Sierra Nevada’s “The Sampler” Makes For A Nice Peaceful Saturday Night

I have not had a variety pack, with good beer, last so long. I mean that as a compliment. It has legs, in a good way. I’m talking about Sierra Nevada Brewing’s variety pack called “The Sampler”.

The Sampler for Fall 2019 features:

  • Sierra Pale (duh)
  • Coffee Stout
  • 3 Weight (session)
  • Flipside
  • Hop Bullet
  • Torpedo

The website features cans for all but the Coffee Stout and Flipside. That would be cool to find this in cans or mixed, but I only found the ALL bottles version.

The session beer, 3 Weight, as the most interesting to me. But I love sessions, so…

Sierra Nevada's The Sampler variety pack

I got it on sale for $15.99 in my local grocery store, which is a great deal for a craft beer 12-pack. It lasted the better part of a week. I wasn’t exclusively drinking this, mind you, but used it for palet cleansing for bigger Untappd checks.

A lot of people complain that they can’t get the Flipside or the Coffee Stout on its own. I’m not a big fan but appreciate the beer, so for me, having in the Sampler is just fine.

Overall, I would totally pick up this 12 pack again, probably will for Thanksgiving or something. For the variety of it, I would choose it over a 12 pack of Torpedo or a 12 pack of Sierra Pale, 9 of 10 times.

Or just enjoy a nice quiet Saturday night with an old friend, Sierra Nevada.

Flagship February Continues On… Everywhere

Flagship February

Don’t be bummed Flagship February is over. It is still going at every place that has craft beer. Really. Check you Untappd feed if you don’t believe me.

Here is a handy list of places that will continue Flagshipping, way after February… like, all damn year and forever.

  • Chilli’s.
  • Red Robin.
  • Whole Foods.
  • Red Lobster.
  • Texas Roadhouse.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings.
  • Your Uncle’s.
  • Applebees.
  • The Denny’s in Barstow.
  • 711.
  • The Cantina at Mos Isles, Tatooine.
  • Every Indian Gaming Casino.
  • Friday’s.
  • Dan and Julie’s Wedding.
  • The White House When Obama Was There.
  • Chevron Gas Stations.
  • Fresno Yosemite International Airport.
  • That Taco Bell That Serves Alchohol.
  • Every Restaurant In Downtown Disney.
  • The Bowling Alley From The Big Lebowski’s.
  • Every Sushi, Tepanaki and Mexican Food Place.
  • The Tailgates at Every Show on the Korn & Alice In Chains Tour.
  • The Place Dekard Eats Noodles At In Blade Runner.
  • Circle K.
  • Flight 1138 From Los Angels to Maui.
  • Chotchkie’s.
  • Your Friend From Work’s Ski Boat.

All kidding aside, I think Flagship February is a cool thing. But my point is, Flagships are not dead. Diminished, sure. But definitely not dead.

They live on, and probably always will, at more places than you think.

Pizza and Beer: The Simple Guide To Pairing

Pizza and beer pairing Picture by TheWanderingGormet.com

The right beer to go with your pizza is not hard to figure out. That doesn’t mean we can’t help each other get better at beer and pizza.

You don’t need me to tell you, but, Pizza and beer is a thing. Maybe the biggest thing in the genre of pairing beer with food, and pizza with… well, anything.

Beer and pizza, while they may be two of the greatest things in the world, take up valuable calorie real estate.

So it is essential these calories are used properly. We want the optimal experience.

A Simple Guide To Pizza and Beer

But, before we go further with this post, here is a quick infographic that craftbeer.com has created, to get you quickly into your perfect pairing:

Craft Beer and Pizza pairing

Alright, now get cheesier with me and keep reading…

Beer and pizza pairing is serious.

Don’t go into your eating and drinking all willy nilly. Stay focused while enjoying all the goodness and comfort that beer and pizza provides.

The thing to keep in mind is finding a balance.

If the pizza is mild, bland, basic, then you go big, flavorful and spicy, on the beer.

If your are gorging on spicy pizza, you get a beer that is simple and mellow.

Here are five basic pizza styles to match up with the proper beer:

CHEESE PIZZA: Red Ale.

Alternatives include Wheat Beer. Ambers. Pilsners. Pales are good in this situation as well.

This is the best use of a red beer. In fact, I really don’t care to have a red without pizza around. I feel like it is a style that needs pizza or needs something else.

A red ale is like salsa. I suppose it is fine on its own but I need something to eat with it to actually enjoy it.

Maybe the best known red out here on the West Coast is the Karl Straus Red Trolley Ale. Well, best know if you have ever gone to Disneyland: California Adventure, that is and found the Karl Strauss Beer Cart.

California Adventure Beer Truck
Image from LAist.com

A magical cart it is. Find a slice of cheese pizza in the park and you are all set.

Continue reading “Pizza and Beer: The Simple Guide To Pairing”

Happy Hops IPA from Russian River Brewing, It’s A Thing!

Happy Hops IPA

I had no idea Russian River had a tribute beer called Happy Hops IPA. Glad I found out.

A friend from work spent some time in Santa Rosa recently (I like to call it “Pliny Town”) and went to Russian River Brewing every day. Dude isn’t even a big beer geek but he likes good beer, so of course, he went there as much as possible.

He surprised me when he came back with a bottle of Pliny the Elder (of course). Awesome because that is my all-time favorite and I don’t get to have it nearly enough.

But I quickly brushed it aside because next to that Pliny bottle was another Russian River bottle with a label I did not recognize. A new IPA from Russian River!?

A NEW beer!? Give that shit to me right now! Typical asshat beer geek.

That new beer is called Happy Hops IPA.

It is not totally new though. As the bottle states, Happy Hops is a tribute beer. A brewery in Santa Rosa called Grace Brother’s Brewery, made this beer in 1944. Unfortunately, the brewery closed in the 60s.

But RR brought this one back as respect to Santa Rosa brewing past. A pretty cool thing to do. I love when breweries do this kind of stuff.

Does it taste like an old IPA?

I know what you’re thinking because I was thinking it too: An IPA from 1944? It’s going to be malty AF! There is no way this could be up to my ever raising beer snob standards.

But Russian River, yo.

It’s good. Of course, it’s good, it’s freaking Russian River. Very clean. Not what I expected. Definitely would not consider it malty. That’s probably because Vinny from RR said (in a recent interview) that they blended some new world hops and tech to even things out.

Here is a brief video of me having a taste:

The hops used for Happy Hops

  • Amarillo.
  • Azacca.
  • Brewers gold.
  • Cashmere.

I could not tell you which hop is more pronounced but I feel like Amarillo is the one that gives it an updated feel.

Get this beer on your next trip to Russian River

While there won’t be a linefest anytime soon for this beer, it is definitely worthy of putting on your list of beers to try for your next Russian River pilgrimage.

Good news is they say that once the new production facility is up and running in Windsor, they will be making and packaging more of Happy Hops!

What Does Rolling A Beer Do? [File Under: Hazy Beer Tips]

What is rolling your beer anyway?
Hazy beer “Death To False Beer” is a good beer for rolling.

Do you already know about rolling your beer or is this the first time you’re hearing about it?

I recently was listening to Three B Zine podcast and heard a guy from Stone Brewing talk about rolling a can of Hazy IPA or NE style (whatever term you prefer) beer before opening it.

Oh, yes, I have seen hazebros do this beer rolling on Instagram but did not think there was a point to it other than it makes for a slightly fun and quick video.

There is actually a point to it.

Why? What does rolling a beer do?

It breaks up the sediment. If a beer has been sitting around a bit or is excessive in its hazy New England nature, there will be lots of chunky goodness to mix in with the rest of the beer.

Rolling it brings out the all the flavors.

So, when you roll it, it’s like shaking it up without shaking it up because actually shaking a beer is bad – unless you just won the World Series and you’re pouring beer over your teammate in the locker room.

Rolling it mixes all the things. The sediment. The haze. The juicy.

Is it okay to drink beer with sediment?

Yeah, dude. Totally. That’s full of protein probably.

Actually, it’s the yeast. It is heavy and likes to rest at the bottom of your can or bottle. Yeast gets worn out and lazy.

Good news though, that sediment apparently has plenty of B-vitamins so you’re going to be super healthy after drinking it. “No honey, I don’t need to take my multivitamin today, I have my juicy beer here, I’m good.”

What is the best way to roll your beer?

Be nice to your beer. Take your favorite can or crowler of hazy, or bottle of old beer. Playfully roll it across the table a few times. Open. Pour. Enjoy your haze…bro.

If you do it right and don’t get too crazy with your roll, it won’t explode on you, it’ll just be ready to enjoy.

Enough talking about it. Let’s try it because I am getting thirsty and I need something chunky and juicy: