Monday, November 14, 2011


Let me get back to business. I'm going to pretend I had kept this up the entire time and avoid the awkward "Hey, man I'm sorry dude- here's a beer; so much has happened."

blah, blah, blah

Every writer requires a muse from time to time and although both are abundant- beer and my foreskin aren't always enough to keep your eyes occupied in this venue because frankly I run out of ideas from time to time. (And I get lazy)

I've been spending time and drinking beer with someone that has made me feel talented, so here I am again.

It's been quite a while since a had someone special to share beers with. Lately my beer drinking has been restricted to practically sitting in my closet with the light off as I go through either a 12 pack of Redhook ESB or Sierra Nevada Pale. Beer became more business and less pleasure. And trust me, there was a lot of overtime with little productivity.

So, let me tell you about the root of this new energy....

It was a weekend in late September 2010. I was house sitting for my good friend and high school English teacher in Monrovia. I had plans on meeting a friend for a beer in downtown at a Gastropub- London Gastropub to be exact. Decent place with Port Brewing and Allagash and others on tap.

Now mind you- I was heartbroken and socially regressed. This weekend was a means to put my head back on and push through all the new changes that had me in a choke hold at that time.

My company that night knew exactly what I was going through and was pretty much in a similar situation- although at the time I had no idea of it until we walked down toward town. We talked about out current problems-lightly.

When we reached the bar, it was an easy choice for my first beer- Firestone Union Jack.

My female company, well confident in my taste, asked me to order something good for her. So I did.

Craftsman Poppy Fields- (remember that)

We chatted and chatted and I hadn't felt such catharsis with a person that was more than a acquaintance but not quite a full blown friend yet. I sipped my beer and noted that the server had switched the beers. (I didn't get my Union Jack)

I looked at her- she said I looked good (obviously, I noted at this point, she was a liar).

Aside from that- she looked good. But she felt better- we were two people confused, hurt, and afraid- but I never felt so comfortable being such. (I'd compare it to the feeling women that choose to not wear bras have- they're all out there and vulnerable but it's a source of freedom- or some other empowered propaganda)

I didn't feel crazy. I wasn't even buzzed. Moreover- I wasn't alone.

She opened her mouth and said,"This beer is really good."

Fuck. Of course it was good- that was MY beer. That's why I ordered it. But she had it and I had stupid Craftsman Poppy Fields....

(It's only stupid because the dude that owns the brewery is a dick)

I felt stupid and told her that she had been given my beer and it wasn't Craftsman- (I didn't want her to get the wrong impression of the wrong beer)

She merely smiled and said, "Oh, well let"s fix that." She lined the beers up, side by side, equal distance from both of us, sitting opposite one another. "We can share them," she said.

Beautiful, smart, beer-loving, slightly neurotic (like me), and sharing.

Jesus Christ.

To make a long story short- it was the only time I have ever spent three hours in a bar while only drinking three beers the entire time. We were communicating and bonding. And I needed it.

She's a supporter of my writing and has proved to be very human just like me. Every once in a while, you try a beer that you've never had before and it makes you fall in love with beer all over again.

This person is the female equivalent of just that idea.

She makes me thirsty for all the things in life I have been afraid of before. And it all started with a beer.

Thanks gurl.

you know who you are.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Well, I'm a jackass.

I have been very preoccupied lately with my new life.

Here's what you guys have missed.

-Went through an emotional divorce of sorts.

-Secured employment with the state of California (nothing amazing, but a decent steady job that will eventually fund homebrewing.)

-Went through a horrible depression.

-Made a new friend and changed residences. (I'm still in Pomona)

My beer drinking has slowed and I've been focusing on myself and the em betterment of such. I'm not going to lie, for a while I was that dude from the Zoloft commercial- and I couldn't take neither pleasure nor refuge in my first love- beer.

As anyone, I made a lot of mistakes by drinking too much- it's common. I have a lot of issues.

Here is my promise to any of my remaining readers.

If you keep reminding me you need me and furthermore- beer, I will do my best to keep on the up and up.

I leave my house around 7:35 am and get home around 7 pm. Now mind you, I live on White Ave. and work on Garey Ave. I don't always feel like sitting in front of a computer continually, especially now that my computer work no longer involves beer, but the assholes that we know to be the general public of California.

Now more than ever- I have an obvious need to drink (the DMV).

But beer drinking shouldn't be just to take the edge off. Its artistry should be a celebratory beverage heaped in victory and splendor.

And now that I am a working man, getting his shit together, I am all about the big win.

I recently hosted, in conjunction with the amazing Joey's BBQ (Pomona), a beer tasting.

Joey's is always so hospitable and we sampled the following.

Moose Drool (Big Sky, Montana)- A brown ale, that seems to be true the English style in that is is lacking in carbonation. but doesn't allow it self to be watery as would it's more famous commercial cousin.

Hazelnut Porter (Sea Dog, Maine)- A porter not very portly, but with the hint of hazelnut that makes you want to warm the beer up and drink it as an aperitif.

Scotch Porter (Mad River, California)- The one porter I feel that is out in the open screwing with everyone's expectations. It tastes like peat. That's it, nothing else. It's not overly smokey, which would make it taste like a pig in a bog. It's just the quiet thicker girl at the dance that you know is dying to jump your bones.

Fuel Cafe (Lakefront, Wisconsin)- I enjoy this brewery's Cherry Lager, and although I'm not a fan of Midwest offerings, I can tell you, I'm not a coastal coffee drinker either. However, this beer has that coffee grit that tastes good when slightly iced. I'm an herbal tea drinker, and a hop head, but this beer is the kind that can wake you up- but only to slap you on the side of the head.

In other observations, it seems downtown is a-gush with new beer. I've helped dba256 revamp its lagging beer offerings (lagging since my departure). I've noticed those over at Acerogami have also taken note of beer's marketable powers, in relation to craft beer and not the previous South American garbage flowing out of there from before.

And whether or not anyone realizes it, my dream is coming true.

I set out to change the beer climate of downtown Pomona, and although I have very little to show for it, I've engineered (in a roundabout way) a future for downtown's revenue and culture.

Artists and art lovers drinking commercial products never made much sense to me.

I hope I can continue to be involved with Pomona and her thirst for new beer.

I promise I will get back in the saddle and do good beer works for the thirsty and ignorant.

Trust me, lately- I've just had a really bad hangover.

Friday, August 6, 2010

New Logo (thanks Juan)

Here's my new logo- revised to be used for what, but none other than a Pomona Beer Festival to be held in October-


Be ready, cause I'm comin'!!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

You know what's delicious?

At a beer festival I went to yesterday, we had one of the most satisfying drinks ever to grace my palate.

"Shave and a haircut."

Sailor Jerry's rum (not a big fan of rum though)
Coca Cola
Topped with Guinness

This is delicious in the most chocolatey, alcoholic way.

Not to mention, a fine use for Guinness- because let's face it- Guinness is boring.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

10,000 hits

Yup. Ten thousand hits since I started this blog in 2008- not too bad considering most people don't realize I have a mind full of things to say.

This is a beer blog, but I have tended to throw in my personal beliefs in politics, religion, sex and whatever else I come across.

I hope I have provided a venue that has provoked laughter, raised eyebrows, and attempted to provide education.

I have provoked controversy for the most part though.

Anyhow, in my labors for the love of beer I have finally come across a situation that will make or break me in this business and future endeavors.

I will be taking the Certified Cicerone exam.

Here are some examples of possible questions found on the test.

- Just prior to fermentation, brewers test he wort with a hydrometer or refractometer to asses what important property of beer?

- Brewed on the banks of the Rhine river, Zum Uriege is a class example of what style?

- What ingredient is most likely to be responsible for a cheesy flavor in beer?

- Would the flavor attributes contributed by Acetobacter species be desireable in an outstanding example of a Flanders ale?

- If a brewer adds gelatin or isinglass to a beer, what are they trying to achieve?

To put it simply- its a massive test that will no doubt be the biggest challenege I have yet to face vocationally.

So keep me in your thoughts and prayers especially during beer drinking time- I could use all the positive waves I can get!

Thanks for reading can only get better from here.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Somebody STONE me to death because BJs BLOWS!!!!!

When I was standing outside on Wilshire Blvd near the entrance to the La Brea tar pits I was happy- happy that is, until I took a bite of a gyro to find, that despite the lunch truck's lack of listing,- feta cheese was all up in my food. (I hate cheese)

I took a deep breath and spoke aloud-

'This gyro has set the tone for today....'

And unfortunately I was correct.

After spitting out my food into a plastic bag and rinsing my mouth out with Hawaiian Punch, I ventured into the Page museum in an effort to pass time until BJs Brewhouse Stone Dinner.

Now, I haven't been incredibly active lately with going to beer events because I've been doing my own- among other things. My friend Sandra invited me and I accepted with the hopes of mingling and meeting new people and keeping my face out there.
The dinner was held at the BJs location in Rancho Cucamonga.

This dinner was the worst event in the history of events that compile my life.

This isn't an overstatement- this is fuckin' scientific fact.

Now let me try to go over this with you all without fear of flashbacks from all the trauma I experienced.

Once seated I was faced with a menu that was 4/6ths cheese. (I hate cheese) Normally, I would've walked out of the place but not before spitting on something and possibly sexually assaulting a server. (Only as a means to display my anger)
Instead- I looked over at the missus and decided that I should wait it out and all I needed to do was to drink a beer and relax.

My attempt to grease my wheels failed. Upon being asked, the server looked at me with zombie eyes and said "Let me ask..."

Alright, I'll be a sport- but why is this something to be questioned? Is BJs in a position where they no longer wish to profit? What the hell is going on here?- I received an answer of "no."

I felt like the Incredible Hulk. I'm sure this display turned the missus on, but it hardly did anything to bring me pleasure. But I remained open minded (at least relatively speaking given that this is my version of open mind)- my next effort would be to inquire as to whether or not I could simply purchase a flight of beers to be tasted instead of having to ignore the food served while paying an exorbitant sum.

The server's answer was- "We don't serve each individual- everyone shares."

This didn't answer my question nor the overall concern of paying for something I do not wish to have. There was no accommodation at all...but there wasn't enough competence to understand the accommodation necessary. (Anger rising even more)

I took a deep breath and imagined every woman without a top on. I felt slightly better and decided to keep going. The missus was clearly concerned with my comfort at this point. And I thanked her for it. I felt I needed to see this through just the same despite my intuition and better judgement.

I was sitting there awaiting the first beer and while doing so was accosted by a young man. He walked up to me and asked if I used to work in a bar. I told him I did, and the fellow recognized me and mentioned he was also a reader of my blog. I didn't remember him and I felt so bad.

I love people that enjoy what I do, and I, frankly, do it for them. I usually remember people, but this dude looked like a lot of other dudes I've seen. So therein lain the problem, I suppose. That- and I used to drink a lot more than I do now. I apologized to the dude and I meant it. I wished I could remember him- but wishing did me no good. He told me that he only met me once. I felt better about that revelation but it didn't excuse my poor memory just the same. Everybody deserves acknowledgement and here this dude is complimenting me since I've obviously made an impression on him after one meeting- and I have nothing in return for him.

Well dude- if you're reading this- I sincerely apologize and if you see me out and about again- I will gladly buy you a beer and talk shop with you.

Could this night get any worse for me?


The beer was being poured and out of a table of six- I was short poured by a good two oz. That doesn't seem like a lot, but visually it is demeaning and even emasculating. The servers obviously had no guidelines or instruction in pouring other than- "hey, don't fill their glasses." I understand getting less than a pint, but it should be uniform and consistent. I could go on and on as to reason why, but what's the point?

All I know is that I am spot on when it comes to the art of the pour. I actually obsess about such details. Since beer's packaging in respect to on premise sales sites is based on the glass- it is imperative to respect it and do the beer, the establishment and the culture justice.----Right?

Many times this escapes the entire chain- and it leaves people like myself in a lurch. I make it so important to love what I do that it infuriates me when I see people above me not taking adequate time to love what they do as well. This is beer- what more can anybody ask for? I would love somebody to walk right up to me and offer me a job because they respect what I do and how I do it. I love beer- she's my wife.

So back to the menu-


This menu was the most half assed approach to a tasting yet. If a business wants to do a beer and cheese pairing- do it. There's a category for that- but shit, not everybody wants cheese on everything- this is why America is not a culinary power and also why everybody admires Belgium's approach.

But allow me to come up with a better Stone pairing using the menu provided

Levitation Ale- with Garlic Parmesan Kettle-Style Chips

Not a bad pairing- but the Levitation displayed some oxidation and lacked the usual carbonation. (This problem could not be helped, so I don't fault anybody)

Stone IPA with Santa Fe Blackened Chicken Salad

I believe Ruination should've been spotlighted instead merely because the IPA was so flat (product quality) it didn't crispen the salad upward- thusly complementing it.

Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale with Gourmet Mac & Cheese

This was appropriate, but the whole Gourmet Mac & Cheese thing is fuckin' played out.

Arrogant Bastard Ale with Salmon Teriyaki

This teriyaki was great, but I would have switched beers and used the Oaked for this dish and the regular Arrogrant for the mac and cheese. The reason being is the presence of Umami- it just overworks the palate and I felt the Oaked would be more mellow to such a salty, Umami laden dish. But good nonetheless.

Stone Smoked Porter with Bjs Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza

Should have been Ham and Pineapple Pizza.

Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale with BJ's famous Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Pizookie

Where the hell is the Stone Russian Imperial Stout with this one? Self-Righteous was a great idea, but would have paired with something less bland.

Have you guys noticed I have yet to mention any discussion about the beers/pairings?

There was no explanation or guidance during the entire dinner by anybody to help me understand why these choices were made or if any feedback from the customers existed.

Toward the end a very cocky young man walked over to the table and described himself as a beer seller and pretty much just talked about himself and asked if we had any questions. In fact- he exhibited signs of being a few pints over the recommended operating protocol. And he had the nerve to say everybody else was drunk- How professional....

My question- "Why are you employed by Stone?"

This dinner should have been guided by someone trained to incite some kind of excitement for the products sampled. I would have done so and I would have engaged the audience and gauged the experiences of each customer- for marketing purposes later.

I would have used a small PA system and guided everyone through each pairing- at least that would have distracted everyone from the horrible service provided by the BJs staff. You could be served your beer and dish 20 minutes apart.

In fact, we received our check- without having received our last beer- our server didn't know we hadn't received it. What the hell? How did she not know? She was supposed to pour it for US!!!

I wanted to get up and grab everyone's attention and educate them myself- nobody learned anything at all, and as my own table begged me to educate them myself- I did not pay thirty dollars a head to teach- at least not without some kind of peace of mind.

I feel very embarrassed- I love Stone brewing and I expected so much better. I Still love them and endorse their products, but I cannot recommend another beer dinner like this- at least not without assurance of better operation.

And I'll be the first guy to throw it out there-

Let me do it. This is what I do anyway.

I really wish things had been different and I didn't want this bad taste in my mouth- I only wanted a smile and the awesome aftertaste that Self-Righteous Ale provides.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Always remember to tip your bartender, and NEVER forget to thank your drinking buddy.

This is a topic that I've managed to overlook for a while since having started blogging. Right now though I realize how much of an oversight it is and how I must address it.

When we think about beer, we usually think about bars, or places- backyard around a grill and secretly in cars on lunch break at work... (it happens).

And although we do remember the reasons that brought us to drink (whether in celebration or heartbreak among others) we tend to neglect the importance of our drinking buddy.

This is the one person we tend to enjoy drinking with moreso than others. Many times this person is more of the reason why we share beers in the first place rather than merely the actual beer.

Let me tell you the story of my drinking buddy.

My drinking buddy is named Melissa. She is 5'1" and has denim blue eyes. A stranger once described her as "the downest bitch on the block." She can be sweet in the subtlest of ways. And I fell deeply in love with her. It was the fall of 2005 and I used to supervise people for a living- I had an employee that I had never talked to much and she kinda always walked to the beat of her own drum, and I let her. She'd pretty much go on break or to the bathroom whenever she wanted and seemed to pass the time without a notice of me- her supervisor.

I had never given the girl much thought because I was always busy and I usually chatted up the girls that would respond to me brightly and quickly. This girl didn't seem to be that type. -I never singled her out or treated her any differently, although she did have more freedom than my other employees simply because I couldn't tell her otherwise- I didn't know her and I must've been standoffish because of it.

A buddy of mine once saw me talking to her- which was the day I finally took the initiative to do so. He told me he could see me going out with her. I didn't think much of the idea, since she simply seemed like a person that didn't care much to fraternize and whatnot amongst co workers and the like.

Things soon changed when she was given a different position still under my supervision. This position rendered her and I too work more closely. And I found myself going to check on her more frequently- and then I'd find odd jobs to do within the vicinity just so I could talk to her more. She would respond dryly and, at times, even dreamily. She would make me laugh and her approach was very nonchalant and yet pretty. She wasn't a ball buster, but she wasn't a doormat either. We'd make fun of customers together or play around to make the time go by quicker. I soon found myself looking forward to my shifts when she'd also be around. I'd even watch her out of my peripheral when she was on break. I was falling in love.

I made an ass out of myself when I finally got the guts to ask her out- although I didn't do it outright.

I left a note for her- and this is what it said- "The cool points are out the window and you've got me all twisted up in the game."

Smooth, right?


She didn't understand it, and in fact wrote a reply of, "who is this?"

I was a smooth operator up until this point- and I had no better resources at my disposal when it came to her.

I eventually spilled my guts to her- online (what a fuckin' nerd).

From then on we exchanged nervous smiles and I knew that this was going to be the most difficult thing ever. Acceptance would've been great- then again rejection would've been equally as satisfying to my mind's curiosity. This girl just smiled at me and I had no idea what would happen next.

We then started hanging out, and one of our early moments involved a children's party of a co worker. We went together, but not before I purchased a twelve pack of Pacifico for myself and an 18 pack of Budlight for Melissa.

We went to the party and talked to people but mostly remained engaged in each other. We consumed a few beers and other drinks and soon left for a mutual friend's house. There we met up with a pair of friends (more co workers).

We continued to drink and on said friend's couch- Melissa turned to me and kissed me our first kiss. She missed my mouth. And I WAS IN LOVE.

Soon after that we became official and enjoyed a pleasantly long honeymoon period. We were only days old when I met my birth mother on her deathbed where she subsequently died- and I always felt uneasy about the whole thing. I was scared the rush of emotions brought by my mother's death would affect our relationship. However, I loved her even more for being brave enough to meet my family for the first time as a new girlfriend under such crappy circumstances at the services for my dead mother.

Life went on, and when we consummated our relationship sexually I was dumbfounded. Up until this point I had been a man whore. And Melissa was still young and not a whore. This was a big step for both of us, but I figured moreso for her.


After all was said and done, I lain in bed close to crying (despite having been a confirmed man whore). What happened next is a matter of debate between her and I. But I swear I remember her getting up, scratching her ass and going to the kitchen.

All I wanted to do was cry and be held. (can you believe that shit?)

She came back to the room with a beer in her hand and offered me one as well...

NONCHALANTLY!!!! I had met my match at this point...and I certainly had decided I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her at that moment.

The following was a series of events like any other relationship with ups and downs, but my fondest memories of us usually included beer, and yet at the same time some of the worst memories also involved beer.

She took me to Stone Brewing for my birthday.

We went back on Valentine's day to celebrate our love there.

She's my designated driver- and I was an extra set of eyeballs when the trips became treacherous as we were both a little intoxicated, at times.

I've shared so many great beers with her- some beers great- some beers simply in great places. I've spilled my heart to her over a pint, and I've shed tears to her just as quickly. She has been my reason for drinking here and there. But I love her still.

What I am telling you guys is this- thank your drinking buddy. Make sure they know how much spending time with them really means. It's important. It can be a six pack on the beach at night, or it can be at a concession stand at the big game. It doesn't matter, just toast one for your drinking pal- and if you're lucky this person might as well be the love of your life too.

I know mine is. And all I could ever hope for is that my glass always remain as full as the amount of love in my heart for her. Even though I don't know when my last pint is to be had- I swear I hope it's the pint I get to share with her.

Cheers my drinking buddy and my best friend- Cheers to you, sweet Melissa.