It’s a dark Thursday evening as I drive around and around the traffic circle in historic Orange with my daughter. As I re-inact the scene from the classic movie ‘European Vacation’ she laughs wildly. “Look, Big Ben…Parliament”. “Daddy,” she says with best British accent, “go around again, again Daddy!” snort-laughing as we hug the inside turn. A homeless man standing on the corner points at us and laughs. I count the times we pass him…three…four….five. Our car tires screech like we’re in a freshly paved parking garage.
“Ah yes! The blokes from Stone are at Bruery Provisions tonight!”. I break out of the circle as a spot right in front of the Bruery Provisions opens up. Dizzy from the shenanigans I order a cheese in my best British accent, “’ello love, care to nab off a goat for me gal before she throws a wobbly? ”. We gobble the goat as we wait for her mums to pick her up. “I’m thoroughly arse over tit, where the bloody ‘ell is your mums?”. We chat back and forth in British accents for the hell of it.
As my wife and kid head off for dinner and antique shopping, I settle into my nook at the tasting bar. I order a Bruery Special flight that included the Bruery / Elysian / Stone collaboration, “La Citrueille Céleste de Citracado” (The Heavenly Pumpkin of Citricado; Citricado is the street name that Stone Brewing resides in Escondido; the more you know.)
Greg Koch, CEO and co-founder, Steve Wagner, President and Brewmaster and Randy Clemens, PR coodinator at Stone Brewing arrive to sign books, have quick chats and take snaps. The beer geek collective surround me in the tasting area and we talk about some serious beer. Everyone within an earshot of us brews their own beer! The passion for beer in this room is a tangible force to be reckoned with! I chat with Patrick Rue, who stumbled in as he was waiting to pick up dinner at a nearby place. Randy Clemens, author of The Sriracha Cookbook: 50 “Rooster Sauce” Recipes that Pack a Punch, and co-author of The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance is fun to chat with.
The book-signing crew stayed for a few hours, sadly we didn’t get indoctrinated with the beer gospel ala Greg Koch. It would have been a task considering the lively atmosphere! Sometimes its nice to let the beverages speak for themselves. The beers I had tonight get the message across loud and clear. “Ello Guvnah!”