Posts Tagged ‘lagunitas’

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!

              

              

              

              

              

              

              

coastal bachelor beer tour

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

in celebration of AH’s remaining single days, over a dozen intrepid explorers ventured north of the bridge on a beer adventure of epic proportions.

  • our first stop was at lagunitas, where great live music accompanied a killer beer selection in their beer sanctuary.
  • I was excited to try their interestingly-titled farmhouse geuze (funky and sour, very drinkable, maybe my favorite of the trip) as well as their fusion VI (hoppy but sessionable), waldo’s 420 (huge hop aroma and flavor), and cask WTF (intensely malty and hoppy).
  • we headed north from petaluma to healdsburg, where bear republic greeted us with plenty of food and some great beers.
  • there’s nothing quite like racer 5 from the source, especially while washing down some crispy smothered wings.  the staff was friendly and accommodating, not an easy feat considering the state our posse was in as we walked through the door.
  • the next day we headed from our russian river campsite to boonville, where the staff at anderson valley treated us to an experience like no other.
  • after grabbing fistfuls of dirt-cheap samplers and pints of great beers like wee geech, winter solstice, gatlin damnosis, and V.S.O.B., we snagged some bombers and headed to the on-site 18-hole disc golf course, where high winds and water hazards kept our attention.
  • after hours of disc, we ended our stay with a killer brewery tour, where our guide showed off AVBC’s brewhouse, massive fermenters, bottling, canning, and kegging lines, barrels, and coldroom.  I couldn’t get over the brewery’s impressive pricing – for $3-3.50 you could get an 8-ounce pour of any of their beers and keep the glass for a buck more – not bad in an era of $8 10 oz. specialty pours…
  • after anderson valley we cranked out the longest leg of the trip to fort bragg and north coast brewing, where standards such as la merle and pranqster complemented a perfectly prepped bleu cheese burger.
  • we finished the night at van damme state park, knocking back pints of NP’s tasty homebrewed belgian IPA as well as indica, a brazilian IPA JC brought back from cervejaria colorado, on a picturesque beach.
  • the next morning, we heeded russian river brew co’s happy hour call and enjoyed pours of consecration, erudition, sanctification, and segal select while knocking down some pizza (which has vastly improved since my last visit) and playing dominoes.
  • we then staggered over to stumptown in guerneville, just in time to enjoy some rat bastard and death and taxes while watching elvis cover some modern day bieber hits.
  • the long weekend ended with some unreal views at wright’s beach on the sonoma coast, where a night under the stars revitalized the crew and got them ready for the impending work week.  congrats again heady!

DIY stirplate, hop drying, american amber ale brew

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

last week was chock full of brewing endeavors.

  • based on some threads over at homebrewtalk and a little elbow grease, I threw together a homemade stirplate using a computer fan, hard drive magnet, potentiometer, and power supply I had lying around.  I used a plastic dish as the housing and hard wired everything up with a soldering iron, and it works like a charm.
  • according to the latest northern brewer catalog (p. 36 to be exact), the constant oxygenation stir plates provide enables 4 times normal yeast growth in starters.  after using it last week on an american ale yeast starter, I was impressed – the starter took off fast and was chugging along much sooner than my old starters.
  • I also dried out my cascade harvest, and packed up 4.5oz of cones in the freezer.  I will probably use these as finishing hops in an IPA, or may wait until all my other hops are ready for a homegrown pale.
  • I also managed to squeeze in a brew day last weekend, and whipped up an american-style amber ale based on my house IPA hop schedule and a recipe for lagunitas’ kronik/censored ale:
    • 24.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 74.67 %
      3.00 lb Munich Malt – 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 9.33 %
      3.00 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 9.33 %
      2.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 6.22 %
      0.14 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 0.44 %
      2.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (60 min) Hops 34.0 IBU
      2.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (30 min) Hops 26.1 IBU
      2.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (10 min) Hops 7.5 IBU
      3.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (0 min) Hops –
  • after doing some reading about heat sticks, I picked one up on amazon and stuck it in my HLT for mashing/sparging and hitting a boil in my boil kettle.  it worked amazingly, and cut my brew time down by at least an hour.
  • however, with both the heat stick and the jet burner going at it, much more water ended up evaporating from my wort (2 gals/hr), leaving me with a 10 gallon batch (instead of an 11 gallon batch) and an OG of 1.08!  I think my higher mash temps and somewhat aggressive hopping will balance out the alcohol in this beer nicely.

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.

weekend in review 04/16-04/18

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

this past weekend I got back into brewing shape and got around to picking up some interesting bottles.

  • I swung by my new (and surprisingly well-stocked) bevmo in torrance for some goodies and walked out with more than I had anticipated.
  • they had all the new goose island brews, a good lost abbey selection (including angel’s share ’09), and even had the ever-elusive aloha plenty for a pretty decent price (6 or 7 bucks).  to think that i was kicking myself for passing up a bottle at some bootleg redondo liquor store for $12…
  • I brought the goose island sofie and a bomber of lagunitas’ wilco tango foxtrot to PR’s byob bday. I immediately fell for sofie – it had a great complexity, finish, and effervescence.  WTF was great too, it reminded me of stone 13, one of my all time favorites.
  • on sunday I decided to dust off the homebrew gear and whip up a quick batch of kolsch for some upcoming BBQs/get-togethers.
  • I stuck with my usual extract recipe but did my first full-wort boil in a turkey fryer outside.  getting to a boil was a piece of cake but cooling a full 5 gallons with my immersion chiller was an exercise in patience to say the least, especially after seeing CB’s therminator in action.
  • I gave it a minute of O2 at 75F and tossed my starter in, and the airlock was chugging away by the end of the night.

  • oh, and AP and I adopted a new brew assistant – meet the captain, supervising the brew premises:

lagunitas brewers’ tapas dinner

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

jeremy pouring one up

ahh, lagunitas.

  • for my birthday, AP and I managed to score some tickets to the inaugural brewer’s tapas dinner at lagunitas brewing.
  • I had been to the beer sanctuary and taproom a little while back, but it was AP’s maiden voyage.  after a lunch full of cask ales and british fare at magnolia, we headed out to petaluma for some more debauchery.
  • as anyone who knows me is well aware, I am definitely biased towards lagunitas.  I love their beers, packaging, and overall mentality, and I got a healthy dose of all three at their dinner.
  • their five-course tapas/small plate style dinner was tasty and well-prepared, and was accompanied by lagunitas’ deep lineup, including their IPA, imperial stout, hop stoopid, pils, and hairy eyeball.
  • during the dinner, brewmaster Jeremy Marshal fielded questions from the crowd, while the rest of the brew staff worked the tables and topped off everyone’s glasses.
  • after dinner, everyone headed over to their skybox-style bar overlooking the brewery for some aged brews and beer talk.
  • the highlight of the night for me was talking to one of the owners and the brewers while they doled out generous pours of ’06 gnarlywine, ’06 hairy eyeball, ’08 brown shugga, and many others.
  • topics of conversation ranged from yeast strains to hop extract to the story behind a little sumpin’ sumpin’, and everyone at the brewery was friendly, well-spoken, and informative.
  • I was definitely bummed out when I realized it was time for us to take off, but I was grateful to be a part of this awesome event and was already anticipating my next trip over to the beer sanctuary.  thanks for the great time guys!

aged bottles getting cracked

another pour from one of the brewers

havin a good time

kicking us out

quick glance at the floor

odds and ends

Friday, November 13th, 2009

great plate in bodega bay

happy friday! here are some miscellaneous pics taken over the last few months that didn’t make it into posts.  check out their descriptions for more info.

hot coppa

alpha

bodega bay brews

  • proof that I’m not a complete beer snob:

portrait with bud

lagunitas little sumpin’ extra!

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

little sumpin extra! in the glass

after trying a lagunitas’ a little sumpin’ extra! over at rogue a while back, I knew I had to pick up a couple bombers for a rainy day.

  • a little sumpin’ extra! is a more intense version of a little sumpin’ sumpin’, which is  classified on beeradvocate as an american pale wheat ale (I would say it’s more like a wheat IPA).
  • I guess that makes ALSE a “wheat double IPA.”  whatever you want to call it, it works.
  • the beer has a great citrusy hop aroma, a great fluffy head, and finishes smoother than something like, say, hop stoopid (what a surprise!)
  • I wouldn’t hesitate to bring a couple of these to enjoy at a BBQ when I knew someone else was driving.
  • see a PDF of the flyer for this beer here.

little sumpin' extra! bottle

little sumpin' extra! pour

taps petaluma

Monday, November 9th, 2009

the bar at taps

after doing some biking and meeting up with my cousin TF up at sonoma state, AP and I dropped by petaluma on our way back to the city.

  • AP had done some research and told me that taps in petaluma looked like a good place to stop by for a brew.
  • I was a little hesitant at first, since we only had time for one stop, and lagunitas was right around the corner.
  • however, as soon as we sided up the the bar, I knew there weren’t going to be any regrets.
  • with a name like taps, you would expect at least a few good offerings on draft here.  true to its name, taps offered an outstanding tap selection, ranging from numerous local kegs to plenty of belgians.  the even had a cask of bourbon ruben and the jets from lagunitas on hand pump!
  • in fact, I was so torn over what to choose first that Ana, the bartender, took it for confusion and quickly poured me up a couple samples she recommended.
  • I finally settled on (surprise!) moonlight’s 40 to life.  Eric, one of the owners (along with his wife, Wendy), told me that it was a one-off keg that Brian made by blending 20 to life and 60 to life to get an appropriate amount of sourness that he felt was appropriate for the crowd.  the beer was outstanding – very drinkable, tart and sour, but well balanced.
  • AP had an anchor small beer on my recommendation.  although this beer doesn’t get much love, I think it’s because it’s not categorized as a small beer and appreciated for what it is.  personally, I love it’s grainy bite and sessionability.  it’s like a modern-day table beer.
  • to finish off, AP and I shared a black xantus, an imperial stout from nectar ales.  I heard hype about this beer for over a month, and it definitely lived up to it – it was very complex, and had great subtle notes of oak, coffee, and roasted malt that all blended perfectly.  in a world of boozy, high gravity imperial stouts, black xantus was a smooth, drinkable alternative (although it still clocked in at 11%!).
  • on a non-beer note, the sausages and dogs at taps are great as well.  my chicago dog was definitely the best I’ve had outside of illinois, probably because, as Eric mentioned, all the ingredients (down to the buns) are brought over from the windy city.
  • overall, taps turned out to be an impreessive establishment with outstanding beers, friendly staff, and good eats.  it is definitely on my must-visit list every time I come near petaluma from now on.
  • more info on taps can be found on this blog post.

ruben and the jets hand pump

40 to life

the beer list and some empty samplers

anchor small beer

black xantus

one of the tap lineups

barley and hops tavern occidental

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

the bar at barley and hops tavern

last weekend AP and I decided to venture north to bodega bay.  after a few stops on the way up, and some disc tossing on the beach, we made our way along coleman valley road over to occidental, where we dropped by barley and hops tavern.

  • the middle of nowhere, the center of everywhere-  situated in an old house near the center of town, barley and hops tavern has great beers available and great food to boot.
  • the tap list was impressive – of the 10 beers on tap, at least half were usually hard to come by.
  • I started off with moonlight’s bony fingers, a black lager with a great roasty flavor and aroma.
  • russian river’s classic pliny the elder and IPA followed, as did another personal favorite, brown shugga from lagunitas, all on draft.  whew, glad I wasn’t driving!
  • the bottle selection was great too, as AP discovered when she ordered up a tire bite kolsch from flying dog, followed by the great 1882 black label geuze from girardin.  I wish more places in the city would follow this lead and get some interesting bottles in!
  • to top it off, the food was great and unique, and everything was fairly priced.  the owner, Noah, and bartender, Tisha were great people and passionate about good beer and food.  hell, even the locals were awesome (whats up Noah!), and they even had live music.  we were there for hours at the bar.
  • for me, this place went from an unknown to the top of my list of favorite bars up north.  I can’t wait to roll up there again soon to shoot it with the Noahs and sample more of the great brew selection.

bony fingers at the bar

live music

pliny with the geuze