Make sure you get all the essentials to make it a good one!
Make sure you get all the essentials to make it a good one!
I got my first chance to try Pliny the Younger, a triple IPA that is coveted among beer geeks. It is released seasonally in limited quantities on draft only, and because of the small quantity, getting a taste of this beer can be an adventure. Lines form hours before the pubs even open.
I got the chance to experience part of the madness. UC Irvine’s Anthill Pub announced their tapping of Pliny the Younger for 7:00 PM. I showed up forty five minutes before this and got one of the last few tickets, 100+ people down the chain.
This is a great beer, very floral and so complex. Even after taking a sip it feels like the beer is still sitting on your tongue, even a minute after your last sip. For such a big beer, it’s pretty damn smooth too.
While I would gladly buy a pint of this given the chance, for me to be willing to lose an hour or two of my life, the beer has to be both great and special. Pliny the Younger is definitely great, but I feel like there are so many great beers that are maybe a notch under this one that don’t require me to wait in line to drink. Getting a good beer shouldn’t be something to worry about.
While Russian River will tell you it’s time consuming and difficult to brew this beer, they could produce more of the beer. The lines prove they can sell more beer if they produced it, but it probably has more value in being made a rare commodity. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I’ve looked up other Russian River brews because I heard they produce a legendary beer in Pliny the Younger, and I was curious what else they brew. It’s their own mass marketing machine.
Fortunately for me, I get to have another pint of Pliny the Younger this season without having to wait in line. I won a pint through Beachwood BBQ’s raffle!
I bet you thought you were going to see a bunch of pictures of Scotch, beer, and wine. Don’t be ridiculous. That’s ammunition. I could use some more of it. Support your troops!
I was lucky enough to win tickets to one of The Taste Los Angeles events. Courtesy of City Tavern and Eagle Rock Brewery, I got two tickets to the Burgers & Beer event on Friday night in Beverly Hills. Michelle and I went all out. There were burgers, wines, and beers everywhere.
Please forgive me if I get some of the descriptions wrong. I was trying to take note of which burgers were which, but there were so many it got confusing.
While that photo gallery of burgers I got to eat looks overwhelming, there were quite a few burgers I could not try due to my stomach quitting on me. The list of beers I drank was even longer than the list of burgers I ate. Some of my favorites include Brouwerij West’s Belgian Tripel, Firestone Walker’s Union Jack, TAPS’ Pumpkin Ale, and Oskar Blues’ Gordon, served by The Bowery.
While I couldn’t get to all the burgers or beers, I had a great time getting to as much as I could. Check out the full list of vendors below.
25 Degrees | Restaurant
BLD/Grace | Restaurant
Blue Palms BrewHouse | Restaurant
BOA Steakhouse | Restaurant
Bru Haus | Restaurant
City Tavern | Restaurant
Delphine | Restaurant
Ford’s Filling Station | Restaurant
LA Market | Restaurant
Mickey Fine | Restaurant
Oliverio at Avalon Hotel | Restaurant
Osteria La Buca | Restaurant
Rosewood Tavern | Restaurant
Rounds Premium Burgers | Restaurant
Rustic Canyon | Restaurant
STK | Restaurant
Tasting Kitchen | Restaurant
The Bowery | Restaurant
The Cake Mamas | Bakery
The Cheesecake Factory | Restaurant
The Counter | Restaurant
The Glendon Bar & Kitchen | Restaurant
The Gorbals | Restaurant
The Green Teaist | Cafe
The Misfit | Restaurant
The Spice Table | Restaurant
The Yard | Restaurant
Waterloo & City | Restaurant
Westside Tavern | Restaurant
Wilshire Restaurant | Restaurant
14 Hands | Wine
Black Star Beer | Beer
Blue Moon | Beer
Blue Moon Seasonal | Beer
Brassfield Estate Winery | Wine
Brouwerij West | Beer
Chang Beer | Beer
Coppola | Wine
Craftsman Brewing Company | Beer
Cupcake Vineyards | Wine
Deschutes Brewing Co. | Beer
Duvel | Beer
Estrella Damm/ Inedit | Beer
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. | Beer
Grolsch | Beer
House Wine | Wine
Justin Vineyards & Winery | Wine
Maredsous | Beer
Ommegang | Beer
Oro di Milano Beer | Beer
Peroni | Beer
Pilsner Urquell | Beer
Rosenblum Cellars | Wine
Royal Wine Corp. & Herzog Wine Cellars | Wine
Sierra Nevada | Beer
Singha Beer | Beer
Stone Brewing Company | Beer
TAPS | Beer
Victoria Beer | Beer
Michelle and I decided to check out Eagle Rock Brewery’s tasting room for the first time. Yes, I know we’re way behind in our visits to breweries.
I have to say was little bit disappointed by the tasting room. It was filled with people, but I overheard by multiple people say that they didn’t even like beer as they sipped their glasses of water. I am all for people checking out and discovering beer, but I feel this is just an indication that craft beer is just the current cool thing to do and breweries the cool places to be, something that disappears after time.
Maybe it’s a Los Angeles thing. When you walk into The Bruery’s tasting room in Orange County you’ll find practically everyone wearing some brew festival shirt. The same reason people think Angelenos are bad sports fans is the same reason we’re so fickle about everything. We have so much going on that it would be a shame to stay focused on just one thing. I hope that’s the case, because I’ve grown too accustomed to drinking good beer to want to go back to drinking Lite beer, except when playing flip cup and beer pong.
After taking down a sampler flight and a couple guest bottles of beer, we decided food was in order, so we headed to The Oinkster.
The Oinkster Pastrami. Fantastic smoke flavor.
Oinkster is also known for its BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich. This was a little bit dry for my liking, actually requiring the barbecue sauce. It was delicious though, including the Carolina style barbecue sauce.
While The Oinkster actually offers a pretty good selection of craft brews, we had had enough for the night. Instead the chocolate milkshake made with Fosselman’s ice cream was in order.
After all the food and drinks, I was beyond stuffed. I got into the car, unbuckled my belt and unbuttoned my pants and said to my friends, “Don’t judge me.” Instead of telling me that I disgust them, they laughed and then we traded stories about our fattest times. Unfortunately for me, I may have a new fattest time coming up if I don’t start exercising. Maybe I should stay away from restaurants with pig references for names.
I held off posting about our trip to Chaya’s Japanese Beer Garden as not to remind one particular friend about what a rough time she had that night and the whole next day.
It’s brilliant marketing. Toss up some lanterns outside, and it’s special.
Here is Michelle with yakitori grill in the background.
While it’s called a beer garden, the beer selection is pretty poor with a few Japanese beers and Stella. We settled on sake sangria and sake flights.
This is one flight. The aforementioned friend had three of them, which is why the night slowly spiraled out of control. It’s sake time!
As for food, we really couldn’t decide, so we ordered everything. Well, almost everything.
Spicy Shrimp Roll and Grilled White Corn with Feta Cheese. Michelle was so inspired by the corn that she made a similar dish at a BBQ we went to recently.
Spicy Tuna Roll.
Everything form the yakitori menu multiple times. There are definitely better places for yakitori, but it’s nice to order when sharing amongst friends.
Grilled Octopus. I really liked this dish.
Sea Scallop Miso Gratin.
I can’t remember what this one was called. It came pretty late in the evening, and I was full of food and sake. As you can see there is prosciutto, so it must be good.
Fish n’ Chips.
Calamari and Pita with Hummus.
Kobe Beef Short Rib Melt. It’s melt-in-your-mouth good. You have to eat it while it’s hot though.
The worst part about making beer? Bottling. The best part (other than drinking it of course)? Coming up with cool names and designing labels.
This is the last beer I made with my buddy Raaj in Culver City before I moved. It won’t be the last time we brew together, but it’ll be tougher now.
I brewed this batch of red ale with Tim, a guy I’ve known since the 6th grade. Since it’s a red ale we decided to play off the episode of South Park that made fun of red-headed kids.
I’ve got one more name and label to come up with still. Stay tuned.
I’ve put myself back onto a diet starting today. For the wedding and for a fun competition at work, I lost about thirty pounds last year. Since the wedding I’ve gained about fifteen of that back already. I can feel my body being sluggish.
I only have one rule about my diets. Never cut out beer or whiskey. That way if I drink a little too much one night and expel my dinner, it’s a drinking problem and not an eating disorder. Much more socially acceptable.
Knowing I would soon be on my low-calorie intake plan, I decided to check out Beer Belly, a craft beer bar. It’s a welcome addition to Koreatown where Hite is the standard beer and the cohesiveness of the community means everyone else follows suit. Not here though.
The beer selection is great from breweries all over Southern California, and I even found there is a brewery fifteen minutes from my home.
Since there were four of us visiting the place, we decided to go nuts and order lots of stuff from the menu.
Duck fat fries with rasberry aioli dipping sauce.
Artichoke chips with rosemary aioli.
Meatballs. Nothing mind-blowing about this particular dish, but it’s a good meatball. Sprinkling some cheese into the meatball mix might work out for this dish.
Beer Belly Grilled Cheese. This is the McGriddle v2.0.
Asparagus. I’m not a fan of vegetables in general, but I enjoyed this with the lightly sprinkled Parmesan cheese and vinaigrette.
Filet Mignon Steak Tartare. This was my favorite dish, nice subtle flavors
Smoked White Fish Mousse. My second favorite dish I tried. Whoever is in the kitchen is just matching up to my palette very well.
The menu will probably be evolving a little bit as Beer Belly finds its sweet spot, but they’re headed in the right direction. There are some light flavors that won’t over power the beer flavors, and then there are some greasy items that speak of comfort as much as beer does itself.
Not everything is on tap. Don’t forget to try some of the other beers they have in bottles. They’ve got some great selections in bottle form.
I was fortunate enough to get to try this beer at The Bruery when they had their release party. It’s definitely an acquired taste.
I liked this beer a lot. Hopped up Belgian.
After a night of beer, we decided to head out to King Taco, followed by this taco stand.
This is how you know it’s legit. There is a television showing the news in Spanish, and a box labeled “OUR BEST LARD.”
Diet is so on today.
City Brew has opened up in Culver City! Huzzah! Too bad I’ll be moving out in a few weeks. *sad trombone*
There are taps at the tables! And computers!
A computer that tells you what you had to drink! I wonder what OS it runs.
Pouring your own beer has never been so much fun!
The Brew Burger.
Cheesy Poofs. Cartman would love these.
NY Strip Steak.
Cooked medium rare.
Mushrooms. Taste the butter.
The food here is decent, but I don’t think it’s a place that I would come back just to have the food. It’s definitely catering to the trend in LA spots that you’re not quite sure whether they are more bar or more restaurant.
Unfortunately for us, it became more restaurant pretty quickly. I guess they were still working out some kinks in their tap software. All the taps at the tables broke for about an hour, while they were debugging the software.
Fortunately there was plenty of beer to order at the bar.
It runs openSUSE! I’ll have to jump on this thing and LICQ bomb people.
If you can understand this, you haven’t had enough to drink.
Aww, we drank all our beer.
City Tavern is a nice joint that’s got a good thing going for it. LA is so enamored with the craft beer thing, and City Tavern is going to capitalize on that. Craft beer is something I enjoy, but the question always remains. What do I play beer pong and flip cup with then?
This weekend was filled with a lot of beer.
Home brew setup. Not mine.
A lot of tasting, both commercial beers and home brews.
The Bruery in Orange County.
Of course there was food too, so I didn’t get drunk.
Yes, I realize this wasn’t much of a post, but it’s hopefully the start of getting myself back on track with regular posts. Stay tuned…