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.