Pacific Park Market – Aliso Viejo

I want to tell you all about one of my favorite places to buy #craftbeer in Orange County. Since my write-up of Korker Liquor has been well received, I thought I’d share another favorite spot for craft beer in Orange County. I’ve mentioned this place many times in my beer reviews, as they are one of the local bottle shops where I have found some really great beers over the past year. So to pay it forward I’m sharing another secret spot with you. Don’t tell anyone… at least not until you get your beer first. Continue reading

The easiest online beer label maker

Label your home-brew quick and easy

In the past I’ve spent way too many hours in Photoshop coming up with artwork for my craft beer labels. When an all grain brew day is 8 hours, it seemed fair to spend that much time on the label. But with the Mr Beer kit, it’s so simple. The very first brew day is only 90 minutes, (and that is including initial assembly, cleaning and sanitization). So I decided that I’d better not spend more time on the label design than the actual home-brew.

I found a link in the Mr. Beer Fans forum to an online label generator and decided to give it a try. Continue reading

IPA Day – August 2, 2012

It’s that time of year again. That’s right folks, the 2nd annual #IPADay is on Aug 2nd, what will you be drinking?

What is IPA Day?

Well, here’s our take on it. Last year a few beer bloggers created a fake holiday to celebrate India Pale Ale, they called that holiday International #IPADay. IPA DaySounded good to us, we were already huge fans of the West Coast IPA style, and probably would have been drinking IPAs on that day anyway.

They created an EventBrite page for the event and started spreading the word to get folks to sign up.

On Thursday August 4th, craft beer drinkers across the social sphere and across the globe will raise pints in a collective toast to one of craft beer’s most iconic styles: the India Pale Ale. This celebrated style represents the pinnacle of brewing innovation with its broad spectrum of diverse brands, subcategories, and regional flavor variations – making it the perfect style to galvanize the craft beer’s social voice.

It quickly gained traction on Twitter, and soon #IPAday was creating a buzz in the #beer and #craftbeer circles. But like all things on the internet, it was met with various degrees of hate as well. Some folks thought it was a cheap ploy by the founders to merely promote their blogs. Others thought that due to its lofty wording it was intentionally exclusive to other beer styles and should have been something more like #CraftBeer Day. Some folks even staged protests saying that they would avoid IPA completely on that day, and it’s rumored that #StoutDay was created as a direct response. (Which was silly because we already have a “Stout Day” on March 17th. St. Patrick’s Day anyone?)

We stayed out of it and just drank beer.

This time, we’re doing the same, staying out of it and just drinking IPA. Last year IPA Day was on August 4th, this year it’s on August 2nd. Don’t ask us why, we’re just along for the beer soaked ride. Our guess is that the founders like drinking IPA on Thursdays.

IPA Day 2012

They created a new website for IPA Day this time around. http://ipaday.org, along with a new logo.

On that site they’re compiling information on the various Styles of IPA; American, Imperial, English, Black, etc. They have recipes for Cooking with IPA as an ingredient. They also have some IPA Cocktail recipes. All in all, it’s very informative.

A brief education on India Pale Ale

In order to pay tribute to the India Pale Ale style of beer we decided a little IPA education was in order. According to some of the craft beer folks I’ve talked to, there’s a UK beer writer who really knows this style of beer, and his name is Roger Protz

Roger Protz is the author of World Beer Guide and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die! He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

As you can see, he’s got some pretty good reasons to be considered an expert on the subject. Give these IPA articles on All About Beer a read and you’ll be well ahead of your beer soaked buddies at the pub the next time the subject of India Pale Ale comes up.

Other resources for IPA info

Whatever your favorite IPA is, we hope you enjoy one (or more) on #IPAday. We know we will, and for that matter, we’ll drink IPA whenever the mood strikes!

Cheers,

Beer Soaked Erik

Top 3 Beer Books on my shelf

Beer Soaked Books

1. How to Brew: Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right The First Time

This was the very first home-brew book I bought, and I still reference it to this day. Highly recommended whether you are just starting out with home brewing or are looking for ways to improve your current brew recipes.

2. The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance

I received this one as a Christmas gift last year and thought it was just a cookbook, recently I picked it up and started reading. This is much more than a cookbook. They go through the history of Stone Brewing, provide homebrew recipes for some of your favorite Stone beers. And of course the cookbook part has actual recipes from the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens. As a long time fan of Stone Brewing, I was happy as a clam just to have this prominently displayed on the book shelf. And I was even happier once I read through the content. Do yourself a favor, get this one, give it as a gift, or add it to your wish list.

3.Brewing Up a Business: Adventures in Beer from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

This is a great read on the history and humble beginnings of the “off-centered ales” at Dogfish. The current edition includes interesting tales of how they grew the business utilizing social media and differentiating their product in a crowded marketplace. So if you’re a craft beer fan, a small business owner, or just a home brewer who wants to read about Sam Calagione’s journey, this is for you.

So those are my top beer books. What books would you recommend?