CraftHaus Comrade Release Party

| January 26th, 2015 | No comments


The last time I had this beer, was I think possibly the first time that I had any of CraftHaus’ beers. This was prior to the brewery opening, when Dave was still a home brewer pouring beers at local festivals while he and Wyndee were putting together their business plan and securing funding for the brewery. The beer was delicious then, and I can only assume that it’ll be even more delicious this upcoming Saturday.

As an added bonus to what is on the flyer below, there will also be samples from the Las Vegas Distillery and O Face Doughnuts to pair with the beer.

Be sure to also visit the brewery so you can see the artwork Kellie Aguilar has been constructing on the tap room chalkboard. Above you can see a small section of it in progress.

See you there!
Comrade Day (3)

White Stouts and The Validity of Beer Styles

| January 5th, 2015 | No comments

IMG_5747What is the point of beer styles? Historically, beer styles were just names of the city of origin for the style, like Pilsner, Vienna lager, Dortmunder Export, etc. Or they were the beers eventual destination, like India pale ale, Baltic Porter, or Russian imperial stout. More often than not, the meaning of the name changes over time. India pale ale is better known as IPA; regardless of where it is being shipped to. The stout porter, which was originally known as a stronger porter (in both alcohol and flavor), eventually just started to be called stout. Today, the primary differing factor between stout and porter is simply the addition of roasted barley, giving a stout a more pronounced roast character over the typically sweeter or more chocolatey flavors of porter.

Today in the American craft beer world beer styles have become even more confusing. I once heard someone argue that a particular double IPA tasted more like a double pale ale. The odd thing is, despite the fact that neither the Brewer’s Association or the Beer Judge Certification Program recognizes double pale ale as a style, I still knew what they meant. The often rumored origin of India pale ale was that it was an extra strength pale ale; with the added alcohol and hops used to withstand a voyage to India from England. While I think it’s perfectly fair to argue that an extra strength pale ale is the same as a double pale ale is the same as an IPA; IPA nowadays is predominately recognized by its intense hop aroma and flavor (I’d argue that bitterness doesn’t matter, with Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA being an example of a non-bitter IPA). (more…)

The Serious Eats 50 States of Beer

| January 22nd, 2014 | No comments

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Serious Eats put together a cool map of the country that highlights a favorite beer in each state. It was put together by all the various contributors to Serious Eats’ drinks section. I always enjoy infographics like this, as it helps me to hear about other breweries that I don’t have access to here in Nevada. Later, if I’m in another state and I see something I recognize, I’ll know to pick it up. (more…)

The Hooked on Hops Guide To Aging Beer

| January 20th, 2014 | 2 comments

Processed with VSCOcam with a1 presetA properly aged beer is something that cannot be recreated without the hard work of actually being patient and waiting it out. It is incredible to taste the differences in a beer even just a year later. So, without further ado…

First of all, there are no rules. There are only suggestions, or even just hypotheses. The fact is, the exact same chemical changes happen within every bottle of beer as time progresses. Depending on some specific factors (alcohol content, hop content, beer style, etc) this chemical change can be called spoilage in one beer, or maturation in another. This is why guidelines exist for aging beers. Certain guidelines are generally true for most beers, some are not. The real truth, however, is that we all taste and perceive flavor differently. This is the biggest reason why aging rules vary so much. The effects of aging a beer are nearly always the same, but whether the effects are something that you want is another factor. That said, here are some things to consider: (more…)

Taco Tuesday

| May 28th, 2013 | No comments


DSCF3565Taco Tuesday is one of Hooked on Hops’ favorite days of the week; tacos being a favorite dish amongst all of us. And of course we prefer to enjoy a craft beer with our tacos. So what better way to celebrate Taco Tuesday, then with a craft beer cocktail, appropriately named, ‘Taco Tuesday?’ The base beer for this drink is The Bruery’s Black Tuesday. An imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels, with a 19% alcohol content, that the brewery only releases once a year. This is not an easy beer to get your hands on, and it is surely worth the effort if you can get it!

As for the rest of the ingredients for the ‘Taco Tuesday,’ well… just take a look at this video for the details: (more…)

Coffee Infused Stout Brownies

| April 29th, 2013 | No comments

This past weekend, my wonderful wife decided to make brownies using a recipe she found on The result was absolutely delicious, and I thought I’d share the results for you here.

She did deviate a little bit from that original recipe. We did not have any bourbon on hand to mix in, nor did we put any sort of nuts in the brownies. If nutty brownies are your thing, then have at it. Secondly, we decided to use a french press to essentially make stout coffee.

North Coast’s Old Rasputin was the beer used, as opposed to using a sweet stout mentioned in the recipe. Old Rasputin, to me, is the perfect blend of dark roasted flavors, but balanced with an adequate amount of residual sweetness from the unfermented sugars in the beer. The recipe requires 1/3 of a cup of beer, but I recommend just pouring half the bottle over about 2 tablespoons of ground coffee beans. After a few minutes you can measure out the amount needed for the recipe, and then drink the rest. The coffee and stout mixture is incredible decadent and rich. Almost makes the beer taste like it is a higher alcohol percentage than it actually is.

These don’t taste like any brownies I had ever eaten. I should clarify that it doesn’t really taste like Old Rasputin, or beer for that matter. As for the coffee, it imparts more so a coffee aroma, or flavor, as opposed to any coffee bitterness. These have the perfect balance of dark chocolate and sweetness. The coffee balances out the dark chocolate flavors, creating a smoothed out bitter, chocolate taste. The beer, along with both the white and brown sugar, create a very flavorful sweetness, without just tasting sugary.

This recipe is super easy to make, and definitely worth a try!


Lagunitas Fleur Beer Pairing Dinner

| April 28th, 2013 | No comments

This past Friday, I had the opportunity to take part in a Lagunitas beer pairing dinner at Mandalay Bay’s Fleur. The event was organized by Certified Cicerone Sarah Johnson, Mandalay Bay’s director of food and beverage. The event was wonderfully executed, and featured not only great beer, but also very delicious food paired with it. Without further ado, let’s discuss the incredible dinner that took place!

Lagunitas’ pilsner was the first beer that we were given, to help whet our palates and prepare us for what was to come. This beer is extremely dry and crisp. It has the firm bitterness that pilsners should be known for, with a nice, grassy finish.

photo 3 (more…)

Colorado Beercation

| April 2nd, 2013 | No comments

After the trip to Washington state, I headed down to Colorado for a few days. I primarily spent my trip in Denver and got to visit a wide range of breweries and bars. If you make your way into the state, I highly recommend checking these places out! (more…)

Interview with New Belgium’s Lauren Salazar

| March 15th, 2013 | 1 comment


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 Homegrown Tap Takeover

| December 11th, 2012 | No comments

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…)