Posts Tagged ‘Beer’

In every city lies hidden gems of all types. These hidden gems can range from local businesses to landmarks and more. Some hidden gems remain largely undiscovered by the masses for quite some time, while some hidden gems get talked about a lot. When a hidden gem gets talked about enough times, it soon grows in popularity and eventually no longer fits the “hidden gem” category. For some hidden gems, they lie in a good balance of having the locals know about it versus spreading the word out about it. However, a problem soon arises of knowing when to talk about the hidden gem and who to tell about it. Should that hidden gem remain hidden or not? In some cases, it helps to spread the word out to get others to discover something new, such as Uncle Henry’s Deli in Downey.

Downey’s Uncle Henry’s Deli represents a rare craft beer haven in an area otherwise lacking in local beer. For many years, the region from Lakewood to Monterey Park enclosed by the 605 and 710 freeways represented the middle grounds between Downtown Los Angeles and Orange County. This area did not have any significant craft beer locations, mainly due to lack of spots for locals to hang out. However, Uncle Henry’s Deli wants to change that by acting as the spot for locals to enjoy a nice cold one. Family owned and operated since 1959, Uncle Henry’s Deli humbly boasts traditional yet delicious deli sandwiches along with a massive selection of rotating craft beers. On the deli side, they have all the typical deli meats and cheeses that they utilize in their hot and cold sandwiches. Most sandwiches come in three sizes based on how much meat you get: 5oz, 7oz, and 10oz, the latter costing almost twice as much as a 5oz sandwich. On the bar side, the craft beer mecca awaits. Uncle Henry’s Deli proudly offers over a hundred rotating beer taps, as well as over 90 different bottle varieties at any given time. One cannot go wrong with choice here at Uncle Henry’s Deli, as they have a style suitable for just about anyone.

If you find yourself equidistant from Downtown LA and Orange County, make a pit stop at Uncle Henry’s Deli up in the northern side of Downey. Check out Uncle Henry’s Deli’s food specials and beer offerings by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

The age of the domestic beer monopoly in the United States shrinks with each passing day. The beer industry around the world dominates the alcoholic beverage industry, as consumers drink 3,500 bottles of beer for every one glass of wine – that makes 8,000 times more beer consumed by the liter. Annually, consumers worldwide drink 189 billion liters of beer, but only 24 million liters of wine. While drinking habits may peak during certain times of the year such as holidays, the consumption of beverages remains fairly consistent and rarely makes huge changes in consumption from one day to the next. The changing seasons do have a great effect on the types and styles of beers consumed, as more people start to prefer beers not as rich as some of the winter-style brews. In this transitional season between winter and summer, the unpredictable weather means that we can still enjoy the richer beers typically consumed during colder weather while starting to explore the refreshment of summer-style beers. For the right kind of beer to enjoy until summer kicks in after Memorial Day, check out these five beers each with a unique flavor profile of its own.

5. Surf Brewery‘s Blueberry Wahine Wheat

With the arrival of spring comes the rebirth of many natural objects. Flowers start to bloom, animals start to bustle with activity, and fresh fruits start to appear. The arrival of spring also brings about a change in the weather, which starts to heat up and bring about more daylight hours. This makes the beach a great place to start visiting more often, and this makes more refreshing drinks more desirable. Enter Surf Brewery, who knows that both of the aforementioned go great together when springtime rolls around annually. The beach and alcoholic drinks go well together, albeit one cannot legally drink in public. However, if you get the chance to, make sure you enjoy the Blueberry Wahine Wheat at the beach. At a sessionable 5.0%, blueberries give this witbier a refreshingly slightly fruity flavor and aroma. The light tartness and light body does not attack the palate, so you can enjoy this on its own or with light foods such as fish tacos.

4. Belching Beaver Brewery‘s Horchata Imperial Stout

Almost every brewery has some flagship beer that people everywhere recognize the brewery for. For example, Sam Adams has their Boston Lager, New Belgium has their Fat Tire, Stone Brewing has their IPA, and Hangar 24 has their Orange Wheat. If you ask any craft beer enthusiast about Belching Beaver Brewery, they will rave about the brewery’s Peanut Butter Milk Stout, partially because it tastes more like a dessert than a beer. Like the aforementioned breweries, Belching Beaver delivers a lot more than just their most popular beer. Sometimes, they even make a slight variation of it where the end product tastes completely different, such as their Horchata Imperial Stout. Fans of the Peanut Butter Milk Stout would love this horchata-flavored brew, as it basically tastes like a roasted version of horchata. This 9.0% abv imperial stout contains vanilla, cinnamon, and rice malt just like horchata, only now it has alcohol in it. For a fancy treat, serve this beer with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it. With Cinco de Mayo coming up, your friends and family would love you for serving this to them to celebrate in style.

3. The Pike Brewing Company‘s Octopus Ink Black IPA

Many breweries have some sort of theme to not only their beers, but their entire lifestyle. For example, Unsung Brewing has a comic book theme, and Florida Keys Brewing has a fishing theme. Sometimes these themes get them more popularity from unrelated industries, sometimes these themes can get you in legal trouble. For those who stick with their theme, it makes for a more interesting experience to indulge in and share, plus it also gives people something to talk about. If you visit the famous Pike Place Market in Seattle, no doubt one will encounter The Pike Brewing Company. This local legend started as the local watering hole, and has since turned into a known name across the country. Pike Brewing gives back to the local community that has supported them for many years in the form of their Octopus Ink Black IPA. A deep, dark brown ale with a dense tan head, this 8.3% American black ale contains bold aromas of citrus, pine, and floral notes with coffee and cocoa in the background. It tastes of a sweet dark malt with a creamy, roasty finish. A portion of every Pike Octopus Ink Black IPA sale benefits Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, so drink up!

2. Anderson Valley Brewing Company‘s Horse Tongue Wheat

Sour ales have risen in popularity alongside standard ales, and they have grown so much that sour ales have their own categories by now. In fact, some breweries grow their sour line of ales so much that they need to open a separate facility in order to increase their production of sour ales. Some of these “blenderies” exist in Southern California, such as Beachwood Blendery or Bruery Terreux. Lots of other breweries out there that do not specialize in sour ales do in fact produce a sour ale, such as Anderson Valley Brewing Company. I always underestimate Anderson Valley because, like another known brewery, they tend to stay in the middle of the fray instead of trying to stand out. Perhaps they do this on purpose to avoid controversy by making good beers without getting the attention of the big companies. This means that Anderson Valley can continue to churn out beers such as Horse Tongue Wheat. Coined as a 5.3% American wild ale, Anderson Valley takes a Belgian wheat beer and ages it in white wine barrels to give it a very slightly sour taste. Although not totally tart, this represents a good gateway beer to segway into the more tart sour ales.

1. High Water Brewing‘s Boom Boom Out Gose The Lights

With all the hype over craft beer in the past few years, some millenials want something different to stay ahead of the trends. Some may think that they enjoyed craft beer before it became popular, and thus they seek something else to try. Perhaps craft cider can come into the limelight? How about lesser known styles of beer? If you want a type of beer not often touched on, High Water Brewing has just the answer. Based in California’s Bay Area, High Water Brewing has made lots of waves up in Northern California, from San Jose to Chico to Sacramento to Alameda and more. Though one cannot easily pinpoint their exact location, High Water Brewing has their beers pretty much everywhere by now, including their Boom Boom Out Gose The Lights. Brewed as a gose-inspired style ale, this 7.30% brew primarily contains apple juice, galangal root, and pink Himalayan sea salt. This brew represents a traditional sour mash with less-than traditional ingredients. This refreshing champagne-like beer gose great with any celebratory purposes for its similarity to other toasting beverages.

Craft beer has certainly evolved a lot over the past few years. It appears that simply five years ago, many of today’s top microbreweries had either just started to emerge, or began their planning phases to open their doors to the public. Who would have expected to now see as many breweries around as we had originally thought years ago? Like the gourmet food truck fad that rose to fame in 2010, many entrepreneurs wanted to get in on the craft beer fad, which led to the saturation of breweries that large metropolitan areas now face. Many of the less popular breweries have since closed up shop, and some of the very popular breweries got bought out by corporate big beer. These days, one must do much more than simply open up a microbrewery, as they would face stiff competition. How does one accomplish that? Well it appears that Dutch’s Brewhouse has already done just that.

Nestled in the quaint Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach, Dutch’s Brewhouse brings a local craft beer presence to North Long Beach. As part of the 2017 influx of craft beer into Long Beach, Dutch’s Brewhouse hopes to deliver a different kind of craft beer experience to their area, especially since Bixby Knolls’ last major gastropub closed at the end of 2015. At the moment, Dutch’s Brewhouse actually does not have any house beers – if you walk in to Dutch’s Brewhouse today, you walk into a place that serves pizza and other breweries’ beers. In the near future, this will change once they get everything set up – not only will they start to serve their own house beers, but they will have a guest pilot system that allows customers to come in and brew their own beer. At the front of their shop lies a small pilot system, and once Dutch’s Brewhouse gets everything put into place, customers can book appointments and come in to brew. Very few places offer this service, so this marks a triumphant entry into the local craft beer market, especially for Long Beach since they have lacked local breweries for quite some time.

If you have interest in brewing your own beer but do not want to acquire all the equipment necessary to do so, check out Dutch’s Brewhouse in Long Beach when they can finally start going. Make sure you follow up with Dutch’s Brewhouse on Facebook and Twitter for updates on when they will start allowing brewing.

If you plan to party on this weekend a week prior to Easter, make it count by attending the 4th Annual Sabroso Craft Beer & Taco Festival, brought to us by the ensorcelling minds behind OC Brew Ha Ha. Taking place this Saturday from 12pm to 9pm at its new home of Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, this festival follows up on its previous years’ iterations of a craft beer festival with all the celebrations necessary for a Cinco de Mayo party, moves it a month earlier, and throws in lots of live music. Dozens of chefs, restaurants, and food trucks will make an appearance here to serve up some delicious gourmet tacos, all conveniently priced at $3 each. Unlike previous years, this year’s event will function more like Cali Uncorked or Ye Scallywag, other festivals from the same organizer. The unlimited beer tasting occurs until 4pm – after that, all attendees will need to pay for drinks. To keep guests entertained this festival will have live Lucha Libre wrestling and live music all day. If guests choose to get involved somehow, they will find plenty of outdoor games to partake in, such as glorified Jenga, beanbag toss, and more. If guests simply want to relax, they can locate the cigar lounge and rest with some of the great cigars available. Though this event takes place outdoors, the event organizers will kindly provide free water to all the attendees.

The 4th Annual Sabroso Craft Beer & Taco Festival runs this Saturday, April 8th, from 12pm up until 9pm. Guests may enter as soon as 11am, but will only have access to the food section. The gates to all the beer will open at 12pm. General admission costs $70 and starts at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $99, starts at 12pm, and includes access to a VIP lounge. Non-drinkers may purchase a designated driver ticket for $45 at the door. Read up on some more tips to make the most out of your visit:

  • REMEMBER to bring PHOTO ID! Amazingly, many guests think they can enter without showing it to the front security.
  • Absolutely nobody under 21 may enter the festival. Do not even think about bringing your kids or pets.
  • Arrive early to secure parking at the venue, since the venue has extremely limited parking. For those planning to arrive a little later, they should park at the Outlets at San Clemente and purchase a shuttle pass for $10.
  • Food come at a separate cost, so anyone wanting to eat should arrive with extra $1 bills.
  • Though the venue contains many trees, consider applying sunscreen, and have extra sunscreen available. Security will not confiscate sunscreen from you.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the festival. All attendees receive FREE water on the premises.
  • Dress appropriately for hot weather. Southern California has seen a heat wave recently, and the combination of heat, salty food, and alcohol will quickly lead to dehydration.
  • For prolonged drinking, start with lighter beers and work your way to stronger beers.
  • Try to hold on to your beer glass – guests receive no replacement for lost or broken glasses.
  • All beers stop pouring at 4pm. The music will go on until 9pm, but guests will have to pay for drinks during this time.

Take a look back at last year’s Sabroso Fest for a glimpse at what may go down this Saturday:

The craft beer scene in the South Bay area of Los Angeles County has surged quite a bit in the past year or two, and the scene will continue to experience rapid growth for an indefinite amount of time. This trend saw another spike this past Saturday when Absolution Brewing Company celebrated their third anniversary. Located across the ExxonMobil Refinery from the Torrance microbrewery core (which consists of Smog City Brewing and Monkish Brewing), Absolution Brewing represents another fine member of the South Bay craft beer collective. While they may not yet appear as widespread as Smog City or Monkish, the brews of Absolution live up to the expectations of any brewery from the South Bay.

At their third anniversary celebration, guests could still enter the tasting room and order beers right off the menu. To add to the celebration, Absolution employed a handful of additions, which included cask ales, games, mobile food vendors, and live music. Guests could still purchase beers as normal at the counter, but to those looking for a festival experience, Absolution offered just that in the form of beer packages. A general package cost $25 and came with three full beer pours, a souvenir glass, and one meal ticket from the food vendors. The VIP experience took place from 11am to 1pm, which consisted of unlimited beer pours for those two hours, plus everything that the $25 package gets.

Expect lots of hype and excitement from the South Bay in the upcoming weeks. This upcoming Saturday, Phantom Carriage in Carson will celebrate their second anniversary. The following weekend, Redondo Beach’s King Harbor Brewing Company will celebrate their third anniversary as well. The Monkish anniversary already happened the previous week, but one can expect that Smog City should have an anniversary event before summer starts. Regardless, one cannot go wrong with breweries in the South Bay, so head on over and check out some breweries!

The vernal equinox arrives this weekend, meaning that the weather will start to warm up, and the daily daylight will start to extend, providing even greater incentive to get out there and explore the world. Events around town occur regularly, and most people understand the basics of most of these events, such as 5k runs, art shows, or beer fests. But what happens when a traditional event comes up with a spin? Enter FirkFest, a beer festival celebrating the wonders of cask ales. Traditional beer fests see breweries or home brewers bringing in their brews to sample to the large crowd of attendees over a short period of time. This Saturday at Farmers Park in Anaheim, FirkFest will do that same thing, except the participating breweries will bring only casks to this party. A unique fest of its kind, cask ales rarely get this type of exposure, largely due to the portability of it. As a result, only cask ales from west coast breweries can survive the trip here.

Aside from the drinks featured here, FirkFest operates largely like most other beer festivals. Admission to this festival costs $55, and includes unlimited beer tastings from all the participating breweries from noon to 3:45pm, plus free parking. Around this small area, other activities include live music and some recreational games, like bocce ball, beanbag toss, hula hoops, Jenga, and more. Towards the entrance, guests can purchase food from any of the available food vendors. The majority of the beers’ alcohol percentage range from six to eight percent, with a few going above or below that. As this event takes place mostly outdoors, make sure you prepare to spend all that time under the sun, so dress for warm weather, and have sunscreen applied just in case. Attendees can find plenty of free parking in the nearby neighborhoods, or can park in a structure adjacent to City Hall for free that day.

When people go to visit a microbrewery, what do you think people look for? Do they simply want good beer, or do they want more of an experience? All sorts of breweries cater to their crowds differently, so some breweries will have a minuscule tasting room where they offer only their beers, while other breweries will have a larger tasting room with other things to see and do for customers to pass the time and enjoy their experience, such as at Boomtown Brewery. Located on the northern end of Downtown LA’s Arts District, this brewery has laid dormant for quite some time, brewing and distributing beer without a functioning tasting room. That all changed this past Saturday as Boomtown Brewery finally officially opened their doors to the public with the grandest of all grand openings. On their launch day, Boomtown had more than enough beer to last the entire day, and had multiple mobile food vendors throughout the day to keep the masses fed.

Take one step into Boomtown Brewery’s tasting room, and you will see that they mean business over here. From the outside, you will see two separate buildings for Boomtown Brewery – the tasting room to the left and the brewing facility to the right. While their brewing facility has lots to see for the brewing enthusiast, the tasting room has much more in terms of keeping the people happy and entertained. The massive tasting room allows for over a hundred customers at one time, which extends into an annex to the left of the entrance. This annex to the left makes for a great rental space for private parties or more. Each section of the tasting room contains multiple things to keep customers occupied besides the beer, such as billiards, shuffleboard, table tennis, darts, chess, foosball, and more.

Whether a craft beer enthusiast or just someone who likes to find neat local places like this to hang out with friends, you owe it to yourself to check out Boomtown Brewery, which opens for business Thursdays through Sundays each week. Check out what Boomtown Brewery has brewing up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.