Aaaaaaaaaah! Happy sigh! It is SO good to be home! I just got back from a long weekend in the Vegas, selling art, gambling (and winning! I won a whole dollar!!!), and being smacked in the knees and face by large panels as the 50mph gusts lifted our tent into the air, then set it down on my toes.
I repeat: It was a LONG weekend.
On to the more important things in my life: beer tastings and serious, scientific research for my next brew. We recently got a Total Wine (an actual beer haven! SO many craft beer selections!) a few towns over, and brought back a beautiful bounty to try out.
For scientific research purposes only!
First came Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat. Verdict: Not for me... This had an artificial cherry scent, and tasted like Miller Lite. Actually, I only THINK it’s what Miller Lite tastes like, since I’ve never actually tried Miller Lite.
Next up: Samuel Smith Organic Cherry Ale. Verdict: LOVE! This had a nice, delicate, NATURAL cherry scent, and tasted more like a cider than an ale. I LOVE fruit beers, but I don’t want my brew to be quite as sweet, plus the entire brew process for a beer like this is highly complicated since you have to mix two separate brews that have fermented for different amounts of time with different yeasts, then add cherry juice. Yeah, way too complicated for my third brew… I will pick this up again when I’m hanging out with non-beer drinkers that I’m trying to convert!
Lastly: Raspberry Trail Ale by Marin Brewing. Verdict: LOVE the soft raspberry scent it gives off, “meh” on everything else. This beer was much too light for my liking. I like a beer with a little thicker mouthfeel and a richer flavor: this tasted like they’d added water to increase the volume. Not worth the price.
Overall, I think I’ve decided what my next brew will be, thanks to my tastings! I’ll wait to get all the logistics figured out and then announce it on my brew day! Woohoo!
I celebrated my awesome decision-making skills with a nice tall glass of intense Gulden Draak – Dizzy deliciousness!
This post is part of a series I’m doing called “Breaking the Chain”. Check out previous broken chains like White Elephant, Rúla Búla, Park View Cafe and The Old Place Cornell.
I spent last weekend down in San Diego working at the ArtWalk, and while I only got one chance to blog, I got PLENTY of chances to eat. Mainly, they were all here:
Craft & Commerce: The most amazing gastropub I’ve ever been to. This little place has exposed brick, literary genius written all over the walls, and when you use their bathroom, you’re treated to MORE literary genius via books on tape. I happened to stop in whilst Pride and Prejudice was being read by some lovely British voice-over.
Also, this place is kind of popular. It was JAM PACKED the entire time we were working the booth across the street. Girls come to flirt, boys show up to pretend that they’re more mature than they really are… “I’m twenty-sssss….. thirty-eight…” (and yes, I actually witnessed a boy attempting that one while he was chatting up a cougar), and superheroes come to box, like the man in red and blue above.
They serve incredibly unique food, such as the pickled cucumber slices, watermelon and jicama. I do not like jicama yet, but I only have twelve more tries until I do, according to scientific research. (Scientific research WAS conducted! I recall reading it, I just can’t find where I read it. You’ll have to trust me on this one…)
The mixologists (Do NOT call them bartenders! They are trained professionals! Also, EXCELLENT at what they do!) all wear suspenders, and thick books rest upon each table. My genius friend Kim, who recently got accepted into UCLA for her graduate program (Congrats, Khimniney!) partook in the true enjoyment of Craft & Commerce, suspenders included.
I also partook with my AleSmith Speedway Stout – (which was DELICIOUS and INTENSE!). We’re smart like that.
That’s such a lie. We’re actually complete fools when we hang out. I adore her precisely for that reason.
Some history: Kim and I were in the TAG (talented and gifted) group in middle school together. We rode my bike to the high school for our super-genius-awesome-girl-algebra class in eighth grade. I peddled, she balanced on the seat. We coasted down a steep hill every Wednesday and Thursday, praying that the garbage trucks had already crossed our intersections – there were a few close calls since I couldn’t control the brakes… I recall plenty of screaming from both of us…
After Kim left, I decided to order dinner before I headed back to the booth. Pickles = good. Fried stuff = good. Fried pickles = ????
From this place, they equal “meh”. I had fried pickles ONCE before, and they were AMAZING! Unfortunately, these did not live up to par.
The GOOD news is that I will be having said AMAZING fried pickles later this month – in Colorado! We’re taking a family trip to visit my bro and his wife (The Vegans), have fried pickles and drink good beers. I suppose I’ll find a way to suffer through…
Off to Vegas this weekend! For work, thank you very much, but it will be the first time I gamble. Legally… Gotta try it once! Legally…
My first time gambling…
I won. I cashed out. I fled.
I know it’s Tuesday, I know. When I’m on the road working the art festivals on the weekends, I generally don’t get much time to blog (especially when the internet isn’t free at the hotel *cough* Sheraton San Diego *cough*). Since I have a nice lazy day today, I’ll catch you up on my pre-trip enjoyment.
Brunch at Jinky’s Kanan Cafe. My roommate ordered the chicken apple sausage, which was TO DIE FOR.
Mmmm, fresh grill marks!
I made the waiter recite all of his favorites and recommendations, then discarded everything he said and got the chocolate chip and mascarpone pancakes.
A perfect bite! These were almost perfect. My only complaint was that there were not enough chocolate chips. In my world, there’s no such thing as too much chocolate.
The roomie and I headed home, comfortably stuffed, and both did a little work. Emphasis on a little… We decided that since it was such a beautiful day out, and since it was indeed Friday, we deserved to enjoy said beautiful Friday. Enter: Ladyface!
We ordered a few tasters to start: “Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut” – their freshly tapped firkin of Blind Ambition with hazelnut. All of their firkins are served room temperature, and I end up not being a big fan. For me, the hazelnut was a little overpowering and almost too sweet. Chilling it would have toned down the overwhelming aroma. We also sampled the nice ‘n icy Workers’ Co-Hoperative – a tame IPA with a very floral nose. I prefer the Chesebro IPA, but they were all out.
This was my attempt at getting a good shot of the Picture City Porter. I failed.
THERE we go! Ahhh, I LOVE the beautiful specks of coffee grounds on top! We both ordered our own full size: Blind Ambition for him, Ladyface IPA for me, and spent a good two hours relaxing out back, enjoying the view and the buzz.
A beautiful warm day filled with pancakes and beer. What could be better?