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Posts Tagged ‘The Bruery’

GABF Day 3: Awards, more beer and really cool times

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Saturday is one of my favorite days at GABF because of the awards ceremony. I love watching who won what and which surprising brewery beat out someone else and then when judging is over, everyone runs to the breweries that won and gets to try the medal winning brews.

But before the session began, there was the Sam Adams Longshot brunch to attend. The Longshot is an annual homebrewing contest that Boston Beer holds each year. They have two divisions, one for employees and one for non-employees. It was really cool to meet the winners and hear their stories about how they got into brewing and how they came up with their recipes. Plus, I got to meet Jim Koch, a first for me.

Before the judging began I had an opportunity to interview Brewer’s Association founder and President Charlie Papazian and also Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head. I met both of these men more than a few times and it’s a true pleasure each time I talk to them. Both of them are so passionate about beer and brewing and food and the growth of craft beer and it’s simply infectious. I would give anything to work with these men, even for just a short time. I will hopefully have both of those interviews up soon.

The awards ceremony was super cool for several reasons. First, one of my favorite breweries and LA/OC favorite, The Bruery, won it’s first GABF medal, a Gold for their Oude Tart. When I saw their name go up, I was so charged! I was super excited for everyone that works there because they are all truly genuine and nice people and they really do make amazing beer. I was disappointed that Black Tuesday, my favorite beer, didn’t place but overall, it was just a super cool moment.

Second, another local brewery, Eagle Rock, won a gold in the Pro-Am division with the Red Velvet, an imperial red ale. Eagle Rock is all of 8 months old so seeing them on the board much less with a gold was a shocker. But I cannot be happier for Jeremy, his father and his wife Ting. And this is a beer I’ve yet to try so it quickly went on my list!

Lastly, I just happened to be sitting next to Jim Koch during the ceremony. We got to talk a lot and I got to share with him about some of the SoCal and Texas breweries he didn’t know. He didn’t know Saint Arnold (from my hometown of Houston and winners of Gold again for their Fancy Lawnmower) or of Real Ale in Blanco or Independence in Austin. But it was especially cool for me to tell him that my first craft beer was a Sam Adams in a Christmas pack my sister gave me in 1994 and those were the beers that converted me. He was surprised but also humble and thankful that I shared that with him. I really enjoyed talking to him and could see the drive and passion in him that made him and Boston Beer Company what it is today.

I was also thrilled to see Firestone, TAPS, Pizza Ports, Stone (for Sublimely Self Righteous–YUM!) and Deschutes do really well too. I loved seeing them come off the stage and taking their pictures. Veronica Vega from Deschutes was so excited she practically lit up the whole convention center. I can only imagine what this must have been like for her. It was really cool.

After the awards, Veronica, Eric and a couple other Deschutes guys and I all went around to some of the different breweries who had won or who had a beer we wanted to try. It was pretty cool. I dragged them to Founders to try their Canadian Breakfast Stout which is simply amazing. I want that beer with some pancakes!

Finally that night, JJ, Brian and myself were all invited to have dinner with the Deschutes family and celebrate their winnings. It was such an amazing time to spend with these men and women and truly get to know them. I don’t think I can find enough good words to say about them and certainly about the beers they brew.

After that was a late visit to Falling Rock to catch the last sips of Dr Bill’s tasting and then to someplace called the Whiskey Bar. I can only say that after a day full of beer, anyplace named the Whiskey Bar is an inadvisable way to finish the night. I’ll leave it at that.

Another amazing GABF come and gone and so many good friends and good beers enjoyed. This is truly one of life’s great experiences and I thank everyone who was involved however they were for making it everything that it is. Cheers!

Filming an episode of New Brew Thursday for Pints for Prostates

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Most of you know the New Brew Thursday gang of John, Stephen and Brad and have probably seen some of their episodes. They’re big beer geeks and love to travel around and talk to different beer people and enjoy a variety of brews much like myself.

And like the craft beer community of brewers and brewpubs, we also like to support each other’s endeavors to bring other beer people entertainment and information about the craft beers they love. It’s actually really cool when different beer shows give each other props because ultimately we want to support craft beer.

So last night, after filming the new segments at Stone, I headed to the top secret filming location of New Brew Thursday to shoot their newest episode on the Pints for Prostates event that I have worked very hard to organize. The charity is an important one because of how dangerous prostate cancer is to men and this event is a great way for men to learn more about the dangers of prostate cancer and also enjoy some great craft beers.

I didn’t know completely what to expect and was very pleasantly surprised. John’s girlfriend Evie had worked hard to learn and prepare a prostate healthy meal of pork loin, kale and potatoes in a pomegranate sauce which is a prostate healthy food. The guys decided to pair it with The Bruery’s Hottenroth Berleiner Weiss and instead of the commonly used raspberry, Evie made a pomegranate reduction sauce for the beer which was most excellent! So big thanks to Evie for the delicious food!

The shoot went very well. We talked about Destination Beer Show and prostate cancer, the great food and the very good beer. And after we finished, more beers were enjoyed, tweeting was happening and there was much rejoicing.

The episode is slated to air next Thursday June 10th, just nine days before the LA Pints for Prostates event. Make sure to tune in!

And if you are in the LA/Orange County area, buy your tickets to the event soon! There are only 250 tickets available. They are only $45 for unlimited tastings and there will be some amazing beers there! Click here to buy your ticket now.

Pints for Prostates LA Beer Festival

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Finally!! I have been wanting to announce the Pints for Prostates LA event for awhile and it has now reached the point where I can do so.

I initially got the idea for doing this event when I attended the Rare Beer Tasting in Denver at the GABF last year and had a chance to speak with the Pints For Prostates founder, Rick Lyke. Rick is a craft beer writer and homebrewer and had successful prostate cancer surgery in 2008. After his surgery, he was inspired to spread the message about the dangers of prostate cancer and do so through “the universal language of beer.” There have been many events all over the U.S. and it’s time for LA to step up to the plate and host an event.

The date for the event is June 19th, the day before Father’s Day, a day when people will obviously be thinking about the men in their lives. It will be held at Mr Pockets Sports Bar in Manhattan Beach, from 1pm-5pm. Tickets are $45 for a 5oz taster glass to be filled with over 20 craft breweries from around the world and a Woodford Reserve sample. There will also be food served from 1-3pm.

You can buy your tickets at www.pintsforprostates.org. Don’t wait, only 250 tickets will be sold!

Check out the Facebook event page for a list of breweries that will be pouring at the event. See you there!

Breakfast of champions!

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

So today I was honored with the chance to hang out with the gang at The Bruery in Placentia and do some brewing with them. Today they were brewing their summer seasonal, the Trade Winds Tripel, a Belgian style Golden Ale. It was a lot of work but also fun since I’ve never worked inside a brewery. It was really cool to see all the specific detail that goes into brewing on a large scale and I’m thankful to Travis and Tyler for the chance to help them.

Along the way, I surprised Travis by enjoying the spent grains in a way he’d not seen someone do before; as breakfast! I was surprised he’d never seen that but I really do enjoy the taste of spent grains, especially with a little sugar added. So to further the fun, I decided to make a quick video for the show.

Breakfast of Champions! from Chris Spradley on Vimeo.

San Francisco Beer Week (end)

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

On my list of things to do this year was attend San Francisco Beer Week. I couldn’t do the whole week but along with my Ale Club buddy Andrew, I was able to come up for the final weekend.

We flew up from LA this morning (Saturday) and after checking in to our hotel, we hailed a cab and headed immediately for Haight-Asbury and the Magnolia Pub for their Pre-Barleywine Brunch, in reference to Toronado’s Barleywine Festival. We filled up on some seriously good food with a build your own English breakfast and enjoyed a few tasty beers of course. My favorite in name was definitely the Old Thunder Pussy Barleywine from Magnolia. It was very tasty too! The Twist of Fate from Moonlight Brewing was also very good.

After that we headed down the street to attend the Barleywine Festival which I was really looking forward to. Barleywines are my favorite style and I heard they were going to have a vertical of Sisyphus from Real Ale in Texas. When we got there though, we realized that this was a VERY popular event and that some people had even arrived 2 hours early to stake their table. It was absolutely packed when we got there. I made my way in but it was literally so crowded that moving through it was impossibly difficult and ordering a beer? Fuhgedddabotit.

We did manage to grab a couple of sausages from Rosamunde next door but after realizing how hopeless our mission was at Toronado, we headed across the street to another place called Molotav’s. Turns out, it was a good choice. They had some nice brews on tap and I ran into Mitch Steele from Stone and Mark Silva, who created RealBeer.com. We hung out there for a little bit and then headed down the street to a little place called Noc Noc. They were hosting a Speakeasy event called the St. Valentine’s Mobster Massacre and had some nice Speakeasy brews on tap including one of my favorite IPAs, the Big Daddy and the former Black Daddy now known as the Scarface Stout. And I ran into Meg Gill, the wonder-woman sales manager for Speakeasy. She is a fireball to be sure and had been very busy helping to organize SF Beer Week along with promoting Speakeasy at various events.

After that, we were feeling pretty good and along with having to get up as early as we did for the flight, it was time for a nap back at the hotel before the revelry continued later.

And continue it did. We headed to Churchkey for their Elysian Brewing night. I didn’t know much about them but I discovered one of my new favorite beers in the world… the Bye-Bye Frost Double IPA. It was soooo excellent that I had three! I also had a chance to meet Mike & Lisa Hinkley from Green Flash Brewing and enjoyed a great conversation with them, as well as a few Green Flash brews. Ashley Routson, aka The Beer Wench, also showed up with a friend of hers named Catherine and Tyler King, the brewer at the Bruery and Matt Salie from Big Sky Brewing made appearances as well. It was a pretty cool group and we all had a good time.

But the one thing we were missing was food. We wanted to head to Rogue but didn’t get that far as someone suggested a great Italian restaurant (I think called Ristorante Ideale) that was nearby. So Andrew, Catherine, myself and other person headed over there. They were closing up but let us in anyway and I’m so glad they did. We had some really good food, from the bread, to the Caesar salad and most importantly, the absolute best ravioli I have ever had in my life. It had lobster in it and was bathed in a wonderful tomato and brandy sauce that I could not get enough of. I WILL go back there when I visit SF again.

We had a great meal and for some reason felt the need to order a bottle of wine, which we did not finish. By the time that meal was done, so was our group. It had been a loooonnngggg but really good day and it was time to head back to the hotel and call it a night.

Toronado Barleywine Fest 300x225 San Francisco Beer Week (end)Gang at Churchkey 300x225 San Francisco Beer Week (end)

GABF tomorrow! BJs and The Bruery updates…

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Tomorrow is the big day! I’ll be flying out of LAX in the morning headed to Denver for the GABF! I absolutely cannot wait for what is guaranteed to be an awesome experience!

Check out a couple of articles on LA area breweries headed that way as well:

BJs Restaurant and Brewery

The Bruery lands in Denver

The Bruery in Placentia, California

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Check out the latest article about LA’s own The Bruery! They are making some awesome beers and are looking forward to their 2nd GABF!

One week until the Great American Beer Festival!!!

Declaration update, what an amazing Saturday!!!

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

Wow and wow!!  Yesterday had to be one of the very best days ever!

The Bruery in Placentia, CA was celebrating their 1st Anniversary with a big party and let me tell you, those guys know how to throw a party!  The facilities themselves are gorgeous and much bigger than I expected and the beer, oh the beer.  The Bruery specializes in Belgian style ales and head brewer Patrick Rue knows his stuff.  They’ve won awards for the Orchard White and I am just in love with the Melange.  And he brought out another beer aged in brandy barrels.  Just wow.   They also had Beechwood BBQ there serving some delicious food AND there were true Belgian waffles, made with beer and my personal favorite, chocolate covered bacon.  Oh, and we collected more signatures on the Declaration too!  icon smile Declaration update, what an amazing Saturday!!!

After a short rest, it was on to Blue Palms Brewhouse for the Prime Rib Dinner and Firestone Walker 10th, 11th and 12th anniversary vertical tasting.  Owner Brian Lenzo was working it in the kitchen, using some of the 10th and 11th as a marinade for the meat and then cooked it to perfection!  It was served with a salad and a baked potato and let me tell you, that plate could barely hold the 2 pounds of prime rib let alone a potato.  I had never had the Firestone 10th or 11th and they were simply fabulous! 

The Firkins played a rocking concert and we collected a whole bunch more signatures for the Declaration.  I might not have the thousand I aimed for when I started this project but I’ve collected a lot of signatures from people who love craft beer right here in Los Angeles and opened many more eyes to the awesomeness that is craft beer.  It’s been a great week and I really want to thank all the brewpubs and breweries that participated.  Cheers to each of you!