Category Archives: Hops

My Craft Beer “Awakening”…

Reflecting on my new career and the year ahead prompted me to go back to my early blog posts.  I found this one in 2009 and giggled.  If you had asked me in 2009 if I could see myself working in the Craft Beer Industry my response would likely have been “I wish!”  Yet here it is the eve of 2013 and starting next week I will be doing just that and working for Stone Brewing Co. no less.  WOW! If you have time read the post below, please do so and you will see the correlation.  I moved to San Diego in 2003. My beer education began by happenstance and Stone Brewing was a huge part of my education.  Of all the many things I am thankful for in my life, this ranks very high…

Happy New Year – May it be filled with great beer, sustainable food and glorious friends!

TheArtofBeer
xoxo

Grapes To Grain – My transformation from wine snob to craft beer lover…(September 2009)

A friend asked recently when I had converted from a wine snob to a beer geek.  My tweets about my parallel universe as a “beerophile” were posting to my Facebook page and she was not the first person to comment on my transformation.  After pondering the question, I decided to write a little about my journey.

I started drinking wine in my mid-twenties when I moved to California.  I truly enjoyed the seemingly endless options of fabulous wine available and as my taste developed so did my passion for wine.  My palate evolved over the years and I found I was more prone to fine wine than basic grocery store selections.  My investment in my habit grew.  I loved wine and was enthralled with the complexities of appearance, the nose, the feel and the taste associated with the many types, styles and brands.  Wine and of course, the food that compliments it, was a huge part of my social life as the years passed.   I loved sharing my wine finds with good friends over dinner at both my home and restaurants.  I shudder at the thought of the money I have spent over the years…

While I had always enjoyed beer, I honestly never thought much about what I was drinking.  I preferred to drink micro-brewed beer, but was not really conscious of the decisions I made.    I just knew that I didn’t care for Coors, Bud or any other watery beer on the market.  There was no real passion in my beer selections and I rarely took the time to think about the ingredients going into the beer, much less the business and political implications of my choices.  Never had I pondered which beers would best pair with an artisan cheese platter I had assembled for a cocktail party nor had I contemplated a social dinner offering different beer choices with the course I would prepare.

That is until I moved to San Diego in 2003…  I had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with a young man who founded a craft brewing business in San Diego.  A neighbor in my building, GK brought his own beer selections to a party at my loft and even brought his own glassware.  I was in no way, shape or form offended by his apparent beer snobbery.  On the contrary, I was intrigued by his passion.  I recognized there was a lot I could learn from this incredible entrepreneur.   Many of my new neighbors in Park Loft were also  craft beer fans.  With Greg as a generous anchor, there was never a social event in the building (and boy did we have a lot of them!) that didn’t include several of the many choices of beer brewed by Stone.   There were many group outings to local craft beer mecca’s like O’Brien’s, The Local, Hamilton’s, and The Whistle Stop.  This was the beginning of my craft beer education.

Bear Republic – Racer 5 India Pale Ale

Bear Republic’s Racer 5 IPA is a staple beer in my home.  I like that it comes in 12 oz bottles.  I try to keep my beer consumption low on a weeknight so this is a perfect selection.  I don’t really like drinking beer from pint glasses.  My glass of choice is a tulip.  I like being able to hold the glass by the base.

Pours sunny tangerine, slightly hazy from suspended yeast, with medium carbonation and fine, off white head that dissipates fairly quickly.  Tiny bubbles continue to rise to the surface.  Nice lacing on the glass.  I get tropical and citrus notes on the nose with some subtle pine and sweet maltiness in the background. I love the way Racer 5 smells!  Racer 5 is 7% ABV and is beautifully hopped with Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial.

Citrus and floral up front on the taste but not overpowering and bitter. I also get a little pineapple.  The finish is a little malty but still has the hoppy bitterness I love.  Admittedly I am a hop head but I do not find Racer 5 to be a huge hop bomb.  There is a nice balance to this beer that makes it incredibly easy to drink.  Just remember that it is 7% — It does not taste like it so it can sneak up on you.

Bear Republic Brewing Company is a true family owned and operated brewery in Healdsburg, California.  The Norgrove family are just plain, good people with two generations at the helm and a third that, I suspect, will be active as soon as they are of age!  Their barrel-aged program is off the hook so if you ever have an opportunity to try something from it, jump at the chance.  They are very limited in availability so mostly only accessible in Northern CA at the brewery and special events.  I am hoping I luck into one or two this coming week when I am up there.  You can check them out at the website link below.

http://www.bearrepublic.com/ourbeers.php

http://www.bearrepublic.com/home.php

If you find yourself in Sonoma County be sure to visit Bear Republic in Healdsburg.

Cheers to Great Beer!

TheArtofBeer
xoxo

The Hopocalypse Approaches… « DrakesBrewing

When times get a bit tough, I measure my life in segments of  “things to look forward to”, aka small adventures that make me smile and forget the hard parts of life.   The event below @DrakesBrewery is one of those things.  It is not a secret that I am a fan and friend of talented young brewer @brewsugar (#girlpower) and that I am also a huge fan-girl of Drakes!  If you happen to be in the Bay Area on the weekend of the February 4th — check out this “not to be missed” event. I’ll buy you a beer if you show up!

Maybe we can play “Pin the Tail on the Beer Advocate Douchebag” and I will donate rare beers as prizes for winners!!!

Be sure to make public transportation arrangements or have a designated driver.

The Hopocalypse Approaches… « DrakesBrewing

#DrinkResponsibly

TheArtofBee
xoxo

@BrewSugar