Another Good Reason to Drink Beer

Not that I really need another reason but I have a very cool one now! For Christmas my daughters Lisa and Ashleigh gave me a US map with what appeared to be holes for quarters, 177 holes I found out later. Oops Dad, bad guess. It is designed to hold bottle caps. Now that is pretty awesome and as I pointed out, another good reason to drink GOOD BEER! 

I have already started and have a couple in the Colorado area, one in Georgia and one in a slot for Massachusetts. Only 173 more to go! 

I have a request for next Christmas, contingent upon filling the US map!



Thanks Lisa & Ashleigh

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly



Whole Foods Market – Brewery

My wife did make me walk through the store, just a wee bit, other than that I spent my time sampling beers in the Brewer. For those of you that don’t know, Whole Foods brews something new every time, no repeats. If you really like a beer on tap, reserve your seat, camp out, call in sick, do whatever you must because once once finished it will not be available – ever! 

Offerings on December 3rd, 2015.  

Those in red are their brews, in black are the guest beers. 

Now the dilemma! I went with a 4 beer sampler and Kathy had a pint of the St. Arnold’s Christmas Ale.  Perfect in all ways for her! 

Me, I did a sampler composed of the Simcoe Rye IPA ….. Wow, very nice! The second choice was the DL Wet Hop Double IPA…. I handed the keys to Kathy after that one. Then I went lightweight and had the “AnotherSESH” a session IPA that was very pleasant. Lastly, the Baltic Porter. The gal behind the bar also poured a pint of the porter by mistake for another customer and rather than toss it out, offered it to me at no cost. After much thought and debate, internal debate, I gave in and accepted! 

Lastly,  a pint the Post Oak Pale Ale. My hat is off to Dave Ohmer, Head Brewer – he makes great beers!!!!!! 

I helped Kathy navigate the Houston freeways home and only messed up once with my navigation. She has forgiven me! 

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly


Baywood Ale House – Again

On my irregular visits to visit my mom I always find time to have a pint or two at the Baywood Ale House. This is the off season and I am stopping in on a very quiet Wednesday afternoon. It is so laid back and that suits me well! 16 taps and an obvious absence of the big boys. Sorry, you can’t get a Bud, Coors or Miller beer. Ya gotta love it!

Let me tell you a story about the photo above. Chalk board is pretty obvious, brews available! A new change for me though- last visit they were arranged seriatum by tap position. Now, the are arranged by type.

Overhead are mugs for the locals. I love how they manage the slackards – every Monday a ping pong ball is dropped into the mug. When you visit and order a beer the ball is removed and you are out of jeopardy. If on Monday there are three balls in a mug you lose. There are 350 on the waiting list! Next in line goes up!

The martinis, yes they make martinis too. All are made with an Asian Vodka, “Soju”, not on my list today! Sorry! Music? Just listened to Fly Leaf …….. I like!!food/c1jo3

Yes they have food too along with wine, bottled beer and other stuff”!

If you are cruising north or south on Highway 1 take a diversion to Baywood – Los Osos and indulge! Sure wish my wife was with me, love you Hun! I will be home the day after our after our 33rd.

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly


Passing Through Paso

I took a drive yesterday from Bakersfield, California over to the small town of Los Osos, California to visit my mom. The trip took me through Paso Robles and dang it, right by two of my favorite breweries! Firestone Walker is well known all across the national craft brewing world but I chose to bypass it and run by my other favorite, Barrelhouse Brewing Company.  

I waved as I drove by and promised to stop when I have more time…. Next trip. 

Beautiful day and the grounds are just a great place to kick back and enjoy their great beers. The old flatbed is used on the weekends as a stage for live music. I have enjoyed a beer with a band playing on a previous weekend visit but today’ mid-week was quiet with just a hint of Highway 101 traffic in the distance. Fittingly masked by the sounds of the waterfall and pond on the grounds. 

I wonder if I could put up a tent and camp out? I behaved myself and limited my intake to just two beers, the Templeton Session Ale and the Barrel House Blonde. The session ale was very nice and almost as good my home brewed session ale. The Blonde is one my wife has enjoyed and I drank it thinking oh her……I really did Hun! 

Next time you pass through Paso, stop by Barrelhouse Brewing Company!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly



Beer and Honey or Honey and Beer

My  daughter Lisa participated in the Island Girl Tri, sprint triathlon, on Galveston Island this past weekend.  Post event, it was rehydrate time and what better place than Galveston Island Brewing. The board was full, 12 beers, so little time and so far to drive! 72.1 miles and about 1 hour  and 28  minutes, depending on traffic. Need to find another excuse to make the drive to the Island.

Lisa asked me to bring some of my honey, honey from my hives, down to the event. A number of her running mates with Team RWB, “Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.”, were in attendance and were seeking some Raw local honey.  We were well prepared but we failed to make the connections at the event. So, I had plenty of supply when we arrived at the brewery.

The  Brewery

We were first in the door on this Sunday noon! There was another triathlon participant and her date joining us for the first beers of the day. She, the young lady, was a brewer and prefers stouts and porters. The  crowd began to trickle in and  to our right was a couple, Tanya and Greg. Somehow the conversation got around to raw honey and specifically, creamed honey. Well, we just so happened to have a supply. Tanya and  Greg bought a pound jar of honey and a 3/4 pound jar of the creamed honey – cinnamon flavor.

Charday and  Dave showed up a little later, they had worked the beer stand at the triathlon event down at Moody Gardens. She  was intrigued and bought a jar of the creamed cinnamon honey…….she popped the top off and uttered that Mmmmmmm sound of enjoyment…she couldn’t  wait.

Now – Let’s Talk Beer

Lisa rehydrating with the Citra Mellow  IPA and I had the Blue Ridge Amber Ale.

Lisa rehydrating with the Citra Mellow IPA and I had the Blue Ridge Amber Ale.

Due to our early visit we were treated to a taster of the Amber Ale straight directly from the fermenter after the brewer added wet Mosaic hops….it was very yummy. I need to make a visit in a couple  of weeks when it is finished and kegged.

This is such a friendly place…reminds me of the atmosphere of the little village Gasthaus in the  village I lived in in Germany. Something about drinking beer gives  you automatic admission to the fraternity…Now, to rankle some feathers, I don’t get the same feel in a wine room or wine bar…just saying!

Lisa's Citra Mellow before rehydrating. She followed it with the Oktoberfest.

Lisa’s Citra Mellow before rehydrating. She followed it with the Oktoberfest.

Make the trip!

So, I think it was Beer and Honey, this time….but you never know when opportunities crop up. The lesson for me….I will carry a stash of my honey…great ice breaker to make new friends and maybe, make a little beer money!

Drink Local and  Drink Responsibly


The Brewery Tours – Whole Foods Market Houston

I had originally planned on a separate post for each stop but I wanted to keep my promise to the brewers and get the ball rolling.

July 11thWhole Foods Market, yes – Whole Foods Market – they have an awesome brewery in the store. The head brewer, Dave Ohmer, is the creative and driving force behind the efforts. I used the plural to reflect his commitment to continually brewing a new beer, never repeating. You will not find a flagship beer associated with the Brewery. If you find a beer you really like you better campout in the store and drink it until it is gone……because it ain’t coming back.

The day we were there was a bit of a family gathering….and we all lover beer! Daughters, Ashleigh and Lisa, friend of daughter Ashleigh….and she really loves beer…..LOL….Don’t hold it against me Ferrin, I meant it as a compliment, my son and his GF Cheryl Again, another two beer lovers. Last and definitely not least my wife Kathy…..a beer drinker for a very long time…maybe even HS age when her older brothers would stash beer in the bushes in the alley behind the house for her. Hun, the kids are old enough to hear these stories now.

Back to the Whole Foods story. We met for lunch, you can pick something up in the store and consume in the Brewery area or order off a menu. We did a mix of both. The day of our visit they had 12 house brewed beers on tap and a couple of guest beers. They variety and creativity is pretty amazing. A word to beer lovers, if you find one on the menu you like, carve out some time to continue drinking, come back often because once that batch is gone it will be only a memory!

Ten of the twelve Whole Foods beers on tap that day.

Ten of the twelve Whole Foods beers on tap that day.

I got a chance to meet with Dave, the head brewer, and we had a 20-30 minute beer discussion…. We are not beer nerds….I think we are a little beyond being beer nerds and definitely not beer snobs. We have a love for beer, brewing beer, enjoying new and interesting beers and love talking beer. And talk we did….He has a deep background in brewing….from being the clean-up guy all the way to head brewer.

Dave and me talking beer before heading into the back room.

Dave and me talking beer before heading into the back room.

While in the back room on the other side of the glass he let me sample a Belgian made with smoked pears, pears from the store, smoked in the smoker on site in the store and then mashed up and fermented along with the rest of the wort. So danged good. I asked why they won’t have a regular group of beers and then do seasonal’s or trials of others? At this point in time he told me, their plan is to never beer brew the same recipe again….they will produce a similar style but every batch will be unique.

On the other side of the glass....great equipment, amazing brewing knowledge and a very creative guy!

On the other side of the glass….great equipment, amazing brewing knowledge and a very creative guy!

If you are local – head on over. Whole Foods on Post Oak near the Galleria. If you are in for a visit….well some people like to shop at the galleria – and if you are like me, you could hang out a Whole Foods until the other party has finished shopping….if there is such a thing as finished shopping. Be nice Bishop….it could be said that there is a similar feeling about beer sampling!

Four beer good!

Four beer sampler….so good!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly


Promises, Promises, Promises

I have been accumulating many ideas, brewery tastings and other “thoughts” since my last post. I promise to be more regular- not a Metamucil thing, but to pound the keys one finger at a time and share my humble beer adventures. 

Today I am sampling a new beer for me! I am pretty impressed. Angel City IPA. Good up front bitterness but a little low on my love of the late addition hops for aroma. I drank two to make sure! LAX at Corona across from gate 86 – waiting to fly off to San Francisco.  

I also promise to post tastings if 4 or 5 recent breweries – Whole Foods in Houston on Post Oak will be a special post- I promised Dave Ohmer that I would. Great head brewer and he is very creative. The Belgian with smoked pears, smoked right there in the store, was superb. 

The City of Angels has “done good”!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly! 


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