Beer Journal


#LABW10 This Saturday June 16, 2018

It’s the most wonderful time of the year beer loving friends! The 10th annual L.A. Beer Week kickoff festival is this Saturday June 16, 2018 at Los Angeles Center Studios in DTLA and tickets are still available! This beer festival brought to you by the Los Angeles Brewers Guild brings all of the local breweries from the greater Los Angeles area as well as some guest breweries from other guilds in one location for your beer drinking pleasure! As of today, LA Beer Week Facebook page lists 89 breweries will be pouring their best selections, live music, and food trucks will all be available on Saturday. Ticket prices for GA are $53.55 and $74.56 for VIP, for VIP ticket holders there is early admission into the festival as well as a premium commemorative glass. Tickets can be purchased online at labeerweek.org

Hope to see you there!

Cheers,
Brewja

Brew-mance Part 1: Snobbery Will Get You Nowhere

I’m not embarrassed to admit that I am part of the online dating circuit. Not the free sites where it is completely obvious that everyone is just there for the glorified O.N.S, no, the real sites that people you know talk about and say “a friend of mine joined that site and met her husband” kind of site. The headline for my profile now reads “Must Love Beer” because let’s face it, beer is awesome! My hope is to find someone who loves beer and is open to new beer experiences among other things.

Last week, I received a message from a fellow beer lover and was invited to meet at The Golden Gopher in DTLA. I knew of The Golden Gopher however, I had never been there and heard it was a place with a good selection of beer. This was true! Scanning the board I saw a favorite of mine, Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA along with some others that I had not tried before. My first pick was Deschutes Chainbreaker but unfortunately it was tapped out for the evening. I went with my second choice, 329 Lager from Golden Road Brewery. This was the first time I had tried 329 Lager and I really enjoyed it. The beer was light, crisp and so delicious.

Conversation topics during our first pint were the usual first date chit-chat and with every sip of my delicious 329 Lager, the nervousness would subside. At our second pint, I didn’t see any reason to change my beer selection as I was perfectly happy with what I had. I was excited when the topic of beer came up because as I mentioned before beer is awesome. Also, I was interested in knowing what kind of beer experiences he’s had. He asked, as many people do, what my favorite beer is and my answer is always ‘beer is my favorite beer.’ I used to have a style preference, however, throughout the years, I’ve grown away from the notion of preference and now can honestly say “beer is my favorite beer”. There is no one style I prefer over another and there is not one beer I won’t try at least once.

Sadly, these feelings about beer weren’t mutual. My date proudly considered himself a beer snob and voiced a lot of negative opinion about the people that didn’t drink craft beer. While I recognized that he’s discovered the awesomeness of craft beer, I cringed inside every time he made reference to his snobbery. It was a poor attempt on his part to argue the difference between craft beer vs. Corona. In my opinion, claiming to be a beer snob is not something to be proud of. The term alone annoys me because it is overused as a generalized description for people who drink craft beer and at times when it is unmerited.

In truth, he was not a beer snob, he was a craft beer newbie making classic craft beer newbie mistakes. I know this because I was a craft beer newbie that made similar mistakes. Thankfully, I had the good sense to not limit myself anymore when it came to my love for beer. The search for my beer lovin’ man continues and I look forward to sharing some delicious brews along the way. After all, I am the hopeless romantic, beer, books, and movie geek; seeking a partner in crime to experience and enjoy all that the beer world has to offer.

A toast to all the single, beer loving people in our beautiful City of Angels!

Cheers!
Brewja

Upcoming Events

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BEER FESTIVAL SEASON IS UPON US!!!

The Los Angeles Vegan Beer Festival is two weeks away. The venue this year is the fabulous Rose Bowl in Pasadena. With an amazing line-up of performers and the stadium venue, this event should not be missed! This event is a BYO-Blanket for lawn sitting and some cash to try the amazing vegan food selections. Last year it was incredibly hot so be sure to wear some sunblock and keep hydrated! The VIP and Designated Driver tickets are sold out, however, General Admission tickets are still available for purchase. Get your tickets before their gone, gone, gone! Visit the website vegan beer festival for tickets.
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Beer for A Valentine

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Finding that perfect Valentine’s Day gift can be just as difficult as finding that perfect Valentine. Chances are, the relationship is in the early stages, where something sweet and simple can go a long way. For craft beer lovers, sweetness can be found in the form of a chocolate stout. Chocolate stouts range in alcohol content yet have an even balance of flavor and bitterness. They can be paired with a cheese course, a rich beef course, or a variety of desserts. With food or simply enjoyed on its own, a chocolate stout will elevate the experience and make for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day libation.

Chocolate stouts come in a wide variety and all offer a distinct flavor profile. For example, Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout at 5% ABV has an immense amount of chocolate flavor and is made with organic chocolate malts and cocoa. Pleasantly rich and bold, the chocolate flavor lends itself well to an amazing beer float. To make a simple beer float featuring Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout, pour half of the bottle into a pint glass forming a nice, thick beer head. Carefully drop two scoops of double chocolate ice cream into the pint glass, and enjoy!

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For Ms. V, an introduction to Young’s Double Chocolate Stout was all it took to convince her of the sweet delight in a chocolate stout and, in turn, she introduced the beer to her new beau. Wanting to explore more options, Ms. V asked if I could recommend some chocolate stouts as a Valentine’s gift for him. Delighted that she trusts my taste enough to ask, I did some research and put together a mini flight. Arranged from lowest ABV to highest, here is the flight: Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout, Rogue’s Double Chocolate Stout, Strand Brewing Company Batch 100, and last but not least, Great Divide Brewing Company’s Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti. All of these beers pack amazing chocolate flavor and can be paired with food or enjoyed on their own.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Cheers,
Brewja

Eagle Rock Brewery Needs You!

Last Saturday someone asked me which of the LA Breweries are my favorite. After putting some thought into it, I answered Eagle Rock Brewery. The answer was a shock to the person that asked however, after explaining my answer it was easy to see why Eagle Rock Brewery is my favorite. A brewery will have more than beer to offer, they will have an experience. Eagle Rock Brewery has been giving this experience to customers old and new for 5 years.

Eagle Rock Brewery Longevity

Operating for 5 years without incident, Eagle Rock Brewery is forced to endure a public hearing in order to renew their operating permit in the City of Los Angeles. The public hearing is to take place on November 6th in the Los Angeles City Hall on Spring St. There are a number of reasons why Eagle Rock Brewery is having to renew their permit by public hearing which unfortunately at this time are unknown. Regardless of the reason, the hearing puts Eagle Rock Brewery in a position to where they will have to pay fees for the hearing on top of their normal operating expenditures. The likely cause of this high hoop to jump is in the nature of the product, alcohol. Although I understand the City of Los Angeles must uphold the local rules, it is my opinion that no business owner should have to pay for due diligence.

Three years ago, I had no blog, no in depth understanding of craft beer, only enthusiasm to learn more. I found a local brewery that had a Women’s Beer Forum; the focus was to introduce women into the wonderful world of beer. It was an incredibly unique experience and one that has helped my own development. The brewery was Eagle Rock Brewery and the co-owner Ting Su, hosts this empowering, one of a kind event.

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!!!

Eagle Rock Brewery not only celebrates women who love beer, but also, the homebrewing community. For the recent LA Beer Week, Eagle Rock Brewery teamed up with the homebrewing club Maltose Falcons for a collaboration brew called Longevity. The beer itself was like paying homage to the humble beginnings of all great brewmasters. By introducing women to a new beer experience and staying true to their roots shows how Eagle Rock Brewery embraces the LA beer community.

There are several different ways you can show your support for Eagle Rock Brewery. You can show up to the public hearing on Thursday November 6th from 9am to 12pm, you can write a letter, email or call the Office of Zoning Administration directly. Visit eaglerockbrewery.com to get all the details on how you can support them. You can also sign the online petition at change.org allowing Eagle Rock Brewery to continue operations without further hearings.

Now is the time to unite the LA Beer Community to show support for Eagle Rock Brewery and why they are the “Beer for the People”!

Dolores and her blonde by Saint Archers Brewery

Dolores and her blonde by Saint Archers Brewery


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Jeremy Raub of Eagle Rock Brewery and Ellie at the Craftsman booth

LA Beer Week Kick Off Celebration

While all eyes are currently focused on Denver and the Great American Beer Festival, I’m still thinking about Los Angeles Beer Week 2014. LA Beer Week Kicked Off Saturday September 20th, followed by a multitude of events all week long throughout LA and surrounding cities. Consequently, my work and school schedule interferes with the week long festivities. As sad as I was to miss some of the major events, I did however, make an effort to attend the Kick Off Celebration. Although I have attended this event in the past, this year, it felt all new.
No, No Thank You!

Formerly known as the Opening Gala for LA Beer Week, this year, the event had a new name, a new location, and a new group of organizers. The Los Angeles Brewers Guild headed by Jeremy Raub of our beloved Eagle Rock Brewery brought a sense of unity to this festival. The energy that day was vibrant, joyful, and we embraced it with open arms.
Smog City Bear

The tickets this year were very reasonable as opposed to the overpriced festival last year and offered so much more. Although a last minute update announcing the distribution of drink tickets caused some concern, it wasn’t enough to break the spirits of true beer lovers. Since I am still a small time beer enthusiast, I purchased myself a general admission ticket and made plans to meet my friends at the event. Historic Chinatown was the setting for the new LABW6, a short walk away from the Metro Gold Line.

I arrived just before the general admission gate opened and waited in line for my wristband. In the past, the line was unreasonably long as it combined check in, wristband distribution and entrance in one. This time, it was short and seemed to go quite swiftly. You can tell almost immediately, the event was very well organized from the start. Walking through the entrance I was handed a map detailing where the breweries were at, a commemorative glass and ten drink tickets to start. Shortly after, I met quickly with friends and made my way to the first stop on my list of breweries to try.

My list consisted of breweries I’ve never visited and beers I’ve never tried. I was aiming for an all new experience and it was exactly what I got. New breweries on my list were Progress Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, Pacific Plate Brewing and The Brewery at Abigale. I also enjoyed new beers from Ladyface Alehouse, Macleod Ale Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewery, Wolf Creek Brewery, New Belgium Brewing, and Brouwerij West. All the beers were fantastic and it was hard to single out one as a favorite.

I realized at the end of the event the one place I could not get enough of was Pacific Plate Brewing and their Horchata Stout.
Pacific Plate Horchata Stout
The Horchata Stout at 5.2% abv is based on an English Milk Stout. The two major ingredients I could taste almost immediately were the cocoa and the cinnamon. It was a beautiful imitation of my favorite agua fresca. I was impressed with both the Horchata Stout and the Copa De Oro from Pacific Plate Brewing, that I plan on visiting their location soon! Visit pacificplatebrewing.com for hours and location.

As the last hour approached, The Firkins took the stage and crowds rushed to get the last of the samples poured till they were all out. As sad as we were to see the event come to an end, my friends and I had a fantastic time.

Gayle and Luis of Angry Horse Brewing Co sad to see the event come to an end.

Gayle and Luis of Angry Horse Brewing Co sad to see the event come to an end.

The ladies and one random photobomber

It was so great to see everyone I know, to meet new people and to try new places. I was aiming for a new experience and I got just that. I’m hoping next year, I’ll have a chance to enjoy LA Beer Week in it’s entirety from the Kick Off Celebration, to the Battle of the Bands, to the multiple Tap Takeovers and Meeting of the Guilds. I want to do as much as I can to make up for what I missed out on this year. Congratulations to the Los Angeles Brewers Guild and all the volunteers for throwing one bad ass beer bash!

Ellie Christina and Kim
Eagle Rock Brewery Longevity
Jeremy Raub of Eagle Rock Brewery and Ellie at the Craftsman booth
King Harbor Quest Series
Brouwerji West Brilliant but Lazy
Ladyface Ale Companie Guillotine
MacLeods Nutty Broon
New Belgium La Folie
Pacific Plate Copa de Oro
Progress
The Brewery at Abigale
The Firkins
Juan and Jesse
DIY Sticker Shirt
Wolf Creek Punkelweizen
Progress Brewing Co Calvary DIPAThe first toast

Until next year!

Cheers,
Brewja

Bonding Over Beer

Average Americans spend 8.7 hours a day working in close quarters five days a week. Working so close together, it is only natural that special bonds will be formed. In this case, the bond is between the entire accounting department for the consulting firm I work for. The LAO-Accounting team consists of myself, along with nine other women, and leading the way is our boss-man EO. As a thank you for the continued efforts to put forth hard work and over come challenges, the co-president of our company took us out for happy hour. This has become somewhat of a yearly tradition except this year, we had two VIP’s crash our party. The location of choice was Public School 310 in Culver City, close to where our offices reside. Soon as I knew the location, I did what brewja does best, scope out the tap list online.

Public School presented an amazing tap list, most of which were local California breweries. I set my beer preference list much like I approach my daily emails which ranges from urgent to no response needed. From my list, my top three were Epic Brewing Company’s Fermentation Without Representation, The Kimmie, The Yink, and The Holy Gose by Anderson Valley Brewing Company, last but not least, Hop Highway by Belching Beaver Brewing Company. Though, I sampled a few of the others on tap, the top three really captured the vibe of the evening for me and it began with Fermentation Without Representation by Epic Brewing Company. Fermentation without Representation
Fermentation Without Representation #9 is an Imperial Pumpkin Porter at 7% abv. The beer itself was so delicious, I enjoyed every last drop without taking a picture of the pumpkin goddess. Dark in color and full of spice makes this beer perfect for the upcoming fall season. In comparison to the few that I have already tried, Fermentation Without Representation offers an even balance flavor of chocolate which comes from the malts, a variety of fall spices and uses about 200 lbs of pumpkin per batch. I chose to start with Fermentation Without Representation as a ode to my favorite season, the fall. In my work world, the fall represents the beginning of the busiest time of our year.

The discussion around the table at this time focused on my daily tasks and the struggles of working with people that are in our other offices, in different time zones. The talk was playful as we joked about the many unique situations that come across my desk, the importance of my attention to detail, and the many, many, censored words I use to describe them all. Much like my work day, The Kimmie, The Yink, and The Holy Gose by Anderson Valley Brewing Company began with instant sour notes that blend into a fruity profile with a pleasantly dry finish. IMG_20140917_182839
The Kimmie, The Yink, and The Holy Gose by AVBC comes in at 4.2% abv, light, sessionable and definitely enjoyable. I handed the glass to my partner in crime to see if she would like it. Knowing she doesn’t care for beer or the taste of it, I had a feeling she would like this sour beer, and I was right. Its fun for me to bring these new beers for my coworkers to sample because I love to share the knowledge. It is even more enjoyable to see their reaction, the sweet and the sour.

The last beer of choice was Hop Highway IPA by Belching Beaver Brewing Company coming in at 7.3% abv. IMG_20140917_191312 For some time now, i’ve been ordering more IPA’s to further expand my appreciation for them. The great thing about Hop Highway IPA by Belching Beaver is that the hop presence is not overpowering for me. It was a subtle bitter flavor, notable citrus aromas, with a creamy head that blends out into a beautiful lace. I’m growing rather fond of IPA’s as I expand my palate and also for sours. This is my second beer from Belching Beaver Brewing Company and I must admit, i’m impressed with what i’ve had so far. I’m looking forward to trying more from them in the near future.

One of our happy hour crashers, J.O., comes from our Chicago office. It was mentioned to me earlier that day that not only is he one of our best in the business, but he is also, a homebrewer. Brewing styles range from Ales, IPA’s to Christmas Ales. As we’re talking beer, I mention to him that it is unfortunate his trip will be cut just before the LA Beer Week Kick Off begins. Jokingly, he implies that he will not try to reach me as I will not be available after LA Beer Week kicks off haha! He does not bottle his homebrew anymore though, I think I convinced him to send me a keg. Hey, a brewja can dream right?! The evening was spent with the most incredible people i’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. The evening also brought me closer to J.O., the guy that has been the bane of my work existence since day one. Now that we’ve bonded over beer, I feel, the days going over his expense reports will bring a smile to my face rather than the look of dread. A toast to my work family and all the incredible work we do!

JO/EO enjoying an IPA, and a Pils.

JO/EO enjoying an IPA, and a Pils.

My coworker and I were named Good Cop, Bad Cop.  Here we are with JO doing our Charlie's Angels impression and photo bombed by LC aka Bosley.

My coworker and I were named Good Cop, Bad Cop. Here we are with JO doing our Charlie’s Angels impression and photo bombed by LC aka Bosley.

Cheers,
Brewja

First Signs of the Fall Season

Fall is by far one of my favorite seasons. The weather is cooler which, in California means a steady 70 degree day with a cool evening. I turn a year older which I’m happy to admit because I believe in aging gracefully. Lastly, the best part of the fall, Pumpkin beer!!!!

Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale was my first craft beer and while at Bevmo last night, I saw boxes of my beloved stacked and ready for sale! Could it be true?!?! Has my favorite season of beers come so soon? Well, at the new Bevmo in Culver City, it has! The joy in my face was priceless as I battled with the choices of Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale or Shipyard Brewing Co’s Smashed Pumpkin. I am always aiming for something new so I went with Shipyard Brewing Co’s Smashed Pumpkin.
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Sweet aroma of Pumpkin spice fills the glass and palate as you sip. Smashed Pumpkin Ale at 9.0% abv is full bodied and full of flavor. This beer carries a lot of spice from the nutmeg which I absolutely love!

I could only imagine spotting these fall selections at my local Bevmo is like watching the leaves fall signifying the changes of the season. We in California may not have leaves that dictate the changes of the season, however, we do have beer and it’s official beer lovers, the fall season is near!

Cheers,
Brewja

Blue Palms 6th Anniversary; One Week Later

In between the LA Vegan Beer Festival and LA Beer Week Opening Gala,there are several different events a beer lover can go to. Blue Palms 6th Anniversary is one of those events and gets bigger every year! My friends and I were new to this Anniversary celebration though, very familiar with Blue Palms Brewhouse’s stellar list of craft beers. When we arrived to check in, the sun was out, the music was going, the beers were flowing and everyone had a smile on their face. With a blue pamphlet listing the beers in hand, a wrist band of twenty tabs (drink tickets), and a beautiful little tasting glass, we were ready to go!

For us newbies, the experience was exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time. Pacing ourselves didn’t cross our minds as we were excited to try a little bit of everything. We were still creating a list of beers while seasoned veterans of this grand event had a plan of attack and a pre-printed taste list. Our notable favorites from the long list of beers were Monkey Paw Honey Summer Citrus, Avery Brewing Company’s Lilikoi Kepolo, Dogfish Head’s 120, Southern Tier Creme Brulee, The Lost Abbey Spontaneous Cheer, and Superstition Meadery’s BDSM.

Toward the end of the event, us newbies were fresh out of drinking tabs and beers from our wish lists were complete. My friend Victor compared this year’s anniversary celebration to the one two years prior with the exception of the layout. This year, we got to hang out inside The Fonda theater to enjoy the shade, the beers and some skee-ball. The music, the people, and the great selection of beers made this event worth every dollar spent! My friends and I truly cannot wait till next year where as seasoned veterans, we’ll pace ourselves but most importantly, take time off from work the next day for proper recovery. Oh and one more thing, while in Hollywood, do as the tourist do and take a picture with a character from Planet of the Apes! A huge thank you to my friends Ari and Shirley for joining me. Congrats to Brian Lenzo and David Almaraz on an amazing six years and many more!

The Newbies

The Gentle Ape

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Brewja and Cosimo of Monkey Paw

Brewja and Ari

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Cheers,
Brewja

Blue Palms 6th Anniversary Celebration

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The “must go to” event of the summer is a day away! Those lucky enough to have purchased tickets online can rest easy, plan for transportation and which of the 90+ beers to taste tomorrow. That’s right folks, over 90 of the world’s best beers will be poured tomorrow at Blue Palms Brewhouse 6th Anniversary celebration in Hollywood. The online sales have ended, though, there will be tickets available at the door for purchase. I imagine with the stellar list of beers that will be there tomorrow, those tickets available at the door won’t last. If you’re looking for a Sunday-Funday event to go to, I highly recommend attending this event at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood. The Metro Red Line will be my chariot of choice for the event and can hardly wait!

For the confirmed list as of August 7th, visit the Blue Palms Brewhouse website.

Cheers,
Brewja