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.


BeerGuy said...

Holy crap.

LOL the guy being mad at you. Whatever!

J.Rhode said...

Really don't know where to start with this one. First, if I did or said anything offensive to anybody, including Steve, JTH, JHamel, Tunk, the SDPD, the Kenyan guy; I sincerely apologize. Having had 24+ hours to hash out the hazy details of the night, a couple of observations:

1. Younger lives up to all the hype.
2. Vinnie can do no wrong.
3. Consecration, Beatification, Sanctification, Supplication, Batch 23 are amazing beers.
4. Le Freak is an even more awesome beer on tap than out of the bottle.
5. Steve must think we are crazy.
6. I never want to got the Hearth House or drink Coors Light ever again.
7. The San Diego guys wasted a lot of good beer after we should have cut ourselves off.
8. Blind Lady is off to a good start, and I would like to go back and have a civilized meal.
9. The people outside of Hearth House want to kill me.
10. I am too old for nights like this; however, thanks for a memorable 32nd B-Day celebration.

Steve said...

1,2,3- no doubt.
5- yes I do, but that's why I love yall.
7- Does that include 3.5 Weihenstephaner weissbiers, a sculpin, and the Racer 5, Green Flash WCIPA, and the Union Jack that accompanied the walk home?
8- Yeah, the short time at Blind Lady was enough to realize it was pretty cool. Really liked the pizza dough and overall flavor, then again we were somewhat intoxicated.
9- Good thing you guys had me there, someone who is 909 experienced and knows the ins and outs of a place like the Hearth. There are probably 6 bars within a mile radius of my house that mimic the
10. Being only 5 years behind you, even I am starting to feel that way.

And I gotta get you guys the other pictures from the night that could not be published in order to protect those involved (JTH chugging Blind Pig from a pitcher with Cardinals dudes arms in the background), and you and JHamel with the das boot.

BJR (JHamel) said...

Don't forget the Speedway Stout.

I woke up wondering why I had such bad stout mouth when I only had the Dark and Stormy, then I found the bottle in the garage...

J. Rhode said...

BJR's take is a fun read too...

No idea how to clean up the link, sorry.

JessetheHutt said...

Hi everyone, I'm back and now feeling better than ever. All I can say is WHAT A NIGHT OF GREAT (and not so great) BEER!
Thanks for documenting the evening SOB!