Friday, September 23, 2016

Summit Beer Festival

A summit for craft beer?  You don't have to ask me twice whether I'm interested in going!  We're talking 160 California craft breweries and over 450 different varieties of beer.  Sign. Me. Up.

I think the first thing to ask is, "What exactly is 'craft beer'?"  It sounds very hipstery and fancy, but it's really pretty simple.  It just means the brewer is small, independent, and traditional.

And the state of California has almost 700 craft breweries in operation across the state.  We got to sample a tiny sliver of them at the festival.  What fun!

I sampled everything from Hefeweizens, to saisons, to K├Âlsch style, to pilsners, to blondes, to stouts to sours.  Such a variety.

One of my favorites was this outrageous peanut butter chocolate cream porter called Nukin' Futz from Track 7 Brewery, which is here in Sacramento.

Is there such thing as a dessert beer?  Because that's exactly how this tasted.  I could imagine using it as a base for a boozy float with vanilla ice cream.

Another notable were the sours.  Wow!  Talk about a departure.  We tried pineapple sours, honey ginger lime sours, orange sours, you name it.

Sours don't even taste like beer.  They're so refreshing and cleanse your pallet right out.  Perfect for summer and after a sample of a dense porter.

The festival was on the capitol mall, so we had the capitol building on one end of the street, and the Tower Bridge on the other. The street was blocked off, and lined with tent after tent of brewers, so we could wander up to whichever brewery we wanted and get a sample in our tiny, 3 oz pour cups.

If I had a buck for every hipstery, long bearded brewery guy we saw!  They were rampant.

As we were strolling around, we saw a brewery tent we absolutely had to beeline toward.  Who knew the Dude had his own brewery?  Ha.  I tasted a peach wheat from the Dude's.  It was extremely peachy.  Or, I guess I should say it was veeery un-Dude.  Not my favorite!

There were food trucks there too, but the lines were outrageous, so we ended up getting a bite after we had our fill of beer at the festival.

We took a short walk to a pub I'd been wanting to check out called The Fox and Goose.  One mushroom Swiss burger later and I was ready to call it an early night! 

That would be the fox.  And the goose.

Another dip into our new scene in northern California.  I have no complaints!  Bring on the bearded hipsters!

Ta-ta for now.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Thirsty Thursdays

The hubby and I have been into going to minor league baseball games since we discovered the Clearwater Threshers back in 2004.

So, we were both pretty excited to be back in civilization where we could check out a few games again at our new locale, which is home to the Sacramento River Cats. They're minor league for the San Francisco Giants.

Don't get me wrong - sports fan in any way shape or form I'm not.

I've been known to attend games and walk out the door trying to remember who the opposing team was.  Yes, really.

I realize it's a little ridiculous, but the actual game doesn't really matter to me!  Which of course, begs the question, "Then why do you like to go?"  Allow me to enlighten.

What I love is the atmosphere.  There's something about minor league baseball.  It's accessible to everyone, it's affordable, it's more small scale than major league games, it's laid back, and nothing but a good time.  And a Thirsty Thursday special doesn't hurt one bit.

No - I'm not double fisting.  One beer is the hubby's
I love to wander around the stadium in the crowd, people watching, beer drinking, and basking in the sunshine.

You can't beat the aroma of hot dogs, soft baked pretzels, and all the usual ball park food suspects wafting through the air.

Oh, and I occasionally glance at the field.

The Sacramento River Cats play at Raley field in West Sacramento, so we hop on the light rail and take a stroll over the Tower Bridge to check out the games.

Raley Field has a unique view of the Tower Bridge in downtown, and since most games are around sunset time, it doesn't take long for a beautiful scene to emerge.

The iconic gold bridge reflects the setting sun and shines a warm glow over the field, adding a unique ambience to the setting. Yet another reason to enjoy it!

The Tower Bridge

We caught two games before the season ended, but we'll be back at it once spring rolls back around again.

We've kicked around the idea of heading down to Oakland or San Fransisco to check out a major league game next season.

But, who am I kidding?  I'll always like the minor leagues better.

Even if more often than not, I usually leave not knowing the final score. Yes, really.

Ta-ta for now.