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The Beer Friends write, review, and discuss Craft Beer as fans instead of experts.  They share their unique voice and affinity for craft beer through multiple platforms and offer a range of media to join their craft beer conversation.



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Filtering by Tag: California

Beer Review 129: Speakeasy Vendetta IPA


Hello Beer Friends Nation! San Francisco is home to a lot of things.  The NL West champion Giants, Alcatraz, Trolley Cars, Fog, Tony Bennetts heart... and two great breweries in Speakeasy and 21st Amendment.  Sadly, the Beer Friends haven't gotten to these fantastic breweries until Beer Review 126: Bitter American from 21st Amendment.  This week we try Speakeasy's Vendetta IPA.  Now, we've had some great brews from Speakeasy, and enjoyed a live blog or two - but this is the first time we've been able to get our sh*t together to get in front of a camera and give praise.  West Coast!  Bootlegger! New Breweries!


Hashtag Battles Season 2 - Week 4!


Hello Beer Friends Nation! In the spirit of competition, Beer Friends would like to invite everyone to our second season of NFL hashtag battles! Using we will pit two breweries against each other when their NFL counterparts are facing off on the gridiron. Are you ready for some football? And drinking? And #hashtag battle?!?!?!

What's a hashtag battle? When you're drinking a beer of a brewery competing in the battle, throw a #hashtag of the brewery and tweet it (or setup your foursquare or untappd to push to tweet and include the #hashtag) and we'll use to declare a winner after the Monday Night football game on ESPN. Support your team, support your beer, drink local and hashtag battle!

Week Four - San Francisco 49ers at New York Jets (#21stamendment vs #brooklynbrewery)

This week marks the return of the regular refs - which received a standing ovation on Thursday night in Baltimore. Everyone was feeling the love. Ray Lewis hugged them, Joe Flacco put on another show and Brandon Weeden helped out by only throwing one obvious INT... let's see how long this lasts.

The San Francisco 49ers are a fiery team that lays out bruising hits, has a QB who manages the game well, and a coach with a killer handshake. They played amazing football last year to get within a sniff of the Superbowl and came back with higher expectations, imported talent, and Randy Moss (yep - just checked... still on the team). Week One they knocked off fellow Superbowl hopeful Packers in Green Bay, although in September it's not exactly the "Frozen Tundra". Week Two was the handshake rematch at Candlestick Park with the Detroit Lions and Vernon Davis catching two TD's, afterwards he praised former Coach Singletary, telling everyone Singletary showed tough love to get Davis to be a selfless player, then dropped his pants mid post-game interview. Last week should've been a shopping trip to the Mall of America and a football game if they could squeeze it in, instead the Vikings and Christian Ponder stole a victory. If the 49ers had a "trap game" they were looking ahead to the Jets - which is a mistake on so many levels. Could the 49ers be the victims of two straight weeks of "trap games" while looking ahead to the Buffalo Bills? That's another first...

21st Amendment is an amazing brewery. Granted I'm a huge fan (see previous sentence) but they do some really great things. Along with Oskar Blues from Longmont, CO - they are the forerunners of the canned craft beer revolution. Bitter American jumped from seasonal to year round offering, and this happens to be Hop Crisis season... life is good. The artwork of 21st Amendment always seems to come up when we discuss them and for good reason. This brewery cares so much about the outside of the can, they must be awfully proud of what's inside.

The New York Jets have barely been covered this season - if you don't watch ESPN, or NFL Network, or read the newspaper, or... if you live in a hole. The Jets have been the media's darling in the past couple years, and after promises broken and Superbowl dreams dashed - they keep dressing in tighter fitting clothes just to get attention. Start with a shaky QB who the locker room is seemingly split on to begin with and trade for a conversional QB/Tight End/Fullback/Special Teams player that takes a lot of FB Toss plays and has a following so passionate about football that they ignore the basic skills of the game that are missing. The Jets were dealt a blow last week with Revis Island finally landlocked, enter their backup running back (because in the offseason who has time to worry about a depth chart... they were busy trying to get HBO's Hard Knocks to come back). The Jets were flying high in the first game of the season, and after the first team didn't score a TD the entire Pre-Season... they rattled off 48 points to the (at the time) hapless Bills. Week two was a loss to the Steelers in Pittsburg, and week three a road victory at Miami. This 2-1 start has put them in 1st Place in the AFC East after the Patriots fell to 1-2. The Jets are flying high, but with this stout 49ers defense, the Met Life crowd might be cheering for the up man on punt coverage to take a few snaps before the game is over...

Brooklyn Brewery has become a mainstay of the craft brewing community. Always producing quality stuff, they gained the respect and are put just under the Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada's mainly because of size. Obviously the Beer Friends enjoy a Brooklyn brew now and again (or 9 reviews to current date) and Garrett Oliver is a god amongst the brewing community, and for good reason. Brooklyn seems to be playing the corporate and craft sides very well, producing enough sixpacks to keep themselves sitting pretty (Williamsburg rent ain't cheap!) and the brewmasters series is Garrett's chance to shine. Brooklyn's recipe for success seems to be produce a good product and keep quiet, only until it's the right time to blow your horn - plus their leader doesn't have a foot fetish.

Let the battle begin! Tag with #21stamendment #brooklynbrewery, the battle begins Sunday morning and ends Monday night… drink to support your teams!

Beer Review 126: 21st Amendment Bitter American


Hello Beer Friends Nation! With all the political ads flying around - this weeks beer was an inspired choice.  Actually it's just a delicious beer from San Francisco that we drink off camera a lot and wanted to enjoy on film for once.  Editors note: This was filmed before 21st Amendment announced that Bitter American was now a year round offering... which led to much rejoicing by these Beer Friends.  So kick back, download our podcast, and check out another great beer from some canning pioneers: 21st Amendment.  Cans!  Year Round!  Bitter (hops)!


Beer Review 111: "Can" You Taste the Difference? Sierra Nevada Torpedo


Hello Beer Friends Nation! Fresh off (recovering) our Live Blog of Idle Hands Sierra Nevada Night we have this review and blind taste test of Sierra Nevada Torpedo.  Now Torpedo was the first beer we reviewed and just recently they followed the latest trend in craft beer... canning craft beers.  In this review we revisit Sierra Nevada Torpedo and give a rating based on the canned version along with a discussion of the pros and cons of canning beers.  This is a little longer video - but a two parter!  Consider this part of our "Ken Burns" series of reviews.  Cans!  Nostalgia!  Famous Documentarians!


Beer Review 99: Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye


Hello Beer Friends Nation! This video takes us back to our roots in a different way, when apparently we couldn't frame a shot... Imagine that Graham is talking when you hear his voice (because you don't see him often) and check out this review from Sierra Nevada. Sierra Nevada made the news this week by announcing a East Coast Brewery Site so we decided to toss up a review of their new seasonal, Ruthless Rye.  Ruthless joins the recent rye brews (Founders, Sixpoint) but with a interesting twist - watch to find out!  Be sure to check out our ever growing collection of Sierra Nevada reviews - Torpedo - Southern Harvest - Ken and Fritz 30th


Beer Review 95: Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale


Hello Beer Friends Nation! This week we tried the Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale, which is Lagunitas apology for not being able to brew the Brown Sugga Winter Seasonal.  We missed a week because our studio had the week off, but this is the second in our holiday beer series.  Although late to the table, you'll be able to find these beers for a while still, so watch and then crack open one for yourself and enjoy!


Hashtag Battles Week Five


Hello Beer Friends Nation! In the spirit of competition, Beer Friends would like to invite everyone to our NFL season hashtag battles! Using we will pit two breweries against each other when their NFL counterparts are facing off on the gridiron. Are you ready for some football? And drinking? And #hashtag battle?!?!?!

What's a hashtag battle? When you're drinking a beer of a brewery competing in the battle (#stone vs #newbelgium), throw a #hashtag of the brewery and tweet it (or setup your foursquare or untappd to push to tweet and include the #hashtag) and we'll use to declare a winner after the Monday Night football game on ESPN. And because football needs beer, we're starting on Saturday morning to include the brews consumed during College Football Saturdays. Support your team, support your beer, drink local and hashtag battle!

Hashtag Battle Week Five Matchup: Denver vs San Diego (#newbelgium vs #stone) 

These are two of the heavy weights in West Coast brewing.  California and Colorado are great beer producing states and fortunately San Diego and Denver both play in the AFC West = at least two games this year (I smell rematch!)  This is a great way to feature some fantastic breweries out west... let the hashtag battle begin!

San Diego has been tops in the AFC West for some time.  Top 5 in Offense and Defense last year - however, their special teams was a horror show that eventually kept them out of the playoffs.  Stone Brewery has been producing high quality beers even longer in San Diego (since 1996) but tend to knock it out of the park with their Special edition brews.  Can Stone Brewing Co. teach the Chargers a thing or two about special(ity) teams/beers and combine to win this weeks hashtag battle?

Denver, well... (this is a subject close to my heart -but I can admit it) the Broncos suck... a lot.  We are a shell of the once proud franchise we were (remember those back-to-back Super Bowl wins?).  Mike Shannahan lost his touch, Josh McDaniels was the wunder-kid hired to re-build the honor but instead acted like a small child with matches and burned the thing down.  Trading away all talent (and hurting the team for years to come) Coach McD was fired and old-school, run-first, solid-defensive-minded John Fox was hired. As the Broncos build back up they can look at the consistant model New Belgium has used for years.  New Belgium is (probably) the one brewery everyone is dying to get out on the East Coast - but New Belgium was smart, they didn't try for anything they couldn't do really well and are slowly building up for a (maybe) push into the NYC market (all pure speculation).  Can these two build together and work towards domination of their respective markets?

Beer Review 77: Sierra Nevada Fritz and Ken's 30th Anniversary Stout


Hello Beer Friends Nation! Remember when Sierra Nevada had their 30th Anniversary?  They produced some amazing beers and today (or whatever day you read/watch this) the Beer Friends review the Fritz and Ken 30th Anniversary Ale.  Fritz is Fritz Maytag, the owner and brewer of San Francisco's Anchor Brewing Company and joined with Ken to produce a brew "as a nod to the dark ales and stouts that seduced both in the early years."  Birthday's are the best when the guest get gifts...  Beer!  Anniversaries! Collaboration!


Beer Review 65: Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest 2011


Hello Beer Friends Nation! For this weeks Six Pack of the Week we go down under... to New Zealand!  This week we tried the Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest 2011.  The world on the street (and Sierra Nevada's website) is that this is the first American craft beer to use hops grown in the southern hemisphere, hand picked, dried and flown back to Chico, California and used in this Harvest brew.  The three hop varieties are Pacific Hallertau, New Zealand Motueka and New Zealand Southern Cross Hops - none of which these Beer Friends have heard of or tasted!  Southern Hemisphere!  New Hops!  G-Day Mate! Beer!


Daily Beer Calendar March 17th - 24th


Hello Beer Friends Nation! March Madness has begun!  Check back for BFFF!

March 17th - Celebrator Doppelbock

Privatbrauerei Franz Insel Kammer, Aying, Germany

[polldaddy poll=4713130]

March 18th - Kelpie Seaweed Ale

Heather Ale Ltd., New Alloa Brewery, Kelliebank, Alloa, Scotland

[polldaddy poll=4713138]

March 19th - Firestone Walker Pale Ale

Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, California

[polldaddy poll=4713155]

March 20th - Moosehead Lager

Moosehead Breweries Ltd., Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

[polldaddy poll=4713163]

March 21st - J.K.Scrumpy's Orchard Gate Gold Farmhouse Organic Hard Cider

Almar Orchards, Flushing, Michigan

[polldaddy poll=4713170]

March 22nd - St. Druon Abbey Ale

Brasserie Duyck, Jenlain, France

[polldaddy poll=4713174]

March 23rd - Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale

Black Sheep Brewery PLC, Ripon, England

[polldaddy poll=4713183]

March 24th - Pomme Lambic

Brewery Lindemans, Vlezenbeek, Belgium

[polldaddy poll=4713189]