Archive for June, 2011

Surf Brewery Opens

Surf Brewery

Click logo to visit Surf Brewery

If you can believe it, Ventura just got a little cooler! Surf Brewery opened earlier this month and it is a great addition to the Central Coast beer scene! Surf Brewery is technically a packaging brewery, which means that a majority of their beer is sold off site. So look for their beers in stores and restaurants and if you don’t see any of their beers be sure to ask the managers to stock it.

 Surf Brewery Tap Room  Surf Brewery Brew House

While you are waiting for your favorite places to carry their beer, you can stop in and get pint or a growler in their taproom. Sit at the bar and enjoy the industrial sheik taproom complete with surfboards hanging on the walls and brewery equipment behind the bar. There is no food prepared at the brewery so bring your own (BYOF) if you plan to stay a while.

They have a great lineup of beers ranging from a cream ale to a black IPA.  My favs are the County Line Rye Pale Ale and the Surf Patrol Black IPA.  County Line is a crisp pale ale with just a hint of rye spice that really dries out the finish.  County Line comes in at 6.5% so be sure to enjoy in moderation.  While I really enjoy the County Line, I love the Surf Patrol Black IPA!  It is crisp, a touch smoky and has a great hop flavor.  What a black IPA should be. They have plans to release two more beers into their regular line up in July – a Vienna Lager and a Double IPA.

Be sure to check out their beer club specials, membership does have its benefits!



Beer Gear

If I’m not writing about or drinking beer you can bet  I am illustrating beer. Now you can buy some really cool beer gear with a HopHeadSaid logo or one of my other unique beer illustrations printed on it.  You can get nearly any combination of the following so visit my store for specifics @ 


Men's T-shirt Wormen's t-shirt Women's Tank Men's Polo

Fun Stuff:

Pint Glass  iPhone 3 Case BEER clock


Journal BEER print Magnet BEER note card


animated gif

Island Brewing Celebrates 10 Years

I am back in the saddle today – and by saddle I mean my old lumpy roller chair – and it feels good to be back as HopHeadSaid .  Before I get too far into the mix, I just wanted to let you know that I haven’t been taking a vacation – nope, quite the contrary.  I spent last week writing a 20-page book proposal for a beer and food-pairing book I have been thinking about lately.  That was an intense self imposed writing assignment but I feel really good about the end product.   The proposal was shipped off early this week but it will probably be a few more weeks before it gets reviewed.  This book is still a long way from becoming a reality but I am hopeful and I will certainly announce the results here when it I get the word.

So onto the beer…

Island Brewing

Click logo to visit Island Brewing.

I have been sitting on an interview I conducted last month with Paul Wright.  Paul is the owner and brewer at Island Brewing located just off the corner of Linden and the train tracks in Carpenteria.  Paul and I sat down for couple hours and we geeked out over brewing processes, brewery specs and the beer industry in general.  I had a great time! I will be covering that conversation in depth in a two part posting next month.

What is important about Island Brewing today?  Today, Island Brewing is celebrating their 10th anniversary. That’s right 10 years of brewing in Carp!  They open today at 11am and will going strong to 9.  Get onboard for a brewery tour at 2 or 5 and listen to music from the Brewery Boys while you are enjoying the tour or a beer on their patio – which by the way overlooks the Pacific Ocean!

Island Brewing Beer

Looking out to the ocean.

They have a great lineup of beers to suit anyone’s tastes from a light lager that will entice any Budmiloors drinker all the way to their bull bodied old ale Jubilee.  But if the sun is out today, you should try something with a little citrus and I suggest the Paradise Pale Ale.  Paradise Pale Ale is an American style pale ale so it is crisp, refreshing and smells of citrus and pine.  Paradise Pale Ale also rolls in with a respectable 5.2% ABV so two pints might just be in your future before you go home tonight.

If you are looking for something a little different, then try their Heirloom IPA.  This is an English style IPA with a twist.  If you look down your nose at English IPA’s don’t do that to this beer.  You will be missing out on a great interpretation with just enough west coast flare to cut through that British snobbery and keep you coming back for more.

Buy a friend a beer!

Buy a friend a beer!

While you are there -today or any other day- be sure to check out their “Buy a Friend a Beer” board.  Maybe somebody has bought you a beer?!  On the other hand – and if you are in a giving mood – I know a certain beer blogger that would love a beer next time he gets to Carp!-)   Cheers!

Father’s Day Gifts

Besides spending almost the entire weekend celebrating beer – I will be recapping Salute! – I got to celebrate Father’s Day with my whole family at the beach.  One of the highlights from the day was this wonderful coupon book from my first grade son.  I love that he made this at school and just wish I could have been around when he wrote coupon #1!   He knows how to spell “BEER”, I am so proud.

Interview: Two Trees Brewing

two trees brewing companySomewhere near the bottom of Two Tree Hill you will find a residential neighborhood like many in Ventura with shady, tree lined streets casting dappled shadows across front lawns and cars parked in driveways.  Nothing looks out of the ordinary and you certainly wouldn’t expect to find a brewery hidden on this street.  But that is exactly what you will find if you walk up Al Trevisan’s driveway and into his garage.

My interview with Trevisan was more like two old friends getting together over a couple of beers more than anything else. We spent two hours talking about his brew system, fermentation procedures and anything else in-between all while tasting a couple of his homebrews and enjoying the warm SoCal sun. Oh yeah, the life of a beer reporter can be pretty tough.

Al Trevisan Two Trees Brewing

Trevisan has been homebrewing for four years and like most homebrewers he started out brewing small batches on the kitchen stove.  As many of us homebrewers remember, that is a foot in the door start to our homebrewing obsession.  However, we soon realize, as Trevisan did that we can’t keep up with demand brewing small batches in the house. So, after purchasing a larger system he moved his “operations” to the garage.

It wasn’t until he read an article about nanobrewing in All About Beer that Trevisan started to seriously consider turning his hobby into a profession. With support from acquaintances, loyal friends and most importantly his family, he started the process of turning his home brewery into Two Trees nanobrewery.

Operating a nano-brewery out of his garage is quite appealing for Trevisan for a few of reasons.  First, he would be able to use his current homebrew system so he wouldn’t need to rent or purchase any more storage space or equipment.  Second, the brewery’s size and location means he wouldn’t be brewing anymore than he is right and since it is in his backyard he wouldn’t miss out any additional family time.


State and federal requirements deal mostly with tax issues but they do specify that the brewery need to be located in a detached permanent structure. The catch is a Ventura city ordinance that prohibits residents from operating a business out of their garage. Until the city ordinance changes, Trevisan’s professional aspirations are on hold and for now he is content to hone his brewing skills by brewing as often as he can.  Last and possibly the most convenient, Two Trees beer is kegged in five gallon soda kegs and Trevisan can easily self distribute his beers to local bars and/or pubs.

Currently, Trevisan is brewing as often as he can, about ten gallons every two weeks.  He enjoys sharing his brews so much that he brews beer for friends and colleagues whenever there is a request. Don’t worry if you don’t know Trevisan personally because you will have the opportunity to taste Two Trees beer in September at the California Beer Festival.

One of the most exciting things happening in the craft beer world is the explosion of local breweries in the U.S. and Ventura county is no different.  We have finally topped pre-prohibition brewery numbers and the market doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.  Two Trees could be the next brewery providing fresh local beer but not until an exception is made to the current city ordinance.  Show you support for Two Trees by visiting it’s Facebook page and ask what you can do to help change the ordinance.

Learrn more about brewery sizes @


HopHeadSaid on the radio!

I will be on the the radio this Saturday!  You can listen to the live stream at .  I will be on the air starting around 8:15 and if all goes well it should last ten minutes




perfect.pint: Weizen Glasses

In an effort to expand on the “education” part of my “Beer Reviews, Education and Nonsense” motto, I am continuing my series of posts that will focus on beer glassware.  Specifically, I will be talking about the glass’s shape and why that particular glass is an appropriate vessel for a specific beer style.

Weizen is the German word for wheat and whenever you see a beer that has weizen in the name you know that wheat is the primary grain used to make the beer.  German versions can have a banana and/or a clove aroma which are produced by the yeast during fermentation. American versions generally use yeast that produces little, if any fruity esters. American versions may have a subtle floral aroma which is derived from the hops used during brewing.

weizen glass

Weizen glasses have similar geometries to pilsner glasses; they are tall slender glasses with a heavy foot for stability.  Unlike the pilsner, a weizen glass bulges out towards the top and tapers in at the opening. For my money, no other glass is a worthy vessel for weizens or other wheat beers.  The glass’s shape showcases the cloudy golden beauty of any wheat beer while their size accommodates the substantial heads wheat beers produce.

Simply put, this glass creates a piece of delicious performance art.