Occupy The Bruery | We are the 99% that can’t get Black Tuesday

I hope they have a sense of humor at the Bruery :)Surely everyone has read about the Wall Street crash of 1929. Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, saw a $30 Billion prolapse on the New York Stock Exchange. People lost life savings, houses and businesses. With prohibition also a factor of the time, poor bastards didn’t even have a delicious Bourbon Barrel aged Imperial Stout to fall back on. I’m sure they were pissed!

Fast forward to today, people still feel the economy’s giant boot pressed firmly on their necks…losing life savings and homes all at the hands of the top 1% that control banks and corporations. At least we have delicious craft beer to sip and reminisce about the good old days before the world was a fanny pack filled with hot steamy Liger turds on a toboggan going off a cliff only to land in a penguin exhibit. Have you smelled a penguin exhibit? Good lord! So stinky!

Every year around September, the buzz about The Bruery’s Black Tuesday begins. The Bruery Reserve Society emails are broadcast to every major beer news outlet, blog, and beer related forum. People want that beer! Imperial Stouts (or RIS) are one of my favorite styles of beer; yet I’ve never tried Black Tuesday. I wouldn’t mind a glass to enjoy next to a crackling fireplace, snuggled up with my gam-endowed wife while smooth jazz plays on a vintage 1979 RCA HiFi. What makes Black Tuesday so hyped? Is it better than other Imperial Stouts? What’s the story behind it?

Strip Chess with my old lady! BOW CHICA WOW WOW!

Through my formidable detective work (youtube) I learned how Black Tuesday was born at the Bruery. Head ‘Bruer’ Tyler King was at the Yard House hammered drunk sloshing a half-yard of Racer 5 (allegedly). He was thinking of a recipe to deplete all the half-bags of malt lying around. He came up with a “kitchen sink” Imperial Stout that would do the job. During the 16 hour brue day for the beer, a mash paddle was accidentally left in the tun and got stuck in a valve. There was hot mash spewing everywhere! “Patrick was burned on the arms…it was bad” says Tyler. They aged the beer in bourbon barrels and the rest is history. The name derives from the color of the beer and the historic connotations of the historic stock market crash eighty years prior. I’m not sure if the price is a throwback to the $30 Billion lost back in 1929, as bottles are $30. It is also released on the last Tuesday of October, giving a nod to the wall street crash date.

Purchasing a bottle of black Tuesday is similar to traders in 1929 trying to sell off their worthless shares on the NY Stock Exchange floor. Black Tuesday morning at 10AM, the Bruery website sale opens; freezes, and every last drop is gone-baby-gone! If you happen to be a big Bruery fan, you can also join The Bruery Reserve Society; which gives you priority to purchase three bottles. The release party is Black Tuesday evening on 10/25 hosted in two sessions. The party sold out in five minutes! Feel free to drop by with your protest sign “I AM THE 99%”!

1st Anaheim Brewery Oktoberfest and Chicken Dance

Every now and then the puzzle pieces of life seem to fit perfectly. When I saw the flyer for Anaheim Brewery’s Oktoberfest it was simply too perfect to pass up. For starters, it is stumbling distance from my house! I was also pretty jazzed that the proceeds of the event go towards the Anaheim Historical Society. As a previous member of AHS, events like this make me want to re-join! When I say jazzed, I was literally doing jazz hands like the West Side Story or something.

Digging into historic Anaheim and its beer culture I found something interesting. If you’ve ever been to Stone Brewery and World Bistro in Escondido, you’ll know what I’m talking about. An early proprietor of Anaheim Brewery in 1888 purchased 10 acres of land on Broadway in West Anaheim. On the west side of the brewery, there was a park, with trees, tables and benches, and a central pavilion. They named the park Tivoli Gardens and later changed it to Columbia Gardens. You could buy beer at the brewery and chill in the park with a picnic. I’m pretty sure people did some fun stuff in the bushes, thinking back to one of my blood relatives from the late 1800’s you’ll see why.

You just got eye fucked by my old relative, George Hanson.  Cool hair bro.

That’s all fine and good, how the hell was the Oktoberfest? Short answer? Good! Long answer, sit down on uncle Beer Blog’s lap and let me tell you a story.

The weather was perfect; Sunny and 75 outside. I spotted a big white puffy cloud that looked like two wiener dogs making sweet love on a sailboat with a pirate flag. I chuckled at precisely the same moment Devon Reeves of the Downtown Anaheim Association walked by. Great! Now she’s thinks I’m batshit insane. Wait! She might read this. Yipes. Clearly I have no idea how to delete words that I’ve typed. Fuck! She’s pretty cute with her lush head of red hair. MMM, red hair. Damnit! Back on topic!

Bradley Daniels of Peace Brewing and lovely wife Daira playing the tap handles!

Center Street Promenade is host to many events and is the perfect spot to host the Fest. Historically, this location is where saloons and breweries were located in Anaheim! Upon spotting the tent, I pitched my own. The blue and white striped tent housed a stage with a HUGE 17 person lederhosen clad band and twenty or so tables to drink at. The band smelled like a BenGay truck slammed into a suede leather factory! There were some serious old dudes on the horns taking oom-pah-pah to the next level. I wish there was a German Oktoberfest Rock Band video game!. Think of the possibilities…Lederhosen and Dirndl’s included! It would be fun for ze whole fam!

Outside the tent were several food vendors serving up tacos, brats, ice cream, etc. I was impressed with a live blacksmith on site. I commented that some of his wares look like medieval sex toys and torture devices in which the blacksmith said, “what?”. Nothing dude. Nice stuff.

Filled with yummy oktobery goodness

Two taps gushed Anaheim Brewery’s delicious fest bier. I filled my German made stoneware Anaheim Brewery stein with the stuff and quickly gulped it down. My only complaint about drinking from a ceramic stein is I can’t see my beer. I like to eyeball it and mumble “say hi to my urinary tract” before taking a sip…don’t judge! The beer has a bready aroma with some fruity esters and is easy drinking. The recipe is a modernized version of a 100 year old Oktoberfest recipe found in the basement of Paulaner brewery in Munich, Germany. I wonder if Pee-Wee’s bike was in there as well.

Barbara and Greg of Anaheim Brewery learning the proper polka!

Anaheim Mayor, Tom Tait tapped the ceremonial Keg as the band played Ein Prosit. Gemütlichkeit was had! I sucked down half of an overdone bratwurst and a couple beers while watching a polka instructor show the locals how to dance.

I certainly look forward to this being a yearly event. Stop into Anaheim Brewery for a pint or growler fill of the Oktoberfest beer before it’s gone! Check their site or facebook for details.

The Good:

  • Barbara and Greg in Dirndl and lederhosen!
  • The polka dance instructor was awesome.
  • The beer!
  • Small town neighborly atmosphere
  • Stein is super high quality and well done.
  • Price was spot on if you stayed a while.
  • Always fun to see the mayor tap a keg!

The Minor Gripes:

  • 17 person band was way too much sound and space. It was hard to have a conversation.
  • Smoke from a nearby food vendor was overbearing the tent. I smelled like was at a campfire when I got home.
  • Flyer had misinformation: 21 and over, yet there were kids. It also said $25 for the stein, but it was $15…sometimes typos are good!
  • Games at Oktoberfest are always fun; Beer drinking contest, Brat eating contest, etc. I had to leave early and I’m not sure if they did games; but that would be great for next time!

Youtube video from friends at Squeeze My Orange:

OC Beer Week | Chapter One: The Modern Local

Foraging around Orange County for unique food and craft beer is becoming easier thanks to modern technology. I still find word of mouth is best to find the true gems. Yelp? Yeah, it’s handy to find places, but the reviews are written by self-proclaimed foodies that rate everything either a 1 or 4 and rely heavily on adjectives like “awesome” or “yummy”.

Thanks to word of mouth from friend and food writer Richard Manning; he suggested we try Chapter One: the Modern Local in the Artists Village of Santa Ana. What once was a culture rich beautiful Hispanic area of Orange County is fast becoming a hipster enclave with some decent art and restaurants scattered about. Monument-like historic buildings anchor eateries such as Memphis (contemporary Southern cuisine), Proof Bar, and Lola Gaspar (Tapas). Nearby sits the Gypsy Den (cafe), Original Mikes (trad American, Creole) and The Crosby (lounge). Chapter One is nestled nicely in this mix. Don’t let the hipsters scare you off, there’s some really good food to be had at all of those places!

My draw to this place was knowing Jeff Hall from Haven Gatropub in Orange was part owner. That alone makes it a worthy spot! Aside from the crafted “culinary” cocktails, interesting appetizers, and a diverse menu with gourmet comfort food, the beer menu is flocked from Beer Advocate’s Alström brother “A” ratings. Nothing wrong with that! I foolishly started the night with an Avery Dugana, an American Double IPA, and prayed it wouldn’t wreck my pallet as a DIPA can do.

We stopped in on “Tentacle Tuesday”, which sadly had no reference to Hentai Tentacle Porn. After seeing my blonde waitress’ widely opened low cut blouse, hooo boy, my dirty mind went there in a bad way. The special was Octopus or Squid Tacos paired with whatever Pilsner is on tap. Funny story from my inaugural visit a few months back: On the menu was a small pasta dish with squid ink: “What can I get for you?” asked our Waitress. For some reason I involuntarily gestured the milking of a squid by pinching my fingers in a downward motion, “I’ll have the pasta with Squid Ink” (ala Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents). “Did you just gesture the milking of a Squid? BAHAHA!!!”. I watched our waitress echo the story to the kitchen staff and they all burst into applause. Well done, Greg. Oh yes, that’s how I roll.

As the evening rolled on, my 8.5% ABV Dugana began to buzz as the pre-storm weather turned ominous outside. A litter of lawyers deliberate at a table nearby from the Santa Ana courthouse. Two artists top a nearby parking garage painting the eclectic Santa Ana landscape as the sun peaks under the clouds.

I order from the OC Beer Week menu which consists of several tapas and beer pairings. I grab the Stuft Squid (stuffed with Kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, and mushrooms, breaded and served with a tomato coulis dipping sauce. The beer pairing was Maudite Unibroue Belgium Strong out of Quebec Canada. I’ve never had a Canadian craft beer, and beer geeks probably know that this beer scores an A+ from the Alström bros at Beer Advocate. The beer is soft on the pallet like a rose petal; very subtle hints of spice and clove. The Stuft Squid is also mild and the beer attenuates the flavors ever so slightly without changing directions. The beautiful thing was how delicate and un-salted it was. The Kalamata Olives fill that role nicely. $10 for the pairing and worth every penny.

Maudite, Such a lovely and delicate beer! It’s on tap at Chapter One!

Speaking of beautiful rose petals, my lovely wife ordered the Mini Mac with La Fin Du Monde Belgium Tripel also from Unibroue of Quebec (another A+ from BA!). I dare you to say this out loud without salivating: Bacon Panko Crusted Mac and Cheese. <DROOL!> The beer had more of a lively carbonation than mine which is great for cutting richness in a dish. She, of course, loved it and enjoyed the pairing.

La Fin Du Monde was bottle poured properly with yeast left on the bottom. Mine was keg draught.

I heard Chapter One wasn’t kid-friendly, which I totally get, but our experience was great with our girl! They served her a lidded and watered down lemonade in a plastic cup (per request). She also ordered the $5 mini-mac and enjoyed some duck fat fries. She was incredibly close to ordering Escargot as I explained that’s what Madeline (French themed kid’s show) would eat; in two straight lines no less.

  • OC Beer Week menu runs through 10/8.
  • Parking is easily done across the street in the parking garage; $1/hr. Avoid the meters as SA tediously tickets tardiness.
  • Also check out the area on the first Saturday of every month for the Artist Village open house. Click for details.


GABF 2011 | The Year OC Kicks SD and LA’s Proverbial Ass

The Great American Beer Festival in Denver is the Grand Daddy of American Festivals. Heck, it even beats out Womyn’s Festival or even the Garlic Festival up in Gilroy! Lillith Faire on the other hand, might have edged it out if it didn’t die. I’m pouring out some of my 40 for my homegirls Sara McLachlan and KD Lang for that one. I’m kidding of course. This site breaks down a top ten of all Beer Festivals, and puts GABF at the top.

Birks? Check. Patchouli? Check. Balls? Not so much. RIP Lillith Faire, We will never forget you.

Great American Beer Festival, Denver Colorado
The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) is a three-day annual event hosted by the Brewers Association held at the end of September or the beginning of October in Denver, Colorado. The GABF brings visitors from around the world to sample more than 1,600 different American beers. Over 100 beer judges from the United States and abroad participate in the evaluations of one or more beer styles, ultimately judging 2,300 beers entered by more than 450 domestic breweries. Gold, silver and bronze medals in 69 beer-style categories are awarded, though not every medal is awarded in each category. 

Most Orange County Brewers represented in Denver this past weekend. Sitting in my comfy living room in Anaheim, I was relegated to watching twitter feeds and youtube videos. Thankfully I added OCBrewerswife to my twitter feed as she instantly made things more entertaining.

I apologize for those who saw my chonies along 14th street. Denver is friggen windy right now. Dresses & wind don’t mix – OCBrewerswife

The Silent Disco was pretty funny as well! I wonder what song was playing in these videos:

Oh! The competition! Orange County brewers won some stuff! I was happy to see OC kicked SD’s ass with only Port Brewing and Alesmith winning awards. Do yourself a favor and check out these awesome brews and brewpubs!

Category: 23 Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer – 75 Entries
Silver: The Wanderer, The Bruery, Placentia, CA

Category: 64 German-Style Sour Ale – 13 Entries
Silver: Hottenroth Berliner Weisse, The Bruery, Placentia, CA

Category: 82 Old Ale or Strong Ale – 35 Entries
Gold: Papier, The Bruery, Placentia, CA

Brewpub Group and Brewpub Group Brewer of the Year
TAPS Fish House & Brewery, Brea, CA
Victor Novak

Category: 39 German-Style Schwarzbier – 26 Entries
Gold: TAPS Schwarzbier, TAPS Fish House & Brewery (Corona, CA), Brea, CA

Category: 63 German-Style Altbier – 30 Entries
Silver: TAPS Alt, TAPS Fish House & Brewery (Brea, CA), Brea, CA

Category: 69 Belgian- and French-Style Ale – 56 Entries
Silver: TAPS Biere de Garde, TAPS Fish House & Brewery (Corona, CA), Brea, CA

Category: 74 Robust Porter – 62 Entries
Bronze: Pier Rat Porter, Pizza Port San Clemente, San Clemente, CA