The grills will be fired up and the dogs will be smokin’ from 4 to 10 pm.
K&A are rounding up choice sausages to tempt every appetite. Meanwhile, Brewcakes is playing around with Anaheim Beers to come up with scrumptious desserts to tempt us all.
It’s gonna be HUGE!
Anaheim Brewery’s flagship beer, Anaheim 1888, just won a Gold Medal at the 2013 Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition. The competition is part of the LA County Fair, which runs from August 30th to September 29th this year.
“We had 647 entries so the competition was definitely tough this year,” according to Jill Roman, Attractions & Competitions Supervisor for the Fair. The competition, instituted in 2000, awards gold, silver and bronze medals in 84 categories.
Anaheim 1888 earned its gold medal in the American-Style Amber Lager category. Anaheim 1888 is a copper-colored lager, full-flavored and hopped with generous amounts of Centennial hops. “It’s based on the style of beer that the original Anaheim Brewery produced in the late 1800’s,” says brewer and owner Barbara Gerovac. Anaheim Brewery’s “Dark Scotch Ale” also won an Honorable Mention in the Scotch Ale category.
Birthdays are always a great reason to celebrate, so join us in wishing a Happy 164th Birthday to Friedrich Conrad, proprietor of the Anaheim Brewery from 1872 to 1904. Friedrich was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1849, and arrived in San Diego in 1866 where, as a boy of seventeen, he set up shop as a cooper (barrelmaker). Friedrich moved to Anaheim in 1870 and opened a winery. Two years later, he opened the Anaheim Brewery.
Our party begins at 4 pm, with authentic Bavarian pretzels, great food from our friends at K&A Catering, and scrumptious desserts from Brewcakes. Vintage swing band Riff Raff will open our entertainment for the evening, followed by Brother Yusef and his “organic deep-fried fatback blues.”
Of course, no brewer’s birthday celebration would be complete without a special beer, so we’ve brewed one! “Conrad’s Kolsch” is styled after the top-fermented beers of Koln (Cologne), Germany. It is a light golden, pleasantly hoppy ale.
Our label is an interpretation based on a fragment from an Anaheim Beer label dating from the early 1900’s, skillfully recreated by our friends Jody Daily and Kevin Kidney. “Conrad’s Kolsch” will be available in bottles, growlers or draught.
Notice the phrase “In Pursuit of Happiness and Lager”? In 1899, the Los Angeles Turnverein (a German sports club) visited Anaheim to compete with our city’s Turnverein. The Anaheim Gazette reported that after the exhibition, the group “dispersed, and went in pursuit of happiness and lager.” The reporter then added that “they came for pleasure, and they got it.”
You’ll find “Happiness and Lager,” too, as we will be tapping the LAST KEG of Anaheim Doppelbock at 4 pm sharp.
Ah, Spring. The Beer Garden is bursting with newness. Our tree is covered with fresh green leaves; the vines are a riot of yellow flowers with hummingbirds zooming from blossom to blossom.
It’s time for Helles.
In Bavaria, Helles is the quintessential Beer Garden drink. Pale golden and medium bodied, Helles goes down easy, glass after glass.
According to the German Beer Institute, Helles is one of the rare beer styles with a definite birthday: March 21, 1894. The Spaten Brewery sent a test cask of blond lager to the port city of Hamburg on the North Sea. Spaten wanted to compete with the pale Pilsner lager from Bohemia, but wasn’t sure how it would go over in their hometown of Munich. Using the old salts in the Hamburg taverns as guinea pigs, they continued to work out the recipe for the next 15 months. It wasn’t until June 20th of the following year that Munich natives got their first taste of Helles, but what a taste it was.
Until then, only dark beer was considered “real” Bavarian lager, perhaps because Bavarians love to drink their beer from traditional stoneware mugs or steins, and wouldn’t have noticed the color, anyway. Much of Europe had switched to glass vessels, in which the lighter colored beers appeared pure and clean. As the popularity of pale-colored beers in the rest of Europe grew, the Munich brewers followed with Helles Lager.
Even today, one in four beers drunk in Bavaria is a Helles.
Anaheim Helles Lager is refreshing beer with an emphasis on malt. You may notice some bready flavors along with a very slightly floral hop aroma, but very little bitterness.
Every time we brew this beer, we notice how popular it is with women. That made us think of singer and actor James Todd Smith, who in the 1980’s reminded people that “Ladies Love Cool James.” We know him now as the incomparable LL Cool J.
So try an Anaheim Helles, H-E-LL-E-S, and remember “Ladies Love Helles.”
As we looked at the calendar for the holidays, we realized that with Christmas and New Year’s falling on Tuesday, we’d miss out on K & A’s delicious tacos.
So we declared Friday, December 28th and January 4th as honorary Tuesdays.
Let the Taco Love flow, y’all.
Oktoberfest, for us, is an event that always leaves us with at least one unforgettable moment. Maybe it’s the combination of good friends and good beer, but each Oktoberfest gives us one of those stories that will get retold over and over. Like our friend Keith says, “You can’t make this shit up.”
In 1986, in Munich, it was the two German guys who we sat next to in the Hofbrau tent who (after many 1-liter beers) helped us find our bus home, even though all we could tell them was “it’s next to the ‘Drei Looper’ roller coaster.” [Drei Looper means Three Loops. It was amazing; you could see the Alps from the middle loop.]
Last year, it was the Mariachi Kid from the Orange County Mariachi Academy and RYTHMO, who, after their performance, jumped up on stage and joined the German band, sharing sheet music with one of the band members.
It may have been Mitch Caldwell’s expert tapping of the ceremonial keg. Normally, we’d reserve the honor of tapping the keg for the mayor, but he was out of town this year. So we auctioned off the privilege, with the proceeds going to Childrens’ Hospital of Orange County’s Childrens’ Oncology Department. Mitch’s generosity earned him the rights to tap the keg, and he clearly knows his way around a hammer.
Or maybe it was this…
Early in the afternoon, soon after the band started playing, we noticed the drummer and another band member trying to repair the strap on the bass drum pedal. If you were here this year or last year, and heard the excellent German American Brass band of Southern California, you’d know how important the bass drum pedal is. The drummer told us what she needed was a drill, so we offered to take the pedal into the brewery and try and fix it.
As we made our way through the Tasting Room, we found our brother-in-law, Gerry. He’s a musician, and he’s also the family Rocket Mechanic – his day job is building things that fly into space. So we asked him to join us in the back. After looking over the pedal and the strap, Gerry said, “What we need is a piece of leather.”
Earlier in the day, we were discussing the proper way to wear lederhosen, and decided that the suspender straps on Greg’s were a little bit too long. So Barbara took out a pair of serious scissors, and cut a few inches of the leather suspender strap. It was a perfect match for the drum pedal strap, with a little decorative stitching thrown in. A few minutes of drilling holes and bolting it into place, and we had a working bass drum pedal to present to the drummer!
What will it be in 2013?