Four Brewers | Craft Beer and Homebrew Podcast
[S3/E43] Track 7 Brewing Company

Season 3, Episode 43 – This week, we’re going back to Sacramento and drinking some beers from Track 7 Brewing Company.

Recently, at the Inland Empire Brewers Guild Summer Send Off Festival, we ran into Amanda Barnes, sales representative for Track 7 Brewing Company, and tried a couple of beers that they brought to the fest. After a bit of conversation and an exchange of business cards, a box of beer from Track 7 magically appeared on our doorstep a couple of weeks later. NICE.

Track 7 Brewing Company BeersTrack 7 Brewing Company Beers

Track 7 Brewing Company is fairly new and they are already showing signs of being a great brewery. Their beers are already fairly widely available all over southern California and are being well received, as far as we can tell. The beers on the show this week range from a honey blonde ale to a peanut butter porter. There were also some hoppy beers in the mix which we all thought were really, really good, especially their Panic IPA. They’re sticking to the classic west coast-style IPA and double IPA formula, which is nice, considering how so many breweries are starting to experiment with the “juicy” New England-style IPA.

Track 7 is definitely on track (oh, puns) to becoming a great California brewery. Give their beers a try if you see them out in the wild. 

Thanks to Track 7 Brewing Company for the beers!

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

Beers from this week’s episode:
Track 7 Brewing Company – Bee Line Blonde
Track 7 Brewing Company – Panic IPA
Track 7 Brewing Company – Blood Transfusion
Track 7 Brewing Company – Left Eye, Right Eye DIPA
Track 7 Brewing Company – Nukin’ Futz

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4B Theme Song: The Sleeping Sea King

Direct download: four-brewers-4B-s3e43.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 2:20pm PDT
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[S3/E42] Sudwerk Brewing Co.

Season 3, Episode 42 – This week on the show, beers from Sudwerk Brewing Co. out of Davis, California.

This week we’re featuring a brewery that all of us on the podcast seem to have unintentionally overlooked over the years, Sudwerk Brewing Co.. Turns out, Sudwerk make some really great beer that most definitely should not be overlooked or taken for granted.

Sudwerk Brewing Co. BeersSudwerk Brewing Co. Beers

The beers on this week’s episode were provided to us by Sudwerk. We met up with them during the California Craft Beer Summit last month. They had previously expressed online how stoked they were about ranking second in our blind Pilsner Showdown, and when we ran into KB Brandl (Sudwerk’s Events and Marketing Coordinator) she insisted that we try more of their beer on the show. Sounded good to us!

Sudwerk sent us five beers for the show this week, three of which are part of their “Brewers Cut Reserve Series“. Turns out, Sudwerk have been brewing beer since 1989 and make some pretty incredible stuff. Sudwerk make clean, traditional styles, but also know how to brew really complex stuff like sours and bourbon barrel-aged doppelbock. We were really impressed by the quality of the beers on the show. It goes without saying that if you see Sudwerk brews on the shelf, give them a try!

Thanks to Sudwerk Brewing Co. for the brews!

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

Beers from this week’s episode:
Sudwerk Brewing Co. – Northern Pilsner
Sudwerk Brewing Co. – Rye of the Lager
Sudwerk Brewing Co. – Plum On Eileen
Sudwerk Brewing Co. – Raspberry Diddly
Sudwerk Brewing Co. – Oso Furioso

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4B Theme Song: The Sleeping Sea King

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Category:Beer -- posted at: 4:47pm PDT
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[S3/E41] GABF Medal-Winning Beers

Season 3, Episode 41 – This week, we’re drinking Great American Beer Festival 2016 medal-winning brews!

Fresh off the The 4B Flight and fresh off the plane from the Great American Beer Festival (just Matt, that is) we’re back with another full-length episode of Four Brewers and we’re drinking as many GABF medal-winning beers as we could get our hands on.

GABF 2016 Winners! [Shot with iPhone 7 Plus, 56mm]GABF 2016 Winners!

We’ve gushed about the Great American Beer Festival in previous episodes (20142015), so we won’t get into the event itself too much in this post, but suffice it to say, it’s definitely one of the biggest and best beer festivals in the world. Thousands of eager beer drinkers descend upon The Mile High City of Denver, Colorado for three days of craft beer tasting and celebration. If ever a beer event were to appear on a beer drinker’s bucket list of events, GABF would be at the top of that list. 

Matt Becker Wearing His Bronze Medal from GABFMatt Becker Wearing His Bronze Medal from GABF

There is one thing that made this year’s Great American Beer Festival stand out from previous years for the Four Brewers. Our very own Matt Becker, brewer at Packinghouse Brewing Company in Riverside, California brought home his very first medal from GABF—a bronze for his Irish-style Rad Ale (see what I did there?), Riley’s Irish Red. It was a proud moment for us, watching Matt walk onto the stage to accept his medal from Mr. Charlie Papazian. We’re super-proud of him! Congratulations, Matt and Packinghouse! Riverside REPRESENT!

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

Beers from this week’s episode:
21st Amendment Brewery – El Sully
Firestone Walker Brewing Company – DBA (Double Barrel Ale)
Karl Strauss Brewing Company – Mosaic Session IPA
Packinghouse Brewing Co. – Riley’s Irish Red
The Bruery – Mischief
Nebraska Brewing Company – Mélange a Trois
High Water Brewing – Campfire Stout
AleSmith Brewing Company – Old Numbskull

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4B Theme Song: The Sleeping Sea King

Direct download: four-brewers-4B-s3e41.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 5:32pm PDT
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The 4B Flight: Firestone Walker Brewing Company - Feral One (Batch 3)

The 4B Flight 2.0, Episode 6 – On the final episode of The 4B Flight 2.0, we’re going big with Feral One (Batch 3) from Firestone Walker Brewing Company. YUM.

The 4B Flight is a biannual series in which we do one standard episode of Four Brewers, followed by six mini episodes for an entire week! The 4B Flight is served up in April and October. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Autumn edition of The 4B Flight! Due to the flight’s immense popularity back in April, we decided to serve up another round of episodes!

Feral One (Batch 3)Feral One (Batch 3)

Today, on the final day of The 4B Flight, 2.0, we’re going out with a sour bang with Firestone Walker’s Feral One, Batch 3. On the show, we talk about Firestone Walker’s titratable acidity rating scale, the people behind the scenes at breweries that make all of this incredible craft beer we enjoy possible, and how Firestone Walker seems to never put out a bad beer. 

Catch The 4B Flight 3.0 in April of 2017!

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

Beer from today’s episode:
Firestone Walker Brewing Company – Feral One (Batch 3)

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4B Theme Song: The Sleeping Sea King

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Category:Beer -- posted at: 4:00pm PDT
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The 4B Flight: Logsdon Farmhouse Ales - Seizoen

The 4B Flight 2.0, Episode 5 – Today on the 4B Flight, a fantastic saison from Logsdon Farmhouse Ales.

The 4B Flight is a biannual series in which we do one standard episode of Four Brewers, followed by six mini episodes for an entire week! The 4B Flight is served up in April and October. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Autumn edition of The 4B Flight! Due to the flight’s immense popularity back in April, we decided to serve up another round of episodes!

Logsdon Farmhouse Ales - SeizoenLogsdon Farmhouse Ales – Seizoen

I think it’s safe to say that all four of us, The Four Brewers, equally love saison. Okay, well, maybe Matt loves it just a little bit more than us, but overall, we’re super-fans of the style. Today on The Flight, we’re drinking one of the best American examples to date, Seizoen from Logsdon Farmhouse Ales.

If you want to hear us gush even more about saison, check out our Saison Showdown from Season 2! 

Tune in tomorrow for the next beer in The 4B Flight!

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

Beer from today’s episode:
Logsdon Farmhouse Ales – Seizoen

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4B Theme Song: The Sleeping Sea King

Direct download: four-brewers-4B-flight2-5.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 4:00pm PDT
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The 4B Flight: Brouwerij Dilewyns - Vicaris Tripel-Gueuze

The 4B Flight 2.0, Episode 4 – Today on The 4B Flight, a gueuze that’s actually a blend of two different styles of beer that maybe shouldn’t have been blended together.

The 4B Flight is a biannual series in which we do one standard episode of Four Brewers, followed by six mini episodes for an entire week! The 4B Flight is served up in April and October. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Autumn edition of The 4B Flight! Due to the flight’s immense popularity back in April, we decided to serve up another round of episodes!

Vicaris Tripel-GueuzeVicaris Tripel-Gueuze

The beer on today’s episode was…different, and a bit odd. Rather than try to describe it here, just read what the brewery says about it on Untappd:

"Vicaris Tripel and Girardin Gueuze create a new style.. a melding of Tripel sweetness and Lambic sour. Innovative Dilewyns pairs up with one of Belgium’s most prized lambic producers. Really a taste sensation. Here’s the future of Belgian brewing in a glass. Made by a talented home brewer whose beers were extremely well received in Belgium. Brouwerij Dilewyns opened in 2011 and is Belgium’s newest brewery. Led by 24 year old dynamo, Anne- Catherine Dilewyns." 

There you have it.

Tune in tomorrow for the next beer in The 4B Flight!

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

Beer from today’s episode:
Brouwerij Dilewyns – Vicaris Tripel-Gueuze

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4B Theme Song: The Sleeping Sea King

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Category:Beer -- posted at: 4:19pm PDT
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The 4B Flight: Beachwood Blendery - Fortune Favors the Funk

The 4B Flight 2.0, Episode 3 – Today on The 4B Flight, Beachwood Blendery’s Fortune Favors the Funk, and boy, do we favor this beer.

The 4B Flight is a biannual series in which we do one standard episode of Four Brewers, followed by six mini episodes for an entire week! The 4B Flight is served up in April and October. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Autumn edition of The 4B Flight! Due to the flight’s immense popularity back in April, we decided to serve up another round of episodes!

Beachwood Blendery - Fortune Favors the FunkBeachwood Blendery – Fortune Favors the Funk

Beachwood BBQ & Brewing’s funky shoot-off, Beachwood Blendery, has finally reached peak propagation and is finally releasing their interpretation of Belgian-style funky ales. Some might call these beers their interpretations of Belgian lambic, but we’re not going to say that here (they would prefer the term lambic not be used). What we will say is that this beer is spectacular. Beachwood destroys. What can’t they do at this point?! (Make bad beer, that’s what.)

Tune in tomorrow for the next beer in The 4B Flight!

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

Beer from today’s episode:
Beachwood Blendery – Fortune Favors the Funk

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4B Theme Song: The Sleeping Sea King

Direct download: four-brewers-4B-flight2-3.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 4:12pm PDT
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The 4B Flight: Unsung Brewing Co. - Anthia

The 4B Flight 2.0, Episode 2 – Today on The 4B Flight, an IPA from one of Anaheim, California’s newest breweries, Unsung Brewing Co.

The 4B Flight is a biannual series in which we do one standard episode of Four Brewers, followed by six mini episodes for an entire week! The 4B Flight is served up in April and October. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Autumn edition of The 4B Flight! Due to the flight’s immense popularity back in April, we decided to serve up another round of episodes!

Unsung Brewing Co. - Anthia IPAUnsung Brewing Co. – Anthia IPA

Unsung Brewing Co. is one of Anaheim’s newest breweries, recently opening to much fanfare and busting through the gate with some excellent brews and awesome comic book-style branding. Today’s beer, Anthia, is a lemony melon bomb that’s heavily late hopped with notes of weeds and grass. A truly unique beer from a great Orange County brewery that, at this point, shows a lot of promise. 

Tune in tomorrow for the next beer in The 4B Flight!

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

Beer from today’s episode:
Unsung Brewing Co. – Anthia

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4B Theme Song: The Sleeping Sea King

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Category:Beer -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT
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The 4B Flight: Stone Brewing Co. - 20th Anniversary Encore Series: 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale

The 4B Flight 2.0, Episode 1 – Today on The 4B Flight, we’re going back in time with Stone Brewing’s Encore Series 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale.

The 4B Flight is a biannual series in which we do one standard episode of Four Brewers, followed by six mini episodes for an entire week! The 4B Flight is served up in April and October. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Autumn edition of The 4B Flight! Due to the flight’s immense popularity back in April, we decided to serve up another round of episodes!

Encore Series: 02.02.02 Vertical Epic AleEncore Series: 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale

Today, we’re going back in time to 2002 with Stone Brewing Co.’s Encore series of their Vertical Epic Ale 02.02.02. This beer was widely considered to be a whale up until about 2013, with prices for a single bottle reaching $1500+. Since many of the newer beer geeks of late never got to try the now 14 year old original brew when it was fresh, Stone decided to brew it again. What a great idea! Thanks, Stone! You’re the best!

Tune in tomorrow for the next beer in The 4B Flight!

BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.

Beer from today’s episode:
Stone Brewing Co. – 20th Anniversary Encore Series: 02.02.02 Vertical Epic Ale

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4B Theme Song: The Sleeping Sea King

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Category:Beer -- posted at: 4:00pm PDT
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[S3/E40] The Gueuze Showdown

Season 3, Episode 40 – This week, we’re blind ranking 13 different gueuze-style beers.

The gueuze showdown was inevitable, really. I mean, IPA, stout, and pilsner showdowns are all good and well, but a gueuze showdown is really hard to pull off. Since “sour beers” have been all the rage for the last ten years or so (at least from our limited perspective), it seemed natural to put on our big-boy pants and get to the real deal: gueuze-style beer and lambic.

The Gueuze ShowdownThe Gueuze Showdown

As always, this showdown is by no means a definitive list or ranking. Many beers were left out of this showdown simply because we couldn’t get them. Gueuze is a tough style to nail for many breweries and blenderies, as is evident in this showdown. Making a great gueuze is tough, and they’re equally hard to acquire. We tried to get as many quality gueuze-style beers as we could find, so don’t get butt-hurt because we didn’t include your favorite.

It should also be noted that John was the proctor for this showdown. He served up the beers and participated in the ranking, but the final scores on this showdown do not take his scores into account, since he knew what the beers were upon evaluation.

Here are the beers that we sampled in the showdown, listed in the order they were served:

Beer #1 – Brouwerij Lindemans – Oude Gueuze Cuvée René
Beer #2 – Brouwerij Boon – Oude Geuze Boon Black Label
Beer #3 – Gueuzerie Tilquin – Oude Gueuze Tilquin à L’Ancienne
Beer #4 – Brewery John Martin & Brewery Timmermans – Timmermans Oude Gueuze
Beer #5 – Brasserie Cantillon – Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio
Beer #6 – Hanssens Artisanaal – Oude Gueuze
Beer #7 – The Bruery – Rueuze
Beer #8 – Brouwerij Boon – Oude Geuze
Beer #9 – Mikkeller – Hues
Beer #10 – Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen – Oude Geuze
Beer #11 – Brouwerij Girardin – Gueuze 1882 (Black Label)
Beer #12 – Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck – St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition
Beer #13 – The Lost Abbey – Duck Duck Gooze (2016)

Results and rankings:

#13 Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck – St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition
Average Score: 31.67

Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck - St. Louis Gueuze Fond TraditionBrouwerij Van Honsebrouck – St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition

This is a gueuze that seems to be readily available in most mid to high-end bottle shops. For myself (John), it’s one of the first of the style that I got my hands on. Unfortunately, we thought this beer was the worst of the group, with very prominent notes of acetone. 

#12 Mikkeller – Hues
Average Score: 40.67

Mikkeller - HuesMikkeller – Hues

This beer was weird. It was the darkest of the group. It came off with really big caramel notes, similar to something like an amber ale or stout, but it was also sour. While sour stouts and amber ales are totally a thing, this beer just came off, well, gross. Overall, it was an awkward experience for all but Greg, who gave it a 70 for some reason…

#11 Brasserie Cantillon – Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio
Average Score: 41.67

Brasserie Cantillon - Gueuze 100% Lambic BioBrasserie Cantillon – Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio

It goes without saying that it’s both surprising and disappointing that Cantillon ranked so low. The acetone notes were really distracting and the beer came off as very one-note. It also displayed acetic characteristics on the nose that John picked up. We truly think that this was either a bad bottle or bad batch because Cantillon usually never fails to deliver quality gueuze.

#10 Hanssens Artisanaal – Oude Gueuze
Average Score: 61.00

Hanssens Artisanaal - Oude GueuzeHanssens Artisanaal – Oude Gueuze

This is one of the more recognizable brands of gueuze that one can find. While Hanssens hit the target with this beer’s acidic notes, the solvent-like nose and lack of a funky backbone drove this beer to the bottom half of the list. 

#9 Brewery John Martin & Brewery Timmermans – Timmermans Oude Gueuze
Average Score: 64.33

Brewery John Martin & Brewery Timmermans - Timmermans Oude GueuzeBrewery John Martin & Brewery Timmermans – Timmermans Oude Gueuze

This beer was super-tart, and was described by Nagel as a “funky, Sour Warhead [candy]”. Notes of honey and soil were prominent, and while everyone else gave this beer lower scores, John really seemed to like it and gave it a 78.

#8 Gueuzerie Tilquin – Oude Gueuze Tilquin à L’Ancienne
Average Score: 70.67

Gueuzerie Tilquin - Oude Gueuze Tilquin à L'AncienneGueuzerie Tilquin – Oude Gueuze Tilquin à L’Ancienne

For us, Tilquin Gueuze is one of the harder to find beers of the group. While the beer was fairly complex, displaying notes of hay, grass, funk, and oak, it was also a bit aggressive in those areas. Matt noted that it smelled like acetone, and Jason though it smelled like an old log. It brought the sour and funk, but the other aspects of the beer were too distracting.

#7 Brouwerij Boon – Oude Geuze Boon Black Label
Average Score: 73.00

Brouwerij Boon - Oude Geuze Boon Black LabelBrouwerij Boon – Oude Geuze Boon Black Label

Middle of the road. That’s what this beer is. While it was a bit watery and underwhelming, it wasn’t a total let down. Jason didn’t want to take points away for its subtleness, but in the end it just didn’t hit all the right notes.

#6 The Bruery – Rueuze
Average Score: 75.67

The Bruery - RueuzeThe Bruery – Rueuze

This beer was immediately pointed out as an American interpretation of gueuze. Notes of vanilla and oak were prominent. There was a lovely sour bite to it, with fruit and citrus notes backing it up. While it wasn’t necessarily true to the gueuze style, Rueuze stood out as a unique and ambitious beer that was both delicious and interesting. 

#5 Brouwerij Lindemans – Oude Gueuze Cuvée René
Average Score: 80.00

Brouwerij Lindemans - Oude Gueuze Cuvée RenéBrouwerij Lindemans – Oude Gueuze Cuvée René

This was the first beer served in the showdown, and that was on purpose. Lindemans gueuze is a great example of the style that is widely available, even at big box stores like Total Wine and More, and BevMo. The beer had an aggressive, funky nose and a nice tart acidic flavor to back it up. It ultimately lost points for being a bit skunked, but hey, it’s in a green bottle so, it’s to be expected. Overall, it’s a great example of the style and definitely worth picking up.

#4 Brouwerij Boon – Oude Geuze
Average Score: 85.33

Brouwerij Boon - Oude GeuzeBrouwerij Boon – Oude Geuze

Overall, this beer was great. Notes of sesame seed, and funky bread were prominent, and the flavor was bright and tart with a touch of tannin. A classic gueuze and again, well worth the buy.

#3 The Lost Abbey – Duck Duck Gooze (2016)
Average Score: 88.00

The Lost Abbey - Duck Duck Gooze (2016)The Lost Abbey – Duck Duck Gooze (2016)

Duck Duck Gooze was the most pale in color of the group. Notes of fruit, hibiscus, and acidity were quite lovely on the nose, and the beer had a big fluffy head. The acidity on the palate was subdued and balanced. While we thought it may not be 100% true the style, it was definitely one of the best, even at $40+ per bottle.

#2 Brouwerij Girardin – Gueuze 1882 (Black Label)
Average Score: 90.33

Brouwerij Girardin - Gueuze 1882 (Black Label)Brouwerij Girardin – Gueuze 1882 (Black Label)

Notes of cheese (yum), funk, and earthiness were prominent in Gueuze 1882. The beer had a nice clarity, a subtle funk backbone, and a pleasant, tart bite. It was an overall well balanced and delicious beer and its high ranking was not a surprise at all.

#1 Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen – Oude Geuze
Average Score: 93.33

Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen - Oude GeuzeBrouwerij 3 Fonteinen – Oude Geuze

3 Fonteinen ranking number one in the showdown came as no surprise to any of us. Matt constantly gushes over the quality lambic blends that this blendery produces, and Oude Geuze was no exception. This was a stellar beer. The grassy, barnyard notes were balanced with a refreshing sour-citrus flavor and funky base that was nothing short of spectacular. If you see this beer, buy it.

The Rankings and ScoresThe Rankings and Scores

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4B Theme Song: The Sleeping Sea King

Direct download: four-brewers-4B-s3e40.mp3
Category:Beer -- posted at: 4:03pm PDT
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1