On my final day in Colorado, we left early for the airport and grabbed a quick bite to eat on the way.
Miniature egg, chorizo, grilled pepper and arugula sammich from Dallabetta’s Muse in Loveland.
The airport was bustling with activity as they tried to load everyone onto the plane early in order to avoid two massive cells that were headed our way.
“I’m glad you took the window seat. You’ll be the one getting struck by lightning instead of me.” – Sweet words from the person sitting next to me.
After a few rough patches and harsh bumps, we made it over the storm cells and back into California.
The next day, Enegren was back at City Tavern in Culver City, spreading the joy of beer, and graciously inviting me along to eat a lot of delicious food and drink handcrafted beer. And take a few pictures. That too.
We started off with a flight, just to make sure everything was tasting as it should.
I went for a glass of Golden Spur Saison. Gotta enjoy the seasonal before it runs out!
Their rotating beer list had a few new beers I hadn’t heard of before. I tried the Wimpy IPA – a collaboration between Marin Brewing and Green Flash. Exceptionally pineapple-y on the nose and flavor and only 3.3%ABV! Tastes like a big IPA with just a flick instead of a punch of alcohol.
The dinner menu has shifted around a bit too. After a good half hour of deliberation and changing my mind three times, I decided on the pork chop.
Bourbon-glazed pork chop topped with apricot jam and apple butter, and served with jalapeno cheddar cornbread. Mind-blowing and deliciously tender, boozy and sweet. This dish was bliss on a plate.
The night ended slowly as I tried to emerge from my food coma and failed. Many flights and pints were had round the entire restaurant followed by quite a few people approaching the brewers table to extend their compliments. Quite a successful and delicious night!
A few of the things that have transpired lately…
PLINY THE YOUNGER! Didn’t even have to wait in line! I was taking a different route home, got a call from a lovely lady from Ladies at Ladyface and was receiving a pour two minutes later. I’m glad that I tried it, but I’m very glad I didn’t wait in line for it. It’s a perfectly balanced beer. Someone at Tony’s Darts Away explained it the best way – “So perfect it’s forgettable.” I’ll remember it just because of the hype. And the jalapeno and bacon mac ‘n cheese I paired with it.
Enegren Brewing and El Segundo Brewing beer pairing night at Short Order!
Tom from El Segundo Brewing, Matt and Joe from Enegren Brewing.
Valkyrie California Alt in front of the fire on a warm evening.
Bad news for you guys – the food was so delicious that it was devoured before I remembered I should be taking pictures. My apologies.
Custom Melt visited the brewery for our St. Patrick’s Day event!
Green Mac ‘n Cheese with Bangers. Spinach blended into the cheese made it green. And healthy. That’s how that works.
Heavenly corned beef and cabbage melts. It was jam packed again, similar to Superbowl Saturday, so I was only able to snag a few bites of everything.
Irish Car Bomb bread pudding! Thomas of Custom Melt made Valkyrie beer bread to use in this recipe. Have I mentioned how Custom Melt is my hero/haven/love/dream?
We had the 21st meeting of Ladies at Ladyface! Irish brews were the theme.
Plenty of donations from the ladies.
Traditional examples of nitro Irish stouts.
And and “Irish Car Bomb” beer by Ladyface owner Cyrena. She used Ladyface’s Barleywine and threw in whiskey-soaked oak chips. Dangerously delicious, plus each glass had an oak chip or two gracefully floating atop the sweet nectar.
Corned beef and cabbage sliders to top off the evening!
I also designed and hosted a beer pairing at Cafe Fiore in Woodland Hills!
The things my job requires me to do… It’s rough, I’m tellin’ ya.
Chef masterpieces commence….NOW.
Ahi Tuna Tartar with fresh avocado, house-pickled cucumbers and crispy focaccia. I could’ve eaten just this all night and been content.
Citrus-glazed shrimp skewers with citrus wedges and spring greens.
House-made chicken and sun-dried tomato sausages atop sweet polenta, drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Again, heavenly.
Corned beef sliders – twas the season.
Awful picture, but possibly my favorite dessert EVER – caramel sauce, freshly sliced Fuji apples and asiago cheese atop freshly baked pizza crust. My boss, my boss’s boss and myself each ordered an additional one to take home and share with those who were truly deserving of such an abundance of deliciousness – that means I ate the majority of it. It’s THAT good.
I had a lovely girls’ night with Janelle and her little Avery last night as well! She made an amazing spread of stuffed peppers, roasted sweet potatoes and fresh salad to pair with the beers I brought.
Farmer’s Reserve No. 2 by Almanac Beer Company. Wonderfully tart and not overpowering with spices at all. This will be a repeat.
Avery was a little jealous of us I think. Only 20.3 years and then you can join us in appreciation of fermented liquids! She shall be trained well when the time comes, but for now I’m enjoying capturing her beautiful innocence.
Coming up this week – a new restaurant review. I did a beer education at this amazing place with an eccentric/genius chef and have been dying to sit down and have a full meal there. Tomorrey is that day.
Filed under brewery, brewing
It’s been another crazy week! I have a feeling this will end up being the main theme of all my weeks at work. After brew day on Tuesday, I woke up to a surprise day off from work. What’s a girl to do with all that time on her hands? Visit more breweries – were you expecting something else?
First up was a trip to Bravery Brewing in Lancaster. This place hasn’t officially opened yet, but brewmaster Brian Avery let us get a sneak peak at his 3 bbl system and check out the space.
Just a quick teaser of the brewery – I’ll do a full write up once he’s up and brewing. This place is going to be amazing!
Afterwards, we headed over to Kinetic Brewing, also in Lancaster, and got a quick tour of their 10 bbl system.
Kinetic has been open for about three and a half months and already has a strong following. We got to try all of their beers on tap as well as taste their cheesecake with a crust made of graham crackers and spent grain. Drool.
From left to right – Potential Blonde, White Thai, Rusted Gear, Fusion Porter and McLernon’s Irish Stout. My favorite was the Rusted Gear – a little more roast than your typical amber with a hint of nuttiness and a malty ending. The White Thai is a Belgian witbier spiked with lemongrass and keffir lime – nicely balanced and not overwhelmed with spices, but I definitely couldn’t have more than a taster size of this. It’s always refreshing to find a new brewery that has consistently good beer across the board.
We grabbed a growler of the Rusted Gear and took off for Valencia.
The next day was back to work – filling kegs and setting up for a microbrewfest.
It was about 94 degrees out at the Westfield mall off of Topanga Canyon. Thank God the sponsors had provided us with tents!
We found a way to keep hydrated though. Quality control/hydration: very important.
LAB Brewing was also a featured brewery! We all agreed on how important keeping hydrated was, and spent the evening swapping taster for taster. Quite a few people came by and stated how they wanted to taste our beer versus our “competitor’s” beer. We are not competitors! Microbreweries should never truly be in competition, but always supporting each other in the fight to bring down the big guys who cram their beers full of crappy adjuncts and use flashy ad campaigns to try and entice consumers into drinking their fizzy yellow water. We should work together to help expand the palates of those who truly appreciate beer that is full of flavor, as well as introduce former fizzy yellow water drinkers to delicious craft brew! Rant over. Thank you for your time.
The fest was a success! We met tons of people who loved our beer, adored our food and wanted more. I personally left incredibly stuffed – of the 20+ restaurants that were there, I tried food from at least 15. Pain. Wonderful, delicious pain.
I headed to Enegren Brewing yesterday to get some more brewery fix. Three breweries in one week just wasn’t enough.
I got to meet Ryan and Laura! Ryan won my growler giveaway and drove up from the Riverside area to pick up his winnings. He also walked away with an Enegren growler full of Moorpark deliciousness.
Ryan and Johnson are the first to pick up their growlers! That means that Brent, Jacob, Christian K. are still lacking in the free growler department.
Okey, I’m back to work! Lots of thirsty patrons to serve!
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 tanner – Valkyrie 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.
Commander Matt and I took an evening trip on Wednesday to Short Order in LA to drop off some delicious Enegren brews for their tap selection.
Short Order is a freaking delicious burger and beverage place located in the Farmers’ Market on 3rd and Fairfax in Los Angeles, right across from where I used to live! If only it had opened while I’d lived there. Le sigh.
They serve four beers on tap at a time. Enegren’s Golden Spur Saison and Valkyrie California Alt will be up soon, but for this night we picked from the current selection of craft brews.
I got a non-beer-clean mason jar full of Eagle Rock Revolution – an American pale ale full of light caramel maltiness and a heavy dose of hops.
Commander Matt chose Great Divide’s Hades Belgian Strong Pale Ale – the Belgian yeast gives off a fruity aroma, but the finish is shockingly crisp, dry and full of bitter hops. Absolutely loved this one!
The restaurant has a large supply of hard alcohol as well for those of you who prefer a good whiskey at the end of your day. I’m not up to date on these, so enjoy the picture where I have absolutely no input.
Potato wedges with SOUR CREAM AND BACON DIP. How have I never thought of this before? These crispy, buttery potato wedges were mercilessly dunked in the rich ranch and sour cream dip, with extra bits of bacon spooned on top. If everything else here was terrible, I would go back just for these. Fortunately, nothing else was terrible. Everything was amazing.
Matt chose the pork belly burger – basically a luscious thick slab of bacon smothered in cheese, crunchy butter lettuce and a few other things that I could not pronounce or interpret.
I chose Ida’s Old School Burger – medium-rare grass-fed beef, aged cheddar, grilled onions and housemade pickles with a secret sauce on top of a ridiculously soft bun. These burgers are absolutely out of this world, and extremely messy! I ate about half of this before it fell apart on me and was too overwhelmed with the mess to know where to pick it up from. Instead, I polished off the potato wedges and was happy.
It was an uncomfortable drive back, but oh so worth it.
Right now, I’m in Tempe, Arizona and this just happened.
More on that tomorrey once I’m back to healthy and speedy internet connection.