Tag Archives: Max Kalifornia

I Pigged Out!

Haven Gastropub in Pasadena collaborated this past Sunday with Golden Road Brewery and hosted an event called, “This little piggy went to the brewery.” The event was right up my alley as they were serving two of my favorite food groups, pork and beer! Those are yours too right? I found out about the event last Friday when I stopped by Haven to grab a beer and some Pork Rillettes. The Pork Rilletes dish is delicious, served with toasted sourdough bread and pickled mustard, just tasty, so when Brian, who’s a bartenders there mentioned the event, I thought it would be worth coming back Sunday and checking it all out.  Thanks for hooking me up and remembering this beer patron Brian!

Pork Rilletes spread over sourdough bread with mustard seeds.

The Haven location in Pasadena is a nice big spot and although it’s not a sports bar, they have big screens, and it worked out as this sports fan needed to watch some Football on Sunday.  All the food served was great as was the beer selection.  The variety of beers on tap at Haven is up there, close to 50 I’d guess.  It was all you can eat pork dishes and 10 tickets for about a 5oz pour of any of the 17 combined beer options available from Golden Road and Haven Brewing.  I managed to taste all of the 17 beers available thanks to the great bartenders who weren’t overzealous about collecting the tickets and made sure we got a pour of all their beers; this keeps a patron and fan, coming back to visit.  Below you’ll find pictures of the delicious food I ate and I describe briefly three of my favorite beers that day.

The Beer Options

Hello World – Pale Ale – Haven Brewing
Sosigenes – Imperial Double IPA – Haven Brewing
Schwartz Stout on Espresso (cask) Golden Road
Hello World, was my favorite out of all the ones I tried, it had a nice strong hop flavor that blended well with the malt character of the beer.  Sosigenes, mild malt flavor with a nice citrus presence, a very refreshing Imperial IPA.  Schwartz Stout, nice bittersweet flavors of cocoa and roasted espresso beans with a nice creamy sip.

Charcuterie & Beer

You guessed right, filled with some yummy pork lard.

The Pork Spread!

I had a taste of everything and I have to say that I was really pleased with the offerings.  I probably had eight of the succulent pig tacos you see in the picture above, just wished the tortillas were hot by the time I was served the tacos.  The rest of the food included root vegetables, mac and cheese, fried Brussels sprouts, you can’t go wrong with fried and a pork rillette bite.  Everything was really good, thanks Chefs!

The Food and beer were great.  I’ll definitely consider going to their Sunday Beer events which they are starting to put together.  If you get a chance, make sure you check out some of their Sunday events, the food options and beer selection won’t disappoint you or the family.  Remember that if you are in Los Angeles, LA Beer Week starts today and both Haven Gastropub and Golden Road Brewing, are participating in events.

Throw one back for me ~ Cheers!



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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Beer Outings


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Pictures of Seattle

I visited Vancouver and Seattle in April and this is now the third post from the trip.  The first post was my beer experience, read it here. The second was my pictorial of the city of Vancouver, click here, for the post.  Now enjoy the pictures of my time in Seattle.


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Posted by on June 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Seattle & Vancouver

Four our four year wedding Anniversary, the wife and I planned a trip to Seattle and Vancouver. We flew into Seattle, but immediately hopped on a rental and drove to Vancouver where we stayed the first two days of our trip and where we’ll start this post.

We went to Granville Island to walk around and be tourists.  I lucked out as they had a brewery on the island and they had just reopened their tasting room a few days earlier after some remodeling.  I tried four of the beers (list below) and none were special, but they sure were refreshing.  I later learned that they were bought out by a Canadian macro brew and was told that they felt their product had gone down since.  Those sentiments are common among craft beer drinkers these days, regardless of the company they buy out.

Granville Island Brewery:
Winter Ale – 2 out of 5 Beer Caps
Brockton IPA – 2 out of 5 Beer Caps
English Bay Pale Ale – 2 out of 5 Beer Caps
Island Lager – 2 out of 5 Beer Caps
Irish Red (Limited Release) – Review Coming Soon

My wife bought me this glass and two bottles of the Red

While in the island, I walked into The Backstage Lounge, where I met Rex. He turned out to be a beer guy and self taught chef. We talked a great deal about beers and cooking with beer; he recommended a few beer locations and the brewery in the city.  When I first walked in I asked for a Sea Dog Amber, not really knowing much about the Canadian craft scene, besides Howe Sound and Unibroue.  After learning Rex was a beer guy I asked him to pour me something he would drink himself out of all the taps.  The beer he served me was called Red Racer India Pale Ale by Central City Brewing Co, this was one of the best beers I had while up in Vancouver; it was right up my alley, hoppy and bitter.  Rex loves beer and cooking, he has a channel on YouTube called BrewsChef where he posts his food recipes, all of which include a common ingredient, BEER!  I’m already planning on making a pork belly po’boy he made.  Check out the YouTube channel and save the link!

Sea Dog Amber – 2 out of 5 Beer Caps
Red Racer India Pale Ale – 3 out of 5 Beer Caps

Here I am walking the streets of Vancouver with a six of Corne du Diable by Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel.

Steamworks Brewing Company was a place Rex recommended I visit if I had time, and luckily the wife agreed to make the stop.  Out of all the beers I had there, only their seasonal beers impressed me, but the rest of the ones I tried were pretty good.  Wish I had more time and had shown up with an appetite as this place was serving great food, we ordered the nachos just to munch on something while we drank, and they turned out to be the best nachos I ever had!! The wife even said, “I can’t believe I had to cross the border to have the best nachos ever, the northern one at that!”

Steamworks Brewing Company:
Signature Pale Ale – 2 out of 5 Beer Caps
Lions Gate Lager – 2 out of 5 Beer Caps
Empressa IPA – 2 out of 5 Beer Caps
Nirvana Nut Brown Ale – 2 out of 5 Beer Caps
Coal Porter – 2 out of 5 Beer Caps
Purists’ Saison – 3 out of 5 Beer Caps
Newlywed Belgian Amber Ale – 3 out of 5 Beer Caps
North by Northwest – 3 out of 5 Beer Caps

We are in Seattle now for the rest of this post and this was the view of our Hotel after our late night check in. We stayed at the Sheraton Four Points near the Space Needle, just behind the Bill Gates Foundation building, a nice view. Although I didn’t have a beer at our hotel, it was great to know that they had them available in case of an emergency. This emphasizes the point of how far behind we are in Los Angeles at embracing beer, we’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go.

Near Pikes Place Fish Market we walked into this small placed tucked behind a row of businesses, it’s called Emmet Watson’s Oyster Bar. One thing I liked about Seattle, they have great beer even at the shittiest places. It’s the Northwest! Here I had a half dozen oysters which were really good and I had two beers from Hale’s Ales, the Supergoose IPA and the Troll Porter. I had a third one from Hale’s at the airport, Red Menace.

Hale’s Ales:
Hales Supergoose IPA – 3 out of 5 Beer Caps
Hale’s Troll Porter – 3 out of 5 Beer Caps
Hale’s Red Menace Big Amber – 2 out of 5 Beer Caps

Before the Underground Tour of Seattle, I had a very tasty beer by Elyssian Brewing Co called Avatar Jasmine IPA; I enjoyed it and I recommend this IPA, so pick one up. 3 out of 5 Beer Caps

Scuttlebutt Brewing Co
Anthony’s Pale Ale – 2 out of 5 Beer Caps

The last beers of my trip was at the airport, two beers of the size you see above made me nearly miss my trip. I had to run to the head to break the seal and that’s when I heard my name being called over the PA, “last call for Cerveza Please, Virgin flight to Los Angeles…” I had to run through the aiport like OJ Simpson. I drank a beer called Anthony’s Pale Ale by Scuttlebutt Brewing Co; I think Scuttlebutt makes this for the Anthony chain of restaurants of the area. This is where I drank the third beer by Hale’s Pale, the Red Menace.

If I tell you that I probably drank two bottles of water during the entire trip, I’m not exaggerating, my liquid of choice to hydrate as you might imagine was beer and after five days of being on holiday, I drank a total of 19 beers that I tallied, but I might be missing two or three, that’s a 3.8 beers per day; a nice batting average if you do the math. I brought back a six pack of IPA’s you saw pictured above and two 22oz bottles of Granville Island’s Irish Red (limited release), I’ll have future reviews for those. My trip was never scheduled with the intention of making it about beer, but was really surprised and glad that both cities had such great choices of beer whenever we stopped to get a bite.  This will be one trip I’ll never forget, I had a great companion and experienced great spots along the way.  The follow up post will have tons of pictures I took of both cities.

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Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Beer Outings


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Black & Brew

I picked up a 12 pack at my local grocer for only $9.99, it was deal I couldn’t pass and I should’ve bought two as there were a few decent beers in the case and some that I really liked; you couldn’t go wrong for the price. I’m sure you’ve seen the Winter Classics variety pack and since doing research for this post, I learned it’s available during the months of November and December. The case of 12 includes two of each from, Boston Lager, Winter Lager, Holiday Porter, Old Fezziwig Ale, and their newest creations, Black & Brew and Chocolate Bock. I’ll be posting my thoughts on the Chocolate Bock in a few weeks.

Black and Brew is a Coffee Stout with a nice aroma of malt and bread notes, but I didn’t get any coffee aroma. A robust coffee flavor is prominent throughout, with a nice combination of chocolatey malt. There is a bitter finish to the beer from the roasted coffee. It has a nice body to it, really nice and creamy.

Here is my little one trying to get into my shot, lol.

This is a Four Beer Caps Stout that I truly enjoyed. The coffee and malt flavor combination really did it for me. I’ll be searching for this variety pack before the cold months are over. Just as I was finishing this post, I thought of a Stout Float; this would be great with a scoop of coffee or vanilla ice cream.

Throw one back for me ~ cheers!

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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Empty Bottles


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