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Beer Names #2 - Foxtail Rye XPA

We're excited to introduce the Foxtail Rye XPA.  It's our first attempt at a rye beer at the Rambler and we're proud of how it came out.   It's named after the foxtail pine (Pinus balfouriana) and it is a high elevation tree found only in California.  There are two separate subspecies of foxtail pine and one is in the High Sierra and the other is in Northern California in the Klamath Mountains.   The tree is closely related the bristlecone pine and it's common to hear someone say they saw a bristlecone pine in the Sierra, which is impossible, so clearly they saw a foxtail.  

Foxtails have been one of my favorite Sierra trees for many years.  The photo above was taken in 2011 on the Kearsarge Pass trail.   Pierce, our head brewer, and I were trying to think of a good name for this rye XPA that we had in tank.  We came up with a bunch of possible names, but none were really good.  Finally, it came to me...Foxtail!  It's our first beer named after a tree, or any plant.   I try to picture people ordering these beers at the bar and in my mind it sounded cool to say, "I'll take a foxtail."  Or, "I'd like a pitcher of foxtail."  Heck, wouldn't it be cool if someone ordered a keg stand of foxtail!  We don't offer keg stands, but feel free to buy a keg of foxtail and tell me how it goes.  

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We've a had people ask what an XPA is and why not just call it an IPA?   An XPA is an extra pale ale.   It's a real style.  According to style, this beer, with an ABV of 6.2% is a little too big to be called a pale ale.  I like to think of XPAs as somewhere between a pale ale and an IPA, however, I would say it's closer to a pale ale.  Also, if we called it an IPA it might be considered a weak IPA, whereas if you call it a "big" pale ale then your expectations totally change.  Enjoy and let me know what think.  Thanks for reading.  - Joe

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Another Year in the Books

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Another Year in the Books

As 2016 comes to a close I'm looking back on the year and grateful for how far we've come. 

Some of the highlights of 2016 include being open 7 days a week (we used to be closed on Mondays). We attended 4 beer festivals (up from 2 beer fests from last year) including Mammoth Lakes (Bluesapalooza), June Lake (June Lake Autumn Beer Festival), Sacramento (California Beer Summit) and Long Beach (Beer Camp Across America).   We almost doubled our beer production from 293 barrels last year up to over 600 barrels for 2016 (there is 31 gallons in a barrel).  Bigger bands are stopping by, including acts like Way Go Lily, Sextones, Dead Winter Carpenters, Sweetwater String Band, Bodie 601, The Shifting Sands, Ventucky String Band, Hoot and Holler, and the Tresspassers.  We were one of four recipients of the Sierra Vision Award from the Sierra Business Council.  And, finally, we're crushing out some awesome food and beers.  I think total we did around 20 beer styles in 2016, and in my humble opinion, they were all good (trust me, we wouldn't release them if they were bad).  The kitchen and pub have been recognized as one of top restaurants in Bishop, well Bishop is a small town, but we're happy with all the food compliments we get from locals.  

For 2017, we have some big plans.  We're expanding our brewing operation to include four more brewing tanks.  This will expand our brewing volume by potentially three times, but it will take a couple years to fulfill that capacity.  This will allow us to be on tap at more places in the Owens Valley and Mono County.  Future bottling and canning are on our minds, but are at least a couple years away.  Also, we're planning to bring more quality music acts to town.   Check out our events calendar for the latest confirmed acts.   Expect more ticketed shows this year as we try to accommodate bigger touring acts.  In addition, we want to bring different types of music like jazz and reggae.  Please buy tickets if you can because it really helps us make sure it will be a successful show.  Our food menu will continue to improve, innovate, and change with new seasonal menu items.  For me personally, I'm going to make a huge effort to get out on more runs, backpack trips, cycling adventures and other outside shenanigans.   That's all for now.  Thanks for everyone's support in 2016!  

Cheers,    - Joe

  

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Beer Names - Part 1 -  Peaklet Porter

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Beer Names - Part 1 - Peaklet Porter

We're often asked about our beer names and where they come from.  This is going to become more a regular installment on the brewery blog.

The first beer to discuss is our Peaklet Porter.  There are a few types of porter and this one falls into the robust porter category.   It's named after a cool peak in the Sierra called Peaklet.  It was named by Smoke Blanchard many years ago.   Normally, you can't see it very well from town, because it is dwarfed by the much higher Mount Humphreys.   On certain days when there is a storm heading over the Sierra there is an unusual phenomenon that happens in which Mount Humphreys gets covered by the clouds, but Peaklet doesn't.   The cool part is that you can see Peaklet all alone, which really makes it look proud and amazing.  I call this the Peaklet effect.  See this photo that I took a few years back that shows the Peaklet effect.  Peaklet is the peak in the middle with three points on the summit.  

Cheers,  - Joe

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