Beers and Rattlesnakes Bring COVID-19 Relief


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Our guest blogger is HrtyBaer and he is a beer drinking pro. He knows beers like Fauci knows pandemics. Like Pence knows safety masks. Hey…come up with your own metaphors and make a comment below. Lord knows we can use a fresh perspective. HrtyBaer’s assignment? Review THREE BEERS.

Three beers? I’ll get straight to the point. Here are three workhorse brews any wine drinker can appreciate; core beers of their respective breweries, easily accessible in Southern California, interesting but not overly complicated, and flexible enough to work in just about any situation.

Passion Pool 5% ABV, Mikkeller Brewing San Diego $11.99 16 oz four pack Total Wine: This l’il puppy is a gose, an old German ale that fell out of fashion sometime during the Triassic period. Luckily, the style has experienced a renaissance in the last decade or so. A traditional gose is salty, sour, lower on the ABV spectrum and displays a refreshing character. This one hits all those notes and adds in a little passion fruit to balance everything out. It’s light, it’s quenching – do it. [ed. read about how gose beer is made – and how to pronounce the name – from a beer critic revolted by the style!] What a snob.

Vibes 5% ABV, Almanac Beer Company $13 four pack Total Wine: Vibes is a modern take on a Pilsner [ed. tBoW loves Pilsner!]. It’s got the light, dry body, cracker-y malts, and prickly carbonation of the classic style, but it’s dry-hopped with new-age hop varietals that impart a fruity (honeydew, lemongrass, citrus), and more rounded character while dialing back the bitterness [ed. tBoW loves bitterness – doesn’t everyone?].

Retreat 8.6% ABV, Offshoot Beer Company $18 four pack 16 oz cans Total Wine: Classic West Coast IPAs can be so bitter that it’s almost impossible to find any real flavor. Modern New England IPAs are often measured by their hazy, opaque visual characteristic and can be sweet to the point of cloying – just a sugary mess. This double IPA from Offshoot is indeed hazy, but it incorporates the best of all the IPA worlds to create a beer that provides excellent balance with great citrus flavor (orange and grapefruit), a smooth, soft body, and a refreshing light bitterness on the backend. It’s dangerously easy to drink and is always stocked in my fridge.

Trumer Pilsner ABV 4.8% $9 six pack 11 oz Total Wine: following comment borrowed from Beer Advocate: “There is not a better example of a true Pilsner brewed in America. If you like traditional pilsners with a slightly sweet finish but no lingering residue in the mouth this is the one. It is not going to please those who like the new style pilsners that have a hoppy characteristic to them, but for the majority of pilsner drinkers just looking for something crushable this is it.” All that being said, here is what tBoW likes…just the right amount of bitterness which for mois is considerable…hits the mouth right away filling it with sharp bracing bitterness…high bitter finish…sheeaattt…made in Berkeley CA! I bitterly love this bitter beer. Nothing bitter than a better beer. Mix it in waffle batter? Eat that with butter?

Some comments on rating beers…how does the QPR [ed. Quality Price Ratio] scale stack up to wine? Beer Advocate …we have the Wine Advocate… uses a 5 point scale with two decimal points which of course makes it 50 point scale. As with the absurd 100 point wine scale what is the difference between 4.2 and 4.25? Correctomundo! Nothing! Which brings us to pricing. Total Yawn – oops Wine – sells for $16 a six pack…proving once again only dummies shop there. Gelsons the fancy pants market across the street sends it out the door for $8.99. Go figger but don’t take too long…OK long enuff! Total Yawn is b-o-r-i-n-g. And shtooopid.

Postscript: Thanks to HrtyBaer for his wunnaful wunnaful contributions. As the weather heats up the snakes come out and the goffers are ready to play. Seldom see snakes on a goff course but it has happened. Everybody be safe…from snakes and corona. Ja love.

Here is a video captured this week by a local Topanga guy. As things heat up the rattlesnakes start sunbathing. This is a real beauty. Don’t worry. It ends well. They really do not want to bite. The tail rattles to suggest you get moving along.


  1. Wavatar
    Kris-B says:

    Ugh, dry-hopping. Why would you add the taste of potpourri without any offsetting bitterness?

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    igty says:

    Proletariat beverages are barely acceptable for slumming. With no ballgames, fiestas, nor sushi outings there’s no rational reason to drink beer of any kind. Like Shiraz, there’s essentially no difference between the best and the worst examples, it all tastes like dry cleaning solvent. What’s next, grading bottled water?

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      sstumpf says:

      Thanks for the thoughts. I do not recognize “Proletariat”? Is that a beach city in the OC? I recall Shiraz is next to Del Mar. Wanna write about your fave waters? These topix generate lotsa interest.

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        Kris-B says:

        Wow, another classically bad take from igty. I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised by now..

        (He is basically right on Shiraz though)

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          sstumpf says:

          IGTY (aka IWTYT) is underpowered now. No goff in the Desert plus extremely hot. I will agree on Shiraz esp if Aussie. Is that right? Is Shiraz only Aussie?

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