New Brewery Alert: Stereo Brewing in Placentia


As a writer, I draw a lot of parallels with beer and music. They’re both man-made art, analog, and evocative. Just as I can remember songs I listened to with friends twenty years ago; their beats, lyrics, and bass lines…I can remember beers I’ve had on camping trips decades ago. Tying these two brain-banks together is Stereo Brewing in Placentia.


Opened by Rick Smets and Amanda Pearce, the couple met at a Dylan concert, freaked out over beers, now are knee deep in a Premier stainless steel jug band brewhouse that makes hop beats over malt basslines.


The tasting room is an aquarium of music with spinning vinyl and music posters throughout. The beer, on soft opening, was clean and full of personality. Coming from Firestone and Left Coast, Rick has his eye on quality first, opting to dump the first batch of IPA. Instead, hop heads will swoon over the Robot hoppy red. Dancing like a robot listening to Kraftwerk, I thought Stereo’s Blonde on Blonde Kolsch was the best beer on the playlist. So much so, I took a crowler of it home, just to be sure.


Hazy Jane Ginger Wheat

Stereo Brewing opens Saturday 10/15/16, check them out!

Evan Weinberg of Cismontane Back in the Brew Saddle, Writes Guest Post, Releases Small Beers

Small Beers Brewing from Cismontane

By Evan Weinberg

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Co-Owners of Cismontane, Ross Stewart and Evan Weinberg (photo – Nagel)

It’s not often we do something different as brewers these days. With so many brands and everyone trying to push the envelope of sour, hoppy, high gravity, barrel aged, cloudy and whatever else captures the attention of the consumer, it’s hard to keep up. Shit, it’s hard to care. This may be an artifact of us being a “transitional” brewery in size and tenure.  


We aren’t the new kid on the block, we aren’t rich, we don’t have branding, a beer or a tasting room that blown up on the beer scene. This makes us both vulnerable and a bit more stable at the same time. Strange but true. For instance: All the new brands will chip away at our handles because everyone always wants the shiny new toy on tap. We aren’t quite big enough to enjoy volume insulation by having permanent handles, inexpensive packaged beer to keep volume, and multiple sales reps on the ground to keep our foot in the door of accounts with constantly changing lineups. On the other hand we aren’t doing this from scratch, we have accounts that do support us no matter what, and have since the beginning, some chain account merchandised through our distribution partners, and enough volume to keep the lights on. This along with a host of other issues like lacking economies of scale and having a wholesale to retail ratio that is skewed to the much lower margin is what makes us what I like to think of as “transitional” small brewery. We are on the larger end of the “long tail” of the beer world. This is the plight of the small brewer. We know it better than most.


This is part of what inspired this brewing project. The other part of that was having to brew again, A LOT. One of our brewers was hired away from the company so I had to step into the brew house again. It wasn’t a ton of brewing but, I had the mash paddle back in hand. It felt good. Nothing like climbing in a Mash Tun at 120 degrees and 100% humidity to remind you what you like about this job. We were cranking our core beers, some seasonal, and a few specialties here and there. Then came the next phase in my brewing schedule. It was brewing D-day. By that I mean “Dad day”, our head brewer, Scott Holden, had a new baby. This is the point when I embarked on a three week brewing marathon that resulted in creating what I like to call Small Beers Brewing.


A bit on Small Beers: Small beers are a style that most people don’t know about. This is because most brewers just don’t make them. It can be a fair amount of extra work and unfamiliar territory. Generally, made from the second runnings of a very strong beer’s mash. Small beers typically end up lower alcohol and are traditionally simple flavor-wise. To clarify, the runnings are the liquid that comes off the grain (or grist or mash – depending what term makes sense to you) into the kettle that will be boiled to make a beer. The second runnings are the liquid leftover in the mash once you get what’s needed for the beer you were intending to brew. If that beer is very strong the second running can be strong enough to make a beer with an ABV anywhere between 3% – 5% pretty easily. I find that we get about 2/3 of the total volume of the primary with the seconds. I know what you are thinking, “No one wants to drink a 3% beer in this market. Didn’t you read your first paragraph?” Yes, your average consumer wants bigger, badder and funkier but, I (and many beer vets I know) want to drink 3% and 4% beers! We are burned out on over hyped and pallet smashing whatever’s. This doesn’t mean we aren’t thirsty as the next guy! When I have a beer after a hot and exhausting brew shift, I drink that fist beer in about 30 seconds!


Speaking of hot and exhausting, let’s get back to the brewing marathon… our brewery is set up as a manual brewing beast. Every bag of grain is lifted multiple times on a brew day. When you brew a beer that has 1,000 pounds of grain you lift it at least 2 times not including taking it out of the mash tun. If you brew a double shift it turns into about 4,000 pounds of lifting, two hot-ass grain outs, 14–16 hours on your feet, a steamy sauna like kettle scrub, and ice cold beer at the finish line! Oh, and if you are doing it again the next day you have to mill all that grain so pick up every bag 2 more times! Two doubles back to back and you are lifting 8,000lbs!


To add insult to injury, when we brew Double IPA or Imperial Stout the amount of grain is the max we can use in the brewhouse and for double IPA you have to brew an extra batch to get the volume up. Not cool! That’s when I looked at the schedule and there it was, 30 barrels of Imperial Stout and 45 barrels of DIPA. Shit.

I got wise…. by brewing small a beer I could turn my 14 hour day into a 12 hour day, brew almost as much beer (Small beers have less volume) and only mash in once! Not to mention I get 2 different beers out of each mash!


Keep in mind this didn’t exactly make my work load lighter, it added 45 bbls to the production schedule and about 2 full shifts of labor. What it did was spread the heavy lifting out, add volume with no new grain or water, give me a chance to have some fun making beers other brewers pour down the drain (as do we most of the time) and use my equipment in ways I never get to use it. For me this is what it is all about! Creativity with the brewing process.

The first beer I made was Hop Dumpster. This is a 1400lbs grist monster of a brew day. The Small beer, which on the brew sheet is called “Small Dump”, is blond as can be, about 10bbls in volume was going to come in around 4.8% ABV! I decide it would be best to dry hop it to the beeeeeJesus with Mosaic and Simcoe! That would hold true to the fact that it came from a DIPA. For the final name… Hoppy Seconds. Ya, it’s crass, so what, we aren’t the first to use it. Also, that ties the name in with Hop Dumpster and the fact that it is in fact brewed from the second running, it’s perfect. So take your prissy, my turds smell like roses attitude and have a boring ass life with no sense of humor. (Thanks to Jordan Smith the originator of Hop Dumpster for being gross, and for me in allowing him to use company money to tap into his lowest self, XOXO). Boom, 3 days and 70 barrels later. I felt alive again.



Next beer(s). Black’s Dawn Imperial Oatmeal Stout with Coffee on Nitro. It’s a mouthful of a name and at 8.5% the same when you drink it! Love this beer. The grain bill isn’t quite as brutal as the Dumpster but still a significant deal more work that a 5%er. The second running was about 9bbls and the finished beer about 3.7% ABV. The color and aroma were the most interesting factor of this beer. Black’s is, well, black. The small beer was a dark brown, almost black but has an incredible clarity. The roasted notes on the nose are brilliant and very unique for a beer of this gravity and color. I know this will not be for everyone but I really love the complexity and depth. No point in adding anything to this puppy. Now what to call it…. No coffee, no nitro, and it’s not black… hmmmm… Side of Toast! Black’s is a coffee beer dedicated to early morning surfs at Black’s Beach in La Jolla, who does’t want a side of toast with their coffee?! 50 more barrels and done!


By the end of week three I was pretty fried, my last brew day was a Saturday if I remember correctly. I had another event that Sunday and then Scott called, “Dude, I have to come back to work. I’m going nuts”. Thank god I thought, and proceeded to sleep for three days.

I hope you enjoyed the story. Now come one down and enjoy the beers! We will be tapping them both this weekend at both tasting rooms.

Official Release: 10/15/2016 this Saturday at opening!


OOZEFEST is This Weekend!

I’ve been to a lot of boozefests. I’ve been to Ozzfest. I’ve been to a couple blues fests. I’ve even shot an Uzi at a dude’s chest, but I have never been to an OOZEFEST.


Treatery – Sweet and savory s’mores, toasted marshmallows with a variety of cheeses and herb/spiced grahams.

What is OOZEFEST? It’s a celebration of all things CHEESE. The kind of cheese that pulls into long strands, long enough to play the banjo on if you were in a cheese-inspired jug band. *CODE: ocbeerblog – Tickets can be purchased at:


Sgt Pepperoni’s – ‘Balls Deep’ mozzarella-stuffed meatball wrapped in dough and deep fried

OOZEFEST is like breaking into a creamery, where you can milk all the goats, sheep, and cows, steal all the squeaky curds, then laugh your cheese breath at a box of hungry kittens.


Messhall Canteen Truck – ‘War Pig Grilled Cheese’ BBQ pulled pork, bacon, fried mac and cheese patty stuffed with queso oaxaca, topped with napalm sauce, ranch, and bleu cheese on texas toast

Special OOZEFEST beer will be on hand from local breweries such as The Good Beer Company, Modern Times, Unsung Brewing, Four Sons, and more. You can buy an “all you can consume” VIP ticket, or buy as you go. Saturday has a slew of incredible eats, as does Sunday…seriously the hardest part about OOZEFEST is choosing which day to go, although Saturday has a smaller font, so I would choose that day. And use code OCBEERBLOG to knock $5 off.


The Cut – ‘Gaucho Slider’ Smoked Mozzarella, Cilantro Chimichurri and Roasted Banana.


Kebab – open-faced style gyro with cilantro ‘ooze’ (green cilantro with jalapeno house sauce)


Shuck Oyster Bar – Shrimp and beef Yakitori-style Meatballs stuffed with sharp cheddar and dressed in spicy cheese sauce

goodbeer george

Good Beer Company! Although I’m sure they’ll bring “La Cheese”



Missing My Articles? Check Out the BoozeBlog O.C.

IMG_9159For well over a year, I’ve been writing for OrangeCoast’s BoozeBlog. Beer posts go up on Tuesday, cocktail and spirits posts go up on Thursday. There’s also fantastic wine and food writing on the site! Go check it out!



Ten Reasons to Attend the CA Craft Beer Summit ’16 in Sacto

Last year, I hopped in my silly Scion and drove eight hours north to sweaty Sacramento. After three big gulps, ten rest stops, and two cups of spicy Frito-Lay bean dip, I checked into my $139 Residence Inn by Marriott, not expecting much.  My room was spacious and few steps away from the event in the heart of downtown. Surrounded by nightlife and eateries, reason #1 to go is easily the inexpensive beer travel. 


#1: Inexpensive beer travel is the best beer travel. Residence Inn Marriott for $139/night!

If you come in early for the educational sessions, the next thing you can expect is a Friday morning filled with fresh faces of the industry.

#2: David Walker and Natalie Cilurzo address the media with concerns about CA’s drought in the state of beer. These guys were everywhere during the event for questions, selfies, and hugs. 

Educational sessions where you actually learn things. Here’s a bunch:

Don Barkley

#3: This is Don Barkley. His Q&A taught me about CA Beer history. He made beer at New Albion, America’s first craft brewery since prohibition in the 70’s. He is now the brewmaster of Napa Smith and has a big bellowing voice, and told great stories.

Vinnie Cilurzo and Ken Grossman

#4: Vinnie Cilurzo and Ken Grossman. They spoke about inspiration from Don Barkley (above) and Jack McAuliffe of New Albion. 

Tony Magee

#5: Speaking of tap talks, Tony Magee of Lagunitas gave a great one just days after announcing the sale of 50% of his brand to Heineken.

Julian Shrago and Tony Magee

#6: If one wanted to get pointers on buying/selling breweries, one could simply go up and ask. Julian Shrago of Beachwood BBQ & Brewing was probably doing just that, as they recently took over Beach City Brewing in HB this summer.


#7: Hop sniffing at the expo. People walked away with hops on their noses like deranged hop heads. 


#8: The guilds pouring beer at the expo. LA, SD, SF…pretty much the best of the best! The expo was also like a mini-CBC with vendors of all sorts. 

#9: The Fest to close things out. 150 CA breweries pour on the State Capitol mall.75 on this side, 75 on that side. No huge lines!

#9: The Fest to close things out. 150 CA breweries pour on the State Capitol mall.75 on this side, 75 on that side. No huge lines!

Actual brewers and brewery owners poured their beer, which was rad to ask questions and snap photos!

#10: Actual brewers and brewery owners poured their beer, which was rad to ask questions and snap photos!

Sold? I hope so. I will be there with the Four Brewer’s show from Thursday-Sunday! Come support California beer and have a hell of a road trip!

Check out the site for full schedule, tickets, speakers, and travel info!


Anaheim’s Newest Fortress of Solitude: UNSUNG BREWING



Buzzman, in a slightly tapered becker glass during the soft opening.

January 2014 I wrote a blog on how Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait wanted to create “Brew City, USA”, a quick piece with fun facts like “San Diego has 70+ breweries.” Wow! Time has flown in just two years.

GNAG2725Shortly thereafter, a man named Michael Crea from Ohio was looking to start a brewery on the west coast. He saw the blog, then reached out to Anaheim for possible locations. Unfortunately, he quickly learned his dream name “Hero Brewing” wouldn’t be possible out here, and he had to re-design things from the ground up.

GNAG2724Fast forward two and half years, Unsung Brewing is now a thing…two short blocks from my house in the Anaheim Colony Historic District, in the heart of the city’s burgeoning foodie culture across from the Packing District.


Unsung’s branding is centered around a made-up comic book universe, where each beer is represented by a character, and even has a great side story. Beer styles are even being mutated; Buzzman, an American Mutant Ale, for example is a crushable lawnmower beer. Anthia, their dry and hoppy IPA, has been gushed about in other blog posts. The branding is incredible, the beer, even for a new brewery, is crushably clean, well rounded, and full of flavor.

Cheers to Mayor Tait on helping to bring in great small businesses like Unsung, as they create great spaces for the community to enjoy over a delicious beer!

GNAG2712Parking tip from a local: Set your GPS to 42nd Street, Anaheim 92805 and park across Broadway from Umami Burger.

Grand Opening is Friday, August 5! See you there! 

Address: 500 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim 92805

“You Just Got DoorDashed…With Beer!” (+promo code)

Surely I’m not the only beer geek that gets anxiety about what to bring to a party. Bring something old school and there’s a chance it’ll be a cooler-turd. Bring something too fancy? There’s a chance it will be handed off as a hostess gift and not cracked at all. This all changed when I saw Doordash now delivers beer.


One minute I’m using an app, 39 minutes later this arrives.

Now, I can show up empty handed, do some recon, then phone-ninja some sweet-sweaty goods, rip my shirt off, flick my hair back, then jump into a karate stance, yelling “you all just got Door Dashed by the Nagel!” Then I might crack a brewery-fresh hand-delivered growler and chug a few gulps, then pour some out on the lawn for my pep-pep, then pour some for your lady, because she probably can’t one-hand pour a growler. She’ll wink, and I’ll…OMG what? I was totally daydreaming there for a bit. Sorry about that.

But yeah, this Door Dash beer delivery thing is totally real, I just pinched myself, and yes, the app is still on my phone, I click on ‘alcohol’, chose one of four breweries in my local area, chose what you want to drink, agreed that I’m over 21, then paid. OMG whoops, I just ordered some beer!

My first order I was totally skeptical. I thought the beer is going to arrive warm, out of date, and just a tad bit spendy. But listen up, I spent about the same as I would with gas, time, and actual beer cost! Note that some breweries don’t charge for growler glass, which washes out the delivery fee. You also must tip, which adds a few bucks, but hell, I’d kick down a few bills to have someone show up poolside with 64oz of fresh local beer.

The delivery time said 51 minutes. My order: two growlers and a six pack from Bootlegger’s Brewery, a scant 2.5 miles away, on the Sunday before July 4. Thirty-nine minutes later, the doorbell rang. The dogs barked. and a smiley delivery dude was at the door wielding a box, full of sweaty brown glass. The six-pack date: 12 days old. The growlers, poured fresh and tags filled out by hand.

Color me impressed. Now I keep thinking of ways to save time by using Door Dash. Hit the gym and order beer on my way home? Sit in the jacuzzi and order more beer while I’m on my last? Doing it. Ordering brewery-fresh beer while eyeballing my grocery store’s abysmal selection? Yep.

For a limited time, use or the app and use promotional code “OCBEER” to take $7 off of orders $20 or more for a limited time. Get a burger, pizza, or even Indian food while you’re at it, when it arrives, be sure and pop in the karate stance and say, “you just got doordashed!” to your baby’s mama, or beer-bellied friends.

Sponsored post. Thanks Door Dash for including local beer in OC!  


Logical Menu Programming | FO Beer Dinner 2016

Tripping over my cat at 12:05 A.M. with two bags of glassware and four bottles of Fundamental Observation wasn’t the burglar-like entrance I had hoped, especially with a belly full of six courses of food and all the beers. The dogs came out to investigate the situation, one growling and kicking her back legs like a bull. The other, sniffs my leg and wags, obviously knowing what kind of shenanigans I had just endured. If this dog were human, she would be a foodie.


Cooking in an alley, alley, alley – Patrick Whittaker, our chef of the evening.

Three hours prior, we were ushered into the back brewery of Bottle Logic Brewing. Big ass fan blowing DDB’s man-musk out of the room from the first seating, I’m guided to my table, delighted to see who I’m sitting next to: chef Cody Storts, Brandon Buckner (of Bottle Logic), main squeeze Christina, and Sean and Jessica McNew. A rowdy table, no doubt. I can ask chef questions about the food, and hit Brandon up about the beers.

You, light up my life, you give me hope...

You, light up my life, you give me hope… Haze Flux Vermont Style DIPA

Having been to the Darkstar November beer dinner earlier this year, I knew what chef Patrick Whittaker and the Bottle Logic team were capable of. What’s truly impressive is a brewery that has skilled staff to pull this thing off. There’s a million ways a dinner like this could go awry, especially if not done with regularity. The first improvement is Bottle Logic borrowed a food truck to use as a kitchen instead of cooking in the cramped brewery.


Course one: Hamachi

My favorite moments of the night were many, but to name a few, the stone fruit salad paired with Berlinear Equation w/apricot & peaches was stellar. Refreshing on the warm night, the bready/stonefruity beer finishes clean and tart. The stonefruit vs. stonefruit beer seemed a bit obvious, but the real star of the show was a nip of basil that was like a ten-pin kicker when bowling a strike. Fantastic pairing.


Getting stoned on stonefruit and Berlinear Observation with apricot and peach

One lobster tail and beef cheek later, the buzz hits. Haze Flux, Bottle Logic’s hazy Vermont style IPA was bursting with mango and pineapple notes. It didn’t take me long to blend the Bourbon Barrel aged and plain Cobaltic Porter pours into a cuvee to soften the blow of what was to come: Three versions of Fundamental Observation…holy shit, you guys!


Fundamental Observation, sweating like me.

The first version, FO 2016 with Mostra Coffee gave the beer an ice cream-like smoothness. I pinched myself to stop myself from incessantly huffing the beer, like a man possessed. I saved the last half of the glass for my buddy Natalie DeNicholas, who helped the chef team prep and plate the dinner. She blew me a kiss. This beer is what makes me fall in love with beer all over again. Putting lipstick on a whale. Still a whale, but more attractive, for sure.


Hospitality (and grammar) maestro, Lindsay Langton, w/ Patrick

Vanilla-vanilla Fundamental Observation is as good as 2015, albeit slightly different. It’s not as sweet, seems a tad lighter in body, and is backed with a poof of heat. The vanilla is way more punchy in the profile, which may fade with age. It’s a world class beer, I think the changes are more to my liking.


Back alley Fundamental Observation purchases at 11:42 P.M.

Lastly, Fundamental Forces, a straight up vanilla booze jam and cheese plate closes out the night. “We keep feeding the yeast with more and more sugar until it gives up,” says Dylan Mobley, their brewer. Is it like 20% ABV? I’d like to try this beer on its own, not after the bellygasm that just took place.

My only complaint of the evening was the heat. Drinking big beers and multiple courses requires a certain temperature as to not get a sheen of glistening meat sweats. All in all, a hell of a lot of fun, and damn if I don’t feel like a 1%’er getting a seat. Keep up the fun, awesome releases like you do, Bottle Logic!

More pics:


Lobster and Brexity pea vichyssoise (pronounced vishy swaz), whose kumquat paired well with the hazy DIPA.


“HHHMMMBEEF…CHEEEKS!” Is what I yelled with this landed in front of me. Paired with all the Cobaltic Porters. So meaty, Bottle Logic. So meaty.


The richest thing I’ve ever eaten. Inside the See’s candy looking chocolate puck is foie gras, which made me sweat with the Mostra Coffee FO. Super rich. YOOJ richness. Also I love me some chantilly cream and fucking Rainier cherries.


“this is a fundamental beer dinner!” “you hit it right on the nose, bob!”


Chef Cody Storts of Grits Fullerton and Chef Craig Brady of Haven Gastropub, both here to check out the dinner.


my tablemates





7.4 Things To Order At PUBlic 74

Highway 74, aka “Ortega Highway” is a squiggly road that looks somewhat like Charlie Brown’s shirt stripe. At either end of the scenic, twisty road lies PUBlic 74; one in San Juan Capistrano, one in Murrieta and yet another in Temecula. O.C.’s locale sits atop tiled stairs, a bit to the side, and a creep around back, just a light or two from the 5 freeway.

GNAG1645As we’re seated, I scan the twenty taps set out front and center, ready to be knocked down like bowling pins. Like a dazed robot, I glance at the lone TV; playoff hockey… the Sharks firmly chomping the Blues with a 4-0 shutout. I must be hungry, because the score makes me crave St. Louis ribs.

The beer menu is accurate, priced mostly at $4 for a 9 oz snifter, or $8 for an imperial pint. Draft beer is pulled 30 feet, lines and glassware notably clean. I opt for a Union Jack first, a beer I deemed as “a textbook IPA” on a recent podcast blind IPA showdown, and note its freshness, then dive into some food like a shark possessed.


GNAG1615Starter: Callin Flower (left): Grilled roasted Cauliflower with spicy chimichurri and a serious dose of Pecorino Romano cheese. I asked chef Gerry (who looks somewhat like Sammy Hagar), “Is colly the new Brussels?” he replies, “actually it’s broccoli.” Great start and IPA pairs well with the layered cheesy lemon squeezy.

2) Fun fact: I like goats. If you do too, The Now Infamous Goat Toast is worth a stop alone. The bread crunch sounds somewhat like walking through freshly-fallen snow, only the snow is herbed goat cheese, and those aren’t uninflated red beach balls, those are in fact the sweetest, ripest, juiciest roasted tomatoes next to a leaf pile drizzled in motor oil. Oh, it’s not? It’s balsamic reduction on top of arugula? You are so right. I just verbally played with my food.I like to verb my nouns from time to time.

3) Macc’n Frenchy (below) may sound like something I did in Europe atop the Eiffel Tower, but rest assured, it’s a French Onion Soup inspired Mac & Cheese, and it’s DANK, smokey, herbaceous, and holy hell I want to mac on a Frenchy now.



4) Let’s talk about the Kobe Goes Animal Burger for a minute. It actually doesn’t look like much, but I will make a bold statement and say this my new favorite burger. The flavors burst in waves, everything down to the sturdy bun, ripe tomato, beef that melts like buttuh and is seasoned ever so perfectly with salt and spread. Protip: don’t quarter this burger, halfsies will do. Fries? Oh yeah, the fries were also good. Splittable, for sure.


5) What you Smokin Reuben? “Nothin, just some hickory roasted corn beef piled on rye, Emmenthaler Swiss and krunchy kraut.” Okay. This was my panty dropper. If I had panties, they would be on the ground. A bit on the salty side, so make sure and have a sturdy beer to back things up. Barley Forge IPA was my copilot.


Like this photo on Instagram, okay? It needs more love. Click it! 

6) Despite much table controversy, the Grandson Meatloaf doesn’t contain any children. It’s basically poutine minus the curds. The fries hiding underneath the hefty slab of durok pork & chicken are the real treat. Kind of like the time I saw a dollar bill stuck to a stripper’s butt after she walked off stage. Yeah, sort of like that. Gravy soaked fries are just like that.


7) Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding, that is served hot, steamy and scrumtrulescent. Pair it with a stout, or Hefeweizen!

GNAG1653Here’s a tap takeover you should check out for American Craft Beer Week! GNAG1644

Here’s some decor shots.






If you see this guy, say Hi! He runs the place.


Sabroso: It’s all Pork & Stout, Baby!

by Errica Lane 5/4/2016, photos John Holzer @fourbrewers

This was my first time at Sabroso and I can sum up my experience in two words: Pork & Stout.  


It seemed like big beers and pork tacos were on everyone’s agenda at Lakeview Park in Silverado last Saturday.  Fortunately the weather was mild, which paired well with the big booziness that wrestled our palates throughout the day. 

26761717005_ffcbba5b48_kMy two favorite stouts of the day were Leche Borracho from Bottle Logic and Luchador en Fuego from Clown Shoes.  Both had the mole spicy feels, with Clown Shoes aging their beer in bourbon barrels and Bottle logic giving it a little twist by aging in bourbon AND tequila barrels.  That Leche Borracho is dangerously delicious.

One other beer that really stood out to was the Cru’sin Corozon  from TAPS.  They described it as “West-Coast Grand Cru infused with prickly pear, passion fruit, blood orange, and pomegranate,” which was fantastic!  The fruits played so well with the Belgian yeast that I could have drank it all day.  But I didn’t.  I had tacos (and street corn) to eat.


26668311712_e87453d7dd_kAlmost every food vendor had at least one sizzling pork taco on the menu.  One fave was the pork belly bahn mi taco from Devilicious.  For tres dolores I got a soft corn tortilla with a generous amount of crispy, juicy pork belly cubes and a sesame slaw. After that, my crew went in search of more tasty morsels.

Sadly, but the time we made it over to Haven, they had already run out of tacos.  I guess that’s what we get for getting distracted by beer at a taco festival.  I heard the soy marinated steak tacos were killer.  We quickly turned around and tried to get tacos from Kroft, but they had run out of buns.  They did offer up a double-meat deal for $3; instead of choosing between a pork belly taco or a fried spam, we got a paper boat with a slab of each meat.  The fried spam was the winner for me; breaded and deep fried, then drizzled with a sweet sauce and seaweed.  Totally odd combo that was pretty great.


The highlight of the day, food wise, wasn’t a taco.  It was the Mexican street corn from The Lime truck.  Cobs of sweet corn were flash fried then smothered in sriracha mayo and cheese.  Thankfully that’s a regular offering from them, because there needs to be more of that in all our lives.


In between each brewery booth of food truck we spent some time enjoying the bands on stage and roaming mariachis.  The only bummer is that by spending most of my time in the front area of the festival, I missed the wrestling.  But I saw that there were plenty of lounge chairs spread out for folks to sit and enjoy the show.  Overall it was a great day and a well run festival.

Viva Sabroso!

follow Errica on Instagram!