I knew it! And the good folks at TheBeerinMe.com confirmed my suspicions. They write: “…indeed Hopfen und Malz is a marketing name used by Gordon Biersch. So that is who brews the Costco beers (they brew Trader Joe’s also).” Of course, they knew this way back in Dec. 2008…the other day, when I laughed at my cousin for having Kirkland Signature beer (i.e., from Costco) in his fridge, and then when he gave me the German Style Lager, Pale Ale, and Amber Ale to take home to try, I stopped laughing and was like ‘Dude. This totally reminds me of the beer that Trader Joe’s sells under their label.’ The taste was good quality and even the labeling/descriptions of the beer were similar. So now that we know it’s all brewed by the same company, Gordon Biersch (of Palo Alto, CA.) I knew it. I need to hit up my friends with Costco memberships now…good beer at a good price for your next backyard BBQ party.
I also finally went to the Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel for the first time. You can’t drink beer unless you buy something to eat, but there are plenty of good sandwiches and other eats, so that part is easy. The hard part is picking out the beer you want. They have it all! I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say they have well over 400 beers on their list, and that doesn’t include the monthly-draught picks. Every month, they rotate their taps and feature either 9 beers from 1 brewery, or they go with a different theme every month. I met Marlene, who explained that Oktober is always German beers, November is the month of strong ales, December is winter/seasonal brews. Next month will be all Stone Brewery ales on tap, and so forth. I wanted to try something I’ve never had before, so when I told her I liked the British style ales, she pulled out a dusty old bottle of Thunder Storm English wheat ale, bottle conditioned, and very tasty. For those of you who like the wheaty Belgians or German brews, this English weat ale is a nice variation. It pours almost a blonde unfiltered yellow with a good head and while it’s easily comparable to its Belgian or German brethren, this English wheat is unmistakably hopped with the British variety so the finish reminds you that you’re still drinking anEnglish ale, mate. I will look for Thunder Storm again at my favorite beer-nerd joints.
Okay. Back to the dissertation…Meantime, gonna pop open a Shiner Black Bohemian Lager to help with my, uh, writing process.