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Monday, August 29, 2011

Manfish Brewing Comes to Town Part 1 + Beachwood BBQ and Brewing Redux

Welcome to Part 1 of 3 of my Epic Manfish Brewing Comes to TownI've had a few other names in mind but settled on that. 
A couple weeks ago my buddy Ken from Manfish Brewing drove down from Washington on a business trip.  Ken and I met a while back when we were both pretty active on the Mr Beer Forum when we were starting out in brewing.  We had both received our kits as presents around the 2009 holiday season giving us a shared origin into brewing.

The "brewmasters" of Manfish and SNB Brewing
"hard" at work
That summer he took a road trip south hitting all the classic breweries on his way down.  He posted on the forum some of the big stops and I messaged him that when he was in the area we should get together for a beer.  Not knowing where to go I told him to meet me at The Shop (Addison Homebrew Provisions).   Once we met up we determined we would hit up Bootlegger’s as when I called they had Knuckle Sandwich on tap, this was back before the hype machine attacked KS. 

We had a great time, I’ve mentioned before how brewers seem to just fall into friendships easily and Ken was no exception.  Over the next year I’d send him some growlers (one of KS and one of IPL) and he’d send me the official Manfish pint glass.  When I went up to Washington for Easter we tried to get together but were unable to. Fortunately I knew he was coming down in August.

This time around I decided to schedule out a long Sunday with him and instead seize the opportunity and take him around to some of the best breweries Orange County had to offer. Of course we had to start at Beachwood BBQ and Brewing (update with more pictures) in Long Beach, hey it’s near the border…

Beachwood BBQ and Brewing

Man I love this place, they are really hitting their stride brewing wise. I was able to another complete flight of excellent beers with zero repeats from my previous visits. Ken joined me for the taster flight and this time around we tried...

From Left to Right; Reckless,
Thrill Seeker, The Equalizer and Bulldog
Reckless is a session-ish (sorry but I am pretty rigid on the definition of a session ie 4% or less) pale ale.  Beautiful piney and resiny nose from the Northwest hops Julian used on it.  Overall a really nice pale ale.

I followed that with Thrill Seeker which is clearly a "West Coast-style" IPA in the truest sense. Some of my favorite hops such as Chinook, Summit, Centennial, and Simcoe dance wonderfully together.   I don’t know where he managed to find the Simcoe but I’m glad he did. It has a great classic dry hopped IPA aroma of pine and citrus on it.   Ken and I really liked this on and I’m still on the fence with this vs Melrose.

Next up was The Equalizer, an “explosive” double (thank you for not calling it imperial) IPA. The cool thing about this beer is that the toss whole hops in the serving tank, which worked out ok.  To me I really didn’t love this beer like I have most of the others.  Double IPAs and I have a tough relationship; I either love them or find them tough to drink if they are not well balanced.

I ended my taster flight with the Bulldog a traditional Irish-style stout served on nitro. This one came out really nice, the nitro does wonders for the mouthfeel making it smooth and creamy.  The taste was nice and roasty and reminded me of several good Irish stouts I’ve had.

One of their guest boards
After that I hit the guest taps for a 10oz pour of a Session Ale w/brett from Gaverhopeke Koerseklakske or as I called it the session ale with brett from the brewery I can’t pronounce. This one was ok, it had some good earthy brett character but wasn’t blowing me away.  While Ken and Bonnie enjoyed some of the Melrose IPA.

As for food I ordered some of the tater tot casserole and the smoked buffalo wings for the table and the steak salad for lunch. Ken and Bonnie both had the barbecue chicken salad.  After lunch I grabbed a growler of the Melrose and Ken and I head back into the OC for our first stop Bootlegger’s…



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