Counting my Blessings

This is a blog about beer.

But first…  Love.

I’ll start off by saying, I really miss my wife, Holly.  I’m in California for three weeks for work, and I’ve met some cool people, I also have had the opportunity to travel here with some awesome Coworkers, and all around good sons, Alex and Daniel.  I am their Dad.  Not even their Work Dad.  I am their actual Father.  You can ask them.

But, being away from the one person you love most in this world is really hard.  Yes, she’s coming to visit next weekend (which I’m over the moon about!!), but we haven’t been apart this long in… Ever.  The most we’ve been apart is about a week, and even that was difficult. (Although, last time we were apart she was in Mexico, and she got to hang glide off of a boat and also they have Tequila in Mexico so…  She won that round.). The time difference also doesn’t help.  I’ve been waking up at 7am PST, and she’s already at work.  When I get out at 6pm, it’s 9pm on the East Coast.  So, it’s not ideal, but it definitely makes me appreciate all the time we’ve been able to spend together over the last 7 years.  (I love you, Holl!!)

My Gorgeous Lady.

This is a blog about beer.

But first, food.

I’ve finally gotten used to the time difference, aka I’m not exhausted and trying to keep my eyes open at 10pm.  I’ve had some amazing food since we’ve gotten here.  I ate Korean BBQ at a restaurant called Gooyi Gooyi, (which you’ll now find yourself shouting out loud to yourself, ya weirdo), and had beef tongue for the first time, as well as all the other meat you could possibly imagine.  

GOOYI GOOYICooking up some of that beef tongue, baby!

Kimchi Fried Rice and Pork Belly

My suitemate, Ali, is from Iran.  He took us to a Persian restaurant called Arya, and he lit up like a Christmas tree when he saw the menu.  He looked at the waitress, smiled, and said “This reminds me of my childhood.”  It’s amazing how food and drink can transport someone to another time and place.  We all decided what we wanted, and he insisted he order for us.  He was so thrilled, because where he lives now (Charlotte, North Carolina), he’s unable to get good Persian Food.  And Cupertino, I’ve learned, has one of the largest Persian populations in America.  He even bought fresh Persian sour fruit (he can’t ever find it fresh in North Carolina) and mailed it to his wife and 2-year-old son in Charlotte.

From L to R, Myself, Alex, Ali, and Daniel.

But yeah, this is a blog about beer!

I haven’t gone on any beer adventures yet (I’m hoping to get to Lagunitas, in Petaluma, and Russian River, in Santa Rosa.  I owe Justin “Panda” Mendes a Pliny the Elder.  I’d also love to hit up 21st Amendment in San Francisco.

Let’s talk about what I HAVE had.

Because, I don’t know if you’ve heard…  This is a blog about beer.

This. Is a sexy beer.  Green Flash West Coast IPA.  Because, when one is on the West Coast, even if one has had this beer before, and one can find a bottle that is fresh to death (as the kids say), one does not pass up this opportunity.  

This beer is 8.1% ABV, Made with Simcoe, Columbus, Cascade, Centennial, and Citra Hops, and a British Crystal Malt. Comes in at a whopping 95 IBU (emphasis on the WHOP)!!

I’m immediately smacked in the face by grapefruit, lemon zest, tropical citrus, sweet mango, pine, and floral notes.  Grapefruit and pine dominate the palate, with lingering caramel sweetness from the malt.
This beer grabs you, picks you up from wherever your lazy, near-lifeless body sits (warning: this beer gives ya the Jelly Legs), and drops you in a hammock in paradise with a good book and a tropical breeze.  Drink this beer.
My first time with this beer.  Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA.  Comes in at 6.5% ABV, so I was able to enjoy it and still cook a damn amazing burger.  I’ve heard a lot of great things, so my expectations were high.

Made with Citra and Mosaic (there she is again!  See earlier blog posts for my love letter to Mosaic).  Smell is Pineapple, grapefruit, orange.  Taste follows, but the malts balance the bitter citrus with a delicious, caramel sweetness.  I’m sad they don’t distribute to NY.

Stone Enjoy By 5.30.16 Tangerine IPA.  9.5%ABV.  90 IBU.  Ok.  Listen to these hops.  They just sing. Nugget.  Super Galena (COME ON HOW AM I NOT A HOP NAMER?).  Simcoe.  Delta (fly me to the moon).  Target (also mine and Holly’s favorite Department Store).  Amarillo.  Cascade (a waterfall of flavor).  Galaxy.  Citra.  Nelson Sauvin (The “Rico Suave” of hops).  Motueka.  Helga.


Stone has been putting out this Enjoy By IPA for a few years.  As with all IPAs, as soon as it’s bottled, the hops begin to fade.  Stone’s goal was to brew a beer designed to be drank…  Real quick.  Within 37 days.  This batch was brewed with puréed tangerines, as if the citrus from the hops wasn’t enough.  I shared this beer with a bunch of people at the cookout, and my classmate Doug threatened to walk away with my glass.  Thankfully, he’s a classy gentleman and would never walk away with another man’s beer.  This is the best variant from this series that I’ve tasted.  Speaking of classy, this beer is just that.  I wowed multiple people with a taste of this bad boy, beer lovers and non-beer lovers alike.  These dudes at Stone know what’s up.

Tonight, Daniel and I met up with some former Coworkers, Chrissy and Steve.  We met up at BJ’s Brewhouse, which is a chain restaurant that brews their own beer.

From L to R, Daniel, Steve, Myself, Ram (hiding) and Chrissy

The beer was ordinary.  The company was amazing.  California has gained some amazing people over the past year, and I was so glad to be able to spend a bit of time with them.  

So, to recap, I miss my gorgeous wife, I’ve met some wonderful people, spent time with old friends, and had both ordinary and extraordinary brews.  

I look forward to the rest of my time here in California, and, as it’s nearly 2am PST, will fall asleep, counting my blessings.

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