Older? Yes. Wiser? Questionable.

23 Aug

Thursday was a world-changing event: I turned 29. And what does one do to celebrate being another year older? Why drink beer with friends, of course! We started at The Bluefoot Lounge to appease the “I don’t drink beer” crowd (I’m working on them) and then after a few Hop Head Reds, walked up the street to Toronado. As it turns out it was Karl Strauss Pint night, and the AC was out of commission so it was abnormally busy and hot as hell. After getting my mitts on a nice cold Alpine Exponential Hoppiness, we lucked into a table on the patio. As I was sitting there with the remaining part of my party, I looked around at everyone that was there and was so grateful to be able to have a great time with a great group. What were these great people drinking? A bottle of Stone Imperial Stout, A Delerium Tremens, A Karl Strauss something, A Lindeman’s Framboise Lambic, A Sudwerk Berliner-Weisse, and an Allagash Curieux. Nothing like a little variety in your life.

Saturday, my best friend since forever, Darcy, got tickets for the Stone Brewing 14th Anniversary Celebration. She rules. After a preparatory breakfast burrito, we rolled up to the UC San Marcos campus, got our wristbands and taster glasses and headed inside for a great morning. A little overwhelmed with the choices available I panicked and went to Alesmith for my first taste. Something familiar to ease in to the situation. I had the Nautical Nut Brown, always a delicious choice. So, we sat down with our first beers, I pulled out my pre-printed beer list and tried to hash out some sort of plan. Yeah, that didn’t really work, we just sort of wandered around and stopped when our glasses got to empty. But, as a good little blogger should, I managed to scribble down notes as I went.

I got a Ali Rae’s Imperial IPA from Back Street Brewing Co. next. It was dry, and on the maltier side of an IIPA, “just OK.”

Third was Ska Brewing Co’s Merlot Stout. Yum. “Nice and roasty, just a little of that barrel taste to make it tasty.”

Fourthly I moved on to a Crispin Honey Cider from Fox Barrel Cider Company. The most noticeable aspect of this brew is the visual, its cloudy!

It was a “very sweet cider, crisp apple flavor, but not something I could drink for long.” Darcy had their Black Currant Cider, which was delicious, and made her way back for a few others they had to offer. Look for a guest Cider Blog post from her in the near future.

Our fifth stop was the Russian River tent for a Supplication. Man, that brewery sure knows how to do a sour right. “Tangy, and cherry, but not sweet. Good!”

After that was Firestone Walker’s Solace. The woman that handed it to me said, “This will be your favorite of the day!” I hate to say it, but she was wrong. It’s a wheat beer, so it had all of the clove/banana/cloudy characteristics that it should, but I also got a lot of a honey taste to it, which made it taste “sticky” to me the longer I sipped on it.

The Seventh beer I had was Brewdog’s Dogma, which I was told was a Scottish Ale when it was handed over. My experience with Scottish Ales in the past have been a malty sweet taste, so I was surprised to find this one to be tart yet a little sweet with a very grapefruity aftertaste. Very interesting. One I’ll definitely look into exploring a little deeper in the future.

Number 8, Number 8, Number 8 (for you Simpson’s fans) was Pizza Port’s Feeding Frenzy. A Red Ale coming in at 8.5% was “nutty, dry and had a little bitter aftertaste” I liked it.

The Ninth beer was chosen specifically for the name: Monkey Knife Fight from Rubicon Brewing. It’s Pale Ale that really didn’t stand out as anything great to me. I think that scribble on the side says “Meh.”

And finally, since it was a Stone event and all, I decided to go with the Imperial Russian Belgo Stout. Really smokey, to the point where all I could think was “Worcestershire Sauce” I’d be really interested to try this one with a big old steak.

All in all I had a really great day! The event was managed really nicely, getting there was smooth, parking was easy, and staff was friendly. For next year I think I’ll go for the full day pass so I don’t have to jam my last 4 beers into a half hour, and definitely have a better plan than “that sounds good” as far as what to taste. But it was a great end to a great birthday, thank you to everyone who helped to make it awesome!

3 Responses to “Older? Yes. Wiser? Questionable.”

  1. novabeerfly August 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    Haha….see…I need to find something really cool to do for my birthday…just because of the date..my birthday is 10/10/10 😛

    • shelikesbeer August 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

      I feel a theme party coming on!

      • novabeerfly August 23, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

        Hahahahaha…..who knows…I got a few ideas….but the problem is trying to get people to hop on board….most of the people I know are not much of beer drinkers….well at least craft beer

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