Thursday, August 28, 2014

Not Trying to Brag But...

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
I almost forgot to mention the Earthquake that we had last Saturday… well, there’s a few reasons for that… mostly because it was in Napa over an hour’s drive away… but also because the experience was me being lightly jostled awake at 3 AM just in time to catch like the last two seconds of a six-second shimmer… and then nothing. No damage, no injuries, nothing like that… which is great. We’re fine. Napa got hit pretty good with some power outages and piss poor planning by vineyards will probably cause to an “unexpected” rise in wine prices… but beer’s better anyway. Aside from that, no deaths, only a few injuries from falling bookshelves and stuff like that… I think some mobile homes burned because of a small fire & close proximity… I feel like most here in the area are pretty prepared for the inevitability of earthquakes… and this kinda served as a pleasant reminder to check your preparedness kits. That’s all I really got to say about it. My first time feeling one really in almost four years here.
Saturday night before the quake, we watched “Lego Movie” starring the voice talents of Chris Pratt, Morgan Freeman, Alison Brie, Will Arnett and… let’s face it, half of Hollywood seemed to be in the movie. Basically, this was the mega-release Lego movie after the success of all the straight-to-DVD releases they had before with Lego Batman, etc. It’s about an everyday schmoe construction guy (Pratt) who “isn’t special” so he’s apparently lonely… and then an amazing adventure ensues involving a missing piece and… you know, lots of kids stuff… but as lame as my plot summation is… I’d definitely recommend that you go check this movie out because it’s pretty hilarious for both kids & adults… and seriously, why the hell not? GO CHECK IT OUT!!! It’s LEGOS!!! See what they’re doing with all CGI movies nowadays… it’ll tickle your funny bone…
Over the weekend, Izzy & I found a little gem on Netflix called “Rocket City Rednecks” which is a TV show about a few rocket scientist rednecks in Huntsville, Alabama who spend their weekends doing projects to make complicated scientific discoveries… using mostly junk parts & ingenuity. Basically their weekend projects are things like… make a submarine out of a pesticide tank… or make an Iron Man suit out of junkyard parts… or turn a pickup truck into a tank… or try to make Batman-like gadgets out of household appliances… stuff like that… and it’s HELLA interesting. The best part about the show… is that while you’re watching these episodes that are like Mythbusters with a  draaaw… you start to realize that these good ol’ boys with a pretty typical slack-jawed yokel accent really are f**king geniuses… and they’re incredibly entertaining too. It’s like the Duke boys & Uncle Jesse deciding to turn the General Lee into a Rocket Car! Pure entertainment! I suggest you go check it out!
Tuesday night, we went out to Daly City to play some softball… and long story short, I didn’t play (because there was like 20 of us suited up) and we lost after a very poor start. I think the final was like 15-7. We NEVER let anybody score more than 10 before I don’t think. Hopefully this helps us to focus… and let’s face it, I don’t help THAT much when I do play… but here’s the thing, I don’t believe we’ve lost a game that I’ve played in the four seasons I’ve been playing… and we’re only like 4-3 when I’m not in… just something to think about. Maybe that’s like the “Bengals & Patriots are 43-2 when Benjarvis Green-Ellis scores a touchdown” or something… you know, those pointless factoids in sports. Well yeah, having a player score a touchdown really would improve your chances of winning… that’s just logic. Anyway, looking forward to next week to wash this feeling off…
Wednesday morning, I awoke to an email from the main promoter for the Napa Valley Expo after I had reached out to him trying to find the results from our entries early last month. Well, with the wine harvest & the earthquake, needless to say I wasn’t at the top of his priorities… but ugh… we actually did really well. How well you ask? Well, the results are below… and the rating are out of 50 and basically anything above 36 is considered EXCELLENT!!!
•             PentaceraHops Ale (Torpedo Clone) – 1st place Pale Ale (39.7 rating)
•             Oktoberfest – 1st place Light Lager (36 rating)
•             Winter Warmer – 2nd place Strong Ale
•             Honey Amber – 2nd place Brown Ale
•             ChocoNut Stout – 3rd place Stout (Too much coconut for style)
•             Blood Orange Hefeweizen – 3rd place Wheat Ale
I haven’t heard back on a few details like… how many entries there were, how our label placed in the label competition, or even the overall Best of Show winners (since I assume the two 1st places would’ve advanced?) but yeah, this is astounding to get SO MANY RIBBONS!!! I mean… everything placed?!? Congratulations Izzy! We’re now MULTI-AWARD-WINNING brewers!!!
Wednesday night was the SFHG Monthly Meeting and we announced the winners of the guild’s 3rd competition of the year… and unfortunately we didn’t win there… or even really score well, but we only had old beer to submit at the time, so kind of expected. Our bock wasn’t ready yet. Our Blood Orange Hef & Honey Amber weren’t eligible styles. Our Torpedo Clone is a Pale Ale… but where that was not a eligible style for this comp, we had to list it as an IPA (India Pale Ale) which is pretty different from its flavor characteristics… so basically the same beer that scored almost a 40 in the Napa Valley Expo as a Pale Ale, was about 25 as an India Pale Ale, which makes sense. Basically the only other one that we could submit was our Bourbon Barrel Porter, which isn’t really made to the BJCP Porter style because of the addition of Maker’s Mark… and it’s also reaching six months old so towards the end of its freshness cycle. We still got some good feedback (mostly great beer but not to style, might be old, etc) but our Competitions Chair also gave a quick talk about the BJCP scorecard and how the competitions work, which was very helpful.
While there, we also caught up with each other about the upcoming Northern California Homebrewers Festival and planning everything out for that. Basically it sounds like it’s going to be a LOT of fun with great people, great beer, and hopefully great weather in mid-September. We also tested out the four different keg samples from the large batch that we made at Motobrewer, and apparently we’re all pretty good with our sanitization and upkeep because they were all very similar. The verdict: Not sure who’s keg we’re going to submit to the competition portion of NCHF… but they’re all going to share with everybody afterwards, so 18-20 gallons of great Cali Common for everybody!
Anyway, that should do it for me this time… still kinda pumped about winning so many ribbons in Napa… but luckily I have my day job to keep me at an even keel by constantly reminding me how exploited I am. Have a great weekend everybody!!!

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