Repoterroir is a mega-collaboration between:

“A distinct 5.5% ABV session-lager brewed with elemental, native terroir from the following collective of brewers: Sierra Nevada (wild rice, beets, cucumber, mint and carrots), Avery (Colorado alfalfa honey), Allagash (Maine purple potatoes), Dogfish Head (free-range Atlantic Ocean beach wood), and Lost Abbey (cage-free Pacific Ocean beach wood).

Born out of a backroom conversation in a Boulder restaurant and blooming into a full-blown cornucopia of a collaboration, Repoterroir is a coming together of like-minded craft beer compatriots. Brewed at Sierra Nevadas brewery in Chico, CA this sessionable lager beer reclaims the earthbound mantle of terroir from the grape-soaked, buttoned-down world of wine and repurposes it in a new sudsy sense. Featuring natural ingredients contributed by each of the five breweries, this unique and earthy beer is complex and layered but ultimately drinkable. Using the full repertoire of skills from more than 86 combined years of brewing knowledge and skill, this lager combines traditional (and not so traditional) ingredients into an ideal summertime brew.”

As with the first post of the day, I like the idea but it seems two ingredients too much just for the sake of equal representation. I can do without the carrots and beets. Color is the least of my beer judging worries.

Lost Abbey – Framboise de Amarosa

As opposed to quite a few beer geeks, I like fruit beers. When done well they are (heresy) better than high abv Stout bombs. So as I perused the Lost Abbey 2010 release schedule, this beer really stood out…
“Framboise de Amarosa. This is a barrel aged raspberry beer that has been aging in our distribution warehouse since last summer. In July, we had farm fresh raspberries delivered to our brewery and they went directly into all manners of barrels. And because it didn’t have enough Raspberry character, we added more fruit to the barrels in November.”

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.

Christmas in July

Sure it’s hot outside, but it’ll be cooler than ever at Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey’s first Christmas in July Celebration and Fundraiser, Saturday, July 25, 2009 from noon to 7pm.

Beer releases:

* Santa’s Little Helper (Bourbon Barrel-aged) – 22ounce bottles; 6 bottle limit
* Older Viscosity 2009 – 375ml bottles; 12 bottle limit
* Duck Duck Gooze (yes, that Duck Duck Gooze) – 750ml bottles; 6 bottle limit
* The Angel’s Share (Bourbon Barrel-aged) – 750ml bottles; 6 bottle limit

Food & Beer:

* Food Stylings from our own Chef Vince Marsaglia
* Tastings – Duck, Duck Gooze, Older Viscosity & Santa’s Little Helper (Bourbon)
* On Tap – All of Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey’s regular line-up


* A Visit from St. Nick – Get your photo with Santa Claus in the Barrel Room
* Live Music – Special musical guests, The Professors

Toys for Tots drive and fundraiser:

* Toy Drive – Bring a new, unwrapped toy values at $15 or more to benefit Toys for Tots
* Giving Tree – give a $15 donation to Toys for Tots & you get to select a gift from under the Christmas Tree (Gifts include many rarities from our barrel archives – Isabelle Proxiums, Cuvee de Tomme, Veritas `04, and more!

The Details:

* When: Saturday, July 25, 2009; 12pm to 7pm. Beer and bottle release sales begin at 12pm. Santa arrives at 1pm. Food and music begins at 3pm.
* Where: Lost Abbey / Port Brewing Co., San Marcos, San Diego County, CA
* How Much: Food, music and photos with Santa are FREE! We are, however, asking everyone who attends to bring a new, unwrapped toy valued at $15 or more to donate to Toys for Tots. (Beers are all regular price.)