Four Brewers | Craft Beer and Homebrew Podcast
[S2/E35] The w00tstout Vertical

Season 2, Episode 35 – This week, we’re drinking three vintages of the Stone Brewing Co. collaboration beer, w00tstout.

This week on the show, we’re drinking three vintages of the Drew Curtis/Wil Wheaton/Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout, or as it’s generally known, w00tstout. It’s origins were inspired by the touring variety show known as w00tstock, which was created by Wil WheatonAdam Savage, and the group Paul and Stormw00tstout is a collaboration between Stone Brewing Co. CEO Greg Koch, Wil Wheaton, and Fark.com creator, Drew Curtis.

Stone Brewing Co. - w00tstout
Stone Brewing Co. – w00tstout

Stone Brewing Co. releases the beer annually during Hop-Con, an event held during the San Diego International Comic-Con. Two of the three vintages were designed by the collaborators mentioned above, with the exception of Stone w00tstout 2.0, which was a collaboration between Wil Wheaton, Drew Curtis, and Aisha Tyler.

All three vintages of w00tstout were partially bourbon barrel-aged and made with pecans, flaked rye malt, and wheat malt, while the 2014 Stone w00tstout 2.0 was made with the same ingredients as the 2013 Drew Curtis/Wil Wheaton/Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout, but with the addition of cocoa. Whew!

Pizza Port Brewing Company - Pick Six Pilsner
Pizza Port Brewing Company – Pick Six Pilsner

We kick off the show with a warm up beer from Pizza Port Brewing Company named Pick Six, a hoppier-than-usual pilsner that has been a long time favorite of beer drinkers local to the San Diego beer scene. Pizza Port recently started canning some of their long-time legendary pub beers, and so far they’re all hits. This beer is deliciously perfect during these scorching SoCal summer days.

So, how did the two previous vintages w00tstout hold up in comparison the the latest 2015 release? Well, you’ll have to listen to the show to find out. 

w00t THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

Beers from this week’s episode:
Pizza Port Brewing Company: Pick Six Pilsner
Stone Brewing Co.: Drew Curtis/Wil Wheaton/Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout
Stone Brewing Co.: Stone w00tstout 2.0
Stone Brewing Co.: Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout (2015)

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Direct download: S2-E35-The-w00tstout-Vertical.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 3:43pm PDT
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[S2/E34] Breweries From Colorado

Season 2, Episode 34 – Natalie DeNicholas joins us for another round as we drink a variety of beers for the great state of Colorado.

This week, we’re going full Colorado. Six beers from four great CO breweries. It’s no secret that Colorado is a mecca of craft beer, and this week we’re honing in on some of our favorites. 

Colorado Beers
Colorado Beers

We kick off the show with a couple of beers brought to us by friend of the show Enrique Leyva. He recently visited Colorado and brought some beers back for Matt. First up is Prost Brewing Company. Prost has only been on the scene for a few years, but their authentic German brews are spot on and delicious. If you’re ever in Denver for the Great American Beer Festival, you’re sure to see some beer celebs throwing back Pils at Prost.

Next up is a Life’s Trade from TRVE Brewing Company, “the most metal fucking brewery ever,” according to Matt. It’s a saison fermented in Puncheons, and it’s awesome. TRVE is a very small operation and they’ve recently announced plans for expansion.

Great Divide Brewing Company is next on deck with their 21st Anniversary sour ale. TL;DR we all think it needs more time in the bottle, which will allow the tart character to develop a bit more.

We finish the show with two beers from Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project that John has been storing in his cellar for a few years, Bourbon Barrel Cherry Origins, and Nightmare On Brett (Grand Cru). Our love for Crooked Stave runs deep, and these beers only reinforce our devotion.

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

Beers from this week’s episode:
Prost Brewing Company: Pils
Trve Brewing: Life’s Trade
Great Divide Brewing Company: 21st Anniversary
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project: Bourbon Barrel Cherry Origins
Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project: Nightmare On Brett (Grand Cru)

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Direct download: S2-E34-Breweries-From-Colorado.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 3:35pm PDT
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[S2/E33] Brewin' At Home With Nat n' Nagel

Season 2, Episode 33 – This week, homebrew from Nagel and special guest Natalie DeNicholas.

Friend and fellow homebrewer, Natalie DeNicholas, joins us on the show this week with homebrew in hand. She’s been brewing for a few years now, and is a member of the famous southern California homebrew club, Maltose Falcons

Natalie DeNicholas (via Instagram)
Natalie DeNicholas (via Instagram)

First up are two saisons that Natalie brewed early in her homebrewing career. While she doesn’t remember the details of the recipes, she does remember the basics of each of the beers. The first saison we try poured brilliantly clear in the glass and smelled wonderful. This beer was pretty basic as saison recipes go, and was fermented with a French farmhouse yeast strain (assumably Wyeast 3711). The carbonation and flavor on this beer was great and served as a perfect opener for the show. The second saison was more in line with a tradition Belgian saison, made with belgian malts and fermented with a Belgian White Labs yeast strain (WLP565, more than likely).

Next up is Natalie’s anti-oatmeal stout. The recipe originally called for oats to be used in the mash but Natalie, well, forgot to add them. Whoops. It happens to us all at one point or another. This beer had a big chocolate aroma, and even though it didn’t have oats to beef up the body, it maintained a nice mouthfeel with a pleasantly sweet body. Great stuff, indeed.

We finish up with a kölsch from Mr. Nagel. Prior to the show, Greg thought about filtering this beer to see how much it would affect certain aspects of it, but he ultimately couldn’t find the time to get it done. Since this brew was version 1.0, he thought he’d bring it by anyway to get our feedback on how it could be improved. Temperature during fermentation can have a big impact on the yeast character of a beer, especially a kölsch. We all conclude that the ester profile is a bit much in this beer and fermenting at a cooler temperature might help reduce it to an acceptable level.

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT. 

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Direct download: S2-E33-Brewin-At-Home-With-Nat-n-Nagel.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 5:20pm PDT
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[S2/E32] Settling The Green Flash Alpine Debate

Season 2, Episode 32 – This week we find out if Green Flash Brewing Company’s versions of Alpine Beer Company beers are up to snuff with Alpine’s authentic brews.

These days, brewery buy-outs and partnerships are becoming more and more commonplace, not only in terms of macro breweries buying out smaller craft breweries, but also larger craft breweries partnering and purchasing smaller, well known craft breweries. One example as of late is the purchase of Alpine Beer Company by Green Flash Brewing Company. Whether a brewery is purchased by a macro or a fellow craft brewery, there is one question that most craft beer consumers and aficionados ask: What’s going to happen to the quality of the beer? Will it remain the same? Will it be brewed at the same brewery, or will it be shipped off to a massive brewhouse somewhere on the east coast, only to become a watered down, boring version of its former self?

Alpine Beer Company - Nelson and Duet
Alpine Beer Company – Nelson and Duet

When it came to the purchase of Alpine Beer Company by Green Flash, most people thought it was a good thing for both companies. Alpine was a very small operation while Green Flash was cruising along with their brand new 50BBL brewhouse and making beer for the masses all over the country. With the help of Green Flash, Alpine could afford to pay its employees more money and provide benefits for them while at the same time getting their beer to more people. Green Flash is well versed in IPA, so replicating Alpine’s massively popular IPAs shouldn’t be too much for Green Flash to handle, right?

This brings us to where we are today, and this week’s episode. For quite some time, Green Flash has been brewing two of Alpine’s best core beers: Duet and Nelson. Hop heads all over SoCal and beyond know and cherish these beers. They’re legendary. So, when Jason heard that beer geeks were harshly questioning the quality of Green Flash’s versions of the hoppy Alpine classics compared to the Alpine versions (which Alpine still brews and bottles), he decided to take matters into his own hands. 

This week, we’re drinking Duet and Nelson from both Green Flash Brewing Company and Alpine Beer Company. Jason went to Alpine Beer Company to purchase fresh bottles of Duet and Nelson that were brewed at Alpine, then went to Green Flash Brewing Company to purchase two fresh growlers of the same beers brewed at Green Flash.

 

SPOILER ALERT: RESULTS AFTER THE PHOTO.

 

Alpine Beer Company Growler Caps
Alpine Beer Company Growler Caps

Let’s cut to the chase. We were very surprised with the outcome of this experiment. Two tasters of each beer were brought to us blindly. We were told what the beers were by name, but didn’t know which brewery they came from. John’s girlfriend, Yvonne, helped us out with that. [Thanks, Yvonne!] As it turns out, the criticism of Green Flash’s versions of Alpine’s beers is justified.

Duet, brewed with Simcoe and Amarillo hops, was the real eye-opener. Drinking these beers side by side, you’d think they were completely different beers. Their colors were even quite different. Aromas were also different, and not just subtly. We even had to send Yvonne back to make sure she brought us Duet from each brewery. They were that different. The room was divided on which one of these was the better beer. In the end, we chose the Green Flash version as (what we thought was) the authentic version. Wrong.

Duet and Nelson Side by Side
Duet and Nelson Side by Side

The two Nelson variations were actually much closer to one another. But just like Duet, their colors were wildly different. The room agreed the one of the beers stood head and shoulders above the other. We guessed this one correctly. The Alpine version was fantastic.

So, there you go. It seems the the criticism of Green Flash’s versions of the Alpine IPAs is somewhat warranted. That being said, Green Flash’s versions were still very good beers, but were different from the originals brewed by Alpine. Could batch scaling be the issue? Maybe each brewery had a different crop of hops? Then there’s the beer color issue. We kick around some ideas regarding why they were so different, but in the end, who knows. Maybe one day we’ll have Green Flash on the show and we’ll get an answer.

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT. 

Beers from this week’s episode:
Alpine Beer Company: Hoppy Birthday
Alpine Beer Company: Duet
Alpine Beer Company: Nelson
Alpine Beer Company: Pure Hoppiness

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Direct download: S2-E32-Settling-The-Green-Flash-Alpine-Debate.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 8:13pm PDT
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[S2/E31] A Random Group of Belgians

Season 2, Episode 31 – This week, we’re drinking a variety of Belgian-style ales because why the hell not.

It truly is a great time in craft beer. The beers are this week’s show exemplify it. Crooked Stave, Jester King, Highland Park Brewery…damn. 

We kick off the show with two beers from one of Los Angeles’ newest breweries, Highland Park Brewery. Highland Park is a local favorite of ours, and rightly so. They’re located near Eagle Rock Brewing and Golden Road Brewing Company, so making a trip so the somewhat out of the way brewery and tasting room at HP is well worthwhile. 

Assorted Dope-Ass Brews
Assorted Dope-Ass Brews

Next up is the 2015 LA Beer Week collaboration beer, Unity. Unity was brewed at Smog City Brewing in Torrance, CA in collaboration with other local Los Angeles breweries. We also spend a bit of time talking about LA Beer Week’s Kickoff Celebration that Jason and Matt attended back in June.

The final beer is a collaboration between Crooked Stave, Jester King, and Swiss brewery Brasserie Trois Dames. Matt randomly found this beer at a local shop near The Bruery, so of course, he bought it. I mean, you can’t go wrong, right?

Until next week…

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT. 

Beers from this week’s episode:
Highland Park Brewery: Uncultured
Highland Park Brewery: Slow Moves
Smog City and LA Beer Week Breweries: Unity
Crooked Stave, Jester King, and Brasserie Trois Dames: Cerveza Sin Frontera

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Direct download: S2-E31-A-Random-Group-of-Belgians.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT
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