Friday, August 31, 2012

Do you "Like" this?

If so, head on over to my Facebook page and hit "Like".  While you're at it, tell your friends, family, loved ones, acquaintances, strangers, and anyone else who loves great craft beer about the page as well.  Thanks, I "Like" you, too!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What Is Your Life Full Of?

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.  When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.  He then asked the students if the jar was full.  They agreed that it was.  The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.  He shook the jar lightly.  The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.  He then asked the students again if the jar was full.  They agreed it was.  The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.  Of course, the sand filled up everything else.  He asked once more if the jar was full.  The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’  The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.  The students laughed.  ‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.  The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.  The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.  The sand is everything else—the small stuff.’  ‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.’  The same goes for life.  If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.  Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.  Spend time with your children.  Spend time with your parents.  Visit with grandparents.  Take time to get medical checkups.  Take your spouse out to dinner.  Play another 18.  There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.  Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter.  Set your priorities.  The rest is just sand.  One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.  The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’  The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Beer emergency?

Click here if you don't see the video.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Brewery Project: Oceanside Ale Works

Inside a sleepy industrial park in the heart of Oceanside sits Oceanside Ale Works.  The cold, gray exterior of the nondescript building hints that a quiet set of offices may lie beyond the front door.  The lobby also holds few clues to what you'll find when you round the corner at the end of the small hallway leading out of the space.  You now know you're in the right place, as the room opens up to the brewing floor and tasting area.  Ample tasting space, with a large bar and a few tall tables, is present throughout the area, with several picnic tables residing underneath a storage loft.  Chill and relaxed, locals and visitors sip their brew of choice.  The opposite end of the room opens to a spot that food trucks can provide much needed nosh.  My samplings included their Buccaneer Blonde, Ketch 'A' Wave Brown, a riff on their unavailable Elevation 83 created by mixing their American Strong Ale and 43 Below IPA, and last, but certainly not least, Big Ellie's Bock, which weighs in at a hefty 13.4% alcohol.  All were new to me with the exception of Big Ellie's Bock, and I will definitely be on the lookout for their beers from now on.  It's a lengthy trek if you're not from North County, but well worth the journey.  If you can't make it there right away, at least look for their worthy additions to the San Diego beer scene in your area.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dave Grohl rocks!

You've gotta love Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl, who's constantly proving what a cool guy he is.  This is just another example.  Rock on Dave Grohl, rock on!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A new Pizza Port location?

How did I miss this news of a new Pizza Port location?  It sounds like the 37,050 square foot building will house a restaurant, training facility, large production space, and provide the ability to can their beer.  Nice!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Whose slogan is this?

"Off-centered ales for off-centered people."

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Brewery Project: The Beer Co.

The first time I went to The Beer Co., shortly after it opened, I wasn't overly impressed.  The food was fine, and the beer they had was just fine as well.  What they had, that is.  Several of the selections, the "bigger" beers, were out.  My taster set was filled with Pale, Blonde, and Brown ales, styles I usually allocate to the back seat in favor of more aggressive IPAs and IIPAs, or richer barleywines and quadruples.  Perhaps, being fairly new, they just needed to work out some kinks.  After my most recent visit, I would say the kinks have been mostly worked out.  The food was much better than I remembered it, and the beer was fantastic.  I was able to fill my taster set this time around with some nice selections, including their Abbey Normal Dubbel, Elimination IPA, Dark Pint of the Conchords IPA, and The Dude, an Imperial Red.  I thoroughly enjoyed each of the selections and found them a wonderful representation of their individual styles.  Each one felt like it had heart behind it, more than just a brewer following a recipe.  I always like to see special releases come from small breweries such as this one, because it shows that they are truly dedicated to the craft and not just filling out a tap list.  My only complaint with the visit was the amount of time it took to get the taster set.  The brewery restaurant wasn't very busy, yet an entree had arrived before I finally asked the whereabouts of my beer, which showed up shortly after.  Had the set gotten to me sooner I would have ordered a pint after finishing the tasters, however, time didn't allow it by the time I finished the tardy brews.  That aside, I was quite pleased with this stop on my tour, and look forward to visiting again.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

Poor economy

Well, the economy has officially taken its toll on my friend.  Once known for his good taste and affinity for craft beer, a recent pay cut has left him buying forty-packs of Natural Ice.  Which is the lesser of two evils when money is low, cheap beer or no beer?  I'll choose no beer!  What about you?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

What ever happened to "The Hops Project"?

You may remember this post from a year ago promising a "pictorial trip" of my first year growing hops.  The hops were grown, harvested, and were used to dry hop a small batch of homebrew.  What didn't happen was the lovely "pictorial trip" that I promised.  I hope to still provide a homage to that journey, but wanted to share a current view of my bines along with my first harvest of the year.  I will get one more small batch of hops before the season ends, but not nearly this volume.  I'll know the true quality of these hops in November.  Once again I say, stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Presidential Beer

If beer is brewed in the White House, can it still be called "homebrew"?  Read about what's brewing in Washington here.  I can just see Obama giving a tour of the facility followed by a taster flight, akin to the Peter Zien led AleSmith excursions.  Priceless.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


No, I'm not campaigning for the presidential race, there's something much more pressing!  San Diego A-List is trying to find out who has the best beer selection in San Diego, and needs your help.  Sign up and vote here.  Will your favorite spot win?  Vote and see!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Brewery Project: Karl Strauss 4S Ranch

On my quest to visit all of the local breweries our great county has to offer, I find myself challenged to get to breweries, such as Karl Strauss Brewing Co., who offer multiple brewing locations throughout the region.  With that in mind, I traveled to their newest brewery restaurant in 4S Ranch.  I've been watching the development of this new location, and was eager to see the finished product.  The outside of the building is beautiful, showcasing shiny, brightly lit tanks behind large windows.  Arriving around 7:30pm on a Friday night, greeted by an hour and a half wait, I realized that not only was this new spot already thriving, but I'd be waiting a bit longer to eat!  I spent half the time browsing a nearby store before checking back in with the hostess.  They had a table ready, so my wait time was only half of what was forecast.  The interior has kind of an industrial loft feel, with roll-up garage doors around the perimeter of the space.  A large bar area is right up front, with plenty of dining room seating behind.  I was really impressed with the staff's knowledge of the beers.  They were able to suggest and describe the available selections, and even offer food pairings.  This is particularly important to me, as a waiter with no knowledge or information about the beers they serve is a huge pet peeve of mine.  Half the time the waiter doesn't even know what's on tap, let alone being able to help me pick out a brew to accompany my meal.  The food and beer were, of course, awesome, but it was the people that made this a great experience.  Kudos to the staff, and kudos to Karl Strauss for opening up another great location.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

This is 40

Why am I posting about this trailer for the new Judd Apatow movie?  Well, besides the fact that it looks hilarious and nails the phase of life I am in right now, see if anything looks familiar in the opening sequence.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Craft brewing continues to rise

Thanks to the Brewers Association for this great graph and Craft Beer Locator for the following snippet.

"This just in from the Brewers Association: The U.S. now boasts 2,126 breweries—an increase of 350 additional breweries since June 2011.  The BA also tracks breweries in planning as an indicator of potential new entrants into the craft category, and lists 1,252 breweries in planning today compared to 725 a year ago.  Additionally, the count of craft brewers was at 2,075 as of June 30, 2012 showing that 97 percent of U.S. brewers are craft brewers."

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Happy International Beer Day!


If you don't already have plans to celebrate the wonder and awe of beer today (although, being the weekend I'm sure you do) this is the reason you've been looking for.  The following is from the official website.

"The purpose of IBD is threefold:
1) To gather with friends and enjoy the deliciousness that is beer.
2) To celebrate the dedicated men and women who brew and serve our beer.
3) To bring the world together under the united banner of beer, by celebrating the beers of all nations and cultures together on this one remarkable day."

Learn more here, and find local events going on today here.  Do we really need another day dedicated to beer?  Of course!  Whatever your plans are for today, make sure they include good friends, great beer, and fond memories.  Happy International Beer Day!

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Brewery Project: Manzanita B2

When I visited Manzanita Brewing Co. in May, I mentioned that they were in the process of moving to a new, larger location just down the road.  The move is complete, and they have been brewing and serving beer at "B2" since July 12th.  I had wondered whether or not they would be keeping the original location, but I was told by owner Jeff Trevaskis that they would not.  They plan on selling their first home, but with ten times the production capacity at the new location, and room to grow, why wouldn't they?  Jeff gave me a quick tour of the brewing floor and I was quite impressed.  While the old spot was fine for a start-up brewery, the new one reflects the growth and respect this company has earned over the last 2 years.  The tasting room is spacious, with a large bar and several bar-height tables of various sizes.  I heard someone say that there should be more tables to fill the space and offer more seating, which I would agree with.  The area seems unfinished, so I'm sure issues such as this will be addressed as they settle in.  As busy as they were on a Thursday afternoon, I have to think the only direction this young East County brewery has to go is up, and I plan on being along for the ride.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

ip, ip, IPA!

Most people won't realize that the title to this post is supposed to be a riff on "hip, hip, hooray!", but I don't care.  It's #IPADay, after all!  Get out there and have some fun!  And an IPA, of course.  While you enjoy your IPA today, give some thought to how life would be without this glorious beer style.  Yikes!

IPA Day Logo 2012