Thursday, February 20, 2014

Beer #242-261 / Day #44-49: Blog With A Dog

A new layer of complexity has been added to my Big Year In Beer...

It's not some brand new frou-frou, metrosexual adjectives to use as "tasting notes".
It's not a newly discovered pre-Mesopotamian yeast strain that Dogfish Head has unearthed through obscure molecular biology for a new line of Ancient Ales.
It's not a ridiculously crushing metal ale from Three Floyds, bottled with actual jagged shards of metal in each bottle.

It's a dog.
Donnie:  Dog With A Beer Blog.
His name is Donnie.  The Donster.  The Donmeister.  Donareeno.  Donnie Of The Dead.
We have no idea what breed he is.  He's a mysterious mix of random breeds we can only venture to guess.  Longhair Dachshund meets Cavalier King Charles Spaniel meets Papillon.  Whatever he is, he's ours.  And he's awesome. 
And now that we have another "boy" we're responsible for, we need to drink responsibly.  And by that, I mean we need to rewire our brains for how we approach beer bars.  And by rethinking, I mean aggressively locating all of the dog-friendly drinking establishments.
Previously, I didn't give much thought to which beer locales had outdoor seating, because The Wife and I are generally "bar people", meaning we drink at the bar, not at a table.  But now I find myself quickly scrambling to recall which thirst parlors are potentially pooch-accommodating.

Donnie has only been with us for a few days, but we gave the canine/beer combo a trial run last Monday with a trip to Link N Hops in Atwater Village, and aside from some obvious oversights ("Um... where do we put the leash while we're eating?"), it was decidedly a success.

Link N Hops N Mutts
So, here's to Donnie...  Our new mascot and brew companion for 2014!
He makes our outings more challenging, and our drinking at home infinitely more entertaining.
And if you're feeling philanthropic, please feel free to forward any suggestions for mutt-receptive brew venues in SoCal.
The tally continues....

Valentine's Day 2/14:
*LOST ABBEY RED POPPY ALE - Beer #242, been sittin' on this one a while. Tasty with mild cherry flavors and a hint of sourness, but not enough to truly qualify as A Sour.  Nice one.  Took some effort to get the cork out.
*ALESMITH MY BLOODY VALENTINE ALE - Beer #243, a slightly morbid celebration of V-Day, but a truly toothsome red ale.  Alesmith does no wrong.
Saturday grillin' at home with The Beckers 2/15:
*STONE BREWING / KOOCHENVAGNER'S BREWING COLLABORATION - STOCHASICITY PROJECT: GRAPEFRUIT SLAM IPA - Beer #244, been reading a lot of hype about this collab.  Good, but not amazing. I'm not a grapefruit fan, but thankfully that part of it was subtle. Maybe I'll try a different bottle to figure out why my mind wasn't blown on this first outing.
*CALDERA BREWING RAUCH UR BOCK - Beer #245, very tasty Oregon smoked lager, pairing very well with my smoked whole-trout.

Sunday at home, adapting to dog ownership 2/16:
*BROOKLYN LAGER - Beer #246, decent, solid, lagers are not known for greatness, but I'd drink this any day.
*LA TRAPPE JUBILARIS - Beer #247, good one, but the La Trappe Quad is the one worth selling your kidney for.
*RIO GRANDE PANCHO VERDE CHILE CERVEZA - Beer #248, I picked this up in Reno, and I was expecting a chili beer with some kick. Instead it's a mild green chile flavor. Hence, "verde chile" in the name. El Duh!
*FIRESTONE WALKER PALE 31 - Beer #249, extremely common in LA, but don't let that fool you. This can be picked up in any grocery store in our fine state, but it's still better than 90% of the pale ales on the market.
*RUBY MOUNTAIN BREWING BUCKAROO BREW PALE ALE - Beer #250, Eastern Nevada represent! Holy shit... they're OUT THERE.  Out by Elko, NV.  If you've ever been to Eastern NV you understand.  If you haven't, go to The Boonies, and then keep going!  Not a life-changing beer, but decent.  Bet it's tasty on a frosty morning after corralling them "doggies".

President's Day holiday, celebrating at Link N Hops... because it sounds like "Lincoln" Hops.  But not really.  Then popping a few caps at home.  2/17:
*EPIC BREWING CO. HOPULENT IPA (on Nitro) - Beer #251, smooth, creamy, tasty.  IPAs on nitro are always interesting.
*CORONADO BLUE BRIDGE STOUT - Beer #252, good one, prominent with the coffee.  I love Coronado, and their Stupid Stout is my favorite.
*CISMONTANE BREWING DOS CONE ES - Beer #253, welcome back Old Friend, after an absence of what, two years?  Beautiful rye infused strong ale. New labels, same spectacular taste.
*PRETTY THINGS BABAYAGA SYLVAN STOUT - Beer #254, Boston area brewing, superior stout. Crazy layers of complexity goin' on. Above the bar, in a league with heavy hitters.
*CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE BREWING MAIN ST. VIRGINIA ALE - Beer #255, pleasantly well-rounded everyday ale in a can from VA, thanks to Mr.Witte.

INFEST practice nite.  Tinhorn Flats, Burbank.  Ogling slutty bartenders who look 21 and under, and enjoying beers $5 and under.  2/18:
*THE DUDES' BREWING COMPANY GRANDMA'S PECAN BROWN ALE - Beer #256, local brewers, like a brown/porter hybrid.
*BALLAST POINT SCULPIN IPA - Beer #257, The Legend.  Say no more.
*FIRESTONE WALKER 805 BLONDE ALE - Beer #258, honey ale, good for sessioning, surprised I found it on tap outside of the Central Cali area code.

Wed nite chillin' with The Wife and The Dog after a long day.  2/19:
*DC BRAU BREWING THE CORRUPTION INDIA PALE - Beer #259, thank you again Mr. Witte, I love this one.  IPA, but freakin' delish.  I'll be in DC mid-April, and damned if I'm not tracking down this brewer in person.
*BROOKLYN BREWERY LOCAL 2  - Beer #260, like a Belgian dubbel with more spice.  Really damn flavorful, when it mellows from fridge-temp to room-temp.  Picked it up in Reno because I can't find it in LA, but of course, brewed in NYC. I love all output from this brewer.
*FOUNDERS BREWING ALL DAY IPA SESSION ALE - Beer #261, another classic, consumed on the West Coast, thanks only to the deft shipping skills of Mr. Witte. Low alcohol means mass consumption if you're lucky enough to hold more than a solitary bottle (which is my situation out here).

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