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

Losing: The Opposite of #Winning

Hi, it’s me again.  This time there is no bragging, but only humility.  And the harsh realization of being a loser.  It’s especially hard when you come off a win from last week’s #OCPopQuiz.  To go from number one, to number loser?  It sucks.

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No offense!

 

But we didn’t come to win.  We came to have a good time and a good time was had.  We didn’t expect to win but we didn’t expect to come in second to last place either.  So nobody wins in the end.  Except for the #winning team, Bob’s Your Uncle.

Fuck them.  It was the day before Sean’s birthday.  We thought we might be able to win

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without the rest of the crew.  But boy, were we wrong!

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Especially according to the ferocious wolf.

In round one, we came out with 2 points.  To be in Last Place.  We were not performing to the lowest level of our ineptitude.  We were worse.  Two out of six?  WTF?

In round two, we scored three extra points to come out with a losing 5 points total.  This was the round in which we had to match the dog with the show it was on.  It was pick and choose and we picked and chose very poorly.

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Calling Anka, Paul Anka to the stage

 

How the hell am I supposed to know what they called the dog on Gilmore Girls?  Some people actually did.  They should be ashamed!

Round three only gave us four out of a possible 9 points.  The only thing we knew for sure was the titles of the Jason Bourne movies.  And that’s only because I have a newfound respect for Matt Damon as an actor after watching The Talented Mr. Ripley.

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Dicky, pass me a fag why don’t you?

 

So by the time we failed all the way in round three, we had only 9 points.  It’s a lot different than the points we had last week when we had Paul and Heather on our team.  Just saying…

In round four, we had to name the national monuments.  We actually did pretty good in this round and got six out of ten possible points.  Hell yeah, I know what Four Corners National Monument looks like, I’ve been there, god-damnit!  Thanks for the road trip Mom!

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Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, & Utah.  One big happy meeting in the middle of BFE.

 

Round five comes along like a scorpion to sting you in the ass.  You only get one chance to answer and your possible points go down with each clue.  We knew it was Justin Bieber

 

by the second clue but since we weren’t clamoring for the top, we decided to wait and be sure.  We ended up scoring six points in this round.

So last round, the sixth round, comes along and we only have 21 points.  We decided not to Double Or Nothing and just go with our initial six answers.  We managed to get two right.

So our final score was 23.  We came in second to last place.  It may have well been last place for as shitty as we did.  Where were the smarts tonight?

I learned something important tonight though.  And that is to always listen to the old man.  He came up with Romeo & Juliet for one of the answers in the sixth round and I straight up told him, “You are wrong, it’s totes not R&J, it’s something more modern.”  I mean, I’ve read Romeo & Juliet and still I had to stuff my foot in my big mouth.

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He ended up being right and at least I had the foresight to go with his answer.  Who knew that Romeo & Juliet had another, longer title?  Obviously Sean did.

The best part about trivia Wednesday was getting to redeem our stamp card from OC Pop Quiz.  We filled up one whole card so we got a round of free beers.  We told ourselves it was birthday beers and drank up.  We could’ve saved it for next time, when the #Lagalots were more of a team, but why?  When we could have beers right then and there that we didn’t have to pay for?  Of course we went with it, the rest of our team should’ve thought about coming if they wanted free beer.  Right?

Well, that was it for Wednesday’s Pursuit of the Trivial.  We lost, yeah, but it’s not too big of a deal.  I just hate coming in so close to last.  I just hate coming in anywhere but in first place.  Am I a sore loser?  Probably.  So fucking sue me.

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Breweries, Stuff i do when i drink

Cismontane Brewing: Santa Ana Edition

So we were cruising at 75 mph down the 55 freeway when all of a sudden, BAM!  Traffic, Southern California style.  Jerks and the blissfully unaware ones swerved in and out of their lanes, cutting us off one too many times.

We were close to the MacArthur exit so we shimmied our way over to the right and got off.  We knew where we wanted to be and that was off the freeway.  It was just a matter of taking a round-a-bout way to get to where we were going.

And that was the Cismontane Brewing Company, located at 1409 Warner Ave. in Santa Ana.  It’s a little spot, hard to find unless you know what you are looking for.  There’s a PepBoys in front. Grand is the major cross-street.  Cismontane is located in the same building as PepBoys, just on the other side.  You can enter through one driveway and go around the back or through the other and you’ll find parking on the left and Cismontane on the right.

There’s a sign outside to clear up any doubts though.  “Ya We Make Beer” pretty much spells it out.  This is the Santa Ana tasting room, not to be confused with the original Rancho Santa Margarita tasting room.

When you first walk in, you enter into cozy surroundings.  It is well lit and the sun setting in the west outside their front windows brightens the mood up a lot.  The bar and menu board are the first things you would notice.

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It took a minute but we decided on two pints of The Citizen, which comes in at a pleasing 6%.  Not too strong and definitely not bland, it hit the spot.  It was exactly what we needed; a brief respite from the snarled traffic parking lot that the 55 had become.

There were 15 different beers we could’ve chosen.  Here’s a snapshot of their menu board.

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As you can see, the full gamut is represented.  There’s an IPA, a Sour, a Stout, and more.  But we were happy with our Citizens and probably wouldn’t venture out to try too many other kinds.  You know how you just pick a favorite.

They used to have a brew named after Holy Jim of the Canyons.  Maybe it was Silverado or maybe it was Black Star.  Who can remember?  Not me, but the brewtender apparently could.  And when questioned by a drunk me, he quickly responded with the correct answers.  That’s the kind of memory you can’t even buy.

They sell Cismontane merchandise, well, tee shirts to be exact.

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There are tables to sit at as well as seating at the bar.  A selection of board games is piled up off to the side to encourage you to stay and play.

Cismontane is a wonderful brewery.  This was only my second time coming and I will be back in the future with my friends who live in Tustin.  They are used to driving to #Anaheim for breweries when Cismontane is practically in their backyard.

We ended up wasting about a half an hour at Cismontane and it was 7:00 by the time we left.  The 55 was cleared up, as well as the 22 and the 57.  It may be a long way from home, but it’s worth the drive!

Especially when an 18-pack of America beers is waiting!

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Breweries, Stuff i do when i drink

Newport Beach Brewing Company

The days start out cloudy with rain seeming imminent and end up in showers of glorious sunshine.  It must be June.  The schools are getting out and everyone is going on vacation.  And I start spending the odd Wednesday at the Newport Beach Brewing Co. for $10 Pizza/$10 Pitcher day.

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Weekly specials make the BrewCo crowds go wild

 

 

There are two local breweries that got their start in 1995 and the #BrewCo is one of them.  This is when I got together with the old man, Sean, so I have a special place in my heart for Newport Beach’s favorite neighborhood brewery.  You’ve got to give credit to them for getting something right to be around this long.

On this particular Wednesday I arrived around 1:30.  I snapped up some pictures of the parking lot entrance and the NewportBrewCo assault vehicle.

I have been coming to Pizza/Pitcher Wednesdays for many summers and the place is always familiar feeling.  We knew exactly what we wanted and we started out first with our $10 pitcher of Pelican Pale Ale.  The glasses came chilled and we poured two pints out.

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Pelican Pale Ale

 

It was cold and had a head on it so we liked that but by the time the beer’s been poured from the tap into the pitcher then into the glass and then finally into my mouth, it has lost some, if not all of it’s fizz.  The beer wasn’t exactly flat but the carbonation level left something to be desired.  This has never been a problem before so we chalked it up to the devil.  You know how he’s always making beer flat, you know. Plus fizzy beer is for wussies.

The waitress was very friendly, I recognized her from last year but not sure about any years before that.  She let us look over the menu because we weren’t sure what pizza we wanted.  It was a toss up call between a Margharita and a Veggie and the Margharita won.

When the pizza came, we gobbled up most of it right away.  Even though we both “weren’t that hungry.”  It was covered in gooey mozzarella and had juicy slices of tomato and sprinkles of fresh basil.  It wasn’t burnt either, it was cooked to perfection and tasted just the same.

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What is the TMNT’s favorite food?

 

Talk about satisfied!  We were full, but not bloated.  We were buzzed, but not drunk & disorderly.  This called for a trip outside for some “fresh air.” We asked our waitress to keep our stuff on the table because we were coming back.  Our beers were empty but we had 2 slices of pizza left.

When we got back in, we found that our table had been cleared.  The waitress was apologetic and said she had taken the empties away but that the other waitress had cleared off the food.  She even said she would bring us another pizza if we wanted, which we declined.  The offer was appreciated though.

By now, it was Happy Hour time!  3:00 had come and gone while we were vaping so we checked the chalkboard for what beer we would sample next.

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BrewCo’s beers on tap menu and specials

 

We both decided on a Village Idiot IPA because we wanted something stronger than the Pale Ale.  Pints were only $4.00 during HH so we both got one.

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A couple of Village Idiots

 

They were a bit cloudy looking but tasted flavorful and delicious.  There was a good amount of pine taste but with some sweetness I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

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Extra info for the percentage-minded

 

One thing I like that some breweries do is put the ABV percentage up on the board so that when you are choosing, you can go strong or light.  Newport BrewCo didn’t have the numbers up on the board but I found this page on the table that lists the ABV’s of all their different beers.

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@NBBrewCo’s Board of Surf

 

Newport Beach Brewing Co. is a great place to check out on a lazy summer day.  Their beers are “world famous” (according to the shit load of blue ribbons I saw hanging up behind one of the brewing kettles and the sign out in the back advertises it…subtle, I like that).

The food is fantastic and the prices are just right.  The specials are worth coming here for and their Happy Hour rocks!  The waitress’ are very nice and the place is huge so it never seems crowded.  There is an outside patio with umbrella’s to protect those balding Newport men from the hot, sweltering sun.  The televisions lend a sports bar vibe to this beach-town brewery and they carry all the balls you can stand.

Come to Newport Beach and check this place out!  It’s worth the effort and you won’t be disappointed.  Just don’t enter the contest for the pink bike because that’s my deal, okay?

 

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Beers I drink, Breweries, Out on the town drunk

Mother Bunch Brewing & Day Two

We started off Friday with a bowl in the park.  The Catholic park, that is.  What does “non smoking” mean, exactly?

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Fuck your Catholic rules!

 

The Pope was there to bless those waiting in line for their Comic Con tickets.

 

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There might be a small child on his knees in the front of Pope John Paul, but we’ll never know….

 

We arrived into the air-conditioned building slightly before noon and we decided to waste our time at a Steampunk workshop called “Make and Take,” which is exactly what it sounds like.  You purchased a spray-painted gun for a nominal fee and then “make it” with rub and buff metallic paints and various accoutrements like sequins and gears into a gun you can call your own and be proud of.  Then you “take it” out of the room and own the shit out of it.

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Rubbing & Buffing our way through Day Two

Then we rushed across the buildings to make it to the Ash Vs. Evil Dead panel and made it with a few minutes to spare.

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Who are those freaks & why are they sitting so close to us?

Ck won a foam chainsaw for stumping the Horror Show panel and Carie ended up having to carry it around all day.  I’d tell you the question he stumped them with but it would stump you all too so, why bother?

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That’s why they call her Carie!

Those panels, and a cruise through the dealer’s floor, took up most of the early afternoon and soon we were finding ourselves drawn outside, into the 115 degree heat, for beer.  The Con board of directors must have figured out that people like beer so they designated a whole block as the beer garden. So, like the sailors of yore, we were called by the siren’s sound of  mermaids advertising $5 beer.

There were food trucks inside the confines of the beer garden and we ate lunch from the Grilled Cheese Truck.  I have to say, it was one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I have ever had.  It was made with pepper jack cheese and it was melty and gooey and delicious. Although my friend Babra says the Grilled Cheese Truck doesn’t pay it’s bills and she wondered how they were even in business at this event, I still like them and their eats.

SanTan Brewing had the honor of supplying the beers for the event and since we got there halfway early in the day, there were no lines.

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We got a superhero’s welcome!

I grabbed the high content Moon Juice Galactic IPA and I was not disappointed.

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7.3%  Need I say more?

It was cold and deliciously hoppy with just the right amount of bitter taste.  The old man figured I was onto something good and he had an IPA also.  Ck and Carie had the Sun Spot Golden Ale and they liked it.  I tried some and I found it to be refreshing, although it was only a 5% or something, it was still great.

 

We wasted a good amount of hours in the beer garden, drinking those ice-cold SanTan beers.  The grilled cheese we split didn’t stick to our ribs that much so we decided to spend a little more time walking the exhibitor floor and then we’d go back to the hotel room for some PBR’s and vaping.

That led to our group motorvating over to Wade’s house where we smoked the real smokey and the rest of the night became a blur….J/K!  Although, I admit there was a haze in my vision involved with all the rest of the nights’ events.

Mother Bunch Brewing on 7th street in downtown Phoenix ended up getting our dinner business.  Here is a picture of their beer menu…all the brews with an MB next to them are brewed on site. Here is a link to their website to fully indulge your desires: Mother Bunch

 

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The beer menu, updated for your pleasure

 

I checked out the beers on tap menu without consulting the menu board and decided on a Hose Humper Red.

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Do Not Consult!  Look to your left and behind!

 

It was number 2 by MB and, as you can see on the chalk board, is clearly crossed out.  Too fucking bad I didn’t check the board first!  Sorry if it’s my first time!  I’m such a tourist!

But the waiter realized my ineptitude and suggested that I try number 3, which was a McBride Red and it was a great substitute for what I wanted.  It had a nice red, caramel flavor and it was smooth going down.  I loved it.

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A $6.00 #craftbeer? Not unusual for California, but here? What’s the deal?

 

Ck and Carie also ordered beers and, gosh darnit, blame it on the smoke but I have to say I never did bother to find out what they ordered.  I’m sure it was good because they looked good drinking it.  Good enough to take a picture of, at least.

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The happy couple upon hearing the good news

 

Sean, on the other hand, had enough at this point.  The old man didn’t even order a beer from this brewery!  Shocking!  He downed that water like a fish, though.

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Geez Rev, you’re all red

 

Carie had warned us that the portions at Mother Bunch are enormous so we heeded her warning and ordered one Garden Sandwich from the menu to split between Sean & I.

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Mother Bunch gourmet food menu

 

Since we split the entrée, we got to choose different side dishes.  I got the salad and Sean got fries.  They charged us $0.50 for a side of ranch.  WTF?  Anyways, the food was awesome and full of tasty goodness.  There was a balsamic dressing in the sandwich that was very strong but not overpowering in taste plus it was so filling!

I was very impressed, not only with Mother Bunch Brewing, but with many of the restaurants I visited in Phoenix because they had definite vegan and vegetarian options on the menu.  I didn’t have to order a sammy minus the meat.  Their sandwiches are just naturally vegetarian!  Wonderful!

I will go back to Mother Bunch for more of their beer and to sample the various veggie options they had.  I love Phoenix and all it has to offer vegetarian related.  Give me all the beers on the menu board because i’m here and ready to drink in all of Phoenix!

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

Burritos, Booze, and Bullying at the Taco Guild

The Taco Guild is a well-known gastropub in Phoenix, AZ.  It is housed in a building that used to be a church and since 2012, no God could be found there.  Except the God of great taste and smooth drinks, that is.  I wonder what that God’s name would be?  Mail your suggestions to: sleonard23@gmail.com and I will laugh all night!

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Outside the Taco Guild

 

We were a group of six asking for seats at 7:15 pm on Thursday.  The place was packed, as we could see from the outside, and there would be a 20 minute wait.  We mozied on up to the bar and ordered beers all around!

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Check out the heads on those things! (that’s what she said)

 

The drink menu was incredible!  They had about fifty different kinds of tequila and a handful of drinks you could have made with it.  Since I had been drinking at the Comic Con all day and i’m not into barfing, I didn’t try any tequila this time.  But I had a wonderful IPA called Mother Road Tower Station and Sean tried a Lumberyard Red Ale, both were crafted in Flagstaff.

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The bar at Taco Guild

 

After the first round, came the second!  I tried a Pilsner and Sean stuck with the Red Ale.  Pilsner was also the choice drink for Babra, Ck, & Wade but Carie went with a Blonde Ale.  The craft brews were satisfying and not flat.  It’s just a thing I have about flat beers.  A lot of places have flat taps and they either don’t know or don’t give a shit.  But Taco Guild is a respectable kind of place that wouldn’t think of serving flat booze.

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Drunk and getting drunker

 

Finally, we got seated at a table and settled into the menu.  Spoiler alert!  I ordered a burrito instead of taco’s and I got a shit load of fun harassment from my friend, Ck.  If you even care to read about it, here is the link to the page I wrote that night in the hotel room just to be a dumbass.  Burrito @ The Taco Guild

The food menu is only two pages but every choice is mouth-watering.  They have veggie burritos and veggie tacos for vegetarians and I loved that.

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First menu page at the Taco Guild

Needless to say, I enjoyed my burrito and the time I got to spend with my friends.  The Taco Guild rules and I will definitely be back here next year when we invade Phoenix for the Con again.

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

Tempe, AZ’s own…Phillys Sports Grill!

After driving from Anaheim, CA to Phoenix, AZ, we were in need of some sustenance.  In the wasteland that Interstate 10 bores through, we had found nothingness.  It was a long, six hour journey with vast expanses of desert in a full 360 degree panorama.  Breathtaking and lonely at the same time.  Plus, it was hot as fuck.

There were excessive heat warnings from CA to AZ this week

By the time we checked into our hotel, we were spent.  In an unfamiliar town, we didn’t know what we were in for or where anything was.  Across the street from us, the old man had spied a sign for Phillys Sports Bar & Grill.  In the best case scenario, we would end up fed and buzzed in the air conditioning of a small restaurant.  In the worst case, we would just end up buzzed in a dive bar.  Either option wasn’t too horrible so we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.

 

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Phillys is on Scottsdale in Tempe.  It’s not too far away from a freeway and the traffic that goes by probably keeps a steady supply of customers coming in.  Even on this Wednesday night, there was a minor crowd.

Phillys has an open outer area and then an inside area.  You can eat and drink in both areas.  Outside, there are tables and chairs and one bar along with misters lining the canopy to keep you cooled down on those hot Arizona days and nights.

Inside is what you would expect from your typical bar. It gives off that dive bar vibe with low lighting and lots of neon.  And then there are the requisite amount of televisions everywhere, which is indicidive of a good sports bar.  We found a table and a waitress approached us right away to take our drink order.  We had questions about the draft beer of the week and what was on tap and she helped us out with a smile.

We decided to both get Negro Modelo

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on draught because it was the beer of the week.  It was flat but cold and went down smooth.  The prices were shockingly low.  Coming from Southern California, we don’t often see beer for $3.00 so we were happy when we found that here at Phillys.  We saw a black bean burger on the menu and both ordered one because we were starved.

It has become a habit for us to ask for our veggie burgers to be done so well that they are literally burnt and this time was no exception. The waitress said, “No problem!”

We quickly drank our beers so that we could order more when the food came.  It didn’t take long for our orders to be ready and soon the waitress was bringing us our plates and we were ordering some bottles of Miller High Life.  ‘Cause the High Life is the way we live, high on life with the Champagne of Beers!

Our food looked so appealing on the plates and we were very excited to bite into this culinary adventure.

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Black Bean Burger with a side of Onion Rings before….

 

The burgers could’ve been burnt a little more but they were excellent.  There was a pinch of spiciness to them and they weren’t dried out or too mushy.  Almost perfect!

Our High Life’s helped us wash down the delectable dinner but there was too much food for both of us.  Usually, Sean finishes his plate and then the remainder of mine.  But this night, the burgers conquered us instead of the other way around.  We got a box for the left overs and finished up the bottles.

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…and after!

Next door to Phillys is Oscar’s Market.  Before we headed back to our room, we got a 24 pack of PBR from there.

We ended our day of travel in the super air-conditioned hotel room with those PBR’s and reflected on everything that had happened.  We also planned our attack for the Comic Con that started the next day.  We wanted to get an early start so we only downed a few.  By midnight it was 84 degrees outside and I was ready for bed.

An 84 degree angle, get it?

 

 

I doubt I will ever stay at the Plaza Suites again but I would definitely go back to Phillys Sports Bar & Grill.  They’ve got 3 locations in Arizona that you can look up on their website.  I was impressed with the quality of the veggie food and the fact that they even had a veggie option to begin with.  The atmosphere was great and it was a fun place to be.  I’m glad we ventured across the street to give Phillys a try.  You should too!

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