Beers I drink, Breweries, road trip

Oceanside Brewing Company

I had a family event looming on my horizon in #Oceanside so I wanted to check out some local breweries while I was there.  I had more than an hour to kill before I had to be somewhere and the closest brewery was also the one that would’ve been my first choice: Oceanside Brewing Company.  I like when the town is in the name.

DSC06293    A little sign above the door and a  “BEER HERE” sandwich chalk board  DSC06288  let you know you have arrived at the Oceanside Brewing Company.  There isn’t much parking but we got a place up front.  TGFHP.  That’s Thank God For Handicap Parking.

DSC06289  A couple with two kids walked in as we were getting out of the car so I knew OBC was kid-friendly right off the bat (you should see the disgusted look on my face as I type that).  I could also see the wagging tail and rear end of a dog so I knew they were dog-friendly as well.  DSC06306

Here’s a pic of the awesome fur baby I got to meet.  I will take dogs over kids any day of the week, lol.

 

@oceansidebrewingco has an extensive menu board with no less than 22 brews on tap.  There is literally something for everyone.

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There were a couple of beers I wanted to try but I was drawn to the New England style Desert Storm IPA which measured 6.7% ABV.  It was delicious with a citrus, grapefruit taste and stuffed with hops.  The Old Man tried a Corps IPA that came in at 6.8%.  It was interesting.  The Corps tasted more like a brown ale when we first sipped it but then the mellow hoppyness came forward and it tasted more like the American IPA it was billed as.

I complemented the brewtender/brewer on the Desert Storm and he told me a funny anecdote.  As regular readers will remember in my review of House of Pendragon, the New England or hazy style IPA is a fairly new type of craft beer to hit the market.  He said that the NE IPA is kind of a little joke among brewers who usually work very hard on getting clear, filtered beer.  And then some guy from Maine comes out with this “hazy,” unfiltered beer and it’s all the rage.  The brewer liked it because it shaved a couple of weeks off the brewing process by not having to filter out all the remnants.  And he said it was a popular choice so the general public seems to approve.

We wanted to go drink al fresco because the breeze was so nice & cooling but both entrances to the back patio were chained off.  As we stood there, contemplating the chain, the brewtender told us beers weren’t allowed out back and hadn’t been for six months as they battled with the ABC about the zoning.  The ABC are a bunch of dicks.  They were on the verge of having it all worked out and he said the back would be open for drinking in just a week.

OBC has a few games to play as well as some brew-crafting reading material.  The large wooden chess set was attractive and looked inviting if you are smart enough to know the game.  I’m not.

There are t-shirts for sale but I think they’re a bit overpriced at $25.  DSC06308

 

 

 

 

 

I left the Oceanside Brew Co. wanting more.  It’s a #roadtrip there but not too far from #Anaheim so I am sure I will be back.  There are more brews to sample and some outback patio fresh air & sunshine to soak up.  I love California.

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Beers I drink, Breweries, road trip

Sequoia Brewing Company

The Sequoia Brewing Company is an old standard of mine in Fresno, CA.  I’m there practically every April on the way to Oakhurst for some much needed R&R.

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We have been to Sequoia Brewing so many times that we are both very familiar with the beers.  Neither of us agreed out loud that we wanted to try something different but it seemed to be the unspoken consensuses.  Thanks to the “Specials” board out in front, we found what we were looking for;  two new brews that we were eager to sample.

I started off with the “So You Like IPA’s” Series #1 because I loved the high 7.4%.  It was delicious.  The taste was more malty than hoppy but the hops did creep up on me.  The bitterness was slight and it went down smooth.  I seem to remember that the IPA’s that Sequoia and Tioga Sequoia offer are not as hoppy as IPA’s available in Southern California.  The Old Man tried the Spring Bock which measured 7.2%.  It was a golden colored lager with a smoky aftertaste.

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In German, “bock” means “goat” and it is used to show a particular beer has a kick to it.  The Spring Bock indeed had a kick.  I tried some of Sean’s and liked it so much I ordered it for beers #2 and #3.  I got Sean’s original choice and he got mine for his second round.  He was as impressed with the IPA as I was.  There are a total of 3 varieties in the “So You Like IPA’s” series and we are excited to come back and try them.

Sequoia Brewing has specials for Happy Hour and we were hungry after our 4 hours just spent on the road.  We’ve had the pizza here before and it leaves something to be desired.  So we opted for the pretzel bites and we were not disappointed.

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The pretzel bites are small pieces of a larger soft pretzel that is deep fried to perfection and then salted and served with a side of stone ground mustard.  We ate that shit up fast! It was such a needed snack that ended up being our dinner.  Sequoia has a limited selection for vegetarians and I really wish they would offer a veggie burger.  They do have a veggie sandwich that sounds appetizing so I commend them for that effort.

Happy hour was coming to an end so we quickly ordered our third and last round.  I stayed with the  Spring Bock and Sean went back to the traditional menu to sample a Garage Sale Rye Pale Ale.  In the past, the Old Man has enjoyed rye IPA’s so he figured the rye pale ale would be just as good.  Coming in at a 6.0%, it was flavorful and crisp.  It had a nice dark red color.

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When it came time to pay the man, we were giggling with delight at the price of our beers.  I had to take a picture of my receipt to show off just how cheap the craft brewed beers are during happy hour.  $3.47!  $3.47?  Hell yeah!

Sequoia Brewing Company could teach other breweries a lesson about pricing.  Lately, I have been paying $6 and $7 for pints at local breweries.  They were no better and no less ABV than the $3.47 beers at Sequoia.  At a brewery, you cut out the middle man.  Where do some of them get off charging more than $5 for a pint?  I guess it’s the greedy American way.  The prices at SBC are refreshing and make me want to go drink and drink some more.

I probably won’t be back to Sequoia Brewing Co. until next Spring break.  If I was a local, I’d drink there more often but it’s just another one of those great stops on a #roadtrip. It’s nice to know I have a place to sit and enjoy some beers and unwind from the long drive.

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Breweries

Council Brewing Company

If you are going to San Diego, you have many choices when it comes to drinking good #craftbeer.  There are a lot of breweries you can visit and they are each wonderful in their own ways.  But I believe Council Brewing Company is maybe a little more wonderful and definitely worth a stop.

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They are a self-described “nano-brewery” but the menu offers a diverse selection.  By the time I got to Council on that fine Saturday, I was already buzzed.  That may have clouded my vision and led me to order a 7.0% Make IPAs Clear Again.  Whatever it was, I was extremely pleased with my selection.  It had a strong number behind it but it didn’t taste like a typically overly hoppy west coast IPA.  It was a mellow IPA that was very drinkable.

The old man went with the award-winning Bully Pulpit that was a high 7.2% ABV.  DSC04199

I snapped this picture of him behind the cut-out.  The term comes from a speech by Teddy Roosevelt in which he refers to the White House as a “bully pulpit.”  The brew itself is another great IPA from Council.  Not too hoppy at all, very clean finish.  I can see why it was the medal winner.

Carie tried the Farmer’s Gold Belgian Saison and she liked the light 5.7% beer and Ck started off with a 5.2% Pilsner called Diamond In The Grain.

 

Neither of them could resist getting their pictures taken with the Bully Pulpit cut-out either.

 

Here is a nice, readable picture of the menu-board.  It’s surprisingly well-populated list of alcoholic delights.

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Council Brewing is like any other brewery, kid and dog-friendly.  Which is good in one way and bad in another, for me at least.  But I’m not complaining.  The kids in there were quiet and not running all over the place.  The parents had trained them well.  We were probably louder than the kids and we had just as much fun playing with the blocks.  I got to meet this sweetie too!

When it was time for our second round, we all tried something new.  Except Carie, who knows a good thing when she finds it.  She stuck with the Farmer’s Gold.  I got a 100% Maybe IPA that was lighter than my first and measured in at 6.3%.  Again, I was impressed with the flavor of their brews….delicious!

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Sean ordered a Questionable Advice IPA that was a 6.7% and Ck delighted his taste buds with a 3 Berry Beatitude Saison.  Even though it was a light 4.5% ABV, it was so tart & tasty.  We had Charlie join us for our second round and he went for the heaviest right away.  He got an 8% Royal Blood Imperial Red IPA that was dark in color and tasted like coffee.

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They have a special menu of sours that are brewed at another location called The Magic Factory.

 

One of them is called Lickable Staves and I was curious about what a “stave” was so I asked the brewtender.  He informed me that it is a plank of wood in a barrel.  So next time I go back, I definitely want to try the sour Likable Staves.

 

I liked Council Brewing Company a lot.  The only disadvantage is that it is tiny and not meant for crowds.  But the selection is extensive and the brews are good.  They brew truly craft beer and it is obvious once you try your first taste.

Go ahead and do yourself a favor.  Visit and enjoy Council Brew then check it off your list of things to do in #SanDiego.  Your drunk self will thank you.

 

 

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Breweries, Game Night Drunk, Stuff i do when i drink

Bay City Brewing Company

Last month I was lucky enough to try a new location of a previously-visited brewery, At Ease @ Barrel Harbor, and to experience a whole new brewery, AleSmith Brewing Company, while I was in San Diego for the weekend.  This month, I found myself in San Diego again with a lot of time and a lot of nothing to do.  So you know what I did?  I got drunk.

I started out the day right with a big breakfast and then a visit to the Villainous Lair where Ck picked up a new Munchkin game called MOOPS: Monster Mash-ups.  Then it was time to commence the drinking that I knew was going to happen all day long.

Our first stop was at Bay City Brewing Company.  It is located in an industrial area off the 8 freeway and close to Mission Bay (hence, the “bay” in “Bay City”).  Bay City is also about a two minute drive from Modern Times Beer.

Bay City is spacious and seemed even more so when we got there a little after it opened at noon because of the lack of people.  More folks eventually showed up and I got to meet two dogs during my time there.  Always the highlight!

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A well-behaved Frenchie

 

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The Pug that wandered in from the storm

Their menu isn’t extensive so I was able to pick out right away what I wanted to try.

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I went for the basically-named San Diego Pale Ale and the one with the highest ABV, 7.7%.

Sean tried a Power Play IPA that I told him to get because I wanted to try that one too and I knew he would like it.  It measured in with a 6.9% ABV.

Carie had the Vienna Lager, a mellow 5.0%, and Ck had the Dark Lager that came in at 5.3% ABV.

The Pale Ale & the IPA were very hoppy.  Very resinous tasting and mine killed my taste buds in such a way that I was able to enjoy the rest of my pint.  Otherwise, I would’ve been scowling with every sip.  I tried little sips of Ck’s & Carie’s lagers and they were so light in comparison.  They were delicious and worth a second visit.

We sat around a pallet table that was big enough for 8 people and played a game of Munchkin. It was so much fun because our group has been talking about doing it for about as long as we’ve been playing Munchkin, which is about 3 years.  Finally!  Our wish come true!

We didn’t have a game board but not to fear!  Ck had purchased each of us our own 10-siders that corresponded to our home-game Munchkin colors.  What a thoughtful guy!

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I languished around level 1 for so long as the rest of those munchkins rose up until Carie eventually claimed the win.

The brewtender who came to collect our empty glasses also asked if we wanted refills and the answer of course, was, “Yes, please!”  That was a nice touch of service and I will always remember Bay City as very customer-oriented.

A brew tour bus came through so it got a little crowded for about half an hour but then it cleared out and it was just our gang of four with a Frenchie guy and a couple other humans left over.

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A woman from the tour pissed everywhere around the toilet and nowhere in the toilet.  What, did she think she was in the men’s room?  Sidenote: Bitches please!  At least clean your piss up so I don’t have to if you can’t use a toilet seat the right way.  It’s your own damn piss.  Bitches. The bathrooms were nice and clean other than that little incident.

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Behind the scenes at Bay City Brewing Co.

The brew vats are set up off in the back.  They are lit up with cool blue lighting that goes with the silver of the tanks.  Cool design, owners!

There is a back patio area that I didn’t get to visit because I love sitting on my ass.  Next time I’m at Bay City Brewing, I will check it out.

I liked this brewery a lot.  It is roomy enough to deal with crowds and has some pretty tasty beer.  I would recommend starting with the light end of their spectrum and you won’t be disappointed.

The location is another great thing about Bay City that will definitely bring me back in.  Parking could be better but when I was there, parking wasn’t an issue so I won’t complain.  I’ll just say, I would hate to have to find close parking after 4:30 on most weekdays and all time during weekend nights.

Bay City Brewing Company is a must stop if you are in the Mission Bay area.  I had a great time there and will be back, for sure.

 

 

 

 

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Beers I drink, Breweries, Out on the town drunk

A Noble Redux

We started with Noble Ale Works a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

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It was long before BrewBroadBlog, long before we acquired a taste for the IPA’s.  One time, we were the only ones present in the tasting room, this was before they opened the tasting room up to the warehouse section next door.  They had a bunch of Angles and Ducks memorabilia and a huge map where visitors placed pins to mark where they were from.

Image result for anaheim angles logo parking lot crisisThis Noble Ale Works died long ago.  They died when a shit ton of folks started parking at Noble for Angles games and crowding the very little space Noble has for “schmoozing.”  We stopped going there because we were sick of the crowds.  We might be beer snobs but, fuck you, hipsters, we were there first.

 

Tonight, we were on a hunt for a brewery.

Image result for old orange brewing company We hit up the Old Orange Brewing Company on Batavia in Orange but they were closed.  They should think about turning off their lights and putting the picnic table back inside if they are not serving beer.  Whatever.

So Noble was the next closest brewery to our house.  If they were crowded we were going to try the Legends Brewery on Lewis.  But the Noble crowd was manageable so we ended our night there.  The best taco truck in OC was there, hawking their meat-filled creations but also offering one with grilled veggies.  Smart choice.

The menu was new and familiar to us at the same time.

Image result for noble ale works menuThey featured the Pistol Whip’d which I used to drink all the time.  It comes in at a 4.5% ABV so I left it alone for the night.  I ventured out to try something stronger and I decided on a Big Whig IPA that was a 6.8%, it was Noble’s attempt at a West Coast IPA.  Whatever that means, right?  It was damn tasty.  It was hoppy but the IBU’s were not overwhelming.  I guess a West Coast IPA is kinda light.

They offered more “light-ish” brews like the Swoll Patrol and the Tank Top but neither appealed to me.  Noble presented several “hoppy-ish” choices, like the Big Whig, and the Tongue Tickles that registered a whopping 8% on the ABV.  Some stouts, like the Man’s Milk, which I think is a hilarious name for beer, came in with a 6.1% and the Double Bam Bam that is an Imperial Red Ale and will get you quite fucked up with an ABV of 8.88%.

Noble has some experimental brews on tap like the Life Is Pitless,

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which is a sour beer that features hints of sour cherry balls from the Most Magical Kingdom in all of Anaheim, Disneyland for you tourists.  The Naughty Sauce is a stout with coffee notes on  nitro to give a certain creaminess to the mouthful you will gulp.

It took about 5 minutes from the time we got our beer to the time we were able to commandeer a table from some losers who couldn’t hack drinking for the rest of the night.  As we sat and drank, we talked about how the Noble Ale Works has changed.  They started out sporty and took on a following they couldn’t keep up with.

Luckily, Noble is expanding.

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We saw the very proof of it tonight in the “Expansion Observation Deck.”  It’s a hallway that leads to closed glass doors that you can peek into.  What you will find is just darkness and maybe some vats.  But they are growing and I couldn’t be happier.

 

Our Big Whig IPA’s lasted a little while but soon we needed to medicate.  So out to the parking lot we went and sparked up a completely legal bowl of weed.  Things are changing.  There are new things on the horizon and I like the way the future looks.  If Noble can expand, so can I.

I just have to remember to stay the hell away from Noble during the baseball season.  It’s packed with lowlifes and trouble makers.  Visit Noble in the off-hours for a great time.  Try an experimental IPA or a light American Lager.  Noble’s got the best of them and it’s totally worth it.  You’ll see.

 

 

 

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Breweries, Stuff i do when i drink

Getting Trivial with Leonardine Industries

Ever since OC Pop Quiz and the OC Weekly teamed up to host a trivia competition in which the Lagalots failed miserably back in early October, we haven’t been to a regular Wednesday trivia night at @BackstreetBrew.  It’s not like we were ashamed to show our loser faces, we just got really distracted by life.  But last Wednesday, we decided to have a night out with some fun trivia on the side.

I checked Groupon and there was a deal that I quickly bought.  It was $22.00 for 4 pints of beer and 4 flights.  A great bargain in itself but Groupon let me use a coupon code that gave me $5.00 off so in the end, I got my deal for $17.00.  It was worth downloading the Groupon app and kept me in beers the whole night.

The Old Man and I started with our flights.

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I got a sampling of the lighter lagers and ales with my heaviest being a 5.9% called Trifecta Pale Ale.  Sean got some of the stronger ones and his favorite was the Holy Shizz Imperial Red, it’s a 12% or something close to that.  An interesting and tasty beer I tried was the Mango & Habanero.  It was so sweet at first and kinda pulpy when you held it up to the light.  It went down smooth.  And then the habanero kicked in and my throat burned like a mother fucker.  Sweet and spicy is a great combination.

For our second round of flights, we both just got our favorites from the menu and shared each one.  When it came time for us to get our pints, I went with a Set Sail IPA and so did the Old Man.  We weren’t even finished with those before we were ordering our last round of pints.  We were a little tipsy so we stuck with a 5% Vienna Lager to close the night out and the brewery down.

There were six teams competing that night and it was only the second time that Leonardine Industries has played.  The usual suspects were there, like Quiz On My Face, but there were some new faces & team names too.  Quizmaster Doug was already there when we arrived so we knew it was gonna be a fun and fast evening.

In the first round, Leonardine did okay.  We knew that Sturgeon is prized for caviar and that Papa Johns is the official sponsor of the Super Bowl and that the first animal

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in space was a dog but we didn’t know who Quasimodo fell in love with (Esmerelda, btw) or that the latin root of Malaria is “bad air.”  We ended up getting 4 points out of six and we got the bonus wrong.  It was about the Super Bowl attendance and we guessed 120,000 because we don’t know anything about the capacity of stadiums.  But Team Ramrod knew and when they rolled the die, they got to steal a point from another team.  Luckily they didn’t choose us and we came in tied for second place.

Round 2 was hard.  It wasn’t about balls so we had that in our favor.  The task was to name 10 musicians/bands that toured in 2015 and made more than 50 million or something like that.  The only thing we could think of to do was to name all the artists that we hear about all the damn time on TMZ.  That turned out to be a pretty good strategy because we got seven points for a total of 11 and the lead.  Thanks Harvey Levin.  Yeah, yeah…I know you’re a lawyer.

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The next round was worth a total of 9 points.  We got the first three right, which was the top tourist states in the US.  In a way that was too easy, we guessed California, New York and Florida and they were all correct.  The next three were so fucking difficult that I don’t even think that the fully assembled Lagalots could’ve known the answers.  We had to name 3 of the 6 musicians who had won an Oscar and also had a Billboard hit.  Wow.  Who the fuck knows that kind of information?  Certainly not us as we guessed wrong on all three.  The last question was to name 3 styles of iPod besides Touch and Mini.  Sean knew the Shuffle and the Nano but we couldn’t think of a third so we only got 2 right.  We got the bonus question wrong by the smallest fraction.  I thought the iPod came out in 2002 but it turned out to be 2001.  Two teams got it right and got to roll the die.  But the good news for us was that we were still in the lead with 16 points.

The picture round, the 4th one, was next and we had to name ten fruits with shitty ass quality pictures as the only way to identify them.  We did well, and I was really proud of myself for knowing the Dragon Fruit Image result for dragon fruitbecause I had just made a dragon fruit and pineapple sorbet the day before.  We didn’t know acai, we got figs and dates mixed up, and Sean had never even heard of a lychee.  We got seven out of ten and we were feeling pretty confident.  But we lost our lead and Quiz On My Face took the reigns.

Round 5…the Guess Who round.  We have a rule that I’ve stated before and I will state again now.  No matter how sure you think you are, don’t turn in the answer until after the 3rd clue.  That way, you’re sure and you get points instead of none at all.  So I know that rule but I like to break rules, i’m just that way.  I knew the answer was Gwen Stefani on the second clue.  Image result for gwen stefani no doubtSo did everyone else.  One team turned in their answer after the first clue and 2 other teams besides us turned in after the second one.  You don’t ask a question in Anaheim about Gwen Stefani and expect no one to know the answer.

 

Round 6 was the final one.  It’s just like round 1.  Six questions and a bonus.  Well we’re pretty damn good at these easy trivia questions by now so we got 5 correct.  We knew that James Earl Jones provided the voice for Mustafa (except the Old Man had to ask me who Mustafa was) and that crochet is like knitting but with one hook and that giant, one-eyed creatures are called Cyclops.  And thanks to the power of the eraser, we figured out how to spell “subpoena” after a few trial and errors.  The question we got wrong was in regard to the host of a foodie show on the Travel Channel.  I thought I knew the answer, Andrew Zimmern, but I was sadly mistaken.  We also got the bonus wrong again.  It was about the weight of the heaviest burger ever made and we guessed 3 pounds but it was actually something like 14 pounds.  Crazy ass meat-eaters.

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When the final results were announced, we had a score of 34 and we were in third place.  Quiz On My Face and Ramrod tied for first so there was a quiz off!  In 50 seconds, the teams had to name as many Las Vegas Strip hotels as they could.  The winner, with 13 named, was Quiz On My Face.  Congrats to them and to a battle hard fought.  We found out later that night that it was Quiz’s first time winning and they have been doing trivia night longer than we have.  So extra congratulations go out to those boys.

 

 

 

 

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Breweries, Stuff i do when i drink

Coronado Brewing Company

 

San Diego is pretty classy when it comes to breweries.  The Coronado Brewing Company is no exception.  @CoronadoBrewing has been around for 20 years and they have made a good name for themselves with locals and tourists alike.

There are a few locations around San Diego County in which to sample from their wares.  Last Sunday I visited the Tasting Room on Knoxville.  It was my first time so I did not know what to expect but I was immediately happy about their stellar selection.  It took me a little while to finally decide on a Punk’In Drublic at 8%.

This pumpkin ale has so much flavor and a spicy aftertaste.  Not the kind of spicy that makes your nose runny but the nutmeg/cinnamon combination prevalent in many Fall dessert creations.  It’s not too sweet…in fact, it’s perfect!

The old man and I have about the same tastes for beer so he went with the Punk’In Drublic too and he loved it.  Ck had the Parallel Pale Ale and Carie tried the Sea Breeze Lager.  They were both kind of light on the ABV which is why I didn’t try either of them but they looked beautifully golden in color.

Here is a shot of their extensive beer menu.  These are just some of the brews available.  There is another menu of the “staple” beers from Coronado and a tele screen with more listed.  It would take a long, drunk time to try each one of the brews on the board.  But I would take that challenge!

 

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The Meaning of Life

 

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We had just visited the Game Empire and bought some great games that we were eager to try.  Carie picked one out called Quiddler.  It’s a scrabble game with cards.  There are eight rounds and you get more cards in each successive round.  You have to try to make up words.  There were some creative ones but I think this one by Carie takes the cake.  Ck described it as a very 1980’s slang phrase.

Needless to say, Ck won the one game of Quiddler that we played and I came in 2nd place.

The tasting room is in the same big warehouse as the brewing vats and kettles as well as a bottling machine of some sort.  Possibly, maybe. Probably not.

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Coronado Brewing Co. has merch set up everywhere that you can take home with you.  You can buy cans & bottles to go if drinking alone is your thing. J/K!

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Or you can buy t-shirts, hoodies, key chains, and anything else you can put the CBC brand on.  They also sell Growlers in various sizes so get one filled and take it  home with you!

Not only is Coronado dog friendly, they have regular local dogs that come in all the time with their people.  I got to meet a few of them when I was there and it made my day.dsc02070

Something else that made my day was seeing the bunghole and getting to point it out with my own two fingers.

The bunghole is where the beer goes into a barrel where it stays to age and develop flavors.

TP for my bunghole.

Everything about Coronado Brewing Company is shiny and attractive and clean.  It wasn’t too crowded when we started drinking at 1:00 on Sunday but groups of people trickled in more and more as we stayed longer.  It’s the kind of place you don’t mind spending a couple of hours in.

Service is fast and friendly.  There is a food truck schedule posted for when you get the inevitable munchies.  A big hot dog was there serving weenies during the time we were there.  Unfortunately they had not bought their veggie dogs that day so they lost two sales.

 

I can’t wait to go back to Coronado Brewing Company!  It’s a fun and mellow place to hang out and drink.  You can bring your own card game to play or watch some balls on the tele behind the bar.

It’s in a great location, right off the 5 freeway near Sea World (boo).  The coastal breezes keep the weather all nice and cool so it never gets too hot in there.  The Coronado Brewing Co. definitely stands out among nearby breweries as one of the greats.  It was a pleasure going there and I will be back!

 

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