The day and half of Oktoberfest beer season is now over and the swarm of pumpkin beers has descended upon the land like a plague, so let’s stay away from the beer aisle and instead head for the Food GPS Craft Beer Gear Guide for Fall. We will start with a graphic novel and end with a bible and in between get blasted and canned (in a good way).
We start with the newly released graphic novel (or comic, if you prefer) The Comic Book Story of Beer. No, this book is not part of the DC or Marvel universes. No Ant-Men, Supergirls or Guardians of the Galaxy here. Just the history of beer from the far past to current days. You can learn about lagering and pasteurization, but done in a more fun way.
Now, if your IPA is history with all hop aroma lost, then you are in luck with HopBlast. Attach the little plastic gizmo to your glass, fill it with pelletized hops and the aroma is back. You can buy a starter pack for $10 and get refills of Citra, Azacca, Sorachi Ace and others to boost your hops to the boiling point.
Coming soon you may reach for the Ballast Point logo on a can and then notice that inside is not beer. The San Diego brewer is also a distiller and now has canned versions of Gin & Tonic. Rum and Coke, Bloody Mary and Rum & Ginger made with their Old Grove Gin, Three Sheets Rum and Fugu Vodka.
If you have grown tired of beer of the month clubs, there is new one with a twist. Noble Brewer is a quarterly service that solicits homebrew recipes and the “winners” become the beers that you can have shipped to you. We all know that some of our favorite brewers come from the homebrew ranks. This is your chance to perhaps have a beer from someone who will be a rock star brewer in the future.
Lastly we have the Beer Bible by Jeff Alworth. I have been an avid reader of Alworth’s excellent Beervana blog and a new listener to his new Beervana podcast. Both outlets showcase his knowledge of beer and the Portland beer scene, but his Bible kicks it up a notch with enough beer knowledge to fill two brains. It has become a go-to book for me when I need to gather knowledge.
Angel City Brewery has done a beer inspired by Mexican Cola, and on shelves now, you will find a Michelada beer (drink on ice – unlike other beers) with added Sriracha. The Beer of the Week is another unique Angel City collaboration that’s on the way. An Imperial Irish ale was aged in Jameson Whiskey barrels as part of a cross-country endeavor from the Irish distiller and breweries in New York, Washington State, Texas, Colorado and us in L.A. Fans of barrel-aged beer, be ready.
Your Homework is to help the Ronald McDonald House of Pasadena by celebrating the 20th year of Allagash Brewing Co. and Fluxus. Fluxus is different each year and is brewed in tribute to the first beer the brewery ever sold. This year the Maine company has teamed up with the Pasadena branch of Congregation Ale House for a special event on September 15, 2015, beginning at 5 pm. $1 from each 8 oz. glass served will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House in Pasadena. As an added bonus, Congregation Ale House will match the total donation amount raised, so you can be doubly helpful.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.