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Mammoth Festival of Beers – 2012 – Day 1

Posted by Darryl | Craft Beer, Festivals | Posted on August 4th, 2012

I love US Highway 395. Not only is it one of the most diverse highways in California, cutting through the Mojave Desert, Owens Valley, and Eastern Sierras, but once a year one of its many destinations is the Bluesapalooza festival in the town of Mammoth; also known as the Mammoth Festival of Beers. A 4 day event, with the Grand Tasting on Saturday, the festival brings together great musicians in a beautiful mountain setting, along with some of the best craft brewers in the business; 64 of them signed-up prior to the start of the event. CONTINUE READING THE FULL POST

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Firestone Walker 1st Invitational Beer Fest

Posted by Darryl | Breweries & Alehouses, Craft Beer, Festivals, News, Tastings | Posted on June 16th, 2012

The beginning of June 2012 gave me the hope that it was going to be a great month, and didn’t disappoint! My Los Angeles Kings were in the Stanley Cup Finals against the New Jersey Devils (that turned out to be pretty fantastic!), and another beautiful Southern California summer was around the corner. But more significantly, Firestone Walker’s 1st Invitational Beer Fest was held June 9th, and turned out to be the best festival I’ve yet attended.

CREATING A WORLD CLASS FESTIVAL
Most festivals will bring together those that enjoy drinking beer along with those that enjoying pouring and telling you about the brews. The Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest was created to not just bring imbibers together with some craft beer, but to bring craft beer lovers and some the best craft brewers in the world themselves together for what turned out to be a truly exceptional event. CONTINUE READING THE FULL POST

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February 2012 Declared California Craft Beer Month

Posted by Darryl | Craft Beer, Educate Me, Holidays, News | Posted on February 23rd, 2012

Today, the California State Senate passed resolution SCR 66 which declares February as “California Craft Beer Month”. When I say “today” I mean February 23, 2012; so enjoy your 6 remaining days of California Craft Beer Month.

Supported on the record in the Senate by the California Small Brewers AssociationDrake’s Brewing Company (San Leandro), and Triple Rock Brewery (Berkeley), the bill was introduced on Feb. 16, 2012, amended on Feb. 21, 2012, and passed the senate with a vote of 36-0!

While it may seem like a small thing considering that the resolution was passed so late in the month, the resolution does an excellent job of documenting and pointing out the significant impact to the Craft Beer industry that have taken place in California.

You can find the full content of SCR 66 below, or at the Official California Legislative Information website. But, some of significant things that the bill puts on the record about the California Craft Beer Industry:

  • In 1965 Fritz Maytag acquired the Anchor Brewing Co. and began brewing authentic, handcrafted beers, igniting the craft beer movement
  • The first microbrewery opening in 1977 in Sonoma
  • The second largest craft brewer in the country (Sierra Nevada Brewing Company) was founded in Chico, CA in 1979 and kicked-off a nationwide movement
  • Three of the country’s first five brewpubs were opened in California — 2nd: (1983) Mendocino Brewery in Hopland, 3rd: (1984) Buffalo Bill’s in Hayward, 5th: (1986) Triple Rock Brewery in Berkeley — after AB3610 removed the restriction on on-premises sales of craft beer in 1977
  • The craft beer industry creates over 17,000 jobs in the state
  • The California craft beer industry creates more revenue for the state and federal governments than ANY OTHER industry!!
  • There are more breweries in California than in any other state
  • California craft breweries are known internationally for the quality of their beer
  • California craft brewers win more medals annually at beer competitions than brewers in other states
  • The craft beer industry is strongly committed in its implementation of sustainable practices
  • The industry is a leader in the stewardship of natural resources and California’s environment

It’s great the state legislature has recognized the outstanding contributions that craft brewers in California have made; not just to the industry but to the State as a whole. Thank you legislatures. Now lets go grab a California Craft Beer!!

BILL NUMBER: SCR 66	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN SENATE  FEBRUARY 21, 2012

INTRODUCED BY   Senator Corbett
    (   Principal coauthor:   Senator 
 La Malfa   ) 
    (  Coauthor:   Senator   Evans   ) 

                        FEBRUARY 16, 2012

   Relative to California Craft Brewery Month.

	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST

   SCR 66, as amended, Corbett. California Craft Brewery Month.
   This measure would proclaim the month of February 2012 as
California Craft Brewery Month.
   Fiscal committee: no.

   WHEREAS, California is the birthplace of the craft brewing
movement, when Fritz Maytag acquired the Anchor Brewing Company in
1965 and began brewing authentic  ,  handcrafted
beers; and
   WHEREAS, California is the home of the first microbrewery,
beginning with Jack McAuliffe who built a small brewery in Sonoma
from scratch, and began selling New Albion ales in 1977; and
   WHEREAS, The second largest craft brewer in the country, Sierra
Nevada Brewing Company, was founded in Chico, California, in 1979,
and spurred the craft brewery movement around the country; and
   WHEREAS, In 1977, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 3610
to amend the state's tied-house laws to remove the restriction on
on-premises sales of craft beer. Following this change in law,
California became home to three of the first five brewpubs in
America; and
   WHEREAS, The second brewpub in America was opened by the Mendocino
Brewery in Hopland, California; the third brewpub, opened in
September 1984, was Buffalo Bill's in Hayward, California; and the
fifth, opened by John Martin in March 1986, was Triple Rock Brewery
in Berkeley, California; and
   WHEREAS, The California craft brewery industry has an annual
impact of $500 million on the state's economy in direct wages and
benefits; and
   WHEREAS, The California craft brewery industry creates more than
17,000 jobs, which in turn creates billions of dollars in positive
economic impact; and
   WHEREAS, The California craft brewery industry creates more
revenue for the state and federal governments than many other
industries, generating more than $36 million in taxes in 2010; and
   WHEREAS, California now has more breweries than any other state in
the country, including over 280 small, independently owned craft
breweries; and
   WHEREAS, California is now known and recognized internationally
for the quality of its craft breweries. Year after year, Californian
breweries win more medals at the World Beer Cup, the largest
international beer competition in the world, and the Great American
Beer Festival, the largest beer competition in the United States,
than breweries found in other states; and
   WHEREAS, Brewery tourism is increasingly popular and contributes
to the economic impact of the state's tourism industry; and
   WHEREAS, The California craft brewery industry is a leader in the
stewardship of natural resources and the environment  ,  and has made a major commitment to implement sustainable
practices that are environmentally sound, including some of the
largest solar arrays in the private sector, and the use of fuel cells
and other innovative conservation techniques and processes; and
   WHEREAS, Despite the challenges of intense global competition, the
state's craft brewery industry is strong and growing, and is a major
contributor to the economic vitality of California; now, therefore,
be it
   Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly
thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby proclaims the month
of February 2012 as California Craft Brewery Month; and be it further

   Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this
resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.
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Mid-Week Mini-Pub-Crawl: LA #2 (Agenda)

Posted by Darryl | Bars, Breweries & Alehouses, Craft Beer, Pub-Crawling, Restaurants | Posted on January 23rd, 2012

In December, along with my friends Mike and Jason, I had a successful trip into Los Angeles to explore some of the venues serving up tasty craft beer. (Read about it in my post Mid-Week Mini-Pub-Crawl: LA #1) On Tuesday, January 24th, we’re heading back again, this time with a more conservative plan, that we’re certain we’ll accomplish

LOS ANGELES TRIP #2 AGENDA

Ladyface Ale Companie in Agoura Hills
Although we stopped in on our first LA trip, Ladyface is in the midst of celebrating their 2nd Anniversary. We’re going to stop in to partake of their 2nd Anniversary Ale, scheduled to be tapped when the doors open that day.

Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles (near the 5 & 134 freeways)
We were able to make a brief visit to the Golden Road Brewing Pub during our first trip, but it was unfortunately it wasn’t opened yet. We’re hoping for some nice weather so that we can actually enjoy sitting out on their patio. If not, the inside of the pub seemed to be a great friendly place to sip a couple of brews also.

38° Ale House & Grill in Alhambra
None of the 3 of us have been here before, and though it might be a bit out of our way considering our other planned stops, I’ve head great things about it and we’re looking forward to checking it out.

Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood
Since The Music Box in Hollywood was shutdown, I’ve been visiting Blue Palms much more frequently and participating in #OccupyBluePalms. (Read my post all about it here.) But, Mike and Jason have never been. We’re planning on making it by in time for an early dinner, timing our arrival shortly after opening.

 

I’ll be updating my Twitter and checking into my beers on my Untappd account throughout the day’s journey. Keep track of me, and if you’re nearby join us for a pint!

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Mid-Week Mini-Pub-Crawl: LA #1

Posted by Darryl | Bars, Breweries & Alehouses, Craft Beer, Pub-Crawling, Restaurants | Posted on January 20th, 2012

Last month, along with my friends Mike and Jason, I took a day to leave the sheltered surroundings of Ventura County and head  40 some-odd miles into the Los Angeles area to discover some tasty craft beer venues. Turns out the original plan was a little overblown; trying to hit 9 places between Pasadena and Santa Monica in the course of one day. The fatal flaw was that the day in question was a Thursday, and I had received some misinformation about hours of a couple of the locations. In the end though, we “discovered” great places to visit, and drank some great beer. CONTINUE READING THE FULL POST

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Blue Palms Brewhouse and Why There’s #OccupyBluePalms

Posted by Darryl | Bars, Breweries & Alehouses, Craft Beer, Restaurants | Posted on January 9th, 2012

Scroll to the bottom of this post for my latest updates about the status of the Blue Palms Brewhouse.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area and a fan of craft beer, then you probably have heard of Blue Palms Brewhouse. (On the web at bluepalmsbrewhouse.com, on Twitter @BluePalms_Brew, and on Facebook.)Many craft beer affectionados from outside the Southern California area know of it as well, and make a point to stop in for a visit when they’re in town. They feature a great food menu that includes 9 different sausages, prime rib sandwiches that melt in your mouth, tasty chicken and fish dishes, and much much more. On the liquid side, in addition to a full bar, they feature 24 specialty craft beers and 1 cask ale on draft — all of which are on rotation — as well as an extensive bottle list that includes some rare, well aged craft beers. Trust me… ask to see the bottle list. They’ve passionately done a great deal to help promote Craft Beer in the Los Angeles area. That’s the other great thing about them. In addition to the food and drink, there’s the people. Not just the staff, but all the clientele that continually pack the place wall to wall. If you don’t strike up a conversation with a stranger while you’re there, you’re missing out and probably just anti-social anyway. Blue Palms is truly a community meeting place. Not just for those living in the Hollywood area, but for the craft beer community member as well. CONTINUE READING THE FULL POST

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LA Craft Beer Road Trip Agenda

Posted by Darryl | Bars, Breweries & Alehouses, Craft Beer, Educate Me, Restaurants | Posted on December 14th, 2011

Visit this post for a recap of the road trip.

Along with my friends Mike and Jason, we’ve been planning to take a day to venture into Los Angeles (about 40 miles from our homes in Ventura County) and explore some craft beer pubs/alehouses/breweries. We’re heading out on Thursday, December 15th, and while I thought that making an itinerary would be easy, the fact that most of my planned destinations don’t open until 4:00 pm or later, making the agenda has been a little rough. But, I think I’ve got the order down. Follow me on Twitter (@TheBeerdolt) during the 15th and if you’re near where we’re at, have a pint with us!

 

Ideally we’ll get to them all! My hope is that we finish at Library Alehouse, even if we have to skip a couple of others in order for my companions to make it home on time. I’m also planning that we’ll be having a meal at either Mohawk Bend or Blue Palms. No matter what though, I’m hoping that all three of us get to sample some really good craft beers!

Check out the Google Map of the places we’re gonna hit!

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Where’s The Beer?

Posted by Darryl | Bars, Breweries & Alehouses, Craft Beer, Educate Me, Restaurants | Posted on December 9th, 2011

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED
In Finding Joy in a Cancelled Event I shared how my friend Mike and I had a great time discovering little out of the way places with great craft beer; specifically that day we found Mohawk Bend and Tony’s Darts Away. While that day’s journey was by happenstance, we’re doing a planned trip to head into the greater Los Angeles area and discover more great places with more great craft beer on Thursday, December 15th. The problem is: I don’t know all the choices and they’re looking to me to map out the day. This is where I need your help.

Take a moment to post a comment below and let me know of a place you’d recommend in the Los Angeles (or surrounding) area. It doesn’t need to be a brewery, or restaurant, and doesn’t need to be open for breakfast/lunch, but if you know the hours and/or the website of the place you like please include it.

Once I get the day’s itinerary all planned out I’ll post it here and maybe you can come Drink With Darryl! (that’s me btw)

THANKS!

UPDATE: I’ve now posted the agenda for the day out.

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Finding Joy in a Cancelled Event

Posted by Darryl | Bars, Breweries & Alehouses, Craft Beer, Restaurants | Posted on December 9th, 2011

One of the great things I’m discovering about the craft beer world is that there are a lot more places to find excellent beers than I ever knew existed. When I first started learning, I thought I was restricted to just a couple of microbreweries near me and one or two alehouses or pubs in the area, but now I know that there’s MUCH more to see in the greater Los Angeles area than I suspected. And the best part is, my friends (who are not as far along in their craft beer discovery experience as I) are reaping the benefits of my journey as well; and I really enjoy sharing those discoveries too!

WINNER WINNER WINNER
Through the magic that is Twitter, I found out about the ColLAboration Winter Wonderland that was popping-up on December 3rd. I also found that Beers In Paradise was conducting a contest/survey giving away 2 ColLAboration Limited Editions beer glasses, which get you in free to the event. The best part was that I won the contest! Although I was planning to take my son to the LA Kings’ game that day, winning the contest gave me a chance to invite my friend Mike along with me to experience a craft beer event (his first!), and if we had the time we could still hit the game. Fortunately, my son is a very understanding young man.

Unfortunately, a windstorm hit the LA area a couple of days before the event, knocking down utilities lines needed for the event, and ColLAboration was forced to postpone the the Winter Wonderland.

PLAN B
Mohawk BendNot willing to miss out on introducing Mike to some great craft beers (as well as having some myself) I suggested that we visit one of the venues behind ColLAboration. I had been to Blue Palms Brewhouse before and since it isn’t far off the 101 on our way through Hollywood it sounded like a great first stop. However, we soon learned that they don’t open until 5:00 pm. (One day I’ll memorize their hours.) Since I had been notified via Golden Road Brew’s Twitter that Mohawk Bend would be open for brunch, and it was also on the way, we made the 4 mile trek from Blue Palms over to Echo Park.

It’s fairly obvious from the marquee out front that Mohawk Bend used to be a vaudeville theater back in the day. What’s less obvious from the exterior is that they have 72 beers available on tap! The taps included beers from Stone, AleSmith, Ballast Point, Hangar 24, and many many more. I started with an AleSmith IPA, then had my first taste of a Pangaea by Dogfish Head (and loved it!), concluding my visit with a Palo Santo Marron also from Dogfish Head.

Mohawk Bend sports a large tap selection

For food, Mike ordered the signature waffle with peanut butter syrup while I tried a baked egg dish containing white beans, garbanzo beans, spicy tomatoes, and some other tasty ingredients. Both were great! The only problem I had the food was the timing of its delivery. Mike received his waffle at least 10 minutes before my eggs came out. Fortunately he didn’t wait for me to be served.

Overall, Mohawk Bend was a great experience! A beer selection that we really enjoyed, excellent and friendly bartenders, and friendly environment. Definitely a place to revisit.

PLAN C
By the time we finished our last round of beers and our food, we resigned ourselves to the fact that weren’t going to make it to the game at all. Not a problem; let’s go hit another place I know of nearby.

Knowing that we might have some time during the day to make the stop, I had loaded my 2 growlers for Eagle Rock Brewery into the car. We left Mohawk Bend and proceeded on highway 2 for the 3 mile trip to Eagle Rock only to find, once again, that I need to check hours before heading to an establishment.

The next place that came to mind was Tony’s Darts Away. I decided we should hit Tony’s because it was kind of on our way home (I had promised Mike’s wife I’d have him back for dinner), because I had heard about it from the ColLAboration event, and because several people had mentioned it to me in the past. It was only a bit further away (9 miles) in Burbank, so we shot up interstate 5 and made it there in pretty quick time to find an establishment quite different from Mohawk Bend.

Tony’s definitely has a neighborhood bar feel; small but inviting, a great friendly ambiance where obviously a lot of people knew each other, and helpful bartenders willing to make suggestions on great beers to try!

They have about 30 beers on tap, and though they’re from breweries you probably know, they have some beers that I don’t usually see on a tap, including Pliny the Elder by Russian River, Firestone/Nectar Ales’ Black Xantus, La Citrueille Celeste de Citracado from Stone/Elysian/Bruery, and beers from local breweries like Golden Road Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewery, Ventura’s Surf Brewery, and El Segundo Brewing.

Starting with another IPA, I had Golden Road’s Point The Way IPA, followed by an Old #38 Stout by North Coast Brewing. (Sadly, I didn’t keep track of what Mike had, and he is still an Untappd virgin.) We also decided that it wasn’t fair that we only destroy our livers and decided to work on our cholesterol as well, ordering some Disco Fries; french fries, covered in gravy and Tillamook Cheddar cheese. So good that we didn’t mind half the bar staring at us as we licked the gravy from our fingers.

SUCCESSFUL DAY
While sad that ColLAboration’s Winter event was cancelled, it did let us discover a couple of great places, as well as some great beer! Since that day, Mike (and I) has been sharing his praises of both Mohawk Bend and Tony’s Darts Away, as well as some of the great craft beer that we had. Hopefully we’ll get back to both of those venues soon.

In the meantime, we’re going to seek out more craft beer, and if you have a minute, I could use your help to let me know Where’s The Beer?

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