Velo Cult Bike Shop, Portland, OR, 6.2014
Velo Cult is a place that Jamie and Eleanor had visited before. I had heard about the great beer bike shop idea and the helpful owner and staff.
We hadn’t planned to go, but found ourselves driving right by while we were looking at parks and pools for Eleanor’s birthday party planning. Jamie swung the car in to a shaded parking spot, and we jumped out. A beer on a hot day sounded great.
We wandered around the store looking at bike items. Jamie told me about her previous visit. Eleanor’s bike happened to be in the back of her car and the seat needed some attention.. She brought Eleanor’s bike into the shop and they adjusted her seat to the highest point possible while still remaining safe for her to ride. They did this for free as Jamie was grabbing a beer.
We walked down the stairs into the basement were the Tour De France was playing on the big screen. It was much cooler there. We checked out the “Mad Men” styled bar and realized this would be a fun place for an event.
This bike shop on tap is just the sort of thing that makes Portland such a great place to live.
Fort George Brewery and Public House, Astoria Oregon, 6.2014
While vacationing in Seaside, Oregon, we took a day trip to Astoria our favorite coastal town. We went on a Sunday knowing the town would be busy with the farmer’s market and all the arts and crafts activity that comes along with the market. Excited to show our dear friends some of our favorite Astoria charms, Ft. George Brewery was our first stop.
We love the tap-room especially because of the foosball game, sand bag toss, brewery tanks and all around comfortable environment. You can order food and tasting a pint is so much quicker than the restaurant side of the pub.
The Vortex IPA is a classic and the hop is their symbol. It was a brilliant idea to create a moss hop flower on the side of a concrete wall outside of the tap-room.
I had the Three-Way IPA, one of my favorites and Jamie had the bourbon cask-aged Red Ale. Hers was very tasty too with a very nice bourbon finish.
One of the things that made this visit extra delightful was the black smith presentations and metal art set up outside the tap-room.
Safety glasses for all… “Safety First!” as we always say.
Our friends thought Astoria was charming, but alas, they are not beer drinkers. It’s a good thing Ft. George serves wine too.
Buoy Beer, Astoria, Oregon, 7.2014
Astoria’s new brewery.
The location is spectacular, right on the water with riverside tables available. The building is a made over fish processing plant and very nice.
I had the IPA and thought it was a bit sweet, a bit flat, and not hoppy enough. Eleanor had the home-made mac-n-cheese, and it was delicious! Jamie had the pale ale, a departure from her usual, because their red ale had quite a bit of hop to it. The pale ale also seemed a bit weak in flavor.
The view and the mac n cheese was excellent…. I also have it, on good authority, the burgers are tasty.
I’d be curious to see what others think of Buoy Beer.
Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits, San Diego, CA, 8.2014
I recently went to a training in San Diego for work. One of my co-workers, Rich, is a beer fan and aficionado. We arrived mid-day before the training so we knew we’d have to work fast to make some brewery visits. Our first visit was the best one, Ballast Point Brewing.
Ballast has an on site kitchen where I had some inexpensive and excellent fish tacos.
The beer list was impressive and we all had tasters so I was able to taste 12 different beers. I really liked the way they served the tasters, in half filled pint glasses.
The Ballast Sculpin IPA which is known far and wide can be purchased out-of-state. It did not disappoint. It was the best beer I had all week in San Diego. The Sculpin hits all the rights notes for me as an IPA. It’s nice caramel color does hint at it’s malt, but it delivers a nice aromatic hoppy punch, which is what I really crave. I spent the rest of the week buying Sculpin to take to the beach.
Upon our return, we were delayed at the airport. Thankfully, right next to our boarding area, there was a bar serving Sculpin. Colleagues were buying, which was even better as each can of Sculpin was $8.00 a can! It was the best delayed flight and wait I have ever experienced.
Society Brewing, San Diego, CA, 8.15.2014
“Out West, Old World, Stygian Ales.”
Societe was a charming industrial space with a clever selection of beer. They had fun names for their beer for example, The Harlot, The Debutante, and The Madam. The beers are organized in title categories of “The Old West, Old World,” where I found The Harlot, The Debutante and The Madam, “Stygian, and Ferral.” On another day, I would have tried them all…. and doubt any of them would indeed be hellish tasting, even from the river Styx. The name, “Ferral” really begs tasting and taming.
Unfortunately there wasn’t any air conditioning in the large space and it was particularly muggy week in San Diego. We tried several different beers (two tasters apiece) and frankly I was just too hot to really enjoy them. Perhaps the tasters weren’t cold enough.
I think if I hadn’t enjoyed the previous tap-room so much and if it hadn’t been so hot, I would have really enjoyed this happening space.
Oregon Public House, Portland Oregon, 5.2014
A friend who volunteers for the Feral Cat Coalition emailed and said that the Oregon Public House was raising money for the Coalition on just one evening. As a family who has regular, “Family Happy Hours,” we knew it would be a “win-win.”
We took our trusty board game of Irk. It’s the perfect pub game, as it doesn’t require too much thinking or attention to play but can have moments of fun competition.
We had been meaning to go to the OPH for quite a while, but it’s not in our neighborhood and there are so many good beers close by. I was thrilled to see they had a nice selection of beers plus one of my favorites, Three Way IPA from Ft. George.
Eleanor proceeded to teach everyone at the table how to play Irk and we had two rousing games. Drinking beer for a cause? I like that! The volunteers serving us were from the Feral Cat Coalition and were fantastic. One more, “must check out,” crossed off our list.