This is a continuation of my previous post! If you like reading, you should go back and check that out. If you already did that, thanks for coming back! I’m not insufferable! Yahoo for me!
After my Saturday in San Francisco, galavanting about on beautiful, old, 100% haunted, wooden ships, eating amazing seafood (with draaaaaaawn butter…), and drinking some fresh, delicious, local craft beer at Southern Pacific Brewing Company, I figured I would start my first free Sunday in California by doing what any hard-working 30-something would do, I put on my lime green swimsuit and I hit that hotel hot tub. Hard. But I was not alone. I stepped into the pool area, and, as the steam from the hot tub dissipated (not unlike the fog over the Golden Gate Bridge), I gazed upon a pair of sunglasses and a wide, bright white smile. I felt like Alice, gazing upon the Cheshire Cat. “A SUUUUUH DUUUDE” came swirling out of the steam (I think one of those capital U’s smacked me in the face).
I stepped into that lukewarm (the temperature has since increased, thank God) bubble bath and chatted with Eric for nearly an hour. The topic quickly turned to beer (surprise, surprise). We talked about Founders and Bells, as he’s from Michigan. (What’s good for the Goose is good for the Michigander, I’ve heard.)
“Dude, do you want to go to a brewery today?” I asked. Eric smiled, “Of course, dude.” (I’m paraphrasing, but I’m 99% sure that’s how it went down).
We ended up at Alpha Acid Brewing Company, in Belmont, CA. It was the only brewery in the area that was open on a Sunday, surprisingly. Also, we almost didn’t find it. We used our technology to get us there, and it brought us to an industrial complex with a bunch of closed, locked garages. We drove around for a few minutes, and tucked away in one of the back buildings, was the brewery. Their giant garage door was open, and inside was a small tasting room, with a few high tables, some picnic tables, and my absolute favorite thing, some old whisky barrels. The beer, that delicious nectar, hibernating inside the walls of that wooden wonderland, soaking up all of the flavor from the spirits that inhabited that barrel.
Ali and I opted for the Citra Bro. I’ve mentioned before that single-hopped IPAs can sometimes be one-note. Citra’s hops have a spectrum of citrus flavors, this one was bursting with mango, pineapple and grapefruit. You know those “Let’s all go to the lobby” cartoons that played in Movie theaters? Replace those dancing snacks with citrus fruits, and put those dancing citrus fruits in my mouth, that’s what this beer tastes like. It was unreal. I also had a Stout called I’m in Love with the Mocha, which is a play on my favorite O. T. Genasis song (also, the only O. T. Genasis song I’ve ever heard), I’m in Love With the Coco. I’ve never done, or been in love with coco, but I do love mocha, and I love a nice, roasty, coffee, chocolate, oatmeal stout, so this guy did the job. It was an awesome brewery. I wish we could have stayed longer, but we wanted to do some exploring, so we drove through a gorgeous mountain covered in beautiful greenery, and over to Half Moon Bay. Only in California can look out at a gorgeous ocean, turn around, and see the most amazing rolling hills and picturesque landscapes imaginable.
Another amazing idea, fueling an off the cuff adventure, planned over a fantastic craft beer.
On our way to Half Moon Bay, Eric and I were talking music. We had both bonded over The Format earlier in the week, so we were talking about other bands we had a mutual interest in. “Do you like Motion City Soundtrack?” I asked. “Dude, they’re playing tomorrow night, in San Francisco.
Needless to say, we bought tickets later that night and ended up seeing one of my favorite bands of all time play on their Farewell Tour. It was amazing. The floor literally shook as they played their encore songs. Their original drummer, Tony Thaxton (who now has his own hilarious, Christmas themed podcast called Feliz Navipod, check it out) came back to play with them on this tour. I was in heaven. Eric was in heaven. It was absoutely out of control, and another spontaneous adventure.
The Regency was a very cool venue. If fit right in with the city, which has so much charm and character. They had an entire room dedicated to Local Craft beer! They featured a bunch of Lagunitas Brewing Company, some Anchor Brewing Company, Bear Republic Brewing, and Sierra Nevada Brewing. I went with one of my favorite, easily available, brews, A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin. This is a pale wheat ale, packed with citrus and pine from the 50% wheat malt, and all the “C” hops (Cascade, Centennial, Citra, Columbus). It tastes like freaking orange juice. I’m a huge fan. Although I didn’t get to visit the brewery in Petaluma (about an hour north of San Francisco), I was able to drink a few of their beers very fresh, and man, they’re awesome. (They also don’t need me as an advocate, Heinekin now has a 50% stake in their company so they can distribute their beer internationally.) It’s also nice that we get their beer relatively fresh out here in NYC.
A blurry picture of me looking like a doofus with a $14 (with tip) Lagunitas A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’.
I had an amazing time in California. I got to experience a lot (but still not enough) of the Bay Area. I’m so glad I met some amazing people, and had the opportunity to sample some amazing California beer while experiencing some crazy adventures (stay tuned for our adventure to Muir Woods). Thank you all so much for tuning in (can one “tune in” to a blog?) each week to read about my experiences. This has been a fun two or so months writing this, and I hope to continue to share my adventures with you, as long as you’ll keep reading!
See you next week!