Posts Tagged ‘LA beer week’

hop storage, pacific brewers cup, LA beer week

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

last weekend I weighed out and bagged this year’s hop harvest.

  • I ended up with 2.5 oz. of vojvodina, 2 oz. of cascade, and a paltry 0.5 oz of chinook.  my goal next year is to mulch with compost, maintain a regular fertilization schedule, and let all runners have at it up the vine.  hopefully that will increase yields, especially with my in-ground rhizomes.

I also received some good news from the pacific brewer’s cup, a local homebrew competition hosted by three homebrew clubs.

  • I was stoked to hear that my turbid mash lambic took second place in the cat. 17 sour ale category under straight (unblended) lambic.  a bunch of homebrewer buddies also cleaned house, which helped to cement an overall competition club win by my homebrew club, pacific gravity.  great job everybody!

I’ve also been busy participating in some festivities for LA beer week, which is going on all this week and weekend (check it out if you’re local!).

  • I kicked off beer week in style by heading over to the monthly pacific gravity meeting, and helped out during the weekend by pouring some of my homebrew (white and light house saison) over at monkish during a bus tour of four local breweries.

I also finally got around to taking a decent shot of my fermentation room for those who are curious (see below).  big things are in the works, so stay tuned for updates!

              

rye saison, patersbier tasting notes

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

inspired by my last tasting/critique post (and motivated by my lack of beer-related activities this weekend), I decided to pour a few of my latest brews and get some tasting notes down.  hopefully these reviews can help provide more details about the results of my recipes/processes.

style: patersbier

appearance: lingering fluffy head, decent clarity (little chill haze)

aroma: intensely floral, yeast-forward aroma; hints of banana and clove as tasting progressed and sediment was poured

taste: smooth and slightly malty with a coating mouthfeel; very yeast-forward

comments: after three weeks in primary and a week in the bottle, this beer is still a bit green; it will hopefully clear up and be a bit crisper once the yeast cleans itself up a little.  I was really pleased with the not-too-dry finish (and am beginning to realize that many of my beers need to have their mash temp upped by a couple degrees).

 

 

style: rye saison/sour

appearance: fine head that reduces to a thin lacing; healthy carbonation

aroma: sour fruit (clean/light), slightly lactic aroma (smells sour)

taste: clean, lactic sourness; slight floral “saison” finish; no spice from rye or yeast

comments: this was definitely a happy accident – my cultured dregs must have had some lacto that took off during the 80F fermentation (although no pellicle was present).  the sourness here is pleasing and clean, and makes for a great summer session sour.  however, it is definitely less complex than my other sour saison (for one, it has no funk).  a clean sourness was clearly present during kegging after a month in primary, so this may be the way to go for a “quick” session sour, a blending sour, etc.  I may try to toss this yeast slurry into a wheat beer at 80F for a berliner weiss attempt, or may try racking a similar recipe onto fruit.

 

 

in other news, LA beer week is in full swing, so grab a designated driver and hit up some events!

 

LA beer week kickoff at naja’s

Monday, October 18th, 2010

LA beer week has officially come to a close, and I’m sure many unique and tasty brews were poured and enjoyed.

  • the only event I was able to make was the stone kickoff party at naja’s place.  even though I saw ads for this event in celebrator and other beer publications, I thought that the event would be similar in size to their IPA festival.
  • my hopes for short lines was dashed, however, when AP and turned the corner on the pier and saw a line of people snaking out the door.  ML called from inside and confirmed the worst case scenario: the line was not for entry, but for getting a beer at the bar!
  • overwhelmed with enochlophobia, I staggered away, looking for an alternative.  KEGS, an oft overlooked bar a stone’s throw away, seemed like a decent choice.
  • KEGS would probably thrive in an average commercial environment – they have a solid tap selection and great service, although the place is a little cramped.  the only oversight the KEGS founders made was to set up a small space with a decent tap lineup and live music literally one hundred yards from one of the best beer bars with live music in the world.
  • this spot turned out to be a great place to wait out the crowd at naja’s, with favorites like racer 5 and gordon being poured.  after a couple hours, it was time to head home, but our group made the mistake of walking past naja’s, which was now at half capacity, on the way out.  AP saw the look of longing on my face and crumbled, so we stopped in for a quick peek.
  • darren, jay, and martin were all still in shock from the huge turnout, but luckily they were still pouring some rarities.  after sampling ’07 barrel-aged old guardian (or was it 07.07.07?) and their 9th anniversary ale, I cemented next morning’s headache and took off.
  • note to self – the beer scene has arrived in full in LA.  it was awesome to see so much socal support for a beer bar great.

naja’s redux

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

pint trio of dogfish head punkin, oskar blues old chub, and green flash west coast IPA

last weekend AP and I were lucky enough to roll by naja’s place for the second weekend in a row.

  • we met up with DP to enjoy a few brews on a beautiful day.
  • since I had a few cans of oskar blues’ dale’s pale ale earlier in the weekend (hoppy with a sessionable maltiness – check out this interesting story about the brew), I decided to roll with oskar blues and ordered up an old chub first (on draft!).  it had a balanced malty sweetness that was not cloying, and has a substantial, satisfying mouthfeel.
  • I also ordered up an east/west combo – a glass of shipyard’s XXXX IPA (maine) followed by green flash’s west coast IPA (carlsbad, CA).  what can I say, I’m partial to the home team.
  • the afternoon came to a celebratory close with a bottle of russian river’s temptation.  tart, funky, and complex with great carbonation and a crisp drinkability, this is one of my favorites.  I grabbed a couple more glasses and passed around some samples to help change some people’s perceptions about how far beer can go (especially in CA!).
  • in fact, I was sipping on this brew while I watched the dodgers on TV spraying each other with nothing other than budweiser tall cans after their sweep.  yikes.
  • AP and DP both thoroughly enjoyed dogfish head’s punkin ale, my favorite example of the style.  it has subtle spicing that meshes well with brown ale characteristics and doesn’t overwhelm the beer.
  • remember to check out naja’s for LA beer week, it should be epic!

guardian bat of the taps

punkin and old chub checking out the view

usual parkng scene at naja's

temptation in the glass

more halloween decoration at naja's

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