Posts Tagged ‘Craft Beer’

It goes without saying that every person in the world likes different things. No two people like the exact same things – variation adds some spice to life, and helps to spread culture and interests. However, with that comes some separation in what people like. Fans of a particular thing may never come into contact with fans of another thing. Specifically, traditional fans of punk rock music never cared for anything hip or trendy. The stereotype of punk rock fans ironically contains a lot of corporate names, as the typical punk rock fan would drink Pabst Blue Ribbon and eat at McDonald’s. One would rarely see a punk rock person at a hip or trendy place, especially microbreweries. I started my blog years ago as a way to bridge the gap and introduce the two worlds to each other, and it looks like progress exists in closing the gap at Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing.

A brewery exists for nearly every genre of music, and now we have one for punk rock with Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing. Located in the heart of Downtown Chula Vista, this brewery not only brings Chula Vista into the radar of San Diego breweries, but functions as one of the few, if not the only, punk rock themed breweries in the nation. Punk rock fans will love the beers that reference punk rock songs and/or artists, and the fans will also love the left wall that has lots of band logos printed there. Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing only opened their doors to the public a few months ago, but appears to have already gained a large following. I visited the tasting room on a Saturday afternoon and discovered a near-full tasting room. At the moment, they do not carry too large of a variety of different brews. However, Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing possesses multiple fermenters and brite tanks, meaning they will have more beers available soon.

If you find yourself in Chula Vista, or at least somewhere near Downtown San Diego, you ought to visit Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing and check out their progress and growth. See what else they have brewing up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Beautiful California: a state unlike any other. From the luscious weather to the so-called California Girls, California almost represents a unique country of its own. As one of the major metropolitan states of this nation, California has one of the largest populations of virtually all demographics, but especially young adults. As society can guess, young adults sure love their hard beverages, and California has no shortage of festivals featuring hard beverages. Practically every week of the year, a festival occurs that features either craft beer, wine, or cocktails/spirits. When adults think festivals that include alcohol, they immediately think about what other activities and forms of entertainment to expect at the events. The days of simple tasting events have long gone by the wayside, and now people expect to find more than just drinking at such festivals. Typical events may include some games or live music, plus some some of food either included with admission or at a separate cost. The more these events feature, the more they feel like they bit off more than they could chew. Some events promise everything yet deliver underwhelming content, while some events promise the best of a few specialties and deliver all they can to satiate the attendees, such as at the 3rd Annual Beer X San Diego Beer & Music Festival.

The Beer X San Diego Beer & Music Festival returned for its third year running this past Saturday. Taking place at Waterfront Park in Downtown San Diego, this festival combines craft beer, drinks, food, and reggae music all in one location. With over a hundred different beers and other beverages to sip on, attendees had a plethora of options to get their buzz on. With so much to do in so little time, one would expect to try to rush around to see everything before the event ended. The beer stopped pouring at 4pm, while the entertainment continued to 10pm. This created an unpleasant crowding effect by the 3pm hour, as the people who attended primarily for the entertainment instead of the craft drinks continued to arrive even after 3pm. At this time, all the beer booths had ridiculously long lines, and almost everyone in those lines no longer cared about the beer pouring – they simply wanted to get drunk. This created a culture divide with the attendees of this event: those who care about the quality of the drinks, and those who attended for the entertainment that cared less for the drinks. Anyone who arrived early enough certainly got to enjoy any drink without needing to wait in lines, and could take time to discover the different types of drinks. However, as time passed, the type of attendees present quickly became apparent that no one cared for the drinks.

Although I did not attend the previous years, I believe that this event marked the first time the organizers teamed up with the organizers behind OC Brew Ha Ha. As such, I would expect that they would handle the festival quite well as they always do with their events. However, prior to entering, I clearly saw faults that Brew Ha Ha would never commit, such as having an inefficient entrance and laying out the booths in confusing spots. Nevertheless, I believe that the genre of music had a large effect on the people who showed up. Consider that the entrance still had a massive line in the final hour of drinks, and that the reggae culture eventually overtook the craft side of the festival. In the meantime, check out Beer X on Facebook and Twitter for future updates, and for news about upcoming events.

For as much as Los Angeles pushes their local culture and mom & pop shops, the majority of the locals still believe in mass media and prefer big brands. When it comes to beer selection, much of Los Angeles still prefer their Corona, Heineken, and Budweiser. Local microbreweries may do what they can, but businesses appear based on the preferences of the local community, which partially explains the lack of microbreweries in Los Angeles. Trends have changed recently, leading to the establishment of a handful of breweries in Downtown LA’s Arts District. Once you expand beyond Downtown, you go back to the trend of preferring macro beers, especially if you venture eastward. In order to reach out to new grounds, one much take one step at a time, which Dry River Brewing has done.

Adding something a little bit different to the Downtown Los Angeles’ craft beer scene, Dry River Brewing officially opened their doors to the public at the beginning of July with their own approach to brewing. Located just off the 101 freeway in Boyle Heights just past the Arts District, over at Dry River Brewing, they believe in slow beer, something that traditionalists frown upon. The folks at Dry River Brewing like to experiment with allowing beer to sit and allow nature to take its course. As such, visitors can expect to find primarily wild ales and sour ales on tap at Dry River Brewing. Due to the nature of how they produce their brews, Dry River Brewing’s selection may cost more than the typical brewery, so keep that in mind if you intend to visit the tasting room. Speaking of the tasting room, Dry River Brewing only opens their doors on the first and third Saturdays of each month, so do not think you can just waltz over there any random day!

For more information and future updates, check out Dry River Brewing on Facebook and Twitter.

Covina’s Alosta Brewing brings back their Pintwood Derby for its fourth year running this Saturday after. Now moving to the Glendora Public Library, this charity fundraiser will see numerous people enter their crafted (toy) cars to race for trophies. Participants will pay the entry fee to create a small car that would run down a track, purely powered by gravity and friction. Alosta Brewing sells a starter kit for $5 for those not familiar with designing the small car. Children will compete in their own division, while adults will compete in an adults division. This year’s event will operate slightly different than previous years, as Alosta Brewing will turn this event into a mini beer festival as well. It costs $30 to attend the beer festival, which will take place outside the building that the racing will take place in. Attendees will receive unlimited beer samples from 12pm to 4pm while supplies last. These attendees that want to enter the Pintwood Derby will simply have to pay $5 more. Alosta Brewing has not yet specified if it will cost anything for minors to enter the derby, though they did mention that they will have gourmet food trucks on the premises.

The popularity of craft beer continues to remain ever strong. The current times feel like the peak of the trend, with third parties attempting to capitalize on the popularity. Take the gourmet food truck trend for example. In the first year or two, we saw lots of great food trucks with actual good food. Afterwards, event organizers started to try to take advantage of this by charging exorbitant amounts to get into to food truck festivals. As the trend started to fade away, we saw a lot of gimmicky food trucks with less than stellar food. All of that appears to happen right now to microbreweries, as lots of bad beer festivals exist to take advantage of the fact that people will pay lots of money for a few hours of drinking. Throughout all of this, local entrepreneurs still desire to enter the microbrewery business to deliver a quality experience, as opposed to the ones just looking to turn a quick profit. It takes some careful searching to discover hidden gems, such as a fresh young microbrewery in Los Angeles County, Angry Horse Brewing.

Located in Downtown Montebello, Angry Horse Brewing opened just a few months ago sometime in March. They have not even had an official grand opening yet. Regardless, Angry Horse Brewing has managed to gain quite a solid following in such a little time. Like most of Southern California’s breweries, Angry Horse Brewing does not specialize in a particular style of beer – they brew it all. I did not spot any fermenters in the back – only a handful of brite tanks. This allows them to carry a lot of different beers, from IPA’s to Belgian beers to stouts and more. All of the beers that I tried have an approachable feel to them – not too strong in any particular note, and with familiar flavors that anyone can enjoy.

Despite still operating in a “soft opening” phase, Angry Horse Brewing already has a lot of fans, evident by having a full house late on a Saturday afternoon. Support this local microbrewery and stay updated with what goes on here by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center brought back their Summer Solstice Festival for its eighth year running this past Sunday afternoon. Free to attend for all ages, this event featured a handful of local vendors, artisans, and musicians, as well as arts & crafts for children. The event also contained a few local food vendors. The event did not feature too much else from their previous years, but they did add a beer garden that they called OC Beer Alley. Essentially a beer garden, four local breweries set up to pour their beers on this hot summer day. Visitors had to buy tickets at the entrance to the beer garden to redeem for beers. For such a hot day, drinking outside proved inauspicious – it certainly would have felt more safe and comfortable to drink indoors or at least in a cooler place. Still, this made for a nice afternoon for families, as the children can go play with the arts & crafts while the parents can enjoy themselves in the beer garden.

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center holds events very often at their facility in Fullerton, many of which have no cost to attend. Check out the Muckenthaler Cultural Center on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Orange County mainstay brewery Cismontane Brewing recently turned seven years old, a feat in this competitive microbrewery market. As they do every year, Cismontane holds a party to celebrate their anniversary. However, this year brought about many new changes for Cismontane. Notably, Cismontane has relocated to a new facility in Santa Ana, departing from their original location in Rancho Santa Margarita. This marks Cismontane’s first time holding an anniversary event ever at this new Santa Ana location. To also mix things up, Cismontane changed the way they structured their anniversary event. In previous years, Cismontane held their anniversary like a beer festival. Guests would pay for a ticket to receive a set amount of beer pours as well as an anniversary glass. This year, Cismontane did away with the ticketing fees. Instead, they tapped a handful of barrel-aged beers for guests to enjoy. With no tickets or cover charges to worry about, guests could enter freely and simply pay for beers as they went. With this setup, guests would only pay for beers that they wanted to drink instead of paying for a set amount of beers that they may not get to enjoy. Unfortunately, Cismontane did not have an anniversary glass this time – they just had their regular merchandise for sale. Historically, Cismontane held their anniversary at the end of April or the beginning of May. Due to the sheer amount of beer events during that time this year, Cismontane kept postponing their anniversary to a more suitable date with the fewest amount of conflicting beer events.

Check out Cismontane Brewing at their new location in Santa Ana just off the 55 freeway. See what they have brewing up here by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter. Their new location can accommodate more guests than their previous Rancho Santa Margarita location (which Laguna Beach Beer Company has acquired after Cismontane moved), so check them out behind Pep Boys (enter on the west side).

The 22nd Annual Taste of Anaheim returns to the Anaheim GardenWalk this Thursday evening. This mega event covers an entire portion of the GardenWalk, closing the area off as guests can enter to savor the local flavors of Anaheim’s great food & drink businesses. For $40 presale or $45 at the door, all attendees receive free parking and admission to this all-ages festival, where attendees can sample all the food they can handle, bid in a silent auction, jam to live music, sip on finely crafted cocktails, and more. The entrance to the tasting area starts at the center of the GardenWalk, and the event covers the entire northern section.

  • Once attendees get past the entrance gate, the restaurants will start to line up, set up tables, and serve their food and/or drinks.
  • A silent auction typically takes place at the Taste of Anaheim. Items mainly include gift cards and event tickets to Angels games and concerts at The Grove, plus a few other random goodies. The location of the silent auction changes every year, as it could happen near the back, or near the front.
  • Once past this initial entrance area, guests enter the open promenade area of the fest, filled with chairs and stages for the bands.
  • While guests will find most of the food upstairs, the strong businesses generally take up residence downstairs toward the back, such as Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Slater’s 50/50, and Noble Ale Works.
  • Upstairs at the GardenWalk, plenty of participating restaurants set up to serve all the guests their unique eats. Vendors up here may include local restaurants like The Ranch and The Catch, local caterers like Sally Ann and Mother’s Market, local breweries Hangar 24 and Bootlegger’s, local artists selling their work, and corporate businesses like Rubio’s and Hooters. For all other spaces, Disney takes up the rest, with restaurants from inside the Disneyland park and from Downtown Disney.
  • Though the lineup of participating businesses will certainly change since last year, the general setup and structure will remain the same. Guests will find most of the food upstairs, while guests will find other things downstairs, such as more places to sit, the music stage, non-food vendors, guest services, and more.

Although the Taste of Anaheim usually has more Disney establishments present than anything else, this event still has great local establishments. If you do go to this event, spend more time with the local businesses as opposed to the corporate businesses, as supporting local business stimulates the local economy, providing growth and jobs necessary for that area to flourish.

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.