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Category: Beer

Jeff Eaton, 21st Amendment

Meet Jeff. He’s a brewer at 21st Amendment, and there may be a 40’ mural of him down the street from the brewery.

Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started brewing.

I am the third generation in my family to join the brewing industry. My grandfather owned a Coors distributorship in Northern California so my dad got an early start in the beer industry. Eventually, the distributorship was sold, and my father moved into corporate sales with Coors. He later left the industry all together. Although, I can thank my dad for talking me out of attending culinary school, yet he still encouraged me to pursue food science. It wasn’t until I was attending Colorado State University that solidified my decision to pursue a brewing career. I fell in love with New Belgium’s Fat Tire & Tripel and Odell Brewing Co.’s 90 Schilling.

What’s your favorite beer and food pairing?

  1. Pils while shucking oysters outside enjoying the sun on a nice day…or mussels & frites…can’t I enjoy them both?!
  2. Any beer with tacos anywhere anytime.

What’s a common misconception about your job?

Some people just assume I’m drinking beer all day. They assume it is just a big party at work each day and do not consider the amount of cleaning necessary to brew quality beer. I tell people that we practice the ABC’s at work each day…Always Be Cleaning.

What’s your go to music in the brewhouse?

Velvet Underground, early 90s grunge, Queens of the Stone Age, Brian Jonestown Massacre…or some 80’s music to sing-along with.

What trend in craft beer are you excited about?

I think the most important trend in craft beer is the focus on quality and how to improve it. In craft beer our collective knowledge is greater when brewers freely share their experiences with each other. Everyone has a chance to learn and improve. I don’t care what hops you used or what crazy processes you did or how much ABV and BU’s are in the beer. In the end, how does it taste?? Is it free of defects? Will a customer want to order a second round? The owner of a previous employer did not care about selling 1 beer or 2 beers. He said it is about selling 4, 5, 6 (and so on) beers; actually creating repeat customers. Poor quality of beer does not help out any brewer. If someone new to craft beer is trying a new style and that beer happens to have a quality defect, is that person likely to try the same style from a different brewery? Probably not. Therefore, the improvement in quality for all breweries benefits us all.

What’s your favorite non-21A beer?

Favorite everyday beer: Trumer Pils…full disclosure, I brewed Trumer prior to joining 21st Amendment.
Favorite special occasion beer: New Belgium La Folie

Tell us two truths and a lie about yourself.

  1. I won a karaoke contest while traveling in the Philippines.
  2. I broke my hand when it was crushed by two falling ¼ bbl kegs.
  3. There’s a 40’ mural of me painted on a wall down the street from the brewery.
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21st Amendment Watermelon Funk

21st Amendment Brewery is well known for their refreshing Hell or High Watermelon Wheat which they serve in their tap room with a slice of watermelon.

They’ve transformed this beer using Saison yeast and Lactobacillus Planterum to make Watermelon Funk.

This beer is also refreshing, but with a funky twist. The added tartness mixes with the prominent watermelon flavor to bring out more of a watermelon rind flavor. This blends nicely with a lemony tartness. The spicy Saison flavors dance in the background for some really nice complexity to this summertime brew. They’ve pulled of a complex and interesting beer that is still super approachable and easy drinking.

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Steve “Dogger” Draper, 21st Amendment

This is Steve Draper, but everyone at 21st Amendment Brewery calls him Dogger. He’s a brewer at their San Francisco pub.

Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started brewing.

I started brewing apple cider in 2012 then started watching our head pub Brewer Jaron home brew batches in his very small kitchen. I kept making creative ciders and jaron has continued making great beers. Over the last two years I’ve been lucky enough to work with 21st amendment and keep the creative juices flowing.

What’s your favorite beer and food pairing?

Tacos and a nice light Mexican lager.

What’s a common misconception about your job?

A lot of time people think that beer is brewed and consumed the same day… unfortunately it takes a few more weeks to see a finished beer in a glass. Cold and carbonated.

What’s your go to music in the brewhouse?

Bay Area hip hop always keeps good energy in the brewery but we have the most fun creating playlists for the beer we are brewing that day. Irish red? Irish pub music. German style heff? German death metal… you get the picture.

What trend in craft beer are you excited about?

I’m excited to see the change in beer happening right now where it’s all about drinkability and less about challenging your palette against overly bitter flavors.

What’s your favorite non-21A beer?
I moved from Eugene Oregon to the bay so anything Ninkasi has a special place in my fridge.

Tell us two truths and a lie about yourself.

  1. I am not a morning person.
  2. I work as the assistant Brewer for 21st amendment in San Francisco.
  3. I love waking up early.

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21st Amendment Brewery Takeover

21st Amendment Brewery is taking over Beer Selfie! All week we will be featuring this fantastic California brewery and here’s how you can be a part of it:

Starting now tag @beerselfie  & @21stamendment, and use #21ABeerSelfieTakeover on all of your 21st Amendment Instagram posts past or present. On Thursday, May 31st we’ll post the best of these photos all day long! Everyone who gets reposted on Thursday will get a prize from 21st Amendment (21+, US only), or some #BEERSELFIE stickers!

So track down some 21st Amendment brews and post a Beer Selfie! Also, stay tuned the next seven days for other great content like a review of 21st Amendment’s latest release, and a brewer interview.

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Figueroa Mountain Brewing

I tried four great beers from Figueroa Mountain Brewing in Buelton, California. Previously I’d only tried their award winning brown ale (see below) so it was great to get a feel for more of their lineup.

Lizard’s Mouth Imperial IPA

This is a big bitter hop bomb full of tropical fruit flavor. It’s fairly boozy, not hiding the 9% ABV.

Glassware: Silhouette Series 10.5 oz

Light

This lager weighs in at 4.5% ABV and 10 IBU. This is what light american lagers should aspire to. All of the refreshing crispness without sacrificing the flavor. It’s a bit watery, but there is still a surprising amount of cereal malt flavor.

Hoppy Poppy IPA

This is an easy drinking IPA bursting with citrus and pine hop flavor. It is very smooth with a moderate bitterness.

Glassware: Hops on Hops Snifter

Davy Brown

This is one my favorite brown ales! It is rich and chocolatey while maintaining a fairly light body. This is a surprisingly complex beer with hints of coffee and citrus.

Glassware: Silhouette Series 10.5 oz

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Autism Awareness Month Fundraiser

April is National Autism Awareness Month and we want to make a contribution. Beer Selfie has organized a craft beer raffle fundraiser benefiting The Yellow Door. Help us show off how awesome the craft beer community is, and win some great beer!

Craft Beer Raffle

The raffle will be held April 2nd – 8th. We’ve put together a few exciting craft beer prize packages.

How To Enter:

  1. Make a donation to the fundraising campaign: youcaring.com/autism-beerselfie
  2. Forward the confirmation email to keith@beerselfie.com
  3. For every $5 donated we’ll send you a raffle ticket number
  4. Winners (US Only) will be announced on April 9th

Check the prizes section below to find out what you can win!

The Yellow Door

The mission of The Yellow Door is to support to individuals with autism and their families while promoting student leadership and involvement in the Chico community.

The Yellow Door came together out of two desires: to support individuals with autism and their families as well as provide volunteer opportunities and promote awareness to the Chico community. The Center for Disease Control places the current rates of autism at 1/88 children—a number that continues to increase. Individuals with autism and other disabilities and their families often fight for awareness, recognition as individuals and services that are limited. Our hope is to connect students and community members with willing individuals with autism and their families to promote understanding, personal connection and disability awareness. Our intent is through events such as Chico Walks for Autism a greater sense of community and awareness will be developed for all those participating.

The name, “The Yellow Door” comes from an individual with autism that Josie worked with many years ago that liked doors. When asked what their favorite color for a door would be if they could pick, they answered “yellow, because it’s like opening a door of sunshine.” That positive image is something that The Yellow Door hopes to foster.

Mason

Autism touches many of our lives but I probably wouldn’t be organizing a fundraiser if it wasn’t for my nephew. Mason has taught me a lot about autism and life in the last six years. Experiencing his struggles and triumphs can be a roller coaster, but his heart and perseverance show the world that kids with autism are different, but not less.

The Yellow Door has been key to Mason’s development. They have been an invaluable resource for Mason, and a community for him and his family.

Prizes

 

Dark Beer Prize

Anchorage Brewing A Deal with the Devil Cognac Barrel Aged Barley Wine

Hangar 24 Pugachev’s Cobra Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout with Maple Syrup

Fremont B-Bomb Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Winter Ale

Fifty Fifty Eclipse Woodford Reserve Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

Sour Beer Prize

Sante Adairius Four Legs Good Barrel Aged Blonde Quad

Logsdon Farmhouse Ales Peche ‘n Brett Barrel Aged Saison with peaches

Almanac x Stillwater Blueberry Jack Foudre Aged Wild Ale with blueberries and blackberries

Hoppy Prize

Auburn Alehouse Gold Digger IPA

Sierra Nevada 3 Weight Session IPA

Sierra Nevada FOMO IPA

Sierra Nevada BFD Hoppy Golden Ale

Novo Brazil Samba Haze IPA

Device Curious Haze IPA

Modern Times Fraxos IPA

Ol’ Republic Cosmic Fly By IPA

Hops on Hops v2 Snifter Glass

New Earth Prize

Thanks to Nathan at New Earth Market for contributing these beers!

Firestone Walker 2017 Velvet Merkin Oatmeal Stout

Founders 2017 KBS Bourbon Barrel Stout

Cascade Manhattan NW Bourbon Barrel Sour with cherries and spices

Dogfish Head 120 Minute Imperial IPA

Hops on Hops v2 Snifter Glass

Spikes Prize

Thanks to Kevin at Spike’s Bottle Shop for contributing Yellow Belly!

Buxton X Omnipollo Yellow Belly Imperial Stout

Sierra Nevada Lime Agave Otra Vez Gose

Sierra Nevada Old Chico Crystal Wheat

Heretic Make America Juicy Again New England-style IPA

Anderson Valley Framboise Rose Gose

Point Stevens Milkshake Malt Porter

Point Stevens Beach Pilot Strawberry Wheat

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Beer Barrel Bourbon

Did you know New Holland Brewing makes spirits? I didn’t until I came across their Beer Barrel Bourbon. They have a full line of whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, and liqueur, but their bourbon aged in barrels that contained their Dragon’s Milk Stout obviously stood out to me.

You’ve probably heard of New Holland’s Bourbon Barrel-aged Dragon’s Milk Stout. It has an “Excellent” rating on Beer Advocate. It’s one of the most popular, and widely distributed, barrel-aged Stouts. New Holland’s Beer Barrel Bourbon spends three months in the same barrels before being bottled.

Tasting Dragon’s Milk and Beer Barrel Bourbon side by side was a real treat. The influence they have on each other is apparent, and both are improved by the other’s contributions.

I used the Beer Barrel Bourbon in an Old Fashioned with 5 by 5 bitters, simple sugar, and a maraschino cherry garnish.

Now, since you’ve made it this far, I’ll let you in on something: I don’t know anything about spirits. I mostly stick to beer and wine. I won’t pretend to actually review this bourbon. It certainly tasted bourbony, but I can’t tell you how it compares to other bourbons. I do think those last three months in a beer barrel adds some unique and enjoyable flavors.

I do feel qualified to review Dragon’s Milk Stout. The thing that stands out the most for me with this beer is how much bourbon influence it has, without any added bourbon heat. This is as smooth as you’re going to get for an 11% ABV beer. I’ve never enjoyed bourbon flavor more!

I also enjoyed the Beer Barrel Bourbon “neat,” and that also tasted bourbony.

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Evans Brewing

Evans Brewing is Orange County’s oldest craft brewery. They’ve been around since 1994 but I only recently caught wind of them and their gorgeous bottles. I tried out their three prettiest bottles in the hopes that the beer inside would match.

Approachable Bastard Session IPA

Approachable Bastard is packed full of flavor for a Session IPA. I was surprised by how dark it poured, and how malt forward it is. The citrus hops shine though nicely though. I like that this is different than most Session IPAs, with a much fuller body and nice malt flavor. I might have guessed that it was an Amber Ale had I not seen the bottle.

The KrHOPen IPA

The KrHOPen is an excellent West Coast IPA with big piney hop flavor and bitterness. I really enjoyed this clean, dry, hoppy brew. This was my favorite of the three.

Glassware: iprefercraftbeer.com Hops on Hops IPA Snifter Glass V2

Pollen Nation Honey Blonde

Pollen Nation Honey Blonde Ale makes great use of its honey addition. I’ve grown wary of honey beers in general as they often have strange flavors: usually either cloying sweetness or an off putting earthiness. Pollen Nation suffers from neither of these flaws. It’s just sweet enough, and the honey blends really nicely with the blonde ale malts and hints of fruity esters.

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A Handful of Craft Beer Podcasts

I recently had the brilliant idea of spending a few weeks listening to as many craft beer podcasts as I could find and ranking the best ones. Well, turns out there are eleventy thousand craft beer podcasts out there. To further complicate things many of them specialize in topics in addition to craft beer: various regions, brewing, homebrewing, movies, etc.. So, instead here are a few craft beer podcasts that I enjoyed, without trying to rank them or be even remotely exhaustive. I listened to at least three episodes of each of these.

The Session (Brewing Network)

The Brewing Network has been around for a long time and they produce very professional and entertaining podcasts. If you want the most polished podcast covering craft beer and brewing skip the rest of this article and just go subscribe to The Brewing Network’s podcasts. The Session is the original Brewing Network show. ​Their top notch hosts interview beer industry professionals and the best homebrewers. The Session is a great mix of entertainment and great craft beer and brewing information.

Fresh Hop Cinema

Max and Jonny are local to me in Chico, California but I’ve yet to meet them. They stick to a formula of reviewing two beers and a movie in each episode. They review a variety of beers, but usually at least one of them is local(ish). The movies are recently viewed in the theater and they’re not shy about spoilers. Max and Jonny are charming guys and their banter is entertaining. Conversational, on the spot, reviews like theirs are of course subjective, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to disagree with at least one of them about one of the beers and/or the movie, which is part of the charm of the podcast for me. The hosts are both musicians so there is also some great music included in their podcast.

What Ales Ya

Hosts Brian Quain and Jeff Brennan travel Florida chatting with brewers across the state. I don’t think I’ve actually had beer from any of the breweries they visited in the episodes I listened to, but their interviews are so entertaining I still enjoyed the podcast. You get a lot of insight about the local beer scene and brewing from their chats.

Beers and other Shit (BAOS)

Another regional podcast, BAOS is mostly focused on the Canadian brewing scene. In the episodes I listened to they has some insightful conversions with some really interesting brewers.

 

Beer Smith

This podcast is definitely geared towards brewers. The host is Brad Smith, author of BeerSmith software. Each episode includes a knowledgeable guest. Recent guests include a Grandmaster beer judgde, a brewery owner/brewer, brewery Director of Operations, and author Stan Hieronymus. Brad does not shy away from the technical details of brewing, which is a bit dry at times, but probably the most informative of all of these podcasts.

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