Category Archives: beer sampler

Beer + Guns = Colorado

I had an amazing, ridiculously fast three day vacation in Colorado this weekend!
Commander Matt and I took an evening flight to Denver to hang with my parentals and attend the Odell Small Batch Revival. It was a painlessly quick flight. My parental unit picked us up at DIA and we headed back to their house to have some Enegren brews we’d brought as gifts, and then to pass out.
The views from their place are absolutely hideous. What’s with all the open space? It’s also incredibly noisy – that little creek below their porch makes quite a ruckus as it burbles over the rocks with the trout darting through.
They also have these rude deer that traipse through their yard whenever they please. Ugh.
We got all fancy and made breakfast – chocolate chip pancakes and grilled bacon!
These pancakes are made with almond milk and vinegar as a buttermilk substitute, and OUT OF THIS WORLD DELICIOUS.
After fooding, we met up with my brother and his wife and headed over to the Odell Small Batch Revival. It was HOT and packed!
We waited in exceptionally long lines for our beers and then found the small amount of shade that was available.
So. Many. People! This was taken right before the swarms of people arrived.
Ah, yet another perfect capture of how much we enjoy each other’s company.
I had the Totes McGotes Pale Ale Wheat – funky and sour with a strong Reisling flavor from the barrel, and the Extra Special Red. I was saving the Mash of the Titans for last, but they ran out right as I got to the front of the line. Heartbroken.

The next day we had a full schedule as well. First thing on the list:
Smith & Wesson 686 revolver. 357 magnum! I have no idea what all this means, but firing it is fun.
My bro firing his Glock. I preferred the .22 for accuracy, but this one was enjoyable too!
And back to the revolver!
Those holes in the head? All courtesy of me via the 686, before I started switching guns and throwing off my aim.
Can I have it? Christmas is coming up in only seven months. A Ruger Mark 3 would be lovely, thanks!
After shooting, we moseyed about twenty feet through the parking lot to the brewery. Grimm Brothers Brewhouse – it was nice to be able to taste and smell the beers, unlike last year!
I got a flight of eight. Had to try them all since I really hadn’t been able to before.
Shockingly enough, the Snow Drop was my favorite. The honey and molasses aroma were subtle but noticeable, with a sweet, almost mead-like honey flavor. This was an easy light sipper, but still came through at 7.1%ABV!
I also loved the Little Red Cap Altbier. Nice and malty and clean with a pleasant American hop bitterness.
My brother, Matt and I continued on to Funkwerks – a brewery that brews only Saisons!
The interior of this place is cozy and well lit, and full of craft beer enthusiasts.
I had to get a taster flight, of course. I was on vacation!
My favorite was the Codename: Farmhouse – roasted candied apricot and a bready finish with a hint of tartness.
To wrap up the evening, we swung by my brother’s work and he showed us some of the planes he’s rewired.
The new Garmin system is almost exactly like a video game! I’m fairly certain I played this game when I was twelve… The graphics are slightly better though, I must admit.

The next day was Memorial Day, and I was completely exhausted. We decided to have a slow day and regenerate on the lake.
Carter Lake was pretty quiet considering it was Memorial Day. We sat down on the dock and enjoyed the warm breeze.
Peaceful. Until he tried to throw me in.
Our flight out was at 9pm that night. It was tough to say goodbye to the parentals and the beauty of Colorado, but the bagpiper TSA agent helped ease the pain.
It was a wonderful, albeit far too short, weekend. I’m counting down the days until my next trip out.

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Filed under beer, beer sampler, beer tasting, brewery, Travel

Birthdays, Engagements and Breweries

Having a full time job plus working another job on the weekend makes for… no time for anything else in the world, like blogging. Or sleeping. Forgive me for my absence, but I took pictures to make up for the lack of posting.
On Friday we delivered kegs to the Calabasas Wolf Creek. It was not a very fun trip, driving the gigantic refrigerated truck down the 5 in the pouring rain with lightning flashing overhead, but somehow we survived. No toes were crushed in this delivery. One finger may have been smashed (again)…
On Saturday I worked at brewery number one – Enegren Brewing. It was a beautiful day out to make up for the excessive amounts of downpour we’d had the day before, so I took the brewery bike to pick up cheesesteaks from Carli’s in Moorpark. If you’ve never had a cheesesteak before, you must go eat one right now. This was my first, smothered in cheese and jalapenos, and I want more. I want more now.
We’ll soon be having another Mrs. Enegren on our hands! Congratulations to Brie and Chris!!!
On Sunday we had to take some kegs to Short Order in Los Angeles and decided to sample from the menu – this is the Charlie Brown adult milkshake. Vanilla custard, peanot infused bourbon, peanut butter, chocolate and awesomeness in a mason jar. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the one to order this, so I only got the few sips I stole when the consumer wasn’t watching. Insert evil laugh here.
I was still pretty stuffed from a hearty breakfast at a greasy diner, so I opted for the potato wedges with heavenly sour cream and bacon dipping sauce. Hands down, these are the best fries in the entire universe, especially when combined with the sour cream and bacon.
Back at the brewery, I made a beautiful tan and tannerValkyrie California Alt topped with Golden Spur Saison. I think I’ve found my calling – eating cheesesteaks and making pretty beer combos. I’m set for life.
The next day was spent celebrating Commander Matt’s birthday! He works at and owns a brewery which he goes to every single day, so obviously more brewery was necessary. I was more than happy to oblige and force my company upon him.
Hollister Brewing Company was the first stop (after mass amounts of fried fish at Andria’s Seafood in Ventura, of course).
We sampled almost all of their beers and came away with a growler of their Hip Hop Double IPA. My personal favorites were the Riverdance Irish Red – malty with a slightly sweet finish, gentle carbonation and low ABV, and The Pope IPA – not quite sure what it was about this that I fell for, but something about the malty aroma and surprising bitterness at the end made me happy. Very happy.
We also swung by Island Brewing on the way down the coast and the owner, Paul, was kind enough to give Matt, Grayson and me an in depth tour of the place.
I’m incredibly intrigued by their bottling line. Only four fillers, but they manage to bottle 720 bottles every time they bottle. Bottle bottle bottle.
The owner, Paul, suited up in his official “Tour Guide” lab coat. It’s embroidered with the words “Tour Guide”, so it’s official. That and he owns the place. That also makes it official.
I swung by the Ladies at Ladyface meeting (Number 11 already! We’ve almost hit our one year anniversary!) and sampled from the dry hop experiment – Ladyface Blonde with Delta pellet hops thrown on top, put in a French press and, well, pressed. It was “hop night” so there was a handful of single hop beers, homebrewed IPAs and other IPAs that could wreck your palate.
So they say. I’ve had more daunting, but this is a delicious beer!

Now I’m going to be awesome and hit the hay. Three nights of little to no sleep, brewery, brewery tour, brewery work, plus a ten hour brew day today = complete and utter happy exhaustion.

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Filed under beer sampler, beer tasting, brewery

Tap House Grill

You know what’s irritating? When the name of a restaurant is written in all caps with no clear spaces so you don’t know if it’s Taphouse Grill or Tap House Grill or TAPHOUSEGRILL. You know what’s irritating after choosing a sample platter from their 160 beers they have on tap?

Nothing.
We went to the Tap House Grill (I triple checked it with Google) for a late dinner after the show closed. I almost had a happy panic attack when I saw the extensive list of their beers.
DROOL. MORE DROOL.
Seriously, how does one decide which beers to try?

Lucky for me, they had a Northwest Sampler. They chose four local beers from different styles for me, and all I had to do was sit back and sip!
They brought out four six-ounce tasters full of glorious malty, hoppy liquid joy.
First up was the Emerald City Dotties Lager. Um, lager? Is that now a specification? I’m fairly certain that any beer fermented with lager yeast is called a lager… Turns out this qualifies as an American Amber/Red Lager. The SRM seemed a little too light for me to agree with this, but I’ll trust the experts. It tasted more like a pilsner to me – no hops on the nose, but a sharp bite on the first sip that combines a very faint malty note and fades into nothingness at the back end. I wasn’t a big fan, so I finished it quickly. Can’t waste a craft beer!

The Leavenworth Dunkel Weizen was next (or it was after I changed the order of the sampler – they switched the porter and the dunkel. I feel SMRT for realizing this on my own). This started with a very sweet, biscuity malt and a smooth finish with no noticeable hoppiness. Sweeter than I prefer my beer, and with a lower IBU than I prefer, but not bad for the dark hefeweizens I’ve tried up to this point.
Deschutes Black Butte Porter came next – a truly lovely porter, but I was disappointed because I’ve already tried this one before. Beautiful intense coffee on the nose, full body and mouthfeel, chocolate and coffee deliciousness with every sip. Loved it. Been there, done that, but with love.

The Snoqualmie Falls IPA finished the tasting. It had warmed to room temperature by this point, and I was surprised to find that I liked it better a little warmer than it was served. Very potent citrus hops on the nose and a pleasant, well-rounded bitterness throughout. I do love my IPAs! We’ll be back Sunday night after breakdown. Please peruse the beer menu and send me any recommendations for Sunday! Must. Try. More!
On a random note – here was my day in a nutshell. Had Ted Danson for breakfast/lunch with a side of pesto pasta and apple spice cake from Pasta & Co. Ted Danson was gooooood!

Another side note – you’ll have to pardon my Twitter updates from today, and possibly from this entire upcoming weekend. When the show gets quiet, I get bored. I did win an award for my awesome tweet about long jeans!
I’M A WINNER!!!
It was a very, very quiet day at the show. So quiet that I went to MAC and got a makeover. I had that little to do.
It looks like my eye caught on fire and from my eyelids to my eyebrows are stained with smoke. Sexy.

Tomorrow I’ll be spending my day Yelping for restaurants or brewpubs around Bellevue. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! Time to pass out. Bon nuit!

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Filed under beer, beer sampler, beer tasting

My First Groupon!

     Well, I finally did it. I went for it and bought myself a Groupon! I’ve been getting their daily e-mails for a few months now, and I finally found something that caught my eye. Can you guess what it is?

BEEEEEEEER!
Groupon in action!
We went to a place way up in Ventura County called Draughts. They had a huge selection of beer that was half off since we came during happy hour!
I got the sampler which included Draughts private honey blonde, hefeweizen, pale ale, IPA, amber and porter. I’m not sure if they brew on premise – the facilities don’t appear big enough for that, but I wasn’t in a big question-asking mode. I was there to relax!
We started off with an appetizer of Stuft ravioli bites.
(This place used to be called Stuft Pizza, and they are still in transition. We got the Stuft menus when we arrived…)
These were HOT, both in temperature and spice. It’s nice to know that you’re eating something that JUST came out of the deep fryer 🙂
I ordered the linguini pesto pasta. Garlicy, carby, nutty and delicious!
Oh, and have I mentioned? I haven’t been doing so well with my “January Challenge“. Dairy just doesn’t seem to want to leave me alone…
Nor I, it.
I guess I was right when I said I don’t do well with restrictions… Maybe I’ll try for February ;-P

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Filed under beer, beer sampler, Draughts, Draughts Restaurant, fried ravioli, Groupon, January Challenge, linguini pesto, Pinkberry