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.


Batch 12 of Malt Couture is Live Now! Jack in the Box Paired with PnW Beers!

Batch 12 promo.JPG

We took the new Hashbox munchies from Jack in the Box and did a Hashizontal with beers from Ale Apothecary and Skookum.  The result was a mixed ferm we never intended.



2018 Alesmith Barrel Aged Old Numbskull is Small Format, Big Staves

God damn the 2018 ba old numbskull is so vibrant and primed for a long residence in the cellar. After having 2008 barrel aged ON last week it reminded me how bulletproof this oaky massively boozy alpha acid bomb holds up over time. The price point stings the malt ring a bit but this new small format is so banging and manageable. Across all temps it’s so well integrated, fig jam and cognac soaked currants. Str8 Oaky knife hits off the stove.

Still can’t believe Colton and Tia went home on Bachelor in Paradise.


Top 10 Beers That New Money Palates Will Not Drink

In a beer scene increasingly dominated by monoculture acid bombs, trubtastic slurrycans, and flabby batterwater, many iconic beers have fallen by the wayside. New palates have neither the time nor attention span for these outdated beers from the past. These beers represent the educational arc that many beer enthusiasts would imbibe on their way to honing their palate. We now exist in an instaRone paradigm, where learning is passe and not knowing is vulnerability. Now the beer journey begins and ends with a 16% double barrel pastry stout and new beer palates don a jaunty expert cap and instantly dislocate their rotator cuff patting themselves on the back.

As a result, these are the top 10 beers that New Money palates will never drink:


Brassiere D’Orval – Orval

Good luck trying to get someone from the 2017 BJCP class to open one of these. A Belgian beer that isn’t lambic hypewater? That will nerf your IG engagement.  Once you tell them it is also a pale ale, watch their Supreme bucket hat sink lower as they try to reconcile why they would drink this classic, genre-defining beer, let alone age one.


Hair of the Dog – Adam

A hoppy old ale that isn’t even barrel aged? “So it’s like, J Wakefield Wilderness in Paradise? Where that fruit at tho?” They will inquire. This classic beer from the 90’s is akin to dusting off a Zip Disk and explaining that “AT THE TIME 100mb was quite a lot!”  The layers flavors of tobacco and caramel are an old sage pressing a Zune into their palm and attempting to explain a pre-Wakefield existence.


Brouwerij van Steenberge – Gulden draak

If you thought getting someone who listens to Lil Xan to drink a BPA was hard, wait until you foist a Belgian Dark Triple on their unwilling palates. The nuance of a boozy ester-driven beer will confuse and disorient someone if LANGST was the closest thing they have enjoyed. Fold your arms and watch them start playing Fortnite on Switch as you try to explain how the beer is refermented with Bordeaux wine yeast. It’s too late, they’re recording a Music.ly lip synching Charlie Puth while chugging some Other Half cans. You’ve lost them.


Alesmith – Old Numbskull

A hoppy barleywine: your task is futile from the beginning. Modern palates want a 12 plato finishing “barleywine” that drinks like a caramel frap stout. It better be pitch black and taste like liquid turbinado sugar. Worse still, you’ll be subject to the tired refrain of “AGED IPAS ARE BARLEYWINES LOLOL TROOF #MOOD” as the new money ticker cackles in his Yeezy Boosts having employed a timeworn bit of levity passed down to him on high.


Fantome – Saison

A neophyte beer nerd will wince at Fantome saison and wonder what went so wrong because the pH isn’t even below 3.0. You will have to turn off CrunchyRoll and try to explain how esters are important and why the bottle is green. It’s too late, they don’t want to hear about the Ghost, they have already logged into Discord.


De Dolle – Oerbier

“This is a strong dark ale? It’s only 9.5%” they will scoff in their Diamond Supply Co. hoodie and dump the 2oz pour from a filthy taster glass. This beer that shaped so many intersubjective notions about aged beer and nuanced “high gravity” ales will not be compelling to anyone who grew up watching Ed Edd and Eddie.  They will expertly describe this as an IMPERIAL RED on Untappd and drop a hot 120 character review before firing up Soundcloud and cracking some Hoof Hearted cans.


Great Lakes Brewing Company – Edmund Fitzgerald

One look at a “porter” and that paper thin abv and you already lost the modern consumer. What is even the point when porters are supposed to be at least 12%+ abv and component barrel aged. A nuevo dinero palate will likely correct you and note that this beer is actually a black IPA, another style they do not drink. The final nail will be the realization that this is sold in six packs, the death knell for any neo-cicerone hype beast who thrives on loss. “Mults drive secondary down bc then ppl have more products to flip, the 1pp stay on that stable gain”


BFM – Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien

First, attempt to explain what a Biere de Garde is. Second, watch them recoil when you explain that $22.00 used to be an “expensive” beer. Finally, break down that this is a beer for aging and they will respond by noting that razzle slot values drop over time. It will be a complete waste of your time to engage someone with a “sour” beer that doesn’t fully recede the gumline and compel twitching along the orbital socket. 


Bassiere Du Di Ciel – Peche Mortel

The countenance of that jejune face will slide when the instaRone realizes that this coffee stout is not even barrel aged. NO KOPI LUWAK? NO GEISHA? He will protest as though he knows something about underlying coffee roasts. Watch this sad communications major drop to the knees of his Rag and Bone joggers when he sees this beer is only 9.5% abv, a session stout, a waste of Tumblr space.


Photo credit Sour Beer Blog

Russian River Brewing Company – Consecration

At first when you mention “barrel aged sour” a new money floccboi will be all on board, pulling hard on that dual coil vape talking about these sick kettle sour berliners with unfermented fruit puree that his boy Trevin bought that blew up in his Scion TC. Then when you note that this hits shelves, the sadness will sink in. What’s even the point if other beta casuals have tasted it? You’ll likely be met with a rejoinder of “Honestly, I don’t fuck with Dark Sours ever since Pulling Nails 6 brah.”  Any attempts at explaining the currant and pedio interplay will be drowned out by tattered Beats by Dre headphones pumping an Alesso playlist.

The upshot of the dystopian reality of dudes getting chondromalacia waiting for DDH trubcans is: things can steadily improve, breweries will continue to craft nuanced, amazing beers that none of this segment will ever drink. I for one welcome our new Razzle overlords.


Wiley Roots Packed with Peaches is too pitted for my pithy palate

Packed with Peaches sounded so promising on paper, and then pitted itself into a vellus hair monstrosity. Other Wiley Roots offerings have vacillated between being anomalously amazing, or oddly missing the mark. For example, Geometry seemed so simple and executed with a depth and complexity that let the cultures sing in conjunction with the gewurztraminer skins. Packed with Peaches is discordant throughout and never checks the boxes of god tier stonefruit wilds. At the inception, my pithshit alarm was blaring when I watched the carb immediately dissapate like so many De Garde sucrose krausened Bu’s where you fear what the undercurrent holds if there is zero sustain in seconds. No sheeting, no residual body, just a tepid tangerine lake of acid. The nose is actually very well done. You get this Chobani meets orange marmalade, Haribo Peach Rings and a smattering of Jolly Rancher. It is the mouthfeel that really derails this harvest experience. Casey has had issues with some of theit stonefruit beers like when CFP Nectarine just drills up in your mouth no novocain. This is much in the same vein of being too aggressive, sheets of acetic dryness that assaults the bicupids, with no fruit or creamy residual body to offset the acidity. I let it warm to see if a some 60 degree massaging could balance it out and you get more of the fibrous fruit structure but the acidity also ramps up pro-rata so you can’t escape its destructive maw. One would think with 600 lbs of peaches in the batch, it would either be too smuckery and JOOSE-y in a preserves way, but instead the lacto/pedio just went full acetone and stripped this thing like a late 90’s Civic in a bad neighborhood. I honestly believe that the table beer version of this is likely much better and honestly plays to Wiley Root’s strong suits because this one was a total miss for me. Peach DPS is too aggro for my tank tum tum.


Outcast Brewing Neon Nightmare shows some interesting promise for the Canadian hazegame

I am unsure whether Outcast Brewing is even open yet, but their beers are solid. This Calgary upstart previously was brewing out of Cold Garden, but the work is all their own. The Canadian foray into the hazegame is dogeared by all of the tropes associated with brewers north of the wall: gentle, pillowy soft demeanor, genial mouthfeel, and reeking of tangelos. If Hoof Hearted represents the excesses of American trub, then this is the whole other end of the spectrum wherein the frothy carb is almost apologetic in its alpha acid execution. It’s lightly drying and has a floral cum de grapefruit zest on the swallow that leans towards watery instead of pine-driven. I’d prefer the softer touch and the execution is welcome in a land of increasingly messy slurry cans. Typical Canuck shit. Patrick Schnarr bought me a new toaster, but that doesn’t stop me from noting that while he lags behind the four hazeman of the yeastpocolypse: Trillium, Monkish, Other Half and Treehouse, Outcast sits firmly above most “pretty solid” local offerings, which is tough to say in an increasingly derivative marketplace where everyone is slanging that O-Bang.