OC Fest of Ales & Beer Run 5K September 21, 2013 +exclusive promo code

As you may know, one of my favorite elements of craft beer is the community. Drinking beer alone is a magical thing, but add in complete strangers, friends or family to the mix and the beverage is elevated to new heights. One of my major goals with this blog is to grow that community by any means necessary. (TLDR discount code on bottom)

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait approached me at Noble’s 1st anniversary and asked, “how do we get Anaheim on the beer map?” Months later, a beer festival committee was formed with a few beer heads and a die hard group of people that want to see their city succeed. Devon and Shelly Reeves of Downtown Anaheim, various city volunteers, Brad Daniels, Spence Coleman and I brainstormed how to make a fest different, fun and educational. Getting the chance to volunteer for my city…to bring the community together in the name of great beer…is an honor I don’t take lightly. It’s a lot of hard work and I can’t wait to see it all come together on 9/21! Last year, we made it happen in three months…this year, we’ve had time to relax make it something special.

The event supports a local non-profit – the Downtown Anaheim Association. They intern have weekly farmers markets, art crawls and donate their facilities to children’s groups and others. This year it also helps support an 80 year Anaheim tradition – the Halloween Parade and Fall Festival!

I won’t bore you…it’s a beer fest. I hope my passion has compelled some interest!

For my readers, I’m offering a special discount code: GONZO. This will take $10 off!

The fest is a few days away! I hope to see you there! Stop by OCFestofAles.net and get some! Cheers!

“Roid-out” your Angel’s Pregame at The Catch of Anaheim

Stadium food be damned. 

P1060240

ROID RAGE MAKE BLOGGER USE PADDLE TO KNOCK TACOS OUT OF PARK – Flight of TAPS beer next to Blackened Mahi Mahi and Carnitas Tacos on the Gameday Menu.

P1060238

Mexican vs. Irish Nachos! America wins.

You’ve got Angel’s tickets burning a hole in your pocket and a couple hours to kill before the game. Of the many beery spots surrounding the stadium, one happened to ‘catch’ my eye this past week. The Catch of Anaheim is literally a Chuck Finley pitch to the stadium parking lot and rocks an inventive game day menu. After witnessing the pitcher’s mound-sized Snack Bomb Nachos, I dub the gameday menu as “steroids for fans”. The plate is loaded with everything a doping test failee might crave. After sampling the part chip/part fry snack bomb, I instantly feel like Barry Bonds in a home run derby.

P1060235

The Catch also happens to be TAPS Fishhouse & Brewery’s sister restaurant. As such, you can bet your Angels jersey they have award-winning TAPS beer on draft plus a slew of other craft beer, wine and cocktails (ALL less than stadium prices too). On game days, The Catch opens three hours prior to the national anthem, oh say can you see?

Thirsty as all hell, my darling hot wife kicks things off with a lavender martini that is sweet/tart with a layer of citrus foam on top. I (shockingly) get a TAPS Cream Ale…a beer so blonde and swiggable it can fool old’ uncle Jim the macro-drinker into crossing over. It’s light and refreshing enough to stand up to the gameday menu. It’s less filling…and it tastes great.

P1060232On the lighter side of the gameday menu, yellow-fin tuna tar tar happens. The tuna is tossed with some chili, soy sauce,avocado, then dribbled with some wasabi crème fraÎche on a butter lettuce leaf. The Catch keeps it classy by using all sustainable fish exclusively from Santa Monica Seafood.

P1060243Always the adventurous type, I’m curious to try the pork cemita. Sort of like a ‘torta from a different morta’ with a toasty sesame-seed bun, this cabron is legit. Ancho chili marinated pork tussled in chipotle sauce and sprinkled with wild cilantro, Oaxacan cheese, avocado and a spritz of lime…The real star of the show is the crispy chicharrones inside. Pair this with Hangar 24’s Chocolate Porter (available on Nitro on my visit) for an insta-grand slam in your belly.

P1060239The Catch is classy, simple and delicious. There’s some sports memorabilia, bobbleheads, and some screens placed perfectly in the bar without being overdone. The wine cellar sits in the nosebleeds up a spiral staircase. On gameday, a sea of red jerseys are there to keep you company. The atmosphere is relaxed and the service is spot on. Outdoor seating is almost too comfy on their chairs. My only complaint is I was too full and happy to go see the game.

The Catch on Urbanspoon

Big Boy Food Comes to Fullerton | Executive Chef Cody Storts Transforms Hopscotch

Photo - fullertonfoundry.com

Photo – fullertonfoundry.com

Sitting down over a few beers with Hopscotch’s new Executive Chef Cody Storts, one thing occurs to me: How have I not heard of this dude? There’s no doubt I’ve eaten something he’s prepared over the years I’ve frequented downtown Fullerton. Le Cordon Bleu culinary school trained, he’s put his talents to work everywhere from Stubrik’s, the Lime Truck and a gourmet catering co. Now the big cheese of Fullerton’s best craft beer spot, I can’t wait to see what he has to offer. 

Fitted with a chef’s coat, a newsboy cap and swedish chef tattoo on his sautéing arm, he looks to add a bit of southern drawl to traditional French technique at Hopscotch. Sitting in the newly air-conditioned lower area, we get down to business chatting about kitchen philosophy, kids, beer, and of course his food.  “We’re all about having fun in the kitchen” he confesses, “we make the kind of food we really love to eat.” Anyone with the Muppet’s Swedish Chef Tattoo probably knows how to party, am I right? He jumps up, heads to the kitchen as I study the beer list. 

photo (1)

Opting for a fresh paddle of British beers among the many local craft beers, a plate of house made pickles pays a visit. Melons stripped wide seemingly by a woodworking planar tool, pickled red-onion and butter pickles are piled high and full of bright tangy goodness.

photoRolling the dice on some fried pig ear, I’m not disappointed. Served on a dark wood plank , the cracklins come alive with a squirt of lime and schmear of in-house chili sauce. This dish is a call to Mexico, any fan of chicharones, pork, or life in general should try this. Again, the dish is piled high and worthy to share. Other small bites I sampled: Duck taquitos, pretzel bites with white cheddar foam…all eye-rolling good.

photo - fullertonfoundry.com

Country Fried Chicken – Photo – fullertonfoundry.com

Fried chicken lands and my eyes bulge. Huge meaty crusted chicken piled high on a bed of fingerling potatos. I’ve never had sous-vide chicken before, but I’m a fan now! Swamped in its own juices, the chicken squirts across my table on the first bite; a drop or two landing in my English bitter ale. This dish is a force to be reckoned with! The herbed crunch and squirt of this dish alone proves Chef Cody’s ability to shock and awe. Also from the dinner items I sampled the scallop dish and pork butt; easily favorites for time to come.

Pan Seared Scallops and Pickled Veggies - Photo - fullertonfoundry.com

Pan Seared Scallops and Pickled Veggies on the side – Photo – fullertonfoundry.com

Chef Cody Storts is the missing puzzle piece in Hopscotch. The food is beautiful, aromatic, and juicy. My eyes rolled. I had goosebumps. It’s not over-the-top either. “Adventurous and approachable” is the best way to describe it. Paired with the beer, whiskey and cocktail prowess of James Wood, Hopscotch is a destination. It’s great for a few beers with friends, some small bites or a nice date night out.
Before shot. credit PacificElectric.orgHopscotch is romantically housed in the historic Pacific Electric Railway building of Fullerton. The current scene is set to a time when men killed animals, boozed at the desk job and nailed secretaries. It’s got a mountain lodge vibe with a repurposed whiskey barrel bar and a wall of a hundred whiskeys. Fifty craft beers (20 draft) also pair great with the food. The draft list is supple and curated intelligently. 
A thousand thanks to Corky at fullertonfoundry.com for the excellent photos!
————————
Tonight! July 31, don’t miss their inaugural pairing dinner! 

Scheduled for Wednesday, July 31, guests will enjoy a five-course scratch dinner prepared by Chef Cody and his staff, accompanied by a range of beverages including crafted cocktails, whiskeys, and craft beer, each hand-selected by Director of Libations James Wood.

The first of its monthly pairing dinner program, guests at the inaugural pairing will be treated to a sample of the inventive culinary prowess HopScotch has become known for with courses including butter poached lobster, and beef cheeks with whiskey-soaked cherry demi sauce.

“We’re all very excited about our first pairing. It’s our first opportunity to really let loose and show guests what we’re all about. Not only from a culinary standpoint, but the full spectrum of our craft beverage program,” said Storts. It will be a night to celebrate great food and drink.”

Limited to just 50 guests, the event priced at $85 per person, is expected to sell out early. Seating by reservation only, guests are advised to pre-book at 714.871.2222.

The five-course dinner is scheduled to include the following:

FIRST: Amuse

APPETIZER: Charcuterie board
Beverage Pairing – Kir Molecule Cocktail with Cremant Blanc and Chambord pearls

THIRD: Butter poached lobster; Cognac cream dipping dots, smoked garlic confit foam
Beverage Pairing – Cocktail “Aged to perfection” including smoked cognac, peach puree and aged balsamic vinegar
and our house cherry vanilla bitters

ENTREE: Beef cheeks with whiskey soaked cherry Demi, English pea and carrot puree
Beverage Pairing – Barrel aged stout

DESSERT: Caramel corn panna cotta, kettle corn dust, dehydrated candied cherry medley
Beverage Pairing – Few Spirits Rye, Chicago;
James E. Pepper 1776

 
 

HopScotch on Urbanspoon

Ballast Point Drops Anchor at Schooner at Sunset | Beer Dinner Review

P1060010Looking like a boat washed ashore on Pacific Coast Highway in Sunset Beach, Schooner at Sunset isn’t your grandma’s nautically-themed diner & bar. The mini-Statue of Liberty on top beacons visitors from far-away lands such as the beaches of Sunset, Huntington and even the beaches of Long. Inside the main dining room, the vibe is classy Bikini Bottom kitch set to the croon of a live lounge singer. In the bar, don’t be surprised if a local Jack Johnson-y band is bongo-ing in the cove, or a Talking Head’s record is spinning open air without notice.

 P1060019P1060018P1060015

P1060029All of the ambience isn’t without merit. Within seconds of walking into Schooner, thirst for a potent potable turns to lust. Thankfully the bar-bilge pumps all craft beer via twenty taps (plus bottles). Cocktails and wine are also quick to please the saltiest of dogs, the crustiest of surfers, and botox’d of cougars. Needless to say, there’s some epic people watching to be had in Sunset.

The main menu is diner-grub meets gastropub. The selection isn’t huge, but hits on the most common cravings. Alternate menus include “Tiki-Tako Tuesday” and a weekend brunch worthy of a few Bloody Mary’s strong enough to knock the barnacles off your boat.

~~~~~~~~Ballast Point Beer Dinner~~~~~~~~

P1060007

Like two ships passing in the night, Ballast Point Brewing Co. dropped anchor on a five course beer dinner at Schooner at Sunset. The evening is hosted by the boisterous beer writer Daniel Drennon, Schooner Chef Vasili Tavernakis and Ballast Point Director of brewing ops James Murray. I sit with fork and knife akimbo waiting for a taste of something. Anything.

1. Longfin Lager – meet and greet with the brewer.

P1060025

What I liked: Swigging a crystal clear sweaty glass of Helles after a long day. I learned Ballast Point imports all malt and hops from Germany, strips the water down (RO) and re-adds minerals to be authentic to the German region. The brewers hate brewing Longfin as they have to manually add 50lb sacks of malt to the mill. At over 3,000 lbs of malt per batch, I can see why they slug it out. The beer is bright, floral and refreshing…oh so worth it.

What could have rocked it:  an appetizer in lieu of one of the other courses. Crab cakes? Calamari? Bueller?

2. Sextant Oatmeal Stout (on nitro) with stone fruit salad; mache and frisee greens, citrus vinaigrette, blue velvet apricot, orbit peaches and nectarines.

P1060046

What I liked: Creaminess of a nitro beer with peaches worked rather well, evoking a ‘peaches and cream’ moment. Big burst of fresh citrus on each bite followed by fresh stone fruit and greens… made me sit up straight and pay attention. Full Popeye/spinach moment! Quote at my table, “A beer dinner isn’t complete until Daniel Drennon gets an epi-pen shot in his ass” – James Murray, Ballast Point.

What could have rocked it: Ballast Point Wahoo Wheat. I see what they were going for with a contrasting/palate cleanse pairing, but in the end, I really liked the salad. Drinking Sextant Stout did its job as described and even offered some nice creaminess/chocolate notes. In the end, I want a fireworks show on my palate, not a mute button. Wahoo Wheat, with its Belgian yeast could have carried the salad to the next level.

3. Thai Chili Lime Wahoo Wheat with seared halibut and grilled shrimp. sticky coconut forbidden rice, mango salsa, sweet and spicy coconut sauce, and micro greens.

P1060048

What I liked: The dish itself looks like Davy Crockett with a shrimp hat sitting on a pitcher’s mound. Beautifully done. “I want to build a moat around my house with the sticky coconut forbidden rice.” I say to Kevin Leonard, the OC Ballast Point sales rep. It’s addictive, and forbidden. I say “fuck it” and ate it all, then threw my fork in the ceiling like a lumberjack. I’m totally kidding about that part.

What could have rocked it: The beer was “Fear Factor hot” and unfit for human consumption. I use ghost chili pepper hot sauce at home, and this beer was hotter than that. Going with a beer hot enough to strip boat varnish for a food pairing is beyond me. I would have preferred Indra Kunindra Stout with south asian spices (including coconut) to really play with rice. The seared halibut was overdone, but still tasty.

4. Three Sheets Rum Latin Manhattan with Macadamia nut crusted Atlantic Salmon, rum/maple glaze, sweet potato puree, baby heirloom carrots and scallions.

P1060050

What I liked: This dish could have been the main. Sweet, crusty mapley goodness through and through. Scallions and black pepper balance it out, but found myself streaking my pinkie across the maple syrup/crushed black pepper like Kate Upton in a Carls Jr. commercial. Honey dribbled micro carrots are now apparently a “thing”. I’m not a cocktail guy, but the Latin Manhattan is great. Nose is all pumpkin bread and some raisiny rum barrel action with spices. Nice to finally try a Ballast Point spirit, I can totally get behind this rum.

What could have rocked it: A beer alternative such as the caramely goodness of Ballast Point’s Calico would have had a gay marriage with the dish. (It’s just marriage now, right?) To geek it up a notch, why not add Ballast Point’s Homework Series Batch #1 Hoppy Red Ale? Hops balance out sweet right? I enjoyed the cocktail and the dish immensely, but no comprende on the pairing other than the rum note.

5. Sculpin IPA or Habanero Sculpin with Six day braised pork, charred pineapple bbq, confit fingerling potatoes.

P1060052

What I liked: Any time you do pork slow and low (for six days!), it’s bound to be great. Charred pineapple with Sculpin had me gulpin. Habanero Sculpin was even better! Ballast Point dialed in the heat, making a the habanero play a role in the intense hop bill of Sculpin.

What could have rocked it: Skipping this dish in favor of an appetizer. It was good, but it was way over the top (fat-wise) to enjoy after the three prior dishes. I didn’t get anything from the duck fat confit potato, other than potato. I guess I’m just a spud boy, looking for that real tomato. Devo quote in a food review? Why not.

6. Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter with strawberry shortcake, homemade pound cake, berries, Victory at Sea chantilly cream, vanilla bean creme anglais.

P1060056

What I liked: I hate dessert. Give me a beer, okay? FINE, I’ll write about it. The cream dollop on top and the violet colored berry sauce went in my mouth. I sipped beer and ate a few bites. Happy? I really hate dessert. Victory at Sea is actually a great dessert on its own.

What could have rocked it:  Victory at Sea had a victory over the dessert. The beer way overpowered the delicate berryness thing going on. Victory is a perfect dessert beer, though. It just needs something with some UMPH to stand up to it. Spotted Dick or Creme Brulee? I don’t know, I rarely eat dessert.

Overall: I have to hand it to Schooner at Sunset Chef Vasili Tavernakis and kitchen staff. Everything was beautifully prepared and full of great aromas and flavors. Some minor tweaks here or there in approach and beverage would have got me pregnant… nine months later, I’d have a baby Schooner.

On the beer side, Ballast Point has some of the best beer in the world and we’re spoiled to drink their beer so fresh. They brought some great company for guests to mingle with; the lovely Amber Crocker (with red shorts), Kevin Leonard, Matt Wilson (best sales rep in America according to Drennon), Jake Wittmann, Skip Stegmair, and James Murray.

Schooner at Sunset on Urbanspoon

Beer and Loathing in Paso Robles | Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival

P1050620This post originally appeared on the website  West Coaster, a new Southern California beer magazine.

We were somewhere around the edge of wine country in Paso Robles when the craft beer began to take hold(1). Baked and dripping with sweat, I dump the remnants of my tasting plate on the ground and use it as a makeshift fan. The air is thick, hot and pointless, laying on us like a sleeping bag you can’t escape. Black bugs have somehow managed to attach themselves to odd parts of my body and pinch every so often. “Holy Jesus! what are these goddamn bugs?”(2) One clings to my armpit as I smack it and smack it again, making it bite harder. “SHIT! Shitfucker!” I yell as spectators laugh wildly. I duck in the bathroom and dunk my head under the bathroom sink, then sling on my hat to grab a beer…the only cold thing in this dusty, arid place called Paso Robles.

P1050630

Two seconds after this picture was taken, purple girl trust-fell into they guy behind her.

Flash backward a few hours as this ‘Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival starts and I’m in ‘kid on Halloween’ mode. Media check in and pre-fest starts early and I’m not taking any chances. It’s peaceful. Nearby cows moo. It’s time to drink.
P1050609Standing near Russian River Brewing I hear brewer/owner Vinnie Cilurzo say the words “five-day old Pliny and two-year old Temptation.” These words fish-hook multiple members of the press. We walk like we’re in a Broadway musical, jazz hands fluttering. A pretentious voice behind me mutters, “I’ve had two-day old Pliny once” while clearing his throat nervously. Five day old must taste like piss to this this guy. I toss it back, note the fresh Simcoe, Amarillo, Centennial and CTZ hops and move on quickly for a glass rinse and something dark before it gets too hot. The forecast is dialed in at 104 degrees.
agostino from birrificio italiano and terrance sullivan of SN
At this festival, beers like Pliny the Elder are ‘just beers’. Not to discount the highly baited Double IPA from Santa Rosa, but there’s some serious beverages to be consumed today. Brandy Barrel Aged Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout from Cigar City (won the People’s Choice award), Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Three Floyds Brewing and other barrel-aged treats that elude the west coast. Lambics, framboise and collaborations are being unleashed from MikkellerThe Lost Abbey and Firestone Walker.  Orange County’s sole contingent, The Bruery, is leaking several rarities on the crowd every hour. Tyler King, The Bruery’s senior director of brewing operations  quotes, “It’s an honor no matter where we’re from, we love so many of these breweries and to pour beer next to them is pretty amazing.”
P1050650As much as the public loves this festival, brewers also gush at the prospect of getting an invite.  Tony Yanow of Golden Road/Tony’s Darts Away quips, “We are a very young brewery and to present our beer along side our heroes is an honor.” Meg Gill, also of Golden Road reminisces, “I cried in a department head meeting about it today…I have the fondest memories of pouring beer with Tony the last hour and fans gushing over our Berlinerweiss. It was the first festival I brought my parents to..their first beer fest ever.”
P1050663
Fascinated with the thought of sampling fresh beer from Europe, my associate Daniel Fernandez and I make a trip to the fest’s ‘little Germany’. “I had no idea Germans were so tall” says Daniel with his sub-sombrero sized hat. The guys at Mahr’s Brau Bamburg put David Hasselhoff to shame, and the girl at BraufactuM is at least three inches taller than me in flats. Birrificio Italiano sent Tipo Pils, a beer that inspired Firestone Walker’s brewmaster Matt Brynaldson to brew Pivo Pils which should be arriving in the southland soon.
P1050662Of the many, many beers sampled, three are standouts:
  1. Mikkeller’s Spotancherry Lambic gives me repeatable goosebumps. Juicy tart cherries burst in my mouth with the tiniest sip.Tastes like fresh tart cherry pie.
  2. Lagunitas is shocked to hear my love for Sonoma County Sour Stout. “It’s pretty shocking considering we aimed to break every rule when making it…a stout on a hot day that goes down easy? Shocking!” says the biker-looking guy pouring. Layered flavors and aromas hit me, then hit me in waves with each sip. Tart roastyness, oak, tart fruit, some pleasant funk. The sign aimed to debunk it’s tastiness, only made me want it more.
  3. The Lost Abbey’s Framboise de Amorosa is also among my standouts. Very bright and clean raspberry tart without any metallic notes. Finishes dry with tons of flavor. Shocker, I know.
P1050624Food at the festival is dotted potluck-style amongst breweries. 25 local restaurants brought small-plate tastes to serve throughout the day. I really enjoyed the Bloody Mary Granita from Luna Red and Ancho Duck & Cheese Quesadilla from McPhee’s Grill. Near the end, most food was gone.
P1050635
The Music from Hot Buttered Rum fit the mood of the festival – hyperactive progressive bluegrass is something I could very well be a fan of without  knowing it. The White Buffalo also performed later in the day but I was blissfully altered by craft beer at that point in time (see top paragraph).
P1050623The Gripes – None! If you go to one festival a year in California, this is it. It’s like a GABF greatest hits mixtape in a small venue with really good food and music. This is the gold standard of beer festivals! Despite the hot temps, there was no problem finding shade, misters, water or an NFL sideline cooler.
Title,(1),(2) – quotes inspired by “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, copyright 1971 by Hunter S. Thompson
Bonus – I found out who signed this girl’s breasts…none other than Agostino from Birrificio Italiano.
P1050693Birrificio-Italiano_smal

Blazing Saddles | Los Angeles Vegan Beer & Food Festival – 4th Edition

slant

el segundo breweryWith the sun’s death rays beating down on the Sunset strip, beer-drinking vegans take to the streets for some free supplemental vitamin D…but mostly for the fourth annual Los Angeles Vegan Beer & Food Festival. Mainly meatless since March, I’m all about getting in on this action. As a vegan beerfest virgin, I’m looking forward to grazing the bazaar of LA and OC’s best vegan food plus great local beer choices produced without any cow, fish, bee, or bull testes.

Noble_Komineks

“I want it NOW” – Bridgette “Veruca Salt” Kominek with Husband Brad of Noble Ale Works pulling out all the money.

Many types of Vegans made it out for the fest: the beegans, then gleegans, veganics, v-sluts and the v-curious…all here with one thing in mind – eat, drink and be merry. With such an abundance of food, Bridgette Kominek tweeted, “I plan to run around singing the Veruca Salt song from Willy Wonka.” Indeed, she wants it NOW. The fest is laid out like the replica town in the movie Blazing Saddles, complete with hay bales, dirt, and a festive maze to get to the restroom. Food trucks and tents sandwich in the central beer garden and seating area neighboring the stage/music venue. Goers were encouraged to BYO chairs and towels, which makes the middle area look like Florida’s South Beach on a 90 degree day. I will say that this festival has an overall better-looking-than-average clientele than a typical beer fest. The stereotypical beer belly’d Pliny shirt/bearded dudes didn’t make it out for this one, sadly. Untappd only had around 300 checkins during the event.

TDA_Chef RandyTony Yanow, owner of vegan friendly craft beer bars Tony’s Darts Away, Mohawk Bend and part owner of Golden Road Brewing spurs the vegan/craft beer scene in LA. He, along with power vegans Quarrygirl (vegan blogger) and Nic Adler (owner of the popular Hollywood venue The Roxy) blaze this annual festival. The best part about about this fest is vegans can safely eat and drink anything without asking questions. Food options range from inventive menu options like beer battered avocado tacos (a local favorite of mine from Seabirds Truck), meatless tamales, desserts and even a French dip sandwich from Tony’s Darts Away chef Randall St. Clair complete with Au Jus (Randall is pictured in green above, grub pictured below with a Maui Brewing Mana Wheat).

TDA_French DipTDA_chili

bootleggers

Bootlegger’s Jose and super lovely wife served up one of OC’s best hef’s with a kiss.

The beer choices on hand aren’t that much different from any other beerfest. Brewers towed typical summery IPA’s, wheats and pilsners. Some of my favorites of the day were Monkish Brewing‘s Oblate (Belgian Blonde w/Chamomile), El Segundo Brewing’s White Dog IPA (Nelson hopped and super fresh), as well as Firestone Walker’s Pivo Pils (described in this blog post).

GoldenRoad _Almond Milk Stout

Golden Road Brewing brought an Almond Milk Stout. The whole point of a milk stout is to have a mid to high level of sweetness that carries the roastyness. Traditionally, milk stouts use lactose sugar (not vegan friendly, moo) that is unfermentable by yeast to add sweetness. The problem with almond milk is that it’s largely sweetened with sugar cane juice which is ‘edible’ to yeast. I perceived GR’s Almond Milk Stout as fairly dry, tasting and finishing similar to a sessionable dry Irish stout, which is strange for a beer finishing above five plato. I would have expected more hints of creamy nuttyness and a little bit more sweetness. I’d like to try the beer in their pub on nitro. Fun beer though, and I applaud their experimentation. I would have thought Coconut Milk would have been the obvious choice.

veggie-lovers-sriracha-cookbook-144(sponsored) Click to pre-order noted author and vegan handyman Randy Clemens The Veggie-Lover’s SRIRACHA Cookbook! Release date is July 12, just in time for all those backyard summer sizzles with your veggie-crazed buddies. Seriously, the book costs the same as like four bottles of Sriracha. You should buy it with four bottles, then squirt ropes of the cockish Huy Fong goodness all over your eggplant!

food area near 3pm

Normally, live music at a beerfest is a sub-par list of cover bands. Not today! I actually sat through an entire set of The Janks. This is the first beerfest I’ve actually discovered new music. I actually bought their album for the ride home! During other bands, people are actually shaking their groove things. I’m smiley. Great times are being had! The people watching here is also top notch.

blow

I tried to talk her down to $2.

Overall, I can’t really knock this fest as it’s the only vegan beer fest in the world. Pretty much, if you’re vegan (or v-curious), you should go. The food and beer options are aces, but a few logistical issues should be addressed next time. (see bottom) I had a fantastic time and the great far outweighed the issues. If you’re a fruit and vegetable murderer, it’s well worth the trip up to LA for the vegan food and revelry. If you’re not…well, save it for another fest. Cheers! May the fourth be with you.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Gripes: Being in a field on Sunset Blvd looked like a nightmare for brewers to haul stuff in, grab ice and such. Flavored vitamin-type water bottles were handed out at one point, but ran out a couple hours in. The hand wash stations were also out of water…I saw a girl wash her hands with beer! That’s a first. I’m also not sure if the grounds were 100% handicapped friendly. There was no circular flow to the grounds, making a trip to the bathrooms a bit of a task if you were near the entrance. Brewers were given scarlet letter DD armbands even though they weren’t pouring. Harsh. Some people complained about parking as well but I can’t really speak to that. Maybe a better location next year? I hope so.

Beer for Boobs Event at the Globe 3/26

b4b banner

Tuesday March 26 at 6:30, the Globe in Garden Grove is hosting a YUGE Beer for Boobs event! If you haven’t been to the Globe, they’re a Belgian expatriate-ran pan-euro gastropub with more Belgian beer taps than you can shake a trappist monk at.

The event will host:

  • Four course prix fixe Belgian beer paired dinner! – $40 online, $45 at door. If you have issues ordering online, call direct at 714-537-7471 from 4pm (M-S)
  • Bottle share with purchase of a Beer for Boobs glass (bring a bottle)!
  • Silent Auction benefiting Beer for Boobs!

Dinner includes:

• Blanche De Bruxelles with Baby Endive, shaved fennel, lemon and white pepper dressing, and crumbled Feta.
• Leffe Brune with Prosciutto wrapped scampi shrimp, skewered with rosemary sprigs.
• Chimay Tripel with Skirt steak florets.
• Straffe Hendrik Quad with Crème brûlée with a few spicy candied pecans.

Silent Auction!

I'd give my left teste for this box of westy

I’d give my left teste for this box of westy

A hand-carried from the mother land super rare box  of Wesvleteren
Degustatiebox Trappist Westvleteren!

  • 1 Authentic Trappist Westvleteren Chalice
  • 1 Bottle Trappist Westvleteren b4b donated 212 (Quad)
  • 1 Bottle Trappist Westvleteren 8 (Dubbel)
  • 2 Bottle Trappist Westvleteren Blond (Pale)
  • Other rare donated bottles and memorabeeria from the restaurant owners, distributors and superfans, like this bottle of St. Martin’s Cloak from Brasserie De Brunehaut (Only 7,500 bottles produced and released in late 2012 – thanks to Mario Valle of Liguor Mart Whittier) and others from Julie Lim of OC Wine Mart in Irvine.

Bottle Share!

Buy a Beer for Boobs glass and bring a tasty bottle of beer to share! The B4B team will be on hand as well with tshirts, coozies and other goodies.

On tap at the Globe:

b4b taplist b4b bottles

About Beer for Boobs:

Beer for Boobs is a super walking, super cancer fighting walking crew. The idea for this fabulous team was born at White Labs in 2008. We wanted to raise yeast by day, and stomp out breast cancer by the mile. Our fearless leader & Vice President of White Labs, Lisa White, collected her superhuman yeast ranchers & friends to create our breast cancer fighting crew. Our crew walks 60 miles in 3 days this November to fight against breast cancer. 

 

Farmhouse Lunch with Firestone Walker Brewing Co. (Beercation pt 1)

union-station-front7:30 A.M. LA Union Station: “I’m pretty sure the guy next to me at the urinal was jacking off” claims Kip of Bierkast/LA Aleworks. I once wrote about this building’s romantic nature, but the thought of decorating a urinal cake in front of company is somewhat impressive yet depressing at the same time.

andersSeated in the center of a bus full of the absolute cream of LA beer media, I can’t help but smile. Batteries are fully charged, bagels are schmeered and bottles of craft beer are flowing wildly. We’re headed north to Paso Robles on a ‘Journey to the Center of a Barrel’  hosted by Firestone Walker. Anders, the LA area Firestone rep (looking strikingly like Mike Myers, but with a German accent) passes bottles of Double Jack, Double Barrel Ale and Pale 31 like communion. Our livers (and cell phone batteries) are in for a slow and painful death this weekend.

11:30 A.M. Slowly sipping a Bruery Rugbrod makes the time and trees melt by the bus windows ever so fluidly. The business cards have all been passed out, Twitters have all been followed and the bus vegans have all outed themselves. Somewhere off of James Dean Highway, the bus creeps onto a thin dirt road and squeeks to a stop. Bones crack as we emerge through the dust cloud. “Where the hell are we?” Anders trots to the top of the nearest hill and makes a call. I check the itinerary: “noon – Lunch – Think Fresh”. Then it happened, a sunbeat tractor rolls over the hill to save us. “Is that David Walker on the back? Holy fucking shit!”

walker on tractor

Ridin’ dirty.

 

“Hop on” David says in his Mozy ‘charming man’ accent. Musical chairs ensue. Being lunchtime, the thought of dining on a farm seems like a fucking fairy tale. I snap a photo of David Walker with the sole purpose of showing my barber. “He’s one cool son of a bitch.” I tell the Beer Goddess next to me. Picking up a bunch of media people on a tractor is beyond pimp-like. I need to be pinched.

pano

We end up at Farmers Bill and Barbara Spencer’s Windrose Farm just outside Paso Robles. Firestone Walker and many other restaurants get their truly organic/biodynamically produced goods from this wildly manicured plantation. Envision rolling hills littered with trees, 70’s porn rosemary bushes, sheep grazing and shitting like natural fertilizer factories…acres upon acres of apples and beyond. If you’re looking for a spot to camp for Firestone Walker’s Invitational Beer Fest, this is the spot. They even offer a cozy pink trailer ‘farmhand for a night’ stay that includes fresh food and beer! (Call for details)

brettweisse2

Gathering around the farmhouse, pitchers of Firestone Barrelworks BrettaWeiss are served. As farmer Bill speaks to us on the crappy state of “organics”, a rooster tro-lo-los along to a quartet of wind chimes jingling in the warm breeze. Closing my eyes while taking a sip, I feel dreamy and hypnotic. This beer is bright, tart and is farming with character from the wild yeast, yet remains approachable and refreshing. If this is any indication of what Barrelworks in Buellton is capable of, I’m 100% on board.

farmlunch tableOnward to lunch! We’re seated at a thirty-person communal table set in the sun, four courses of farm-fresh food are served:

  1. Farmstyle salad; fresh picked greens, vegetables, Union Jack vinaigrette; w/Double Jack IPA (bottled yesterday)
  2. Braised bitter greens; Windrose Farm smoked tomatoes; w/ Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA (bottled two weeks ago)
  3. Walker’s Reserve Braised Lamb; roasted root vegetables; w/Parabola Russian Imperial Stout (2011)
  4. DBA caramelized apples, vanilla ice cream; w/ Double DBA Imperial ESB

Enjoying such beautiful food at its peak of flavor and nutrition next to shockingly perfect beer sets a perfect foundation for the rest of the day. I’m ready for anything.  I could box a lion and wrestle a bear after this. This lunch is world class and faultless. This is my Jonestown moment for fresh food and craft beer!

Stay tuned for more on this journey! Windrose Farm produce is available at the LA Farmer’s Market as well as many fine restaurants in LA! Check their site for details. (map)

 

Beachwood BBQ & Brewing / OMGWTFBBQ!

Beachwood BBQ & Brewing. If those words aren’t part of your craft beer vocabulary, I’m going to send you a free copy of Rosetta Stone’s craft beer language edition* and whip a piece of pulled pork at your eyes, you filthy swine.  Not only does Beachwood ‘que up some world class BBQ and sinful Americana style dishes, the house beers brought home some serious hardware at the Great American Beer Festival 2012. Co-owners Gabe Gordon (chef), wife Lena and Brewer Julian Shrago’s food and beer recipes are a match made in heaven; and worthy of a solid write-up, Gonzo style.

Thurs. Nov 15, 5:45 P.M.

If I told you that I received a full frontal body massage while standing on a street corner, you’d probably ask, “Long Beach, right?” and I would say, “yep, but it’s not what it sounds like.” See, I was in fact on a street corner, in Long Beach, punching a crosswalk button like Bruce Lee as two vintage lowriders roll up. Each car’s stereo is easily bending the space-time continuum with bass so loud it feels like I’m being attacked by a swarm of french ticklers. A young lady passes me by mid-crosswalk pulling pomeranians like she’s flying a kite. “Where’s…..Beachwood……BBQ?” I ask in-between bass thumps. She points ahead and rushes off.

The dark drizzly night puts me in the mood for comfort food and a nice roasty stout. Ashley (hostess), welcomes me like I’m family. “Sir, the Zymatore Project is in-house tonight, there’s special beers paired small plate dishes”, she says while handing me a page that reads like a menu at a French brothel. I stutter like a drunken Texan trying to say “BFM Abbaye De St. Bon Chien Aged in Pommeau Barrels from Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes from Jura, Switzerland. (view the evening’s menu here: 1 2 3 4 + food) “Wait, wait, wait a fucking minute. I pick a random night to come to Beachwood and and I’m here with some of the rarest barrel aged beers in America?” Indeed.

Ignoring the details of each beer, I roll up my sleeves and start with the lowest ABV; a 5% Italian Wit beer aged in “Orange” Wine barrels; Birrificio Barley’s Friska. I play coy as she gently touches my lips. She’s tart, provocatively dressed to style and teases my tongue. Friska is flogged with natural orange zest while her friend Coriander bats her lashes from afar. “Respecte le donne!” I yell, getting strange looks from the bartender. “It’s an Italian Spiderman joke, google it.”

Striped shirt wearers Justin of Beachwood and Mike Harman of B.United

Briefly, the Zymatore Project is kind of like an art museum getting the Mona Lisa, touching her up with some eyebrows and cleavage, then loaning her out for parties. Not only does B.United import rare beers from around the globe, they go another step creatively and re-age beers (also meads and ciders) in specialty barrels for this project.  Some beers they evoke a secondary fermentation with fruit, adjuncts and wild yeast, boosting the character and alcohol. Michael Harman, B.United’s West Coast Division Manager says “We will only do a secondary fermentation if the brewer is okay with it.” Just when I’m comfortable with American craft beer, discovering the Zymatore Project quickly makes me feel lost in a vast landscape of ever-evolving beers.

Aside: Just as Beachwood is collaborating with B.United for the night, I’ve joined forces with Orange County Gayot food critic and OC Executive Magazine mogul Richard Manning as well as the highly acclaimed food photographer Anne Watson. Any time I can get a solid opinion on food and professional photography on the blog, I’ll take it! I highly suggest browsing their work as they’re both huge parts of the Orange County food scene. I love and respect both immensely!

On to tasting… Of the five Special Appetizers offered for the Zymatore event, each has a suggested beer pairing with prices ranging from $7-$12 for each. (click to view). The Grilled Chicken Breast on wilted greens appetizer, for example, is cooked with with orange and coriander; the same ingredients brewed in the Friska Wit Bier described above. Each dish is well thought out and crafted around the special beer selection for the evening.

The Chicken & Duck Liver Pâté with toasted bread rounds is a perfect entry into Fall/Winter. “November is finally here!” says Rich as rain drops pelt the outside tables. He adds, “Mason jars are popular these days in fine dining.” I note that the bread rounds crunching in my mouth sounds like someone walking in freshly fallen snow . The Pâté is delicate yet full of mineral goodness. The suggested beer, Hofstetten Granit Bock aged in fortified wine barrels plays well with the Pumpernickel rounds and cleanses the rich fat as it melts across your palate. I wish I could fit my face in that mason jar, dammit. Anne quips, “doesn’t Pumpernickel literally translate to Devil’s Fart?” Yes!

My other favorite dish on the special menu is the Duo Smoked Game Sausage – Venison and Duck sausages on top of a red onion marmalade. The sausage is bundled handsomely with a mild smokey heat and rustic earthiness, sort of like Hugh Hefner in the 50’s. The filler is grainy like black pudding dotted with wild berries to twang up the sweetness. Cranberry in the filler screams “Autumn!” and I’m left screaming for more. The sweet marmalade hiding out underneath brings out the best of our beer choice: J.W. Lee’s Moonraker with Wild Yeast. When I think wild game, I think British beer to wash it down and to boost an earthy sweetness.

Other dishes you MUST try when visiting Beachwood BBQ:

  • BBQ! If you can’t decide, do the “Choose three items” option to get the best of each world. The pulled pork is a masterpiece and must be tried. Seriously, if I was a pig, I would gladly offer myself up to Gabe. “Oink Oink, Gabe! Please put me in your smoker and dry rub my butt kind sir!”
  • Baked Mac and Cheese! You’re probably like, “yeah yeah, what’s so special about it?” Rich Manning says, “It’s probably the best Mac and Cheese in the Greater Los Angeles area. It’s smoked and dense with a huge flavor depth”. “Ooooh, this is worth every calorie!” says Anne.  The Gruyere cheese beer sauce oozes, coats and stretches with each bite. The crunchy crumb topping lends it a light crunchy shell. “But is there bacon?” Yes, there is bacon, you filthy, filthy pork slut.
  • The Wild Mushroom Stew is another favorite although probably overlooked on such a deep menu. The “umami-bomb” Mushroom Stew sits on a sinful double dollop of blue cheese grits, the kind your momma used to make, if your momma is Paula Deen.

But wait, there’s beer! If you need yet another reason to visit Beachwood BBQ, the beer program is one of the best I’ve seen. Here’s why:

  • Full set of award winning house brewed beers. Each has a distinct full body and bold flavors that stand up to the rich food. Belgian style ales, Stouts, IPA, ESB, Pale’s, etc. There’s something for everyone and all brewed in house and super fresh. Do a flight, grab a growler to go.
  • Lineup of rare and classic craft beer from around the world. Whenever Pliny the Elder is ‘just another beer’ on the draft board, that’s saying something. The revolving taps alone are worthy of a trip, not to mention a full cellar of rarities. The list is thoughtfully planned with many styles covered, big beers to sessionable, low to high IBU, fruity, roasty, no ‘tap overlap’ with ten IPA’s…I could go on and on.
  • A bar packed with craft beer fans. There’s something to be said about the craft beer community. We like to talk beer with each other. Beachwood’s bar is packed solid with geeks, newbs, homebrewers, pro-brewers, and craft beer celebrities. The bartenders and wait staff are also highly knowledgeable and not snooty.
  • Multi-zone draft temps! This is seriously insane. Some draft handles are served at cellar temp, some are served at colder temps. Gabe Gordon created the “Flux Capacitor” which monitors CO2 and allows for per-line adjustments. At Beachwood, you can get a Barleywine or rich Russian Imperial Stout served at suggested cellar temps! No more coddling your beer like a baby until it warms up! It also allows for certain styles to have more or less gas, making ‘mouthfeel’ fine tunable. This is the geekiest thing I’ve ever seen at a bar.

  • Special events! The Zymatore project listed above is only a small part of what Beachwood brings to the table. I seriously couldn’t be more blown away by what the B.United guys are doing and for Beachwood to bring it to the public. Check their website or Beer Advocate for details on future events.

Beachwood BBQ has a smaller location in Seal Beach without the brewpub; same great food and superb draft list. Both are craft beer beacons of Orange County! Make sure and check out the rest of our pics! Thanks Beachwood

*Rosetta Stone doesn’t have a craft beer language edition, silly. Go buy Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher and learn super geeky stuff. 

A Perfect Storm / The Bruery Black Tuesday Release Parties (2012)

Patrick and Rachel Rue relive their Black Tuesday prom.

“I thought I had messed up raising my son” said a well-dressed older gentleman in a bow tie and extra-extra long grey suit. “Who’s your son?” I asked. “Patrick Rue”. I could tell by the gleam in his eye, Michael Rue (President of the Bruery) is proud of what his son has created. Even the lore of Black Tuesday, an epic brewday-gone-wrong, has turned into something magical. The mere fact that 3,000 bottles of the $30 beer sold out in ten minutes is proof Patrick Rue knows what to do when life hands him lemons…throw them in a bourbon barrel and hope for the best.

Peanut Panna Cotta w/Toasted Marshmallows

The 2012 Black Tuesday party and beer release is double the size of last year. The party has expanded to the Bruery Provisions and the new tasting room at two sessions a piece. With the beer, production was up and more variations are available at the parties, giving fans a chance to try special cask, randall’d and tap versions of this enigmatic Imperial Stout.  At Bruery Provisions, each variation is paired with a perfectly crafted dish! Here’s a write up of the tail end of Bruery Provision’s party, and my notebook notes verbatim of the full party at the Tasting Room. Please, enjoy.

Bruery Provisions Session One:

Faster than lightning strikes, tickets to the party at Provisions disappear.  I’m all about pairing beer with food and I’m quite curious how a complex 19% ABV bourbon barrel-aged beer will fair with food. What the hell would I pair? S’mores or maybe a nice Macanudo Robusto Cigar, or perhaps a nice triple-cream Brie glazed with a honey-bourbon reduction? I know, it’s not an easy beer.

Lukcy Basardts on the patio of Bruery Provisions

Arriving at Provisions as the sun sets, the squeaky back gate is all that welcomes me. The quiet crowd outside must be content as everyone is sipping gently with pinkies out. The outside air is refreshing, golden and still. Birds flutter inside the nearby hedges, snuggling in for a nap after eating artisanal crumbs all day. Going inside, I’m met with some serious 1920’s zing! The ambiance is brought to life by the smiley staff completely and not cheaply dressed to the nines. Ladies are elegantly draped with long strands of pearls, throwback hair feathers and flapper dresses. Gents are dashed in everything from bowler hats and suspenders to pinstripe three pieced suits. Tyler King, man of infinite fashion skills, even had a grey button-up short sleeve shirt (with shorts). One can always spot the artist at a show, I suppose.

Provisions kitchen coordinator Bryan Liem set out to prove his mad pairing skills with five versions of 2012 Black Tuesday.

  • Black Tuesday (straight) with Wild Mushroom Mole, Masa Cake & Sesame seeds.
  • Grey Monday (Hazelnut version of BT) with Blue Cheese cold smoked over Hazelnuts, Dried Figs, Fresh Pairs & Toasted Hazelnuts.
  • Black Tuesday Cask with Coffee & Vanilla served with Coffee & Vanilla Pulled Pork Slider w/Coffee BBQ Sauce on a pretzel bun.
  • Black Tuesday Cask ‘Banana’s Foster’ paired with Peanut Panna Cotta w/Toasted Marshmallows.
  • Black Tuesday Randall with Mint Chocolate next to Goat Cheesecake, Raspberry Coulis & micro Mint.

“I really wanted to do at least a couple of savory dishes to show Black Tuesday can be paired with a variety of dishes. I thought the vanilla brine I did for the pork added just hint of vanilla to really bring it out in the BT.” Bryan Liem, Bruery Provisions Kitchen Coordinator

courtesy Bruery Provisions facebook page.

Overheard inside, “The pulled pork dish and coffee Black Tuesday easily won best in show, best beer and best pork dish I’ve had.” Said a random lady. Kendra, Provisions GM agrees, but mentions the Smokey Blue by Rogue Creameries paired with Grey Monday was a close runner up. Anytime you can get a complex cheese that’s been smoked for three days over hazelnuts with a complex hazelnut beer, you’re in for a sure mouthgasm! Everything was delicious and perfectly paired.

Overall, session one at Provisions was super mellow. It was nice to see it wasn’t over-crowded, guests had plenty of elbow room to shmooze around and take photos. More on the beer in the next segment, but five variations of Black Tuesday with paired food is plain brilliant. Bryan Liem has some serious mad skills and I can’t wait to see what he has in store in the future!

Bruery Tasting Room Session Two

I took four pages of notes in a spiral SPAM notebook during the party; here they are verbatim.

Bruery BT 12 party

Dan from out of the park pizza is here with a Brewluminati shirt. He “probably should have been put on Ritalin, but his mom didn’t, thankfully, Fuck that shit” says Dan. Doors open, clock strikes 8 and Black Tuesday flows quick, thick and black like a 1970’s blaxploitation film. A hundred voices corrupt the fall night and are buzzing consciously with phones and beers in hand. Untappd is tappd out, thankfully. I don’t normally check in tasters, but this has more booze than a standard 12oz’er. Glasses clank unheard among Hipbone Slim & the Kneetremblers ‘Snake Dancer’. “Cheers!” screams a table with necks stuck out. Music is all encompassing and volumetric, throwback blues jam thick like a Black Keys Pandora playlist. Black Keys? Black Tuesday. Nice to meet you. Likewise. Pleasure.

Staff is sexy, dipped in classy 20’s garb. Crowd is sloppy with tshirts and tennies. Sitting by the last-call bell and firkins, wooden handle, 8” ringer. I’d ring the server’s bell like Anita Ward. Sitting by the casks, people yell drink orders without saying please and not tipping, “BANANA AND GREY MONDAY” yells a puffy guy that looks like Clint Howard. Lee Fields ‘Who do you love?’…great song…tappin my feet, sipping, scribbling, eavesdropping, heaven.

Vanilla coffee cask best I’ve had all year. On par with Smog City’s Groundwork Coffee Porter that took gold at GABF; fucking crazy good beer. After two pours I get a case of the sweats. Spoke to Jeff Duggan at Portola Coffee Lab in Costa Mesa; “the coffee is a lighter blend than Portola does normally, we ground it this morning to drop in the cask.” he says while hauling bottles to a work party. Vanilla? Not really punchy aromatically. There are GROUNDS in my beer! I repeat, there’s GROUNDS in my beer! Coffee character is perfect; it smooths out fresh BT perfectly, 19%? Nofa King way. I want this beer bottled..now. Ya heard.

Hitting more CASK action: Banana’s Foster. Boozy bruleed banana that bounces on the palate like a real creamy banana. Banana fumes after a sip! On the belch, more banana fumes! Michael Rue gave me his on the way out. “I barely touched it.”

MINT – was this through a randall? I didn’t see Randall anywhere. Imagine Chocolate Rain with some cooling, boozy mint. Least Fave. Not bad by any means, but the bar has been raised. Last year’s BT S’mores cask wasn’t that distinct. This year, variations are nuanced and  a force to be reckoned with.

*Show a tweet with #BlackTuesday and get a free BT ’11. Done and done. Wow so smooth compared to ’12. Def going to bury my ’12 in the backyard like a dog.

Hottenroth – Palate cleanser of the Gods.

Grey Monday – Sweet hazelnuts! Sexy decadent hazelnuts tap dance in my mouth. Time to convert BT to P.

Straight BT ’12: Graham Crackers all day long like Heather Graham in Bowfinger. Deep dark fruit vanilla followed by bourbon, oak. Boozyness clashes with hoppier finish not prevalent in BT ’11. Baby Black Tuesday needs to mature, cut teeth and get potty trained.

Dan Auerbach ‘Streetwalkin’ blastin’. Serious Portola coffee sweats going on! Buzz hit! Caffeine too. Intense. Life of a beer blogger is always intense. Bank on that.

Ashley, peacock feathers, pearl necklace and beer. Best seat in the house!

Chocolate Rain materializes in my tasting glass. Manliest goosebumps ever. This is the point where they all start to blend in. Chocolate is decadent, smoothing. Wish I had a doggie bag for this. Time for food. Lime Truck ran out of food. Bastards.

The crowd is apologetic and nice with the tight squeeze. Overheard: “scuze me, sorry, may I get through here, sorry, pardon me, whatcha drinkin there? Didn’t I see you at another event?” “Tuesday, Monday, Tuesday, bananas!”  “Coffee, Coffee, Coffee, did you hear the Coffee cask is great? Anything? Nothing.” “Damn son.”

Overall! Great party, pretty much perfection! Was a little loud, but hell, I’m old. Next year I hope do the same thing. The beer is pretty much phenomenal and this year was an improvement with the variations. Portola Coffee / Vanilla cask Black Tuesday I will pretty much swoon over for weeks to come. I hope it makes a return throughout the year!