by Becki |
January 1, 2012 · 11:21 pm
Happy New Year to all! I hope you all had a wonderful, safe holiday! I spent my evening sipping a homemade hot toddy, coughing up a storm and watching In Bruges. Not quite the successful evening we’d planned, but we were miserably comfortable.
I’m attempting to sum up some highlights of this year with pictures, and I’ve realized that I have had a WONDERFUL year. If you thought 30 pictures was bad, prepare yourself for a visual onslaught.
The first of many, many nights at Ladyface, TRULY appreciating beer.
Learning all-grain brewing with Grayson and Frank.
Watching my first polo match in Indio.
Staying in a hotel in Indio where someone was possibly murdered…
Multiple trips to Ojai.
Opening my first brew: Dos Beckis!
Recording ADR for a film that has yet to surface… C’mon, Scott!
Enjoyed my first (of many) sangrias at Sofrita!
Created a recipe for Newman’s Own!
Had a blogger meetup at Ladyface.
Made Oatmeal Stout Brownies with Caramelized Bacon – this has gotten me recognized in the brewery and at the homebrew shop: “Hey, you’re the one who made the brownies with bacon!”
Attempted to resign, and then officially resigned from my retail job.
Went to Colorado for two weeks…
Was so sick that every time I inhaled I had to cough. (Seriously, I didn’t sleep for a week thanks to this horrible illness as I’m sure you can see in that picture!)
Went to the Odell’s Small Batch Revival. I jokingly told my brother that once he and his wife opened their brewery, I would be pouring in their taproom. They said, “We’d really prefer a sommelier for beer.” I went home, researched, and found the Cicerone program.
I became a Cicerone Certified Beer Server. I’m scheduled to take the exam to become a Certified Cicerone in the next few months…
Became a member of the American Homebrewers Association.
Was featured on The Chive three times!
Went to Breckenridge for a show and got to meet/interview the head brewer, Matt Darling.
…and enjoy Breckenridge in all of its chilly glory.
Purchased a MacBook Pro with my own earnings.
Purchased a camera. Then immediately upgraded to an even better camera!
Visited Wades Wines new tasting room. Then visited again and again and again. Then was interviewed by The Beer Wench.
Tried mussels for the first time. Tried mussels for the last time.
Visited Island Brewing Company.
Got a tour from the brewer.
Brewed my second batch of beer with the Maltose Falcons.
Finally trespassed and got a closeup look at an old abandoned water park.
Became a founding member of Ladies at Ladyface. Haven’t missed a meeting since.
Went to the second concert of my entire life with my friend/cousin Allie. She owled.
Went to Seattle for the first time in my life.
Visited Elysian Brewing Company and became obsessed with their Avatar Jasmine IPA.
Learned how to use the bus and visited Deschutes Brewery on our way down from Seattle.
Made a pit stop at Sierra Nevada Brewing in Chico to try all SIXTEEN of their brews.
Met the brewers at Enegren Brewing Company.
Weasled my way into the brewery and started volunteering there so I could be a Cicerone Certified Beer Server who’d actually served beer to people instead of just passed an online test. Then they threw me into a brewniform, let me help with a brew day and got stuck with me.
I learned how to lift 50lb kegs over my shoulder while wearing heels. Enegren will seriously have a hard time getting rid of me.
I visited TONS of breweries. The few I’ve featured are only skimming the top…
I created some delicious recipes for the autumn season…
Some boozy autumn recipes as well.
One of my recipes was featured on Taste Terminal and was their second most popular post of 2011!
Discovered a program for HDR and went slightly beserk with that. Consequently, I realized that food doesn’t always do so well with HDR.
Brewed again with Frank and Grayson up in Santa Barbara.
Met the Beer Chicks at the latest Ladies at Ladyface.
And that’s barely skimming the surface. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all!
Raising a glass to 2012 being as good, or even better than 2011.
Filed under New Year
Tagged as blogger meetup, Breckenridge Brewing, Certified Cicerone, Chive On, Dos Beckis, Elysian Brewing Company, Enegren Brewing Company, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, homebrew, Indio, Island Brewing Company, Ladies of Ladyface, Ladyface Alehouse, Oatmeal Stout Brownies with Caramelized Bacon, Odell Brewing Company, Ojai, Owling at Owl City, Paul Newman, sangria, short film, Small Ba, Sofrita, The Chive
by Becki |
November 10, 2011 · 11:10 pm
I had my first kegging session up in Santa Barbara yesterday! My completely awesome friend Grayson helped me rack off my beer into a three gallon keg (kindly provided by Enegren Brewing) and we bottled the other two gallons.
Grayson decided to be a manly man and do the difficult tasks of removing tubing from racking canes. Thanks, Gray!
This carboy smelled DELICIOUS! You can see the remains of the vanilla bean in the bottom there, and a good pumpkin homebrew that we had to sip whilst bottling. Seriously, it’s a requirement: Relax. Don’t worry. Have a homebrew.
Carboy, keg, capper: joy on a table.
Grayson’s cat attempted to eat my priming sugar.
Cats + priming sugar = hyper! In case you didn’t know…
My beautiful, BEAUTIFUL beer! We had to try some, of course. ROCKED my world! Now I just need to name it! Suggestions, anyone? It’ll be hard to top Dos Beckis…
Afterwards we hit our old stomping grounds of IV (Isla Vista) and got some Indian slop at Naan Stop. New tradition: any time I’m up there for Cicerone studying/kegging/any reason at all, we’ll be visiting Naan Stop. Delicious memories!
Today I drove out to Fountain Hills, Arizona for the fine art and wine festival. After setting up the booth, feeling exhausted and ready to drop, we had our priorities straight. Bed, you ask? Um, no.
SANGRIA! Sofrita in Fountain Hills is my absolute FAVORITE place for anything edible in Fountain Hills. There was fruit in my sangria: therefore edible, therefore dinner. Win.
Filed under beer
Tagged as Arizona, bottling, Fountain Hills, homebrew, Homebrewing, Isla Vista, kegging, Naan Stop, priming sugar, sangria, Santa Barbara, Sofrita, Vanilla Porter
by Becki |
October 19, 2011 · 12:22 pm
I’ve been going through withdrawal symptoms after not traveling for my job for over two weeks. Yesterday, I got my fix.
Commander Matt from Enegren Brewing and I went up north to Orcutt, California to explore the beer world and pick up some brew equipment.
After working our way up the coast, we stopped for a beer from the local brewery. Interestingly enough, the Orcutt Brew Company doesn’t have any of their own beer on tap. The brewer is “on hiatus”. Exactly what I was hoping for from a brewery that took two hours to get to – guest beers that I can get anywhere else.
Neither Matt nor I were very pleased. Somehow, we survived and finished our beers. Dedication right there.
Either way, the “brewery” is set in a nice area. It’s very serene and has lots of character.
I think all breweries should have seating available on the walls. That and their own beer. I’m not bitter…
We went next door to Rooney’s Irish Pub to meet with Dan, the owner.
Just my size! I’m a vertically-challenged half-pint and owning it.
Dan gave us a tour of the brewery as well as a sampler of all their beers.
I fell head over heels for the porter. He was kind enough to give us a growler to go. Want. Now!
After picking up some brewing equipment, we worked our way back down, stopping at Figeuroa Mountain Brewing Company in Lompoc. This place is HUGE and gorgeous! The tasting room overlooks the brewery and has a great, cozy feel to it. It was pretty busy considering where their location is, and that it was a Tuesday.
We had a sampler of four of their beers: Paradise Rd Pilsner, Danish Red Lager, Hoppy Poppy IPA and an espresso stout (can’t find the name on the website). I think this is the first pilsner I’ve actually enjoyed! It has a sweet aroma of honey and none of the funk I’ve come to expect from pilsners. The lager was also very clean and the IPA was more in the style of a traditional IPA – hoppy with some sweetness to balance it out, instead of the hopbombs we usually get from a lot of American craft brewers.
We traveled further down the coast into Santa Barbara and checked on my Vanilla Porter (which at the moment is just a porter until we add vanilla beans into secondary). Apparently my beer has been incredibly happy in my absence! I sliced a few vanilla bean pods open, scraped out the seeds and soaked the seeds and pods in a splash of bourbon to extract the flavor. Grayson will be throwing those in for me later today since I’m back down south.
We didn’t end up visiting as many breweries as we’d planned (partly because Orcutt Brew Co. isn’t officially a “brewery” anymore), but a good time was had by all, necessary brew equipment was acquired and quite delicious brews were consumed.
I’m on another road trip today up to Ojai! I am a slacker extraordinaire…
Filed under brewery
Tagged as beer sampler, Commander Matt, Enegren Brewing, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company, homebrew, Lompoc, my vanilla porter, Orcutt, Orcutt Brew Company, Rooney's Irish Pub, vertically-challenged half-pint
by Becki |
August 31, 2011 · 8:45 pm
Monday night was yet another Ladies at Ladyface meeting. Are they getting old? Um, no. Never. Not possible. Never ever ever. Never. No.
My mumsie (an eager-to-learn founding member of Ladies at Ladyface) and I arrived early to have a nice, leisurely dinner. I started with the Ladyface Rye. A beautiful red, delicate lacing, and full of wonderful Centennial aroma and bitters. Since we were having
lots a few sips of summer beers later, I opted for a taster.
Ever since I had these with Brie, I’ve been dreaming about them. Popcorn chickpeas aka DEEP FRIED chickpeas. Personally, I don’t think you can go wrong with anything that’s been deep fried.
Little crispy paprika and lemon-scented pebbles of deliciousness. I’m salivating looking at my own picture. They’re that good.
We balanced it out with some green – spinach sauteed in garlic. See? My blog isn’t ALL about unhealthy foods!
Just MOSTLY about unhealthy foods. The sausage plate contained brats, jalapeno chicken sausage and basque. I wasn’t a fan of the basque (I Googled – it’s chorizo), but the brats were wonderful! This plate was demolished.
After our meal, we headed out to the patio to join the rest of the ladies and enjoy the warm evening.
It was nice and quiet for the first half hour, then people started filing in as the work day came to a close. Will someone explain to me what a work day is? I just can’t seem to remember what it’s like to work during the week… I’m kidding. Please don’t hate me.
Ladyface had just released their Palo Comado XPA (one reason why our meeting was pushed back a week), and Cyrena passed around a pitcher of the organic, pale, rose-scented sessionable beer. I loved the aroma and drinkability of this, but every summer I’ll always reminisce about their Derailleur.
There was a wide variety of summer ales on the table. A hint – don’t drink the Leinenkugel Summer Shandy. Weiss beer with “natural lemonade flavor” is nasty. Perhaps with REAL lemonade it would taste better, but I’m not a fan of drinking lemon Pledge. To each his/her own.
J. J., a local homebrewer, brought in her latest brew – Mango-Apricot Pale Ale. Heavy mango aroma, wonderful, slightly sweet apricot flavor with high carbonation and a smooth finish. I was surprised how much I liked it, seeing that I’m not the biggest fan of fruit in beer. J.J. then had us pour a small splash of cream soda into the beer and try it again. Mango-Apricot Creamsicle beer. Awesomeness in a glass.
My mom’s contribution was the La Folie sour brown by New Belgium. This was the first beer she tried that she actually ENJOYED! The first time I had it, I absolutely hated it. This time – LOVE. It’s strange how your taste buds evolve.
Brie brought Captain’s Summer Session as well as a bottle of the Valkyrie California Alt from Enegren. Yes, I’ve tried both before. Yes, I still had a taster (or two) of both. The finished Summer Session is lovely! I tried it from the fermenter before and loved it, so add a nice chill and carb and it’s awesome.
Janelle “doesn’t do” sessionable beers. Another reason I love her. She brought Avery’s Eighteen back from her trip to Colorado. Nothing like an 8.1%ABV Saison face-punch to spice up the night! Good choice, but boy, did things get crazy after that…
Someone brought out Horny Devil by AleSmith. It’s that gorgeous red-wrapped bottle there. ALSO a face-punch at 11%. DEFINITELY not a summer ale, but at this point, no one was caring! We were far too busy socializing, talking brew techniques, new breweries and beer.
Of course I couldn’t end the night without dessert. A center cut of the bread pudding. I think this was the best cut I’ve had to date! I’m sure they NEVER get tired of hearing me ask for the center cut. In fact, I’m sure they look forward to it… Maybe not… At least I tip well!
The next morning, I was up bright and early to help out a family member who had surgery. Took her to the surgical center, suffered through hospital food…
and now am waiting on her hand and foot.
Hahaha, FOOT! Get it? It’s a PUN!
Since I had to stay around to care for her, I decided I should do some studying for class. Instead, I did this:
Me as Taylor Swift.
Me as Zooey Deschanel.
Me as Taylor Momsen.
And me with my MAD AWESOME
Photoshop Paint skills, trying on some new hair. If you follow me on Facebook, you already got a preview of this. And for that, I am so very sorry.
Now I should really go study, but the bottle of Coronado’s Red Devil Imperial Red is calling my name.
Filed under brewery, Uncategorized
Tagged as Avery Brewing, basque, bread pudding, Coronado Brewing, Enegren Brewing, homebrew, Horny Devil, hospital food, La Folie, Ladies at Ladyface, Ladyface Ale, Ladyface Rye, Leinenkugel Summer Shandy, Palo Comado XPA, popcorn chickpeas, Red Devil Imperial Red, sausage plate, Taylor Momsen, Taylor Swift, Zooey Deschanel
by Becki |
July 1, 2011 · 6:47 am
Filed under The Chive, Uncategorized
Tagged as bacon, bread pudding, burger, Chive On, Craft Beer, homebrew, Oatmeal Stout Brownies with Caramelized Bacon, Pilfered Avocados, stout, The Chive, TheChive