Thursday, December 27, 2012

Falling Behind

I've fallen behind in blog postings, as our son, Nathan Junior has been visiting for the last two weeks.  As I type this, I have 14 empty wine & beer bottles sitting beside my computer screen, watigin to be photographed and blogged about.   The old Windows XP desktop is gone, replaced with a 13 inch Mac Airbook running (I think) Mountain Lion OS, that I bought the week before Christmas when my LG 15 inch monitor died one morning - the Apple Store guys in Mission Viejo were really really nice, and incredibly patient with this curmudgeon.  I went in to buy a Mac Desktop, and walked out with an Airbook and a service agreement.

Nathan Jr and I visited the Stone Brewery in Escondido CA, about 45 minutes to the south.  Toured the brewery, drank the fine ales, and now I am a converted craft beer disciple.  Shun all beers brewed by InBev.   Craft brewed beer, by definition, as to pass the low bar of
- less than 6 MILLION barrels brewed (serious, 6,000,000)
- must contain barley, hops, and yeast (not HFCS, corn, rice, or other filer & cheaper ingredients)
- must not be owned by a major commercial corporate brewer (InBev, SAB, etc) by more than 25%
It's a pretty low bar...  but 95% of the beer sold inthe US doesn't make that bar.   Even beloved Goose Island (not Creek, thank you Ron and Traci) from Chicago recently sold out to InBev, and the former CEO is advising InBev of how to "look more Craft-beer-ish" grrrrrrr.
We picked up some Arrogant Bastard Ale, some 12-12-12 Vertical Epic Ale, and some Porter (DDF loves porters).  I'm finishing a "Sublimely Self Righteous Ale" this evening as I type this.

My drumset is set up in my new California office - and it IS more spacius than the cramped Phoenix home office.  DDF and I are proud owners of new Diamond Back mountain bikes (mine a 29 inch wheel, Shimano hardware, grippy off road tires, and her's a 27 inch tire, 16 inch frame, also Shimano hardware) that our son recommended as excellent bargains (for entry level mountain bikes).  Nathan Jr and I rode them down to the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and then onto Laguna Beach for a grand 26 mile round trip inaugural trip the day after we bought them last week.  Happy Hour at Laguna Beach C'est La Vie restaurant was wonderful, before we biked 400 feet vertical climb and 13 miles back home.  This week, we did Aliso Canyon & Woods, from North to South, East to West, putting on another 20 miles, but this time in the mud.  We saw the sun setting over Catalina Island from one of the several 800 foot hills we climbed. 

I need to cancel my Norton AntiVirus subscription for the XP desktop.  95% of the boxes are unpacked from the move.  California is not as bad as I thought it might be, and I actually kind of like it here.  I'll be sad to see our son leave tomorrow, but he wants to get back with his friends in South Carolina, and our friends Zim and Ame are coming to visit with us for a friend's wedding this weekend, so that should be fun  =)

Sorry to be so neglectful of my followers.  I hope all your RSS feeds still work.   Be well - JustJoeP


  1. Yeah, was a real shame about Goose Island [not creek] going to A-B. I met Greg Hall, the brewmaster, about 20 years ago at the original brewpub. He gave us a free pitcher. They made incredibly good beers. Still do, probably, but I've not been back in a while. Their bourbon county stout remains one of the finest beers I've ever had. And I love Honker's Ale.

    Goose Island beers are now appearing in London. Unfortunatley, the push is on for their IPA and their wheat beer. I think Honker's is far better but oh well.

    The big question is: how soon before you start brewing? Ask Zim for advice on getting started. I predict you'll be good at it.

  2. The very nice guys at Stone Brewery said Greg Hall left the company, said "screw you corporate america" and started his own micro brewery in the upper midwest (they thought Minnesota. but here not sure). The G.I. CEO meanwhile, is helping InBev to LOOK LIKE and APPEAR to be as crafty as possible, in marketing, sales, etc, further eroding the 5% market share by true Craft brewers.

    I drank Stone Smoked Porter this afternoon while watching da Bears beat da Lions. mmmm delicious stuff.

  3. I just wish I could drink Cider without getting queasy. I detest Woodchuck, and other ciders I've tried gave me sort of the heebie jeebies, all over.

    I was Very pleased to hear my son was drinking Stone Brewery (IPA was all they had) in Charleston yesterday while watching football. He was a 'cheapest beer possible' fan, but I think our trip to Escondido my have converted him. =)

  4. I would've guessed you would be a fan of cidre from Bretagne or Normandie. Same (bad) effect?

  5. Je ne connais pas. I will have to try expanding my tastes to other regions and offerings. Many Years ago, I NEVER thought I'd ever drink wine - "wine, ew!". A few years ago, I never thought I'd drink anything except cheap American beer. With time, I've evolved. Il faut voir.


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