Posts Tagged ‘ipa’

seabright brewery santa cruz

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

the bar at seabright

after what can only be described as excessive indulging in food and drink with family down in LA and SD, AP and I roadtripped it back up HWY 1 with AP, EP, AP, and DP in tow.

  • during a wet spot on our second day up the coast we rolled into santa cruz for a pit stop.
  • as usual, AP had done her homework and picked out a great spot at seabright brewery.
  • seabright had the total package – our waitress, busboy, and bartender were all great and energetic.
  • I started with the blur, seabright’s IPA.  it was citrusy and fresh, without too much of a bitter finish.
  • unfortunately, as I was a driver in the caravan, I was relegated to tasters after my first pint, but I got to try desmond, a warm and slightly sweet barleywine tapped two days earlier, as well as sacrilicious, a very hoppy red that had a great malt and hop balance.  the two APs were fans of seabright’s amber.
  • while I was at the bar, I couldn’t help but notice 5 or 6 trash barrels filled with 2-row in the adjoining brew room, so I snuck in for a peek at their sweet setup.  large lagering tanks in a cooler room were visible in the eating area through large windows.
  • overally, seabright brewing was a top-notch establishment.  the food and beers were great, and the service was even better.  I can’t understand the mediocre ratings for this place on beeradvocate, but if that means a shorter wait for a table on my next visit then I guess I’ll just keep my mouth shut…

pint of the blur

entrance to the brew spot

lots of grain getting ready to rock

IPAs and ambers

partial mash IPA brew day

Monday, December 21st, 2009

sweet, sweet wort...

on sunday CB rolled by and I whipped up an IPA using a partial mash recipe I formulated based on a couple of sources.

  • additionally, I slightly modified the hop bill from my very first brew session (a recipe from robert over at what used to be fermentation frenzy):
    • 1oz. columbus @ 75
    • 1oz. columbus @ 55
    • 1oz. columbus @ 20
    • 1oz. amarillo @ 10
    • 1.5oz. amarillo @ 0
    • dry-hop 1.5oz amarillo, 1oz. columbus
  • my batch sparge went fine – I added a little over a gallon of 160F water to the mash, resulting in a mash temp of around 152F.  I mashed for an hour and sparged with the same amount of water at the same temp.
  • it had been a little while since I had cracked out my scratch-built mash tun, and the little guy worked like a dream.  in fact, I am debating picking up a turkey fryer and boil pot and doing some all-grain beers with it in the near future…
  • the hop schedule was originally @60, 40, 15, 5, and 0, but things got a little hairy during bottling of my imperial espresso stout (lowdown to come) and the boil got inadvertently extended.
  • my starter of wyeast cali 1 was bubbling along nicely, and after a shot of O2 and some healthy yeast, fermentation kicked off in no time.
  • I plan on tossing the dry hops into primary next week, and kegging a week or so after that.

the grain bill

heating the strike water

close to optimal mash temps

the stovetop lineup

my high-tech runoff

closeup of second runnings

the leftovers

tossing in the starter

odds and ends

Friday, November 13th, 2009

great plate in bodega bay

happy friday! here are some miscellaneous pics taken over the last few months that didn’t make it into posts.  check out their descriptions for more info.

hot coppa


bodega bay brews

  • proof that I’m not a complete beer snob:

portrait with bud

all-grain rye IPA brew day at CB’s

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

bird's-eye of the setup

last weekend AP and I rolled by CB’s to check out his latest brew session, a rye IPA.

  • things have changed a bit since the last time I visited–  CB got the itch and upgraded his brew kettle and burner.
  • with his new 20-gallon blichmann boilermaker, he can easily crank out 10-gallon all-grain batches (and can even kick it up to 15 gal. if he can fit enough grain in the mash tun!).

new kettle and burner

  • when I arrived, CB had completed the mash and was starting the sparge.  however, despite the addition of some rice hulls, the mash was pretty stuck due to the rye.

the mash

  • no worries though – TB had brought over some of his bottled kolsch, so it was time to RDWHAHB.

TB's kolsch

  • once we realized that the sparge was going to take much longer than expected, more than homebrew was called for.

the sparge

  • CB sliced up some of his cured meats and poured out some samples of his saison and another one of his IPAs.  delicious!

saison and IPA

cured meats

  • we watched the boil kettle slowly fill, and finally had close to 13 gallons.  when CB’s new burner fired up it sounded like a jet engine and before too long a healthy rolling boil kicked off.

the boil

  • I had to take off soon thereafter, but from what I heard, a 5 gal. immersion chiller isn’t really up to the task of cooling a 10 gal. batch.
  • congrats on the first 10 gal. batch CB!  I can’t wait to give it a taste.


lagunitas 2009 correction ale

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

2009 correction ale

last night I cracked open a bottle of 2009 correction ale from lagunitas, an IPA that had been released in april but that I had been sitting on for months.

  • after popping the top and taking a sip, I immediately regretted not doing this earlier so that I could have stocked up on more of this brew.
  • this IPA has a huge hop aroma and bite (even after sitting for half a year!) without leaving any lingering bitterness on the tongue.
  • it is also balanced and quite drinkable at 6.3%.
  • although I regret not having this as a go-to beer of the summer, I can at least have a little solace after stocking up on some bombers of a little sumpin’ extra (review to come).

2009 correction ale bottle

2009 correction ale in the glass

columbus cafe

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

at the window at columbus

I’ll never turn down a request for happy hour at columbus cafe in north beach.

  • they have 26 beers on tap, mostly usual suspects, but they have a great west coast IPA selection.
  • last friday I met up here with AP, AP, and TM.  I started off with a lagunitas IPA, then finished off with a bear republic racer 5 IPA – 2 of my favorite “session IPAs.”
  • all seats were taken when I got there about 6:30, but it wasn’t crowded.  however, I have been here after 9 or 10pm and the place was shoulder-to-shoulder, so proceed with caution.
  • columbus cafe’s happy hour runs from 4-8 (although I thought it stopped at 7 last friday – better double-check).
  • the happy hour is 2-for-1 beers, which they give you a token to redeem.  this is a great idea since you don’t have to use the token that day, and can redeem it another time.
  • another great element here is golden boy pizza down the street, which turns out awesome slices.  columbus and golden boy are the north beach equivalent of rosamunde and toronado – they were meant to be.
  • also, FYI, rogue, la trappe, and church key are also within walking distance of this place.

taps at columbus cafe

happy hour token and friends at columbus

21st amendment, ESB tasting

Friday, September 11th, 2009

21st amendment layout

last night AP, CB, and I rolled over to 21st amendment for a few pints.

  • the original motivation for use to head over was the tapping of a cask of ESB from elizabeth street brewery (ESB, natch), a small homebrew operation in noe valley.
  • ESB seems to have a good deal going, they brew 10 gal. all-grain batches and have a little pub set up where neighbors and friends can roll by for a complimentary brew.  hopefully I’ll be able to make it by for a beer one of these days.
  • they were invited by shaun at 21st to brew a commercial batch of their ESB for the GABF pro-am competition, which is now on draft at the brewery.
  • CB and I sided up to the bar just in time to see the last of the 10 gallon firkin kick.  ah well, we ordered a couple of draft pints instead.  the ESB tasted true to style and was very drinkable.  what can I say though, I’m still partial to my ESB on draft back at the place.
  • after that pint we headed upstairs for some food and a couple more brews.  AP tried out the ESB, while CB and I had a couple antiquated IPAs.
  • since they were out of double trouble IPA,  I finished off the night with a classic brew free or die IPA, while CB had a monk’s blood.
  • 21st amendment has great food and equally impressive beers, but the thing I like most about the place is shaun o’sullivan, co-founder and brewmaster.  every time I run into him he always takes the time to shoot it with me for a minute or two, even though I know he has no clue who this random beer geek is that’s talking to him.

enjoying a round

antiquated IPA

lagunitas lucky 13

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

mondo red

Lagunitas Brewing has got to be my favorite overall brewery.  I’m a huge fan of their beers as well as their approach to brewing and their overall mentality.  Plus, beers like their IPA, Brown Shugga, and the Kronik got me hooked on craft beer.  When their 13th anniversary beer, lucky 13, came out, picking it up was a given.

  • from what I hear, the beer is based off their very first beer, a red brewed in 1993.
  • I thought this beer was a one-time deal, but when I was up in Guerneville for the 4th of July I saw it in a local liquor store cooler and did a double take before grabbing a couple as fast as I could.  Sipping on that brew while watching fireworks go off from the bridge over Johnson’s Beach made my night.
  • I found out later that I actually got a hold of a new batch that they brewed again in 2009.
  • once my pour warmed up a little, the hop aroma and malt backbone in this beer really went nuts.  lagunitas has a great, unique yeast that ties all their brews together, and it goes perfectly with this brew.
  • I think I still have an original bottle sitting around somewhere.  Is it really from 2006?  That might make for a good future side-by-side tasting…

the pour

lucky 13 bottle

burger bar las vegas

Monday, August 31st, 2009

view from the back bar

view from the back bar

In Las Vegas for a close friend’s bachelor party, I happened to stumble across Burger Bar in Mandalay Place on the strip.  Well, more like “actively seek out as a result of BeerFly research” than “stumble across,” but you know what I mean.  This place emerged as an oasis in a desert of aluminum budweiser bottles and foot-tall plastic margarita glasses.

  • don’t fret if mandalay place (the building between mandalay bay and luxor) seems far.  a tram at excalibur drops you off less than a 5 minute walk from where you need to be.
  • when I got there, the place was packed, and there was a line to get in.  however, bar seating is first come, first served, and there were open bar seats the entire time i was there, so if you are in a group of 2-3 I would recommend that option.  they are also open until 2am on weekends, so you can always go in at an off hour to avoid the rush.
  • if the front bar is packed, check out their back bar – it seemed less crowded to me and was where I got a seat the first time I was there.
  • over the course of the weekend, I visited this place multiple times.  I started off with a favorite, stone’s 13 anniversary, while picking out a burger.
  • they also have an impressive dogfish head selection here, bigger than I have found in SF.  I had a DFH raison d’etre with my burger, and had them pour a draft DFH 90 minute IPA in a cup to go.
  • later that weekend, I rolled in for another burger.  I started off with another favorite, Cantillon Iris (in a 375ml bottle), and left with a DFH 120 minute IPA in a cup (ask for it, I don’t think it’s on the menu).  I think I can safely say that I was the only guy rolling through the casino with that beer in his hand.
  • Everyone working at burger bar was very friendly (and incredibly busy).  I had a good conversation with Dean, the resident “beer guide” at burger bar.  He’s the guy to look for for good beer stories and recommendations.

Also, another burger bar will be opening in the city in macy’s sometime soon, so hopefully theire beer list will come with it and we can all enjoy yet more beer variety here in SF.

p.s. for some decent shots of the interior of burger bar go here.