After spending the last four days of the year in San Ramon ... we left Zack's house just after 10am Sunday morning with the full intention of beating the end-of-a-long-holiday weekend traffic home to Roseville to perform some much needed chores around the Soberment household.
We made it about 15 miles out of there before taking a detour through the Delta area for a recon of possible cycling routes for the coming summers pedaling opportunities.
We figured we should stop in Concord for a quick visit to EJ Phair...or in Antioch for a much over due return to Schooners Grille & Brewery. The problem was the time.....it was just too damn early and neither establishment would be open yet.
So we wondered around the Delta area checking out Rio Vista, Isleton and highways 12 and 113. Once we were on 113 and pretty distressed about finding few cycling worthy roads I figured we'd just head north until we came to I-80. By the time we were in the Davis area it was virtually lunch time and so we decided to make a stop at the Davis Graduate....a place I had previously avoided because I figured it was just some noisy college town dive full of Bud Light and Miller products.
Well I was right about the Bud and Miller products...It seemed they had every version of those taps imaginable...But.... Luckily the place is just swamped in tap handles (they advertise 50 but by my count it was closer to 64) and we were able to find several beers to our liking.
The biggest surprise we found was Pliny the Elder. The giant black bartender's eyes lit up when we ordered one. He explained that they just got their first keg of Pliny in and he wanted to tell us just how great a beer it was.
We smiled and listened patiently as he preached to the choir. Fortunately we had started with Sierra Nevada's spectacular Torpedo and still had some in our glasses as his sermon continued on.
I asked about whether Blind Pig was also coming to town but he was unaware of that possibility. I figured once the Pig showed up he would have plenty of ammo for yet another great beer speech.
The facility itself is pretty vast, with a fairly long impressive wood bar and a lot of tables centered around a multitude of TVs, including one really huge screen in the middle.
This place is clearly a sports bar.
The food court looked pretty impressive as well with all the menu items listed across the top of the ordering windows for easy reading.
So easy in fact that we tried an appetiser (Jalapeno poppers) and a spicy Cajun hot dog. The poppers typically lacked any heat and the hot dog was less than spicy...but hey...it was all tasty enough and the beer was cold so we weren't really complaining.
After our second and final Pliny the bartender came back and tried to sell us on returning in a week to participate in 'Stone Brewing night'. He figured if we liked Pliny then we were bound to enjoy a new discovery like Stone IPA!
I really enjoyed his enthusiasm for beer, and so we thanked him for the great service and headed on out the door into the bright sunshine wondering.........should we stop at Rubicon or go straight to Sacramento Brewing?.....decisions...decisions....decisions.