OC Brew Ha Ha ‘HOP MONSTER’ Collaboration Beer

 

Orange County Brew Ha HaBeer Soaked readers should know by now that our favorite Orange County craft beer festival is approaching. That’s right, it’s almost time for the annual OC Brew Ha Ha on Saturday, September 7th, 2013.

Did you know that they are brewing a special collaboration beer for the event? We were invited to brew day for the OC Brew Ha Ha ‘HOP MONSTER’, and here’s the story…

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Three local Orange County brewmasters; Aaron Barkenhagen of Bootleggers BreweryEvan Weinberg of Cismontane Brewing Company, and Jerrod Larsen of Tustin Brewing Company, all came together to brew a commemorative beer for the OC BrewHaHa festival. They sat down over some beers and after taking a look at the graphic novel themed artwork for the 2013 BrewHaHa they decided on a massively “hopped up” Red Ale that would consist of Citra, Nelson, and Galaxy hops. “It was a no brainer. It had to be a hoppy red. I mean, just look at the artwork.” – Aaron Continue reading

Cellaring and Aging Beer

Aging beer, what’s all this about?

2013-05-11 16.38.39Some beers are barrel-aged by the brewer. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the bottle-conditioned beers that are meant to either be enjoyed now, or stored away for later.

Just like wine, the flavors in beer will change over time. Hops lose their intensity, malts gain a richness, and yeast does all sorts of things in the bottle. In short, you age a beer to see what happens.

Years ago I was invited to my first bottle share event and brought with me the freshest double IPA I could find at the local store. Most of the other folks brought Belgian ales, imperial stouts, saisons, and barley wines. Some of the beers were a few years old and tasted almost like sherry. My hop bomb was a good palette cleanser between the other brews, but didn’t get nearly as much praise as the bottles with some age on them. I got to taste some fantastic beer that day and wanted to have something impressive for the next bottle share. That’s when I started cellaring beer.

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Beer and Cigars

Years ago I was really into cigars. It was around the time I started playing golf with some friends from work. We played 9 holes of golf after work on Wednesdays, and a full round of 18 on weekends. Golf led to cigars on the course, and cigars led to whisky at the 19th hole. That’s three fairly expensive hobbies all at once. I look back now and miss those days.

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I don’t golf as regularly anymore, and don’t smoke cigars nearly as often either. I still have a fairly decent collection of Single Malt Whisky, mostly Islay Malts, but haven’t poured myself a dram in a while. Why? The Craft Beer Revolution, that’s why!

Ever since I started exploring craft beer, I’ve put my other hobbies on the shelf. Slowly I’ve been integrating them back into my routine. For example, I play beer soaked golf now and then with the guys thanks to canned craft beer. And I’ve popped the cork on some Single Malt Scotch after enjoying a really bold IPA or a barrel-aged stout. What’s next? Cigars! So when I heard about the Gray Cloud event I was intrigued. Beer and Cigars? At a local golf course? Really!?! Yes, really.

Gray Cloud 2013 Continue reading