Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Brewing TV

Do you like beer? Do you like to brew beer? Do you like to watch videos about beer and brewing it? Then you should check out Brewing TV.

"Brewing TV's mission is to cover the world of homebrewing through the magic of video. There are so many stories to be told, brews to be brewed, and people to profile … in other words, no shortage of segments and content to be shot. The homebrewing community has always been a strong one, whether it's your LHBS, a club in your city, you and some friends brewing in your kitchen on a weekend afternoon, or an online forum with rabid regulars. Brewing TV is a place where those different communities can connect and hear about what homebrewing has been, what it is, and where it is going. Brewing TV is a voice for homebrewing culture ... the "why," not the "how." If you want technical, you can always read a book!"

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Now what?

Feeling down because American Craft Beer Week is drawing to a close? Wondering how you will celebrate all things beer now? Have no fear, the future holds more beer! Keep an eye out in the coming weeks as I detail such upcoming events as San Diego Beer Week Preview Weekend, San Diego International Beer Festival, and Stone Sour Fest just to name a few. Get your taste buds ready, because as the weather warms up, your thirst for great craft beer will be quenched!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

San Diego International Beer Competition

Wow! Nothing makes you realize you know very little about beer until you go to something like this! I was in the company of home brewers, commercial brewers, and commercial brewing employees as a steward, and those judging were everything from beer lovers to brewery owners. Listening to them talk shop helped me to see that my knowledge is very limited! I have a ways to go to be on par with these guys, but I will work hard to become so. I cannot give any details about the competition, but I will let you know that you NEED to be at the San Diego International Beer Festival at the San Diego Fair next month! I had a great time, met some great people, and will definitely be back next year. See you at the fair!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Weekend Roundup

As American Craft Beer Week winds down (or ramps up, depending on your outlook), what are your beer plans for the weekend?

Craft Brewing Co. Grand Opening
Saturday, 12:00-8:00pm
Lake Elsinore, CA

The Bruery 2nd Anniversary Celebration
Saturday & Sunday, 12:00pm & 4:00pm each day
Placentia, CA
$43.50 at the door, Sunday only

Wine, Brews & Blues Festival
Saturday, 4:00-10:00pm
Escondido, CA
$60, $40 for designated driver

Be sure to check here for a list of any ACBW events going on in your neighborhood this weekend. As always, get out there and find some great craft beer, be safe, and have fun!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Avery Black Tot

As I sit here sipping Black Tot by Avery Brewing Co., I can feel the stress melting away from my soul. I have an inner peace that is hard to describe. Maybe it is the 10.08% alcohol that this barrel-aged imperial oatmeal stout boasts. Perhaps it is the rum-based alcohol nose that greets me warmly as the glass is raised to my lips. Perhaps it is the silky-smooth, milk-like mouthfeel that coats my throat with each sip. Perhaps it is that it has a faint bite with absolutely no bitterness, which makes it very drinkable. Perhaps it is just because I love Avery and just about everything that they put out. With my glass half full at this point, and the brew reaching room temperature, the complexities of this awe-inspiring beer remind me that I have yet to assign it a rating. One more sip should provide me with enough physical and emotional data to make that decision. 4.5 stars. Perhaps it is time to finish my drink.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Beer City USA 2010

Is it your city? Is it the city that your favorite beer comes from? Is it a city you've only heard about, but know nothing of their beer culture? Whatever the case, cast your vote! Results will be posted right here, so keep an eye out sometime after the 23rd of this month.

Poll: Beer City USA 2010 - What's your pick?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

National Bike to Work Week

Since petal-power is on our minds this week, I thought it would be a good time to post a picture I took at Beach to Brewery Beer + Music Fest a couple of weekends ago. Hop on your bike this week so that we can all breathe a little easier and give the planet a little breathing room as well.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Get local!

You buy fresh fruit and vegetables at your local farmers market. You buy fresh seafood from your local fish market. You buy beer bottled 6 months ago in... Milwaukee? You live locally, why would you buy beer from Germany, the U.K., or even Colorado, when there is such a vibrant local beer scene right here in your own town? Don't get me wrong, there are great beers produced all across this country as well as overseas. I encourage you to try great craft beer from all around the world, but are you more familiar with German Wheat beers and English Stouts than you are with the offerings from your local brewer down the street? Explore local beers! Get to know the brewers. Visit the breweries. Drink local and demand local. Does your favorite restaurant feature any local beers? If not, ask them why? If they do, thank them and ask them to keep a rotating tap list of local beers. Does your corner liquor store carry a good selection of local beers? Ask them to bring in a style or two from several local breweries. Spread the word. You would be surprised by the number of people who just don't know the amount of local beer available. If we all get together to support our local beer community, think how the industry will grow. So get out there, get to know your hometown beer, and get local!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"The Mother of All Beer Weeks"

Happy American Craft Beer Week! What do you have planned for the week? Click here for all the details. Have a great week!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pizza Port Ocean Beach... the saga continues

As I posted yesterday, we are still awaiting the opening of the much anticipated beachside beer & pizza mecca. I talked to them this morning and, as before, final license approval is pending. I was told that it will be a couple of days after final approval before they will be able to officially open. In my estimation, that will put us into next week, but we'll see. As always, I will keep you as up to date as I am.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pizza Port Ocean Beach... still not open! The chain link construction fence still surrounds the building, so I am assuming they didn't make the May 10th opening prediction. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Beach to Brewery Beer + Music Fest part 2: The Event

What a wonderful event for a great cause! Karl Strauss taps were flowing with everything from Endless Summer Light, to Big Barrel Double IPA, to Belgian Stranger. All were fresh and delicious! Several cask beers were tapped, including Sintail Black Ale, a dark version of their Pintail Pale Ale, and a Lavender Hefeweizen, which were paired with different cheeses. Surfrider Foundation, 91X, and Sector 9 all had booths with information and goodies. Several bands took the stage including Stranger, The Howls, Writer, and The Silent Comedy. I particularly enjoyed the brewery tours they were giving, since this is the only time they give tours throughout the year. Some nice items were put up on a silent auction, and $2 raffle tickets were being sold for various prizes. I bought 10 tickets, and just missed winning something by one ticket! The sun was bright and warm, the beer was cold and satisfying, and the music was loud and rockin'. Good times!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Weekend Roundup

The weekend is upon us again. Do you have any beer related plans? Here are a few suggestions...

Beach to Brewery Beer + Music Fest
Saturday, 2:00-7:00pm
Pacific Beach, CA
$30 at the door

14th Annual Legendary Boonville Beer Festival
Saturday, 1:00-6:00pm
Boonville, CA
$50 at the door

Port Brewing / The Lost Abbey 4th Anniversary
Saturday, 11:00am & 4:00pm
San Marcos, CA
$15 per session

Speaking of Port Brewing, Pizza Port Ocean Beach is (hopefully) set to open on Monday! Get there early to secure a "I Drank the First Brew" shirt and a pint for just $10.

If you can't make it to one of these events, I hope you brew up your own fun this weekend. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ballast Point Sour Wench Blackberry Ale

If you read yesterday's post, then you already know a little bit about this beer and it's history. For some reason I was expecting this to be sweet, but it wasn't. The color, which doesn't come through at all in the picture, is a beautiful, deep ruby. It has an extremely fruity nose, which is why the lack of sweetness is so surprising. The fruit also comes through in the mouth, is slightly tart, and ends with a nice, nonassertive sourness. At 5.4% alcohol, this is a very drinkable brew. I highly recommend a trip to the brewery to try this seasonal release, and if you really like it growler fills are available for $20. Whether you like fruit beers or not, I think this one deserves some attention.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Marion Berries Better-Than-A-Crackwhore Lambic

This Ballast Point brew has gone through a few changes throughout the years, including a name change to the more politically correct "Sour Wench Blackberry Ale", and I have a feeling you're not going to want to miss this one!

"It all began a good many years ago as an experimental homebrew. Former Ballast Point Brewmaster Pete A'Hearn wanted something fun to bring to the So-Cal Homebrew Fest in Temecula. Something different and special that would stand out amongst all the amazing variety spawned by the clever masses. And although it was (and still is) illegal to add illicit drugs to a beer, he wanted this beer to be as memorable and addicting as CRACK. And so was born Marion Berries Better-Than-A-Crackwhore Lambic.

Now over the years, the brew has undergone several tweaks, the most notable being the name (we didn't even try to get ABC approval on that one). It is now known as Sour Wench Blackberry Ale. It isn't, and really never was, a lambic but it is sour and super delicious. There are over one pound of blackberries per gallon of beer making it bright pink and really fruity. A treat that comes but once a year. We will debut this year's version at both taster bars on Thursday May 6th. Come by and have a taste. You will be glad you did."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A "sign" of good things to come

Hollywood Video, in it's heyday, was the premier place to find the latest movie and video game rentals. That was then. Now, with redbox kiosks on every corner and brand new movies available on your TV, computer, and cell phone, the large movie rental chains are becoming a thing of the past. The downtown El Cajon location, on the corner of Main & Magnolia, has been abandoned for quite some time, but the final remnants of this once choice location were removed today as the iconic sign came down. Not to worry, as this will be the new site of East County's premier microbrewery restaurant. El Cajon Brewing Co. has been working since last year to secure this location and to get to work. Read about their plans here, and keep your eye on this El Cajon intersection. I look forward to posting about the installation of a new sign. One heralding great new things to come, good times to be had, and fantastic beer to be consumed!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bacon Beer

Admit it, it sounds good! Read the Brew Your Own magazine article and recipe here, and judge for yourself.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

CityBeat Festival of Beers part 2: The Event

The festival, which benefited the San Diego Music Foundation, was a great success! A section of El Cajon Blvd. was closed off for the event. Local and regional breweries were on hand pouring samples all afternoon. Geezer took the stage and played cover songs for the cheering, dancing crowd. From street tacos to spicy brats, delicious food was in abundance, and the wonderful smells filled the air. The weather, sunny with a nice breeze, was perfect. A great day, a great cause, a great beverage. What more needs to be said?