Sunday, November 11, 2007

Birthday Goodies & A Day of Fun

Yesterday I took the entire day off of studying to revel in the fact that I've made it another year. I rarely make a birthday list or give people ideas of what present they should buy me, mainly because I hate asking for things but also because it takes away the element of surprise. So as my family has really picked up onto my beer hobby, I had a suspicion of what most of them would get me.

I got up in the morning and had my friend Steve come pick me up around 8am so we could get down to The Lost Abbey by 9:30 and get in line to pick up some Angel's Share. We also picked up another friend, Pete, along the way so we could get a few extra bottles (6 per person). We got in and out, the ordering process was very organized, and we were headed to Stone by 10:30. Once at Stone we ordered some food and I had a Monk's Cafe Flemmish Sour Red Ale and then a Pizza Port Carlsbad fresh hop IPA I think it was. The Monk's Cafe was pretty good. I've really developed a love for sour beers, though the particular style of Oud Bruin I had not yet touched. It was not so high on the acidic side, but contained a nice tartness to it that was combined with a big malt presence and grape. I found myself drinking this really fast and enjoyed it though I wouldn't say it was interesting enough to want to drink all the time (I gave it a 3.9 on BA).

As far as beer presents went, my little sister decided to walk through the beer isles at Beverages & More, knowing as little about beer as one can know. She said she knew "I liked ales," and that she made her selections based on how cool the bottles or labels looked (she also knows I like Stone since I took her and the family there this summer). Well she went 4 for 4 on making great decisions. She picked out an '07 Double Bastard, Stone Pale Ale, Alesmith IPA, and Alesmith Horny Devil. My parents grabbed a few for me as well. Lost Abbey Avant Garde, Samichlaus, Stone 11th anniversary (they didn't know I already bought a bunch), and St. Amand French Country Ale which I'm excited to try. I also got a bunch of BevMo and Stone World Bistro gift certificates. And I can't forget that a week ago my buddy Brian got me two Lost Abbey Red Barn's, a St. Bernardus Abt 12, and an Alesmith Speedway Stout. It was definitely a very nice beer-oriented birthday.

Later in the evening I enjoyed a Red Barn as I watched the USC/Cal game and then had a couple friends over to enjoy an Angel's Share in celebration of USC's 24-17 victory. I will give The Angel's Share its own entry :-)

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