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what's your favorite beer? I have always liked san miguel dark. rich and nutty. it's not available in many places.

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  1. I overdosed on San Miguel when I was in the Philipines, since that's all they had there.

    I usually pick up Gordon Biersh Marzens at the Grocery. Also like MacTarnahan's. As far as Mexican beer, I try to stick with the Pacificos. Usually stick with Asahi's at Sushi joints, dunno...not great, but its there I guess. Recommend trying the Spaten Optimator. PRetty good, from what I remember. Also pick up the seasonal beers by Pete's wicked ale and Sam Adams.

    Had this awesome Rouge Ale Hazelnut Brown Nut beer when I was in oregon. Its a microbrewery based out of Newport, Oregon.

    Yardhouse in Long Beach has a LOT of beers on Tap. Thye have a big menu.

    1. j
      Joshua Gitelson

      My favorite reasonably available beer is called Xingu. It's a dark black, chocolatey stout that my wife likes to describe as Guinness without the edge. It's made in Brazil, but oddly, you can find it at most Ethiopian restaurants, expecially Nyala on Fairfax. You can also get it at Barney's Beanery in WeHo, and of course you can buy it at places like The Wine House (2311 Cotner Ave. in WLA) that have extensive beer sections.

      Other treats that you'll probably only find at The Wine House: Aecht Schlenkerle is a real German Rauchbier (or Smoke Beer) that will astound you, especially if you pair it with some good smoky sausages or barbecue; Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout is another good one...

      These are all dark; guess that's the mood I'm in. But I really recommend that you go to the Wine House and spend some time browsing their selection, maybe talking to the folks there, and picking a bunch of bottles you're interested in. A great field trip!

      1. McMenamins PURPLE HAZE is yummy. Have not found it here...it's in Portland, OR.

        1. Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss (also the Berry Weiss) with a wedge of lemon in it. It's not available here, brewed in central Wisconsin, but it was the drink of choice throughout college.

          1 Reply
          1. re: PRSMDave

            hey, i was gonna say all that, including the bit about leine's being the beer of choice during college.

            i'm partial to their red, hefeweissen, and northwoods lager too. whenever i come back from wisconsin or minnesota my luggage includes a case of their beer. i am not a big girl, and i refuse to check baggage, so this has got to be good stuff if i'm willing to huff it along by hand.

          2. Hoegaarden! Can never find it anywhere, though. There's at least one restaurant in Santa Barbara that has it on tap.

            1. Chimay, from Belgium. The only restaurant in SoCal I've seen it is Memphis, on Bristol St. in Costa Mesa (an underpriced gem itself). The beer comes only in big bottles with a cork, just like wine bottles.

              4 Replies
              1. re: DavidT

                Where I live, Chimay also comes in small bottles with a crown cap.

                Which one do you like? There's red, white and blue, which have fancy names these days that I can never keep track of.

                I believe red is the original, blue is what many consider the ultimate, and white is a pale, hoppy beer, unlike the other two, which are deeply colored, with wonderful fruity, yeasty notes.

                1. re: Jim Dorsch

                  Of the remaining true Trappist ales of Belgium (I think there are about 8 left?) Chimay is probably the easiest to find in the US ... you can usually get it at Trader Joes, for example.

                  The red is their basic ale, at a strong 7% alcohol; I believe the white is what's known as a "dubbel" in Belgium (sharper, spicer taste, less fruity) at an even stronger 8%, and the blue is really divine stuff indeed, but be careful with it; it's a whopping 9%.

                  You can also find it at Galco's, which carries most of the other beers mentioned in this thread (Xingu, the rauchbiers, McTarnahans, oatmeal stout, etc.) plus a pretty big assortment from around the world. I've recently discovered some of the ale-on-lees beers from Quebec there at Galco's ... great stuff for winter.

                  1. re: Bradbury

                    I believe there are now six Trappist breweries in Belgium: Chimay, Westvleteren, Rochefort, Orval, Westmalle, and the newest one, Achel. There is also a fairly new Cistercian brewer: Abbaye du Val-Dieu.

                    Chimay White is called a Tripel on the label, but I don't think it fits the style, as it's rather hoppy. (Dubbel is a dark beer.) Either way, all three Chimay beers are great.

                    Orval is pretty easy to find, and this should be true of Westmalle soon, as Vanberg & DeWulf have announced they have import rights to the Eastern US, and I assume someone has the rights for the West as well.

                    I haven't seen Xingu out here in the East in a long time.

                    Are the Quebec beers from Unibroue? Nice ...

                    1. re: Jim Dorsch
                      Richard Mendell

                      The Yard House in Long Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa and the desert has Chimay (and many other Belgians) on draught.


              2. v
                Vanessa On The Town

                Stella Artois (Belgium), Shiner Bock (Texas), Bohemia (Mexico), Tecate w/salt and lime in summer (Mexico), Crown Lager (Australia), and various Weissbraus w/ lemon

                1. BEER BEER BEER...what could be more glorious..well there's women and great food:) ..anyways...some faves:

                  pilsner urquell
                  samuel smith oatmeal stout
                  newcastle brown
                  pacific brewing company (Santa Cruz)ale
                  front st. brewery ale (Santa Cruz)
                  Red Hook (the beer not the projects in NY) ESB
                  Kirin Extra Dry
                  PEtes Wicked ALe Christmas thingy that tastes of berries
                  chimay blue
                  Sierra Nevada.....and the good old college standby: a forty ouncer (or 3) of delicious charcoal filtered MIckeys...lol..hmmm....which gives me the idea....is it appropriate to have a chowhound beer taste off???? id be up for it...some beer and food, with some great people????
                  bye bye

                  1. Picking your fav beer is like picking your fav movie, restaurant, wine...too many factors invovled. That aside, some of the best most consistent microbrews, IMHO, are those by Anderson Valley Brewing Co, Hair of the Dog, Mendocino Brewing Co, Anchor Brewing Co and Deschutes Ales. I am partial to IPAs, ESBs, seasonals and stouts. Taste aside, I find McGuire's "What the gentleman on the floor is having" ale to be quite good.

                    1. r
                      Richard Mendell

                      Has anyone seen a bar or brewpub with handpumps in LA lately?

                      Used to be that Rock Bottom in Long Beach, Steelhead in Irvine and the John Bull in Pasadena had them but the brewpubs have removed theirs and the John Bull is now an El Cholo.

                      The Bay Area and Seattle are lousy with them (as is, obviously, England), but we seem so deprived down here.

                      Oh handpump (and cask ale, for that matter), where arte thou?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Richard Mendell

                        Richard- You are not the only soul who craves for the refreshing experience of hand-pull ales!!! My second wife(my golfing buddy) are always on the prowl searching high and low. We both were disappointed when the John Bull closed. There is a small place in Old Town Pasadena (can't remember the name at the moment-but they were always out of it when we were in that area. BJ's Pizza & Brewery (in Woodland Hills) has a special cask opening every Thursday at 5p.m. But my friend & I like the real true flavors of England , Scotland--BJ's makes the wierd flavors -like putting in cherries or oranges!!! My first wife(who doesn't golf) is from England. And when we go over there for vacation, I just indulge till my hearts content. Drinking ales at 55 degrees is not what everybody thinks is warm. Plus no carbonation means -no blelching and can drink more pints without getting full. From what I understand one reason that LA pubs don't have them is that -the hyper health dept. codes are so strict about the ales going back down in the casks. Cause the shelf life of casks are short therefore if not used up fast (spoilage and I think you can fill in the blanks)!!!

                        1. re: RICKSRIBS

                          Do you read Celebrator Beer News? Maybe that'll help you locate the elusive elixir. See link below.

                          Link: http://www.celebrator.com

                          1. re: RICKSRIBS

                            Ask Dave at Lucky Baldwins in Pasadena. In the alley just south of Colorado at Raymond. Great beer selection. Lots of Belgians. He used to keep to handpumps on. One was always Fuller's ESB. He doesn't have them up right now. Maybe if enough of us ask he'll put them back up. I go to SF often to take care of my cravings. Toronado, Magnolia, and Zeitgeist are some of the best.

                        2. j
                          john gonzales

                          I'm more of a wino, but Father's Office has some really good beers on tap (along with great burgers).
                          I love Red Hook Extra Stout Black (ESB?) Dark, rich, and has some sort of coffee nuance going on.