Season 2, Episode 21 – This week, we crack open The Lost Abbey Ultimate Box Set and sample Tracks 1-6.
This week we’re [stage] diving into what is quite possibly one of the most sought after items in the world of craft beer, The Lost Abbey Ultimate Box Set. There have been talks to open this box set on the show since the beginning of Four Brewers, and now we are finally delivering with this two part Box-Set-blowout-bonanza. Given the intensity and quantity of the 13 beers in the set, we decided to split the Box Set between two episodes. This episode is focusing on “Tracks” 1-6, and next week’s will feature the final six Tracks, 7-12. The “Bonus Track”, Track #13, will be a Patreon-only episode, exclusively for our Patreoneers on Patreon. If you’re not a supporter, maybe consider supporting 4B on Patreon?
If you’re unfamiliar with The Ultimate Box Set, it’s essentially 13 beers that were blended and bottled in 2012 by The Lost Abbey. Each beer was inspired by different a rock & roll song and beers were released every month-ish, with the final Box Set made available to purchase in November of 2012 to lucky individuals who won the opportunity to purchase one. Each winner could purchase up to two Box Sets, and that’s how John acquired his (this is his Box Set, by the way. Thanks, John!). Local beer geek and friend, Kasey Spatz, offered John the Box Set, so without her this show wouldn’t be possible. Thanks, Kasey!
Season 2, Episode 20 – This week on the show, we’re back in the studio in classic Four Brewers style, drinking homebrew, craft brew, reading beer reviews, and blind tasting. BOOM!
We kick off the show with a beer that’s has been 6 months in the making, John and Matt’sbrettanomyces-conditioned saison. You may recall a similar beer from episode 27 of season 1, their grisette-style saison. This is essentially the same beer, but with some corn sugar added at the end of the boil to dry out the beer a little more. This beer was fermented with Matt’s super-secret saison yeast. Ten gallons of this beer was made, and five gallons was keg-conditioned with ECY34, the “Dirty Dozen” brettanomyces yeast from East Coast Yeast. Matt and John are quite happy with how this beer turned out, and everyone agrees that it’s a winner.
Next up is a very special beer provided to us by Brian White of Monkish Brewing Co., Rara Avis. This beer was made specifically for The Rare Beer Club, and was also served at The Bruery’s recent anniversary party, Copperversary, in Anaheim, California. Huge brett funk with a bit of acidity and fruity hop character make this beer absolutely fabulous. Big thanks to Brian for the hook up!
We end the show with “Guess That Brew” and “Going In Blind”. We haven’t played these games in quite a while, and their return is welcomed by all of us. Yvonne England joins us as our pouress for this session.
Season 2, Episode 19 – This week, we’re going full-throttle with the beer-geekdom and drinking beers with Brad Daniels at his awesome home brewery, Peace Brewing, the third of our three stops at three Orange County breweries.
This week, we’re at one of the coolest homebreweries in southern California, Bradley Daniels‘ Peace Brewing in Anaheim. While his place isn’t an actual “craft brewery”, his home is legendary in the Orange County beer world, and we thought it appropriate to feature his brewery/bar/man-cave in this, the last stop of our Orange County brewery tour.
We kick the show off with a blonde ale that Brad has brewed 12 times so far. This recipe was actually written by our very own Matt Becker when he worked at O’Shea’s Brewing back in the day. The beer was a hit with Brad’s friends, so he continued to brew it. Brad’s home is quite beautiful and he hosts many events that cater to a broad range of people, so having a beer that’s approachable and easy drinking is ideal. This beer is perfect for such occasions, but can also be appreciated by even the geekiest beer geek.
Brad has a very unique home brewery. It’s essentially a three-tier brewing system without the brewing stand. When Brad began homebrewing 25 years ago, he didn’t have a lot of money to spend on brewing equipment and he pieced together what he could. His brewing setup today is very much like his original system 25 years ago, with a few tweaks here and there. Brad gave us a quick tour of his setup and brewday in the video above.
Next up is a stout that Brad has on tap and in bottles nearly year-round, it seems. It’s an oatmeal stout that’s served with nitro on tap, but also traditionally conditioned in bottles for portability. This beer is a big hit in Brad’s circles, and in his own words, he “can’t seem to get away from it.” This beer is essentially a dry stout, but at a slightly higher ABV. “Brewer’s Licorice” is used in this beer to give it a unique edge.
We wrap up the show with a beer that was featured on a previous episode, Brad and Greg’scollaboration beer, Belgian Brunch. When we first tried the beer, we all agreed that it wasn’t quite ready for consumption. The carbonation wasn’t quite there, and the beer was a bit fragmented, overall. Seven months later, the beer is tasting great, but is still a suitable contender for cellaring.
Brad is a genuinely great guy. He’s a true beer geek, upstanding citizen of Anaheim, and a gracious host. We can’t thank him enough for having us. We had a blast!
Season 2, Episode 18 – This week we’re on location at Barley Forge Brewing Co. in Costa Mesa, California, the second of our three stops at three Orange County breweries.
The second of our three brewery tour is Barley Forge Brewing Co. in Costa Mesa, California. Opening just six months ago, Barley Forge is already well on their way to becoming one of Orange County’s best craft breweries with a variety of beers ranging from the super-hoppy, to rich and exotic. Owner, Greg Nylen and Head of Brewing Operations, Kevin Buckley join us to talk about the brewery with a spread of Barley Forge’s outstanding brews.
We kick off the show with a Dortmunder-stlye lager from Barley Forge named Grandpa Tractor. This 5.0% ABV euro-style lager is made with Northern Brewer hops and was designed by Greg and Kevin to pair with Asian foods. It’s light, clean and refreshing, and translates well in bottle format, which we try along side the draft version.
Before we head into the IPA and stout beers, we take a detour into Belgium with Barley Forge’s Belgian-style amber ale, Goesting. This beer is 5.7% ABV and is brewed with Perle and Styrian Goldings hops. Orange peel is used during the mash to give the beer a slight citrus kick that doesn’t take center stage, and Achouffe yeast is used to ferment the wort and give it its Belgian edge. Stone fruit is prominent on the nose, and the beer pairs nicely with mild, nutty cheese and honeycomb.
Next up is a side-by-side of two double IPAs from Barley Forge, One Louder, and Future Tripping. We acknowledge that none of us are new to the IPA style of beer, but Barley Forge’s IPAs stand out in that they can accommodate to a wider audience with different tastes. One Louder will appeal to someone who likes more of a balanced, NorCal-style IPA, and is brewed with Nelson and Chinook hops, with some honey malt to round out the flavor. Future Tripping appeals more to those who enjoy an aggressively bitter IPA, and is made with Simcoe and Amarillo hops. If you love SoCal IPA, then Future Tripping is your jam.
We wrap up the show with a delicious coconut stout made with rye malt named, The Patsy. We find out later why it’s called the Patsy, but if you’re up on your classic British sketch comedy, you’ll understand the reference. This beer is awesome! Huge toasted coconut and chocolate aromas on the nose lead one to think that this beer might be a little too rich when it’s tasted, but the rye malts cut right through the sweetness and makes for a drier, cleaner than expected finish. Beer floats, anyone?
Thanks to Greg and Kevin for having us at the brewery. It really is a beautiful spot with a lot of great beers on tap and some great in-house eats. Kevin Buckley is a well-seasoned brewer who knows his stuff, and it shows in the quality of their product.
Before the start of the show, we met up with the team behind the craft beer documentary Blood, Sweat, and Beer: The Movie, Alexis Irvin and Chip Hiden. The documentary follows two start-up craft breweries from Maryland and Pennsylvania as they open up shop and get their beer out to the masses. Greg attended a screening of the film at the Newport Beach Film Festival last month, and it didn’t disappoint. You can save 20% on the pre-order price, which starts at $4.99 (it’s a sliding scale pricing model, so if you would like to kick in a little extra to help these two indie filmmakers out, you can), by using the code “beerme” at checkout.