Falling

With dangerous ambivalence they were rampaging the streets

She sees herself everywhere in mirrors, holding rainbow glasses of drinks

Until she finds herself sinking between his sheets

Breathing warmth out of her veins, suspecting that if she blinks

She might erase it all with the pulse of the night and a parting of the lips

When her wings fluttered the hours away in a smoky heaven and she tore shooting stars off the walls

Traced the clouds with her hips, brushed the ether with her fingertips

In smug delight of holding a microcosmos in her pocket, blind to impending falls

So steadily she holds the gaze of his gold-flecked eyes

Carefully one more time traces his ripples and lines

When daylight snakes in the room and the night before is a faded whisper of sighs

And the arrogant sun sings and shines

She can feel her heart starting to creak and bend

And fears with him she’ll meet her end

Beach House Winery

This was another place I found while bored and scoping out Yelp. This was a hidden gem out in east (very east) Oceanside. It’s a bit far from the beach, but the name refers to the view. They have a small tasting room here, and you can taste for $15 or buy a bottle and take it upstairs and enjoy it on the deck.

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We grabbed a bottle of their Nebbiolo and enjoyed it upstairs. The Nebbiolo was oaky, smoky, deep, rich, and tasted of berries. We paired great wine with gorgeous scenery, and searched for unrealistically extravagant and expensive houses nearby for purchase. It was a Sunday to remember.

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Coming Back From The Desert

Sometimes you get greedy. You have a good weekend and you don’t want it to end so you delay by stopping at random places on the way home to extend the good times. This is not a bad thing.

On our way home from Anza Borrego, we stopped by Hill Top Winery in the Valley Center area. shareBearPic895 shareBearPic897

Cute location, though the day was a bit overcast and cold. It was nice to have a couple of glasses of wine to warm up.

After that, we hit up Valley Center Brewery. This was an unpretentious place with a divey-feel, located in a nondescript strip mall. They are able to do this and still have great reviews because their beers are pretty damn good.

Woods Valley Cream Ale: 4.3% ABV. Nutty, vanilla, smooth, light. Very nice cream ale.

Hunza Hill Hefeweizen: 7.2% ABV. Quite the bold one and quite the alcohol content for a hefeweizen. Saison flavors, fruity, warm, with a little bit of a tart edge.

Burnt Mountain Road Smoked Ale: 6.5 ABV. This is a barrel-aged smoked red. It tasted a bit like campfire and leather, in a good way, if you can imagine it. It was unique.

Hellhole Canyon Stout: 6.5% ABV. Smoky, full, deep, tastes of bourbon and coffee.

Morning Star Circle: 5.0% ABV. Belgian IPA. Smooth, creamy, floral, and slightly nutty. It was apparently dry-hopped with lavender which is pretty interesting.

Our bartender was very friendly and helpful. We had a fun tasting experience here. The bear sitting at the other end of the bar was quiet, but I think he was having a good time too.

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Belle Marie Winery

It’s true that this is mostly a beer blog, but wine drinking adventures are just as fun. I’m pretty sure my palate is too crude to deeply appreciate the complexities of wine, but I do enjoy it almost as much as beer (sometimes). We were driving back on the 15 when I noticed a castle from the freeway. Driving on the 15 is not exactly a rare occurrence, so I must have seen it before, but this time we decided to stop and check it out.

The location is charming, and the grounds are pretty neat. Unfortunately, the photos I took don’t do it justice because I am not a great photographer, and on top of that, the sky was overcast. If you can use your imagination, trust that would be a really cool and romantic place for a picnic and a bottle of wine.

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We had a flight and all of them were pretty good. I particularly liked the 2012 Barbera, which was fruity (berries), smooth, peppery, and a little smoky. The 2013 Grenache had a similar profile – berries, and smoky, but was a bit more tart than the Barbera, and lacked the nice peppery touch. I’m less a fan of the whites, but did like their 2014 Chardonnay, which was buttery, smooth, and light.

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Nice little detour. Next time, I’m stopping by with a picnic basket.

Duck Foot Brewing

Stopped here after some skeet shooting recently. I forget how massive San Diego county is sometimes. Going shooting on the other side of the county was a bit of a trek, and we decided after hitting some clay pigeons to go hit up some beers at Duck Foot on the way back.

They seem to be a fairly new establishment (I believe I saw a sign stating they were founded just in 2015), but have obviously hit the ground running because every beer I tasted was pretty solid.

Red Ale: 5.6% ABV. Nutty, amber style, well-balanced, malty, and slightly smoky.

West Coast IPA: 6.5% ABV. I was of course looking forward to this one the most. It is very hoppy, floral, and is a lovely golden color. Its texture is light, and it would be a fantastic summer beer. It tastes like it would hold up better in the heat than other thicker IPA’s. It’s also a bit crisp.

Irish Stout: 4.7% ABV. Smoky, well-balanced, and I thought I tasted a little bit of peanut butter.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Amber: 5.9% ABV. Interesting combination. I’d never had a peanut butter amber, but it was decent. Malty, amber-style beer, enjoyable, though I wish I had tasted it before the Irish stout. I think the Irish stout flavors sort of washed this one out. I’d be willing to give it another go on another occasion.

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Booze Brothers Beer

I’ve been to Booze Brothers a few times now, but haven’t written anything about it until now. At the risk of sounding all, “I was here before it was cool…” The last couple times I came was probably almost a year ago, and there was hardly a person in sight when I came in on a weekend. The beers were decent then too, but when I showed up here recently, this shit was bumping! There was loud music, a huge crowd, two long lines at both bars (I don’t even remember there being two bars before).

Good Guy Session IPA: 5.2% ABV. Fresh, hoppy, well-balanced, and a fairly typical tasting session IPA. I hate to say it this way, but it tastes good in sort of a generic way, as nothing about it stands out particularly. I am starting to like these session IPA’s to start off though. It’s kind of like a warm-up before you get serious.

Crow Jane IPA: 6.2% ABV. Maltier than Good Guy. Yeasty. A warm and nutty flavor, which isn’t particularly characteristic of IPA’s.

Black Hills Black IPA: 7.2% ABV. Coffee (and a little coffee-like tartness along with it). Smoky and reminiscent of campfire, but bordering on cigarettes. Not sure I got a whole lot of IPA in there.

Sundown Stout: 7.5% ABV. Stouty. Coffee. Deep.

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Belching Beaver

Belching Beaver is another nearby brewery. Often, I see the ocean on my way to work and feel fortunate to have such a view so close by. Just as often, I cruise over to one of the many beer tasting rooms near me and feel insanely lucky to be so close to so many good beers.

Easy Beaver: 4.7% ABV. Session IPA’s are all the rage now, so lots of local breweries have started making them. This one was hoppy and floral, and finished with a bold bitterness. It was light and perfect for a session. Definitely a fantastic summer beer. IPA’s, although amazing, can get a bit heavy after a couple; their textures are also prone to changing when the sun’s out and the beer warms quickly. Sessions sort of solve this problem.

Great Lei: 6.5% ABV. Haha, get it? Funny, but the beer itself is sort of cute and sweet, as opposed to sexy. It’s an IPA, but with coconut and pineapple flavors. It’s much more pina colada than IPA. It’s definitely fruity, and a little too sweet for my tastes. It does transport you to a tropical island for a bit though. You’ll know what’s coming before it hits your lips too; it smells strongly of coconut and pineapple. Another good summer beer, if this type of beer is your thing.

Hop Highway: 7.3% ABV. Another IPA! They just don’t get old for me. Piney, fresh, hoppy, sassy, and a bit carefree.

Beaver’s Milk: 5.3% ABV. I finally switched it up from the IPA’s. This is a very smoky milk stout. Full and smooth. Not as good as their peanut butter stout, though well-balanced.

Sour Puss: 3.9 % ABV. A Berliner Weisse beer. Still open to trying new things. Still not really liking sour beers. This was fruity and very tart. Reminded me of a really crisp, unripe, tart apple. Which isn’t always a bad thing – but just not really a beer to me.

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New Sculpins To Swig

Sculpin IPA is already delicious, crisp, powerful, and one of the greatest beers ever…but wait! There’s more! I finally tried Sculpin Grapefruit IPA. Drank it by the pool at a bachelorette party and it did not disappoint. In fact, I think I like it even better than the regular Sculpin IPA. It has the fresh, crisp, hoppiness of Sculpin but also comes with a lovely and well-balanced grapefruit flavor (pictured above), making it even fresher and more palatable on a hot day. I sat by the pool in the backyard of a mansion in Temecula’s wine country drinking this beer of the gods and texted a picture to my friend. She asked me if I’d died and gone to heaven. Seriously, very plausible at that moment.

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I also recently tried the Habanero Sculpin IPA. I’ve tried several spicy beers by now and I usually treat them like novelties; they are good as a one-time experience. After that, you get kind of tired of the way your throat burns and itches (even if you are a huge fan of spicy food like I am). As amazing as Ballast Point is, Habanero Sculpin fell into this category. Habanero Sculpin IPA definitely tasted like Sculpin IPA, but the masterful creation that is Sculpin IPA was somewhat muddled by the smoky, itchy habanero that grew more potent as the beer warmed in my hands (I wasn’t drinking slowly by any means, but by the time I got toward the bottom, quite spicy/itchy/weird). Sometimes you just gotta leave a good thing alone.

There is a Chinese idiom about not adding legs to the painting of a snake – meaning, if you’ve a got a good thing going, don’t add elements that don’t make sense or ruin what you have. Maybe not applicable to the Grapefruit, but probably a relevant idiom when it comes to the Habanero.

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Pumpkin Season

Well, this post is a little late now, but I was under the impression that pumpkins were a seasonal thing, at least until Thanksgiving. However, I attempted to buy a pumpkin to make a pumpkin beer keg the day before Thanksgiving, and they were nowhere to be found – not at Albertson’s, Stater Brother’s, or Wal-Mart. I felt somewhat deceived. I honestly wasn’t aware that pumpkins could not be readily procured after Halloween.

We made some pumpkin home brew a few weeks back in anticipation for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, at this time, I no longer recall what hops, grains, or other flavors, if any, were used (besides the pumpkin, obviously). It was probably ready to drink a over a week ago, but we have a tendency to open them up a little too soon, so we waited just a bit longer. It is pictured above (being eyed suspiciously by one of our cats).

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The pumpkin beer ended up having a smoky and smooth flavor. It was somewhat on the darker side and had a full body and a tangy finish. I could have done without the tangy finish (note for next year).