Monday, July 30, 2007 

Stone Brewing Old Guardian early 2007 release

84 / 100

I don't often partake in Barleywines, except around winter when SN Bigfoot is an annual staple. Aside from a few other various offerings that pretty much makes up my barleywine intake. Every year I buy a few and they always linger. They're big, intense offerings that often scare me when I look into my refrigerator. So in that regard, I find them quite easy to age - not drinking it = best way to age, of course.

Old Guardian is one I try every year. So far, it's been until today nearly August for me to sample Stone's 07 offering, and to be honest, I'm not sure what drove me to try it today, but I'm certainly glad I did.

As expected this is a big beer. Chewy malt characteristics up and down with tons of hop bitterness. Not as floral as my favorite, Bigfoot, but some say that has too much hop character for a barleywine. I like lots of hops so perhaps that is what makes me so comfortable with that. This is far more balanced, which is not to say there are subtleties - everything is there and there in spades.

Wonderful caramel and bready flavors fill out the hops and chewy malts. The body is rich and full with a smooth finish. Quite tasty. Why have I waited so long to try this?

Thankfully, I have another one to age for a few years to see how it mellows out.

Saturday, July 21, 2007 

Miller Chill

43 / 100

This is basically a hatecrime in a bottle.

For whatever reason this seems to be the rage. The lime flavoring taste is very artificial. Almost like someone dropped green Skittles in my beer. My very bad beer. Oh and there's salt flavoring too. Surprisingly, the salt taste was actually not terrible.

Anyhow. Avoid this.

Thursday, July 05, 2007 

San Pedro Brewing Company

I was in the area for work and one of our clients wanted to get lunch here. A brewing company lunch? Done and done.

The inside has a very collegiate feeling - TONS of UCLA memorabilia. Port photos - some of which very impressive - line the walls. It was a cozy, neighborhood brewpub. Most of the people there looked to be locals - longshoremen / truck drivers.

I don't quite remember what was on tap but I went with their Point Fermin Pale Ale. I would definitely have had another were this not work time. I ordered the tri-tip sandwich and it was tasty. It was a lot of food with the sides and all. I couldn't finish it.

Los Angeles could use a lot more places like this.

Monday, July 02, 2007 

Redwood Bar and Grill

The moment I walked in I knew I would like this place. It was a late lunch and as we were being escorted to our table we passed the bar which had the Red Sox vs. Rangers game on and a Stone IPA tap handle. This Boston ex-pat was sold.

Just having Stone IPA on tap raises anything in Los Angeles to the upper echelon of beer bars even if slowly more and more I'm seeing places catch on to better beers. They also had a couple Craftsman and some better Germans amongst others. The pirate theme of it all is not subtle, but nor is it irritating. The staff were very pleasant, making sure our party was kept happy.

The food was decent. The menu said about the hamburger being the "best in town" or some other sweeping accolade. It wasn't but it was good.

Good friends, good food, good beer and the Red Sox game on? Can't beat that.

The Redwood Bar and Grill
316 W. 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012