Archives for October2013


La Fin Du Monde @ The Garage in Culver City

La Fin Du Monde is French for The End of The World. So where was I for La Fin Du Monde? I was at a bar of course. Not just any bar, The Garage in Culver City. After a long day at work, my coworkers and I will go have drinks locally so that we can catch the happy hour specials. The company I work for is semi new to Culver City and we like to keep things fresh so we are always looking for that new place to go besides the dives. We found a doozy yesterday! I’ll start first with what I love about The Garage, then I’ll finish with what I really, really love about The Garage.

The layout for the Garage is fantastic! It is almost as if this bar combines the dive with the trendy. Being Brewja, i’m always looking for a good place to find beer; when I’m with my coworkers, we are always looking for a place that we can have beer, play games, or watch sports. Normally, you’ll find this at a dive but you won’t find craft beer in a bottle or on tap. The Motor Lounge at The Garage has that covered! A great selection of craft beer on tap and a place where myself and my coworkers can release the stress of the day on a foosball table. On Wednesday Nights it is trivia night where you could actually win credit at the bar, what!!! For those days where we want to watch a game that starts right at rush-hour, low and behold, this place is close enough for us to avoid rush hour and watch our favorite teams play.

Now, here is what I really, really love about The Garage. Wednesday was a hell of a day for me which bled into the evening. I said goodbye to a guy friend as he left town, I had a huge project land on my desk at 12pm which took all day and practically all night, I missed happy hour with my coworkers and I missed a date. After all that, all I wanted was a beer and some place that was relaxing enough for me to enjoy my beer in peace. At this point it is 9pm and most bars would be busy. I almost went home, instead, I headed for The Garage where my coworkers were at and just about to leave. I walked in and immediately stress was diminishing. The setting seemed like the perfect place for late night dinner dates and drinks. Cozy lighting and plenty of seating. No rowdy crowd like a dive bar, and one huge wall in the center that with a projector, displays the games that are on television. Lastly, The Garage also serves food and as my buddy Richard said “You’re a bit of a food snob” I must go back to try the food.

So, what did Brewja have to drink? Well, it seemed fitting with the day I was having that my first two choices from the taps were out for the day. I looked at the bottle selection found the perfect beer for that kind of a day where everything crashed down all at once, La Fin Du Monde by Unibroue.

La Fin Du Monde by Unibroue, Triple Golden Ale brewed with Spices.

La Fin Du Monde by Unibroue, Triple Golden Ale brewed with Spices.

A delicious Belgian Style Triple Golden Ale brewed with spices. Coming in at 9% ABV, La Fin Du Monde has that spicy, citrus taste like a Witbier but with more intensity. To the nose, the scent of coriander and cinnamon were comforting to my achy soul.

Thinking about La Fin Du Monde, I realized, the term can take on different meanings such as, the end of a relationship that was your world or the end of a really bad day at work. No matter what the significance, La Fin Du Monde and a place like The Garage is the perfect pair for the impending doom and aftermath. It is where I would want to be to meet La Fin Du Monde via the zombie apocalypse. A nice relaxing place that serves food and an a good craft beer. If ever you are in the Culver City area, look me up and we’ll have a beer at The Garage, maybe play trivia if on a Wednesday and should it be one of those days, well, at least we’ll know what we will be drinking; La Fin Du Monde.

The Garage
3387 Motor Ave
Los Angeles, Ca. 90034

Cheers,
Brewja

Dogfish Head: A Love Story

Last April, I ventured out to Las Vegas with some lady friends for a rockabilly weekender known as Viva Las Vegas. Along the way I spoke about my love for craft beer and how I want to find a liquor store to pick some up for our room. I can’t remember the name of the liquor store we stopped at but I will never forget what I found; Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew by Dogfish Head, a 9% holy hell of a drink. Named after the jazz legend’s iconic album, the beer infuses three different imperial stouts and one honey beer. It was love at first sip. The rich flavors from the imperial stout gave the beer a deepness that I’ve only encountered in a fine red wine. Subtle but powerful, the sweet, syrupy notes of the honey beer punch through. Like all things about sin city, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, except for my mad crush on Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew. I came back home and used the Fish Finder on Dogfish Head’s website, sadly, my love was no where to be found near me. Parting was such sweet sorrow.

BitchesBrew_bottle.preview

Last night, after an amazing concert by Kinky, my friend Gabriel and I went to Far Bar in Little Tokyo for some late night eat and drinks. Scanning the menu quickly, another Dogfish Head beer caught my eye. Red and White by Dogfish Head is a Belgian Style Witbier fermented with Pinot Noir juice at 10% abv. One of my goals for Brewja.com is to convince my wine-o friends that beer is more than the bitter hoppy experience they know of. Red and White by Dogfish Head Brewery will be a perfect example. Belgian Style Witbiers are a crisp, refreshing, citrusy, style of beer. It is only fitting to infuse it with a Pinot Noir, a deep grape flavor that bounces off the palate with a hint of spice. This infusion of beer and wine by Dogfish Head awakened that love I lost back in April with Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew. Aroma to the nose is the spice coriander with hints of grape and orange. The taste is a fresh citrus crisp with hints of spice leaving a dry grape finish that a Belgian Style Witbier infused with Pinot Noir will do. This time, I am not letting my love get away. I made a phone call to one of my favorite places to get beer, Liquor Mart in Whittier to see if they have my love in stock and they do! My wine-o friends will have a very hoppy Christmas this year, as well as I.

Dogfish Head Red and White; A Belgian Style Witbier infused with Pinot Noir Grape Juice

Dogfish Head Red and White; A Belgian Style Witbier infused with Pinot Noir Grape Juice

You can find this delicious brew and many others at Liquor Mart 13583 E. Whittier Blvd., Whittier Ca., 90605. Say hello to Damien who puts together the beer section at Liquor Mart and does a genious job of it!

Cheers,
Brewja

Oktoberfest At Inland Empire Brewing Co.

Here’s a cool event to check out if you’re looking to celebrate Oktoberfest. The Inland Empire Brewing Company has an amazing selection of craft beer including Peppin The Shorter Porter and Victoria an American Strong Ale aptly named after Victoria Ave, a local street in Riverside, Ca. where this amazing brewery is also located. I can’t say for sure if they will have their regular selected menu featuring those top two favorites of mine, however, making the trip to Riverside, Ca. to find out will be worth the escape from East LA. Road trip!!

Inland Empire Brewing Company
1710 Palmyrita Ave
Riverside, Ca.

Entry Fee: $10.00
Includes one beer, access to food, and live entertainment
Benefiting “Come As You Are” a non-profit organization

Cheers,
Brewja

My Summer Beer Adventures Pt. 1

When I think of summer, I think of several different things. I think of summer concerts, movies at Hollywood Forever Cemetery and Exposition Park, summer romances or flings if that’s your style, family bbq’s and good beer! For me, this summer was filled with many of those adventures and more. The following blog entry is a recap of how I spent my summer.

June

The first few weeks of June, I spent them preparing for a 10k plus a half marathon I had coming up in September over the Labor Day Weekend. Consequently, training for such an endeavor requires much dedication to the running program and less to the social program. Still, there was one event I could not miss, the Women’s Beer Forum at Eagle Rock Brewery.
The topic of discussion was Wheat beers and I am so glad I attended. I invited my friend Dolores aka Eastside Chela to join me since Wheat beers are one of her favorites styles of beers. An impressive flight list and an informative discussion, my favorites were the Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel and the Bootlegger’s Brewery Wildfire Wheat. The Dunkel, a dark version of a wheat beer, had a wonderful taste of cloves and caramel. In our discussion, Ting Su, host and co-owner, mentioned that the flavors of this amazing beer come from the fermentation process. After learning this, my appreciation for these styles of beers deepened.

Wildfire Wheat from Bootlegger’s Brewery was a whole different blast of flavor. As mentioned, when I think of summer, I think outdoor bbq’s. Wildfire Wheat from Bootlegger’s Brewery was a smokey goodness that made my palate think it was at a family bbq. Between the notes of the cloves and the smoke, it was as if I was drinking a beer and eating something with bacon. In the not so distant future, I pick up this gem of a beer for a picnic I prepared and enjoyed it with some Ranch Style Potato Salad. All the flavors of the smoke and the taste of bacon from the potato salad had my palate in smokey heaven. Summer was off to a good start.

July

In July, I stepped out of my comfort zone with many things in my life one of which was beer. I tried my first homebrew and went on a first date after a long hiatus from the dating world. I enjoyed my first one night stand, and attended my first tap-takeover at City Tavern Culver City. All of these events were significant in placing me where I am today, blogging about beer. The original concept for a beer blog was my friend Ellie’s idea and I signed up to be one of her writers along with my friend Dolores. I was just excited to be writing outside of school, moreover, about something I loved, beer. I immediately started doing some research and signed up last November for any upcoming events with local breweries.

I met my friend Victor in January at Golden Road Brewery’s Winter Situation. Victor’s name along with a few others won a special drawing for a bag of hops provided by Golden Road Brewery. These select winners were chosen to brew with the Golden Road hops for a chance to have their beer submitted into the Pro Am competition. From those hops, Victor made an amazing dry-hopped Belgian Style Wit bier that was inspired by Deschutes Chain breaker with more of a Belgian interpretation than American. I actually shared the bottle he gave me with my boss and a few coworkers while working late one evening. We were all very impressed with the flavors that presented themselves. Crisp, refreshing; with a citrusy taste that lingered beautifully on the palate. It was hard to believe this beer was a homebrew because all of those flavors, one would think it was something that had been done and bottled for years. Victor’s beer made it to the final round, though; Golden Road Brewery went with a different style. Even so, that homebrew left a lasting impression.

I took the summer off from college so that I had time to continue my half marathon training without the daily stresses of homework, pop quizzes, mid-terms and finals. Since I had so much time, I thought it would be a perfect time to start writing down ideas for the blog and attending as many events as possible for material. I even incorporated my upcoming date with a guy to meet me at City Tavern in Culver City because I had heard they had an excellent selection of craft beer and an amazing grilled cheese. It was my best idea yet because nothing takes the edge off first date jitters like a good craft beer and some grilled cheese. My date Tony wasn’t much of a beer drinker, he was more into spirits. That was until he met me. As soon as we sat down at the table, I reached for the beer list and quickly scanned the menu. From their tap list, two beers immediately caught my eye; Ballast Point Thai Chili Lime Wheat and LA Ale Works Karma Kolsch. The waitress came to take our order and I asked for the Ballast Point Thai Chili Lime to start. She recommended I get the taster size which is a 4oz serving because of its powerful spicy kick. I thought carefully and went with a pint of LA Ale Works Karma Kolsch. Curious about the beer, my date ordered the 4oz Thai Chili Lime and a pint of the Karma Kolsch as well. The Karma Kolsch by LA Ale Works was so refreshing for as hot as that day was. It was my first time ever having a Kolsch and what I admired the most about the beer was its spice notes which I gather came from the Thai tea. As the date went on, I shared my stories about beer and talked about the blog which at that point was still in the brewing process. We also shared the Thai Chili Lime taster and wow! The waitress was not kidding when she said it packed a punch. My lips were on fire but still it was very hard to pull away from what you would taste after the sting subsides. Crisp with a hint of citrus and wow that sweet, sweet burn from the Thai Chili. As the date ended, we walked out toward the back end of City Tavern and walked by a line of kegs from all different sorts of breweries. I stopped to admire the beautiful stacks and pointed to the ones I absolutely love. My date laughed and said that I looked like a wide eyed girl at a diamond store. It’s true, except, it’s not a diamond I dream about, it’s beer.

A couple of weeks later, Tony met me for a One Night Stand. The good kind, not the one you regret the next day ha-ha. Craftsman beers have definitely captured my taste buds and what better place to enjoy them than at Beer Belly LA. Good quality beer with some Death by Duck and some Mac N Cheese!! Oh my, my, my! It was a good one night stand indeed. I was enjoying my 1903 lager and Tony had the Curiosity Saison when my friend Ellie and Dolores joined us. Our one night stand turned into a party! I enjoyed the 1903 Pre-Prohibition Lager, but the beer that captured me that evening was the Craftsman Cabernale. Not much of a wine drinker, this bold beauty took me by surprise! Rich in all its flavor of a Cabernet with the crisp clean finish of an ale. This beer would definitely be one to share with my friends that swear beer comes in only one flavor, bitter. With each sip of this deep red, sweet grape essence, glass of perfection, it made my long black hair shine and my ruby red lips pucker with delight. It was a sexy little minx! Much like me!

To be continued…

Cheers!
Brewja