Monthly Archives: July 2010

Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

I tend to drink alone when I sit to do a review, but this time I had the pleasure of sharing the pint with the lovely @ElizaDolores.  She is adventurous when it comes to beers and has never said no to me when I’ve poured beer.  The last time we shared a meal I brought some Ranger IPA to the table and she really liked the hop flavor of it, so I knew she might like the 14.

This is the first anniversary beer I have from Stone Brewery and I enjoyed it; makes me wonder what I’ve missed the past 13 years.  I read on the bottle that the brewers took a trip to England in search of inspiration and to learn more on the India Pale Ale style; always a good thing to do some research right?  Just like with all IPA’s. you’ll be able to smell the hops and I whiffed a bit of fruit sweetness from the malt.  It has an excellent hop flavor, the sweetness lingered, and had a peppery/pine finish.  At room temperature it remained the same, nothing overpowered nor rose in flavor, just perfect sips; a perfectly balanced beer.  Eliza noted she liked the color and density, “just yum!”

This beer is deserving of 5 caps.


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Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse

A wheat beer with citrus aroma, hints of orange and a bit of sweetness from the malt in the flavor department.  The beer is simple and refreshing, but after having different Hef’s the last few years, I’ve fallen out of love with it, and I think you can find other Hefeweizen with character that will be superior to the Franziskaner; however, don’t pass on it if someone offers you a pour, it’s a good quality beer, just not a title holder in my book.

A little history on me and the Franziskaner Hefeweizen.  This beer and style is one I began to drink often as I had yet to become adventurous in my beer choices during my transition from mass produced to craft beers.  It was easy to pick up the Franziskaner as my local grocery store always had it in stock, so this specific Hef and me go way back.  A Hefeweizen is not complex in flavor, which is why I introduce it to beer drinkers from the insipid aisle, and more recently my brother, who thoroughly enjoyed it.  I would recommend and say that this is a safe route to take for anyone that would like to try a new style of beer; introduce your palate to a sip that wraps around your tongue, and not something that washes down easily.


Posted by on July 24, 2010 in Empty Bottles


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Big Bear Black Stout

This is the first beer I’ve had from Bear Republic Brewery and I picked a good one. I actually chose this by accident, when I visited Lone Hill Liquor a few weekends ago. I went with the intention of grabbing a few Lagers, something smooth and refreshing for the upcoming hot summer days, as I knew the June gloom wasn’t going to last long. I actually paced back and forth down the beer fridges for about ten minutes before settling on a Bear Republic. I’ve put off drinking their beers and have discriminated against them simply because I’m not a fan of their labels; I’ve learned my lesson, don’t judge a book by its cover. When I grabbed the bottle I thought I read Black Lager, but I was surprised when I got home and it read Black Stout… sammama bitch! I did not want to drink this beer during the summer, but it had been in the fridge for days now and every time I opened it, it gave me a mischievous look. Today on a day when the temperature reached 96°, I popped it open and drank it, and still am as I write this review at 10:00 PM; I love it when a beer gets warm and you get to taste flavors not there when cold.

The beers aroma was of chocolate, coffee, and molasses, as well as the flavor, but with an accompanying smoky taste. For the first time I was able to taste the “bready” notes I’ve read on so many reviews; I was beginning to think that bread notes were a bunch of BS or that I was just one of those people not able to distinguish that flavor note. I loved the creaminess of it and how it wrapped your tongue in flavor.

How wrong was I by not wanting to drink a Stout during the summer. I learned and realized that it doesn’t matter the season we are in to be able to enjoy a good tasting beer, regardless of the style. I also failed to remember that this style of beer has been enjoyed by many generations prior to refrigeration. The spoiled beer drinker in me has made me a selective/picky beer drinker, but I must let it go and try to enjoy them all, no matter the style, season, or label; this is one pint of Stout by Bear Republic I recommend you drink.


Posted by on July 17, 2010 in Empty Bottles


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Pliny the Elder

If I’m ever asked to name one of my favorite beers, this is one that always comes to mind; it’s up there on my Top 10 Favorite Beers. A Double IPA (Imperial Pale Ale) from Russian River, a strong beer at 100 IBU’s and 8% ABV. I don’t want to get into a habit of talking IBU’s or ABV’s, frankly because I think it’s pointless for many beers; however, for this post I mention it to paint a picture. The IBU numbers talk about how bitter a beer can be, so 100 IBU’s is way up there; click on the link if you would like to learn more about IBUs. The ABV is the Alcohol by Volume.

This beer is extremely hoppy and bitter, both lingering on your palate from beginning to end. I recall reading somewhere that out of the five elements of taste, for most people, bitterness is the least pleasant, but in beers for me, it’s something I look forward to and enjoy. The fruitiness of the beer did not show up until the beer was completely warm, at which point the bitterness became even stronger. It’s a very simple review as it’s not a complicated beer, simple and tasty, just how any good IPA should be.

I love thee oh Pliny!

I’ve been drinking and reading on Sundays, the day I tend to do a lot of the grueling beer research. The weather has been great here in SoCal, the awful summer heat is not here yet, but it’s coming. I’ve sat in the patio and enjoyed the cool weather and I’ve taken pictures there, so far I like the results, I especially like how the color of the beers have come through. I’ll be off this upcoming Sunday and won’t have the time to research, so the one man team of CervezaPlease will post again midweek; stick around!

A perfect Five Beer Caps for my favorite beer!


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Somer Orange Honey Ale

Still in the mood for drinking after this past Saturday’s Blues & Brews event, I found myself driving to Lone Hill Liquor on Monday evening; I had no business going there as I still have tons of beer in a small 8×18 storage space, I call the beer cellar. I came back with two beers, one from Rogue and one from Bear Republic Brewing. There was still some light out when I got back, I’ve been neglecting my book so I opened the bottle I got from Rogue, took pictures, sipped and read.

Beer’s from Rogue never disappoint, and it was the same with this one. An unfiltered wheat ale with a fruity aroma. You can taste the orange, but I didn’t get to taste the honey until the beer became warm. When the honey became present, it was light and enjoyable, not overbearing. A very quick note of bitterness, but it fades immediately. I enjoyed drinking this beer even after it was completely warm. When I compare the Blanche De Bruxelles I had two days earlier with this one by Rogue, it’s night and day, and the citrus flavor was there, just not as dominant; a superior beer in my opinion. It’s not heavy, it’s refreshing and you can have a few and not worry about the ABV, a perfect beer for grilling on those long hot summer days.

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Posted by on July 6, 2010 in Empty Bottles


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Blues & Brews

On Saturday July 3rd I received an impromptu invitation to the Claremont Village Blues & Brew; it came from my good pal @VisibleDale. The point of the event was more about promoting the local merchants than it was about beer.  We realized that it wasn’t about the beer when we got to our second stop, a location that was pouring Stella and Newcastle out of bottles; yea, my sentiments exactly.  Although it was a beautiful day and you could hear good music as you walked to the different stores, the reason for me being there was beer, not stimulating the local economy; well maybe I did by purchasing a $35 ticket that gave me the right to ten 2.5oz pours.  I had a good time hanging out with Dale and overall the event was fun, although not great, but I got a chance to try beers I’ve never had before from Dale Bros and from Hangar 24, and it was good to hear some Blues as we walked the streets.  I tried and liked a summer beer from Dale Bro’s called Pacific Daylight, a good crisp and refreshing Lager with character.  The Hangar 24 Pale Ale I tried, I don’t remember much about it.

We felt we didn’t have enough beer, even after ten pours, so we thought it would be a good idea to stop at The Back Abbey, a place with a good selection of Belgium beers and good options on food.  Dale started with a Triple Karmeliet and I went with Delirium’s Tremens.  The Tremens beer is a Strong Pale Ale that has an 8.5% ABV.  I’ve never had this beer and found it dry, fruity, and with a hoppy aroma; Dale liked his.  The second round was ordered and we were served a Blanche De Bruxelles and a Celebrator, a white and a double bock.  The Blanche De Bruxelles is a Witbier and that’s not filtered, it was a cloudy yellow.  In terms of the flavor I found it sweet, with lots of orange/citrus flavors; I’ve had better white beers.  Dale liked his and had I known it was a double dock, I probably would have ordered it; I only realized it was a double bock until I came home and was editing the pictures, it says so on the glass.

It was a fun day, and you can’t ask for more when you are with a good pal and enjoying beers.  We’ll have to do this again very soon Dale!


Posted by on July 5, 2010 in Beer Outings

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