Beer Travel – It’s what we do.

“Hey, let’s go to a brewery,” a proposition that is simply music to my ears. Road trips have quickly become one of my favorite hobbies that involve jumping around the pacific northwest seeing the sights and hunting down breweries and areas of odd bottle distribution. Hell, given the unbelievably good MPG I entertain, it’s no wonder that I don’t do this more!

Consider, for a moment, seeing all of those places that have haunted your beer cellar for so long: Alesmith, The Bruery, Russian River, Fifth Fifty, Stone, Sierra Nevada, etc. The sense of wonder and excitement upon arriving at a brewery like this, or frankly any new place, is only surpassed by seeing the man behind the curtain, so to speak; being able to grab a flight while taking in your surroundings be it brewing equipment or just a throng of fellow beer geeks like yourself. Valiant Brewing sample flight!

This last weekend I was able to partake at Valiant Brewing Company, The Bruery, Beachwood Brewing Company, and Noble Ale Works on a trip down to Anaheim for a wedding. The wedding was great and the beer was great. Next weekend will find me in Mendocino County for Anderson Valley’s Boonville Beer Festival.

Where will you be? Get on with your beerscapades and beer travel today!IMG_2415 IMG_2385

Game of Thrones – The Food and The Drink

Game of Thrones is pretty incredible.

Well that was simple. I could go on for thousands of words more expounding the awesome that is GoT but I prefer to be more precise and you would probably prefer to read the series for that length anyways. In the spirit of that, this article is more inclined to preparing for, and enjoying further, that which is Westeros and its surrounding lands.

Food and drinks it is then.

To start with, Brewery Ommegang’s Take the Black Stout and Fire and Blood Red Ale to help the cooking process. Beef and bacon pie? Let’s do that.

Bacon lattice anyone?

Bacon lattice anyone?

A credit to “A Feast of Ice and Fire” for the recipe. Delicious. We made the dough from scratch which was fun although we had to improvise the rolling pin and a few spice combinations. The innards were all beef bits, veggies, and broth topped with a bacon lattice. Yeah, that happened. Ultimately, we had a great time in the kitchen followed by tantalizing episodes of Game of Thrones.

Sunday complete.

Firestone Walker Beerscapades

It's. Just. So. Pretty.

It’s. Just. So. Pretty.

A buddy and I recently spent a couple weekends heading to Firestone Walker breweries in Paso Robles and Buelton taking footage of the trip and our shenanigans along the way. It was for a contest that FWBC was holding in preparation for the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival (#FWIBF). The idea behind the contest was to create a video entry that shows the extent of your inner beer geek regarding Firestone Walker with tickets to that very event on the line.

Editting the final product.

Editing the final product.

We had a lot of fun road tripping around California for this project and, of course, visiting the brewery too! Nothing beats actually visiting the brewery and enjoying some fresh beer with some friends.

So – check it out!

 

Spent Grain Peanut Butter Cookies!

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So you’ve brewed your own beer and you’re feeling pretty good about yourself. As fermentation takes its course, though, you think,” what else can I do that involves beer right now?”

Now aside from drinking the one that is probably in your hand, make something with the spent grain! I chose cookies because cookies are awesome. IMG_1894

It’s pretty easy and can be broken down into some simple steps. I found my recipe online here. Just dry the grain, ground some of it, combine all the bits, and bake. I’m no wizard in the kitchen but here I am with delicious cookies. Check it out and some of the other recipes on BrooklynBrewShop.com.

The only other consideration is what beer to pair with these…

I was lucky enough to have a peanut butter milk stout from Belching Beaver Brewery to pair with these fantastic morsels of goodness. What will you choose?

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Capitol Beer Fest 2014

There is nothing quite like a good, ol’ fashioned beer festival to end a week celebrating the diversity and quality of local, and not so local, craft beer. Of course, the definition of such a festival in Sacramento includes 100+ brewers, masses of food trucks, live music, and closing several blocks of street with views of the Capitol Building in one direction and Tower Bridge in the other.

Right?!

With threat of rain and overcast skies, the outcome of this event seemed shaky at first. Even a few drops seem to signal the onset of a most soggy festival. To the relief of the crowds though, beer flowed instead of rain.

I had a pretty wild time. The amenities previously mentioned were fantastic. The throngs of volunteers and people having a good time was amazing. Countless brewers were present to purvey their goods but seemed to join in immediately on the good times sharing brews and stories alike.

There were more than a few beers and breweries of note. I was pretty excited to try these gems though:

  • Bear Republic – Apex
  • Stone – Go To IPA
  • Berryessa – Whippersnapper English Mild
  • Karl Strauss – 25th Anniversary Doppelbock
  • Tahoe Mountain – Citrus Provisions, Cask Hop Song IPA, and Recolte Du Bois
  • Sudwerks – 3 Best Friends

Ultimately, I did any festival goer proud sampling with the “gotta catch them all” strategy and tried anything that looked new and exciting. There were also some established names present too that  I couldn’t help but visit:

  • Device
  • Bike Dog
  • Tioga Sequoia
  • Dust Bowl
  • New Glory
  • Ballast Point
  • Green Flash
  • Firestone Walker
  • Mraz
  • New Helvetia
  • Out of Bounds
  • Ruhstaller

Just to name a few, of course.

I can’t wait until next year’s beer week and festival!

 

Sante Adairius Rustic Ales – Seriously Good Beer

I had the good fortune to visit this lovely little brewery this past weekend. With rain drizzling and beer flowing, this Sunday morphed into something more, something magical even.The brewery filled steadily the whole day with a crowd clearly impassioned with a love of craft beer. Like myself, many had traveled great distances to imbibe the fine offerings from SARA’s stores. There were also bottle shares most impressive occurring around the room by both serious and very friendly patrons not afraid to share a wee bit of anything they had open with a stranger like myself. What I mean to say is, this establishment truly impressed me. The clear love of the craft by the patrons, servers,and brewers was very apparent. I cannot wait to go back, especially after having tried the extent of the day’s menu.

Sacramento Brewers Showcase 2014

Sacramento Beer Week! Yeah, I’m excited too.

The festivities began with the Brewers Showcase at the California Automobile Museum where about 27 Sacramento area breweries came together to serve beer while being surrounded by all of the museum’s collection.

Setting the scene: beautiful cars, delicious beers.

There were a couple notable experiences for me:

  • Out of Bounds Brewing released their Relentless double red ale at the event. Very glad I got some of this.
  • Knee Deep Brewing Company poured their Hopaholic 4x IPA. This certainly had a kick to it. Very enjoyable!
  • I was able to catch brewers from New Glory Brewing and Device Brewing for a quick chat. Very nice guys serving excellent beer.
  • Sudwerks was out in force with some of their personalities with a tasty dry hopped lager.
  • American River Brewing had their Rockhound Barleywine and Morning Wood – both were excellent!
  • Bike Dog ended the night winning the People’s Choice distinction.

I had a great time, met a lot of really nice people, and tried more than a few quality beers.

Here’s to a fantastic Sacramento Beer Week, cheers!

Sacramento Brewers Showcase 2014