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!
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.
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!
This month’s Ladies at Ladyface: The Fermentables and Comestibles Education and Tippling Society meeting came at the perfect time for me. The past few weeks have put me in a wonderful tailspin and all I wanted and needed was a good beer, delicious foods and a night with a bunch of fellow beer-geek ladies.
We had a beautiful view sitting outside on the patio, drinking up the last rays of sunlight that streamed through the screens on the warm end-of-summer day.
That view was okay too.
Janelle brought a loaf of spent grain bread she’d made using the remnants of an imperial stout and black IPA. The bread was soft, dense, chewy and had a subtle sweetness that tasted like more. I grabbed the recipe from her – look for it in an upcoming blog! I feel a baking binge about to occur.
Speaking of Janelle – she brought little Avery to join as well. She’s getting so big!!! I caught this picture right before she completely zonked out at the table. Avery is fitting right in with our group.
It was Oktoberfest/German beer night! Everyone brought a German-style beer and a little info or history about that style or beer.
Cyrena brought out an alestake – Alewives (women brewers/pub owners back in the middle ages) would hang a pole with brush attached to the end would hang over their doors to signify where the brewery was.
They were also sometimes called witches for their “potions” they brewed. Add that the the broom above the door and you’ve got a Grimm Brothers’ tale in the making!
I’d ordered a Blind Ambition amber before I’d seen the array of beers on the table and pretty much stuck to this glass with a few 1/2 ounce tasters of the German beers here and there.
Franziskaner Weissbier – my second favorite weissbier to date next to Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier. I’ll miss the heat of summer only for the memories of sipping these sweet, musty wheat beers tinged with hints of banana and bubble gum.
To balance out the booze I ordered Mary’s Farm Chicken from Ladyface’s new fall menu – ale-brined and roasted chicken with potato puree, glazed cipolline mushrooms, oyster mushrooms and natural ale juice. Drool. Delicate, bursting with flavor and falling off the bone. I’ll be finishing the other half of this tonight. Hooray for take-home boxes!
I ended the evening by splitting the bread pudding with Janelle, but was too busy shoveling it down my gullet to take a picture. It was awesome. That’s all you need to know.
Another successful meeting with the ladies! Next month will be all things pumpkin – pumpkin beer, baked pumpkin goods, pumpkin everything. It’s tradition to overdose on everything pumpkin in the month of October – get cliche and stereotypical and join in on the fun!
Life has been crazy busy lately. In addition to working at Wolf Creek Brewery, I’m also doing social media and writing their blog.
You can check out the purpose of this crazy photo over at the Wolf Creek blog. On top of real work, I also volunteer at Enegren Brewing Friday through Sunday.
I got a little refresher from Red Mango on my way over to Moorpark Friday afternoon.
And then I got another little refresher at Ladyface on the way. Sweet Cherry Porter on cask? How could I not?
Definitely glad I treated myself before this huge pallet arrived! Those would be 356 two liter growlers from Italy. The caps were in the same shipment. That’s right – caps were not attached to the bottles.
I spent Friday afternoon and all of Saturday assembling the tops and attaching them to the bottles – this time with help from the EBC crew. My hands and wrists still ache.
While I was there on Friday, the owner/brewmaster from Hangar 24 happened to swing by with about seven other employees/sales reps. Ben Cook recently had an article written about him in the New Brewer magazine which his coworkers made sure to point out, much to Ben’s dismay. I immediately jumped on the bandwagon and insisted on a personalized autograph and cheesy picture just to humiliate him a little more. The entire group of guys were a much needed fun breath of fresh air in between unloading and assembling growlers. Now I need to get to the Redlands and visit the brewery!
Friday night was brew night – Chris and Matt mashed in and brewed overnight and then Joe and I came in the morning to relieve them and finish up the brew. Saturday was a long one full of pain and growlers and cursing at growlers that created pain, but with this schedule we had all of Sunday free!
We went on a 16.7 mile mountain bike ride on Sunday morning then ate back all of the calories we’d burned at the local greasy diner, Cactus Patch, before heading back to work.
And then the week started again. Normally this would be tragic (or at least it would be if I had a normal job and didn’t brew beer for a living), but I had the fifteenth gathering of Ladies at Ladyface: The Fermentables and Comestibles Education and Tippling Society to look forward to on Monday night!
We went “back to the basics” and had a brewery tour where we were walked through the brew process and got to munch on milled malts and sip Blind Ambition straight from the fermentor. There were many new faces, all eager to learn and imbibe and get tippled in the necessary fashion it takes to be a L@L.
We had a nice big group of ladies attending – not a single keg was left un-sat-upon. We spent the evening sipping homebrews and socializing before grabbing some foods to ward off the dizzying effects of beer on empty stomachs.
Sweet potato fries – suicide style. Could you need anything more in life?
For recaps of our past Ladies at Ladyface meetings, check out the links below:
Ladies at Ladyface: 1
Ladies at Ladyface: 2
Ladies at Ladyface: 3
Ladies at Ladyface: 4
Ladies at Ladyface: 5
Ladies at Ladyface: 6
Ladies at Ladyface: 7
Ladies at Ladyface: 8
Ladies at Ladyface: 9
Ladies at Ladyface: 10
Ladies at Ladyface: 11
Ladies at Ladyface: 12
Ladies at Ladyface: 13
Ladies at Ladyface: 14
Last night was our fourteenth meeting of Ladies at Ladyface: The Fermentables and Comestibles Education and Tippling Society! Time really flies! Meetings ten, eleven, twelve and thirteen on the links!
My craft beer girl Janelle (picture from our first visit ever to Enegren Brewing Company) brought something extra special to last night’s meeting.
World, meet little Avery – Janelle and Andrew’s five day old, perfectly adorable creation.
Everyone else just brought food for the potluck. Not as adorable, but quite delicious. Our meeting was a field trip to Enegren Brewing Company to try all the beers, get a brewery tour and do the usual socializing and eating. Enegren’s four taster limit was recently lifted, so we took full advantage (everyone had designated drivers). I love these meetings!
One liter growlers gracing the shelves.
Taps in the sunset. Such a beautiful sight.
We had a great showing and demolished almost all of the comestibles. I failed at food blogging and consumed everything before I remembered that pictures would’ve been a nice addition… Yum. Oops.
Cyrena brought dessert – Blue Belly Barleywine! Wonderfully rich, sweet and full of subtle vanilla notes from the whiskey barrels it’s aged in. There was some leftover at the end of the night. I may or may not have snuck it home with me and polished it off last night (I did).
Next meeting we’ll be going “back to the basics”. Our group has come quite a long way in the year and two months we’ve been up and running, and unfortunately that has become intimidating to potential new craft beer lovers. No need to be scared, ladies! Come drink wonderful craft beer, learn about why it’s so delectable, eat delicious foods and socialize! That’s what the root of the group is truly about.