Monday, August 8, 2011

Ballast Point/33 Degrees

A few weeks ago the Taste of Brews team went around Long Beach to meet the local restaurants and pubs that are participating in our event. We stopped and had some lunch at 33 Degrees, a gastropub located in Shoreline Village.

33 Degrees offers great food and most importantly, craft beers, in a beautiful waterfront setting. The menu features healthier pub grub with influences from cities that fall near the 33rd latitudes around the world, which is where their name stems from. I ordered their trip-tip sandwich which had a great flavor and was served and a yummy brioche bun. Their beer selection features great breweries like Alesmith, Bootlegger's, Lagunitas, and The Lost Abbey.

Besides bringing samples of their food, 33 Degrees is also bringing Ballast Point brews along with them. What stand-up guys, aye? The creator of Ballast Point, Jack White, actually started with a home brewing supply store. Soon after, he joined forces with Yusseff and opened Ballast Point in the backroom of the supply shop.
Almost 15 years after its inception, Ballast Point Brewing’s dedicated team of craftsmen (and women) is still innovating, trying new methods and ingredients.

A favorite of mine is their Sea Monster Imperial Stout. For a style known to have no shortage of flavours, this one seems to have them all: smokey malt, black licorice, coffee, chocolate, caramel, molasses, vanilla and a few different dried dark fruits. The texture is thick as cream and frothy like steamed milk; just how I like my stouts.

We are looking forward to having tastes from both these guys. See you on the 20th.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sam Adams

Sam Adams is the latest to sign on to Taste of Brews. My mother was excited to hear this since she always has a Sams Adam variety pack at home, which I am quite thankful for might I add. My favs from this pack are the Rustic Saison and the Summer Ale. I try to claim these before she does, and sometimes I share.

The thing I like about Sam Adams is despite their size and popularity, they don't stray from their roots and continue to make good beer that is widely accessible. While Samuel Adams is the country’s largest-selling craft beer, it accounts for just under one percent of the U.S. beer market. Besides their permanent product line, they make unique specialty brews like their Chocolate Chili Bock and Maple Pecan Porter for those who like to venture off the beaten path.

Samuel Adams keeps their fans involved with their annual Beer Lover's Choice where enthusiasts taste from new beer styles and vote for their favorites, that will then be put into their rotation. Even more interactive is their Longshot Home Brewers Contest, where entrants are encouraged to incorporate unusual and unique ingredients into their recipes. The winners are heavily rewarded by having their recipe distributed in Sam Adams' beloved variety packs. Some of the winners have even gone off to become professional brewers turning their homebrewing hobby into a career.

As you can see, Samuel Adams has a deep passion for craft brewing and sustaining its culture. They encourage its growth and have done a great job on widening the the world of craft beer.