I've been shopping at The Homebrewer in North Park since they opened about a year ago. Owner George Thorton has decided to open the location after leaving Home Brews & Gardens (now Thorn Street Brewing) to start their own homebrew supply store.
Santa's Secret Stash is an event put on by Scott Blair, owner of Hamilton's Tavern, Small Bar and Monkey Paw. This is a unique event where all three locations have rare beers, that have been stashed away, on draft and cask with small tasters so you can try as many as possible.
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout is one of those elusive, limited beers in Southern California. Lucky for me, I have friends with great beer collections who brought a bottle of the 2011 version of Bourbon County Brand Stout on a brewery tour bus.
This brings me to my favorite brewery, AleSmith and their winter version of YuleSmith. There are two versions of YuleSmith, a summer and winter version. The summer version is an imperial IPA while the winter version is a hoppy American amber ale. Now that it's mid-November, you can find the winter version on shelves and in your local beer bars.
San Marcos craft brewers The Lost Abbey is set to release Merry Taj IPA. It will come as a winter seasonal IPA to be released only in kegs to be found at your local beer bars.
Ballast Point Piper Down is considered a Scottish Ale. This style of beer is typically noted for being less hoppy and more malt centered than most English or American ales. Piper Down is no exception. This is a malt forward beer with very little hop taste.
Here in San Diego, we are exposed to an abundance of hoppy beer. Alpine Pure Hoppiness, would fall into that category. Many of us have had iconic west coast IPA's such as Russian River's Pliny the Elder, Green Flash's West Coast IPA and Ballast Point's Sculpin. Not everyone has experienced the elusive Alpine Pure Hoppiness.
I poured Justin Blåbær into a tulip glass and it poured about the same color as grapefruit juice. It was cloudy with a slight red and purple color. The head was a fluffy pink color that quickly disappeared to nothing. There was absolutely no lacing. This beer looked amazing!
I was given a Stone Double Bastard Ale 22-ounce bottle by BeerAlien Raymond. I had tried Double Bastard years ago, and was eager to give it another try. This is the big daddy of the famous Arrogant Bastard Ale and clocks in at 11.2% ABV and a pretty big emphasis on malty sweetness, high alcohol and hop bitterness.
This alien has been hearing about Modern Times Beer for quite some time. There had been buzz for months on how this new brewery had some well known talent, at the start. I guess their retro 1950's looking branding and overbearing internet buzz, made me a bit skeptical. After analyzing human DNA all day, I made my way over to Bine & Vine and picked up a 16oz can of Modern Times Fortunate Islands. I took the beer back to the mothership for analysis. I poured the beer into a tulip glass and the findings were remarkable.
Duvel Moortgat, the Belgian owners of Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, N.Y. will purchase Boulevard Brewing Company of Kansas City, Mo
The Bruery beers and expected a large tasting room. The room had glass windows so you can see some of the fermenters in the brewing area. In the tasting room there were lots of tables and they were packed.
I had heard about this small brewery near my residence called Benchmark Brewing Company. This is nestled down in the Grantville neighborhood in San Diego City right near Highway 8 and I-15. It's located in a quiet industrial park on Fairmount Avenue.
Stone/10 Barrell/Blue Jacket Suede Imperial Porter to examine from BeerAlien Raymond. It was a hot weekend and it was delivered to me already cold. I let it warm up a bit and poured it into a chalice to view the ruby brown color with a tan head that dissipates to a creamy ring that leaves light lacing down the glass.
This is a clone recipe for the famous Belgian quadruple ale, St. Bernardus Abt 12