Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Bruery - Orange County

The town car picks Lady Ellamie up at the hotel, and after a grueling drive on the smog choked orange highway, a couple of u-turns, and a whole lotta funk, we arrived in a warehouse industrial complex. Were we in the right place? There were not many "signs of life" but there it was, tucked back in the corner.

The Bruery (the spelling is a nod to the founding Rue family) is quite difficult to describe. On one hand, it is similar to many warehouse brewery conversions, with picnic type seating and no table service, or food (outside of the nightly gourmet food trucks). On the other, the beers, are somewhere between magnificent and mind blowing.

The days selections are listed on a board, and beer flight cheat sheets help you figure out just where to start.

Lady E starts with the "Classic" Flight: 
Hottenroth 3.1% Berliner style wheat - a stongly tart nose deceives you, as it is on the low end of the tartness spectrum and has a flirtatious bit of funk. Overall refreshing, but no more than a taster for me.
Tradewinds 8% spiced triple - a hard to place bubble gum tutti fruitiness greets you at the front door and welcomes you in, with its lovely golden sunshine glow. Each sip changes your perception as it warms. Mischeif 8.5% hoppy belgium - oh yum yum yum, the initial hoppiness dissapates quickly and lets the belgo shine. Rugbrod 8% Rye Brown - hold your horses! HUGE roastiness eminates from the humble goblet. Highly malted and sweetly warming, its like hugging grandma (without that soapy smell). Lokal Red 6.9% Pretty copper red, the dense head forming into a walruses' mustache, which means it's going to be a good night. Hop forward, without going agro,  and slight smoke, as if unpacking your tent from last summer, and yet the malty sweetness persists.

Onward, to the "Provision Series" flight! Ichigo Highway uh-oh... it smells like some one let the goat bake a cherry pie in the solar oven, and left it there! And the taste? Lets just say it made me miss the smell! Lawdy Lawd! I wouldn't even put this on my salad. (this is a collaboration with Hangar 24, and was actually strawberries (not cherries) and aged in wine barrels). Premier Hello, sweet baby jesus, you been listenin' to my prayers! The scent alone gives me goosebumps. From what barrel do you cometh? Thank you for bringing me to, uh, 'full attention'. Gunga Gunga  did I mention this place makes it impossible to classify their beers? The brewer is more like a happy chef, who does as he (or she) pleases. Well roasted with a beautiful balance and herbal nose, well carbonated, and over all pleasing (this is made with Kaffir limes and galanga root, started out as a black lager). Burly Gourd  um... I don't know what is going on here, I feel like I'm taking crazy Pils! I feel a burn from the high alcohol (but just sipped a Habi infused Humulus Lager) strong with cloves and cinnamon - oh is this a pumpkin beer? that makes more sense. Mother Funker No!!!! Oh God! What did I ever do to deserve this punishment? My taste buds have imploded, receding from the Atomic Sour Blast (how do you people drink this???). Melange #3 Holy funkin' sheet mengh! This is... Euphoric! Orgasmic! Epiphanous even. Hell No, I ain't sharin. The complexity is up there with Firestone Walker's Parabola.
Overall: This place has brews that will blow the top off your head. They don't care about design guidelines, and happily experiment with the wonders of the world. Never had I experienced so many breathtaking beers in one brewery. The layout is mingle friendly, and the folks were an after work beer geek crowd. The "Reserve Society" is the way to get special beers at first release, and a few select from that group are initiated into the highly coveted "Hoarders Club". The kind of club that comes with swagger. Beer aficionados, make this your pilgrimage. Cheers to new beers, Lady Ellamie

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lady Ellamie in the OC

 The Lady Ellamie is in the OC (she's building a hotel to host the masses in route to Mouse). Luckily, The Pizza Press is within walking distance, and offers 8 taps of local brew (and cider) with a 6 sampler option for those who can't say "No". Below are some notes on brews tasted...

Hangar 24 Helles Lager has that cold conditioned crispness and a bubbly bite. Not 'til the sweet tang of the BBQ sauce smeared on a taste of 'The Times' does the bitterness give you a shy wink from across the room.

Four Headed Hefe, from Craft Brewing Co, is surprisingly tasty (mostly surprising because the staff told me that was the Helles Lager). Belgian in character with low carbonation, banana and cloves in taste and nose. BBQ sauce killed its complexity and left it tasting like a bud. While delicate, the body is fuller than a Pils.

Bootlegger's Golden Chaos: Heeeyyyyy Baby, you can't make sense outta me. Banana cloudiness but a tricky lil' devil to describe, the 8.5 makes you think twice. A certain sweetness permeates, making you feel at home, but damn you, BBQ sauce, must you challenge everything?

Four Headed Hefe

Bootlegger's BLACK PHOENIX - What is this? A robust malty chocolate covered decaf coffee bean rising from the ashes of the chipotle fire pit? THIS is a damn tasty brew. Not overly heavy, a middle weight champ, reclaiming his title...kicking that BBQ @ss!

Speakeasy's Prohibition Ale - hellllooo my hoppy clear eyed Red Friend! I do so love it when we meet, like this, in private....

And Speakeasy's Double Daddy: Aye, Papi! You should ask permission, first. You know what I'm saying? Slapping me around like that. Good thing you got that Big Malty Back Bone to you back you up.

Until the next time, Beer Lover!

Lady Ellamie