Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Drink to Me Only with Thine Beer and Wines

So after 6 days of seeing the world through a wine glass (and beer glass), I'm back at work and sad sad sad. But some of you wanted a report, so here's the thumbnail sketch of what got drunk where (note that's what not who). There's a lot of lovely potent potables out there.

Stone Epic 07-07-07 (we brought this with us to have in the SF hotel when we arrived)

An Alaska cocktail at the delightful and delicious and delovely Alembic: Suppose your tires have frozen flat on one side. or you chased a kodiak off your lawn. the lure of living in the great white north may have escaped you, but the purity of the frozen tundra can be had in the form of this martini variation--gin, yellow chartreuse, orange bitters, and a healthy twist of lemon peel. it’s been around a long time: ours is a drier adaptation of the one in harry’s abc, a 1919 cocktail handbook.

An Opera cocktail. we love aperitifs here at the alembic, firmly believing that every good meal opens with a good drink. this is one of our sexier starters. millers gin with spicy dubonnet rouge and a dash of maraschino liqueur for aromatic sweetness. served ice cold and up. this aria might get stuck in your head.

Some La Chouffe and half a Bear Republic Strong Ale (All still at Alembic. The food is great too.)

Russian River Brewing: Bravo Ale, Pliny the Elder Double IPA

Yorkville Cellars tasting: best their Bordeaux blend Richard-the-Lion- Hearted

Meyer Family Cellars tasting, including their stunning Meyer Family Port

Navarro Vineyards Method a l'Ancienne Pinot Noir 2004 (very good with dinner at Boonville Hotel)

North Coast Brewing: Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout (ungodly good on tap and fresh) and 2007 Old Stock Ale with lunch at the brewpub

Wines with dinner we made at The Other Place: Surh Luchtel 2004 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and 2004 Skewis Pinot Noir Demuth Vineyard Anderson Valley (double yum)

Wine tasting in Anderson Valley, part 1: Navarro, Lazy Creek, and Breggo (all delicious, and we get served by the winemaker at the last 2)

Dinner at the Highpockety Ox (the former Buckhorn Saloon, Mike)--it's no longer the Anderson Valley Brewing Brewpub, as they have a new facility and crappy, prefab tasting room down the road, but they still make the pleasing Hop Ottin IPA

Wine tasting in Anderson Valley, part 2: Goldeneye (where Amy took the picture above), the find of the trip Toulouse (the owner more or less gave us a hilarious seminar in winemaking while taking us through his pinots), and the building is better than the wine Standish

Bottled beer drinking on a lazy afternoon on a sun-dappled hillside: North Coast's Old Rasputin X Imperial Stout (barrel aged in bourbon barrels and as great as it sounds--wish I bought more) and North Coast's 25th Anniversary Ale, which is actually the same as their La Merle but in different packaging (smooth, spicy saisson style)

Dinner at the Ukiah Brewing Company, a delightfully hippiesque spot with solid and organic food and beer; I had the 10 Guilder and Coops Stout

And while we didn't imbibe, we did refill some Russian River Brewing growlers with Pliny the Elder and their IPA, so we did bring some of the trip home with us.

Plus endless photos (you'll see we're set for Friday Dog Blogging for awhile)....

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Blogger Smitty said...

Wow....what a trip.

First, I love Russian River and North Coast Breweries. Love them to pieces. And I gotta tell you, there is nothing in the world like having beer from the source...on tap. I am jealous. In all my travels in California, I was either too young to drink beer or in the Marines and hadn't discovered good beer yet. I need to go back and make a pilgrimmage to your lovely state so full of incredible beer.

I do like Andersen Valley's Oatmeal stout. I have not tried the beer of which you speak. That's the brewery in that part of California where they have their own weird language, right? What's up with that?

I have never had anything from Ukiah. How is it? How diverse is their list?

Thanks for the details. Again...jealous.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Marty said...

Nice to have you back rested and well sensualized. It all tastes good even from here.

2:33 PM  
Blogger George said...

Smitty--Didn't mean to rub it in, but there's no better place to live than CA. Yes, Anderson Valley is the home of Boontling, a language invented, supposedly, to make it safer for growers of another famous Northern CA crop to avoid police detection.

Ukiah doesn't bottle, so you have to be there to get it. They produce a pretty standard repertoire, from pilsner to stout, which you can check out if you look at the link in the original post.

Marty, it tastes better here, actually. You'd have gotten a real kick out of the guy at Tolouse.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous regina said...

Aw, man. I am SO bummed to read that Anderson Valley Brewing Brewpub is no more. (My husband and I spent our first Valentine's Day there together 14 years ago.) Sigh.

I totally admire your carpe diem and carpe drink'em attitude.

11:46 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Sounds amazing, George. I'm envious beyond words. Just kickin' it in the mountains, eating good food, drinking great beer & wine. Wow.

So this new place where the Buckhorn used to be? Same vibe? Though I guess it's probably less hippy, more yuppy at this point. Still have that sweet view out the back?

4:12 AM  
Blogger George said...

Yep, it was a great, too short trip and one of those where you feel more tired after the vacation than before (especially when the last day is the 7 hour drive home).

The Highpockety Ox looks just the same as the Buckhorn, actually, and given it carries the full line of AVBC beers, it mostly seems the same. The sad part is AVBC had the chance to build something really cool as a tasting room on their property akin to the terrific building Stone put up and instead they put up something that looks like an airplane hangar that they can wash out with a hose.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Yeah, I know. We hit AV back in '04, and went straight to the AVBC. I thought I was in the wrong place when I saw it -- it looked like an elementary school lunch room, no one was in there, and the only "food" they served was frozen pizza.

So we drove down the street to the Buckhorn, which was closed for renovations.

Suffice to say, Mrs. Mike wasn't a happy camper after a 2 or 3 hour drive from SF and 6 or 7 years of chitter chatter about the greatness of the AVBC.

If I recall though, we ended up back in our hotel in Nob Hill later that night with a couple big bottles of AV brews that we picked up in a little store in Boonville.

4:13 AM  
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2:54 PM  

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