Saturday, March 31, 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

You will be missed

Today we lost "one of the good ones".

"Another great beer (ale), fruity, plenty of body and the very last beer I'll taste.  Good to go out on the best!"
- Jim Stuart

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Different IPA styles?

Being a huge fan of IPA's, I got a kick out of this rant on the recent emergence of different IPA styles.  One would think that "IPA" is the style, but one would be discounting the ingenuity of modern brewers.  I'm all for new things, but I'll also agree with the author of this rant with the following plea to brewers.  Instead of trying to create new IPA styles, work on perfecting your own version of the already glorious IPA!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale

What can I say about this beer?  Going into too much detail about its taste would be futile, as this is more than just a beer, it's a true sensory experience.  It poured a beautiful, hazy, coppery amber, with a light head that dissipated too quickly for me to capture in the photo.  The bacon was hugely present in the aroma, although there was much more smoke in the nose than I was expecting.  Another thing that I was expecting, especially with the maple addition, was sweetness.  This is the second brew I have had recently where sweetness was absent when I had expected it to be predominant.  As with that beer, this one really needed it.  I immediately thought of bacon pancakes, minus any syrup.  It was bready, bacony, and smokey, but that was all.  Although the maple was present slightly in the nose, more so in the taste, the lack of its sweet notes made the beer rich, but difficult to swallow.  I initially gave this beer 3.5 stars out of 5, mostly for its uniqueness.  I didn't even make it halfway through the pictured glass, and had to pour the rest back into the bottle.  Its heavy smoke aroma and flavor started to overpower the complexity of the beer, and even the food I was eating with it.  Perhaps a pour this size was just too much for this beer, I don't know.  I went back to it the following day, and had an extremely hard time finishing it.  At $14.99 for the bottle, I felt the need to finish it off.  The bottle, however, was the best part of this one-of-a-kind concoction.  When discussing whether or not I would buy this beer again, I actually said that I would prefer a Coors Light.  With that, I conclude my review.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bacon Beer Stein

This stein looks like Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale tastes!  Watch for my full review, coming soon.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Who said that?

"An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger, or a beer."
- Confucius

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thanks, Zeke!

My 9-year-old son picked this cool stein out for my anniversary.  I, of course, supplied the 2009 Stone Double Bastard with which it is filled.  Sweet!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Big changes in store for Karl Strauss

Karl Strauss Brewing Co. is making some big changes to its main brewery in Pacific Beach.  Regular tours of the facility will be given when the renovation is complete, something that is rarely done now.  I imagine the landscape of the brewing area will change from this shot I took back in 2010.  Full details of the coming improvements can be found here.  I have a great deal of respect and love for the people and beer of Karl Strauss, and can't wait to start enjoying the new features being implemented at San Diego's original brewery!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Man wins his weight in beer

Click here if you don't see the video.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

What are you drinking today?

Here are Esquire's suggestions.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Got Guinness?

There will be a great deal of Guinness poured this weekend.  Impress your friends by using this tip for achieving the perfect pour.  Bottoms up!

Click here if you don't see the video.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

California Small Business Person of the Year

Congratulations to Jack White, president and founder of Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, for being recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration.  Read about it here.  Nicely done!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

ElbowSkin's Beer Song

Click here if you don't see the video.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

PubCakes Pledge Drive

Get out there and help support a local entrepreneur, beer lover, and maker of some right fine cupcakes!

Click here if you don't see the video.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Karl Strauss Tower 20

Karl Strauss Brewing Co. has started an "Imperial Collection", which at this point consists of Off The Rails, their Imperial Red Ale, and now Tower 20 IIPA, a kicked up version of their mainstay Tower 10 IPA.  At 9.5% alcohol, it packs the kick you would expect from this style.  I liked this beer, but to me it read more as an aggressive West Coast IPA than a IIPA.  Initially, it had the crispness that I always associate with an IPA, but as it warmed a bit the smoothness of a IIPA came to the fore.  The hops were dominant, as one would expect, weighing in a bit more heavily on the grapefruit end of the spectrum.  It was initially a bit acidic, which I either got used to or it lessened as the brew warmed.  Giving it 3.5 out of 5 stars this won't go on my list of go-to beers when I'm having a IIPA craving, but I certainly wouldn't shy away from it as an option, and I would definitely recommend giving it a try.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Great use for an empty growler

An empty growler, you say?  I know, it's a horrifying thought, but they do go empty from time to time.  In fact, if you're like me, the sheer number of growlers you own makes having them all filled at the same time nearly impossible.  Reading an article in the newest issue of Beer Magazine, I learned of a great use for the spare growlers you have sitting around.  Use them to ferment small batches of homebrew!  The size is perfect for small, experimental batches that you may not want a full 5 gallons of.  All you need is a #6 stopper and an airlock.  This is one of the best pieces of homebrew advice I have gotten in a long time, and I can't wait to put some of my dormant growlers to use.  Now, what to brew?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

Karl Strauss Heavy Petti

I originally had this IIPA from Karl Strauss Brewing Co. at their downtown location when it was released for last year's San Diego Beer Week.  I was "fortunate" enough to get the last pint before the keg blew.  This was a fact that made me very happy, since I was anxious to try a new offering, from one of my favorite breweries, in one of my favorite styles.  I was, sadly, disappointed.  There was a funk to the beer that was hard to get past.  In talking to a friend from the brewery, he told me the flavor came from the particular strain of yeast used in the beer.  He seemed very excited about the flavor, so I didn't fully express my distaste for it.  To be honest, I didn't give this beer another thought since it struck me so poorly.  I found myself at K&B Wine Cellar yesterday, where they had this very beer on special for $3.50.  $3.50 being my sweet spot for a happy hour pint, I decided to give the brew another chance.  Am I glad I did!  In a word, this beer was delicious, delectable, and delightful!  I guess that's three words, but this beer deserves each one.  It was cloudy, smooth, and had a floral taste and aroma that I couldn't put my finger on.  Perhaps this lovely, unidentifiable character was from this yeast I had such disdain for the first time around.  Maybe the fact that I had the last of the original keg played into the off flavor.  Perhaps time has mellowed the beer.  Whatever the case, I simply loved it.  I can't imagine I will find it again anytime soon, unless they decide to brew some more, but if I do I will be sure to grab another glass.  I recommend you do the same.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women's Day

You can learn more about International Women's Day here.  I just learned of the Pink Boots Society.  This looks like an awesome organization with a mission and goals that I support wholeheartedly.

"The Pink Boots Society was created to inspire, encourage and empower women to advance their careers in the Beer Industry through networking and education.  Our goals include beer education outreach to women beer consumers through our Barley's Angels division.  Our Barley's Angels program was designed to foster beer appreciation in women, teach women's role in beer history, encourage women to homebrew, and inspire the next generation of potential women beer professionals to pursue careers in the Beer Industry.  Please see for more information."

The "barmaid" of yesterday is no more.  Women are now a strong force in the craft beer community, and with groups like this they will only get stronger.  Beer is not just a "guy's" drink, industry, or lifestyle.  It's up to each of us to encourage, foster, and support this way of thinking.   So, thank you, the women of craft beer, for all that you do.  Keep up the hard work!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Iced-tea-flavored Coors Light

As much as this truly sickens me, it beats their regular "water" flavored offerings.  Read the full story here if the headline isn't already enough for you.  Sheesh.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

PubCakes on Cupcake Wars!

If you're a fan, or a part of, the San Diego craft beer scene, you're no doubt familiar with PubCakes.  First popping up at local beer festivals and craft beer watering hole K&B Wine Cellar, they just celebrated a year in their own place where they are in cahoots with Treehouse Coffee Co.  Coffee and cupcakes go together almost as well as beer and cupcakes!  About a year ago they submitted an audition video to Food Network's Cupcake Wars, where "four of the country’s top cupcake bakers face off in three elimination challenges until only one decorator remains" and they take away a check for $10,000!  They were accepted, competed, and... I'd like to say "won!", but won't know that until this Sunday night when the show airs at 8:00pm.  Tune in and cheer on Misty and Kaitlin as they battle their way to cupcake supremacy, or join them at Hamiltons Tavern from 7:30-9:30pm for their viewing party.  They may even have some cupcakes for you!  Will PubCakes gain nationwide notoriety as the latest Cupcake Wars champion?  I hope so, but win or lose we still love 'em!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

Who said that?

"Whoever serves beer or wine watered down, he himself deserves in them to drown."
-Medieval plea for pure libations

Thursday, March 1, 2012

'Twas a Dark & Stormy Diner

I had a couple pints of Dark & Stormy, the famed Imperial Stout by now defunct Airdale Brewing Co., at Corvette Diner last night.  It appears to be a regular entry on their beer menu.  With production ceased, it won't be long before this beer is gone forever, so head on over to get your fix while you still can!