2013 End of the Beer review. Top sixes listed and putting souvenirs on your tab…

Don’t mind the corny title… Beer/Year… etc…
Ok, so, I’m a few days…er…week…late. I should have posted this on New Years Eve, right? Forget that. We had friends over and some good beers to drink – this post can wait until today.

2013 was a BIG year for Mrs Wife and I. Our beer maturation also greatly increased this year. Lets start with with some lists.


1. My wife and I got married. In a brewery.

2. We had our honeymoon. In Munich. During and at Oktoberfest. And we ultimately liked the Augustiner Oktoberfestbier the best of the 4 that we tried.  I can never remember the 6 tents… Paulaner, Lowenbrau, Augustiner, Hofbrauhaus, Spaten, and….Hacker Pschorr…


HOFBRAUHAUS for the win.

3. The Brewery Tours. We visited: Stone Brewing, Angel City Brewing, Golden Road Brewery, Firestone Walker, Speakeasy Brewing, Solving Brewing Company, Spaten, Andechser, Hofbrauhaus.

4. Austria. Wow. That’s all I can really say. We stayed in North Austria in the region of Tyrol and all I can even say to remotely do any justice is: “Wow.” If you get a chance to go there, please, just do it. With 100% honesty can say that I have never felt more at peace and calm and relaxed.

5. Brewed several batches of terrible beer – and I still continue! Lets face it, I’m a MUCH better beer drinker than brewer. I started off with the small 1 gallon kits. I should just follow the instructions. But, I read them and I translate it as: “Brew a subpar blonde/red/ipa!” So, then I tinker. That’s when the trouble begins; the tinkering. “Hmm..” I think, “Why don’t I buy some vanilla bean and blueberry extract and turn this into a toasted vanilla blueberry blonde ale!”

Of course, since, like stated before, I am a beginner and I don’t really know much yet about zymurgy and fermentation and dextrose and maltose and insert whatever other process, the beer always turns out rather funky. Whether it is bad carbonation, wrong fermentation temperatures, yeast that refuses to start, off-flavors, or just plain bad tasting beer – I just cannot make a good beer. But, I’m determined to change that this year. I’ve already got two brews in fermentation. A irish red and a milk stout.

6. Career developments – My industry is brutal. Not in the sense of the work load, it can be just like any other job – mentally taxing, physically taxing or the opposites of both. However, there is a union that is a complete “luck of the draw” to get in, and last year I managed to luck in. No one except people in my exact industry will truly understand the accomplishment and pride I have about it so you’ll have to take my word for it.

TOP SIX BEERS I TRIED DURING 2013. Some of these beers came out in 2013, some have been around for 15 years, and one has even been brewed the same for over a hundred years. But, I didn’t try them until somewhere between the months of January and December of 2013:

(in no order…)
Golden Road Brewing Kolsch

Anchor Steam Holiday Ale

Best hefewiesen beer i've EVER had. Look how creamy and delicious it looks.

Best hefewiesen beer i’ve EVER had. Look how creamy – not hazy –  it looks. Yes, those are 1-liter steins. I love Germany.

Kloster Andechs Weissebier Hell

Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast

Bear Republic’s Racer 5

Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin on Nitro.


I’m a movie guy. I work on them for a living…or, rather, to scrape by. Even still, I like to watch movies. I didn’t see a lot of movies in 2013, but of the ones I did see, here are my favorite picks:

World War Z – Loved it. It’s not so much about freaky zombies and it is about the people involved…

Monsters U – Monsters, Inc was my favorite Pixar movie back in the day and I couldn’t wait to see this one. I’m also a giant Billy Crystal AND John Goodman fan, which didn’t hurt. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.

The Hobbit 2 Desolation of Smaug – Sure, Peter Jackson and his wife partner Fran wrote most of the connective tissue in part 2 of this 3-part split up of one giant story written 5 decades ago, but it still worked out I thought. I actually liked it much better than his first Hobbit movie.

Star Trek Into Darkness – Solid work by JJ Abrahms. I enjoyed his first Star Trek movie but I thought for sure this would be a make or break deal and I think it was a make. 

Gravity – A review or a friend said: “Gravity is about Sandra Bullock showing the world that a 40+ year old can still have a great body. And also some cool camera shots.” Whether or not that is true, I still enjoyed it and thought she carried the movie well.

Captain Philips – This IS your typical everyman Tom Hanks ‘how did this happen?’ story, (Apollo 13, Cast Away, Philadelphia, et al) and like all those other movies, it delivers. Sure, a story about a giant shipping container truck getting hi-jacked by somali pirates might sound a little boring, and it isn’t exactly Star Trek, but it is great.


In other news… 

My wife and I recently embarked on a winter vacation up the California coast, stopping at a number of breweries along the way. Some regional, some national and some smaller than you can imagine. However, there is one particular experience on this trip that was a bit more memorable than the others.

You see, my wife and I love souvenirs. We don’t take many pictures at all, but we love learning things and having souvenirs of the adventures we’ve gone on as a team. So, we went to a bigger brewery that brews beers I’m sure many of you have had. We went on a fantastic, and I really mean that, tour of the brewery. Afterwards, we went to have lunch at the on-site public house.

Of course, I should mention that we have some traditions involved. If I eat at a location where the beer is brewed(aka the brewery) than I always buy a hoodie from said place. And I have many: Firestone in Paso Robles, Golden Road in Los Angeles, Stone in Escondido, Hofbrauhaus in Munich. etc. Anyway, where we were at, I had found said hoodie and Mrs Wife had found a shirt she liked. All told, about $60 for the two items.

We approached the booking waitress who informed us: “Oh, you can just ring those two items up on your bill and go in and eat!”

“Great!” we said, and went it. Saved 15 minutes, too.

We had a wonderful meal paired with 2 flights of 10 beers that were brewed on sight. They were fantastic. We finished what we could of our meal and asked for our bill. We paid for it and left. As we got in the car my wife says: “That was a bit more expensive than I thought. ”

Well, we did some investigating and without even thinking about it, not only did we pay $50 or so for food, but the additional $60 in clothes was on the bill. Of course, we expected that. What we didn’t really consider was that the additional $60 for our clothes amounted to an additional $10 we tipped because we weren’t even thinking about the fact that had we purchased our clothes at the front counter and THEN sat down, it would be a non-issue.

Oh well… you drink some beers and clarity of mind lives in the past. So, tip for all your brewsters out there:


OUR Beer and PARTY Beers.

OUR Beer and PARTY Beers

That being said, I’ve got a lot of beer to drink and a lot of things to write for 2014. I haven’t been updating this site much lately because I like to drink new beers and post about them. And to be honest, during the holidays and when friends are over we all drink from the bottom shelf of the fridge. The top shelf, the reviewing shelf, is reserved for Mrs. Wife and I.

Here’s to a beerful 2014! And a look of some articles to come:

My trappist beer review – I’ve been painstakingly collecting every trappist I can get my hands on. Westvleteren-12’s, Achels, Orvals, Gregorius, Westmalles, Chimays, La Trappes, etc…

Glassware – Does it even matter?

Best places to get beer on the net.


Extraneous factors during this writing:

  • I’m drinking a Ballast Point Pale Ale at the moment – from the bottle.
  • A Football life is on TV. It’s about the invention of the forward pass and how it changed football.
  • I’m getting over a cold.
  • Christmas the New Year were great. I hope they were for you too!


Firestone Walker Brewing
Stone Brewing
Angel City Brewery
Ballast Point Brewery
Speakeasy Ales
Solvang Brewing Co
Golden Road Brewing
Kloster Andechs Monastery
Oktoberfest Information
Hacker Pschorr


One thought on “2013 End of the Beer review. Top sixes listed and putting souvenirs on your tab…

  1. Sounds like it was a great year. I hope 2014 can keep pace. BTW I did something similar with buying merchandise and beer to go at Russian River this last summer and then gave a tip based on the total bill rather than just what we consumed on site. It’s an easy mistake to make.

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