Women’s Beer Forum


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 flavors.coffee 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!

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

Barrels Of Fun!

There is no doubt that Eagle Rock Brewery is one of my favorite places for many reasons, one of which is the monthly Women’s Beer Forum. Hosted by co-owner Ting Su, every month Women who love beer gather at Eagle Rock Brewery for a discussion about beer picked personally by Ting Su. This month’s topic was Wood!!! Beers aged in a variety of barrels adding to the beauty of craft beer.

My knowledge of barrel aged beer goes as far as a glass of Allagash Curieux which is ale aged in bourbon barrels, and Inland Empire Brewing Company’s Saison which is ale aged in a Pinot Noir barrel. The results are simple; whatever was made in the barrels will add those flavors to the beer. There are more varieties out there which I had no knowledge of until the Women’s Beer Forum discussion.

The flight menu for the Women’s Beer Forum featured Derailleur by Ladyface Ale House, Rumble by Great Divide Brewing Co., La Folie by New Belgium Brewing Co., Walker’s Reserve by Firestone Walker Brewing Co., and last but certainly not least, Solidarity Aged in Bernheim Barrels by Eagle Rock Brewing Co. An impressive list and an even more impressive taste, all the beers had flavors of the barrels they were aged in, French Oak, American Oak, and Bernheim Kentucky Wheat Whiskey. With such a great selection of beers, there was only one beer that was my favorite of the evening, and to be honest, comes as no surprise, Solidarity Aged in Bernheim Barrels by Eagle Rock Brewery.

For me, the beauty about Solidarity is the simplicity of the light bodied beer found underneath the intense robust flavors. Aged in the Kentucky Wheat Whiskey barrel, the most notable flavors I got from each sip of this black beauty were toffee and spices. Adding more flavors to Solidarity was not the only thing the barrel brought out of this beer; it also increased its alcohol content from a 3% ABV to a 7.1% ABV. Overall, what I loved the most about the entire selection of beers was being able to taste how versatile a good craft beer can be.

I asked Ting Su if it is possible to bottle this version of Solidarity to which she replied “Hell nah girl, you crazy”! haha. The reason it is not possible to bottle Solidarity Aged in Bernheim Barrels is simple, they only have one barrel. The process of aging is one that takes time and well, sadly, they would not be able to meet the demand. I consider myself lucky to have sampled Solidarity Aged in Bernheim Barrels. As I am writing this, I can still taste those flavors, however, a different picture is formulating in my head. I envision myself having a glass of this enhanced Solidarity while smoking a spicy robust Cuban cigar and talking about how we Women now rule the world! Hey I can dream can’t I?

Until the next Women’s Beer Forum, Cheers!
Brewja