Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Water of Life

I just made a new friend from Scotland I did. Can you hear my bad Scottish accent? And he's lit a fire in me and awakened me to another malt beverage - Scotch. Mmmm....Scotch. Scotch, Scotch....I love Scotch!

I'd actually been nosing around whisky a bit lately which led me to my said new friend who works for a whisky-maker called Highland Park which is located on Orkney, a rather unforgivingly windy island off the north coast of Scotland.

Highland Park has been making Scotch Whisky for more than two centuries and is the illustrious maker of Highland Park 18, which was named "The Best Spirit in the World," by F. Paul Pacult who is America's foremost expert on distilled spirits.

So, why am I writing about Scotch here on my little beer blog? Well - turns out that Highland Park has teamed with the Harviestoun Brewery, a small brewery in Scotland that was founded in 1985 in a 200 year old stone byre (which, upon looking up, is either a cow barn, a store house or a lady's private apartment.) Harviestoun has matured its limited release called "Ola Dubh" (or Black Oil) in casks from Highland Park to add whisky notes of wood, peat and smoke to a beer that was brewed "with a nod" to the classic Imperial Porters and Stouts of the 19th century.

Ola Dubh is available in three different "expressions" as they've fermented batches in casks formerly used to mature Highland Park 12 Year Old, 16 Year Old and 30 Year Old scotch. And my new best Scottish friend got me one of each for my tasting and your reading pleasure. I tasted these with Evan Funke, Executive Chef at Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica, and here's what we thought about them.
Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special 12 Reserve - 8%
Wow - This beer pours like soy sauce, which made me worry because I thought that maybe there was going to be absolutely no carbonation in this one. It looked like thick black oil - no wonder the name. The aromatics were like salt-water and smokey bacon. The flavor was there matching the intensity of the nose. The chefs said "Viking Salt." And we all agreed on coffee, and tart and sour wood - dry but not bitter. With a lingering sweet malt and creamy mouthfeel.

This reminded me of a Rauchbier, or Smoked Beer.

Chef Funke's Pairing:
Roast Duck with Plums.

Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special 16 Reserve
- 8%
Whoa. We thought that the 12 year was thick - this one poured even heavier with literally no head whatsoever. The aromatics still had those condensed sea salt notes, but this time there was much more fruit in the nose, like black cherry - and had sweet herby qualities like licorice and tamari. Surprisingly, upon tasting, this beer had much more carbonation in the beer. It was definitely, fruitier- closer to a Dubbel with smoke in the background but with chocolate in the front. This beer had a lighter mouthfeel than the 12. It cleaned up nicely.

Chef Funke's Pairing:
Venison with Sweet Potatoes, Huckleberries & Braised Endive.

Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special 30 Reserve
- 8%
Now, this beer made me go "Ooooooh." And I don't give that out too much! This beer is thick black gloopy oil! However, even though it looks a bit intimidating and 12 oz. of it comes in its own box, this beer is much more drinkable than even the 12 or the 16. This beer is tight! The balance is just there. Black truffle's on the nose - definite earth and whisky peat. And the flavor is amazing. Coffee and chocolate stirred with wild herbs. There is also a strong mineral presence in this one. It tastes as if it was poured through stones. The chefs called this beer a "Lord of the Rings" beer. This beer also was the most whisky like with some good heat in the exhaust, even though the alcohol content is the same as the others. An all round delicious beer.

Chef Funke's Pairing:
Pork Belly with Wild Oregon Morels
Grab any of these beers if you can find them. I'm not exactly sure where to get it, but I know that it is imported by B. United International. Its been available in the US since February '08. And there's more to look forward to. They are talking about doing beers fermented in 40 & 50 year old casks.

Mmmm....Scotch. Mmmmm....Beer. I love my life.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I'm Savoring the Season

Since I had such a great time last year and met some really cool artisans and chefs, I'm participating in Savor the Season again this year!

Called "one of the top ten food and wine events in Southern California" by Biz Bash, Savor the Season 2008 is one of LA's premier food and wine galas featuring top Los Angeles chefs, live and silent auctions, music, wine, beer and spirits, all to benefit Break the Cycle, the leading organization that raises awareness and provides support for teen victims of domestic violence.

Honorary Chef Andre Guerrero (MAX, The Oinkster) hosts a stellar line-up of Los Angeles' culinary talents:
  • Aaron Robins, Boneyard Bistro
  • Michael McDonald & Renee Ward, Brix@1601
  • Lisa Field & Corinna Conti,Catering by Field
  • Gerardo Ochoa, El Cholo
  • Mike Garrett & Tommy Stoilkovich, Falcon
  • Bijan Shokatfard, Geoffrey's
  • Chad Minton, Jer-Ne at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey
  • Scott Floyd, Salt Creek Grille
  • Nano Crespo, Tasca Wine Bar
I'll be doing my beer chick thing in the Season's exclusive "Tasting Garden" that will be available to VIP guests to indulge their senses in an intimate tasting experience featuring fine foodstuffs from the following:

Beverly Hills Caviar, Brian Scheiner:

Scheiner will showcase a tasting of decadent black, red, and golden caviars from his artisan shop, which has provided clients with exclusive products for over thirty years.

The Beer Chick, Christina Perozzi: (me, yay!)
One of the West Coast's premier beer experts, Perozzi will share her expertise with a sampling of gourmet ales.

Joni Fay Hill & Denise Daclan - Saltistry will feature an extravagant sea salt tasting buffet of their artisan infusions.

Faerie's Finest:
Faerie Thompson - Faerie will showcase her fine flavored sugars, spice blends and cocktail rimmers.

Madame Chocolat, Hasty Torres:
Decadent hand made bon bons and rich Belgian chocolates will headline Hasty's sweet tasting.

Mo de Tea Cafe, Yosuke Sato:
Flavor-infused teas, such as fine jasmine and tart apples, will be among the many teas to taste.

Tutti Gelati, Ke Lin Kay & Carlos Molina:
This father/daughter team will serve an assortment of specialty gelatos and sorbets that reflect both traditional Italian flavors and fine ingredients.

The Cheese Impresario, Barrie Lynn:
Barrie Lynn will share her gourmet expertise with guests as they choose from a variety of boutique cheeses.

Girl Meets Grape, Bonnie Graves:
Sommelier and writer Bonnie Graves will share a unique champagne tasting experience.



Sunday, September 21, 2008
6 to 9 p.m.

210 S. Main St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

A former cathedral, the luxurious and elegant Vibiana elevates events with sophisticated ambiance. For more information and photos, visit

  • Tickets can be purchased online through, or by calling Break the Cycle at 310.286.3383.
  • General Admission, $100
  • VIP Admission, $250 - VIP Lounge with exclusive access to The Tasting Garden
  • Complimentary valet parking
  • VIP Gift bags and Savor the Season Cookbook featuring recipes from participating chefs

About Break the Cycle:

Break the Cycle is a national nonprofit organization that engages, educates and empowers youth to build lives and communities free from domestic and dating violence, and provides youth with preventive education, safe spaces to get information and help, and activism opportunities. Founded in Los Angeles in 1996, Break the Cycle's events have raised over $2.5 million to support vital domestic violence services, making a difference in the lives of more than 200,000 young people. Please visit for more information.

Hope to see you there so we can drink good beer for a good cause.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

InBev to Change Cardinals Uniforms

So, as you know, I was born in St. Louis, MO and grew up right outside. I'm a huge fan of the Cardinals and was raised on Budweiser. And as the whole world knows, Anheuser-Busch has just been taken over by InBev, a huge Belgian beer conglomerate. This may be big news in general but it is HUGE news in St. Louis! My friends and family keep sending me emails as if I have something to do with this (which I don't by the way!) or can do something about it (which I, obviously can't!) However, some St. Louisans are taking it all with a grain of salt.
(Don't put salt in your beer!)

Here's my favorite so far. And stay strong my St. Louis brothers and sisters!

InBev to Change Cardinals Uniforms

(Brussels) Anheuser-Busch has accepted a $52 billion takeover bid from Belgium-based InBev NV to create the world's largest beer maker and end a month-long standoff. While pitching the deal in recent weeks, InBev chief executive Carlos Brito has said that he is "committed to the city of St. Louis" and that changes here would be minimal. One that Brito said will show up shortly after this weeks Major League Baseball All-Star event in New York will be a minor one in the long standing uniforms worn by the St. Louis Cardinal Baseball team.

First-baseman Albert Pujols, one of the first to try the new outfits said "while it may take a little time for Cardinal fans to fall in line behind the change, I personally like them a lot. They'll really be enjoyable during those hot, muggy days in late July and August. I expect all of the fans will be wearing them before the end of the season!"

Sporting goods stores around the St. Louis area report brisk sales of the new Cardinal memorabilia.

Click here for the picture of the new uniforms!

*Beer 4 Chicks does not claim any responsibility for this article or this picture!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gr8t Place to 8 and Drank

Just wanted to give a shout out to my client's opening! The fabulous new 8oz Burger Bar on Melrose in Hollywood is opening today! I mean, really, at the end of the day is there anything better than a great burger and beer combination? - Except maybe a burger and a beer float? You know how I feel about beer floats!

I'm really stoked to be able to say that I worked with 8 oz. on their beer list. They have some gr8t beers now, rare and delicious. Mostly from local sources! They have Dale Brothers from Upland, Skyscraper from El Monte, Telegraph from Santa Barbara, The Lost Abbey, Port Brewing and Stone Brewing Company from the San Diego area. They have gr8t crisp lagers in the form of Craftsman 1903 and Victory Prima Pils. They also let me do gr8t beers in cans! We did Dale's Pale Ale, Gordon's and Old Chub from Oskar Blues Brewing Company out of Colorado. Also, just for fun, we have some kitschy cans in the form of Pabst Blue Ribbon, Schlitz and Olympia! (article coming soon on canned beers and why they aren't all bad)

Here's what Urban Daddy just wrote about them:
"You'll recognize the address-it's the famed former home of celebrity chef Govind Armstrong's Table 8, which is moving up the street-but not much else. Instead of mohair walls and endless small plates, you'll now find a rustic, come-as-you-are vibe...and a rustic, eat-what-you-want burger menu. (All that remains is the occasional flash of Armstrong's signature dreadlocks to confirm you're in the right place.)

Grab the large leather booth in the back of the left room if you came with a pack of carnivores, a seat at the bar on the right for a quicker solo meal, or stick to the open-air sidewalk for a casual date. You'll be having that Beer Float (like a root beer float, but using one of the specialty brews instead of soda) with the Estancia Grass-Fed Burger, or building your own ode to beef with housemade extras like Fried Green Tomatoes and Purple Mustard. But if you've brought along someone who likes her burger bars a little less burger-y, she can have her patty in turkey, fish or veggie form.

You won't judge."
You can also read about them on today's Daily Candy !
Here's their kick ass BEER LIST!

On Tap
Telegraph White Ale
Green Flash West Coast IPA
Craftsman 1903
Full Sail Pale Ale
Skyscraper Lugnut Lager
Telegraph Stock Porter

Big Bottles
Ommegang Hennepin
Lost Abbey Lost & Found
Wandering Aengus Heirloom Cider
Franziskaner Hefe Weisse
Dale Bros. Pomona Queen

Small Bottles
Allagash White Ale
Victory Prima Pils
Port Brewing Shark Bite Red
Anderson Valley Boont Amber
Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout
ACME India Pale Ale
Flying Dog Road Dog Porter
Unibroue Fin Du Monde
North Coast Blue Star American Wheat Ale
Oaked Arrogant Bastard

Great Cans
Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale
Oskar Blues Gordon
Oskar Blues Old Chub

Kitschy Cans
Pabst Blue Ribbon
8 oz. Burger Bar is located at 7661 Melrose Ave between Stanley and Spaulding in Hollywood, CA. Their phone number is 323-852-0008.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Breast Fest

My dear Aunt and namesake Christine just passed away from breast cancer this April, so when I saw this event, I thought it fitting to give you all a heads up about it! Even though it sounds like the kind of event where you might see t-shirts, and they might be wet, The Breast Fest is actually an annual craft beer festival that helps raise funds to fight breast cancer.

The 8th Annual "Fermenting Change" Microbreweries Battling Breast Cancer Brewfest or the "Breast Fest," hosted by the Marin Brewing Company and Moylan's Brewery & Restaurant & Noonan's Bar and Grill is being held this Saturday, July 12th from 1-5pm in Larkspur, CA. ALL proceeds to benefit Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic.

In the past eight years, the “Breweries Battling Breast Cancer” event has managed to donate over $100,000 for the clinic, in hopes of offering help to those needing but not having enough income for cancer services.

With offices in Oakland and San Francisco, CMCC is a state-licensed primary care clinic providing free complementary alternative medicine treatments (acupuncture, massage therapy, Chinese and Western herbs, therapeutic imagery), social services and educational workshops for low-income women with cancer.

The beer-tasting benefit offers a wonderful opportunity to sample and compare some of the finest locally brewed beers in a fun, sunny outdoor setting while listening to live music. Some of the breweries included in this year’s benefit are: Moylan’s, 21st Amendment, Iron Springs, Lagunitas, Magnolia Pub & Brewery, Bear Republic, Rubicon, Russian River, Third Street Ales Works, to name a few.

Admission for the event is $30 in advance (tickets sold until 5pm on July 11th) and $35 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased at Marin Brewing Company or Moylan’s Brewery & Restaurant, Marin Brewing Company is located at:

Larkspur Landing Courtyard
1809 Larkspur Landing Circle
Larkspur, CA 94939

Here's a Full List of Breweries Attending...

Marin Brewing Company, 21st Amendment, Anderson Valley, Beach Chalet, BJ’s Brewery, Black Diamond, Broken Drum, Drakes Brewing, Fox Barrel Cider, Half Moon Bay, Iron Springs, Lagunitas Brewing Co, Magnolia Pub, Moon Light, Moylan’s, Mateveza, Mount St. Helena, North Coast, Rubicon, Russian River, Santa Cruz, Seabright, Stone Brewing, Third Street Aleworks, Triple Rock, Two Rivers Cider.
If you go, please lift a pint for my dear Aunt Chris!

I Once Was Lost, But Now I'm Found:
The Beer Mapping Project

travel to

So, this is rad. Some genius decided that he always wanted to know "exactly where he is and how far he needs to go for good beer." So he created this website called, and its awesome. If you like beer like I do, this is a great site to get you to the best beer places in the world, and the ones in your neighborhood.

If you want to find the best beer places in almost any major city you can go to the City Beer Maps section and it maps out google style, where the places are and their addresses and phone numbers. If you do not see your city on this list, type your city name into the search field in their lookup page and check their database for the brewpubs or breweries in your neck of the woods.

You can also use the system's proximity functions to create your own maps of an area. Simply use the location lookup page to find a site to be used as a center point of your map and then select a radius to display from that center point.

You can also use their Map Skip function to create a proximity map based on an address.

Say you have a super beer nerdy friend like I do (Hi Larry - I'm sure you already know about this.) and they always know the newest great place or the newest brewery. Well, you can keep up with them on this site as well, because they now have a Buddy Activity page that tracks the site updates from the people on your Buddy List.

And check this out. They also have a mobile search page! So if you aren't near a computer, but you suddenly need a beer you can type in your browser on your blackberry and do a search of the city or zip code you are in and up will pop complete results. How rad is that, seriously. Its like full-on 2.0 bro.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Session #17
Better Late Than Never

"The Session," which has been deemed as "a monthly virtual beer tasting" is hosted by a different blogger each month, and each month has a different theme chosen by the host. And each month, really rad beer bloggers and brewers and authors join in. I don't really belong, but since this month's subject is about going against the grain and drinking anti-seasonally, I thought I'd give it a try.

Okay, so I'm going to try writing this session thing again. And its funny that this time the subject should be drinking anti-seasonally. Or should we just go with the broader picture and say non-conformity as it relates to beer. The reason why its funny is because I've only posted on one other Session out of the 16 previous Sessions, even though I've really wanted to join in and even though I very responsibly have "Blog the Session" repeating on my google calendar on the first Friday of every month. I'm having a moment of clarity and its apparent to me now that I hate authority, even my own.

As a matter of fact, now that I'm thinking about it, I probably started drinking craft beer to be a non-conformist. It wasn't conscious at the time, but now, looking back, I definitely wanted to differentiate myself from the cosmo drinking, "I'll just have something lite," girls I constantly found myself competing with. Big beers made me tougher, stronger, cooler - Belgians made me smarter, more sophisticated, more complicated than those stupid lollipop heads.

Hell, only five years ago, just being a beer drinking female living in this vast city of salad eaters, I was sadly considered, "unique" or even worse, "interesting." Now things have changed dramatically, which is awesome. And I'm not exactly sure what I'm trying to say with all of this other than anti-seasonal?..anti-conformity?..its been that way my whole beer drinking life. And to tell you the truth, the beer drinkers and brewers that I know are the biggest group of non-conformists I've ever met. Every one of them.

So, anti-seasonal beer drinking? I like drinking a Yulesmith in July at Lucky Baldwins as much as the next person; and I will down a Maibock anytime of year. But perhaps the more shocking fact is my guilty confession that my anti-conformity / anti-craft beer rules beer is one from my childhood (err..early adulthood,) from the town I was born in and raised near. When its cold out and the skies are gray...I keep one beer in the fridge for particularly depressive episodes: the beer that will wake me up from even my deepest winter doldrums - one single bottle of Budweiser. There, I said it...effing sue me.

One taste of it and I'm 16 (err... 21) again and I'm back sitting on my floating dock on our lake, with Richard Marx on the radio, and Coppertone, and my boyfriend Rob trying to get me to skinny dip. Ah, the days before I knew better about a lot of things - the days before I discovered complicated Belgians and Guns-n-Roses. It always reminds me not only of how innocent I was (aside from the underage drinking - and the skinny-dipping,) but how far I've come!

And.... Scene.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Beer Chick in!

So there is a great article today on with a special feature called The Drink, edited by David M. Ewalt. This article has great link to the Forbes list for the World's Top Brewery Tours - and we're talking craft beer tours here.

You might also want to check out the "A Drink With..." section, where a variety of cool people were asked what their favorite drink was. The article features favorite drinks from Anthony Bourdain, Mario Batali, Lorraine Bracco, and Jamie Oliver to name a few.

They featured some beer people like Rob Tod (met him) from Allagash, Garrett Oliver (who I finally met, by the way) from Brooklyn Brewing Company, Jim Koch (not met yet) from Sam Adams, W. Leo Kiley III -the Molson Coors CEO (probably won't meet ever), Geoff Lively from Rock Bottom and Dan Carey from New Glarus (awesome.)

Oh yeah and they also asked ME what my favorite drink was! I said a vodka and diet coke - PSYCHE! Click here to see The Drink special feature homepage. And click here to see what I said my favorite alcoholic drink was.

Also, a quick shout out to my girl Bonnie Graves, who is a sommelier (wine), consultant and author who was also featured!