Game Night Drunk, Stuff i do when i drink

A Royal Death, a Royal Birthday, and a Royal Drunk

Today we lost Prince, and I mourn. RIP 1958-2016.

However, today we also gained a Queen.  Not some ancient bag who presides over the

“God Save The Queen..We Mean It, Man”

islands of the UK who is happening to be celebrating her 90th birthday, but none other than…me!  Tonight I became the Queen Champion of Munchkin for 3 weeks in a row!  #Winning is everything!  Put a crown on me, please!

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Crown me the queen of all that is drunk!

 

 

This particular game night found the four of us playing Munchkin Booty mixed with the Jump The Shark expansion number 2.

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I had decided earlier that my goal for the night would be to use the accent I am given.  In Booty, you have “Accents” instead of “Race.”  So I promised myself that I would use my accent to really get into the game.  I also told Sean on the way over to CK & Carie’s house that I planned on helping him win.  I felt kinda bad that he gets attacked all the time and never wins because of it.  I wanted to Stand By My Man. Thanks, Tammy Wynette for the reminder!

At first, Ck came out fighting with 2 “Go Up A Level” cards while Sean and I only had one

each of those.  So we all ended up out of level 1, except for Carie, by the time we took our first turns.

I ended up being a British Navy guy so the whole night, I tied hard to keep my accent up.  “Ahoy, then matey…”  just goes so far any innumerable amount of times.  I broke my promise and I started talking all regular, you know, with no accent whatsoever.  So I guess I was more of an American Navy guy.  With no discernable accent, that is!

I helped Sean all I could to get ahead of Ck, but then the old man bit back.  He attacked me with a monster I couldn’t beat without help, that I got from Carie, but my days of helping out the old man…over!   I found myself on Level 9 along with Ck, and thanks to pure luck, he didn’t go up a level when it was his turn leaving me wide open to take the lead.

And take the lead I did.  I pulled a Level 15 monster as I was breaking down the door and all three of them came at me with the best they had but I was winning by too much of a margin to make a difference.  I think I ultimately won by 2 after the back-stabbers were done.  And that’s nothing to sneeze at.  Seriously, don’t sneeze right now.

So I won for the third time in a row.  Munchkin winners seem to happen in cycles.

Before I was the reigning champion, Carie was.  Before that, it jumped between all 4 of us.  We all just know the game very well.  When someone wins, every other player comes totally close and by the end of most games, we are all at Levels 8 & 9.  We all need a challenge. Any takers?

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Beers I drink, Breweries, Stuff i do when i drink

Coachella Valley Brewing Co.

Coachella Valley Brewing is a Southern California desert gem.  Set back in an industrial area of Thousand Palms, it boasts a huge seating area and a list of craft beers to make you giggle in delight, like a little girl.  The location is easy to find and Google Maps even says there is a medical mj clinic nearby…I looked, but I didn’t see any green crosses on windows.

I was impressed when I walked in at the size of the place, it’s spacious and looks like somewhere  you want to be to have a good time.  The menu board is prominently displayed up on the back wall behind the bar.

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It was #NationalBeerDay and CVB was offering $1.00 off pints that day because of this.  That was really cool to find out, as price is almost always a factor when determining what I want to get drunk on.  Their prices are reasonable to begin with and then to take a buck off the top?  That’s just plain nice of them.

I was in the mood for a light but flavorful beer and when I saw the name of it, I knew instantly that it would be the first brew I tried.  It was called Kolschella, it’s a hybrid beer

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that is cold fermented like a lager is.  It was yeasty tasting at first and it was cloudy in appearance.  It’s got a low ABV at 4.7%.  But I loved it!  Sean opted to try the Phoenix Lager, which was made with locally grown dates from Hadley’s Dates and was a respectable 5.5%.

But then there came to be a problem.  Sean was not fond of his selection.  He asked to try mine, hoping it would please his taste buds and maybe we could share but to no avail.  Sean disliked mine as much as he did his.  This brewery visit was over.

Usually this doesn’t happen.  The old man loves beer just like I love beer!  We came to like beer together and we love trying new flavors at different breweries when we travel.  When we first drove up, we saw the red composting bins that CVB has outside for people to take

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as needed.  We were both wowed by that and thought, for sure, we will love it at CVB.  But it was not meant to be here.  We chatted a bit but mostly we both finished our beers so we could continue drinking somewhere else.

It’s just a short drive from CVB in Thousand Palms over to Palm Springs to our hotel.  We stayed at a quiet place conveniently located close to a 7-11.  So Sean walked over and got us beer for the night.  Granted it wasn’t a smooth-tasting #craftbeer….it was Budweiser, I will admit.  But it got the job done and we could both agree on the flavor.

I don’t know if we’ll ever come back to CVB.  I had a great experience there but it was the opposite for my old man and I’ve got to respect his opinions.  But I would encourage people to get out there, get to those small breweries with odd hours but wonderful libations.  You’ll find your thrill, blueberry hill.

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Beers I drink, Breweries

La Quinta Brewing Co.

I found myself in the desert last week, in the Palm Springs area to be more specific.  It was #NationalBeerDay and grey clouds rested above, making the normally hot weather more hospitable.  News on the radio kept referring to thunderstorms all over the valley but the rain was only happening everywhere I wasn’t.  All the signs pointed to yes, a good beer was in order.

A quick search popped up with the @LaQuintaBrewing taproom that is located on Wildcat in an industrial park.  From where I was, the drive took ten minutes and soon I was finding

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parking in the small lot.  It was easy to see from the street with big signs outside.  Aside from the brewery, there wasn’t much action happening in the adjacent buildings.

The brewery is medium sized and well-lit with the menu board up on the side wall and the taps behind the bar on the far wall.  Here is a picture of the different offerings you can try with all the necessary information you need to choose your #brew.

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I decided to have the Indian Canyon American IPA.  I liked the ABV, which was 7%, and the IBU’s, which were 80.  It seemed to be a good choice and I wasn’t let down.  It was a nice golden color and tasted crisp and hoppy with a slight bitterness that said, “Hey, i’m an IPA and don’t you forget it!”  Sean had something lighter, the Heatwave Amber Ale.  It was 5.9% so it was not weak, just lighter.  But not in color; it was a reddish brown that prepares your taste buds for the mellow flavor.  It’s a great-tasting Core beer.

La Quinta Brewing Co. is in an industrial area as I mentioned before which makes it a great location for live music.  I peeped around the parking lot in the back of the building and it was open enough for a band to play as well as for a pit to stir it up.  Depending on the band, of course!  Since La Quinta is surrounded by businesses, the view from the windows leave something to be desired.  It’s just blocky buildings with reflective coatings on the windows.  But if the beer is as good as these look and it’s in front of you, your view is just fine.  At least now you will know whom to call when you need Hydro-Scaping, right?

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#tastethesunshine

La Quinta is dog-friendly but someone needs to tell that to the dogs.  There was almost a dog fight between two of them with lots of barking, teeth-baring, and low growling.  The brewtender quickly jumped out from behind the bar to help break them up, but the fight was over as soon as one of the dogs left.  It was done as swiftly as it had begun.

I didn’t stay long at the brewery but I easily could’ve had another round or two.  I wanted to try the double IPA called Sandstorm but I also didn’t want to spend the whole day in one place.  I was disguised as a tourist for the week so I wanted to do as much as I could fit into my schedule.  So I bid La Quinta au revoir and set off to have more adventures.

If you’re ever in the Palm Desert and surrounding areas, La Quinta is a cool brewery to hit up.  They have reasonable prices, $5 & $6 for 16 oz beers, and they sell all kinds of merchandise from tee-shirts to tap handles.  Their selection is wide open and should satisfy any type of beer drinker.  I’m not in the desert that often but when I come back I will go out of my way to visit this brewery.  I’ll be passing through on the 10 freeway this June on my way to the Phoenix Comic-Con and a refreshing, cold pint would be better than a date shake any day of the week.  Consider me hooked on La Quinta Brewing Co.

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Out on the town drunk, Stuff i do when i drink

Fuck You, Hillary Clinton. Love, LG

It was a Thursday show, so we didn’t expect much.  But the Five Star Bar in downtown Los Angeles proved to be a place of punk rock raucous sounds come to life.  @fivestarbardtla knows how to host a show.

The old man and I got there almost ahead of everyone else.  Nick got there first and he and Joe were watching the Kings game at a hotel bar nearby.  We checked it out on the inside and did our bathroom duties (hee hee, dooties).  We had been drinking previously and the bathroom break was truly needed.  We said hello to our friend Mikey from Bad Ass.  Bad Ass has been on hiatus due to the pregnancy of two of their members but they are definitely back and ready to play.  I can’t wait for a #ChuyPolukaAndTheBarRoomJunkies show with Bad Ass.

It was hot and crowded inside and we didn’t want to pay for beer so Sean and I went out to the parking lot and sat in the car and drank beer after beer.  It was a solid 5% Budweiser we were downing.  Nutin’ fancy, just Bud.  And buds.  Look at our friends who wear the logo of Bud with pride.

As we sat in the parking lot, Antonio came and went inside.  Larry came and talked to us for five minutes and then went inside.  Luckily, Nick and Joe found us and we hung out with them for a while instead of being antisocial in the car.  Nick and Joe have been around LG forever.  Here is a picture of them that is probably 15 years old.

Nick is the one that is dressed like a nun who is attacking Ed’s balls and Joe is to the left of Rev. Sean.  As I was searching for this photo, I happened upon another photo, equally as funny.

Ed, need i say more

This is Ed. The original guitar player of Litmus Green.  He didn’t show up tonight.  I guess he doesn’t care about his prodigy.  I guess all he cares about is Star Wars.  He’s being all serious and probably thinking about computers.

So Nick sat on his Orange cabinets and plucked the bass as Sean practiced “Bill’s on TV again” out in the parking lot.  Nick had just picked up the new shirts so we went through them and laughed at how funny they were.  How can you go wrong with a “Fuck You, Hillary Clinton” shirt with the goofiest picture ever of her and a hand flipping her off.   I predicted they would sell a ton, but the liberal bastards that attend punk shows aren’t into cursing their queen, Hillary.  So they sold none.  But there will come a day…

Come 10:15, the crowd were calling for Litmus Green.  Half of the band was inside already but the other half was out in the parking lot, pregaming.  I was among them.  We all went inside and Joe carried the huge box of tee shirts in.  All of a sudden, it was just Joe and I looking for somewhere to set up the merch.  We had to ask one of the bands, Union 13, if we could use some of their table space.  Thankfully, they were down.  We set up the two shirt designs and the patches then we just stood there waiting for the buyers.  Hmmm…where were the buyers?

Litmus Green played and they owned that shitty bar.  A huge audience gathered to watch and a pit formed half way through their set that was wild.  Rev. Sean kept dedicating songs to the “homophobic, racist assholes in/aiming for/and previously in the White House.”  And Joe Biden is “public enemy number one.”   Sean just wants to remind everyone not to vote.

They played almost all political songs.  Totally appropriate for the current climate.  The crowd loved it.  They danced and cheered like crazy.  When it was time for the last song, the pit swelled to great numbers and you could feel the energy it created coming off the crowd.  Ah, magical!  Haha.

So, of course, we all needed fresh air after LG played and so we all eventually made it back out to the parking lot.  I had to pee behind a car but it was better than waiting for the single toilet in the Five Star.  How can a bar have only one toilet for girls?

We hung out late into the night.  Larry left.  Nick and Melissa and Joe left.  Sal and his girlfriend left.  We were just about sober before we left.

The freeway was closed on the way home and our detour was also blocked off.  We eventually found our way on another freeway and landed home. I continued to drink while the old man went to bed.  And here is the result of my efforts.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Beers I drink, Breweries, Stuff i do when i drink

South Gate Brewing Co.

My April Fool’s Day brewery tour, aka #roadtrip 2016, came to an end at the South Gate Brewing Company located in Oakhurst, California.  This was not my first time at this gastropub and it won’t be my last.  Not because they are the only game in town, but because they make incredible #craftbeer and fresh food with vegetarian options.  That’s all I ever really want: beer and veggie food.  When it comes to these good things in life, @SouthGateBrewCo scores a hit.

We came up from #Fresno and we were in dire need of refreshing drinks before completing the last leg of the trip.  Even though we got there close to 9:00, South Gate was packed.  But this came as no surprise, it is just par for the course.  South Gate has never not been crowded.  Since it opened in 2013, it has been consistently attracting customers that include locals and #Yosemite tourists.

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The old man and I both ordered a James Blonde IPA, mostly because we were attracted to the 7% ABV it boasts.  We managed to find seats in the brewery area where you can spy the fermenting vats and all the inner workings of a brewery.

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I am not amused at the tanks of beer behind me

At first, Sean and I had the same opinion of the beer.  We didn’t like it because it was too bitter and sour.  It was harsh on the tastebuds.  It was light in color so I think we both just expected something a little lighter and smoother.  After a couple of drinks of this IPA, we disagreed.  Sean still wasn’t into it but I got used to the strong taste and enjoyed it after a bit.  The table-talker write-up says it was cold fermented like a lager and double dry hopped, which explains the utter hoppiness of James Blonde.

In the past I have tried the South Gate’s Gold Diggin’ Blonde, which is a golden ale and an all-day lasting 4.7%.  The Gold Diggin’ Blonde is very light and refreshing, I know, I had more than my fair share of them at one time.  Another beer I’ve sampled is the Tenaya Red IPA which is more malty than hoppy and a little piney.

South Gate not only crafts delicious beers, they offer a menu board with all kinds of options.  That night, they had a veggie rice burger that sounded tempting, but we were already full.

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I just read an article from the Sierra Star that talks with South Gate and goes over their plans for expansion.  I say, “Too soon is not soon enough!”  They are always crowded and I have to hunt to find a spot to rest my weary feet.  South Gate is planning on doubling the size of the kitchen and dining areas and they want to feature full-serve dining as well as new, vegan and vegetarian options for the menu.  The tasting area where you can see the fermenting vats will remain the same.

The gastropub is not currently affected by the construction which is scheduled to end sometime in late June.  Just in time for summer season!  So don’t let the work get in your way of having a great time at the South Gate Brewing Co.!

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Breweries, Stuff i do when i drink

@TiogaSequoia Brewing Company

The spacious Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company’s Beer Garden was my second stop on a #roadtrip up to Oakhurst, California.  Tioga Sequoia is located in #Fresno close to the Chuckchansi Park and in the middle of two freeways.  It’s easy to get to and BIG! There are plenty of places to sit and enjoy the fare!  It’s a relaxed environment, to say the least.

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As evidenced by the populated menu board, you have your choices wide open.  The first beer I went with was the FireFall Red.  It is a 5.5% red that is also available at the other brewery that’s ten minutes away.  Regular readers will remember my review from last week and new readers will just have to catch the fuck up!

The FireFall Red is named after a phenomena in the nearby Yosemite Valley in which Horsetail Falls is lit up by the setting sun in such a way as to make it look like liquid fire is falling down from the mountain.  This event only happens a couple days out of the entire year so if you are ever lucky enough to see it, consider yourself enlightened.  The beer version of FireFall is wonderful.  It has a brick red coloring to it, especially if you hold it up to the light.  It tastes mellow and malty and smooth.  It went down easy and got me ready for my next pint.

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There are two General Sherman IPA’s available and they are both 7.5%.  The difference is that one is double dry-hopped.  According to the Tioga Sequoia website, double dry hopping lends extra flavor and aroma to a beer.  It increases the bitterness also and there is a difference of almost 20 IBU’s between the original and the DDH version.  So I tried both of them, expecting there to be a big taste difference but it was very hard to tell.  The DDH General Sherman is obviously more hoppy tasting than the original but both of them are excellent beers.  Hoppy at it’s bittery best!

I was here on a Friday night and there was no food truck.  I was glad I had eaten at the other place so I could get my drink on with a full belly.  The address is 745 Fulton but the taproom is more off of Inyo St.  You can see Chuckchansi Park right across the street from the outside seating area.

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Here is a crappy picture of the view towards Chuckchansi Park with the sun setting…how inspirational.

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I love this brewery.  I prefer it over other ones because it is spacious enough to where you can sit anywhere you want.  It is more about the beer and gathering experience than about the food.  They’ve got a pub quiz night on Wednesday’s and an events board up to let you know the exciting happs.

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They have a contest going on right now that you can enter on Tioga Sequoia’s website.  It asks you to snap a picture or a video of you and your craft and post it on social media with the hashtag #CraftOutLoud.  Sounds awesome, maybe I will enter…

This was the second time I had been here and I enjoyed it this time better because the weather was fairer.  The big, open warehouse and outside seating area are not good in the extremes of weather that Fresno goes through.  That is really the only complaint I have about visiting Tioga Sequoia Brewing Co. and that’s nothing they have any control over.

I travel up to Oakhurst a couple times a year and I will definitely be back for more beers at @TiogaSequoia.  I ended up polishing off two pints and grabbed some 22 oz. bottles to take home with me and share with my friends.  I can’t wait to go back for more!

 

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Beers I drink, Breweries

Sequoia Brewing Company

I got to @SequoiaBrewCo in #Fresno just before happy hour was over.  The happy hour lasts from 3:00 to 6:00 on weekdays and we were seated and ordering at 5:45.  We had just been on the road for 5 hours and we were ready for those $3.50 beers.

Sequoia Brewing Company is a gastropub in a somewhat small building in the Tower District of Fresno, CA.  They serve beer brewed on site and food that runs the gamut from yummy appetizers to full-course dinners.  There are tables and booths and an outside seating area as well as a bar you can cozy up to, if it’s not too crowded.

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When we got there, it was pretty crowded because it was #happyhour on a Friday evening, it cleared up when 6:00 had come and gone.

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The first beer I had was a Sequoia Pale Ale.  It is a 5.7% smooth ale with light hops and a little nutty tasting.  The old man tried a General Sherman IPA, a whopper at 7.5% ABV.  He found the taste to be similar to hops in a pine box.  It was a little sweet at first with a smell like a humidor.  We also ordered deep-fried pretzel bites that came with a flavorful mustard sauce.  They were delectable.  They tasted like hot dogs from being in the fryer.  That might sound weird, but it was a familiar taste – then mixed with the mustard, it was awesome.  It was a good deep-fried experience.

At 5:55, we were asking our waiter to order us another round before happy hour was over.  We both tried the Big Horn Red IPA.   It is mild tasting for an IPA but looks good at 7.2%.  It was smooth, roasted malty flavored with a clean and dry finish.

We also were hungry after being on the road so long.  We ordered a small cheese pizza to split and I was excited to eat once it came.  But it was not so good.  Maybe with toppings or meat, it is better.  But we were not impressed with the pizza.  I’ve had better pizza off of a food truck.  That didn’t stop the old man from finishing it.

Sequoia Brewing Company has 18 beers on tap and I’ve only delved into 3 of them.  There are plenty more to be had. I have found that the IPAs in Central and Northern California breweries are a bit lighter than they are down in Southern CA (with the exception of Sierra Nevada).  That’s why I love going to the different breweries in different towns I visit or pass through.  I get to try new flavors and experiment with my taste buds.

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There is merchandise you can buy, such as tee shirts.

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You can purchase growlers and 22oz bottles, too.

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They have an awesome, nature-inspired décor that I like, but I had a little bit too much of the dead deer heads and asses.

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Sequoia Brewing has a philosophy: #DrinkLocal Eat Local and I couldn’t agree more.  Like the saying over the door reminds us, try to branch out and visit as many of these awesome gastropub/breweries as you can while they are still around.  I won’t turn my nose up at a Budweiser, but i’d prefer to drink locally crafted beers any day of the week.

 

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