This and That


I will be doing something a little different for my review this week. I won’t be reviewing any beer but I will be reviewing several beer related items.

The first item I wanted to review this week was a new beer location in Camarillo.  Located inside the Village Commons Market the BEER CAVE is a welcome addition to the beer scene in Ventura County.  This store gets it right.  None of the beer is outside the cooler (at least the good stuff) AND the cooler is dimly lit.  This helps to significantly reduce any heat or light damage that can occur when beer is left out on the shelves for even a short period of time.  They also have “Cave Coats” for you to wear if you are just browsing and want to or need to linger in the cooler.

Another thing that tells me the folks at Village Commons Market get craft beer is they were just getting ready to put BeerAdvocate rating tags on the beer.  How many times have you been in a store where there are Wine Spectator ratings all over the place and then you go to the beer section and you are left to fend for yourself?  Keep in mind though; these ratings will only compare beers that are the same stylistically. Last thing, you can tell a lot about a person by the books they leave around the house.  When I purchased my sixer of Firestone Walker’s Velvet Merlin I noticed that there were three different beer books on the counter. This tells me that they are interested in beer and it doesn’t take much reading in any of those books to become an authority on any given beer.  Who knows, maybe someday they will write a beer blog.   If you stop in, mention you heard about them here at HopHeadSaid.

The second item is a beer review site called Pintley.com.  This weekend I was listening to a podcast interview with them on The Brewing Network so I decided to see what they were all about. Pintly is way more than a review site, it is a recommendation site.  Think of it as the Pandora for beer drinkers.  Here is how you get started, sign up (it’s free) spend one minute (literally that is all it takes) to rate 20 beers they pick.  From there they will make recommendations to you based on the beers you liked.  The more beers you rate the better the recommendations for you will be.  It is a great way for newbie craft beer drinkers to get beer recommendations when they are out and about.  I would set up the account from your computer first (a little more convenient) but then they have apps for your favorite phone so you can take it with you anywhere.  You can also set up wish lists (remember GOOD beer makes GREAT gifts) and share your beer reviews with friends.  My user name is hopheadsaid become my friend and see what my top choices are.

Lastly, it is time for the celebration/holiday/winter warmer seasonal beers.  Some of the best flavorful and malty beers of the year come to life in the winter months.  This is the time of year when many breweries will spice up their regulars or brew special batches of higher alcohol beers to keep you warm on a long winter’s night.  Here are a few suggestions:

Crisp Medium Body:Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
Full Sail Wassail
New Belgium Brewing 2 below
Pyramid Snow Cap
Red Hook Winterhook
Summit Brewing Winter Ale
 Full Bodied Sippers:Full Sail  Old Boardhead
Kulmbacher Eisbock
Wychwood Brewery Bah Humbug!
De Ranke Pere Noel
Avery The Czar
Great Divide Old Ruffian
Great Divide Yeti (oak aged)

Sierra Nevada                        Big Foot Barleywine

Happy Holidays!

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  1. We’ll definitely have to go to the Beer Cave next time we’rein Camarillo

    • Genevieve Evans
    • December 8th, 2010

    Thank you for providing an educational blog on beer! I enjoy learning more about beer and reading your recommendations. You are a welcome balance and addition to this wine loving region.

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