The bags are packed and soon we'll be on our way to visit our families for this holiday season. All of us at Pacific Brew News wish you safe travels, good times and good beers. I'll be in Oregon for about a week and may have the chance to post an entry or two if there's anything worth posting, but likely we'll be 'offline' till around the new year.
Last night Tracy and I made a quick trip up to Auburn Alehouse to meet up with Mike and Terri. Mike had texted me earlier in the day to tell me Brian's barleywine had been tapped and was flowing from the taps, all the motivation needed to drive up the hill a bit. I was happy I did too, and from the looks of it Mike was happy to have also made the discovery. We enjoyed a snifter of barleywine, along with Brian's masterfully crafted pilsner, great beers with great friends, from a great brewer in a great bar. What more could you hope for?
Thank you all for the kind words, news tips, suggestions and overall support. Mike, Mark and I do this as a hobby and it certainly an easier thing to enjoy with the emails and posts. If you're heading to a brewery this holiday season remember to tip well and be generous with your compliments - these people are busting their humps to serve us.
I am looking forward to my first trip to Southern Oregon Brewing Company, recently opened in Medford, along with trips to Standing Stone and Caldera Brewing in Ashland, perhaps even a quick trip up north to Grants Pass and a few drinks at Wild River Brewing. I also wouldn't mind catching up with Russ at Walkabout Brewing in Central Point, but it may not happen as he enjoys getting back to his home land of Australia this time of year.
Rumors suggest that Mike will be making a trip to Berkeley to check out the beer scene there - a beer scene he is familiar with. I've even heard it suggested the guy will be at Russian River before too long, hoping for a rare sighting of Pliny the Younger and Big Huge Pils. I surmise that his timing is no accident, having lost our local supply of Hop Stoopid on tap only three days ago. Besides, nothing says 'ho ho ho!' quite like a seat in front of Vinnie's taps, taking in the aroma of Blind Pig and savoring the rich flavors of Pliny the Elder. Oh, and with a barkeep on duty whose name is Christmas, you'd assume a trip to this place was almost mandatory for beer loving folks in the area.
Hopefully we'll all gather together in early January to share our spoils, the growlers of good beer collected along the way. If that happens, we'll do our best to pass on the notes and audio for your pleasure. Till then, be safe and do what you can to enjoy the season.