Thursday, February 7, 2008

One of Those Days (The Good Kind)

Sacramento, Ca
In the midst of running around like a crazy man concerned only with deadlines and assignments, I was able to enjoy myself for a few hours today - and that was a very good thing. To begin, the beer gods have been good to us here in my neck of the woods and today was especially nice. I had to pick up a few beers so I stopped in at BevMo. Actually, my stop here was primarily for shipping containers, but while there I figured it'd be good to peruse the aisles and see what's new.

First Find: Deschutes Abyss
This is their famed oak aged Imperial Stout, part of their reserve series. I found last year's to be quite enjoyable, even if it was quite hot and needed some time to chill out. I haven't tried this years, figure that'll happen soon enough.

Second Find: Firestone Walker Eleven
WOW! I had seriously given up on this beer ever finding its way to Sacramento, so imagine my surprise when I saw this on the shelf. I have tried this one... was happy to pick up a couple bottles for the collection. I figure this won't last long, sorry.

Third Find: Lunch at Lattitudes in Auburn, Ca
This is a really nice restaurant, a place I'd only been to once before. My wife had the odd free afternoon and so we had a very rare lunch date. Incredible lunch! I had their Bistro Steak, Tracy had their Fish-n-Chips and we both were stunned at the quality. My steak was topped with blue cheese and mushrooms, and her fish was battered in a delicate batter with wonderful spices - including clove! Their lemon drop was made from Meyer lemons grown down the street, literally, and their beer list was impressive. I settled on the Uinta Barleywine, having experienced its goodness a few times prior. It's still odd to me that they carried this beer, as I have not seen it in my region before - except from friends who've been to Salt Lake and carried it back by hand. Seriously incredible beer.

Fourth Find: Beer Tasting @ Nugget (Roseville)
Every other Thursday night Nugget Market in Roseville puts on a beer tasting. Three dollars gets you in and the pourings are generous to say the least - tonight's tasting included NINE beers from the Bay Area and other parts of Northern California: Anchor, Bison, Blue Frog, Firestone Walker and others. Great lineup, unbeatable price. Average attendance is more than 40 people, and if there's a beer folks like in the lineup - it doesn't last long on the shelf.

Fifth Find: Sam Adams Pint Night @ Owl Club
I'd been asked to stop in by Biancha, the owner and server, for the event. The Owl Club used to be known as 'the' beer bar in our region, but in the past five years it's tanked. Biancha's not been there too long, but she's doing the work to get this place back to what it was - and hopefully better. The event seemed well attended, the bar was full and minglers were doing their mingling. The draw for this night was their package deal: 10 bucks gets you a t-shirt (Sam Adams "Take Pride in Your Beer" - nice), the cool/newish Sam Adams Pint Glass and, of course, your first pint of beer. I went for the glass, I have to be honest. When the country was receiving theirs (those who were members of the Homebrewers Assn) we in California seemed to be overlooked. I like the glass. I shared a pint of the Winter Lager with Tracy, we were both impressed with the glass's ability to capture the aroma. Quite nice.

Sixth Find: Cantillon
After our pint we had one last stop to make on the way home, Total Wine. I was going to buy Bigfoot, which is being sold here for $7.49 a six-pack (1.50 cheaper than BevMo - Thanks Hop Hunter!), but also discovered a first in my area - bottles of Cantillon! I picked up a couple bottles of Gueze, Iris and Rose in a mood that could be best described as "giddy".

So, not a bad day, eh?