed, but sadly won't happen anytime soon. However, why in the world would a self-respecting beer bar, let alone a brewery restaurant allow a macro on the tap list at all? This fact is beyond me, yet it happens time and time again. Stand behind craft beer! Don't give in to distributors trying to hock the fizzy yellow stuff. Don't feel pressured to please those who choose to put that kind of rubbish into their bodies. You won't lure them in with macro beer and then convert them to the craft brew scene. I have seen pint after pint of lame lager consumed while sitting right in front of dozens of craft taps. Can the uninitiated be converted? Yes, but only by the conviction of those consuming and serving the product. Offering a large, corporate brew right alongside fine craft concoctions will only validate the fact that the macros deserve to be there. I'm not saying that macro beers should be done away with (or am I?), I'm just asking to keep them out of establishments that are claiming to tout craft beer as supreme. Most chain restaurants and supermarket shelves house plenty of macro products to go around. Those who desire such a beverage have plenty to choose from. Let's just keep them where they belong.