Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Weekend LA Trip!!

Hi All,

It has been a while since I last posted. There hasn't been much going on and I have just been lazy. Since I know all my avid readers have been dying for an update I thought I would write about my trip to LA this past weekend.

At first I didn't really want to go but my wife convinced me. I didn't want to go because we were going to be gone on Sunday which all of you know is my football day. I went anyway and ended up having a great time. We left Friday night and drove to Santa Monica to a highly recommended British Pub called Ye Old Kings Head. I was told it had some good fish and chips and a good amount of beer on tap. They were pretty close to being right on. There were alot of beers but the Fish and Chips weren't the best I ever had. The bangers and mash ( sausage and mashed potatoes) were damn good though. You know me I love sausage. As for the beer I was able to try 2. The first was a good British Ale called Fuller's London Pride Ale. It had a good mix of hoppiness and smoothness. The second was a British specialty, I think anyway, It is called a Black Velvet. It is a mix of Guinness and Hard Cider. I actually thought this was rather gross. It tasted like apple flavored Guinness. I am not a huge fan of Guinness as it is but mixing in the cider actually made it a lot worse. I don't reccommend it but I will never say don't try it. After dinner my wife and I went back to the hotel and opened up a 2004 Ledson Sonoma County Zin which was great as usual.

On Saturday we went to the San Antonio winery in LA. It is the only working winery in LA. They had a a lot of decent table wines but nothing that I would write home about. I did end up purchasing a sparkling (for use in mimosas) and a port. After the winery we headed off to the Huntington Beach Brewing Company for lunch and a sampler. I was able to try 6 different beers and I enjoyed 3 of them. I liked the Pier Pale Ale, the Brickshot Red, and Santa's Helper. The others were ok. I also will recommend the burgers and the pizza they were really good. So if you are in Huntington Beach check out the place. After the beer tasting we had a few hours to kill before the champaign and sparkling tasting at Brix wine bar in Sunset Beach. We just walked around for a while and then read a book for a while. We tried a total of 8 sparklings and all of them were good. The 8 we tried are Cristalino, Wolf Blass, Heidsieck Blue Top, Veuve Cliquot, Duval Leroy, 99 Laurent Perrier, Taltarti, and Gloria Ferer Blanc Nior. My to favorites were the Wolf Blass which was 6.99 a bottle and Duval Leroy which is 36 a bottle. This is a good example of how two wines in very different price range can be both be really good wines. We finished the day by going for Mexican and then going back to the hotel.

On Sunday my wife had to work so I had to kill the day. Well I started out going to the ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney. Let me tell you I have been there a few times before but I never got to sit in the recliners fronthing the wall of TV's. Let me tell you as a football fan the only 2 things better are the sports books in Vegas and being at the game. I was able to watch all the games at the same time. It was sweet. My only complaint is on Sunday's during football season they have a $10 an hour food and beverage requirement. I was actually so full from the night before that I didn't want food or drink but to stay in my recliner I had to order things. Well I nursed both food and drinks like I was a baby on a nipple. I started out with an Irish coffee (it was 11am) and it took me about 45 minutes to drink and cost me $9. So then I ordered some cheese frys and ate them for about 45 minutes and that cost me $8. I still had one quarter to kill so I got a blue moon draft for $6 dollars. In other words I was in the chair for almost 3 hours and only spent $23. I kind of feel I scammed the system but oh well. It was a fun morning but I still had about 3 hours to kill before my wife was going to be done. What was I to do. I went to see Baowulf in 3D. It was pretty cool. I haven't seen something in 3D in ages. To end this really fun weekend we had sushi in Santa Clarita and headed home.

I know that this was a long time coming but I hope you enjoyed my weekend update. I am going to Virginia for the Holidays so i hope to have some good material for the blog.



Sunday, December 2, 2007

Thanksgiving Vacation - Beer Adventure 4

Hi all,

This was the smallest of my beer tastings and it was designed and created by me. I was walking around Binny's Beverage Depot in the beer section and I found a whole shelf full of lambic beers. I have only seen them at a few restaurants and didn't know that they were bottled for sale. Not only that but i thought there was only peach and raspberry flavor. Boy was I wrong. There are many different flavors on lambics. In this case Binny's had 5.

The flavors were (All flavors below are from the Belgian Brewer Lindemans Brewery) :
sour cherry (kriek) - I really enjoy this one. It had a nice cherry flavor. I don't like to say it this way but think cherry cough syrup with out the mediciney after taste. Trust me its a lot better then i can describe it.
raspberry (framboise) - Most of my families favorite of the tasting. (I also set this tasting up for my in-laws and wife)
peach (pĂȘche) - My personal favorite. I think it tastes like peach nectar with a kick.
blackcurrant (cassis) - I thought it was nasty but it is supposed to be the best selling. Must be a Belgian thing.
apple (pomme) - Tasted kind of like a sour apply Jolly Rancher and hard cider combined. This was my second favorite.

If you would like more information on Lambics I recommend you look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambic. It has a good overview of what a lambic is and gives some info on the brands available. I say give them a try. I am hoping to get back to Europe in the next few years I think I may try these from the source.

That was my beer adventure for the Thanksgiving week. I hope some of you are able to try some of the beers one day. Also remember try some of the brewpubs and microbrews available in your area. Trust me they are better then any mass produced American beer that you normally drink.