Cars & Casino
and Beer

The Go Campaign’s 3rd Annual Cars and Casino took place again at Jonathan Ward’s ICON Workshop—a fun evening of amazing cars, casino games, food and cocktails—with funds raised from ticket sales, donated silent auction items and table games. Go Campaign is dedicated to improving lives of children around the world, changing lives and transforming communities one child at a time. Go to gocampaign.org to donate to this worthy cause.

In addition to the standard open bar, a separate station was set up by Adam Carolla and his Carolla Drinks crew to introduce his new Endless Rant IPA. Carolla and team collaborated with the folks at King Harbor Brewing Company in Redondo Beach to create this beer. As a comedian, television & radio personality, author, actor and director, Adam Carolla has done many things inside and outside of the entertainment industry. Carolla Drinks was developed some years back after his creation of Mangria, a wine-based cocktail. It was an avenue for marketing the product to his fan base.

Opportunity presented itself for this reporter to talk with Carolla about the beer. Adam recounted his thoughts and vocalizations leading to the decision to move forward after King Harbor pitched the idea to Carolla’s team. He said that if they were going to make a beer, they really needed to talk about what the beer would be. Adam didn’t want it to be something he didn’t enjoy and didn’t want it to be something that fans or friends wouldn’t also enjoy. He picked a couple of beers he really liked and requested that the brewers try and get somewhere within the range of their profiles. A ten gallon test batch was brewed and tasted. Carolla’s thoughts upon tasting the beer was that, “It finished light, a little soft or safe.” He asked for modifications that would maintain much of the same flavors, but add a bit more in the finish. The second batch presented a few weeks later incorporated the requested enhancements. Adam stated, “We could have done a third lap, but I didn’t see the sense in it. I liked it. Everyone else who tasted it liked it, so why go through this dance again.”

In speaking about his life and career, Adam also shared an interesting perspective about his varied lines of business: “It’s really about just living life and doing what you want to do. If you want to make a beer, make a beer. If you want to make a documentary, make a documentary. If you want to write a book, write a book... Go do what you do, and more often than not, when the dust settles you’ll have some success.” He went on to say that while every endeavor may not work all of the time, oftentimes people spend too much time waiting for a perfect time. “There’s never a perfect time. Just go do it.”

Endless Rant is being marketed through Inside the Cellar, an online distributor that can ship to 38 states. Listen to Adam on CarCast, a car-related podcast he co-hosts with Matt D’Andria.

Competition insight

Competition season is upon us with three major contests having just passed. Both the Los Angeles and the San Diego International Beer Competitions took place in April, followed in early May by the World Beer Cup WBC in Philadelphia. The playing field is more difficult these days as an increasing number of breweries vie for a limited number of awards. Over 6,500 beers competed in this year’s WBC for 287 awards.

Pizza Port
San Clemente

Head Brewer Trevor Walls invited me down to the brewpub during WBC submission week to taste and critique his WBC entries. Certified Cicerone Charlie Perez joined me. First up, Arse Over Elbow dark English mild had a notably smooth medium body, which was enhanced by the addition of biscuit malt. Extra crystal malt contributed caramel character that finished with roast tones and a refreshing drinkability. His second beer was Abe Drinkin, a light American wheat ale. Aside from slight dissipating sulfur notes its light flavors and fruit hints fit the style bill quite well. Contender, a pale ale which highlighted Mosaic hops, was entered in the International-style pale ale category. Flaked wheat and oats softened and rounded its flavor profile for a beautifully hoppy pale that clocked in at 5.5% alcohol by volume. WBC Style Guidelines for international pale allow for a wide range of hop flavors and aromas, alcohol content and bitterness. Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA earned gold in this category in the last WBC 2014.

William Wallace Water, a Scotch ale this reporter’s favorite of the tasting, popped in an explosion of flavors. Its richness and cleanness embodied style guidelines which state, “A brewery fresh experience is intended in these beers.” While this beer did not medal at the WBC, it was awarded a bronze medal in the San Diego Competition. The San Diego competition also earned Walls a silver for Dusk til Dawn Imperial Coffee Porter, a beer he didn’t enter in the WBC.