Category Archives: beer

A Tease

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.
AM6 Dodger Padres game!
AM7 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…
AM4 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!
AM5 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.
AM8 Girls’ BYOB night – Samuel Adams New World Tripel. Faintly sweet, earthy/musty and dry. I’m loving their barrel series!
AM9 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.
AM10 The craft team from my company went down to Irwindale for training and a “homebrew” session.
AM11 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…
AM12 Heat exchanging.
AM14 Cold break!
ab8 This SABCO Brew Magic system be crazy! Circulating mash – the entire brew took us three hours. Using two row sped up the conversion time.
ab9 Pulled pork made with Batch 19, stir fry veggies with Blue Moon and lemon cake made with Leinenkugel Summer Shandy.
ab1 Aaaand back to Ladyface for some delicious brews a la Ladies at Ladyface!
ab4 The theme was “all things fermented”. Spent grain bread, edamame and kimchi!
ab3 El Segundo’s awesome IIPA – Two 5 Left.
ab5 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!
AM15 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.
abbb The most delicious cup of coffee I’ve ever consumed from 10 Speed Coffee at Pedaler’s Fork. I’m in love.
AM1 Headed to Public School 310 last night.
AM2 Lots of rotating taps and a steady craft selection.
AM Lovin’ local!
AM3 The rotating selection of the week. proxy El Segundo Citra Pale!
proxy-1 Hyper Bella at The Chive.

Now off to a long workday with a beer pairing event tonight! Beer, food, happy, happy.

1 Comment

Filed under beer

Getting Up to Speed

A few of the things that have transpired lately…
am 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.
am3 Enegren Brewing and El Segundo Brewing beer pairing night at Short Order!
am1 am4 Tom from El Segundo Brewing, Matt and Joe from Enegren Brewing.
am2 Valkyrie California Alt in front of the fire on a warm evening.
am5 Bad news for you guys – the food was so delicious that it was devoured before I remembered I should be taking pictures. My apologies.
am7 Custom Melt visited the brewery for our St. Patrick’s Day event!
am9 Green Mac ‘n Cheese with Bangers. Spinach blended into the cheese made it green. And healthy. That’s how that works.
am8 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.
am6 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?
am10 We had the 21st meeting of Ladies at Ladyface! Irish brews were the theme.
am11 Plenty of donations from the ladies.
am12 Traditional examples of nitro Irish stouts.
am13 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.
am15 Corned beef and cabbage sliders to top off the evening!
am17 I also designed and hosted a beer pairing at Cafe Fiore in Woodland Hills!
am16 The things my job requires me to do… It’s rough, I’m tellin’  ya.
am18 Chef masterpieces commence….NOW.
am20 Ahi Tuna Tartar with fresh avocado,  house-pickled cucumbers and crispy focaccia. I could’ve eaten just this all night and been content.
am21 Citrus-glazed shrimp skewers with citrus wedges and spring greens.
am22 House-made chicken and sun-dried tomato sausages atop sweet polenta, drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Again, heavenly.
am23 Corned beef sliders – twas the season.
am26 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.
am27 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.
amama Farmer’s Reserve No. 2 by Almanac Beer Company. Wonderfully tart and not overpowering with spices at all. This will be a repeat.
am28 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.

1 Comment

Filed under beer, beer pairing

A Visit from the Chive

 

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.
beaches Sunset at Mandalay Bay.
am2 A complimentary bottle of Barrel-Aged Kriek from Island Brewing Company on my birthday.
am4 Just heard that one of my Island Brewing favorites, Little Island, is back! Who wants to bring me a bottle? Beer trade, anyone?
am5 My happy place. Craft beers and the beach – could it get any better?
am6 Grilled filet mignon, lemony risotto and garlic-lemon sauteed broccolini with Tempranillo for Hallmark Day.
am7 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!
am8 Joe and Patty checking out the digs. AM10 A little pouring training for John.
AM11 Success! Much better than his first attempt…
Screen shot 2013-03-02 at 8.51.22 AM Yeah, about that…
Screen shot 2013-03-02 at 8.54.51 AM After a rowdy two or three hours, John bought beers for 40 Chivers to Pay It Forward and they departed.
am9 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?
AM12 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.
Arizona On the drive back to California, we stumbled across this abandoned beauty:
school But that’ll have to wait until tomorrey…

2 Comments

Filed under beer

Daniel Irons Oatmeal Stout French Toast

Superbowl Sunday morning. Lazy cups of coffee slowly sipped, pans gently warmed over the stove, a beer cracked open… Wait, what?
AM4 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 – Printable recipe available HERE.
(Lightly adapted from The Beeroness)
Ingredients:
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)
4 eggs
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.
AM1 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.
AM2 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.
AM3 Prost and bon appetit!

Leave a Comment

Filed under beer, recipe

Superbowl Saturday

Enegren Brewing and Custom Melt joined forces today for a Superbowl Saturday Extravaganza!
am10 Food and brews for six hours straight. We prepared for a heavy onslaught of hungry and thirsty revelers.
am1 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.
am2 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.
am3 About twenty minutes before Custom Melt officially began serving…
am4 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.
am7 Mac ‘n cheese with parmesan crumbles.
am8 Zesty chili paired with a Daniel Irons Oatmeal Stout.
am6 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.
am5 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!
am I have it on good authority that Daniel Irons Oatmeal Stout French Toast might be on the menu in the morning. Stay tuned!

3 Comments

Filed under beer, beer pairing

Ladies at Ladyface: 18

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.
(Hint hint)
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!

1 Comment

Filed under beer, beer tasting

My Favorite Colorado Breweries

My Favorite Colorado Breweries (that I’ve actually visited in person. I’m not intentionally ignoring you, Avery or Left Hand! In fact, I’ll be there very soon for a visit!)

It’s a couple of weeks overdue, but here’s a recap of my short-but-sweet trip to Colorado!
I fell in love with Funkwerks the last time I visited, and since then they won Best Small Brewery of the Year at GABF!
The fam and I grabbed two flights of tasters and enjoyed the gentle warmth of sunshine that cut through the slight chill hanging in the air.
It was very uncrowded – not surprising considering it was the middle of the day on a Wednesday. We shared the tasting room with one group of pub jumpers.
I bought a few souvenir bottles to enjoy. Pricey, but (hopefully) worth it. I haven’t gotten a chance to pop them open yet!
Up next was Odell Brewing! This brewery is one of my original faves.
Grabbed a flight, of course. Did I mention that this is at altitude? These little ones were affecting me in a wonderful way!
Myrcenary Double IPA, how I adore thee!
Continuing on, Equinox! I wasn’t able to visit this one on my previous trip, but it’s held a special place in my heart ever since my big bro took me there for a beer and some sibling hang-out-time right before his wedding. And THAT was before I really even understood or liked beer.
Another flight split round the table.
This brewery is one of the more peaceful I’ve attended. Again, most likely because of it being in the middle of the week…
And finally, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse. My first visit here I was so sick that I couldn’t taste a single thing. I’m glad I’ve finally healed.
Taster flight!
My favorite of theirs is still a tie between Master Thief and Little Redcap. With the chilly winter months coming up, I’ve been craving porters and stouts like there’s no end in sight!

After looking through, I’m realizing that these are the ONLY Colorado breweries I’ve ever actually been into aside from New Belgium – and if I had pictures from that one, you can bet they’d be up here. Colorado’s got some awesome brews.
And awesome sunsets. I can’t wait to go back in two weeks!

5 Comments

Filed under beer, brewery

The Cicerone Test

On Monday, I finally did it. I stopped putting it off as I had for months and months and took the Certified Cicerone test!
Grayson drove down from Santa Barbara and picked me up at 6:30am. We fought a mess of traffic all the way down to San Diego and wound up at Stone Brewing, where the test was being administered.
Since it was only 9:30 and the test didn’t begin until 11am, Grayson and I wandered through the gardens behind the brewery.
It was an absolutely beautiful day! We debated whether or not we should just skip the test and spend the whole day sipping beer outside.
We scouted out a picnic table, sat down in the gentle sunlight and did our final cramming session. Note: If not for this final study hour, I would’ve missed at least six extremely random questions on the test.
Around 10:30am, we headed into the brewery and joined the group of about fifteen, almost all of whom were also in the midst of a final cram session.
A view of the mezzanine where the torture test would take place.

The test was far more intense than I even imagined. After over a year of studying, you realize how much you’ve learned and how much you have yet to discover. There was a three hour written test with essay questions, food pairing recommendations, style questions, draught system maintenance and troubleshooting and history questions. This was followed by an hour of tasting – off-flavors, style discrimination and beer acceptance. THAT was followed by a filmed demo – “show and tell us how to do this”. After four of the most intense hours of my life, Gray and I headed downstairs to stuff our faces, drink good beer and forget about all that had just occurred.
Mac ‘n Beer Cheese with sausage and a Lukcy Basartd for me and Barbecue Duck Tacos with some other delicious beer for Grayson. The proctors called us all back upstairs to go over the tasting portion so we could find out if we passed that section.

BOOM. Passed the tasting! As for the written portion, I honestly have no idea if I passed or not. I feel relatively good about the majority of it (excepting the essays which I’m hoping for partial credit), but fully expect to have to retake it. I find out in seven weeks whether or not my low expectations will surprise me or not!

As for now, I’m sitting in my parental unit’s home in Colorado with the fireplace on and a hot cup of coffee, gazing out over the mountain range before we go to the gun range and Grimm Brothers Brewhouse (in that order). Commence relaxation in 3…2…1…
And a belated Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Leave a Comment

Filed under beer, beer tasting, Cicerone

Glendale Tap

Last night was a night filled with lots of beery happenings. I was invited to be a member of Golden Road’s new pub, Chloe’s, and greedily accepted the opportunity to get a sneak peak. Brace yourselves – I didn’t take pictures. I actually just went there, hung out with awesome craft beer geeks and spent all my focus on enjoying myself and talking with incredible people. Don’t fret, though. I’ll be going back very soon and doing a full write-up.

I forced an EBC rep to join me, drove through the madness of LA traffic and ended up being over half an hour early. Not wanting to appear too eager, we realized that Eagle Rock Brewery was only 5 kilometers from Golden Road. YES.
Owners Ting and Jeremy were busy labeling bottles and stacking boxes full of precious soon-to-be-filled-with-liquid-gold glass, so we grabbed beers and stood gazing in rapture at the shiny tanks.
I peeled my eyes from the brewery to take a quick glance at the warm and cozy tasting room. Again –  a full write up on this will be coming soon!
Ultimately my eyes were magnetized back to the brewery. I enjoyed a Tarte Noir as we killed time before the event.

Event happened. It was awesome. Imagine hundreds of craft beer geeks in a cozy little pub where free beer samples and appetizers are passed around. Barrel-aged porter and Berlinerweisse with simple syrup made an appearance, but not for very long. I spent the majority of the evening with blonde half of the Beer Chicks (Hallie Beaune), the “Guild Goddess” Acacia Coast of the Brewer’s Association, the lovely Cyrena Nouzille of Ladyface Alehouse as well as the team from Eagle Rock Brewery, Kip Barnes and John Rockwell from LA Aleworks, blogger Jeff Prosser of Beer Guy LA, Hal Mooney of LA Beer Hop beer tours and dozens of other wonderful folks. Staring over the balcony and recognizing or knowing almost every person there from a blog, brewery or previous beer events was mind-boggling. Epic evening.

After said awesome event I dragged Commander Matt over to Glendale Tap to sample their wares.
I was lucky enough to find this place before it’s official opening when I was doing a beer order. I’ve been dying to go back since. Glendale Tap is a craft beer bar with over fifty taps, founded by Steve Skorupa who also owns Timmy Nolan’s Tavern in Toluca Lake. He returned from the same party at Chloe’s right as we arrived.
The place is covered with vintage – vintage register, vintage beer signs and vintage beer cans.
They had quite a menu.
Quite a selection…. Yep, it keeps going…
There’s one more page after that, but I’ll save the surprise for when you get the chance to go.
I went for the Cismontane Session Saison and a healthy helping of peanuts. Matt got the Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Ale.
Free billiards! I will most definitely put those to use next time.
We grabbed a handful of peanuts to tide us over before we hit the Taco Bell drive-thru and headed home. Keeping it classy.
Oh yeah, then this happened. Firestone XVI Anniversary!!! If it’s even a quarter of how delicious the Firestone XV was, I’ll be a happy girl.

Not a bad way to end the week!

1 Comment

Filed under beer

Ladies at Ladyface: 17

The harvest season is upon us! For our monthly meeting the ladies of Ladies at Ladyface brought harvest or pumpkin beers along with other delicious edibles for pairings.
We may have gone a little overboard with the bottle selection…
Cyrena brought out something very unique for this night – candy pairings!
We got a list of the different beers and the types of candy they should be paired with.
We each poured samples of the different brews and grabbed a small handful of each candy selection.
Needless to say, we were exceptionally hyped up within the first ten minutes.
Very hyped up.
Sugar-headache hyped up.
The first pairing was Port Brewing High Tide Fresh Hop IPA with sour grapefruit chews. The tang and flavor of the candy really brought out the grapefruit citrus of the fresh hops in the beer. My favorite candy pairing of the night was Weihenstephaner Aventinus and Reeses Pieces. I could explain this one, but I’d rather you just try it.
During the pairings I cleansed my palate with Pliny the Elder. I’d actually ordered this before we all sat down, so this was slowly sipped throughout the evening and also paired wonderfully with all of the citrus candies.
I brought my pumpkin spice donuts to pair with any of the pumpkin beers. Whole wheat and baked. These actually have negative calories so the mass quantities of sugar, beer and other foods are cancelled out. Planning ahead!
Michelle finally caved from all of my begging over the past year and brought back the kraut! Dare I say even better than the last time I had it? We’ve dubbed this “pig kraut” because of the mass amounts of bacon, pulled pork, ribs and kielbasa that reside inside. Lise even made her own bratwurst to go with. Ever had homemade bratwurst? It’s beyond epic. The kraut was such a hit that even the vegetarian of the group had three servings! (She’s a vegetarian except for anything made from pig, apparently.)
Overall it was a long and wonderful night, per usual. We tried many (many, many, many) different beers and got to experience something I’ve never even thought of/heard of: pairing candy and beer.

Our next meeting is December 3rd – Brown bag tasting, white elephant exchange and a look at the new winter menu which will hopefully include short ribs with melted leeks again! If you’re a lady and interested in craft beer, come join us! Any interested men? Find a lady and wait for her at the bar with all of the other men!

2 Comments

Filed under beer, beer tasting