Tag Archives: brewery

How a Paso Robles wine trip turned into a Firestone Walker love affair

Tasters at the Firestone Walker Taproom in Paso Robles

Tasters at the Firestone Walker Taproom in Paso Robles

Three days before I was set to leave on a 48-hour jaunt to Central California wine country with my good friend Evelyn, I received a press release announcing the opening of Firestone Walker‘s latest project, Barrelworks–a wild beer program and new tasting room located at the award-winning midsize brewery’s Buellton location. Though the trip was originally planned so that we could pick up her wine club allotment at Chronic Cellars, we had already planned on stopping by FW and at least filling up a growler and eating a pretzel or something. Would I like to come see the place? Hell yes. Continue reading

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Hangar 24 part 3

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For the third time in a month, I found myself back at a brewery that I never even thought I would have a chance to visit–Hangar 24 Brewery in Redlands. Visits one and two were too quick: a hop off the freeway after an IE Weekly interview and into the airport-adjacent brewery where I had a few tasters, filled an expensive growler, bought some bottles and hit the road home.

This time, however, I was with my man and not in a rush (we were on a meandering drive back from attending a wedding in Palm Springs) so we hungout and drank full glasses of beer on the shady concrete patio while the bottle line clanked in the background and the air smelled like brew day goodness.

I’ve never been to a brewery that’s operating full steam ahead on a Sunday afternoon, but apparently that Orange Wheat needs to hit distribution and not like any of the regulars who live in this last-bastion-of-the-citrus-industry town are fazed by a working grain silo.

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I’m always pleasantly surprised by the diversity of people that love this place. Mexican day laborers, suburban dads, biker dudes, college kids, recovering day hikers, young Hispanic mothers and white boy Angels fans all hang out here at this off-the-grid brewery nestled in the foothills of the Inland Empire.

Merch is a little pricey but beers are spot on (drank some Fresh Hop IPA and the new Local Fields beer, Gourdgeous). Didn’t get another growler fill (how the hell am I supposed to get rid of 2 liters of beer in 48 hours?), but as always, I was stoked to have an excuse to stop by Hangar 24.

Hangar 24 is located at 1710 Sessums Dr., Redlands, CA (909) 389-1400, hangar24brewery.com

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Russian River Beer Revival and BBQ Cookoff

STUMPTOWN BOUND

If there has ever been a defining moment for Long Beach‘s growing importance in the beer world, it was last weekend. And if there is one local beer-maker paving the way for my city’s sudsy future, it is Beachwood Brewing–the 15 month-old brewery housed inside Beachwood BBQ‘s restaurant in the revitalized Downtown.

While Long Beachers drank through nearly 30 kegs of Beachwood’s beers at the sponsored beer gardens at both Funk Fest and Rose Park Bluegrass Festival, the barely-year-old brewery was also winning over new fans up north, at one of the state’s most important end-of-summer beer festivals–the Russian River Beer Revival and BBQ Cookoff in Guerneville.

And by some drunken stroke of luck (or maybe it was just the overbooking and me having previous customer service skills), I was among the selected few who got to go up and pour beers at this epic fest on behalf of Beachwood. Continue reading

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Bootlegger’s training day and a return to the OC

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Saturday was my first day helping out at the Bootleggers Brewery tasting room in Fullerton. Creepy thing is, I’d never actually been there before (I was asked to come in one day a month based on my performance at their 4th Anniversary party, which was held at The Muck), so I was walking into a completely new operation. But a bar is a bar and pouring beers is like riding a bike, so once I figured out the timing on the mason jars they use for pint glasses (awesome, I know), I was smiley and golden.

I got to taste a lot of the Bootleggers seasonals that I never get to try (Wildfire Wheat, McDougal Scotch Ale, Smokin’ Joe’s) and eventually settled on the Tropical Thunder, which is a pale ale hopped with citra and hallertau (noble plus American hops is how all hoppy beers should operate). Reminds me of Drakes Aroma Coma (at least in the please-let-me-be-reborn-in-a-placenta-full-of-this way).

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Might have been more bummed that I only got two hey-don’t-you-work-at Congregations, but it was also a slow night and for that, my still-training self was glad.

It feels weird but good to be doing some customer service in Orange County again–even better to be in a casual work environment where the answer to “what’s my discount on growlers?” is “you get free bottles with every paycheck.” Can’t wait to do this again at the new tasting room after they move next month!

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Lazy Days on the South Yuba + Nevada City’s ol’ Republic

Another lazy Sunday: floating downriver with a can of 21st Amendment’s Back in Black.

Last weekend, I drove into the middle of California Gold Country for an annual superfriends camping trip in which we all meet up at the South Yuba Campground outside of Nevada City. Despite beingĀ  30 minute drive from anywhere with a cash register, good beer was definitely not in short supply.

On the way out of Sacramento, I stopped by the Trader Joe’s in Roseville and was stoked to discover that they were stocking six-packs of every canned 21st Amendment beer (did I mention that I love casual grocery store beer shopping in Northern California–like that time I saw week-old Plineys on the shelf at a Whole Foods in the Mission District?). Cans of beer are a camper’s best sidekick, so of course I bought a case of my favorite, Back in Black, and threw it in the ice chest along with a six pack of Mammoth Brewing’s Epic IPA from the previous weekend and bunch of other bottles that I had dreamt about drinking in the wilderness. Continue reading

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