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Everything You Need to Know About Highland Park Brewing BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK!

I have been deferring on talking about this year old brewery for a multitude of reasons: first and foremost, the second I say anything even moderately favorable about any beer made south of Fresno, people have a shit conniption and accuse old DDB of favoritism despite ripping on the innumerable shitty California beers being pumped out.

Second, as a new brewery who seems to have a heavy emphasis on saisons, I wanted to tread lightly and get a wider idea of their offerings beyond the first couple non-BA forays into the realm. When I first had Nebraska, I was like “myeh, that’s pretty legit.” And it tasted essentially like Tank 7 and Saison Brett mixed.  Nothing to scoff at or go apeshit over.

But in the past four months they keep pushing into the interstices of “wait, damn” to “ok, this is really fucking good.”  So I have to say SOMETHING, even if it means a cadre of dipshits accuse me of favoritism from a brewery that couldn’t give a fuck less about an irrelevant beer blog. So let’s get into the anal fisting already:

Horn rimmed glasses galore, Portlandia sticky hot edition

Horn rimmed glasses galore, Portlandia sticky hot edition

The brewery itself is housed in this neo-hipster mecca, a faux divey bar that happens to have awesome food. If Silverlake is LA’s mission/Williamsburg, then Highland Park is the next hipster spawning pool for the budding fixie riding asshole carrying a Drive Like Jehu vinyl. That’s who you will be drinking saisons with.

PTSD every time i see an overhead projector.

PTSD every time i see an overhead projector.

So what is this, fucking ZillowAdvocate.com? Let’s talk about the beers.  At the outset: you want their saisons, you will want all of them.  However, this brewery has a sort of Sante Adairitis that makes them a spectacular one trick pony, for reasons that will become clear shortly.

The proud FG 1.000000002 lineup

The proud FG 1.000000002 lineup

The first thing you will notice is that every beer has been attenuated into decimation.  This makes their saisons intensely refreshing, dry, crisp like an anjou pear, but really fucks with every other style. Refresh is just that, but dialed down so far that it is insubstantial and if they used pilsner malt it has been drilled into the fucking primary pavement.  Greyhound Vacation has similar Kallista Flockhart thin body, but for a Belgian Pale it almost doesn’t have enough floorspace to demonstrate esters or a hop profile, the ultra svelte body is TOO lean.

I want you to ruminate on how highly attenuated a hoppy beer has to be for DDB to complain about a lack of malt underpinning.  They are still crushable and delicious, albeit lacking complexity. I would certainly rather have this problem than flabby midwest crystal malt “clean” offerings.

What about discernible problems?

More like singed eyebrows.

More like singed eyebrows.

With a brewery that has highly effective yeast that dismantles fucking everything, there’s gonna be some issues with packaging.  Raised eyebrows was tasty, clean and basically a less demanding Cuddlebug on draft.  The bottles were a 4th of July sparklers and sulphur massacre.  Your drunk uncle gripping his palms coughing up smoke. The taste was tasty, saharan, stone fruity goodness but the nose was straight bottleshock and clearly needed time to metabolize either the secondary refermentation going on, or just to rest to get its shit together.

Let's Talk About Their Other AMAZING SHIT

Let’s Talk About Their Other AMAZING SHIT

That’s not to say that all of their bottles are deficient in any way.  If you enjoyed Cellarman, this multistrain puncheon fermented beer has all the makings of a phenomenal saison classic.  It is creamy, orangey, juicy with tangerine and cut cardboard paper, a certain fabrics store musk.  If this is not the best thing they have made to date, I would be shocked.  This is absolutely incredible and your tradebuxxxx cannot find a better power to weight ratio.

Yeast infections are amazing when it is 6 at a time.

Yeast infections are amazing when it is 6 at a time.

So we have seen the worst, heard the stroke session about the best, what about those middle times? Those times when you are just watching Bachelor in Paradise because GOD BREWERY ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BE GOING ON AMAZING DATES EVERY SINGLE NIGHT? Those times.

Time for some certified whiptixxx in the SubbyDooBaru

Time for some certified whiptixxx in the SubbyDooBaru

Uncultured is in that realm of component blended/recent batches of Arthur.  It has a great grassiness, some rope and twine must to the nose, a long fernet meets clementines finish to the brett C and L profile.  Their “normal” shit is head and shoulders above most of the things that come across the desk inside of my liver.  These trade for nothing right now, you are wasting time reading this and not ISOing.

Did you enjoy Sante Adairius Fruit Punch 1? Well this is a 10% worse version, which is to say it is really juicy, fantastic, bursting with life and acidity.  It's like when diet Dr. Pepper is actually better than regular Dr. Pepper, because it is.

Did you enjoy Sante Adairius Fruit Punch 1? Well this is a 10% worse version, which is to say it is really juicy, fantastic, bursting with life and acidity. It’s like when diet Dr. Pepper is actually better than regular Dr. Pepper, because it is.

Pushin Carts, collabo with Monkish

Pushin Carts, collabo with Monkish

This is another spritzer farmhouse table beer meets a sort of Biere Du Pays, fucking drillable with lemon and lime zest, like a sort of zero calorie Printempts with a few years on it.  This type of spectacular beer is just sitting on draft, no one giving a fuck about top tier barrel aged, puncheon fermented saisons. For every Texas dipshit peddling JK 750mls hard, there are uncelebrated kegs like these being secretly enjoyed.

Posts like there ruin the fuck our of a brewery for a consumer base gentrifying the tits off of a proud Hispanic neighborhood.  The circle unbroken, you want artisan donut shops? That’s fine, prepare to enjoy them near entry level BeerAdvocate tier dumbfucks talking about how “brett makes the beer sour.”

Dishonorable mention: this grainy, boring, estery gem just kept throwing rocks in the lake while you are trying to fish for real saison tastes.

Dishonorable mention: this grainy, boring, estery gem just kept throwing rocks in the lake while you are trying to fish for real saison tastes.

JOUNRALSLETIC ENTEGRITY

JOUNRALSLETIC ENTEGRITY

I don’t feel like breaking down each and every one of their bigger and hoppier beers but let me state is succinctly this way: saisons and pales are their clear wheelhouse.  This is not some dynamic Prairie that rolls out adjunct stouts and weird farmhouse beers in tandem.  Their IPA/DIPA core is so so attenuated that they are intensely refreshing at the expense of complexity.  If you have had hoppy beers from Sante Adairius you know how something like a hard as fuck water recipe makes some styles great and other neglected.  They are like that, and I am totally fine with that. If these guys joined forces with Beachwood, the voltron of LA catalogs would be complete.

It's totally acceptable to shamelessly order 15 tasters from a bartender. They love that, you shouldn't feel like a self indulgent asshole at all.

It’s totally acceptable to shamelessly order 15 tasters from a bartender. They love that, you shouldn’t feel like a self indulgent asshole at all.

So what is the takeaway? Get every single bottled saison possible from this brewery.  You will not be disappointed, and I would be shocked if you weren’t outright impressed from a brand new upstart.  Their farmhouse game is just what the doctor ordered and they are lying silently in the 323 weeds sniping customers from comely Los Angeles terrain.

Knowing CA dipshits you will be getting extra-ed these 900 bottle brewery only runs, so buckle in, and be sure to send them some Daisy Cutter cans as a thank you.

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Seven Ales Only Lagers Will Understand! NUMBER THREE IS SO TRUE

If you have ever tried to figure out some ales, THEY SEEM IMPOSSIBLE, it’s like what really is the DEAL?  Fortunately some lagers will totally understand.  Today we have compiled a super nostalgic list of ales that only true lagers will understand:

1) Hill Farmstead/Blaugies – Le Sarrasin

https://dontdrinkbeer.com/2014/06/06/hillfarmstead-an-incredible-blaugies-job-by-way-of-vermont-sarrasin-slays/

WHO HASNT BEEN THERE

At first blush, you might not really GET what this ale is all about. Unless you are a monocelled bottom fermenting culture, you probably won’t be able to wrap your head around this ale.

2) 2007 Drie Fonteinen Hommage

https://dontdrinkbeer.com/2012/04/26/drie-fonteinen-hommage-paying-hommage-to-all-my-broken-bottles-lost-in-shipment-rip/

EVERY TIME

Many people will give up because they cant wrap their heads around this one.  That’s largely due to the fact that they are humans and not a cultural strain of Saccharomyces pastorianus. It’s hard to hold it against someone for not being a lager yeast, you wouldn’t understand.

3) Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Plead the Fifth

https://dontdrinkbeer.com/2012/04/08/dark-horse-brewing-company-bourbon-barrel-plead-the-5th-i-choose-not-to-exercise-that-right-in-light-of-tasting-this-beer/

I STILL DONT GET IT

Most people will look at this ale and see a stout made with an ale strain then aged in bourbon barrels: they couldn’t be more wrong.  If you are a lager you will see this ale for what it truly is, simply by virtue of being isolated and described in 1904 by the Danish mycologist Emil Christian Hansen. Everyone else just wont understand.

4) Logsdon Peche N Brett

https://dontdrinkbeer.com/2013/01/14/logsdon-farmhouse-ales-peche-n-brett-get-ready-to-get-your-peaches-gripped/

I STILL DONT UNDERSTAND BUT ITS NOT MY FAULT

Sure you might be like “this isn’t a lager” and you would be right, but that doesn’t mean you come within a country mile of seeing this beer the way a true lager would.  You can rattle off some facts but you wont get it unless you spend your life as a diploid organism. Fake “non-allotetraploid”:haters need not apply.

5) 1996 Alexander Rodenbach

https://dontdrinkbeer.com/2013/08/24/1996-rodenbach-alexander-keeping-teenagers-in-the-cellar-and-exploiting-them-years-later/

I CAME CLOSE TO GETTING THIS BUT NOPE IM NOT A LAGER

Listen. I am a human being. I dont have four copies of my genome, I cant be expected to know anything about this beer from 19 years ago. I tried my hardest but I just can’t lager, like not even that much at all.

6) Troegs Splinter Gold

https://dontdrinkbeer.com/2013/08/20/troegs-splinter-gold-nugget-nectar-aged-on-real-gold-psyche-just-a-rare-wild-ale/

I GAVE UP TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THIS ONE BC NOT A LAGER

If you are close to being a lager, you might be like oh Splinter Gold is Scratch #3-2007 with a slow rest in oak wine barrels dosed with brettanomyces. During a two-year aging period the horsey flavors of the brett combined with the Westmalle yeast used during primary fermentation. AND YOU WOULD BE TOTALLY WRONG.  A real lager will understand this ale with a depth and complexity that human faculties can only imagine, separating the time-oak aging space continuum.  Despite years of research by Jack’s Abby, we still know more about the ocean floor than we do about the true nature of the lager.

7) De Struise Five Squared

https://dontdrinkbeer.com/2012/08/21/de-struise-five-squared-130-euro-bottle-25-abv-gucci-mane/

I DONT KNOW WHAT I CANT EVEN LAGER

I tried, I really did but I think it’s pretty clear I am no lager.  I can’t be expected to fully get this beer.

WHOA TALK ABOUT A SERIOUS LAGER BLAST! We can only hope to use our limited faculties to really try to grasp the foregoing ales.

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La Trobe Brewing (InBev) Rolling Rock Extra Pale, Because That Trans Am Won’t Fix Itself

Have we hit rock bottom yet? Are you feeling neglected? Man, looking back on those days when we were drinking Duck Duck Gooze seems pretty good right now, right? Well get off your high horse because I am going to smash your stones in today’s Rolling Rock Rick Rocking Review

“Wait, I am not sure if he has really even landed Rolling Rock, dubious stock photo.”

Rolling Rock American Adjunct Lager 4.6% abv

A: The appearance looks like a very pale honey with thin light straw clarity. If you pour it incredibly hard you get to witness a few fleeting seconds of wispy carbonation, which is no doubt a hindrance when you wanna be slamming this beer all hard. The appearances isn’t enough to roll my rocks, maybe a light polish.

With reviews like this, I just sit and look out the window waiting for the old Fedex truck to save this beer review site.

S: There’s some zest with a bit of bread, obviously corn notes throughout. However, in its defense I must say that this is a pretty standard example of this, almost inherently flawed, genre. Sure Reality Czech is better, and Humulus Lager makes it look bland by comparison, but what about those days in the security lock up because she just couldn’t keep her mouth shut and how the hell are you supposed to know when unemployment runs out anyway?

T: That taste is similar to, of course, corn, cooked sweet potato, mild lemon zest, lemon bread(?) and mild bread notes. Even since the transfer of ownership in 2006, it has a slightly different cinnamon finish, nothing to rock you off of your rocker. My rocker remains fully in tact, as does my home, which I own. Most Rolling Rock drinkers cannot say the same. I guess this is a “fancy” beer at < $1.00 per bottle, which if you served this as your UFC soiree your Peruvian friends would polish their monocles on their AFFLICTION tees.

M: This has a ghostly non-existent mouthfeel. It haunts for a moment and finishes in a watery refreshing swallow. I have a hard time knocking this beer for its various faults when it delivers on its critical fronts. Sure, every Pennywise album sounds the same, but if you crave the latent similarity and that predictable notes, it delivers amiably. The same applies with this old workhorse. This might be my favorite aspect of this beer, the base predictability and almost unerring inability to get you too drunk.

D: This is the. Most. Drinkable. Beer. Ever. I know I will upset scores with this rating but this has been a mainstay and always will be. Every other aspect is incredibly flawed but I cannot downgrade the drink ability of this beer and I challenge highbrow aficionados to deny its muted, watery, refreshing character. Sure it comes are the cost of appearance, smell, and taste; but if you want a lopsided ass experience, this wacky amputee will provide you with hours of fun.

Don’t like reviews of adjunct lagers? COME AT ME BRO.

Narrative: Just another day at the Latrobe Waterpark, day in day out. Same water rushing through the same pipes, same heat, same dingy finish, yet, each summer the staff felt fulfilled. Sure, it was a cheap gig, no one felt exceptionally proud as a Wild Aqua waterpark attendant, but it paid for just enough Steel Reserve in the evenings to make the oppressive days worthwhile. Sure you get the occasional obese pre-teen exhibiting his rebellious nature coming down backwards. It was a mild hell, with mild rewards, but long term sustainability. Maybe a girl gets felt up in some dank bushes, ah to be 15 again and reeking of Polo Sport and dirty water. Sure you get 100 patrons in a day urinating in the fetid pools, adolescents having tawdry affairs in the bushes, and a thousand forgettable days, however, some days the employees would look left to right and realize how good they had it. “STOP NO RUNNING, ALSO STOP URINIATING WHILE RUNNING, THANK YOU FOR NOT RUNNING NOW STOP URINATING!” Just another solid Sunday in July.