Archives for March2014

Women’s Beer Forum 3 Year Anniversary at Eagle Rock Brewery

A year ago, I came across Eagle Rock Brewery’s Women’s Beer Forum in my research about beer for a blog idea my friends and I had. I signed up not knowing what to expect and till this day, I am so glad I did. The special guest at the 2013 Women’s Beer Forum Anniversary was Devon, a female Head Brew Master for Pizza Port. There we were, Women, sitting in the middle of these big silver beer tanks at Eagle Rock Brewery, discussing beer! Personally, I have never experienced this because beer is supposed to be for a man. The thought brought me back to when I was a teenager, my mother had hosted a family Thanksgiving dinner at our house. My mother, prepared Margaritas for the women, and beers for the men though later the men were also asking for margaritas. Completely annoyed by their requests, I asked my mom what was the difference and she replied “The guy who invented margaritas made them for his wife because she didn’t like the taste of beer or straight alcohol, it is a woman’s drink as opposed to beer which is for a man”! So here I am in the 21st Century, in a room surrounded by women, talking about and enjoying beer! The experience was an awakening and has played a big part in the development of my taste for beer.
Flash forward to now, 2014, here I am celebrating Eagle Rock Brewery’s 3 year anniversary of the Women’s Beer Forum. My blog is still a baby, developing a style and concept of it’s own. In this place and amongst all these women who love beer, I can’t think of a better place for inspiration. Celebrating women and the 3 year anniversary, Ting Su, Co-Owner of Eagle Rock Brewery had as our guest, Kim Lutz of Saint Archers Brewery. Kim Lutz, formerly of Maui Brewing Company in Hawaii, returned to California to become Head Brew Master for Saint Archers Brewery. Located in the Miramar area of San Diego County, Saint Archers Brewery is a growing force with a tasting room located close by for an up close and personal experience. What I was most impressed by that evening was listening to Kim Lutz talk about how she began with the simple interest in the culinary world. Kim was given a homebrew kit as a gift, and instilled the same passion she had for the culinary arts into her home brew.
Our flight that evening began with a Blonde by Saint Archers Brewery; a 4.8% abv light, refreshing beer made using Kolsch yeast and Noble hops from Germany.

Dolores and her blonde by Saint Archers Brewery

Dolores and her blonde by Saint Archers Brewery

Modeled by my good friend Dolores, the Blonde gives a fresh and crisp taste to beer. The common perception about beer is that they will all have that bitter aftertaste given by hops. Saint Archers Blonde defies that perception and instead delivers a nice, clean tasting beer with a subtle hop presence.
The next beer in our flight that evening was the White Ale. Using Belgian yeast, this beer is brewed with a Pilsner malt, wheat, spiced with coriander and fresh orange peel coming in at 5% abv.
IMG_3323The Belgian yeast gives this beer some tart and spice along with the fresh orange peel to enhance the citrus flavor. White Ale’s have always been a pleasant beer due to the addition of coriander and orange flavors. What makes Saint Archers White Ale extra special is that with most White Ales, a powdered version of orange peel is used where as Kim Lutz added fresh orange peel for the citrus taste.
The Blonde and the White Ale were amongst my favorite along with the Coffee Brown Ale which will be my last notable mention. Though I encourage those of you reading my blog to explore and discover for yourselves the amazing beers from Saint Archers Brewery, these three were most impressionable to me.
Personally, I love coffee. I love the robust, bittersweet, intensity of coffee. My stomach however, tends to disagree with my taste buds and sadly, I steer clear of coffee. Beer brewed with coffee, now that is a whole different story! To express the many characteristics of beers brewed with coffee and why I love them would be too much for this post. That conversation is best left for a night amongst good friends and good pints. Or if you ever spot me somewhere and ask me which style of beer is my favorite, my eyes light up like a gal at a diamond store knowing I’m going to say Brown Ales, Stouts and Porters.
Saint Archers Brewery Coffee Brown Ale is a seasonally released brown ale brewed with Birdrock Coffee Roasters from La Jolla, California. The art of brewing beer, and brewing a good cup of coffee have great chemistry. Both brews bring out the richness of its ingredients to present them upfront and personal. Molding these two powerhouses together only makes for an amazing collaboration of The Coffee Brown Ale blends together the Maris Otter malt with several chocolate malts giving this beer the rich and bittersweet taste of a dark chocolate. Add the infusion of Kenyan Makwa coffee and you’ve got yourself the perfect breakfast beer drink. For me, the taste resembled a nice, flavorful cup of ice coffee. Add to that some powdered donuts and you are on your way to coffee/donut heaven! The flavors were robust, chocolate-sweet, and intense with a twist of malt and hop for effectiveness.
As the evening came to a close, I was inspired by my experience and couldn’t wait to write about it. This Women’s Beer Forum is so much more than the women who love beer. It is an opportunity to explore your taste buds. It is an opportunity to experience an empowering group of women come together to discuss a topic dominated by men. It is an opportunity to understand the recent growth in popularity over craft beer, and an opportunity to experiment something outside the realm of common drinks for women.
Women, such as Ting Su, Kim Lutz and so many others out there that truly have a passion for beer, will inspire you to learn more. Cheers to these beautiful women that have defied the stigma of beer is only for men, and have made it possible for women like myself to explore all there is to know about beer!
The head Brewmaster for Saint Archers Brewing Company Ms Kim Lutz and Co-Owner of Eagle Rock Brewery, Ms. Ting Su empowering women through the art of beer! Love these ladies!!!

The head Brewmaster for Saint Archers Brewing Company Ms Kim Lutz and Co-Owner of Eagle Rock Brewery, Ms. Ting Su empowering women through the art of beer! Love these ladies!!!

In closing I would just like to add, Eagle Rock Brewery is one of my favorite local spots to visit with and without the Women’s Beer Forum. Eagle Rock Brewery isn’t just a place to taste good beer, it is a place where people who want to start enjoying the craft of beer can come and find knowledge with each glass poured. Eagle Rock Brewery is a gem in Los Angeles and wish them all the very best!


Happy 5th Anniersary IEBC!

Happy Birthday IEBC!

Happy Birthday IEBC!

The forecast last weekend called for rain, however, no rain will ever stop a true beer lover. This was the case in Riverside as the Inland Empire Brewing Company prepared for celebrating their 5th anniversary. With a little help from local brewing friends, the rain did not dampen our spirits. I was honored to volunteer at the event and even more so when I was able to pick a brewery. Raised in the City of Angels, it was only fitting that I assist one of my favorite local spots, Angel City Brewing Company. As the van pulled up with that beautiful silver and black logo, my heart beat with excitement in anticipation of which beers I would help pour & taste! I assisted the ladies Liz and Colette with setting up the tent, banners and free giveaways. Watching the ladies roll out the mini kegs, hook up the handles, and do a test pour was beer magic! I have never been on the volunteering side so the experience was all so new and exciting! Once they were all set up, we did a couple of test pours with me on the handles and were off to a great start. Goldline Pilsner and Angeleno IPA were the two beers representing my beloved Angel City and they did not disappoint. I have had the Angeleno IPA before and love it for it’s well balanced flavor, I chose instead to try the Goldline Pilsner. 1922410_728705090481761_904776315_n The Goldline Pils as shown in the photo is a light bodied and fresh tasting beer. It may have been the rain, however, the notes I got were herbal and a hint of floral. It had a slight bitterness to it but it was a nice clean finish with some citrus flavors punching through. Overall an impressive Pils as most are medium or fuller in body, this light version definitely stood out on it’s own. After pouring beer for most of the afternoon, alas, it was time or me to leave the lovely ladies of Angel City and see what other beers were pouring this fine, cold, rainy afternoon. BhvH54mCEAAmwka

My first stop after volunteering was Rok House from Upland, Ca. Of their selection, I went with the American Brown Ale called Berserker. Berserker at 6.7% is made with Willamette hops and a blend of 6 malts. Dark brown in color with a medium intensity, a nice balance of caramel malty flavors and a subtle hop finish. Rok House, a local Inland Empire spot will be opening at the end of April. Can’t wait to see what else these Vikings bring us!The Rok House Viking

Brewja enjoying a taste of Berserker by Rok House Brewery

Brewja enjoying a taste of Berserker by Rok House Brewery

As the festivities continued, the weather eventually cooperated and for the rest of the festival, there was very little rainfall. My next stop was Wild Donkey from Redlands, Ca. My first taste was of the Vanilla Blonde, 5.5% gold in color and aromas of vanilla to the nose. At first, the vanilla notes were hard for me to distinguish because all I could smell was the rain, though after my first sip, the scents and flavors came together.Wild Donkey's Vanilla Blonde Made with cascade hops and C15 2 Row malts, the blend had a light cream mouth feel with no bitter aftertaste. In speaking with Luis Torner of Wild Donkey, a popular favorite is to blend the Vanilla Blonde with the Chocolate Porter. Tasting the Chocolate Porter, I could see myself blending the Vanilla Blonde and Chocolate Porter over some vanilla ice cream for a lovely beer float. Wild Donkey has 10 different beers on tap and is definitely on my list of places to visit in the I.E. Cheers to Wild Donkey!
Luis enjoying a taste of the Chocolate Porter took the time to chat with me about beer and grading papers :)

Luis enjoying a taste of the Chocolate Porter took the time to chat with me about beer and grading papers 🙂

The celebration continued with music from one of my favorite IE Ska/Rocksteady bands The Debonaires. It was so great to see so many people come together to celebrate Inland Empire Brewing Company despite the apocalyptic weather we were expecting.
Love the rocksteady beats of The Debonaires!

Love the rocksteady beats of The Debonaires!

Here I am (brewja) enjoying the sounds of The Debonaires with Bernadette Hunt! Good Times! Here I am (brewja) enjoying the sounds of The Debonaires with Bernadette Hunt! Good Times
I was so happy to see that my LA friends ventured out of the city into the stix of the IE for this brewfest. As mentioned, rain will not stop true beer lovers and here we are!The LA Crew
After the beer festival, Inland Empire Brewing Company held an after party for staff and all volunteers. For me, there was no better way to end the evening than with heaping pourful’s of Victoria by IEBC. Fun fact about Victoria by IEBC; it was originally made for the brewmaster’s wedding. It was so fantastical, they decided to keep brewing it for their menu and it’s a good thing they did!
IMG958678 This beautiful golden goddess comes in at 11% which is why I saved the best for last! Locally grown oranges, orange zest along with hand selected hops give this beauty it’s citrus and floral scent. Add some honey and here we are with one of the most well developed, locally crafted, American Strong Ales found in the Inland Empire. Each batch is 450 gallons and uses 20lbs of hand zest oranges, and 120lbs of honey. For me, an even balance of honey and citrus tends to punch through all other flavors and immediately when I have it, I know I am having Victoria! It is one of my favorites from Inland Empire Brewing Company and it is the reason I keep going back. Paul & David have done a fantastic job with this company and I hope to see their expansion throughout the LA and Orange County. Wishing all the best of success to Paul, David and the staff at Inland Empire Brewing Company, Happy 5th Anniversary and i’ll be seeing you all soon!


Brewja would like to thank @whiskeywell, and Bernadette Hunt for their picture contribution. I will be adding more photos as they come in! Cheers!