Posts Tagged ‘ travel ’

Now Accepting Mouth Donor Applications

Welcome back to Drafted. The next chapter in Zombie Drafted… How much more convoluted can I make this?  I’m not sure whether that’s a question or just a quest.

Dilemma: I’ve stopped drinking, but I love beer, beer culture, & beer blogging.  Epiphany: Phantom Zombie Drafted.  Okay, so what if I got my friends to go out with me to taste beer & I quiz them on it…and then write about THAT instead?!?!  I feel like that is a pretty fair compromise on that.  I get to kick back with friends over a beer (yes, singular – theirs); I get to write about beer; I keep my integrity intact (I did promise myself, so cheating on this would be cheating myself & no one else.); Geoff can stop wishing for a Zombie Drafted apocalypse.  I see this as a can’t lose scenario.

This is such a good idea it defies all rating scales – even my relatively meaningless pseudo-analogies.  Rock on, write on, Zombie Drafted: Phantom!

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Mile-High Brew Club

The best part about flying Alaska/Horizon is that they almost always offer a complimentary wine and micro from areas the airlines service. What this means for me right now is that I get to start drinking at 12:10 in the noon on my flight home. Today’s selection is Black Tusk Ale, a winter seasonal from Whister Brewing Company in Whistler, B.C. (clever, eh?!). For being served up in a little plastic cup, it looks pretty darn good, don’t you think? Nice ‘n’ dark with a Guinness-shaded head.

The Mile-High Brew Club

My senses were a little dulled by the small child kicking my seat; even though it definitely tasted dark, I thought I smelled a bit of a fruity aroma, though Whistler B.C. suggests a “subtle, malty aroma.” The medium-body fades to a clean finish, strangely enough. It feels and looks kinda like a nut brown, with its warm red-brown color. Definitely not a winter warmer, but then again the pilot did say it was high 50s/low 60s back home. Good thing I didn’t pack my snow pants.

On an NCAA Div. I(A) Football 2009 scale from Western Kentucky (0-8 conference, 0-12 overall) to Alabama (8-0 conference, 14-0 overall), I dare say this comes in at around an Oregon Ducks (8-1 conference, 10-3 overall) – great season, but you just wish it’d have lasted a little longer.

Stalling…

Before I redebut a much-anticipated Zombie Drafted review, allow me to regale (read: bore) you with a few things I learned over this unbelievably packed (I can’t believe it’s only been two weeks) winter vacation.

I learned that…

…trombones love to play outside the studio ’cause in the studio they mostly provide a soundtrack for murders.

…a trombone choir is really good at playing CHORDS.

…my best friend’s brother lives 20 minutes from me in Cali.

…an old roommate’s childhood friend also lives 20 minutes from me in Cali.

…as long as there are gaudy Christmas decorations and a fountain, any crowded place can feel like home if you have your best friend there with you.

…movies are HELLA expensive in Cali.  Avatar (3D, not IMAX) was $16.

…now that I have cruise control and bluetooth, 18-hour drives are pretty tolerable.

…if you find a stray dog without a collar or chip and if no one claims it from the pound within a week, she is yours to love forever and ever and ever…for $120.

…I really am more of a cat person right now.

…many people think I smoke pot.  (FYI: decidedly NOT into drugs)

Eddie Aikau was a LEGENDARY Hawaiian surfer/lifeguard.

…New Year’s Day is not your lucky day if you are shopping for Ninkasi anywhere in Eugene.

…Pierre Bourdieu is buried in Pere Lachaise (famous cemetery; Jim Morrison is among those buried there). I also learned who Pierre Bourdieu was.

…the Clark’s Nutcracker is nicknamed the “Camp Robber” due to their habit of stealing snacks at campsites.

…it’s time to stop learning and start doing.  Except for that whole “stop learning” part.

Journey

It's not about the destination...

A Taste of Home

Aside from rivers (or any naturally occurring body of water, for that matter) and my friends, the thing I miss most about home is the beer culture – an enthusiasm for microbrews you can taste (pun intended).  I know there are breweries down here in SoCal and I’ve even been to a brewpub in Big Bear (the stout? porter? oh, right…doppel bock I had was quite good, but obviously not memorable. In any case, that’s a story for another time.), but the brew-tmosphere that pervaded my social life in Portland keeps duckin’ me in LA.  Beer takes a backseat to higher conversation, such as who’s cheatin’ who (who’s bein’ true…and who don’t even care anymore), how Angelenos are SO over Ed Hardy, or the latest stupid Glenn Beck stunt.

Working in the San Bernardinos does make it a bit difficult to procure a decent micro, if only because my favorite dives hardly even have taps – let alone microbrews on tap.  None of my coworkers had even heard of Drop Top.  Sigh.

This brings me to the two most uplifting episodes/anecdotes in my beer diaspora so far: the Beer Angel at a gas station in Burbank and the Hefeweizen Fairy at Tony Roma’s in Universal CityWalk.

Chronologically first, the Beer Angel was gassin’ up behind me at a Costco (SO economical – read: cheap. Yesssssss!).  He eyed my Oregon plates a while, doubtless pondering which stereORtype to pursue for a quick yet fulfilling gas station exchange.  To my lingering joy, he struck out with a quick “Hey, next time you’re in Portland will you pick up a bunch of microbrews for me?  Yeah, just stop over at the Kennedy School and maybe get some Widmer, too.”  Oh man – I almost burst, I was so happy!  I kindly let him know that I’d try, but could make no guarantees the goods would survive me before they were delivered.  He understood both my voracity for Portland beer and my frustration with the lack of accessibility on par with home’s offerings.  Refreshed, I went off to work; coincidentally (or was it?!),  it was my Civil War game GO DUCKS spirit week at work – great timing, gas station Beer Angel.

Most recently, though, I discovered a somewhat reliable non-LA-bar source for a Portland Beer fix: LA chain restaurants!  Much better, I know.  🙂  My best friend flew in on her way to visit her dad in Texas, so her brother and I have been showing her the sights/malls.  CityWalk was on our agenda for the big ol’ Universal globe, so we decided to see Avatar while we were there.  The showing we wanted was sold out, so we caught dinner at Tony Roma’s after we bought tickets to the next available showing.  I’d been avoiding eating out because a) I’m trying to pay off my student loans and b) I don’t make that much money in the first place.

Anyway, this time I was rewarded with a long list of options…rapidly rattled off.  “Coor’s Light, Bud Light, Hefeweizen, …”  Stop right there, Sir.  Whose Hef?  “Uh…Wid…meeeeeeear?”  WIDMER?!?!?!  Yes, please.  “Small or large?”  After much deliberation, I went big.  Real big.  25 ounces big, in fact.  Oh-so-very worth it.

Mug of Widmer Hef

Pinkies up, ladies!