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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 2, 3, AND 4 OF A VERY STRONG BEER MONTH...the saga continues

Back to Strong Beer Week and that Tuesday when I was feeling good a couple weeks back. That was the night I was the + 1 to my pal Jennifer at CAMINO for the holiday party. The night we sipped on Sangritas and noshed on all that great Mexican cuisine. Yum! Well, Alex, the barkeep, mentioned where we should go to for a little after party. And by mention, I mean key words for me were drafts of Linden Street Black Lager and lots of salty snacks. And so we went up Piedmont Avenue in Oakland to Adesso. It was past 10:30pm, which meant late night cocktail hour was in affect. Alex ordered us the beer and I headed to the buffet. I was a bit hammered from the party but remember salivating over some cured meat. Apparently, they have over 30 kinds. They had cut up slices of paninis stuffed with chicken and cheese and I believe red pepper that I recall with delight. But it was nonetheless a great snack to have alongside my Lager, my Burning Oak Lager by the folks at Oakland based Linden Street Brewery. It was roasty and sweet and surprisingly lighter than I thought. But the night didn't stop there. We then ventured to Emeryville for a little late night dancin' at Kitty's to close out the evening. I loved the Steelhead Double IPA that was on tap but also the old hip hop hits like O.P.P. that had me reminiscing about my youth in the 90's as we danced till last call.

Let's just say it took a lot of coffee and a whole lotta munchin' the next day to get my stamina to start drinking Strong Beer that night. Stops at Four Barrel, Philz and Blue Bottle to be exact. Oh, and a good hangover breakfast at Squat & Gobble in the Castro. That was night I had gone back to CAMINO with Ron and was treated like a king. Well, after Jennifer dumped her boyfriend Ian for me, Ron and I gave her a ride back to the city. I insisted we go to Pi to have them try the Allagash Odyssey. Ron bowed out and let us do our thang. That was also the night I got to try the first of many Magnolia Strong Beers, the Promised Land IPA. Weighing in at 10.5 APV and served in a 6 oz tulip style glass and otherwise known as the Proved IPA on Steroids, according to it's brewmaker's. This was just the thing I needed after a great day of both overcoming personal struggle and looking at all of life's rewards.

Day 4 and nearly 4pm and I was jonezing for a Two Lane Blacktop next door at 21A. I satisfied my fix and sat for another Beer School. Nearly two punch cards already filled, on one side that is. It was Thursday and Carlo from CAMINO was doing a Superbowl themed menu at Mission Street Food that night. We and I mean, Paul, myself, Loma and Jennifer ordered everything on the evening's menu but the Vegan Delight. The big hits were the Frito Pie with smoked short rib and beef tongue chili with frito crust and charcoal grilled spare ribs with orange-chipotle glaze. And we can't forget to mention the Taleggio and Budweiser "Nachos," which were waffle fries and caramelized brussel sprouts with tomatillo and granny smith salsa verde. Screaming! Got to go back to the kitchen to give the boyz da props they deserved before we ducked out and over to Monk's Kettle for guess what? More Beer Drinking! I did in wine terms, a Vertical of both Deschutes Black Butte XX and XXI both with 11% ABV. Ser, a server at the Kettle, whom I had gotten to know at the CAMINO shin-dig suggested I give this triumphantly crafted chocolaty malted flagship brand a try since they had 2 different varieties. He was absolutely on the money. I then sampled Smoke Beers like the Heller Aecht Schlenkeria Marzen (5.4 % ABV) which tasted literally like apple bacon, the Lagunitas Brown Shugga (9.7% ABV) and the Stone Brewing's Sublimely Self-Righteous (8.7% ABV.) Scrumptious, I tell ya...Now where did I park my bike?

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