Sunday, August 21, 2011

a beer-themed weekend

Yesterday was Josh's 26th birthday. He's not big on birthday celebrations, so every year I'm forced with the challenge of finding something celebratory to do without it seeming too "birthday theme-ish." Lately, his focus has been on beer (trading, tasting, researching, purchasing) - so, in honor of this hobby, we celebrated his day of birth with a weekend full of beer.

We attended The Bruery Clusterfork on Saturday. The Bruery is a fantastic family-run brewery down in Orange County that produces microbrews. We've been members ever since they opened a couple years back and can't get enough of their barrel-aged beers and sours. They host a Clusterfork every few months in which they pour special beers and invite their members to bring special bottles from home to share with everyone. I got to try two Cantillons - arguably the best sour beers in the world.

(the Bruery draft beers)

(communal table of shared beers)

(beer trading)

Last night, we headed over to a homebrew class in Eagle Rock. For $10 we got to sample about 5 different beers and learn about the homebrew process from start to finish. The initial investment is pretty high (brewing kits range from $80-$180 and exclude the actual brewing ingredients) so we left empty handed. But our group appreciated seeing all the work that goes into our favorite brews. To know before you go: the class is extremely informal - we boiled the beer in their empty parking lot out back - and is more of a lecture-style with hardly any hands on activity.

(adding extract to the homebrew)

(the beer right before it started boiling over)

As a birthday gift from me, Josh is now a member of the Beer of the Month Club - specifically the Rare Beer Club. We're looking forward to tasting new beers and reporting about them here.

I hope you enjoyed a good beer this weekend!

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