Tioga Sequoia Brewing, Piece of Cake, THE CAKE IS NOT A LIE, GLADOS.

“This brewery only release from this brewery in Fresno is really tasty” is a sentence I didn’t think I would ever get to type like, “when I saw his collection of Katana swords, I knew we were going to fuck.”

I initially was highly circumspect of a SPECIAL RELEASE from these guys since, their blueberry saison was an exercise in cyclopean terror and GENERAL SHERMAN tastes like heavy ropes of jizz shot onto a pile of wet pinecones. BUT OH BOY WAS I WRONG. This beer is really fucking good, and not a single person cares about it, just how I like my reviews: ESOTERIC AND UNRELATEABLE.

I got the longest road if you nomsayin

I got the longest road if you nomsayin

Tioga Sequoia Brewing, Fresno CA
7.2% abv milk/sweet stout

The commercial reach around:
“This elegantly delicious sweet stout was created to be the perfect dessert beer. We age our chocolate milk stout on freshly ground coffee, Madagascar vanilla beans, and toasted coconut to represent a similar flavor experience to a German Chocolate Cake. When you find yourself looking for something different, grab a Piece of Cake!”

A: This looks elegant and dances playfully, evidencing its sweet stout roots, ducking and dodging with beige foam that clings and drags like a drink from Starbucks, without dipshits writing tired screenplays on their Macbooks. The dark hues reveal milk chocolate browns at the edges that appears highly drinkable without residual sugars staining the glass or dragging ass all over the place.

Listen, you dont need your stouts to be hard as fuck, sometimes a thin classy approach is just fine.

Listen, you dont need your stouts to be hard as fuck, sometimes a thin classy approach is just fine.

S: This has a phenomenal nose of coconut, massive coffee, vanilla, waffle cone, snickers, and dry roasty finish. I was expecting this to be some C6h12o6 massacre but it surprisingly dry and toasty, with an almost mineral chalky finish to the nose that is oddly welcoming and makes it feel crisp and clean in light of the sweet aspects. Really solid through and through.

Until you hit some 559 breweries, you wont evn know real beauty

Until you hit some 559 breweries, you wont evn know real beauty

T: This leads first with the coffee foot in a massive way. This shocks me to no end because, I have searched HIGH AND FUCKING LOW for good coffee in Fresno. I looked at all the Yelp reviews and there’s a place called REVUE, that doesn’t even have coldbrew/kyoto/Chemex/v60/pourovers and THAT IS IT. So where did this phenomenal coffee come from? Surely not the Yuban drinking contingency of the 559, I can assure you that much. The vanilla and coconut aspects play in tandem cascading like almond joys and Kit Kats, but the whole affair never because too oily/sweet/sticky/decadent. The taste is more like a robust porter in execution because you dont get that sickening glucose/lactose finish that is present in some sweet stouts. It is so balanced and finishes long and toasty. Again, it is like a baby BA Speedway, a sessionable BCBCS of sorts.

M: This may be what carries the day for this Central Valley banger, the finish and swallow never lingers and its strangely refreshing in a segment dominated by beers with 1.040+ finishing gravity. The watery aspect kinda reminded me of Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald but with a ton more going on thanks to the adjuncts. “THANKS TO THE ADJUNCTS” is another sentence fragment you hardly get to read around here but, well twist my nutsack, there it is.

Top ten downtown skyline, easily.

Top ten downtown skyline, easily.

D: This is highly crushable and sufficiently complex to avoid slipping into that ho hum Founders Porter sort of realm. This is an aberrant offering relative to the rest of this brewery’s catalog and I can only hope this is indicative of things to come. I think this was like 700 bottles but, I cant imagine people are hoarding or being covetous of this gem. The only issue is, I have no fucking idea where you will find a Fresno trader, their beer distribution is like Alabama-tier and I think there are like 5 traders in that city of 600,000+. In closing, BC’s Pizza is amazing, thanks Fresno for your top-tier Hmong gangs and exceptional coffee stouts.

Hey, for fun check out this site:


Hess Brewing Brunus Induresco Coffee Porter, Eh Tu Brunus?

I love seeking out nano’s and seeing what they are up to. Unlike girls at the gym with nanos, nanobreweries are downright approachable and can usually get up in the mix with stuff that bigger boys may not want to attempt. I don’t know if there is a smaller adjective but Funky Buddha fits this bill pretty well. When people started kicking up dust about this lil upstart, Eric generously hooked this up for me so I could get in on the SD reindeer games. Let’s see what is going down with Hess in today’s review.

It's a coffee drink for people who don't have shit to accomplish in the morning.

Hess Brewing Company
California, United States
American Porter | ABV 7.5(?)

One of the badass things about nano’s is that price is usually not a limiting factor since they are going to be making small runs with weird ingredients so you can try shit like a Durian Gose or an Ectocooler Saison, wait I think I already tried that last month, anyway, shit is cray. This is no exception, this porter has freshly roasted coffee beans from the coffee and tea collective and the nano notes are certainly there.

A: The pour is classic porter, nice Dr. Pepper looking wateriness with mild coating and a light sheeting that billows up a non-offensive amount of carbonation. The lacing is clumpy like 9’s in a club, you know what I mean. The result is lil spotty archipelagoes that cling to the glass like if Casper got hit with a proton pack. Don’t cross the streams with this porter.

At first I wondered if this would be mainstream and disappointing, but then it delivered some memorable moments. Pic related.

S: Easily my favorite part of this beer is the smell. It gets straight up Peruvian with some nice malty roast and an acidic coffee integration like light roasts that still have balls. The beans and dry roastiness trump the chocolate or sticky malt aspects, and for the porter base, I am liking what is going down. This has more coffee to the nose than even those other coffee heavy hitters like Peche Mortel of Founder’s Breakfast Stout, albeit with less complexity. The coffee hits like the Tyrant in Resident Evil with a huge left hook and little more than an aggro charge attack. However, I think it is better as a result.

T: The taste is acidic coffee and deep roasty malts through and through. It isn’t exactly on the smokey zone like some stouts that push the office jokes too far, but the coffee keeps it in line with clean Latter Day Saints coffee humor. The dryness works well with the light watery character and gives the whole beer this sort of morning beverage aspect that isn’t exactly filling but it knocks you down strictly due to the bitterness of the deep arabica character. In fact, if I didn’t know better, I would assert the use of high alpha acid hops like Tomahawk but it isn’t exactly like that, no Native Americans were implicated in the creation of this stout.

Some people complain that I need to take more beer porn pics of me pouring the beer at super high res so you can see the hair follicles in the malt and shit, go to a Spiderman thread, this is beer.

M: The mouthfeel is crisp and dry. There was not a barrel involved here but the roast can trick you into thinking maybe some kids were painstaking working as coopers for Hess, and while I am not an advocate of child labor, if that is the case, so be it if coffee flavor is the price. Anyway, so there’s a nice crisp dryness but not a huge malty body to support it, so you get the porter analog of a west coast IPA, with different palate profiles. I am on board for that shit like crunchwrap supremes at 2:45 a.m.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable and I merked an entire 1 liter growler with the utmost urgency. This isn’t my favorite porter of all time but it does put an interesting spin on those non-BA non-imperial porters like Edmund Fitzgerald that hold a special place in my heart. If you like those but want more coffee on bean sex, this will get your oils all grinding. I would go ahead and assume that this is only as exceptional as noted when sampled extremely fresh, it also helps to sample 32oz at a time for maximum boost gauge omnislash potential.

You wouldn't steal a coffee, you wouldn't download a girlfriend, don't rob nanobreweries by accepting subpar replicas. FEELINGS.

Narrative: Carl Glauber kicked the obsidian sand in front of him and exhaled deeply. He was resigned to his fate, an untimely death on a deserted volcanic island with nothing but the sweet succor of hundreds of pounds of fresh coffee beans to abate his pain. The sweet irony of dying a slow death in the south pacific with only coffee beans to live on was, he was awake for every moment of it. “Go follow the Kopi Lowak coffee beans” they said “it’s the modern day gold rush, with coffee beans!” they said. Now he was here jittering harder than an asian biochem student wondering where it all went wrong. Maybe it was the jumping in the single prop plane, maybe it was the sacks and sacks of decadent coffee, maybe- ah, who we Carl to speculate as he stared out upon the deep, black, obsidian fragments. His hands shook violently from a coffee induced dehydrated rage as he tried to insert a piece of paper inside of an empty Frappucino bottle with a plea for mercy. The bottle floated against the stern of a nearby Seattle’s Best barge and a crewmate ambled up the ropes with the message in hand. “SIR! There is a Kopi Lowak poacher writing in barely legible handwriting begging mercy for his coffee transgressions!” The captain of the Seattle’s Best barge lowered his brown solemnly, “if he chose to exist outside the coffee parameters of gas stations and dorm rooms, he deserves whatever fate the java gods have served him.” Authorities would later express amazement when Carl fashioned a helicopter entirely out of coffee beans and byproducts, only to escape weeks later and learn that he had the coffee all along. He is currently shopping his story to William Morris Endeavor for movie rights.


Ode to a Russian Shipwright, Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company, All the shipwrights I have ever met have been ode.

This is an elusive and strange beer that I have been seeking since last year and FINALLY I met a kind soul from Minnesota who hooked this gem up. It’s an imperial porter and then, get this, THEY PUT SPRUCE TIPS INTO IT. Some of you haters might be like “yucks, I prefer beechwood aging” and that’s cool, more of this scarce porter for me. Also the bottle is a swingtop growler, which I think is a nice touch, something all those dead shipwrights would appreciate.

For real porter, You ODE, you ode.

Soulja boy knows about ODE

Ode to a Russian Shipwright, Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company, American Porter, ABV who the fuck knows

A: The carbonation on this beer looks like a foamy ball pit of khaki balls, some cleaning is warranted. The lacing takes its sweet ass time but finally lays out some trench warfare and the stalemate is set firmly with the advancing deep blackness. The inky depths aren’t took elaborate, but if the coating was too nuts, I would pull the imperial stout card and then everyone loses.

This beer is hard to explain so FGSFDSFGSFDS-

S: Initially I get a weird belgian sweetness with a nutty backend like the third act of an Eddie Murphy movie. Seriously, the nose reminds me of a weird belgian dubbel or a fruity zest from a tripel. This is a total trojan horse and those liver walls that Poseidon lovingly created topple effortlessly.

T: The taste has the initial Belgian clove and yeasty delight, but then it turns to a strange herbal raisin aspect. The toasted malts are like a zesty lighthearted porter but then all of a sudden shit gets all herbal and Evergreen really quickly. I am not talking about a hoppy aspect, I am talking like literally, trees, Conifers, kisses from lichens. Especially then this warms, I feel at one with the forest and harness the verdant fields and fennel with relentless tenacity. It’s like mouth kissing a vegan girl that only uses Burt’s bees mouthwash or whateverthefuck stand-in products those buzzkills use.

Oh hey guys I just found this porter with spruce tips, I dont know the ABV thoug-

M: The mouthfeel is refreshing and leaves this sweet zesty, fruity, but confusing finish. The malts themselves don’t coat aggressively, it isn’t overly sticky or overbearing, but the crazy yeasty character coupled with the exceptional leafy tundra all up in my grill. I have no idea how to compare this to other porters, but I like it, I don’t know how to compare Golgo 13 to other NES games, but, I think it was pretty bad ass, through 8 year old eyes. Now I need to find an 8 year old and feed him this rare ass porter.

D: This is actually exceptionally drinkable and totally changed the game on porters. I have no idea on “bottle” counts on this strange Manticor. It has a fragrant strange ester to the taste, a nutty finish and finally a great herbal character that sutures the wound. On paper it doesn’t seem like something that would work, like the Pontiac Aztek, but then, this actually does work, unlike the Pontiac Aztek.

At first I thought this porter would be strange and feed off of my curiosity, but the joke is on me as this beer satiates its needs on my tears, knowing I can't find it again.

Narrative: After just three years in the woods, David Thoreau VI was sick of this imposing legacy. He did not abandon an unfulfilling job at a pencil factory, he worked at See’s Candy, which by the accounts of the Claymates (fanclub of Clay Aiken) this is the best job ever. David or, D3, as his friends used to call him, kicked a rock and sighed as he ambulated through the woods looking at the conifers, softwoods, Tamaracks, and even the lowly Deciduous trees. “If only there were a way to enjoy sweet decadent candy, and still commune with the forest and not look like a total sellout hypocrite, like my ancestors.” A pinecone tumbled down a mossy bank and he felt a chilling air wrap around him- “Minneeesoooootaaaaa-” the trees softly beckoned to him. “Must just be the last of those Toffee-ettes, messing with my blood sugar.” A series of quills spelled our the word “SRSLY MN” and he could feel a grave communion with the wild, a sort of link from the chocolate and the woods themselves. He remembered a quote from his boring, sellout, unfocused, rambling ancestor, ” D3, I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” D3 knew that this was a hollow shell of a life system and a baseless life philosophy, but this was not Walden Pond revelation, this was a call to the glorious land of Minnesota. D3 had what alcoholics call, a moment of clarity, and remembered so fondly all of those episodes of “Coach” that he watched when he was younger and realized that only in the coldest, most evergreen conditions, could he attain that sweet balance of See’s candy, and being a pedantic, closeminded sellout like his great great great grandfather.