Monday, March 18, 2013

Downey Brewing Company (Downey)

StarStarStar½




Signage.

I'm on the fence as to whether or not I'm a fan of the "Brewing Company."



Tasting menu cover.

But there is no mistaking my allegiance to Thee Bruery.



The scene minutes before commencement.

Tickets were sold in advance for $12.  That got you seven or eight, 4 oz tasters, a raffle ticket for merchandise, snacks and a keepsake Bruery goblet, which I left behind.  :(



 Humulus Lager.

I am not an IPA hop head like so many people these days.  Neither is The Bruery, which is probably why I love these guys so damn much.  Most IPA heads would probably think of The Bruery as being a mediocre brewery because they don't care to make them.  The fact of the matter is, there are plenty of breweries around here that excel in that style so they prefer brewing Belgian style, bottle conditioned, barrel aged, unfiltered beer.  But, if you love hops, you should enjoy their Humulus Lager.  Yes, it's a lager but it's a double standing in at 7.2%  I've never had such a full-flavored lager.  This was a great eye opener for me and a fantastic introduction to what the Bruery does.



Chex mix?

Like I said, I just don't know if I am a fan of this place.  Couldn't you guys have at least made your own spiced nut mixture?  Is it laziness or lack of creativity?  Ughh.



    Trade Winds Triple.

I've had this numerous times over the last couple of years.  It's not their strongest effort but a good one nonetheless.  They use rice in the mash to bring some levity to the body and flavor this one using Thai Basil.  It's an interesting yet not overly complex brew ideal for the Spring and Summer months to come.  It's more of a session beer than Mischief but on a similar level.  This one has soft bite.


  
Trade Winds and accompanying bottle.

 I was kind of surprised that most of the beer was poured straight from bottles.  I know for a fact that many of the ones we tried from bottles are available in keg form.  What gives here? 



Saison de Lente.

Sorry, I don't remember much about this one other than it was a little spicy from cloves or nutmeg and it had a citrus quality to it.  It actually reminded me of a hef but with more malt character. 


  
Mexican Habanero & Duck Sausages.

This snack was better than the last but how about a condiment?  Whole grain mustard, at least?  Not that I'd order either one, but the habanero was the better of the two. 



Rueuze.

This was our introduction to their sours.  It wasn't well received, as I expected.  I figured most people weren't well-versed on this style but I was borderline pissed at the bullshit spewing out of homegirl's mouth sitting near me.  I heard her say it tasted like dirty socks.  Wow!  I'd hate to have her diet.  And prior to that remark, she had made other negative comments about the previous beers we had been served.  Based on her opinions, It seemed to me that this self-proclaimed beer-loving-chick was all about watered-down, generic shit.  Who let her inside?!



 Homemade potato chips.

Dip, please?  Ketchup?  Sheesh.  Well, at least these were good.



Autumn Maple.

This was one of the first beers I ever had from this brewery.  I remembered being drawn in, not by the label, or brewery but by the contents within.  This beer is brewed with 17 lbs of yams per barrel and it's flavored with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, maple, molasses and allspice.  It's their take on a pumpkin beer.  I didn't like it a whole lot years ago, but I was able to appreciate it more this time around.


 
5 Golden Rings. 

This is their winter seasonal release and homage to the "12 Days of Christmas."  It's essentially a pineapple upside-down cake in the form of a beer.  It's semi-sweet and tangy spiced with ginger and cinnamon.  This is probably my least favorite beer from the Bruery.  Having bought a 750ml bottle just a few months ago, I couldn't finish it.  It was just too much for me.  I think, if it were cellared for several years to allow the yeast to do it's thing and boost the carbonation and alcohol level up, it could work.  But I didn't like it in it's current form.


     
More sausages.

We were given a pour of beer and introduction to said beer a total of 9 times.  We took brief breaks after every third beer.  In that time, they raffled off merchandise, beer glasses and other interesting items.  Yours truly did not win anything this time.  Now, although I don't like the food much, and I don't like some of the bartenders for their unprofessional service or lack of knowledge of their beer selection and rather lax dive bar attitudes, I will probably return because the owner/manager seemed like a cool dude and they do have good beer and beer-related events.  Maybe next time, I'll win something.   Even then, the price is cheap enough that you're getting a great deal, so it's well worth it.



 Sour in The Rye.

This was another great example of a mouth-puckering sour.



Buffalo Wings.

Not bad!  I'm glad they are fried crisp with a thin coating of flour or cornstarch to ensure a good fry.  The sauce was semi-spicy.
      


White Oak.

This is a 50/50 blend of wheatwine aged in bourbon barrels and Mischief.  I had never had this beer before but I loved it.  Despite it's demure appearance, it packed a solid punch at 11.5% ABV.  You definitely got the bourbon traits of vanilla and caramel but with a yeasty coconut nose.  If I see this around, I'm either ordering a glass or buying a bottle.


   
Smoking Wood.

We meet again.  This is just awesome.  It tastes like a summer bbq.  Seriously, bottle the aroma of award winning que and that's what this is.  Balanced smoke, bbq rub, pig (yes pig), molasses, coffee, dark chocolate, booze; just some of the words I'd use to describe this whopping 13% ABV smoked beer.  This was the closing explosion one anticipates at the end of those fireworks displays.  Fantastic finish and great display of what tremendous variety of beer there is out there beyond the world of India Pale Ales.



? Beer on Nitro.

 Weeks before the tasting, I stopped by to support the homie's band, Robot Room. While there, I tried ordering 3 different beers, all of which they were out of before getting this one.  Looking back, I have no idea what I drank.  I wish I could remember because I liked it. 


 

 Pepperoni and Margherita pizzas.

If you absolutely have to get one, get the pepperoni.  If you don't have to order pizza, the wings and chips are a better bet.   



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