Breweries, Out on the town drunk

Catalina Island Brew House

Islands are generally small, as illustrated by the size of Santa Catalina Island.  So to be a successful business on an island, one needs to be good at more than one thing.  The Catalina Island Brew House personifies this island ethos brilliantly as they brew & bake for the tourists and locals all day, everyday.

My adventure started on the Catalina Flyer at 9:00 am.  I had 3 cans of Stella Artois on the boat so I was ready to party when we set foot on land.  My first stop was the Pancake Cottage for more beer and a side of fries.  It was happy hour in the morning, something I had never heard of….but definitely something I could get used to.

After fueling up, me and my group headed down Crescent Avenue to find another watering hole.  As you stroll by, the view will take your breath away.  The sights were ass-tounding to say the least!

DSC08319  A hanging sign lets you know you have reached the Catalina Island Brew House.  It is shoved alongside Steve’s Steakhouse and Maggie’s Blue Rose Mexican restaurant in a small and narrow space.

There was a line when we arrived but it went fast and we were able to order our brews.  CIBH is a nanobrewery and they only had 3 of their own beers available in addition to guest beers such as Four Sons & Bootleggers Breweries.

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I was very happy they had an IPA on the menu so I got the Island Hop IPA with a 6.6% ABV.  It was full of flavor with a strong piney hop taste and a lighter malty sweetness.  I loved it…  DSC08325 I also loved how they give you fresh baked pretzel rolls with your beer order.  Way to go, Catalina Brew!  You impressed the hell out of me!

 

Like I said earlier, CIBH is good at more than one thing.  Not only do they brew great tasting beer, they brew coffee anyway you want it.

DSC08334 They’ve got a whole full-service coffee bar behind the counter and it makes me think they get very crowded in the early mornings when everyone needs their espresso.

The craft doesn’t stop at beer and coffee.  Catalina Brew has a small cafe menu featuring artisan flatbread pizzas and sandwiches.  There is a nice vegetarian selection of pizzas like the Islander.  It’s similar to a Hawaiian but without the ham.

 

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CIBH also offers bakery items as displayed.  I tried the brownies with nuts on top and I was astonished at how delicious it was.  Probably the best brownie I have ever tasted that I didn’t make myself.  The next day, I went back and bought 2 brownies to take home.

 

There is merchandise for sale but it’s limited to t-shirts and stickers.

One of the major complaints people have about islands is how expensive they can be for food and drink.  I thought the Catalina Island Brew House was reasonably priced for beer and a little above average for a shirt.  Their food prices are the same as any cafe on the mainland.

Catalina is one of those places you don’t get to that often so I don’t know when I’ll be back to the Brew House.  But next time, I will stop in and have a beer and a brownie and maybe one of those Islander flatbreads.  I loved this brewery and highly recommend that you visit if you are on Catalina.

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Cheers to Carie the birthday girl – Happy 40th!

 

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And a big “Fuck You” to the world from all of us!

 

 

 

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Beers I drink, Breweries, Uncategorized

Out on the Towne (Park Brewery)

September saw the opening of the newest brewery to join the other 13 breweries in Anaheim.  Towne Park Brewery & Taproom is located off Lincoln Avenue, right by the 5 freeway.  The only way they could be in a better location is if they popped up on Katella & Harbor or somewhere along “Lager Palma Brewlouvard” with their crowds.

I’ve been waiting a while for @TowneParkBrew to open.  I heard about their impending arrival onto Anaheim’s craft beer scene sometime around July.  I signed up for their newsletter and at that time their tentative opening was going to be in late August.  I never got one damned email from them and I wouldn’t have known they were in business except that I went to see a friend’s band at the Holiday Lounge in Costa Mesa and the Towne Park IPA was available on tap.  I tried it and I was impressed.  The hops provided a bitter shock to my palette that I have come to love in IPAs.

So one night, I happened to be in Towne Park’s neighborhood at the Doll Hut Studios

and needed a place to continue drinking after Chuy practice.  The Old Man and I headed over to Towne Park and were surprised to find that it was packed.  It was a Wednesday night around 9:30 and the only parking available was handicap.  Luckily I was the only handicap person there so I took that parking faster than Blac Chyna got knocked up by the only male heir to the Kardashian name.

DSC07833Their HQ is huge!  It’s the center of the Towne Park universe where all the brewing, canning, bottling, aging, and tasting happens.  Out in front they’ve got what appears to be a “company car” with this fun license plate.  It’s probably the owners.

 

I got a few pics of what it looks like behind the scenes in their production area.

Look at all those cans of delicious beer!  Of course, it was dark so the pics could be better but they can give you an idea of just how large their operation is.

Follow the next sign for a good time…

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There is a spacious outside seating area that is all lit up and inviting-looking to the outside world.  Inside is a bright, open tasting room with a bar against one wall and tables with chairs spread throughout.

The Menu Board…

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Towne Park offers 8 different beers as well as non-alcoholic beverages.  They also have apparel and glassware merchandise for sale.  They have pretty average prices for everything on the menu with the exception of the $8 IPA.  It only comes in at a 6.7% ABV and the going rate at most breweries for that level of alcohol is $6 ($7 if they’re bougie).

Since I had already tasted the IPA, I took the “doublemint” challenge and went with the Double IPA  DSC07847 that measures a whopping 9%.  I expected it to pack a hoppy punch but I was let down in the worse way.  It didn’t even taste like an IPA, much less a DIPA; it was much too sweet and malty.  I tried to drink it fast to get it over with and that left me feeling like I shouldn’t have another beer that night.  Damn 9%er’s!

So that’s a score of one to one with my Towne Park Brewery experiences.  I’m not sure how to think about them and they definitely deserve a third try.  I will taste their lighter content brews next time.

It could’ve been a bad night but I had such a good time on the outside patio watching all the pugs and pits play and demand attention from their millennial owners that it made up for the overly sweet brew.

There’s a brightly lit marquee sign that advertises the goings-on of the upcoming week.

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I like that they’ve got a Trivia night on Wednesday’s.  Wednesday is my traditional day for trivia competitions.  We used to play all the time at BackStreet Brewery until they just didn’t have it anymore.  Sometime I’ll check out Towne Park’s game.  And taco’s on Tuesday?  Who woulda’ thunk?  Wonder if there are veggie selections on the menu?

Overall, I am happy with this new brewery.  I just had a bad experience with the taste of one of their concoctions and I won’t let that stop me from going back and tasting what else they have to offer.  Welcome to Anaheim, #TowneParkBrew!

Cheers!

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The self-promoting selfie box (not free btw)

 

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New kid in Towne

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Beers I drink, Breweries, Game Night Drunk, road trip

Council Brewing Company Part Two

I like when breweries take chances and concoct new libations and that is exactly what Council Brewing Co. has been doing since I’ve been there last.  I was hop-stopping in San Diego last Saturday and happened to be in the neighborhood so I thought, “What the hell?”  My first time there was great so my anticipation was palpable.

So down Clairemont Mesa Blvd. we drove to the industrial park off Convoy St. where Council’s unassuming tasting room/brewery is located.  There was a small crowd so we easily got a table big enough to stretch out a long Timeline.

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I was pleased to see the changed-up menu offerings.  Even the selections from the Magic Factory had changed.  I remembered the Lickable Staves Sour that I had wanted to try but I didn’t see it up on the board so I might’ve missed my chance.   I saw on their website that Lickable Staves won Best In Show at the SD International Beer Competition!  Congratulations to them but now my regret is even greater that I never tasted it.  As the Old Man would say, “Bird in the hand and all…”

The first beer I tried was a hazy IPA called Hazeas Corpus.  It was a 6.7% and so citrusy with tropical juiciness.  Delicious.  Sean went with a new draft release called Miss Olivia that was a respectable 6.8%.  Carie got a Blonde called Lively Banter that was 5.5% ABV.   Ck stuck with the fruity theme of the night and got a 4.5% Guava Beatitude Tart Saison.  The Old Man and I also split a Bully Pulpit which we had both tried the first time we visited and wanted to experience again.

@Council has a well-rounded and extensive menu.  They have 2 NE-style IPA’s and 6 flavored Beatitude Saisons.  Just up on the main menu are 14 different beers plus 2 new releases on tap.  Then there’s the Magic Factory selections: 8 beers ranging in strength from 5.8% to 6.8% that are brewed at a different location.

 

Council has bottles to go and merchandise for sale.  Of course, the Old Man found the clearance bin.  DSC07495

Of course, I had to buy one of those clearance shirts since I love CBC so much.  You can also get growlers and crowlers filled.  Flights are $10 for 5 tasters which is a great option if you are trying to sample a selection from the menu rather than focusing on one or two pints.

The best part about ending the night at Council Brewing?  Our television star Pennywise!

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I went to the ladies room and this is what I saw:  It’s a sign from you-know-who.

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Happy Drinking!

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Beers I drink, Breweries, Game Night Drunk, road trip, Stuff i do when i drink

Societe Brewing Company

With good traffic, I can make it to #SanDiego in an hour and a half.  That’s the perfect amount of time to anticipate all that the south-most county in California has to offer.  With a plethora of breweries and map full of comic book shops there is always something to do.  I was in San Diego last weekend for a wedding and had a night to kill so I set my radar to find the coolest brewery I’d never been to so far and I came up with Societe Brewing Company.

It was around 6:00 on a Saturday night when I showed up with the Old Man, Ck, & Carie.  The tasting room was packed as well as almost every table outside.  We quick snagged an empty spot and contemplated the menu.

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@SocieteBrewing has four different styles of beer that they brew: Out West, Old World, Stygian, & Feral.  Sean and I went traditional with IPA selections from Out West.  I got the Publican, a 5.5% Small IPA and the Old Man tried the 6.9% Fiddler IPA.  We were happy with our choices and they were just hoppy enough.  They were both light in color but the flavors were developed and foremost.

Carie went with a 5.6% Belgian Blonde called Harlot from the Old World menu.  Ck wanted it fruity so he chose one of the Feral brews called Henchman, a 6.1% that was $10 for a 12 ounce pour.  It is also known as a fruited beer and it can be called feral, or “wild,” because a different type of bacteria is used in the fermentation that produces different flavors.

DSC07473  Societe doesn’t offer flights but you can get up to two samples if you are on the fence about what you want to try.  They have a great selection so deciding could be a problem.  There was one thing about Societe that I didn’t like.  That was their “full pours” being 12 ounces instead of 16.  Lame.  Don’t know why it bothers me but I kind of feel like I am getting gypped out of that extra 4 ounces.DSC07475

There are also bottles to go and growlers you can get filled at the bar.

Something that I always enjoy seeing are the brewery tours and Societe offers them on Saturday’s at 2:00 and 4:00 pm.  DSC07478

Dogs are just as welcome as people at Societe Brewing and they actually have merchandise for sale for the pooches.  Talk about a stylish puppy, wearing a Societe dog tee and munching on beer bones!

People-sized shirts for women are available for $17.

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The decor is old fashioned and whimsical.  I loved the black silhouettes on the wall with their steampunk-style lights in front of every one.

DSC07485  And the piano in the corner was cool.  A good selection of games lined the top but we had come prepared with our own cards to play.  We’ve been hooked on one called Timeline.  It’s addicting, fast, and fun and you only need 2 or more to play.  It’s perfect for a brewery.

Societe is great for a night of hanging out and trying different styles of brews.  The atmosphere is relaxed and the place is well-run.  There’s a menu board that lists what upcoming food trucks will be there and sometimes they have events.  They’ve got a charitable night with a dog rescue receiving the proceeds.  It was National Sour Day when we went so they had specials on their Feral selections.

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I’ll be back to Societe Brewing Co. and there’s not much that I think should change.  They’ve got this down.  I can’t wait to try some of their 7%+ IPA’s and I’m always ready for a game of Timeline.

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Beers I drink, Breweries, road trip

Central Coast Brewing Company

Tucked in between the hills of San Luis Obispo is a small, unassuming building that houses the Central Coast Brewing Company.  There’s a sign you can see from the street that advertises the wares within.  Stef's pics 8-7-17 041

The tiny parking lot is usually filled with cars.  There are always bikes cruising by and getting locked up while the rider has a brew (or two).  Such is a typical night in SLO on Monterey Street.

In July, I was lucky enough to spend a few days in SLO and I wrote the @ccbrewSLO on my schedule in permanent black sharpie.  I like to visit breweries in every town I visit but certain towns have particular breweries that I especially love and Central Coast Brewing is one of them.

Previous visits to CCBC have been less inviting due to the crowds but it was practically empty when I strolled in on a Sunday night.  There were about 7 people inside and 3 people out on the deck outside.  We weren’t graced with the presence of a canine but I noticed a bowl of water on the floor so they are definitely dog-friendly.

Their menu is so extensive, I had to break it up into 3 shots to be able to make it blind-lady sized.  15 original beers on draft! Had I died and gone to hop heaven?  I love me some Pale Ale and there were 5 different flavors to sample.

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I decided to sip the International IPA called Citrusogalactic at 6.6%.  The Old Man went with a Moonbuggy which measures 8.0% and is a New England style IPA.

 

When I went to pay, I expected my total to be $14.  But the brewtender charged me $8 and change.  I was so stunned that I forgot to say anything like, “Hey, is that the happy hour special or what?”  It would’ve been nice to know.

We got a seat outside on the deck.  It was a nice night and the sun was in the process of setting as we sat and drank.  We watched the shadows on the hills in front of us grow longer and a chill came to the air.  In fucking July.  A chill.  I love SLO.

The citrus was bright tasting and lived up to it’s name.  It was very sour with bitter grapefruit notes.  Sean’s Moonbuggy was resinous & juicy af with the unfiltered haze of a NE IPA.  Both brews were hopped just right.

Stef's pics 8-7-17 024 I love the little details about Central Coast that make it so cozy feeling.

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They’ve got a wall full of different bottles of beer that I could not stop staring at the first time I visited.  This trip was the first time I’ve been able to sit outside so I had never noticed before but the railing is made up up staves from old barrels.  Recycling in action!

I did notice one new thing about CCBC and that is the 2 new bathrooms inside the building.  Now you don’t have to leave your beer out of sight if you are afraid of getting drugged….haha, J/K, that doesn’t happen in SLO!  But seriously, the bathrooms used to be up several steps and down the hall of the building complex next door.  The addition of in-house pissers is convenient and good news to report.

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Central Coast has their own food truck.  It’s something I have seen at a small number of breweries.  They had closed up for the night right before we got there so I didn’t get to see what was on the menu.  But I got this pic…check it out!

You can get merch and beer to go from Central Coast Brew Co.  I like to advertise!

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We talked for a while and then decided to order another round.  Here is what I remember:   Stef's pics 8-7-17 043

It was delicious and I took a nice picture of it.  But I learned an important lesson.  And that is to write stuff down so that I remember when I end up writing the brewbroadblog.

Maybe as soon as November, I will visit Central Coast again.  But it may not be until next year during spring.  I never know where the seasons will take me and what new brews I get to sample.  But I will keep taking pictures and writing about it!

 

 

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Breweries, Out on the town drunk

All-American Ale Works

Meet #Anaheim’s newest brewery, All-American Ale Works.  I guess it’s technically in Anaheim Hills but I can forgive that, we’ll call it Anaheim for argument’s sake.  All-American is located in a business center off of what I have drunkenly dubbed Lager Palma Brewlouvard (although the cool kids are calling it the La Palma Beer Trail).

Keep your peepers open for the CRAFT BEER banner and you will know you have arrived when you see this:

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Patriotic AF

 

In case you haven’t noticed, Anaheim is becoming known for it’s wide selection of breweries.  “Aleaheim.” “Brew City.”  These words have been tossed around in people’s brains just long enough to give my city something to be proud of.  There are currently 14 up & running breweries in Anaheim alone.

 

 

It was crowded with almost every table taken when I arrived with the Old Man.  We checked out the menu board, ordered and grabbed seats against the wall.

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16 available taps means room for more!

There were 10 or so brews to choose from on the menu above the taps.  I started off with a strong one, the Renegade Warrior.  It’s an American IPA with a 6.8% ABV and measuring in at 65 on the IBU scale.  It was a hoppy dream come true.  The Old Man tried the Red Ale called Storm The Beach that had an alcohol content of 6.9% but a mild 28 IBU’s.  It was floral with a light hoppiness and deep reddish color that the light could barely penetrate.

Here is a postmodern picture that the Old Man shot of me, taking a shot of our beers to post on this here blog.  It’s awesome.  DSC06616 Notice the cool logo glasses.

#BeersOfInstagram #tweetingaboutblogging #research #postmodern

 

 

There is paper menu with all of the 12 brews that are offered.  I grabbed a pic of this one:

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I spoke with one of the brewtenders about how excited I was to have another brewery in town.  Travis was really friendly and talked about how they had started out brewing in a hot garage in Riverside & now they were brewing in a hot warehouse in Anaheim.  All-American is fairly new having only opened up within the last 2 months.  They are veteran owned and operated and their love for our country shows in the decor.

 

Well, nothing goes better with patriotism than beer and pretzels.  The Old Man wanted to goof off so he tried on a pair of pretzel specs, lol!

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Pretzels…the veggie option

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Shirts & tanks $15.00

All-American has t-shirts for sale but with a limited selection at the right price of $15.  Sean wanted to buy one so badly because they were cheap & they had 2XL but they were the “slim fit” kind.  Sean wonders what kind of person, whom was large enough to be a 2XL, would want to wear a slim fit.  Perplexing.

 

 

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Go long, bro

There are several big screen tellies against the walls and about 8 wooden tables with chairs to hang out at.  This is what All-American Ale Works looks like from the front corner:

 

 

Down a hallway in the back is The Taco Bar to satisfy your munchies.  Here’s a pic of their menu.  Not many choices and nothing vegetarian so…meh.

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And then there was that strange smell of flesh that lingered in the air

Feel free to bring your 4-legged friends to All-American as they are welcomed by everyone.  I assume you can also bring your little munchkins but give them a teaspoon of whisky before you arrive.  It’s rude to drink in front of your kids without including them.

The Friday night that I visited, there was a princess named Daisy who was friendly and curious and adorable as hell.  She could melt your heart.

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Brew Dog Daisy

I stealthily listened in on the conversation between Daisy’s papa & his friends.  They were looking for a brewery to hit up next and they looked up something online and then decided on Bottle Logic.  A good choice in my opinion and just 3 miles up #LagerPalmaBrewlouvard.  Daisy’s dad had also said that he sometimes goes to Backstreet Brewing on Monday nights for the $3 pints.  Next time I’m at Backstreet, I hope to run into her again.

Since it was #datenight as well as a covert information gathering job, I decided to try another brew before we left.  The Patriot Pale Ale was a delicious choice with a light 5.7% ABV.  Patriot was crisp and refreshing.  There are a few more that I would’ve sampled but another brewery was calling softly.  The Old School Mix Tape is a session IPA that I would be interested in and I have a curiosity about the Blue Manchu, a fruit beer.  These will have to wait another day.  I will definitely come back for another sudsy round of brews from All-American Ale Works.  It’s a great starting or stopping point on Lager Palma Brewlouvard and where you go from there is totally up to you!  Drink well & remember to tip your brewtender.

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Beers I drink, Stuff i do when i drink

Todos las cervezas de Mexico

Recently, I got my international drunk on in Mexico for a few days.  Most of the beer drinking I did was in the airports on the way there and back.  I’m not usually a cocktails kind of lady but I had more than my fair share of them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             DSC05270

The first day started off at the AeroMexico counter, waiting until they opened up at 4:30 in the damn morning.  The Old Man had heard AeroMexico offers free beers on their flights so I was excited to get on that plane and get me one.  But alas, alcohol is not served in flight before 11:00 am.  I was kinda hoping that as soon as we hit that time zone line where it went from 9:00 to 11:00, that they would break out the drink carts and it would be a big party flight all the way to Mexico City.  No such luck there.

We had about an hour to kill in the Mexico City airport after we had gone through customs.  So we found a joint called the Pizza Bar that was close to our gate.  Now we could finally have our first beers of vacation!  I got a Dos Equis and the Old Man scored with a 4.9% Bohemia.  Then we said “Adios!” to Mexico City.

On the next flight we had the unfortunate luck of being in the very back row.  By the time the drink cart got to us, all they had left was Corona Light.  Never one to scoff at a free brew, I graciously accepted that weak-ass 4.2% and drank it right up.

DSC05752We landed buzzed in Cancun and thought it was a good omen that the tower is sponsored by Corona.  Our next opportunity to drink came in the van ride to the hotel.  The driver had a cooler of Corona Extras and bottled waters up in the passenger’s seat.  We both had one of each and the drive went, well… less than smooth.  He took us around the little town called Puerto Morelos and then dropped us off at El Cid.

The rest of the night was devoted to serious drinking.  No more of that under 5% beer.  We started with champagne and ended with shots of tequila, spiced rum and vomit.  It was a steamy, sweaty, drunk night.  The right kind of start to a vacation of excess.

For the second day, we didn’t drink any beer at all.  What?  WTF, you say.  That’s right, no beer.  After I filled up on breakfast, I filled up on some champagne.  We were dying to go to the pool bar so we got changed and took the plunge.  We swam up and got our insulated cups filled to the top with Pina Coladas.

Throughout the day, we tried every single cocktail on the menu.  We had blended drinks, drinks on the rocks, sweet drinks, and fun colored drinks.  We tried Mai Tais, Daiquiris with fresh bananas, Pina Coladas, Blue Hawaiians (blue Pina Coladas), Margaritas (lime & strawberry), Mojitos, Jungle Juice, and a drink called the Cola de Iguana.  That translates to the Ass of the Iguana.  The drink was a bright green and tasted a lot better than iguana butt.  We had damn near everything.  But we barely got drunk.  We were able to maintain the whole day.  I guess that’s the result of watered down drinks.  Not that I minded, because I sure got a buzz going on that lasted all day and night.

DSC05508 (2) Our next full day was spent on the beach, in the pool, and in the town.  We found a spot right on the beach called Cancun Billy’s and sat there drinking Dos Equis out of bottles.  The view was spectacular.  The beers kept coming until we finally had to break away so we could get drunk somewhere else.

DSC05714  We walked around Puerto Morelos with our insulated cups filled with beer we had purchased at the Oxxo, it’s a convenience store like 7-11.  Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love 7-11 so of course I had to go visit it’s Mexican cousin.  The beer at Oxxo was $1.  You cannot beat that anywhere.  I had a Corona and Sean went for a Modelo.  By the time we were done with our beers, the sun was setting and it was time to taxi back to El Cid.

The last day was so sad, we didn’t want to leave.  So we started drinking early.  A banana daiquiri from the swim up bar was our first.  We packed and checked out, trying to remain buzzed for as long as we could.  For a variety of reason’s, we got to the airport in Cancun more than 3 hours early.  What a good opportunity to get even drunker!  And we did!

DSC05724  There was a little cafe called Guacamole that we sat at for a little while and drank a few Dos Equis each.  Then we went through security and found the Dos Equis Snack Bar near our gate.  It was a good place to make base until we had to board our flight.

I ordered 2 Dos Equis as soon as we sat down and when we were half way though drinking them, Sean noticed the “Super Size” Dos Equis!  A liter of Dos Equis!

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It was a huge ass bottle and I had a great time killing mine.  We got FOMO when it came time to board so Sean ran to the Convenience Store to grab our last Bohemias of the trip. We finished those on the tram ride to the plane.  We were 3 sheets by this time.  DSC05739

On the first flight back, we ordered Heinekens.  We enjoyed the beers of Mexico but we wanted something that was 5% ABV and nothing had been so far.  Yeah, we were happily drunk for a while and then it started to slowly wear off.  Sobriety started setting in.  And they weren’t serving anymore cervazas.  FML.

We couldn’t take drinking anymore on the second flight home, we couldn’t even get enough water.  They should give you a whole bottle, not just a few ounces pour.  What is it?  A tasting?  There is a fine line between drinking and drinking too much.  I got to that line and crossed it.

Not a big deal…lesson learned.  I will probably repeat it next time I fly so maybe my lesson isn’t really learned at all.  Hmmm.

I had a wonderful time drinking beers in Mexico.  It is one thing to have a Corona at a BBQ in Anaheim, but an experience to have a domestic beer of the country in which you are traveling.  I can’t wait to do it again!  Keep drinking!

 

 

 

 

 

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