Beer and Celebs?

This past weekend I attended the CASTLE wrap party with Mr. Beerman, who works for ABC. If you don’t know CASTLE you should. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_(TV_series) It’s a fun TV show, great writing, sort of mindless but in a good way. It’s a Murder He Wrote with Nathan Fillion (of Firefly fame, even though I love his character Johnny from Two Guys a Girl and a Pizza Place it still holds a special place in my heart.) Nathan is just a good guy. He’s very aware of his fans. He is quick to take a picture with me to post on my FB wall for my Aunt in Wisconsin. No questions asked. He’s the first to sign scripts if asked, and he loves you if you remember his short lived show Firefly. The show also stars and Stana Katic. Who is absurdly good looking and also very nice. In fact everyone who works on that show is nice. Not just the celebrities who actually do go out of their way to be normal. But the crew, the writers, the creator! Andrew Marlowe created the show and upon seeing he and his wife at the party I promptly panicked and said to his wife “nice to meet you” even though we had before. Thinking I don’t want to put her on the spot. She was like “Hi Cathy good to see you again”. Really? You remember me? I don’t see you day to day. You see a million folks all the time. Wow. That’s just nice people.

Gifts for Guests

Gifts for Guests


Anyway…
So I promised to have big news about what beer the stars drink. Here’s the thing. Even though there was beer at the function. I didn’t see anyone drinking it. Celebrity or otherwise. DOH! But I will give Sadie Kitchen in Hollywood CA http://www.sadiela.com/ a shout out for being a super cool venue! The food was amazing. They served fried chicken I didn’t think you could find outside of the south. The DJ was pumping the old school mix then jumped into current stuff. And well the bar was open. Not just sort of open but OPEN. Usually when there are functions like a wrap party they are sponsored by a type of alcohol. I think last year’s party I tried Bubblegum, Mountain Dew and Birthday cake Vodka. Thanks Three Olives! But this party was just drink what you will….we did end our night with the beer they had on tap, North Coast Brewery’s Scrimshaw Pilsner. http://www.northcoastbrewing.com/beer-scrimshaw.htm Tasty tasty pint. I was really pleased with that beer. It was darker than your normal pilsner and had bold flavor. Thumbs up!

My beer on the left Scrimshaw Pils

My beer on the left Scrimshaw Pils

I wish I had more to report on the Beer/Celeb front. Sorry. Maybe next time.

This weekend I should be chalk full of beer stories to tell. I’m heading to LA VEGAN BEERFEST http://lavbf.tumblr.com/ in Hollywood on Saturday.

It’s the 13 year anniversary of meeting Mr. Beerman. And our 10 year anniversary of being engaged on that very day. And he’s watching our boys while I partake in a day of brew tasting. Good husband.

It’s an outside venue and the weather man tells me could be upwards of 97 degrees so wish me luck!

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Mr Beerman’s Birthday Part Deux

First of all Im sorry it took nearly a week to get part two up and on. But to be honest Mr. Beermans birthday took its toll on me. And three nights of drinking, knocked me out. So my days were spent sipping Dayquil not Beer this week.

But I didn’t want to leave you hanging and before this weekend’s drinking commences I wanted to finish what I started.

On Saturday of Birthday weekend I thought I would we would go to a brewery. Now normally I would head right out to the Pub at Golden Road http://goldenroad.la/place/#/pub for dinner and drinks (as we did on my birthday) but this weekend had a hitch. We were invited to go out for another friend Kellie’s birthday and it involved a party limo bus to Hollywood. One never turns down a party bus… So the bus needed to pick us up at a spot easy to get to on the way to Hollywood. I chose Universal Studios. The metro stop has easy parking (we know as we use the subway a lot. Because just like you, I am sure, we never Drink and Drive! There are so many options. Subway. Taxi. Uber Car.).

So I decided to try Karl Strauss on Citywalk while we waited for the bus to arrive.
karl

Heres the think Karl Strauss is pretty tried and true. Its everywhere. Its drinkable. The brewery is touristy. But really what did I expect on Citywalk. I will say that our waiter was the nicest person I have ever met. Just a good guy. Who in lieu of giving us a Flight just brought us 11 samples. At first we were like what the hell when he brought our flight. But then upon getting the bill we realized he let us sample the beer. The picture below is what he brought us. We did not sip any of them. This is how they arrived to us.

samples

How nice is that! I tried 5 of the brews on tap which included the Red Trolley Ale, Karl Strauss Amber, Endless Summer Light, The Tank Tap (which is done right there on site) which was a coffee stout, and the Brewers Choice (also made there). Okay much to my chagrin I didn’t take down those names. I thought I did, and when I went back to my trusty Iphone I found a picture of the Beeramisu. Sorry about that.

beeramisu

There was nothing bad about any of these beers. I think to the average beer drinker Karl Strauss is A-ok. I went with the Amber to drink through the dinner. But all were fine. They are definitely not your craft beers but sometimes that’s okay. Sometimes you just want a good beer to drink with your burger. Speaking of Burgers. Holy smoke. So this was the real find. We both ordered the Big Beer Burger.

burger

Look we knew a party bus was coming and the drinking had just begun. This wasn’t our first rodeo, we knew fried food was a must if we wanted any sort of longevity for the evening. This burger was fantastic. Everything on it had something to do with beer. The beef was cooked in it, the onions sautéed in another kind, it had beer brined bacon. That’s right you heard me. I said beer and bacon in the same sentence. It was fantastic. As were the fries. And if you fast forward to the rest of the evening where the Bierlady went off “beer” course and drank a few double vodkas at the Hollywood Improv, and then was served literally a pint of vodka tonic at the SaddleBack Ranch and still made it home fine and not hung over the next day you know the Burger did its job! The beeramisu let us down a bit. Sort of tasted like it came from a 10 x 10 flat of tiramisu they just keep cutting off of til its gone. Not made fresh. But I do like saying it “Beeramisu” just funny.

Another tip from the night is at the Improv we saw some pretty fantastic comedians and no that’s not the double vodka talking. I highly encourage you to catch Maz Jobrani if you ever see him playing in your town. Funny funny man. http://www.comedycentral.com/comedians/maz-jobrani

Well that sums up the weekend, now on to the next one. Tonight we are attending the CASTLE TV SHOW Season Wrap party. Remember in my first blog when I told you I would see what beers celebrities drink? Well now’s our chance to see! I will report in my next blog what I see and what we drink!

Mr Beermans Birthday Weekend Part 1

It was my husband’s birthday this past week. This meant more than usual we were going out to celebrate. I tasted (sometimes literally just a taste as I was the queen of Flights this weekend) many beers and came to the conclusion they aren’t all winners. BUT some were. So I decided to focus on the positive. Cause it’s not my place to tell you what is not good. I mean one man’s trash is another man’s treasure…or something like that. And beer of all things is such a matter of personal preference. SO I have decided to focus this blog on the beers I really enjoyed. That way you can go try them too! If you trust me that is…..and really by blog 5 haven’t we created some sort of bond here?

First beer I enjoyed of the weekend was a one off from Trader Joes. First lets all take a moment to think about how great Trader Joes is. I mean I don’t walk out of TJS without a bottle or two of wine every time I visit and I’m the “Beer” lady dammit. I love that store. So I noticed in their beer section they had a bunch of single bottles of random beers for like $1 to try. Well SURE! I grabbed a few. Since I have been on a newly found Cider binge, I started there. I picked up a bottle of Newton’s Folly Authentic Draft Cider brewed by Vermont Hard Cider Company. Now I would usually put a link in here. But there was none. I don’t see that VHC Company has a website. They do seem to produce this cider as well as a Granny Smith Cider.

Trader Joes Cider Find

Trader Joes Cider Find

From what I have read there isn’t much difference. This to me was like Martinellis with a lil bit of a kick as its 5%. It was a typical apple cider. Nothing wrong with that. Wasn’t dry, wasn’t too tart. However, I will say this without judgment… even though I’m judging… the more I drank the less taste it had. Is that possible? Well for $1 a bottle and located at my local Trader Joes. I can’t complain! Not my first choice in Ciders, but in a pinch it’s a-ok! And I’m thinking I could cook with this. Although take note if you just want to drink a good cider (at least my) Trader Joes carries the big bottles of ACE Cider for a little over $3. If you want more than a pint…I’d spend the extra 2 bucks.

Also at home this weekend I tried Highwater Brewing’s Anniversary Dopplesticke http://www.highwaterbrewing.com/highwater.php. They are out of Chico, CA and we found this bottle in the many that Bev Mo has to offer. High Water Brewing celebrated its first birthday. So the brewer Steve Altimari created the Anniversary Doppelsticke (pronounced “Dopple-shtick-uh”).

Now it’s a limited beer. Which mean it was only brewed once and there aren’t a ton out there. But it wasn’t like it was a $38 beer, it was in the $5 range for a 22 oz. It’s an amber, and 7.5% but very drinkable. Almost dangerously smooth. Just remember a normal beer that I can drink like 10 of on a hot summer day is in the 4.5-5.5% range, so this has a bit more of an alcohol bite. It was tasty! I want to say it almost had a toffee thing going on. Not like you are drinking a Heath bar, but very caramel and clean. I probably wouldn’t have picked it up if I didn’t know it was a good ‘un. So I’m letting you know it is!

Which was a pleasant surprise cause over the weekend we tried quite a few “one off” beers and well due to my new motto of only review the good, let’s just say this was our one at home 22 oz winner. I will further investigate this brewery for us as well.

high

Friday night we invited a group of friends to toast my husband’s trip around the sun to BOW AND TRUSS. http://bowandtruss.com/ This is a bar/restaurant in North Hollywood that was recommended by a friend. It has a giant outdoor patio, and had the nicest waitress of all time. We had no idea that 6pm on a Friday night we would need reservations. We were being old people going out early. Who goes out in LA before 9? Well apparently everyone in No Ho. BUT without hesitation the nice folks at Bow and Truss kept bringing us more and more chairs as our group grew bigger and bigger. They have great Spanish food and awesome cocktails. There are a handful of bars I know of in LA (keep in mind I don’t get out THAT much and I’m older so the kids may know where to get the cool vintage cocktails) that make a really authentically good Moscow Mule. They did! Mr Beerman had several so he can attest.

In addition to their cocktails, wine and sangria, they also had a nice beer selection. Well when offered the opp to have a flight I’ll take it

My flight and Mr. Beermans

My flight and Mr. Beerman’s

My flight included an Oskar Blues Mama’s Lil Yella Pils which is as you may have guessed a Pilsner.http://www.oskarblues.com/ At only 5.3% it’s such the outdoor drinking beer. In fact the brewery itself tweeted me a thank you for enjoying it and called it “summer in a can”. Damn right. Great light beer with tons of flavor. Two thumbs up.

I also tried Stone’s Pale Ale also a CA beer out of Escondido, you have probably seen them in your grocery store. http://www.stonebrewing.com/pale/# At 5.4% again a super drinkable beer.

Now what’s the difference between a pilsner or lager and a pale ale. Well differences in all beers, stouts, ales, pils, lagers, IPAs, etc is a blog within itself. If you want to get technical the differences are mainly due to the ingredients used. The big difference is between lagers and ales. Lager is fermented using bottom fermenting yeast at cold temperatures while ale uses top fermenting yeast at relatively higher temps. I lost you didn’t I? You started checking your facebook. Okay moving on…

Flight Beers

To make this easy for the purpose of this particular flight. I will just say if you like visually lighter beers that you think taste like “beer” vs a Christmas tree or coffee, then you probably like a pilsner, lager or a pale ale. When you get into Ales, they are going to pack a lil more flavor punch. NOT to say a Pale Ale or the other aforementioned don’t have flavor if done right they sure do! (Two of my favorite beers of all time are Kona’s Longboard a Lager, and Kona’s Big Wave, a Pale Ale) It’s just going to be less in your face. Pale ales and Ales may have a bit of a darker color depending on what you are drinking.

Back to my flight… I also tried the Estrella Damm a Spanish Lager from Spain (5.2%). http://www.estrelladamm.com/ It was a basic lager. It was fine. We all tried it and liked it. I don’t know if I would go out of my way for it. But we were at a Spanish themed place, so when in Rome..or Barcelona as it were.
Bootleggers

My final beer flight beer was Bootlegger’s Brewery Black Phoenix. You can tell by the name that it was different than my pils, pale ale and lager, huh? Yep it was a Chipotle Coffee Stout (6.7%). Bootleggers is out of Fullerton California http://www.bootleggersbrewery.com/index.php/Our-Beers/
I liked it because it had a definite coffee thing going on. A touch of chocolate but not enough to really call it any sort of chocolate stout but If you like coffee taste, there was for sure coffee flavor. I didn’t really get the chipotle except on the finish. Like a tiny tiny burn at the end. I almost want to give it a new name and call it Chicory Stout vs Chipotle. Well all in all I enjoyed it. It was like 80 degrees out so can’t say I would have ordered a pint of it for my outside drinking. But I’m glad I tried it.

I ended up drinking a pint or two of the Oskar Blues and thoroughly enjoyed our night.

Considering that it was a birthday weekend our fun and beer tasting didn’t stop there. But that will be in Part Two. Stay tuned!

I had to stop watching TV. My heart breaks for Boston. So I finished my next blog….

On Friday afternoon I thought it was important to do some blog research. And lucky for me I live walking distance from Story Tavern http://www.storytavernburbank.com/. I’ve mentioned them before great place to drink. Note: I need to amend my previous blog, as I have found out they DO have a patio. I feel bad not giving them that credit. But as I pointed out I would drink there inside even if I was in the mood for “outside drinking”. Story Tavern is set up like a Beer House. Long Long tables, lots of chairs and dark wood. Its cozy. Seriously can’t wait for rainy days in the winter to hang there all day… (future blog in their honor forthcoming).

On Fridays they do Flights. And I decided to try both their Cider Flight and Beer Flight. Because that’s my new job, and it was Friday, and I love flights. Tiny beer tastes make me so happy. The first flight I had consisted of two ACE CIDERS and two AENGUS ANTHEM CIDERS. Now I’m going to preface this with reminding you of my motto “Just one gal’s opinion”. But I will tell you what I like and if you tend to like the same things then drink what I do! If you tend to like the polar opposite of what I do then you know to try everything I hate!

For Cider purposes let me state I don’t like dry champagne or sparkling wines. I like a fruity Prosecco or even an Asti. I like the sweet stuff. That being said…
First off I liked this entire flight, even though they were very different. Let’s start with the ACE CIDERS. You would recognize these ciders. I think you can find ACE in most every grocery store . They have the ACE card on their label. The two I tried were ACE BERRY and ACE PUMPKIN. The Ace berry to me tasted like a yummy not too sweet pomegranate flavor. Even though according to sources like the interweb “Ace Berry is a mixture of raspberry, blackberry and strawberry juice added into our fermented apple cider. The resulting cider has a delicious fresh fruity taste”. They speak the truth. It is fresh and fruity. It’s a good clean cider different from a basic apple but not too sweet that you couldn’t drink a glass. The Ace Berry is seasonal but it is available in stores in 22 oz bottles and is 5.0%

Also from ACE I tried their Pumpkin Cider. Now come Sept/ October I love love love the Pumpkin Ale, no doubt I may dedicate one or two blogs JUST about the Pumpkin ales I find. I love pumpkin everything especially beer. I kept a 6pk of Trader Joes Pumpkin Ale one year and tried it in July. Um…. Confusing. I didn’t love it as much. Not so much an outside drinking beer I long for on Independence Day… BUT I will say that trying Pumpkin Cider in April wasn’t bad. I still think I will wait to buy cases of it til after mid September. But I was pleasantly surprised by just how good this was. It was like Pumpkin and Apple pie meet in cider form. I’m certain its seasonal but does seem to be available in 6pks. This cider is 5.0% http://www.acecider.com/

I also tried Aengus Anthem Cherry Cider http://anthemcider.com/?tag=wandering-aengus-cider. This cider seemed a lil more true to form of what I think of when I think cider. A defiantly on the tart side. Not too much- I mean it’s no Lambic, but it was NOT sweet. For myself I don’t think I could drink a glass of it. But I bet someone could and I would be fully willing to cook with this.

Aengus Anthem Apple Cider was a little bit drier than the ACE Ciders but had a clean fresh apple taste. Just what is expected when ordering a cider. I may even like it better than Strongbow, would have to try them back to back, and I would definitely make a Snake Bite out of it!

DOGFISH HEAD x 4 My flight of Dogfish Head: http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/index.htm
90 Min IPA. http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/year-round-brews/90-minute-ipa.htm Now I have stated before I don’t love the IPA’s but I will tell you this is the beer I chose to have a snifter of after my flights were gone. At 9% it’s no joke. I have to quote their website it doesn’t crush you with hop flavor. And there didn’t seem to be a ton of other added flavors that sometimes IPAs use too much of. I don’t want to drink a Christmas tree. I want to drink a beer. This beer delivered!

Birra Etrusca Bronze. http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/occasional-rarities/birra-etrusca-bronze.htm Well….I hate to speak ill of any brew. Cause each brew has a person who loves them. But this was the only taster I left full. As did my beer buddy I was drinking with that day. Their website says “the bulk of the bitterness comes from gentian root and the sarsaparilla-like Ethiopian myrrh resin”. Didn’t they bring Myrrh to Baby Jesus? I bet he sent it back. I bet that was the very first Day after Christmas return. In my non expert opinion this beer tasted like Pier One Smells. #beerpotpourri And at 8.5% this beer packs a lil bit of a punch so be ready.

Rhizing Bines is another IPA that I enjoyed I think because it wasn’t overly hoppy. And the flavors they used were more on the citrus side like lemons rather than a ton of spices. It’s a little bit bitter and to be honest I finished my taster but don’t think I could drink a whole glass of it. Notable: Rhizing Bines is a collaboration by Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada and is 8% AbV http://www.dogfish.com/node/47576

Chicory Stout. If you like coffee you love this stout. I had to look up the exact ingredients because I found it so fascinating. It’s a VERY “dark beer made with a bunch of roasted chicory, organic Mexican coffee, St. John’s Wort and licorice root”. I for sure could taste the Mexican coffee which was fantastic. I am not a fan of licorice or Anise so I was pleased to say I couldn’t taste that at all, but I suppose if you liked that flavor you could find it! At only 5.2% its very drinkable. http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/seasonal-brews/chicory-stout.htm

Saturday and Sunday was a quiet weekend for us. So we did some gardening, some cleaning some BBQing and of course some at home tastings. This is what I found. We tried:

Crispin Apple Cider http://www.crispincider.com/cider/cider-press/press-releases/cider-au-naturel/ I have mentioned these guys before. They were in my top pics from the LA BEERFEST. Well over the weekend Mr. Biermann brought home a bottle of this. I tried and “picked” the Pear as being great. He loved the apple. So I tried it. I have to say really good cider! Not too dry. Not too sweet and at 6% just the right amount of alcohol so you feel it don’t taste it. And I have to say the more I read about this company the more I like them. There are a ton of selections of beer on their website. Who knew! Now I have to try them all. And I like the fact that they are super clever with their names too. In fact this past weekend they tapped a beer called “As you wish” and “Prepare to die” while showing a screening of Princess Bride! #thingsyoulearnontwitter That just pushed them WAY up of my list of favorites.

We also enjoyed SURF BREWERY’S MONDO A Cream Ale http://surfbrewery.com/beer-menu.html. Boy did I like this beer!! So much so that I have already made plans to visit their brewery next month. We were taking the family up to Ventura for the Annual Strawberry Festival and I think we need to make a stop here after. I dare say I like THIS beer better than my previous favorites in the Cream Ale category, Boddingtons and Speckled Hen. This was lighter I thought. Not that I don’t like a good creamy beer, but this was that AND it was “summer outside all day in my gazebo drinkable”. Yes that is also a real phrase much like “outside drinking”.

While BBQing this weekend we had a bottle of Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company’s Davy Brown http://www.figmtnbrew.com/our-beers/ I’m liking this brewery more and more. At my last visit to Tony Darts Away I had their Stage Coach Stout. What a find! Like a good stout it was a lil bit chocolate, a lil bit coffee, but not too much of either. Don’t let the black color scare you. Its only 5.6%.

But over the weekend we had some of their Davy Brown. I think this may be Mr. Biermann’s favorite new brew. A nutty brown that didn’t disappoint. At 6.0% it’s has a little more of a kick than say a, for purposes of folks who don’t drink a lot of craft brews, a more commercial Brown like Newcastle which is only 4.7%. I say I could taste the alcohol more, but Mr. Biermann defending his new find said what I was tasting the super malty-ness of it. In any case Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company is one we are going to start trying more of. Oh and here’s a lil Bierlady tip on changing up your brown. Add a wedge of lemon to it. I know WHAT you say, this is no Hef! But I have to say as a take it or leave it Brown drinker, I have found the lemon changes it in a way that I like it way more. I must give credit for this tip to my friend and fellow beerfester Tricia. She brought this to my attention while we were drinking one night and dammit if she wasn’t right!

This sums up my weekend of drinking. This week should be chalk full of Beer Adventures as its Mr. Biermann’s Birthday. So let the games begin!

In closing I would like to send thoughts and prayers to those folks in Boston. What happened was unthinkable. My heart breaks for everyone who was affected by what happened. I hope they find who did this swiftly and that the people of such a wonderful city can start to heal.

Where does Cathy Drink? God Bless my Zip Code. I live near some good beer!

I have to start this blog with just a thank you to my zip code. I live in LA but more specifically in the area of LA that has more micro brew bars than anywhere else. I didn’t really realize how lucky I was until I did a search. Next week I have a meeting in Santa Monica. So I thought, hey I should go down early, have lunch try a new beer and write about it after. Well I turned to a good friend named Yelp, plugged in the zip code and “beers” and wow. Just wow. Where are all the good pubs? Not saying Santa Monica doesn’t have its fair share of great restaurants and fun bars. But the bars all had the same beer menu. The old guys. The basics. Nothing wrong with that. If you like Budweiser, fair enough. I love a cold Guinness.. But literally no place in like a 5 mile radius of where I was going served any CA beers or even any micro brews. Even the places with say “Ye Old” in their name just had the staples of pubs. Stuff we’ve been drinking for years. So I got to thinking where I live in LA, I guess I’m beer spoiled.

I have complied a list of places that we frequent. I promise to dedicate a blog to each and every one of these spots cause they are worth it!

I live minutes from Tony Darts Away http://www.tonysda.com one of the BEST bars in the city. Don’t take just my word for it. They were voted by Draft Mag as one of the best. And the food is unreal. Vegan or not you will love it. Take my advice now. Order the brussel sprouts. You’re Welcome. They have a VAST list of IPAs but also lagers, stouts and all craft brews. I take my son there once a year for spring break. He’s 6 so it’s only been the past two years. But dammit that makes it an annual tradition. No I’m not buying him a beer, I’m buying him a super delicious hot dog and playing a round of Candyland or Sorry with him. They not only have an extensive beer list of great CA beers they also have a shelf full of board games. This isn’t a kid joint, but if you do have a well behaved older child who will play a game of Battleship with you while you try a pint they don’t poo poo it. Just come at an appropriate time for a child to be out and when the place starts to fill up with folks getting off of work, that’s your cue to head home. (And remember: drink more than responsibility if you are with your kid. That means one beer, eat a lot and remind them no drinks til they are 21)

I live down the road from The Pub at Golden Road where they are making the brews right there! Right there! Not only a fun big space to hang out and drink their beers and guest beers (I’ve mentioned before I don’t love all IPAS but I sure like theirs) they have a huge patio where I have seen more than one family. I love a beer place with high chairs.

Granted I do my best beer tasting work when someone else is watching my sons. BUT I will say it’s nice to have the option that on a Saturday afternoon (not evening– come on don’t bring your kids to a bar after 8pm be a good parent and more so a good bar goer that doesn’t disrupt other folks night out). I can sit outside and have a Get Up Offa That Brown while my kids watch the trains go by. Don’t let this deter non parents from going. It’s a huge place. Kids don’t detract from your food and beer.

I also live close to Story Tavern in Downtown Burbank. Such nice people and a great selection of beers on tap. http://www.storytavernburbank.com/ and really yummy food. This place is like a true tavern. No patio but someplace I want to drink on rainy or sunny days. My next blog will be about their flights I enjoyed yesterday, a review of some Ciders and Dogfish Head beers.

If you want to go a lil main stream I do live near Barneys Beanery as well. One can’t ignore their beer on tap and bottles o’ plenty. And their bartenders are also crazy nice. http://www.barneysbeanery.com/burbank#

I recently came across Mohawk Bend in Echo Park http://www.mohawk.la They have an absurd amount of tasty beers on tap. http://mohawk.la/beer/

38 degrees Ale House in Alhambra has an extensive list as well http://38degreesalhambra.com/tap-hunter/

In the mood for a great sausage? Watch it sailor..(pausing while you get your Beavis and Butthead** laugh out) I mean to eat… Link and Hops in Atwater Village great beer great food! http://linksnhops-hub.com By the way Atwater Village is a lil area of awesomeness. More a wine place than beer, although they do have it, I have to mention 55 Degree Wines They have the greatest wine cellar ever. So fun to do flights of beer or wine there. The owner is so nice. And a private room I spent my XX milestone birthday in. Let’s not discuss age..unless it’s of their wine. http://www.55degreewine.com

When Im in the mood for the BEST German beers in the city, where else but The Red Lion Tavern http://www.redliontavern.net Hands down the BEST German Dunkels and other beers and fantastic German food.

Not too far from home I can not only get a good beer but an awesome burger at Stout Burgers http://www.stoutburgersandbeers.com/locations-studio-city

At little farther for me to drive but still this side of the “hill” is Lauren Tavern in Sherman Oaks http://www.laureltavern.net/
I had my first Speckled Hen there and I will be forever in debt to them.

Then you start getting into downtown…Angel City Brewery http://www.angelcitybrewery.com just opened up their new location moving from the West “Beachier” climate to Downtown LA. Yay closer to me!

Also downtown is The Los Angeles Brewing Company. Great beers on tap. Specials. And on an unrelated beer note they do a bottomless mimosa Sunday that kicks ass. When they say bottomless they mean it! http://labrewingco.com/

And one of my new SUPER FAVORITE beer places right there in the Bonaventure Hotel. Bonaventure Brewing Company http://www.bonaventurebrewing.com/. Wow. They have some yummy beers. I mean their blond I could drink for hours and hours, and I have (not Strawberry blond, which is also good, sort of tastes like you are drinking Trix cereal) …and it’s not expensive. I mean $15.50 for a pitcher. Are you kidding me? No wonder I drank there 8 hours one night, yes I realize that translates to an entire work day. (No children involved although I’m sure you could bring them it’s a restaurant with a giant patio and the best view of Downtown LA) They also have guest beers but you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t try their own brews.

The one thing I love about all these places are just nice folks to drink with. Beer people are friendly people. Bartenders want to share with you their knowledge and their thoughts. No one is pretentious. Just good people who like to drink good beers.

I really feel bad I haven’t been to Eagle Rock Brewery yet. http://eaglerockbrewery.com/ I have heard only great things and I have had many of their beers at these bars.

These are just a few of the places we like.I’m pretty sure down the 5 Corridor (that’s the freeway leading from San Fernando to Downtown) is more fun micro breweries, pubs and Gastropubs to go to. And I will… don’t you worry…

Next week trying out Bow and Truss in North Hollywood as well as a good staple in Beer, Karl Strauss up at Universal City Walk (I hear they have Beeramisu on the dessert menu- Sold!)
If you have any suggestions of somewhere I need to go send them my way

I reserve the right to make references like *Beavis and Butthead. I realize this ages me but I have come to the conclusion if you are reading about good microbrew bars you are my age. No one 21 is buying a $8 pint. You could buy a 12pk of something really horrible for that.

While we’re waiting for it to be an acceptable time of day for me to start drinking…

In the meantime since it is too early for me to start tasting for us all (after noon is acceptable right?) I wrote this for a friends blog and thought I would share…

We recently took part in one of LA’s Beerfests and wanted to share with you my day. …..
April 6th…. I like to liken it to December 24th. Its an Eve. A special Eve. Its National Beer Day eve. National Beer Day is April 7th. On April 7, 1933 President Roosevelt over turned prohibition and made it legal to make and sell beer as long as it was below 4.5 percent. Unrelated side note: April 7th many many years after that my older brother was born on that very day. He however doesn’t like Beer at all. Which makes me question our actual blood relation. But I digress.
In an effort to celebrate Beer Day eve, a group of friends and I (11 total) embarked on LA BEERFEST. An event that for $40 you have 3 hours to sample all the beer you can! This is A beer event put on by the Drink.Eat.Play https://www.facebook.com/pages/Drink-Eat-Play/186763821339819 The party people who also have brought to Southern California the Bacon Festival, 80s Prom, and Cupcake Challenge.
My husband Bryan and I took Wendy (owner of the blog I originally wrote this) for her birthday, met up with Tricia and John (Tricia went with us last year which makes her a Beerfester) and 6 of our friends (Beerfesters) who were dressed in official Oktoberfest attire.
They all went to Munich a few years back and who doesn’t buy Lederhosen when in Munich. DUH. They were very popular. Folks stopped to take pictures with them all through the day. I was kinda jealous. Next year weather permitting I may dress as a giant beer mug. http://www.amazon.com/Costume-Party-College-Halloween-Costumes/dp/B0069TJH1O/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1365784047&sr=8-9&keywords=beer+mug+costume
The Festival is Annual and takes place on the Paramount Studios lot. 88 breweries set up booths to show off their best, their newest, their yummiest beers. (pic of map)
This was year two for Bryan and I so we were prepared. Wearing our pretzel necklaces we took UBER CAR (new car service in LA much like a taxi) to the studio at 11:00am for we were giddy with anticipation for the flood gates of beer to open at noon. The pre staging is very smart. There must have been 20 food trucks there for folks to line their stomachs sos there was less “mess” to clean up for the staff after. Smart.. Drink Eat Play!
Drink Eat Play is actually VERY smart. At first you think there are WAY the hell too many people there. But it’s a good thing. You go from booth to booth with your 4oz mug and get samples. Then you have to stand in line for the next. Think of it as self pacing. Without the waiting I think bad things would happen. How many of us have sat in a wine room in Solvang drinking pour after pour of wine. They are such tiny tastes what could possibly go wrong. Well for those of us who have ended up face down or worse, at said wine bar, know…those tiny pours are deceiving. So waiting in lines is well it’s a good thing.
My group hit about 35 booths. Which if you do the math, take out a few we tossed, that’s about 8 beers in 3 hours. Could we have done better? Sure. But take into account there were 11 of us making our way through the crowds, dancing at the DJS and live cover bands, getting their pics taken with beer strangers and stopping at the ample amount of port a potties. I think all in all we did well.
The overall vibe of Beerfest is so nice. Everyone is happy. Everyone loves beer. Folks are sharing, talking, laughing. No one cares if you are in line and 10 of your friends join you 3 minutes later. Its just a fun place. I would highly recommend it to any beer fans. Tickets usually go on sale in February, and for sure sell out. So buy you tickets on line (there are two Beerfest “shifts” you can go 12-3 or 3-6 just click on the time you want while buying, we always do 12-3).
At the end of the 3 hours it was nice to see that Paramount is conveniently located next door to Astro Burger. GENIUS! After a burger and some fries, a taxi was called and we were headed home.
My favorite beers? Well I will preface this part of the blog with I don’t like Belgium, nope not any, even Hoegaarden which my husband calls “Vegas breakfast beer”…and Im not a giant fan of IPAs. But I will say if you are in LA and have a chance to go to Golden Road Brewery, I do like their IPA. And they are just a really fun place to drink beer. http://www.goldenroad.la/
So if you are looking for scoop on the best Belgium or IPA in LA move along son, nothing to read here. But there were a TON to try.
I am also prefacing this part of the blog with ,…it kinda got fuzzy after the first 10. Not drunk fuzzy, just even with pretzels unless it totally sucked or was totally amazing I can’t say for sure…so here you go. My best post beerfest guesses..from what I remember
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Babes BBQ and Brewery had a great Blackfin Lager. Totally black, like made Guinness look light but tasted like a light lager. So for those of you who like a lighter beer with taste but want to look cool like you can down a dark porter with the best of them try this one. It was really delicious. http://babesbbque.com/

Sapporo is a sushi beer and we all know it. Good clean, non descript but I’m putting them in my top 10 cause they gave out sake shots to make Sake Bombs. Winners!

Crispin hard cider…had the best Pear Cider I think I have ever had. I can’t say I buy a lot of Ciders but I do enjoy them when they are good. This was 3 tastes in so trust me on this one. Light refreshing and not dry at all. We all agreed this was a keeper. http://www.crispincider.com/cider/products/

Lagunitas never disappoints. They are local CA beer so that’s a plus. I’m a fan of their pilsner and Wendy like them cause they have a doggie on their bottle cap. http://lagunitas.com/beers/

Shipyard Brewery had an IPA I know I said I’m not a fan but this one was good called Monkey Fist. And the name is fun. http://www.shipyard.com/taste/

By the time we got over to Rogue beer, things were getting fuzzy, but a kind man in line for the bathroom encouraged me to try the beer but ask for a secret beer, a SNICKERS (kind of like knowing what the Animal is at In and Out), it’s a mix of their Hazelnut and Chocolate beers and I must say it was yummy. http://www.rogue.com/beers/beers.php

Firestone has become one of my favorite breweries. I rushed to their booth as we drink them in bars and at home. Their Velvet Merlin is a crazy good stout and only like 5%. Which is pretty low for a stout. For those who are not avid beer drinks that means it’s a black beer that tastes really good and like a lager. They also have a great Double Jack, just good beer over all! The Firestone folks at the fest surprised me with their new Pilsner and it didn’t disappoint. Firestone is just good beer! http://www.firestonebeer.com/ http://www.firestonebeer.com/beers/index.php

That’s all I can really recall. I know there were more beers I liked, but sadly some I would walk away thinking I should remember that and did not. Next year I will take pics with my phone of the Tap handles with a Thumbs up so I remember!

And finally….
This was a lil poem I penned while prepping for Beerfest, and by prepping I mean having a beer….
’twas the night before Beerfest
And all through the house
My husband and I were prepping with a lil Karl Strauss
The breweries were plenty
88 to be shared
Wonder if we can try them all- yes we’ve been dared
Wondering if we could tell the difference between bottle and tap
Hoping its not hot or well surely want to nap.
Wondering which beer to start with
I mean does it matter?
Do we run to Blue Moon or Firestone?
We think the latter
We’re getting there early to make a mad dash
Thinking ahead to make the most of 40 bucks cash
The day should be joyful with many a friend
After 3 hours I’m sure we’ll be sad for beer day to end.

See you all at the Beerfest next year! PROST!

First One out of the Gate…An Introduction to The Bierlady

Hi my name is Cathy …welcome to my beer blog!

I suppose before you trust me about beer related issues I should tell you a little about myself. Well first off my last name is Biermann. No joke. That is pronounced Beer-Man. German, man who brews beer. I have to fess up though I did marry into that name. However, my maiden name is Sincere. Again No joke. And as you may have guessed the option for hyphenating my last name was well, not an option. But for the purposes of this first blog I will point out that I am Cathy Sincere-Biermann. I was also born in Milwaukee. If that doesn’t scream beer I don’t know what else does. I was raised in Vegas. No beer related story here, it’s just cool. And I currently reside in Los Angeles.
I will outwardly admit I am no official beer expert. Unless you get expert points for drinking beer the last 20+ years. OH didn’t tell you my age out and out but you can do the math. Unless you are drunk while reading this then I’m 25.

All I can say in the hopes you read this and future Bierlady Blog posts is that we are beer people. So much so that for my husband’s birthday about 5 years back I bought him a beer keg fridge with a tap so we could have draft beer in our kitchen 24/7. His birthday is in April, so for Mothers Day that May he in turn bought me my very first 15.5 gallon keg of Kona Longboard. Sniff. They were the gifts that kept on giving.
Mr Biermann, or you can call him Bryan, and I Love the beer. Love Beer tastings and Love pubs. So I thought wait there has to be folks out there they are on our same page. Folks who want to hear what’s good, what’s out there and where can I find it. And you may ask yourself “Cathy you taste it first and let them know if it’s a good beer so I don’t waste time or money?” I’m here to tell you yes. I will do that for you. I will go out weekly and find new beers and try new beers, and report back to you.

I was trying to think of a gimmick, a way to make my blog different. I thought how could I explain how these beer taste? Well by day I’m a voice over artist. So I thought I could liken the beers to voices. Like if you were to try a Bud Super Light Lemon Lime (is that real?) it would be a tiny tiny little girl voice. Or if you were trying a heavy stout it would be a big booming manly voice. Or like the Babes BBQ BlackFin Lager I recently tried, which was very dark and black in appearance but tasted light and clean. It would be the voice of Damon Wayans Jr from Happy Endings, looks black, but is…ok see then I realized this just won’t translate in writing. SO I ditched the voice idea. However I do reserve the right to bring back this idea should I be writing this blog from a bar after being “over served”.

So for now I will just say this blog is one girls opinion. A girl who has home brewing friends, a girl who drinks beer regularly, a girl who visits pubs frequently, a girl who prefers beer tasting to wine tasting, and a girl who writes this for free. So what have you got to lose?

Ok if you may be saying “Cathy cool last name or not , should I care what you think?” Fair enough we just met. But how about if I scoop you on the pubs/bars I visit in LA…I can tell you what folks are drinking. What bars are serving up the best brews? The most variety? The local CA microbrews? Or if that doesn’t get you and you prefer to read US Weekly to Draft Magazine then maybe there are some famous folks sipping brews? I mean who doesn’t want to know what kind of beer Nathan Fillion or Kerry Washington prefer?

I guess for now we’ll just see where this blog takes us. Its just blog one, we have time…
I still haven’t figured out all the whistles and bells of putting up a blog so forgive me. I’ll figure out the pictures and links eventually.
I will say I’m excited that summer is approaching and there is nothing I like more than to “outside” drink. (yes that is a real thing feel free to use it in your day to day…ex: “hey guys wanna call in sick and go outside drinking today?” ) Patios, beaches, biergartens…so much of Southern Cal to explore and consume.

Today is All Day Beer/ Cider Flights at a local pub… I think we’ll start there!