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Monthly Archives: November 2010

Alpha King by Three Floyds

A Pale Ale by Three Floyds with a great label; just look at it, the Hop King himself is flavoring the beer with his own hop-locks. There are times when labels mislead you, they look great and get you to buy the product, but they don’t deliver; quite the opposite with this one and if you’re a pale ale fan, you’ll be in for a treat. With Alpha King the Pale Ale is delicious, too bad this was the only beer I got with the trade, but I’ve been looking forward to it since I really enjoyed another beer by Three Floyds called Gumball Head.

An amber colored pour with medium body and an excellent bold aroma of citrus hop and malt sweetness. The hop flavor is citrusy and piney, but what I really liked in this ale was the presence of the malt, it adds sweetness to the character of the beer; a nice balance to the bitterness that shows up in the finish.

This is an excellent pale ale and will go as far as saying that it will rival in flavor any of your top five favorites; a perfect five beer caps is awarded for that reason. I’ve had this review up my sleeve for a number of weeks, but as I reminisce and write my final thoughts on it, I wish I were in Indiana to walk into a bar and get one poured from the draft; it’s that good!

Pour one for me!

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Posted by on November 16, 2010 in Empty Bottles, Five Beer Caps Club

 

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Library Ale House

Library Ale House, Santa Monica CA

This location is often mentioned as a bar with a good beer selection and I don’t work far from Santa Monica, so it was just a matter of time before I set foot in this place; three other guys walked into the bar with me that night, @Diskedo, @NorwalkPhil, and @LaNonStop.  I’ve driven by this place a few times and I’ve seen how crowded it can get, so I planned on getting here early to avoid the big crowd and be able to enjoy my sips of beer; this would also allow us to leave early and go down to Abbot Kinney Blvd for First Friday and get something to eat from one of the dozens of food trucks that park along the boulevard.

6 Rivers Brewing IPA

The first round of beers was ordered and I started with a 6 Rivers Brewery IPA.  Albeit dark, the beer had a great amber color and the aroma of the flowery hops and citrus was too; I really enjoyed the hoppy bitter finish to it.  This is the first time I had something from the 6 Rivers Brewery and will look forward to their other selections, as I liked this beer.

Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin

The second round was poured and I opted for an Oatmeal Stout by Firestone Walker called Velvet Merlin.  I had this beer during the LA Beer Week and it was at the point where my taste buds stopped functioning, but I knew I had to try it again as I really enjoyed the body of it.  The beer had strong malt aroma that gave way to roasted coffee.  I liked the smooth creamy flavor, the roasted malt and coffee, and the faint bitter chocolate finish.

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA

The third and final brew was Racer 5 IPA by Bear Republic.  It had a crisp flavor with piny citrus notes and a slightly dry bitter finish; ¡estupenda cerveza!  I enjoyed the beautiful scent of the hops in this beer and I’m starting to notice different aromas from them, but I still don’t know which is which and it prompted me to search online for the kinds of hops that are used to make this beer. Chinook, Cascade, Columbus, and Centennial are the varieties used; a lot right?  This left me even more puzzled as I was hoping to identify one or two of the hops and associate them with the great aroma of the beer.

The Library Ale House has a good variety of beers on tap, great atmosphere, and attentive service, but if you don’t like crowded places, get here early or avoid it all together.  They have a food menu to pair your beers with; the ahi tuna and fried chicken I’ll vouch for, good stuff.  I’ll give them 4 beer caps on overall experience as everything went smooth, but I do have one bone to pick with them.  We asked for one of the TV’s to be tuned to the Lakers game, but because someone was watching the Clippers on that TV, they didn’t change the channel; really? Who the fuck watches the Clippers in this town?!  Don’t let that last comment detract you from visiting them, as they do have a good draft selection, and if you are a fan of the Belgian stuff, they got lots of that too.

The night ended on Abbot Kinney Blvd where we inhaled some pork and duck tacos from the Flying Pig truck; a great way to end a Friday night.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2010 in Beer Outings

 

LA Beer Week – Oct 17th


LA Beer Week culminated with a tasting event at Union Station and yours truly was there to revel in the festivities.  I woke to a gloomy rainy Sunday and thought it might turn out to be a day of drinking beer while drenched, but mother nature helped out and we only experienced scattered drizzle.  I took the train into downtown with @NuttyAroma (he has a new beer blog btw), it was perfect as I don’t condone drinking and driving and the train made it all easier.

Before the event we stopped at a local favorite, Philippes.

Gates opened at 12:30 pm and it was all good times after that, not that many people there which meant you didn’t have to wait long for a pour.  It was the usual for me, I started with full pours, then ½ pours and in the end, it didn’t matter what was poured, my taste buds were shot and I couldn’t discern a thing.  Now you really can’t sit there and break down each and every pour, but I did take notes; take a look below at some pictures and brief impressions on what I tasted.

Great Divide, Titan IPA: bitter to the extreme, super hops; loved it!

Stone, Smoked Porter with Chipotle: served too cold, did not enjoy it, took two sips and dumped the rest.  It was as if you licked a spoon with chipotle paste, this of course was from the beer being too cold.

Koning Hoevin Trappist: Learned it’s the only wheat Trappist; smooth with citrus bready notes.

Cuvee de Trolls: light body with orange finish.

The Bruery, Seven Grain Saison: I had this but did not write anything about it.

Deschutes, Jubel 2010 Once A Decade Ale: don’t have notes for it.

Nibble Bit Tabby, Uncle Ernie Irish Red: smooth with tart aftertaste and faint cherry notes; it was good.  We now have three breweries in Los Angeles, this was the second that opened within the city limits; we love beer in this town, but we don’t have that many brewers.

I like the tap handles for their beer (below), and they look just like Brian Letchoe (above).

Borrowed image from DrinkEatTravel.com; click on picture for site link.

Ladyface IPA: bitter start with citrus finish, bold bitterness.

Ladyface, Cerise: citrus cherry, light body, with a wood flavor at the end, it was a nice finish; I was told the flavor came from the oak wood barrel.  Spoke briefly to David Griffiths the brew master for Ladyface about the Cerise, he said this is going to be ready next year, so the beer wasn’t quite there yet but he had a small tank to share.

Brouwerij West, Belgian Style Blond 5: strong citrus flavor with a dry finish.

Moyland’s, Kiltlifter: strong molasses and a hint of carrot, that surprised me; I’m starting to get buzzed at this point.

Unibrou, Trois Pistoles: dark ale, smooth light body with dark fruit notes.


Strand Brewing Co, 24th St Pale Ale: it was served very cold, not much character other than bitterness.

Craftsman, Fireworks Saisson: carbonated, citrus, light peppery finish.

Oskar Blues, Little Yella: I grabbed this out of the bucket and it was warm, too warm; will try again some other time.

Of course it wouldn’t be a beer event without people acting a fool due to alcohol. The lets freak, the drunk, and the I’m not moving from this tree ‘cuz I’ll fall.

Beer + Friends = Buenos Tiempos!

One Adam 12, alert all units; good beer being served at Union Station.

Although so many people turned out it wasn’t overcrowded, I’m not sure if it was by design as it could have been a bad situation especially with a small location.  At the end of the event, we were able to stay behind and hang around with some of the brewers and eat some BBQ that was there for the volunteers; this was fun.  There were lots of average beers at the event and I’m sure some great ones, but at a setting like this it’s hard to fish them out with my rookie palate, and it doesn’t help that they pour the beer at a temperature above it’s recommendation.  I drank about 30 different beers, I took notes on half of them, and it turns out my favorite beer was the very first one they poured for me, Titan IPA by Great Divide; the punch of hops was perfection and I’ll be looking for it to give a detail review.  At the end of the event, by around beer tasting #25, my taste buds were shot and I didn’t care what I tasted, but I was happy to be among the good drinking beer crowd of Los Angeles.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2010 in Beer Outings

 

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