On Saturday I went up to Santa Barbara with the Wolf Creek crew to serve at the 3rd annual Santa Barbara Zoo Brew.
We packed up the pickup truck with kegs and the jockeybox and headed north.
I was the designated “foofer” of the day. Foofer is a scientific term. Basically, I tried to make the table look pretty and make the jockeybox look invisible. Designing pretty things is not in my nature, but I gave it a go…
After we’d set up, I wandered around the little park to check it out.
The calm before the storm.
And so it begins! The first hour was for VIP only and was nice and mellow. Then everyone else piled in.
We poured taster after taster with no rest for the entire five hours!
The majority of the crowd was made up of UCSB students and the majority of them knew absolutely nothing about beer. I can’t recall how many times someone tripped up to the table and slurringly asked, “Can I have the light one?” One girl and I had a very serious conversation about how just because a beer is called “pale ale”, it doesn’t mean that it tastes light. I got a high five for my explanation. Hooray.
Luckily, I was able to Keep Calm and Chive On through all of this.
I spotted four Chivers at the event! I was only able to grab a few pics with these two though.
Dang, I really need one of these shirts. That and a BFM…
There was a mad rush for beer when the last half hour was announced. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one guy sprint across the little park, stop to take his flip flops off, leave them perfectly placed and punch some guy in the face for looking at his girlfriend wrong. Lovely.
After everyone stopped pouring beer and the attendees stopped trying to bribe us to pour them “just one last taster”, the park emptied out very quickly.
We packed up our fancy setup and waited for the carts to come and shuttle us back down to the parking lot.
Enjoying the peace after the crazy day.
Definitely not the worst view to be stuck with.
We drove back to Valencia, enjoying the ocean views while we had them, and wrapped up the thirteen hour day with a brew at Dargan’s Irish Pub in Ventura.
We work so very hard…
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.
It’s been far too long, but I finally got to brew my own beer again! With the help of my genius brewer friends, of course. I went to the homebrew store, picked up 26lbs of grain, yeast and hops and lugged it all up to Santa Barbara for a day of brewing in the gorgeous weather.
Beckster’s Vanilla Porter! The spelling mistake was intentional, right Frank? Witty and all that? Let’s just go with witty…
This is how brew day began:
That’s a pretty accurate description for the entire day.
Laughing until I cry. Brewing is really, really difficult.
We mashed in around 4pm, only two hours later than planned!
Since I was busy taking pictures, Frank decided to portray me for a couple of shots.
The resemblance is uncanny.
We ended up sparging around 9pm.
Frank made burgers and Grayson manned the grill. It was a terrifying hour.
We made ten gallons, divided it into two boils, added separate additions to have a base and an experimental and then split it into two carboys.
My carboy, sitting next to about ten others in Frank’s closet. I SO ‘CITED!
Once the carboys were airlocked and resting comfortably, we had a tasting of ESBs (Extra Special Bitters) – a part of studying for the Cicerone test.
We tasted between Anderson Valley Boont ESB, Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Pale Ale, Fuller’s ESB, and Shipyard Brewing’s Old Thumper ESA. I’m fairly certain we got a faulty Old Thumper – we were all disgusted by it, but it’s gotten relatively good ratings on Beer Advocate. I have so much homework to do to be able to pull out the different aromas and flavors and faults. Sigh, time to taste even MORE beer.
You better BELIZE it! Frank and Gray whipped out the beer pong table for a game (or many, many games) of death pong. I was challenged. I lost a few times. I retreated to the couch to cower as the games continued.
Brewing is really, really difficult.