Welcome to the very first episode of the Hooked on Hops podcast! On this episode, we drink beer from Golden Road Brewing Company of Los Angeles and discuss our thoughts on the purpose of beer styles, the subjectivity of taste, how consumers navigate the beer aisle, and how to pronounce pamplemousse. These are fantastic beers that I hope you will seek out and enjoy the next chance that you get. More information can be found at goldenroad.la
Expect to see more episodes trickle in periodically over the next few months!
This past week, May 13th-19th, marked American Craft Beer Week. American Craft Beer Week is basically a week to celebrate the small and independent breweries and the fine work that they do.
For the first time that I can remember, local brewery Tenaya Creek went all out to ensure that craft beer fans got a chance to whet their palates with some rare offerings. Each day, Tenaya Creek released a new beer (sometimes more), and all are worth talking about. (more…)
While Lauren Salazar was in Las Vegas for several of the New Belgium events in town, I was given a chance to sit down with her and discuss New Belgium’s creative process and some of their upcoming projects.
La Folie has become one of my favorite beers and being able to sit down and talk with the blender who makes La Folie was awesome. I’m really looking forward to all of the new beers that we discussed, as well as New Belgium’s expansion.
Hooked on Hops: You’re known for being the wood cellar manager at New Belgium and blending sour beers, like La Folie. What are some non-sour beers that you enjoy drinking?
Lauren Salazar: I’m a crazy stout fan! Anything dark, malty, huge; that’s my thing. Old Rasputin, Big Bad Baptist, I love anything huge and big. (more…)
Aces and Ales did it again, and in a big way. I’ve been to their Strong Beer Fest, Winter Beer Fest, Stone Domination, etc., but never have I felt the sense local community like I did a week ago Saturday. Aces and Ales presented their first ever Homegrown Tap Takeover, which brought together Las Vegas’ four most well known breweries: Tenaya Creek, Joseph James, Big Dog’s and Chicago Brewing Company.
Before I get into the beer, much praise needs to be heaped upon everyone that had a hand in making this special event happen. The organization and execution was flawless, and the Aces crew were in high spirits as they hustled to deliver great craft beer and delicious food to the insatiable palates of their patrons. The breweries put their best efforts forward and really were able to come through with some memorable offerings. A huge thank you to everyone involved. (more…)
Last week, the Whole Foods at Town Square held a beer pairing dinner with Sierra Nevada and Bit & Spur Restaurant in Springdale, Utah. The food and the beer was amazing, so I’m just going to cut to the chase and show you some pictures.
Gazpacho soup with roasted green chiles, tomato, cucumber, and garnished with a hard boiled egg and croutons.
Paired with Sierra Nevada Kellerweis
Kellerweis is a wheat beer, and a perfect companion to lightly spicy, flavorful soup. The soft textured, sweet beer cleanses the palate between each bite.
Smoked baby back riblets with red chile ketchup BBQ sauce with & citrus ginger cole slaw with fennel, apples, and pomegranate seed, ginger yogurt, lime dressing.
Paired with Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye
If you read my Ruthless Chicken article, you know that I love rye beers with barbecue. These ribs were no exception. The sweet smokey taste compliments the harsh, rustic IPA.
Picadillo empanada garnished with queso fresco & pico de gallo
Paired with Ovila Quad
Quad is probably the first Ovila beer that I’ve really liked. The malty sweetness was a good choice for the ground beef inside this empanada.
Warm brownie with espresso creme anglaise & raspberry coulis
Paired with Sierra Nevada Porter
You can never go wrong having a porter with desert.
As a bonus, we also got a taster of Sierra Nevada Hoptimum. Holy hell is that a bitter beer! Probably one of the most bitter beers I’ve had in a while. A must try for the hop heads!
The above photos were either taken by me or by Whole Foods. See the rest of Whole Foods’ photos here.
Color: hazy golden yellow
Smell: lemon/orange citrus, banana, clove
Feel: very light in body texture. Fluffy, foamy head. Very little carbonation.
Taste: Light and refreshing. Very crisp, clean finish. Tastes like what a Hefeweizen should taste like. Even without a lemon wedge, this taste very lemony, in a good way.
Overall: I’ve never had a hefeweizen I didn’t like and this one is no exception. Definitely an American style hefeweizen. These are typically less carbonated and spiced than the more traditional German hefeweizen. This is very refreshing. I would probably go ahead and say that this is a better hefeweizen than both the popular Pyramid and Widmer hefeweizens!
Last month it was all about hops. 2 pale ales, an India pale ale and a spicy winter ale. This month is leaning towards the lighter, sweeter ales.
2 wheat ales: a Hefeweizen and a white ale. I love hefe’s and whites (with the exception of Blue Moon!) so I’m excited for these!
The other will be interesting. One is named “Hop On Top” the other is an “Extra Special Bitter” ale however, the descriptions state that neither is overly bitter. They are both supposed to aromatic and lightly sweet. Hmmmmm… We’ll see!
As before, I plan on writing reviews of each of these. Not than any of you will find either of these in Vegas. I mostly do this for my own beer snobbery knowledge!
Last night at the bar it was mentioned that many people don’t realize how many different types of beer there are. I thought I’d give a brief overview:
To simplify things, there are primarily two different types of beer: Ales and Lagers. At the most basic level, the difference between the two is the type of yeast used to ferment the beer. Lager yeast ferments at colder temperatures and ale yeast ferments at higher temperatures. Lagers and ales break down even further into different types of beers.
This is the most prominent type of beer simply because this is the kind of beer that Budweiser, Miller and Coors are. Other common lagers are the popular Mexican beers: Corona, Dos Equis, Pacifico etc. These beers are best served at ice cold temperature and as such have a lighter more “refreshing” taste. Or as I think of it, kind of watered down taste. The predominant lager beers are American lagers and pilsners. Again simply because this is what the big 3 companies make. The good lagers are the kind that Germany makes: marzen, bock and dunkel. These beers are typically darker colored and have a much more complex taste than the common American lager. However these beers are still lighter in flavor and feel than most ales and don’t have a predominant hop taste.
These are the more complex beers with a wider range of style. These range from the wheaty Hefeweizen and white beers (like Pyramid Hefeweizen or Blue Moon) to the dark stouts (like Guinness). Pale ales and India pale ales sit in the middle of the spectrum. IPAs and pale ales are recognized by their hoppy bite. Ales are the predominant type of beer everywhere except North America. I couldn’t begin to try and explain every type of ale because there is just so many kinds!
Ales are by far, my favorite kind of beer just because there are so many different kinds. The few beers that ive blogged about here have all been ales. I’ll try to continue to review different beers and use that opportunity to describe the beer type and it’s common characteristics.