Posts Tagged ‘Ninkasi Brewing’

The 3 C’s: Cigars, Chocolates, Craft Beer
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, February 9
Belching Beaver, Vista
http://belchinbeaver.com/
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2490992

Enjoy pairings of chocolate, cigars, and craft beers this Tuesday night in Vista. Attendance costs $25. No one under 21 may attend.

Ninkasi Night @ Select Beer Store
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 11
Select Beer Store, Redondo Beach
http://www.selectbeerstore.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/1259328620751362/

Select Beer Store in Redondo Beach will stock their taps with Ninkasi beers this Thursday evening. Stop on by and enjoy a cold one or two.

Business & Beer @ Dudes Brewing
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, February 11
Dudes Brewing, Torrance
http://www.businessnbeer.com/

This monthly networking event for small business owners visits a South Bay brewery every second Thursday of the month. This week, they will hit up Dudes Brewing in Torrance. If you have involvement with a small business, love craft beer, or both, then stop by this Thursday night.

Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk (Second Thursdays)
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 11
Downtown Los Angeles
http://downtownartwalk.org/

This free monthly event takes place over many blocks in Downtown Los Angeles. Many galleries will open late, and some parking lots will contain more art, vendors, food trucks, entertainment, and more. Unless you know business owners, free parking barely exists in Downtown LA, although some meters only operate until 8pm. First-time visitors should attend with someone who has gone here prior.

Tiger Army @ Observatory North Park
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, February 11
The Observatory, North Park, San Diego
http://tigerarmy.com/
http://www.observatorysd.com/event/6394365

Tiger Army will headline a show in San Diego this Thursday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $30.

4th Annual San Diego Comic Fest
9:00 am – 11:00 pm, February 12-13
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 14
Town & Country Resort & Convention Center, Mission Valley, San Diego
http://www.sdcomicfest.org/

Much smaller and more intimate than the San Diego Comic Con, this weekend expo will feature artists, writers, actors, models, screenings, speakers, autograph sessions, merchandise, apparel, accessories, and more. Admission on Friday or Saturday costs $25 for adults, $12.50 for students, and free for children. Admission for Sunday costs $15 for adults, $7.50 for students, and still free for children. Parking costs $4 per vehicle per day.

Tet Festival 2016
3:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 12
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, February 13
10:00 am – 9:00 pm, February 14
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.tetfestival.org/

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at this family-fun festival this weekend at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa. Costing just $6 per person to enter, this festival will feature hundreds of booths selling merchandise, crafts, food, and more. Children will love all the rides available, while everyone will enjoy the music, dance, and parade. Parking at the venue costs $7 – see the website for additional info on where to park for free and take a shuttle.

11th Annual San Diego Tet Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 12
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, February 13
11:00 am – 9:00 pm, February 14
Mira Mesa Community Park, San Diego
http://www.sdtet.com/

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at this festival all weekend at Mira Mesa Park in San Diego. Free to attend for all ages, this fest will feature many traditional music and dance performances, fashion shows, merchandise vendors, and plenty of food & drinks.

Psychobilly Night
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, February 12
Novel Bar, Wilshire, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/484209891750206/

Rock out to some psychobilly in Los Angeles this Friday night. Tickets to this show cost $12. No one under 18 may enter.

Bonecrusher @ The Redwood
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, February 12
Redwood Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/569847053170137/

Get your weekly dose of punk rock at the Redwood in Downtown LA this Friday night. The cover for this show costs $7. No one under 21 may enter.

Insane Inflatable 5K San Diego
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, February 13
Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum, Vista
http://insaneinflatable5k.com/san-diego-ca/

It appears that people will do anything to break the mundane cycle of 5k runs. Introducing the Insane Inflatable 5K, a 5k obstacle course that takes you through inflatable obstacles. You remember these things as a kid. Now endure them as you challenge yourself and others to get through over three miles of this stuff. Registration costs $64 online or $75 on the day of the event, and comes with an event t-shirt.

29th Annual Vintage Fashion Expo
9:00 am – 6:00 pm, February 13
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, Ferbuary 14
The Reef/LA Mart, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.vintageexpo.com/

Find all the latest trends in vintage fashion this weekend at The Reef (LA Mart) in Los Angeles. Attendees to this expo will find hundreds of vintage clothing, jewelry, and accessories for sale from over 50 different vendors for both men and women. Ticket prices heavily vary, but note that general admission starts at 10:30 am on Saturday. Those that purchase an upgraded ticket can enter as early as 9am. Parking at the venue costs $15 per vehicle, but visitors can either search for other parking lots or street meters, or take public transportation to save on commute costs.

23rd Annual Queen Mary ScotsFest
9:00 am – 6:00 pm, February 13-14
The Queen Mary, Long Beach
http://www.queenmary.com/events/scotsfestival/

Exhibit and explore Scottish culture this weekend at the Queen Mary’s annual Scottish Festival. Open to all ages, this festival will allow guests to experience Scottish music, dancing, athletic competitions, food, apparel, merchandise, and more. Plenty of activities will keep guests of all ages occupied, such as a kids’ zone and petting zoo for little ones, and a darts tournament and whiskey tastings for adults. Saturday ticket-holders also receive a discount for the ensuing Scottish music concert at night (see event below). Single-day tickets cost $18 for adults, while other ticket packages will vary in prices. Parking will get hectic, so I highly recommend taking the FREE Passport bus from downtown to here. As the majority of the fest takes place outdoors, I suggest applying sunscreen and dressing for outdoor weather.

25th Annual Alhambra Lunar New Year Celebration
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 13
Valley Blvd & Garfield Ave, Alhambra
http://www.alhambranewyearfestival.com/

“Corporate America utilizes this venue to reach out to the Asian communities.” Meh. If you feel like checking out more Lunar New Year festivals, this free one will occur this Saturday afternoon on the street in Alhambra, blocking off traffic.

34th Annual San Diego Chinese New Year Food & Cultural Fair
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, February 13-14
San Diego Chinese Center, Downtown San Diego
http://www.sdchinesecenter.org/

Free and open to all ages, this family-friendly event will include lion dance performances, acrobatics, martial arts demos, live music, drumming, dancing, and more. Over 50 booths will sell merchandise and food, while some will feature crafts for families.

Southern California Pet Expo
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, February 13
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, February 14
Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar, San Diego
http://www.petexposandiego.com/

This FREE all-ages expo for all things pet-related takes place this weekend at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego County. Open to all types of pets (with proof of vaccination), visitors can experience agility demos, prize giveaways, pet adoptions, free grooming, training sessions, and more. Bring cash for parking, which will cost between $5 to $10 per vehicle.

Discover The Dinosaurs – Long Beach
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, February 13-15
Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach
http://www.discoverthedinosaurs.com/Events/longbeach.html

Bring your friends and family to this dinosaur exhibit at the Long Beach Convention Center this weekend. Check out all the dinosaur exhibits or participate in arts & crafts, while children can play in the inflatables section. Admission ranges from $18 to $25 – see the website for pricing details.

117th Golden Dragon Parade & Chinese New Year Festival
12:00 pm – 8:30 pm, February 13
Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.chinatownla.com/calendar.php?eventId=417
http://lagoldendragonparade.com/

Celebrate the Lunar New Year this Saturday in Downtown LA’s historic Chinatown at this free all-ages festival. All weekend, visitors will find arts & crafts, cultural merchandise, food trucks, live entertainment, a beer garden, and more. On Saturday early afternoon, a parade will roll through the area, closing off most streets around Chinatown to through-traffic. Guests can find plenty of free street parking up Spring Street or anywhere eastward.

San Diego On Tap
12:00 pm – 8:30 pm, February 13
Town & Country Resort Hotel, Mission Valley, San Diego
http://americaontap.com/san-diego-ca/

A beer festival comes to Mission Valley in San Diego this Saturday. Two sessions will take place: an afternoon session and a night session. General admission costs $45 and lasts three hours while VIP admission costs $60, lasts four hours, and includes a t-shirt and food voucher. No one under 21 may attend.

7th Annual Brewbies Fest
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, February 13
Bagby Beer Company, Oceanside
http://www.brewbies.org/

If you could not tell from the event name, this craft beer festival supports breast cancer research. Enjoy craft beer tastings from a multitude of breweries from across the nation during this four-hour tasting gala. General admission costs $40 presale or $50 at the door, and comes with a glass, a bracelet, and one raffle ticket. VIP admission costs $75, and throws in four additional raffle tickets plus access to a VIP lounge with exclusive beers. Absolutely no one under the age of 21 may enter.

Hoppy Valentine’s Farm-To-Table Dinner
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 13
Brouwerij West, San Pedro
http://www.primalalchemy.com/
http://hoppyvalentine.bpt.me/

Enjoy a farm-to-table dinner complete with beer pairings courtesy of Brouwerij West this Saturday night in San Pedro. Reservations cost $90 per person if attending as a couple, or $100 individually otherwise. No one under 21 may attend.

Art Crawl Experience
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 13
Center Street Promenade, Downtown Anaheim
http://www.downtownanaheim.com/artcrawlexperience

Downtown Anahiem will see a variety of activities and exhibits this Saturday night. Visitors can expect to find tons of art exhibits, live music, food, food trucks, drinks, yoga, dance, and more. Visitors may park for free in the parking structure located at S Clementine Street and W Oak Street.

OC Roller Girls – Love Is A Battlefield
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 13
The Rinks, Huntington Beach
http://ocrollergirls.com/

Watch intense & brutal girl-on-girl action at this roller derby bout this Saturday night in Huntington Beach. Tickets to this roller derby bout cost $13.

International Guitar Night
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm, February 13
Soka Performing Arts Center, Aliso Viejo
http://www.soka.edu/news_events/events/2016/02/InternationalGuitarNight.aspx

Enjoy contemporary guitar music this Saturday night at Soka University in Aliso Viejo. Tickets cost $39 general admission or $29 for students & seniors.

Valentine’s Day
February 14

Happy Valentine’s Day! Many businesses may offer special meals for this occasion, so check with your favorite local establishment to see if they have anything special to offer. This includes non-food places, such as museums.

31st Annual Los Angeles Marathon
7:00 am – 2:00 pm, February 14
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
http://www.lamarathon.com/

The LA Marathon takes place this Sunday morning. If you intend to commute anywhere near this, plan your route accordingly.

12th Annual Bulldog Beauty Contest
9:30 am – 3:00 pm, February 14
Marine Stadium Park (north end), Long Beach
http://www.hautedogs.org/bulldog.html

Surround yourself with cuteness this Sunday morning at the Bulldog Beauty Contest in Long Beach. Completely free to attend for all ages, guests will see over 500 bulldogs in attendance, as many will strut their little legs on the red carpet runway. Each entry can win from any of 19 contests, some of which will cater to other dog breeds. Guests wanting seats at the runway will have to pay $5, while anyone wanting to enter their dog must pay $10 per entry.

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With the turn of a new year, many people often make new year’s resolutions. Among the most common resolutions, losing weight and quitting smoking top that list year after year. Other common resolutions include money management (clearing debt and increasing savings), vacations/breaks, and less/stop drinking. Statistically, losing weight tops the list of resolutions that people actually complete, while reducing or quitting drinking fails the most. For those that did not resolve to reduce drinking or did not resolve to do anything about drinking, check out this list of five craft brews to seek out this winter in Southern California.

5. Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider‘s Winter Abbey Spice

While the craft beer phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down, the rise of craft beer has paved the way for other craft beverages to surface. In particular, craft ciders and sour ales have risen in popularity. Blenderies have surfaced to deliver sour ales, while many cideries have popped up all over the place, especially the Pacific Northwest, which also has the Washington Cider Week and Oregon Cider Week. Plenty of cideries have distributed their goods to Southern California by now, but not that many make seasonal ciders. If you seek a good winter cider, check out Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider. Reverend Nat’s has a substantial lineup of ciders, which includes their seasonal Winter Abbey Spice. With a staggering 7.4% abv, this traditional New England style cider contains hints of raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg. You get the refreshment of an apple cider along with the subtle taste of winter.

4. Bootlegger’s Brewery‘s Mint Chocolate Porter

When you think about winter, you imagine visions of snow and cold weather. When eating or drinking, what foods come to mind regarding the cold? Well, to warm up, you have hot beverages like hot chocolate. For a cold feel, you have mints. Why not combine both for mint chocolate? Bootlegger’s Brewery has done that with their Mint Chocolate Porter. Measuring 6.2% abv, this brew truly tastes like mint chocolate candy with its spearmint and herbal hops supported by chocolate malts. Put together, you have a brew with a solid mint feel along with herbal hops, dark malts, brown sugar, and bittersweet chocolate. You cannot find a better way at drinking a mint chocolate candy than with Bootlegger’s Brewery’s Mint Chocolate Porter.

3. Ninkasi Brewing‘s Noir Milk Stout

Dark beers tend to remind us of other ingredients of that color. Seeing a dark beer usually means that one can expect to taste flavors of roasted malts, chocolate, and/or coffee. Between stouts and porters, the beer market has limitless different beers to choose from to get your dark beers on. If you want to narrow down the list of beers to choose from, perhaps consider keeping Ninkasi Brewing on your list. Ninkasi has a huge lineup of unique brews, and they do not appear to stop creating new beers any time soon. This winter, keep an eye out for their Noir Milk Stout. This dark treat has 7.6% abv with just enough IBUs to tickle your taste buds. This coffee milk stout combines roasted malts with cold-brewed coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters. The subtle sweetness from the milk sugar makes this beer reminiscent of the most satisfying cup of coffee, distinctive and delectable.

2. The Bruery‘s 8 Maids-A-Milking

When the weather gets cold, we tend to want to consume things rich and hearty. Leave the light refreshing things for the summer when our bodies do not need the extra weight dragging us down in the heat, we want the thick rich stuff now in the cold. When thinking about this sort of beer, The Bruery hardly comes to mind with their strong ales and sour ales. However, The Bruery has ventured away from their normal repertoire this season with 8 Maids-A-Milking. This yummy imperial milk stout measures a staggering 11.3% abv what with all the milk sugar brewed into it. Since yeast cannot ferment milk sugar, this adds creaminess and sweetness to the final product, which also contains milk chocolate, subtle spices, and roasty elements. Enjoy it immediately, or cellar it for up to four years.

1. Grand Teton Brewing‘s Coming Home 2014 Holiday Ale

Nothing celebrates the holidays and new year better than a nice strong aged beer. Most people prefer champagne as the celebration beverage of choice, but wine, beer, and even cider can function just as well for celebrating an occasion. For a beer worth celebrating with, take a look at Grand Teton Brewing‘s lineup of brews. Grand Teton does craft beer right with their focus on quality over quantity, and it shows in every beer that they produce. Take a look at their seasonal beer, Coming Home Holiday Ale. A 7.5% abv quadrupel, this enticingly bold brew has a dark sugar flavor with notes of raisins and spices. The sweet aromas contain hints of nutmeg and clove, which complement the spicy and dry finish. Since they brewed this in 2014, it has already cellared a year, so you can enjoy it now with its current age, or age it some more by stashing it in your cellar.

With the turn of a new year, many people often make new year’s resolutions. Among the most common resolutions, losing weight and quitting smoking top that list year after year. Other common resolutions include money management (clearing debt and increasing savings), vacations/breaks, and less/stop drinking. Statistically, losing weight tops the list of resolutions that people actually complete, while reducing or quitting drinking fails the most. For those that did not resolve to reduce drinking or did not resolve to do anything about drinking, check out this list of five craft brews to seek out this winter in Southern California.

5. Marin Brewing Company‘s Hoppy Holidaze

People with a true passion for food would really love a trip to California’s bay area, or the San Francisco metropolitan area. The populace there truly care about the quality of their food and beverages, and I would equate that level of integrity with that of the Seattle/Tacoma area in Washington. A place like Marin Brewing Company, which has produced outstanding products since 1989, fits in well with the standard of the bay area. Originally started as a brewpub, Marin Brewing has boldly turned into a highly regarded microbrewery across the globe, and continues to deliver quality brews to this day. Along with their standard line of brews, their seasonal brews include tasty treats such as the Hoppy Holidaze. This 7.0% abv spiced ale contains pale, wheat, caramel, and Munich malts, along with sterling and Styrian Goldings hops. Nutmeg, mace, cinnamon, vanilla, and orange peel all contribute towards the spice characteristics of this winter warmer. You get a lot of flavor going on in this one brew, and you can find it easily at your local bottle shop.

4. Moylan’s Brewery‘s White Christmas Spiced Winter Lager

Another brewery from Northern California, and from the same area as the previous entrant? You bet! Moylan’s Brewery has had a larger footprint in the Southern California craft beer market than Marin Brewing has, and it stands without reason. Most craft beer enthusiasts in Southern California recognize the brand at many bottle shops, especially their Dragoons Dry Irish Stout. Beer fans should also keep in mind that Moylan’s also has their line of seasonal beers, which includes the ever-changing White Christmas Spiced Winter Lager. Moylan’s brews a different beer every year for their winter seasonal brew, and this year, they ended up with a spiced winter lager clocking in at 6.0% abv. This smooth lager gets its finish with curacao, mace, cinnamon, coriander, and white pepper. Enjoy this brew on its own, or enjoy it with some salty appetizers.

3. Bootlegger’s Brewery‘s Mint Chocolate Porter

When you think about winter, you imagine visions of snow and cold weather. When eating or drinking, what foods come to mind regarding the cold? Well, to warm up, you have hot beverages like hot chocolate. For a cold feel, you have mints. Why not combine both for mint chocolate? Bootlegger’s Brewery has done that with their Mint Chocolate Porter. Measuring 6.2% abv, this brew truly tastes like mint chocolate candy with its spearmint and herbal hops supported by chocolate malts. Put together, you have a brew with a solid mint feel along with herbal hops, dark malts, brown sugar, and bittersweet chocolate. You cannot find a better way at drinking a mint chocolate candy than with Bootlegger’s Brewery’s Mint Chocolate Porter.

2. Telegraph Brewing Company‘s Winter Ale

For some people in the winter time, they want something strong to kick them back into gear from all the cold weather around. Tons of barrel-aged beers exist out there, but most of those do not have that seasonal feel to them. If you seek something strong yet crave the flavors of the current season, look no further than Telegraph Brewing Company. Telegraph does great things out of their Santa Barbara brewery, keeping up with the times and the tastes of the local population. Along with a decent selection of year-round brews, Telegraph employs a seasonal selection, of which it includes their Winter Ale, a 6.5% winter warmer. With a taste similar to Mexican hot chocolate, this winter warmer will warm you up with its cinnamon, allspice, sweet ancho chilis, and chocolate & caramel malts. Add a little spice to your cool winter nights with this winter warmer, available at your local bottle shop.

1. Ninkasi Brewing‘s Sleigh’r Dark Doüble Alt Ale

Not one to shy away from keeping up with the rapid craft beer movement in California, the Pacific Northwest has rallied up some of the finest minds in the craft beer industry to open up shop in either Washington or Oregon. Breweries like Deschutes and Rogue have helped to put Oregon on the map, and Washington has the nationally-known Pyramid near Seattle. A recent magazine article claims that Washington has over 190 breweries; however, San Diego County alone has over 200! Any craft beer enthusiast should feel ecstatic over the growth of craft beer in other states, especially neighboring ones. It appears that Southern California has already felt that away about out-of-state breweries, especially Ninkasi Brewing. From Eugene, Oregon comes this powerhouse of a micro brewery with an amazing team of people dedicated to the company and its products. Anyone familiar with Golden Road in Los Angeles will definitely see a resemblance here. Although unrelated, they both share the same vision and path, and the customer fan bases prove it. Ninkasi brews a variety of beers, and releases many beers in different series based on its style or strength. For example, customers can only find the 7.2% abv Sleigh’r Dark Doüble Alt Ale during the winter. Other series have to do with the ingredients or style of the beer, such as lagers or the single-hop series. Ninkasi has even gone far enough to devise food recipes utilizing their beers as ingredients. Of course, one could swap out their beers for something similar, but then you cannot call that an official creation of Ninkasi ingenuity. Check with your favorite local craft beer bar to see if they carry Ninkasi on tap, and grab a taste of the Pacific Northwest.

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. This veiled obscurity of wine slightly explains the phenomenon that more people drink, care about, and talk about wine, as the underdogs wanted to make a statement about the wonders of wine. We can thank the media for the different portrayals of each drink. The media portrays wine as a fine drink for educated folks, while the media portrays beer as a lazy or fat man’s drink. This old stereotype has shifted the portion of the population that drink each type. In the course of ten years in America, beer drinkers decreased 11% while wine drinkers increased 8%. The typical domestic beer brands (Budweiser, Coors, Miller, PBR, etc) dominate the market, and control distribution of beer in the United States. As much, this made it extremely difficult for small breweries to get their beers out very far from their origin, and in fact, 95% of all micro breweries in the United States cannot distribute beer outside of their home state. So when a brewery can finally venture beyond their state, beer lovers can rejoice over the presence of “new kids” in town. If you thirst for a great brew from outside of California, check out these breweries that have, in one way or another, landed their beers into Californian restaurants, pubs, and bars.

5. Elysian Brewing

Having officially lived through the Fall season for two weeks, we can already enjoy the perks of Fall. For example, the weather has changed from excessively hot to the kind of weather where you wear a jacket in the morning and a tank top in the afternoon. Also in the Fall, coffee lovers rejoice over the return of Pumpkin Spice Lattés from Starbucks. Fall in general reminds us all of pumpkins, yams, sweet potatoes, and other similar produce. At this time, I would like to thank Beer Advocate for their integral role in this year’s popularization of pumpkin beers with a simple innocent retweet that managed to infuriate their followers to the level of a headless horseman. When craft beer enthusiasts think of pumpkin beers, they immediately envision Elysian Brewing. Elysian has always had a penchant for pumpkin beers, as evident in their annual Great Pumpkin Beer Fest, which returns TONIGHT as its 9th year running in a row. As one of Washington’s micro breweries from their first wave, Elysian has solidified a legacy for themselves, especially in the Seattle area. Here in Southern California, Elysian does not yet actively distribute kegs for tap purposes. However, Elysian has collaborated with New Belgium to make a beer called The Trip XVI, a farmhouse rye ale, that you can find in select bars. If you can still find it, look up La Citrueille Celeste De Citracado, a collaboration beer between Elysian, Stone Brewing, and The Bruery, that you can currently find in bottles only. Check out the rest of Elysian’s lineup too, as they make more great beers than just pumpkin beers.

4. Uinta Brewing

Mainstream media has done quite a job over the past few decades of giving beer a negative connotation. Television shows like Married With Children or King Of The Hill show men lazily drinking beer and doing other manly activities, like gambling or standing around doing nothing. However, the media fails to show the artistic side of beer. The art of brewing requires intense studying and inherent knowledge of the industry or ingredients necessary to brew beer. In addition to the brewing, micro brewery owners need artists to give life and a face to their brand. Consumers will either see a bottle or tap handle first before trying the beer, so a good first impression can influence opinions of the beer. If you seek fancy beer art, take a look at some of the beers from Uinta Brewing. This Salt Lake City brewpub has had a foot in Southern California for at least a few years by now, but most people tend to overlook them for other prominent breweries like Deschutes, Great Divide, or Avery. Although Uinta’s distribution reaches California, they have yet to cement an image of their company in the minds of Californians. This all changed with the improvisation of their themed lines of beers. Their standard beers belong to their Classic Line, while their Organic Line, which contains tasty brews like Baba Black Lager, features a simplistic cover art for the beer that looks like a t-shirt design. Californians may best recognize beers from Uinta’s Crooked Line, home of the popular Tilted Smile bottle. The Crooked Line consists of Uinta’s odd or strong brews that do not fit in the other categories. Uinta strongly supports the local art community, and looks to them for inspiration for naming beers in the Crooked Line. The artwork for Tilted Smile in particular came from a local artist named Lea Bell. Explore all of Uinta’s beers, and see for yourself how they give back to the community more than just refreshing beers.

3. Ninkasi Brewing

Not one to shy away from keeping up with the rapid craft beer movement in California, the Pacific Northwest has rallied up some of the finest minds in the craft beer industry to open up shop in either Washington or Oregon. Breweries like Deschutes and Rogue have helped to put Oregon on the map, and Washington has the nationally-known Pyramid near Seattle. A recent magazine article claims that Washington has over 190 breweries; however, San Diego County alone has over 200! Any craft beer enthusiast should feel ecstatic over the growth of craft beer in other states, especially neighboring ones. It appears that Southern California has already felt that away about out-of-state breweries, especially Ninkasi Brewing. From Eugene, Oregon comes this powerhouse of a micro brewery with an amazing team of people dedicated to the company and its products. Anyone familiar with Golden Road in Los Angeles will definitely see a resemblance here. Although unrelated, they both share the same vision and path, and the customer fan bases prove it. Ninkasi brews a variety of beers, and releases many beers in different series based on its style or strength. For example, customers can only find the Radiant Northwest Pale Ale during the summer. Other series have to do with the ingredients or style of the beer, such as lagers or the single-hop series. Ninkasi has even gone far enough to devise food recipes utilizing their beers as ingredients. Of course, one could swap out their beers for something similar, but then you cannot call that an official creation of Ninkasi ingenuity. Check with your favorite local craft beer bar to see if they carry Ninkasi on tap, and grab a taste of the Pacific Northwest.

2. Tenaya Creek Brewery

Have you ever truly gotten stranded in the middle of a desert? What would you do if you could not locate any water or plants nearby? In the middle of the desert, life cannot exist without generations of adaptation to adjust for the climate. Somewhere in history, a genius decided to open a resort in the middle of the desert. Many decades later, we now have Las Vegas, proof that even in the middle of nowhere, one can still make something of it. Poor Las Vegas – fully a tourist destination, but never a place one would want to live in. To anyone it matters to, farm-to-table dinners cannot exist there, and neither can restaurants that use local sustainable ingredients due to no farms or naturally-occurring bodies of water. Today, we no longer have to worry about local craft beer in Vegas, thanks to Tenaya Creek Brewery. Located in northwest Las Vegas, Tenaya Creek makes the best of its location to crank out beers fitting for a Las Vegas audience. Sure Las Vegas has the Yard House with over a hundred craft beers on tap, but sometimes you just want something local, not flown in. Tenaya Creek’s beers fit the Las Vegas crowd – not too strong, but stands out from the crowd with some of the beer names or something on the cover art. For example, their Monsoon IPA depicts a white tiger-riding Vegas-style dancer on The Strip. Other beers, such as Old Jackalope, captures an audience based on taste and strength. You can now find Tenaya Creek beers at a handful of restaurants, bars, and pubs in Southern California, so reach out to your favorite local spot, and tell the bartender or server how much you love it so they can continue to order more.

1. Epic Brewing Company

A brewery’s name means everything. One cannot lead a successful brewery with a bad name, but with enough time, renaming the brewery can change the minds of those early birds. Breweries do not always need a fancy name – a simple name that evokes emotion will come in handy more often than big names. Remember the Three Caballeros from Disney? The red bird had seven names: Panchito Romero Miguel Junipero Francisco Quintero González III, just for the heck of it, in case the third did not count. Simply Panchito would have worked in his case, as fans would still remember him no matter what. A simple name should still symbolize a characteristic of the object, so logically, Epic Brewing should make epic beer. Thankfully, here in Southern California, we no longer have to guess if they earned that name or not. Hailing from Salt Lake City, Epic Brewing did not select that name for no reason. Their beers get more and more epic the higher in level you go in their beers. They keep a standard line of beers in their Classic Series, but from there, escalate it higher to an Elevated Series, then finally an Exponential Series. In this Exponential Series, you will find the top shelf beers, as this line caters to the adventurous and bold explorers out there. Of particular note, the Brainless Raspberries does not resemble a framboise, as it does not come off as a sour beer. This Belgian-style ale gets infused with raspberries, so as you drink this beer, the perfect balance of raspberries comes through – not too much, and not too little. The Exponential Series also bravely features a gluten-free beer, brewed with sweet potato and molasses instead of the traditional malts and barley. I like the way this series operates, and have not found any disappointments with any of Epic’s beers. Found both in bottles and on tap in Southern California, you can also find Epic at most beer festivals in Southern California, so you have multiple avenues for satisfying your epic thirst.