Beer Float Showdown

ticket

All I had to do was sample (4) Beer floats for charity. The most interesting was the Bruery Berliner Weiss with Raspberry Yuzu sorbet. The best overall was the Old Rasputin with Brown Bread ice cream.

Christmas in July at Port / Lost Abbey

As I have mentioned previously, this is not a snarky, mean-spirited blog. I wish to be more at the Huell Howser end of the spectrum as opposed to Bill Maher but, at times, I will have to detour into criticism. This is one of those instances.

Now, I am a fan of Pizza Port beers (and the pizza). I enjoy the hop bombs they make and recently I really liked the Hot Rocks lager. Lost Abbey is hit and miss. Their wit is sub-par but Inferno ale is pretty good. I do appreciate the experimentation though which is why I wanted to check out this party in the first place.

So I was expecting a lot at their Christmas party. Maybe too much. My first problem was that they did not appear to be fully expecting a crowd. There was no signage as to where to line up for what so there was one medium, barely-moving line due to the second noticeable problem, only one person checking ID and only one person taking bottle orders and taking entrance money.

The third miscue was that you placed a bottle order for Duck, Duck, Gooze then you had to go stand in a new line to purchase it. A line with 1. Yes, only 1 credit card machine. Now that would be ok if the beers were $8.00 or $10.00 but if you are charging (and rightfully so) $30.00 you have to have at least two credit card machines because not everyone will have that much cash on hand. And forth, they ran out of some beers after three hours. Amigo lager? Sorry, all out. Shark Bite red? Nope. This is why, myself and others were at Stone enjoying a leisurely beer.

Here are my recommendations for fixing the situation. Separate the bottle sales from the party. This way people can come in, donate to charity, have some beer, get a photo with Santa and not have to navigate a humid room with a big line of cranky bottle buyers in the middle.

To speed the bottle sales, at least two credit card machines. Then hand people order slips as they wait in line. Also have two people as stock pickers to speed up the process. This way, the order is ready quicker from both the buyer and the seller’s sides. And it is only one line which may move faster. There is nothing worse than a line that inches forward then finding out you have to be in another line that inches forward.

The mantra should be to prepare for a big crowd and then scale down if needed. Because it is just too hard to scale up.

The Good Beer Seal of Approval

…is awarded to bars and restaurants in New York who:

1. Have 80% craft domestic or special imported beers.
2. Serve a good portion of their beers via a draft beer and/or cask ale program.
3. Maintain a strong “pub” vibe as a nice, local place to drink beer and visit with friends.
4. Active community presence, as well as being independently operated establishment.
5. Good beer should be a strong feature if not the FOCUS of the operation.
goodbeerseal-299x300

Vertigo Brewing

Another addition to the crowded but thriving Oregon beer scene is this Hillsboro based brewery.
VertigoLogo

Here is their current list of beers…
Cyclone Cream ale, Apricot Cream ale, Schwindel Alt, High-Altitude Amber, Razz Wheat & Friar Mike’s IPA.

These two guys started out home brewing then they just kept making more. The only logical thing to do was open a brewery.

Stone Brewing now and in the future

So I endured the horrible traffic from Los Angeles to Escondido to hear Wil Wheaton talk and to try some sour beers. The outdoor bar is just perfect on a hot day. By 6pm it was nice and cool, and the drive was forgotten.

First up was Craftsman El Prieto. It was dark red and not to much head on it. You could smell sour from a mile away. The tartness doesn’t push you away though. When you drink it you get the sour first then fruit flavors mingle in later.

Second was Deschutes St. Lucy Belgian Artisan Ale. This was golden and fizzy. You could see the bubbles. This was more sour than the El Prieto with a bit more kick to it. This could have used some more fruit taste to balance.

Last was the Stone 13th Anniversary. Almost cola colored. Had a nice foamy head that dissipated quickly. Very floral hops. Bold and assertive IPA. But what do you expect from Stone? My favorite of the night.

Also, on August 22nd, the fine folks from Stone will be throwing a birthday bash and Invitational Beer Festival. $35.00 will get you in if you buy now. Those tickets will fly away quickly.

Food GPS post

Now you can go to Food GPS and click on a drop down menu and choose from any of the vast amounts of columns I have written. OK, it’s only 4 so far but I still think it’s cool.

The 1st post on the list is about the Pacific Gravity Summer party.