Your Local Craft Beer Is Not That Good

dp61s

After living in one of the country’s greatest craft beer mecca’s, namely the illustrious San Diego and the up and coming Washington DC, I have come across an interesting phenomenon.

To illustrate lets talk about my boss calling me a snob. This happened after I said, to the agreement of another coworker, that his IPA was not that good. He then replied something of the effect you are from Cali so you are a beer snob.

At the very least this got me thinking about local loves of local craft beer. With the resurgence and renaissance of the american craft beer market breweries are popping up all across the country. And people are becoming vehemently attached to their “local” craft breweries. Thus, when visitors or new immigrants to this local craft beer scene come in an become nay sayers of these local brews, legitimate or illegitimate nay sayers, they usually get the boot! Hence my boss, “You snob.”

All this to say I am not saying one or the other position is right. All I am saying is that we have attachment to beer, not necessarily because it is objectively good (by which I mean to follow the BJCP and GABF standards) but because its ours. Its our local beer.

I think we should be open to the possibility that our local craft beer is only good because its local. I also think we should be open to the possibility that our local craft beer is good because it was recognized or could be recognized on the national level. You may have a local jewel in your local industrial park, or you may not.

All in all, just drink more craft beer.

Until next time, pour proper my friends…

Queen City Jewels Part 2

1aa-beer05-gtpj4lm6-10905-pumpale-fd

Surprising? Yes. Beautiful? Yes. Good beer? Yes. That is how Cincinnati rolls.

After a surprising visit to Rhinegeist we are off in search of Sour Beer and headed over to Rivertown brewing.

Rivertown is more like a California brewery in that it is found in an industrial section in a warehouse. Except when you roll up and there are BBQ cooks out front cooking Mets (a Cincinnati only sausage) and ribs out front.

Rivertown has 5 Sour Beers that they highlight, one of which we were able to try. Their Sour Cherry Porter is not to be missed. This beer, although lacking when compared to Tart of Darkness, is well on its way to becoming a dark horse contender for that general category. Very vinegary nose, sour taste, and deep cherry notes throughout the entirety of the beer.

Rivertown also has other incredible other beers that have for a long time been the standard such as Hop Baron and Hop Bomber their IPA and Rye IPA.

Keep your eye out for their new sours, I know I am!

Until next time, pour proper my friends…

Queen City Jewels Part 1

Image

This last weekend Mrs. Proper Pour and I decided to visit some of our best friends that live and reside in the Queen City, Cincinnati that is. On our list of things to do, besides enjoy our friends company, was to hit up as many of the breweries in the area as possible.

One historical fact of note should be that Cincinnati is a drinking town! The German immigrants that founded the city brought their heritage of beer with them when they came to the new world. Moerleins Brewing mainly represents this. On top of this Cincinnati was recently featured in Beer Advocate Magazine for a new and upcoming place to visit for craft beer. And they could not have been more correct. Between Rivertown, Madtree, Rhinegeist, and Ei8ht Ball Brewing this town screams of great beer, better food, and friendly people.

Image

After a quick browse through Findlay Market in the Over the Rhine section of Cincinnati we walked over to Rhinegeist Brewing for a beer or two. Not thinking much of the midwest in general, my mistake, I was not expecting much from Rhinegeist. That was my first mistake on this trip. This brewery, situated in the heart of the old meatpacking district is in the old building originally inhabited by Moerleins Brewing. Walk in and a generous space opens up before you with friend reclaimed wood benches and a small bar hosting all their beers. And they not only host their beers but also those of other craft brewers, a generous and applauded move.

Image

Now to the beer. Rhinegeist quickly and sufficiently supplied our pallates with an array of classic craft beers. The Truth, their IPA, stung sharp and true like a proper west coast IPA. Panther, their porter, was smooth and dark with just enough carbonation. And of a last note Mastadon, the Belgian Dark, was a sweetly caramel awesomeness.

Stay tuned for Mad Tree, Rivertown, and the great surprise!

Until next time, pour proper my friends…

Plan a Trip to Plan 9 Alehouse

20140204-101407.jpg

Going to San Diego? Going on a Beercation? Planning on drinking great craft beer and being around better people? Plan on going to Plan 9 Alehouse. This little jewel is tucked in the hills of North County Escondido and hiding in the shadow of Stone Brewing down the street from The Lost Abbey. They carry on the tradition of the great craft beer of San Diego.

The owners of this bar know their beer. For example one of the owners, my friend Chad who manages the front end, worked at Stone Brewing for numerous years before he was approached about opening a new bar in downtown Escondido in North County San Diego county. And thus was educated by the best in the business on how to serve and drink craft beer.

With a modern appeal get ready to have beers slid down their 25+ concrete bar and into your hand. Then, now that you are tulip glass equipped for bouncing your tongue off of multicolored ecstasy, get ready for the best of southern California’s beers. Plan 9 regularly have taps from the best of Stone, The Bruery, Alpine Brewing, and many other classics of our current craft beer renaissance. Then engorge and gorge yourself on their Cali style food. The bourbon Siracha (can you hear the mariachi band?) wings are not to be missed and make you dream of more Californication in your life.

My favorite thing, and yes I’m biased because Chad is a dear friend, is the attitude that the bar has. The locals congregate only to be given nicknames and have their beers poured as they walk in the door while visitors are greeted and shown to their seats by a kindly server.

And did I mention they have Monty Python playing all night in the background?

Visit this place and make it soon and you will get Beer To The People!

But until next time, pour proper my friends…

20140204-101420.jpg

20140204-101440.jpg

20140204-101536.jpg

Digging into Outer Darkness

20140211-191725.jpg

 

When I think of Squatters, until recently, the last think I think of is great craft beer. But true to form Utah beer shines in a corner that no beer has due to their imposed limits by the the government. Long story short, because of the low ABV requirements by the religious theocracy in Utah, Utah brewers have to be deadpan accurate at the their brewing, which creates en environment that breeds great beer like bacteria in a petri dish.

Now back to Squatters Outer Darkness Russian Imperial Stout. This stout, as opposed to dozens of others shines clean and true despite the name (see instagram from a few months ago where we had a bottle share and I passed out on the couch). Most stouts hide their imperfections amongst large ABV’s and barrel aging. However this beer has the most crisp and clean taste of any stout I have had. The sweet coffee and chocolate hints shine like light reflecting from a mirror. As far as the ABV, didn’t even notice it because it was that clean. I want to say like a minerally chardoney it was so perfectly balanced that the slackline walkers of Moab would beg for advice.

Squatters, its no wonder you all have survived for so long in such an oppressive state for alcohol. Its because like Picasso, you shine under oppression and bring forth the best in the midst of statist difficulty.

Until next time friends, pour proper….

20140211-191736.jpg

20140211-191750.jpg

The Ever Bustling The Bruery

20140204-101048.jpg

20140204-101135.jpg

Kid in a candy shop and sensory overload cannot even begin to describe my senses during my recent visit to The Bruery.

From the freeway exit, if you know what to look for their tower calls you from afar. Illuminating your desires and becoming a lighthouse of your desire. Then to walk in is to become accustomed to Southern California and the crampedness of Orange County, and also to its opulence.

One thing I love about my home state is its diversity. And this trait erupts at The Bruery. Upon entry we see Sons of Anarchy there, bro’s and their girlfriends, old and young, cool and nerd abound in this center of craft beer.

20140204-101122.jpg

20140204-101108.jpg

Curve Your Life Path for Cuvee Des Jacobins

Image

This now will be the third advent of heaven upon my lips with Cuvee Des Jacobins visiting me. This beer, as for sour beer, is the best on the market. It does not get better than this sour ale. With sweet strawberry and cherry notes this sour ale will grind your stomach into submission and leave you dead on the floor wanting more. Those monks in belgium sure know what they are doing when it comes to great beer. And if I have not already mentioned this, sour ales are the pill to be swallowed for wine drinkers to enter into the craft beer world. Love this beer…beg, borrow, and steal for it!

Until next time, Pour Proper my friends….

Mad Tree Brewing: Happy Amber and Gnarly Brown

MadTreeBrewing

Mad Tree Brewing revolutionized brewing in the Cincinnati area by their cans. They were the first brewing company to bring cans to the Queen City. And their so underground they dont even have a functional website. So check their facebook for updates and beer dinners that they are hosting weekly.

We recently had our best friends move to the Queen City and after a few internet searches I realized that Mad Tree was where it was at for brewing in the queen city. And after a few more hours I had also discovered more craft beer than all my friends. And after this interview that stole my heart over at Queen City Fresh with Kenny Mcnutt of Mad Tree I knew where and what I had to drink.

But woefully the only remnants of Mad Tree that I was able to find were one can of Happy Amber and one of Gnarly brown. And the biggest mistake I made was waiting to drink them. For a small out of the way Midwest city the guys at Mad Tree have crossed styles and used classics to create unique beers that are easily becoming my favorites. Now for a quick rundown on the ones I tried:

photo 1(1)

Happy Amber: This beer has the punch of a pale ale with the smoothness of an amber. The copper tones made me salivate like setting a dog before a steak. This beer is something I would buy in the 12 pack.

photo 2(1)

Gnarly Brown: Brown may be an underestimate because this beer poured black, tasted like burnt coffee, and rolled into my mouth with the pretentiousness of an imperial porter. Loved it. They crossed the nuttiness of a brown with the roastiness of a porter and came out with a winner.

Belgian Beer in the Land of Tea

This is a great article on something that #america has yet to understand: craft beer outside of #america. Yes it exists and thrives in small beautiful communities.

Zythophile

La SalamandreIt is a truth universally acknowledged – in Wan Chai, at any rate – that a single man walking down Lockhart Road at night-time must be in want of a nice Filipina lady friend to be the Suzie Wong to his Robert Lomax. Hong Kong’s most persistent mama-sans will tug at your sleeve, trying to persuade you into their lap-dancing bars, where smiling young women from Manila or Luzon (so I am told) will attempt to get you to buy them drinks, at HK$300 – £25 – a time.

But while the image many people have of Hong Kong’s bar scene is probably based on Wan Chai’s pole-dancing clubs and places like the Old China Hand, where homesick expats can watch Six Nations rugby while washing down a full English breakfast with a pint of Stella, in fact the former colony’s drinking places are far more diverse and, sometimes…

View original post 1,681 more words