Monday, August 6, 2007

Beer-(and wine?)-filled Weekend in Central California

We left sunny Southern California Saturday morning fueled on a Chik-Fil-A breakfast (best "fast" food place ever) to Pismo Beach. We stopped again at the Firestone Taproom in Buelton as we did a couple months ago. I had lots of respect for Firestone even before this Summer, as I really loved their pale ale though the Double Barrel Ale I had always thought was just OK. After my two experiences at Firestone this Summer I must conclude that the Double Barrel Ale is a very enjoyable beer, especially the unfiltered version you can only get at the Taprooms (pictured right). We stayed for about 2 hours, Pat threw back 75 oz. worth of Double Barrel and the IPA (how he does it I don't know), while I went with the Double Barrel and Pale Ale (pictured left). I'm not sure why but they serve beers in 25 oz. FROSTED mugs. It took my mug of Double Barrel at least 20 minutes before it came to a temperature where a lot of the fruit and bready/biscuity flavors could come out.

After Firestone we made a quick stop by the house to drop off our stuff but we quickly resumed our travels further north into Cambria to visit the amazing Seachest Restaurant. The place opens up at 5:30pm and we were sure to arrive at 4:45 so we could get a good spot in line and enjoy a few beers before doors opened. This restaurant is real popular for having people get there early and picnic outside the door. During my first experience there a couple months ago we were the 4th party in line and all 3 parties ahead of us had tailgate chairs, picnic baskets and wine. When we got there this time we were 3rd in line, and nobody ahead of us had brought anything. Those who arrived after us were also empty handed, it was kind of lame. Maybe the reason was the overcast afternoon, as opposed to a sunny day the previous time. No matter, we were well equipped with Anchor Liberty Ale and Anderson Valley ESB that we picked up at the gas station down the street. The great thing about this place is that anything you open outside and haven't finished when doors open is welcome inside. So as we took our seats at the oyster bar we finished off beers along with the sour dough, fried calamari, and oyster appetizers we started to order. Ironically, dinner consisted of Thresher shark and a bottle of Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay that my oenophilic friend Milty ordered. I know less about wine than I do almost anything, but I really loved this one.

That night we went out to a bar called the Frog & Peach in San Luis Obispo. We consumed many pints of Deschutes Black Butte Porter, and I finished the night off with a Young's Double Chocolate Stout (pictured left) that was served on nitrogen. I honestly felt like the bottled version I've had was a little chocolatier but as you might expect the draught version was much creamier.

The next day, while nursing hangovers, we went out for some lunch in Pismo to a tiny Italian bakery/cafe. A nice surprise to see at least was that this place had a few taps (Sierra Nevada, Blue Moon). Not feeling like beer at all, I did notice some root beer in the fridge and to my surprise it was from Sprecher Brewing Company, who's bottled beers I have seen in stores around here but have never tried. In addition, I had also seen a special on Fine Living channel I think about the root beer and other sodas that Sprecher makes. Needless to say, this was one of the best root beers I'd ever had, so I purchased a few more to bring back home.

The trip commenced with a dinner at the Hitching Post (for anyone who has seen the movie Sideways). I haven't begun to explore much in the way of wine, but it does intrigue me, so I decided to bring a bottle of their Pinot Noir back home for the folks, just to give it a shot. Why not huh?

1 comment:

Brian said...

I hate you ... heh.