Monday, January 6, 2014

Sacramento Area Adventures

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Well, first thing’s first… I was a little under the weather again this weekend. Apparently Dizzy was ill while I was in Utah, was pretty much over it, but was still a little contagious so I think I got her bug this weekend. Just a little bit of sore throat & body aches that were fairly easily remedied… but it was still enough for me to call in sick on Friday so that I wouldn’t pass it along to coworkers… and Dizzy was coughing quite a bit all weekend but hopefully she’s getting over it too. We took care of each other this weekend… and how!?!
Friday, I basically spent my whole day off doing laundry, drinking OJ, watching Netflix, catching up on blogging, all that fun stuff but kept to the house. Nothing too noteworthy. Oh, because we were both under the weather, we thought it would be best to hold off on our next stage of homebrewing with transferring our Bourbon Barrel Porter, bottling our Mead, or starting either our Winter Warmer or Oktoberfest brew… but instead, we did have a little fun doing research.
Saturday, we were both feeling well enough to keep our plans of meeting up with Dizzy’s sister Tess in the Sacramento area to go on a mystic adventure through time… but first, a few stops. The first stop was Heretic Brewing Company in Fairfield, about 45 minutes from my place (and only about 20-25 from Dizzy’s). Their taproom, known as The Confessional, just opened up a few months ago and we first heard about it because… apparently there was a big snafu about a craft brewery opening up so close & in the same city as a MAJOR Anheuser-Busch brewery… but after legal battles, here they are. Apparently, it IS a free country… for now. The Confessional is located in a somewhat industrial business park area just off I-80, but once you step in the doors, it’s just a nice simple, contemporary place to try out some beers. The crowd was very nice (fellow homebrewers & food truck operators from outside) so we found out a little about them & basically just shot the sh*t while taking in their delicious options.

Their motto is “Be a Heretic. Don’t Drink Ordinary Beer” and they certainly have a lineup of distinctive & delicious brews. We tried a sampler of just about everything on tap (nine in total). I really liked just about all of them. Their top year-round selections include Evil Twin (red ale), Evil Cousin (IPA), Shallow Grave (Porter) & Gramarye (GABF 2012 Gold Medal winner for Rye beers). However, some of my favorites were their seasonal CHP (Chocolate Hazelnut Porter), Incubus (Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout) & Miscreant (2 year old Dark Sour Ale) but they have a lot of other selections that are just hard to keep for more than a week. Online there are listings for some interesting stuff like Worry (Belgian style aged in Chardonnay barrels) and their Barleywine (Dead Weight). I highly recommend checking them out if you’re in the neighborhood.
Next stop was meeting up with Tess at Goat House Brewery in Lincoln. All I can say about this place… is this is pretty much what we want to do. It’s a husband & wife team (Mike & Cathy Johnson, and their dad actually greeted us in the parking lot before we even stepped in the door) who decided to chase their dream and turn their farm & barn into a farm-to-glass experience… by growing their own ingredients and turning a barn into the brewery & tasting room. We basically were thinking of pretty much the same thing… so it was nice to see that it could be done… and done so well. The whole atmosphere was very nice & inviting… and kind of a beergarten setup where everybody can meet at tables meant for up to 12 people and just chat… or in this case, listen to a local artist. As for the beer, it was also pretty damn good.

They had eight selections, basically all the craft brew staples with clever names like Jagged Little Pils, Sweet Georgia (brown ale), Dirty Redhead, 1492 (IPA with Columbus hops) and my personal favorite, their barleywine Badonkadonk. They were all fairly decent as well. I’ve had better but… not really anything that you can knit-pick about any of them. Basically just really good staple recipes with some hoppiness and great flavor. What more can you really want? If you’re ever in the Lincoln area and looking for a great place to chill during the hot Sacramento days, then I’d definitely check this place out. Warning, they do close fairly early around 4 PM.
After some quick refreshments, the three of us headed out to Folsom Lake to investigate the ruins of a town devastated by the building of this man-made lake... but you can read about that on my other blog if you really want. This one blog is for beer.

...and then on the way back home, we stopped for some dinner at Sudwerk Restaurant & Brewery in Davis. This came highly recommended from the host of the Halloween party we went to a while back. They had a keg of their IPA at the party & told us about this place… and basically it was also a German restaurant so… what’s not to like? We pulled up & that was where I found out that the Eagles had yet again lost a first-round playoff game (DAMMIT!!!). But we ordered a sampler of their season brews (Doppelbock, Dunkelweizen, Session IPA, Milk Stout & an Imperial Pilsner) and they were pretty good. Again, nothing incredibly exceptional… but definitely very decent and went will with dinner (a fantastic Tri Tip Salad and Wiener Schnitzel). Again, I highly recommend this place if you’re in the Davis area. Good food & drink to wash it down with.

So with that… the focus of this week is to make sure that I’m over this cold… and then this weekend, probably catch up on the brew action. We’ve got a load of Quick Mead that may be ready for bottling… but then again, it may be a few weeks too. We definitely have our Bourbon Barrel Porter ready for being “barreled” with Maker’s Mark Bourbon. Then we have a two new batches to decide for our next batch. We can go with:

A) A Winter Warmer spiced ale… or...
B) An Oktoberfest style lager.

I’m thinking the winter warmer since we’d better have it ready before “winter” is over… but then again, when it’s always temperate weather then it doesn’t really matter. Suggestions? Any batches that you’d like to see us make in the near future? I’m trying to think of something adventurous for my Birthday release beer in April… as well as a Paying off Gretchen (my Jeep) Party Ale in July/August. I have a few ideas but… I’m always up for suggestions. Have a great day everybody!!!

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