Saturday, January 31, 2009

Russian River TION Night Recap

**All names have been shortened to protect each individual involved in this night.**

Yesterday's Russian River TION night at O'Brien's went pretty much as expected, but what followed was more of an adventure. Since my Upland friends were all too busy to make the trip with me (how can you be too busy for such great beer? cmon), JRhode, JTH, and JHamel allowed me to join their group for a night of beer. After having had some beers with the SD "J" crew a couple times in the past I've realized it's always a good time when enjoying a pint with this group. I got down there just after 2pm and met JTH who had secured a table of 4 inside the pub at 1:30. Tables were in high demand even at this time. With the event not really starting until 4pm the place was pretty packed even at 2, with no tables really available inside or out. We started off with some nice hoppy beers; JTH had been nursing a Pliny waiting for us to show up and I started off with an Alpine O'Brien's IPA on draft and also got a pint of Russian River IPA (pictured right) in just before the Younger tapping. I believe JRhode and JHamel arrived right around 3 or 3:15.

With O'Brien's really starting to get packed and a beer line that was already out the door before anything special had even gone on, JTH decided to go stand in line and try to time it so he got to the counter right at 4 when Younger would be served. Well he timed it perfectly, sort of. When he got to the counter to order there had to have been 5 or 10 minutes to go but he just kept letting people go in front of him to order, and when 4pm hit they served him up the first two 10oz pours from the Younger keg. This Younger (pictured above) was absolutely delicious, as expected. I can't wait to consume more of it in the coming weeks. While we started to sip on the Youngers, JRhode decided to get get back in line so we could order some more. The line was still out the door, but now it was wrapping around the building, past where the patio ends, and up the street a bit. I releived him of his duties after a bit and stood in line. At 4:20 I had made it to just outside the door and the announcement came that Younger was gone. 20 minutes to blow two 5 gallon kegs. Thankfully we had gotten a couple pours of it earlier so now we were shifting our thoughts to all the TIONs that would be on. When we got up to the counter they only had a few TIONs (all would go on at 5pm) so we got a pint of Porter, and a couple glasses of Redemption and Perdition. Not ever having had a porter from Russian River before, I thought it was very good, but way more stout-like. Very roasty, and good.

Between 4:30 and 6 I believe, JHamel and JRhode were in line, which wasn't moving at all. I think at one point they came back with Sanctification and Beatification, and then at another time JHamel shows up with a glass of Consecration that he got from standing near the other end of the bar. Consecration was another big winner. Pretty sour, and cherry-like to me. Kinda similar to Supplication I thought just based on memory (side by side there are probably a lot of differences). Somewhere in this time the guy sitting behind us who was wearing an Arizona Cardinals NFC champion shirt who kept yelling "CHAMPIONS!!!" really loud so all in the bar could hear decided to pour about 1/4th of his pitcher of Blind Pig into another empty pitcher to give to us. That guy had been drinking since 11 when O'Brien's opened so he didn't really need it anyway. He later took a drunken tumble at his table, spilling all the pitchers and glasses. O'Brien's staff responded with quick cleanup.

After the hour and a half of standing in line mainly to cash out (while still having beer show up now and then) we packed up and headed over to Hamilton's. Thankfully JHamel's significant other was shuttling us around. Without her none of this would have been possible. Hamilton's was also pretty packed, as usual, but they met some people they knew there who shared a table with us. My beer selection went with an Alpine O'Brien's IPA cask first (pictured right) and then a Green Flash Imperial IPA second. Both were delicious. Yes, the O'Brien's IPA was the first beer on cask I've really liked. Other beers that were ordered were Airdale's Dark & Stormy Imperial Stout which was very good, Green Flash Le Freak, Alpine Pure Hoppiness, Alpine Nelson IPA on cask, and probably an Elder or two.

The next stop for the night would be the Blind Lady Alehouse, which just opened this week. It was a quick stop but some good pizza and Pliny hit the spot. Blind Lady has a pretty cool atmosphere and overall I just like how it looks. Not much else to really say for now.

After Blind Lady it was over to JHamil's house, but not before a stop at a local liquor store where he talked the guy into selling him 4 Duvel tulips out of Duvel gift packs for $2 each. Yeah, he went home with 4 tulips for a total of $8. After getting back to his house a das boot of Weihenstephaner Hefe was thought to be a good idea, followed by some Sculpin.

After a bit, JTH, JRhode and myself began to walk home, about 3 miles away. We left armed with a few tasty beers. The walk included a cop pulling over when he saw JTH taking a leak on the side of the road. The cop asked if he was peeing to which JRhode responded no, and then if we were drunk to which he responded yes, being the reason we were walking home. We also had my nifty Shipyard aluminum water bottle that the cop thought was filled with booze but when JRhode insisted he smell it the cop declined. We continued to walk home and stopped in at a dive called The Hearth House where we consumed Coor's Light bottles and had a deep discussion with a 21 year old kid from Kenya about life. The place might be the San Diego equivalent of the Hi-Brow in Upland. I forget what exactly we were talking about but the guy was pretty upset with us by the end of it for some reason.

I headed back home around 9am and really just felt like getting home and resting, but I had to stop at BevMo sometime today so I stopped at the one in Escondido and by the time I was done it was already past 10am when the Red Poppy release at Lost Abbey started, so I figured I would head over real quick. I went and had a quick taster of both Red Poppy and Funky Duck, and both were really good. Red Poppy has a really great mellow cherry background with a nice level of tartness. I hadn't had Red Poppy in about a year so this was a treat.

That finally concluded this short trip. It was a fun time with lots of good beer and shenanigans. Big thanks to JTH for letting this SOB crash on his couch as well as everyone else for letting me hang with them for the night.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Russian River "TION" Night

I'm putting in a quick 4 hours at rotation this morning and heading down to O'Brien's for their Russian River "TION" night.

At 4pm the following Russian River beers get put on tap:
  1. Pliny the Younger
  2. Pliny the Elder (always on tap there anyway)
  3. Blind Pig (always on tap there anyway)
  4. RR IPA (always on tap there anyway)
  5. Aud Blonde
  6. Dead Leaf Green
  7. Porter
  8. Happy Hops
Then at 5pm these beers get put on (most certainly the Younger will be gone)
  1. Redemption
  2. Perdition
  3. Salvation
  4. Damnation
  5. Damnation Batch 23
  6. Rejection
  7. Temptation
  8. Supplication
  9. Sanctification
  10. Beatification
  11. Consecration
I definitely won't need to try all the TION beers as I've had most of them before on multiple occasions but I will be looking really forward to trying Consecration, Damnation Batch 23, and Rejection. After I get my Pliny the Younger (hopefully), I'll be interested to try their Porter as well, and maybe even Happy Hops if the Younger is wiped off my palate by then.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Perfect 5.0 Beers

As I sit here sipping on nice cold Blind Pig I had to change my previous rating of it. Initially when I first tasted it back in the Summer of '07 I gave it a 4.6 or so. I've continuously changed my rating for it, based on samples in different places. I believe the lowest I rated it was 4.3 or so after being kinda disappointed with the batch that was on tap at the Russian River brewpub this last Summer. That batch really lacked some kick to it, and I think it was much undercarbonated up there at that time. Anyway, after not having had it for over a month I opened up a bottle (11/19/08 bottling) I purchased at Whole Foods in Pasadena. This is such a great IPA. Flavor of mango and other citrus fruits, resiny finish, great carbonation. A+ all around. Bumping this up to 5.0 overall right now.

Which made me wonder how many beers I had rated a perfect 5.0 (I loosely am aware of which ones I have). The beers I have rated perfect 5's on BeerAdvocate are:

  1. Russian River Blind Pig IPA
  2. Russian River Pliny the Elder (fresh and on tap at their brewpub.... the bottles are not perfect 5's for me)
  3. Russian River Pliny the Younger
  4. Russian River Sanctification
  5. St. Bernardus Tripel
  6. Troegs Nugget Nectar (this one will probably be downgraded soon to somewhere around a 4.6)
Pretty crazy that 66% of them are Russian River beers. Is it hype? Maybe somewhat. But when a beer gets such a good rating from me after being a really popular or hyped beer, it just reaffirms the fact that it lived up to that hype and then some.

The ones to just miss the perfect score with only 4.9's are:
  1. Alpine Pure Hoppiness (it's definitely way better than Nugget Nectar, updates will have to made in the near future).
  2. Moonlight Reality Czech Pilsner
  3. Stone Russian Imperial Stout vintage 2004, tasted in 2007.
And just behind the 4.9 mark was Port Brewing Older Viscosity at 4.85.

I notice a lot of raters on BeerAdvocate will not give beers perfect 5's, as if they are waiting for some beer to come along that completely redefines beer or something. I think these people are selling themselves and these beers a bit short. I obviously have no problem handing out perfect scores :-)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lost Abbey Red Poppy Release This Saturday

This Saturday at 10am the doors will open to Port Brewing/Lost Abbey for sell of Red Poppy, a Flanders-style red ale. Drag all yourselves out of bed after having one too many Pliny the Younger or TION's and grab up the sought after Red Poppy. Once again it got rave reviews after the Lost Abbey barrel tasting this fall (granted it will have changed some).

Blind Lady Alehouse Opening In San Diego

This Friday, January 30th, a new beer destination opens up in the Normal Heights San Diego area. The Blind Lady Alehouse is located about 1.5 miles northeast of Toronado, making it just another beer destination in the flourishing 30th street/North Park area. Of the four owners, beer nuts may recognize Lee Chase, a former brewer at Stone. He plans to offer house beers down the road, the first of which will be an organic Belgian single. Beers will mainly be on tap, with a very limited number of bottles available. Draught beers plan to be rotated "pretty often."

They currently have a blog going and will be posting all their menus in the next few days.

In addition to the Blind Lady Alehouse opening this Friday, O'Brien's hosts a Russian River "-TION" night which will feature 19 Russian River beers, the main draw of which will probably be Pliny the Younger which goes on draft first at 4pm, an hour before the "-tion" beers. They plan on Younger being kicked within that hour and I don't doubt it. I can't begin to imagine the madness that will be the crowd at O'Brien's that evening. I am guessing a Pliny the Younger waiting line will start to form by the ordering counter by 3pm or so. I'll probably have to wait to get mine at a much less crowded Hollingshead's Deli a couple weeks later.

Still, I plan to maybe put in a half day at rotation on Friday (my preceptor would easily give me the afternoon off) and head down to SD. With these two events going on I think it would be a fun day.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Quick Note On Beer And Food Pairings

It may seem like a good idea at the time, but trust me, the lingering effects of combining Stone Double Bastard with a big bean burrito (especially Alberto's) are not pleasant. However, if you are for some reason already armed with these, then you may be safe.

Friday, January 23, 2009

If You're Not A Manc, You're A Wank

This Saturday morning we got Manchester United at Tottenham in an FA Cup match. The great thing about our semi-local English pub Lucky Baldwin's is that they open at 7am for English Premiere League games. I didn't grow up a soccer fan and don't follow it a huge amount right now, but I do find it somewhat entertaining and my friend Kevin is a hardcore Manc who makes it fun to watch with. I am a self proclaimed Wayne Rooney fan- he is my homeboy. So that game is on around 9am tomorrow morning so we'll be making our way over to the Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe in the morning to take that match in and have a hearty English breakfast - 2 eggs, sausage, beans, and a friiiiiiiied slice.

And as a side note, I stopped and got a mixed quart of strawberry, lemon, and mango Gelato yesterday. Just smelling the mango (a fruit I almost never consume) I can't tell you how much this smells like a fresh Blind Pig or Pure Hoppiness. Crazy.

Think I'll be grabbing a Nugget Nectar soon.

Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham. I had some English bangers with 2 eggs and potatoes. The bangers at Lucky Baldwin's are tasty. Also ordered up a Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale and Lagunitas IPA. Both were either really old or were being poured from dirty lines... I'm more inclined to think they were old. Both tasted pretty bad. I haven't had an experience ever like this before at Lucky Baldwin's with the beer. I had to pick up a few Blind Pig's from Whole Foods on the way home.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pacific Wine Merchants - Upland, CA

Pacific Wine Merchants is a wine/cigar/beer store with a small bar and lots of outside seating. It is located in old downtown Upland at the Upland Metrolink stop along the San Bernardino line. When you first walk in you step into the bar which houses about 3-4 tables, about 6-8 seats at the bar, and a TV mounted in the corner usually showing whatever is on ESPN. There is wine everywhere. If you step through the bar area and go into the next room there is a lot of wine, a humidor, and best of all; a couple of fridges filled with beer. Good beer too. They've got a lot of Stone, Russian River, Oskar Blues, Green Flash as well as some imported stuff.

The bar has 2 taps. I've seen Alesmith usually on as well as Skyskraper Brewing. Last night when I went in they had two selections from Dale Bros Brewing- their Pomona Queen California common beer and a Winter Warmer. Their bottle list allows you to purchase most stuff from their fridge. Ruination was about $5 I think, Green Flash West Coast IPA was $4, and Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig were both $7, though they listed the Pliny and Pig bottles as 22oz which is incorrect. Maybe if I tell them the bottles are really 16.9oz they will adjust the price, who knows. I'll definitely be back here often, the outside seating area has a nice view and the whole place has a nice chill vibe.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tequilahoppers in Upland, CA

In my last year or so of undergrad (about 2004-5, just when I started to get into craft beer), my friends and I frequented a place about a mile down the street called Tequilahoppers. After having been to this place weekly for over a year or two span I stopped going. The scene was just not my thing (think 909 bros) and I had moved to LA, but they did boast 80 taps, about 50 of which are macro swill. Yeah, seriously, they somehow fill about 50 taps with macro crap. They have about every Michelob, Bud, Coors, and domestic or import fizz water you could ever think of. In additon there are nights you can get pitchers of Vodka/Monster for $9 or Vodka/Cranberry for $6. It's a 21 year old's dream. But being that I'm long past 21 and almost never go out with the purpose of just getting shitfaced, they do have some other taps occupied by the likes of Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Firestone Double Barrel and Walker's Reserve, Stone Pale Ale and IPA, beers from Kona Brewing, Sierra Nevada, and Anderson Valley. The picture to the right was taken at one of the Wednesday Bud Light nights a handful of years ago. I didn't know better, lol.

So after about 3-4 years since the last time I was there I decided to go check it out again. The place is the quintessential 909 sports bar. About 100 tv's, lots of tattoos, waitresses with 5 lbs of silicone in them (yeah!) and lots of Fox Racing or Skin shirts. But with a couple of nice cool pints of Stone IPA I was happy. This place has a new theme every day. It may be karaoke one night, or gothic night another, but at least in the late afternoon it's just plain old happy hour- half off everything, and that's pretty cool with me.

Upland is your standard just-outside-of-LA suburb, but it really doesn't have much in the way of beer. We have an English pub a few blocks up with a few good beers on tap but occupied by tons of people you went to high school with and wish to never see again, and a bunch of other really lame dive bars.

I must say I am excited to go have a beer and cigar at a newer place that is in old downtown Upland at the Metrolink stop. It's where I buy my homebrew supplies and it's called Pacific Wine Merchants. It's a store specializing in a lot of wine, a good amount of cigars, and a little bit of beer. They mostly have wine there at their bar but every time I go in they always have 2 drafts, and one is always Alesmith. I'll be checking that out soon.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Suds

Today was a long day of watching football and brewing. We started off with the just-released Alpine O'Brien's IPA which I think is my favorite lower strength IPA they make (between Duet, Nelson, and O'Brien's). My friend Brian brought this up from San Diego. It's got a really nice citrus and earthy hop kick to it with a tasty malt profile as well. Normally I don't like any sort of sweetness to get in the way the of the hops in an IPA but they work this well and it's a very drinkable beer.

Brian also brought a Ballast Point Sculpin IPA so we made quick work of that. What an amazing IPA that is. Rock solid all around. I know this blog is like a broken record. Lastly we tried to give some Pliny Power to the Baltimore Ravens as they found themselves in a quick 13-0 hole but they could never work their way out of it. Pliny can only do so much you know.

With the day off tomorrow for Martin Luther King's Birthday I'm throwing around the idea of heading over to Hollingshead's Deli for lunch. Then again, just lying around the house sounds really good too.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Best Hoppy Beer From The East Coast

So good, so fresh, so much pine. This is a great beer. They call it an imperial amber ale but thankfully they don't overload it with malt. The hops shine perfectly in this.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Latest Pliny Convert

I got an unexpected message the other day from my friend Lisa who was about to delve into the world of Pliny. That is her to the left of Brian the Baltimore Beer Guy and my sister. Although she's partaken in the world of craft beer before with toasts of Ruination before USC games as well as other times I'm sure where I haven't been present, she is by all accounts still a craft beer neophyte. What a way to get your feet wet than with a Pliny.

Here were some messages she sent me along with a picture after drinking:
"I was sort of shocked one bottle was $4"
"Definitely worth the $4.09"
"I'm getting a nice chill buzz"
"Had to replenish my carbs after the gym"

You better watch out Lisa, this stuff is like crack and your bank account will feel the effects if you don't watch it. haha

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Nectar Is Coming!!!

I look forward to January every year now just cause that's when Troegs releases Nugget Nectar. This beer knocked my socks off last year so I had to arrange to have some more sent to me from the East Coast this year. Hopefully a half a case will hold me over for a little while.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Some New Beers Had In San Diego

Tried a couple new ones while at Toronado in San Diego. This is what was left of my Green Flash 30th Street Pale Ale. Probably much closer to an IPA. In fact it had way more hop flavor than many of the more average IPA's or DIPA's. It was a real resiny hoppiness and kinda harsh. That's a compliment though.

The next was Firestone Velvet Merkin. An oatmeal stout, I'm not sure of its ABV. It was pretty good. Kinda weird in that when I tried to smell it I got absolutely nothing. A friend confirmed this. After I got about half the glass down I was able to get a small roastiness out of it. The flavor was a bit more robust. Chocolate and roasted barley... very nice, fairly silky from the oats. A good beer.

I don't really remember what this next beer tasted like. It was a champagne beer like Deus I think but I didn't order it. In fact this is what my friend Steve ordered. Me and Brian had imperial pints of Blind Pig to work on. About 5 minutes after Steve ordered this he got the chain around his neck pulled on and had to go pick up his girlfriend from work. We got left with his lunch and this $20 bottle of beer. Thankfully the whole tab at Hamilton's later in the night was on him.

Lastly, after a couple glorious pints of Green Flash West Coast IPA and Bear Republic Racer 5 at Hamilton's we went with a new beer and picked Fantome Noel. Crazy thing this is. It was basically a dark farmhouse ale. Lots of chocolate in this thing but with all that Fantome yeast funkiness of sweaty socks. Was pretty good.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Loose Saturday San Diego Schedule

We have a full, long day ahead of us but myself and BBG plan to hit some great beer spots in SD. The only thing that looks to be set in stone are a trip to Lost Abbey for at least the first half of the Ravens game (from 1:30 to 3 or so). Maybe a stop in to Churchill's for the other half. Before that we may hit O'Brien's or Green Flash for a pint. We will probably find ourselves in the North Park area after the game, most likely Hamilton's and perhaps other places such as Ritual Tavern, Toronado, or Downtown Johnny Brown's.

Perhaps a trip to Alpine on Sunday around noon on the way home depending on how I feel, and only if they are pouring O'Brien's IPA.

This Is Bad Ass - MyBeerPix LIVE

A view of what's going on at the Lost Abbey-

That's not me in the middle but it is the Baltimore Beer Guy who is in town for a couple weeks. I caught him in the middle of throwing up a USC Victory Sign. We'll be having many many more pints tomorrow when I head down to SD.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Stella Artrois, With A Glass Please

I happened to be out at a few local hipster places night in downtown Claremont and found myself at a Hookah bar with a macro-lager beer list only. In retrospect I shoulda ordered a bourbon... that would have been good. Anyway, I try my best to not be a beer snob. I can enjoy a Landshark Lager while watching a game, or a Miller 64 over some mexican food with my Dad, but there are just some things I can't drink, and that includes Stella Artois out of a bottle. I hate drinking stuff that tastes bad and a lot of (not all) beers out of a bottle taste bad to me. Anyway, I asked the guy if he could bring me a glass for it and he did, very quickly. I was expecting it to be the same glass they were using for water but they actually had Stella glassware. If you got it why not use it????

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Late Great Pumpkin Beer Taste-Off

I've had all these pumpkin beers I traded for sitting in my fridge for a few months now. I got like 2 or 3 bottles of each initially and think I sampled about 4 different ones on different occasions. This will be interesting to try them all head to head. I start with the lighter ABV ones.

Buffalo Bills Pumpkin Ale (4.9%) - Somewhat similar to Brooklyn in aroma. Taste is nothing out of the ordinary in terms of pumpkin ales, aftertaste is nice, a bit sweet. The whole middle of the palate though is quite dull. Fizzy mouthfeel.

Brooklyn Post Road Pumpkin Ale (5% ABV) - maybe the most clovey smell of the bunch. A real sorta floral, artificial candle taste in the smell. More bitter at the end. Key word here is artificial. Slick mouthfeel.

Saranac Pumpkin Ale (5.4% ABV) - The darkest of the bunch, nice mixture of spices on the nose, although it's not too potent (that's not necessarily a bad thing here). Definitely by smell has the biggest malt base here. In a blind tasting one might not be able to guess this is a pumpkin ale, although it does have an overall "ale" feel to it. Doesn't taste adjuncty. Nice caramel backing. Maybe just like a very lightly spiced amber ale. Full body for this style.

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale (6% ABV) - The most perfumy and potent on the nose. A somewhat artificial taste similar to Brooklyn. Maybe it's the combination of spices that give it that quality, I don't know. Really light, slightly watery.

I ranked based on Appearance (10%), Smell (30%), Taste (30%) and Mouthfeel (20%). Each % is the weight I assigned to it based on my preferences for this specific style. The rankings are as follows:

Beer Name Appear Smell Taste Feel Weighted Totals Rank
Buffalo Bills 4 3 3 3 2.8 3
Brooklyn 2 4 4 2 3.0 4
Saranac 1 1 1 1 0.9 1
3 2 2 4 2.3 2

For the next round I went with the higher ABV end of the spectrum.

Southampton Pumpkin Ale (6% ABV) - Really nice clear orange color. They hit that part spot on. Thin to no head. More spicy aroma compared to DFH. Fairly light on everything here as far as taste goes. Really nothing interesting about it. Watery thin feel.

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale (7% ABV) - Little bit lighter orange with a tinge of gold compared to the Southampton. More malty aroma. Much more interesting taste with a nice little malt backing, kinda toasty, mild caramelized sugars in the aftertaste. Nice body for a light pumpkin ale.

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale (8% ABV) - Pours hazy orange. Almost a sour smell to it, not sure where it's coming from. That definitely doesn't smell right. Not like the last full glass I had a couple months ago. The earthy taste in this makes you think you're chewing on a flavored candle. Not my favorite.

Southern Tier Pumking (9% ABV) - Holy crap that smells weird compared to every other sample I've tried. This thing takes spiciness to a whole new level and warps it into something new. Smells super buttery. Kinda nasty to tell you the truth. Yes this smells exactly those buttered popcorn jelly bellies taste. It tastes exactly like that too. I don't know how people pick out anything but BUTTER in this beer. It's actually not a whole lot offensive but who has ever had/wanted a beer that tasted like a buttered popcorn jellybean? Very sweet overall too. While the taste isn't revolting, it might be if I tried to drink a glass of this. I'll settle with my 3 sips. I gave my beer-uneducated-but-always-beer-sampling mom a blind taster glass of this and her face immediately lit up as she described clove and spices in the beer, and said it was really nice and "festive." I asked her how the hell do you get clove out of that and not buttered popcorn. I dunno.

Beer Name Appear Smell Taste Feel Weighted Totals Rank
Southampton 1 1 2 2 1.4 2
Dogfish Head 2 2 1 1 1.3 1
Weyerbacher 4 3 3 3 2.8 3
Southern Tier 3 4 4 4 3.5 4

What I learned from this tasting was that I let these beers take up way too much valuable fridge space for 3 months, which could have been filled with Pliny, Blind Pig, anything Stone, etc. I also learned that I won't be drinking many pumpkin ales in the future, except maybe Dogfish Head's Punkin' Ale.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Places To Watch The Chargers Game In San Diego

If I get enough done in the morning tomorrow I'm thinking of making an excuse to head down to San Diego to drink good beer and take in what should be an exciting game. I'm leaning towards O'Brien's, though space is very limited down there, but they do have a terrific amount of great IPA's on tap right now; Sculpin, Green Flash West Coast, Racer 5, Port Solana Swami's IPA, Pliny, Pig, RR IPA, Alpine Pure Hoppiness and Bad Boy. Pizza Port is a possibility although I'm sure that place will be slammed. Churchill's would have to be another great option as they have a lot more space in that place than O'Brien's. We'll see how I feel tomorrow morning.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

End of Beer and College Football Season For Me - The Rose Bowl

Today was, at least for me, the last meaningful day of the college football season. Sure there are a few games left and I'll definitely watch them, I just don't care about them anymore. Today my USC Trojans dominated Penn State for a good 3 quarters before sputtering and holding on for a 38-24 win. With the power of great craft beer filling our bellies, we were able to root our Trojans to victory.

I wasn't planning on going to this game, because we basically go to the Rose Bowl every year now and tickets are expensive ($185 face), but my friend Loren gave me a ticket for Christmas (which he said will be the last time he gives me a ticket since I most likely won't be entirely broke after I graduate). Loren, his girlfriend Veronica, myself, and our friend Steve Timmins, along with my sister and her boyfriend who scored free tickets the night before the game threw together a nice little tailgate. Timmins brought his 2 Russian River growlers he had left from his trip up north last weekend- Blind Pig and Perdition. I brought my last growler of Alpine Nelson, and as usual, a bomber of Stone Ruination IPA for toasting purposes before the game. That Perdition might be the best breakfast beer ever. This was the second time I've had that in the early morning out in the open air and it's perfect for that occasion.

It'll be a long off-season having to wait for the excitement when our Trojans take the field again and we hit the tailgates hard for another year with great craft beer.