Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Cicerone Test

On Monday, I finally did it. I stopped putting it off as I had for months and months and took the Certified Cicerone test!
Grayson drove down from Santa Barbara and picked me up at 6:30am. We fought a mess of traffic all the way down to San Diego and wound up at Stone Brewing, where the test was being administered.
Since it was only 9:30 and the test didn’t begin until 11am, Grayson and I wandered through the gardens behind the brewery.
It was an absolutely beautiful day! We debated whether or not we should just skip the test and spend the whole day sipping beer outside.
We scouted out a picnic table, sat down in the gentle sunlight and did our final cramming session. Note: If not for this final study hour, I would’ve missed at least six extremely random questions on the test.
Around 10:30am, we headed into the brewery and joined the group of about fifteen, almost all of whom were also in the midst of a final cram session.
A view of the mezzanine where the torture test would take place.

The test was far more intense than I even imagined. After over a year of studying, you realize how much you’ve learned and how much you have yet to discover. There was a three hour written test with essay questions, food pairing recommendations, style questions, draught system maintenance and troubleshooting and history questions. This was followed by an hour of tasting – off-flavors, style discrimination and beer acceptance. THAT was followed by a filmed demo – “show and tell us how to do this”. After four of the most intense hours of my life, Gray and I headed downstairs to stuff our faces, drink good beer and forget about all that had just occurred.
Mac ‘n Beer Cheese with sausage and a Lukcy Basartd for me and Barbecue Duck Tacos with some other delicious beer for Grayson. The proctors called us all back upstairs to go over the tasting portion so we could find out if we passed that section.

BOOM. Passed the tasting! As for the written portion, I honestly have no idea if I passed or not. I feel relatively good about the majority of it (excepting the essays which I’m hoping for partial credit), but fully expect to have to retake it. I find out in seven weeks whether or not my low expectations will surprise me or not!

As for now, I’m sitting in my parental unit’s home in Colorado with the fireplace on and a hot cup of coffee, gazing out over the mountain range before we go to the gun range and Grimm Brothers Brewhouse (in that order). Commence relaxation in 3…2…1…
And a belated Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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Filed under beer, beer tasting, Cicerone

Glendale Tap

Last night was a night filled with lots of beery happenings. I was invited to be a member of Golden Road’s new pub, Chloe’s, and greedily accepted the opportunity to get a sneak peak. Brace yourselves – I didn’t take pictures. I actually just went there, hung out with awesome craft beer geeks and spent all my focus on enjoying myself and talking with incredible people. Don’t fret, though. I’ll be going back very soon and doing a full write-up.

I forced an EBC rep to join me, drove through the madness of LA traffic and ended up being over half an hour early. Not wanting to appear too eager, we realized that Eagle Rock Brewery was only 5 kilometers from Golden Road. YES.
Owners Ting and Jeremy were busy labeling bottles and stacking boxes full of precious soon-to-be-filled-with-liquid-gold glass, so we grabbed beers and stood gazing in rapture at the shiny tanks.
I peeled my eyes from the brewery to take a quick glance at the warm and cozy tasting room. Again –  a full write up on this will be coming soon!
Ultimately my eyes were magnetized back to the brewery. I enjoyed a Tarte Noir as we killed time before the event.

Event happened. It was awesome. Imagine hundreds of craft beer geeks in a cozy little pub where free beer samples and appetizers are passed around. Barrel-aged porter and Berlinerweisse with simple syrup made an appearance, but not for very long. I spent the majority of the evening with blonde half of the Beer Chicks (Hallie Beaune), the “Guild Goddess” Acacia Coast of the Brewer’s Association, the lovely Cyrena Nouzille of Ladyface Alehouse as well as the team from Eagle Rock Brewery, Kip Barnes and John Rockwell from LA Aleworks, blogger Jeff Prosser of Beer Guy LA, Hal Mooney of LA Beer Hop beer tours and dozens of other wonderful folks. Staring over the balcony and recognizing or knowing almost every person there from a blog, brewery or previous beer events was mind-boggling. Epic evening.

After said awesome event I dragged Commander Matt over to Glendale Tap to sample their wares.
I was lucky enough to find this place before it’s official opening when I was doing a beer order. I’ve been dying to go back since. Glendale Tap is a craft beer bar with over fifty taps, founded by Steve Skorupa who also owns Timmy Nolan’s Tavern in Toluca Lake. He returned from the same party at Chloe’s right as we arrived.
The place is covered with vintage – vintage register, vintage beer signs and vintage beer cans.
They had quite a menu.
Quite a selection…. Yep, it keeps going…
There’s one more page after that, but I’ll save the surprise for when you get the chance to go.
I went for the Cismontane Session Saison and a healthy helping of peanuts. Matt got the Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Ale.
Free billiards! I will most definitely put those to use next time.
We grabbed a handful of peanuts to tide us over before we hit the Taco Bell drive-thru and headed home. Keeping it classy.
Oh yeah, then this happened. Firestone XVI Anniversary!!! If it’s even a quarter of how delicious the Firestone XV was, I’ll be a happy girl.

Not a bad way to end the week!

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Meat Waffles

I’ve been spending the past month with my head buried in draught system manuals, online review programs and Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer in preparation for next Monday. That’s right, I’m taking the plunge and taking the Certified Cicerone test. I fully expect to not pass on my first go, given the success rates of all of my friends who have taken it already, but actually feel incredibly prepared for it.

Work has also been completely insane. I’m up by 5am most mornings, work until 4 or 5pm and then go out for my craft beer and wings group, go to Wades Wines to brush up on my beer style profiles or go home to get those whole five hours of sleep I can before waking up and starting the cycle all over again.

On random nights I take a break from studying to participate in lovely house parties.
Power tank nights with a few of my favorites.
Incredibly accurate slogans.
And what began the title of this post: “I just realized that a waffle maker is the origin of the George Foreman grill.”
Obviously we had to see exactly what my friend meant by this, so he seasoned some buffalo…
Patty-fied and pressed.
Then the ideas kept on flowing.
“Cheese in every nook!”
Topped it off with a fried egg.
Meat waffles topped with cheese and fried egg taste like bubbles floating above you on the night of your wedding.

Your argument is invalid. I’m going to pour another beer and get back to studying.

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The Rehearsal

Last Friday, Brie and Chris were preparing to be joined forever in holy matrimony.
While the bride and groom were busy making the final preparations, Commander Matt, Brew Chief Joe and I were feeling quite stressed out by the pending nuptials and de-stressed at Ladyface Alehouse. We split a gigantic flight of all the Ladyface beers…
…Suicide sweet potato fries…
I also stole a bite from the boys’ mini sliders. We attempted not to overstuff ourselves. I failed.
The rehearsal and rehearsal dinner was held at the Cornell Winery. As soon as (or a while before) the three of us arrived, the vino started flowing.
As did the appetizers. Thick slices of rustic bread were smothered in creamy garlic and topped with sweet balsamic reduction. Salty prosciutto and rich cheeses rounded out the first course, as well as some cold tomato soup-looking dip that I never got a chance to try.
The boys approved of the spread. So handsome.
After everyone had their fill of carbs and dairy and full glasses of wine, the rehearsal began.
Best Man Brew Chief Joe escorted the lovely Amanda down the aisle.
Best of Men Commander of Finance Matt walked down with the beautiful Sarah.
And then came the beautiful bride and her father.
Utter radiance!
They walked through the ceremony with no mishaps and no sprinting away from the altar. Step one – complete.
Sealed with a kiss.
Success! Unfortunately at the wedding the next day neither the bride or groom showed and everyone was left broken-hearted.
Just kidding. They lived happily ever after and went to Maui for their honeymoon.
(Pictured above is the wedding beer – The Last Days of Braun with the newlywed Enegrens in the background!)

Congratulations, Chris and Brie! I couldn’t be happier for the both of you!

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