American Craft Beer Week started off with a huge bang! Ladies at Ladyface: The Fermentables and Comestibles Education and Tippling Society celebrated our two year anniversary!
I stuck to my latest tradition and started off with mac ‘n cheese with jalapeno and bacon. For a night like we had ahead, food was necessary. As was a warm-up beer…
It was a HOT one out, so I grabbed a nice light Palo Comado XPA.
The week had started off with a high of 100 degrees, so the patio misters were more than welcome as the sun slowly set and the earth finally began to cool.
Our youngest member who was unable to attend either the first meeting or the first anniversary (on account of not being created or born yet) joined us for dinner.
Little Avery lovin’ on her Auntie Michelle!
The theme of the day was “favorites”. We were supposed to bring in our favorite beer… One of my ultimate favorites is aging in my cellar (aka a cardboard box sitting in a cool closet), and I just wasn’tt prepared to be unselfish and share it, so instead I brought six of my other faves. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier is one of my favorite wheat beers, along with Franziskaner – musty with intense notes of banana and earthy cloves.
Lost Coast Downtown Brown – nothing too fancy about this one. Just a quality brown that’s always a good go-to when you’re looking for a lower alcohol beer with lots of roasty nutty malts and gentle hops.
This was one of the first, if not the first, recipe I made for the blog with beer. Bison Brewing Organic Honey Basil is the heart of my Honey Basil Chicken recipe, which I’m looking forward to grilling again this summer!
Michelle brought in Pilsner Urquell – the original Czech Pilsner.
Nancy Gold of the Maltose Falcons brought in two homebrewed clones of Allagash Curieux – one aged with oak cubes from a rum barrel and one with oak cubes from a bourbon barrel. Droooool.
We were all very fond of both. I think I preferred the toasted rum cubes, myself.
Janelle (I believe this was her donation) brought in Anderson Valley Brother David’s Triple – a deliciously boozy Belgian.
Cyrena brought in a beer she’d gotten overseas at the Westvleteren Trappist brewery (there are only eight Trappist breweries in the world), and was kind enough to share it with us. This beer does taste a little closer to heaven.
We had a handful of other beers – New Belgium’s La Folie was my mother’s donation from afar since she now lives in Colorado and was unable to attend. J.J. brought in Duchesse de Bourgogne which tasted like it was made of sugar cubes after the intense sourness of La Folie.
Ting Su of the Eagle Rock Brewery showed up with some Los Angeles ladies to participate as well!
Ting brought in Deuce – Eagle Rock Brewery’s second anniversary ale which is a super-loaded version of their flagship beer, Solidarity. Toasty and full of chocolate, roast and hints of smoke – scarily drinkable and clocking in at 10%ABV. This could throw you for one if you weren’t aware of the alcohol content.
I capped off the evening with an old favorite – bread pudding!!! I left that night overstuffed and overhappy.
Happy Two Years, ladies! Here’s to two more!
Category Archives: beer
American Craft Beer Week started off with a huge bang! Ladies at Ladyface: The Fermentables and Comestibles Education and Tippling Society celebrated our two year anniversary!
I finally got a chance to check out the actual BREWERY instead of just the pub!
Of course, beforehand I had to fuel up in said pub. I can’t go on a brewery tour without fuel. I’m not completely insane.
There was a big group of us and they assigned ordering to me. I closed my eyes and pointed. Roasted potatoes with soy chorizo and vegan ricotta. Surprisingly pleasant, even for someone who lives for bacon!
Vegan wild mushroom fritters with vegan pimento – for someone who hates mushrooms and loves pig, also surprisingly pleasant. One might even say delicious!
Pretzel with non-vegan cheese. Two vegan options are more than enough in my opinion, no offense to all my vegan/vegetarian readers out there!
We topped it off with the charcuterie plate full of cheese, grapes, spicy peanuts and cured meats. Okey, fueled up. Tour time.
We made our way through Chloe’s – the exclusive club for all those who love beer.
As you can see, I hadn’t quite gotten my lens repaired/been able to remove the lens yet…
We made our way into the gigantic offices/cold room. Don’t worry, these are separated. They don’t actually cryogenically freeze the employees. Yet.
This be a pretty big walk-in. I be pretty jealous. I become pretty chilled…
That ought to satisfy the LA consumers for a few days…
Once we got back into the warmth, we were greeted with all these empty cans, waiting to be filled with Wolf Among Weeds.
And finally, into the brewery!
They had to remove the roof of this building in order to lower these fermentors in by crane.
They’re kinda big…
And finally, a glance at the 50bbl brew system. Fifty. Barrel. Brew. System.
They run their wort through the hop dosing system before sending it to the boil kettle.
Instead of filtration, they have a separation tank. This spins the chilled wort around and all of the solids are brought to the center and removed – basically a second whirlpool tank, but faster and cooler looking.
The canning machine! We didn’t get to see this in action, but that makes for easier pictures anyway. These are spun around, sanitized, purged with CO2, filled and capped/clamped.
The quality assurance room/lab. If anyone for some reason calls in about their beer having an issue, the Golden Road team is able to come in here and taste that exact same batch to see if it’s a problem based on brewing or by handling. I think I’d be good at this part of the job.
I’m checking out how good I am at quality assurance right now.
In other news – I took my camera in to the repair shop and after a lot of hammering from the backroom and me cringing as I listened to each bone-shattering crack, the shattered cover was removed and my camera is at the ready to take some more awesome pictures!
I’d like to preface this post with a photo.
I haven’t been able to get the UV lens to come off of the camera yet, so unfortunately the pictures I got are quite sad. I was able to go down to Anaheim and got a (blurry) tour of The Bruery by the Sr. Director of Brewing Operations/Everything Else, Tyler King.
The Bruery has three separate buildings – offices and barrel aging space, the actual brewery and a distribution center/warehouse which also hosts more barrels.
This is their 3bbl pilot system. As you can see, it’s very fuzzy and soft-looking so some of the brewers use it as sleeping quarters… Out, damned crack! Out, I say!
Their old (also unfortunately fuzzy and blurry) fermentors are about to get swapped out for shiny new ones.
They propagate their own yeast on site instead of working through other labs. Their new fancy schmancy lab and lab technician are in full swing!
And here’s where I finally got (some of) the focus under control.
The Bruery is currently distributed in 21 states AND in Europe! After seeing the 15bbl system they work and finding out they have a staff of about 50, my mind was boggled. And impressed. Massively.
Brand new 60bbl fermentors!
Many, many kegs waiting to be filled with golden, amber and ruby deliciousness! And then some more!
One small section of their barrel aging program.
One bigger section of their barrel aging program. The scent of spirits, vanilla and oak swirling around the giant warehouse is intoxicating!
All of their bottle-conditioned beers, packed up and ready to be sent out!
And now these await me in my cellar (read: cardboard box in a dark cupboard) while they age out. Luckily I got two (or more) of each, so I should probably try them fresh as well, yes?
It’s been a busy week – that seems to be a new tradition. On Wednesday I had a beer and food pairing event at Sagebrush Cantina in Calabases that I designed and had to get there early to set up. I happened to get there just a tad too early and used the extra time as an excuse to go visit Pedaler’s Fork across the street.
I was a tad too late for breakfast…
And just hungry enough that I might be able to finish a piece or two of flatbread.
Smoked chicken and shishito peppers! Smokey and sweet.
The crew from Lagunitas happened to show up as I was enjoying my first bite. They ordered some fancy whiskey for themselves…
…and a shot of Lagunitas Sucks for me. I had a speech to give so I was behaving.
Behaving is very difficult with Pedaler’s selection of 32 taps, but I stood my ground.
Except for a small sip of the fizz that mixologist Thor was trying out. Thor (his actual name is Tor, but I can’t not call him Thor) also happens to be a Chiver!
In exchange for letting me call him Thor, I gave him a Bill F***ing Murray shirt. Good trade, in my opinion.
I enjoyed the last of the sunlight in the rustic restaurant before going back across the street to set up.
Other beer. Check.
More beer. Check.
You get the idea. Check.
All in all we had about eighteen different breweries attend with about thirty two beers. I’d spent the past week putting together and finalizing all of the food pairings. Unfortunately for you guys, I got too busy hosting and giving speeches (aka a single two-minute speech about how to taste the beer before I ran to Lagunitas and told them to “beer me” whilst holding out my four ounce glass for a fill) and was unable to take pictures of the actual prepared food. The event and pairing was well-received by all, and brewery tours were promised by reps. It was a good evening for me!
In other news, I’m slowly adding to my beer/brewery photography portfolio. I apologize in advance if these explicit photographs offend anybody.
Behind the scenes for Enegren Brewing’s new beer Shorts Day.
The official pic.
The boys decided to try out the entire brew in their short shorts.
The official beer picture for Shorts Day Spring IPA…
And the background model in all of his white-legged glory.
Again, I’m so sorry.
Most of my pictures have been taken through my phone in the past week, and nothing in much of an order. Here’s a little bit of what I’ve been up to, iPhone style.
Dodger Padres game!
The most overpriced beer in the entire world. Seriously, $10 for 12oz? We forgot the tailgate beers, so I guess we have ourselves to blame…
Some experimentals from Custom Pie! I’ve been quality checking them throughout the past weeks and I’m proud to say I was the first purchase ever!
Awesome turkey burger with garlic aioli and avocado from Prohibition Burgers and Beer in Encino – one of my new favorite hangouts during the work week.
Girls’ BYOB night – Samuel Adams New World Tripel. Faintly sweet, earthy/musty and dry. I’m loving their barrel series!
A trip to the 500bbl brewery – Miller. This place is HUGE! The packaging line is extremely impressive – even when it breaks and shoots the tops of cans everywhere.
The craft team from my company went down to Irwindale for training and a “homebrew” session.
Relax. Don’t worry. Have a… homebrew? Or take one sip and give it to the person sitting next to you. I may have done that…
This SABCO Brew Magic system be crazy! Circulating mash – the entire brew took us three hours. Using two row sped up the conversion time.
Pulled pork made with Batch 19, stir fry veggies with Blue Moon and lemon cake made with Leinenkugel Summer Shandy.
Aaaand back to Ladyface for some delicious brews a la Ladies at Ladyface!
The theme was “all things fermented”. Spent grain bread, edamame and kimchi!
El Segundo’s awesome IIPA – Two 5 Left.
Mac ‘n cheese with jalapeno and bacon – not fermented, but I couldn’t say no. Next month is our TWO YEAR anniversary! Everyone’s bringing their favorite beer – time to dig into my cellar!
A new place opened in Calabasas – Pedaler’s Fork is a craft beer bar, farm to table restaurant, coffee shop with its own roaster and a bike shop.
The most delicious cup of coffee I’ve ever consumed from 10 Speed Coffee at Pedaler’s Fork. I’m in love.
Headed to Public School 310 last night.
Lots of rotating taps and a steady craft selection.
The rotating selection of the week. El Segundo Citra Pale!
Hyper Bella at The Chive.
Now off to a long workday with a beer pairing event tonight! Beer, food, happy, happy.
A few of the things that have transpired lately…
PLINY THE YOUNGER! Didn’t even have to wait in line! I was taking a different route home, got a call from a lovely lady from Ladies at Ladyface and was receiving a pour two minutes later. I’m glad that I tried it, but I’m very glad I didn’t wait in line for it. It’s a perfectly balanced beer. Someone at Tony’s Darts Away explained it the best way – “So perfect it’s forgettable.” I’ll remember it just because of the hype. And the jalapeno and bacon mac ‘n cheese I paired with it.
Enegren Brewing and El Segundo Brewing beer pairing night at Short Order!
Tom from El Segundo Brewing, Matt and Joe from Enegren Brewing.
Valkyrie California Alt in front of the fire on a warm evening.
Bad news for you guys – the food was so delicious that it was devoured before I remembered I should be taking pictures. My apologies.
Custom Melt visited the brewery for our St. Patrick’s Day event!
Green Mac ‘n Cheese with Bangers. Spinach blended into the cheese made it green. And healthy. That’s how that works.
Heavenly corned beef and cabbage melts. It was jam packed again, similar to Superbowl Saturday, so I was only able to snag a few bites of everything.
Irish Car Bomb bread pudding! Thomas of Custom Melt made Valkyrie beer bread to use in this recipe. Have I mentioned how Custom Melt is my hero/haven/love/dream?
We had the 21st meeting of Ladies at Ladyface! Irish brews were the theme.
Plenty of donations from the ladies.
Traditional examples of nitro Irish stouts.
And and “Irish Car Bomb” beer by Ladyface owner Cyrena. She used Ladyface’s Barleywine and threw in whiskey-soaked oak chips. Dangerously delicious, plus each glass had an oak chip or two gracefully floating atop the sweet nectar.
Corned beef and cabbage sliders to top off the evening!
I also designed and hosted a beer pairing at Cafe Fiore in Woodland Hills!
The things my job requires me to do… It’s rough, I’m tellin’ ya.
Chef masterpieces commence….NOW.
Ahi Tuna Tartar with fresh avocado, house-pickled cucumbers and crispy focaccia. I could’ve eaten just this all night and been content.
Citrus-glazed shrimp skewers with citrus wedges and spring greens.
House-made chicken and sun-dried tomato sausages atop sweet polenta, drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Again, heavenly.
Corned beef sliders – twas the season.
Awful picture, but possibly my favorite dessert EVER – caramel sauce, freshly sliced Fuji apples and asiago cheese atop freshly baked pizza crust. My boss, my boss’s boss and myself each ordered an additional one to take home and share with those who were truly deserving of such an abundance of deliciousness – that means I ate the majority of it. It’s THAT good.
I had a lovely girls’ night with Janelle and her little Avery last night as well! She made an amazing spread of stuffed peppers, roasted sweet potatoes and fresh salad to pair with the beers I brought.
Farmer’s Reserve No. 2 by Almanac Beer Company. Wonderfully tart and not overpowering with spices at all. This will be a repeat.
Avery was a little jealous of us I think. Only 20.3 years and then you can join us in appreciation of fermented liquids! She shall be trained well when the time comes, but for now I’m enjoying capturing her beautiful innocence.
Coming up this week – a new restaurant review. I did a beer education at this amazing place with an eccentric/genius chef and have been dying to sit down and have a full meal there. Tomorrey is that day.
It’s been a while, I know. I was kidnapped and taken to a ridiculously beautiful (not abandoned) hotel on the beach for my birthday, forced to consume lots of delicious foods and try new beers, then kidnapped again and taken to Arizona where I was forced to drive golf carts, eat more delicious foods and drink more beer. It was traumatizing and rough, but I escaped and now I’m back to reality. Sigh.
Sunset at Mandalay Bay.
A complimentary bottle of Barrel-Aged Kriek from Island Brewing Company on my birthday.
Just heard that one of my Island Brewing favorites, Little Island, is back! Who wants to bring me a bottle? Beer trade, anyone?
My happy place. Craft beers and the beach – could it get any better?
Grilled filet mignon, lemony risotto and garlic-lemon sauteed broccolini with Tempranillo for Hallmark Day.
John, Joe and Patty from The Chive came to Enegren Brewing Company to learn more about the brewing process and everything beer. KCCO beer – coming soon! Looking forward to it, guys!
Joe and Patty checking out the digs.A little pouring training for John.
Success! Much better than his first attempt…
Yeah, about that…
After a rowdy two or three hours, John bought beers for 40 Chivers to Pay It Forward and they departed.
As of now only ten glasses are left on John’s tab and Brother Joseph “Bro-Joe” Belgian Strong Ale is on tap! Why aren’t you here yet?
After all that craziness, another kidnapping took place. We went to Arizona, played golf (well, I hit two drives and then drove the golf cart. Same difference…) drank more delicious local beer and enjoyed the warm summeresque evenings.
On the drive back to California, we stumbled across this abandoned beauty:
But that’ll have to wait until tomorrey…
Superbowl Sunday morning. Lazy cups of coffee slowly sipped, pans gently warmed over the stove, a beer cracked open… Wait, what?
French toast soaked in oatmeal stout. It seriously doesn’t get any better than this!
I recently and belatedly came across The Beeroness and after perusing every single recipe on her site and subsequently wiping up the drool, I decided that it was time to start cooking. Since I happen to have anytime access to Enegren Brewing’s beers, I used their sweet rich, chocolatey oatmeal stout.
Daniel Irons Oatmeal Stout French Toast
(Lightly adapted from The Beeroness)
1 loaf challah bread, left out overnight to slightly stale
1 cup almond milk
1 cup Enegren Brewing Company’s Daniel Irons Oatmeal Stout (or any rich, malty stout)
1/2 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
1 tsp pure almond extract
2-3 tsbp butter
1. Slice the challah bread into 1-inch thick slices.
2. In a large bowl, combine the almond milk, stout, eggs, brown sugar and almond extract and stir until all sugar is dissolved.
3. Pour the mixture into a large flat pan for easier dipping.
4. Places the slices of challah into the mixture for 1 minute on each side.
5. Heat 1 tbsp butter in a skillet over medium heat and place the soaked bread to cook, 2-4 minutes each side or until cooked through.
6.Place on a large plate, top with powdered sugar, maple syrup and pair with a
beer coffee. Try to grab a slice before three hungry brewers devour the entire loaf.
Prost and bon appetit!
Enegren Brewing and Custom Melt joined forces today for a Superbowl Saturday Extravaganza!
Food and brews for six hours straight. We prepared for a heavy onslaught of hungry and thirsty revelers.
The menu was set – partly created by our very own Brianne
Braun Enegren! She created these short ribs with Daniel Irons Oatmeal Stout for a brewery “family dinner” a few weeks ago, and the owners of Custom Melt decided to turn it into a sammich. Yes, please, thank you very much.
The food was prepped right outside the roll-up door behind the brewery and the smells were devastatingly tempting to all of the hungry souls inside.
About twenty minutes before Custom Melt officially began serving…
And this is what the brewery looked like for the rest of the day – a constant flow of brewery and Melt fans alike poured through the door. Those of us working behind the bar didn’t have a single chance to sit down, let alone enjoy a full dish from our in-house chefs. In between inhaling bites while hidden below the bar, I went around snapping pictures of other people’s food in order to have some sort of commemoration of what had graced our presence.
Mac ‘n cheese with parmesan crumbles.
Zesty chili paired with a Daniel Irons Oatmeal Stout.
Mac ‘n chili dog! My personal favorites of the day were a tie between the EBC short rib melt and the mac dog – both of which went unphotographed as they were being quickly consumed in between pouring glasses and washing said glasses.
It was an incredibly successful day full of happy, patient people, delicious foods and brews and incredibly sore feet. I’m attempting to heal with a Maui Brewing Sobrehumano Palena’ole. It’s not quite killing the ache yet.
Tomorrey is Superbowl Sunday! I’ve got a few recipes up my sleeve that I can’t wait to share with you!
I have it on good authority that Daniel Irons Oatmeal Stout French Toast might be on the menu in the morning. Stay tuned!
The Christmas season is upon us! Ladies at Ladyface had our (now annual) White Elephant gift exchange and were treated to a mini-brewmaster dinner by the lovely host and owner, Cyrena.
ERMAHGERD. The absolute perfect winter menu. I’ve been begging for shortribs since they disappeared last winter!
The first beer up was one of my all-time Ladyface favorites – Derailleur!
Arugula, sliced apple, candied almonds and salty Fourme d’ Ambert tossed with a light cider vinaigrette. The citrus in the beer cut through the saltiness of the funky cheese and brought out the acidity of the dressing. Drool.
Ale-braised beef shortribs with a fried sweet pickles atop horseradish celeriac. This was paired with La Trappistine – smoky shortribs and sweet dark malts laced with alcohol warmth. A cozy blanket on a plate (and in a glass).
The pairing was capped off with a cheesecake topped with sour cherries. The sour cherry brown ale wasn’t quite ready, so they mixed cherry cordial liqueur with Picture City Porter. Holy Heaven. This was the highlight of the evening for me – hints of sweet cherries swirling between ribbons of rich chocolate and rounding out with a final candy bite.
In between bites we picked up our gifts. The table was overflowing with beer and beer-related gifts. I ended up with the only kind of glass I didn’t yet have in my large beer glassware portfolio, and I’m telling you now, I have a majority of the styles of beer glasses out there. Just waiting to receive my passglass for Christmas.
It was yet another wonderful evening with a great group of craft beer-geek ladies.
Yep, this sums us up pretty well.Our next meeting will be January 21st – a brown bag quiz. Blind tasting for style along with socializing, laughing, imbibing and eating. In other words – another perfect night awaits us in the new year!