Tag Archives: craft beer

Airwaves 2013 was a succes (aka why IE beer matters)!

The aftermath of Airwaves' bottle share.

The aftermath of Airwaves’ bottle share.

Don’t they say that you know a party was good if you don’t remember it? Well, since in all my drunken awesomeness I’ve never managed to black out, I know a party was good when I don’t have a lot of photos of it. With Beer Geek Radio‘s first anniversary party–dubbed Airwaves 2013–I spent so much time meeting new people, laughing my ass off and drinking good beer that the only photos that actually exist from the day are, like, two blurry ones my new drinking buddies (including one awesome chick) and one of a graveyard of empty bottles.

Billed as the largest collective bottle share in the Inland Empire, Airwaves was a beer festival organized to be not only a party for local podcast duo Beer Geek Radio (the subject of my IE Weekly cover story the same week), but also a chance for the local beer community to come together and drink beer from breweries in one of the largest growing scenes in the country.

I know that people (especially in LA) scoff at the idea of anything cool or culturally significant coming out of the Inland Empire, (much less beer worth drinking) but after attending Airwaves, I have even more respect for its beer community and feel like that what’s bubbling out there is worth a deeper look. Continue reading

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Hangar 24 part 3

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For the third time in a month, I found myself back at a brewery that I never even thought I would have a chance to visit–Hangar 24 Brewery in Redlands. Visits one and two were too quick: a hop off the freeway after an IE Weekly interview and into the airport-adjacent brewery where I had a few tasters, filled an expensive growler, bought some bottles and hit the road home.

This time, however, I was with my man and not in a rush (we were on a meandering drive back from attending a wedding in Palm Springs) so we hungout and drank full glasses of beer on the shady concrete patio while the bottle line clanked in the background and the air smelled like brew day goodness.

I’ve never been to a brewery that’s operating full steam ahead on a Sunday afternoon, but apparently that Orange Wheat needs to hit distribution and not like any of the regulars who live in this last-bastion-of-the-citrus-industry town are fazed by a working grain silo.

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I’m always pleasantly surprised by the diversity of people that love this place. Mexican day laborers, suburban dads, biker dudes, college kids, recovering day hikers, young Hispanic mothers and white boy Angels fans all hang out here at this off-the-grid brewery nestled in the foothills of the Inland Empire.

Merch is a little pricey but beers are spot on (drank some Fresh Hop IPA and the new Local Fields beer, Gourdgeous). Didn’t get another growler fill (how the hell am I supposed to get rid of 2 liters of beer in 48 hours?), but as always, I was stoked to have an excuse to stop by Hangar 24.

Hangar 24 is located at 1710 Sessums Dr., Redlands, CA (909) 389-1400, hangar24brewery.com

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Russian River Beer Revival and BBQ Cookoff

STUMPTOWN BOUND

If there has ever been a defining moment for Long Beach‘s growing importance in the beer world, it was last weekend. And if there is one local beer-maker paving the way for my city’s sudsy future, it is Beachwood Brewing–the 15 month-old brewery housed inside Beachwood BBQ‘s restaurant in the revitalized Downtown.

While Long Beachers drank through nearly 30 kegs of Beachwood’s beers at the sponsored beer gardens at both Funk Fest and Rose Park Bluegrass Festival, the barely-year-old brewery was also winning over new fans up north, at one of the state’s most important end-of-summer beer festivals–the Russian River Beer Revival and BBQ Cookoff in Guerneville.

And by some drunken stroke of luck (or maybe it was just the overbooking and me having previous customer service skills), I was among the selected few who got to go up and pour beers at this epic fest on behalf of Beachwood. Continue reading

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Bootlegger’s training day and a return to the OC

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Saturday was my first day helping out at the Bootleggers Brewery tasting room in Fullerton. Creepy thing is, I’d never actually been there before (I was asked to come in one day a month based on my performance at their 4th Anniversary party, which was held at The Muck), so I was walking into a completely new operation. But a bar is a bar and pouring beers is like riding a bike, so once I figured out the timing on the mason jars they use for pint glasses (awesome, I know), I was smiley and golden.

I got to taste a lot of the Bootleggers seasonals that I never get to try (Wildfire Wheat, McDougal Scotch Ale, Smokin’ Joe’s) and eventually settled on the Tropical Thunder, which is a pale ale hopped with citra and hallertau (noble plus American hops is how all hoppy beers should operate). Reminds me of Drakes Aroma Coma (at least in the please-let-me-be-reborn-in-a-placenta-full-of-this way).

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Might have been more bummed that I only got two hey-don’t-you-work-at Congregations, but it was also a slow night and for that, my still-training self was glad.

It feels weird but good to be doing some customer service in Orange County again–even better to be in a casual work environment where the answer to “what’s my discount on growlers?” is “you get free bottles with every paycheck.” Can’t wait to do this again at the new tasting room after they move next month!

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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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BREWSTILLERIES: beer advocate april 2012 feature

My first big feature for Beer Advocate Magazine is out in April’s issue. I had a lot of fun researching it and am stoked that they gave me the opportunity to do something like this as excuse to get to know more about things I’m actually interested in!¬†Bought a fresh bottle of Anchor’s 18th Century Old Protrero Rye at High Times. Next stop: homemade manhattans.

GO TO PDF HERE OR CLICK ABOVE

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When one Ballast Point story leads to another…

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As part of my research for a Beer Advocate Magazine feature I am writing, I went down to Ballast Point to talk to Yuseff Cherney about the distillery he built on site. We decided to tour the brewery first, since that is how the distilling process begins and it turns out that they are in the middle of a HUGE expansion. Apparently, they only owned half of the building they are currently in until a few months ago when their neighbors moved out at the little brewery that began in a home brew mart in Mission Valley knocked down the wall to double their size.

He pointed out some really crazy things about their expansion process, everything from giant silos to quality control mechanisms. I thought it was so interesting to be in a working brewery that was getting bigger as we talked so I asked him if I could take some photos and tell the world about their bigger place. He obliged and thankfully, the Weekly let me write about it from a field trip perspective. That is, until we get our own brewstillery!

Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits Field Trip: Expansion Highlights

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