Tag Archives: Beer clean

Library Alehouse

Enegren Brewing Company’s beer was being poured at the Library Alehouse in Santa Monica yesterday. Naturally, I had to attend to show my support! Their beer was set to be tapped at 6pm. I got there at 4pm for a little… extra support? In any case, beer was the final outcome.
My pops was my date for the evening. We grabbed a table next to the window and set to work deciphering the 29 taps behind the bar!
The Library Alehouse is set in a narrow space on Main Street, but extends all the way back into a cozy patio. We opted to stay inside where all of the action was.
The menu included the majority of their beer on tap, but left out the a few of the delicious newbies to the bar like La Folie by New Belgium and Denogginizer by Drake’s Brewing.
PUNKIN ALE? Well, it IS technically mid-September…
And that beauty on the far right is, indeed, Punkin Ale by Dogfish Head. Lovely and spicy, full of the aroma of pumpkin pie, a smooth, sweet malty sip and a warm boozy finish. Fall has arrived! Now going from left to right: Drake’s 1500 Pale Ale, Houblon Chouffe by Achouffe (heehee, Ah-choo-f! I’m twelve.), Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing, Jamaica Red by Mad River Brewing, and back to Punkin Ale. I enjoyed the 1500 Pale Ale and the Jamaica Red best, so I ordered a glass of the Houblon Chouffe. Makes sense, right? Turns out we weren’t given a list of the beers so I ordered what I thought was in the glass on the far left (it was sipped dry by then)…
Well, Houblon Chouffe it is! This one’s quite a bit higher in the ABV than the 1500 Pale Ale (9% vs. 5.2%), and full of delicate bittering hops and the flavor and aroma of banana thanks to the use of traditional Belgian yeast. I wasn’t complaining after the first sip!
My dad got a full pint of the Old Rasputin in a slightly not-beer-clean glass. He didn’t mind too much.
We split the Local Burger – bison purchased at the Santa Monica farmers’ market, topped with sharp gouda, arugula and served on a soft bun covered with opium poppyseeds. The sweet potato fries were the true stand-outs of this – crispy on the outside, soft and sweet inside and covered with flakes of salt and fresh herbs.
6 o’clock rolled around, the candles came out, I ordered my pops an Old Chub Scotch Ale by Oskar Blues, an Alesmith IPA was randomly placed in front of me in a pint glass, and who should walk in but two Ghostbusters men in brewniforms! (They never get tired of hearing that, I’m sure…)
They even wore the boots –  that’s dedication. My dad and I grabbed a taster size of their Valkyrie California Alt (we had been there since 4pm…), spouted off how amazing it was to the sitters-by, tried some of the Alehouse’s mocha torte which turned out so dry that we had to send it back, and then slowly, lazily rolled off our tall chairs, meandered down Main Street and headed home.
Aaaaah, life is glorious!

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Beer Clean

I’ve been doing lots of studying on the beer front lately. Yesterday, I learned how to tap a keg (no, I never learned how to do that in college. I’m a late bloomer when it comes to beer…) and how to ensure that a glass is “beer clean”.

The term beer clean refers to a glass that is free of oils, dust particles or other impurities that would disturb the look and flavor of the beer. I set out yesterday to find a glass that was not beer clean so I could demonstrate for you.
I did this for YOU.

We went to Andres Wine and Tapas Bar over in Ventura Harbor yesterday to enjoy the gorgeous weather we’ve been having. I ordered a Widmer Hefeweizen with NO lemon or any kind of fruits on top. The citric acid and oils in the peel kill the head retention of the beer and also masks the true aroma and taste. Not the greatest (nor the worst) beer around, but it’s perfectly light and refreshing on a warm day!
In the glass above, you’ll notice that there is a rim of bubbles close to the top of the glass, and not much head for a hefeweizen (a hef should have a fairly thick head that sticks around for a while). When a glass is not beer clean, the bubbles that cling to the sides will show you where any impurities are, and the head will not last as long as it should.
In a beer clean glass, there will be an even ring of lacing down the sides as you drink the beer. Above, there are only a few random spots with any remnants of lacing.
I got another, just to make sure that it wasn’t a random attack of regular dishwashing detergent. It wasn’t. The other glass did the same thing, but you can’t say I didn’t give them a fair shot! Again, I did this for YOU!

To get a beer clean glass, don’t even think about using detergent or regular soap. There are a few steps to ensure that you’ll pour a perfect pint every time.
1. Wash your pint class thoroughly with a sudsless soap and a clean bottle brush.
2. Dunk the glass in a sanitized sink full of cold water, making sure to put the bottom of the glass in first so you don’t get an air bubble in the glass which will prevent it from getting truly clean.
3. In another sink full of water and sanitizer, dunk the glass one more time, putting the bottom of the glass in first to ensure that all areas are being touched by the sanitizer.
4. Dry the glass upside down on a well aerated drying rack.

Seems easy enough, right? Here are some tests you can do to see if you’ve truly made that glass beer clean.
1. The Salt Test – rinse the clean glass in cold water and sprinkle table salt around the inside. Anywhere the salt doesn’t adhere to is not beer clean.
2. The Lacing Test – This is the test I chose. Pour a beer into a glass, drink that beer and see if there is any lingering lacing around the sides. If there’s not an even lacing from top to bottom, the glass is not beer clean.
Salt Test on the left, Lacing Test on the right.

OKAY, enough learning for the day? I’ll finish up my recap.

After my study session at Andres Wine and Tapas bar, we sauntered over to Andria’s for some fried fish ‘n chips!
Nothing like deep fried fish with an ocean breeze on the harbor on a warm summer day!
We also found the time to traumatize my dog. C’mon, how could I not???

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