Pliny the Elder – OMG

Rooney’s Irish Pub in Orcutt! We were following a Central Coast Beer Map and rolled the dice.  We wound up at Rooney’s Irish Pub adjacent to the Shanty Irish Brewing Company.

Several good things transpired!

1. I broke my 4+ day fast with a bowl of soup and a salad. Shanty’s IPA is a very nice beer. Kathy my lovely, long legged and beautiful wife had the The Bride’s Ale, a very nice Kolsch similar to the one my friend Mile brewed for his daughter’s wedding this summer. The brewmaster did the same.

2. I had Belching Beaver’s Peanut Butter Milk Stout- pretty damned yummy. Kathy went local with the Firestone 805. Lincoln White, the bartender and soon to be realestate agent asked what I liked. Simple answer – most forms of IPA was my answer. Then he asked if I had heard of Zpliny the Elder. Hmmmm only the uninformed IPA fans would express ignorance. Last sip I told him was 5 years ago!

3. Moments later he returned with a bottle of this “most awesome dude” IPA, Pliny the Elder! OMFG! What an awesome treat. Then the world gets incredibly small. He is from Manhattan Beach I mentioned. UCLA and waterpolo and his family is friends with long time coach Bob Horn. His wife Dottie is still connected with his family!

I am tapping this message in as I ride shotgun with Kathy, my beautiful wife,  along Highway 101. Blue, blue Pacific Ocean on the right, the Islands early visible and a Pluny the Eldet grin on my face. She drives a little faster than I do but it is an OK trade off. I am a happy beer drinker this evening.

Just so you know that I am not full of S__t! Here is the bottle in Kathy’s hand!

Russian River Brewing Company – what an amazing beer! It is best when shared!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly


What to do While in Williston, North Dakota? 

Drafted in mid June and delayed in posting.

I have figured it out! I will drive across the border to Sidney, Montana! There is a very good reason to leave the state and drive across the border. I am in Williston, North Dakota for a week. The Williston Brewing Company does not brew any beer despite the name. The plus side is they have the best selection of draft beers in a hundred mile radius. That said….I like to visit breweries if you haven’t figured that out yet.

I usually ask for local beers when I travel and up until recently the “localest” local beer was from Fargo, ND. Fargo is a 6 hour drive! Meadowlark Brewing across the State line is less than an hour’s drive and you can arrive before you left Williston! Funny how those time zone lines work.

Badlands IPA from Meadowlark is pretty darned good.

It pairs nicely with Famous Dave’s ribs, garlic mashed and grilled pineapple spears. The corn bread muffin was the only item would have been better with a nice lager.

Good to the last bit of lace on the glass.

Now, lets cross state lines!

Meadowlark Sampler.

Badlands IPA – Pleasant and good upfront bitterness with a subtle pine aroma.

Harvester – a Cream Ale, nice and easy to drink and would fit my wife’s palate.

Paramour – a fruity stout, cherries, chocolate and a little coffee.

Blake Steer Tookus, an Oatmeal Stout that is very tasty.

Ole Gus, and very, very good Scottish Ale. Malty but not overwhelming, very smooth finish. I like it!

Teddy Roosevelt Wheat IPA –  Bully good as Teddy would have said. Good but I have found one better – the Wheat IPA ay B-52 Brewery in Conroe Texas.

The beers are decent but the food….. Not so good!  I  ordered the 10 ounce rib eye steak and was served a 14+ ounce New York cut steak. Huge difference. The waitress had no clue but the cook told her to tell me it was the “eye of the rib eye”, BULL! There was a hint of rib eye marbling! I never send food back, chewed 7/8 of that tough steak and left an appropriate comment on Yelp.

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly


Denver Airport- New Belgium Hub

I have a bit of a layover in Demver, enough time to have lunch and to see what is on tap at the New Belgium Hub(Pub) on my way to the regional jet gates. 

I started with a 4 beer flight, Oatmeal IPA, Ranger IPA, Skinny Dip(a summer seasonal lager) and my old standby – Fat Tire an amber ale. 

I decided to finish lunch with a pint of the Oatmeal IPA. This beer is one of beers in New Belgium’s Hop Kitchen Series. I give it high marks. The hops are very evident but not overly bitter at 60 IBU’s. The Citra and Centennial hops provide enough bitterness along with an aroma that is right up my alley. 

Lower right is the Oatmeal IPA. Going clockwise from there; Ranger IPA, Skinny Dip Lager and lastly the Fat Tire Amber Ale. 

The Oatmeal IPA had a nice persistent head, a floral/citrus aroma and was smooth across the tongue! Need to see if Spec’s in Houston is carrying this beer. Bakersfield folks may find it at Imbibe down on the Tructon Extension. 

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly


Beer and a Bite

i was in Bakersfield CA for a quick consulting job with Chevron Pipeline. I wanted to pop into Lengthwise Brewery Pub for a good local beer and a meal. The Pub location out on Calloway was my intended target but the Rosedale Highway construction and traffic convinced me to go elsewhere. I opted to head to the brewery located out in the Southwest just off of White Lane.

The Southwest steak salad paired nicely with the Centennial IPA – for me I am easy, I can pair an IPA with most anything, especially a second one! I went with the Triple Hopped Red Ale for number two! 

  The empty Centennial with the Red Ale and my buddy Gary’s Golden Ale. 

Side note; felt like I was in Houston that evening, a National Weather alert for flash flooding came across the radio and booming thunder flowing the flashes of lightning in the dusk sky. 

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly


Glaveston Island Brewing – Growlers

One month ago I was working near Sweeny, Texas and loaded up my kayak to fish East Matagorda Bay. I really wasn’t working on Friday the 1st of May. I drove down early,  a 3:30 AM Kingwood, TX , departure. I wound up launching about midway down the road from the Intercoastal Waterway and east of the Colorado river.

Launched along the western edge of the bay about midway down.

Launched along the western edge of the bay about midway down.

Beautiful day for fishing, no wind, clear skies, yes dear, I did have my hat and sunscreen on, I had  the waters to my self- wonderful!.  I caught a number of small Redfish, no keepers and too many stingrays! It is tough to see on the map but there are narrow channels from the launch site to the bay. I noted a reference point of big yellow house for my return paddle. Didn’t work out so well! I had turned down the brightness on my iPhone so I couldn’t see “caca” on the map. After paddling blindly for about an hour, I made the darkest pocket I could and finally located the brightness button and discovered that I was in the wrong channel….I already knew that but now I could find the right channel. Salt marsh grass doesn’t grow to tall but in a kayak it might as well be a forest.

Loaded up the kayak and headed to the Sweeny worksite, a celebration luncheon was planned and the pork chops were magnificent! I gave my speech, chowed down and took the long way home via Galveston Island. Bet you were wondering if I would get around to talking beer!

Ah, sit on the stool in the taproom and savor some excellent beers. Met a young couple from Phoenix that were house hunting in the Woodlands Area north of Houston. They liked the area but…..while house hunting they got a call and were told to shift house hunting locations. Start looking on the East Coast in, –  Virginia….Wow…The deserved a good Galveston Island beer.

Now the part about growlers. My wife was off helping out with family matters in California so I decided a half gallon of Excelsior IPA was my choice to bring home and enjoy. Growlers can hold up well for 36 hours or so if kept tightly closed. I brought the growler home and promptly forgot about it……Today, June 4th I was cleaning out the second fridge to make more room for beer and pulled out the growler intending to dump it….well past it’s expiration time. I opened the top and some CO2 gas escaped…a good sign. I grabbed  a cold frozen 8 ounce beer glass and poured one. Nice head on the beer ….. Nothing better than good…… yes- slap me Hun, I couldn’t help it. My son Ben was there and he sampled it…”good, but grapefruity” he said. Perfect….that is what I expected from Excelsior! I pulled a pint glass out and poured one for me. The second pint was wonderful with a nice frothy head so as I typed I had number three.

So much for the 36 hour idea…..

Ben's little glass of beer next to the growler.

Ben’s little glass of beer next to the growler. Honey bucket in the background, bottled 20 pints of honey today. About 30 lbs. An Ale using MY honey is in the planning stages.

So…I don’t plan on finishing the growler. I have out a call for help amongst the local IPA crowd.

PS – I am a big ole boy and can crush your hand when I shake it….I couldn’t twist off the cap….Had to break out the cap removing tool! That may explain the freshness after a month!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly