Imbibe has been bringing some great out of market stuff to town lately. Their beer guru, Kevin seems to have an extensive list of connections that he utilizes to bring in all kinds of good stuff. El Segundo Brewing Company has shunned using distributors and is now self-distributing. Part of this self-distribution is the Day One Program which gets kegs and bottles out to select retailers super-fast. This helps them ensure fresh beer hits shelves and taps. Imbibe was able to secure a spot in this program. As of this posting they just tapped Hop Tanker DIPA and have it in bottles. The bottle and keg date is 3/10/16 so this stuff is super fresh. Also, Smog City out of LA was this month’s featured brewery for the beer of the month club which included The Nothing Double Chocolate Stout, Amarilla Gorilla IPA and Coffee Porter. Some of those bottles made it onto the shelf. I’m sure we can look forward to a lot more surprises from Imbibe in the future. Be sure to follow @ontapbakersfield and keep an eye on your Instagram feed for updates.
In my last edition of Beer Observations I talked about the weekly events happening at Moo Creamery and Eureka Burger. Another craft beer joint providing us with a weekly event is Bootleggers. On Mondays they host a steal the pint event starting at 6pm. Previous editions have featured Tioga Sequoia, Lagunitas, Maui Brewing Company and others. Their event on March 14th will feature Modern Times Fortunate Islands. Unique to Bootleggers is something they call Craft Beer Bingo that they also do on Mondays at 7pm. I haven’t tried this yet so I don’t know too much about it, but bingo and beer sounds like a pretty good pairing.
Bakersfield’s swankiest hotel, The Padre, is hosting the first of their new beer dinner series called Brews & Bites. The first iteration will be on Monday March 21st at 7pm and will feature Kern River Brewing Company and some super fancy, delicious sounding food. A couple of the highlights from Chef Blake Luecke’s menu are braised duroc pork belly with red flint “floriani” corn polenta integrale paired with Sequoia Red and dark chocolate, caramel and cinnamon sugar dessert pretzels with foie gras crème anglaise paired with Moscow Mine Russian Imperial Stout. The price of $65 sounds a bit high but you are sure to get high quality food paired with some tasty local beers. Hit up The Padre’s website for ticket info.
When I recently posted about Bakersfield’s newest craft beer spot Craft Tap House, I mentioned they are the first local establishment to utilize the Tap Hunter mobile app system. If you haven’t yet, you should really install this app on your phone. Tap Hunter gives you up to date info on what is on tap at your favorite spot, tells you where you can find your favorite beer on tap and so much more. It’s a great tool for exploring new cities, exploring and rating new beers and finding events near you. Hopefully more local establishments will find the value in this system and integrate it into their menus.
The Beaver is Bakersfield’s newest addition to local taps and bottle shops. Thanks to diligent work by Belching Beaver and Pipeline Craft Beverage Co. we can expect to see them at better craft beer spots around town. Imbibe recently hosted a meet and greet featuring Belching Beaver and bottles have already started showing up around town and the seriously delicious Peanut Butter Milk Stout was just tapped at Eureka. Expect to see a tap take over at Craft Tap house in April and a tasting at BevMo. Go out and experience what this first class brewery has to offer.
On March 19, Tioga Sequoia is releasing new versions of their award winning smoked barely wine, Smoke Chaser. They will be releasing 1600 bottles of Smoke Chaser, barrel aged in Rye Whiskey barrels and 1000 bottles of their Smoke Chaser Reserve which is a double barrel aged blend of 24 months in bourbon barrels and 12 months in Rye Whiskey barrels. Keep an eye on their Instagram account for more details soon.
Short and Sweet (or Sour)
Luponic Distortion’s first version (001) is in circulation around town but don’t expect it to last very long. This new revolving brew from Firestone Walker will re-invent itself every 90 days with a new hop profile and a new number.
Pineapple Sculpin by Ballast Point is showing up around town again.
The massive new Lengthwise location is coming along nicely. They are moving in tanks and putting up interior walls. From what I’ve heard they are still on for a spring opening. Also, keep an eye out for new logo bottle caps on your favorite Lengthwise brew.
Dionysus continues to make progress on their location including the super sexy deep red bar finish. I can’t wait to see those sours pop on that thing. It’s looking like they will be opening to the public sometime in the coming weeks.
Home brewers take notice. Temblor Brewing Company is hosting its inaugural homebrew competition. The entry deadline is May 31. Check Temblor’s social media sites for more details. Click here for the styles and judging guidelines provided by the Beer Judge Certification Program.
Tehachapi’s Honey Wagon Brewing is churning out some serious hop bombs. Their outstanding triple IPA Grain Man is comparable to some of the best IPAs on the market in my opinion. Keep an eye on these guys.
Check out the events page for info on the Country and Craft Beer Festival coming up on April 9th at Mill Creek Park downtown.
Other local festivals we have coming up are the Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival on May 28th at CSUB and the Tehachapi Mountain Beer and Wine Festival on July 16th at Benz Visco Sports park in Tehachapi. I’ll have more info on those festivals on the events page soon.