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What Was the Last Beer You Drank?


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As promised, here is the post with the event and a few beer bottling pictures.


Sorry there is no picture of the outside/inside of City Beer, I sorta forgot and it was also raining pretty good outside and I didn't want my digicam getting wet. I'll go there again on a less hectic day and try to give you guys a better feel for the place.


Sara with some of the now capped 12oz bottles in the background. Unfortunately, the FG was 1.02, higher than I wanted it to be. This leaves the ABV at 4.95%, when I was shooting for 6.0% We tried a sample out of the hydrometer tube and it tasted good, so I think all is okay. Can anyone think of a good name?


We had a nice assembly line going with the four of us. Mike rinsing the bubbles out of the bottles before hand, Sara passing the bottles to J.T., who filled them, and me capping them and handing them back to Sara to put back in the box. Good work team!


I had some friends over today to help me bottle, and it went a lot smoother this way with the extra help. The siphon to the bottling bucket has been started!


Pretty good stuff, but I think it might be better without the raisin addition personally.


Mark picked out a bottle for us to open and share to end the day. Lost Abbey's Judgement Day. He surprisingly hadn't had this yet.


Now at city beer afterwards picking up some bottles and having a couple beers as well... This is Russian River's Valentine's Day Release. Rejection Ale. A Belgian Black Ale. At 6.0%, it's got good flavor and is very enjoyable. Nice dark fruits and some chocolate/roastyness followed by earth.


We tried around 16 different Barleywines, splitting them amongst our group. My favorite was the one seen above, Lost Abbey Angel's Share. However this is the Brandy Barrel Aged version. Quite amazing.


My chicken cherry grilled sausage with sweet peppers and grilled onions. It was great!


But before I own my liver with some Barleywines, it might be a smart idea to fill my stomach with some tasty sausage from next door at Rosamunde's.


Well, it's because of the annual Barleywine Festival during SF Strong Beer Month of course! I know it's quite hard to read the beer names. But you can find a list of some of them here: http://www.toronado.com/events.htm#229


A picture of the pathetic tap board. What happened to Toronado, this thing is usually filled!


Second time coming here, first was when Derek, Heath & Kim were visiting. Actually didn't rain too bad on us getting there.


So the South Bay BA guys I've been meeting up with recently planned to go to the city yesterday. And we're at Toronado.

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Nice jokes guys hehe. I will definitely be in contact with you when the stout is ready Rick, it's been way too long since we've met up!


I need to clear out some of the pictures of awesome beers I've been drinking at home before I can post my recent trip pictures... So consider this the pre-post and tomorrow I'll do the trip pictures.


The result is an outstanding sour that took a while to grow on me. I have trouble sometimes with the balsamic vinegar flavor but once my palate adjusted, I really began to dig it. Dang sour!


The next night I had a bottle that I picked up while at City Beer Store in SF. Russian River's Consecration. Belgian Strong Dark Ale aged 6 months in used cabernet sauvignon barrels with currants added. Also, Brett, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus is used in conjunction with Saccharomyces.


After Bourbon County Stout two nights before I didn't know what to expect out of another one of these types of beers but I absolutely loved this one. Amazing Whisky flavors but the stout is still there in the background, coming through and creating a depth in the flavor profile that is unmatched.


Another beer at home last week from the Omaha Beertopia shipment. BrewDog's Paradox Islay Imperial Stout aged in used Whiskey Barrels. This version was batch 009, which is aged in Ardbeg 1991 casks.


I preferred Shakespeare slightly while he went the other way. We both agreed Rasputin is more in your face and perhaps also a better value.


Of course my Uncle had to compare it against Rasputin, which is his new thing.


It just doesn't get much better than this. All around, pound for pound one of the best in the world.


He tried again the next night, buying a favorite of ours from the past. Rogue's Shakespeare Stout.


I like the bourbon flavor but I never get much else out of the experience, one of the top rated beers that I just don't really "get".


Bourbon County Stout was next, also extremely high ABV. Why doesn't he look first? I don't know.


He didn't realize this was such a strong beer, and didn't like it much. I still like it but it's definitely hotter than eleven was.


Starting out at the Uncle's last weekend he bought some Stouts at BevMo without really knowing what he was doing. Here's some He'Brew Jewbelation 12.

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I suppose it's time I post my Montreal pictures. Is anyone else out there?


And finally, back at home craving some non-fried food without a large helping of "Pommes Frites", some Fresh Atlantic Salmon, Red Potatoes, and Asparagus. Typical Californian enough for ya?


The highlight beer here was easily the amber, which seemed to be hoppy yet well balanced and very flavorful when compared to the others.


My awesome plate of food. Fig sauce on the chicken with cheese. Shrimp and rice, with some french fries to boot. The prices on food in Montreal were incredible, we never once had a bad meal and we were eating at regular old bars!


From right to left: White, Blonde, Amber, Brown.


When presented with a place like this, I always opt for the sampler.


The obligatory beer menu picture. They had these weird beer cocktail things that no one ordered.


A little peak inside. Pretty small scale setup here, and their capacity isn't big.


Their malt bags were just piled up in the front as well next to their little brewing setup.


The little display of malts/hops near the host stand before you're seated.


We went to The 3 Brewers for dinner on Sunday night, which is a chain in the area.


But wait, you didn't really think I would leave without getting a big glass of Peche Mortel Imperial Stout on Nitro did you? Honestly, a little milder than the bottled version, but the mouthfeel made up for that. Not sure if I like Nitro Tap or Bottled version better, too close.


And an overview shot as we left. We got there when it opened at 3pm, and left at around 3:45pm. As you can see, 45 minutes after it opens on a Sunday, it's full.


A picture of their tiny little brewing area that is quite crammed with fermentation vessels.


They have these crazy winged things hanging up. Our bartender said Dieu Du Ciel means "God of the Sky"


Miscellaneous pictures of bottles on the wall.


Vaisseu Des Songes IPA, the last sample for me on the day. Really liked it, not that happy, sort of reminded me of Inversion IPA but with a belgian yeasty kick.


I followed that up with a Rigor Mortis Double. Also quite nice but very different, not a typical double by any means.


How about with a sample of their Deesse Nocturne on Nitro? Really nice stuff, quite roasty with a Irish Dry Stout like feel to it.


Tap board. Wow, 16 beers on all brewed by Dieu Du Ciel. Where do I start?


You know what they say, when in Montreal...


By the way, the Canadiens fans were great, very nice to us our entire trip and I thought that was great. Some guy even bought all of us a Molson Export at the game at $10 CDN a pop. 46 shots on goal, their goaltender (Halak) was a beast.


We had the highest seats in the entire centre, and we paid a small fortune for them. Still, good fun and a good game despite our 3-2 loss.


We seemed to find some other like minded individuals, they also flew out for the game, and one of them was from Sunnyvale too! Awesome!


Now in Bell Centre, we walked around and saw some of the history stuff they have in there. Nice arena.


A sweet building on the walk to Bell Centre. It was pretty cold while we were there, like -5 celsius for the high was the average.


Just as great as I remembered it. I also shared it with my dad and a few of his friends, they all thought it was fantastic.


Followed that up with some Spaghetti and La Fin Du Monde from the bottle.


As you can see, they had a lot of Unibroue. I went with Maudite on tap. Great stuff.


Forgot to take a picture outside, but this was on Saturday when we were at Peel Bar on Peel Street not far from Bell Centre.


Since we only get BCS out here, I decided to go with Matilda, which I liked quite a bit. Had no idea until afterwards that brett is used in this beer.


Their relatively small selection...


It's Goose Island in the O'hare Airport! And it was packed, infact I had to wait outside the place for someone to leave at the bar to grab a bar stool.


What's that? It's a bird, it's a plane!


We've landed it Chicago O'hare with a nice fat layover before taking off for Montreal. Let's take the conveyor belts across terminals then.

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Hey bubba. I've got some pics to post, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Too much going on.


The other issue is that I added up my beer expenses over the last year, and I was appalled. I bought over $2000. Now for some of you, I know that's a drop in the bucket, but I was not real excited about that number. We've since slowed way down on our consumption, and purchasing, so updates from me will be few and far between.

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^ Hey Matt, you are a brave man adding up your beer expenditures, I don't wanna! I think I wouldn't be too mad at myself if it totalled $2,000 though. Actually, I bet that's what it's around. What did Abra think of that number?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Catching up on some bottled offerings before I make my trip picture post.


Tastes quite fresh, lovely hop profile. How are people on BA saying this is underwhelming for them?


Followed that extreme hop bomb up with another hoppy beer, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA.


Don't ask what's with the Eagles gear during the offseason, I just felt like representin'!


Revisiting time. A great beer for the money.


The complexity here was astounding. Pete, Chocolate, Coffee, Caramel, Smoke, Hints of Bourbon and even a little spice. Some suggestions of dark fruits to round everything out as the alcohol contributes just enough to the flavor profile. What an extraordinary beer. Beermakers take note, a blend of 90% non bourbon barrel aged and 10% bourbon barrel aged is the way to go!


We also had a magnum of Anchor's Our Barrel Ale which apparently I was so happy about that I forgot to take a picture. Really great stuff as well. But for me the beer of the night was the other bottle I brought, Boulevard's Imperial Stout.


I must say, it sure was fantastic, I was a skeptic as I thought 12 years was for sure too long.


"bring" brought us a 12 year old magnum of Hair of the Dog's Fred. This beer was brewed when I was 13 years old. Somehow, it wasn't even oxidized in the slightest.


One of the two I brought, Boulevard's Double Wide IPA. Actually tasted sort of oxidized, not really that good to be honest.


Someone was good enough to bring a bottle of Dissident, which I thought I had missed out on. It was a very yummy sour.


Look familiar Heath? It was good too!


Rose and Crown had Blind Pig on tap this time, good stuff as always.


I'm a little late as always but hadn't missed too much. Infact I got to finish off this bottle of Nosferatu, which I thought was really good.


Rose and Crown, you know the drill.


It's that time of the month again, my train ride to Palo Alto, finally sunny when I'm leaving due to the DST change.


Not bad but in my opinion, pretty overrated. There's a cake batter flavor here that sort of overpowers everything else. Perhaps too many residual sugars went unfermented.


I was pretty excited to try something from this little brewery I've been reading about. Ska Brewing, this is their best rated beer from their normal lineup. Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter.


A really nice every day kind of porter with a lot of subtleties and soft complexities.


MAC's Blackwatch Porter.


And he has a new favorite beer. He just loved the coffee flavor in this badboy, same as me.


I found a bottle of Peche Mortel at City Beer somehow. It was expensive, but I just had to share some with my Uncle.


I think we may have opened his eyes to what beer can be, he loved it! Can you blame him?


We had my uncle's friend try a Rasputin for the first time.


I was let down by Pizza Port for the first time. Maybe I was a little overly excited coming in, but that's because all of their other beers are so great. I felt like this one had some chocolate, and alcohol, lots of alcohol flavor and finishes way hot.


Over at the uncle's I tried to bring him some more Imperial Stouts to try since that's what he requested. Pizza Port's Santa's Little Helper.


Another shockingly great beer. I'm on a roll! My favorite amber to date, amazing hop character here as well as a great malty backbone.


Time for some Winter Yulesmith. Red and Green. (That means it's the Amber!)


I must say, this beer sort of blew me away. I wasn't expecting it to be so great, but it was. All the great porter flavors were there along with almost a tart characteristic that was just fantastic.


HaandBryggeriet's Nissefar. An American Porter made by a company in Norway.


I loved it. Better than St. Bernardus Abt 12 in my opinion, not quite as good as Westy though but it can be mentioned in the same capacity.


I'm finally trying one of the top quads I hadn't got around to yet, Pannepot Fisherman's Ale. This bottle is 2 years aged.

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^ I just picked up a bottle of Santa's Little Helper on the "sale" shelf at the local establishment. I liked it.


Our next tasting is this Sunday, which also coincides on my birthday, and we're holding it at the local home brew store which is managed by my buddy who was an apprentice brewer at Moylans, and Matt from Southern Tier now works there as well.


I must, must, must, remember to bring the camera.

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I know... Bud Light! What can I say, I love it! It is simple, easy to drink, and super affordable! I love showing up to a party with a 36 pack that cost less than $20! It is a pretty lame beer to post about though. maybe next time I will have something much more unique to post about, I live about 3 miles away from the Stone Brewery!

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Onto the trip pictures we go. Really crazy how great everything worked out for this trip. Essentially, I had planned to visit my old college buddy Ray for a while in Arizona the next time the Sharks played the Coyotes in Phoenix. That happened to be St. Patrick's Day, so I decided I would go Saturday the 14th, and fly home Wednesday the 18th.


About a week later Heath tells me he and Kim are going to be going out to San Diego that very week because she has a work function out there all week long. So I asked my buddy if he wanted to do the San Diego beer thing as he is all about the craft beer as well and we decided on Wednesday we'd drive out to San Diego and meet up with Heath and Kim, perfect!


I ended up being gone from Saturday the 14th all the way until Sunday the 22nd, we even hit TPR's West Coast Bash but I didn't feel like dealing with having my camera in the park so we have no picture evidence except for one picture Justin took of us. Nice surprise to see Justin down there too as we had no idea he would be there. Also great to briefly meet Ted Cromwell as he is a craft beer lover himself!


Anyway, enough talk, let's see some pictures!


A picture of the bar and the taps as Heath writes his review. I forget what beer he got though! Sorry this post doesn't contain any hopface pictures of Kim!


It's kind of funny that I had so much NorCal stuff in San Diego for the first time. But they just don't have it near me up there. This was Bear Repulics Apex IPA, outstanding stuff.


So much stuff on I would have needed a wide angled lens to get it all in one picture.


The tap boards look the same though.


Interesting logo, it's all upscale like in here.


And our last beer destination in San Diego would be the new Toronado!


I also had a hop sausage. The plate didn't look so appealing, but it sure was tasty. The hop sausage also had black currants in it.


I decided to try Airdale's Dark and Stormy IRS. I was a little dissapointed. They got the mouthfeel right but it just sort of had flavors that were too mellow and not so complex. Beef it up guys!


A picture of their taplist. More stuff on than I expected.


We went straight from there to Hamilton's.


Alpine's Captain Stout. Pretty good stuff, really roasty, flavorful but not heavy.


Followed that up with a new Russian River beer for me. Benediction. It's like a hoppy Dubbel and was outstanding.


Alpine's Pure Hoppiness, this was almost as good as Pliny the Elder in my opinion.


Even though I had it before, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to have Russian River Sanctification again. It's too good. Still one of my top 5 beers and my #1 sour.


Three lions are drinking three beers.


Tap list picture. It was a special Russian River day.


Friday we started early as well, at around 11am we went to O'briens, one of the better beer bars in the area.


We had dinner at Coronado Brewing Company. Had to wait a while for a table on a thursday night but it was well worth it. Really good food and beer for a decent price.


The San Diego skyline as seen from Coronado Island.


They had some shops and a little beach by the pier.


The pier.


For dinner that night, Heath, Kim and I went to dinner over on Coronado Island. It's the upscale part of town and it's really beautiful.


And Heath and I shared a Pizza Port Carlsbad Pizza. Artichoke hearts are fantastic.


Heath and I got some Beer Buddies. These are fantastic, I'm craving some right now infact!


I got a Revelations Belgian Strong Pale Ale. It was good, but nothing too special.


Tap list picture for their beers.


Cool looking inside and a really laid back vibe.


After that we went to Pizza Port Carlsbad for lunch.


And then a taster of Dorado Double IPA. Also great!


Followed that up with a taster of Victory at Sea Imperial Coffee Porter. Wow, one of the best beers I have ever had.


We started with a cask conditioned double dry hopped Sculpin, which was FANTASTIC!


Here's a tap list picture, lots of yummy stuff on that I haven't had.


The next day we went out beer hunting while Kim was at work. Ballast Point tap room at 11am for something special!


As we were leaving I snapped a picture of the bar area. I really like the way the whole place is setup. So well thought out and executed.


Heath and I couldn't pass on the Stone Smoked Porter float. Delicious!


My awesome chicken dish. The food is a little pricy, I believe this cost $21, but it was really tasty!


Overview shot of the view from our table. I wish I had walked around the gardens before it got dark on us. Such a beautiful place.


The sample I had of Sublimely Self Righteous Ale was the best I had that night. Then after that we'd go out into the gardens and have dinner, here was the tap list. I didn't realize they had so many guest beers. I ordered the SuperCaliBelgolistic, which was good.


The post tour line of 4oz Stone Pale Ale samples. We were able to ask questions and get as many refills as we liked for free at this point. Yum!


I wore my Pliny shirt and he seemed to like that. He showed me where they keep their pliny in the cold storage. They distribute lots of good stuff out of this room to the greater San Diego area!


That's a lot of kegs. A lot of kegs.


The kegging machine.


A quilt on the wall.


We need pipes. Lots of pipes!


Why hello there barrel aged test subjects.


That's a big mash tun. The place was huge.


Our tour guide, Ken Wright talks about the ingredients and lets us taste/smell the ingredients. He was a really good tour guide.


Wednesday we drove to San Diego and met Heath and Kim at Stone for the private tour Kim had set up for work.


Actually really tasty and a little underrated in my opinion, but I do like coffee beers a lot in general. Keep doing what you're doing Japan!


Another something something I can never seem to find around here. Hitachino's Espresso Stout that we picked up at Sun Devil Liquors.


At the Sharks game on St. Patty's Day. The Coyotes fans are so few and far between that there were almost as many Sharks fans in the arena... Sharks lost 4-3 after almost coming back from a 3-0 deficit. Good game.


Apparently this place in the bad part of town is the best beer store in the greater Phoenix area. As you can see, it's called "Liquor". Okay, actually it's Sun Devil Liquors but this sign will have to do! Really awesome selection inside, good prices too.


And I had a sandwich for lunch, this foccacia was FANTASTIC. Great food here, good service, great atmosphere, awesome interior, what a great place.


I went with New Belgium's Biere De Mars, while Ray went with DFH Aprihop, he didn't like his so much while I liked the Biere de Mars quite a bit.


This is what was on tap that day. Amazing tap selection indeed.


Obligatory bar picture.


I had no idea it was also a bottle shop, and a good one at that! You could even open a bottle and enjoy at the bar for a small fee.


A monk welcomed us as we walked in. This place has all sorts of awesome decorations while still maintaining an orderly appearance.


We hit Papago on St. Patrick's Day earlier in the day. It's the best brewery/beer bar in the entire area, located in Scottsdale, AZ.


I haven't had many of this kind of beer and found it very interesting. Chocolate, Butterscotch, Caramel, and alcohol. A nice change of pace but not a very drinkable beer in my opinion.


Then we'd enjoy an Old Chub, which I've also never had. That's Lauren, Ray's wife in the background.


It's a pretty different winter warmer. Bready, Caramely, Chocolatey, no dark fruit flavors from what I could tell. Good stuff though.


Ray bought a six pack of this a while ago and offered some up to me while I was there since I hadn't had it before.


That's the stuff! Ray liked it also but still thinks Wipeout IPA is the best thing on earth.


We followed that up with another real winner that he hadn't had yet, Hop 15.


Always a winner, and he liked it a lot too.


The first thing we did when we got there was made a BevMo run. They get pretty much all the San Diego stuff in the Arizona BevMos, lucky! Here's La Fin Du Monde, since Ray hadn't had too many Belgian styles and I thought he'd love it.

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^It was the Green Flash Brandy Barrel Aged Barleywine. And Kim won't mind at all that you didn't post any pics of her. She hates when I do it!


I'm glad that you and Ray and Lauren were able to meet up with us. We had a lot of fun hanging with you guys!

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