Tag Archives: The Chive

A Visit from the Chive

 

It’s been a while, I know. I was kidnapped and taken to a ridiculously beautiful (not abandoned) hotel on the beach for my birthday, forced to consume lots of delicious foods and try new beers, then kidnapped again and taken to Arizona where I was forced to drive golf carts, eat more delicious foods and drink more beer. It was traumatizing and rough, but I escaped and now I’m back to reality. Sigh.
beaches Sunset at Mandalay Bay.
am2 A complimentary bottle of Barrel-Aged Kriek from Island Brewing Company on my birthday.
am4 Just heard that one of my Island Brewing favorites, Little Island, is back! Who wants to bring me a bottle? Beer trade, anyone?
am5 My happy place. Craft beers and the beach – could it get any better?
am6 Grilled filet mignon, lemony risotto and garlic-lemon sauteed broccolini with Tempranillo for Hallmark Day.
am7 John, Joe and Patty from The Chive came to Enegren Brewing Company to learn more about the brewing process and everything beer. KCCO beer – coming soon! Looking forward to it, guys!
am8 Joe and Patty checking out the digs. AM10 A little pouring training for John.
AM11 Success! Much better than his first attempt…
Screen shot 2013-03-02 at 8.51.22 AM Yeah, about that…
Screen shot 2013-03-02 at 8.54.51 AM After a rowdy two or three hours, John bought beers for 40 Chivers to Pay It Forward and they departed.
am9 As of now only ten glasses are left on John’s tab and Brother Joseph “Bro-Joe” Belgian Strong Ale is on tap! Why aren’t you here yet?
AM12 After all that craziness, another kidnapping took place. We went to Arizona, played golf (well, I hit two drives and then drove the golf cart. Same difference…) drank more delicious local beer and enjoyed the warm summeresque evenings.
Arizona On the drive back to California, we stumbled across this abandoned beauty:
school But that’ll have to wait until tomorrey…

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Boston: Part 1

On Wednesday I took off for Boston to attend a wedding. We decided to start our vacation a little early and take some gifts to the good folks at The Chive before catching the red eye.
Of course it was beer, what else would you expect me to take?
Okey fine, oatmeal stout brownies topped with caramelized bacon may have made an appearance too…
Patty, John, Megan, Alex, Emily and Elliot were kind enough to take some time out of their workday to try out the new seasonal beers we’d brought from Enegren.
The beautiful ladies of The Berry and I enjoying some Foliage Pale Ale. And brownies. With bacon on top. Did I mention those yet? We hung out tasting beer for about an hour and then headed off to prep for our flight out.
Beer is prep. LOVE the pour on this – the fill line is completely ignored and no head remains after the faucet was submerged in the glass. Delicious.

The red eye was cramped, hot and nearly impossible to sleep on. I had about two hours of shut eye before we landed in Boston at 6:30am.  After finding the rental car, we took off into downtown for breakfast.
We found this gem after three unsuccessful attempts to find non-chain restaurants that had unassuming names but turned out to be Dunkin Donuts. The Dunkin is big on this side of the country.
Anytime I see bread pudding, I must order it.
Grilled cheesy bread pudding topped with a fried egg and tomato compote. Holy deliciousness. The sweetness of the compote combined with a perfectly runny yolk that cascaded over thick slices of bread pudding studded with generous doses of cheddar made for a VERY happy girl, exhaustion aside.
We walked around the city for a few more hours and visited the Holocaust memorial.
The tattooed numbers of the estimated eleven million who were killed are etched into the glass towers and show up when steam rises through the grates below. These towers are shocking and beautiful at the same time.
We visited the old cobbled streets lined with the original pubs.
I’m ridiculously touristy and not ashamed!
THIS without a doubt was my favorite part of the city. On my Facebook I asked for recommendations of places to visit while in the city. Don is a bartender at Stoddard’s Fine Food and Ale, and suggested I check the restaurant out. Stoddard’s serves FIVE cask ales. I read the word “casks” and immediately wrote it into the schedule.
They have twenty beers of draught. Don was kind enough to let us sample a few of them.
These, however, are the reason we showed up.
I asked Don for his cask recommendations and he put these two beauties in front of me. Wachusset Black Shack Porter and BBC Steele Rail Pale Ale. Absolutely stunning. Cellar temperature and smooth nitro-like carbonation thanks to the sparkler. Utter contentment.
A huge thank you to Don for the wonderful recommendation, helping us out and treating us to some absolutely delicious beers.

Stay tuned for Boston: Part 2… Whenever I have another quiet few moments to write that down. For now – off to the wedding!

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Visiting the Chive!

I sent John from the Chive an email the other day telling him I had lots of free beer and wondering if the guys at the office wanted any. Shockingly enough, I got an immediate response with an invite to the Chive offices.
I headed to Venice loaded down with six liters of beer.
I brought Captain’s Summer Session, Captain’s Dry-Hopped Summer Session and Valkyrie California Alt from Enegren Brewing as well as Midnight Howl from Wolf Creek Brewery. Valkyrie was the clear favorite of the group – partly because of the heavy-duty awesomeness of the growler, I’m sure.
That thing is a deadly weapon filled with happiness.
Luckily their work day was winding down around the time I arrived, so everyone was able to partake.
I filled up a glass myself and John took me for a tour of the offices.
One of the original/first Banksy street art.
Everyone’s (now abandoned for beer) work stations looking out over Venice beach.
The mediocre, front-seat view of the ocean.
The necessities of life.
A tragically empty beer fridge (they made up for that with a kegerator next door) and the new golf video game they smartly combined with beer to de-stress after the long day.
BFM boards! The office to the left in the picture is where The Berry works out of. I got to yell a quick hello to Emily as we passed.
Cornhole boards handcrafted by John and Leo Resig’s dad.
Patrick was setting up for the KCCO Canadian shirt shoot.
John had to mentally prepare for his time as a model. I think the Midnight Howl helped him relax into his photogenic state.
Yep, that did it.
You guys saw the finished version of the shoot this afternoon, followed by all the shirts selling out in a few minutes per usual.
Another monotonous view from Chive Drive. I have a feeling they’ll be going through that beer rather quickly if they haven’t finished it already. And I recall that the keg in the kegerator was half empty as well… I may need to head back and help remedy that in the near future.
Especially if I get one of these in exchange!

On another note, the Chive is helping to raise money for one of those wounded in shooting in Aurora. Click here and here to donate to two of the victims! Spread the love to all the others who suffered as well!

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Four Peaks Brewing Company

After my midday visit to Dave’s Electric Brewpub, I was all warmed up for Four Peaks Brewery. You can’t make reservations, it was a Saturday night, we were in a college town and we were prepared to wait.
And wait, we did! We waited for about an hour before we were seated outside, and it was worth it.
First and most importantly, we ordered two taster flights. I was with Katrina – a wine drinker who was willing to learn beer. I showed her how to swirl, sniff and sip, and was more than thrilled to see Katrina’s eyes light up as she realized that all these beers had different flavors, aromas and mouthfeel. It makes me so happy to watch an avid wine drinker reach for a super hoppy IPA and cradle it delicately in her hands, eyes closed, enjoying the floral aroma before diving in.
Now to my flight! The Hefeweizen was delicious – full of banana and cloves, a musty/earthy flavor that I absolutely adore and a clean finish. My ultimate favorite was the Hop Knot IPA – intense grapefruit and a strong pine aroma, but rounded out with a good dose of caramel and hints of toffee. As always, I also adored the Kilt Lifter – a sweet Scottish style ale with a sweet, bready aroma followed by a similar flavor and a thick, rich finish. This one seems to be on tap everywhere I go in Arizona!
The food here was good, but not my purpose for going. The waitress recommended the chicken enchiladas. I received. I consumed. I reached for more beer tasters.
We did have to order the “stoutamisu” – tiramisu (duh) made with the oatmeal stout (duh again). Not quite a tiramisu, but delicious nonetheless.

Now on to my favorite part – the brewery! I walked inside, camera in hand, and asked a security guy and waitress how many barrels the system was. Neither had any idea what I was talking about and pointed me in the direction of an awesome, well-educated-on-beer manager on duty, Trevor, who kindly showed me around the brewery even though the restaurant was packed with people.
This is their bottling line, received from an old German brewery years ago. I haven’t come across any of their bottled beers in stores, however. I’ve only seen them in cans.
Delicious canning line! If I’d had more time, I could’ve spent an hour staring at this machine.
They’ve been barrel aging for years now. Unfortunately, there were no barrel aged beers in the taster flight. I guess I’ll just have to return to try one of these another time!
I got a nice sniff of this one though! I love when cherries are added to any dark, malty beer. Hmmm, upcoming homebrew ideas are racing through my head…
Serving tanks are kept in the walk-in cooler so the bartenders don’t have to run back every ten minutes to change a keg. They go through a LOT of beer here!
They also serve real cask ale! These are tapped only on Wednesdays, and are usually gone within a few hours.
Four Peaks currently has a 40bbl brew system, but are expanding to a new location (56,000 square feet) where they’ll have a 60bbl system and 240bbl fermentors! Four brews a day to fill those bad boys!
In case you weren’t sure, that gigantic tank on the left is a 240bbl bright tank. GIGANTIC. BEAUTIFUL. TANK.
Currently the brewery is stuffed with dozens of 40bbl fermentors that you can gaze longingly at as you enjoy your pint, eyes glazed over with desire. No? Just me?
Just picture yourself at that table there with a cask ale in hand, the rumble of happy voices and burbling fermentors in the background and the smell of mash and hops floating across the warm breeze of an Arizona evening. Pure ecstasy.
After my tour, I was sitting at the table and noticed THIS guy in a green shirt. I saw “Keep Calm” and shouted out, “Is that a Chive shirt???” Indeed, it was! I need to get my own Chive shirt to rep!
Loyal Chiver and Chivette running into each other at a craft brewery – completely awesome.

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Happy 2012!!!

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.
I 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.

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My 7 Links

Amanda a la Two Boos Who Eat tagged me in the “My 7 Links” project that’s going around the blog community. Basically, it’s a chance for me to go through my dear, sweet blog (whose one year anniversary I missed way back on May 27th) and pull up some of my favorite posts, which most of my new readers haven’t seen.

THE GOAL
To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.

THE RULES
1) Blogger is nominated to take part
2) Blogger publishes his/her 7 links on his/her blog – 1 link for each category.
3) Blogger nominates up to 5 more bloggers to take part.
4) These bloggers publish their 7 links and nominate another 5 more bloggers
5) And so it goes on!
6) We’ll be sharing the best posts from participating bloggers on our blog and everyday on Facebook and Twitter at #My7Links

TOO MANY WORDS! TIME FOR MY LINKS AND PICTURES!

Most Beautiful Post:
This one is recent, but possibly one of my favorites: Rock-a-Hoola Waterpark. I absolutely adore abandoned places, and trespassing just lights up my life. Others may not find this beautiful, but I think it’s the devastation and emptiness that makes this place so gorgeous.

Most Popular:
By far, LazyChiveFace! The days I was featured on The Chive, my viewership shot up to ridiculous heights, and I’ve been graced with mass amounts of regular readers since then. Thank you all for sticking around!
Here’s an outtake that wasn’t shown on my blog, or The Chive. Buddy gets his drink on!

Most Controversial:
Surf Brewery. I visited, I tasted, I was not impressed. Perhaps I was too harsh and outspoken with my judging, but I was incredibly disappointed and unimpressed. Quite a few people (I’m guessing employees or friends of the owners) left comments on how wonderful the beers are, and while I’m not willing to spend my money, if someone wants to demonstrate to me how good the beers are and I don’t have to waste my hard-earned cash, I’m willing to go back and give it one more shot! Perhaps they’ve improved the quality? Maybe?

Most Helpful:
Welcome to Indio. I like to think that I spared possibly DOZENS of people from contracting deadly diseases, or getting stabbed to death by posting and warning them all to avoid this “hotel”.
Blood splatter from the previous occupant.

Post Whose Success Surprised You:
My Pet Hanger, Stan, and How I Lost My Brain. This was back when the only people reading were my mom, dad, and a few friends, but they seemed to appreciate it! I even gained a few new readers who thought I was actually losing it and wanted to enjoy the show as I slowly descended into madness.
Don’t even ask. You HAVE to read this one!

Post You Feel Didn’t Get the Attention It Deserved:
Magical Bread Pudding. I really think that anyone who doesn’t make this recipe is missing out! ANY of my bread pudding recipes, or pancake recipes (except for the Green Monsta Pancakes, those sucked) deserve to be discovered and adored by others!

Post You Are Most Proud Of:
I’m proudest of Brewing My First Beer. Prior to this post, I really had no idea what the process of making beer involved. Looking back to only six and a half months ago, when I had no idea what wort was, how enzymes turned fermentable sugars into alcohol, how to read original gravity and compare it to the final gravity to calculate the alcohol… I can’t believe how far I’ve come, and how much I’ve fallen in love with every aspect of beer: the science, the taste, the community, EVERYTHING. I honestly can’t believe that standing next to that stove with my brother would open up an entire new world and career for me. I’m completely blown away!
Chris and Janna, from the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Now I have to find bloggers who haven’t been nominated, but almost everyone I follow has! AUGH! Okey, here we go…

1. Mimi of Gingersnaps. I love her eloquence and beautiful style of writing!
2. Sophia of Burp and Slurp. Beautiful photography, perfect grammar. She loves Spam, but I’ll forgive her for that.
3. Danielle of All Things Yummy. She makes insane amounts of recipes a la Food Network stars, and tortures me with pictures of layer cakes and pastas!

Thanks for the nomination, Amanda! I actually wasn’t going to do this at first, but I’m so glad I did! I’m taking you out for a gluten-free beer at Yard House very, very soon!

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CHIVE ON!

A few days ago, I was lucky enough to be featured on TheChive and my little blog exploded with wonderful comments about beer and awesomeness. This is me saying thanks.
CHIVE ON!!!
Thanks for your interest in craft beer. It means the world to me and all the little breweries out there.
I’m just a girl who likes to appreciate the qualities of fine craft beer.
And eat. Oh man, do I love to eat!
And then appreciate some more craft beer. I’m completely enraptured by the history of beer, brewing process and the scientific conundrums of enzymes converting starches into fermentable sugars that I don’t quite fully understand yet, but appreciate oh so very much.
I’m also enraptured by melt-in-your-mouth bacon.
I put it in everything. Gentlemen and my kindred-spirit ladies, I give you Oatmeal Stout Brownies with Caramelized Bacon. You can thank me later.
You can also put it on a nice juicy medium-rare grass-fed burger that’s been smothered in cheese. I won’t judge you, I promise. In fact, I’ll probably think even more highly of you than I already do!
Just be sure to enjoy it with either a rich, smooth chocolate malt stout that’s been delicately dusted with freshly ground coffee…
Or a homebrew. Either of those work for me.
Thanks to Allie for her awesome photography skills!
And don’t forget to CHIVE ON!
OH! And come back later for a tour of the Breckenridge Brewery – I’m on the road to visit it right now!

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