The Quest for 366 Beers in 366 Days

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A beer a day keeps the doctor away. At least I think that’s how the saying goes. Over the last 18 months, I’ve been fortunate to explore the many depths of craft beer through beer festivals, tasting events, and trips down the beer aisle. Many were highlights and hardly any were deemed lowlights, although I have been accused of liking every beer that I try.

I’m a beer lover, simple as that. I’m even guilty of drinking a macro now and then. Save your gasp, even though they brew it with rice, the stuff won’t kill you. Trust me.

June 17th 2011. That’s the day I started using Untappd and logging each beer as I tasted it. As a personal goal, I’d like to check in to one unique beer for every day of the year day. The final 3 month stretch is almost here and I want to bring you along for the ride. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be posting pictures and mini reviews on Tumblr as I taste the final 70 beers.

First, will be reviews of beers that have been personal highlights from the past 9 months. That includes the likes of Port Brewing’s Old Viscosity, the now defunct Airdale Brewing’s The Angry Panda, and Lagunitas Brewing’s Little Sumpin’ Wild Ale. After those, expect a consistent flow of new reviews as I get closer to my target number of 366. Follow the journey on Tumblr and Untappd.

Which beers do you think I should try over the next 3 and a half months? Comment on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ or even right here and share your recommendations.

Cheers,

Philippe

Philippe Gagnon is the founder and writer for Craft Beer Culture. Currently residing in Orange County, California, you can find him at the local brewery drinking craft beer or online through FacebookTwitter, and .

Russian River Brewing Pliny the Elder Review

Russian River Pliny the Elder

Brewery: Russian River Brewing Company

Name: Pliny the Elder

Style: Double India Pale Ale

ABV: 8%

IBU: 100

Look: Ultra clear. This beer defines clarity in an IPA as you can literally see your fingers through the side of the glass. Nice bright orange hue and decent hoppy head that foams up than dissipates out slowly.

Smell: Hops… Lots and lots of hops. Hard to smell beyond them as they’re so floral and fragrant. Light notes of grass and lemon. Swirl it around and the earthiness comes out leaving it smelling fresh like the air after heavy rain. Incredibly aromatic.

Taste: Beautifully bitter and perfectly hop forward. This bottle was really fresh so there was hardly any sweetness at all. The citrus notes come through at the end. In a sense, tt doesn’t taste like it smells, which in this case is fine because if you take a big sniff as you sip, you get an aroma explosion that complements the flavor profile nicely.

Feel: My favorite part of Pliny is the mouthfeel. Russian River is definitely using highly attenuative yeast which rips through the sugar leaving the mouthfeel really light with a clean dry finish. This makes this 8% ABV Double IPA, very easy to drink and delectably light on the palate, especially considering the extreme hop bill. Definitely one of my favorite IIPA’s even considering the intense hype.

Follow Craft Beer Culture on Tumblr for more beer reviews like this one.

Philippe Gagnon is the founder and writer for Craft Beer Culture. Currently residing in Orange County, California, you can find him at the local brewery drinking craft beer or online through FacebookTwitter, and .

Pliny the Younger Orange County Watch 2012

Pliny the Younger Orange County

February is a special time of the year for any beer lover, and no I’m not talking about anything “V related”. Over the span of two weeks, hundreds, if not thousands, of beer enthusiasts line up outside of Russian River Brewing Company with the hope of tasting the all elusive and ever scarce, Pliny the Younger.

Orange County is fortunate enough to be a part of Pliny the Younger’s yearly distribution but that doesn’t mean finding it will be easy or quick. Year after year, craft beer bars experience huge lines of thirsty beer geeks at the slightest mention of “Younger”. This area will be no exception but if you’re willing to brave out the elements (current temperature: 73° and sunny), I’ll do my best to help you find a pour.

Inspired by San Diego Beer Blog’s, Pliny the Younger in San Diego 2012 post, this is Orange County’s guide to finding Pliny the Younger in 2012.

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My Visit to Newport Beach Brewing Company

Newport Beach Brewing Company

Southern California beach communities aren’t exactly known for their craft beer (the most apparent exception being the Pizza Port franchises). Luckily for Newport Beach, an oasis can be found where people are actually doing it right and have been for the last 17 years.

Newport Beach Brewing Company, Brew Co for those “in the know”, opened in 1995 as only the second brewery to open in Orange County at the time. Being only blocks from the beach, this is a local spot. To paint a picture, their most popular beers are their Blonde, IPA, and Red. All great beers, but you get the idea.

Over the course of an hour or so the people around me ranged from a massively bearded mid-seventy year old man who talked about his three day high from Mezcal in Ensenada (think Santa whose had a few too many) to a couple of local surfers sitting down and ordering “some Coronas… bro”. I happily witnessed them get denied.

“But we do have Pacifico”. Ok I’ll forgive them for that one, we are at the beach after all.

This is the kind of place where you can walk in, have quality beer, and not have to have tried 6 different types of Cantillon to be talked to seriously. You don’t even need to know how to pronounce it. Check that pretentious attitude at the door, it’s not welcome here, and thank goodness for that.

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Hangar 24 Pugachev’s Cobra Release at Brü Market & Grill

Hangar 24 Brewing Company Redlands Taster Flight

You should probably know by now that I have an affinity with anything that spends time in oak. I have a theory that you could urinate in a bourbon barrel and still get something good. That might be going a bit far but you get the idea.

Over the last three years, Hangar 24 Craft Brewery out of Redlands CA, has been putting out some phenomenal session beers from the tangy Orange Wheat to the toasty Alt-Bier. I used to think they were a great craft alternative to Blue Moon and Shocktop crowd however, recently, this perception has changed completely with the introduction of the aptly named Barrel Roll Series.

PUGACHEV’S COBRA: The brainchild of Victor Pugachev — not for the faint of heart. Pilot suddenly raises the aircraft nose to near vertical before dropping back to attack mode.

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Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Black IPA Review

Stone Brewing 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

Whether you call it an American Black Ale, a Cascadian Dark Ale, or in this case, an Escondidian Imperial Black IPA, the only thing that matters is that this style is incredible and I can’t get enough. So much so, that I purchased a couple of extra bottles intending to open one after 3 months and the other after 6, as recommended by Stone. Needless to say, they were long gone before the end of the first month. Here’s my review of a very fresh and very delicious bottle of Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Black IPA.

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5 Reasons Why Breweries Need Social Media

With 1,716 craft breweries across the United States today, the harsh reality is that differentiating your brand has become more necessary than ever. Traditionally, this is done through the use of TV, radio, print, or outdoor advertising, but these mediums are often way too expensive for small companies. That’s where social media comes in. But, why should small local breweries use social media? Well, I’m glad you asked.

1. Brand Personality: Social media is branding in its purest form and allows a brand the constant opportunity to directly communicate who they are and why they do it. This is something that needs to be taken advantage of because it can really help one brewery stand out against the rest. For example, when someone mentions Stone Brewing Company, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For me, I think of liquid arrogance, my degree of worthiness, and even a bit of Greg Face. Brand personality is a very real concept and social media should be used as an avenue to reinforce that personality with each post.

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Interview with OC Beer Society founder Ron Bland

OC Beer Society

Sandwiched between San Diego’s established craft beer culture and the growing community in Los Angeles, Orange County is a region with a lot of potential. Following the success of the recent OC Brew HaHa and October’s OC beer week, craft beer in Orange County is percolating and a serious revolution is starting to take off. Over the past few years, establishments like The Bruery, Noble Ale Works, and Pizza Port San Clemente have helped convert the taste buds of residents and are making good beer more accessible than ever.

So what’s Orange County’s craft beer future? We asked founder of the OC Beer Society Ron Bland to share his perspective.

1. Let’s start from the beginning, why was the OC Beer Society created and how did it come to be?

OC Beer Society was started in December of 2007 while I was working for Back Street Brewery’s Ladera Ranch location (now closed). Originally it was started to help me hone my brewer’s pallet by tasting different examples of specific beer styles and how they differed from brewery to brewery & it quickly evolved from there.

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