Posts Tagged ‘eric’s ale’

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.

AP’s birthday beer tour: santa monica

Monday, June 21st, 2010

a little over a week ago AP’s birthday rolled around, so we headed off to santa monica, one of our old stomping grounds, to celebrate.

  • our first stop was library alehouse (not to be confused with library bar), a great little beer bar on main st.
  • I remember stopping by library alehouse many years ago and excitedly grabbing a downtown brown before I really caught on to the craft beer scene.
  • that tap handle is still pouring after all these years, but I have come to appreciate the finer offerings that this beer bar has to offer.
  • AP and I spotted the tap for eric’s ale and immediately ordered up a round.  we were bummed to discover that eric salazar from new belgium was going to be stopping by the next day to pay a visit.  that would have been sweet…
  • the beer was great, the scene was mellow, and the food was tasty, but AP and I packed up and moved on to our next destination.
  • our next pit stop was at wine expo on santa monica blvd.  the selection was varied, and we grabbed a reissdorf kolsch, a berliner weiss, and a geuze for later in the evening.
  • if you’re ever in the area and looking for a brew, wine expo is a good place to check out.  they have a bunch of interesting imports, but stock a pretty ordinary domestic selection.
  • we continued the bottle hunt at whole foods on wilshire, which I remembered as having a pretty decent beer selection.
  • “pretty decent” was an understatement – they had a great selection of hard to fund find beers.  after staring at the lineup for a good while, I could tell AP was done with bottle shopping, so I grabbed a bottle of port’s older viscosity, allagash’s confluence, and dogfish’s burton baton and hit the road.  this whole foods is definitely the place to go with paycheck in hand to grab some rarities for a special occasion.
  • AP and I then cruised down 3rd street promenade, ending with a stop by the fifth amendment alehaus.  I didn’t know what to expect when we stepped in, but the bar was cozy and the bartender/owner was friendly and knowledgeable.
  • my only gripe was the price of a pint – I can see $8 for a pour of eric’s ale or delirium tremens, but for port’s hot rocks lager? gimme a break.  I think the price will keep me from coming back on a regular basis, but if you’re stranded on third street shopping with your lady this place is the ticket.
  • I also tried a taster of the bruery’s coton, and let me tell you, it was one of the first old ales/barleywines that I actually disliked.  it was super hot with an overwhelmingly boozy finish.  all I could taste was alcohol.  come on guys, just stuff it in barrels for a year or two and push it for your usual $30 pricetag!
  • afterwards we grabbed some great italian at a BYOB joint where we shared some beers and then headed home.  our samo excursion was a great success – happy birthday AP!

good beers and ambitious projects (WIR 05/29-06/01)

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

this memorial day weekend I managed to sample a great variety of beers and start on some lofty projects that have been in the planning stage for quite some time.

  • on saturday I was lucky enough to find a local paintball store that filled CO2 tanks.  this made for a relatively simple fill-up, as opposed to my experience in SF.
  • I also dropped by bevmo to see if they had any eric’s ale bombers in stock.  I talked to one of their buyers and it seems they aren’t ever gonna get it in, which is unfortunate, since I was all set to pick up a case of the stuff.
  • I was treated to a tour of the bevmo coolers, however, and walked out with a bottle of parabola, a sixer of lagunitas undercover shutdown ’10, and a bottle of mikkeller’s it’s alright!
  • I cracked the it’s alright!, remembering that a tasting of it a few years ago left me a little disappointed.  I definitely liked it more the second time around – it had a ton of barnyard funk and was very refreshing.  add a little tartness to the mix and it could be a great summer beer.
  • on sunday I went with AP and the rest of the posse to naja’s for a quick beer.  the place was packed, but I managed to get a pour of dogfish’s burton baton, which was killer on a hot beach day.  it made me want to place an online order for a quick dogfish fix…
  • the rest of the weekend was spent BBQing and hacking away at one of my 2 consecutive projects, a basic 4-tap keezer.  I will post a more detailed writeup when the build is finished (hopefully by the end of the week), but for now a teaser pic will have to do.
  • as for the other project, let’s just say it has to do with doubling my brewing capacity and halving my brew time, and was inspired by CB’s sick setup.  more to come on that front as pieces to the puzzle fall into place.

weekend in review 04/09 – 04/11

Monday, April 12th, 2010

after a long week of desk jockeying, the weekend couldn’t come up fast enough.

  • after getting a little more settled in our new spot, AP and I rolled over to naja’s to meet up with AP, PP, and DP.
  • I can’t overemphasize the great atmosphere at naja’s – no pretention and a laid back attitude, right on the water!
  • not to mention great selection – I grabbed  a pour of goose island’s matilda, which was very earthy and refreshing.  AP grabbed her staple – eric’s ale.
  • once everyone showed up, the really good stuff got cracked.  first, we pulled a great bottle of fantome saison for everyone to try.
  • I also ordered up a fantastic saison that (if I remember correctly) was from brasserie d’achouffe (the tap handle was complicated and it was listed as “saison” on the board – I’ll have to get back with the name since it was pretty great).
  • there was also a north/south tasting debate going on (if only in my head) as both carlsbad’s green flash west coast IPA and healdsburg’s bear republic racer 5 were poured.  such a tough call between those two…
  • later during the weekend I tended to my fresh hop plants – in addition to last years’ vojvodina and zeus, I picked up some chinook, cascade, mt hood, and sterling varieties.
  • I got the rhizomes from freshops, and couldn’t be happier – they came fast, had noticeable buds on arrival and sprouted within a week.  however, CB had different results, however, as state agricultural problems and questionable customer service almost ruined his (sizable) order.
  • also, it will be interesting to see the yield of my second-year established plants.  I kept all my hops potted due to limited time, but if the yield is low I might reconsider next year.  fingers crossed…