by Becki |
April 30, 2013 · 5:39 pm
Last night, Enegren Brewing Company took over the taps at Dish in Thousand Oaks.
Chef Alfie had been inspired by a few of EBC’s beers and decided to put together a burger pairing for Dish’s weekly Monday Craft Beer and Burger Night.
While the boys set up for the evening, I greedily studied the menu and proceeded to order each of the featured burgers.
Buffalo Mole Burger, inspired by Captain Patrick’s Irish Stout – A thick, juicy buffalo patty cooked perfectly to medium, topped with a savory mole sauce emanating essence of dusty cocoa, sweet onions and a delicate spice of pepper. The dry Irish stout enhanced the smokiness of the burger and brought forward the rich chocolate in the mole while taming the spice.
Three Little Pigs, inspired by Protector Imperial IPA – This burger was a little overwhelming at first. Stacked to high heaven and no knife and fork in sight…
We topped it with the tender brioche bun and proceeded to compress it until it was almost short enough to take a full bite. House ground pork patty topped with the thickest bacon I’ve ever seen topped again with barbecue pulled pork and crispy onions. The hoppiness of the beer cut through the adiposity of the bacon while balancing out the sweetness of the barbecue sauce.
I also happened to see a new addition to the chalkboard – Onion rings coated in Golden Spur Saison batter, served with warmed zesty dijon mustard dipping sauce spiked with Golden Spur. The batter was light, flaky and piping hot. Everything was greedily consumed and copious amounts of napkins were used.
In addition to the five beers on tap, the boys brought along a cask of Vanilla Oaked Valkyrie – a favorite of the brewery regulars.
Ron of Dish tapped the keg in the early evening and we were pleased to see many glasses being sent out around the restaurant.
After a taster of the cask, I was designated the task of disposing of any “mispours” made by the boys. I didn’t complain – gotta do what I can to help out!
Overall it was yet another delicious night, as seems to be tradition when there’s beer and food involved.
The night was almost ruined for me when my camera bag betrayed me and threw my beloved camera onto the street, cracking the lens right down the middle. While I stood in shock, hyperventilating, internally cursing and trying not to faint, Commander Matt calmed me down and showed me that the body and actual lens of the camera were fine – the protective UV cover had taken all the abuse. The above picture is proof that my lovely camera still lives. Crisis averted.
Said camera bag may be burned and replaced for its betrayal.
by Becki |
April 26, 2013 · 4:07 pm
by Becki |
April 24, 2013 · 10:21 am
Most of my pictures have been taken through my phone in the past week, and nothing in much of an order. Here’s a little bit of what I’ve been up to, iPhone style.
Dodger Padres game!
The most overpriced beer in the entire world. Seriously, $10 for 12oz? We forgot the tailgate beers, so I guess we have ourselves to blame…
Some experimentals from Custom Pie! I’ve been quality checking them throughout the past weeks and I’m proud to say I was the first purchase ever!
Awesome turkey burger with garlic aioli and avocado from Prohibition Burgers and Beer in Encino – one of my new favorite hangouts during the work week.
Girls’ BYOB night – Samuel Adams New World Tripel. Faintly sweet, earthy/musty and dry. I’m loving their barrel series!
A trip to the 500bbl brewery – Miller. This place is HUGE! The packaging line is extremely impressive – even when it breaks and shoots the tops of cans everywhere.
The craft team from my company went down to Irwindale for training and a “homebrew” session.
Relax. Don’t worry. Have a… homebrew? Or take one sip and give it to the person sitting next to you. I may have done that…
This SABCO Brew Magic system be crazy! Circulating mash – the entire brew took us three hours. Using two row sped up the conversion time.
Pulled pork made with Batch 19, stir fry veggies with Blue Moon and lemon cake made with Leinenkugel Summer Shandy.
Aaaand back to Ladyface for some delicious brews a la Ladies at Ladyface!
The theme was “all things fermented”. Spent grain bread, edamame and kimchi!
El Segundo’s awesome IIPA – Two 5 Left.
Mac ‘n cheese with jalapeno and bacon – not fermented, but I couldn’t say no. Next month is our TWO YEAR anniversary! Everyone’s bringing their favorite beer – time to dig into my cellar!
A new place opened in Calabasas – Pedaler’s Fork is a craft beer bar, farm to table restaurant, coffee shop with its own roaster and a bike shop.
The most delicious cup of coffee I’ve ever consumed from 10 Speed Coffee at Pedaler’s Fork. I’m in love.
Headed to Public School 310 last night.
Lots of rotating taps and a steady craft selection.
The rotating selection of the week.
El Segundo Citra Pale!
Hyper Bella at The Chive.
Now off to a long workday with a beer pairing event tonight! Beer, food, happy, happy.
by Becki |
April 21, 2013 · 12:45 pm
Last weekend the craft division of my company was flown up to Chico by the awesome crew of Sierra Nevada!
We were flown via Southwest – lucky for me, I got to score some extra points from this trip for all my future Colorado trips!
Random airport artwork in Sacramento.
After a ridiculously speedy flight, we all hopped into a huge shuttle van and drove 90 minutes up to Chico.
After a quick unpacking session, cans of Old Chico (not available in SoCal) were grabbed from the hotel lobby and consumed, followed by a trek to downtown Chico for dinner and some more brews.
We somehow ended up at this dance club/billiard hall/restaurant that was obviously hoppin’. At this point, I hailed a cab for myself and headed back to the safety of the hotel.
Many of my coworkers had a rough start the next morning, but thanks to my quick escape at the early hour of midnight, I felt somewhat alive. Our first stop was the brewery gift shop where we were given gift cards and set loose. I’m now the proud owner of a few shirts and an awesome lip balm that has hop oil in it.
We perused the grounds and found these awesome bike racks…
And a bike pump! Every brewery should have one of these!
Lunch was up next. We sat on the patio enjoying the beautiful warm weather and scanned the extensive beer list.
French Saison for me! Hair of the dog for everyone else!
I ordered the Sierra Nevada salad – fresh greens picked from the garden out behind the brewery, goat cheese and candied walnuts.
We were given some amazing samples of experimentals and beers that haven’t been or will not be released to the public. Barrel-Aged Narwhal Imperial Stout. Out of this world.
The brewery tour was next!
Sierra Nevada uses only whole leaf hops in their brews. The floor and tanks were littered with beautiful cones.
Hop room! Freezing cold and smelling of joy. Oh, how I love the hops.
Wonderful artwork for Life and Limb that for some reason didn’t make the cut??? Gotta love the fig leaf action.
The bases of the huge fermentors that stick out atop the brewery.
Everyone jumped aboard the awesome pub-bike and we pedaled out to the hop fields.
They’re a little more barren than the last time I was here…
The remains of the garden from where my lunch was cultivated.
HotRot – this composting machine is loaded with all the remains from meals in the pub and takes twelve days to turn all of that into what looks like sawdust. The smell is horrendous, the outcome is awesome.
After biking back, we toured the nanobrewery and got to sample some of the Beer Camp brew that Roger from The LAB participated in – milk stout with almonds. Divine.
The tour ended with a sample of Ovila with mandarin oranges straight from the conditioning tank.
Up next – dinner!
Cheese plate appetizer.
Filet mignon with lobster butter. Yes, please.
This rocked my world. I’m drooling as I recall…
The next morning we were up bright and early and back to Sacramento for our flight. This may be the best airport fare I’ve ever had – it’s a toss-up when it comes to burritos. I got lucky.
We had an even faster flight back.
Descending through the thick marine layer.
It was a wonderful, fast-paced and delicious trip. With all these brewery trips, I’m seriously loving my job!
by Becki |
April 7, 2013 · 4:22 pm
I’m back from a wonderful three days in Boston! Two coworkers and I were flown out to Boston by my company for training at the Samuel Adams brewery. This’ll be a picture-heavy post – lots of phone pics as well since I didn’t feel like hefting my big camera bag along the miles of walking.
We flew out on JetBlue. Only four hours and ten minutes out with tons of leg space – at least in comparison to United and American! Plus a personal TV screen on each seat. Win! We dropped our bags at the hotel and set out for a walk in the freezing rain.
jm Curley is a newer place across the street from Stoddard’s Fine Foods and Ale. We grabbed a beer to warm up and perused the menu. The new seasonal special – housemade donut fried in bacon fat with strawberry-rhubarb filling, basil crystals and a foie gras glaze. You read that right. I couldn’t not.
Yes. I can say without hesitation that this is one of the top three things I’ve ever consumed in my entire life. Ever.
Next up was Union Oyster House, and we were lucky enough to score seats at the bar!
I consumed my first oyster! After very low expectations (my imagination went from dry-heaving to salt water sneezes to other horrible things), I was pleasantly surprised – sweet and tender without a freaky texture! I don’t think I’ll eat another one, but I’m glad I tried it.
They had quite a full lobster tank which included this eleven pound beast. I didn’t consume him.
We were sent by the bartender to a locals’ favorite, Durty Nelly’s, which was full of big brand beers plus a Samuel Adams. We continued along the way, going to a place and asking the bartender where his/her favorite place was and continuing in this manner.
After a few jumps, we enjoyed a freezing cold stroll for about half a mile before hailing a taxi to take us the rest of the way back to the hotel.
The next morning we were in the lobby at 7am (4am California time) and took the subway down to Samuel Adams Brewery.
Study supplies were stacked on the tables…
and a group of seventeen total (me being the only female) slowly tried to jar ourselves awake.
Breakfast was brought in by Max’s Deli Cafe – delicious every single morning!
We had ten hours of intense lectures interjected with mini-tours of the brewery.
Our instructor and Certified Cicerone, Ken Smith. He has an insane amount of energy – far too much for me when it was 4am my time, but once the coffee started working, I thoroughly enjoyed him and his exciting speeches and lectures.
Head Brewer Dean!
Looking out from the brew system. At lunch I snuck over and Dean was kind enough to let me watch the transfer and sparging of the mash.
I also got to try the first wort from next years Utopias he was brewing this day! Nothing like a hot cup of sugar water to wake you up in the mornings!
During the sparge Dean was able to give a quick tour of the place.
We walked into the barrel room and were bombarded by the wonderful scent of spirits that emanated from the racks of barrels.
These 68bbl fermenters used to be in the main brewery but have recently been moved into the new building they recently obtained after their neighbors closed business.
Another lovely view as I creepered around the place.
The whirlpool tank – after initial whirlpool in the boil kettle, the wort is transferred here and whirled again to get rid of as much trub as possible before filtering.
Lunch was delivered again by Max’s – roasted salmon, shrimp skewers and fancy salad and grilled veggies.
They brought plenty of dessert options which were greedily consumed by the class I was with, and then by the brewers Dean and Bob.
I also got a sneak peak at the 26.2 Pale Wheat that Sam Adams is releasing on April 15th for the marathon! Sweet, smooth and crisp – perfect for rehydration after running a marathon.
After ten hours of sitting, we were released and headed over to Stoddard’s Fine Food and Ale.
No casks were available, so I stuck with a local porter. We ended the night a little earlier than the previous one… We’d learned our lesson after each having a small headache for the majority of the day…
The next day we met in the lobby again at 7am, but class was cut short after about an hour when poor Ken wasn’t feeling well. We set out to explore the city. And by city, I mean foods and pubs in the city.
I walked towards the water and found Granary Tavern. After sipping a Saison from the local brewery Pretty Things, the boys met up with me and we each ordered a gigantic, lovely, delicious, more adjectives lobsta roll. Tender and succulent with housemade dill mayo, wrapped in a warm cushion of a frankfurter roll. Happy sigh.
Every bartender we’d come across had told us that Mr. Dooley’s had the best pint of Guinness in the city. I don’t like Guinness, but I felt like I had to order one when we got here. Maybe it’s the gas blend, maybe it’s the Irish people pouring the pints, but this was the most delicious Guinness I’ve ever had! It had much more flavor than I remember – chocolate, charcoal and vanilla cream.
Our next stop at The Green Dragon had a Chiver! We got a slightly drunken history lesson and some good pictures with him. We had a beer dinner scheduled that night, so we headed back to the hotel to relax for an hour before piling into a taxi and heading over to Post 390 where the dinner was being hosted.
Smokey salmon over wilted mixed greens, potatoes and a pickled quail egg paired with Sam Adams Noble Pils. I had about half of this, minus the egg, before I decided I should probably go slowly with the extensive menu.
Pork and apple croquette in a cauliflower and cheese soup paired with Sam Adams Boston Lager. Again, I had to stop halfway through.
Char grilled duck in a white bean cassoulette paired with Sam Adams Double Bock.
Some kind of a chocolate custard with rich ganache and meringue on top. Honestly though, this was the highlight of the entire meal:
UTOPIAS! I’ve never had the chance to try this before – 29%ABV, extreme flavors of Bourbon with a high sweetness and hints of oak, smoke and vanilla. I could’ve sipped a few ounces of this over the entire night and been content.
Utopias 10th Anniversary bottle. I wants it. I wants it so much.
Our final day consisted of a six hour class with beer and cheese pairings and tastings.
Ta-daaaaah! We got shipped off to the airport and flew back to Los Angeles on a long 6.5 hour flight.
Can I be a professional student of beer for a living?