Since moving to Southern California last August, I’ve been exploring some of the local beers and breweries in our area. As a fan of craft beer, I have been pleasantly surprised at how many different breweries there are nearby. Although I’m not sure how widely available most of these beers are, I definitely encourage any beer fans traveling to SoCal to check out these fun drinking spots, (and perhaps take a brewery tour)!
Some New-to-Me Beers & Breweries
- Boo Koo IPA by Mother Earth Brewing CO – My first encounter with this beer was on tap, but I picked up a couple bottles as soon as I was able to find them. This mosaic IPA is refreshing, with a hoppy pine aroma that is perfect for a beautiful spring or summer day. This beer would be great for a backyard barbecue, (depending on your dish, I suppose). I’ve also had their Double IPA, which was great. I haven’t been able to visit Mother Earth Brewing Co because it isn’t located in my area, but I’m a fan of their work so far!
- Stone IPA – This one is not really new to me, but I’ve just recently discovered my full appreciation for it. Stone IPA is my current favorite go-to beer of the moment. It’s available just about everywhere, and the flavor is unbeatable! This IPA is particularly hoppy and citrusy, and will definitely not disappoint IPA fans. The taste is unique and bold, and would probably not be a great choice for a first encounter with an IPA. I have yet to visit the Stone brewery personally, but it is definitely on the to-do list!
- Saison Rue by The Bruery – This is one of the only beers from this particular brewery that I personally find drinkable, and it is fantastic. It’s a strong flavored, spicy saison with that familiar yeast component of farmhouse ales. I honestly didn’t love the brewery experience when I visited, but really enjoy this particular beer. While I can appreciate the craftsmanship that goes in to their beers, every one that I tasted besides this saison was undrinkable, especially in a glass any larger than a taster. This isn’t because the beer is bad, but the flavors are so unique, (too much so in my opinion), that it’s difficult to enjoy them. Every beer of theirs that I tried was very boldly flavored. They are a one-of-a-kind brand, for sure. The Bruery was a fun adventure in beer tasting, but it is one that I am also not likely to repeat.
- Tattered Prince by Bottle Logic – One of the most enjoyable saisons I’ve ever had. The notes of ginger and orange make for a very crisp, refreshing brew. I’ve been to their tasting room several times, and have really enjoyed it. The brewery seating is somewhat limited, but I love the general atmosphere that they’ve created with their artsy branding and décor. A fun place to hang out and enjoy a beer flight with friends.
- Golden Chaos by Bootlegger’s– A very bold, fruity flavored Belgian style ale. The brewery experience is fun and relaxed, with indoor/outdoor seating that is perfect for medium-large groups.
A New Beer Related Knitting Project
All this beer tasting inspired me to create new knitting pattern and project: beer cozies. Sure, you can find store bought versions at local beer and liquor stores, but frankly, they’re a little ugly. I decided to make my own handmade version using colorful yarns. These cozies are not only way for me to combine my love of knitting and beer, but they are also a fun way to help keep beers cold and fingers warm!
I created a pattern that includes instructions for two sizes – standard beer bottle size, and large format/bomber bottle size. The pattern is now available for download on Ravelry and in my Etsy shop. The finished, ready-to-ship cozies are currently reserved to be sold at an exclusive local pop-up shop taking place in Anaheim, CA on May 15-16, however, they will also be listed for sale in my Etsy shop after this event.