Posts Tagged ‘bruery’

AP’s birthday beer tour: santa monica

Monday, June 21st, 2010

a little over a week ago AP’s birthday rolled around, so we headed off to santa monica, one of our old stomping grounds, to celebrate.

  • our first stop was library alehouse (not to be confused with library bar), a great little beer bar on main st.
  • I remember stopping by library alehouse many years ago and excitedly grabbing a downtown brown before I really caught on to the craft beer scene.
  • that tap handle is still pouring after all these years, but I have come to appreciate the finer offerings that this beer bar has to offer.
  • AP and I spotted the tap for eric’s ale and immediately ordered up a round.  we were bummed to discover that eric salazar from new belgium was going to be stopping by the next day to pay a visit.  that would have been sweet…
  • the beer was great, the scene was mellow, and the food was tasty, but AP and I packed up and moved on to our next destination.
  • our next pit stop was at wine expo on santa monica blvd.  the selection was varied, and we grabbed a reissdorf kolsch, a berliner weiss, and a geuze for later in the evening.
  • if you’re ever in the area and looking for a brew, wine expo is a good place to check out.  they have a bunch of interesting imports, but stock a pretty ordinary domestic selection.
  • we continued the bottle hunt at whole foods on wilshire, which I remembered as having a pretty decent beer selection.
  • “pretty decent” was an understatement – they had a great selection of hard to fund find beers.  after staring at the lineup for a good while, I could tell AP was done with bottle shopping, so I grabbed a bottle of port’s older viscosity, allagash’s confluence, and dogfish’s burton baton and hit the road.  this whole foods is definitely the place to go with paycheck in hand to grab some rarities for a special occasion.
  • AP and I then cruised down 3rd street promenade, ending with a stop by the fifth amendment alehaus.  I didn’t know what to expect when we stepped in, but the bar was cozy and the bartender/owner was friendly and knowledgeable.
  • my only gripe was the price of a pint – I can see $8 for a pour of eric’s ale or delirium tremens, but for port’s hot rocks lager? gimme a break.  I think the price will keep me from coming back on a regular basis, but if you’re stranded on third street shopping with your lady this place is the ticket.
  • I also tried a taster of the bruery’s coton, and let me tell you, it was one of the first old ales/barleywines that I actually disliked.  it was super hot with an overwhelmingly boozy finish.  all I could taste was alcohol.  come on guys, just stuff it in barrels for a year or two and push it for your usual $30 pricetag!
  • afterwards we grabbed some great italian at a BYOB joint where we shared some beers and then headed home.  our samo excursion was a great success – happy birthday AP!

naja’s place

Monday, October 5th, 2009

sculpin and the view at naja's

if you don’t know, now you know.

  • naja’s place in redondo beach is my favorite bar on the planet, and is one of the most overlooked spots to grab a brew in california.
  • it’s located right on the water, and has 88 beers on tap (tap list doesn’t look current), a great bottle selection, good food and live music.
  • best of all, the staff is always friendly, laid back, and knowledgeable about their brews.
  • AP and I went there multiple times over the weekend, and over the course of our visits we sampled numerous brews.  one of my favorites was sculpin IPA from ballast point.  it had an intense, fresh hop aroma and was surprisingly sessionable.
  • I also got a chance to try  sierra nevada’s estate harvest ale, a good APA with a great story behind it.
  • next in line was port brewing’s old viscosity – a blended strong ale that tastes like a smooth, strong imperial stout.
  • I also managed to grab an old blarney barleywine from moylan’s – it was malty and smooth, a good example of the style.
  • I even managed a taster of the bruery’s autumn maple, but I don’t think I could finish a whole glass of the stuff – toss me a punkin ale instead.
  • AP was feeling the spirit of the season and stuck with spaten’s oktoberfest.
  • note: LA beer week is coming up in a couple weeks, and naja’s is going all out for it.  martin was talling me about a stone brewing night, a new belgium specialty night, a belgian import night, and other events.
  • thanks again to martin, darren, and the rest of the crew over at naja’s!  we’ll be back soon!

part of the tap lineup at naja's

old viscosity and spaten oktoberfest

bottle fridges at naja's

the grill at naja's

sculpin IPA at naja's

the band at naja's

two happy customers at naja's

city beer store

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

at the taps

City Beer Store is one of my favorite places to grab a beer, mainly because I can sip on one of six taps while perusing an impressive bottle selection.  I wish more bottle shops were able to do this.

  • if you’re claustrophobic, I would recommend coming here at an off time or during the week.  the place isn’t that big and can get super crowded.  yesterday night (tuesday) all tables were full, but there were some seats available by the taps.  it’s not a big deal though, as I’m usually on my feet checking out their fridges or shelves.
  • I have also noticed that city beer has good prices compared to their competition.  many times I will go here to price out somewhat hard to find beers that are going for a few bucks more at other places.  the owners are great too, very friendly and accomodating.
  • CB started with the bruery’s hottenroth berliner weiss, which is a great example of the style.  word on the street is that they are planning on bottling this one, so that is something to keep an eye out for.
  • I ordered up a mini-flight of dogfish head palo santo marron 2008&2009.  the ’09 was a little hot, but not overwhelmingly so.  I dont normally drink  a lot of browns, but I’m glad these guys got poured, they were definitely tasty.
  • to finish off the night, a bottle of allagash victoria 2009 was popped.  when we ordered up the bottle, CB asked me what style it was, and I told him we’d have to figure it out firsthand.  However, after a few sips, I was still at a loss.  beer advocate labels it a “belgian strong pale.”  it was very drinkable (kinda sweet and fruity) with a floral aroma, but I  don’t think I’m gonna be stocking up in the near future.
  • the best part about drinking at city beer? I left with a fresh bottle of fantome saison, cantillon cuvee des champions, new belgium la folie, Brouwerij Van Steenberge’s monk’s cafe, and ichtegem’s grand cru!

palo santo flight

back fridge

allagash victoria