Disco Ninja & North Bay Fire Relief

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You know when you make a HUGE life decision like, you know, moving to a whole different state? You’d think I’d have some second thoughts, be concerned how far away I was going to be from my family… worried about employment and… driving over 140 miles a day for said employment?

But I can honestly say I haven’t thought about any of those things. I’ve loved being here the last few weeks; I’m finding out who I am and what I want to be, plus I get to see my boyfriend way more than once a month. Win win- right?

Well… California had to go light itself on fire.

Between settling in to California life, trying to get back on track with my health and fitness and now being displaced from the fires… October definitely has tested us a little bit. If you’re looking for ways to donate and help those affected in the Sonoma & Napa County fires, I’ll post a few links at the end of this!

So let’s be honest; when packing up and heading down South to stay with some friends, I made sure to throw ALL my beer in the back of my car. Seriously- it looks pretty hilarious!

Right before the fires all went down I had stopped in at Beercraft in Rohnert Park to check it out, snag some beers and get to know the local scene a little bit better. While I’m missing my Seattle bottle shops… this place is still pretty rad! A few coolers full of a beer and a great line-up of brews on tap for yah; so if you’re in the area definitely go check them out! They’re right off the 101 between Petaluma & Santa Rosa.

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While I was looking for local beers to try, I couldn’t help but snag a Disco Ninja from Revision Brewing and Shoe Tree Brewing. Both of these breweries are out of Nevada but… I mean… just look at that label!!

This Northeast-style Hazy IPA was all that I could have ever asked for, and I’m pretty sure it karate chopped my taste buds real hard. The head dissipated pretty quickly, but still left a nice lacing on the glass. I picked up notes of peach, mango and other tropical fruits on the nose and an even juicier flavor with hints of pineapple.

I honestly loved the hop combination of Citra, Mosaic, Galaxy and Amarillo that left a bit of bitterness on the tongue. For a 7% IPA this drank pretty freakin’ smooth!

If you see this around, please snag a 4-pack and thank me later.

Cheers Xx


Fire Relief & Ways to Help

While I love trying beer from different areas, now’s the time we really need to support local Sonoma & Napa County beer and wine. Tourism around this area is HUGE and with a lot of vineyards burning up and businesses being affected, it’s important to still drink up- and, well, support them!

I know that there are a LOT of Pliny the Younger fans out there… and Russian River Brewing Co. has partnered with King Ridge Foundation to help those victims of the fire. And what does that mean? If you donate, you will be entered in to win line cutting privileges for the 2018 Pliny release. Yep. That’s right. You might not have to wait in a line that is nine years long AND you can help those in need! How rad is that?? Click here for more information!

GoFundMe has created a central hub where you can donate to those fire victims as well, and you can find that here. All these have been verified by GoFundMe and are going directly to those victims.

Redwoods Credit Union will also be accepting donations for those victims of the fire and it’ll take you a few seconds here.

If you want a list of other ways to help and donate, check out ABC 7’s list of ways to take action here!

Mac & Jack’s Starts Canning

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I remember the first Mac & Jack’s experience I ever had; my brother and I were going to dinner when I was about 19 or 20, he was wearing a “Mac & Jack’s African Amber” shirt and there just so happened to be the African Amber on tap. I literally had no idea about Mac & Jack’s then (okay, or any beer except that disgusting stuff you drink in college) but instantly thought it was cool because, honestly, I just wanted to be as cool as my brother.

Fast forward a few years and I still believed that that was the name of the beer- and I know I’m not alone here… Chances are if you’ve worked at a bar and have anything on tap from them, everyone assumes it’s just the African Amber. And I bet you might even be guilty of that as well (no judgment… I did it too).

Mac & Jack’s is a brewery out of Redmond, WA and was founded in 1993 by Mac and, yes, Jack. Today the brewery is still owned AND operated by those two gentlemen. Yep, that’s right. No corporate beer here! These two dudes started brewing in their garage years before, only now they are brewing out of an old automotive garage off 520.

They are known for their African Amber, but also have a few staple beers (seriously, try their stout because it’s damn good) and are coming up with more rotating brews to keep us all on our toes. So. Why the hell are they canning now? What happened after 24 years that pushed them in that direction? Well, they say why the hell not. Craft beer has some serious competition these days and you have to make your beer interesting, exciting and readily available- and that’s exactly what they’re doing.

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You Say Oulde We Say New Pale Ale is an English style ale with American hops and is a collaboration with their friends from Foggy Noggin; Fn is a brewery out of Bothell that operates out of a garage (with all the legality there) and seemed like the perfect combination for M&J’s canning dreams.

This beer is small batch; which means you shouldn’t expect it to stick around long. While Mac & Jack’s is just starting to can, they want to keep it small and keep it fresh.

This ale was a bit of a surprise for me; it was pretty refreshing with a nice level of hop bitterness but had a little English malt twist to it. A little under carbonated, but still pretty crushable.

Maybe english malt isn’t your jam, but this beer really is something worth trying! If you love your west coast style beers, this one will tug at your heart strings! Plus it’s still hot as hell outside and you can suck this beer down way too quick.

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While Columbia Distribution has gotten a bit of these, definitely check out their brewery (sorry, no tasting room but you CAN get some cans– see what I did there?) and you better do it quick! Also keep your eyes peeled for more exciting and amazing things coming from the crew at Mac & Jack’s!!

 

Cheers to local brews, small batch & drinks on a Wednesday.

Xx

Goodbye 2016 & Hello Beerventures!

Have you guys seen that trailer for 2016? The one that was made in to a horror film? Don’t worry, if you haven’t seen it you can find it here; anyways, I think it’s safe to say that this year is welcome to GTFO.

As I see everyone reflecting on their years on Facebook, I can’t help but do the same. We’ve had a lot of up and downs, but can we also just take a moment to appreciate all the amazing beer we got out of it? From my discovery of Belgian/sour beers, to my distaste of them and BACK to liking them, it’s clearly been one hell of a rollercoaster this year!

dsc07510After having a cucumber sour from 10 Barrel Brewing, I knew that snagging this raspberry sour would be anything but a mistake.

Now can I get a high five for branching out and jump-starting my own love affair with sour beer? Becoming an adult might have been the best thing (only when it comes to my taste.. everything else like bills and responsibilities can suck it). 

Just like it’s brother, this beer had a great balance of raspberry and sour (unlike this unbalanced year, amiright??) and was damn delicious. The pour was a light red that was pretty dang pretty and had a light pink head that dissipated quickly. The smell literally hits you with raspberries and I want all of it 100% of the time. The taste hits you a bit with tartness and melts into that sweet raspberry without being too sweet, a bit of some hops and a nice level of malt. Honestly, 10 Barrel does some crazy good things with their sours and I want pretty much any flavor. Give me them! The drinkability of this one could be really dangerous, and at a sneaky 6.2% I’m not even upset! The mouthfeel was light and the carbonation wasn’t too much. Seriously, if you see this beer around, grab every last one of them. I made the mistake of only grabbing two and they sold out like nobodies business.

On a more serious note, this year has brought so many beer adventures, great beer friends and really ignited my own passion for beer, writing and photography. I couldn’t have made it this far without my beautiful friends and family- and obviously my impeccable taste. Beer inspiration is real, people, and I can’t wait to see what 2017 has to offer!

May your New Year’s celebration be safe, fun, hoppy & delicious.

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Have a very, very hoppy year!

Cheers Xx

pFriem Winter Ale

There’s always some sense of relief after Christmas & the holidays are finally over; yes, of course I love Christmas decorations, seeing my family & all the shenanigans that come with it. But I’m also left with a hole in my wallet and a sense of “where the f did this whole month go???“!

dsc07475One of the best parts about the holidays, other than my dad’s home brew, is the winter beer that seems to overflow from breweries and bottle shops! I wouldn’t be true to myself if I didn’t snag this winter ale from pFriem Family Brewers.

 
So what exactly is a winter beer? Well, it can range from a strong ale to a winter ‘warmer’, contain an elevated level of spices or bring the sweetness- the winter category definitely means different things to different brewers! The one from pFriem happens to be an American Strong Ale that’s a bit lighter than some winter beers I’ve had.  The pour was a beautiful crystally orange color with a pretty fluffy cream head that left ample lacing. Matching the color, aroma was definitely a smack of orange to the nose accompanied with some pine and some more citrus notes Flavor leaned a bit more towards an IPA with the orange and citrus notes, piney resin and some big ol’ juicy hops! There also was a bit of a caramel tone towards the end, which I’m guessing is where the winter ale comes in.

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Sure, this beer is leaning towards an IPA, but if you’ve ever had pFriem’s regular IPA you won’t be disappointed one bit- it’s damn delicious! If you’re looking for a more traditional winter beer, this may not be the one for you.. but please don’t write it off! This beer also rings in at 7.5% ABV and will be a perfect companion for the rest of this winter beer season. Because come January, we’re going to be already moving in to spring beers; yeah, I’m not into it either. How is it 2017?!

I know, this beer might be hard to find but all of a sudden I blinked and it was the end of the month. I hope you all had an amazing Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Boxing Day (because that’s a thing) & whatever else your little heart celebrated!

 

Cheers Xx

Wingman’s P-51 Porter

Christmas is right around the corner and I’m silently freaking the f out. I feel like yesterday it was February and BOOM- now it’s the end of the year?? Thankful I skipped out on those pesky New Years resolutions (since I’ve never been a fan of telling myself what to do and ACTUALLY sticking to it…) and decided to settle for all the beer drinking adventures!

I’m having somewhat of a crisis when it comes to dark beers, as in, I just haven’t been into them this year. Isn’t it weird how your tastebuds change and evolve?

While my dark beer consumption has gone way down, I’ll forever have a place in my heart for Wingman Brewers P-51 Porter series. Porters are a great compromise when it comes to dark beers; sometimes I’m craving the chocolate and coffee that’s found in stouts but not feeling the heaviness that most stouts offer. Porters tend to be a more medium to light mouthfeel but still pack the flavor!

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The P-51 Porter pours a beautiful dark brown with a decent peanut butter brown head (don’t be fooled, it’s not actually pb). Aroma was pretty standard for a porter and graces the nose with chocolate and toasted malts which was followed up in the taste for sure. This one had a bit of a bitter-hop finish that I’m not used to in porters, but was still tasty nonetheless.

Apparently there have been some bad cans out there that give off a completely different mouthfeel/carbonation/flavor profile; don’t let this throw you off! Because it definitely is a tasty little brew.

Have a porter or stout you’re digging on right now? Let me know and I’ll give them a try!

 

Cheers Xx

Two Beers Goes Farmin’

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I have to be honest when I tell you that my heart literally fell a bit after seeing that Two Beers Brewing & Seattle Cider Co are merging with another company. Sure, we all know of a brewery that has ‘sold out’ or ‘partnered’ with a bigger company; next thing you know they slowly lose control of their small brewery and the beer quality changes…

Agrial, the company that has merged with our beloved Seattle bevs, is a farming cooperative that is almost the complete opposite of the other giant corporations we see taking over the craft beer industry. They are leading the way with cider in France, as well as other divisions, and are member ran (about 80% of the fresh fruits come from farmer-members).

So I don’t know about you, but this seems to be the perfect fit for the two to take over the beer & cider world. Agrial will give more opportunity for expansion for Two Beers & Seattle Cider, but will still let them hold the reigns and call the shots. Briefly knowing one of the sales guys for Seattle Cider out in Chicago and how well they have done in other states, it’s going to be absolutely exciting to see where this will take these companies!

Cheers to healthy mergers, and opportunities that will benefit both sides! This is the kind of thing I love about the beer/cider world; when companies want to help others out!

 

Check out their press release, for all the nitty-gritty:

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Carina Peach Sour

I promise there will be more Porters, Stouts & IPAs coming your way; I had some peaches in the fridge that were trying not to live much longer, so you’ll have to suffer through this delicious peach sour with me!

dsc06869This sour comes from Ecliptic Brewing down in Oregon. I first saw this bottle and it instantly caught my eye with it’s *starry* label and bright pops of color- plus they keep the Ecliptic feel alive with the peach astrology.

With some high-tech and innovative googling, I actually discovered that Carina (name of the beer) is a real-life constellation in the actual universe, the keel of the ship Argo in the Southern sky. So… like… I see what you did there. Maybe it’s the 11th grade geek that’s coming out in me… but a brewery that also incorporates astronomy?! Sign. Me. Up!

I usually think of fruit beers as seasonal, but Ecliptic Brewing will actually be having this year round! You might not get the tasty fruit in store, but you can relive peach dreams whenever!

While I still haven’t dove in to fully sour beers, this ale was actually quite enjoyable; perfect for the summer season, but I’d find an excuse to drink this anytime. I really dug the hazy yellow poor with a fat white head that hung around for a little bit, with minimal lacing on the glass. The nose kind of smelt like a typical funky gose/sour thrown in with peach, lemon zest and maybe some wheat. The taste is a little more towards the light side of sour and had the perfect level of peaches. I’m starting to appreciate more of the tart and acidic notes that come with sour beers.dsc06877

If you’re looking for a sour beer- or looking for anything, you should definitely swoop up the Carina Peach Sour! It’s easy enough to train your pallet in to new beers, don’t be afraid of all the new things! Because… beer is the best thing in the world.

 

Cheers Xx

Cucumber Crush- 10 Barrel Brewing

We’ve been in our house for almost a month now- and yes, we still have boxes to unpack. Well, just things like food… and who needs that anyway? I’m not sure what’s more exciting: I have my own bed again (I was sharing with my best before) or that this house is PERFECT for beer pictures. I know, I have some great priorities.

dsc06721Seriously, before I even take a sip of beer I’m racing around trying to find the best lighting; I’m pretty sure everyone thinks I’m nuts.

I’ve experienced a few of 10 Barrel Brewing‘s beers, and have had mixed feelings. I’m not sure if it was all the Rogue and Deschutes (from our Oregon trip) I had before going to their taproom, or maybe just tried a few of the wrong things, but I had pretty much written them off.

I’ve been dabbling with sours a bit, and with all this drinking I’ve done lately I couldn’t help but gravitate towards this Cucumber Sour; light, refreshing & right up my alley. Berliner Weissbier’s are growing on me with their sour, mildly acidic and tart tastes, and this beer was no exception! True to the style, this beer poured a light hazy straw color with a head that disappeared without a trace. I wasn’t a fan of the aroma on this guy, and could have been turned off to the beer if I hadn’t given it a taste test. I loved how light this mouthfeel was, and seemed to be a bit sweet up front with flavors of cucumber, melon rind & wheat and finished with a nice tart, dry punch. Cucumber Crush

I was almost worried that the level of cucumber that might be experienced in this beer would be a bit too much; I had a bit of a tough run-in with some cucumber vodka in a bowling alley bathroom (don’t judge me, you were in college once), and had that slight fear I’d be back at Central Washington University again. But I almost got more melon off this beer, and I was absolutely loving it! Two of my friends even tried it, with great hesitation, and didn’t mind the cucumber TOO much- they lived to tell the tale! Honestly, this beer has changed my opinion of 10 Barrel, and just goes to show how annoying and crazy your tastebuds can be (and they can be changed, too!). This beer was perfectly drinkable at 4% and great for the ending of this warm summer weather. If you see this guy in stores, don’t shy away! Swoop it up and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

 

Cheers Xx

Kulshan Brewing & RMR

As of 8:22 yesterday morning, I have officially graduated college!! I expected to feel this overwhelming sense of calm, cool and collectedness… but I’m honestly just sitting here stressing out about the next 50 years of my life. Is this what adulting feels like??

I’ve started writing for this amazing Northwest base site, Respect My Region, and and I took on the task of Thirsty Thursday! So if you haven’t checked them out, seriously do- and not just because yours truly is now a big-time blogger.

DSC06614For my first official post (here) I decided to assign myself to drink four summer IPAs; have you seen me in a bottle shop? I went in for four IPAs and left with five cans and six 22s. It’s like I run in there making it rain (my wallet does NOT appreciate me). One of those beers just so happened to be Kulshan Brewing’s Bastard Kat IPA- and let’s just say I was pretty damn into it.

The beer pours your typical IPA golden orange and is pretty clear with a nice fluffy head and decent lacing. Definitely hop forward with a nice bitter bite, but not enough to really throw me off and the citrus notes along with a bready malt won me over with this beer. The only thing I would wish, dream and hope for is a bit more aroma! I felt like the taste took the cake (as it should, right?) but the lack of smell really threw me off! Bellingham offers some damn great breweries, and I’m just adding this to the list of places I gotta check out!

 

Cheers Xx

Two Beers Fresh Hoppin’

I promised myself I would wait until Friday to work on any sort of non-school-related writing business; I’m two days away from college graduation AND we just moved in to our new place… you could say my head is kind of spinning right about now. With my lack of attention span and anxiety up to my ears, I only felt it would be appropriate to suck down a beer, and what better way than the new Fresh Hop IPA from Two Beers Brewing!

DSC06594.jpgThere’s something so amazing about fresh hop beers that really get me going; from the time those beautiful hops leave the vine and become delicious beer, it’s only a 24 hours window; and that’s no exception for Two Beers. Fresh hop beers aim to capture all that moisture that the hop is still hanging on to, which gives those fresh hop beers a very big and juicy flavor.

This beer is getting me really excited for Fresh Hop Fest in Yakima this coming October (pssssst- get your tickets here) where, ironically, Two Beers won first place last year for their fresh hop. This hyper seasonal IPA consists of Yakima Valley centennial hops, which offers some amazing floral & citrus notes, as well as Simcoe, Cascade and Amarillo hops tossed in there.  The aroma on this is really something else… huge levels of juicy citrus take over and definitely match the fresh punch of flavor. The color offers a nice copper/orange (I’m great at point out the obvious) and has some pretty amble lacing throughout.

Fresh Hop is released once a year, and you do NOT want to miss out on this! Two Beers is having their release on August 19th at The Woods down in SoDo, so go check it out and try their 7th year beer!

Cheers Xx