Pop Culture references are always a hit in the beer scene. Whether references to songs, or puns on band names, or pivotal cultural events, there is no shortage of choices. You’ll usually catch a few eyes and maybe a chuckle or two when people remember where they were, or all the words to a song they forgot they knew. But every once in a while it lands with more serious tones. In February of 2007 Britney Spears, overwhelmed with being constantly scrutinized by the paparazzi and public, walked into a Salon and took an electric razor to her hair.
What started with a large genus of the American IPA further whittles down to your West Coast IPA and New England IPA, and even giving states their own with the Colorado IPA giving rise in the mid-2010s. But getting as niche as a city? Brentwood, California is a small city that sits on the fringes of the East Bay but can feel worlds away with its vast array of farmland that surrounds the adorable downtown. Mostly known for their cherry, peach, and corn production and a smattering of u-pick-it farms, this small community just got its first brewery. The newly minted Imperiale Beer Project wanted to pay homage to the agricultural background of the city they call home with their Masa Brentwood IPA.
San Diego-based Pure Project started its craft brewing journey in Costa Rica in 2014 but has been firmly ensconced on the west coast since 2016. However, the brewery still focuses on many of the elements that made its Costa Rican location and the initial brewery concept unique like using pure, unique and local ingredients whenever possible, giving back to environmental nonprofits and often starting with the ingredients before determining the style of beer they’ll create. Lief is one such beer.
It was a warm spring day and as I listened to some Lake Street Dive it seemed like as good a time as any to take a pregnancy test. My husband and I had just started trying to have a baby, so I was keeping my expectations low. I stood there dreaming about my latest curbside pickup from Temescal Brewing, popping one open in my quarantine safe backyard and soaking in some sun. Three minutes later, there it was. A big beautiful positive. A positive pregnancy test brings with it a hurtling roller coaster of emotions, even when expecting and hoping for it like I was. The first wave was part holy shit part happy tears, and the second came with a twinge of sadness that I wouldn’t be crushing a can of craft for at least nine months.
Label art can tell you a lot about a brewery. It’s a bonus in such a saturated market to not only have label recognition for your devotees but also grab the attention of the bottle shop browser. In Northern California you can spot the iconic Anchor Steam from across a liquor store, you know the pastel puns of Humble Sea will always be pleasing, and in the East Bay, the metal-inspired labels of Ghost Town Brewing are always eye-catching.
This post is sponsored by Firestone Walker Brewing Company
The simple act of enjoying a beer with friends outdoors is something that is cherished more now than ever before. As a midwesterner, it’s essentially the religion I grew up with so when I found out that Dylan Efron was hosting a YouTube series sponsored by Firestone Walker Brewing Co. in which he goes and learns about outdoor activities, I knew I had to check it out.
As we all attempt to bring back a level of normalcy to our lives, hanging out at a brewery might seem low on that list… until you remember all the great conversations, fantastic beers and a sense of community breweries provide.
COVID-19 has caused the cancellation of beer festivals, forced breweries to close and meant that jobs are lost. While the world is not back to 100%, case rates are coming down and, with proper safety measures in place, things are opening up. A “beer week” might be the perfect antidote to a long and frustrating lock-down that is being slowly lifted.
With Firestone Walker launching their new society to much hullabaloo and memes, many are asking “Why should you spend your hard-earned COVID relief check on an expensive collection of beers from one brewery?” This question becomes especially poignant when you realize that, instead of investing these funds at the local bottle shop where you are choosing what prizes you will go home with, you are at the mercy of the brewer spinning their “wheel of chance” for what you receive. With so many good beers so readily available, and an abundance of trust issues built up from watching too much “Survivor,” how do you decide when it’s worth it to drop a large lump sum for vague promises of future delights? Cellador Ales might have the answer.
The flavor. That enticing aroma. Ah yes, there’s just something special about that first hoppy-beer experience. When Adam Firestone and David Walker founded Firestone Walker 25 years ago, West Coast IPAs helped convert multitudes of beer fans into craft beer fans. These days, of course, the IPA is more than just a West Coast treasure as hops are now grown and distributed throughout the world, and that’s demonstrated fully by the Firestone Walker Crafted Thru Hops IPA Mixed Pack.
Indeed, the Firestone Walker IPA Mixed Pack expresses one of IPA’s most favorable attributes: versatility. Each case comes with three cans each of the classic Union Jack West Coast IPA, the Hazy Mind Haze IPA and two New Zealand hopped beers: the 18th batch of Luponic Distortion and the hazy, single-hopped Propagator Series.
Craft beer in Hawaii didn’t have much of a presence, arguably, until a decade or so ago. Being located so far off from the mainland creates a longer and more costly process in getting brewery equipment and ingredients to the island. While it seems that in the more recent years, many craft breweries have been popping up. However, it doesn’t mean that craft beer didn’t have a presence in the Aloha State until then. Paul Kan dives into Hawaii’s rich history in beer and brewing in his soon-to-be-released book, “Hawai’i Beer: A History of Brewing in Paradise.”
When a bet works, it’s not a bad idea to double down. California’s Firestone Walker Brewing Company bet big on the Hazy IPA trend back in 2019 with the release of Mind Haze IPA. Firestone Walker believed that they had dialed in the hops and malt bill needed to create a standout Hazy IPA with the Firestone Walker spin that would be competitive in the California – and US – landscape. And they were right. Mind Haze is a best-seller for the brewery and the Hazy IPA trend shows no signs of slowing down. Two years later, Firestone Walker is doubling down on their Hazy IPA bet with the release of Double Mind Haze – a beer that they call their “juiciest, fruitiest and haziest IPA ever.” Here are the details.
RuPaul’s Drag Race is daring to do things differently in its 13th season. The show has been a savior of isolation, stretching over months as we tune in every Friday evening. The queens have been sequestered and sanitized every step of the way in filming the iconic competition during a pandemic. Each week the panel of judges sit six feet apart and critique the diverse array of queens for their charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent. This season stands apart for sharing the experiences of entertainers who have had their industry and lives shaken by the tumultuous events of 2020.
Seven queens have sashayed away and we’ve come to a perfect six pack of remaining queens that would make RuPaul scream, “Bring back my beers!”
In Episode 31 of the “Boys Are From Märzen” podcast, Kindsey Bernhard is joined by Megan Stone, media coordinator at Societe Brewing Co., and Jackie DiBella, co-founder of the Craft Beer Marketing Awards.
We have all seen how beer can help make a difference, from the Black is Beautiful collaboration to the newly-launched Curtain Up Beer Project. So, when Savagewood Brewing Co. wanted to collaborate with female beer blogger Beer Babe Jess (Jessica Merritt), they immediately knew they wanted the collaboration to be for a good cause. The end result is Pouring It Forward, a Raspberry Ale featuring a special hop blend from the Pink Boots Society (Ahtanum, Cashmere, Citra, Loral and Sabro) with proceeds going towards the Big Sister League in San Diego.
If you remember your first sip of a sour beer, the first question that popped into your mind was probably “Who would ever choose to drink this??” As shocking as your first sip of beer as a young drinker, even more so may be the pucker or funk that arrives when you’re expecting bitter and malty. Finding those gateway sours that can gently lead beer-drinking ponies into the farmhouse fields of glory can be difficult, but luckily Modern Times Beer is here with their New Atlantis series.
Deal with the Devil IPA is not the beer that MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. anticipated when it was established in 2014. But in addition to being a delicious IPA, Deal with the Devil also tells the story of MacLeod’s evolution from a British-style cask ale brewery to one of the most beloved beer companies in Los Angeles.
This year, as Firestone Walker Brewing prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Paso Robles-based brewery is about to embark on another ambitious project that aims to showcase experimentation and innovation. Nowadays it’s becoming more and more difficult for larger regional sized breweries to make a splash when it comes to small-batch beer releases, but Firestone Walker has always been among a handful of brands that have been able to balance building a highly regarded barrel-program while also complementing an equally successful core lineup.
If asked about the most influential people in California’s craft beer history, names like Fritz Maytag, Ken Grossman and Vinnie Cilurzo might top the list for many of the beer enthusiasts. However, away from the public eye, Tom McCormick has had an immense impact on the success of craft beer.