January 1, 2008
First, a few days before Christmas, we finally bottled some beer! 20 gallons went into bottles – 5 gallons of Belgian Lighthouse Ale, 5 gallons of a Rye Pale Ale, and 10 gallons of IPA. I’ll have tasting notes soon, but first let me tell you how much more relieved I am to have all these beers (well, only the row of cases next to me, the other row is my brother-in-law’s) sitting in my hall closet rather than sitting in fermenters.
I’ll have tasting notes on the RyePA and IPA soon. The rye so far tastes great, but the IPA isn’t quite what I expected, and thus I’m still trying to figure out why.
After Christmas, I went on a nice little family vacation with my wife and Wyatt, and my in-laws. We went up to Napa, and I managed to convince them to make a stop at the Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa during the day that we toured Sonoma County.
This actually was a favorite stop for a few people, who have more “simple” taste in food, and weren’t huge fans of the gourmet dinners we had in the evening. The food was excellent. I had a Calzone, my father-in-law had a meatball sandwich, and I think everyone else had pizza. Everyone walked away satisfied. And I stumbled away with a nice buzz, because I finished off the below:
That’s two ounce tasters of 11 different Russian River beers. Six of these are american styles, and five are Belgian. For one of the top breweries in the USA, it did not disappoint me. I have only one nit-pick about any of their brews, and it is that their Blonde ale doesn’t seem to be anything approaching the BJCP style of an American Blonde Ale. It was over-hopped for a Blonde. In all honesty, I think there may have been a problem with a single, because they advertise the beer as 20 IBU, and it seems to be much higher than that.
Everything else, though, was amazing. I was the only person at the table who enjoyed the sour beers, but then I was the only one who had ever been exposed to such a creation. And I tried to order a growler of Perdition, their “Biere de Sonoma”, but they were out of growlers. So I picked up a couple bottles of Salvation, their Belgian Strong Dark Ale.
I’ll pass along more pictures of the vacation & Wyatt, more tasting notes of the bottled beer, and I’m going to try to increase my posting frequency, as I’ve neglected blogging since Wyatt was born.
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