Posted in Beer Culture, Breweries

Your (grand)Mother Should Know…

… I’m a big Beatles fan so this title was almost a given when I thought of writing this post.

I just got off the phone with my grandma this morning. I call her almost every weekend and the conversation usually goes like this:

Grandma: “What did you do today”?
Me: “It’s still morning here, grandma.” (She lives in Belgium – 9 hours ahead of me)
Grandma: “What did you do yesterday then”?
Me: “We went to a few breweries.”

Then I told her about my blog and all the nice things that happened yesterday at said breweries. She said she didn’t even know the US had beer (Come on!). Well, if only she knew! It’s hard to beat Belgium when it comes to beer tradition and culture, but you gotta give it to the US for catching up in a very, very nice way. Of course, the styles are different and the culture as well. But, man! There would never be enough stomachs or time to try all the beer from all these amazing breweries. The beer scene in the US is a relatively new phenomenon though compared to Belgium’s or Germany’s. The draft beer movement in the US has had its ups and downs, but the past ten years have brought the most and arguably some of the best breweries.

Four down, a shitload to go
TL: Russian River Brewing (Windsor, CA); TR: Dark Swan at Lagunitas Brewing (Petaluma, CA); BL: Canadian Tuxedo Cream Ale at 47 Hills Brewing (South San Francisco, CA); BR: Vanna Vanilla White Stout at Armstrong Brewing (South San Francisco, CA)

So, grandma… I love the beer… You already knew that. But what I like the most about the whole thing is the culture itself. How cool is it that I visit one brewery and end up meeting the owners of two other local ones? Yesterday, I started my day at what has now become an institution —Russian River Brewing Company. We went to their new facility in Windsor, CA. Less crowded than their Downtown Santa Rosa location. Much bigger… maybe slightly less authentic. We then went to another, even bigger, brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Company. It’s almost a rite of passage.

The night before, I had told Jason, owner of Armstrong Brewing Co. in South San Francisco, that I may drop by on my way back from the North Bay for their two-beer release/St. Patrick’s event . I tried one of two called Vanna Vanilla White Stout. Yes. You read that right. A white stout. Very interesting and probably the best beer I had there yesterday. Props to Armstrong and collaborator Alpha Acid Brewing for this great brew!

The highlight of the day: meeting John, owner of 47 Hills Brewing Co., and Devin from Freewheel Brewing Company right there at Armstrong. I have mad respect for all those guys. Thanks for the introduction, Jason! It was just like a Warriors fan meeting Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. I was a little star struck 🤩 and felt lucky to be able to slowly make my way into this great beer scene 😃 and meet some of the local stars!

The day ended at 47 Hills and I can tell you there is such thing as being beered out. Even for me. Loved that cream ale (Canadian Tuxedo) though! Cheers everyone!