As the Brewery World Turns

OC Brewer Moves Bring Questions

astheworldturnsSurely you’ve seen recent news of brewers moving around to different breweries. While this drama is fascinating, the role of OCBeerBlog isn’t to report on this as news. While I do find it newsworthy on some level, sites like The Full Pint do a fantastic job getting scoops and reporting accurate stories within a few hours. My time is much more wisely spent sharing their stories via social media.

OCBeerBlog will only chime in if the personnel changes have an impact on beer quality. For instance, when brewer Evan Price moved from TAPS to Noble Ale Works. He left behind a talented bunch: Victor Novak, Dave Hulls and Kyle Manns. Noble’s beer quality improved greatly with the change and TAPS continued to win medals at GABF and WBC from 2012-13.

photo - @jessicajrice

Kyle Manns photo – @jessicajrice

Where the story gets interesting: The rest of the tenured brewing team left TAPS throughout 2014. Kyle Manns to Bottle Logic, Dave Hulls to Barley Forge and Victor Novak to Golden Road; leaving a skeleton crew of two assistant brewers to keep TAPS’ taps flowing.

Following Victor’s departure up to L.A., Dave Hulls hopped back to TAPS having never brewed a batch of beer on the system he helped forge in the new Costa Mesa brewery. Kyle Manns, who also helped Bottle Logic build the brewery and win gold at GABF, moved back to TAPS.


Dave Hulls and Victor Novak at GABF 2013 with medals for Helles and Schwarzbier.

Certainly the moves bring up many questions. While we all assume Kyle and Dave left TAPS to pursue independent careers following Evan’s success with Noble, the move back is more than baffling. Did Joe Manzella give the brewers carte blanche to brew the beers they want to make with a fat raise? Will they still craft classic lagers and Remy? Does Bottle Logic have too many cooks in the kitchen? Will Golden Road nail some GABF medals with Victors tried and true lager techniques?

I guess the point I’m trying to make is brewer moves are indeed fun gossip, but at the end of the day, it’s all about what’s in the glass that matters. Although Bottle Logic has big brew-boots to fill, I’d be shocked to see their quality dip. As for TAPS, keep an eye out for new styles. Golden Road? I hear their Schwarzbier is delish.

this is a whole different story

This is a whole different story.

2014 Anaheim State of the City Address: Mayor Focused on Craft Beer Growth

At Noble Ale Works’ 1st anniversary party a couple years ago, Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait asked me, “How do we grow craft beer in Anaheim?” I was taken aback. Normally, people have to lobby local politics to get involved in clearing a path for small artisan alcohol producers in this day of fat-walleted, misinformed NIMBY’s.

Craft beer has been a spark of positive change in many cities across the nation and Mayor Tait is no slouch for pushing this tasty agenda. Not only does good beer bring people together, the economic impact of a new brewery, especially in a tourist town, is huge.

The Brewers Association reports the economic impact of craft brewers in America hit 34 Billion in 2012, with California leading the pack at 4.7 Billion. San Diego obviously leads the growth at 70+ breweries; Anaheim will lead OC with almost 9% of San Diego County’s number of breweries by the end of 2014, however San Diego far outweighs production with many large regional craft brewers.

Mayor Tait and city advisors have been active getting Orange County to utilize the State’s health inspection codes instead of OCHCA’s stringent regulations that treat breweries like restaurants; making it quicker to get doors open.

Among the many beer festivals in Orange County, Anaheim will be home to three revolving fests including the OC Fest of Ales put on by Downtown Anaheim Assocication, The OC Brew Ho Ho Holiday fest and now Firkfest – A cask ale festival put on by OCBeerBlog. The city aims to attract the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) or have a GABF scale event at Anaheim Convention Center sometime in the future. The ACC is the largest convention hall on the west coast.

Full text of Mayor Tom Tait’s “State of the Beer” portion of his city address. (1/28/2014)


A fun example of how Anaheim is showcasing its business-friendly attitude involves one of my favorite topics: craft beer.

Anaheim’s German heritage means that we’ve actually been brewing beer here since city was founded. And in the last several years, the craft and microbrewery industry has seen tremendous growth. Anaheim will soon have more craft and micro-breweries than any other city in Orange County.

The city has been working on making it easier for these artisan beer makers to practice their craft in our town.

As a beer enthusiast, I’m really excited about the attraction of micro and craft brewers to our city. We have all of the elements that these entrepreneurs need—space, great water, a super-friendly regulatory climate, and Southern California’s tremendous population of thirsty residents and visitors.

This budding industry has great potential for our town. Think what the wine industry has done for places like the Napa Valley or Paso Robles over the years. And we’ve seen what the brew industry has done for the city of Portland. It has brought that city new jobs, lots of tourists and events, not to mention bringing the community together.

That’s why we’re branding Anaheim as the Southland’s BrewCity. In Southern California, when you think about craft beer and all that goes along with that scene, you’re going to think about Anaheim.

Moving beyond craft beer, I think Anaheim’s future can be summed up with what’s happening in the center of our city: it’s cool, diverse and authentic. It’s the type of place that young entrepreneurs are drawn to.


Provisions Marketplace is OPEN – Blogger Doesn’t Hang Himself

P1050559This post originally appeared on the website  West Coaster, a new Southern California beer magazine.

Never fully healed from The Bruery Provisions closing this past January, I had all but given up hope of a worthy suitor taking over the quaint spot in historic Old Towne Orange. Still stuck somewhere in the seven stages of grief, losing one’s favorite local craft beer and cheese shop is a tough wound to heal.

Then, a miracle happened. “Provisions Market” read the sign out front. I dropped to one knee and held a nearby bench to collect myself. I re-read the sign in disbelief, “It’s here!” I yelled at a confused old couple nearby. To celebrate, I scored some coconut gelato from a nearby cafe and went home to cut the rope hanging in my garage. The Haven Collective is here to save us!

P1050574 P1050567

P1050566What makes Provisions Market unique is the space. It’s one part bottle shop, one part tasting room and one part chef-driven food shop. Provisions is basically an artisanal 7-11. The best part about Haven moving in is their track record of providing high quality food and 100% craft beer at all of their locations in LA and OC. Partners Wil Dee (beverage manager), Ace Patel and Chef Greg Daniels look to add to the community by offering draft beer, bottles, cheese, charcuterie, snacks and sandwiches – all within a relaxed communal vibe. They also partnered with Portola Coffee Labs, which will open its second location within the market.

Bruery Provisions’ soul still haunts the new Provision Market, but in a friendly ghost sort of way. Thirty taps are locked and loaded, shined bright and ready for war. “We have room for ten more” says Wil Dee like he’s calling in an air strike over the lively tasting room. The space is freshly furnished with new seating in the shop area.  Bottles sit off to the sides like shy wallflowers waiting for a dance. I tip a pint of Trumer Pils, inhale deep and take in the evening, reminiscing about all the memories and friendships forged in this room over the years. TV’s are now a thing, although hung inconspicuously (volume off) allowing people to keep the conversation going without digging for a phone to check the latest scores. “The idea is, we will turn up the volume for huge events like the SuperBowl or other big games” says Wil.


The first guests arrive at the first Family & Friends soft opening.

Beverage Mgr. Wil Dee preps for the Family & Friends soft opening

Beverage Mgr. Wil Dee preps for the Family & Friends soft opening

The Haven Collective got its start in 2009, a short five minute walk from the new Provisions Market. When creating Haven Gastropub four years ago, Chef Daniels stressed, “We just wanted to make a pub, then realized the potential of the space.” Before Haven settled on the Gastropub spot, Chef Greg confesses “we were originally in a bidding war with Patrick Rue for the equipment (from the previous tennant Frogs Breath Cheese Shop), had we known it was him, we would have bowed out.”

Burrata, Olio Nuovo EVOO, Saba vinegar and edible flowers. Prettiest thing I've ever eaten.

Burrata, Olio Nuovo EVOO, Saba vinegar and edible flowers. Prettiest thing I’ve ever eaten.

Now capping off both sides of the historic Orange circle, the area is once again a Socal craft beer destination. Several craft beer friendly restaurants dot the old-town historic tree-lined street surrounded by a dozen antique malls and other fun shops. “The beer scene in Orange was bleak before we moved in. I would sit outside smoking a cigarette while we were building Haven and wonder if people would come.” says Greg. The area is now ripe for a proper beer crawl.

The patio at night.

The cozy patio at night.

The Haven Collective now owns four all-craft beer locations in OC and LA; The original location of Haven Gastropub in Orange (12 taps, bottles, cocktails and wine), Haven Gastropub +Brewery in Pasadena (40 taps + brewpub and bar), Taco Asylum in Costa Mesa (4 taps + craft cans and aguas frescas) and the latest Provisions Market (30 taps and bottle shop).


From the press release: Orange, CA (June 2013) – After much anticipation, haven collective’s new bottle shop and specialty market, Provisions Market, will open its doors in Old Towne Orange at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 5th (143 N. Glassell Street, Orange). Sidecar Doughnuts has partnered with Provisions to have their signature doughnuts sold on site, and the first two dozen customers on Opening Day will receive a complimentary doughnut!

This post was originally posted on West Coaster Socal!

Provisions Market on Urbanspoon

2014 Russian River Pliny the Younger Releases (OC)


Russian River Brewing’s Pliny the Younger release dates in Orange County! Read my review of last years release! Cheers!!


Orange County

From Russian River Brewing’s Website:


We will begin distributing Pliny the Younger on draft the week of February 10th in and around Sonoma County and the Bay Area. Stone will likely pick up their shipment for Southern California that week or the following week. We will be sending kegs to our distributors in San Jose, Sacramento, Oregon, Colorado, and Philadelphia sometime in February, ship dates TBD. At this time, we do not know what accounts will receive kegs of Younger, but it will likely be available at many of the same accounts who received it last year since the production numbers are very similar. It is our recommendation that our accounts tap it as soon as possible after receiving their delivery to preserve the freshness and integrity of the beer. This beer is not meant to age AT ALL! Pliny the Younger is very much like the fresh catch of the day and best enjoyed right away!

The Price is Right – Noble Ale Works Turns Two

Early 2011, I stopped in Noble Ale Works before the Super Bowl. With my foam cheese-head hat stinking up my car, I grabbed a growler of their IPA for a party. Bag of chips and pint of Noble IPA on my lap, I proceeded to watch Christina Aguilera fuck up the lyrics to the national anthem. I promptly dusted the growler then probably grilled some meat and pee’d on a tree (you know, manly things) before passing out in a quiet corner…all before halftime.

"What so proudly we watched at the twilight's last gleaming." WTF? At least her elfin nipple didn’t pop out.

“What so proudly we watched at the twilight’s last gleaming.” WTF? At least her elfin nipple didn’t pop out.

I watched Noble grow. Eleven months later, their in-house brewery was mostly operational. Their lineup of a few bold hoppy beers and a Russian Imperial Stout were good, but recipes were all over the place. I had my doubts after their 1st anniversary regarding quality; getting an IPA that was undrinkably sweet. I showed a sample of my settled hydrometer reading (1.038) to their brewer at the time and he said, “We’re trying out a new yeast”. I was expecting an “Oh shit, let me fix that for you”. To those that don’t brew, 1.038 is an unfinished beer. Either the yeast crapped out or it was cold-crashed to serve faster. Everyone has a bad beer from time to time, the point is to fix it and move on.


Bill Sobieski (Hoparazzi, David Larsen (Cismontane) and Evan Price at Anaheim’s OC Fest of Ales

On April 11th, 2012, Owner Jerry Kolbly dropped a bomb on my lap: “We’re letting our brewer go and we’re trying to hire Evan Price from TAPS”. Talk about fixing an issue! Knowing the quality TAPS Fish House & Brewery kicks out, Noble Ale Works was back on the map.


“You get the Nobel Beer Prize for excellent beer” – guy on left

Want to make me go to rehab, but I said No, No, Noble.

Want to make me go to rehab, but I said No, No, Noble. (RIP Amy Winehouse)

It didn’t take long for Evan to learn the new brewhouse and tinker with IPA recipes. His first batch of Nobility DIPA (I think its fourth incarnation) I sampled was a hop-bomb at its finest. Pungent Citra on the nose with a crisp dry malt backbone. It seemed like new beers were coming out ever week. ESB, a new Pale Ale, the true “Evan’s Lager” (collaboration with Cismontane’s Evan Weinberg), and a bright hoppy Pilsner were proof enough Evan Price is a hell of a brewer. He gave names to his beers that are quirky and unique (see flyer below). Inventive beers like Naughty Sauce confused the hell out me…a blonde stout? Who the hell brews that stuff? It’s good too! One thing is for sure, I don’t miss the old recipes, well, Dark Sybian will always hold a special place in my heart.

As Noble Ale Works turns two, I can honestly say they’re one of my favorite breweries. Not just in OC or SoCal, I friggen love what they have going on. With a solid lineup of tasty beers, inventive one-off batches, cask beers every Friday, and the fact they flush growlers with CO2 before a fill, I’m sure they’ll be a favorite for some time to come. Join the celebration on Jan 26 from Noon to 4! Check their site for details! I’ll see you there!


7 Stages of Grief – Bruery Provisions Closes

Blankly staring at my twitter feed, it popped up. “Bruery Provisions is closing”. My early morning pre-coffee brain repeated the phrase several times as if it were abstract poetry.  Provisions for me is why I’m typing this shit right now. I’ve always loved beer, but when I stumbled in Provisions for the first time, I knew beer was finally winning. A flight of beers and wedge of cheese is all it took for me to register this site. Hearing the news, I sat in shock and clicked the link. Then it hit me, I’m on stage one of the seven stages of grief.
My second visit years ago. Two flights and some notebook paper for notes.

My second visit years ago. Two flights and a paper scrap for notes.

Stage 1: Shock and Denial

My initial reaction? I thought the The Bruery’s site was hacked and this was some sort of sick joke. Not funny assholes! I was about to email Ben Weiss, the Bruery’s director of Marketing, then his press release hit my inbox:

We at The Bruery regret to announce that we will be closing our retail shop & tasting area in Old Towne Orange, The Bruery Provisions, on Sunday, January 13th.  Provisions has been an important part of our company, spawned by our passion for craft beer and the opportunity to introduce others to it. Our decision to shut the doors did not come easy…

Thinking I was obviously on the show Punk’d, I got excited that I might get the chance to kick Ashton Kutcher square in the crotch. Wouldn’t that be nice to strap on a pair of those creepy Vibram shoes with the finger-toes and do some Kutcher ball damage?

Stage 2: Pain and Guilt

patrick and greg koch

Future owner on the left? The pre-crazy beard man Greg Koch visits Provisions Nov 2011.

Realizing it’s not a joke, I looked back to some of my old posts and photographs at Provisions while drinking an old Provisions Series beer. “No more Provisions Series beers” I mumbled softly. Is there anything I could have done to keep them open? Could I have shopped there more? What if I did just one more blog post? It’s all my fault dammit! I’m a horrible monster and pray for death!

Stage 3: Anger and Bargaining

I hit rock bottom seeing Instagrams of the 30% liquidation Provisions beer hauls.  #bruery #provisions  #whalesbro #haul #sadface #curbstomp #face #candyfromababy #craftbeer #beer #sours #upshitkriek #beerporn #instadrunk #beerninja #neverforget #BP4eva #poursomebeerout #deadhomey #birdwell #stpaul #yams #10000IBU

Cindy Santoyo's haul pic.

If your Provisions haul pic needs iPhone Panoramic, you done good. Craft beer geek/hoarder Jason Moore’s haul pic of deliciousness.

Did Patrick Rue lose a poker bet? Did the mob force him out of Orange? Did Ken Hollingshead Sr. visit Patrick in a dream? Were sales that bad?

“But they added a patio last year!”, “But they added full pints!”, “But the classes were always sold out!”, “But their grilled cheese sandwiches were awesome” But, but but…Damn.

Stage 4: Depression, Reflection and Lonliness

pic courtesy Cambria Griffith @goldenroadbrew

Sad Kendra hates GABF head. (pic courtesy Cambria Griffith @goldenroadbrew)

I thought about lighting candles. I thought about listening to The Cure Disintegration.  No more sneaking in for a quick flight while my wife antique shops. No more fun beer/cheese classes. No more La Tur cheese and a pint for dinner. No more Old Town Orange beer crawls. No more chatting with GM Kendra, Asst. Man. Lauren and the rest of their talented staff. No more meeting random craft beer curious old people that stumble in for beers. No more guest flight nights. Provisions did everything right…maybe too right. Sure their tasting room at the brewery is ‘enhanced’, but it’s nowhere near what Provisions was. It was a magical place full of talented people where beer was handled with respect.

Stage 5: The Upward Turn

Re-reading the farewell email, something struck me:

…increased our production capacity by 130% in the last few months.  About 40% of our beer is aged in barrels for a year or longer, and we’ve amassed a collection of over 3,000 barrels to achieve this.  In evaluating how The Bruery should operate in order to achieve its goals, it became apparent Provisions is not the best use of our limited resources.

So, if the awesomeness that is the Provisions is gone, I would expect to see The Bruery’s beer production unfold in an equal and opposite reaction. I want to be dazzled by their beers more than now. Simply bretting/bourbon barrel/or tossing fruit on a base beer? That’s not good enough. Is adding new branches to their huge family tree of award winning beers the way to go? Maybe revisiting successful beers another option? We shall see. Losing the Provisions is a huge loss for craft beer, and I expect to see dividends. Given The Bruery’s track record, I have full faith they can pull it off.

The Provisions staff preps for the Black Tuesday party.

The Provisions staff preps for the first and last Black Tuesday party.

Stage 6: Reconstruction and Working Through

Provisions had it all: people, place, and product. Can someone else step in and do a great job? Sure, but they’ve got some very big shoes to fill. Why did the previous tenant ‘Frog’s Breath’ fail? With huge regional craft brewers like Stone Brewing setting up stores throughout SoCal, or with successful local entrepreneurs like Julie Lim at OC Wine Mart as possible interested parties, the future looks bright. Different, but bright. (Note that I have no knowledge who is interested in the spot, I’m merely speculating.)

Stage 7: Acceptance and Hope

help-me-obi-wanBruery Provisions was such a bright spot on the craft beer map. Not just for OC…it was a destination. For out of towners, it was a one-stop shop. Sure you can visit Hacienda Beverage, Vendome Liquor or HI-Time Wine Cellar for bottles. Sure you can get great beer and slow-food at The Playground, Hopscotch, Carolina’s Italian, The Globe, Selmas and Beachwood BBQ. Sure we can visit the many great Breweries and Brewpubs in OC. As craft beer continues to grow, I’m sure we will see other boutique style shops open. The up and coming Packing District in Anaheim is ripe for a small cheese/beer shop.

Overall, I’ll miss my favorite beer and cheese shop. I’m thankful that it existed to begin with as it sparked me this righteous path of deliciousness, fearless writing, and fun.

For posterity, I saved their final draft list:

On Deck at The Bruery Provisions – 8

Top 10 Reasons To Visit the Bruery’s New Tasting Room

Sometimes the Dyson vacuum cleaner of life sucks incredibly hard, rarely losing its suction. Luckily, there’s beer. Fresh, liquidy beer. Bubbly, delicious, colorful, aromatic and tasty beer. Some breweries have a dozen or so of these beer-type beverages on tap, some up to twenty at any given time. The Bruery in Placentia said, “fuck that sucky Dyson son of a bitch” and built a new tasting room with 40 taps next door to their exisiting brewhouse.

 A few key features:

  1. Air Conditioning. Over-ripe bearded dudes won’t fog up your nose-space in the hot summer months!
  2. Flights! I’m having kittens over the flights!
  3. Poofy ceiling. Dampens noise and will come in handy if Newton’s law gets revoked.
  4. Two new flatscreen TV’s. Patrick Rue couldn’t confirm or deny People’s Court marathon Mondays. Maybe we can talk him into that Storage Wars show everyone is talking about.
  5. 40 taps plus one cask pump. Pumpers like to pump! All Bruery beers too.
  6. Sealed off from brewhouse. No more fog bank of yeast mist. No gnats flying in your eyes like Sally Struthers in Africa. “For less than the cost of a tasting flight a day, you can make the difference in these children’s lives”.
  7. No crazy artwork. Although a few Thomas Kinkaid and Wyland prints would really bring the space together. I kid, although I am strangely inspired to paint a Wyland style painting of a Whale getting eaten by yeast cells in a carboy of beer.
  8. Reserve Society allocation pick up zone. Bigger cooler = more space for allocation. No more getting stuck driving around the Orange traffic circle for hours on end!
  9. Open 7 days a week! More than double the open days? Beer Farfegnügen! Check their website for hours.
  10. Drive through growler fill window off the side of the 57 freeway. I’m kidding about this one, as if anyone is still reading past #4.

Grand Opening on Wed July 4! Check their FB for details. 

SNIFF ~ MMM, that new tap smell.

Say “CHEESEMONGER“. Kendra, still puts the “cute” in “charcuterie”.


Fact: Yeti like to rake leaves and drink Bruery beer.

I tried to get artsy here. Note the non-flip top growler.

After too much Black Tuesday (aka “The BT’s)

Kings of the Orange Cicle. Chef Greg Daniels of Haven Gastropub and Patrick Rue

Grand Opening on Wed July 4! Check their FB for details. 


Bruery Provisions, with 100% more Gregface this Thursday

credit John Schulz, brother of good friend David Schulz!

“ARRR! I scares away the fizzy yellow beer!!”

When I think of Stone Brewing’s brand, a few things come to mind: Arrogance, Gargoyles, and Gregface? With all of that evil, unabashed, medieval company image, why would they possibly want a gaping-maw headshot of their CEO to get stuck my head? I guess Greg Koch, co-founder and CEO of Stone Brewing Co. isn’t the average craft beer overlord.

Koch’s speeches are often referred to as “beer sermon”. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido? “Beer Mecca”. I strongly believe Greg is a direct decendent of Martin Luther who in the 1500’s nailed 95 issues with the Pope and Catholosism to the church’s door, thus creating the Lutheran Church. If Greg Koch were to post 95 things wrong with BudMillerCoors and hammer it to the doors of their corporate offices, I would perhaps join the cult, die my hair green, and worship the almighty hop.


Have you heard the good news about the almighty Humulus Lupulus?

Stone disciples worship the company for many reasons:

  • They pioneered the West Coast IPA style which is a benchmark for comparison.
  • Stone’s charge in the craft beer revolution, which, by the way, is working quite well.
  • Stone’s collaborations with other breweries that keep the community interesting and strong.
  • Lets not forget their great line up of fresh, in your face beers that are balanced, interesting and delicious!

The only thing I don’t like about Stone? Their use of the 1987 Waynes World slogan about being “worthy“. Mice nuts, I know. Asphynctersayswhat. “What?”, Exactly. Party time! Excellent! diddlydiddlydiddlydiddly (air guitar).

Oh hey! They released a book! The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance. The book encompasses the Stone Brewing story, info on all of their beers, and recipes for food and homebrew!

Oh hey! This Thursday 11/17 from 6:30-8pm, Greg Koch and Steve Wagner of Stone Brewing Co. will be on hand at Bruery Provisions in Orange to sign books, do a tap takeover, and scare children with the G-Face. Perhaps Greg can do an imprint of the famous Gregface on the screen of my Kindle with his fresh organic facial oils. I’ll do my O-face if that happens! It’s no Shroud of Turin, but it’ll do.

Oh hey! Here’s a list of what will be on tap!
  • Greg will be speaking!
  • 10 Stone Beers on tap. Two Stone flights w/paired cheese plates will be available. (I’ll share details when I get them)
  • 4 different bottles of archived Stone beer sold at limited release.
  • Stone shirts, glasswear, and sauces will be available. I like sauces!
(If you wanted to purchase the books, please use the affiliate links below to here to help support this site! I was just at Total Wine & More and they’re selling the Craft of Stone book for $25!)


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

Arthur Guinness Day Today!

Surely everyone knows who Sir Arthur Guinness is. He’s not only the creator of Guinness, he also had quite a bit to do with Irish history. Touring Ireland last year there were many castles, churches and other landmarks that were saved by the man personally donating money for upkeep. Most of Ireland’s treasures would probably not be standing if it weren’t for him!

The marketing geniuses behind Ireland’s finest export came up with another day in the year everyone should consume some brown stuff, besides, you know, Saint Patrick’s Day. The date and time are significant as 17:59 is the year Guinness was founded (translates to 5:59PM our time).

Get ready to celebrate with fellow Guinness fans around the world as we raise our glasses for the third annual Arthur Guinness Day. Kicking off at 17:59 GMT on 22nd September 2011, we’ll join together to toast the legendary Arthur Guinness, the man who created our beloved beer. From Ireland and Europe across to the USA, Caribbean and ending in Asia, 24 hours of global celebrations and live music events will mark another year of Guinness goodness.

So what does this mean if you’re in Orange County? Well, there’s a few Irish pubs you could check into for a decent pour. I’m particularly fond of The Auld Dubliner, which has two locations in OC: The District in Tustin and Anaheim on Katella. Sure other pubs have Guinness, but I’ve found freshness is key to a great pour, and those two places have enough turnaround to make it a smooth fluffy pint.  The bartenders are actually trained on how to properly pour a pint as well, which is somewhat of an art form. Speaking of which, while in Ireland last year I took a class on how to properly pour a pint of Guinness at the Storehouse at St. James Gate. Please to enjoy!

Here’s some other pics from the Guinness Storehouse I took with my beloved Lomo LCA camera.

MMM, Guinness from the source with real Irish water from the Wicklow mountains! Shot in their restaurant. Most of the food was cooked with Guinness as well. Sadly, no Irish Carbombs!

In the photo of me above, if I looked out the window this was my view of Dublin and the old brewery.

Shot out of a window on the Guinness Storehouse tour.