Thursday, July 18, 2013

Noble Ale Works - Anaheim, CA

 Another industrial warehouse adventure. The town car slows and circles, and though welcomed by the site of the silo, it doesn't appear to be open. The driver encourages Lady Ellamie to try the door, pulling away to the thump of funk.

 It's early for a Thursday, an away game day. The tasting room is sparse. A few picnic tables, and a short bar. The carved wooden signs hanging from pegs tell her today is a short list day. Only 5 on tap, which makes selecting the 5 beers for the sampler a no brainer.

  Pistol Whips Pils: 4.5% 26 IBUs - Full bodied with a unique nose, her name is Mouteka, and she's from New Zealand. At first, she's hard to place, but then you hope to recognize her special scent in the future. Not too dry and not too malt. Heavier hitter than the traditional Czech style. Break Away Pale Ale: 5.0% 41 IBU - pale, bitter, golden, low carb. Another hard to place scent, kinda stinky, but not in a bad way. The Good Ship ESB 5.8% 35 IBU Swirling with the color of wildflower honey, and oh so little head. Smooth and silky, slipping down your throat. Tight, tiny bubbles tickle your tongue. Not much of smell, vaguely antiseptic. The taste sweetens as it warms. Big Whig IPA 6.8% 77 IBU, but which hops did they use? An earthy, faint cat piss aroma. Adequately bittered for this style. Rosalita 4.5% 26 IBU A slight pink hue shines through the goblet, invoking thoughts of grandma's pink wine in a jug, imperceptible head. Hibiscus imbues color and tartness, and perhaps the green peppers too? Mmmm.... Peppers. Wanting Mexican food... which would pair well with Rosalita. What a shame! No food truck today, and limited beer selection = short visit.

Perhaps induced by these conditions, there was the rare sighting of aurora beerealis!


Overall: Near Angels Stadium, which means decent beer before a game, and a projector promises views of the game at all times. The crowd today was mostly men after a white collar work day. A couple of beer geeks swish clean water in the glass prior to noting the elements of their swig. The crowd grew lively but not friendly, people seemed to keep to themselves. Danielle, the beer maiden, is a gem. Knowledgeable and friendly, full of enthusiasm. The beers which had the best reviews were not available that day.

An ad on the cork board announces it is the second anniversary of a local blog, promising 13 beers on Saturday.  And what of the brews for the party on Saturday?  Danielle can't be bribed for information, and with tribute band "Slaves Against The Machine" playing, it sounds like a good time. In the future, a call to inquire the taps, it might save a mediocre trip.


  So, I've been into this home brewing thing for awhile now and I am constantly trying to gather information that will enhance my knowledge of craft brewing. A couple of days ago I questioned myself about the way I approach making my beers. I found it to be really interesting. Even though I've read a lot of written material, listened to many podcast and picked the brains of some of my favorite local brew masters, I found that I ultimately choose what works best for me. Never knew that I could be such a prude!
  Any how I thought it would be neat to start a thread in hopes that we could share our personal preferences when it comes to fermentation portion of the home brewing process. There are many variables that can make or break the final product, so I would really like to know how we approach the matters. I think it's pretty rad that we are basically using the same formula just approaching it differently.
 Okay folks, here we go! (1) Carboy, bucket or keg.(2) Primary vs. secondary.(3) Conditioning of the beer forced carbonation, priming or natural.
  I am looking forward to reading your responses! It should be enlightening because the reality of it all is that we are all trying to produce a really good product to share with our families, friends and associates. Tasty Adult Beverages!
  Until next time. Brew Excellent!!!!!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

"Black Friday" Brewday 11/25/2012

Hey guys and gals. Just want to take a minute to thank everyone that participated in the UnderGroundBrewSquad "Black Friday" brew day. The event was definitely a huge success  The gathering gave everyone a opportunity to brew as a collective, share knowledge about the art of home brewing and basically hangout and have a good time.

Extra special thanks to Tom and Anne for opening up the doors of their lovely home in support our first club brew day. Thanks Tom and Anne! You guys Rock!
The brew day showcased 5 brewers that produced 30 gallons of wort  which varied in beer styles and brewing techniques.

Professor & Josh:
   Vanilla Porter (5gal.) partial
   Honey Hefewiezen (5) partial

    Double IPA (10gal.) all-grain

   Belgian Dubbel (5gal.) all-grain

Liquor Claus:
   India Red Ale (5gal.) all-grain


Homebrews on tap:
 Brewer: Tom J.
   Birthday Imperial Stout
   Copper Ale

 Micro Brews:
  High Water Brewing: Campfire Stout
  Stone Brewing: Black and Blue Cider
  Stone Brewing: Sublimely Righteous Ale

In the upcoming weeks the homebrew club will be scheduling the next group meet-up. The function will take place at a local establishment that pours craft brews and serves tasty eats. Until then be easy  and thanks again for your time and efforts to get this club up and running. It's So. Bro! 


Bike Dog Brewing Co. to open soon in West Sacramento

If you haven’t yet heard of Bike Dog Brewing, you soon will. They have been active on Twitter and Facebook supporting the local Sacramento brewing scene, and have been active on their own web site, via email, and at their soon to be open new location in West Sacramento.

Bike Dog held an open house of sorts a few weeks ago on June 22 to show their new location, let enthusiasts ask questions of the owners, and to try some of their beers. This was also an event to promote “The League,” which is Bike Dog’s name for the group of early adopters who contribute to the cause of building out what will become Bike Dog's new tasting room.

The night before this event they had had their shiny new 3 barrel brewing system delivered, and even though it wasn’t ready for brewing, it was on full display.

They had a nice representative range of beers available for tasting. A milk stout, a saison, a summer pale ale, an IPA, and a double IPA. In addition to the beer there was plenty of water and snacks. The milk stout was a welcome surprise since that normally seems to be an East Coast style of beer. It was my favorite of the afternoon, with a creamy, roasted flavor that was extra smooth. My second favorite was the summer pale ale with its great hop aroma and bitterness yet low alcohol level at 5.5% ABV.

What was really impressive about the beers is that these were all home-brewed, since the brewery is not yet set up to brew on-site, and each beer was distinct and fell clearly into its respective style.

The owners and staff were very friendly and happy to introduce themselves and talk about their beers. I’d be happy to come back to this tasting room even if the bar and benches remained as sawhorses and plywood. I anticipate this place will be very cool when it is fully built out and just how they want it.

Bike Dog is planning to open its tasting room this September. If you want to try some of their beer before then, they will be at "Beer & Bacon on the Boulevard" on July 20, 2013 at Pangaea Two Brews Cafe in Sacramento pouring their Summer Pale.