What if you could go to a beer event and try amazing beers, find out about industry trends & issues and talk to some of the biggest names in California beer?
I don’t know about you, but this is the kind of beer event that gets me hyped. Having gone to all the previous California Craft Beer Summits, I’m excited about this year’s summit.
3 days of activities including 28+ educational seminars, an expo where you can talk to manufacturers, suppliers, and vendors while sampling beer from all over California. And it’s that’s not enough there are Food and beer pairings and the summit ends with a beer festival on the State Capitol featuring 160 California breweries.
While my wife and I are not new to road trips, the planning can get a bit heated stressful, and this trip planning was not an easy one.
2 – Flights
9 – States
2 – Baseball Games
2655 – Miles of Driving
15 – days of Travel
1 – 30th Anniversary
? Breweries, Distilleries, and Generally Cool Spots
A little backstory; With a big move last year, a new house and a new job, we decided to put our big 30th Anniversary trip on hold and keep our vacation on the low-key side. The vacation destination(s) were pretty easy to pick. My wife has a goal to visit all 50 States, and she only has 5 left. Although, It would be nice if they were all near each other. Buy hey, more breweries for me. When this trip is complete, she will still have Florida and Louisiana to hit.
We are using Chicago as our hub, both beginning and ending. From there we will be visiting Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Michigan. There is also a handful of “drive-thru” States we will be seeing in our travels.
l look forward to reporting back. I’m sure there will be at least a few beers along the way.
Just a quick update, the electrical installation is set to begin.
I hired a electrician to take care of the wiring side, but I will be doing all the grunt work. I’ve been a little scared to measure how far I need to dig the trench for the conduit, but I’m guessing it comes in about 75′ with a little tunneling to get under a small section of sidewalk.
50 amp sub-panel to provide enough power to run a small AC unit, refrigerator, lights and a handful of outlets.
If all goes well I will be able to move my fridge in soon and plan my first brewday. This will give me more time to plan the rest of the build-out.
What type of material should I use for the interior walls?
4/14/18 Update: the trench for the electrical conduit has been dug. Tomorrow I will break-out the concrete and weather permitting, the wiring goes in on Monday.
Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over A Beer Or Two
I get it, Sam Adams (Boston Beer Company) is not the cool beer on the market. But if you’ve been drinking craft beer as long I have, you might have a deeper appreciation for what the Boston Beer Company has brought to the craft beer scene. You may not be drinking their beer, but they still do make some really good beers. I’ve always enjoyed their Octoberfest.
I can still remember being pretty excited when they introduced a new seasonal or even a new style that I wasn’t familiar with. I will admit, there a quite a few beer styles I had never tried, until the Boston Beer Company made the introduction. Do you remember Triple Bock? That maple bomb might have been the beginning of the Pastry Sou…Nope not going there. Cranberry Lambic anyone? Sure it might not be a great example of a sour or funky beer, but I’m pretty certain it’s the first one of that style I ever had. And guess what, good beer or not, it got me looking for and drinking more sour and wild beers.
So what does this have to do with a book that states it’s about business lessons? For me, it meant I was going to cut it a little slack (just being honest) for all the great memories I had trying, drinking, sharing beers from the Boston Beer Company.
The book is presented through the company’s timeline from inspiration to current times. Each chapter is geared towards giving you a business lesson told with some homespun wisdom from Jim Koch.
While I didn’t get a lot of insight from the business side, I did learn a lot about the business. Like the fact that he had a female business partner when the company was launched. Or that he struggled with the sales part of the business, which would seem to contradict his media presence.
The book is really a grouping of short stories about the history of the Boston Beer Company. Koch talks about failures, success, and the challenges of staying relevant. There are even stories about the brewing industry and how breweries like AB (InBev) and Brooklyn Brewing tried to take them down or at least tarnish their reputation.
All in all the book was a fun, quick read. Although it presents it’s as a business book, it really is more of a history lesson through the eyes of Koch. No doubt there is some fluff and maybe a bit of exaggeration, but if you have read anything about Jim Koch you probably won’t be surprised.
For those of us old enough to remember drinking beer (legally) before the existence of DBA & Firestone Walker, congratulations on still being able to remember things.
Back before Social Media and second wave of craft beer began, when you discovered a beer it was a major achievement. Now I don’t remember my first DBA. I do remember not knowing anything about the company. Were they new? Established? Related to a tire company? What I did know was that I found a beer and brewery that would change my understanding of beer and what it could be.
I’ve used DBA as a gateway beer for many of my non-craft friends. The expectation of somewhat darker, fuller bodied beer would often scare off the doubters. Inevitably, I got them to take a sip of my DBA…instant perception change. I might not have won them over, but now they were a little more open to experimenting, and straying away from their norm.
While you may think DBA is not cutting edge in today’s beer world, Firestone Walker still holds a patent for their Union System that is used in the fermentation process. And with four golds and one silver at the Great American Beer Festival, this beer has some serious street cred.
The fact that Firestone Walker is celebrating its 22nd year of existence, is as much as a celebration of its longevity as it is a celebration how far craft beer has come.
Do you think we will see DBA in a nitro can this year? I know it would make the Lion happy.
Double Barrel Ale: Welcome beer
Agrestic with fresh locally sourced fruit & cheese
Reginald Brett with an arugula salad with fresh citrus, toasted almonds, & raspberry vinaigrette
Rye Double DBA with NY steak potpie with flakey pastry dough, peas, carrots & beef gravy
UDBA with Chocolate pretzel brownie with caramelized bananas
Homebrewing has always been one of those things were I had to find space to do it. Kitchen, garage, backyard and maybe an unused bathtub. It was always about putting everything back in it’s place, but often misplacing that thing you need right now.
With the move to Sacramento, came the ability to start fresh with a new space. My space to configure how I wish to.
So this 10′ x 12′ shed will be my new brewing space. This is just the start. In the next few months, the plan will start coming together. Stay tuned.