Category Archives: long beach

The dinner party that ruled all dinner parties

dinner party aftermath

dinner party aftermath

I promised myself that this was not going to be the place for bragging about what beers I drank or blowing up my ego by posting pictures of empty bottles, but my Monday got particularly better this week when a stressful work daynight (it never ends, seriously) was interrupted by a casual dinner party that my guy had apparently planned and executed at my place.

I came home from a Staples-and-reporting-trip to the other side of town to discover four good friends (one of whom is moving back to San Diego to do amazing exciting beer things) had filled my fridge with some of the most righteous cellar digs I had ever seen. Over the next 5 hours, we ate and drank and drank and drunk. And when I woke up in the morning, I freaked out looking at the above pictured lineup, remembering that I was lucky enough to have someone bring Abstrakt 10, Firestone XII, 2009 Cuvee de Tomme and a Deus (did I mention the 13 year-old red wine?) to pour in my dining room on a basic Monday night.

It’s about time we all start loosening our criteria for “special events” so we have an excuse to drink all of those special beers we’ve been aging. Anytime food is being served over a table with good friends, that’s good enough for me!

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Beachwood wins two GABF medals!!!

Not going to say “I told you so,” but I have on record my predictions for Beachwood BBQ & Brewing’s epic wins at this year’s Great American Beer Festival and, well, can’t help it if I was right. All the real credit for L.A. County’s only microbrew GABF medal (Pabst won one since they moved headquarters to LA last year), of course, goes to Julian Shrago–the ultimate homebrewing rocket scientist who only recently quit his day job at Raytheon to make Beachwood Brewing a full-time gig.

After submitting a few beers to last year’s GABF judging panel when the brewery had only been open for a few months (submissions are due in August/September), Shrago got positive feedback from the judges: beers were almost medal-worthy, but the first batch isn’t often the best. Since then, Beachwood has expanded its offerings fivefold and this year, they submitted a bunch of the brewpub’s one-offs, two of which won!

Gold: Udder Love, a milk stout, in the Sweet Stout category

Bronze: El Verano, in the French-and Belgian-style Saison category

Shrago’s beers never disappoint (well, maybe the Berliner Weisse was a little ambitious) and his single IPAs, double IPAs and extra-hoppy pale ales are competitive with some of the best coming out of San Diego right now. I feel so fortunate that Beachwood is not only in Long Beach, but it is my local bar. I love that beer geeks drive from all over the southwest to try a beer from the spot a few blocks from my apartment.

It’s about time Long Beach gets on the beer map–after all, we have the oldest operating brewpub in Southern California (Belmont Brewing Company), the oldest operating bar west of the Mississippi (Joe Jost’s) and the first Rock Bottom Brewery outside of its home state of Colorado. ‘

You can read the news story I wrote about Beachwood’s wins at the Long Beach Post.

 

Spreading out in my new pad

Finally moved into my new, sweet-ass XL one bedroom and am seriously digging on the fact that I quadrupled the size of my living situation and even got some hardwood floors and a formal dining room that will soon become a home office. Maybe, now I can try to host a bottle share BBQ before summer is over!

It’s hard to believe that I was so stressed out/busy/tired this week that I didn’t drink a beer in my new apartment for a whole 3 days. But when I did, it was a Green Flash block party (thanks to their Long Beach rep) with the Trippel and the San Diego Saison which was followed by a Hop in the Dark bomber I’d been stashing at the old place.

Shit, I still have so much unpacking and writing to do.

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Talking to classy broads who brew good beer for L.A. Weekly

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I’ve been wanting to be friends with Kerry Caldwell since she came into my work and silently drank a Firestone Walker Double Jack at the bar alone. Then, she got hired at Belmont Brewing Company, found a fianc√© and now is to be up at 4AM to brew kick ass beer unlike anything the restaurant has ever served (no offense, Blackwell). This schedule severely cuts down on girl hangout time, but does not diminish my admiration for her and all her pink booting! You go, girl!

Q & A With Kerry Caldwell, Assistant Brewer at Belmont Brewing Company: Updating Classics, Bragging Rights + How To Be A Lady Brewer

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Early morning visit to Belmont Brewing Company

Kerry Caldwell is a whole new kind of pink lady.

This morning, I woke up early (read: 10AM), went down to Belmont Brewing Company and had the pleasure of catching my buddy Kerry Caldwell in the midst of a brewing session. As assistant brewer at BBC and one of only two commercial female brewers in the Greater L.A. area (and the only one who, in my opinion, is shaking things up on her system), I thought it would be nice to give her some press. So we talked over glasses of Mammoth Brewing’s Imperial Root Beer while I took notes and got really excited about all the cool new things she is doing for the oldest brewpub in Southern California.

The interview will probably be posted sometime next week at L.A. Weekly‘s food blog Squid Ink.

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