3hree Things: BEER!!!

Watch out for 3hree Things every Tuesday, in which Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California as an OC native.
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While we were on tour last summer, I combined my interest in craft beers and the traveling I was doing to create a daily beer blog of sorts, trying a new local brew each day (much to my liver's dismay), briefly commenting on it (or not), and hoping readers and/or fellow beer dorks would be either exposed to some new beers or able to recommend to me local favorites. It's kind of like my Random Start posts, but with beer instead of music.

I'm continuing that trend on this tour. We ask for and usually get a local brew on our tour rider, but most of the time, I just grab a couple of our crew guys and head for a preshow meal/beer at a restaurant, drafthouse or pub within walking distance of the club we're playing at. That's usually where I end up finding the best beers. What follows is a list of three of my favorites from this tour so far.

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Bell's Two Hearted Ale

Beer Advocate Score: A

Riley's Beer Dork Score: I want to pour it into my mouth forever.

Our tour manager, Brian, is a Michigan-native (where Bell's beers are brewed) and suggested (read: demanded) I try Bell's Two Hearted when we were out at the awesome little gastropub called Milltown in Carrboro last week. It blew me away. It might be the best IPA I've ever had, and I've had a lot.

A user review on Beer Advocate reads: 

Pours a deep golden, with a one-finger head that dissipated quickly. Slight lacing on the glass. Smells of tropical fruit, citrus zest, a little pine. Malt flavor up front, with a hint of the hops in the finish. Mouthfeel was a little thin.

I don't know what the fuck any of that means. (Also, "mouthfeel" is a horrible, horrible word and needs to go away immediately or yesterday.)

I'd review it like this:

It bursts from a pint glass like a glorious, moderately hoppy, winged phoenix that flies directly into your mouth area to give your taste buds a blowjob while it fires millions of delicious flavor lasers at your tongue and unleashes lightning bolts of happiness into your limbic system. A celebration of yumminess mitigated only by how fast you can pour it into the biggest hole in your head.

In short, it's AWESOME.

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Breckenridge Brewery Vanilla Porter

Beer Advocate Score: B-

Riley's Beer Dork Score: I want a pipeline from Colorado that flows directly to a tap in my kitchen. With my last name, I should be able to make that happen, right?

I didn't find this one at a local brew; it was graciously bestowed upon me as a "beginning of tour" gift from Greg from Moving Mountains. I'd heard a lot of great things about Breckenridge beers, specifically the Vanilla Porter, but hadn't had the opportunity to try any of them because they're tough to get in SoCal. Thankfully, Greg and the guys stopped through Breckenridge, Colorado, on the way to Vegas to meet up with the tour, and they grabbed me a sixer sampler of Breckenridge's finest. The Vanilla Porter did not disappoint. I'm not really a fan of sweet beers, but I found it vanilla-ish enough without being overpowering, coffee-ish without tasting muddy. It'd be an amazing compliment to a stack of pancakes and a pile of bacon. The perfect breakfast beer. Are we allowed to drink beer with breakfast?

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Duck Rabbit Milk Stout

Beer Advocate Score: B+

Riley's Beer Dork Score: It makes Guinness taste like leprechaun diarrhea.

A guy with a serious beard suggested I try this. When a guy with a serious beard recommends you try a beer, you listen. When you listen to a guy with a serious beard recommend a beer, you end up having one of the best beers you've ever had in your life and wish that you were capable of growing a serious beard so that you could recommend awesome beers to people and have them listen . . . and learn.

I'll keep it simple. (Also: Imagine that I just grew a beard. A serious one.)

If you like Guinness, stop drinking it and get some Duck Rabbit Milk Stout.

If you don't like Guinness, get some Duck Rabbit Milk Stout, drink it, grow a beard, then tell people to drink Duck Rabbit Milk Stout.

You're welcome.


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12 comments
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annika
annika

 I want a pipeline from Colorado that flows directly to a tap in my kitchen. (coffee and vanilla? --- if you get that pipeline done, would you mind filling a few bottles up for me? :P )

Samhoustonchick2002
Samhoustonchick2002

Saint Arnold in Houston has a micro-brew called Pumpkinator. It's supposed to be awesome. I don't know b/c I don't drink. But anyway, all of my friends love it.

Tuttle
Tuttle

When you stop by San Diego for your tour, swing by either A. Hamilton's, B. The Neighborhood, or C. Craft & Commerce and enjoy.

Nick
Nick

This is awesome.  When you guys hit Chicago, you gotta make sure to try 5 Vulture by 5 Rabbit Brewery.  One of my new favorites! 

Sebas
Sebas

"A guy with a serious beard suggested I try this. When a guy with a serious beard recommends you try a beer, you listen. When you listen to a guy with a serious beard recommend a beer, you end up having one of the best beers you've ever had in your life and wish that you were capable of growing a serious beard so that you could recommend awesome beers to people and have them listen . . . and learn."One of your best lines. Ever. Thank for blogging every Tuesday. It makes my day.

ryan
ryan

you made me giggle, and want to run out and get that IPA. I want a blowjob from a phoenix.  thanks.

David
David

Riley, you are in Montréal today (or tomorrow for your show). home of some amazing micro-breweries.  Top of the pack: Dieu de Ciel.  They've got some amazing in-restaurant beers that they don't export.  Also highly recommended: L’ Amère à Boire.  A great Montréal stout to check is St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout, and an amazing dark beer in Boréale Noire.  Happy drinking!

Brook183
Brook183

Two Hearted Ale is amazing. Spot-on description

Wrj05
Wrj05

I love beer, I love to laugh and I really love my daughter (who absolutely loves Thrice) and sent me Rileys blog even though I don't have a serious beard. Excellent and hilarious reviews Riley! Thanks to you both! beer dork for life

Kfleming1126
Kfleming1126

You didn't get any jersey local brews on your tumblr that I saw, only a yuengling. We have hop hazard and turnpike ale which are both phenomenal... Such a shame.

Jesse S.
Jesse S.

Your review for Bell's Two Hearted Ale is EPIC. Must try soon...

Alyssa
Alyssa

Currently on a mini brewery roadtrip (flew from CA to MI & taking a few days to hit up some breweries). We stopped at HopCat and Founders in Grand Rapids and are currently headed to 3 Floyds on the border of IL/IN. We will have to stop at Bells in Kalmazoo on the way back and try that! I didn't realize so many great beers came from this area, I thought CA had a lot...

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