5th Annual LA Vegan Beerfest

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What is the 5th Annual LA Vegan Beerfest? It’s a different festival than Mr. Beerman and I are used to going to. This one has so much more than just beer. It’s a festival with over 40 breweries and just as many Vegan Food Truck/ booths and if that wasn’t enough why not throw in some incredible live music!
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I love that a festival that has become so popular was really just the idea between 3 buddies, Nic Adler of the Roxy, Tony Yanow of Tony’s Darts Away and Quarry Girl, an infamous blogger who is one of Southern California’s most famous sources of information on vegan food. So they thought, huh we love beer, music and vegan food..I have an idea…and five festivals later here we are. IMG_4958

I went to this festival last year and had a great time. This year I wondered if it could match the greatness. I saw the fest sold out much quicker than before. Word was out..this was the place to be if you are Vegan…or love beer…or Both!

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Initially yes it was more crowded. I did wait in line about a half hour to get in the doors. But the thing is from a beer standpoint this festival is different than the others I attend. There isn’t that ticking clock on your head like you have to get in there when it starts cause you only have 180 minutes to make it through hoards of people to taste new beers. This beerfest is far more mellow.IMG_4987 There was never a line for a beer (well one but that’s coming up in my review)..you just sort of hung out got a beer when yours was empty. You could bring chairs and blankets to sit on to enjoy the bands. It was more of an all around festival as opposed to a race to drink.

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As the day wore in it got more and more crowded for sure. But I have to say I never ever felt uncomfortable. The crowds were there, but I always had a beer in hand. I got the food I wanted. I could hear the bands from everywhere. Looking back on our pictures I think “dude there was a crap load of people there”. But just never felt that way at all.

Now I must be forthcoming in the fact that I am not Vegan, I do have many Vegan friends and was even with one at the fest. So I can’t talk too much about the food. But I will say my friend John who is Vegan and my friend Jason who is a vegetarian were over run with glee over the sheer amount of choices. I mean in ONE place you could get food from:

Food Vendors
Beyond Meat Truck | fb.com/beyondmeat | @beyondmeat | IG: beyondmeat
Amanda’s Bakery | Facebook | @AmandasBakeCafe
Azla Vegan | fb.com/AzlaEthiopianVegan | @AZLAvegan | IG: azlavegan
Bramble Bake Shop | fb.com/bramblebakeshop | @mielmonster | IG: mielbramble
Cafe Gratitude | fb.com/cafegratitudela | @cafegratitudela | @cafegratitudeVB
Chicago Vegan Foods | fb.com/ChicagoVeganFoods | @ChiVeganFoods | IG: chicagoveganfoods
Crossroads Kitchen | fb.com/crossroadskitchen | @crossroads8284 | IG: crossroads8284
Doomies | fb.com/doomieshomecookin | @Doomies | IG: doomies
Follow Your Heart | fb.com/FYHProducts | @FollowYourHeart | IG: fyhproducts
Golden Road Pub | fb.com/goldenroadbrew | @goldenroadpub | IG: goldenroadpub
Gracias Madre | fb.com/GraciasMadreWeHo | @GMWeHo | IG: gmweho
Grilled Cheese Truck | fb.com/grilledcheesetruck | @grlldcheesetruk
Guru Tacos | Facebook | @gurutacos
Ihsan’s Falafel | fb.com/ihsansfalafel | IG: ihsansfalafel
Kind Kreme | fb.com/kindkreme | @kindkreme | IG: kindkreme
M Cafe de Chaya | fb.com/welovemcafe | @WeLoveMCafe
Mamas Hot Tamales | @MamasHotTamales
Mandoline Grill | fb.com/MandolineGrill | @MandolineGrill | IG: MandolineGrill
Mohawk Bend | fb.com/mohawkLA | @MohawkLA | IG: mohawkla
Pepples Donuts | Facebook | @vegan_donuts
Plant Food For People | Facebook | @plantfoodforppl
Rabbit Hole Cafe | fb.com/rabbitholecafe | IG: TheRabbitHoleOfficial
Real Food Daily | fb.com/realfooddaily | @realfooddaily | IG: officialRFD
Sage Vegan Bistro | fb.com/sagevegan | @SageVegan | IG: thekindsage
Seabirds Truck | fb.com/SeabirdsTruck | @SeabirdsTruck
Shojin | fb.com/theshojin | @shojinlove
Southern Fried Vegan BBQ | fb.com/SouthernFriedVegan | @sfvbbq
The Frankenstand | fb.com/TheFrankenstand | @TheFrankenStand
Tony’s Darts Away | fb.com/tonysdartsaway | @tonysdartsaway
Tuning Fork Gastropub | fb.com/tuningforkgastropub | @TuningForkLA
Waiakea | fb.com/waiakea | @waiakea | IG: waiakea

And I am surely not opposed to Vegan food so when in Rome….IMG_5035I tried a Doughnut from Pebbles Donuts…Blueberry goodness! Mr. Beerman had chocolate chocolate our friends had the caramel apple….really good stuff!IMG_5036

I also stopped at the Mohawk Bend Booth http://mohawk.la/ cause dammit if you haven’t had Tony’s Darts Away http://tonysda.com/or Mowhawk Bend Potato Chips, just seriously stop what you are doing right now…I’ll wait…go get them. Seriously I don’t know what they do to create these chips but every time I am at those bars I get them, so I couldn’t walk past the booth without some!

Someone in line behind me had a Vegan “Big Mac” and I apologize for not knowing who was serving those but damn it was the best smelling plate of food of the day! WOW!
And Sage Vegan Bistro created these vegan nachos and buffalo cauliflower.
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Okay now on to what I know! Beer! So being the Self Proclaimed Queen of Session Beers I was so happy to see that the breweries brought their best sessions. Even the IPAS were low in ABV.

There were a few out there that were higher and I need to take a moment to call out Bravery Brewing who in my mind had the best NON SESSION there. Old Rat: english style old ale 9.0% abv/55 ibu. http://www.braverybrewing.com/beers.html This was a smooth smooth beer, this beer could get you in some trouble, you just couldn’t tell it was stronger than a 5%. Well done!

Some other call outs of the festival:

IMG_4966First and foremost hands down the LONGEST line at the fest was ACE CIDER. Granted it was a Vegan fest and this was the only cider there, but I don’t think that was it. http://www.acecider.com/ I think it was their new cider, PINEAPPLE. Oh man. I have been chasing this one down. I love pineapple in any form. Bucket List checked when I went to the Dole Plantation last November. And some other alcohols have attempted the flavor. Hey I love flavored vodkas I always order my lucky Blueberry Stoli and Tonic at a blackjack table in Vegas. Okay it was lucky once a night I won $900 and I have been chasing that dream ever since with that drink. (The first step is admitting you have a problem)…but usually the flavored vodkas miss the mark with actually tasting like the fruit. They are almost synthetic tasting. Which explains why Fruit Loop Vodka from Three Olives tastes exactly like Fruit Loops. True story. I was at a wrap party for a TV show being sponsored by Three Olives it was there, I tried it, I liked it, stop judging.

Back to the Ace Cider, the pineapple was so good that the entire group I was with all looked at one another and said “well we are going to need some backyard pitchers of this, this summer”. Just back up a palette of bottles into my car.
They also had their Pear. A very refreshing cider as well. Some ciders are just too sweet, but the Pear was great. The Pineapple however, rated my very first FIVE STARS on Untappd.Untappd_logo And I wasn’t alone. This line was off the hook but we stood in it three times. It was that good. They are slowly releasing these bottles of summer goodness. So keep an eye out.

IMG_5008My favorite Figueroa Mountain Brewing was there! Oh Figmtn http://www.figmtnbrew.com/ you never let me down. I have since this weekend become a big fan of their BIG CONE, it’s a Black Ale, and 6.8%. Normally Black Lagers and Ales sort of mess with me. I don’t know if it’s color. Not that I don’t love a good stout or porter, but that’s it. My mind is expecting a thicker, creamer taste. And to be honest most are just “meh” to me. But this is a great beer! Well done again Fig Mtn! Keep making beers….we’ll keep drinking them!!IMG_5009

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Another brewery that never lets you down is Firestone.http://www.firestonebeer.com/home.php How freaking smart were they to bring not one but TWO kegs of their 805 Blonde.

I have spoke of this beer before. Its light but super tasty. You drink Bud or Coors, but want a better tasting craft brew? Its your session beer this summer. And I kinda loved the man serving the beer who told me he hit 1000 beers on Untappd in 6 months. IMG_4968(I need to go to more festivals).

Eagle Rock BreweryIMG_5064, http://eaglerockbrewery.com/main said it once I will say it over and over. They know what they are doing. They brought my favorite XPA Revolution. If you want to start drinking IPAS but they are still too “strong” or “hoppy” for you…let this be your gateway beer.

IMG_5051Angel City Brewery http://angelcitybrewery.com/ brought their Goldline Pilsner 5.6% and Angeleno IPA, 6.1% both super good, session and they win for having the nicest server at the fest! IMG_5053

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Golden Road Brewery http://www.goldenroad.la/ didn’t forget how much we LOVED the Almond Milk Stout 5.6% from last year so they brought it back again! Yay!! Thank you!

So good.IMG_5038

So my two call outs for this festival were

IMG_4978 Bootleggers Brewery http://www.bootleggersbrewery.com/?page_id=32.
Palomino Pale Ale – 5.5% ABV, 19.5 IBU
Borrowing from their website:
“Palomino Pale Ale is our interpretation of an American style Pale Ale. We brew this beer using only the finest American barley and hops and add even more hops as it ages to give it a great balanced citrusy taste and aroma. This beer is sure to please anyone who enjoys the refreshing taste of American hops without the bite of an IPA.”
IMG_4979And their
Rustic Rye IPA – 6.2% ABV, 90.9 IBU
“Our Rustic Rye IPA balances the malted barley and spicy rye grains with a floral and earthy hop flavor and aroma. The maltiness of this beer is balanced with its finish of a crisp, clean hop bite. The combination makes for a truly memorable and refreshing beer.”

Both of these beers have been around a few years now but I have somehow missed them. Both score high points on my tasty and very session. I lean toward the Pale Ale as I love a good 19.5 units of bitter (remember from my last blog) but both were great finds!

And my favorite Brewery of the fest, while I must admit I had a head start on this one as they had a week prior done a Tap Take Over at Story Tavern, http://www.storytavernburbank.com/ isIMG_5056 Speakeasy Ales & Lagers out of San Fran. fb.com/speakeasybeer I sort of fell in LOVE with their Scarlett Red Rye. But they had like 8 beers at Story and they were all the MOST DRINKABLE beers I have had. All session, all great. At the festival they had Betrayal an American Strong Ale 8.2% but really smooth and tasty not a session but would be fantastic with dinner and Big Daddy an IPA at 6.5% also super drinkable. Find Speakeasy you will thank me later.

Breweries at the Fest included

Abigaile | fb.com/TheBreweryatAbigaile | @abigaile

Ace Cider | fb.com/AceCider | @AceCider | IG: acecider

Anchor | fb.com/anchorbrewing | @anchorbrewing | IG: anchorbrewing

Angel City Brewery | fb.com/AngelCityBrewery | @AngelCityBrewery | IG: angelcitybeer

Automatic Brewing Co. | Facebook | @AutomaticBrewCo

Anderson Valley Brewing Co. | fb.com/AndersonValleyBrewingCompany | @avbc | IG: andersonvalleybrewing

Ballast Point | fb.com/BallastPoint | @BPbrewing | IG: ballastpointbrewing

Bison | fb.com/Bison | @bisonbrew | IG: bisonbrew

Bootleggers Brewery | fb.com/bootleggersbrewery | @BootleggersBrew | IG: bootleggersbrew

Bravery Brewing | fb.com/braverybrewing | @braverybrewing | IG: braverybrewing

Deschutes Brewery | fb.com/deschutesbrewery | @DeschutesBeer | IG: deschutesbeer

Drake’s | fb.com/drakesbrewing | @drakesbrewery | IG: drakesbrewery

Eagle Rock | fb.com/eaglerockbrewery | @eaglerockbrew | IG: eaglerockbrew

El Segundo Brewing Co. | fb.com/ElSegundoBrewingCo | @ESBCBrews

Epic Brewing | fb.com/epicbrewingco | @epicbrewing

Faction | fb.com/factionbrewing | @factionbrewing | IG: factionbrewing

Figueroa Mountain | fb.com/figueroamountainbrewing | @figmtnbrew | IG: figmtnbrew

Fireman’s Brew | fb.com/firemansbrew | @firemansbrew | IG: firemansbrew

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. | fb.com/firestone.walker | @firestonewalker | IG: firestonewalker

Golden Road | fb.com/goldenroadbrew | @goldenroadbrew | IG: goldenroadbrew

Hangar 24 | fb.com/hangar24brewery | @hangar24brewery | IG: hangar24brewery

Karl Strauss | fb.com/KarlStraussBrewingCompany | @karl_strauss | IG: karl_strauss

Lagunitas | fb.com/lagunitasbrewingco | @lagunitasbeer | IG: lagunitasbeer

Kinetic | fb.com/kineticbrewing | @kineticbrewing | IG: kineticbrewing

Modern Times | fb.com/ModernTimesIsYourFriend | @moderntimesbeer | IG: moderntimesbeer

Monkish Brewing | fb.com/monkishbrewing | @monkishbrewing | IG: monkishbrewing

New Belgium | fb.com/newbelgium | @newbelgium | IG: newbelgium

Noble Ale Works | fb.com/noblealeworks | @noblealeworks | IG: noblealeworks

North Coast Brewing | fb.com/northcoastbrewingcompany | @NoCoastBrewCo

Ohana | fb.com/ohanabrew | @ohanabrew | IG: ohanabrew

Omission | fb.com/omissionbeer | @omissionbeer

Oskar Blues | fb.com/oskarbluesCANS | @oskarblues | IG: oskarblues

Pizza Port | fb.com/pizzaportOB | @pizzaportOB | IG: pizzaport

Saint Archer | Facebook | @saintarcherbrew | IG: saintarcherbrew

Sierra Nevada | fb.com/sierranevadabeer | @sierranevada

Smog City Brewing | fb.com/smogcitybrewing | @smogcitybeer | IG: smogcitybeer

Speakeasy | fb.com/speakeasybeer | @speakeasybeer | IG: speakeasybeer

Surf Brewery | fb.com/surfbrewery | @surfbrewery | IG: surfbrewery

Wolf Creek | fb.com/wolfcreekbrewery | @wolfcreekbrew | IG: wolfcreekbrewery

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All the bands were so fantastic! What a great addition to any Beerfest!

Bands
He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister | fb.com/hesmybrothershesmysister | @HMBSMS | YouTube | Myspace | Soundcloud
Fathers & Suns | fb.com/fathersandsuns | IG: sunfat | Soundcloud
Heaps n’ Heaps | fb.com/heapsnheapsmusic | @heapsnheaps | IG: heapsnheaps | SoundCloud
Megan Jacobs | fb.com/meganjmusic | @megan_jacobs | IG: oldsol | Soundcloud
The Battlefield | fb.com/wearethebattlefield | @_thebattlefield | IG: wearethebattlefield
Jimmy Lovato

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One of my favorite booths ever was present at the festival! WRECK CHECK. They were there to provide “free blows” to anyone who wanted to see how much they have had to drink.

Look I take cabs everywhere we are drinking. Sure I am more responsible now in my …ahem not 20s then I was when I was in my 20s. But Im guessing if there was a DUI Breathalyzer test at some of the bars I frequented early on in my drinking life I may not have driven home EVER.

Granted the technology is not always 100%. If I had a big gulp of a 9% IPA and blew I would blow off the charts. But in general it’s pretty accurate. We visited their booth pretty early on after just a few of the tasters and I blew a 0.089 Not crazy. Not tragic. Not even feeling drunk. But you know what? That is above the LEGAL limit to drink and drive. And I wouldn’t have known that.IMG_5022

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End of day a $20-40 cab ride to an all day festival is a small price to pay in comparison to a $12000 DUI. And the $12k you will end up spending is the best case scenario. That’s if you don’t hurt anyone. You probably paid for parking somewhere anyway. Be safe just don’t ever ever drink and drive.

There are so many options out there. Taxis which we use all the time Thank you Taxi Magic LA https://taximagic.com/en_US (Taxi Magic app makes it absurdly easy to get a cab get home and click to pay. Um…its an app for the drunkest of fest goers), Uber, https://www.uber.com/ or Side Car http://www.side.cr/.

When we were waiting in line to get in I saw so many of these cars and cabs dropping off fest goers. I was so happy. So thanks Wreck Check for making everyone more aware that a few of those little tasters is a few too many to drive home! https://www.facebook.com/WreckCheck

There was also fun chalk art,IMG_5049 and the snap it booth, and they were selling great merch this year. So many things were there I didn’t even get a chance to take pictures of all of it. But the good news is you can follow them on twitter @veganbeerfest and #veganbeerfest and see pictures from everyone who was there!

My final call out was to maybe the greatest part of the festival…the Fans that blew water.IMG_4992 No I mean literally the fans that provided spritzing and cooling off to those of us coming off a 100 degree week in LA. Mother Nature was kind enough to cool it down a bit, but still 80 degrees in a big lot in the middle of Hollywood gets hot. So thank you fans. Thank you for being there.IMG_4994

Another most successful LA VEGAN BEERFEST for sure! Thank you Nic, Tony, and Quarry Girl for coming up with this brain child. Its pretty genius!

IMG_4975Until next year!

PS you all saw this right? I know I was drinking so just making sure….IMG_5054

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LA BEERFEST 2014

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Its April you know what that means? Beerfest Season has begun! There are several Fests over the next few weeks to take note of but drinkeatplay’s (you know the folks who brought you the 80s Prom, The Gatsby party, and the LA Bacon festival!) LA Beerfest http://www.drinkeatplay.com/labeerfest/ was the first Mr Beerman and I ever went to and it’s become an annual tradition! If you don’t know about the fest you need to mark your calendars now for next year. It’s always in April and it’s only $40 for 3 hours of partaking in over 80 breweries best beers! 85 in fact!!
This year was the 6th annual LA Beer Festival and in their words it “brings together dozens of craft breweries, food trucks, live music and DJs, as well as thousands of attendees”. The Fest has two sessions, from noon to 3pm and 5pm to 8pm.

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This year the location changed from the Paramount back lot. I won’t lie. I saw the map they posted and I lamented over it as I was stringing up pretzels for necklaces.IMG_3531 It looks squishy. I was nervous. But low and behold it was the best year yet!

The music is pumping as well as some fists (age ranges from 21- gosh I should find the oldest attendee next year) as you make friends and drink some beers. IMG_3533IMG_3618I love the attendees at Beerfest. At least the 12-3 slot has some of the friendliest folks you’ll ever meet. We happened to be with friends wearing Lederhosen so it was like we were with Disneyland characters. IMG_3565They took pics with fellow beer drinker, we shared pretzels from our necklaces, and I found chivalry wasn’t dead even in the bathroom lines. Thank you dude I don’t know for letting me go first.

I started my Bierlady blog after last year’s fest. In that year I have probably tried, drank, enjoyed, not enjoyed, but drank a beer from most of the 85 breweries. So I wasn’t really on a mission to drink it all. I was on a mission to find a great session beer with summer approaching, find a great new Red, and to find a brewery I have not tried but found awesome. And I did!

So first off I have to mention an app called UntappdUntappd_logo https://untappd.com/ If you are a beer drinker, or just have trouble remembering the day after what you drank you should get this free app on your smart phone. It allows you to check into the beer you are drinking rate it, take a pic, write a tweet, toast a friend who’s also has the app or just store it so you remember what you had and if you liked it you can find it again. So I tried. Oh readers, I tried to check into every beer. But the sun was bright, you know how hard an Iphone is to read under the light of the blinding sun. So I tried and failed to check into all my beers. Probably for the best considering my Untappd is linked to my twitter (shameless plug please follow me @thebierlady) so if you didn’t know I was at a Beerfest it probably just looked like I was on a bender.

Let’s start out with some old favorites. I mean the guys who NEVER let you down. My current favorite brewery is Figueroa Mountain http://www.figmtnbrew.com. They are really fantastic. You can find their big bottles at some smaller liquor stores, or if you don’t want to go far they are at your local Bev Mo. I won’t digress too far on topic as I have blogged about their greatness before. Just saying they didn’t disappoint. The best part ofIMG_3601 FigMtn is they are brewing every kind of beer, not just the CA trend of IPAs. They DO a great IPA. In fact their Hoppy Poppy is one I can drink. Their Bag of Cats melds IPA and that old fashioned “bread” taste of your dads beer. But today I will mention their RED! http://www.figmtnbrew.com/our-beers/#danish-red-lager Their Danish Red is an award winner. Gold Medal at the 2011 and 2012 Los Angeles International BeerFestival. If you can find them on draft at a bar do it. If you can take a trip up to Buellton even better. Screw the wine, go get a beer!

Next up for our Summer outside Drinking needs the tried and true Firestone Walker Brewing Company.IMG_3600 http://www.firestonebeer.com/ These guys have gotten pretty big over the past few years but they have stayed pretty true to their recipes. I have to take my hat off (if I were wearing one) to their 805 Blonde.IMG_3602 For all you who can’t hand over your Coors or Budweiser, first of all what’s wrong with you? There is a time and place for Bud and if you are reading my blog you are not bowling, so if you want a really tasty clean crisp low alcohol, I could drink this for hours in my backyard beer: This is your beer! 805 Blonde! 805

I was giddy with anticipation to try ACE Ciders Pineapple. http://www.acecider.com/ I wondered if they would be there and they were! But insert SAD TROMBONE here when I got to their tent it was gone! Empty!IMG_3633 With an hour left of the fest! But the very nice ACE server assured me I could find it in So Cal in June. Which is pretty much just in time for summer BBQs.

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I was super happy to see Old Orange Brewing http://oldorangebrewing.com/. I found these guys at the Bev Mo Holiday Beerfest back in December, and they were still great! Find them. Not only great beers, but really cool labels. So even if you don’t know beer makes a good gift for a friend who does!

Beachwood BBQ & Brewing! http://beachwoodbbq.com/brewery.html I remembered them from last year’s festival and since we have found them bottled at our local liquor store (that has everything) Vendome in Toluca Lake http://www.vendometolucalake.com/.
IMG_3556Man these guys are good. I have to shout out to their RED as well. Knucklehead Red was I dare say one of my top beers at the festival. GREAT mix of an amber and a red. Only 5.7%. If you can find it get it. It will not disappoint you!

Ok on to the new…
I found IMG_3552Wiens Brewery out of Temecula http://www.wiensbrewing.com/. Not only really really nice people but a great Lager! I tried their Front Street Lager at 4.9% fits the bill as a great session beer, nice crisp lager. Great BBQ beer!

I think the BIGGEST find of the festival at least for me wasIMG_3581 COSMIC ALES http://www.cosmicbrewery.com/Home_Planet.html Nothing makes me happier than to find session beers with flavor. These were FANTASTIC. All of them. And look at the variety. Kudos to brewers who aren’t afraid to make a great blonde, brown, porter, Belgium. IMG_3580

Look Im not anti IPA if its good I will shout it out. But they don’t ALL have to be IPAs. If you can do all the different kinds of beer out there with flavor and Yah…. I will mention it…. some pretty awesome bottling, then you have my attention.

*Note the Bierlady is here to find folks who are afraid of craft beers new beers to try. So if you love your Pilny the Elder Im not here to poo poo that. More power to you. But Im reaching out to the folks who ….dammit are you still drinking that Coors when I told you to put it down? So for YOU guys, at the Yard house about to order another Bud Light. STOP! There are great beers out there that wont scare you!

Back to Cosmic.photo 1 Again I love when booth folks are friendly and happy to share their beers with pride. Im excited for these guys to grow. I think they are ones to watch!

Some other beers I drink at home but found their booths worth mentioning:
Goose Island http://www.gooseisland.com/ out of Chicago they have some great beers.IMG_3620 I’m fan of their Honkers ale. It’s a tasty beer and really with a goose on it and called Honkers how could it not be good?

It wouldn’t be a beer blog from me if I didn’t mention Kona Brewing http://konabrewingco.com/. I know I know, not California and bought out by the big guys. But they too have really done a good job sticking to their brewing recipes. I guarantee. No really money back guarantee on this one. If you want a good beer and you normally drink the grocery store ones that have been around forever get a Kona Longboard. You can find them anywhere, right next to that beer you are about to buy. Yes they are more expensive but they are worth it.IMG_3612

I didn’t get to everyone thank goodness LA Vegan Beerfest is in 6 weeks. http://www.veganbeerfest.com/
I missed some of my favorites like Surf Brewery in Ventura, http://surfbrewery.com/beer.html Ballast Point who does Sculpin IPA that is delicious and will put you on your ass after a few. Shes says having been there. http://www.ballastpoint.com/beers/year-round/.

And my local, so local I could almost walk Golden Road Brewing http://www.goldenroad.la/golden . This is hands down the most fun place to drink! They know their IPAs. I promise to find you at the Veganfest!

So in summary the Beers to Find before your first Summer BBQ.

#5 Wiens Brewery http://www.wiensbrewing.com/ Great Lager, excited to try more from them, Local CA Beer!
#4 Firestone Walker http://www.firestonebeer.com/home.php, they don’t disappoint from Double IPAs to their Blonde they’re a great brewery.
#3 Figueroa Mountain http://www.figmtnbrew.com/, Dad and Son Brew team, how great is that. Some of THE BEST Craft brew out there. Run don’t walk to Buellton.
#2 Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, http://beachwoodbbq.com/brewery.html, stood out for me in every festival. This BBQ place knows how to brew!
#1 Cosmic Ales http://www.cosmicbrewery.com/Cosmonaut.html, the one to watch. They are out of the gate strong and I think they’re gonna blow up.

I feel I have to include this. I don’t know where we got it. It was in Mr Beermans pocket when we got home. Im sad I didn’t see them. But these folks win for something. The branding is outstanding, sorry I can’t say for sure what they tasted like. I love this though! photo

Special Shout out thank you to our friend Wendy who normally runs a doggie daycare https://dogvacay.com/pro/wendyandriggins but took care of our “puppiesGs all day so I could have the ever important #Mom/Bierlady balance. If you want THE BEST PLACE to leave your dog when you need to she is your gal!

Always remember to drink responsibly! We took UBER https://www.uber.com/ there and Taxi Magic https://taximagic.com/en_US home! NEVER EVER Drink and Drive!

Excellent work DRINKEATPLAY! Thank you again for one of the best Festivals of Beer around!

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LA HOLIDAY BEERFEST

IMG_4822’twas the night before Beerfest
And all through the house
My husband and I prepped with a lil Karl Strauss
The beers would be plenty
Over 200 to be shared
Wonder if we can try them all- yes we’ve been dared
Challenge Accepted yelled Mr Beerman as the taxi arrived
Wondering which beer to start with
would we make it out alive?

The Fest was held at Golden Road
Great CA Craft Brew to be sure,
Sponsored by Bev Mo also part of the lure

Wont lie I loved the Woodchuck Cider the best
but who doesn’t love a sake bomb
Hand tap to my chest
There was chocolate and hazelnut
a ginger beer to make a Mule,
The place was so festive, full of lots of good yule!

The day was joyful with many of our friend
After 4 hours we were sad for Holiday Beerfest to End.


The day was December 7th and a team of 6 of us headed to our first ever Holiday Beerfest in LA. The event was held at Golden Road Brewery http://www.goldenroad.la/. IMG_4828I have mentioned them in past blogs as they are one of my favorite places to go. Not only do we get to have great beer, but we can bring the kids. This particular journey there was kid free though. As they were sponsored by Bev Mo and promised 200+ Beers.

The thing I immediately noticed about this fest was that it was not just CA Craft Beers, there were a good amount of them, some I hadn’t tried yet, but they had beers from all over the country and the world. That made for some good tasting! IMG_1479

I can’t talk about every beer I tried, because quite frankly toward the end I don’t know what I tried…it was four hours stop judging. But I will point out some I think are musts for not only the holiday season but in general.

So the Bierlady has been on a bit of a Cider kick these days. Not sure why. Cider technically isn’t beer, but I can’t change my name, so indulge me. A friend of mine gave me a mixed 6pk of beer for my birthday and in it I found a Woodchuck Cider. I had seen them before but never tried them. What a delicious Cider.http://www.woodchuck.com/ They are up there on my list of favorites with Crispin http://crispincider.com/ and Ace’s Pumpkin. http://www.acecider.com/about/ace-ciders/ace-pumpkin-cider/Both also represented at the Fest. IMG_1447
I tried several of their Ciders. They brought several of their ciders for tasting. 802 “A drier Woodchuck. Its made with caramelized sugar to tone down the sweetness a bit and give it its bronze color”, Granny Smith “Made from only Granny Smith apples”, Amber “The original” and a Brewers choice. Now they had the Winter Series Woodchuck and I think it was my favorite taste of the day. It had a vanilla after taste that made it so different and super holiday just really delicious!

wood I’ll be looking for that one today! They also had 2 from their Cellar Series a Smoked Apple “Apple pomace is smoked using a blend of maple and applewood chips. Our original small batch hard cider is run through the smoked pomace. The result is a full-bodied deep amber cider. Strong crisp apple notes with hints of vanilla are balanced on an applewood smoked backdrop.” And their Dry Hopped, “Woodchuck Dry Hop is the first cider in our new Cellar Series line.IMG_1459 Infused with hops, Woodchuck Dry Hop brings a new unique flavor to the cider category and it represents our dedication to pushing innovation in hard cider.” Both of these were really unique and tasty. I don’t think I could drink a pint of the Smoked apple but it would be awesome to cook with. I will for sure try a turkey in that! The guys at Woodchuck were super nice too! IMG_1458 And pointed out that their Ciders are Gluten free for those looking!

Speaking of Gluten free, this review goes out to my friends who are looking. Now I love a beer that really tastes like bread. Ive mentioned some in the past Fig Mtn’s Oktoberfest, New Belgium’s Blue Paddle…. Now I don’t want a gluten free beer, I can eat a loaf of bread with the best of them. Bring on the Garlic buns, wheres the crossiants, but if you are looking I found this lager to be really tasty. Lammsbrau from Germany is about as close as you can get to “real Beer” taste when you are Gluten Free. http://lammsbraeu.com/ IMG_1452

A beer that both Mr. Beerman and I took note of was Chocolate Box Oatmeal Stout. IMG_1426 From Asskisser Ales http://asskisserales.com/beer.php. I don’t know it this was a special brew cause I can’t find it on their site, but did find this: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/ass-kisser-chocolate-box-dark-oatmeal-stout/184389/ Normally I don’t buy into the chocolate beer. I find it a bit gimmicky and can’t find one that’s really good. THIS IS REALLY GOOD. So good we went back after we did a round about the fest and it was already gone. I would also note that if you mixed this with Rogue Ales, Hazelnut http://www.rogue.com/beers/hazelnut-brown.php That could be one of the best dessert beers of all time!

Here was a find! I thought there wasn’t a CA Craft beer I didn’t know about or have tried, but these guys were new to me and SO nice. Old Orange Brewing out of Orange, CA http://oldorangebrewing.com/Old_Orange_Brewery_Beer.htm. I tried their Backseat Blonde and their Rumplestilskin Irish Red ale and they were fantastic! IMG_1478The super nice lady who was sharing the tastes was the brewers sister. She said they are a small company but getting out there. I encourage you all to look for them. Not only to support CA beers, but they are just a damn good beer. I look forward to trying their other beers!

I can’t not talk about the Sake Bomb.IMG_1467 IMG_1465 That was one of my favorite parts of the day. Bev Mo sells a Sake Bomb kit for about $12 and it wasn’t that bad. I mean if you have been to Tokyo Delves in No Ho you know a sake bomb doesn’t have to be the best quality to be way fun. This was tasty and cute and I think a great gift! http://bushibomb.com/home

I have to give a shout out to Widmer Brothers, IMG_1448out of Portland, also the home of my favorite Kona (they distribute for Hawaii). They were representing a few of their good ones. Including a Bourbon Barrel aged cider that was really smooth. http://widmerbrothers.com/beer/#barrel-aged-brrrbon-11 And just a quick shout for the Pipeline Porter from Kona. Kona you never let me down!IMG_1449

Mr Beerman wanted me to mention Ballast Points Indra Kunindra a India inspired stout. Lots of cumin, curry, coconut flavors. Again not a beer he could drink pints of, but it was interesting and yummy enough to mention. I bet it would make for good cooking!!IMG_4798

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Taxi Magic for providing everyone (I hope) safe rides from the event. IMG_4824IMG_4823IMG_4781And Wreck Check. I love these guys! Hands down the most fun at the event! They let us BLOW anytime we wanted to check our alcohol level. SO fun. And puts things in perspective. We may have been yelling “blow blow blow”!! and the crowd cheered everyone on. But I hope it once again proved, 1 beer or 200 call a taxi, use an app, share a ride. It’s the right thing to do, for your safety and everyone else on the road.http://wreckcheck.me/

Oh my gosh there were so many good beers there. I bet I will have a follow up blog once I finish going through all my notes. I have to go wrap some Santa gifts, and you know have the Bierlady/Mom balance going on… But I have to give a final shout out to Golden Road Brewery IMG_1464 for not only hosting but providing their delicious brews. My favorite this time was their Surfliner, very coffee tasting, very tasty. IMG_1432If you haven’t been to Golden Road you should go. Not only do they have great folks working there, CRAZY NICE owners, and good beer, but you can bring friends, or family or just yourself and enjoy a beer outside or in. AND they have a cool tour of the brewery… What Bierlady did you go on the tour? I did. I wont lie it was about 3 hours into the fest. So I remember….some things…but I will say we took a lot of excellent pictures! So stay tuned. Next blog…the inside of a brewery.

IMG_4780

My Christmas gift to you…I would 100% recommend this fest for you all to attend next year! Great fun, 4 hours, unlimited pours, $45. The gift that keeps on giving!!

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.

menuHeres a little shout out to one of my new favorite CA breweries: Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. http://www.figmtnbrew.com/ They are located in Buellton California just outside of Santa Barbara. Now you maybe thinking to yourself, Buellton, why is that name sticking out in my head, perhaps you have seen a lil movie called SIDEWAYS? The Hitching Post https://hitchingpost2.com/sideways.html was used for the film. And its now a “must stop” place for any fan of the film. But ah well that’s a movie about wines…and although that area of California is a mecca for great wine its also the home to great beer!

So what’s their story? Straight from the interweb Figueroa Brewing Co is a father/son business: “Jim and Jaime Dietenhofer are a father & son team with a passion for quality beer. Both businessmen and entrepreneurs, they’ve grown their companies on hard work and quality products. Jim raised his family in the Santa Ynez Valley along with wife Judie, and have enjoyed its natural beauty and the character of its inhabitants for years. Starting this business has been a dream of the Dietenhofers for some time, and they feel fortunate to provide patrons the quality that they deserve. Jaime’s wife Meighan and sons Anders and Gray are also key supporters of the operation.”

If you haven’t tried their beers you should. I recently went to a TAP TAKE OVER at Story Tavern http://www.storytavern.com and found SEVEN beers that were amazing. No really I have never had a flight where I wanted more of every beer.photo 4 Now heres the thing. Some of these beers are only available in their tasting room. They don’t have them bottled for distribution. Which really only brings two words to mind “ROAD TRIP”! But in the meantime there are some beers that you can get and should try.

First the ones that just tempted Mr. Beerman and I and sent us into a depression that we couldn’t run out and buy more. These included their Big Cone Black Ale 6.8%, Sisquoc Bock 8% (I know the Bierlady doesn’t like the High ABVs but this one was so good, I couldn’t even tell it was high) Oktoberfest/Figtoberfest Lager 5.5% it had me at Oktoberfest but man this was my FAVORITE. It had that wonderful “bread” taste that I mention in a recent blog referring to New Belgiums Blue Paddle. http://www.newbelgium.com/beer/detail.aspx?id=5aec31cf-c34f-4344-8dbe-91a0a5db67ca That same beer taste I loved with Blue Paddle, its like the way a beer used to taste before everyone started getting fancy, just beer, a fine loaf of bread in a bottle, Surfliner Lager 4.4%, and a Munich Style Dunkel at 6%. That was our second favorite. Perfect for the new season!
hophurr
brstredNow the ones you can get. Hoppy Poppy IPA 6.5%. I finally found an IPA that I really really like. And good gawd if that name didn’t cause me to want to go running. Hoppy IPA, redundant much? but no I really liked it.. WHAT? Its true. And their Hurricane Deck Double IPA also great. Even at 8% and an IPA I still found it perfectly drinkable. Davey Brown Ale 6% is a great ale. I find it slightly malty for my taste but its one of Mr. Beermans new “go to” beers. Their Stage Coach Stout 5.6% is a smokey smooth chocolate like stout It’s a good’un. Im on the look out for their Danish Red Ale I loves me a good Red. I’ll report back as soon as I find it.

They have several other bottles that I haven’t tried. And Now I have to. After being exposed to the flight of magic I am a true fan. And how can you not support a Father/Son Brew team? That’s like my dream for Mr. Beerman and one or both of our boys.

So look for these guys. They know what they are doing. I anticipate being able to find all their beers in stores soon.

In the meantime next time you are in the Santa Ynez Valley skip the wine tasting and head to their brewery!

Just try it!

IMG_9355That’s my motto for LA BEER Week. Just Try it! Try a new beer this week. Something you wouldn’t normally drink and maybe you will love it!

So LA Beer Week which is more than a week is up an running with events all over the city. Check out the events http://labeerweek.com/event/. Or if you frequent a favorite bar Im sure something is going on.

Today I spent Day 2 of LA Beer week at two of my FAVORITE places. Story Tavern http://www.storytavern.com in downtown Burbank. And Tony’s Darts Away also in Burbank. http://tonysda.com/ Both places are huge craft brew havens.

So I decided since it was super cloudy and a bit chilly today –by chilly I mean LA standards in September, so like 80– it seemed like Autumn was here.
I have gone into Autumn kicking and screaming. I think part of it is because I have a school aged child now. Gavin is in 2nd grade. So when school is involved the end of summer is that much harsher. For him and for me. School means PTA involvement, stricter bedtimes and of course homework. You wouldn’t think homework in 2nd grade would be that tough. And its not, but as he gets older and the homework goes from coloring to real studies, and I realize just how much I have forgotten, or perhaps never learned. I will be the first to admit I may have spent too much time at Trojan football games and tail gates then in the classroom (college is wasted on the young sigh). So now I find myself answering his questions with a “well lets go look on the computer” or I nod when he says “is this something we need to ask Dad?”.

I digress..so Summer is ending and its mid September which means Im ready for some new types of beers. Not the pilsners and lagers …although truth be told its LA in Sept. It will be 100 again next week and I’ll bust out a good “outside drinking beer”. But today since it was mildly cloudy I went for some darker beer choices.

Our first stop was Story Tavern.IMG_9352 Lucky for us last night they had a Tap Take Over by Eagle Rock Brewery.IMG_9350 http://eaglerockbrewery.com/page/beers I’m sure you know Eagle Rock but if you don’t They are the forefathers of Craft Beer in LA. They have fantastic beers and Mr Beerman and I are big fans. I was giddy to get the Revolution on tap.IMG_9346 Now normally I don’t like an extra pale ale. But this one is so smooth and tasty. I have to recommend it. Even to my friends reading this who don’t normally venture into the Pale Ale or IPA world. From their site: “Extra Pale Ale (XPA) is a variation on American pale ale–bright and refreshing with a substantial hop presence. Light-gold in color, Revolution XPA’s subtle malt backbone and medium body balance it’s hop bitterness. Dry hopping delivers big hop aromas with the essence of nectar fruit, citrus, and freshly cut grass. As these assertive flavors recede a hint of bready malt rounds out the finish.
Bitter never tasted so sweet! ABV 5.2%”
Mr. Beerman is more of a Unionist Fan, a Belgium Pale Ale, which from their site: “A combination of Belgian and English styles, this Belgian Pale Ale has the subtle spice characteristics of cinnamon and nutmeg, produced by the Belgian yeast. The medium body and biscuity malt backbone, common in English ales, support the subtle hop bitterness to make this beer a perfect blend of styles. ABV: 5.4%”

Im still not on the Belgium bandwagon. So I passed, BUT I did find which I think was the greatest find of the day. Their Solidarity which is a good beer to begin with, a black mild ale, “”Mild” refers to an English-style beer that is malt-accented yet light bodied and low in alcohol.IMG_9351 Depite it’s dark appearance Solidarity Black Mild is light bodied and refreshingly drinkable. A variety of roasted malts lend toasty, nutty flavors and complexity, with subtle notes of coffee, dark chocolate, and a hint of smoke”. But heres the thing, Story Tavern had THREE takes on this beer (the others had some different versions as well) they had the normal Solidarity, Solidarity on Nitro (which means creamer like a Guinness or Murphys) and a special Cask version made with Champurrado, mexican chocolate. Okay first let me explain. Cask is how beer drinkers used to drink beer, before the 20th century, far less carbonation it served without Nitro or CO2 and well a bit warmer than usually served. Ok this mexican chocolate addition is the freaking bomb! It was so good. And at 3.8% I could drink it all night. It wouldn’t fill you up and its low ABV makes it such a great beer.

I hear it was a small batch so if you can get some do it. Run don’t walk to Story Tavern this week!

My second stop was to Tonys Darts Away. Its sort of the go to place for Craft Beers. I ended up after several samples deciding on a Mocha Stout from TAPS. It was very tasty. I highly recommend. If you like a good stout and a chocolate coffee flavor this one surely fits the bill.

Tony’s is doing several events for LA BEER WEEK IMG_9357(see the pic posted). And just in general you should visit here if you want to try a good craft brew! Oh and order the home baked potato chips. You’re welcome.

IMG_9360So my theme of the blog was to try something new. Even if you think you aren’t going to like it try it. I would have NEVER thought I would love a Mexican Chocolate Black Ale, but now I dream of it. You don’t need to order a pint, ask for a taste this week. Surely any server will hook you up. Maybe you will love a beer you never thought you would. It sort of reminds me of my aforementioned 2nd grader. He is horrible at trying new things. So when I want him to try something I said “remember the pumpkin bread”. He turned his nose up to orange bread last fall til he tried a piece. Now he thinks pumpkin bread is the greatest thing since well…sliced pumpkin bread.

Speaking of Pumpkin…I’ll be on a quest this week to find some good Pumpkin Ciders and Ales to report back on. For now Happy Beer Week..and remember “just try it, you may like it!”.

Craft Beer Week! Meet my friend Paul, a Homebrewer in So Cal

I guess it’s not a surprise that beer people like beer people. We tend to gravitate toward one another. One of my best friends from high school, Barbara, who also lives in So Cal, is married to a home brewer. Pauls LogoInitially I was a bit scared of home brews. Maybe it was the unknown of what’s in there. I don’t think it’s a sanitary thing. I mean I’m the first person to say “try this” and let people sip out of my beer. I guess it was just a new world to me. Pauls beerPaul’s been brewing a few years now and I’ve seen his set up. It’s grown from a small area of his backyard to a big portion of his backyard. Pauls Set upLooks a bit like a scene from a movie that has a mad scientist. But the results can’t be denied. He’s a guy with a normal banking job who does this as a hobby. Not even full time. Just for fun, and he’s already be awarded medals for his work. Safe to say that Paul and Barb are dedicated to their craft of…. craft beers. They will spend day and night tasting and refining…for the good of the art of beer making. Pauls dogEven their dog Billard gets into the action, he eats the left overs from the brewing process. They have figured out how to make them into tasty left over cakes for doggie snacks. Hmm.. guys maybe you should (c) that idea right now! Pauls dog treats

Paul initially started with bottles. Lots and lots of beers had to be drunk by family and friends so the old bottles could be sterilized and reused for bottling purposes. Pauls beer bottles. But recently a keg fridge was purchased and this is making the process a little bit easier!

Recently Paul won the Silver Medal in in the 2nd highest entered category this year for his Brown Ale at the Hangar 24 Home Brewers Competition. The competition entries jumped by 50% this year! Which says to me Home brewing is trending more than ever! Yay!

I had to ask Paul a few questions:

What made you start brewing? So I really had no interest in brewing until a friend invited me over to brew with him a few years ago. I’ve always enjoyed cooking, and gone brewing combines cooking with some science. So, I was bit by the bug. There is also a great DIY aspect to it. Many homebrewers make the equipment that they need. I made a mash tun out of a ice chest, brass valve, some copper tubing and the outside part or a washing machine hose. Fun stuff!

Tell me about the competition you just did.The competitions seem to start around March are go through September or so. This competition was put on by Hangar 24 brewery in Redlands. Every year there is a large beer “convention” in Denver called the Great American Beer Fest. Pro brewers enter a ProAm competition with amateur recipes. The best in show if the Hanger 24 competition is brewed by the brewery and entered in the GABF ProAm.
In the competitions, beers as separated by style and judged against the guidelines for that style (appearance, aroma, flavor, mouthfeel)

How long did the silver medal ale take?
Typically the beers take 6 weeks: 2 weeks to ferment, 2 weeks to settle/age, 2 weeks to carb up.
Last year I entered this brown ale and won a gold. This year there was much more competition. I was beat out by a pale ale. I also won a silver in the Pacific Brewers Cup last year for a Bock that I made.
The bock was one of the hardest beers I’ve made so far. It has a mostly malt profile, so there are no strong flavors to cover up mistakes. My favorites so far are the brown ale (a nice starter beer for those who aren’t ready for stouts or porters yet) and saison (a light colored farmhouse brew with some banana and coriander flavors)

Whats your Favorite of any craft brew? Craft beers: I like the local brews. Hanger 24 has a nice Alt Bier, Dale Bros does a decent California Common, and Claremont Craft Ale has a good Rye IPA.

Recommendation to other homebrewers: it seems that controlling the fermentation temp is a hugely important part of brewing. I use an old frig with a digital temp controller and my brews have improved a lot since I’ve gotten that under control.

I’m just learning the whole competition thing. I entered a beer in a recent competition and the judges said I had it in the wrong classification. So making sure you classify it correctly is important. Also, it’s important to brew the beers so they incorporate all if the characteristics of the style you’re trying to create (an IPA can’t be malty or a stout amber)! I’ve also noticed that the Belgian styles seem to win Best in Show more often then other styles. Might be because they are harder to produce.

Thanks Paul! Keep up the good work.

I wanted to give a shout out to all the winners and to Hanger 24 for a great day!
Hangar-24-Logo

Congratulations to Best of Show 1st Place (and 2nd Place) winner Brad Nixon in the 4th Annual Homebrew Competition!
Here’s is the complete rundown of winners.

Best of Show
1st: Brad Nixon – “Schwarzbier” – Schwarzbier
2nd Brad Nixon – “Porter’s Porter” – Brown Porter
3rd: Dwight Mulcahy – “Blond Bells” – Belgian Blond Ale

Category 1: Light Lager
Gold: Jonathan Kissinger – “Fine Beer May Be Judged With Only One Sip” – Standard American Lager
Silver: James Hilbing – “Premium American Lager #2” – Premium American Lager
Bronze: Jennifer Jordan – “Munich Helles” – Munich Helles

Category 2: Pilsner
Gold: Dwight Mulcahy – “Busta’ Cap” – Classic American Pilsner
Silver: Jeremy Maldonado – “Bo-He-Man” – Bohemian Pilsener
Bronze: Dwight Mulcahy – “Pils Off!” – German Pilsner

Category 3: European Amber Lager
Gold: Brad Nixon – “Oktoberfest” – Oktoberfest/Marzen
Silver: Brad Nixon – “Vienna Lager” – Vienna Lager
Bronze: Jack Hilgendorf – “Amber Lager” – Vienna Lager

Category 4: Dark Lager
Gold: Brad Nixon – “Schwarzbier” – Schwarzbier
Silver: Brad Jefferies – “Munich Dunkel” – Munich Dunkel
Bronze: James Hilbing & Kurt Ramp – “Schwarzbier” – Schwarzbier

Category 5: Bock
Gold: Brock Hall – “Fredrick” – Maibock/Helles Bock
Silver: Dwight Mulcahy – “Bock Bock” – Doppelbock
Bronze: Dwight Mulcahy – “Big Nose MyBock” – Maibock/Helles Bock
Category 6: Light Hybrid Beer
Gold: Jeff Tudor – “Elmo Ale” – Cream Ale
Silver: Brad Nixon – “Cream Ale” – Cream Ale
Bronze: Randy Kading – “Katie’s Blonde Ale” – Blonde Ale

Category 7: Amber Hybrid Beer
Gold: Bob Reynolds & Ryan McHugh – “Toes on the Nose” – California Common Beer
Silver: Dane Bagley – “Mt. Asoutney Amber” – Northern German Altbier
Bronze: Kevin Margulieux – “North German Alt” – Northern German Altbier

Category 8: English Pale Ale
Gold: Stewart Holl – “Homegrown English Pale” – Special/Best/Premium Bitter
Silver: Michael Herron – “Very Ordinary” – Standard/Ordinary Bitter
Bronze: Dwight Mulcahy – “ESPale” – Extra Special Bitter

Category 9: Scottish & Irish Ale
Gold: Dan Romanowich – “Q” – Irish Red Ale
Silver: Philip Vieira – “Tartan Strong Ale” – Strong Scotch Ale
Bronze: Robert Wilson – “Maxwell’s 80/-“ – Scottish Export 80/-

Category 10: American Ale
Gold: Erik Debellis – “Pale Ale Six” – American Pale Ale
Silver: Paul Happach – “Big Bill’s Brown” – American Brown Ale
Bronze: Christian Scholte – “Single Track Pale Ale” – American Pale Ale
Category 11: English Brown Ale
Gold: Brett Gent – “Brown Ale” – Northern English Brown Ale
Silver: Robert Hemphill – “Mild Side” – Mild
Bronze: Randy Kading – “Chocolate Lab Brown Ale” – Northern English Brown Ale

Category 12: Porter
Gold: Brad Nixon – “Porter’s Porter” – Brown Porter
Silver: Brice Jarvi – “Mayan Doomsday” – Robust Porter
Bronze: Jack Hilgendorf – “Porter Robust” – Robust Porter

Category 13: Stout
Gold: Jonathan Smith – “Oatmeal Stout” – Oatmeal Stout
Silver: Jim Jorgensen – “RIS #2” – Russian Imperial Stout
Bronze: Mike & Cyndi Malsed – “Black Sand” – Foreign Extra Stout

Category 14: India Pale Ale
Gold: Sean Frates – “CS IPA” – American IPA
Silver: Pete Heringer – “739 IPA” – English IPA
Bronze: Matthew Rose – “Rye Heaven” – Imperial IPA

Category 15: German Wheat & Rye Ale
Gold: Jim Jorgensen – “Jim’s Weizen” – Weizen/Weissbier
Silver: Stephen Le Duc – “Hogan’s Roggen” – Roggenbier
Bronze: Greg Pleiss – “Dunkel-Pleissen” – Dunkelweizen

Category 16: Belgian & French Ale
Gold: Matt Irmscher – “Saison Du Clue” – Saison
Silver: Jim Jorgensen – “Sais Off” – Saison
Bronze: Brian Holter & Kingsley Toby – “Spring Forward” – Saison

Category 17: Sour Ale
Gold: Jerry Marshall – “Flanders Red” – Flanders Red Ale
Silver: Laura McCabe-Patke – “Sour Orangeberry” – Berliner Weisse

Category 18: Belgian Strong Ale
Gold: Dwight Mulcahy – “Blond Bells” – Belgian Blond Ale
Silver: Jerry Marshall – “Belgian Strong Dark Ale” – Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Bronze: Jefferson Loftfield – “Grapevine” – Belgian Dark Strong Ale

Category 19: Strong Ale
Gold: Dwight Mulcahy – “Grany Booze” – American Barleywine
Silver: Robert Wilson – “Old Orthogonal” – Old Ale
Bronze: Jerry Marshall – “English Barleywine” – English Barleywine

Category 20: Fruit Beer
Gold: Jesse Cancel – “White Nectarine Kolsch” – Kolsch w/ White Nectarine
Silver: Robert Carter – “Razz-Ma-Tazz” – Sweet Stout w/ Raspberry, Coconut & Chocolate
Bronze: Kai Karlson – “Apricot Ho” – Wit w/ Apricot, Coriander & Orange Peel

Category 21: Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer
Gold: Jim Jorgensen – “Vanilla Hazelnut Stout” – Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer
Silver: Brian Holter & Kingsley Toby – “Tahoba” – Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer
Bronze: Jesse Cancel – “Jacolantern Ale” – Christmas/Winter Specialty Beer
Category 22: Smoke Flavored/Wood-Aged Beer
Gold: Patrick Schulz – “Smoked Brown” – Brown Ale w/ Cherry Smoked Wood
Silver: Jacob Kleespies – “Bourbon Barrel Porter” – Wood Aged Beer
Bronze: James Hilbing – “Oaked Old Ale” – Wood-Aged Beer

Category 23: Specialty Beer
Gold: Jonathan Smith – “Heart of the Sun” – Wheat Wine w/ Blood Oranges
Silver: Ramiro Vejar, Antonio, Gary – “Black Rye River IPA” – Black Rye IPA
Bronze: Dave Bagley – “Peanut Butter Porter” – Robust Porter w/ Cacao & Peanut Butter

Congrats and thank you to all these brewers. We who like to drink a good beer salute you!

Paul Beer