Dunbar Brewing is moving!

Not very far, just from one end of town to the other, but if you’re ever in Santa Margarita and want some great beer – go there!

I asked, and although they are moving, they will still only be playing Johnny Cash music.

For those of you familiar with the area, they are moving into the old Pozo Winery tasting room at the east end of Santa Margarita.

The bigger location should be a real plus, as the old location in the same building as the Ancient Peaks tasting room in Santa Margarita was small, and only held about 12 people and they would be getting to know each other pretty well.

The new location is slated to open next Saturday, Dec 1st, so hopefully all will go according to plan and we’ll see you there!

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The Molly Pitcher in Atascadero has a lot of different Stone Beers!

The Molly Pitcher in Atascadero doesn’t have a lot of atmosphere, and there is no food, though places will deliver to it, but what it does have is a ton of great beer!  Molly Pitcher itself makes several different beers and recently upgraded their equipment to make more beer because they kept running out!

Also, they’ve had a number of really fantastic Stone Brewing beers, including the chipotle porter, and the 12-21-12 beer, which was amazing.  The Stone 12-21-12 beer smells like a fresh hop garden – it’s a really amazing smell and you should get one just so you can smell it.  Since it’s a Stone Brew, it also tastes great – hoppy- probably pretty high IBUs, but I’m too lazy to look it up, and with a smooth finish.

You have to try one before the world ends on 12-21-12 !

I also had a Molly Pitcher stout – nice and creamy – they have it on nitrogen too.  Smooth as silk.  If you like stouts, or even if you don’t, you should try theirs – it’s fantastic!

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Snakebite – beer and hard cider drink – delicious!

I read somewhere that Bill Clinton ordered a Snakebite in England and they refused to serve it to him – so if it was illegal to serve in England, I knew I had to try one.

The recipe is basically equal parts beer and hard cider. Drink and enjoy!

A bit of further research indicates it isn’t really illegal in England or the UK – sad

In any case, I made mine on a really hot day and poured 1 12 oz bottle of each into a frozen glass mug that I keep around for emergencies (or in case I see a snake, which I also keep around for emergencies – with apologies to W.C. Fields!)

The legend goes that they were illegal in the U.K. because they were afraid that people would get too drunk, too fast.  I can see how that might happen.  It’s a fabulous combination of sweetness and bitter, that goes down really easy on a hot day.

Around here it seems like Trader Joes or BevMo is the most likely place to find hard cider, though your local liquor store probably has some too.  Vons might have 1 hard cider, but I’d be surprised if they had a variety.

 

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Vmworld 2012 in San Francisco – Problems and solutions

Everything that was wrong with Vmworld 2012 and how to fix it

Food and Seating for lunch – Have at least one hot lunch for god’s sake and put up some tables. I didn’t climb out of the sea to eat lunch on a blanket

Labs – Figure out what was wrong with the labs and fix them. Also, get better at estimating wait times. Setup the labs a day or two early and test them. Consider putting on either a #vbrownbag or other informal session discussing the issues and how they are being dealt with. Or maybe an official session about how it all works.

Snack Police – Someone tweeted about serving coffee all day – great idea – do that. And also get rid of the hard timelines for snacks. I’m running all over the Moscone center, trying to fit in everything, and I don’t see any reason to get grief for getting coffee or snacks 5 min before the official time.

Hang Space sofas – get rid of them – they were too wide to actually sit in properly and i’m a big guy.

Vmworld party – 20K people and 100 video games – consider taking one of the rooms and creating a lan party where we can virtually kill our competitors – and friends – make people rotate out after 30 min or 1hr if there’s a wait.

Vmworld party – the radio controlled cars were fun, but also needed a time limit to make people rotate through.

Scheduler – quit hiding the calendar view – have it as a default menu item

Labs – At least the lines were short at the labs, too bad they kept crashing

Labs – I keep hearing rumors about putting the labs online, hopefully that will happen in the next year or two.

The location cards for the party were a great help – much better than 2010, where the locations to everything were largely a mystery.
#Vbrownbags and #notsupported – I thought they were one of the best things about the conference. Interesting and cutting edge stuff there – please continue it.

Socialcast was brilliant and helpful – keep it up and hopefully more people will use it next year. The higher ed group was mostly vacant – a better name might have helped. We met a lot of people through #afterhours

Alumni Lounge – weird that you had to be an alumni for three years in order to get in. My buddy was turned away at the door, though he went last year.

 

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Boatswain Double IPA

Got some Boatswain Double IPA at Trader Joes today.  It’s been hotter than normal so I thought I’d cool off with a nice hoppy IPA.

Instead, apparently, I got some Boatswain Double IPA.  I’m not sure what the double IPA part is, but it certainly wasn’t hoppy.  Apparently it is 8.3 percent alcohol, but it doesn’t taste hot, which is good.

However, what it does taste like is crappy light beer.

Not recommended if you’re looking for hops or flavor.

Says twin screw steamer – I think I got screwed.

Not sure how much it was at TJ’s, but less than 5 bucks for a 22oz bottle.

Don’t blame me if you try some.

 

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Drinking Made Easy

Saw this show called Drinking Made Easy on my DVR guide the other day while trying to figure out if they were going to make anymore episodes of Ludo Bites.

Like Ludo Bites – it too was awesome!  Drinking Made Easy was well worth the 30 minutes.  It was funny, informative, and had a rapping tasting room manager – hilarious.

Their website says that Drinking Made Easy is on Wednesday Nights at 8:30pm EST on the HDnet channel. Not sure what HDnet is really, but they have some pretty good shows.

Check it out!

Also on Sundays at 11pm on Spike he has another show called Three Sheets which I may have to check out too!

 

 

 

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Morro Bay Harbor Festival – First Weekend in October, 2011

I think that the Morro Bay Harbor Festival is always the first weekend in October, but I’m not totally sure.  In any case, it seems to be getting bigger and bigger.  This year we went on Sunday, and last year we went on Saturday, and I think I like Saturdays better.  There are more booths open for wine tasting if nothing else.

The highlight of the Morro Bay Harbor Festival for us is the wine tasting.  It costs 8 bucks to get into the event, then 15 bucks for 10 tickets and a glass.  So you get 10 tastes and a glass to keep for 15 bucks, and you can also use the tickets for food items.

The second best item about the Festival is the food – tons of food, and the restaurants are open too.  Everyone is grillin and chillin and having a great time.  There is also a peoples choice Clam Chowder contest – good stuff.

There were about 10 wineries open on Sunday, and I think they had about 15-19 total on Saturday.  I think that harvest has started for some people so coming out at all can be difficult this time of year.

Special shout out to a few of the great people who were there on Sunday – Stuart and Maria Goldman from Frolicking Frog Winery – who are good friends of ours:D  and also check out San Marcos Creek Winery - Brady Winter is the best – They’re located just off the 101 south of San Marcos Creek Road – between Paso Robles and San Miguel – can’t miss ‘em!

They also have a ton of kids things there, bounce house, big slide, educational information and booths about fishing and marine life, craft booths, and even belly dancers.

The third best thing about the Morro Bay Harbor Festival is the music!  They had about 12 different bands playing at different times, each with different kinds of music depending on where you went and who was up.

The weather was perfect – about 70 and partly cloudy.  Parking is close and plentiful, and the Festival seems to be growing every year.

Almost forgot – I was finally able to try some beer from Tapit Brewery in SLO – a delicious IPA that was hoptastic and a wonder to behold. Great beer – well worth a trip to the outskirts of SLO by the airport. Check it out!

 

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Paso Wine Tasting Article in USA Today

Here’s a link to a short article about Paso Robles as a tourist destination and agricultural tourism area:

http://travel.usatoday.com/destinations/story/2011-09-29/Paso-Robles-Its-the-undiscovered-wine-country/50611200/1

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Eco Wine Chardonnay from Mendocino County, Bought at Trader Joes

Gentle Readers,

While I never professed to be a real wine critic, I am a fairly stereotypical guy, where I prefer that things be practical, and then good looking.  Things should work properly, and then they should look good or have some kind of beneficial secondary characteristic or shtick.

This way of looking at the world has served me pretty good over the years.  I’m sorry to say that whatever merits Eco Wine has as a wine or as an ecologically savvy container are wasted on me because the piece of crap leaks.

Yes, the wine is no good at all to me if it leaks all over the inside of my refrigerator, no matter how good it is for the environment and especially if it tastes good.  What kind of a massive waste is great wine, leaked onto my refrigerator shelf?

I did manage to have a few glasses prior to getting pissed off, and determining for certain that it is the container that is leaking and not just spillage or something else in the refrigerator.

So I suppose if you are a chardonnay drinker who can drink 1.5 Liters and has some kind of glass allergy, then this might be the wine for you.

Of course it is also certainly possible that this is the only container in the batch that had problems, and this is an anomaly.  It most certainly is unintentional on the part of the manufacturer and winery, however it was a problem for me.

And, since I’m no big fan of chardonnay in general, and this tasted like a typical chardonnay, I’m certainly not going to go out of my way to buy this wine, or any other wine in a container like this without a pretty good reason.

I suppose that the foil protecting the bottom of the spout should have been a clue that there might be problems, because they also had a piece of plastic that prevented the plunger from being pressed.  So while they were double insuring against any leakage during shipping, unfortunately the same cannot be said for leakage during actual usage.

Not recommended.  About 10 bucks for 1.5L at Trader Joes.

URL: www.ecovinowines.net

As if it couldn’t get worse, their website has a flash? movie loading and Monty Pythonesque graphics. At least their movie loads fast the second time, and the wine was fine.  It was organic wine, in a eco friendly package – the packaging just needs a little work.

 

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Lindemanns bin 45 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon is a fantastic bargain from Australia.  My better half picked up a bottle the other night when I asked her to pick up some cheap wine to cook with.  I was making gourmet burgers and wanted to make a little wine sauce for my sliced baby bellas sauteed in butter.

In any case, we hate to let wine go to waste, so I put a little in the mushrooms and a little in my glass.  Really good.  Fruity and not much oak, but bright and flavorful.  Perfect with my awesome burgers.  Costs less than 5 bucks on sale  at Vons in Paso Robles.  I noticed that they had a Pinot Noir too, so I picked up a bottle of that to write about later.

 

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