Thumbing through books and working on half a dozen topics, I finally make the choice for this to be the next post. Some Things Beer. Covering the basics of beer and how its made, tour a brewery, beer in beauty products, beer clubs and where to buy kits to make beer at home, and other resources. I decide to take the approach of someone who doesn’t have as much access as I do. Meaning, someone who isn’t in or hasn’t been in the service industry and doesn’t know a beer rep or two or a bar owner or a five star five diamond hotel general manager or a co-founder/CEO of food and wine festivals, or even expert bartenders, for example. I will say, on a side note, being a bartender for years in general and having a great deal of experience popping tops, pouring pints and mixing drinks that instant access and the rate for which doors open be fast and meetings abundant—yeah, not so much. I call around, ask around and not much happening except not much of a response. The REP at Wine Warehouse doesn’t get back to me even after a confirmed date and when he sees me he makes a remark about owing me a text message and that was it. Like they say, if you don’t have a date AND a time, then you don’t have a meeting. One beer rep’s wife just had a baby, so he is busy and Boomtown and King’s Harbor doesn’t get back to me either. Funny thing is, Angel City Brewery keeps appearing in many places I happen to be. Beer chalices, t-shirts, key chains, and people talking about the beer at their brewery. And then, just like that, I get the idea, I will approach this as not only someone that wants to know about beer but as someone that doesn’t have any inside access. That’s how that started. So, like anyone else, I seemingly ask the usual questions and explore accordingly. How do you go about meeting people and learning about beer? Google? You Tube? Local Pub? Find an expert. Find someone who has poured their heart and soul into this topic for at least 10,000 hours and maybe then some.? I pick up Tasting Beer: An Insiders Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink by Randy Mosher from Amazon per someone’s recommendation. I read (takes me all summer). There is so much great information and this book is a great resource.
Beer is made when yeast ingests sugar and discharges alcohol. Four ingredients specifically: water, yeast, hops and malt. Seems simple right? Then come the complexities. This frothy sometimes hoppy, light or dark, malty, yeasty, sometimes fruity refreshing liquid has beed consumed since almost the beginning of time. Something with this many years under the belts; many factors like water, type of barely and how it is soaked and for how long barley soaks, different hops and what barrel and is corn syrup added to dilute or caramel color added or not, adjuncts and mashing and runoff, terra tire and a few spoons full of sugar and this and that and the other are all considerations. Not so simple after all.
First Stop for me to learn more Angel City Brewery. Downtown Los Angeles.
Google was most helpful as was Angel City’s website. This super cool industrial style brewery bar is in the heart of Los Angles Arts District. Tours available four days a week (Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday) in an hour block over about a four hour periods of time. Call the number listed to make sure times are still the same (if you are in Los Angeles). I am glad I do as they had changed. I arrive. I first meet Lou at the door and he checks my I.D. (He is now my ninth follower on twitter too! Thanks Lou for the follow and checking my I.D.) and take a look around while I wait for the tour to begin. Tickets are free and tour ends with a beer flight. Awesome!. Tour is shorter than expected but informative and then the tasting begins. I taste Pilsner, Belguim Style, Sour Peach (my favorite), Siracha lada and Dark Ale. Zaneta is the tour guide on this particular day and also an in house bartender. Angel City came to Los Angeles in 2012. Recently purchased by Alchemy & Science under Boston Beer (famously known for Sam Adams) Angel City flies even higher.
Fun fact: Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” video was filmed at Angel City Brewery.
If you don’t like downtown Los Angeles for whatever reason or just can’t make it to Angel City Brewery, you can go to their website and check out the where to buy in your area, or you can stop by O’Brien’s Irish Pub on Wilshire (not to be confused with O’Brien’s on Main Street in Santa Monica) is pouring an Angel City Brew or two! The Angel City IPA pairs great with the Blarney Burger or any burger amongst other menu items. The Blarney is one the specialties though. Enormous and absolutely delicious!
Beer in Beauty : Beer Shampoo and Soap Bars
I also wonder can I make a beer shampoo bar from old soap bars in my home with other ingredients like essential oils and sample shampoos mixed together with the beer and create a usable result. In my brain thinking, it is kind of like, what do you do with those old crayons and old candles?! Melt them down and make a new candle. I try this approach with my shampoo soap beer bar.
This is one way after all to incorporate my using kitchen ingredients in to cosmetic function form. I again google to find out that many are doing this. DogFish Head and Angel City are included participants. Beer is good for the hair. Beer is a cleansing clarifying agent (similar to apple cider vinegar) for the hair that seeps into the hair shaft and fills the tiny holes in the hair shaft to make hair feel fuller and lighter and adds great texture. I move forward with my above thinking and take the approach of recycling soap and using ingredients I already have to create my shampoo and soap bars rather than start from scratch. Two recipes. One for beer shampoo and one for soap. Both prepared by melting with a double boiler. My soap bar I melt immediately, add ingredients and pour into mold to cool. For the shampoo bar I let the soap I will use soak for a week to break down then make the shampoo soap bar. I want to find out if the soaking and breaking down the soap makes a difference.
Ingredients: 2 T Coconut oil, 4T of Magic Hat #9, 6 drops of Patchouli, (1)Natura Culina Shea Bar from Santa Barbara, and .4 fl. oz of Davines for hair & body with Carthame oil
- Chop the soap into chunks into the bowl to be used as part of the double boiler.Fill the bottom pot with water and place the soap filled bowl on top of water filled pot on low heat(this is the double boiler also known as a bain marie. Watch soap and once it is melted down to almost liquid form add your ingredients and sit to blend. (I use a wooden spoon)
- In the parchment paper lined ramekin pour liquid.
- Let cool to harden. I let this soon to be soap mixture harden for a few days. Turn ramekin upside down to remove the soap.
Beer Shampoo Bar:
(1) Melaleuca Pineapple Mango soap bar, 2T Mark Hill smoothing shampoo, 2 oz packet of lavender seeds, 2T of oat flakes, 2t coconut oil, 4 T Magic Hat #9, 6 drops fragrance essential oils of choice
It’s not as easy as I think it is going to be and yet it is. I feel like a little kid in the kitchen playing. My soap isn’t as pretty as the experts so for this reason I may still leave this one to the experts in the future But I had fun and did create a useable product. I did learn how to break down unused soap, and recycle and create a fun new product as well as work with fresh and new ingredients and think more about the soap that I use and what goes into it. All in all fun experiment. If you are interested in making a similar or more sophisticated version than me you can order containers and ingredients from places like BulkApathocary.com and ExoticOilsandButters.com.
…AND lets not forget about beer clubs. We need people equally as interested as us in whatever that may be. In this case, beer. I stumble upon the largest in the United States and going strong for forty years and counting. Guess where? Woodland Hills, CA. The Home of Beer, Wine and Cheese Store. The United States Maltose Falcons is a home brewing society. They meet once a month to eat, drink what they make and talk about beer.
Where to buy and other resources:
More on Angel City Los Angeles Times
Craftsy.com has a cooking with beer class and a fermentation class for purchase and once you do it is yours forever
Home Making Beer Kits: Mr. Brew Master’s Home Craft Beer Kit
Until Next time…