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Happy Friday beer fans! And an early Happy New Year too, why not?

I suppose the above picture doesn't have much to do with beer, except that I hope to be consuming some, before during and after the event. I'm rooting for the team wearing red :)

beer news, let's see...

I spent a brief holiday with family in or near Ventura CA, where the beer scene seems to be thriving. In addition to the long-established Anacapa Brewing there is now also Surf Brewery. I didn't get to drink there though, maybe next trip. My brother took me to Barrelhouse 101, an alehouse/restaurant named both for the highway through Ventura and for its number of taps. I was really impressed, and drank two different sour beers I'd never seen before. How many pubs have two sour beers? They have six! Bro says multiple restaurants have died at that location; I hope this one holds on.

En route I stopped at the award-winning Firestone-Walker brewery in Paso Robles, which now has a good restaurant in addition to the taproom. I'm not prepared to say how Taproom IPA differs from Union Jack, but it is delicious; my long time brewery-only favorite is Unfiltered Double Barrel Ale. Unfortunately the steady traffic of beer trucks is destroying their edge-of-town side road, I hope the city works on those potholes before my next trip.

I've finally got around to trying winter seasonals, I have one Sam Adams Winter Lager and one Anchor Christmas Ale. Also some Firestone Pale Ale. What are you drinking?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    "Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war" - John Adams

    by esquimaux on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:45:06 PM PST

  •  Cheers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mickT, OkieByAccident

    I met up with a former student at Stone today for lunch. While waiting for her to get there I was poured a Russian River Row 2, Hill 56. Which is more pale than IPA, but good. The manager told me that Vinnie at RR is going to pull back on the amount of IPA's he brews. That's sad news.

    Once we were settled in for lunch we both had an AleSmith Nut Brown and a Stone Smoked Porter with our food. Tonight I've been enjoying a Ballast Point Sculpin IPA with my burger.

    esquimaux, I had the Walker's Reserve Porter the other night, it was excellent.

  •  looking forward to possibly going to the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    NE Kossack meet-up so I can sample some microbrews in PVD.

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:55:09 PM PST

    •  good reason to go (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      one of my important tasks is to scout drinking places for an FNBB meetup at NN next summer!

      "Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war" - John Adams

      by esquimaux on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:02:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  there was a microbrewery (forgot name) (0+ / 0-)

        in SJ within walking distance of the convention center IIRC had a tasty porter as I recall

        yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

        by annieli on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:23:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  three beers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bsegel, OkieByAccident

    1) Sierra Nevada's
    Celebration, Fresh Hop Ale
    Very hoppy beer. Tastes more like a double IPA to me, but I guess you can't call it that with a 6.8% ABV.
    A nice copper-red pour. I usually get one six pack each year.

    2) New Glarus
    Wisconsin Belgian Red
    (Called a Wisconsin Ale Brewed with Cherries on the bottle.)
    Sadly, this is my second to last bottle.
    I don't like too many fruit beer fan in general, but this one is fantastic. Only available in Wisconsin. I went back to visit Wisconsin over Christmas, and sadly they don't have any this year. The cherry crop was poor.
    Ruby red pour. Taste like real cherries rather than some artificial cherry-like flavor.
    Certainly one of my favorite beers.

    Tomorrow's plan includes or St Bernardus Christmas Ale and Old Ruffian, Great Divide's barleywine, which are both beers that also in my top 5.

    The plural of anecdote is not data.

    by Skipbidder on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:14:16 PM PST

    •  two, not three beers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bsegel, mickT

      Was going to open the barleywine tonight, but decided to pass on it, since it would only be me at this point, and it's a bomber. I've not reached that level of lush yet.

      The plural of anecdote is not data.

      by Skipbidder on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:16:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Belgian Red! (0+ / 0-)

      Love that beer.

      They brewed a substitute called Serendipity that is a Cherry/Cranberry/Apple blend. It's reputedly wonderful, I was gifted a bottle I haven't opened yet. Many are hoping they'll make it a permanent addition to the Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart.

      Both your other choices are terrific as well.

      Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. -- Ambrose Bierce

      by OkieByAccident on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:05:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Black Butte porter (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jack K, bsegel, mickT

    when it's cold, I like a beer like this.  It sticks to the ribs.  (in more than one way)

    Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:24:54 PM PST

  •  Apocalypse IPA, courtesy of one of the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bsegel, OkieByAccident

    many incredible microbreweries here in Central Orygun,10 Barrel Brewing Company.  Unlike the Deschutes Brewery Jubelale Winter Ale I spoke about recently, you won't find this one in your area.  10 Barrel is starting to expand and one can locally find some of their beers in bottle 6-packs, and this one is a keeper with a nice hoppy flavor (the website talks about "fruity"- which I can pick up on - and "a hint of pine resin"- which I don't get at all, but I've spent most of my life around pine trees so maybe I should quit chewing on them so much so I can restore that sense of taste/smell)...

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    by Jack K on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:29:16 PM PST

  •  Drinking My Entropy Belgian Strong Dark Ale (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    About a year ago there was a week of strips in which Monty homebrewed,
    There are occasional mentions of beer in Hagar the Horrible, and frequent ones in Andy Capp. Alas, Snuffy Smith gave up moonshining several years ago.

    The man who worries morning and night about the dandelions in the lawn will find great relief in learning to love the dandelions. Liberty Hyde Bailey, 1910

    by Grainpaw on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:31:14 PM PST

    •  hi Grainpaw (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      so the Robotman comic became Monty since the last time I noticed them. I'll bet they got some jokes out of Monty's nasty homebrew.

      didn't Snuffy Smith give up, period, some years ago?

      interesting point that current US comics don't tend to have drinking references, beer or other.

      "Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war" - John Adams

      by esquimaux on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:57:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Happy Hour tap (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Lost Coast -  Downtown Brown (Eureka,Ca)
    Easy to drink w/ HH munchies, especially the salty ones.

  •  cheers esq (can I call you 'esq'?) (0+ / 0-)

    snow cap again, imagine that.

  •  Widmer Black IPA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This one is a problem for me.  Much like "military intelligence" and "jumbo shrimp", "black IPA" is an impossibility.  "IPA" means "India PALE Ale", so "black" simply doesn't fit.  Why they've called it an IPA, I can't fathom.  The flavor is strongly of burnt malt with plenty of hops, possibly even top hopped, which makes for a nice, hoppy stout.  But it isn't an IPA.  Try it and form your own opinions.

    •  Black IPAs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      These originally started out as an IPA with a little dark malt added to give it a porter or stout-like color, so essentially you had a beer with the flavor profile of an IPA but dark.  Lately, brewers have been using more roasted malts, though usually of the dehusked or debittered variety, so they're getting closer to hopped up stouts.

      There was a lot of controversy when the American Homebrewers Association tried to assign a name to the style.  Most of the brewers making this were in the Pacific Northwest so they started calling it Cascadian Dark Ale.  Non-Cascadians didn't cotton to that and it eventually wound up being officially called American Black Ale.

      It might be my favorite style of beer.  Some of the best are:

      Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous
      Firestone Walker Wookey Jack (which also includes rye in the malt bill)
      Deschutes Hop in the Dark Cascadian Dark Ale
      Uinta Dubhe Imperial Black IPA (my personal favorite)

      Of course there are the highly-hopped Imperial Stouts like Victory Storm King which blur the line between Stout and American Black Ale in the other direction.  Stone's Anniversary Ale a couple years ago was called Escondidian Black IPA and when it was first available it was extremely hoppy and matched the American Black Ale style perfectly.  After it sat on the shelves for a few months it lost a lot of the aroma from the dry-hopping and the hop bitterness had mellowed to the point where it became an Imperial Stout.

  •  Hop Henge (0+ / 0-)

    Deschutes 2013 Hop Henge is out a few days early.  It's an IPA that changes every year and it's usually available January-April.  This one caught me by surprise as last year's was about 8% abv.  I glanced at the stamp on the side of the label and noticed this one was 10.6%.  The alcohol is a little more noticeable in this one than in similar strength imperial IPAs but it's still fairly drinkable.  

  •  Having spent some time in Germany (0+ / 0-)

    I decided to do kind of a "radler mass" tonight.  Combined light beer and ginger ale for this version.

    Here's the link on radler mass:

  •  Tonite's Tasty Beer is... (0+ / 0-)

    Allagash Black - A Belgian Style Stout

    I'll do this one again...
    Reminds me quite a bit of the Founders Breakfast Stout...
    Coffee, Oatmeal, and oh so Chocolatta...

    "Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
    I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."
    ~John F. Kennedy~


    by Oldestsonofasailor on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 02:39:24 AM PST

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