Friday, August 28, 2015

PUBlication: Mosaic IPA

St. Archer Brewery | Mosaic IPA
St. Archer has released a limited batch of their Mosaic IPA, a testament to their capabilities and the mosaic hop varietal. This double IPA is filled with lush impressions throughout the experience—there's no denying the hop-forward intensity. It possesses an aroma that  demands snouting out the pint glass. This is one of the most palatable double IPA's of the summer. Initially it comes across as mean, but settles into a friendly beast.

How they brewed this with such clean and refreshing characteristics without sacrificing bitterness is impressive. Each taste made me want to drink more. The 'bite' is all on the tongue. The precision of the hop medley, which includes Amarillo, Simcoe and Chinook, is lavishly layered. It is the Mosaic varietal that the spotlight shines brightest upon. Its sticky fruit and citrus notes are the most rousing. The copper clarity invites you in, as the light pillow of carbonated foam further encourages. Having a flavor profile that is both punchy and refined makes it even more alluring. How is it capable of being so deliberate, as well as, so delicate? I guess you call it double trouble. If you see this beer, buy it. There are no mistakes in the Mosaic IPA from St. Archer9%


Monday, August 24, 2015

Dodge & Burn

The Dead Weather are capable of many things, rocking out happens to stand at the front of the line. Their music blasts harder than anything this side of metal, without diluting the talented musicianship that creates said sound scape. Also, why would anyone want to stifle Alison's voice? Dodge & Burn, their latest release, features 12 tracks and is available September 25th. They recently gave us a look-see at one of the upcoming tracks. This visual component is a reminder of just how visceral this band can get. With no tour yet planned, one can only hope they take this show on the road. Until then, check out Third Man Records.

The Dead Weather | "I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)" | Dodge & Burn


Friday, August 21, 2015

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
The Night Sweats and front man Nathaniel Rateliff are on a bender, soaked in rousing music, truthful soul and some drinking. Currently on tour, with many of their stops already sold out (aided greatly by a recent television debut on The Tonight Show), try to catch them if you can. Earlier this summer they gave away a three-track EP featuring "S.O.B." and some live cuts. Later they started pitching some singles. Today marks the release of a self titled album that I encourage everyone to pick up. 

Having put out two solo records and an EP, this isn't Nathaniel's first rodeo. The Night Sweats however help to transform his music, cocooning his candid words with their energy. Some of the material showing up on, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, has surfaced during their live sets for awhile now. This tends to pay dividends as the songs get a chance to breathe and change in an atmosphere only concerts can create. It also usually means that the band is tight heading into the studio having already cut their teeth on tour. 

They play locally on September 9th at The Chapel in San Francisco, sorry it's sold out. Below is a clip of them performing a track off their new album, enjoy.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats | Howling At Nothing


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

PUBlication: Breaking Bud

Knee Deep Brewing Co.
Oh Knee Deep, thank you for unleashing unabashed hops to the faithful IPA drinkers of Northern California and beyond. Auburn is home to one of my favorite breweries—I need to make it up there to relish the bounty first hand. Until then, I'll just keep enjoying the selection of 22oz bottles at my local market.

There are a plethora of hop-forward beers being brewed by Knee Deep. Breaking Bud is a new school IPA with a classic profile. It settles into the glass with great clarity. It's golden-orange color is topped by a white foam. The first thing you notice is the lush aroma, evoking tropical fruits and sticky hops. 

It starts off easy up front on the palette. The exacting bitterness hits you on the back end, yet rounds off into a softer edge at the finish. Mosaic, Simcoe and CTZ hops create sheets of flavor, both strong and calm. A dash of crystal malt, with a healthy measure of wheat flakes, add crispness and intricacy to the ale. When you're standing there staring at the multitude of beer options, look for Breaking Bud, it doesn't disappoint, guaranteed. 6.5% | 50 IBUs


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Local Flavor | Music Review

This past week had a plethora of options to be distracted by. There was Outside Lands and the accompanying late night shows, I would have liked to see Wilco, Leon Bridges and D'Angelo. Instead, there were those of us in the North Bay that were treated to some other affordable options (and by affordable I mean free). 

The Mother Hips | Cloverdale
Last Friday we made our almost-weekly pilgrimage to Cloverdale for The Mother Hips. Tim Bluhm and company were hitting on all cylinders, this was one of the better shows I've seen from them. Greg Loiacono was on fire, his guitar licks seem to prevail throughout the night. "Freed From Prison" had a Bowie vibe. Other songs felt steeped in honky tonk blues. Greg took "Do It On the Strings," to another level with some impressive guitar work. On the next track, "Clean Me Up," they blended some nifty drumming with some fiery Wah-Wah to elicit a sound reminiscent of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Multiple people mentioned that this was their favorite song of the night. "White Falcon Fuzz" got the crowd rocking once more as the interplay between the two guitarist created good sound and strong emotion. They wanted to go out ripping as the last two songs of the set were heavy in anthem-like rock tones. The encore gave us a couple more, the finale was a dirty (in a good way) and bluesy infused burner, "Stoned Up..."

St. Paul & the Broken Bones | Lagunitas
On Monday we made our way to Lagunitas for their super secret show. This Year's surprise band was St. Paul and the Broken Bones. This soulful outfit from Birmingham is the truth. Church-like is an understatement. Lacing covers in and out of their own material seamlessly, this seven piece doesn't make mistakes, they make good times. The first cover of the night was Sam Cooke's "Shake." They followed that with a down-tempo version of the title track "Half the City." After "Broken Bones & Pocket Change" they went for the Wilson Pickett Standard, "99 and a Half." As the night wore on you could see the energy inside the mini-amphitheatre pick up. The Broken Bones jumped into a string of songs that made me feel the love. "Let It Be So" and "Down in the Valley" featured Paul's gospel-like vocals and the spot-on snap of the horn section. The main set came to a close with a Tom Waits cover, "Make It Rain,"—if only our parched state could get some. Then came the encore. Beginning with a Motown version of David Bowie's "Moonage Daydream," they created a new song from another world, one that would have made Ziggy Stardust proud. Next came Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You..." which was just what the shaman ordered. They dropped in "Call Me," before going all Beatles on us with a rousing, "I Want You (She's So Heavy)." One thing's for sure, I wanted more so bad. Rarely do you see a band tackle such a diverse catalog of songs. As the congregation left the service, there was a unified feeling, satiated in the soulful delivery from a band that's sure to deliver a sermon. Thanks to St. Paul, the Broken Bones and Lagunitas for taking me to the holy land, if only for a couple of hours.


Friday, August 7, 2015

It's Winter Somewhere

I'm left to hope, but will always believe, that winter is somewhere—it's just that the flakes don't land where I live. As California deals with a prolonged drought, as well as, the height of wild fire season, I felt the need for some solid precipitation. By the way, firefighters are bad asses and I wish them all the best. The video below is a friendly reminder to enjoy what nature allows. It's winter somewhere. 

4FRNT | Shaping Skiing


Thursday, August 6, 2015

PUBlication: Ready, Set, Growl

Sunday | Aug. 23rd | 2015

One of the newest, and yet somehow premier beer events, is Ready, Set, Growl, a marathon/beer festival in Santa Rosa. Last year at the inaugural celebration they poured Heady Topper, a sarcastic ooh is in order. Anyhow, there are three tiers of tickets and I recommend purchasing the topflight option—that way you'll receive a commemorative growler and T-shirt. The second Ready, Set, Growl is in cahoots with the Santa Rosa Marathon. Running from 11:00am to 3:00pm, the forty plus breweries will be situated in Juilliard Park. Mark your calendars for Sunday, August 23rd, if you're interested in a little cheer and some good beer. For tickets click here.

Monday, August 3, 2015

PUBlication: Brew Detective

Tap It Brewing Co. | IPA
Tap It Brewing Company, out of San Luis Obispo, makes one hell of an IPA. It's simply called an India Pale Ale. What a concept?  I was unaware of their award winning ways. Having returned from the coastal county of San Luis Obispo, which was amazing, I had   stashed a collection of 22's. One of the first selections I chose to get into was the IPA from Tap It. I wish I had bought more of these.

This beer has a tropical nose, the most prevalent of which is citrus. It's fragrance is otherworldly, just let it relax in the glass for moment or two. I suggest using that time to take-in the amazing church-glass quality of the color. The transparent yellow-orange hue of this IPA reminds me of California Poppies. 


The initial taste has a lot of dynamic fruit, plus just enough bitterness—the flavor stays put. Citra and Simcoe hops are the known entities, with two undisclosed varietals added for good measure. Find your supply of this IPA as soon as humanly possible. Enjoy responsibly. 7% | 72 IBUs