Sunday, July 17, 2011

Another Wild Weekend

I am currently recuperating from my sun exposure and thought I might as well post a "what I did this weekend" entry.

On Friday night I rallied the troops (i.e. Greg and Warren)  and we went down to the South Park Stone Store. I was hoping for growler fills of Baird/Ishii/Stone Green Tea IPA but I misunderstood Andrew (who told me about the beer) and they only had bottles for sale. We did a little negociating and got tastes of it, and ended up buying a dozen. The beer is very good, and does this great little trick on your tastebuds: it has a hard hoppy flavor when it first hits your tongue and you expect to get a big punch of bitterness that never arrives, it just fades into a soft, mellow finish. Now I'm sure there's better descriptions of this beer out there, but I'm not one of those high-falootin' beer snobs with thousands of ratings on so you can just head on over there if you are looking for that sort of thing.

After Stone we walked around the corner to Station to grab some food. I generally enjoy my trips there, the food is fantastic and they have some decent beers on tap. This trip we had a not-so-great waitress who pulled a disappearing act right after giving us the check, which is one of my restaurant pet peeves. But the food was fab, and there weren't a ton of dogs in the place so I was basically happy - I just wish they would consider changing their beer lineup once in a while, I can only drink so many New English Brown Ales and Airdale Ambers.

Saturday morning we went to Small Bar for their Beer for Breakfast brunch with Lightning Brewery. This was my first experience with their beers and I found them to be quite good. I forsee a trip to the Lightning Brewery tasting room in the not too distant future. Oh, and the food and serivce at Small Bar are top notch, they are quickly becoming my favorite bar. I'm certain I'll be doing a full post on them sometime soon.

We finished our day up with a trip out to Santee for the Manzanita Brewing 1st anniversary party. It was a hard choice for me as the other event happening was Lost Abbey's Christmas in July, but a Beer for Boobs benefit won out over Toys for Tots, plus I've been up to the Abbey tasting room before and this was our first trip to Manzanita. Between the three of us we were able to taste all of their beers, and I enjoyed almost everything - their IPA didn't wow me, but I'm not a fan of the style so I'm not a good judge for that. They had a couple of food trucks so we grabbed some fries from Devilicious that went well with the beers. The only bad part of the day was getting too much sun out in Manzanita's parking lot.

Upcoming events I am looking forward to: Wednesday is Drinkabout amd you know I will be riding the bus all night stopping at my favorite bars and trying as many new beers as I can guzzle. Saturday brings the Green Flash official grand opening for their Mira Mesa brewery/tasting room which gives me something to do to keep my mind off of Comic Con.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Declaration of beer independence

Happy 4th of July and welocme to my blog! I have been talking for over a month now about getting this party started but has having some trouble deciding what I wanted to talk about first. Oh, I've had a lot of ideas that I want to write about - my opinion of So Cal's overhopped IPA's, dogs in bars/restaurants, my hatred of fake microbrews, and the list goes on. Today I settled on a topic that, in my eyes, fits today perfectly: I am declaring my independance from "big beer" - AB InBev and Miller Coors. Now, this may sound easy, just don't buy their beers. The problem is that not everyone knows that they sell the majority of the beers you see on store shelves. Sure, it's easy to stay away from Bud, Coors, and Miller but did you know that AB InBev also have partial ownership of Kona, Red Hook and Widmer? Most import beer is here through one of the big two as well, including my boyfriend's cherished Pilsner Urquell. And don't get me started on all the fake craft beers out there - such as Shock Top, Blue Moon, and Wild Blue.

Now there's still a wide world of craft beer left out there for me to drink, but there are a lot of places where my only choices are for one of the big name crafts like Sam Adams (not a fan), Fat Tire (not a fan either), or Sierra Nevada ( I like Sierra just fine, but it gets dull drinking the same thing over and over again).  Give me a Stone, Ballast Point or Lost Abbey - let's see a bit more variety on our taphandles and bottles!

Therefore I am pledging my beer independence: as of today I will do everything I can to avoid buying any beer that is owned, brewed or distributed by the big two and encourage bars to add more real craft choices from independent breweries by drinking only independent beers. I hope that you will do the same.

*for more info on who owns what beer, see