I pride myself on having a mom/bierlady balance. Meaning if I baked 10 dozen cookies for my sons school bake sale, its probably ok for me to grab a beer at our local pub later in the day for some Bierlady research. The mom part always comes first. But I do like a delicious beer. So what better way to spend Mothers Day Weekend than visiting two establishments I had never been before, that brew beer? Geographically I don’t think Mr. Beerman and I could have picked two places farther apart but the rest of the activities of the weekend lent themselves to these places so it all worked out.
First a quick shout out to the start of my Mom’s Day weekend, at Story Tavern http://www.storytavernburbank.com/ they had Eagle Rock’s http://eaglerockbrewery.com/page/beers Revolution on Cask with peaches. What a great tasting beer. Now Im a big fan of Revolution to begin with but man I really loving Cask beers.
For those that have forgotten Cask beer means it’s a beer that is matured in a cask, and no additional carbonation or nitro has been added. Think Pilgrims bringing barrels of beer to the new country. Less bubbles, little warmer, and unfiltered. I like the less carbonation part. Anyway it was a great way to start the weekend.
On Saturday we spent the morning with our kids at Fire Service Day in Burbank. The streets of Downtown Burbank are filled with Firetrucks, Swat Trucks, Police Helicopters, and motorcycles all for the kids to touch, pretend they are driving, and just get a up close and personal look at. Hopefully this will be the ONLY time my boys will see the inside of a police car.
After which, our sweet nephew Nick turned five and his folks had a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese. I know what you are thinking, but nope I did not dread it. I like that place. Well you know as much as one can but really for a kid its like Vegas, and it makes my boys so happy. When we were done with the party and turned in the 1 million tickets they won in exchange for a pencil topper we realized we were near Agora, CA. Only a few exits away was… wait a minute…we had been sampling LadyFace Ales http://www.ladyfaceale.com/ontap.html at Beerfests for years now but had never been there.
We’ve been following them since our first Beerfest where we found their CASKIN ROBBINS beer, it was a mint chocolate beer in a cask. We still dream about it. Apparently it was a one off cause years later we have never seen or heard of it again. Sigh. Maybe one day they will recreate the magic.
We headed over to LadyFace to find a great restaurant and beautiful patio. Luckily LA was only in the high 70s this weekend so it was a perfect afternoon for outside drinking. We decided to order the biggest flight we could. Split between two of us it really equaled about 16 oz each so we were still totally fine to be in charge of the boys. Speaking of my boys I must do a “kid” call out here and note that they had crayons and placemats for the kids to color. I can’t say it enough, I have the utmost respect and love for any place that brews their own beer and has crayons (Mom/Bierlady Balance).
Okay now on to the beer. I was So happy to see a wide range of types of beer. Not all IPAS, Not all Belgium (as one may expect from a French Brassiere) they had several types. These were the ones we had and the ones we particularly took note of. I will say firstly though all of them were great. Not one bad one in the bunch. Just a matter of personal preference on the ones I will call out.
Im going to list the ones that we tried and borrow some descriptions from their own website along with my notes:
La BLONDE – ABV 5.4%
An easy-to-drink ale with smooth, light malt sweetness initially, but finishes dry and holds a good Belgian character.
As I have mentioned before Im not a huge Belgium fan, Mr. Beerman is a far better judge as he drinks them WAY more often than I do. But I am always up to try…I actually really liked this beer. It did have the Belgium taste to it at the end but far more Blonde than Belgium to me.
Style: Grisette Farmhouse Ale ABV 5.8%
La Grisette, meaning “little grey” in French, is a nearly extinct style of a Belgian farmhouse wheat ale. It is pale-coloured, low alcohol, refreshing and light, and brewed with acidulated barley that adds a crisp tartness to the finish.
This was Mr. Beermans favorite of the flight. He even asked about taking it home. You have to like Witbiers, or Saisons to truly dig this beer, if you do, it’s a big winner!
PALO COMADO – 2014
Style: Session India Pale Ale ABV 3.8%, IBU 45
Ladyface’s newest flagship ale is pale gold in color with a well-formed, bright white foam head. Moderately hopped with aromas of pine and lychee, malt tones are light yet bright. Finishing with bright, zesty hop flavors, Palo Comado is a light and refreshing pale ale that does not skimp on flavor or character. A perfect session ale to drink after a local hike in beautiful namesake
Palo Comado Canyon.
This was one of my favorites. I often scoff at the term Session IPA, as I am the queen of session beers and IPAs generally pack a bit of a punch but this really was. Had the nice hoppiness of a good IPA but at 3.8% you really could do some serious outdoor drinking with this beer. Tasty!
Style: American IPA 6.7% abv, 80 IBU, 7 SRM
Nicknamed Lupulus Rabbit, this project is all about hops. Drop down the experimental rabbit hole with us, and explore the diversity of flavors and aromas that hops bring to a beer. Light gold in color with nice clarity, the trip begins with aromas of strong, pungent hop characters that include white pepper, light citrus and sweet garlic
Was the one are really really nice waitress suggested trying if you aren’t totally into IPA, more of a XPA, but well with 80 IBU*
*Important to learn: I know I don’t tend to spew out beer “terms” cause I lose some of my readers just looking for a good beer to get. But this is important if you really want to find a beer you like IBU is “International Bitterness Units” so basically how bitter the hops are. So if you have a IPA with say 140 IBU Like Green Flash’s Palate Wrecker, um jeezo that’s going to be bitter. But say a typical Budweiser would have maybe 20 units. Make sense? More IBU Mo’ bitter.
Okay back to the beers. So 80 IBU was middle of the road for a IPA but not my fav hops in this one. Just personal taste.
CHESEBRO™ IPA – ABV 9.5% IBU 100
Named for a local canyon, deep amber in color, this Imperial IPA has a powerfully floral aroma of grapefruit, pine and tropical fruits. Full bodied with subtle malt tones. Brewed with 6 different hop additions and moderately bitter, the emphasis is on hop flavor and aroma and a long, hoppy finish. Bronze Medal-winner.
Now this was a surprise for both Mr Beerman and I. Even with 100 IBU it was really well balanced. Not crazy hoppy to me at all. Just a good IPA. Now heres the thing 9.5%? Are you kidding me? And I didn’t taste that? Usually any beer about 7.5% screams to me “ALCOHOL” and I’ve said this before too, for me I like a session drinking beer, I don’t drink beer to get drunk, it tastes great to me so I want to drink them for a while. But this was a really really really good beer. I think at 9.5% this would get me in a lot of trouble
BRAVADO Style: American Brown Ale 5.5% ABV – 47 IBU
Bravado is a refreshing West-coast interpretation of the classic American Brown ale, featuring Melanoidin malt and utilizing Apollo, Bravo, and El Dorado hop varieties. Not to get too into different kinds of hops but I really like El Dorado! Yum.
AGOURA ALE Style: Oaked American Amber 6.7% abv, 60 IBU, 13 SRM
Agoura Hills is home to hundreds of heritage oak trees so it’s only fitting that we name our new oaked ale after our city. Agoura Ale is deep amber in color with a dense, white head of foam. Noticeable oak aromas and flavors impart a roasted, vanilla character and build the structure and body of the ale.
This was really good. Nice amber slightly higher ABV then I usually drink but I would order it again.
Cask version of their BLIND AMBITION™ – ABV 8.0%
A medium-bodied Belgian-style ale with a beautiful deep copper hue. Brewed in a classic abbey dubbel style, it carries good malt structure, faint undertones of chocolate with moderately strong alcohol and low bitterness levels.
Okay this was my biggest shock of the day. A Belgian Dubbel, abbey style and I loved it. WHAT? Who would have thunk. It was fantastic. Im sure it’s a small batch so go out there and get some!We did ask and unfortunately they are not bottled yet. Meaning you cant go to your grocery store or Bev Mo to get some. But I have seen them in bars before. So watch your craft beer menu. Look for them!
All in all it was a lovely afternoon spent on a fantastic patio. And although we only enjoyed their fries, and pretzel with fondue (which Mr Beerman could have ate 10) the food looked amazing. We will for sure go out there again. If you are in the neighborhood I highly recommend stopping by LadyFace Ale House. Really great!
Stay tuned….Next Up Hangar 24 for Mothers Day Beer-Mimosas!