lucky enough to be hitting up usa and canada soon

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by perthbelgianbeer, May 9, 2012.

  1. aussie BAs,
    i've got a few weeks in usa/canada in june/july. i'm semi-knowledgable about usa beers, so have a good list of what i'm after specifically (below) and a lot of the brewers websites are great for finding where to get them... i'm sure i won't come across many of these though e.g. 3floyds --> its a definite 'wish list', i'd be happy just finding 1 of these beers.

    its not a beery trip -- is 2nd honeymoon. other than going to russian river, i won't be going out of my way to find things... just going to bars & stores near our hotels i imagine

    if any of you have a chance, i'd love to hear of any beer suggestions not on this list that might be available at bars or stores where i'm going. reason i put this on aussie forum: usa forum would be inundated with replies (which is generous but difficult to sift thru) and also there's less regional bias for usa breweries on a non-usa forum

    basically i rate opinions on this forum so am keen to hear your thoughts.
  2. The Bruery
    Stone Brewing
    (Russian Imperial Stout / RIS)
    Sierra Nevada
    Dogfish Head
    (120min IPA)
    Alesmith Brewing Co
    (Speedway Stout)
    Portsmouth Brewery
    (Kate the Great)
    Deschutes Brewery
    (The Abyss)
    Bells Brewery Inc
    The Lost Abbey
    (Duck Duck Gooze)
    (Cable Car)
    Firestone Walker Brewing Co
    Three Floyds Brewing / FFF
    (Dark Lord Imperial Stout)
    (Dreadnaught IPA)
    Russian River
    (Pliny the Elder, Beatification, Supplication, Temptation, Consecration, Compunction, Deification, Santification, Constipation, Blind pig IPA)

    and anything from belgian brewers drie fonteinen, girardin, hanssens, de cam, de struise
  3. (let me get the first shot in at myself)
    "Not another holiday thread, do your own bl00dy research mate" : )

    seriously though all good if anyone wants to chastise me for taking the easy option of trying to pick brains of ppl that have been to usa previously
    (i am doing my own research too, in fact most of the beers on the list are from reading ba forums)

    any suggestions and criticism are all welcome, even if it’s “yer dreaming looking for those beers buddy”
  4. MrKennedy

    MrKennedy Advocate (655) Australia Dec 29, 2006 Verified

    where exactly (what states) are you going?
  5. ha ha whoops just realised i forgot that : )

    washington (briefly, just seattle for a day)
    and san francisco, napa valley, los angeles, and nevada (around vegas)... basically all the 'first visit to west coast of america' tourist spots
  6. MrKennedy

    MrKennedy Advocate (655) Australia Dec 29, 2006 Verified

    dgilks and spicelab have had recent West Coast trips, so they'd be well worth listening to (pressure's on:)), especially for CA and OR.

    I've found to be a good resource for brewery distribution.
    From the list:

    Stone Brewing
    (Russian Imperial Stout / RIS) - on the shelves
    Sierra Nevada
    (Hoptimum) - on the shelves, but apparently coming out here pretty soon i'm pretty sure
    Dogfish Head
    (120min IPA) - very hard to get this year, would need to trade for it, i'm guessing.
    Portsmouth Brewery
    (Kate the Great) - 2,000 bottles released on the other side of the country...would need to trade for it.
    Deschutes Brewery
    (The Abyss) - not sure if still on the shelves in the Northwest.
    Bells Brewery Inc
    (Hopslam) - a few months old.
    The Lost Abbey
    (Duck Duck Gooze) - would be lucky to stumble on a release, if so, brewery only, i'm guessing. Would have to trade big.
    (Cable Car) - need to go to Toronado SF for this and then hope its in stock, and, the staff will sell it to you.
    Firestone Walker Brewing Co
    (Parabola) - not sure when this is released...should be easy to in-person trade for when you are over there.
    Three Floyds Brewing / FFF
    (Dark Lord Imperial Stout) - need to trade for, 24,000 bottles, brewery release.
    (Dreadnaught IPA) - distributed to about 3 states...need to trade for
    Russian River
    (Pliny the Elder, Beatification, Supplication, Temptation, Consecration, Compunction, Deification, Santification, Constipation, Blind pig IPA) - courtesy of FunkyMacGroovin regarding bottles of RR beers:
    Pliny/Blind Pig/Damnation - all the time
    Consecration/Supplication - most of the time
    Temptation - pretty often, sometimes 2-4 months between one batch running out and the next release
    Sanctification - approximately 1-2 releases per year, on shelves for 3-6 months total.
    Younger - February, draft only
    Beatification - who knows​
    vkv822 likes this.
  7. Where in Canada will you be going?
  8. Mrkennedy :"dgilks and spicelab have had recent West Coast trips, so they'd be well worth listening to"

    you mean that they'd give me MORE info than you did? crikey. cheers for all the help btw... i got nothing of trade value, and am not even planning on taking any lou pepe's with me for trade bait... mainly cos its a honeymoon trip (i don't want to follow it up with a beer-induced divorce : )

    so basically i'll just be shopping. sounds like its mostly wish list stuff given that i'll only be looking on shelves -- good to know at least a couple bottles i'll be able to get the traditional way. i keep hearing this toronado thing pop up, think i first saw it in troublebrewing comics, sounds like i better look into it hey

    yeh i been hearing for months that hoptimum coming via phoenix,but figure i might as well look for it in states while i'm there.

    mulder has also offered his knowledge up, ppl are very generous with their time here (especially so given this is an oft-repeated thread)
  9. Wait, you're not going to go to Portland, OR?

    Go to Toronado while in San Francisco and get Lost Abbey's Cable Car.
  10. nope, not going to portland... its not a beer-focussed trip i'm afraid : (

    do you know if toronado does take aways of cable car?

    tbeckett: in canada, going to british columbia - victoria, vancouver, banff, kelowna, kamloops, jasper, lake louise

    cheers for your replies everyone!
  11. MrKennedy

    MrKennedy Advocate (655) Australia Dec 29, 2006 Verified

    No, but if they did it would be sold out pretty quick, i'd reckon
  12. spicelab

    spicelab Savant (450) Australia Nov 6, 2009

    They weren't doing takeaways when I was there in late Feb - but it was definitely on their bottle list.
  13. joecast

    joecast Advocate (580) Australia Jun 30, 2003

    Check out the beer mapping project website. Good resource for finding pubs and bottle shops. Haven't checked it out in a while but had lots of places marked around US cities. Enjoy!
  14. dgilks

    dgilks Advocate (735) Australia Jul 14, 2008

    Okay, so I'm not up on WA but in Seattle I would make sure I got to Uber.

    San Francisco is great. Toronado is a must, preferably during happy hour. They almost always have Pliny and Blind Pig as well as some other interesting bits and pieces. Cable Car was on the menu when I was there and sporadically appears and it will be the only place you can get it. I also like City Beer Store which has a great (if expensive) selection and has some taps so you can drink while you shop. 21st Amendment is okay. If you are in The Mission check out Monk's Kettle. I don't know about Oakland but I hear there is good stuff going on. For great food check out Incanto.

    Not much in Napa but heading West Russian River is the obvious stop. Don't count out Lagunitas though which is in Petaluma on the way from Santa Rosa to San Francisco.

    LA has some good bars but is more limited on the brewery front. If you are around on a day they are open The Bruery is definitely worth a visit. You get a glass and 5 tasters for $10 and then additional tasters are cheap. They seemed to have plenty of interesting things on when I was there. Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach is worth visiting. Their house beers are amazing (one of the best IPAs I've ever tasted) and they had an impressive guest beer list. Solid BBQ as well. I didn't get to them but I've heard good things about Father's Office, Surly Goat and Naja's Place.

    I know next to nothing about Vegas but have heard good things about a place called the Frog somthing-or-other.

    Hope that helps.
  15. spicelab

    spicelab Savant (450) Australia Nov 6, 2009

    Since your wife is into wine, Bear Republic would be a perfect option. Only about 20 mins from Santa Rosa (Russian River) in Healdsburg which is a seriously swanky wine town basically comprising an endless array of wine bars, restaurants and boutique shops. Bear Republic was packed when I went there, but had a great atmosphere.

    Santa Rosa is also a good wine town, but Healdsburg is on another level.
  16. Lukie

    Lukie Savant (435) Australia Jun 16, 2007

    *Insert obligatory buy LUKIE stuff post here*
  17. On 27th may I fly out from Melbourne travelling for beer... Will be in Vancouver a bit doing some brewing... If you get down that way a maybe a beverage is in order. Won't be in Americas west coast while you are there though
  18. goodbeerallday: we'll be in vancouver june 9 and a bit of 10th, and again on june 17th and 18th. yours is a great suggestion but on our honeymoon i'm not sure i can swing a "let's have a beer with a fellow aussie beerhead, i haven't met him/her before though"... my wife is very accepting (if not understanding) of said beer craze, but i think that would be pushing it : )

    cheers everyone for the suggestions - i should be able to hit up toronado, and incanto restaurant looks great and maybe healdsburg for wine, can't wait

    *Insert obligatory buy LUKIE stuff post here*
    --> is this the same lukie responsible for the empty bottles of RR sours, double black albert and dark lord that tease customers and laugh down on us from high above the IBS beer shelves? you saying that you haven't had enough obscure seppo beers yet? : )
  19. Arassuil

    Arassuil Aficionado (110) Australia Jan 21, 2008

    Not sure where in Seattle your hotel will be, but if it's downtown in the CBD and you got a day and are looking for walking distance places, then Pike by Pike Place Market is a decent local brewery. The Taphouse Grill on 6th is conveniently close to a few hotels and has a huge range of taps, and have always been decent the times I was there. Of course if you're going to cab it, then go to Uber or Collins or Brouwers, or hit Big Time Brewing in the University District.
  20. Lukie

    Lukie Savant (435) Australia Jun 16, 2007

    >is this the same lukie responsible for the empty bottles of RR sours, double black albert and dark lord that tease customers and laugh down on us from high above the IBS beer shelves? you saying that you haven't had enough obscure seppo beers yet? : )<

    But they are all lonely up there and need FAR more RR sour brother and sisters!
  21. Vancouver has lot's of great beer and lot's of piss. Check out the Alibi Room. As for the BC scene as a whole, Phillips and Driftwood, as well as Tree all do sublime stuff. Keep your eyes open for Hoperation Triple Cross, a delightful Belgian IPA. Have a good time.

  22. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Advocate (605) Wisconsin Apr 16, 2012 Verified

    If you change your mind and make it to the midwest, drop me a beer message. WI (Central Waters, New Glarus, Tyranena . . . MANY MORE), IL (Goose Island), and MI (Bell's, Founders, Dark Horse . . . MANY MORE) are all worth a visit if you're going on a beer hunt. 3F is just a little outside of Chicago as well, to include IN or another 200 or 300 breweries I've not mentioned.

  23. dwaz

    dwaz Savant (280) Pennsylvania Jan 18, 2008

    Don't know where you are staying in LA but I travelled there last year and stopped at Wallys in Westwood:

    It's a wine shop but with a great beer selection. Ask what they have in the back, they pulled out some Cascade Sours and an Abyss for me. I'm sure you can find Bruery, Russian River and Stone RIS here as well. Parabola may be tough because it's kinda come and gone, but they may be holding some in the back. Also the Whole Foods in Santa Monica has a decent selection,

    Whole Foods
    2201 Wilshire Blvd
    Santa Monica, CA

    You'll only get Cable Car at the Toronado in SF or San Diego, no take out and like $40 /bottle. It's outrageously priced but you're on vacation. I pulled the trigger on it when I was there and was not disappointed. Just a heads up, if you track down any Alpine beers while you're in LA, they're worth it, especailly any of their hoppy beers. Have a great trip.
  24. cheers to BAs for beery suggestions for recent trip I made to usa & canada with my wife

    Thanks esp for suggestions: dgilks (incanto restaurant in SF & freakin frog in vegas), tbeckett (phillips & driftwood breweries & alibi room in canada), mrkennedy & a few others(toronado in SF) & mulder1010 (alaskan brewery and heaps of general beery info)

    managed to find a few well known goodies (pliny elder, supplication, sanctification, thomas hardy, parabola, cantillon st gilloise)
    And revisit a few familiar favourites (ruination, sculpin, consecration)
    And even a coopers vintage 2008 : )

    No lost abbey cable car remaining (either that or I wasn’t worthy) when I went to toronado – first world problems hey : )

    from my limited exposure to it, i felt like canada brewing scene mirrored aussie scene a bit (i.e. good but can be hit and miss) but phillips and central city were fantastic... didn't expect to try such good IPAs in canada

  25. Lukie

    Lukie Savant (435) Australia Jun 16, 2007

    I was wondering where you have been! Tell me about the RR Sours. I have had nearly all of them, and they are amazeballs.
  26. MordeciaFunk

    MordeciaFunk Savant (270) Australia Feb 14, 2012

    We missed you Andrew.
  27. brenden i appreciate your sarcasm : ) i'll try to miss you equally whilst you're raiding unsuspecting BAs cellars in the states very soon.

    lukie i think you know russian river sours better than me! i was too gobsmacked by the $15 tasting tray of 18 beers to pay attention to what the beers were exactly like; thats what take homes are for hey. but i still think consecration is my favourite - how can vinegar be so tasty? they also had an 8.3% beer collaboration with SN called Brux (brettanomyces bruxellensois) that was akin to drinking concentrated brett but without that funny eccchhy perfumey thing some brett-bombs have (in my opinion). supplication was pretty ferkin tasty too.

    thats about the extent of my reviews at the brewery.

    good times
  28. MordeciaFunk

    MordeciaFunk Savant (270) Australia Feb 14, 2012

    No sarcasm. My hatred for virtually everything else doesn't extend to you. I like you. :)
  29. i'm touched. anyways make sure you hit up a squillion beer venues and drink 2 livers worth of the good oil to make up for those of us who travelled to usa on a non-beer focussed honeymoon : )
    (i've got a stack of more first world problems i can list if anyone has a violin soundtrack they can play for me in the background)
  30. Lukie

    Lukie Savant (435) Australia Jun 16, 2007

    Yeah, have a couple of BRUX coming my way, so keen to give it a go.

    I have heaps of violin music for you, or I can play something for you if you like?
  31. I once heard a cover of a tool song played by a string quartet. Would be smashing if you could give me a dose of that.
  32. First thing I thought of when I came to Australia as well. Very similar scenes. Only thing is the bureaucratic red tape that restricts our cross-border access to other Canadian stuff, while you guys can get anything from anywhere in Australia so long as the brewery can get it there.

    Also, your point on the hit and miss is accurate. You're just barely starting to be able to get one or two crafts on tap, and if you're lucky you'll find an IPA on tap outside of a craft-centric venue. Baby steps.

    Our West Coast IPAs are fairly similar to American ones, being on the same coast. Glad you enjoyed.
  33. possibly i need to give canadian breweries a bit more credit... i didn't have any unibroues/st ambroise/dieu de ciel etc cos i already know how good they are and can get them in australia. i guess its the local brewpubs that i came across that i would compare with australia (in terms of being good but sometimes hit and miss)

    given the british heritage in british columbia though, it took me a while to realise that 'IPA' often means UK IPA... got burned a few times!

    but yeah the canadian 'american IPAs' that i found were great. cheers
  34. Lukie

    Lukie Savant (435) Australia Jun 16, 2007

    No more Unibroue in Australia. You should have stocked up! (and by stock up, I mean bring me like 1000 bottles of Quelque Chose).
  35. yeah yeah no more unibroue on shelves but many of us have some leftover im sure so all good. ive not tried quelque chose, but with the endorsement of the sour overlord i am now very interested. a barely-craft bottle store near my parents had some bottles, if i get one for me do you want me to get one also for you lukie?
  36. MordeciaFunk

    MordeciaFunk Savant (270) Australia Feb 14, 2012

    Pick me, pick me.

    I'm still learning about sours, I would love to be introduced. :)

    P.S With Lukie being a 'sour overlord', am I the only person who is picturing a Game of Thrones thing? Lukie sitting on a throne made of the melted down bottles of his enemies? If you look closely enough, you can just make out the hint of some AA lager bottle label....
  37. Lukie

    Lukie Savant (435) Australia Jun 16, 2007

    It's not sour.
  38. MordeciaFunk

    MordeciaFunk Savant (270) Australia Feb 14, 2012

    Like I said. I'm still learning and (clearly) refuse to do research.

    Oh, teach me great sage. :)
  39. MordeciaFunk

    MordeciaFunk Savant (270) Australia Feb 14, 2012

    On that note, I'm off.

    See you in a few weeks boys.

    All of you take care.

    Except Mr Yallop, because I couldn't care less. :)
  40. mulder1010

    mulder1010 Advocate (605) Australia Aug 29, 2008

    Lukie is not sour overlord. He is in Sydney with the rest of us. He has had it all. Sublime stuff.