Worthy Brewing

Month: April 2014

Calling All Hop Bombers!

Wed, 30 Apr 2014 18:55:00

Worthy is pleased to sponsor the 8th Annual Dana Point Grand Prix and Cycle De Mayo Street Festival, this Sunday, May 4th, in Dana Point, California.

The DPGP, with a prize list of over $32,000, will include a full day of kids races, public races, and amateur and pro criterium races.  The marquee event, the John Johnson Family Men’s Pro Race, will start at 4pm.

To “hop up” the racers, Worthy Brewing will offer a special $1,000 cash prize and jersey to the most combative rider. A three judge panel, include former Olympian Steve Hegg, race announcer extraordinaire David Towle, and our founder Roger Worthington, will choose the winner.

The panel will be looking for the same qualities in the racers that locals want in a San Diego “Hop Bomb” – over the top hop zestiness, gnarly barleyness, foamy headedness, inexhaustible bubbliness, and crowd electrifying punchiness.

Worthy is not licensed to sell beer in California, yet. We are pleased to join with friends Karl Strauss and Sierra Nevada, two outstanding breweries who have been sponsoring the DPGP the past several years. Sierra Nevada will be serving great craft beer all day in their beer camp on Turn No. 1.

Prior to the Johnson Family Pro Men’s Race,  local guitar legend KK Martin will play The Star Spangled Banner.  If you liked Jimi’s version at Woodstock on Youtube, you’ll Love Martin’s amazing showmanship live.

Worthy would like to thank the City of Dana Point for their steadfast support of the DPGP the past 8 years. Los Angeles and Orange Counties lately have become notorious for their high incidence of car-bike related fatalities, ranging from simple negligence to manslaughter.  Kudos to Dana Point for promoting bike safety and respect when too many neighboring cities seem to be turning a blind eye on the rights of cyclists.

We’d also like to thank the Johnson Family for their advocacy efforts on behalf of mesothelioma victims. John Johnson was poisoned by asbestos as a plumber, contracted meso, pursued aggressive medical treatments, fought the legal fight, but succumbed to the deadly cancer.  The Family continued the fight by helping change the rules governing depositions of in extremis plaintiffs, as well as championing efforts to create a meso treatment program for veterans at the West LA VA.

As always, Go Hard at what you love. And whenever reasonably possible: Drink Up and Dream On.



Pounding Idiots! Worthy will be handing out the Worthy Idiot Pounder Prize (WIPP) to the most hopped up rider.

Go to the WIPP! Calling all agromaniacs: $1000 cash, plus a jersey, plus Worthy Beer. All you have to do is attack, pound and flail in fine epic fashion.

Worthy Flashing the Colors.

Semper Fi! The Johnson Family before the start of the 2013 DPGP Pro Men’s race. John Johnson was one tough marine.

A Worthy Day in Boise

Mon, 28 Apr 2014 18:55:00


The craft beer scene in Boise is hopping. Michelle and I loaded up the wagon and headed East to check it out. Naturally, the Walter Mitty in me imagined what a few of Boise’s landmarks might look like with a Worthy touch up.


We rented cruisers from Idaho Mountain Touring, which is a great place with a friendly staff. We rolled over to the beloved Boise River Greenbelt, a smart, smooth and gentle path through lush riparian habitats, and headed upriver. First stop was Bronco Stadium, with the iconic blue turf. The curtains match the carpet, no?


We crossed over the swift Boise River on a foot bridge near a golf course and it seemed appropriate to break out a can of the Easy Day Kolsch. Cruising on a fat tire bike with a big soft seat and a wire basket, checking out the sights, enjoying the sunshine, with no particular destination and no clocks — this is what we invented Easy Day for.

We came upon a garden of bright pink and orange tulips and they just sort of reached out for us.


I’d never been to Idaho before. My impression going in was that Idaho was another word for “potato.” I expected to see shiny bronze monuments glorifying the almighty tubers.  After all, Idaho is the leading producer of spuds (in front of Washington and Wisconsin). But the locals shrugged off the association, educating me that Idaho was instead “the gem state.” I learned that pioneers flocked to Boise and parts surrounding in the 1860’s because of the discovery of gold. Not finding any spud statues, we pedaled over to the local co-op to lay hands upon a bushel of home grown Yukon Golds. No, our IPA isn’t made with potatoes.


We stopped by the State Capital and found the obligatory Civil War vintage cast iron cannon. Not sure the last time this big fella erupted in fury. We learned it was a “sea coast cannon” used by the Confederacy in the Civil War.  Idaho didn’t join the Union until 1890.


In 1906, a bunch of motivated Boise schoolchildren cobbled the funds to build the “Pioneer Monument,” which depicts a Nez Perce Indian counseling an apparently lost Lewis and Clark on how to get back on The Oregon Trail. No, they probably were not asking for directions to “Beertopia.”


Boise’s vibrant downtown pub and restaurant scene lived up to its reputation. I’m sort of a fan of the back alleys, where a spray can and an independent spirit can sometimes unite with brilliant results. We found “Freak Alley,” a dumpster strewn corridor in which local artists are encouraged to let their “Freak Flag fly.” Even without a black light, the colorful murals at dusk cast a three dimensional glow that opens the mind’s eye.


No, alas, we found no potato pedestals, but we did find an interesting tribute to those brave and adventurous souls who came to Idaho 150 years ago to pan for gold. Today, the locals seem more interested in prospecting for the latest golden IPA.


After a fabulous day touring the University, the Greenbelt, the Capital grounds, and the Anne Frank Memorial (my favorite motto: “Idaho is Too Great for Hate”), we settled in for dinner at The Fork. We were absolutely dazzled by the asparagus fries, the roasted beets on a bed of warm Golden Greek cheese, the pan seared Idaho trout and the ale-braised short ribs. Scrumptuous! As an added treat, Shaun, the bar tender and our gracious server, poured us a can of Worthy Pale Ale from his superbly stocked cooler.

We had a wonderful trip, the locals were super friendly and we can’t wait to return.




By in The Contender 0

The Contender’s Ready to Rumble

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:55:00

In this corner…

Every craft worth it’s salt has it’s heavyweight.  You know, a Big Sledge Hammer of a beer. A beer as thick, heavy and god awful powerful as Mike Tyson. A beer you don’t mess with. One you respect. Maybe even fear. A burly brew you certainly don’t poke in the eye.

Weighing in at over 100 IBU, packing a 10.1 ABV wallop, with Plato numbers off the charts…

Let’s face it: sometimes balance is not the thing. Sometimes you want extreme imbalance. You want to get punched in the face, wobbled a tad, just to know you can take it.  Look, you beard a lion you know you’re gonna get scratched, maybe even eviscerated, but you gotta try, just to know you’re alive. And maybe a bit mad.

Packed with so much malt the mash tun runneth over.  Dry hopped 3 times, squeezing the juice out of 8 firebrand hops, including Amarillo, Citra, Chinook, Cascade, CTZ, Simcoe, Cascade, Centennial and Nugget…

Big may not be better but sometimes you want it loud, like “We Don’t Get Fooled Again” at full throttle. Or absurdly heavy, like a 2 door, 1971 Cadillac Eldorado.  Or wickedly powerful, like 190 proof Everclear on an empty stomach. Or just gluttonously huge, like that 72 oz Big Tex Steak down there in Lubbock.

….Tipping the scales at about 5 pounds of hops per barrel,…

Lets face it. Hop Bombs may not be the rage in the Pacific Northwest like they are down in San Diego, but  we Oregonians don’t back down simply because it may blow up.  We understand the rite of passage, the therapy of pushing the envelope, of flirting with foolishness. Go ahead, we say, hit me with your best shot.

Cooked up by Chad Kennedy, the Bard of Balance, normally a stick and move middleweight, fleet of foot, a lean and mean endurance guy who prefers to go the distance… The Bard trained hard for this, on red meat, potatoes and rotgut. Punched the sand-filled heavy bag off its supports.  Decapitated a small army of sparring partners.  Studied loops of Raging Bull, Rocky, Cinderella Man, and Along the Waterfront.  Repeats up the brewhouse stairs hoisting 200 lb sacks of malt. Tossed around 50 L kegs like popcorn.  Fired the medicine ball from a cannon into his belly without wincing. Stuck his arm in a jar of black widow spiders and rattlesnakes to vaccinate against the pain…

Can Worthy compete with The Heavyweights? Worthy likes to take balance to the extreme. Can we follow Blake’s infamous “road of excess to the place of wisdom?” We know what’s enough, yes yes. Can we toy with more than enough? Trespass into the danger zone? And yet: for all that brute bigness, the question taunts us: is it conceivable that even for a Big Muthuh of a Knockout Triple IPA, can Worthy deliver a knockout punch with a sliver of poise, panache and, wait for it… balance?

Ladies and Gentlemen, we introduce the challenger: The Condender!  Wait… What’s he doing? He’s fiddling with those big pillowy gloves. Is he? He looks like he’s… yes.. he’s .. taking them off! The Contender is removing his gloves. He’s showing his knuckles, taunting the Heavyweight Champion.  Folks, looks like we’ve got an old fashioned cage match…

Who will win? You decide. We’ve got a scant but dense six barrels. Prepared to be floored with over the top, freshly plucked, apricot fruit flavor. On tap Thursday. Step in the ring with … The Contender … if you dare.




The Contender will be released at the pub on Thursday. It’s Big, and Hop Punchy, but light on it’s feet. Keep your eyes open and your guard up.

The Contender floats like a butterfly, stings like a … honey bee. A honey bee that’s soaked up the sweet nectar of your juiciest apricot.

The brash Cassius Clay, against 8-1 odds, knocks out the indestructible Sonny “The Bear” Liston. The strategy? Pretend insanity. But wear him down and deliver a knock out punch.

The Thrilla in Manilla. With the crowd chanting “Ali: Bomaye!” (translated: Ali: Kill Him), Ali stunned the world with the coy “rope a dope.” When the cagy Ali finally came out swinging, the fatigued George Foreman was no match for Ali’s sweet revenge. Boom! Done.

By in Badlands Black IPA 0

Drink Badlands BLACK IPA. Get Good.

Wed, 02 Apr 2014 18:55:00

We don’t sojourn to the Badlands because it’s “bad.” We go there because it’s good. It’s where we go to escape the noise, the hustle, and the daily trespasses. It may be vast, Paleolithic, simple and stark, but finding yourself on the sandy floor of an ancient ocean does wonders for the imagination, as well as the senses.

In the same way, our Badlands Black IPA looks anything but complex. It’s dark, a color we tend to associate with roasty heaviness… stoutiness….and porterness.  Yet, if you close your eyes, and take a whiff, and let your senses truly lock in, you can visualize the fresh cut grapefruit, the juicy lemon and a fat and fragrant joint.

It’s like stopping amidst the gnarly junipers on the volcanic scree of the Flatiron Rock Trail to pick up a fossil, closing your eyes, and imagining a lush, long ago world where hungry T.Rex’s and scary finned and teethy shark-like creatures roamed the jungles and seas, respectively.

Well, maybe that’s a stretch. Let’s just say, the Badlands Black IPA plays tricks with your mind and delivers the unexpected.

The complexity comes from the way Chad brewed this beer, which we tapped from our 5 barrel system as part of our beloved “Heart and Soul Series” last week.  When it comes to balance, Chad is like a zen master. He will not abide a beer that is too bitter, or too sweet. His mission is to add here, subtract there until he finds that bittersweet spot.

Chad layered in hop additions during the boil every 15 minutes, as opposed to a simple bittering acid bedrock at the base and an aroma push at the end. It took more time, and a uni-tasker’s strict attention – not easy for a guy who’s simultaneously running a canning line, bottling line and a production brewhouse – but the fruits of said labor were more than worth it.

Chad carefully dosed the dark, roasted wort with the Church of Four C’s – Centennials, Chinooks, Cascade and CTZ — but his hop supplications were far from finished.  After fermentation, Chad double dry hopped his Heaven-bound brew with citrusy Citra with another “new” hop, El Dorado, renown for it’s stone fruity notes.

Is our Bad any Good? I had my first pint yesterday and took notes.  As you can see, with the rich crema head and mahogany blackness, my pre-quaff prejudice was towards a porter or stout. But the aroma came in with bright grapefruit and lemon, with a low to the ground dank pot-ness.

The first taste on the tongue was a strong roasted maltiness.  As it warmed, I detected notes of chocolate and coffee, although these sensations may simply have arisen from a mixture of auto suggestion and romance. As I said, the Badlands IPA is a tricksterish beverage that toys with the head and tongue.  My friend  took a pull and  imagined a chocolate tort with a raspberry drizzle, a strong and fairly unshakeable description I confess I was unable or unwilling to let go of.

All of this sounds “desserty” and “heavy” and yet the beer alights on the tongue with all the weight of fairy dust freshly sprinkled by a fasting Tinkerbell.

The finish is “hoppy,” which translates as a detectable coat of hop field bitterness on the tongue. And here’s the fun part – it’s pleasant.  The alcohol is warm and buzz worthy.

Folks, Badlands Black IPA has got legs. What does that mean? It means it’s got a future. It’s destined for The Mother Ship and eventually for delivery via cans or bottles or both.

“We’re limited on tank space but in June that will change,” predicts Chad, who never met a stainless tank he could not fill, on the double, on the spot.  “When we’ve got the new tanks, I’d like to share our Badlands Black IPA with everybody.” It has occurred to him to horde, a thought ratcheting up in its intensity as we approach our final keg.

“This is my favorite Worthy brew of late,” the Balladeer of Balance continued. “Drinking this beer is like getting lost in the Badlands — it helps me get shut of all the noise. And it opens my eyes to the amazing lights and colors all about, like a rainbow after a fresh rain in the high desert.”

OK. Those were not The Chadster’s exact words. The Badlands tends to make everything sound better.

Get Good. Drink Badlands Black IPA.


BTW – Please go chase a rainbow along the trail in the Badlands Wilderness Area, about 16 miles East of Worthy Brewing off of Highway 20.



A few minutes before this shot, Chad was in a foul mood. And then he clutched a pint of Badlands Black IPA, and the World Became Good.

Another Worthy Paradox: Dark but light. Malty but fruity. Simple but complex. Rich but may I have another?

Happy Customer! We found one. “I cant believe how good this tastes! It’s like a chocolate torte drizzled with rasberry sauce — without the calories!” We can’t make this up.

“Wait, I’m getting apricot here. And Bing Cherries….” Badlands IPA, perfect for good girls in search of a great time.