Friday, December 6, 2013

Three Local Stouts at Sunset

I've been enjoying some spectacular December Sunsets in my back yard here this week, and I've found that (on Sunday and Monday at least) sunset goes well with a nice California stout. Sunset also goes well with wine, but that'll be another post at another time.  This one is going to concentrate on Stouts.

Ballast Point Imperial Stout Sea Monster:  Ballast Point is in San Diego CA, and is a fairly large brewery by craft beer standards.  They sell their beers at local grocery stores and I've seen the Imperial Stout on more than one store's shelves.  "From the deep dark depths of our Brewmaster's imagination comes this rich and monstrous oatmeal stout." Roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate & currant, the back label touts.... and I do recall tasting those, but this was a fine beer all around.  I liked as much as the "Victory At Sea Imperial Porter" that I mentioned here last Sunday.

And it is really nice to be able to drink a beer in the back yard and watch the sun set, have hummingbirds doing dog fights over the pool and chasing each other all through the palms and plumeria.  Very relaxing after a full day of work.  Come visit us in California, and I'll sit your butt down in the backyard 20 minutes before sunset so you can appreciate it too!

Corona Brewing Company's Stupid Stout - Imperial Stout was a good beer.  The back label states it is "the perfect beer to warm up with as winter cold sets in".  Since it will be only in the 50s here today, and get down into the upper 30s tonight - which is COLD by Southern California standards - I would have to agree.

And lastly, Port Brewing, San Marcos CA, has a seasonal Santa's Little Helper Imperial Stout.  I was expecting something more "Christmasy" but it was fine as a Stout.  "First released in 1997, Santa's Little Helper has been our annual insurance policy against lumps of coal".  I'd say that Port Brewing is not under-insured.

Getting a clear image of a hovering hummingbird, at dusk, without a tripod, in dwindling light, while every 3 or 4 seconds another hummingbird is zooming in to strafe & attemptedly skewer his rival, is not a photographic technique which I have yet mastered.   With 6 nectar feeders up in my back yard though, I think I'll be getting a great deal of practice.

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