If you liked anything I said here, please consider buying me a beer!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

JP's Guide To The Bald Lifestyle, Pt. I: The Shaving

Being bald has its advantages: Shorter showers, no more barber shops, and less time trying to figure out which shampoo is chemically balanced for your specific hair type.  Of course, there are down sides, too.  Chief among them is getting rid of the last remaning hairs that are still growing.

Iv'e been shaving my head for a few years now, and I have grown quite accustomed to it.  What I hate about it is the actual act of shaving.   It's archaic and borderline torture - dragging a bit of sharp metal across your scalp over and over, all different ways until your head looks like a swollen tomato.  Even with the expensive razors, I still manage to cut myself from time to time.

Enter the Panasonic Arc 4!  I got this beauty for Christmas after pondering aloud how an electric shaver would work on my misshapen skull.  The thing works great, and I totally recommend it to anyone who shaves their head as much as I do.  It's really a God-send for us bald types.

Before my first shave, I took my clippers and buzzed my hair as close as possible, to reduce the amount of work my new shaver had to do.  Then I lathered my head and went to town.

This thing was really smooth.  It felt great, easy to handle, and did a pretty great job - for the first few minutes. Then I noticed that it wasn't cutting as much hair as it was in the beginning.  I took the head apart, rinsed it out, and it fired up like new again.  So I'm thinking that it was just clogged with hair and shaving cream and whatnot.  Which is pretty good, considering I had already cut half my head.  These things are made for faces, not giant heads.  I also figured that the secret to a good shave is maintenance - keeping the hair short will make it easier to cut.  So the next day I did just that and gave myself a quick touch-up.  Perfection!

If you do end up getting this unit, the one tip I have is to keep your head damp.  I find that the Arc 4 doesn't cut as close dry as it does wet - even with shaving cream.  and if you do end up buying it, do us a favor and please buy it from one of the links in here, so I can get a little love for the referral.  Thanks!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Some Personal Bullshit

I share a lot of things on the radio.  Sometimes those things are 100% real, other times they are a blend of my real personality and whatever it is that I think people want to hear.  And, more often than not, I just make some shit up entirely simply to fuck with whomever might be listening.  It's fun!

Sometimes I wonder why I am such a cynical asshole.  Sometimes I know why.  But today really makes me think about it more than usual - 11 years ago today my Mom kicked the bucket on me.   Now, obviously I still have some feelings to cope with, but that is hard and takes lots of therapy (which I can't pay for), so after I spent the month following her death in a literal blackout, beer-induced and drug-fueled, I just pushed everything down.  And sure, for the first few months it was hard and I wrecked some relationships, but after a year or so it got easier. I highly recommend it.

Having a parent die unexpectedly on you is a really hard thing to understand.  Not so much in the way that makes you drop to one knee, lean your head back and cry out, "Why God have you forsaken me?!!!", but just in the "Oh fuck, what now" sense.  11 years later and I still don't know the answer to that one.

I guess it comes from not really having the chance to bond with my family at all, not just my mom.  My family has always been real weird about seeing one another, and as a little boy I never understood that.  But I am sure that's where I picked up my retarded sense of friendship and personal interaction.  Being close is too foreign for me to be comfortable with it.  I learned this from my father, which is one reason we no longer speak.  He tried to bring the family closer, but he tried too hard too fast, and when things didn't go his way he fucking put up a wall and quit, blaming everyone else for the failure.  I wish I could care more about him, but I hope he breaks a hip and runs out of pain meds.   Then shits himself.  Again.

Things like this can really leave you with an Asshole Vein, running the core of your personality.  I am an asshole, and I'm kind of just coming to terms with that.  After years of trying to be someone I'm not, well, sometimes you just have to accept certain shit.

What's my point?  I dunno.  Just venting.

P.S. - Since I forgot to add this at the time of posting, here is my little song of the post.  As if you cared. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Acting! Er, Kind Of ...

I just returned home from being an actor - well, an extra for an International commercial, to run in the Netherlands, for some site called MyCom.  Well, I was supposed to be in it, but I got pulled out of the first scene and told I was being saved for a later scene.  Then that scene got pushed back, and after much waiting and a brief nap, I ended up being let go altogether.    Which is the breaks when doing extra work.  You still get paid, and you still get to hang out on a set, watching the magic of "Hollywood" swirl around you.  Plus there is Craft Services, which is always a plus.

What almost shocked me the most was how bloddy nice everyone was.  I mean, really and truly a pleasure to be around.  And it was fun just being around people like that - clearly in love with their jobs and clearly having a respect for who they were working with.

Even though I wasn't able to be in the project, I had a great time - OH, and I made a friend!   A nice black man named Dorian.  No, he doesn't have a picture of himself in his attic.  Yes, I asked.

Things Happened.  See?                                                           

Anyway, that was my night.  Not super exciting, but better than most.  Enjoy the video below, too.  Great song, with extra kitty footage.  That cat is being a very nice man!

This post written under the pleasant guidance of The Heptones:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Star Wars: The Old Republic - Beta Review

How stoked was I that i got into the Star Wars: The Old Republic beta last weekend?  Super, is my answer.  I have been waiting to play this game for 8 months, and I finally got to see what the fuss was all about.  Which, by the way, was totally worth it.

My MMO past is varied, mostly dominated by World of Warcraft for the past 4 years, when I killed my account to save the money to play this game.  No, I don't consider SWTOR a "WoW-Killer", but it comes real close. 

The artwork is pretty good - buildings and vehicles all look well thought out - but it lacks the polish that WoW has.  The colors are muted, and characters look a bit blocky.  I will mark this up to it being a beta test and hope the dial the colors up to 11 for release.  The HUD is interesting, the mini-map being the oddest.  It takes some time to get weened off of WoW's great navigation and trained in the ways of SW, but once you do, things are pretty straightforward.  

Game play was what I was really interested in, and SW held up to my expectations.  The quest system is probably the thing I was most impressed about, though I will say the cut-scenes got a bit old.  When you accept or turn a quest in you get a short cut-scene that gives you background on your mission, your race, or other things.  What I really dig is what happens next - you get to choose a response from one of three choices.  Some give you Light Side points (lame), and some give you Dark Side ones (fuck yeah), and the choices are usually pretty good.  Seems like SWTOR wants to do you a favor by not making you scroll through text of your quests, and opted to actually give you footage of it.  Good choice. 

One thing the dev's got right is story line and its impact on questing.  I rolled 6 'toons, and not once did I feel like I was grinding out quests, which from a WoW background is something to be happy about.  I enjoyed doing some quests twice, and the environment is so new yet almost familiar.  The story is good for each character line and I really got immersed in what was going on.  It's interesting when you are actually rooting for your character as you would if you were watching a movie.  Or maybe I'm easily entertained.

What will be hard to deal with is the chat.  I'm not sure why MMO's get the most bitchy people playing, but there is always someone crying about this or that, and usually two people teasing that person.  And you have to read it because any in-game text appears in the chat window.  So you don't want to miss anything.  Sigh ... whatever.  Deal with it, I suppose. 

Any complaints I have about the game I can chalk up to the beta and my shitty 4-year-old laptop - at times the graphics needed a few seconds to render, which was interesting watching these characters in the cut-scenes have layers added to them while they are talking.  Some quests were buggy, and sometimes characters didn't perform as expected (my Sith had issues with a very specific set of stairs ...). I'm still waiting for this thing - pre-order all set, $15 a month ready and willing (sort of).   

Overall, this game will fucking rule your life.  Play it.

This post written under the influence of Pavement - Cream of Gold

Monday, November 28, 2011

For A Better Society

There are certain things in the world that exist simply to pollute the stream of consciousness, turning it into a river of bile and filth.  What does this mean?  I have no idea.  But I tell you why I wrote it - Memes.

Fucking internet memes.  You've seen them, even if you don't know what they are.  Ever see a kitten with words written underneath, like it's saying something "funny"?  A car in a ditch with the word "fail" below?  Yeah, you get the point.  Occasionally, some of these can be humorous, perhaps even earning a low, quiet, singular "heh".  But instead of them dying a quick death, some asshole somewhere pulls memes into their every day language and ruins it for everyone.  Examples:

Ok, seriously.  Stop saying "Fail" when something happens that you don't like.  It's not clever, nobody likes it, and you just come off as a douche - inserting yourself inside a conversation and spraying your awful brand of humor into it, cleansing it from normalcy.
"Yeah, and then the door fell and broke my hand."
" ... idiot."
That's how the conversation goes.  Stop it.

Fuck those of you who use LolCatz when you post on the internet.  "I can haz free of dems?"  Fuck you right in the face with a fucking car, dude.  You are an adult, a grown-ass person, the least you can do is talk like one.  How dare you try to be cute online talking like a reject from a mental ward.  Enough already, let this die.

Pirate Talk
Hey, I like pirates just as much as the next guy, but Talk Like A Pirate Day is for idiots and their children.  Let's continue to identify a low IQ by leaving the pirate talk to idiots, ok?  It's not funny, it's not fun, it's not even slightly ok.

Om Nom Nom
Don't even attempt to think you are being endearing when you use this shitty meme when describing someone eating.  Just be a man and call them fat to their face.  This belongs online in a photo, and even then it's as old as dirt, and about as funny.  Om Nom Nom ... fuck you.

No, that video of the double rainbow guy was not "epic".  It was nothing of the sort, nor was the last episode of Jersey Shore, or anything else you like.  The only epic things are porn and video of things blowing up.  And a meal made of bacon.  And the subsequent heart attack. Which you deserve to have if you have this word in your vocabulary.

Chuck Norris doesn't ______, he ______.
No he doesn't.  Sure, I get that you are making fun of how tough the guy was in his movies, but just stop it, please.  It's fucking old, and just makes you sound like an idiot.

I heard someone say this out loud once. And not in a shitty hipster ironic way.  They used it instead of actual laughter, and fucking meant that shit. This person is no longer around anymore.

Get my point?  Just because you see it on the internet doesn't mean you can bring it into your life and try to be the hip kid in the room.  Just be normal.  Use full words, not their inbred, deformed abbreviations.

You aren't cute.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Are Beer Bars Hurting Craft Beer?

There have been several new beer bars in my area, something that would be cause for much dancing and carrying-on for most of you.  But at the risk of being predictable, I frown upon these new havens of beer, and for a few good reasons.  So set aside your thoughts and feelings (good or bad), and journey with me as I tell you why that latest craft beer bar could very well destroy the thing you love.  Beer.

Craft beer already has an air about it of pretentiousness.  "What's wrong with the beer I drink now?  It was good enough for dad so it's good enough for me."  Yes, us with our colored malts and hoping rates you can taste have moved in and just destroyed what the average person describes as "beer".  And this average person already has a hard enough time dealing with the concept of triple-hopping, so why would we want to turn this person so far away from real beer with our Beer Pedestal that is a craft beer bar?  One bar close to my house doesn't even use the widely-accepted and easily recognized unit of measure known as the Ounce.  On their board they use Centiliters - not pints, not ounces, but centiliters.  They might as well draw some ironic facial hair on their beer board with that one.  Put the board in a vest and buy it a fixed-gear bike.  Nothing will separate the common man faster than using a language that is foreign to them in their home town.  So what's the point?  Well I think that it a great way to be able to over-charge for beers and chalk it up to the experience.  You, the beer drinker, assume that 30 cl must equal a pint, right?  I mean, most normal bars use that language, and most craft beer makers have tried to market their beers by using the word "pint".  Little do you  know that 30 cl is about 10 ounces.  This is a fact only revealed to you after you get your tiny glass of local beer that you paid $6 for.

Knowledge is important to spread our little craft.  But at what cost?  I recently got in a discussion with a friend of mine over the topic of beer cost, and how much of that cost goes to off-setting the training of beer servers who know what they are talking about.  This is probably the worst excuse for over-charging I have ever heard.  Listen, if you want to start a business that caters to knowledgeable folks as well as people who are just learning about something - anything - then it is on you to train your staff properly.  Who pays for it?  The same one who reaps the rewards - you do.  You are the one who is teaching new customers about craft beer.  You are the one who will pour them flights of beers in different glasses.  You are the one who will teach a new customer so much about beer that they will come back to your place because you have the info they need.  THIS is the payoff for you.  Loyal customers.  Returning customers.  Customers who bring their friends.  What is wrong is charging me more money because you decided to have some folks trained.  It's rude, and kinda snobby - which is what we are trying to avoid here, right?

Now, having been in the retail world for almost 15 years, I know a thing or two about price points.  I understand supply and demand.  And I get everything about price point leaders. But what I don't get is charging more for a beer that is made locally than a beer that is made in Belgium.  I had a local beer at a place for $4 for 8 oz.  Not even a full beer, and I paid almost full beer price.  Why?  Because that establishment decided that was the price point they wanted to serve at.  They felt they had to make up for the lower beer prices on their imports by gouging me on the local stuff.  The same goes for the bar that refuses to use ounces.  Don't you dare overcharge me simply because your server knows how to pour a proper beer.  That is what I expect.  That is your business!  You don't pay extra for an oil change simply because the person knows how to change your oil - because that is what they are paid to do in the first place!  So why pay more because someone knows how to put beer into a glass?  If these places decide that the only way they will make money is by pricing beer at what the market will sustain, then perhaps they should re-examine their business plan.

These all point to a dangerous rise in snobbery within the world of craft beer.  Isn't this what we accuse the wine field of?  Isn't this why craft beer even exists - because it is the true common mans drink?  Why are we wrapping ourselves in these blankets of "I-drink-better-beer-than-you" when it comes to buying our beer?  What we are doing is driving people away from these places in the long-term - people who want to learn and who want to drink good beer.  As Craft Beer Loyalists, we should be promoting good beer at a good price, and as suppliers of Craft Beer, bar owners should be doing the same.

And why are we satisfied with paying these outrageous prices for kegs of beer that bars sell for over 300% profit on?  It really is enough to drive me out of the bars, and it has.  I no longer go to these bars I have loosely mentioned because I value my dollar.  I want to get the most from it, and if I can lay that buck down amongst it's friends and get a pint of beer without having to do any guesswork, then that is the bar for me.   Is it the same for you?

Do you have any beer bars like those described above around your area?  Been to any like these?  Tell me I'm off-base here.

P.S. - I realize I made this sound like all beer bars are as shady as the ones above, and that is not the case at all. So please don't think I am hating on all of them.  Just ones that price gouge.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Belgian Table Beer

This is another one I have been working on for awhile - a year and a half maybe.  I have brewed about 5 different versions of this with a couple of different people, getting feedback (thanks to Push Eject, David Howes, Matt Staley, and Nate Smith for the ideas!), and just plugging away.  The more I brew, the less I want to brew new beers and just dial in my recipes.  They need it, trust me.

I had been requested to brew this for a friends wedding, to be served along side Lagunitas and Russian River, which is quite an honor for me.  While my friends have not had this variation, I think they will love it, as it is the best one I have made so far.

The goal was to clone Westvleteren 6, the table beer of the monks at the Westvleteren brewery in Belgium.   After Justin brought that back for me two years ago, I have been dreaming of that thing.  The beer is crisp, dry, slightly bitter - some would say too bitter for the "style", and possibly the best Belgian beer I have ever had.

Anyway, boring story short (too late), here is my recipe.  If you brew it, please let me know what you think.  I'm not saying this is the recipe to end all clones, but if you are looking for a beer like Westy 6, this will get you most of the way, I think.

11 gallons
90 min boil
70% Eff.
1.050 SG
WLP 530 @ 75F

17 lbs. Belgian Pilsner Malt
1.5 lbs. German Munich
1 lb. Table Sugar

1.25 oz. Magnum @ 14% AA for 60 min
1.5 oz. Saaz @ 4% AA for 10 min
1 oz. Styrian Goldings @ 5.4% AA for 5

Now, the next time I brew this I'm going to try and dry it out somehow - it's a bit more malty than the commercial example, and it could you a more firm bitterness, but overal it is a super drinkable 5% beer.  Again, if you brew it, let me know.  And maybe consider hitting that "donate" button up top there (cough cough).


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Remember when I wrote an Article?

A couple of years ago I wrote an article on using oak in beer.  My friend Shea Comfort helped me with the sciency stuff, God Bless him.  Anyway, here it is.  Read it, print it and line your bird cage with it, whatever. 

Oak's Balancing Act

by Jason Petros
Originally appeared in Zymurgy May/June 2008

Oak has been used in brewing for many years, but recently it has seen a resurgence of interest due to its large flavor impact on both wine and beer. In the past, the oak
flavors gained from storage in wood were considered to be a secondary benefit. Now, with the popularity of stainless steel fermenters and storage tanks, brewers and
vintners alike are able to use these flavors as a creative addition to their products.

When used properly, oak can lend the most beautiful, full and rich properties of the wood and weave them delicately into the beer. When used improperly, oak can destroy the balance that you have worked so hard to achieve, and can taste like you are chewing on tree bark. A little knowledge on what oak is all about can be the difference between turning a good beer into an award-winner or lawn food.

What exactly happens when you put oak in beer? 

Oak is full of many flavorful and aromatic compounds and chemicals that, when added to beer, create another level of depth and complexity. Examples are furfural, which lends caramel sweetness, or eugenol, which is clove-like. Vanillin, the most recognizable flavor, tastes and smells like vanilla. Lipids, which constitute the oils, fats and waxes found in the wood, are responsible for oak lactones, which lend coconut and aromatic wood flavors. These are the basic flavors found in all types of oak, and the ones we as brewers are looking for. The important thing to think about when choosing oak for your beer is, ?How will these flavors interact with the flavors already present?? Knowing which type of oak contributes which flavors is key in matching beer to wood. The three most common types of oak are American, French and Hungarian, each with its own balance of flavor and complexity. American oak has a great aromatic sweetness along with a nice vanilla component. It provides a sweet and full mouthfeel to beer, easily paired with most malt combinations. French oak also has an aromatic sweetness as well as providing a full mouthfeel, along with cinnamon and allspice characters. It is widely praised for its sweet spice and ?confectionary? flavor compounds (custard, butterscotch, milk chocolate). Hungarian oaks are said to provide a high amount of vanillin properties, along with roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate characters. The flavor profile of oak is enhanced during the toasting process. Which compounds come out in what ratios depends largely on the variety of oak and the level of toast it received, ranging from light and untoasted to dark and heavy. When the oak is toasted, the characteristics unique to that varietal are brought out and defined.

For example, American oak at a light toast level will lend a fresh wood and coconut character to your beers, but as toast levels increase to medium/medium-plus levels, these flavors are decreased and more vanilla and caramel notes are brought forward. Medium-plus is typically the best of all worlds in dealing with toast levels, as it brings out the qualities you would normally find in a heavier toast, without diminishing the vanilla and other ?softer? qualities found in a lighter toast. There are many different oak delivery methods, including aging your beer in a full-size barrel, and using sawdust or barrel replica kits. Oak chips and oak cubes are the simplest for homebrewers to use. A barrel is not feasible for many homebrewers, as they require a lot of hard work tokeep them in good working order (clean, stored properly and bacteria-free). Sawdust can be hard to work with and will take some extra time to drop out in your beer, not to mention its lack of complex flavors. Staves and other barrel replica kits are geared more for use with large barrels that have lost much of their oak impact, and are often too large to be used easily in carboys. Chips and cubes, however, are very ?user friendly? and do not need any sort of extra attention or care like their larger counterparts do.

Oak Chips and Oak Cubes

Chips are flat shreds of oak, usually about two inches long. Because there are only two sides to an oak chip, the wood reacts quickly to the heat during toasting andboth surfaces are toasted to an even level.  This gives the wood a rather one-dimensional flavor. Chips have a very short extraction time in beer, usually about a week or so, which make them ideal for use in the fermentation process. Yeast will actually metabolize certain oak compounds, like vanillin and furfural, and leave much of the spice and other characteristics behind. This creates a nice foundation to build off of with any later oak additions. Beers that do well with this method include English bitters and American pale ales-styles that generally don?t benefit from a longer aging time. Oak cubes have several layers of toast due to the thickness and shape of the cube. A toasted oak cube will have varying degrees of color along each side-these layers represent the level of heat penetration during the toasting process. Heat is what brings out all of the different and wonderful flavors of the wood, and different temperatures with different woods for different lengths of time develop different flavors. Oak cubes replicate the complex flavors of a barrel better than chips because the cubes are able to have multiple toast levels like a barrel would. Think of it as ?what you see is what you taste,? where the different colors of the cubes provide more flavors than the single color of the chips. Cubes also have a much longer extraction time, from about two weeks up to a year depending on the size of the cube (the beer has a lot more wood to penetrate than with a chip) and the longer extraction time enables the beer to absorb the full character of the oak, and not just one or two facets of it. Cubes are ideal for beers that require a lengthy aging process such as imperial stouts and barleywines.

The Process

Many homebrewers have not experimented with oak, mainly due to one fear-sanitizing! ?How should I sanitize this stuff?  Do I soak them in sanitizing liquid, boil them in water?? Sanitizers should not be used, as the sanitizer will be absorbed by the wood and carried over into your beer.

A simple way is to steam the wood, killing anything that may be living inside. One method is to put the wood in a Pyrex measuring cup with just enough water to cover the wood. Cover the top with a saucer and heat it in the microwave until the water starts to boil. Turn the microwave off and let the wood steam for two minutes. Repeat the process twice. This should kill anything that may be living in the wood. Add the oak and the water left behind to the keg, as the water will have a nice oak essence to it. If you plan on soaking your oak in alcohol, such as whiskey, this is all the sanitizing you will need as the high percentage of alcohol will kill anything that may be living in the wood. Kegs are the best container to store your beer while it is aging on oak. You can carbonate it at the same time, and it is much easier to pull samples than from a carboy.  Once the beer has been racked into the keg, it is time to add the cubes. Eventually the cubes will end up sinking to the bottom of the keg, and because this is also where the dip tube will be pulling your samples from, you will no doubt taste a very unbalanced beer. Every three weeks or so, rock the keg gently back and forth to ensure the portion of the beer that is in contact with the oak gets properly mixed with the beer toward the top of the keg.

If you are interested in trying your hand at a bourbon-aged oak flavor, try soaking your cubes for two weeks in a few ounces of bourbon or whiskey, and discard the whiskey before adding the oak to your beer (I find Wild Turkey blends well with darker beers). It is very easy to overdo the addition of bourbons or whiskeys, and less is definitely more which is why I prefer letting the cubes ?dose? the beer over time. The oak should be up front, with the booze layered softly under the malt. If the flavor is not pronounced enough after two months of being on the oak, adding bourbon straight to the keg is acceptable, but be careful not to overuse it.  Tasting the beer over the next few months is a great way to see how the flavors and oak compounds blend and merge into your beer. After the first week on the oak, you will begin to taste hints of different flavors, but I find that they really start to meld after about four to six months. The longer you leave your beer in contact with the wood, the more of these great compounds will become infused with your beer. The cubes will continue to add flavor up to about a year. A great way to get that deep, complex oak characteristic is to use a one-two punch of chips in the fermenter and cubes in the keg. Adding oak chips to the fermenter will allow the beer to absorb some of those basic oak flavors we are looking for,
and gives the cubes a nice foundation to build on when they are added to the beer after fermentation. Half an ounce of chips per 5 gallons of wort is a nice place to start. You may find some beers need less, and some need more. Feel free to experiment and find a starting point that bestsuits you. The best part about oak is that it complements almost any beer!

Making beer and using oak are very similar: they are both easy to do, yet the best results require a subtle hand that is achieved only by repetition. If your first wood-aged beer does not turn out right, try again, maybe with less oak, or a different toast level-or perhaps a different varietal altogether. Maybe a blend of American chips and French cubes is the answer for your porter-who knows? Above all else, be patient. The world of oak awaits!

Jason would like to thank Shea A.J. Comfort from yeastwhisperer.com for his technical information on oak.

This article was used with permission from Zymurgy

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Recipe: JP's Oak and Dry Nibbed Oatmeal Stout

After years of typing out my recipe to brewers, I am finally putting it in this stupid blog.  This way I can just link to it and not have to make excuses as to why I'm too much of a lazy mess to dig my sheet out and bang these keys.

This is a beer that I have been working on for almost 3 years, and it is one that does very well at my house, but not so great at competitions.  It hovers in the 35-40 rang every time, but never clears a medal.  Comments are that it is too light, not roasty enough, or some other crap.  Which is all true, and I deny none of it.  My oat stout is a beer that I make for myself and I purposely made it on the lower end of the style because that's how I like my oat stouts.  If you do, too, you might like this beer.  It's also the recipe I brought to NHC this past year, with oak and cacao nibs added - details of which I'll post below.

11 Gallons
60 min boil
70% Eff.
1.058 SG
WLP001 @ 64F

17 lbs British Pale
2.5 lbs Flaked Oats
1.5 lbs Carafoam
1.5 lbs Crystal 75
1.5 lbs Pale Chocolate Malt
.75 lbs Black Roasted Barley
.75 Carafa II

3 oz NB @ 8% AA for 60 min boil
3 oz BKG @ 7.5% AA for 5 min

Now, if you want to add some oak, I would suggest adding about an ounce of French Oak Chips to the fermenter.   This will create some mouthfeel and give a good foundation for the oak cubes later.

Once the beer is in the kegs, add an ounce or two of cubes (not chips.  C-U-B-E-S) and let that beer age for a few months.  If you want to add nibs, put about 6-8 ounces in a hop bag and drop into the keg.  Let those sit as long ass the oak.  With this beer, I usually let it sit for a month before I can't help myself and start drinking it, leaving the oak and the nibs in the keg until it blows.  But it doesn't peak until about 2 months have been put  on it.

Of course, this beer sits well by itself - no oak or nibs needed.  I sometimes only oak and nib one keg, so I have one straight and the other all funked up.  Good times.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Scratch Pad

You remember back in high school when the counselor would take you into his office and ask, "So, what do you want to do when you graduate?".  I never knew what to tell him.  "Nothing" was shorter on the pay scale than I had hoped, and "Doctor" just had too much schooling attached to it.  It was "Director" for a number of years, but I went down that road for a bit and realized I wasn't as into it as I thought.

I'd say "Actor" now, or "Radio Douche", if I could.  "Blogger" seems too ... I dunno, 2005 to really say out loud in polite conversation.  After all, doesn't everyone have a stupid personal blog?  And how well does that pay?  

But getting to write for a living wouldn't be that bad - in fact it would be pretty fun, depending on the topic.  And it's something I don't think I'm too bad at.  This blog is just more of how I speak, more like an unfiltered transfer of thoughts to pixels.  I would church it up more if someone was actually paying me to write for them.  

I think my top writing job would be working in Hollywood, either on scripts or maybe a TV show.  Perhaps even writing jokes, though I hear those guys who write jokes for shows and talk show dicks have to come up with like 45 jokes a day.  I'm funny, but not that funny.  Then again, neither are the jokes they come up with.  When was the last time Leno was funny?  Sometime around 1987 I think.  Which is just a small example of the lame, hack jokes I can write for you.  Thank you. 

Second would be doing the Disneyland blog.  OMFG, that would rule.  If you have never seen their blog, click on that link and check it out.  It's kind of boring and bland, and needs a punch in it's gut.  There are so many great things to write about inside of Disneyland proper that I cannot imagine why they feel they would have to do videos of some goofy Italian guy making tiramisu.  Let's get more off-target please.  Please!  I have so many good ideas for stories there, it's just not fair to anyone else.  

I know this probably isn't the most interesting thing that your hero, me, can share with you.  Trust me, I know.  But hey, I was bored and thinking about what I really want to do, and thought I'd share it with someone.  Penis. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Tee-hee, my titles are so clever.

I made ribs yesterday, and after posting a pic of them, some of you wanted to know what I did.  Normally I wouldn't share this stuff because it kind of bores me to write, but I'll write about anything if asked.  Almost anything. 

I got two sides of pork ribs from Costco.  Cut one up and froze it in foodsaver bags, the other I cut in half and marinated it for two hours in a small amount of white vinegar/juice of one lemon/porter.  Not sure if the amounts matter, just put in lots of beer and not so much vinegar. 

I pulled them out and dried them off, then applied my home-made rub, that I stole from "How To Grill", by Steven Raichlen.  If you want to either learn how to BBQ (or grill), or you want to start making your own sauces and/or rubs, buy Stevens books.  The man knows what he writes about and his recipes are great starting points for cooks of any level.  The one I made (pictured above) was a take on his Basic Barbecue Rub, and my version goes like this:

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sweet paprika
3 tablespoons black pepper
3 tablespoons coarse salt
3 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons celery salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
a sprinkle of nutmeg
Mix together with your fingers, breaking up the brown sugar.  Sprinkle over the meat and rub in.

Anyway, so you do that, rub it on the meat, then put it in the fridge (covered) for about an hour.  Not sure why, don't really care.  It works.

Meanwhile, I went outside and set up my Big Green Egg for indirect cooking (meaning I put a little platform in there to lift the meat away from the coals).  After an hour, I slapped the meat on the grill, added my Pecan wood chips and went to make my mop sauce.

A mop sauce is optional, but I like to use it because I really like fucking with things I'm making/brewing/cooking.  It's more of a souther BBQ deal than, say, Kansas City, and I like the bite the vinegar gives.  The sauce I made is listed below, and I put it in a spray bottle and hit the ribs with it every 30 minutes.  Again, taken from "How To Grill", and this is my take on the Basic Barbecue Mop Sauce.

1 cup white vinegar
1.5 cups Homebrewed Irish Red Ale
1 tablespoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 shallot, thinly sliced

The spray bottle ended up getting clogged by the pepper, so next time I'll get a brush or something.  Though I hate cleaning that shit.  

Anyway, after 6 hours the ribs were done.  I put a light coating of Stubbs barbecue sauce on them for the final 20 minutes or so and then took them off the grill.  Sauce is where I prefer not to make my own.  I love Stubbs a great deal - it's the best BBQ sauce I have tasted, and the other times I have tried my hand at sauces, I just ended up making spicy ketchup.

There they are.  9 hours in the making, but worth it.  Smokey, with a hint of spice.  

If you guys have any good recipes for rubs or sauces, let me know. I'm always on the lookout for new stuff to try. 


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fraiche Hops

I have had hop bines in my backyard for a few years now, but have only used the hops in brewing once.  No reason, just lazy.  This year I decided to at least pick the things off the bines, in hopes that would force me to use them.  As it happens, I was planning on brewing anyway, so for the first time in four years, I have homegrown hops to brew with.

The question is, "What is a good hop and what is a bad hop?".  I have noticed that on my bines, I have cones that are large and many more that are small.  Some are bright green, others are almost parchment-like in color.  Are these bad?  I have no idea, but I think I'd rather dump them, just to be on the safe side.

On the left are the hops I think are best - they are solid green all around, not super wet (damp), and smell like hops.  The ones on the right are papery in color, the leaves are opening, and are small and not really firm.

I went through my pile and pulled the white ones out entirely.  Was this needed?  I have no idea, but it sure made me feel better.  And I think that some of the things we do as homebrewers are simply to make us feel better.  More like commercial brewers.  I mean, now I can relate when I talk to a pro brewer about "hand selecting my hops".  Besides just pulling the packet from the shelf.  

The beer I'm brewing today is the "Hop Grenade" Pale Ale that I made with Rodger Davis over at Triple Rock.  It's a hoppy, West Coast session ale (1.044 SG, 52 IBU's), and I really enjoy it.  I want to add my wet hops to the flavor portion, but the bag they are in is just smelling like pine resin right now, and I'm not sure I need that in my beer.  I just don't know what to do about it. 

In the end I decided to add two ounces with 20 min left in the boil, then another two ounces with 5 min left.  This is in addition to my regular hop schedule.  The way I see it, my homegrown hops have such a small amount of Alpha Acids that it won't really affect my IBU's, it's more for flavor than anything. 

Here are some pics of the fresh hops:

I forgot that I don't have a screen in my boil kettle, so I had to fish out the majority of the whole hops before starting my cooling cycle ... DOH!

In the end, the beer came out a few points under, and looking like green soup.  Should be interesting.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How To Succede At Failure ...

Those of you following my "life" on Twitter know of my recent pursuit of acting roles - you can blame B.Y.O.B. TV for that.  After doing that show, I figured it would be a small leap into extra work, and from there ... who knows?  Maybe a paycheck steady enough that I can stay on at The Brewing Network and keep writing scripts.  Anything to not have a 9-5 job again.  Not that my job was bad, because it wasn't.  It was great, and I was great at it.  Working from home just suits me better.

Today started out like many of mine do - lots of coffee, little food, pit of self-pity to roll around in. I happened to get a call around 3pm asking if I could be in Oakland by 4pm for a shoot.  "Um ... yes?"  And just like that, I landed a role.  Jason Petros would soon become ... "Bust Cop 2".  Villans, wet yourselves now.

The show is called, "I (Almost) Got Away With It, and I have no idea where it airs, or when, or even if it is good or not.  It's one of those re-enactment style deals, where they splice in interviews with the idiot criminal in between moderately acted flashback scenes.  Fuck it, it's a pay check, and who am I to disparage something for it's quality - I put out "Lunch Meet".

Firing along the 24, my head is swimming.  By the time I'm in Oakland on set, it's at the bottom of the deep end, being pulled down by the pool cleaner. So many emotions going through my head, it was actually hard to make sense of it.  I was - at the same time - confused, happy, scared, frightened, shitting myself, worried, anxious, tired, nervous, and maybe happy.  But I'm not sure on that last one.

The set was small - just some back alley in West Oakland.  The people were nice, and I had a few laughs with some of the other guys while we waited.  That's me though, Mr. Super-Eager-To-Meet-New-People ... Eventually I'm costumed to be a cop and again I am sent back to the RV to wait and pretend I wasn't packing a hot steamer in my shorts, laid sometime back between "Yes I can come in for the shoot" and "Yeah that's me - Bust Cop".

Blah blah blah and ... it's time for me!  Well, not really ME so much as "Any one of the cops that is dressed and ready to go, I need him out here now!"  I get rushed to the trailer, get fitted for my belt, and head to the set (the car across the street from the trailer) to walk through the scene with the Director, Evan.

"OK, Jason.  So you are really just going to pull the car here, get out, and just, you know, arrest Brian.  Ok?"

"Um ... sure, you got it."

"Ok great."

"Um ... what do - what do I actually SAY to him?"

"Just something like 'You are under arrest for DWI'.  Then cuff him."


At that point I realize I'm in over my bald head.  Unless I'm drunk, I don't know how to be dominate.  And I've never cuffed someone with anything that wasn't furry.  At any rate, we did the scene four times, and after some quick pick-up shots, I was cut loose.  The whole time I was standing there I felt like the biggest fraud in Oakland.  I was certain the cast and crew could see right through me, could see that I had never done something like this, and I was doubly sure someone on set was calling the casting director to ask what cruel joke it was they sent to the set in place of an actor.  Walking into the RV after my scenes was like facing St. Peter.  After all, here was this "guy", coming to their set, dirtying up their towels, stinking up the joint.  "Fraud", they thought.  "Waste of our time", they screamed at me with their averted eyes.  Ok yes I'm being very dramatic, but it's true - I felt like a total failure.  Not because I was told I fucked everything up.  And not that I was really asked to do things a different way.  I just hate anything that I do, and I hate it worse when I do things that people see.

Coming out of this, I really am not sure if I want to keep going down this road.  The time on set was great, and everyone was really very nice.  But I may just be too sensitive to be in front of a camera.  I feel much better hidden behind a mic, or a keyboard and screen.  Acting, especially your first time, can really be a mind-fuck if you are not secure in yourself and your talent.  You have to be ready to give everything you have and not hear one encouraging word when you are done.  You just have to pick up your guts off the floor, shove them back in, and ask "where to now?"

Even now, after my second Old Fashioned, I'm not sure if I went at all.  I mean, I'm just Jason Petros.  Clown.  Co-Host and Second Chair on the radio.  Neophyte screenwriter.  Chicken owner. Asshole.  That's hard enough to live up to.

At any rate, check out Season 4, episode 7 of "I (Almost) Got Away With It".  Airing Who-Knows-When, on channel Fuck-If-I-Know.  Look for the fat cop arresting the drunk guy - that's me!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


It seems like craft beer folk insist on doing things differently than other beer drinkers.  They have to have more of this, less of that, and do it in a different shaped glass than has ever been created ever in the world ever.  It has always amused me that the reason most bars will not go from the shaker "iced tea" glass to more nasal-focused bar ware is due to the general population that would steal this new, unique glass.  Once again, the swill drinkers are holding us down!  Whatever.

I agree with the glass shape debate - the shaker glasses are crap and I hate drinking out of them.  Personally, I really enjoy the Imperial Pint glasses, with the little bulge near the top. I don't care if it focuses the aromas, gathers the head,or gets me laid, I really just like it because it feels better in my gorilla-sized hand.  Fact. 

One thing that sort of blew my mind about glass ware is that many breweries in Belgium have different shaped glasses for each brewery.  Fucking nuts man.  Some breweries are doing it here, encouraging you to drink your beers out of a tulip glass for all of their beers, so you get the true and intended flavors of the beers. Which kind of goes against my core ideals.  I don't want you to tell me how I should enjoy my beer.  And it led me to this experiment: 

I love sour beers, and I have always been told to drink them from a tulip glass.  Some beers I have had this way have been remarkable, others not so much.  Some beers I have had in a shaker glass and have been wonderful.  So today I decided to start figuring out if different beers from the same brewery would do better in different glasses, in hopes of better enjoying my sour beers when I can afford to drop $20 on one.  

My first beer is Consecration from Russian River.  Batch 3. Bottled in 12/08.  Yeah. 

I chose this guy, because I have had it a couple of times before and I never really cared for it.  The currant flavors distracted from the sour notes - the thing I really love about sour beers. I thought this would be a good beer to begin my experiment with. 

I set up three different shaped glasses - a tulip, what I called a narrow glass (stolen from a tour of the AB plant), and what I called a wide glass. 

I filled them all with the same amount of liquid and smelled them all first, then tasted them all cold.  After, I went back and smelled/tasted again after giving them time to warm.  


The preferred glass for sours.  Cold, the aroma was of dark sugars, the currants in this beer really came through, but that's about it.  I got no sour or tart aromas, no malt, no oak - nothing of any interest.   When I tried some, there was a nice bright acidity and an unexpected fruit-forward-ness, mixed with some of those dark sugar notes from the aroma.  The tangy/sour flavors came out, with a light mouthfeel. 

As this beer warmed though, some of those nice funky aromas poked their heads out.  Still not much in the way of oak or malt.  Sipping this beer after a warming period, I got some of the barrel flavors, along with a pleasant jammy note and a moderate booze quality.  


Side note to this glass - it had the longest-lasting head of all three.  For whatever it's worth. 

Smelling this guy, it had a much brighter fruit aroma to it than the tulip glass had. I was even getting some malt notes.  No sour/tart aromas though.  Cold, it had a firm acidity with more barrel notes than the tulip.  The first sip out of this glass was almost puckering - a very strong sour flavor, which made my day. It had some good jammy qualities to it.  Just a very pleasant experience. 

When it had warmed a bit, there was some funk in the aroma, and the bright fruit only intensified.  The flavors changed, too.  The puckering sour gave way to a more balanced (and enjoyable) sour/tart combo.  I got more barrel tones, and no real booze qualities.  


BNA 4 glass.  I love these things, and sometimes I do drink sours out of them.  Cold, the aromas were of a sweeter fruit than the other two glasses.  More plum/tobacco notes than the others, with hints of oak and wine.  It had more tart than sour flavors, if that makes any sense.  Heavy, heavy fruit/currant flavors on the back-end, and  not much else. All-in-all, the most balanced of the three beers.  

Warm, this didn't change much.  It still had the deeper currant notes to it, but the oak and the sour/tart really balanced out to form this very complex beer.  I did get more booze out of it, though, which wasn't all that great.  

When all was said and done, I really enjoyed this beer out of the AB glass over the tulip or the wide.  I felt that for this particular beer, you should really be focusing on the currant and barrel notes, and the other glasses really didn't combine them for me in a way that was pleasant.  Try to get yourself a glass like this and see if I'm crazy or not.  I will say that while I was tasting the second glass, I ripped a nasty fart and had to leave the room for a bit.  Not saying it interfered with my tastings, just putting it on the record as an unknown factor. 

I will say that I'm still not a fan of this beer.  I don't like my sour beers to be dark fruit or boozy/hot like this one is, even after three years of aging.  Who is it going to piss off when I say that I drank half the bottle in the 20 min it took to do this experiment, and I totally dumped the other half down the drain?  

Did this help?  Was it interesting?  Did it maybe inspire you to try some glassware trials on your own?  I hope so.  Let me know what you liked, or didn't like in this, and any glassware you want to see tried out. 

Tulip glasses should not be the default glass.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

IPA Day is Here - and why you shouldn't give a hop

Ok, so maybe not the best title in the world, but oh well. Today's headache comes from my obsession with hating on IPA.  I don't really know what it is that makes me lash out at the most popular beer on the West Coast (or as I like to call it, the Hop Coast.  Because I'm clever), but I just can't help it.  To me, the style is just a bore.  You have a base malt and too many hops and I fail to see how that is an interesting style choice.  Sure, I have had a few good IPAs, and even fewer good ones, but I have never had one that makes me go all gushy for them.

That is just my opinion, and I realize that my views are probably bullshit to you hop heads out there.  I'm fine with that.  Honestly.  And I'm ok with everyone jumping on that IPA train, I suppose.   My issue stands with the #IPAday thing going around today.

Part of being craft beer drinkers is that we help to grow awareness of craft beer in general.  This silly movement today of celebrating one style over another serves to drive a wedge between fringe beer drinkers and the hard core foamaphiles that we craft beer drinkers like to believe we are.  Instead, why not just promote Craft Beer in general?  Why all this stylist garbage floating around Twitter today?   Is IPA really the style we need to promote?    Will that help us get more beer drinkers?

Everything you write, everything you promote matters.  It matters to the non-beer drinkers.  It matters to the fringe folks who get excited over Fat Tire.  You are a Craft Beer ambassador, not some style monkey.

So, that's my stance.  I'm looking to understand the IPA movement and this whole #IPAday thing.   I just don't get it.  Anyone else?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Stole Something ...

Your soul!  Haha, no I'm teasing.  It's too black for me.  I stole my donation tag line from my friend Jay Brooks, at least part of it.  He does the Brookston Beer Bulletin, and is the loudest voice in the craft beer blogging scene, as far as I'm concerned.  He used to have this line, "If you like this post, please consider buying me a beer."  I just always thought it was a very polite thing to say, so I stole that shit.

Sorry Jay.

Not really, though.

Ok, a little.


Long-time coming, but I'm getting around to posting an update on my chickens. You can all exhale now.

A couple of months ago I got two chicks from the local feed store on a whim, and they have survived pretty well.  My buddy Justin and my buddy Dave came over to help me build the coop that they will be in until the racoons get them or I run out of money.

After browsing on BackyardChickens.com, I decided to build a variant on the Dutch Hen House.  It seemed the most simple without looking like a rundown shed, and, since I only had two chickens, I didn't need something larger.

Justin did the basic design and the three of us went to Home Depot for materials.  All in all it cost about $190, and I had some wood leftover.  Not too bad.  I have zero pictures of the building process - I was too busy trying to remember how to swing a hammer.  But despite Dave's squiggly cutting, I think we made a pretty rad chicken coop.  Thanks to those guys!

So, when you have chicks, you keep them protected and under a lamp for 5 weeks, then they go in the coop.  All this time I was really concerned about the noise level - I didn't need the neighbors throwing stones at my birds, much like I do to their dogs when they don't shut up.  I have to say, these things are much quieter than I thought they would be.  No noise, save for some low clucking when I get in there to clean the poop or refill the food.  I'm digging on them, so far.

If you are looking at getting some chickens, check out Backyardchickens.com - they are a great resource and a nice community.

Here it is, my chicken coop!

And from the side. 
Note the flag, lest you forget where you are ...

The side door opens, like so. The string
is to pull the inside door up, allowing the girls
to get out of the coop and into the run.

A better view, with the perch there and the laying boxes 
to the left, where, eventually, they will lay eggs.

Butterworth and Lucretia at around 12 weeks. 
I let space under the coop for them to hang out in, and 
it's their favorite place to be. 

Awkward teen years.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Club of the Year

If you want to piss off a homebrewer, win an award that they can't, and do it with grace and humility in front of 1500 of their peers.

The Brewing Network won the Club of the Year award at the National Homebrewers Conference last week, and the virtual beer universe has been on fire with the questions.  People questioning if we are really a club, if we are really allowed to win the thing, and how unfair it is that we all don't meet regularly under the name "Club Meeting".  Hopefully I can answer some of these questions, as they are all (acutally) pretty decent.  Maybe.

The BN is getting heat from folks for registering as a homebrew club.  Just to be clear, we did NOT register ourselves as a club.  I'm not sure who did it, but it was not anyone on "staff".   I know you really want to think that this was some creative social media thing to promote our shows and all of that, but we aren't that clever.  We just go the standard route of providing rad information in an entertaining (to some) way.  Then, word of mouth.  But really it all came about from one person entering our name as their club.  To me, this points at how many homebrewers simply do not have enough people in their area to create a club. Or maybe the club nearest them is full of douches.  Has anyone ever thought of that?  Think back to your club meetings - remember that guy who could never really fit in, and that everyone ran away from when he came to meetings with his beer.  THAT person is welcomed in our club.  And THAT is the person that we want.

This whole thing is becoming about The Brewing Network, and it shouldn't be.  We never asked to be a club, nor did we think that we would ever even be in the running for Club of the Year.  The fact is there are enough people out there that feel tied to one another through our shows and our forum to want to put our name on their beers.  These people ARE a club.  We meet every year at NHC, and every Sunday in the chat room, and many folks meet on their own to taste eachothers beers. So we can't meet every month - what about that guy in your club who can never make it to a meeting?  Is he still in your club?  I bet he is if his dues check clears.  We have no officers, no cute club name - but are those requirements to enter homebrews in the NHC? 

What really burns me is that some of these questions have been brought up by a friend of the show.  Someone in the club that came in second place.  Interesting.

We are a club for the people who have no club.  The "Island of Misfit Toys" but for beer.   A listener who had no club registered TBN, and it grew from there.

It's not about us.  It's about them.

This post reflects my thoughts on the subject, and is not the opinion of The Brewing Network, its advertisers, or anything like that.  So don't take this post and run it up your forums like it's a statement from the BN.  It's just me.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I got Chicks, man!

For some reason I decided - very recently, I might add - to get a couple of chickens for my backyard.  Nothing really inspired this, and it's not something I have been waiting to do my whole life.  One day I was online looking at the randomness that is the internet and came across an article about raising chickens in an urban setting.  Three days later I'm at the local feed store (which is like a verbal time machine to say) picking out chicks with my girlfriend.  Man how I've always wanted to say that, just in a very different context ... 

My first concern was the noise level.  I don't have a large backyard - in fact it's fairly standard in size, with my neighbors right on top of me.  The last thing I want to do is build a chicken coop, raise these chicks, and have them make all kinds of noise and I'd have to get rid of them.  After some research I decided that since I want them for eggs that I didn't need a rooster, and that pretty much solved my issues with noise.  Hen's generally aren't SUPER noisy, but some breeds are more chatty than others, and most will only make a fuss when they lay an egg.  Can't blame them for that. 

The chicks we picked out are Columbian Wyandottes, which grow up to be very fancy looking birds and are supposed to have a mild temper.  We'll see.  Right now, I have them in my spare room under a heat lamp and kept at a constant 90 degrees.  Each week for 5 weeks I am to take the temp down 5 degrees, and then they are fit to go outside.

I'm pretty stoked about doing this, and I intend to post more pics and jot some notes down along the way, especially when I design and build the coop.  Here are some shots I took tonight.  Excuse the odd lighting - the heat lamp we got is infra-red and it plays havoc with my camera lighting.

The larger of the two sisters

Butts in the air, pecking at the nail patches in the hardwood.


Trumpy, checking out her new pals.

My set-up.  Fairly simple.

Trumpy, on the desk, eye-balling the chicks.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pathing for Craft Beer Around Disneyland

I go to Disneyland a lot.  I like it there. A lot.  Being a beer drinker and a craft beer fan, I like to find the best places for local beers that I can.

Many people ask me where to go for beer while they are in Disneyland, since I talk about going there often, so I figure I'd write them all down so I don't have to repeat myself.  This is not a complete list by any means, but a compilation of my favorite places (and really the only ones I know of).

Tony's Darts Away
1710 West Magnolia Boulevard
If you are driving down I-5 and you pass through Burbank, stop here.  Personally, I don't think it's worth driving up to it from Disneyland - its 50 min or so without traffic - but it's a great pit stop.  Tony's has a nice theme - all California craft beer only.  Sorry Oregon, you dicks!  Colorado?  Suck it!  

The inside is very "dive-bar", with wood everywhere.  When you get to the bar and read the menu, you have two choices of styles - IPA and Everything Else.  As much as I hate IPA's, this makes me superlolz every time. Not much for food, but they have hot dogs and sweet potato fries.  If you hate your dentist, get the candied version.  

Eagle Rock Brewery
3056 Roswell Street
Los Angeles
Eagle Rock is about 40 min from Disneyland, so only go if you have a car (obviously), and plan on spending more than three days at the park, because three days goes by fast at Disneyland.

These guys have a small, unassuming place with no signage that I could see, but inside is a small tasting room with some of the cleanest beers on tap I have ever had.  At night there are those trendy "gourmet" roach coaches out front for you to get a tasty meal. Worth the trip if you have the time.

Beachwood BBQ

131 1/2 Main Street
Seal Beach
Downtown Seal Beach is pretty weird.  Blink and you'll miss it.  Not just Beachwood, but the whole downtown area.  If you do happen to find this place, you will have problems leaving.  Not only do they have great food, but a really rad assortment of beer.  While you are there, check out the gas system for their draft set-up on the wall.  Seal Beach is about 30 min from Disneyland, so again, go if you have time.  It's a good place, but not one to miss a bunch of Space Mountain time for.  Oh, if you drive by Leisure World, wave to my Grandma!  Do it ... 

The Bruery Provisions

143 N. Glassell
While not the Bruery brewery, Provisions is a more formal tasting room for the Bruery's beers.  You can sit down and enjoy a few flights of great beer, paired with cheese if you like.  It is also a great little bottle shop where you can find some really great craft beers.  It's a 15 min drive to Orange, well worth it no matter how long you are in town.


368 S Main St
10 minutes from Disneyland is the greatest deli in the world.  Nice big sandwiches served in a small location with a wall of craft beer - refrigerated no less - served by loud Germans.  It's hard to get better than this when you are talking delis.  And being that it's so close to DL, it's an easy stop.  You can buy beers to go as well, which is rad for taking back to the hotel.

The Bruery

715 Dunn Way
15 minutes from the park is one of my favorite places, The Bruery.  You can take a cab here if you want, and I would recommend doing so, unless your other travel partners want to be DD.  The tasting room opens at 4, and by tasting room I mean space next to the brewery.  It's a really neat experience to sip beers while standing next to the barrels they were once in, gazing at the stainless steel that made it all possible. There are those trendy food trucks that come here too, so you can get some grub while you booze. 

Uva Bar
Downtown Disney
In case you don't know what I'm  talking about, Uva is that little outdoor cafe in Downtown Disney.  I know, it sounds like a god-awful place, but they do have good beer.  My go-to beer is Hoffbrau Helles on tap.  $8 is steep, but its real good.  And it's close to the monorail to get back into the park.  On busy days when I need a beer, I'll go to Space Mountain and grab a fast pass, then monorail to DD and hit Uva.  Drink a bit, maybe some food, then monorail back to Space Mountain and try not to puke.

Ralph Brennans Jazz Kitchen
Downtown Disney
Good food here, but they also have a nice piano bar inside, where you can get Abita beers.  Great beer, great food, good entertainment.  Solid place to drink.

Downtown Disney
It's not the best place - the food is salty, it's loud, and a long walk, but it has two things going for it - decent beer at decent prices and a nice second floor arcade.


2000 North Tustin Street
OrangeIf you have a car and will be in town for a few days, go to Bevmo and get some beer.  I don't need to tell you about Bevmo.  Just go there.

And that's my list on where to drink around Disneyland.  If you go, maybe we'll meet for beer!  On you.