Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pete's Brass Rail & Car Wash

Well...apparently the joke is pretty much on anyone and everyone that ever steps foot into Pete's Brass Rail and Car Wash located at 201 Hartz Avenue, Danville California. Pete's (there is no Pete) is a nice midsized neighborhood bar with 20 taps of all craft beer goodness and a full menu of typical and not so typical pub fare.

Terri and I stopped in at around noon on Sunday and found a couple seats at the bar. We pulled out our bar stools, she hung her purse on the conveniently placed hook under the bar top as I lifted my foot up to place it on the brass brass rail either.....

The two bartenders were quick to throw us the food and beer menus claiming that "Looking at the tap handles won't tell you what's pouring".

They were right....The Stone IPA handle was actually hooked up to a Stone Pale Ale keg, The Speakeasy Big Daddy IPA was dispensing Speakeasy Untouchable Pale Ale and the Deschutes Mirror Pond handle filled a glass with Mirror Mirror Barleywine.

I stuck to reading the beer menu after that. Drakes IPA, Pliny the Elder, Red Rocket, Racer 5 stood out as did Pyramid's Imperial Hefeweizen, Russian River Damnation and surprisingly Rubicon's Purple Mia Bock. There were also tap handles for Tied House, Napa Smith, Widmer, Sierra Nevada and a couple more Drakes products.

I tried the Ale Smith Pale and Terri went straight for the Racer 5. As we sipped our first beers of the day we couldn't help notice how busy the place was becoming. The bartenders were trading jabs and insults between watching the A's and Giants games whilst simultaneously concocting some killer looking over-the-top spicy Bloody Marys. I asked if the place was always that busy and the bartender gave me a blank stare and said "It's slow so far".

We eventually had to nibble something and ordered a batch of garlic fries. The best part of those fries is that they're served with a little tub of Cayenne Mayonnaise which is apparently a house specialty. Creamy with a nice kick. Excellent.

After another couple of brews I finally found a little note on the bottom of the food menu that read "There is no Brass Rail, there is no car wash and who the hell is Pete?"

By then of course it seemed to all make at least as much sense as all the patron's names that were printed from top to bottom on the wall opposite our seats.

All the names represented customers that have tried at least 500 different pints of Pete's offerings over the years....... Deschutes Red Chair IPA was the latest beer to make the list...coming in at #1342. Only 496 more pints and I get my name on that wall. I wonder if there are any jobs and affordable housing available in the Danville area.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The lone Ranger

Or should I say the lone sentinel ......or actually Centennial since that's the variety of the small hop plant in the photo. This plant is the sole surviving plant of my original plantings. Or at least the only one I actually see so far. I don't have a lot of hope for the other nine but hopefully I'm just being impatient. It has been just 2 weeks since they were planted. Getting a bit late in the year to plant more but I do know of a nursery that has a half dozen they don't know what to do with...I may have to wander over that way before long and make them an offer I can't refuse.

My lone hop here is the only one showing because when Rick and I went to the Jordan Family Farms to cut some Rhizomes Scott was kind enough to include one whole plant that was growing double in his hop acre.
It is the test plant to some degree...see if I can even keep one plant alive that was already established.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Roots of the problem

This is a just an example of the roots that I have been pulling out of the hop beds. Notice the piles of roots next to the tree behind the wheel barrel. That pile would grow to about 2 cubic yards before I was done. I believe this root system from that shade tree would have prevented the hops roots from getting properly established.