Lager Season is here!!!

•April 13, 2015 • Leave a Comment

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Lagers are my go to beers for the Spring and Summer seasons.What gets my endorphins moving during this time? The smell of fresh shrub, early morning dew, the birds singing in sequence, warmer weather, longer days to extend my daytime shenanigans and a nice cool crisp lager to recap the day!

To kick off my Lager fix, I purchased Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen – a German beer import, bought at BevMo. And is a classic example of a smoked beer. Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla has been brewing this stuff since 1405! The barley is kilned over a fire of beech wood and brewed in copper vessels and then matured in cellars for several months. There is something nostalgic about the entire brewing process, it gives me a feel of a time machine. Drinking a beer, the same beer, that Middle Aged folks drank, it’s pretty darn cool. 

Pushing at 5.4 ABV, this beer is very easy to drink, and truly delivers the smoke beer experience. It had a hint of spiciness, but not overwhelming. The wood smoke taste is very present and poignant. After a 5 mile climb up El Preito Trail, this beer sure did satisfy my thirst.

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With Spring in full effect, the days being a little longer now, and big holidays insight. I’ll have lots a BEER material to blog about! Till next time, cheers!

170-Year-Old Shipwreck Beer Tastes Like Goat And Smells Of Rotting Cabbage | IFLScience

•March 10, 2015 • Leave a Comment

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If you found my sock 170 years ago, would you put it on? Apparently somebody had the hairiest balls to taste a 170 year old beer! Anyways, this was forwarded by GoldenFoamnotes follower… Chris, thanks for this buried treasure! See what I did there! Enjoy and Cheers… 

 

170-Year-Old Shipwreck Beer Tastes Like Goat And Smells Of Rotting Cabbage | IFLScience

Copper Kettle Brewing Co , Colorado – Mexican Chocolate Stout

•February 22, 2015 • Leave a Comment

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So I’ve been trying to get my hands on this coveted Mexican Chocolate Stout for awhile now. You see, its only made and sold in Colorado. Through back channels, and favors. My buddy Leroy, smuggled this bad boy across state lines! So, this beer, I had to treat special. What I did, was matched its journey. I climbed La Tuna Mountain, and at the top of the world, enjoyed this coveted Stout overlooking the San Fernando and Los Angeles basin. I earned every bit, for this beer, it was destiny.

It was  a cool Saturday morning, hazy and the sun peeking in and out of the heavens. It was a 4 mile bike climb, not too bad, I haven’t ridden in awhile, but I was motivated! Check out the video below and watch my journey.

After a grueling climb, I was looking forward to sipping on this beer. First Impression, was the art and info on the label, it was elaborate and informative, it even had pairing food info that complimented the experience of drinking this beer. I popped open the beer, and a lava flow of suds poured out, and I started salivating immediately! The bottle says “best served at 50* degrees” and it was about that temp, when i popped it open…I tasted it, and it had a chile spicy kick, didn’t taste any hints of chocolate, there is a fine alcohol winey taste at the end. There are lots a flavors put in this bad boy, that for sure. This beer is not for the quaint beer consumer, you really would need to be very open about drinking this beer. I enjoyed sipping and enjoying the flavors of the beer, its not a thirst quincher, but a laid back beer. The beer is highly touted, check out the review –Mexican Chocolate Stout – Copper Kettle Brewing Company

Overall, I had a great ride up the hill, and the beer was rewarding. I would re-visit drinking this beer, but I wouldn’t put this beer on my list of 5 best Stouts. Till next time, cheers!

India Pale Ale!!

•February 9, 2015 • Leave a Comment

India Pale Aleipa_web

By now, any craft beer lover or average Joe beer drinker knows what is an IPA – India Pale Ale. I recently have a new found love for the IPA, which I wasn’t a fan of in the past. My first encounter with an IPA –goes back about 6 years ago, at a bowling alley in Eagle Rock, Ca. The bartender recommended it. He swings a bottle my way, made by New Belgium Brewing Co – Ranger IPA. My first thought, India makes a beer? I looked up the label and it was brewed in Ft. Collins, CO USA!.…I must say, I was very curious. Continuing with India theme, I’m thinking hot spicy foods and this was the precursor (sure ignorance) to what I thought the beer would taste like, not tantalizing but still curious.   Since it was in a brown bottle, I couldn’t make out the hue of the beer, for all I know, it was an orange curry sauce beer. It had to take some testicular fortitude to drink this mysterious beer…my eyes squint, as I pull the beer to my grill, I hesitated, cause I was thinking curry sauce. What I experienced was crisp and a bitter dry bite at the end, SO bitter, enough to make my eyes water. I said “puke” people drink this junk…and that was the last bout with an IPA, until now. You see, I was in the infancy of my craft beer experience and my taste buds just wasn’t fined tuned back then… my beer muscles have since developed, and I can truly appreciate a well put together craft beer these days. So, I gave the IPA another gander, did some research, scavenged the urban city for a good IPA. But before I rattle off about how much i like IPAs, let’s go down memory lane and see when the IPA hit the beer circuit and run down some interesting facts that makes this beer and that distinguished hoppy notes so great!

Full disclaimer, while doing my research, the IPA’s history is very cloudy, and I am attempting to do my best to point out accurate information. Because I don’t like to make up shit! So here we go…

IPA originally brewed in England and evolved from the Pale Ale, and was created some time during the mid 17th to early 18th centuries. The beer became very popular to British colonists and military personnel. The British East India Co,  began to export this golden froth along the trade route. The IPA shares much with their English Pale Ale cousins ingredients , including the unusual but delectable hoppy bite. The Pale Ale family of beers, was a product of new malting techniques at the start of the 17th century, that used “coke” fire methods vs. “wood” fired kilns and revolutionized the taste and look of the beer. Some also say that the IPA evolved from George Hodgson’s, owner of Bow Brewery, “October beer” not to be confused with Germany’s “Ocktoberfest Beer“, that was popular among the traders of the East India Trading Company in the late 1700’s. East India traders subsequently started trading many of Hodgson’s beers including his October beer, he also had a generous 18 month line of credit, WOW!! With tariff taxes increasing around Russia and the Baltic, English beer breweries jumped and began trade with the mighty East India Trade Co. and the IPA would be traded from India through Asia and Australia. Now that is some global exposure!  The IPA was welled hopped which acted as a natural preservative, and cooler sea temperatures provided ideal storage conditions. Spoilage was minimal and happy beer drinking Brit colonists got there fix with a nice cool crisp golden beer, a perfect remedy to fight off the inferno climates of India and tropical temperatures. With the evolution of the Pale Ale and brewing techniques, Hodgson’s beer & favorable line of credit, increase tariff taxes in Russia, diverting breweries to go East, and the global network of the East India Co, Colonists abroad who loved and missed there homeland beer, the IPA was set for beer lore history and success.

Early Trade Route to the Indies -

Early Trade Route to the Indies – IPA global exposure

 

 

 

 

Fast forward to today, like the Italian Pizza, we took the English IPA and made it our very own. American beer brewers have manipulated the IPA recipe. Creating a more bold, flavorful and super hoppy minty beer. California has become the Frankenstein for the IPA styles, from Double/Imperial IPAs to Marijuana inspired IPA’s.  Even British brewers are now using American hops to their IPA beers! Hops such as cascade, cenntinnel, and amirillo, grown mostly around the Northwest Pacific regions, are the main reasons why the American IPAs are on the beer map. And California makes some world class IPA’s such as; Russian River Brewing- Pliny The Elder and Pliny The Younger.

That bitter bite, the hoppy bite is what makes the IPA so distinguished. The bitterness is measured, by the IBU = International Bittering Units – the average IPA is about 60-100. Beer’s bitterness range from 1-100. And there are some beers that go over 100, man, that would give me heart burn and clear my sinuses.

My top 3 –  IPA’s are as followed.

1. Propulsion by Kinetic Brewing, Lancaster, Ca. – creamy and citrus notes. This is the beer that got me back into IPAs.

2.Big Barrel Double IPA – Karl Strauss Brewing Company, San Diego, Ca. – Wow, hoppy, very hoppy and it smelled like pineapple/fruit punch. And sneaky, pushing 9%…I want one now!

3. Mongo Port Brewing, San Marcos, Ca, I had a family member recommend this to me and I can’t stop buying it, there is always a bottle in my fridge. Classic bitter dry bite at the end, looks pretty, refreshing, piny citrus notes, very well balanced.

Living in Southern California, my top 3 IPA’s are pretty bias, I had some IPA’s out of state and they didn’t leave a great impression,  but the IPA’s I listed, I really gravitated too.

I drink this stuff year round now, its an all perennial seasonal beer for me! The IPA has a great history and beer brewers around the world concoct new styles of IPA’s, that continue to add to the lore of the IPA. Till next time, cheers!

 

 

 

Whale testicle flavored beer with a dash of sheep excrement : theCHIVE

•January 27, 2015 • 1 Comment

 

Whale testicle flavored beer with a dash of sheep excrement : theCHIVE

My buddy Danimal – forwarded this nugget from the Chive. I have read about different beer brewing techniques, but this by far tops them all. I think I would need the testicular fortitude (pun intended) to drink this Viking beer. If I bumped into this beer, I’m afraid I’m going to have to pass. Whale nuts brewed for beers, there such majestic creatures, I couldn’t do it.

Year End 2014! Here we come 2015

•January 4, 2015 • Leave a Comment

2014 was pretty cool for me…tasted some real interesting and exciting beers, visited some breweries, and had a couple of authors collaborate with, which was real cool. And for 2015, I have set some goals for you loyal blogies…we are gonna put more swag in this Mofo, so stay tuned folks and Happy New Year! I put together a little collage of 2014, Enjoy!

Virginia Brewery Taps 300-Year-Old Beer Recipe – ABC News

•December 5, 2014 • 1 Comment

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GOP Ian found this nugget, Beer history article! So we had to pay it forward, great bathroom read!  Beer brewed with persimmons in the 1700! Average Virginian pounding 34 gallons of beers per year and starting at the age of 15, hot diggity dog!  Local College hidden brewery uncovered! and Beer caves anointed historical land marks! Great read, all this beer history made me thirsty now, Happy Hour here I come…cheers and have a great weekend!

Virginia Brewery Taps 300-Year-Old Beer Recipe – ABC News

Chimay Reserve “Blue” Review – The Holy Lord of Beers!

•November 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Chimay Reserve - Blue

Chimay Reserve – Blue

 

It’s an honor to bring back guest Golden Foam Notes  blogger – GOP Ian; without further ado…

 

Hello boys and girls, welcome back, to GOP’s adventures in GFN. Today I will be reviewing the KING of beers, or at the very least the Duke or something. This is a beer I have enjoyed several times but am only now getting around to reviewing it. It is great, it is awesome, it is everything you wanted your date at the prom to be, but it only costs $10 and comes with a GUARANTEE to satisfy! That’s right, I am talking about the one and only Chimay Reserve, also known as Chimay “Blue.” What’s so special about this beer you ask? Read on.

 

In 1862, there was a little abbey founded in the town of Chimay (Belgium). These were God fearing, peace loving folk, but also big fans of God’s nectar, can you blame them? They figured they had 2 choices: a) Survive off charitable donations, OR… b) brew beer to pay for everything they needed, including having beer on tap to drink at any time and having money to donate to charitable causes. Uhh, they chose option B. The Chimay brand of Ale was born, and they were one of the first “Trappist” style ale’s brewed. To this day there are only 10 abbeys which have approval to sell “Trappist” style Ales, known for their high quality, very tasty beer! This stuff is made of natural ingredients locally sourced, well water from within the abbey itself and brewed by masters who have passed the knowledge down from generation to generation, working in the same way they pray, leaving nothing on the table.

 

This beer sounds perfect right? Well almost… I always felt the alcohol was just a bit too present. At 9% it’s on the high end, but the flavor of the beer is so rich that you can look past it. I was wondering why other high alcohol percent beers I have tried didn’t taste quite as sharp and after doing a little research I found what the most likely problem was…. It was selling too fast! You see, the yeast that makes this beer so mmmm is still alive in the bottle and continuing to improve the mmmm of the beer. But, when this stuff hits the shelf, people snatch it up and drink it before the yeast has had a chance to eat and poop out enough of the alcohol to make it feel smooth. In other words, the beer has not hit its full mmmm potential. So what did I do for this review? I aged a bottle for 3 months.

 

Chimay - Date Stamp

Chimay – Date Stamp

I opened up the 750ml bottle and was blasted with the full, glorious aroma of yeast, caramel, fruits and sexiness. Out poured the brownish-red elixir, glug-glug-glug, while a white mist lazily drifted out of the bottle… ahh, Chimay you make me feel like a young republican executing his first stock option. The head formed very quickly, too quickly… had to stop pouring as the foam was at the brim of my goblet while the beer was only half way up. Wait a bit then continued on until I had a ¾ full glass.

 

Now before I go on, I just want to make sure you realize I already love this beer and knew what to expect on the taste front. The remaining question was whether the aging tempered the only… less than perfect aspect of this beer. YES IT DID. It went down smoother than a democrat making promises he knows he can’t keep. The bite was gone, and was transformed into a warm tingliness going down the throat. The beer was now perfect. There are some fruity elements, a creamy-bready flavor, a bit of caramel in there somewhere and just loads of overall flavor. It seems tasty across the entire tongue so this is a beer you can pretty much drink any way you want, no need to sip or gulp.

 

Blue Label

Blue Label

What do I rate this? Do I go with a 10 and presume this is as good as it can possibly get? Might be foolish. Do I give it a 9 even though it’s the best beer I have ever had? Hmm, this is a problem. The solution is to pick neither! This is a solid 9.5/10 on the GOP scale and if I don’t find a better beer in the next year or two, I would just bump it up to a 10. My friends, do not hesitate to lay down some cash for this beer, and remember it is the CHIMAY Reserve or Blue.   Keep your goblets full, your belt uncinched and your tab open. Until then friends, until then.

 

State Food Rankings: 50 American States Ranked by Food/Drink – Thrillist

•November 12, 2014 • 2 Comments

The Golden State ranked 2nd! That’s darn good, in a short period of time, ousting great beer states, like Michigan, Colorado, and Washington! Support your local craft breweries people! Cheers!

State Food Rankings: 50 American States Ranked by Food/Drink – Thrillist

German Lagers in Mexico – An Intertwined History

•November 11, 2014 • 4 Comments
Three Amigos, encounter the tyrant El Gapo and German arms dealer!

Three Amigos, encounter the tyrant El Gapo and German arms dealer!

 

Sunday afternoon, my feet kicked up and perched on my ottoman, watching my all-time classic comedy movie The Three Amigos, and in the background the subtle bumping of Mexican polka music transmitting from my neighbor’s backyard fiesta, which is innocuous to my hearing senses, like the flying buzzes of the Ghetto Birds late at night, they are expected events, and It would be weird if I didn’t hear these things!
I had a Kung Fu grip on my Negra Modelo beer for my viewing pleasure, it was crisp and lightly flavored with the weather pushing the century mark – the Modelo Negra had no chance for survival, it was gonna get devoured!
When intoxicated, for unknown reasons, my wheels start turning and I had an epiphany, while these events were unfolding.

The Three Amigos, in-a nut- shell, – a Mexican village was being bullied by a tyrant “El Guapo” – who, by the way, received arms from a German connection! The Three Amigos come kick El Guapo’s and the Germans asses and save the village. All though this was a comedy, there are some underling loose truths to this movie’s plot. Germans and Mexicans did have a mutual respect for each other, so much, during WWI the U.S. intercepted –  the Zimmermann telegram – Germany requesting that Mexico invade U.S. territory!Yikes!!!

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Mexican Norteno Band – German influence

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Germany Polka band

Remember the Mexican Polka music in the back ground? – Mexicans love their Norteno, Banda, and Corridos music, and Polka music originated in the central regions of Europe; Germany, Poland, Austria, etc…

And my Modela Negra is a Lager, and you all know Lagers originated from the Germans!!!!

See where im I going with this?…

Germany and Mexico have an intertwined history!!!!….see what I did there!

So time to do some Sherlock Holmes investigating. There I was searching for German and Mexican influences, and there is some good stuff I found. Germans and Mexicans have a great history of fusion. And Mexican beer being a product of that fusion.

Emperor Maximilano - of Austria- indication of early German influence in Mexico

Emperor Maximilano – of Austria- indication of early German influence in Mexico

We can find German influences that date back to the mid 18th century. Mexican Emperor Ferdinand Maximilano was Austrian, who was put in place of power by Napoleon III, of France. Emperor’s Maxiliano reign was short lived, lasting from 1864 to 1867. Benito Juarez’s movement would eventually wear down the Emperor’s regime, along with the help of U.S. support, Maximilano would be captured and executed. What did his regime bring to Mexico, you may ask? European arts and cuisine. He would encourage Europeans, especially Germans and Austrians to occupy Mexico. Art took more of a European flavor and Empress Carlota, his wife, did fuse indigenous foods with European cuisines. Emperor Maximilian  was the first to bring Middle Europe music to México. By 1864 he had marching bands and musicians to entertain him and most importantly, when he traveled, he always had two German beer brewmasters with him. This is when the first traces of German Lager beers were introduced to Mexico.

You thought Los Angeles was diverse, in the mid 1800 Mexico was inedidated with European immigrants and influences, and Emperor Ferdinand Maximilano solidified east European occupation.

By the turn of the 19th century – many German immigrant colonies were settling in the central portion of Mexico and as far south of Chiapas! Who by the way were skilled and Industrial workers. It was during this time German immigrant beer brew masters were concocting Mexican beers for sell!  Prior to German beer brewing, although Beer was present in Mexico, due to weak industrial resources, lack of knowledge and taxation to barely and other natural resources,  it was limited and many beers were being imported. What propelled Mexican Lagers consumption and demand? What I call the perfect storm, was U.S. prohibition law, nixing the sell of alcohol. Skirting law, many U.S. citizens found their way south of the border to get their golden froth fix on and breweries were sprouting around the borderlands.

Also, during this time of Prohibition and the turn of the century – a new style of Lager was hitting the beer circuit. – The Vienna Style lager. A amber to penny hue beer, with robust flavors brewed with sweet malts. Originally brewed by Anton Dreher of Austria – his beer recipe found its way to the Western Hemisphere, leaving a large imprint in Mexican beer history laurel. Vienna lagers were being consumed everywhere…some call these beers, prohibition beers.

Vienna Style Lager - Negra Modelo

Vienna Style Lager – Negra Modelo

 

This leads to my  Negra Modelo – out of all the Lager styles. This Mexican- Vienna Style is my favorite. And Modelo Negra makes a great brew. This beer has been in production since 1925! and today Group Modelo owns 80% of Mexico’s beer market! Dos Equis also makes a popular Venna Style lager but the Negra is my favorite. Mexican beers come in many styles from Pilsners (light beer) to dark lagers (Munich Dunkel.) As mentioned earlier, German Lagers are visible in the western hemisphere. From Central to South America, Lagers are the ruling class of beers, and it doesn’t stop there, Asia has a fine brew of Lagers as well. Such as Sapparo and Ashai.

Germans have a strong influence in todays Mexican culture, although Maximilano reign was short lived, his influences has left a strong imprint. And on any given weekend, cruising through Los Angeles, you can hear Banda/Norteno music playing echoing in different neighborhoods while party patrons sipping on Coronas (lager) and eating carne asada, and having a good time. Till next time, cheers.

 

 

 
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