Struck a cord

Yes. I know it’s a typo. More like struck a bargain. I was at TJ Maxx when I came upon these Rag & Bone RB15X-C slim cords. These are styled like 5-pocket jeans.

I know these aren’t denim but I still respect the American craftsmanship and modern twist on an old style that goes into these.

And they’re Made in USA. Los Angeles to be specific.

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Made in USA

I’d like to believe these have a small carbon footprint but I suspect they’ve made a pretty circuitous route through various retail warehouses around the country until they found their way to San Diego. Nonetheless I’m happy to own American quality at Target prices.

More about the fit. These are great slims. I have an athletic build and some slim cut trousers really fit/feel like skinny jeans. These have a mid-rise 4-button fly and straight legs, so they still fit comfortably.

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In blue

I mentioned the 5 pocket style. I appreciate the classic rivets where a small amount of fabric shows through. This is similar to the LVC MADE IN USA 505s.

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Reinforced pockets

Nice touches like the handsewn logo.

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Rag & Bone

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Twins

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Inside patch

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DETAILS:
Pants: Rag & Bone Cords
Material: 100% cotton. 8 oz.
Cost: $185. $29 at TJ Maxx.

PAIR WITH
Since I bought two pair, the slim legs could be shotgun barrels, and one pair is colored “Wine” by Rag & Bone, I’ll go with one of my favorite ales.

Firestone Walker “Double Barrel Ale”

I don’t know what it is I like do much about this modern take on British Pale Ale. A portion of beer is fermented in oak barrels then blended with beer fermented in stainless steel. The result is a very rich, full ale with a strong, caramel & oak flavor in the middle.

At only 30 IBUs the full flavor of the ale comes through, unhidden by the voluminous hops normally present in coastal California ales. Instead of plagiarizing their own description, I encourage you to read the tasting notes at Firestone Walker Brewing Company‘s own page.

DETAILS
Beer: Firestone Walker “Double Barrel Ale”
IBUs: 30
ABV: 5%

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Channeling The Beeroness: Chocolate Stout Crinkle Cookies

No denim here but some fine looking cookies. I’ve seen some great Cone Mills work aprons. Might be a good excuse to get one.

the Craft Beer Girl

I have a confession to make; I’m not a good cook. My husband will be the first to tell you, if it weren’t for him, we would starve… or at the very least, live on a diet that consists mainly of charcuterie, aged cheese, and the occasional burrito. So when a request for Christmas cookies came, I knew I needed to reach out to my old friend, The Internet, for guidance… Chocolate crinkle cookies have been a holiday favorite of mine since I was a kid. My mom would make them every year and I was always intrigued by the way the sugared top would crack, revealing the dark chocolate cookie inside… and they taste freaking awesome. So when I came across Jackie Dodd’s recipe for Chocolate Stout Crinkle Cookies on her site, The Beeroness, I knew I had found something special.

If you’re ready to make these for…

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East meets West – Gustin Japan Classic

Sadly my aforementioned Gustin Naturals didn’t fit. Because Gustin does not carry inventory they’re limited to what’s on hand if you immediately want a new pair of jeans instead of store credit.

EAST MEETS WEST
Gustin offered me the American Sixteener or the midweight Japan Classic. San Diego just doesn’t get very cold and I’ve wanted some Japanese selvedge so I went with the latter in a size 32.

As the name implies, these are crafted of denim from one of Japan’s “finest mills” according to the Gustin website. The jeans are then made to order right here in California.

More on Gustin Japan Classic from their website.

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I’d say the denim itself is unremarkable in light of the many unique weaves Gustin also uses. But that’s what makes it an everyday classic.

That said, it’s very tightly woven. Breaking them in might take time, but they have a VERY smooth, soft hand for 13 oz denim.

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Coin pocket

Check out the custom rivets. If you have a problem down the road they’ll even send you more rivets.

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Red ID

Traditional white selvedge with a red ID.

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Two tone double felled inseam

Like most raw denim, these are only available in a 34″ inseam. I didn’t even know they use two colors for the inseam when I ordered these but it makes me appreciate them even more.

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Two tone you say? Three! Look closer.

In my admitted very limited experience with quality-made clothes, the Gustins have some of the nicest chainstitching I’ve seen. Look closely, there’s actually a third color in the mix.

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More selvedge and custom buttons

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Pocket bag

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Hard to see, but lined rear pocket to resist blowouts

Visit Gustin
DETAILS:
Jeans: Gustin Japan Classic
Material: 13 oz. 100% cotton Sanforized Japanese denim
Cost: $89. $84 with referral code

PAIR WITH:
Japanese beer, right? If you think the only Japanese beers are Asahi and Sapporo, you probably think the only jeans are Levis and Wrangler.

Check out Hitachino Nest WA (White Ale) from Kiuchi Brewery. While the mass market beers mentioned above are your typical lagers, Nest WA is witbier that in my opinion had a decidedly California influence. While I can’t speak for Kiuchi specifically, it’s well documented that brewers worldwide visit San Diego to collaborate and learn from our craft beer scene.

Like the Japan Classic, Nest WA comes in slightly lighter with a smooth finish.

Compared to its Belgian counterparts, I find this witbier less spicy (think banana and clove) and more citrusy.

At a sessionable 5.5% abv and low bitterness, WA is an ale your can enjoy poolside, lakeside or mountainside without frying your tastebuds like I have with the Imperial IPAs.

Per their website adjuncts include Flaked Wheat, Flaked Barley, Coriander, Nutmeg, Orange peel, Orange Juice

DETAILS
Beer: Hitachino Nest White Ale
IBUs: 13
ABV: 5.5%

P.S. cheers
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I’m dreaming of a (off) white Christmas

Sadly, I’m resigned to continue dreaming. The jeans pictured below didn’t fit. It’s a shame because they’re AWESOME! The “Naturals” are undyed cotton.

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Hand-stamped leather patch

I bought these jeans from Kickstartr darlings Gustin. Gustin sources their denim from American-based Cone Mills as well as top Japanese and Italian Mills, rolling out a broad array of jeans using unique fabrics. They introduce each product as a campaign that individuals can fund at the wholesale price. These were $81 instead of the $135 to $200+ I’ve seen locally.

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Red White and Blue selvedge. Subtle contrast from flecks of natural cotton

Check them out and please use my referral code 12086 if you do order something.

Gustin also make beautiful belts and wallets for a fraction of the price of what you’d post retail. These too are sourced domestically and made in San Francisco.

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More selvedge throughout. Custom Gustin buttons too.

Available in straight or slim. Read up on the Gustin story. Their customer service has been great.

DETAILS
JEANS: Gustin #47 “The Natural”
Material: #47 Cone Mills Selvage, 12.75oz, Red-White-Blue ID
Price: $81 but market-based

PAIR WITH
New Belgium‘s “Accumulation.” White India Pale Ale. Like the Gustin Naturals, Accumulation may appear to be mellow and light, but there’s nothing sweet about this IPA. It’s built from the ground up on a solid backbone.

To quote from their website, Accumulation is a ” direct revolt to the longstanding tradition of brewing dark beers for winter.” Much like the Natural is a direct revolt against the world of mass-produced dark, indigo denim.

IBUs: 70
ABV: 6.2

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Thanksgiving Beer Pairing Recommendations

I’ve been deliberating what to serve when I came upon this article. Mrs. Beer and Denim has planned a great feast, but I’m in charge of beer procurement. Sourcing said beer is pretty easy here in San Diego.

http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/cleanplatecharlie/2013/11/draft_thanksgiving_beer_pairin.php

And yes, nice jeans are totally appropriate to wear for Thanksgiving. I’m leaning toward gray Unbranded Selvedge jeans with a light sweater. And flip flops. It’s not THAT cold here.

Farm to Table (well, we tried)

It was neither my intent to follow my first post with more Univ denim and Stone Brew nor to include any pictures of myself. It was my intent to buy local herbs and produce to use for our Thanksgiving feast.

Failed on all counts, but in the process we discovered a peaceful haven in North County…Stone Farms. Yes, property of the aforementioned Stone Brewing Company. Turns out they’re not currently selling their harvest but my wife and I enjoyed some Dandelion IPA while everyone enjoyed the grounds.

The same way I’m trying to recognize and reward Made in USA craftsmanship and innovation, I’m striving to buy more local goods. The more local beer I drink the tastier, smaller the carbon footprint, right?

For more on Stone Farms history check this out. If you’re in San Diego be sure to visit them at 9928 Protea Gardens Rd, Escondido, CA 92026

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Dandelion IPA

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Farm-dog Luna guarding the crops

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I could sit by the fire all day

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That’s some salad on this kid!

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The goats got out but only made it as far as the compost

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Um. He’s not long for this world!

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Blue palette. These aren’t typical denim. Levi’s has a colored denim STF line with dyed cotton. More like canvas or chinos.

Jeans: Levi’s Shrink to Fit 501
Jacket: Univ
Shoes: Clarks
Sunglasses: Ray Ban
Beer: Stone Brew Dandelion IPA

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Then & Now

Welcome to Beer and Denim. Let me be clear. I love the quality, handcrafted beers coming out of San Diego. I appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into each recipe and brewing process. Furthermore I recognize the economic impact brewing has in San Diego. Beer creates jobs, drives tourism, and shapes even national politics. We have food farms, hops farms, yeast purveyors. The beer industry uses the chemistry departments of local universities. Beer runs in our veins 😉 San Diego literally cannot brew enough beer to meet international demand. I’m willing to pay a little more for a lot better product.

With that said I am slowly coming to appreciate finer clothes. It occurs to me that what is happening in clothing, particularly denim, is akin to the revolution American brewing undertook 20 years ago. From one-man shows to small, locally-owned shops. Others growing into bigger kids on the block. Sourcing U.S. materials. Bringing the product directly to the consumer in order to escape retail and manufacturing Goliaths.

Who knows if the resurgence in the American textile and fashion industry will one day rival that of the Craft Beer industry? It will certainly be fun to watch, and more fun to drink and wear.

Cheers and welcome to Beer & Denim.

Brian

THAT WAS THEN

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Remember the store Miller’s Outpost? When “pre-shrunk” denim became a big deal (for Mom I suppose)?

I got this Levi’s 557xx Trucker Jacket around 1987. I think I was 16. I didn’t know it was a Levi’s Type III. I just wanted a “jean jacket.” I continued adding patches, studs and pins over the next few years.

This jacket has taken a beating.

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Notice the safety pin. Too lazy to hand sew

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BB King himself actually gave me this pin

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Who knew Made in USA denim would become a rarity?

Jacket: 1986 Levi’s 557xx
Material: 14 oz Sanforized Denim
Cost: $?

Paired With: Budweiser!

Give me a break, I was 16, growing up in Fresno. We’d drink in the fig orchards. My idea of quality beers were Dutch and German lagers like Heineken, Becks or St. Pauli Girl. Silly boy. At least Anheiser-Busch was an American company…then.

THIS IS NOW

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I got this raw denim beauty from UNIV in Encinitas. It’s manufactured for them in Los Angeles. This take on the Levi’s Type III features raw indigo 12 oz. Cone Mills denim. Not the greatest pictures but this is a very rich, deep indigo.

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Note on size. I fit a Medium and even a Small Levi’s brand 557xx. This large is snug. And RIGID. I do expect it to loosen up as I break it in but if you’re buying this, size up.

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Love this pocket. I don’t smoke but it’s still cool

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Denim pocket bags

Buyer beware. There are no selvedge accents on the UNIV jacket. Personally I like it’s unbroken lines.

Jacket: UNIV “Parks”
Material: 12 oz. Cone Mills unsanforized denim
Cost: $150

Pair with: Stone IPA. For my first post I went with one a San Diego’s originals. Bitter and strong! There were already a few other breweries in town when Stone opened their original brewery in San Marcos (now occupied by  Port/Lost Abbey) but I’d argue Stone lead the bitter-brigades’ war on “fizzy yellow beer” and the transformation of the India Pale Ale into the San Diego IPA. Goes well with boar, football and friends.

Just as the Levi’s Type III jacket set the standard for decades of style, San Diego set the standard for the IPA. For more on the history of the “jean jacket” visit RAWRDENIM.

IBUs: 77
ABV: 6.9%

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