Posts Tagged ‘BBQ’

a russian river weekend

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

last thursday AP and I packed our bags and made our annual pilgrimage north for the russian river beer revival.

  • CB picked us up at SFO with a cooler full of surprises that we dug into as soon as we got our campsite set up and a fire going.  he really pulled out all the stops with rarities like the latest batch of russian river’s beatification, some ’08 dissident from deschutes, and the bruery’s tart of darkness, and I managed to bring along a bottle of the conflux/collage collaboration between hair of the dog and deschutes (which I highly recommend snapping up if you get the chance).
  • the next day we headed out to russian river brewing for some eats and more spectacular beers, like the great toronado 25th anniversary and the equally impressive compunction.  after zoning out on their front patio for a few hours we took off for occidental to visit our old friends at barley and hops tavern.  after perusing a fantastic farmer’s market downtown, we crossed the street to the busy tavern, where I grabbed a pint of an old favorite, moonlight’s death and taxes, and cooled off on their front balcony.  a round of intense hot wings merited some of bear republic’s berliner weiss, tartare, before we headed back to camp for some excellent homebrew selections.
  • the next day we crawled out of our tents, mentally prepared for the intense afternoon to follow.  after braving the line in the midday sun and setting up a base camp at stumptown brewery, our group split up and started tearing our way through some hot ribs and cold beers.  highlights included a steady stream of supplication from the russian river tent and the always awesome working for tips from moonlight.  as usual, the guys from bear republic were in great form, and were serving up a ton of hoppy selections. the tenth iteration of this great event was over in a heartbeat, and before long were were back by the fire, full to the brim and completely satisfied.
  • the next day everyone dusted themselves off before heading back down to the city, but not before a quick stop off at lagunitas for a sampler or two and a chance to check out their ever-expanding facility.  by the time AP and I made it on the plane we were borderline catatonic, and I can’t recall sleeping as soundly as I did that night, but fatigue is a small price to pay to revel in the glory of some of the finest events and locations northern california has to offer!

              

              

              

              

              

              

              

russian river beer revival 2011

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

it’s hard to believe two years have come and gone here at overcarbed, and what better way to celebrate than by covering the same topic as my first post – the epic russian river beer revival.

  • after missing last year’s festivities, AP and I were ready to rally, and met up with a couple dozen beer connoisseurs after camping out on the riverfront nearby.
  • arriving a little before noon, we endured a half hour line before finally being handed our tasting glass and plate.  the crowd seemed a little more dense than in years past, and after talking to a significant amount of socal visitors it seemed as though word had definitely gotten out about this once-local event.
  • despite the crowds, lines were short, and I never had to wait more than thirty seconds to grab a refill or a rib fresh out of the smoker.  speaking of smokers, many teams held nothing back this year – there were tents packed with big green eggs and webers, and even a massive fifth wheel smoker the size of a short bus.
  • the beer selection was nothing to sneeze at, either – russian river was pouring sanctification all day, moonlight had their killer gruit working for tips and twist of fate on cask, and bear republic killed the competition with offerings of hop bombs on draft every half-hour, including apex, mach 10, racer X, cafe racer 15, and ryevalry, as well as their super tasty cuvee de bubba, poured by none other than bubba himself.  granted, my palate was a little destroyed by the end of the day, but my favorite pour was the cuvee, so I recommend ignoring the mediocre ratings online for this one and grabbing it whenever possible.
  • the best part about the revival (aside from the mindblowing scenery, good friends, and riverfront location) was definitely the crowd – everyone was upbeat, kind, and conversational, and reflected the great local hospitality.  it’s gonna be a long wait until next year!

new fermenters, racking, hops, and BBQ

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

after having some difficulties procuring additional half-barrel stainless kegs for fermenting, I finally pulled the trigger on some 15 gallon barrels from US plastics.

  • I had initially dismissed these plastic barrels for long-term aging, but after more research I decided to give them a shot.  not only are they significantly cheaper than kegs, an airlock easily fits into their screw-off cap after five seconds of drilling.
  • after cleaning and sanitizing one of the new barrels, I purged it with a little CO2 and racked my golden strong (both the 10 straight gallons and 1 sour mix gallon) into it on top of 2.5 lbs of PV wildflower honey and 1.5 oz of french oak soaked in zinfandel for a couple of hours.  the golden strong had dropped to 11 brix, for a pre-honey ABV of around 7.25%.
  • I also tossed some ’09 cuvee de tomme dregs into my similarly-styled cuvee de cabrillo.  the CdT had great carbonation and was intensely sour, much more so than I remember when having it on draft.  I’m thinking this was due to the couple of years spent in the bottle.  hopefully the alleged superbugs in CdT will help add some sourness to my batch over the long haul.
  • also, after racking the golden strong, I tossed 4 oz of fresh amarillo and 2 oz of fresh columbus hops into my house IPA.  I’m planning on kegging this weekend and consuming soon thereafter for maximum hoppiness.
  • speaking of hops, my earlier transplant seems to be successful, as the cascade crown is aggressively pushing out shoots.  I trimmed back all but four runners and have my fingers crossed for some serious growth.
  • I also managed to enjoy the long-overdue socal sun over at PR and HB’s BBQ, where my kolsch poured alongside some great grilled veggies and marinated chicken.  summer can’t come fast enough…

alpine village, great BBQ, and sweat equity

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

last thursday night, AP and I went over to alpine village for some legit german food and brews.

  • ever since I dropped by AV a little while back, I was eagerly anticipating our return.  I knew it was going to be a great night right when we walked in the door, and were seated immediately and given a healthy serving of liverwurst and rye.
  • thursday was swing night, and there was a full band in attendance along with an impressive singer.  we were definitely the youngest in the crowd by a few decades, but it didn’t keep us from cutting a rug in between courses and beers.
  • ah, the beers – AP got one of her staples, hangar 24’s altbier, and I had weihenstephaner’s kristall weissbier.  well, I ordered it, and ended up with an unfiltered wheat instead, so who knows what I put down.  later AP chatted up the bartender and tried the kristall weiss after the fact, which was definitely tasty and probably the variety of the style that I would pursue ifwhen I brew another wheat.
  • on sunday AP and I rang in the 4th with some heavy BBQ and great beers.  I’m talking a 10lb pork shoulder, 8lb brisket and two dozen brats in the smoker with all the fixins – it was definitely a good time.
  • unfortunately, I was out of homebrew for the occasion, but the food was very well complemented with some firestone walker variety packs and a sixer of stone’s IPA, which was better than I remembered.
  • I also snuck down to the basement for some bottles, including stone’s 14th anniversary empirial IPA (uncomfortably bitter with not enough aroma to balance it out, probably due to the hop selection), lagunitas’ hairy eyeball (killer as always, malty and delicious), and new belgium’s eric’s ale (definitely one of my favorites, the most drinkable sour I have come across).
  • on saturday and sunday JF helped me out with some “brewery expansion construction”: using an angle grinder and some bootleg jig I threw together based off a modification of this idea from homebrewtalk, we cut the tops off of a couple of kegs that will soon enjoy long lives as an HLT and mash tun.  we also installed some weldless ball valves, thermometers, and sightglasses.  once the third keg makes an appearance and all my quick disconnects and other fittings come in, the setup will be revealed, but until then the project will remain shrouded in mystery.

lagunitas taproom and beer sanctuary

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

inside the taproom at lagunitas

after leaving russian river brewing the weekend before last, TM, JVG, JC and I cruised down to petaluma to check out the new taproom and beer sanctuary at lagunitas.

  • I had high expectations for this place, and as soon as I walked in I knew they were going to be met.
  • the taproom was great – it had funky (3-D) local artwork on the walls and a laid-back bartender pouring one of lagunitas‘ many offerings into ball jars.

3D artwork in the taproom

pouring a brew at the taproom

  • the outside beer sanctuary was just as nice – a ton of people were hanging out at enormous picnic tables under canopies and umbrellas beating the heat and enjoying a local brew.

at the beer sanctuary at lagunitas

  • to top it off, a local BBQ joint was serving up food outside, and a band was jamming on a stage in the corner – it was awesome.

one of the bands at the beer sanctuary

digging in to some BBQ

  • I scanned the tap list and immediately ordered up a bourbon barrel-aged hairy eyeball, which I wish I could have on a weekly basis.  it was malty and strong, with a boozy bourbon note infused throughout.  in hindsight, I should have ordered this up as a finisher, but I got antsy and scared that the keg would kick before I had ordered up my glass.

bourbon barrel hairy eyeball

  • everyone else ordered up a variety of brews, from ruben and the jets to brown shugga.  I tasted the brown shugga and it was was the best I’ve ever had – it had an intense hoppy finish that blew my mind.  I wonder if they tweaked the recipe or if it was just a young batch, either way I need to get my hands on some more.

brown shugga

  • I finished up the day with a classic lagunitas IPA fresh from the source, and with that, we took off toward novato, but not before I looked back longingly towards lagunitas and vowed I would return ASAP.

one charity raffle hopeful at lagunitas

the big red conical at the taproom

true multitasking

one side of the lineup in the taproom