Kiss Me I’m Irish – ish….

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Ok, we’re not Irish.  But, like many, we have great reverence for their culture, and envy the true Irish on March 17th.  Come St. Patrick’s Day, we all partake in Irish-style festivity and relish in the rampant beer drinking.  This is the day everyone feels free to sing in the pub at the top of their lungs.  The day mismatched green clothes are a welcome sight.  The day even newbie beer drinkers who fear dark brews down a pint of Guinness with delight.  

But St Patrick’s day isn’t just about how many pints you can slam, below are a few tidbits you can carry with you into the pub in case you want to pass for Irish – ish…


1) St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland.  He was born in England, kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave, and then escaped back to England.  Later, he chose to return to Ireland of his own free will to work as an ordained Bishop. He did not, however, banish snakes from the country, as has been told in tall tales.  There are no snakes in Ireland, but there never were.

2) ‘Black and Tan’ is an offensive term in Ireland.  The ‘Black and Tans’ referred to the Royal Irish Constabulary forces sent into Ireland by the British to supress the Irish Revolution.  So it’s not exactly a festive term in that country.  If you’d like to order a Black and Tan on St. Patty’s day, ask for a Half and Half; half Irish lager, half Irish stout.

3) How do you tell if a four leaf clover is actually real?  Check the fourth leaf.  It will be smaller than the other three.  So don’t get bamboozled by imitations!

4) Everyone should know at least two Irish toasts to share with friends at the pub, here are two of our favorites:

"May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live."

"May you have the hindsight to know where you've been,
The foresight to know where you're going,
And the insight to know when you've gone too far.
"

5) Though Irish Stouts are dark in color, they are not huge beers with high alcohol content.  The dark color comes from the roast level of the malt used in the brewing process.  Guinness is actually fairly low in alcohol, around 5-6%.  And it is a not a very bitter beer, far less bitter than many American Pale Ales.  So don’t judge a beer by its color!!

6) Yes, Guinness is the favorite on St. Patty’s Day, but there are lots of craft-brewed Irish-style beers!  Many local breweries across the nation brew Irish Stouts and Irish Red ales, so honor the Irish influence on local culture by drinking an Irish-style brew made nearby.  Here are a few of our favorites:

Moylan’s Dragoons Dry Irish StoutMoylan’s Brewing Company, Novato, CA.  Dry Irish Stout with classic coffee and chocolate notes.  5% abv.

Taps Irish Red - Taps Fishouse and Brewery, Brea, CA.  Malty beer with hints of nuts, biscuit and tea, slightly sweet finish. 5.3% abv.

Portsmouth Black Cat Stout
- Portsmouth Brewery, Portsmouth, NH. Bold coffee notes with hints of smoke and layers of dark fruit notes.  5.5% abv.  

Donnybrook Stout - Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA.  Roasted malt notes with hints of toffee dark chocolate.  Creamy but mellow.  3.7% abv.

Brian Boru Old Irish RedThree Floyds Brewing Company, Munster, IN.  Fresh notes of pine, citrus and a sweet caramel background.  5.5% abv.

Top 5 Beers for When You’re Snowed In

List of Beers for the LA Craft Beer Crawl

As you may or may not know, the world of craft beer is everchanging!  We are hoping that we'll be getting some more beers in the next two days – whose names we dare not mention.  That being said, here is the list of the 90 beers and where they'll be along the LA Craft Beer Crawl this Saturday, August 13th.  Can't wait to share a pint with those of you who are attending!

(** Revisions)

Broadway Bar
830 S. Broadway

The Bruery, Placentia, CA
Saison Rue
Mischief
VIP – Tart of Darkness
VIP – Mischief Gone Wild

Lagunitas, Brewing Company, Petaluma, CA
IPA
Pils
Lucky 13 Altbier
VIP – Little Sumpin’ Wild Ale

Telegraph Brewing Co, Santa Barbara, CA
Stock Porter
Cerveza De Fiesta Pilsner
Reserve Wheat Wild Ale
VIP – Obscura Amber Ale

Nibble Bit Tabby Brewery, LA, CA
ESB

Cana Rum Bar
714 W. Olympic

Maui Brewing Company, Lahaina, HI
Mana Wheat
Big Swell IPA (on draught)
VIP – Coconut Porter (on draught)
VIP – Ice Cream Beer Float

Ladyface Ale Companie, Agoura Hills, CA
Trois Filles Tripel
Ladyface Red Rye
VIP – Chesebro IPA

Casey’s
613 S. Grand

Moylan’s Brewery, Novato, CA
Dragoons Dry Irish Stout
Kiltlifter
VIP – Hopsickle

Strand Brewing Company, Torrance, CA
Beach House Amber
24th St. Pale Ale
VIP – Cask Double Dry Hopped 24th Street Pale

North Coast Brewing Co, Fort Bragg, CA
Le Merle Saison
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, Chico, CA

Porter
Summerfest Pilsner

Noble Ale Works, Anaheim, CA
Pale Ale
Alpha Red Imperial Red Ale
VIP – Knight Changer Imperial Stout

Green Flash Brewing Co, San Diego, CA
Double Stout
West Coast IPA
Hop Head Red Ale
Trippel Belgian Style Ale

VIP Cocktail- The Black Raspberry
Moylans Dragoons Dry Irish Stout &
Lindemans Frambois


Cole’s

118 E. 6th Street

TAPS Fish House and Brewery, Brea, CA
Helles
Cali Gold XPA
Neo-Colonial Stout (Oatmeal Stout w/ Portola Coffee)
VIP – Oaked Thomas Jefferson

Chimay, Abbaye De Scourmont, Belgium
Chimay Tripel Draft
VIP – Chimay Grande Reserve Jeroboums

G. Schneider and Sohn, Kelheim, Germany
Schneider Hopfen-Weisse Draft

Lost Coast Brewing Co, Eureka, CA
Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat
Lost Coast Double Trouble Double IPA
 

Golden Gopher
417 W. 8th Street

Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, San Diego, CA
Calico Amber
Big Eye IPA
VIP – Sculpin IPA

New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, CO

Ranger IPA
Abbey Grand Cru
VIP – Super Cru
VIP – 10-10-10

Bootlegger’s Brewery, Fullerton, CA
Black Phoenix Chipotle Coffee Stout
Rustic Rye IPA
Golden Chaos Belgian-style Golden Ale
VIP – Eliminator IPA

Drakes Brewing, San Leandro, CA
1500 Dry-hopped Pale Ale
IPA
Aroma Coma (first time poured in Socal!)

Cismontane, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Coulter IPA
Black's Dawn Stout
VIP – Coffee Citizen Common


Las Perlas

107 E. 6th Street

Uncommon Brewers, Santa Cruz, CA

Baltic Porter
Golden State Ale
VIP – Siamese Twin Ale
VIP – Raul Yrastorza Michelada

Brouwerij West, Palos Verdes, CA
5 Blond
9 Tripel

Eagle Rock Brewery, LA, CA
Solidarity Black Mild Ale
Manifesto Wit
VIP – Stimulus Belgian Amber w/ Intelligentsia Coffee


7 Grand
515 W. 7th Street

Craftsman Brewing Co, Pasadena, CA
Fireworks Saison
Smoked Black Lager
Triple White Sage
1903 Prohibition Lager – we think
VIP – Sour Braggot – we think

Stone Brewing Company, Escondido, CA
Levitation Amber Ale
Cali-Belgique IPA
Highway 78 Scotch Ale
VIP – Double Dry Hopped Ruination IPA

Firestone Walker Fine Ales, Paso Robles, CA
Double Barrel Ale
Union Jack IPA
Solace Wheat Ale
VIP – Double Jack

Deschutes Brewery, Bend, OR
Mirror Pond Pale Ale
Black Butte Porter
Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale
VIP – Conflux White IPA

Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY
Ommegang Belgian Pale Ale
VIP – Ommegang Aphrodite

Brasserie D’Achouffe, Achouffe, Belgium
Houblon Chouffe Belgian IPA

Duvel, Breendonk, Belgium
Duvel Green

Allagash Brewing, Portland, ME
White Ale
Black Ale


Brewers / Beer Rock Stars / People of Note!
(in alphabetical order)

Joel Elliott
Owner/brewmaster Strand Brewing Company
David Griffiths
Brewmaster Ladyface Alehouse and Brasserie
Steve Grossman
Ambassador – Sierra Nevada Brewery
Mark Jilg
Owner/brewmaster Craftsman Brewing Company
Greg Koch
CEO and Brewmaster of Stone Brewing Company
Jerry Kolbly
Owner/brewmaster – Noble Aleworks
Brian Lethcoe
Owner/Brewmaster Nibble Bit Tabby
Anita Lum
Mainland Ops Manager, Maui Brewing Co.
Rich Marcello

Owner, Strand Brewing Co.
Brian Mercer
Owner/Brewer Brouwerij West
Cyrena Nouzille
Proprietor Ladyface Alehouse and Brasserie
Victor Novak
Brewmaster TAPS Fish House and Brewery
Todd Peterson
Brewer Craftsman Brewing Co
Jeremy Raub
Owner/Brewmaster Eagle Rock Brewery
Paul Rey
Brewer Telegraph Brewing Company

Also, don't forget to stop buy our new craft beer bottle store, 8th Street Bottle Shop, located inside the Golden Gopher at 417 W. 8th Street!  We're carrying over 20 beers from the crawl and even more beers from participating breweries, not to mention over 80 specialty craft and artisanal beers!

Top 10 Ways to Get Your Dad Into Craft Beer

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If your dads are like ours, you love them dearly and appreciate all they’ve done for you, but you find them – how should we say it…a bit craft-beer challenged. Perhaps too used to routine and, dare we say, a little set in their ways, you hear the phrase ‘I like what I like’ more than you’d like.

For us, our fathers have been our toughest beer students. But we love them and we love craft beer, so naturally we won’t give up on them! We are determined to get them to appreciate our beloved drink.

So, in honor of them and Father’s Day, we offer our suggestions for those of you trying to turn Dad into a craft beer lover. Admittedly, some of the below are more tricks than straightforward teaching tools, kind of like when he told you you were going to the water park and you ended up at the Dentist.

10 – Take all of his favorite mass-produced beer and hide it. Then replace it with a variety of craft beers in the same style as his usual brew, and tell him you’re sorry but you and your friends drank all of his beer and you wanted to replace it with something special.

9 – Get your mom into craft beer first, then have her hassle your dad, she’s good at it.

8 – Write a book about craft beer and then give him a copy (The Naked Pint) for Father’s Day!! Okay, shameless plug! (Warning – Doesn’t always work.)

7 – Braise some meat for dinner in a craft beer stout or porter! Deschutes Black Butte Porter works great. How can he refuse a taste of the craft brew that make that meat so damn delicious?!

6 – Tell him you want some special one on one father-daughter (father-son) time. Then take him to a gastropub that serves zero mass-produced beer. Order the beers for both of you and get him to drink a couple of different styles. Then pay for the bill. How can he complain?!

5 – Tell him if he starts drinking craft beer, you’ll stop asking him for (cough) financial support.

4 – Take him to a local brewery for a tour. Usually if they meet the brewer behind the beer and see the passion and work that goes into the beverage they can appreciate and understand what they’re drinking. Plus they’ll think it’s cool and tell their friends all about the time their kid took them to the brewery. They may also geek out over the brewing equipment.

3 – Brew some beer and name it after him. Take that hombrewed pale ale or witbier and make a label with your dad’s name on it like ‘Roy’s Pale’ or ‘William’s Wit’- Then give it as a gift on Father’s Day. He accepted all your homemade cards as a kid, how could he reach for the macrobrew when he has your homemade gift in front of him?

2 – Take him on his favorite outdoor adventure, hiking, fishing, golfing… and bring along sandwiches and a nice craft brew in a can, like Mamma’s Little Yella Pilsner from Oskar Blues, or Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in a can. Beer tastes especially great after an active adventure.

1 – Take him to Belgium! We find that when our fathers are out of their routine environment and in an exciting place they become more adventurous. He’ll want to drink local craft beer in Belgium, or Germany or London, simply because he’s out of the house and trying to relive his glory days, when being young meant trying everything.

Don’t Judge A Beer By Its Color

Ok some of you (perhaps those who have perused our book..) already know this. But sadly, we still find that the misconceptions about the color of a beer dominates the minds of many a new craft brew drinker. Misconceptions like ‘Dark beers are too strong!’ or ‘I don’t drink stouts, they’re like a meal!” are overheard in bars and make us shiver….

So let’s put this to bed.

The color of beer comes from the malt, typically roasted Barley. Now, think of this barley like coffee beans. Coffee beans start out green and can be roasted to a caramel brown color and finally to a deep dark chocolate color, as in a French roast. Similarly, barley can be a pale malt, caramel color, or deep dark chocolate color as well. Depending on the roast level of the malt you use, you will get a lighter colored, caramel/amber colored, or dark colored beer.

What this does not tell you is:
1) How strong the beer is, as in alcohol by volume
2) How many calories are in the beer
3) How bitter the beer is
4) How sweet the beer is

The only thing the color can tell you is the roast level of the malts used in the making of the beer. The abv mostly depends upon the amount of malt used (whatever the color), the bitterness mostly depends upon the type and amount of hops used, the calories have to do with alcohol and residual sugars, and the sweetness has to do with absence of hops and residual sugar.

There are dark beers like a Schwarzbier that are black in color but very low in alcohol, bitterness and have a much lighter body than a ‘light colored’ beer like a Belgian tripel. The tripel is actually much stronger and higher in calories even with its straw, caramel color. Even the stout, feared by many a newbie beer drinker, can be far lower in alcohol than many other beers. Guinness has a very low abv at 5%, lower than most IPA’s, some Pale Ales, and that Belgian Triple.

You must taste before you can determine anything. Never order by asking for a ‘light’ or ‘dark’ beer. Order by taste and strength if you like, ‘I want a fruity beer that’s not too strong and low in bitterness’, or ‘I’d like a beer with chocolate notes that’s light-bodied and low in alcohol’. This way you’ll get the beer you actually want. And isn’t that the goal in one’s beer-life?

Ok, all together now:
I WILL NEVER JUDGE A BEER BY ITS COLOR.

There, we feel much better, don’t you?

This is Not Beer

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Cider. That's right, cider. We'll say it again … Cider used to be the bane of our existence. With so many people saying to us over the years, "I'm not a beer drinker, I'll just have a cider," its no wonder that we've become a little vexed and embittered towards this apple juice wonderland. But our associative recollections are not all cider's fault.

What is cider's fault however, were the sticky, cloyingly sweet ciders that we'd all been exposed to up until the last couple of years when the artisanal and craft beer world's virtues finally started bleeding into all alcoholic beverages – and more importantly, into the mainstream public's hearts and minds (and palates).  

Enter Wandering Aengus Ciderworks. We first tried this elixer at the Stone Anniversary Party in Escondido, trying both the Wandering Aengus Oaked Dry and their Semi-Dry Cider. Both of these ciders blew us away. The first was a perfectly balanced blend of bittersweet French and English apples blended with acidic heirloom apples. The second was delicate and fruity with notes of citrus and ginger, a cider styled after the ciders of Somerset, England.

So it should come as no surprise that we were thrilled when we wandered upon Wandering Aengus in Whole Foods recently. Their previously named Heirloom Blend that they are now calling Bloom, was available in a nice and big 750ml bottle and it was delicious. With a bright balance of sweetness and acidity and a bit of funkiness that was reminiscent of wild Lambic Ales, this cider was a delicious treat on a warm Spring day.

Visit the Wandering Aengus website to check in which states their ciders are available for sale. They also take web orders from Oregon, Alaska, Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico, District of Columbia and Florida (states with open wine shipping laws).

Fun Cider Facts:


Cider is not beer. Beer is a fermented beverage made from cereal grains, whereas cider is produced from fermented apple juice. A pear cider actually isn't 'cider' at all as the fermented beverage made from pear juice is technically a 'perry.'

Cider is famous around the world, especially in the Basque country (Spain), where they make a more bitter and high acidic cider called 'sagardoa.' Other areas popular for their Cider are Normandy and Brittany in France and in the countries of Germany, Argentina, Australia & Tasmania.

Lift a Pint of Stout

It's finally here. St. Patrick's Day – one of the biggest beer drinking holidays of the year.  you know that drinking green beer isn't the way to celebrate this beer drinking holiday. Green beer is just the crappy fizzy yellow beer with food coloring. That's no cause for celebration! Celebrate with the "most Irish" of all beers styles, the Stout.

Stout was originally a term for a strong dark beer.  Stouts today range from chocolaty and smooth to bitter and intense.  They are often the beers found on nitrogen taps at pubs, benefitting from a creamy mouthfeel and dense head.  

Here are five domestic craft Stouts to help toast to the Irish in all of us which to imbibe this fine St. Paddy's Day!

Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout
A smooth, easy-drinking stout. Velvety on the tongue, with notes of mocha and a nice hop presence on the finish for balance.

North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
Like a shot of espresso or a dark, bitter bite of cacao-heavy chocolate, this brilliant stout is intense. A perfect nightcap, at 9.5% alcohol, it'll send you home singing.

Bison Organic Chocolate Stout
Brewed in Berkeley, this sustainable stout lets you be truly green on St. Patty's Day. With notes of subtle Dutch chocolate, it won't knock you over the head with saccharine Hershey bar flavors.

Deschutes Brewery's The Abyss
Aging in French Oak and Bourbon barrels gives this hard-to-find stout a depth worthy of its name. Savor notes of bitter chocolate, espresso, molasses and licorice before the 11% alcohol kicks in.

Don’t Order a Black ‘n’ Tan….

This St. Patty's day as you step up to the bar to order your half stout half pale lager or pale ale concoction, please don't order a 'Black 'n' Tan'. Yes the bartender may not spit in your eye, but if he or she is a true Irishman or woman, they may be cursing you under their breath, albeit with an accent as smooth as butter.  

We're used to that phrase as it has become the norm in America for the lovely pint of a counterintuitive beautiful beer mixture where the dark thick stout sits atop a lighter honey-coloured lager or pale ale.  But most people think the name only refers to that color combo, and don't know that the 'Black 'n' tan' can also refer to a piece of history upsetting to many an Irish-person.

The 'Black and Tans' in Ireland are a reference to the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force which was engaged in the 1920s in active supression of the revolution in Ireland.  Employed by the Queen of England and made up of WWI vets from England and Scotland, the force was supposed to focus on fighting the infamous IRA, (Irish Republican Army), but instead became famous for attacking Irish civillians.  

Obviously this is not a part of history one wants to recall when celebrating Irish pride and heritage on St. Patty's day.  In Ireland it's popular to drink a half stout half Irish Red ale, called a 'Pint of Special' – a drink that's all Irish and no bad memories.  In the U.S. if you'd like a half Harp half Guinness concoction, ask for a 'Half and Half' – but specify what you want, as a 'Half and Half' can also refer to a half cold half warm Guinness, supposedly the perfect temperature for the beer.  

This St. Patrick's Day, let go, drink up and mix away, just keep the 'Black and Tan' out of it.  And maybe forgo the politically incorrect Irish Car Bombs too….

Pre-St. Patrick’s Day Tasting w/ The Beer Chicks

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We were lucky enough to be asked back to Latitude 33 lofts to do a little pre-St. Patty’s day beer tasting, where we’ll be drinking some fun and delicious Irish and Irish inspired beers! So come on by for a wee-bit of beer and taste some luck of the Irish. And don’t worry, we Beer Chicks haven’t sold out! You won’t be drinking any green-dyed fizzy yellow water! Irish style craft beer is sophisticated, layered, rich, well-balanced and delicious!

Check out the awesome beers we’ll be tasting:

Moylan’s Irish Style Red Ale, Novato, CA – A true Irish style Red. Classic tea-like barley nuttiness, low in hop bitterness. Ruby red color with notes of caramel.
6.5% ABV.

Smithwick’s Irish Amber, Kilkenny, Ireland – Kilkenny monks inspired John Smithwick to start this brewery in 1710. Notes of toasted biscuits with a hint of coffee and hops. Red color with a clean finish.
4.5% ABV.

Moylan’s Dragoons Dry Irish Stout, Novato, CA – A dry Irish stout named after General Stephen Moylan, Irish-born commander of the 4th Continental Dragoons during the American Revolutionary War. Notes of coffee and chocolate with a dry finish.
5% ABV.

Deschutes Green Lakes Beer, Bend, OR – Our ‘Green’ beer for St. Patrick’s Day – Instead of food coloring, this time the green refers to the organic ingredients that make up this amber-colored ale. Crisp and refreshing hop bite with notes of fruit and pine. 5.2% ABV.

Where: Latitude 33, 330 Washington BLVD.
When: Wednesday, March 16, 7-9PM

The Mulled Spiced Moose

Even though we have a tendency to get a little ahem cynical from time to time, we Beer Chicks really do love the holiday season. But many people poo poo our favorite beverage during this time of year, thinking that beer is only a warm weather drink. Although we beg to differ and think that a delicious craft brew is perfect just the way it is during the holidays; we do have a little beer trick up our sleeves, and it’s called Warm Mulled Beer. And, in a word, it’s awesome.
Super easy to make, delicious to drink and fun to share with family and friends who will be astounded by the warm beer idea, mulled beer is the perfect replacement for mulled wine and egg nog. We use an American Brown Ale for this recipe. The nutty, toasty qualities of the beer work perfectly with the traditional mulled spices usually reserved for wine.
The Beer Chicks’ Mulled Spiced Moose

Ingredients

3 bottles Moose Drool Brown Ale*
1 Cinnamon stick
½ tsp Ground Cloves
½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 Star Anise Pod
1 tsp Ground Dried Ginger
1 Orange Rind
1 tbsp Honey
2 tbsp Rum

Directions
Super simple! In a medium saucepan, heat beer with the spices, orange rind, honey and rum on low to medium-low, keeping below boiling point. Pour into your favorite mug, serve and enjoy the warm spicy beery goodness.
*Try your favorite Brown Ale. We’ve also used (and liked) Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale, Abita Brewing Pecan Harvest Ale, & Goose Island Christmas Ale

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