Friday, May 31, 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens - Liberty Station

I popped into the new location over the weekend to look around.  I was literally there for just a few minutes, not even long enough to enjoy a beer or snap any pictures.  I will return soon to feature them in a Brewery Project post, but I will sum up my thoughts on the new digs with one word.  Awesome.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Thanks, Milton & Beth!

My ever-so-loving father & mother-in-law gave me this beer boot for my last anniversary.  After snapping this picture I promptly consumed its contents, not wanting the beer to sit too long unattended.  That's me, always thinking of the beer.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Brewery Project: Latitude 33

Winding my way through a maze of industrial complexes, not seeing a soul in sight as most of the buildings had been abandoned for the weekend, I finally pull into the Latitude 33 Brewing Co. parking lot.  Markedly different from the rest of the businesses in the area, the lot was bustling with people, cars, and even a limo dropping of an eager group at the front door of the unassuming brewery.  Unassuming, that is, until I enter the building and make my way to the large, albeit packed, tasting area.  The room was alive with people enjoying their beer and noshing on provisions from the visiting food truck.  The feeling in the room was energetic and exciting, the exact opposite of my trek to the inconspicuous location.  I sampled their 1st Anniversary Biere de Mars, only scratching the surface of the lineup of beers they were currently offering.  A good beer, it wasn't a style I would choose again.  The staff was friendly but cold, lacking the warmth and personal touch a smaller brewery can offer.  I certainly can't fault them for their size, as most small breweries aspire to the growth this one has already attained, at which time they, too, may turn a bit "colder" that when they were first starting out.  That being said, I look forward to spending some more time in this brewery, getting better acquainted with more of their menu options.  Perhaps next time I'll skip the drive and arrive in a limo of my own.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Pedal Pub

This looks like fun.  Check out the website for the San Diego operation.  Unfortunately they don't allow drinking on board here, but that could change in the future.  Who's ready to get pedaling?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fezziwig's Brewing Co. is now...

Arcana Brewing Co.  See my Brewery Project post for details on why the name change was necessary.  Same great people, same great beer, shiny new name!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

Pizza Port got Tanked!

Tanked, the Animal Planet show about an aquarium manufacturer in Las Vegas, made a custom fish tank out of a beer fermenter for the new Pizza Port Bressi Ranch location on a recent episode.  I don't think the episode is available online, but it may run again or be On Demand from your local cable or satellite company. The Aftershow can be viewed here, and the final reveal can be seen here.  I can't wait to see the tank for myself when the new spot opens up!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Brewery Project: Stumblefoot

I knew very little about Stumblefoot Brewing Co. before my visit to their small San Marcos facility.  Tucked away, as is so often the case, in a run-of-the-mill industrial park sits this little brewery, brewing things their way.  Friendly and eager to serve, I was made to feel right at home.  Simple appointments and no frills puts the focus right were it should be, on the beer.  With an array of styles to choose from including Lagers, Ales, Sours, and even Mead, I decided to stay in my comfort zone with their Apollo Double IPA.  Its 8.5% alcohol was not overpowering, and the beer was smooth with a slightly acidic finish.  I liked this beer a lot, and would definitely order it again.  That being said, I would like to explore more of their offerings next time.  This is the kind of place I can imagine popping in to on a warm summer afternoon and end up hanging out at all evening.  With all the beers I still need to try, I may do just that!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens - Liberty Station is now open!

We've been patiently waiting, but the wait is over!  Check out the new digs here.  I'll defer to The Beer Rover, who's already paid the new location a visit, for an early review of Stone's latest endeavor.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Super-Secret Mission

I'm back from my mission, a surprise visit to my parents in Colorado for their 50th wedding anniversary, and it was a huge success!  I'll detail each of my mission photos below.

This was the first shot I took of a Ballast Point Big Eye IPA with Las Vegas, the first stop on my road trip, as the backdrop.

This was a Breckenridge 471 Small Batch Double IPA that I enjoyed at their brewpub, The Ale House, in the Colorado mountain town of Grand Junction.

This was a stop I made at Verboten Brewing, a new brewery in the town of Loveland owned by a friend of mine.

This was an evening chilling with the family and a couple of New Belgium brews.

This was a late lunch at a Japanese restaurant where I enjoyed an Odell St. Lupulin Extra Pale Ale.

This was an Oskar Blues G'Knight Imperial Red IPA posing in front of a picturesque Utah sunset.

This was the final stop, at Triple 7 Restaurant and Microbrewery inside Main Street Station back in fabulous Las Vegas.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Super-Secret Mission

Follow the clues over the next week and join me!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Brewery Project: Fezziwig's

Beer.  Steampunk.  Litigation.  These words don't seem to go together, but wrap harmoniously into the brewery currently known as Fezziwig's Brewing Co.  Perhaps "harmoniously" is the wrong word to use when it comes to the litigation part.  Named after the classic Dickens character from A Christmas Carol, the name embodies the heart and soul of what this brewery is all about.  A love of Dickens, the steampunk culture, and beer all come together in a brewery nestled quietly in the seaside community of Carlsbad, California.  Meanwhile, across the country in the bustling metropolis of Boston, Massachusetts, The Boston Beer Co., largest craft brewer in the country and maker of Samuel Adams beers, including the seasonal brew, Old Fezziwig Ale, decides to take issue with the fact that a small craft brewer in California took a fancy to the same name they use in a beer only available a few weeks out of the year.  The result?  Notice the above use of the word "currently".  Unfair as it may be, and in order to avoid the aforementioned litigation, the name must be changed.  I don't know the new name yet, but will post it as soon as it is released.  A name, however, means nothing without a good product behind it.  I found the beer to be very good.  The standout for me was the Tiny Tim Cream Ale.  The 4.8% alcohol, 15 IBU brew was smooth and easy to drink.  One of my favorite things about visiting new breweries and sampling their beers is that I typically get to try styles that are out of my comfort zone.  Before this I wouldn't have looked twice at a Cream Ale, but I would order a pint of this any day.  I recommend a trip to this brewery, whatever its name, to check out all the beers for yourself.  A final word to Jim Koch of The Boston Beer Co.  "Can't we all just get along?"

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Brewery Project: Butcher's

I posted here that Manzanita's old brewing facility in Santee had been taken over by Butcher's Brewing, but that I didn't know the status of the tasting room.  I'm happy to report that as of this past Wednesday, May 1st, the tasting room is officially open to the public.  I was excited to see it transformed from the last time I was there, back when Manzanita was still occupying the space.  I didn't feel like a new brewery was operating out of "Manzanita's old building", but that the d├ęcor reflected the new owner's point of view and made for a great place to enjoy a new product.  Although not new to the San Diego craft beer scene, having brewing space of their own is a nice change for the brewery, who used to contract with Orange County's Bayhawk Ales to brew their beers.  Owner-brewer Rey Knight roved about the tasting room chatting and answering questions about his brews, and even pulled some Double Shaka, a delicious 10% alcohol IIPA, off the bright tank for those in attendance to sample.  I was highly impressed by Rey and the beers he presented.  The one that took me by surprise, so much so that I ended up taking a growler of it home with me, was Iron Hide ESB.  Extra Special Bitter is not a style I have explored very much, but this beer definitely turned my head.  Rey explained that the specialty malts used in the brew along with an experimental hop variety were to credit for its unique taste.  I recommend trying it for yourself to fully appreciate all the nuances this beer has to offer.  Ultimatum IPA was also awesome, but I honestly found each beer on the board to be excellent, and would have a hard time advocating one over another. With multiple styles represented, the best thing to do is to make your own trip to Santee and see what strikes your fancy.  I have a feeling there will be surprises with each visit, which is why I'll be back again soon myself!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

At home with Stone's Greg Koch

San Diego Magazine did a nice spread on the abode of Stone Brewing Co. CEO and co-founder Greg Koch.  Check it out here.  I am particularly envious of the beer fridge featured in one of the shots, apparently one of several throughout the house.  I can imagine being invited over and having the pick of one of the many awesome brews inside.  Hey, I can dream!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Beer Bottle Physics

This is an interesting, albeit slightly above my head, article about the physics of differently colored beer bottles.  Basically, it scientifically tests the sun's affect on beer in amber, green, and clear bottles.  Although the science may be a bit much for a simple beer drinker like myself, the results are clear.  Pun intended.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Who said that?

"Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire."
- David Rains Wallace