Sunday, August 14, 2011

Growling about growlers

Here's a sore spot for me: why is it that I have to buy a new growler for each brewery I go to? I get the whole "I don't want to put my glorious ABC brewing beer into XYZ's growler" argument, but why not make a universal San Diego or California growler and have the breweries put a hang tag on the handle? Stone does this with their growler fills to let you know what is in that bottle, why can't other breweries? Are the breweries making that much money off the sale of their growler bottles and (for the places that have them) growler koozies/wetsuits? And, really, are you that frickin' vain that you think that I only drink beer from YOUR brewery?

I live in an apartment and it is hard to find storage space for the growlers we already own, and I have no clue where we will find the room to store more. With 35 brewieries in the county and more popping up every month we may have to convert one of the bedrooms into growler storage!

Beer and rock and roll is all I want

Went to the Kensington Club on Friday night for the pre-Tiki Oasis party to watch one of my favorite local bands the Fink Bombs, and most of the night (except when the guys were playing) kinda sucked. We used to go to the Ken Club all the time to see bands and the place would be packed with people. Now it's like a ghost town! When we got there around 8pm there were 3 people in the bar and 2 of them were on their way out. We grabbed some draft beer from their sad selection - Fat Tire and West Coast IPA were the only microbrews - and took it over to the "show" side of the bar. As I'm drinking my beer I realize it tastes really watered down, because I have had Green Flash's IPA at the brewery and this was way toned down on the hops. So I finish my beer off as we are waiting for the show to start - scheduled time 9pm - and the guys go to grab us more beer. They come back to the table empty-handed because now the bar can't serve their draft beer for some reason. After a brief discussion we decide on bottled beer and I end up with a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale because it's the best thing they've got. Then the doorman comes around to collect the $5 cover charge from us, not realizing that 2 of us are in Hawaiian shirts (no cover charge per the Facebook show announcement) and ends up just letting all three of us in free since we have been in the room waiting for the show to start for a while.

Finally around 10:30, once a few more people have shown up, the show starts with a surf/punk band I have never seen before called Los Seafinks. We decide that they want to be the Creepy Creeps (great SD surf/dance band) but have failed miserably in their task. Next up is the Watusis, a three piece with a drum machine (really? drum machine?!?) who play some sort of  '80's synth crap. The lead singer/guitarist reminded us of Eric Forman from That '70's Show. They bring in a few more people (I think maximum room count all night was about 25, including band members) to watch them noodle around on their instuments. Towards the end of their set, Eric yells out, "Rock and roll is awesome!" and I can't stop myself from shouting back, "Then why don't you play some?" After a spectacular finale where Eric jumps on the monitor for a solo then falls off and knocks down his mic stand the set is over and the band leaves with all of their '80's wannabes, apparently too cool for the rest of the show.

The happy ending to the story is the Fink Bombs came on and tore it up. Check them out on Facbook! I was able to leave happy and run out for a after-show tradition, the late night carne asada burrito. Nothing tastes finer after a hard night of drinking and rocking than a carne asada burrito!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wake up and smell the blueberries!

Why is it that I have to drink beer from Maine to get a decent blueberry beer? I live in San Diego, which is arguably the microbrew capital of the world, and no one here is making good fruit beers anymore. I know that many of the folks in So Cal like to bash their tastebuds in with super bitter IPAs, but can't someone just brew up a few good fruity beers? Yeah, OK, Alpine does a good raspberry now and again, but who else is making anything similar? I know I am not the only person who is head over heels for Shipyard's Smashed Blueberry, so can some local brewer please step up and make me a nice fruit beer?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

There are other things in life besides beer...

Things like mead. I love mead. Yes, just like most other good little geek girls my love affair with mead started at Renaissance Faires, drinking Chaucer's from the ale stand. Now I like Chaucer's, but when that's pretty much all you can find you get real excited when you see something else out there. Enter Redstone mead, via the taps at Toronado and Small Bar. Their Black Raspberry is to die for (if you like dying for that sort of thing), and the Nectar of the Hops is quite tasty as well. Today we went up to the Pizza Port Bottle Shop in Carlsbad and found that (after months of half hearted searching at BevMo and other beer/wine sellers) they sell Redstone. Unfortunately there was no Black Raspberry, but we picked up some Boysenberry and Sunshine (apricot).  I think I scared all the people in the shop when I squealed upon spotting the mead in the case!

So, when we get up to the counter I start excitedly telling the clerk how happy I am they have it, when are they getting more, and what about the Black Raspberry... and he tells me, "well, most folks just brew their own because it's so easy, you just need water, honey, yeast and a closet to store it in for a couple of months." Damn him, now I want to brew mead! I just may look into this when I take my month long staycation in October, in addition to some other culinary experiments I want to try.