Three Chiefs Faha is Phenomenal, and This is a Huge Problem for Southern California Beer Nerds

Before we discuss Three Chiefs let’s address two things: 1. This beer is phenomenal and 2. Tomorrow’s release is probably going to be a complete disaster. The pastry god giveth and he taketh in equal measure. If you haven’t been following underground StoutCloud artists, you might not know about these three dudes from Guam who have been dropping bars on insane collabs across the country. Three Chiefs collaborated with J. Wakefield on Antique Coco and Antique Blue, two beers that immediately were flipped and resold for $600+ each. So the pedigree is already assumed.

The odd thing about this entire affair is that Three Chiefs isn’t even really open yet. Tomorrow they are doing a sneak peek sort of thing and selling 100 bottles of FAHA, but their doors aren’t open yet. This is an inversion of the 3Sons model where you are pumping stouts in the streets but without a brick and mortar facility. They are brewing out of the now-defunct Reubens Brewery/R6 distillery literally across the street from the Chevron refinery. That El Segundo Mako reactor looms in the background so you can sip stouts and enjoy the Midgar terroir of diesel fuel, but I digress.

People in the know are already going to ruin this beer and this brewery for everyone else and turn this into the Supreme HypeStout: CA Edition. The chief aim of these profiteers is 1. exercise initial flexfuel and 2. maximize and deconstruct the bottle into other wares. In a way, it feels latently retributive for SoCal to have fanfare syrup again. After years of cobbling countless Bottlelogic stouts and Monkish cans together to land overhyped Florida wares, I don’t know if CA can even handle having something on this level. It will ruin people. It will be spectacular to witness.

One dude messaged me and asked if he got to the release [the night before] at 10pm, if that would be sufficient to land one of these 100 bottles being sold. Another guy nonironically asked me if there was parking by the brewery where he could sleep in his car. This is what we are looking at for the FIRST RELEASE. This isn’t even a full release, they are holding back and archiving most of the bottles. This is a very Shaun Hill/Wakefield point of retail execution. In short, I assume tomorrow will be the rebirth of 2011 BA Speedway catastrophes. The 2013 Churchills Finest Hour line. Pick your favorite insane point-of-sale meltdown by grown men with khaki teeth and entitlement complexes. That sort of badinage.

Is this beer even good?

No, it really isn’t. It is magnificent. This beer on paper seems like a baby Antique Coco: 2 types of coconut, candied and toasted, bourbon barrel (albeit not Weller 107) and 12% versus 17%. Oddly, as a result of the body and less heat drying the mouthfeel, it feels like a more substantial beer. It’s like when you see a shredded dude chalking up his palms and you are ‘mirin but then you realize he is 5’5″. Almost every aspect of this beer is so well done and fantastic straight out of the gates it is TOO good and draws inquiries. You ever turn in an essay and it makes your teacher question whether you actually know what “Keynesian economics” even is? I am suspicious because I care. It feels almost identical to the lux-tier Wakefield stouts in coating, mouthfeel, presentation, and even down to the coagulated coconut lipids that dudes love to go


Except brewers and non-idiots are like “those aren’t coconut flakes, rub them together, stop talking.” The heft is massive and on par, again, with It Was All A Dream and drinks exceedingly similar to that lineup to the point where I cannot separate the experience. You can pull from this that this new upstart somehow skipped the line and jumped to god tier stout status and I am remiss to speculate how they pulled this off.

The body is syrupy and extremely viscous, on par with Angry Chair and Fremont AO Kentucky Dark Star. It clings and provides an exceptional lightly roasty, faintly oaky dryness for the long drag of this oily monster to impart its Hawaiian Tropic goodness. It isn’t Mounds Bar because that is basically an Untappd reductivist bon mot at this point. The strangest part of what should be an unbalanced novelty tick, is that it is entirely drinkable. Sometimes I open something on the podcast and immediately regret not being a covetous ticker and solo doming a bottle.

I don’t want to laud any more superlatives on this beer, for its marketing and hype shall be its undoing. Writing this, I am ironically doing a terrible DISSERVICE to the beer itself and only tossing brownie batter onto the conflagration, then stepping back with some pithy discourse about how this fire is completely out of pocket. We get it. Three Chiefs gets it. Now we turn the reigns over to the beer consumer to ruin everything, as is tradition.

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