Posts Tagged ‘Ommegang’

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. Lakefront Brewery‘s India-Style Black Ale

Due to the firm grasp that Anheuser-Busch has on the beer distribution industry, people do not get to encounter as many beers from out of state as they could if the monopoly did not exist. As things stand, most local bottle shops tend to carry beers brewed in the same state. If they carry something from out of state, those brands had some advantage that allowed them to distribute nationally, and most people will have heard of the brands, such as New Belgium, Sam Adams, or Lost Coast. When I find a brewery that I had never heard of, I immediately run a quick search of the beer and brewery, which led me to discover Lakefront Brewery. I know little about this brewery, other than their residence of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. So when I discovered one of their bottles of India-Style Black Ale, my curiosity piqued at the thought of trying a beer from a brewery I had never heard of. Although named Indian-style, this IBA resembles the American style of black ales. Sitting at 6.7% abv, this black ale pours with a brown yet thin head, giving scents of citrus, pine, and roasted malts. For some reason, I expected to taste something along the lines of a porter since the color looked like that of a porter. Instead, some floral, citrus, and sweet nutty flavors met my taste buds. For an out-of-state beer, it comes at a relatively low price, so if you see this or any beer from Lakefront Brewery, you ought to act fast and get it.

4. Uinta Brewing Company‘s Sea Legs Baltic Porter

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 depict men lazily drinking beer and performing 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. Each series of brews contains its own themes, but Californians may best recognize beers from Uinta’s Crooked Line, which houses Sea Legs Baltic Porter. Clocking in at 8.0% abv after aging in bourbon barrels for 12 months, this complex Baltic porter will satisfy your sweet tooth with the roasted malts and chocolate notes, along with hints of vanilla and bourbon from the barrel. 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. Explore all of Uinta’s beers, and see for yourself how they give back to the community more than just refreshing beers.

3. Eel River Brewing Co.‘s Earth Thirst Double IPA

The spring season typically reminds us of freshness and renewal. As the cold weather fades away, plants start to sprout, flowers start to bloom, and animals return from hibernation to their daily lives. During this time, humans seek for new and fresh things to do and try, including food and drinks. Contrary to what regular people believe, beer can and will go bad, so people ought to consume it quick to maintain freshness. Stone Brewing takes this notion to another level with their line of “Enjoy By xx.xx.xx” beer series, all with a date that one should drink the beer prior to. Many breweries strive to keep their beers fresh always, and Eel River Brewing Co. has done a great job of delivering fresh beer to us. One of few breweries that brews ONLY organic beer, Eel River Brewing’s commitment to freshness reflects well in their lineup of organic beers that taste fantastic. Due to the nature of this brewery (no pun intended), Eel River Brewing takes Earth Day seriously every year with an Earth Day beer called Earth Thirst Double IPA. Certified organic just like all of their beers, the 8.2% abv Earth Thirst contains a blend of cascade and centennial hops that give this brew a floral and citrusy flavor. Sitting at 92 IBU, the bitterness does not come off as overpowering; instead, the overall freshness of the beer makes this brew very refreshing, allowing it to adapt to any situation, such as enjoying on a nice warm day or pairing it with food.

2. 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.

1. Brewery Ommegang‘s Three-Eyed Raven

Many television shows have massive cult followings. Shows like The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad have turned into such big hits that they spawned many other products and collectibles for fans to show their love for. Another series, Game of Thrones, stretches out to reach fans of more than just television, such as pop culture, science fiction, video gaming, role playing, and more unspeakable things. Game of Thrones has proved itself such a huge hit that one particular brewery paid homage to the series with a line of beers dedicated to the show. We all recognize Brewery Ommegang as synonymous with Belgian-style beers, despite their residence in New York. Ommegang has turned into a such a huge force in the craft beer market that it only made sense that they would partner up with the folks behind Game of Thrones for some beers based on the series. The Ommegang Game of Thrones beer series currently contains five beers, with Three-Eyed Raven as the most recent release. Classified as a dark saison, this 7.2% abv brew combines the best of saisons and dark ales with its luscious deep brown color. The brew’s light body contains hints of sweetness and roasted malts, while herbal and spicy hops give it the hop characteristic. Basically, it enters like a saison, dances like a dark ale, and finishes like a Belgian ale. This unique blend allows for interesting pairings, but it also allows for blissful sipping sessions. Enjoy it with food or enjoy it on its own, but you ought to enjoy it while watching Game of Thrones for the full Westeros experience.

The Factory Gastrobar’s Grilled Cheese Week
April 6-12
The Factory Gastrobar, Bixby Knolls, Long Beach

The Factory crafts some amazing artisan grilled cheese sandwiches, and for the next seven days, they will sling a different variation of grilled cheese each day. If you love grilled cheeses as much as I do, you ought to visit The Factory everyday this week.

Abnormal Beer Co. Launch Party
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, April 7
The Cork and Craft, Rancho Bernardo, San Diego

Another brewery joins the illustrious San Diego craft beer family, and you can sample their brews this Tuesday evening in the Rancho Bernardo community of San Diego. No reservations required – simply show up, and choose from the cask or the three other core brews.

Matt and Kim – FREE Performance & Signing
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, April 7
Amoeba Music, Hollywood

Matt and Kim has a new album coming out this week, and to celebrate, they will have a FREE record-signing and performance session this Tuesday night at Amoeba Music in Hollywood. Space will definitely run out, so arrive early to secure your spot.

Tastemade Bite Club: Country Fest
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, April 8
Tastemade Studios, Santa Monica

Enjoy some comfort food, local craft beer, and country music this Wednesday night for FREE. No one under 21 may attend.

Game of Thrones/Ommegang Three-Eyed Raven Release Party
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 8
Complex, Glendale

Basically, an Ommegang tap takeover. Come to Complex in Glendale this Wednesday night for some Ommegang beers and lots of Game of Thrones fun. $12 gets you a collectable Game of Thrones Three-Eyed Raven goblet plus a 10oz fill of any Ommegang beer.

Skacoustic Night
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, April 8
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim

Local ska bands will perform acoustic sets at this show this Wednesday night at the Doll Hut in Anaheim. The event page does not specify a cover charge, so have cash prepared for it. No one under 21 may enter.

5th Annual East Village Opening Day Block Party
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, April 9
J Street b/w 6th & 10th, East Village, Downtown San Diego

This free and all-ages event celebrates the San Diego Padres’ annual opening game. This street party will have craft beer, live music, food, drinks, vendors, and more.

Business & Beer @ Strand Brewing
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 9
Dudes’ Brewing, Torrance

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, April 9
Downtown Los Angeles

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.

Ragnar Relay So Cal 2015
5:00 am – 8:00 pm, April 10-11
Waterfront Beach Resort, Huntington Beach

Take part in an epic overnight relay race that stretches from Orange County down to San Diego this weekend starting Friday morning. Grab a team, grab supplies, and make the trek from point A to point B, finally finishing at Crown Point in Pacific Beach.

Lucidity Festival 2015
10:00 am – 8:00 am, April 10-13
Live Oak Camp, Santa Barbara

Basically, a music & art festival that spans an entire weekend, similar to Coachella going on this same weekend. This event runs nonstop from Friday morning through Monday morning. Lucidity requires many words to explain, which the website does a great job of. With dozens of stages, hundreds of vendors & artists, and endless activities, visitors will never run out of things to do here.

26th Annual America’s Family Pet Expo
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 10-12
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa

Pet lovers will want to check out this pet expo at the OC Fair & Event Center this weekend. Open to all ages, attendees will find lots of pet resources, including food, merchandise, demos, exhibits, shows, pet adoptions, and more. General admission costs $13, but guests may NOT bring pets.

2015 Formula Drift
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, April 10
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 11
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach

Taking place a week prior to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the Formula Drift competition utilizes the sharpest turns of the track to put on a show that everyone can enjoy. Feel the excitement as drivers throw on their best drifting performance while narrowly dodging massive wipeouts. Guests may also visit a vendor village, receive autographs from drivers, see the pits up close and personal, and more. Tickets vary in price, but general admission to the Saturday main event costs $40 plus fees up to $10. Parking at the convention center costs $10, so plan to carpool, take public transportation, or park in the neighborhood to the east to alleviate that parking fee.

Marina Del Rey’s 50th Birthday Bash & LA’s Marinafest Boat Show
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, April 10
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 11-12
Burton Chace Park, Marina Del Rey

Celebrate the 50th year of this historic landmark this weekend with some free and all-ages marine festivities. On Friday night, catch a free concert plus fireworks.

Ommegang/Game of Thrones Three-Eyed Raven Release Party
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 10
Alpine Village, Torrance

Alpine Village gets the Ommegang Game of Thrones beers this Friday night, plus some exclusive glassware as well. No reservations required – simply show up, and enjoy some cold ones.

The Uprising @ The World Famous Doll Hut
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 10
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim

Get your weekly dose of punk rock this Friday night at the Doll Hut in Anaheim. Tickets to this show cost $3 presale or $7 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

3rd Annual VinDiego – San Diego Wine & Food Festival
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm, April 10
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, April 11
NTC Liberty Station, San Diego

VinDiego returns this year, bigger and better! On Friday, select small tastings and seminars will take place to allow guests to taste and learn about different wines. On Saturday afternoon at Liberty Station, enjoy tastings of over 75 different wines from California’s top wineries, and delicious eats from many of San Diego’s top restaurants and chefs. General admission presale costs $95 and allows entry at 4pm, while VIP admission costs $125 and allows entry at 3pm.

2015 Hollywood Half Marathon & 5k / 10k
5:00 am – 1:00 pm, April 11
Dolby Theatre, Hollywood

The streets of Hollywood close down this Saturday morning for this series of races. Registration costs $115 for the half-marathon, $55 for the 10k, or $45 for the 5k.

FroYo 5k – Irvine
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, April 11
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Irvine

Pay lots of money to run a 5k for some frozen yogurt. You also get a bunch of random swag for participating too. Make sure that you load up on as much frozen yogurt as you can eat once you finish the run, at least until they kick you out.

20th Annual Uptown Whittier Spring Antique Street Faire
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, April 11
Greenleaf Avenue, Uptown Whittier

Check out over 90 vendors selling collectibles, jewelry, art, furniture, glassware, and more at this street fair this Saturday. Free to attend for all ages, guests will find many rare merchandise from local businesses and home vendors. Guests can dine at any of the local establishments, which will remain open under their normal business hours. Guests can park for free on the street in adjacent neighborhoods.

Downtown Burbank Arts Festival
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 11-12
San Fernando Blvd b/t Magnolia & Olive, Downtown Burbank

Check out hundreds of artists, street painters, sidewalk chalk artists, and more this weekend in Downtown Burbank. Completely free to attend for all ages, guests can exhibit the many art on display, create their own art with sidewalk chalk or other artists allowing guests to interact, or purchase art to take home.

7th Annual Hippy Killer Hoedown
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, April 11
Farmers Fairgrounds, Perris

At this all-ages kustom kulture festival, see all sorts of cars, hot rods, customs, motorcycles, vans, and more. Also catch some live music from bands like Agent Orange, Swingin’ Utters, and more. Admission to this event costs $10.

SoCal Corgi Beach Day
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, April 11
Huntington Dog Beach, Huntington Beach

Corgi lovers and Corgi owners unite this Saturday afternoon for a dog day at the beach, free to attend and for all ages. Share your love of this wonderful breed by showing off your adorable companion or by showing love for someone else’s adorable companion.

11:00 am – 3:00 pm, April 11
Local Tap House & Kitchen, Oceanside

For $25 admission, enjoy eight 8oz beer pours and food specials from Local Tap House at this beer tasting event this Saturday.

6th Annual San Diego Metal Swap Meet
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 11
Queen Bee’s Art & Cultural Center, North Park, San Diego

Metal fans will not want to miss this all-ages flea market for all things heavy metal. For just $5 admission, gain access to all sorts of vendors selling music, apparel, accessories, art, and more.

Inland Empire Brewing Company 6th Anniversary Celebration
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, April 11
Inland Empire Brewing Company, Riverside

The IEBC celebrated their 6th anniversary this year, and they will tone down this year’s celebration unlike the previous years. This time, they will not have a festival nor sell tickets – they will simply have standard tasting room procedures with special brews on tap, as well as an extra food truck or two.

OC Brew & Bites Music Fest
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, April 11
Farmers Park, Anaheim

Craft beer and gourmet food collide at this tasting event this Saturday afternoon at the Anaheim Packing District. For $50 admission, gain access to beers from ten breweries, and food from six local restaurants.

King Harbor Brewing 1st Anniversary Celebration
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, April 11
King Harbor Brewing, Redondo Beach

Redondo Beach’s King Harbor Brewing turns a year old this week, and to celebrate, they will hold a beer tasting event this Saturday at their tasting room. General admission costs $50 and comes with eight 12oz beer pours plus a bottle of their anniversary brew. “Option B” costs $25 but only comes with four 12oz beers and no bottle.

4th Annual Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet World Beer Festival
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 11
Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet, Santa Fe Springs

The Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet will hold an after-dark party this Saturday night featuring local cover bands and local craft beer. Tickets to this 21 & up fest cost $15 presale or $20 at the door, and include two beer pints and free parking.

Punk Night @ The World Famous Doll Hut
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, April 11
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim

Catch some great local punk bands this Saturday night at the Doll Hut in Anaheim. The cover for this show costs $5. No one under 21 may enter.

Viernes 13 & The English Beat – Live in San Diego
9:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 11
Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach

Get your skanking on at this ska show in San Diego this Saturday night. Tickets for this show cost $20 presale or $22 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

Narcoleptic Youth @ Cafe NELA
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, April 11
Cafe NELA, Los Angeles

Catch some great local punk bands this Saturday night in northeast LA. The cover for this show costs $8. No one under 21 may enter.

9th Annual Cambodian New Year Parade
9:00 am – 12:00 pm, April 12
Anaheim St, Long Beach

Catch a free public parade this Sunday morning in Cambodia Town in Long Beach that celebrates the Cambodian New Year. Arrive early to find adequate parking.

Farm To Table Tennis
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, April 12
Stone World Bistro, Liberty Station, San Diego

Beer tasting, food pairing, and ping pong collide in this unique combination of events this Sunday afternoon in Liberty Station. For $40 general admission, gain access to this event with unlimited food samples and six beer pours. For $60 admission, attendees may enter the table tennis tournament; however, only individuals in the food & beverage industry may enter the tournament due to charity rules.

1st Annual Long Beach Zine Fest
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 12
Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach

Art lovers rejoice – Long Beach gets their own Zone Fest this Sunday afternoon. This free and all-ages event will feature hundreds of local and/or independent authors and publishers sharing their magazines, comics, and other DIY material. Workshops and speakers will engage attendees with more material.

3rd Annual Hwy 78 Festiv(ale)
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, April 12
Walnut Grove Park, San Marcos

Taste great beers from breweries along the 78 Corridor at this mini festival this Sunday afternoon. Plenty of food trucks will come out too, making this a beer fest & food truck fest in one. General admission costs $20 presale or $30 at the door, and starts at 1pm. No one under 21 may attend.

2015 Miss California Icon Pageant
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, April 12
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim

This Miss California pageant starts at 7pm this Sunday night. Contestants will actually need most of Saturday and Sunday free for rehearsals and qualifiers.

Hooligans United – A Tribute to Rancid
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 12
The Observatory’s Constellation Room, Santa Ana

A handful of bands, including Voodoo Glow Skulls, will pay homage to Rancid with this tribute show this Sunday night in the Constellation Room at The Observatory in Santa Ana. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $13 presale or $15 at the door.

Leave it to the Europeans to brew the finest beers. Drinkers all over the world renown German and Austrian beers for their drinkability and sessionable styles associated with Oktoberfest. Other drinkers head straight for the Belgian beers for the full taste and higher alcohol percentage. Belgian beers have seen a rise in popularity over the past few years because drinkers seek a stronger kick in their drinks than the abundant weak domestic beers. In fact, many people refer to Belgian beers as hipster beer because of how many people flocked to this beer as their standard choice. Just like the domestic market, plenty of Belgian beers exist, though most of them get overshadowed by Chimay, as Chimay has the marketing and distribution to reach so many more people than the rest. Recently, many American craft breweries have experimented and released their own Belgian beers from their brewery. One such brewery, Brewery Ommegang, seeks to lead the charge to bring Belgian beers to the forefront of the craft beer world.

Based out of New York, Brewery Ommegang specializes in Belgian beers and the celebration behind it. In Belgium, every single beer has its own unique glass. Brewery Ommegang treats all of their beers the same way as the Belgians do – with love and respect for the individuality and uniqueness of each beer. All of their beers carry a distinct flavor profile, but their Gnomegang (NO-meh-gong) not only looks right, but tastes right as well. Brewed by actual gnomes from Brasserie d’Achouffe, this Belgian Blonde Ale appears golden with a smooth fluffy head. First scents should remind you of cloves and citrus typical of other chouffe beers. A nice balance of hops and malty caramel round out the floral aroma and taste. Since this bottle still contains sediment from the brewing process, take care to pour slowly to avoid pouring and drinking the sediment. This 25.4oz bottle holds 9.5% abv, so consumers should plan ahead for what happens after downing this bottle. Planning to consume Gnomegang with a meal? I recommend seafood or poultry; specifically, duck. Planning to share Gnomegang with a friend? Buy two bottles.