A Little Tuesday Morning Beerporn (and Beerporn Party)

With the wife at work and the kid at school, the two dogs and cat are ushered out of the office. The cat’s proclivity to cock-block the mouse and bite one’s wrist while pulling a mid-morning web sesh is astounding. The computer hums its way alive and I shamefully open an incognito internet window. With the windows drawn and the web page loading, I rifle through my jeans for that ‘special’ credit card…the one my wife knows nothing about.

Just like that, I’m drooling over one of my favorites. She’s thick, bubbly and curvaceous with a round dimply bottom. Having ‘had’ her a few times in the past, I know what she’s all about, and trust me, she’s worth the trouble. As the clock strikes 10, the show is live and I’m ready to rock out.

Feeling charged, my heart pounds with excitement in my creaky wooden office chair. Then…the screen freezes. “Sonofa…” I say while fingering my thin black refresh key over and over in frustration. “No data received” and “webpage not available” error pages fly by. I reboot…twice. Damn Black Tuesday always gotta play hard to get! Sheesh. All this for a beer! What did you think I was talking about? A few hours later I finally got it up (the website) and splurged on a few bottles (for his pleasure).

There’s no Beerporn in the Champagne Tasting Room


Eight hours later, I’m outside The Bruery near their red grain silo for session two of the Reserve Society exclusive Black Tuesday party. Being the last Tuesday of October, the air is surprisingly still and scentless. The Lime Truck sits off to the side, sizzling seasonal fall sprouts; their smoke plume sailing cluelessly over the 57 South.


Spinning pearls with Erin Hill

Inside, I’m always impressed with The Bruery’s Black Tuesday parties. The gals are dolled in pearls and hats; the dudes are dapper in ties and slacks. Even the tasting room is filled with festive balloons and streamers. The enigmatic 18% ABV Russian Imperial Stout sits patiently about to be sprung from bourbon barrel solitary confinement. This year, the addition of Glencairn glassware kicks this party to a whole new classy level. As if sipping plain Black Tuesday isn’t good enough, the Bruery is serving up seven different looks at the base beer like a fashion show. Notes on each:


1) Boysenberry Black Tuesday on Cask – Poured by a lovely debutante with angled eyebrows, this beer is a throwback to post-party IHOP flapjack sessions to absorb   whiskey and beer in our aching college bellies. Boysenberry Black Tuesday should be served in IHOP’s syrup containers…the one where you pull the thumb trigger back as it oozes all over your piping hot butter melting pancakes.


No one ever expects a local Boysenbrue collaboration.

The more you know about the Boysenberry:  The berries were developed by a local Anaheim horticulturist in the 1920’s named Rudolph Boysen. After an accident where he broke his back, he abandoned his vines. Walter Knott of Knotts Berry Farm was able to revive some of the dying vines and named them after the originator. Cheers to local collaborations!

2) Raspberry Black Tuesday on Cask – “What’s your name?” asks Sara while pouring a dose from the cask. “Greg”, I reply. “I like your feather, did you have to earn it?” “Nah” she says walking away to help someone else. Raspberry BT is very similar to Boysenberry with a Sees candy raspberry cream flavor (my favorite). After a few sips, I opt to dump the rest with a shocked “WHAT?, YOU’RE GOING TO DUMP THAT?” screech from an excited pony tailed guy named Kate here with his mom. “It’s not that I didn’t care for it, it’s just waaaay too sweet for my liking” I mention to him while he shakes his head in horror. Note that I rarely finish a >10% beer I’m not in love with. Don’t hate. There’s five more variations to get through, suckas.


Nitro? I couldn’t tell.

3) Nitro Black Tuesday – I had high hopes for Nitro Black Tuesday, like Niagara falls high hopes. Either I got a mis-pour or this beer wasn’t ready. I wanted to watch a cascading nitro waterfall show and lick Black Tuesday froth from my stache. I got neither. If I ever see BT on Nitro again, you bet your ass I’ll stab hobos to get a pour.

P1060833The Glencairn glassware choice blew me away. It’s a standard crystal whiskey glass consisting of a simple bulb and flute. The basic idea is to fill the bulb area halfway (~2oz) allowing aromas to develop in the other half. The flute concentrates the aromas, enhancing the nosing experience. The thick heel of the glass is ideal to slam on the bar to let your server know you’re ready for another hit. The stylish barbacks did a great job rinsing and pouring samples mid-bulb allowing the aromas to parfait beautifully. Although the glass isn’t generally purposed for 38 degree cold liquid, the small girth of the glass ensures your balmy mitts will warm it up to the recommended 55 in a jiff. The waiting is the hardest part!

Re-enacting an awkward wedding moment with Cambria.

Re-enacting an awkward wedding moment with Cambria.

4) Some Mo Black Tuesday is German chocolate cake in liquid form. As my favorite cake, this beer is packed with coconut, caramel and chocolate all up in your face…just like a wedding where the bride and groom smears cake all over each others faces.

Hottenroth – Palate cleanser of the Gods!


the paparuetzi

5) Grey Monday – Holy hell, this is nice. Not just drinking it, but inhaling it…then exhaling it after a sip. Nice Nutella note that rides over the chocolate. This beer makes me want to eat hazelnuts with chocolate and drink bourbon to wash it down. Grey Monday is a food pairing in a glass.

P10608516) Melange #1 – (Basically Black Tuesday blended with Oude Tart) As my palate is basically destroyed from the stock market crash of 1929, this beer is a time machine. Pouring cloudy dark brown with a effervescent body, the fruity tart zing gives me some much needed mouth to mouth resuscitation. I’m kicking myself for not buying a bottle of this!

P10608307) 2013 Black Tuesday – My tongue is like a piece of beef jerky at this point, but I can’t physically leave without sampling the pep pep of them all: The bubbly and curvaceous 2013 Black Tuesday. Expecting nose-hair frying booze, I’m treated with two nostrils full of my favorite things: bourbon, chocolate and some sloppy dark fruits. Black Tuesday’s flavor is decadent, sublime and surprisingly smooth. Perhaps it’s the booze talking, I think 2013 is the smoothest day zero release yet. Normally I don’t like to open Black Tuesday until it’s slept a year in the cellar, but this girl is ready to twerk her dimply round bottom all up in my face, like NOW.


Not a reserve society member? Memberships are on sale now via their website. Know a member? Make sure and have them buy tickets to get you in to their Barrel Aged Beer Party on 11/16! Login to your Bruery account and visit this site for tickets and info: https://www.thebruerystore.com/p-121-barrel-aged-beer-party.aspx 



Great American Beer Festival – OC Preview

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 8.58.37 PMSad as it is, a few of my favorite breweries won’t be at GABF this year. My hometown homies at Noble Ale Works, south county’s Cismontane Brewing Co. as well as Societe Brewing Co. down in SD didn’t make the registration cut. Their world-class beers won’t be touching the lips of craft beer desperados like a county fair kissing booth. While ‘merkans are stumbling around GABF’s halls and barfing on John Elway’s tassel loafers, Societe, Cismontane and Noble will be back at home, plotting their next attack while getting stronger than ever. I’ll miss ya boos.


Don and Dave Larsen (Cismontane/Good Beer Co), Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing Co mix it up with Patrick Rue in the Bruery’s 2012 GABF Booth. Photo – Nagel

Of those lucky enough to make the big dance, I asked each a few questions for 2013:

  1. How many GABF’s is this for your brewery?SAISON_RUE_v01
  2. What are you bringing?
  3. What categories did you enter?
  4. Doing any events or excited about attending any?

“This is the Bruery’s fifth GABF, fourth will a full force of beer.” says their director of marketing Ben Weiss. Tart of Darkness, Saison Tonnellerie, Oude Tart with Cherries, Sour in the Rye with Peaches, and Chocolate Rain will be poured throughout the fest.

Bruery events! Go here, see the Bruery. Taste their beer. 


This is Valiant’s first GABF!
“We’re bringing Mounds of Grounds, Pathos, Fields Ablaze, Axiom, Stentorian and First Flight. We entered a few categories:
8- Coffee beer, 13b-Imperial Porter, 69-French & Belgian Saison, 43b-Belgian Style Dark Strong, 84a-Barleywine
newport-beach-brewing-companyThis is Newport Beach Brewing Co‘s tenth GABF, but brewer Derek Bougie’s fifth.
Pouring and submitted Newport Beach Blonde (44 Golden or Blonde Ale), Newport Coast Steam (37B American Style Amber Lager), Bisbee’s ESB (58B Extra Special Bitter), Funky Monkey (24A wood barrel aged sour beer – 3 bottles per session) and JDs Reserve #2 (23 Wood barrel aged strong stout). Derek says, “I don’t have any events planned but that doesn’t mean I wont get around. I will be driving over with the New BrewThursday guys so I know we will get around to some breweries. Which ones I don’t know yet. Most likely ones we haven’t been to yet. Im hoping to bring some hardware home for the OC.”
Bootlegger’s-BreweryThis is Bootleggers Brewery’s sixth GABF.
“We’re pouring Pumpkin Ale, Black Phoenix Stout, Dr. Tongue, Far Out IPA and Old World Hefe” says Patricia. They entered seven categories:Bootlegger Pumpkin Ale- Category 05B; Pumpkin Beer; Black Phoenix Stout- Category 08 Coffee Beer; Dr. Tongue- Category 13A Other Strong Beer; Far Out IPA- Category 52 American-Style India Pale Ale; Old World Hefeweizen- Category 66 South German-Style Hefeweizen; Lupulin Thrill IPA- Category 52 American-Style India Pale Ale; English ESB- Category 58A Extra Special BitterBootlegger’s crew along with Tustin Brewing crew will be boarding our own beer bus and touring Colorado Breweries all day Friday.  Stops includes New Belgium, Odell’s, Funkwerks, Left Hand Brewing and more!
Left-Coast-Brewing-CompanyLeft Coast Brewing Co – 9 years.
Oggis Pizza & Brewing Co – 13 years. They’re bringing:
Left Coast- Hop Juice, Trestles IPA, Tommy Session Pale Ale, Una Mas Amber Lager, Barrel Age Voo Doo.
Oggis – Double Up IIPA, Black Magic Stout, McGarveys Scottish, Paradise Pale Ale,  California Gold.
“We have really high hopes for winning medals for both companies. We are excited about releasing our Barrel Age Voo Doo on draft. We have only released it in bottles in our tasting room.”, Tommy Hadjis, General Manager.
Jerrod from Tustin Brewing Co. says, “We are pouring Golden Spike Blonde Ale, Blimp hangar porter, and Old Town IPA…two of which are GABF medal winners in the past. I entered ten categories. Not sure how many Gabf’s this us for Tustin.” Look out for the Bootleggers/Tustin Brewing Co. party bus!
Stay Tuned as I stalk Victor Novak around Denver! 
Special thanks to Brew Beer Blog for letting me quickly grab his brewery logos. #i’m lazy


How To Fly a Plane with Patrick Rue | Urge Gastropub Collab

patrick rue grains in

patrick rue deals with a leaky grantDespite his rock-star brewer/founder/CEO status, there’s no persian rug laid out when Patrick Rue brews. There’s no floor-stand candles lit with dripping wax, no nearby couch with hot groupies watching, and not a single tattoo in sight. On the wee three-barrel pilot system of The Bruery, there’s only Patrick, his ingredients and whatever inventive idea floats his way.

Here bright and early on a Friday morning, the production brewery is bustling on an Autumn Maple brewday. It smells like fresh pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. Brewers elevate large drums of mulling-spiced yams into the boil kettle, then top it with a healthy bucket of organic black molasses. Filling-line bottles clank wildly over Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry”, fighting my eardrums like Mike Tyson at a Justin Bieber concert. Patrick is nearby knelt-down fiddling with a finicky heat exchanger on the pilot brew system and doesn’t seem phased, “Tyler (King) says it starts up for him every time,” he quips nodding twice.

godzillaThe pilot brewery sits quietly off to the side of the main brewhouse. If you’re familiar with the old Bruery tasting room, the kettles and tanks sit (sort of) where the main bar used to be. It’s a simple system, easy to work on like a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle. If you were in a Godzilla costume, the miniature brewhouse would be a perfect set to recreate a Takusatsu film, pretending the tanks were large buildings, thrashing and smashing about while screaming like a giant green lizard.


Most breweries tend to use a tinier half-barrel RIMS homebrew system for pilot batches (15 gallons); however, The Bruery has flexibility to barrel age small batches, do micro-releases for the tasting room, test out different recipes, and collaborate quickly and easily on the 180 gallon system.

patrick rue and grant of urge gastropub discuss hops

Today’s brew comes by way of collaboration. Grant Tondro, general manager and proprietor of Urge Gastropub in San Diego is here to help brew their third anniversary beer. “We were thinking of doing a Belgian pale ale with bourbon soaked Madagascar vanilla beans and orange zest – inspired by an orange cream soda,” says Patrick with an Elvis-like raised lip. Grant adds, “if there’s time, I’d like to hit it with some french oak to enhance the vanilla.” With only seven weeks until the anniversary party (late July), oak spirals are definitely an option.

grant of urge gastropub and cambria griffith of the bruery in the tasting roomWith Patrick in the pilot seat, the brewday is child’s-play; he grains-in while Grant breaks up the dough-balls. I even get to lend a hand, holding up Patrick’s black hefty sack. As grains slowly convert to sugar, flavor and color over the next hour, the true spirit of collaboration takes hold – time is filled with beers and funny stories. At 9:45 A.M., Patrick guides us through a couple unreleased Bruery beers and Grant talks about Urge Gastropub’s latest endeavor that includes a bowling alley on a half-acre lot opening Feb 2014. “24,000 square feet of craft beer goodness!” says Grant.

grant of urge gastropub hops in2

patrick rue fights a boil overBack in the brewery, the system vorlaufs, sparges, then lauters into the boil kettle.  The two gentlemen get down to business as Patrick snaps on the latex gloves. “Is it time for my exam?” asks Grant to my amusement. “Lets talk hops,” says Rue sliding open the cooler. As a wine sommelier, Grant prefers to let the the complexity of the beer derive from the yeast, vanilla and orange zest in secondary. Patrick suggests Columbus, a good clean bittering hop as the sole sixty minute hop addition. Hands are shook. Knuckles are bumped. Pellets are weighed out, then pitched as the boil starts. Boom.

grain outAs the brewday winds down, Grant glistens while graining out. Oxygen is pumped inline through the wort on its way through the chiller. “We can chill down to fifty or hit any temp we want going into the fermenter,” says Patrick on the nimble system. Rue then prepares a healthy pitch of 2.2 billion house-strain yeast cells, squirts down the fittings with sanitizer and sets the little microorganisms free to pursue a life of alcohol/Co2 production and religious consciousness. Beer is being made in pilot proportions.

colorful bruery beersAs Patrick Rue balances his time between family life and operating one of Orange County’s most prolific breweries, it’s great to see his brewday skills are still intact. He’s relaxed, methodical and creative. His brew muscle is roided out and ready to chuck knuckles. The next time you drink a Bruery pilot beer, remember that it’s anything but accidental.

 Aftermath! – the beer, called “Rue the Day” ended up at 8.3% and was very “creamsicle-y and super drinkable.” says Grant.


The Initiation Situation – The Bruery’s Reserve Society Party 2013

P1050126Thanks to craft beer, the smell of nearby horse stables makes me salivate. “Smells like a brett beer out here!” I say to the guy behind me. “Nowhere else in the world would that make sense” he says with his hands folded in his armpits. I snicker nervously wiping sweat from my brow and move up two steps. The long line to get in Patrick Rue’s Big Top Cirque du Biere are barking like blood-hounds in search of a killer. Today, they’re anxious to sniff out some serious boozy barrel, funk, horse blanket, and other sour beverages on this warm afternoon.

Rico Nolan of 21 Gigawatts. Gigga WHAAA?

Rico Nolan of 21 Gigawatts. Gigga WHAAA?

Members lay down 80 cents a day to be a member of the Bruery’s Reserve Society; a buck-ninety a day for the Hoarders Society. Each one nets the member a full list of benefits. The Initiation party is a means for members to sample aging rarities, one-time cask ales, and preview some things to come. I’m here to try things I’ve never had.


“What’s on cask Barney?”

Inside the big tent, the cask of Hottenroth with Fruity Pebbles catches my eye for beer #1. “Yabba Dabba Doo!” I yell in my best Fred Flintstone voice. For a ~3% beer, this thing freaks my tongue out with some fake funky fruit, then drowns my mouth with a dry sour bath. On a side note: If you ever get the chance to sample Leinenkugel’s Summer Wheat, it tastes EXACTLY like Fruity Pebbles!

Perhaps it’s my traditional German upbringing or the hundreds of times coming to the Phoenix Club for Oktoberfest, but this is perfect place to host a beer fest. The festhalle tent, sprawling tables and grassy area offer more than enough room for the average beer savant RS member to sauce it up comfortably…weather permitting. Last year’s party was cozy and leaky like a sorority bathroom. The playground at the club even offers recess for those members wishing to relive their drunken father childhood.


Almost as good as Brats, Kraut and Potato Pancakes at the Phoenix Club.

Needing food, I chicken dance over to the Haven EZ-UP. Scored a potato roll the size of DAS BOOT, Inglorious Basterds ale braised scalped beef, Run Lola Run beer beans and Saving Private Ryan’s cumin coleslaw. Knock knock! Who’s there? Cumin! Cumin who? Cumin Coleslaw in your mouth! The real star of the offerings are the handmade BBQ sauces and mustard. I nearly went back for seconds to get additional pump-squirts like a dirty little German boy! I chose the beer Anniversary in Rum (formerly held 5 Golden Rings) to pair and it did a nice job bringing out some bold BBQ flavors. The beer’s big time coconut boozy rich rum matched intensity, heightened the sweet meat and warmed my bitter soul. This is easily the best beer festival food I’ve had. Hopefully a sign of things to come in the now abandoned Bruery Provisions spot that Haven will take over soon.

P1050154In the end, sour beers win my best in show. Maybe it’s the nice weather that makes me swoon over the tart goodies. Maybe my palate is changing. One thing is for sure, The Wanderer, Griffon Bruxellois and Sour in the Rye with Peaches easily win my best in show. Sure the Black Tuesday’s of the world are great, but these beers offer a glimpse of what the Bruery is capable of: a family complex living beers. As Bruery Provisions closed, I hope the focus on a more robust barrel program yields many beers like these for years to come. Great party by the way! Cheers!

Beers I enjoyed:

  • Hottenroth with Fruity Pebbles
  • Anniversary in Rum (Formerly held 5 Golden Rings)
  • Food from Haven Collective
  • Imperial Loakal Red
  • Griffon Bruxellois
  • The Wanderer
  • Mocha Black Tuesday
  • Nottenroth
  • White Chocolate
  • Sour in the Rye with Peach
  • Riesling Sour Blend
  • Saison De Lente


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

A Perfect Storm / The Bruery Black Tuesday Release Parties (2012)

Patrick and Rachel Rue relive their Black Tuesday prom.

“I thought I had messed up raising my son” said a well-dressed older gentleman in a bow tie and extra-extra long grey suit. “Who’s your son?” I asked. “Patrick Rue”. I could tell by the gleam in his eye, Michael Rue (President of the Bruery) is proud of what his son has created. Even the lore of Black Tuesday, an epic brewday-gone-wrong, has turned into something magical. The mere fact that 3,000 bottles of the $30 beer sold out in ten minutes is proof Patrick Rue knows what to do when life hands him lemons…throw them in a bourbon barrel and hope for the best.

Peanut Panna Cotta w/Toasted Marshmallows

The 2012 Black Tuesday party and beer release is double the size of last year. The party has expanded to the Bruery Provisions and the new tasting room at two sessions a piece. With the beer, production was up and more variations are available at the parties, giving fans a chance to try special cask, randall’d and tap versions of this enigmatic Imperial Stout.  At Bruery Provisions, each variation is paired with a perfectly crafted dish! Here’s a write up of the tail end of Bruery Provision’s party, and my notebook notes verbatim of the full party at the Tasting Room. Please, enjoy.

Bruery Provisions Session One:

Faster than lightning strikes, tickets to the party at Provisions disappear.  I’m all about pairing beer with food and I’m quite curious how a complex 19% ABV bourbon barrel-aged beer will fair with food. What the hell would I pair? S’mores or maybe a nice Macanudo Robusto Cigar, or perhaps a nice triple-cream Brie glazed with a honey-bourbon reduction? I know, it’s not an easy beer.

Lukcy Basardts on the patio of Bruery Provisions

Arriving at Provisions as the sun sets, the squeaky back gate is all that welcomes me. The quiet crowd outside must be content as everyone is sipping gently with pinkies out. The outside air is refreshing, golden and still. Birds flutter inside the nearby hedges, snuggling in for a nap after eating artisanal crumbs all day. Going inside, I’m met with some serious 1920’s zing! The ambiance is brought to life by the smiley staff completely and not cheaply dressed to the nines. Ladies are elegantly draped with long strands of pearls, throwback hair feathers and flapper dresses. Gents are dashed in everything from bowler hats and suspenders to pinstripe three pieced suits. Tyler King, man of infinite fashion skills, even had a grey button-up short sleeve shirt (with shorts). One can always spot the artist at a show, I suppose.

Provisions kitchen coordinator Bryan Liem set out to prove his mad pairing skills with five versions of 2012 Black Tuesday.

  • Black Tuesday (straight) with Wild Mushroom Mole, Masa Cake & Sesame seeds.
  • Grey Monday (Hazelnut version of BT) with Blue Cheese cold smoked over Hazelnuts, Dried Figs, Fresh Pairs & Toasted Hazelnuts.
  • Black Tuesday Cask with Coffee & Vanilla served with Coffee & Vanilla Pulled Pork Slider w/Coffee BBQ Sauce on a pretzel bun.
  • Black Tuesday Cask ‘Banana’s Foster’ paired with Peanut Panna Cotta w/Toasted Marshmallows.
  • Black Tuesday Randall with Mint Chocolate next to Goat Cheesecake, Raspberry Coulis & micro Mint.

“I really wanted to do at least a couple of savory dishes to show Black Tuesday can be paired with a variety of dishes. I thought the vanilla brine I did for the pork added just hint of vanilla to really bring it out in the BT.” Bryan Liem, Bruery Provisions Kitchen Coordinator

courtesy Bruery Provisions facebook page.

Overheard inside, “The pulled pork dish and coffee Black Tuesday easily won best in show, best beer and best pork dish I’ve had.” Said a random lady. Kendra, Provisions GM agrees, but mentions the Smokey Blue by Rogue Creameries paired with Grey Monday was a close runner up. Anytime you can get a complex cheese that’s been smoked for three days over hazelnuts with a complex hazelnut beer, you’re in for a sure mouthgasm! Everything was delicious and perfectly paired.

Overall, session one at Provisions was super mellow. It was nice to see it wasn’t over-crowded, guests had plenty of elbow room to shmooze around and take photos. More on the beer in the next segment, but five variations of Black Tuesday with paired food is plain brilliant. Bryan Liem has some serious mad skills and I can’t wait to see what he has in store in the future!

Bruery Tasting Room Session Two

I took four pages of notes in a spiral SPAM notebook during the party; here they are verbatim.

Bruery BT 12 party

Dan from out of the park pizza is here with a Brewluminati shirt. He “probably should have been put on Ritalin, but his mom didn’t, thankfully, Fuck that shit” says Dan. Doors open, clock strikes 8 and Black Tuesday flows quick, thick and black like a 1970’s blaxploitation film. A hundred voices corrupt the fall night and are buzzing consciously with phones and beers in hand. Untappd is tappd out, thankfully. I don’t normally check in tasters, but this has more booze than a standard 12oz’er. Glasses clank unheard among Hipbone Slim & the Kneetremblers ‘Snake Dancer’. “Cheers!” screams a table with necks stuck out. Music is all encompassing and volumetric, throwback blues jam thick like a Black Keys Pandora playlist. Black Keys? Black Tuesday. Nice to meet you. Likewise. Pleasure.

Staff is sexy, dipped in classy 20’s garb. Crowd is sloppy with tshirts and tennies. Sitting by the last-call bell and firkins, wooden handle, 8” ringer. I’d ring the server’s bell like Anita Ward. Sitting by the casks, people yell drink orders without saying please and not tipping, “BANANA AND GREY MONDAY” yells a puffy guy that looks like Clint Howard. Lee Fields ‘Who do you love?’…great song…tappin my feet, sipping, scribbling, eavesdropping, heaven.

Vanilla coffee cask best I’ve had all year. On par with Smog City’s Groundwork Coffee Porter that took gold at GABF; fucking crazy good beer. After two pours I get a case of the sweats. Spoke to Jeff Duggan at Portola Coffee Lab in Costa Mesa; “the coffee is a lighter blend than Portola does normally, we ground it this morning to drop in the cask.” he says while hauling bottles to a work party. Vanilla? Not really punchy aromatically. There are GROUNDS in my beer! I repeat, there’s GROUNDS in my beer! Coffee character is perfect; it smooths out fresh BT perfectly, 19%? Nofa King way. I want this beer bottled..now. Ya heard.

Hitting more CASK action: Banana’s Foster. Boozy bruleed banana that bounces on the palate like a real creamy banana. Banana fumes after a sip! On the belch, more banana fumes! Michael Rue gave me his on the way out. “I barely touched it.”

MINT – was this through a randall? I didn’t see Randall anywhere. Imagine Chocolate Rain with some cooling, boozy mint. Least Fave. Not bad by any means, but the bar has been raised. Last year’s BT S’mores cask wasn’t that distinct. This year, variations are nuanced and  a force to be reckoned with.

*Show a tweet with #BlackTuesday and get a free BT ’11. Done and done. Wow so smooth compared to ’12. Def going to bury my ’12 in the backyard like a dog.

Hottenroth – Palate cleanser of the Gods.

Grey Monday – Sweet hazelnuts! Sexy decadent hazelnuts tap dance in my mouth. Time to convert BT to P.

Straight BT ’12: Graham Crackers all day long like Heather Graham in Bowfinger. Deep dark fruit vanilla followed by bourbon, oak. Boozyness clashes with hoppier finish not prevalent in BT ’11. Baby Black Tuesday needs to mature, cut teeth and get potty trained.

Dan Auerbach ‘Streetwalkin’ blastin’. Serious Portola coffee sweats going on! Buzz hit! Caffeine too. Intense. Life of a beer blogger is always intense. Bank on that.

Ashley, peacock feathers, pearl necklace and beer. Best seat in the house!

Chocolate Rain materializes in my tasting glass. Manliest goosebumps ever. This is the point where they all start to blend in. Chocolate is decadent, smoothing. Wish I had a doggie bag for this. Time for food. Lime Truck ran out of food. Bastards.

The crowd is apologetic and nice with the tight squeeze. Overheard: “scuze me, sorry, may I get through here, sorry, pardon me, whatcha drinkin there? Didn’t I see you at another event?” “Tuesday, Monday, Tuesday, bananas!”  “Coffee, Coffee, Coffee, did you hear the Coffee cask is great? Anything? Nothing.” “Damn son.”

Overall! Great party, pretty much perfection! Was a little loud, but hell, I’m old. Next year I hope do the same thing. The beer is pretty much phenomenal and this year was an improvement with the variations. Portola Coffee / Vanilla cask Black Tuesday I will pretty much swoon over for weeks to come. I hope it makes a return throughout the year!

OC Beer of the Week: The Bruery Vitis Series Oui Oui

Thanks for stopping in to check out this new feature on OC Beer Blog! Each week, I will focus on a beer brewed in Orange County, talk a little bit about it, and suggest something fun to pair with it. Note that it may not always be food! Sometimes it may be paired with an album, a movie, or hell, even a festive blueberry flavored glow-in-the-dark condom. Today? Not so much. I’m starting out the new feature with The Bruery’s Vitis Series: Oui Oui paired with food from the craft beer friendly restaurant Carolinas Italian in Anaheim.

As The Bruery’s Reserve Society opens up for sale on 10/25, what better way start things off than a beer that came to me via the Reserve Society 2012.  Oui Oui is a one-off American Wild Ale brewed with Chardonnay grapes. From the Bruery’s Website:

via Untappd.

For Oui Oui we used a first running press of Chardonnay grapes from the central coast and added them to our sour blonde ale. The beer was then aged in oak barrels that had originally been used to store wine, imparting even more of that chardonnay-like quality.

To pair, I crack the bottle and and decide on a zippy Italian seafood dish; Scallops Pomodoro from Carolinas Italian Food in Anaheim. If you’ve never been, Carolinas has a ten page beer menu sorted by region of the world…over 286 beers! As craft beer becomes more of a ‘thing’ in OC, keep in mind Carolinas has been operating like this for over 30 years!

Pouring the beer into a flute glass, even the most aggressive pour coaxes no head. The carbonation is aces for the style, lending a vinous mouthfeel that is dry, sour and satisfying. Chardonnay grapes, funk and plenty of sour cling to your teeth well after a sip. Licking your teeth well after gives continued beer flavor, and also lets your partner know you’re feeling randy! Any beer that coats your palate and lingers makes a great beer to pair with food. This is such a pleasant sour, I wish I would have gotten another one!

As a pairing: The beer accentuates the basil, complements the acidity of the tomato, and cleanses the rich garlic pasta from the palate. My wife added some capers from the fridge which really brought the dish and the pairing to a whole new level. If you still have a Oui Oui sitting in your cellar, any dish with basil, capers, or some light acidity is a perfect match. Strong cheese is also a great option to match intensity.

Overall: I’ve always had trouble pairing a sour beer with food as I disagree with those that say to match acidity with acidity. A highly acidic sour + an acidic dish = puckered punum and heartburn. I look for a dish that is simple, light and fresh. Salad, seafood, tomatoes, bruschetta, super stinky cheese, fried green tomatoes, or shrimp cocktail are some other ideas to pair with a sour beer.

Other stuff: The Bruery Provisions is kicking off a week-long Harvest with events every night, check their site for details. The Bruery Reserve Societe goes on sale 10/25. Bottles of Black Tuesday go on sale 10/30.

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. 


Initiating the Society | The 2012 Bruery Reserve Society Party

Pulling up to the Phoenix Club at 10:20 A.M. while listening to Spoon’s 10:20 A.M. is a sobering reminder of how much synchronicity I deal with on a daily basis. Even freakier as the song ends right as I turn the car off. Don’t you love that?

It’s raining mash paddles and beards as I puddle-trot to the non existent line outside the huge German festhall tent typically used for the Phoenix Club’s Oktoberfest. I wander around the lines of people like I’m stumbling through a corn maze of mid-morning groggy beer geeks. The most recognizable person in the crowd I spot is Phillip Macnitt, the bearded “Indoctrination Specialist” from Stone Brewing Company. Super Cool beard, bro.

As this is an initiation party, I expect to see Patrick Rue in a hooded cloak wielding a flame-branded mash paddle while barking orders at the new recruits. “Bend over you slime!” <whack> “What’s my name?!?” <thwack> “Wrong! It’s Professor Snicklefritz!” Unfortunately there was nothing of the sort. This is a typical Bruery party where everything is meticulously planned, organized and no drama of any sort. These guys do parties almost too perfect after learning some things from last year’s Reserve Society party that had members in cattle lines for just about everything.

Right out the gate, Bottle Station 1 nabs of 3 out of my 10 precious drink tickets. I kick it off with 2009 Papier, 2010 Coton and 2011 Cuir. What a start! Pulling a Bruery Anniversary Ale vertical tasting at 10:30 A.M. on Saint Patrick’s day is what this is all about. Each beer is different, yet related like sisters. One gives no head, one smells like bourbon and gives substantial wood and of course there’s the Cuir of the bunch that swings both ways. Each beer paints such a clear picture of what the Bruery is all about. Rich, complex sophistication that makes my eyes roll and taste buds melt. These beers make me glad to be alive and I’m rolling only three deep.

Bottle Station 3 burgles two more of my precious wrist-tickets. Batch 50 and Melange #1 get the nod. My pour of Batch 50 was completely flat, but still an interesting taste of a Geuze. Melange #1, a blend of Oude Tart and Black Tuesday, made me smirk with its deep, dark, tart funkyness. With only a 2.5oz pour, it left me wanting more. Melange is such a tease like that.

Halfway done with my tickets, I trade my food ticket for some catered Beachwood BBQ. Pulled pork, brisket, beans, bleu cheese grits, portabella mushrooms and slaw were the options. Having eaten at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, the catered version is a mere shadow of itself. The Spicy BBQ sauce was so thin it ran around my plate like I was panning for gold. That, mixed with the brisket grease made my plate look like Kim Kardashian sat on it. Edible? Yes. Pretty? Hell no. Better than a food truck from last years party? I suppose. The slaw and grits were the true stars of my plate. As all of the seating was taken, many stood around or had a pow wow on the cold, damp floor. For a $50 party, the lack of adequate seating was baffling.

As I start on the second half of my drink tabs, I visit with Jonas of the Bruery who is manning Draft Station 1. I fetch a firkin pour of Sour in the Rye with Kumquats which is a refreshing surprise. Such a perfect piquant beer as the kumquat’s natural sour citrus elevates the ale in a bright and sunny way. I’m temped to steal some Kumquats from a neighbors tree and squeeze them in my beer with a lemon press when I get home. Maybe I’ll try Kumquats in a homebrew Wit or a sour of my own. We’ll see. I love inspiring beers and this was one of those.

Four Tickets left I hit the brakes and decide to chat with guest tap hosts. Nate Squillace from Hangar 24 was out of Pugachev’s Cobra and refused to break into session B’s supply. Hangar 24’s Barrel Roll series has eluded me once again! I sneak up on Jeremy Raub of Eagle Rock Brewing and he cons me into trading a drink tab for a Deuce. Well worth it too, their second anniversary brew “Deuce” is an ultra-imperial version of Solidarity, their black mild. Having had Solidarity at their brewery a month back I was blown away that so much flavor and complexity could be squeezed in a mild. Deuce is a Bigalow beer! I also ran into Jarred Dooley, former Bruery employee, current Playground “Director of Libations” in Downtown Santa Ana. I wish I had a cool title like that! We chat about their recent tap take over from Ballast Point, who really brought their “A” game with rare stuff one can only get at their brewery in San Diego.

The Draft truck outdoors nabs two more of my tabs. Despite my blog post from yesterday proclaiming that green beer is unfiltered leprechaun urine, I was curious to try the Bruery’s take on it. Green Centennial Hop Oil added to my Humulus Lager made a great on-the-spot dry hop. Others were more adventurous getting Bootleggers Knuckle Sandwich with the hop oil, making a murky green swamp water looking concoction. Should I be worried that I pee’d green after drinking this? I hope not. Other tab? Einer’s Folly. Not sure who Einer is, but I really liked this beer. The draft truck treated me right!

One ticket left. It reminds me of being at a dance at the end of the night, frantically trying to get the hottest lady left. Otiose would be that lucky broad. If it were a real lady, I would have struck out having figured the name is French and pronounced it “oh-TWAH”. The server corrects me rather astutely with “OH-shus”. Bearded guy behind me orders one as “OH-tee-us”. The guy after that simply says “OH-uh, the third one down.” “It means Idle Hands”, the smug gal tells us as we simultaneously say “Ahhhh!”. Apropos name for being out of drink stubs.

I head out and I’m greeted by a faint rainbow as Craic Haus (local Irish Rockabilly band) plays ‘Bottom of a Guinness.’ I swear there’s a Leprechaun in my car stereo today. If Tay Zonday’s Chocolate Rain came on, I would shit a pot of gold.

Chocosauraus Rye – A Collaboration Parody

One fine morning in Fullerton, Aaron Barkenhagen of Bootleggers was surfing Craigslist for brewing equipment. The W4M topic caught his eye and he came upon the following ad:

“Hmmm, Every guy loves a spontaneous gal with a sweet tooth, gonna get some of this action!” thought Aaron.

From Mr. Wort to B. Ann O’Myces

I’m totally Mr. Wort. I want to get FUNKY with you soon girl! I’m a super sweet dude too, lets hook up for a beer, k

O’Myces replies:


Ooh, I love a nice sour, know where I could get one? Here’s a recent pic I took!


Aaron replies:

The Bruery has one, I’ll meet you there Friday night. I’ll have the “Drink Local” shirt on!

As this long (and totally believable) story goes, Aaron walks into the Bruery, Tyler King sitting off to the side waiting for Mr. Wort to walk through the double doors. “Aaron?”, “Hi Tyler!”. “Are you Mr. Wort?”, “YEAH, Are you B. Ann O’Myces? Oh shit…B. Ann O’Myces with a picture of a heart in a petri dish…How could I be so naive?!? Brettanomyces seeks wort! I get it now! hahaha!”, I figured this would be a great way to do a beer collaboration, with creepy dudes from the internet”. “Right-o!”.

Both grab a beer and decide on the collaboration over the hilarity. “Chocosaurus Rye” is born.

Beer Info: Orange County is surrounded by fantastic breweries these days and in the spirit of the growing local craft beer movement, we have decided to team up with some of our friends for a series of collaboration ales. The first beer is Chocosaurus Rye, which we brewed with the fine folks of Bootlegger’s Brewery. Located less than four miles from our own brewery and started within months of each other, Bootlegger’s have been great friends of ours since the beginning and it seemed fit to brew our first local collaboration with them. Chocosaurus Rye is an amalgamation of our two breweries styles: a dark rye lager that was finished with cacao nibs and vanilla beans. There aren’t many lagers that work well in the winter, but this one, full of rye spice and chocolate should do the trick.  7% abv.

It should hit the shelves before Feb 2012. The Bruery Reserve Society members have until 1/23 to purchase a two bottle allocation.

Here’s a video preview:

Apologies to Patricia 🙂