Tuesday, May 18, 2010

West Coast Brew Fest

I noticed in my beer notes that last Saturday marked the 6th consecutive year that I have attended the West Coast Brew Fest in Miller Park. I believe I read that the now iconic yearly event made it's start back at the turn of the century. The tree lined setting along the Sacramento River is one of the reasons I always come back...well....that and of course the beers.
This year was no exception. Although the number of breweries seemed to decline a bit from years previous (I would blame the recession and the fact that the Raley Field Beer Fest was held the evening prior) the quality of the beer was just as stellar as ever. I'm not going to list them all here...they have a website for that purpose. I will merely focus on the beers that stood out for me....in no particular order.
Rye'd Piper - Ale Industries is a new brewery out of Concord that just blew me away with their 5.8% hoppy Rye beer. Reminiscent of a lighter version of Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye....co-brewer Stephen Lopas explained to me that they only 5.7% Rye but virtually pulverized it to get that big rye flavor.
Scarlet Harlot - Auburn Ale House. I've had this brew in Auburn at the source but when I seen it at the AAH booth I had to have some more. A very interesting and unusual red that is dominated by roasted malt, Simco hops and a beautiful dry finish.
Old Wire - Dust Bowl Brewing Company is another new California brewery. Located in Turlock CA they have only been in business since 2009. I was originally drawn over for their Hops of Wrath IPA but left with a better opinion of their Old Wire Pale Ale. Very fruity, light and perfect for this day out in the sun. Interestingly Brewmaster Don Oliver won the 2006 Samuel Adams Long Shot Award for his Old Ale.
Southern Harvest - Sierra Nevada's now yearly fresh hop ale made exclusively from New Zealand Hops. A spring favorite that seems to have raised the standard again this year. Very drinkable SN classic, balanced with a nice snappy hop spiciness.
Maibock - Primator. This genuine Czech Republic Maibock just hit the spot perfectly after a few hours of hoppy beers. That unique Maibock Grain profile was like the desert following a long lingering meal.

Anyway...that was few of the beers that stood out for me. Of course there were plenty of others like the AAH Gold Digger IPA and Deschutes Hop Henge...but mainly the hot late spring day was an occasion for the lighter beers. Long Board Lager and Sudwerks Pilsner were nice finds as well. Thanks to Dwight and the boys for once again putting on a great event. I suspect next year I will be making it a lucky seven in a row.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mothers Day is for Killing Budweiser

What better way to spend Mothers Day than taking your mother out to shoot the new 20 gauge shotgun she got for Christmas? Which is exactly what my kids did on Sunday May 9th. In fact the new Mossberg was merely one of the firearms that we used to kill off a 30-pack of The King of targets...er...uh.... I mean beer. In the mix was also a .22 semi-auto, a couple of 9mm's, a .38 special, one .357 magnum and one Super BlackHawk hog leg....or as Dirty Harry liked to call it " a .44 Magnum that can blow your head clean off.
Fortunately on this day we were safe in the woods of Foresthill and there was nary a bad guy to be found. We were happy with three paper targets and the ooh's and aah's of the nicely exploding yellow fizzy beer can geysers.
Not only was it Terri's first go around with the shotgun that my Dad gave to her just a couple weeks before he passed on; it was Oralia's first time every discharging a firearm. As you can see both ladies were eager to put some lead downrange. Here are a few of the great photos that Rick took that day.
Maybe if he's feeling generous he might add the link to the more than 100 photos he took.
And Just in case anyone is wondering...no beer was consumed prior to...or during the firing of the weapons despite the fact that the target area reeked of a college frat party. Oh I see Terri's photo made the line-up twice....well...she deserves it..it is mothers day after all..... I must also give many thanks to Breann's Mom Cina as well... after the shooting and all the rain that stopped it she and Jim still let us in the house and fed us a nice dinner and put up with our antics. Definitely one of the better Mothers Day's I've had this year.