Wednesday, April 23, 2014

First Sip - Jailbreak Brewing Company

In case you haven't been paying attention, HoCo is about to get two breweries. The first is Jailbreak Brewing and their grand opening is this Saturday (the 26th) at noon.

I had the pleasure of visiting their tasting room and sampling some of their beers a few weeks ago. The space is inviting and the beers are great. My favorite beers were the Made Wit Basil and the Stout. The Big Punisher double IPA was also delicious. And while I'm not a big fan of pepper beers (having been literally burned by Stone's Crime), the Welcome to Scoville is really good, with only a hint of jalapeno spice.

Leading into opening weekend, Jailbreak will be doing some limited growler fills on Friday from 3:00-7:00. They won't be allowing on-site consumption during this time, but the will offer a free growler with the purchase of a fill or 20% off of a growler fill (for anyone that already bought a Jailbreak growler). 

To taste at the source, you'll need to visit tor the grand-opening weekend. They will be open from 12:00-10:00 PM on Saturday and 12:00-6:00 PM on Sunday. Along with delicious beers, they will have some local food trucks in the parking lot. hocofood@@@


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Session IPAs on the Horizon

It's no secret that I'm a sucker for big hop flavor and aroma in lower alcohol beer. When I homebrew, I typically keep the ABV at 5.5% or below. I just love a "session beer."

This is why I'm totally thrilled that the coming months will bring not one, but three "session IPAs" from three of my favorite breweries.

First, we have Lasso IPA from Great Divide. It's a new year round offering clocking it at 5%. With generous amounts of Columbus, Centennial and Cascade hops, I can't wait to give it a try.

Next, we have Go To IPA from Stone. It's slated to be released on 3/3/2014 and is said to have the "fruity, piney character of a much bigger IPA" at only 4.5% abv.

And Finally, coming in the Sierra Nevada 4-Way IPA variety pack will be Nooner Session IPA. Nooner is said to be "light in body but high in aroma" and is 4.8% abv. It will also be out in March. Hopefully it will be good enough to make it into year round rotation.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Review: Eminence 820H Speaker

A few months ago, I lucked into a 1965 Fender Vibro Champ at a yard sale. It was in great condition. Heck, it still had the original tubes, caps, and speaker (along with a two-prong plug).

The first thing I did was pull the original tubes and put them away for safe keeping. Next, I sent the amp in for a three-prong plug and cap job. Finally, I put the original speaker away for safe keeping and installed the new Eminence 820H.

Like the Eminence Cannabis Rex (which I loved in my Reverend Goblin 1x12) the 820H features a hemp cone. It also sports a 1” voice coil and a 15 oz. ceramic magnet. I don’t know what the magnet in the stock speaker weighed, but the 820H is significantly more substantial.

I installed the 820H and prepared to rock out. But I was not prepared for the tone that was about to erupt from my little Vibro Champ. The 802H is rockin! This little 8” speaker plays and sounds like a 10. I plugged in my Malden Mozak (think tele) and got lost for about an hour just playing Heartbreakers songs and other “rootsy” stuff. Then I plugged in my Reverend Roundhouse (think LP) and cranked the volume further and had some fun with lead lines. 

With a sensitivity rating of 96.1 dB, I wasn’t expecting a huge jump in volume. But the stock speaker must have been extremely inefficient because I have a ton more volume on tap now. But more than added volume, the tone is much big and bolder. The stock speaker started to fall apart when the volume was pushed beyond 4 and couldn’t handle any fuzz or OD pedals. With the 820H in there, I can crank the amp up all the way and the speaker can handle it. And if I didn’t need cleans, I could probably keep up with a drummer.

Don’t get me wrong, the Vibro Champ sounded pretty good with the original speaker. But with the 820H, it sounds bigger, sweeter, and fuller. It's funny, the 820H made the most difference at low-volume and high-volume. It now sounds richer at low volume and it doesn't fart out and fall apart when it's cranked.
It stands up to pedals much better now as well. I can now slam the Vibro Champ with my Klone or use a Fuzz Face to great effect. It’s crazy how the speaker upgrade transformed the Vibro Champ from my little practice amp into a legitimate “grab and go” combo.

The Eminence 820H is just an all around amazing speaker. It has the warmth and “smoky” highs of the Cannabis Rex, great, rich mids, and amazing low-end for an 8” speaker. Bottom line: if you are looking for an 8” speaker, I can’t imagine a better option.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Lovepedal Acquires Hermida Audio?

For those of you that have been following the troubles with Hermida Audio, it looks like there is light at the end of the tunnel. Lovepedal is now the sole manufacturer, global distributor, and retailer for Hermida Audio Technology products.

"I have known Alfonso for many years. He has always had an ear for great guitar tone and a passion for engineering some of the most sought after products in the guitar industry. His goal is to replicate as close as possible the dynamics and frequency response of the tube sound and then engineer products accessible to everyone from the bedroom player to those playing in front of thousands of fans. His products and engineering chops are legendary: the Zendrive, Zendrive2, Tiki Drive and Reverb to his full set of compact speaker cabinets in both ported and open back configurations. His customer list includes some of the most demanding musicians out there." Sean Michael – LovePedal

You can sign up here to get in line for the first batch. It will be very interesting to see how people feel about the original Zendrives vs. Lovepedal versions. My advice would be to hang onto your original Zendrive. You might have the next Klon-style flip on your hands.