Monday, November 12, 2012

Black Tuesday

This past week Vinnie bought a bottle of the once a year release of Black Tuesday from The Bruery in Placentia, California, which happens to be one of my favorite breweries. I've never tried it until now, but I've heard about it from all of the super regulars at the Bruery tasting room when I'm there. So, on to the beer...Black Tuesday is a dark, rich, almost syrupy stout. It's a barrel aged stout that's aged in bourbon barrels for over a year, bringing this beer up to a hearty 19.2% ABV. It has a medium head, on the smaller end of the spectrum in my opinion, but I like hat in a stout. It's got your  typical tell tale signs of an Imperial Stout with coffee and chocolaty tones, but its very sweet and syrupy in my opinion and more reminiscent of a stiff glass of bourbon than a strong brew. But I'm not complaining. It's an awesome beer and if you're lucky enough to get your hands on some, pace yourself, it's a strong one.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Stone Brewery, Escondido California

Finally, I have some time to post! More will come soon, honest. Last weekend, I went to Stone Brewery World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido, California. Even if you're not from the area, you;ve probably heard of Stone beer. They have a ton of great stuff, and as far as craft breweries go, they're pretty well known. I visited this lovely place on my birthday so it was pretty fun. I wish I had more photos to show off how awesome it was, but some of my film got mussed up during processing.

First off, if you've never visited this place, it's a must go. It's gorgeous and has great food and beer. They have gardens to walk through as well as an outdoor bar and then the World Bistro inside. The food at the Bistro is great as well! They have a pairing menu to help you pair their beers as well as local wines with the dishes they serve. (Word from the wise...get the soft pretzels with the stone ground Arrogant Bastard mustard as an appetizer.) If you're not into Stone beer, I'd still suggest to go for the food and their HUGE bottled beer selection. Stone Brewing Co. is the California distributor for a lot of amazing small craft breweries in California so they have a phenomenal selection. They happen to be the main distributor for one of my favorite breweries, Russian River Brewing Co. out of Santa Rosa, California. If you decide to go be sure to get a bottle of Pliny the Elder while you're there, best beer you'll have.

Moving on to the actual brewery, we went on their brewery tour at Stone, which was pretty neat. You pay $3 and get 4 little pours of their beer to sample and they walk you through the brewing area and talk about how all their stuff is made.

These are apparently beer ingredients. We got to eat the malt and it was actually pretty good.

Out tour guide, Justin. He turned out to be kind of a dweeb and I think he hates fun, but he was still pretty informative.

Inside the lovely brewing area. They had a ton of huge vats and barrels and stacks of beer cases. I wish more of my photos of the inside turned out.

Vinnie & Erin

Justin & I enjoying a beer after our tour!

All the fantastic Stone beers on tap in their tasting room/growler fill station.

All in all it was a really rad trip. I you like beer and food and are looking for some new things to try I would definitely recommend that you take a trip to Escondido.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ode to Rogue

Rogue makes some of my all time favorite beers. They're located up in lovely Newport, Oregon and have two brewery locations. They are an awesome brewery with equally awesome beers. They're also quite good at coming up with nifty names for their beers (Dead Guy Ale is one of my favorites) and giving them funny labels with some random bearded bespectacled back woods dude holding a pint and a lobster or something. I'll start this post off by noting that I'm listening to my dad's old Talking heads album on repeat for some unknown reason. I've always be into Psycho Killer but Burning Down the House is the jam.

The first beer is an oldie but goodie. Our favorite bald bartender at the local Yard House recommended this sweet and nutty brew to us one day, and coincidentally my favorite local dive has it on tap so we got a pitcher later that night. It's still top of my list when I go out beer hunting. This one is called Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar. It's an American Brown Ale coming in strong at 6.2% ABV. I'd also like to note that BeerAdvocate gave this one a 91 (out of 100) rating so you might as well just be drinking liquid gold or something because they just don't throw around A's to any old beer. They used to only sell these (at least that I could find) in the taller bottles, but this week my local Total Wine started stocking them in little ones, which I guess was sort of neat.

This guy...

Dedicated to the Rogue in each of us.

This next one I'm a little too excited about. I have a small weird obsession with neat bottles, and Rogue did a special seasonal release of a new IPA and it comes in this rad ceramic pop top bottle. So I've been swooning over it for the past month or so since Total Wine opened, but I never purchased it because the 750 ml will run you a pretty penny at the store (15 bucks a pop to be exact). Vinnie brought some over the other day to surprise me and it might actually be worth the 12 dollars. Okay, maybe not that much but it was really really good. This one is an American Double/ Imperial IPA and comes in at 9.50% ABV. It's perfectly hoppy and not too heavy and really refreshing. I'm not really usually into drinking the head/foam of the beer but this was delicious. The XS Imperial IPA rates 92 on BeerAdvocate by the way. If you've got the cash I seriously recommend that you go pick one of these suckers up.


Happy Drinking!

50 ways to open a beer bottle with out a bottle opener....


My boyfriend and I have taken to collecting the caps of all the beers we drink so that we can eventually make something out of them, I think something along the lines of a tall bar table topped with caps would be pretty neat. So, to do this, you can't bend the cap all out of shape in the process of opening your bottle. If you haven't noticed, most bottle openers damage the cap in some way. So here's Vinnie trying to teach me how to open a beer bottle without bending the cap using a rusty old pair of pliers.

I'm sure there's some physics principle having to do with levels and fulcrums at play here but whatever. 

He should probably be the one writing this post, but my understanding is put pressure on the cap with your hand pushing down then upwards with the flat tool of your choice.

And voila like magic.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Punk as f***

You're all going to have to bear with me because my lovely beautiful Canon 5D Mark II is out of commission and I have to bring it in to their service center tomorrow. Until then, all photos are from a borrowed crummy little point and shoot that I don't like. hopefully I'll have it back in time for Stone Brewery in October! Today I had a pretty laid back day, just class in the morning and then spent the rest of the day hiding inside in the air conditioning hiding from the 90 degree weather. So we are nearly Autumn, my favorite season, which means candy corn, halloween candy, cinnamon spices and .... pumpkins!!! So how could I resist the Dogfish Head Brewery Punkin beer staring me down in the seasonal isle of the local Total Wine?

I was a bit nervous at first that it would be overwhelming and too sweet like a pumpkin pie or something, but it was surprisingly subtle. It smells a bit like Christmas and Thanksgiving and tastes earthy and a little spicy (in  the cinnamon and nutmeg sense, not like salsa). It's a stronger beer at 7% but not terribly overwhelming, and I think I could actually drink a few of these without getting sick of them. Usually sweet or flavored beers get a little old after one pint. So get in the fall spirit and go drink some pumpkin beer and think about what you're going to be for Halloween.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cheap red wine

Updating you all with a sad sad post about some cheap red wine...coming in at a meager 3 out of 5 stars we have Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi's Pinot Noir. Not too bad for a five dollar wine, but it's still a five dollar wine. If all you're doing is watching Family Feud and eating pizza with your favorite person, then it's not bad. Otherwise I recommend that you spend the money and get your broke asses to BevMo and pick up some vintage 2008 Francis Coppola Malbec or Cab and have yourself a classy evening.  If you're feeling frisky go to your local Total Wine & More and get some CULT Cabernet from lovely Napa Valley, California. This is probably one of my all time favorite wines. It holds it's own with a 90 out of 100 from Wine Enthusiast (while still moderately priced at $25 a bottle) and has lovely dark fruity flavors, with a hint of dark chocolate. I love dark chocolate. And how can you really go wrong with a name like CULT...

Hope you all had a  lovely Wednesday, I know mine was.

Oldey timey

A recommendation:

Enjoy some nice wine of your choice and sit outside with this as your soundtrack. Maybe a little post about my day later..have a lovely Wednesday