Saturday, November 30, 2013

A note about desert camping

When camping in the desert there is no Wi-Fi.  There is no cell service.  There is no blogging.  Lesson learned.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Say it isn't so!

I had a hard time reading this article about the destruction of 240,000 bottles of beer in Nigeria.  Oh, the humanity!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

To get through Monday!

Click here if you don't see the video.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Liquor Laws by State

I found this page that outlines each state's liquor laws.  While California is lenient when it comes to liquor sales, Colorado still doesn't allow higher than 3.2% alcohol beer to be sold in grocery stores.  How does your state measure up?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Brewery Project: Plan 9 Alehouse

Being a family man and a beer lover, I'm always looking for a place where I can spend quality time with my family while enjoying great craft beer as well.  I found that and more at Plan 9 Alehouse.  A family friendly atmosphere, great beer, and awesome food all come together to create a fantastic experience.  With an impressive tap list of world-class beers, including local favorites from AleSmith, Ballast Point, Green Flash, Hess, Modern Times, Saint Archer, and Stone, along with regional offerings from the likes of Dogfish Head, Firestone Walker, Great Divide, Maui, Ninkasi, Ommegang, and Oskar Blues, there is something for every taste.  Not to be sidetracked by the extensive lineup of guest beers, I ordered tasters of each of their beers that were currently available.  El Gourdo, a 7% alcohol pumpkin IPA, was very good.  The pumpkin and related spices came through without overtaking the brew.  I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin beers, but this one was good.  Government Rye-Down, brewed during the government shutdown, definitely made rye the star and was quite good.  Velvet Nothing, their Oatmeal Stout, was a pretty straightforward incarnation of the style.  Turd Ferguson, an unfiltered Brown Ale, was my favorite of the group.  Chewy and delicious, I'll be keeping an eye out for this one.  I would be remiss if I didn't make mention of how good the food was as well.  Pictured below is their BLT, which features pork belly, IPA mustard, spring greens, vine ripened tomato, bleu cheese, and bacon bread, along with their Shrimp and Grits, which features black tiger shrimp and cheddar grits stuffed into a poblano pepper.  Both dishes were incredible, but the BLT was probably the best I've ever had!  Even if you don't like beer, you need to go check out the food.  I recommend the food and the beer, and can't wait for my next visit!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Who said that?

"Whoever called it near beer was a poor judge of distance."
- Prohibition saying

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

That's not right!

Click here if you don't see the video.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Brewery Project: Legacy

New breweries are popping up in North County faster than I can visit them.  Legacy Brewing Co. is one of the newest.  With an unassuming exterior and a nice, spacious interior, this brewery has the potential to be a real destination hotspot.  Although fairly quiet now, with some word of mouth and a little time I believe it will live up to its potential.  Chip, a friend of the owner who was manning the bar at the time of my visit, was happy to talk about the brews he was pouring and gave me a nice tour of the facility.  He kept emphasizing "balance" when describing the beers, and I definitely saw that balance in the Sedition IPA I was drinking.  An English style IPA by recipe, this brew drank much differently than most of the West Coast IPA's San Diego has become known for.  While fairly filling, the modest 6.8% alcohol and 67 IBU's along with the slightly sweet malt backbone and earthy English hops all worked together to make an extremely balanced, easy to drink IPA.  This is an IPA for someone who doesn't want to be beaten over the head with hops.  An IPA of days gone by.  It is with this sense of history that they brew all of their beers.  In an age of extremes, brewing with "balance" can be a tricky thing to accomplish, but it can also set you apart from the pack.  It's that approach to brewing that will bring me back to this brewery again, and it's the reason you should check them out as well.  After all, we can all use a little balance in our lives!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

2014 Beer Bloggers Conference comes to San Diego

I have been wanting to attend the Beer Bloggers Conference for the past couple of years, but distance and finances have prohibited it.  It looks like I will finally get my chance next year, as San Diego has been chosen as the host city for the North American conference.  Here is the official announcement with more details.  I am looking forward to the event, and the chance to get to know other bloggers who share my passion for all things beer.  Are you a beer blogger?  Hopefully I'll see you there!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Too sick for a barleywine?

I posted here that when I am sick I like a nice barleywine.  Sitting here now, sick as a dog, I have no appetite for a barleywine or any other beer.  It's a sad, sad day.  Hopefully I'll feel better soon, and perhaps even have that barleywine!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Whose slogan is this?

"Beer speaks.  People mumble."

Monday, November 11, 2013

How's your liver?

With San Diego Beer Week officially over, I reflect on the above question.  I can't tell you how many times over the past 10 days I heard that, or similar phrases, uttered.  So much so that I began to question the very idea of SDBW.  To me those 10 days were to be a celebration of all things craft beer in San Diego.  A way to spread the gospel of craft, if you will.  An opportunity to open the uninitiated eyes of craft beer virgins to what beer, real beer, can and should be.  When I hear people talking about the deterioration of their livers due to the extended week's festivities, even if in jest, I wonder if the event has somehow changed over the past 5 years, morphing from something more closely resembling this ideal I hold so dear into some kind of frat boy keg party brouhaha.  Craft beer is for savoring, enjoying, and sharing, not chugging, guzzling, and regurgitating.  Perhaps I'm too sensitive.  Perhaps I take myself and craft beer too seriously.  Perhaps I've given you something to think about.  Perhaps we've all got something to think about.  Perhaps, like San Diego Beer Week, this rant has come to a close.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Brewery Project: Prohibition

The good, the bad, and the ugly.  That sums up my visit to Prohibition Brewing Co.  I'm happy to say that "the good" was the beer.  Hef-U-Up, though sophomorically named, was quite good.  A 7.5% hefeweizen, the cloudy brew had the sweet notes I look for in a beer of this style, was full bodied, and very drinkable.  I would definitely order this beer again, and the finesse with which it was brewed makes me want to try their other offerings as well.  That, unfortunately, was the end of "the good".  "The bad" may be considered a matter of taste.  When I ordered the aforementioned beer the bartender asked if I wanted a slice of lemon with it.  Perhaps it was a slice of orange.  I was so thrown by the question that I honestly don't remember.  If I go to Chili's and order a Blue Moon, I expect the glass to be adorned with a piece of fruit.  This is not something I expect to encounter at a brewery.  Again, this is my preference.  Some people may like a piece of lemon or orange with their beer, and that's okay.  For me, it's not okay.  That brings me to "the ugly".  The bartender asked the guys sitting next to me at the bar what they wanted to drink.  They said they didn't really care and that they just wanted a beer, so to bring them an IPA.  As she was getting their beer she responded, "I know what you mean.  Beer is beer."  Really?  Again, if I was at Chili's I might expect the bartender to have this kind of attitude, but at a brewery?  How can a brewery expect to distinguish itself in the San Diego market when its main public representatives, their bartenders, don't care about the product they are serving?  This left a bad taste in my mouth, overshadowing the previous good taste from the beer.  The beer was good enough to have again, but I think I'll look for it elsewhere.  Someplace where "beer" is much, much more than just "beer".

Friday, November 8, 2013

Happy International Stout Day!

What?  It's not too late to celebrate!  Check out the official website for details.  Now go have a Stout!

Thursday, November 7, 2013 defines "Beer"

This must have been written by a true beer connoisseur.  "A generic name for a low-alcohol beverage", "Beers in the United States have between 3 and 8 percent alcohol while in Europe beer can have as high as 13 percent", and "Beer should not be aged like other liquors" are my favorite snippets.  Read the whole thing for a good laugh, or cry, depending on your mood.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Is it just me...

...or isn't San Diego Beer Week supposed to be in support of San Diego beers?  Why are there events going on around town this week that focus on beers not from San Diego?  It's not right!  That being said, I attended just such an event at Small Bar tonight that featured several rare beers from Colorado's Avery Brewing Co.  It was awesome!  Rumpkin, Uncle Jacob's Stout, Mephistopheles' Stout, and Momi Hiwa are not to be missed!  I don't know if you'll still be able to find them at Small Bar or not, but you need to seek these beers out.  I'm still upset that not all of the events going on this week solely spotlight San Diego beers, but I guess I'll get over it.

Monday, November 4, 2013

1000th post!

I can't believe I started this blog 1000 posts ago!  To mark the occasion, I recite the words I saw on the wall of a brewery the other day.

Our ale,
Which art in barrels,
Hallowed be thy drink,
Thy kingdom come,
I fill thee mug,
At home as in the tavern
Give us this day,
our foamy head,
And forgive us
our spillages,
As we forgive those
who spill upon us,
And lead us not,
into inebriation,
But deliver us
from hangovers

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Brewery Project: Barrel Harbor

Located just off of North County's Highway 78, aptly dubbed "Hops Highway", sits Barrel Harbor Brewing Co.  Less than 2 months old, this brewery is already measuring up with major players on the San Diego brewing scene.  David Meadows of the now defunct El Cajon Brewing Co., who produced one of the finest IPA's I've ever had, is at the helm as Master Brewer, and once again proves his mastery of the style with his current IPA incarnations.  I created my own IPA flight with their IPA, Black IPA, and Hopportunity Imperial IPA.  Each were extremely well-balanced, keeping both hops and malt in check, had moderate alcohol and IBU levels so that you could enjoy multiple beers at a sitting, and were just plain delicious!  I need to try more of their offerings, as I'm sure they are equally as good, but when it comes to IPA's this will be one of my go-to spots.  I recommend a trip down "Hops Highway", and a stop at this fantastic new brewery.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Happy Learn to Homebrew Day!

Do you homebrew?  If not, today is the perfect day to start!  Go here for information on this special day and links to help you get started making your own beer.  What are you waiting for?  Get brewing!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Who said that?

"Welcome to SDBW (where W means "week" but it's really 10 days, so I guess it's an Imperial Week)."
- Rip Current Brewing