Tag Archives: Blackbird Porter

Patty Melts and Beer Studies

Some of the random things I’ve been doing this past week:

One of my nostalgic favorite places to eat: The Waypoint Cafe at the Camarillo Airport.
My parental unit and I used to go here at least once a month when they lived here to enjoy a greasy meal and watch the planes taking off.
The place has been spruced up since the last time I was here. The interior was all gussied up with new tables and booths and a polished bar. Luckily, their menu was still the same.
The patty melt. A must-have to fulfill grease-laden desires with deliciousness. This pairs perfectly with a chocolate malt.
If your finger aren’t dripping butter after each bite, your patty melt just wasn’t prepared correctly. These don’t have that problem.

The only problem I had was that they also had a cheesesteak as a special on the menu… What’s one to do?
One of the many benefits of having a dining companion. Order both…
…and halvsies! When both diners are craving unhealthy sammiches overflowing with beef, everyone wins!
I’ve also created a Beer ‘n Wings group. I went with Kevin and John to scout out the place for our first meeting. Shockingly enough, the local Hooters has craft beer on tap! Stone, Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head were among the selection. The boys seemed to enjoy themselves there, so I knew it would pass with other members of the group. I enjoy awkward things – going here is one of said awkward things I enjoy.
I headed up to Santa Barbara to get some Cicerone studying done with my buddy Grayson. Of course we had to stop at Island Brewing since it’s on the way up.
Some very kind gentlemen at the bar bought me a Blackbird Porter on nitro, just to be nice. It MAY have been as an apology for telling me that I looked like I was sixteen. That could’ve been it too…
Grayson and I made a terrible mistake and stopped by Keg ‘n Bottle in Isla Vista. My wallet hurts. Those three in the middle would be the 08-10 Vertical Epic series. I have 11.11.11 waiting in my closet to join them in consumption at the end of the year. Black Xantus is simply an amazing robust barrel-aged Imperial Stout and Sucaba looked cool and got good reviews on BeerAdvocate. I repeat – my wallet hurts.
We finally buckled down and got to studying. Feel free to steal our supersecret study secrets.
I also got classy for dinner. Surprising discovery – Cup o’ Noodles pairs deliciously with Valkyrie California Alt!
After a night full of creating a syllabus, “tasting” delicious beers, mourning the sorry states of our respective wallets and studying the malt and hop profiles of different styles we kept it cheap and gourmet. Breakfast Burritos a la Grayson. Scrambled egg stuffed with sauteed bell peppers, onions and crispy bacon wrapped up in a warm tortilla with cheese. Simple and freakin’ delicious!
To restore some mental health after the busy night, we took a stroll along the beautiful Santa Barbara coastline.
Not too shabby of a place to live, Gray.
Not too shabby at all.


Filed under beer

Island Brewing Company

I’ve featured Island Brewing Company a few times on my blog, and even used their growlers to bottle condition my very first brew – Dos Beckis. Today, for the very first time, I got a tour of the facilities on a brew day!
Of course, first we had to get a flight of a few of their brews to get in the spirit of Island Brewing.
Well, we had to get a few tasters and then a full pint of their Island Pale Ale
Okay, fine! We had to get a flight, a Island Pale Ale, a Jubilee and a Blackbird Porter! Happy now?
Brewer Shaun was kind enough to give us a full tour and suffer through some blurry pictures as well.
This little brewery is tucked away on a side street next to the train tracks. Seriously, RIGHT ON the tracks! If you’re not an avid craft beer drinker and don’t know how to use Google correctly, you’d probably pass right by this gem.
They keep about 8-10 different beers on their menu, with the majority of their beers being served year round. The Belgian Ambre, Anniversary Ale and Tropical Lager are the only ones I haven’t seen before.
Beautiful copper mash tun. They were brewing the Island Pale Ale today and had just finished cleaning out.
Well, almost. Ryan was in there double checking…
Island Brewing Company gives their spent grain to local farmers, and also to Carpinteria High School for their organic garden which was recently featured on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. How’s that for community interaction?
The beautiful, golden extract travels from the mash tun…
to the boil kettle.
The IPA at a rolling boil. I can never get over how WONDERFUL breweries smell on brew days! I need to bottle the smell of the mash and use it as perfume. Drool.
They have ten fermentation tanks that are full of malty, hoppy deliciousness.
And the chiller is stocked with kegs and boxes of bottled beers. Prior to today, they hadn’t brewed in eleven days. I find this to be completely understandable since they spent all day yesterday bottling 720 bottles of beer!
On a random note, I was working a show in Indio *shudder* back in January, proudly wearing my Island Brewing Company sweatshirt. The photographer for the local newspaper came up to me to tell me she liked my sweatshirt.
“Are you an Island fan, too?” I asked.
Turns out Lani is the daughter of the OWNER of Island Brewing Company, Paul Wright. It’s a small world!
She took some cleverly located photos to document the occasion.
A big thanks to Shaun and Ryan for letting me saunter around the brewery and soak up the delicious aromas and beer, and to Alma for serving up said delicious beer! I can’t wait to come back… again.. for the 27th time…


Filed under brewery