Thursday, April 28, 2011

miniblog: On the Virtues of Anchor Steam

I had my entire immediate family and all the boyfriends (EDIT: my sisters' boyfriends, I don't have a bunch of boyfriends) over for dinner on Easter Sunday and my older sister's boyfriend brought Anchor Steam. I haven't actually enjoyed Anchor Steam in a while, having gotten in the habit of picking beers with just a little more punch. In any case, if you live in Northern California, you know that the weather on Sunday was beyond perfect. Sunny and warm with a breeze, and not a cloud in the sky. I spent the majority of it in the kitchen with my dad, whipping up a little seafood gumbo and took a short break to step outside. There's little preventing me from enjoying the euphoric beer buzz on any given day, but with perfect weather, my whole family sharing a holiday and a huge meal, I remembered that Anchor Steam was one of the very first craft brews I fell in love with. It's approachable, has an impressive history, and appeals to just about every kind of beer drinker.

Monday, March 28, 2011


If you weren't in the mood for ramen before you saw probably are now. Ever since I read that article I've had a crazy noodle jones. No, this doesn't have anything to do with beer. I've been in a weird place with beer lately, Mr Anthony put beer purchases on hiatus until the remainder of the beer in the fridge is consumed. Naturally, the attachment I have to my special beers is unwavering and as such my consumption has all but ceased. We're still enjoying the Monk's Blood we picked up last month, but somebody brought over some Sapporo and some Miller Light a few months ago and they haven't really moved. I can't bring myself to throw them out but I just won't drink them. Don't get me wrong, you drink what you drink and I like what I like.

I guess I've just gotten a little too fond of this place, indicated only by a barrel hovering above an unmarked door in downtown San Jose. The staff is exemplary, the proprietor is friendly, and the cocktails are flawless. Also, you can count on Pliny being on tap, among other highly desirable beers.

That's all I have to ramble about this afternoon.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Hey. Sorry we haven't spoken in a while, it's nothing personal... I just need to focus on myself right now. Just kidding, we're inseparable. You and me, we're like 2 peas in a hop cone, and I've missed you.

I think I forgot to invite anybody to a February meeting. I had two SF Beer Week events on my itinerary for SBA and totally dropped the ball. More distressing than me dropping the ball is the fact that I haven't been asked by any of the Susans when/where February's meeting will take place. I'm going up to Toronado for the Barley Wine Festival this Saturday afternoon, which should be fun, but if none of the Susans are joining me, can I really call it a meeting? Maybe I will.

I have two barley wines to enjoy at home in the spirit of pre-gaming the festival, Stone Brewing's Old Guardian, and Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot. I'm stashing half of the Bigfoot 6 pack to enjoy at a much later date. On that note, I know there are at least a handful of people who read this blog, so let me ask you: Do you have beers stashed away? What's in your cellar?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day Late & A Dollar Short

These past 2 weeks have been crazy! Work, school, life, etc. Last Saturday afternoon was the January meeting, and no pictures were taken. I had so many opportunities, and I'm kicking myself for not taking any. So here's what happened: I arrived at the Rabbit's Foot Meadery in Sunnyvale and Shannon and her lovely friend Ally were already there. So was Miku, the meadery owner's ADORABLE red aussie/border collie puppy. Maria, co-owner and acting bartender, gave her first three patrons of the day a complete history and tasting of all the meads and ciders she had to offer. The meadery doesn't have all their offerings available all the time, so our tasting was limited but barely so.

Now would be a good time for me to tell you what she told us, how good the stuff tasted, where you can get it, etc, but I'm not going to do that. Frankly, I can only remember half the stuff she said because I was so blinded by how delicious everything was. Raspberry mead, pear cider, black cherry cider, Hel Saison, the list goes on. Get there yourself and try some! Here are some bottles I enjoyed at home last week:

This is Stone Brewing's Lukcy Basartd. I linked to it in a previous post so I'm not doing it again, but you should go find it if you don't know anything about this tasty morsel. I adored this beer! You will too!

My fridge has been full of beer lately, but it's mostly Franziskaner and Spaten and other not-as-special-as-other-beers beers. Except for two beers I got to try for this first time last week: Firestone Double Barrel Ale and Anchor Small Beer. My Safeway just started carrying the Firestone and I had to pick it up. I wasn't floored, but I wasn't disappointed. The Small Beer, however, was one of the most interesting beers I've had in a while.

This bitter beauty comes from sprinkling warm water over Anchor's Old Foghorn mash after the first wort has run off, thereby creating a second, lighter brew from the resulting thinner wort. At first sip it was alarming, I had expected it to taste at least a little like the Barleywines I've had before. It wasn't dark, viscous, or intensely alcoholic like most Barleywines, instead it was light in body, with effervescence like any macro pils, and a sharp, bitter taste that took a little getting used to. After a few sips, I was sold. I'll pick this up if I see it again for sure. Next week: February meeting, SF Beer Week!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

SF Beer Week

SO I just found out about Wet Your Whistles, the on-line guide to watering holes along the San Francisco Bay Area Caltrain railway line.

I found them on the SF Beer Week website. Basically, you meet up at the Firehouse in Sunnyvale, then hop on the train with your new friends and hit the next 3 pubs over the course of the afternoon. I'm definitely going to try to convince the Susans to go with me, and looking forward to meeting beer lovers in my area!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

School started again

And it is awesome! Just kidding, it's super annoying. Education is awesome, but going to school blows. On the plus side, I'm in ASL which is actually a lot of fun, and I hope that soon I'll be skilled enough to post a short video of myself signing to you about SBA! In any case, here are some beers I enjoyed last week.

Bison Brewing Reunion '10I picked up a Bison Reunion '10 a week or two ago and had no idea what I was getting into. I can't even remember the last Scotch Ale I had, or if I've ever had a Belgian Style Scotch Ale, but this won't won't soon be forgotten. I poured it from the 22oz bottle (pictured) into a Chimay chalice and it was pitch black! The head was surprisingly light in color, and like the beer itself light in body as well. It had a gentle effervescent that I appreciated, and at first sip it was everything I dreamed of and more. So drinkable! Check it out here.

Bison Brewing Reunion '10New Belgium: Frambozen. I had been meaning to try this winter seasonal for a few years and couldn't muster up the courage to spend my hard-earned money on a 6 pack of the raspberry brown, as I'm not a huge fan of browns in general and I've only had a handful of lambics. Lucky for me, my local Whole Foods had a few bottles in their "Singles" box, where a single bottle, part of a 6- or 12-pack can be purchased for $1.99. $2 for a new beer is right up my alley, so purchase I did and boy, was I happy! As you can see on New Belgium's website, the beer pours a clear raspberry red and your first sip will have you wondering if you should have skipped the ice cream sundae and had one of these instead. It was so sweet, so delicious, a touch syrupy but with a serious tart kick in the tonsils finish. I'll be picking up a 6 pack every winter.

I can't wait for SBA next Saturday! I have a few special beers in my fridge to hold me over until then, all of which you'll get to read about next week. This and this.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Diamonds on my windshield

...and by "diamonds" i mean tiny ice crystals. I don't like this cold! I know virtually everyone else in the country has it way worse, but I don't pay through the nose to live in an oasis of beauty on the best coast so I can scrape ice off my car! In any case, why don't I tell you about the December meeting of SBA? How about instead of telling you, I show you.

SBA December

Do you see what I do? Do you see how well I treat my Susans? Take note, though, that there's only one person in the picture (that's Elizabeth). The other attendant was behind the camera. I guess I just don't know how to get the word out to people who might be interested, or people who know somebody who would be. Maybe people are creeped out at the idea of coming over to my house? I do have a gator-filled moat surrounding my rabid dog-infested front yard.

With that in mind, I've decided to hold the January meeting at the taproom at the Rabbit's Foot. It's a tiny little room with one bartender in front of two blackboards which tell you what's available. They always say they're out of growlers, but they're not. My two favorites are the Cherry Cider (nothing better than a cold glass of this on a hot afternoon) and the Honey Stout. If you're interested or know somebody who would be, contact me!