Beers I drink, Breweries, Game Night Drunk, Out on the town drunk, road trip, Stuff i do when i drink

Red Tandem Brewery

I’ve had my eye on Oxnard for a while.  I see in the news that the weather is perfect there which makes me want to retire in the nard of the Ox.  So when the Eichels invited us to the Oxnard Steampunk Fest I was more than eager to check out the town.

We got dressed up in our finest and paraded around Heritage Square for a couple

of hours and then, as per usual, spent more time at the bar than mixing with the crowd.  We got dinner and went back to our room to drink Heinekens.  All of a sudden, we had the whole night before us with no immediate plan.  So we decided to hit the town.

I chose Red Tandem Brewery because they were the closest one to our hotel and we wanted to Uber since we had been drinking for most of the day.  DSC07921  The brewery & tasting room is in a strip mall kind of area surrounded by nice beachy-type houses in the Oxnard Shores community.  We arrived early in the evening when it was still light outside and snapped this picture of one of the houses all decorated up for Halloween. Getting in the spirit…I love it!

 

DSC07922  There is a bright red sign letting you know you are exactly where you want to be… minutes from the beach on a mildly temperate evening in October about to get drunk on “nanobrew.”  Good times for the forecast!

 

 

The interior of @RedTandemBrews is on the small side but there is seating for at least 25 people.  The menu is also on the small side but that’s not a bad thing when they advertise on their website as a “nanobrewery.”  At least you know what to expect when you walk in.  There are only 7 different brews but everyone in my group got something unique so the limited selection wasn’t an issue.  The Old Man snapped this clear shot of the brew board.

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I started off with my usual, a 6.4% IPA called C-Hag.  The hop level was just about perfect.  It has a measurement of 47 IBUs and was not shocking to my palette at all.  It was so good that I stuck with the C-Hag for the rest of the night, which ended up being about 3 beers long.  Sean got the Beach Blonde Ale with a high 5.9% ABV for a blonde.  He loved it but he also experimented with the Island Fox Red Ale and some of that C-Hag.  Everything we tried was a taste of perfection.  You can tell that the brewery really cares about what it is producing and takes the time and attention to detail that is necessary.

Red Tandem has some art on the walls (possibly for sale?), a chess board,

and a barrel set up with games to play.  We bought our own game of Timeline because we’re pretty good at this brewery thing; this wasn’t our first rodeo.  We met a nice guy named AJ.  He was just drinking and waiting for a friend so Ck asked him to join our game.  He caught on right away and we all had a great time.  I only won once but I’m glad about that one.  Every time I play I try to remember one card from the whole night.  Last month, I memorized the death of Billy the Kid as happening in 1881 and as fate would have it, I drew that card this time and stole the game!

As I was walking around the place taking pictures, the owner and brewer, Mark, asked if I wanted a tour.  I said yes right away because I love seeing all the equipment of the whole brewing process.  He was very friendly and quickly went over all the steps.

It was information overload during the tour and I don’t remember much of what Mark told me but he showed me the vats, the 55 lb bags of grain they use, the door to the temperature controlled fermenting room, and the refrigerated room where they keep the kegs and other ingredients.  All the brewing is done on site in the back.  It’s a small operation but extremely efficient.

I really liked Red Tandem Brewery.  From the location to the brews, they are tops in my opinion.  It’s too bad that I’m hardly ever in Oxnard because this is a place I would revisit again and again.  Maybe someday I will make it back there.  I hope Mark is behind the bar.  And I hope I get a better Uber driver than the crazy lady who picked us up at the end of the night.

Cheers!

 

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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

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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Breweries, road trip, Stuff i do when i drink

At Ease @ Barrel Harbor

Barrel Harbor is a San Diego brewery with a great reputation and a decent local distribution.  Their original location, 2575 Pioneer Ave. #104, Vista CA , attracts all types of people.  From hipster beer-snobs, like the two pictured here, dsc03959

to casual one-pinters, it seems everyone likes Barrel Harbor.  And now there is a whole new plethora of reasons to like them.

In January of 2017, @BarrelHarbor opened a new location.  They collaborated with At Ease Games and popped up right next door, which gave way to one of the greatest tap rooms ever: At Ease @ Barrel Harbor.

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So the brewery is connected to a game shop, which i thought was really cool.  What goes together better than beer and games?  I looked around At Ease Games for a little while and my friends ended up buying some Munchkin card packs and a new Cthulhu game.  When we were done there, we headed next door to begin our Sunday of brewery-hopping.

The new location is huge.  Located at 8990 Miramar Rd., San Diego CA, they’ve got 16 taps and so many different delicious choices, I could’ve spent all day there.  Here is a picture of their menu board & current offerings:

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It was close to noon when I walked into At Ease @ Barrel Harbor and it was empty, save for the lone brewtender.  I wanted to start with something light so I tried the South Island Pilsner with a 5.2% ABV.  The beer was served in a tall, kinda skinny pint glass that made it seem really fancy.  dsc03941The Old Man tried the Barrel Harbor Red Ale with the same ABV.  Ck had what I had and Carie had a Blunderbuss Belgian Blonde that charts at 6.5%.

My pilsner was a golden color and it was cold and not flat.  In fact, there were so many bubbles coming off the bottom that it looked like champagne.  It tasted crisp and a bit citrusy.  I liked it a lot.

Everybody else enjoyed their choices as well.  When it was time for a second round, I wanted something harder so I sent Sean up to the bar with the explicit instruction to find me something “strong and good.”  When he came back with my Little Nugget IPA, I was not disappointed.  It was 7.4% and didn’t taste overwhelmingly hoppy.  It went down smooth and had a clean finish.  I wasn’t paying attention to what everyone ordered for their second beer so I can only say that the two I tried were top notch, tasty, & full of flavor.

dsc03953There is an area in the middle of the place where you can buy merchandise like shirts and pint glasses engraved with the Barrel Harbor logo.

They have demo games available at that counter too.  You can choose any game you want to play and if you like it enough, you can go next door and buy it.

At the rear is the game room.  This is where the experienced role-players go.  There are gaming tables set up so you can spread out and conduct a real adventure with your friends.


The longer we sat drinking, the more people showed up and headed to the back.  The game room is a popular addition to this brewery.

 

Since At Ease @ Barrel Harbor is located near a military base, they offer discounts for the service, police, & firefighters.

There are specials  listed on the menu outside like the BOGO 50% on Tuesdays.dsc03946

Like most breweries, Barrel Harbor allows pets and children.  The pets part I like; don’t get me started on the kids.

 

 

 

 

 

I loved how this location is so large.  I should’ve looked to see what the max capacity is.  It seems like it could never get too crowded and there are plenty of places to sit.

 

I’ve been to a lot of breweries but I have to say that At Ease @ Barrel Harbor is the one of my favorites.  The very concept of a game store connected to a brewery is genius.  This is the kind of brewery I will go back to whenever I am in #SanDiego.  It’s fun to exercise your brain with games while also killing those same brain cells with alcohol.  The circle of life.

 

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

SCV Brewmasters

As a matter of formality, we visited the Santa Clarita Valley Brewmasters Pirate Beer Festival.  And damn, did we have a good time!

I have only been to one other event like this.  An event that celebrates drunkenness and promotes revelry.  But this one, this one, was the best.  It started off at noon.  We parked and walked to the entrance with 2 minutes to spare.  We wanted to get every moment possible to drink the selections offered by the various breweries represented.

At first, we wondered around aimlessly.

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We walked the plank of the LAPG booth and got prizes in return.  They were out of most of the prizes because of the selfish VIP’s who had stolen all the precious before the general public was allowed in.

Until we saw that Temblor was represented with 4 fine choices of beer.  I had a 661 and something else I seem to have lost the name of.  But it was wonderful to see Temblor at this event.  It’s about halfway between Bakersfield and Anaheim so you feel like they made the effort and you made the effort and everyone gets to drink in the end.

There were so many breweries represented.  We tried a Redhead from FireHouse Brewing Co. and also a Brunette.  They both gave about the same head but the Redhead was much tastier to my palette.

We sampled from Absolution, Elysium, Firestone Walker, Lagunitas and Golden Road.  Most we had heard of but there were some new names in the mix.  Like Kona, who poured two fine selections and gave away lei’s to the mass public.

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Here is some of our crew enjoying the fine pours that were to be had.

There were a ton of pirate themed decorations spread throughout the area the brewfest took place in.  We got many pictures playing amongst the toys.

I kinda thought we could last from open until close, that would be noon til 5:00.  But, avast ye matey’s, we didn’t manage it.  We just drank until we could drink no more.  Our VIP friends left at around 3:00 and we drank through until about 4:00.

There were many fine beers and I wish I were a better reporter because I would be able to credit them all.  Instead, I drank myself silly and I can’t remember shit.  If it wasn’t for pictures and the list Carie made, I would be lost.

When it came down to closing the night out, we just ended up playing card games in Ck & Carie’s hotel room.  We played Quiddler and I came in last.  Yay!

But we had a great time and I would do it all again next year.  The End.

 

 

 

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Out on the town drunk, road trip

Bakersfield’s Craft Tap House

The 99 freeway is my main evacuation route when I retreat to the serenity of pine trees that is #Oakhurst, California.  I take it through towns like Bakersfield and Delano and Traver all the way to Fresno, where I promptly merge onto the 41 freeway and head north.

But on the way up, I almost always stop in #Bakersfield.  A quick stop to gas up and eat or just to stretch your legs after the Tejon Pass.  Either way, people come and go through here all the time.

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I have been a fan of the Bakersfield #craftbeer scene for a couple of years but I mostly had just heard of Lenghtwise Brewing Co.  I only get to town here about 3 times a year but we always try to check out a brewery.  This time, when I searched, I found a shit ton of newer places that have opened up in the last couple of years or so.  The Craft Tap House was one I had to check out, preferably first.

The Craft Tap House is unique.  I’ve heard of places with similar concepts but this was my first time going to one.  The idea is simple….

When you walk in, you exchange your ID for a swipe card.  You get a chilled glass from the cooler and you get to choose what beer you want and how much to pour.  It took me five or ten minutes to walk around and read all the taps.  If I wasn’t so bedazzled by the sheer amount of taps, I could’ve looked up and read the tap menu that runs on a screen above everyone’s heads.

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You are charged per ounce and the prices are related to the ABV.  Now you’re talking my kind of numbers!  The “cheaper” beers go for around $0.36 and the average ABV is 5%.  The “better” beers will run you about $0.61 an ounce and are in the 7% range and higher.  The highest beer I saw was $0.70 per ounce and it had a 13% ABV.  I like that…a lot!

So I finally decided to have some Tioga Sequoia IPA.  You just put your card on the screen behind the tap and pour.  The card keeps track of how many ounces you pour and how much each ounce costs so you know your total throughout the night.

I started off with half a beer because I wanted to try so many and because  I got over half foam on my pour.

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The foam eventually fizzed down to the 7.8 ounces I paid for.   I get very competitive sometimes and my nature just started coming out at the Craft Tap House.  They have 50 different beers on tap so it’s not an easy job picking your first!

They have some major California breweries represented in the offerings.  Like Stone, Pizza Port,

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Firestone Walker, Bootleggers, Modern Times Beer, and Karl Strauss.  There were also some smaller breweries like Mother Earth and Mad River.  From yellow to black, the beers come in all colors and flavors.

Greasy fried food and meat dishes make up the menu.  Their food is very “California Cuisine.”  The BLT is an ABLT with the A standing for avocado.  They have a pretty extensive menu but didn’t offer a veggie burger so we didn’t get anything to eat.

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The Craft Tap House also sells merchandise.  I only saw that they had Pizza Port from San Clemente in stock but I know the other breweries have shirts that could be sold there too.

There is a “real” bar inside the Craft Tap House that serves mixed drinks.  In case you’re into that sort of thing, there’s a live bartender you can really tip who will pour you your drink.

Sean’s second beer was 4 ounces of foam.  He didn’t expect a comp or anything but he just wanted to tell the supervisor that the keg was tapped out.  So what did the supervisor do?  He gave Sean a free 12 ounce pour of a decent tasting beer to make up for it. We never did get the name of that beer though.  And then, when the keg had been changed, the supervisor bought a 4 ounce pour of the original beer Sean had wanted in the first place to our table.  We were impressed, to say the least.  That kind of customer service brings people back in and you can count on Sean and I going back.

My second beer was this huge, epic thing.  While I was helping the old man down his comped brew, I saw on the menu screen that there was a Stone beer I have only heard about in legend.  It was the Stone Farking Wheaton wOOtstout 2.0

This is a collaboration between Stone Brewery, Wil WheatonAisha Tyler and some Farking guy named Drew Curtis.  I had to try it.  For purely scientific reasons, of course!

Here is a succession of pictures that shows me in the three stages of discovery.  Before, notice the smiling and eager face about to try a new brew.  Then during; drink it up, brewbroad, drink it all up!  And then climaxing with my disgusted face for the after-shot.

It is an Imperial Stout so I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with it.  I don’t generally like Imperial Stouts but I knew what I was getting into.  And it was worse than I expected.  It was thick and sugary sweet.  I couldn’t get any coffee tastes in it and it was a chore to finish it.  All I said was that I had to try it.  I didn’t say I’d have to like it.

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I love the concept of the Craft Tap House.  You pour your own so there is no one to tip at the end of the night.  The selection is outstanding.  All the California brews you can drink, without having to go to the actual brewery.

 

I will be back here next time I’m in Bakersfield for sure!  Pourin my sorrows into a glass!

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