Emails…storing beer, drinking beer at the right temperature, finding Firestone Walker 12 in Los Angeles, finding good beer in Silicon Valley
By William Brand
Saturday, December 20th, 2008 at 6:51 pm in Uncategorized.
E-mails…that have come in to my blog email address this week – firstname.lastname@example.org.
William, In your findings/discoveries…what is your preferred way to store beer? With the exception of the live beers (such as Pliny and Blind Pig) that should be refrigerated…have you found a good way to store beers? My purpose is to do flights in the future (Alaskan Smoked Porters, Abyss, etc…). I’ve been told as long as they are kept u right, in a cool dark place they should be fine.
Do you have other feelings on the issue? Thanks! Bob
Bob — What I do is refrigerate all my beer, but I keep the fridge fairly warm, about 40 – 45 degrees. If a bottle is corked. i put it on its side; if capped, i keep it upright.
However, a lot of brewers believe all beer should be stored upright. They reason that bottle conditioned beers contain yeast and if you store them on their sides the yeast sediment settles on the side of the bottle instead of the bottom. So when you open the bottle, the chunks of (not great tasting yeast, get mixed back in. That makes sense to me, but I haven’t done anything about it, yet.
Bill – At what temperature should I serve my last flask of Old Crustacean Barley wine Style Ale? Also — how long will this keep in cool storage? Reed.
Well Reed.. it shouldn’t be served ice cold. Let it sit for a few minutes to take the chill off. At least that’s what I usually do. A little bit of warming (not a lot) brings out the malt, which of course you want in a barley wine.)
A flask? You mean it’s in a growler? If you keep it refrigerated and sealed, it will last a while, but oxygen kills beer. Old Crusty’s pretty strong, so it will last, but it kind of gets flatter as the oxygen does its dirty work. If your growler is one of those plastic cubitainers, then squeeze the sides to get as much air out as you can. Sounds delicious.
Bill— Thanks! – My growler is a 750ml black ceramic bottle with a metal bottle cap on top – stored in a cool dark cabinet — So is “cool” but not “cold” your recommendation for most of the strong alcoholic beers you feature in your weekly “what’s on tap” article? – If not, you might mention your recommended serving temp for those us trying to catch up with you beer aficionados – R
Yes. Chilling is for light lagers on hot summer days. With beers that have a decent amount of malt, you want to be able to taste the malt. And the worst thing of all to do is try to drink a double or triple, uber-hoppy IPA ice cold. All you get is hops and to appreciate beers like Pliny the Elder, you need to be able to taste the malt; malt gives even the hoppiest beers balance.
Finding Firestone Walker 12X in LA
Hello William, I was lucky enough to taste the Firestone “XII” ale last week – and I would like to buy some. I read your review on line, mentioning the 2008 Northern California Retail Beer Store List – but I live in the Los Angeles area. Is there a retail beer store list for my area that you are aware of? B.G.
Hi there… I have no idea, but I’ve consulted a freiend Jay Sheveck, who is the author of The Beer Guppy’s Guide to Southern California.” The book includes a list of good beer retailers. Here’s what Jay recommends:
Perhaps Vendome Liquor in Toluca Lakemay have it, but I’m speculating. I’ll pay them a visit tomorrow, because I am looking for a bottle as well. 😉 Actually, Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel would most definitely have it, (maybe even on tap, if Sam has his way)..Cheers, Jay (You can buy the Beer Guppy guide at Amazon or Barnes & Noble, $9.95. It’s a great guide to the LA basin.
Help needed: Why is Silicon Valley such a damned beer desert?
Hi, I really like the article in Wednesday’s Merc. I am writing to you because most of the time these wonderful articles about beers (or wines) to try are just that…articles to read. Finding such gems, well, I have basically given up after years of disappointment.
You would think that people at BevMo would be glued to your article, contact their distributors and order this beer to be in stock…yeh, right. I’ve been to BevMo looking for the elusive brews in previous articles and most recently one of my cooking magazines, with no luck at all. So, if you have some idea as to where to score some the beers in your article, I would love to have that information. RC
William — For what it’s worth, San Jose has less of a foodie culture than the rest of the Bay Area, and I think the dearth of beer options, as compared to the rest of the Bay Area, is an extension of that There are a few good options here and there. The Los Gatos Brewing Company has a good hefeweisen, but not much else. I like BJ’s Brewhouse in the Oakridge Mall in San Jose, and it’s a 15 minute walk from my place. It’s good place, but not really a great place. I don’t know what the discussion might lead to, but would be interested what others have to say. Derrick
Hi Derrick and RC...yeah, the South Bay is indeed a dismal place for beer. I’ve never understood. It’s such an affluent, sophisticated place. I realize I need to spend some more time in San Jose and visit some of these places. If you find a great store from this list, please let me know and I’ll update it. That’s how the list developed. It’s the product of lots of input from people who like good beer. OK blog people, I’m looking for input here. Is there a secret great beer store somewhere in the South Bay/Silicon Valley? Let us know. Comments are very welcome. If for no other reason, than I’m gonna print them and send them to the beer retailers association.