Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I’m going to take a breather from beer writing and from the beer world in general for a short while, but don’t you worry – I’ll come back. I’d like to try & slowly get through the stash I’ve got sitting at home, and additionally make good on the desire to knock off a beer-driven pound or two. So without a lot of commentary, here’s what’s been sitting in the “notes” section of my cell phone, getting ready for the full-blown write-up on HBJ that never came:

MOONLIGHT TOAST (SLIGHTLY BURNED) MALT LIQUOR – Sampled at the Monk’s Kettle, San Francisco. Very good, not as great as last year’s; 6.2% ABV, amber/brown, fresh-tasting, medium hops, deep barley flavor. 8/10.

LION BREWERY RED ALE – Sampled at the Huether Hotel, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Notes say “standard amber”. 6/10.

GREEN FLASH SAISON – Sampled at the 21st Amendment Pub & Brewery, San Francisco. Wow! Great mild sourness, smooth, with tastes of lemon & clove. Best saison I’ve ever had. 9/10.

LAGUNITAS IMPERIAL RED – Sampled in a 12-ounce bottle at home. Like Boont Amber on ‘roids! Aggresively malted, sweet hops. Awesome. 8.5/10.

IRON SPRINGS SCOTCH ALE – Sampled at the Monk’s Kettle, San Francisco. Another stunner. Great thin-bodied red scotch ale with mild hops and a terrific taste. 8/10.

FULLER’S LONDON PORTER - Sampled at the Monk’s Kettle, San Francisco. Thin, creamy, and ultimately quite bland. 6.5/10.

Until next time, keep your feet on the ground & keep reaching for the stars.

Friday, February 01, 2008


I found this at a Whole Foods in El Segundo, CA – right by the Los Angeles airport – while I was killing some time waiting for traffic on the 405 to clear. That’s some “LA talk” for those of you not from SoCal (I’m not either, but I’ve spent some quality time there in my day). Anyway, I figured I’d have to pick up a bottle of something to stash in my luggage, and given VICTORY BREWING’s stellar reputation – and my love for the bottle of their HOP DEVIL I had last November – I went with their GOLDEN MONKEY TRIPEL, maybe partially because of the little fella on the bottle. Now this beer says it’s “brewed with exotic spices from the East”. Whose east? New Jersey? The Orient? Well, as it turns out, this cloudy, yellowish/orange Belgian-style tripel was a lot less smooth and more astringent than I’d hoped for. Maybe it was those eastern Pennsylvania exotic spices? I didn’t get that warming feeling I like to get when I go for a tripel – just a sort of drab, “ehh” kind of envelopment. Good enough – but sometimes that’s not really good enough, you know what I mean? 6.5/10.