2014 in Review

Derek & Erin

2014 was a year of new experiences. We moved from Sonoma County to Sacramento to be closer to family. We started new jobs in new industries and have continued to travel to various beer destinations. We added 102 new breweries this year, more than any other year. Our most memorable were San Diego, Los Angeles, and Southern Oregon. Here is our best attempt at a “Top 10” list of 2014.

Our Top 10 New Beers:

1) Sourtooth Tiger – The Rare BarrelFramboise de Amorosa

2) Framboise de Amorosa – Lost Abbey

3) Cellar Palette Raspberry – Sante Adarius Rustic Ales

4) Earl’s Grey Dinghy – Noble Ale Works

5) Bourbon Barrel Double Milk Stout -Bike Dog Brewing

6) Black House – Modern Times Beer

7) Double Dry Hopped General Sherman IPAHochata Imperial Milk Stout – Tioga Sequoia

8) Cap Tap’s 2nd Anniversary IPA – Device Brewing

9) Xocoveza Mocha Stout – Stone Brewing

10) Horchata Imperial Milk Stout – Belching Beaver Brewing

Our Top 10 New Breweries:

1) Noble Ale Works – Anaheim, CANoble Ale Works

2) Modern Times Beer – San Diego, CA

3) Golden Road Brewing – Los Angeles, CA

4) Anchor Brewing – San Francisco, CA

5) Sante Adairius Rustic Ales – Capitola, CA

6) Beachwood BBQ & Brewing – Long Beach, CA

Golden Road Brewing7) The Bruery – Placentia, CA

8) Fall River Brewing – Redding, CA

9) Smog City Brewing – Torrance, CA

10) Klamath Basin Brewing – Klamath Falls, OR

Top 5 Beer Moments:

1) Reaching 300 Breweries! – 300 sounds way better than 200

2) A whole week in San Diego and Los Angeles dedicated to beer

3) Meeting fellow beer travelers Brandon Wurtz & Michael Roberts of Brews Travelers 365

4) Earning my 2500 Unique Beers on Untappd

5) Finally getting to tour Anchor Steam Brewing. They don’t lie when they say 6 months out. We have been trying for a couple years and finally got in!

Happy New Year!

Lancaster Breweries

Kinetic Brewing I have to say we have pretty much avoided LA in our beer and baseball travels and have always drove past to San Diego. We decided to curb our wasteland stereotypes and on Memorial Day weekend we visited the town of Lancaster, CA in Northern Los Angeles County. A town historically known for aviation and breaking the sound barrier. This town is very proud of their past with murals, flags, and life-size jets on display, but we came for the beer and our first stop was Kinetic Brewing. Our friends Jess Poshepny Valley of Moxie Lady & Tim Vallery of Half Ass Beer Blogger raved about them on their past trip to LA.

After a 5 hour drive we arrived at opening and ordered a sampler. They were out of a few beers, but said you can get them at the beer garden at the Lancaster JetHawks Stadium, which we did later. The sampler board is a cog and their tap handles our spinning gears all representing Lancaster’s aviation heritage. The standouts was their Ignition New Zealand Pale Ale that was so bright and fresh and their Fusion Porter that had the perfect balance. The beer was heightened by their great hospitality. We probably talked to four different employees and every one was so nice and hospitable. They really value their customers and cared about social media. They had a board that looks like chalk, but is actually projected. It tracks all the social interactions of Facebook, Twitter, Untappd and Foursquare. As soon as I checked in I was on the board. That’s pretty awesome.

We then visited the second brewery Bravey Brewinglocated in Lancaster about 10 miles south Bravery Brewing. Their brewery is dedicated to the armed forces and it shows in their beer names, décor, and the huge American flag on the wall. They also have the drill sergeant uniform from Full Metal Jacket worn by Brian Avery, R. Lee Emery who is actually part owner with Dave Conett. With so much focus towards their military branding I have to say I didn’t think the beer would be up to par. My complete mistake, the beer was terrific. We ordered a pick your own taster set of 4 and then immediately ordered another one so we could try all their beers. The Old Rat an English Style Brown Ale was so full of flavor, while retaining its origins. Also really loved their Allegiance IPA a perfect west coast style. Ohh and their Morning Cup a Black IPA with coffee reminded me of Stone’s Dayman Coffee IPA, a beer I still crave today.

JethawksWe ended the night at Clear Channel Stadium the ballpark of the Lancaster Jethawkes a minor league class A Advanced team for the Houston Astros. Basic minor league ballpark with dedicated local fans and basic food. The standout was the beer garden hosted by Kinetic Brewing where we got to enjoy more of their beer as promised.

I have to say Lancaster, CA surprised us. They have two well deserving breweries worth the visit.

Cheers, Sparklinglover

Breweries Visited:

Kinetic Brewing – 735 W Lancaster Blvd,  Lancaster, CA 93534

Bravery Brewing – 42705 8th St West,  Lancaster, CA 93534