Beers I drink, Breweries

The Black Cock Chronicles

Who is to blame when a Groupon goes wrong?  The merchant?  Groupon themselves?  God?  Lets find out together.

It’s no secret that I’m cheap.  I learned it from the head cheap-o himself, The Old Man.  Together, we love a bargain.  Keep that in mind as you read my review.  So there was a Groupon for Black Cock Brewing Company in Orange, California and of course we pounced on it.  Black Cock used to be the Old Orange Brewing Company.  (Click the link to check out my previous review.)  OOB was not that great of a place to begin with.  Then, for reasons unknown to myself, they changed to Black Cock Brewing Co.  I was anxious to get to the newly named brewery and see what changes had come.

In some ways, @BlackCockBrewCo was just like @OldOrangeBrewCo.  Maybe they had the same decorator?  But the walls were hung with art work of their flagship beers.

With the Groupon in hand and my best drinking buddies behind me, we ventured into the Black Cock one Sunday.DSC09632 (2) - Copy  Immediately, we found out we couldn’t use our Groupon that day.  In the small print, which I had neglected to read (my bad), the terms were that you needed to make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance.  There was a sign too with the bad news.  I was bummed.

I got a shot of the menu board…

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As I checked out the menu, I kinda smiled to myself at the name of one of the beers: Dumb Bitch Denise.  What else would you expect from a brewery named Black Cock?  I decided to have the Dumb Bitch pale ale with a 6.6% ABV.  When I went to order it, I found myself having a hard time saying “dumb bitch” to the female brewtender.  Normally, “bitch” will come out of my mouth for the littlest reason, it’s one of my favorite words in fact and I love using it….around people who know me.  I didn’t know this lady and here I am asking her for a “Dumb Bitch Denise” and just hoping that she wasn’t Denise.  I found the name of the beer a little insensitive to say the least but the Old Man thought it was downright misogynist.  I know that it is probably coming across as too PC, I’m sure Black Cock’s patrons love the flippant manner and I just have a stick up my ass.  Whatever.

So the Dumb Bitch Denise was really tasty.  It was just a bit hoppy but not overwhelming.  When I was finished with my first pint, I tried a Kemeron which is a 7.2% American Pale Ale.  It was so delicious, the first sip was like drinking a Sprite.  The key lime is very prevalent but again, not overwhelming.  It wasn’t too citrusy, just crisp and refreshing.

Remember when I said I was cheap?  Well, here it comes.  Beers at Black Cock are $8.00 a pint.  That is way overpriced.  I went to Karl Strauss later in the day and paid $6.50 for beers that were better tasting with higher ABV’s.  I realize small breweries are the latest thing but that’s no reason to bend me over the barrel on the cost of a pint.

We hung around and drank pints for a couple of hours.  Black Cock has lots of games to play like Jenga, shuffleboard, and board games in a corner.

They even have a popcorn machine that is always full of hot buttery popcorn.  So good for my low sodium diet!  DSC09590

And a giant Connect Four game.  DSC09627 - Copy

There is definitely no shortage of things to do at Black Cock.

And they offer something no other brewery does: the option to add 200 mgs of cannabis oil to your beer.  It’s an expensive treat at an additional $15 per “Splash” and $30 per pint but some people are really into the whole CBD thing so it could be worth it just for that option.   Me? DSC09611 (3)I prefer to go around the corner and toke a preroll.  It’s cheaper and I like THC more than CBD’s.

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This guy!

Black Cock also offers 32 ounce versions of their beers all “Super Size Me!” style.  I didn’t see it on the menu but my friend visiting from North Carolina got one.  He’d be pissed if I used his name so lets just call him “Brian.”

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From Hawaii…

We had a good time that Sunday despite not being able to use the Groupon.  We scored some cool gifts from the Eichels who had just returned from their vacation in Maui.  The Old Man wanted to eat and continue drinking so we headed over to Karl Strauss in Anaheim near the Angels Stadium.  Totally different experience.  Cheaper beers, good tofu appetizer…. Karl Strauss has it all.  I even took a couple of shots to commemorate the difference.

Flash forward one week later after we had made our reservations…

The brewtender remembered us and so did the guy I assume is the owner and/or manager of Black Cock Brewing Company.  They explained that because of unseasonal weather, some of their beers weren’t available.  They only had numbers 4 through 8 on the menu board.  This was back when I still thought we would get to choose what beers we wanted for our 4 bombers that were included in the Groupon.  They said if we wanted to come back when they had more beer selection to redeem our Groupon, that would be okay.

 

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A murder of growlers

We were kinda annoyed at that news.  We didn’t feel like hanging out again with the limited selection of brews.  The guy behind the bar said if we stayed he would give us official Black Cock undies for girls and boys.  Tempting but it wasn’t enough to keep us there and we ended up going to Chapman Crafted Brewery in Orange, just down the street a couple miles.

The next Sunday after that we went camping so we skipped that weekend.  We came back the Sunday after camping and were happy to hear that all the brews were available.  Ck & Carie got their 2 flights and we got the first 2 of the 4 flights coming to us.  The flights consist of 4 beers at 4 (maybe 5) oz. each.  There are 8 beers on the menu and we tried one of each.

I liked the selection and every beer was tasty.  Some I had tried 3 weekends before and I got to try others that I normally wouldn’t have.  The top 2 beers that stood out were the Chocolate Persuasion and one that wasn’t on the menu last time called Cock-a-something.  The picture I took on the third visit turned out blurry so I don’t know the full name.  The Cock-a-whatever was brewed with a chile pepper and had a spicy taste.  The Chocolate Persuasion was a 7.2% ale with a distinct yet mellow chocolate taste with some creaminess.

The Old Man and I traded our final 2 flights in for pints.  Being creatures of habit, we had the Dumb Bitch Denise.  When we finished those, we had two more pints, I went with the Kemeron since I had liked it so much before and Sean had the Cock-a-something beer.  We talked about what beers we wanted for our bombers and came up with a list of 4 starting with the highest percentages.

But when it came time to get our bombers and go, we found out that they were prefilled 22 oz bottles of Back Door Blonde.  We were like, “Wha?”  Back Door Blonde would’ve been my last choice for what I wanted to take home because it is only a 4.0% ABV.  The tender didn’t even tell us what beer it was.  She told Carie a few minutes before when she picked up their 2 bottles.  Plus the bombers had Cannonball Imperial IPA labels and upon closer inspection were revealed to be left-over stock from the Old Orange Brewing Company.  We felt like we had been scammed.  So that happened.

I posed the question in the beginning, who is to blame?  I put all the confusing small print, deceptive take-home bombers, and the annoyance of having to come back 3 times square in the lap of Black Cock.  And a little bit of God’s fault because the weather was not hot enough to put the beers in the bright tank or whatever.

I went there to check it out and I did.  I liked Old Orange better because they didn’t have names that were offensive to this stuck-up old biddie.

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Fancy a flight?

Their beers are pretty good, if not great, tasting but I noticed as I was going through the flights that there was an underlying similarity to all the brews.  Like you could just tell they were all from the same brewery.  But I really don’t care about those things because I’m not going back to Black Cock.  My whole experience with this brewery should’ve happened in one day.  Instead it took 3 weeks to finally get to redeem the Groupon.  And then, the 22 ouncers sucked.

The best part about Black Cock, the one thing that would make me reconsider returning, is the friendly, helpful attitude of the brewtender behind the bar.  Every time we were there, she had a smile and bought drinks to our table and made our experience a little better.  I feel really bad about trash-talking Black Cock because of her.  The guy I assume is the owner was nice also but he is probably the “brains” behind the Groupon scam so I will leave it at that.

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Costume party? Sorry, I’ll be at Bottle Logic.

 

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Beers I drink, Breweries

Cismontane Brewing Co. Date Night

When a local brewery, like Cismontane, gets together with a discount site, like Groupon, it’s like magic.  For the tidy sum of $20, the Old Man and I went out on a date and tried some really delicious beers in Santa Ana, CA.  I’m not sure how long Groupon will have this sale going on in cahoots with Cismontane Brewing Company so you better get your ass in gear and buy in.  There are several options to choose from depending on whether you have 2 or 4 folks in your party.  Honestly though, it doesn’t matter if you are 2 people and you buy the Groupon for 4.  That’s what I did and I didn’t get sent to hell.  It just makes better sense financially to buy in bulk, right?

 

DSC09469 (2)     It was a Tuesday night, aka “Cask Night,” at @Cisbrewco and SoHo Tacos food truck was there serving up the eats.  It was expectantly crowded when we walked in, almost all the tables were taken and most of the seats along the bar.

I mozied on up to the brewtender and showed her my Groupon.  She marked it as redeemed and gave me 2 slips of paper to write what brews we wanted in the 2 flights and then she handed over 4 wooden tokens to use when we wanted to get down to pint-guzzling.  DSC09459   I like that method a lot.  When I go wine tasting, I am always worried about how the host will remember what wine I had last.  I’m afraid she’ll forget one of the wines and I’ll get gyped.  But this way, you have physical tokens you are holding in your hands to turn in when you want.  The brewtender even told us we didn’t have to use all 4 of the tokens that night, we could use them another time if we wanted.  Super efficient!  I love it!

So here is a pic of the menu board.  There are a lot of choices.  At Cismontane, a flight consists of 5 4-oz. pours so you can try quite a few.

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In honor of Cask Night at Cismontane, I tried the Black & Blue for my first flight choice.  Black & Blue is an 8% Imperial Stout made with blueberries that is mild and pleasant tasting.  The blueberries were hard to discern on my palette but there was a slight sweetness to it that I know was because of the addition of fruit.  Next, I went with a Citizen lager.  How could I resist Beavis & Butthead?  The Citizen was a 6% lager trying to be an IPA with an IBU measurement of 45.  I liked it.  I was expecting something light but the hops were very prevalent.

My last three choices were all IPAs; starting with a Back That Thing Up, then a Hop Dumpster, and finishing with a Pretty Fly For A Light Guy.  The stats on the first two are impressive.  The Back That Thing Up was a floral, tasty IPA with an ABV of 8.3% and an IBU rating of 90.  The Hop Dumpster was an extremely palatable and smooth double IPA that comes in at 100 on the IBU scale and a solid 8% ABV.  I loved them both but I really loved Hop Dumpster.  I ended my flight with a Pretty Fly For A Light Guy.  It was only a 4.1% session IPA but I got it because of the connection to Offspring, a lil’ ol’ OC band that made it to the big time.  The IBU was 52 and the hoppy bitterness was there but just not enough for my tastes.  It’s a light brew and named appropriately.

The Old Man’s flight was pretty similar to mine but with 2 differences.  The Coulter IPA, with a 7.2% ABV and 60 IBUs, was extraordinairy.  The Strawberry Letter 23 tasted like candy it was so good.  It’s a strawberry blonde with a decent ABV of 5.5%.  Just a taste of the Letter 23 was all I needed, it is sweet and fruity.

We finished our flights and got ready to redeem some tokens.  For the first round, we both revisited the Hop Dumpster.  It’s an incredible beer and I would drink it again for sure.

The brewtender called “Last Call!” so we downed those Hop Dumpsters and ordered our second and last round of the night.  We both got the Coulter IPA and sat around drinking those and chatting with this guy about random stuff related to sound engineering until the brewtender was done cleaning.  Look at how spotless that bar is!DSC09463 (2)

Cismontane had a good selection of merch, like shirts and hats, but it runs on the pricey side.

 

 

There was only one complaint I had about my date night.  The temperature inside Cismontane was practically unbearable.  It was just another hot-as-fuck night in So Cal and there was only one industrial-sized, stationary fan blowing towards the bar.  The door was open which only let the heat get in instead of providing a way for a breeze to blow through the building.  Fan?  No help.  DSC09456_LI (2) Open door?  No help.  Christ!  Does someone have to die of heat stroke before they air condition that place?

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This sticker of our President as the Devil seemed like a good theme pic for the night since it was hot as Hell.

 

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Breweries, Stuff i do when i drink

Getting Trivial with Leonardine Industries

Ever since OC Pop Quiz and the OC Weekly teamed up to host a trivia competition in which the Lagalots failed miserably back in early October, we haven’t been to a regular Wednesday trivia night at @BackstreetBrew.  It’s not like we were ashamed to show our loser faces, we just got really distracted by life.  But last Wednesday, we decided to have a night out with some fun trivia on the side.

I checked Groupon and there was a deal that I quickly bought.  It was $22.00 for 4 pints of beer and 4 flights.  A great bargain in itself but Groupon let me use a coupon code that gave me $5.00 off so in the end, I got my deal for $17.00.  It was worth downloading the Groupon app and kept me in beers the whole night.

The Old Man and I started with our flights.

Image result for flight of beer

I got a sampling of the lighter lagers and ales with my heaviest being a 5.9% called Trifecta Pale Ale.  Sean got some of the stronger ones and his favorite was the Holy Shizz Imperial Red, it’s a 12% or something close to that.  An interesting and tasty beer I tried was the Mango & Habanero.  It was so sweet at first and kinda pulpy when you held it up to the light.  It went down smooth.  And then the habanero kicked in and my throat burned like a mother fucker.  Sweet and spicy is a great combination.

For our second round of flights, we both just got our favorites from the menu and shared each one.  When it came time for us to get our pints, I went with a Set Sail IPA and so did the Old Man.  We weren’t even finished with those before we were ordering our last round of pints.  We were a little tipsy so we stuck with a 5% Vienna Lager to close the night out and the brewery down.

There were six teams competing that night and it was only the second time that Leonardine Industries has played.  The usual suspects were there, like Quiz On My Face, but there were some new faces & team names too.  Quizmaster Doug was already there when we arrived so we knew it was gonna be a fun and fast evening.

In the first round, Leonardine did okay.  We knew that Sturgeon is prized for caviar and that Papa Johns is the official sponsor of the Super Bowl and that the first animal

Image result for first dog in space

in space was a dog but we didn’t know who Quasimodo fell in love with (Esmerelda, btw) or that the latin root of Malaria is “bad air.”  We ended up getting 4 points out of six and we got the bonus wrong.  It was about the Super Bowl attendance and we guessed 120,000 because we don’t know anything about the capacity of stadiums.  But Team Ramrod knew and when they rolled the die, they got to steal a point from another team.  Luckily they didn’t choose us and we came in tied for second place.

Round 2 was hard.  It wasn’t about balls so we had that in our favor.  The task was to name 10 musicians/bands that toured in 2015 and made more than 50 million or something like that.  The only thing we could think of to do was to name all the artists that we hear about all the damn time on TMZ.  That turned out to be a pretty good strategy because we got seven points for a total of 11 and the lead.  Thanks Harvey Levin.  Yeah, yeah…I know you’re a lawyer.

Image result for harvey levin i'm a lawyer

The next round was worth a total of 9 points.  We got the first three right, which was the top tourist states in the US.  In a way that was too easy, we guessed California, New York and Florida and they were all correct.  The next three were so fucking difficult that I don’t even think that the fully assembled Lagalots could’ve known the answers.  We had to name 3 of the 6 musicians who had won an Oscar and also had a Billboard hit.  Wow.  Who the fuck knows that kind of information?  Certainly not us as we guessed wrong on all three.  The last question was to name 3 styles of iPod besides Touch and Mini.  Sean knew the Shuffle and the Nano but we couldn’t think of a third so we only got 2 right.  We got the bonus question wrong by the smallest fraction.  I thought the iPod came out in 2002 but it turned out to be 2001.  Two teams got it right and got to roll the die.  But the good news for us was that we were still in the lead with 16 points.

The picture round, the 4th one, was next and we had to name ten fruits with shitty ass quality pictures as the only way to identify them.  We did well, and I was really proud of myself for knowing the Dragon Fruit Image result for dragon fruitbecause I had just made a dragon fruit and pineapple sorbet the day before.  We didn’t know acai, we got figs and dates mixed up, and Sean had never even heard of a lychee.  We got seven out of ten and we were feeling pretty confident.  But we lost our lead and Quiz On My Face took the reigns.

Round 5…the Guess Who round.  We have a rule that I’ve stated before and I will state again now.  No matter how sure you think you are, don’t turn in the answer until after the 3rd clue.  That way, you’re sure and you get points instead of none at all.  So I know that rule but I like to break rules, i’m just that way.  I knew the answer was Gwen Stefani on the second clue.  Image result for gwen stefani no doubtSo did everyone else.  One team turned in their answer after the first clue and 2 other teams besides us turned in after the second one.  You don’t ask a question in Anaheim about Gwen Stefani and expect no one to know the answer.

 

Round 6 was the final one.  It’s just like round 1.  Six questions and a bonus.  Well we’re pretty damn good at these easy trivia questions by now so we got 5 correct.  We knew that James Earl Jones provided the voice for Mustafa (except the Old Man had to ask me who Mustafa was) and that crochet is like knitting but with one hook and that giant, one-eyed creatures are called Cyclops.  And thanks to the power of the eraser, we figured out how to spell “subpoena” after a few trial and errors.  The question we got wrong was in regard to the host of a foodie show on the Travel Channel.  I thought I knew the answer, Andrew Zimmern, but I was sadly mistaken.  We also got the bonus wrong again.  It was about the weight of the heaviest burger ever made and we guessed 3 pounds but it was actually something like 14 pounds.  Crazy ass meat-eaters.

Image result for huge burger

When the final results were announced, we had a score of 34 and we were in third place.  Quiz On My Face and Ramrod tied for first so there was a quiz off!  In 50 seconds, the teams had to name as many Las Vegas Strip hotels as they could.  The winner, with 13 named, was Quiz On My Face.  Congrats to them and to a battle hard fought.  We found out later that night that it was Quiz’s first time winning and they have been doing trivia night longer than we have.  So extra congratulations go out to those boys.

 

 

 

 

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