Posts Tagged ‘Uinta Brewing’

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 light and portable beers. When pool or beach parties come to mind, canned beers logically make sense; after all, we would not want to risk broken glass in an environment where people walk around in their bare feet. To commemorate the start of summer, check out this special Cans Edition of craft beers to try this summer, all of which you can find at your local bottle/can shop in Southern California.

5. Epic Brewing‘s Brainless On Raspberries

Heading into the summer, we leave behind the flavors that we tend to want during cooler climates, which include “dark” flavors like chocolate or spices that traditionally warm us up. Now we want lighter, refreshing flavors, especially fruits. Regardless of the type of fruit, any fruit can help us cool down, and Epic Brewing has captured that perfectly with their Brainless series. While the Brainless series of Belgian ales comes in multiple flavors, the Brainless On Raspberries highlights the fruit flavoring the best. The raspberries version clocks in at 9.1%, a hefty ale with hints of raspberry and bubble gum aromas, while the raspberry fruit comes out very well yet does not inundate the palate. With such a bold taste, Brainless On Raspberries stands well on its own as a delightful treat to drink.

4. Anderson Valley Brewing Company‘s Briney Melon Gose

In the summertime, people crave sweet refreshing flavors. Most fruits provide this, but some come off as more refreshing than others, especially citrus and melons. Many breweries have started to use watermelons in their ales, including Anderson Valley Brewing Company. People typically associate watermelons with picnics and the outdoors, and Anderson Valley has captured that perfectly with their Briney Melon Gose. At only 4.2% abv, this gose boasts a thirst-quenching tartness balanced with watermelon flavors and aromas. The gentle addition of sea salt creates a harmonious blend of acidity and fruit sweetness that leads to a clean dry finish. Enjoy this brew the next time your find yourself lounging outdoors.

3. Victory Brewing Company‘s Cage Radler

When the weather warms up, we want something to refresh our bodies. Citrus flavors complete this task quite well, and Victory Brewing has a grasp on that. The summer weather can result in strange things, from absolute dry heat to monsoonal humidity to hail in the desert and lots of thunderstorms. Regardless of what mother nature throws at you, you can always enjoy a Cage Radler from Victory Brewing. This combination of a shandy and radler combines the freshness of lemonade with the crisp finish of a lager. The notes of lemonade, lemon zest, and grains will tickle your scent senses. At just 3.0% abv, Cage Radler will make you feel good in more ways than one.

2. Ska Brewing Company‘s Mexican Logger

Summertime usually means swimming pools, beaches, and outdoor grilling. Grilling usually reminds us of meats on the grill, such as steaks, barbecue, and carne asada. Mexican food goes great on the grill, and a nice cold lager pairs great with grilled meats as well, something that Ska Brewing has realized. No stranger to crossovers, Ska Brewing has a wide selection of brews coming out of their home in Colorado, and that selection includes their summer seasonal release, the Mexican Logger. As the name suggests, this Mexican-style lager has a pale yellow color along with aromas of pale grains and grassy hops. At 5.2% abv, the Mexican Logger goes down easy with its light body and nice flavor, making it a great beer to enjoy with your outdoor grill food.

1. Uinta Brewing Company‘s Sum’r Summer Ale

When you crave a drink in the summer time, you want something refreshing for your palate, something that will not inundate your senses. For a crisp, refreshing summertime ale, take a look at what Uinta Brewing has. Despite their location in a cold area, Uinta has a history of great beers and awards to prove it. They recently just put out their summer seasonal beer, Sum’r Summer Ale. This organic ale pours a nice golden body made with light malts and Sorachi hops, an uncommon hop from Japan. At only 4.0% abv, the clean citrusy flavor makes it a great ale to enjoy poolside or anywhere else out in the sun.

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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. Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment‘s Strawberry Blondie

Springtime reminds us of the resurgence of fresh greens and produce as plants start to awaken from their slumber following winter. In the spring, we see fresh seasonal produce such as potatoes, turnips/parsnips, green onions, and especially strawberries. Spring marks an important time of the year for this lovely fruit that the entire world has fallen in love with, as the harvest can overwhelm some farms with how much they need to ship out. In fact, some farms may even invite the public to come pick their own strawberries! People love strawberries so much that they have started to include strawberries in food and drinks, something that Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment has done. Based in the west coast craft beer capital, Acoustic Ales knows a thing or two about staying fresh and keeping up with the times. Their dedication to their craft stems from their love of music, which always goes through phases of fads and trends. When it comes to brewing, Acoustic Ales keeps up with the times with fresh seasonal ingredients, evident in their Strawberry Blondie. This seasonal fruit beer pours a hazy orange amber color, but the aromas of light bread and strawberries lead to a nicely balanced flavor of natural strawberries freshly picked from Carlsbad with a touch of tartness and balancing malts. At 6.0% abv, this brew not only refreshes your palate, but relaxes your body.

4. Founders Brewing‘s Rübæus

Continuing on with the fresh fruit theme, the local selection of fresh fruits and vegetables varies greatly between different regions. Hops grown in different places around the world have a profound effect on the result of a beer. Hops from the Pacific northwest have a piney and citrus finish to them. Hops from England have a more earthy tone to them. Hops from Germany have more body and somewhat of a spice characteristic. This lends to the certain styles of beer exclusive to these regions, much like how we associate bocks with Germany/Austria, or English Special Bitters (ESB) with England. Local farms play a big role in this too, as some climates can affect what local farms can grow, which Founders Brewing has taken advantage of. As one of the big names in the craft beer industry to finally make its way to the west coast, Founders Brewing brings a taste of home with them wherever they go. Their location lends well to the ingredients they use in their brews, such as with the flavors of fresh raspberries in their Rübæus (roo-BAE-yis). Available year-round, this garnet brew contains dominant aromas of fresh raspberries with sweet and tart flavors, ending with a crisp finish. At just 5.7%, Founders Brewing loves to ring in the warmer months with Rübæus as the perfect way to cool down.

3. Almanac Beer Company‘s Golden Gate Gose

When the weather starts to warm up, people tend to want to stray away from warm, hearty foods to start looking for lighter, more refreshing things. For example, instead of a hot coffee, a person would go for an iced tea instead. Instead of a hot chocolate, a person would go for a strawberry or vanilla milkshake. In the beer world, people move from dark ales like stouts or porters over to refreshing brews like a saison or gose. The gose style remains largely unknown to non-enthusiasts, so a gose remains a style known primarily by those with extensive experience drinking craft beer. For those looking for a good approachable gose, look towards Almanac Beer Company. Based in California’s Bay Area, Almanac has an extensive reach across the nation with their “farm to barrel” approach. Their location allows them easy access to the countless farms of California, proving Almanac plenty of sources for fresh ingredients to go into their brews. One can taste the variety of fresh ingredients in Almanac’s Golden Gate Gose. Inspired by classic wheat ales from Leipzig, Germany, Almanac brews this California-inspired version with San Francisco Bay sea salt, lemon verbena from Eatwell Farm in Dixon, and coriander grown & dried by Dirty Girl Produce in Santa Cruz. Golden Gate Gose pours pale, straw-yellow color with a bright foamy head. The bright aroma contains pale malts, stone fruit, and light hop characteristics. At 5.0% abv, this year-round brew tastes very fruity with hints of apricot, peach, and crackery malts & peppery spices. Crisp and refreshing, this gose has a somewhat salty finish and pairs well with fresh seafood.

2. Uinta Brewing‘s Bière de Mars

Around the world, people regard the French for their wines and cuisine. The French have very unique tastes and styles when in comes to food or drinks. No one can truly pinpoint the French style down to one particular taste, as it represents the style as an entity rather than one particular flavor that stands out. As a result, French food and drinks can taste very different, yet it has that aura that can only derive from France. When it comes to French beer, they usually have some earthy or fruity flavor to it (exceptions apply, of course). French ales usually have a lot of body and feel filling when drinking it. To get a sense of what this feels like, we turn towards Uinta Brewing. Uinta has quite a legacy in the craft beer industry here in the United States, as their retail products have touched all four corners of the country. As a brewery, Uinta has pretty much done it all, from basic beers to crazy ideas to barrel-aged beers and beyond. Uinta often dabbles in limited edition beers too, and this time, they have gone the way of the French in their Bière de Mars. In fact, Uinta brewed this limited release ale so recently that nobody has an official description of the ale, not even Uinta on their website themselves. The hops used in this brew originate from multiple regions of Europe, from the Czech to the Germans to the Austrians to the Belgians and, of course, the French. These all come together to form a mellow and spicy body, perfectly complementing the characteristics of a smooth dark lager. Uinta aged this French-style spring ale in chardonnay barrels, and the resulting brew comes out at 7.20% abv. You can only taste this blend of French and American brewing techniques for a limited time, as nobody knows if Uinta plans to keep this in their repertoire.

1. Mammoth Brewing Company‘s Dos Osos

The spring season means that things start to come out of hibernation. When spring hits, the weather warms up, events start to crop up, and holidays & festivals appear all over the place. Spring provides us with a lot of celebratory holidays and occasions, such as Easter, Memorial Day, and Cinco de Mayo. Getting together to socialize belongs in our human natures, so we want to have as many chances to get together as possible. When an occasion arises, we want to have all the necessary preparations completed and out of the way. This means having the right food and drinks available to satisfy everyone around. To get into the spirit, people celebrate with food and drinks based on the occasion; for example, the consumption of Mexican or Latin foods & drinks increases for Cinco de Mayo. For the perfect Cinco de Mayo celebratory brew, Mammoth Brewing Company has you covered. It sounds strange that a brewery all the way up in the mountains of Central California has the perfect thing for a Cinco de Mayo party, but rest assured they got this one right. As their name suggests, Mammoth Brewing hails from Mammoth Lakes in California, a place known as a winter vacation spot. Despite this, Mammoth Brewing has a lineup of beer that spans the entire calendar, including their Dos Osos. Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, Mammoth Brewing brews this imperial Mexican-style dark lager with vanilla beans, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, and Mammoth’s own Black Velvet coffee. Dos Osos emits decadent aromas of toasted nuts, chocolate malts, smoky characters, coffee, and cocoa nibs backed up by vanilla. The flavor follows with toasted malty coffee, nutty characters, dark fruit, and vanilla dominating the profile, while at the same time blending with chocolate, brown sugar, and a suggestion of cinnamon. The lager yeast and long cold aging keeps the beer especially clean and crisp in the finish. Dos Osos pours a light brown/red color with a khaki head. The 7.5% abv will keep you feeling good as you sip on this brew and enjoy whatever occasion you may find yourself drinking Dos Osos at.

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 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. An exception to this exists on Thanksgiving Eve, the day of the year when the most alcohol gets consumed throughout the world. With Thanksgiving approaching in less than two months from now, several beers have made their way to the shelves of your favorite local liquor store for this specific season. If you want to savor the coolest brews this season has to offer, check out these five brews certain to wet your whistle.

5. Coronado Brewing Company‘s Punk’in Drublic

Other than bearing the same name as a punk rock album, this pumpkin ale represents the pumpkin style quite well, but steps it up a notch with its west coast flair. San Diego County never shies away from strong bold brews, and Coronado Brewing displays that very well with Punk’in Drublic. This 8% abv imperial pumpkin ale contains brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and of course, lots of pumpkins. The resulting brew yields lots of sweet characteristics without the overbearing sweetness found in most soft drinks. The pumpkin itself provides its own finish, allowing the flavor to linger for a bit with each sip. People may criticize pumpkin beers, but perhaps adding some local flavor may mix things up.

4. Uinta Brewing Company‘s Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin

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 Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin. Clocking in at 10.31% abv, this amber-colored beer yields an aroma of pumpkins, brown sugar, oak, and Fall spices, while tasting like pumpkin pie, cinnamon, nutmeg, and oaked whisky. 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. The Lost Abbey‘s Witch’s Wit

If something does not fit in with the others, do you call it a black sheep or a wolf in sheep’s clothing? You probably answered black sheep… but what if the black sheep holds power over the herd? Standing out from the crowd, The Lost Abbey does their own thing down there in San Diego County and pays no attention to all the other breweries around that all compete for the top West Coast IPA of San Diego. While the hundreds of breweries in San Diego County all attempt to produce the best West Coast IPA, Lost Abbey simply wants to make the boldest, strongest brews, regardless of style. Lost Abbey has personified this so well that any other brewery that also only focuses on strong brews, such as The Bruery, Valiant Brewing, and Four Sons Brewing, may colloquially receive the unofficial nickname as the “Lost Abbey” of fill-in-the-city/county/region. How can you tell that Lost Abbey does their own thing independent of the rest? Take a look at last season’s seasonal brew: Witch’s Wit. For a 750ml bottle, it only sits at a measly 4.8% abv, classifying it as a session ale. Although originally released as a summer seasonal, the combination of coriander, wheat citrus, honey, and oats give it a filling presence, perfect for the Fall season when things start to cool down. Many will disagree with drinking a seasonal beer during the wrong season. That means that the beer has had some time to age. Consumers may age certain beers nicely, while consumers should avoid aging certain other beers. Witch’s Wit definitely can age, but I would cut off the aging of this at 12 months.

2. Speakeasy Ales & Lagers‘ Blind Tiger

When people thinks about Fall beers, they tend to envision pumpkins, squashes, bocks, and Oktoberfest beers. Something about the Fall harvest plus the merry celebrations of the Germans cause people to crave a beer representative of those thoughts. Not everyone thinks along those lines, however. While the hive minds will tend to shift towards what the majority believes, the outliers will scuttle in a different direction, and Speakeasy Ales & Lagers will await those who walk off of the beaten path. Brewing for almost two decades by now, Speakeasy has carved out a solid name for themselves to the locals in San Francisco. From their vivacious brews to their speakeasy-style tasting room, craft beer fans cannot get enough of Speakeasy! Speakeasy does not develop traditional seasonal beers; rather, they have set yearly releases of certain styles, none of which match the current trend of the industry. As such, now in the Fall season, you may encounter Blind Tiger, a complete turn from what many perceive as traditional Fall beers. While Speakeasy released Blind Tiger in mid-summer, Southern Californians recently discovered Blind Tiger on store shelves as of last month. This 9.5% abv imperial IPA represents Speakeasy’s hoppiest beer, with the aroma and taste dominated with four different hops, followed by subtle malts. The aftertaste yields signs of piney, citrusy hops that you must enjoy fresh. If you stumble upon the dumb luck of witnessing this magnificent bottle on a store shelf, do not hesitate to purchase it immediately!

1. Hangar 24 Craft Brewery‘s Gourdgeous

Having officially lived through the Fall season for over 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, squashes, 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. With the rising desire for pumpkin beers, breweries have to stay a step ahead of the competition to capitalize on what the market demands, and Hangar 24 Craft Brewery took that go-ahead step last year. With as big as a local reputation as Stone Brewing, Hangar 24 stands toe-to-toe with the big guys of Southern California, never relenting in the face of pressure. Their massive popularity stems from their incredibly diverse selective of brews, from the light & approachable Orange Wheat to the bold & assertive Double IPA. In addition to their year-round lineup, Hangar 24 releases a handful of seasonal releases, and will usually have up to three series of beers available at a time. For example, during the Fall season, Hangar 24 will have Oktoberfest, Gourdgeous, and a surprise brew available in addition to the year-round offerings. For now, we focus on Gourdgeous, perhaps the true personification of a pumpkin beer. Unlike most pumpkin ales, Gourdgeous falls under the classification of an imperial porter brewed with pumpkins, molasses, and spices. Standing tall at 8.5% abv, this American porter combines the rich, roasted flavors of a porter with pumpkins, dark chocolate, caramel, and spices. Imagine a peanut butter cup, but with pumpkin butter instead of peanuts, and in the form of beer. I believe Trader Joe’s has Pumpkin Butter Cups, and if they do not carry it yet, they will very soon. Oh sweet joy, seasonal candy you can drink that has alcohol in it? Count me in!

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.