Anaheim Brewery, The OC Chapter of Pink Boots Society gathered to brew Unite Belgian Tripel at Anaheim Brewery. ​​​​Photo provided by and courtesy of Barbara Gerovac.

N’owt But Stout 

I used to think there was no better way to spend St. Patrick’s Day than enjoying a traditional cask conditioned stout dispensed via beer engine. This past St. Patrick’s Day, Torrance’s Yorkshire Square Brewery took that a few strides further. Its First Annual N’owt but Stout Festival took place in and around the grounds of Yorkshire Square Brewery. It featured exclusively dark beers (mostly stouts and porters) from 14 invited breweries, along with an ample selection of Yorkshire Square’s own brews. Yorkshire’s brewing team of Andy Black and Sam Croft provided an oat stout and brown stout at the  Stout and Nothing but Stout Bar. Joining those were oat stouts from Placentia’s Stereo Brewing Co and Burbank’s Verdugo West Brewing, and a dry-hopped American stout from Beachwood. The preponderance of beers being offered were cask conditioned and hand-pulled on beer engines. This was the first time a version of Stereo’s GABF Gold medal-winning Wall of Sound Stout had been served this way. It was also the favorite of the day and received the Peasants Choice Award. Owner-brewer Rick Smets was in attendance to accept the award. English porters, American porters and export stouts were available at the main bar (from YS, Inland Wharf, Smog City, El Segundo and Mikkeller).

The Stranger Things Bar dispensed some interesting formulations. The most traditional Irish-style stout at this bar was provided by Mark Jilg and Pasadena’s Craftsman Brewing. His O’Stout, an oyster stout, possessed true-to-style flavors that this reporter hasn’t experienced since his pilgrimage to Ireland a few years ago. The nontraditional winner at the table came from Green Cheek Beer Co in Orange. Its Overall Party was billed as “modern” black IPA. An unconfirmed rumor circling the fest was that the beer may have be one of Evan Price’s hazy/juicy IPAs disguised with black coloring. Two Rye stouts came from Karl Strauss-Anaheim and Gardena’s State Brewing. King Harbor’s tap dispensed an Irish stout that had been aged in a Jameson Irish Whiskey barrel. German-style darks were provided by Eagle Rock Brewery and Firestone Walker-the Propagator—a Munich-style dunkel and a schwarzbier, respectively.

In addition to the beer and food (from Vic’s Smokin’ BBQ and BatterFish), there was a lengthy panel discussion made up of Yorkshire’s Andy Black, Craftsman’s Mark Jilg and Smog City’s Jonathan Porter. The trio got together for a captivating discussion about all things stout and porter.

Pink Boots Collab

Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day was born from what was initially started by Sophie de Ronde (Burnt Mill Brewery, UK) as International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day. She started IWCBD in order to build relations between women in the brewing industry, encouraging them to brew together each year on International Women’s Day (March 8th). Pink Boots Society members come together every year at breweries around the world to support, encourage, bring awareness to and raise funds for women to advance their careers in the brewing industry. A portion of the proceeds from sales of Unite collaboration beers goes to fund educational scholarships for Pink Boots Society members.

Many Southern California members and chapters participated in brewing this year’s version of “Unite,” the name coined for this annual beer. So Cal versions of Unite should be out and about by the time you are reading this. Support Pink Boots Society members by enjoying these beers. Pink Boots Collaboration beers were brewed at the following So Cal breweries and should be flowing at many area tap houses and breweries that participated during this year’s release: 

Firestone Walker Brewing Co (both Paso Robles and Marina Del Rey), Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co (Buellton), Island Brewing (Carpentaria), Transplants Brewing (Palmdale), Brouwerij West (San Pedro), Anaheim Brewery and Karl Strauss (Anaheim), Chino Valley (Ontario), Claremont Craft Ales, three Carlsbad breweries: Guadalupe, Rouleur, Pizza Port Bressi Ranch, Belching Beaver (Vista), Stone Brewing (Escondido & Liberty Station) and nine additional San Diego breweries: Second Chance, Mikkeller, Council, Societe, Karl Strauss, Coronado, North Park, Fall and Eppig.

This year’s suggested style was freeform, which allowed for more flexibility among the different beers brewed. It was suggested that members utilize a special “Pink Boots Blend” hops from YCH Hops. This year’s blend includes Palisade, Simcoe, Mosaic, Citra and Loral hops. For breweries purchasing the hop blend, YCH donated $3 per pound to Pink Boots Society Scholarship funds. 

The newly-formed Orange County Pink Boots Chapter brewed Unite Belgian Tripel at Anaheim Brewery with owner/brewer Barbara Gerovac. BSG HandCraft donated the grain for the brew. The OC collab is also available for purchase in 12 ounce bottles. In addition to benefitting Pink Boots Society, sales of this beer also benefits the Orange County Family Justice Center. 

The ladies from Second Chance Beer Company joined together with others from around San Diego and from the Mexican beer community to brew a cream ale that was dry-hopped with the special Pink Boots Hop Blend.

New & Expanding Breweries

Both TAPS and Left Coast appear to be passed municipality red tape obstacles and back on track on build-out of their new respective breweries.

San Clemente’s Left Coast Brewing Company is now targeting for a June opening of its new Left Coast Brewing in Irvine, complete with Tasting Room, Smokehouse and Distillery. Social media posts of late have been of been enticing fans with photos of BBQ. The new venue is in Sand Canyon Plaza, located at Irvine Center Drive and Sand Canyon.

Left Coast’s seasonal spring brew, Red Tide, a 7.1% ABV American Belgian-style red ale, is now available in 16 ounce cans. This beer combines a mixture of west coast hops, caramel roasted malt and Belgian yeast to provide a hoppy, spicy, and somewhat roasty flavor experience. Left Coast is once again hosting the 8th Annual San Clemente Micro-Brew Fest, which takes place from 12-5 p.m. on the grounds surrounding its brewery on Saturday April 15th. Proceeds will benefit San Clemente Chamber of Commerce “Welcome Home Military Family Events.” 15 Breweries will be pouring their best, three bands will entertain, and food will be available from local restaurants and food trucks.   

TAPS Fish House and Brewery’s new TAPS Brewery and Barrel Room in Tustin (15501 Red Hill Avenue) is also beginning to take form. Recent posts from Kyle Manns and Jonathan Chiusano have been documenting installation and placement of the new 30bbl, 4 vessel Prospero brewhouse and tanks. A more concrete scheduling of TAPS Tustin’s opening should be forthcoming. 

Also in TAPS news, its Brea location just completed a reported $1.5 million makeover. Open since 1999, the major updates completed serve to preserve TAPS historic appeal while providing some 21st Century updates to its dining room, oyster bar, patio and kitchen.