Posts Tagged ‘russian river’

naja’s redux

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

pint trio of dogfish head punkin, oskar blues old chub, and green flash west coast IPA

last weekend AP and I were lucky enough to roll by naja’s place for the second weekend in a row.

  • we met up with DP to enjoy a few brews on a beautiful day.
  • since I had a few cans of oskar blues’ dale’s pale ale earlier in the weekend (hoppy with a sessionable maltiness – check out this interesting story about the brew), I decided to roll with oskar blues and ordered up an old chub first (on draft!).  it had a balanced malty sweetness that was not cloying, and has a substantial, satisfying mouthfeel.
  • I also ordered up an east/west combo – a glass of shipyard’s XXXX IPA (maine) followed by green flash’s west coast IPA (carlsbad, CA).  what can I say, I’m partial to the home team.
  • the afternoon came to a celebratory close with a bottle of russian river’s temptation.  tart, funky, and complex with great carbonation and a crisp drinkability, this is one of my favorites.  I grabbed a couple more glasses and passed around some samples to help change some people’s perceptions about how far beer can go (especially in CA!).
  • in fact, I was sipping on this brew while I watched the dodgers on TV spraying each other with nothing other than budweiser tall cans after their sweep.  yikes.
  • AP and DP both thoroughly enjoyed dogfish head’s punkin ale, my favorite example of the style.  it has subtle spicing that meshes well with brown ale characteristics and doesn’t overwhelm the beer.
  • remember to check out naja’s for LA beer week, it should be epic!

guardian bat of the taps

punkin and old chub checking out the view

usual parkng scene at naja's

temptation in the glass

more halloween decoration at naja's

father’s office

Monday, August 24th, 2009

stone 13th and friends at father's office

stone 13th and friends at father's office

More specifically, I guess I went to Father’s Office Santa Monica, since there is now another (evidently bigger) one a little ways away.  A few years back, FO surprised me with some great beers and burgers, as well as an enormous crowd.  Well, the place didn’t disappoint in any of those areas on Saturday.

  • I forgot that you order both food and beers at the bar, so have a friend claim a table (if there are any left) while you order up.
  • this place is both small and popular, so try to come at an off hour.  i came with some friends at 3ish on a Saturday and my buddy grabbed the last table in the joint.  also, parking is a pain in the ass during the week, FYI.
  • evidently, the bartenders pride themselves on beer recommendations.  One of them recommended a tripel to my buddy after he told her he liked his first pint of new belgium’s dandelion beer.  I found the recommendation odd at first but now i guess it was accurate enough.
  • I started off with RR’s perdition.  Pretty decent, I’m not really a biere de garde fan but i figured i would give it a shot.  One BA review of this beer i relate with: “Like I can turn down a RR tap I haven’t had yet?… Those RR guys make very good beers, and really craft them. This was certainly not one of my favorites, but it’s still very well-made” (callmescraps).
  • I finished off with stone’s 13th anniversary.  I LOVE this beer, it’s the quintessential “california beer” to me.  they should do like sublimely self-righteous and make it seasonal instead of a one-time deal.  time to stock up at bevmo in case that never happens.
the bar at FO
perdition, etc.

IMGP1182

la trappe

Friday, August 21st, 2009
bar lineup at la trappe

bar lineup at la trappe

Rolled over to La Trappe last night with CB and Dave.  As of late, the place has been getting super crowded, to the point where I actually walked away a couple weekend nights when it was shoulder-to-shoulder and rolled over to Rogue instead.  I like La Trappe though, great belgian selection on draft and in bottles, and the staff is usually pretty friendly.  Oh yeah, the food is great here too.  Overall it’s always near the top of my list when I’m in North Beach.

  • the place was full underground when we walked in, but we managed to get a table within 5-10 minutes.  note to self – come here on weeknights, screw the weekend crowd.
  • busted out Temptation on draft – great as always, dunno how vinnie does it.
  • followed by Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze – awesome, super dry. it was interesting to follow temptation with this one.  a discussion ensued as to whether any american brewer would sack it up and start exclusively doing geuzes/lambics/spontaneously fermented beers.  more on that topic later.
  • finished off the night with  Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer. great belgian strong, a year or two more in the bottle and it would be out of control.
a round of temptation

a round of temptation

geuze: my favorite style? hard to say...

geuze: my favorite style?

great way to finish up the night

great way to finish up the night

russian river beer revival 2009

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
revival

image courtesy of http://www.stumptown.com/revival/

For the second year in a row we headed out to Guerneville, CA for the 7th Annual Russian River Beer Revival.  As usual, the venue was Stumptown Brewery‘s back lot on the Russian River.  The spot was awesome as usual, with tons of BBQ and beers to be had.  Some notes:

  • high-five for the guys at new belgium. although they didn’t repeat this year with eric’s ale, they cracked some lips of faith bottles (kriek, la folie (now in bombers!)) and gave out some generous pours.
  • even though the event instructions stated that beers started pouring at 1, we got there at 12:30 and it was already going down. however, apparently there was a line going down the block to get in at 12:00, so keep that in mind.
  • biggest bummer for me was russian river brewing, and it wasnt even beer related. vinny was pouring, so i got all stoked and rolled by to say whats up.  homeboy brushed me off like i had a can of coors in my hand or something.  plus, even though they had pliny, hugelarge, and redemption on draft, they only had about a 2l of temptation on ice and when they popped it it was like they were handing out cash behind the pour table, the crowd was enormous. screw that, i’m sippin on la folie watching fools claw their way to a half pour.
  • another high five to moonlight brewing, i couldnt get enough of their “working for tips,” plus brian was way cool.
  • dont drive, parking looked like a pain in the ass, and cops were crawling the place afterwards. we stayed near Johnson’s Beach and walked over.  last year we canoed over, you just park it right on the beachfront.

who's that random chick in the middle?

DSCN2883

DSCN2882

DSCN2888