photos by David Mulvihill
Docent Field Trip
The beautiful grounds of Reata Park (in San Juan Capistrano) were the setting for Docent Brewing’s Field Trip, a celebration of the San Juan Capistrano brewery’s 2nd Anniversary. Over 15 local and out-stretching friend-breweries took part in providing the liquid refreshment. Docent teamed with Brew Ha Ha Productions in this effort. Team Docent, along with Cameron & Tiffany Collins and Brew Ha Ha Productions succeeded in taking it to the next level. Along with stellar beer from Docent and friends, this family welcoming event included a musical lineup that included Roses Pawn Shop, Robert Jon & the Wreck and The White Buffalo. Food from prominent OC food trucks and Heritage BBQ was also on hand. Given the confines of this ticketed event, Heritage BBQ’s food lasted well into the festival. This allowed many new to the remarkable Texas-style BBQ of Heritage to taste and enjoy. Sharing a huge plate of brisket from Heritage, perfectly prepared and wonderful, was a taste-filled experience.
This was Reata Park’s first foray into an event of this sort. The success of this day will hopefully lead to many others to come. The park’s surroundings and the day’s weather provided a pleasant and picturesque setting for Docent to celebrate its three pillars: Community, Craftsmanship and Independence. The day began with a Community bike ride from Docent Brewing to the festival grounds, which began at 11:00 a.m. Those that pedaled were also provided free valet parking for their bike.
Prior to The White Buffalo’s set, Docent’s owners and brewer took the stage. Co-owner Brian Hendon spoke on behalf of the group (co-owners Scott Cordelessa & Joe Wilshire, and brewer Bryan Giesen.
Brian began by thanking their families for their patience and support with all of the hard work that has resulted in bringing Docent Brewing to its two-year mark. He then spoke about the employees. “Next, I want to thank the machine that makes this happen, our employees and our staff: Team Docent, a very special team of people.” He explained that ‘The Machine’ is responsible for all of the moving parts that allow us, the patrons, to come into the brewery and feel at home. He continued, “Lastly, I want to thank the fuel, all of you who keep fueling this fire inside of us.” He referenced a prominent phrase that is posted inside of the brewery, ‘Rooted in Community’. “This means a lot to us. We did this for you guys. Cheers to all of you. Thank you so much!”
N’owt But Stout
That following weekend (St. Patrick’s Day weekend), Yorkshire Square Brewery and the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild collaborated to present YSB’s Second Annual N’owt But Stout Festival. In this age and overkill attributed to the hazy/ juicy IPA craze, it’s nice to be able to choose a worthy alternative. This now-annual celebration of dark brews included beers from over 25 invited breweries, along with a select few cask brews from host Yorkshire Square and Brewer Andy Black.
YSB provided the only light-colored beer of the day, its coveted Early Doors pub bitter. Other YSB brews included At Last The 1948 Mild, a traditional British dark mild, Wuthering Stout oatmeal stout and Castle Dangerous 2019, an export stout. At over 8% ABV, Castle Dangerous definitely clocks in above Yorkshire Square’s typical session-able traditional brews.
The lighter British, Irish and Scottish-style offerings from guest breweries included dry stouts from Bagby Beer, Figueroa Mountain, Firestone Walker Propagator and Green Cheek Beer Co (on cask). Oatmeal stouts included Stereo Brewing Company’s multiple Great American Beer Festival winner, Wall of Sound, which also won YSB’s people’s choice award at last year’s N’owt. Oatmeal stouts were also flowing from Burbank’s Trustworthy Brewing Co and Gardena’s State brewing.
Katherine Mary’s Irish Stout, from Tustin Brewing Company, was brewed by Jerrod Larsen as a tribute to TBC crew member Katherine Mary Gallagher, who left us way too soon.
Additional stouts came from Arts District, Home (both a dark and a sweet stout served on cask) Smog City, King Harbor (wood aged dry), Eagle Rock (smoked) and El Segundo.
Porters were also on the menu. In addition to its brown ale, Institution Ale Co. brought its Robust Porter. Burnin Daylight, Mumford Brewing and Simmzy’s Burbank were sporting American porters.
And, it wouldn’t be a festival without some stronger and/or stranger brews. Bravery Brewing possessed barrel-aged old ale and Russian Imperial stout. Riip Beer Company served barrel-aged Imperial stout. Imperial stouts were also on hand at the Highland Park Brewery and Transplants Brewing stations. Los Angeles Ale Works dispensed a barrel-aged oatmeal stout. Cellador Ales, staying true to its wild-side, created a barrel-aged sour stout.
Beachwood Brewing’s Black IPA and Mikkeller San Diego’s barrel-aged Baltic porter, along with others provided additional contrast in expanding the stout theme.
On the music front, the set performed by Vagrant Nation gave folks an entertaining mash-up of traditional Irish and fast-moving drinking music from the Isles to entice the crowd. It was fun to watch the coherent transition from trad Irish step dance to mosh pit.
The weekends in March were indeed full. Anaheim’s Noble Ale Works celebrated its 10th Anniversary on March 23. Beer-wise, many variations of new beers and those Noble fans have grown to love were dispensed during the celebration.
At the forefront, Noble’s ever-popular Naughty Sauce came in its pure form, and the following variants: Two incorporated ThunderKing Coffee; one with Dark Side of the Moon coffee and the other with Positive Morning Attitude coffee. Mostra Coffee’s Ghost Espresso plus cinnamon were combined in another. Additionally, Yoga Pants (Naughty Sauce with pumpkin spice), Bean Bump (Noble’s much-more-naughty 12.7% ABV Imperial Naughty Sauce) and a White Russian variation of Bean Bump were also served.
Noble’s candy beers included Imperial candy bar stouts (Almond Joy, Smores, Butterfinger, and PB&J). Cereal milk stouts included Fruity Pebbles, Cap’n Crunch, Golden Grahams and Cinnamon Toast Crunch milk stout. How about a sour beer with Skittles, Grape Jolly Rancher beer, or lemonade and Kool-Aid beers? Hot pepper beers included a Serrano lager and Spicy Marg, which incorporated lime zest, salt and habaneros.
Along with many other beers, Hazy IPAs, cask IPAs, session IPAs and West Coast IPAs rounded out the day’s offerings. Congrats on 10 years Noble Ale Works!