Monthly Archives: October 2010

Oktoberfest = Beer, Brats, & Pizzas

On October 16th a few of my close friends and I celebrated Oktoberfest and spent the evening trying different Oktoberfest lagers and pumpkin ales. This turned out to be a good excuse to drink beer and eat pizzas with good friends, but also an opportunity to rate some beers and put together a post for the blog. We used a simple rating system that we broke down to four simple sections, aroma, flavor, mouth feel, and an overall impression; all rated on a scale of 1 to 5 for each section. We each had four Oktoberfest lagers and one pumpkin ale; next year we’ll have to do more pumpkin ales.


@NuttyAroma kicked off the celebration by opening his cooler and surprising us all with a growler of Oktoberfest from Hangar 24, which was followed with a Hoffbrau, Paulaner, Ayinger, and we saved the pumpkin ale from Shipyard for last.

Hangar 24 Oktoberfest

Hofbrau Oktoberfest

Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen

Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin

Here’s how they scored.

The winner was clearly Hangar 24 Oktoberfest, everyone was nodding in agreement on how good it was after the first sip. @NorwalkPhil mentioned to me days later that by drinking Hangar 24’s beer first, it had set the bar high for the rest of the beers; I agreed, it was a tough act to follow and the rest of the beers didn’t satiate the palate quite like we would have liked. @NuttyAroma and I ran into someone from Hangar 24 at LABeerWeek (new post in a few days on LABeerWeek) and told him about our little Oktoberfest gathering and how we really enjoyed their Oktoberfest brew, and even before I tallied the score I thought hands down they were the clear winner. He was pleased to hear this and proceeded to tell us that it was brewed with malt, hops, and yeast which all came from Germany; I’m all for it, Heil to the Fatherland!. @NuttyAroma, thanks for picking this one up; good call!

My usual pizzas were grilled, BBQ Chx and White, but made a new one with Bratwurst and apples that had good flavor and was perfect for Oktoberfest, but needs some tweaking.

A big thanks to all that attended, @Diskedo, @NuttyAroma, @Hecs14, @MCL8KRZ, @NorwalkPhil, @MetalFaceTrebor, we have to do this soon, maybe a BYOGrowler?


Next post… LABeerWeek at LA Union Station.




Posted by on October 23, 2010 in Beer & Food


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Sierra Nevada Summerfest

I enjoyed this beer on the last day of summer, so I’m a little late posting this.

The beer had a light citrus hop aroma, but only a faint flavor of  citrus and malt, the hop was not present.  A smooth finish but was surprised by how much leftover taste of honey was on my palate; present after the fact, about a minute after the beer washed down.

Lagers don’t get as much love from the craft beer community.  I’ve questioned the reasons and I’m sure everyone has a good reason to look down on lagers, but I think those of us in the craft beer market have transitioned to other flavors and we look for that anytime we go out to grab a six pack or a pint.  A lager is now bland compared to the bold complex flavors of many other style of beer available to craft fans, thus a lager becomes your little brother whom you ran away from because you didn’t want him hanging around with you and your friends.  I still enjoy lagers and probably most of your friends do too, but I don’t have them often, I just get nothing from them when it comes to flavor.  Do you agree with me when it comes to lagers?

A good lager but nothing more, a simple beer; three beer caps on the KBRS.


Come back this week for some Oktoberfest posts.


Posted by on October 18, 2010 in Empty Bottles


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Mt. Tam Pale Ale by Marin Brewing Co

Mt. Tam Pale Ale had good hop and malt aroma with a faint note of pine.  Light carbonation and body; bitter throughout with good citrus flavors and mild hop notes.  Don’t let it sit because as it got warm it lost a lot of it’s character.

Mt. Tam Pale Ale is an average tasting Pale Ale on the KBRS, very balanced and because of it, it doesn’t stand out; 3 beer caps.

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Posted by on October 16, 2010 in Empty Bottles


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Homemade & Home-brewed

I didn’t plan it this way, but I’m glad this post turned out to be all about homemade. I got to enjoy a good home brew shipped to me and I made some pizzas to go along with it. Big thanks to Steve for sending me a pair of bottles from his home brewed stash. I made two pizzas, one is a BBQ Chicken and the other is White; food pics below and recipes to follow.

This was a very refreshing beer; loved the body, the color, and it had great flavor that was perfect with the pizza.

Loved the color of the Ale

Roasted Garlic Paste & BBQ Chicken

Garlic Cream Sauce


Balsamic Glazed Red Onions & BBQ Chicken

Garlic Paste, Garlic Sauce, & Cheese

On The Grill

Done & Served

Once I learn or come up with a recipe I play it by ear with the ingredients; the recipes should be good for one pizza of the size you see rolled out up above; yields 8 slices. BTW I don’t make my own dough; I save the time it takes to make the dough to drink beer. The bags of prepared dough I buy are just over 3 lbs and makes two pizzas. You can make this pizza in the oven or on the grill; the instructions are for the grill.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

1 chicken breast cooked and cubed

½ lb shredded mozzarella

6 slices of Gouda

¾ of a red onion thinly sliced

2 tbsp sugar

4 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp olive oil

½ a bunch of fresh cilantro chopped.

Sweet Baby Rays Honey BBQ Sauce (or one of your choice)

Sauté cubed chicken with some bbq sauce and set aside. Over medium heat sauté onions until they sweat then add the sugar and balsamic vinegar; cook until there is no vinegar left on the pan and onions are caramelized, set aside. On the grill add the rolled out dough without ingredients, let only bottom side cook, about 4-5 minutes depending on thickness; remove dough from grill and flip over to grill the other side. On the side that’s been griled add the ingredients, start with spreading the bbq sauce, amount to your liking but go easy, you don’t want a soggy pizza. Top with mozzarella, Gouda, chicken, and balsamic glazed onions. Place pizza back on grill for another 4-5 minutes and transfer to a large baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with cornmeal; leave baking sheet on top of grill for another 3 to 4 minutes. Transferring to a baking rack will allow the cheese to melt and slow down the cooking process of the dough, and adding a bit of cornmeal to the rack will prevent the pizza from sticking to it. When you remove pizza from grill, cut and top with the chopped cilantro.

White Pizza

2 to 3 garlic heads (how much do you love garlic?)

4 tbsp butter

2 cloves of garlic crushed

¾ of a cup heavy whipping cream

½ lb of mozzarella

¼ cup of Romano cheese

8 tbsp of ricotta to dollop

1 bag of arugula

Heat oven to 350º or roast garlic on grill. Slice a bit off the top of the garlic heads, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; cover with foil and roast in oven for about 25 minutes. Take garlic out of oven and squeeze the cloves out of the heads, this should be easy to do, as the garlic has softened. Crush the garlic with a fork, add a bit of olive oil, mix to a paste and set aside. Heat a pan over low heat, add butter and once it begins to bubble add the crushed garlic cloves; be careful not to overcook the garlic as they can get bitter, we only want to use them to flavor the butter. Once the garlic has browned on one side flip to the other side, this whole process should take no more than 3 minutes, remove garlic from pan and discard. Add the whipping cream to the butter, when it begins to boil add the Romano cheese, and whisk until all ingredients are combined. You want to let the white sauce reduce, let it coat a spoon, and once it does this set it aside. I don’t add salt, but you can do so if you like. Follow the same instructions from above recipe to cook one side of the pizza; once you’ve flipped to the grilled side, coat the pizza with the garlic paste, white sauce, mozzarella, and dollop ricotta. Once all topped, place on grill and follow the same instructions of moving to a baking sheet. When you remove from grill, add arugula, cut, and serve.

I learned that grilling one side of the pizza first, topping, and then placing on grill to finish cooking helps it from getting soggy and it cooks much easier and you’ll get crunchy dough. I reheat all of the precooked ingredients in the microwave (I tend to make pizzas solo), but if you have help in the kitchen, try to prepare ingredients just before you start grilling pizzas.

Here is a shot of my first and second attempt of pizzas; good thing I didn’t get discouraged with my pizza topping or rolling dough abilities, it gets better with practice.


Posted by on October 11, 2010 in CasaMadrigal

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