Evan’s Brewing Co.

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This year was supposed to be it.

You know, with the whole New Year’s Resolutions and things… As I said before, I’m not really one for resolutions but I told myself that I was going to write more. Hell, I was going to write up a S T O R M. And here we are on the 19th day of the year and I’m struggling to even throw some words down on this Mac.

What’s my excuse? Well, chances are I’m too busy scrollin’. You ever get stuck in a never-ending Insta scroll that feels like you were sucked in to a black hole? No? Oh- yeah, me neither…

While Dry January will NEVER be my thing, this year definitely has started out with a little less beer, a little more salad and a lot more weight lifting.

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But all things aside, you better believe I’m always down to try new brews like Evan’s Brewing Co.! Okay, they aren’t exactly new. Evan’s Brewing is Orange County’s oldest craft brewery and all started in 1994. With nine staple beers and some special releases, I was able to snag three of their core beers: The Approachable Bastard Session IPA, The Pollen Nation Honey Blonde and The KrHOPen IPA.

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The Approachable Bastard Session was packed full of hops, citrus and bitterness. Honestly? A little too bitter for me, but my little taste buds aren’t used to that aggressive bite as it used to be! This beer is great at bringing a bunch of flavor without giving you a high ABV like most IPAs today; at 4.8% you’re going to taste those tropical fruits up front that hop (see what I did there??) into pine and a bitter bite at the end. While it was a bit too much for me, something kept making me go back for me!

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Up next was the Pollen Nation Honey Blonde; this one was probably my favorite of the three… and it’s also the one I basically threw down the side of the mountain and ALL over myself. Giving me just a few sips and the rest to the moss and my yoga pants. Seriously. OF COURSE I would do that… this is why I can’t have nice things! For a medium to higher carbonation there was no head retention and it could have packed a bit more honey/pollen flavor, but still pretty good! If you’re looking for an easy drinking ale with a hint of sweet this beer is going to be the one for you!

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The krHOPen IPA is a typical west-coast style IPA with big malt character, citrus and a bitter finish. Apart from the malt and bitterness, you still get quite a bit of tropical fruits with a dash of pine and at 6% ABV there’s still a TON of flavor happening. There’s a lot of hop forward flavor that you don’t get it a lot of newer IPAs around town, but it’s probably because these guys are pros when it comes to beers in the OC. The mouthfeel was medium with a good level of carbonation, white fluffy head and some pretty great lacing on the glass!

If you’re looking for some oldschool ales I would definitely check out Evan’s beers! Approachable IPA that are packed full of bittersweet fruit and ales that are easy sippin’!

 

Also, if you want to invite me on a hike just know that I will probably fall all over the place and drop beers in the middle of the woods… so just a heads up there!

I’m really fun though… I promise…

 

Cheers Xx

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New Year New… IPA?

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Another year is coming to a close and I don’t feel like I’m any closer to ever actually sticking to, or figuring out, a New Years Resolution. Okay-I really don’t believe in resolutions, because they’re basically there for the health food brands to make all the money, gyms to spike their sales in memberships and for the saying “New Year New Me!” to exist.

Let’s be real. I kept myself alive for an entire year with minimal accidents (but many bruises- I’m a peach), drank a ton of good beers AND moved 1,000 miles away from home. We can chalk it up to a little bit of a win, right?

So what’s on my 2018 docket? You better believe I’ll be sucking down even more delicious beers, drinking a bit more h2o and treating myself a whole lot better. But mostly beercations. Because priorities.

With all this reflecting and, might I add, figuring sh*t out all on my lonesome, I couldn’t help but feel like Evil Twin Brewing just gets me. I Always Felt Closer To IPAs Than I Did To People not only has a rad name, but the flavors in this bad boy just remind me why I love IPAs… more than people.

Alright… I’m 76% joking. Will Google judge me if I ask ‘how to make friends in a state you know no one’?? Asking… for a friend? DON’T JUDGE ME!

DSC08686This double dry hopped IPA from Evil Twin is packed full of Citra, Amarillo, Galaxy and Simcoe hops giving your mouth all the tropical feels it didn’t even know it needed. With these flavors you would have NO idea this beer is 9%; the lack of booziness is a trap. Drink two of them and you’ll see why.

If the name isn’t drawing you in, just take a look at this beautiful color! The deep golden haze is there to excite you about those floral and tropical flavors; and let me tell you, it’s not going to disappoint! Seriously, how did they fit so much fruit goodness in to one can? Magic. That’s the only way I know how to explain it.

This beer is simply a winner. With it’s medium body, balanced level of carbonation and refreshing hop flavors assaulting your taste buds you really have no excuse to not try this beer. It’s not every day you meet a double IPA so smooth and heavenly. You’ll thank me later.

 

Cheers Xx

Sonoma Pride- RRBC

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I guess we can say that fall has officially hit Northern California; despite me kicking, screaming and throwing tantrums over my frozen feet (and nose), I’m absolutely digging this sweater weather!!

And can I admit that I actually missed the rain?? 

While things are cooling down around here, there are still signs of that horrific firestorm that hit us just one month earlier. I’ve never been through anything like this so it has been pretty amazing to watch how the community has come together to support one another. And Russian River Brewing Co. was no exception.

Russian River Brewing Co. has always been a big deal in the beer world; from my first trip down to the brewery I instantly fell in love. I mean, amazing beer AND killer pizza??When do I move in? Once I heard about Sonoma Pride, I knew I had to get my hands on it!

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This Hoppy Blonde Ale strictly benefits the King Ridge Foundation, which means that every beer you buy will help those in need from the fire. How cool is that?! This beer definitely isn’t in my normal realm of beer drinking– something about blonde/pilsner ales?? But this one was pretty drinkable!

As for the typical RRBC, I felt like they left this one a little.. lackluster. I honestly wished there was a bit more dry hop to it to spice things up a little bit, but still digging it nonetheless! And it’s also for a good cause, so how could you go wrong?

And just look– it’s pup approved! 

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So if you find this beer around, definitely give it a try and donate to The King Ridge Foundation!

Cheers Xx

Disco Ninja & North Bay Fire Relief

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You know when you make a HUGE life decision like, you know, moving to a whole different state? You’d think I’d have some second thoughts, be concerned how far away I was going to be from my family… worried about employment and… driving over 140 miles a day for said employment?

But I can honestly say I haven’t thought about any of those things. I’ve loved being here the last few weeks; I’m finding out who I am and what I want to be, plus I get to see my boyfriend way more than once a month. Win win- right?

Well… California had to go light itself on fire.

Between settling in to California life, trying to get back on track with my health and fitness and now being displaced from the fires… October definitely has tested us a little bit. If you’re looking for ways to donate and help those affected in the Sonoma & Napa County fires, I’ll post a few links at the end of this!

So let’s be honest; when packing up and heading down South to stay with some friends, I made sure to throw ALL my beer in the back of my car. Seriously- it looks pretty hilarious!

Right before the fires all went down I had stopped in at Beercraft in Rohnert Park to check it out, snag some beers and get to know the local scene a little bit better. While I’m missing my Seattle bottle shops… this place is still pretty rad! A few coolers full of a beer and a great line-up of brews on tap for yah; so if you’re in the area definitely go check them out! They’re right off the 101 between Petaluma & Santa Rosa.

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While I was looking for local beers to try, I couldn’t help but snag a Disco Ninja from Revision Brewing and Shoe Tree Brewing. Both of these breweries are out of Nevada but… I mean… just look at that label!!

This Northeast-style Hazy IPA was all that I could have ever asked for, and I’m pretty sure it karate chopped my taste buds real hard. The head dissipated pretty quickly, but still left a nice lacing on the glass. I picked up notes of peach, mango and other tropical fruits on the nose and an even juicier flavor with hints of pineapple.

I honestly loved the hop combination of Citra, Mosaic, Galaxy and Amarillo that left a bit of bitterness on the tongue. For a 7% IPA this drank pretty freakin’ smooth!

If you see this around, please snag a 4-pack and thank me later.

Cheers Xx


Fire Relief & Ways to Help

While I love trying beer from different areas, now’s the time we really need to support local Sonoma & Napa County beer and wine. Tourism around this area is HUGE and with a lot of vineyards burning up and businesses being affected, it’s important to still drink up- and, well, support them!

I know that there are a LOT of Pliny the Younger fans out there… and Russian River Brewing Co. has partnered with King Ridge Foundation to help those victims of the fire. And what does that mean? If you donate, you will be entered in to win line cutting privileges for the 2018 Pliny release. Yep. That’s right. You might not have to wait in a line that is nine years long AND you can help those in need! How rad is that?? Click here for more information!

GoFundMe has created a central hub where you can donate to those fire victims as well, and you can find that here. All these have been verified by GoFundMe and are going directly to those victims.

Redwoods Credit Union will also be accepting donations for those victims of the fire and it’ll take you a few seconds here.

If you want a list of other ways to help and donate, check out ABC 7’s list of ways to take action here!

Jitterbug Coffee Porter

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Am I the only one pumped that summer is FINALLY coming to an end?! I can’t even begin to explain how amazing it is waking up and not feel like you’re going to die from a heat stroke- okay, probably a bit dramatic…

As Seattle seems to be welcoming Fall, I can’t help but feel a bit nervous for this 75+ degree weather that will be greeting me down in NorCal; but you know what? I won’t let that stop me from scooping up all those roasty, toasty & chocolatey porters and stouts!

Aside from being a huge beer fiend, I also LOVE some coffee (and by some… I mean all of it)! Is it a coincidence that you brew beer AND you brew coffee?? I think not.

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The Jitterbug Coffee Porter from Mac & Jack’s Brewery really hit the spot, let me tell you! Brewed with local Caffe Lusso coffee, you get an overwhelming (in a very good way) aroma and flavor of fresh brewed goodness.

The coffee notes meld perfectly with chocolate & dark malt and it leaves slight bitterness lingering on the tongue. With a medium body to it, it felt a little heavy for a porter but that seriously didn’t hinder me from sucking this beer down! This beer seriously just keeps getting better; letting it warm up a bit brought out more chocolate and vanilla notes while maintaining a beautiful level of coffee.

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If you have a thing for coffee, porters or both you definitely need to give this porter a try! The 6.3% ABV really snuck up on me but it’s Wednesday and I’m not even complaining about a little beer/coffee buzz!

Bring on the dark beers & sweaters & beanies & all things Fall! Except pumpkin flavored things… you guys can keep all that. 

 

Cheers Xx

16 Ounces Goes California

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Maybe this will end up being a beer post; maybe it won’t.

I’ve been raised, residing & growing in the amazing state of Washington for all 26 (almost 27!!) years of my life without leaving- okay, I’ve obviously travelled but that’s not the point! With a mild stint of small-town living two hours east of the mountains in Ellensburg, WA for my first two years of college, I’ve never experienced anything else. I’ve thought about moving 1,000 times, craved that sense of adventure and putting myself in a truly beautifully uncomfortable situation. Looked at schools in Oregon, California and even New York, dreamt about running away to Nashville or Boulder, even felt compelled to start something fresh and brand new… but never felt confident enough to bite the bullet.

It’s too expensive. I’m too introverted. I won’t make anything of myself. My savings won’t last me a second. What the hell am I even thinking? – Literally every excuse was mine. Excuses to play it safe and to just ride out the motions of ‘living’.

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But here I am, starting to put pen to paper- er… fingers to keyboard, and just two weeks away from moving to the gorgeous, beautiful, terrifying and scary state of California. Okay, not scary in the sense of monsters and bad things… scary because I’m literally packing up my car and heading south.

“Do you know what you’re doing??” “Are you sure you’re ready for this type of move?” “Have you found a job?” “How are you going to support yourself?” have all been things I’ve heard since I made this decision just eleven weeks before. No, I’m not sure I’m ready for this. I don’t know what I’m doing. I have no idea where I’m going to work or how I’m going to get all that precious money into my bank account. But you know what? I’m SO damn excited for this. For the last 3+ years I have constantly worked two jobs, gone to school for the majority of my 20’s and been too f*cking exhausted to take care of me.

When did we stop channeling our inner badassery and doing things for our wellbeing and start playing life safe??

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The last three years have taught me countless things about myself; I’m so damn good at being complacent. And when you think about it, aren’t we all? We literally go through school to get to college, and once we get to college we are forced to decide (at a very young age) what we want to do with our lives, we go to classes and take the exams, graduate and then are shoved in to the real world to make enough money to afford that $2,300 one bedroom apartment (oh, also did you know that in Seattle you have to make an average of $96,000 a year just to afford said one bedroom???) that feels like Harry Potter’s closet all while feeling the heavy weight of student loans upon our shoulders. We struggle through 50-hour (70+ hours for me) workweeks just praying for the weekend where we can drink, Netflix binge and never leave the house. Forget about mental or physical health, we’re surviving just until we can make it to retirement.

I had this idea back in February that I was going to move to either Oregon or somewhere in California.; why these states? Both are HUGE beer states, that make some damn tasty things and will value your love and interest in craft beer. I had no idea where, I just knew that this was it. I either was going to make my life happen or just keep fighting that little dumbass thought of depression until I was too old and sick to give a damn.

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As the deadline of my September “Move or Die” date seemed to be fast approaching, I ruled out Oregon entirely. Realistically I would just move to Portland and that’s WAY too close to home. Should I be able to drive home in a short three hours in the middle of a crisis? Heck no! I didn’t want that. Let me back track a little bit… We all know I adore all things beer whether that’s writing about it, drinking about it or obsessing about… I just love all of it. While my writing has been amazing, I don’t expect anything from it; I would love to write about your beer, brewery or event but I also have no idea what the hell I want to do with my life. I know that I’m not cut out for two meaningless jobs; I know that I’m meant to do more whether that means I’m leaving a mark on this world or just being happy doing what I love.

So where am I headed? Pretty much Santa Rosa to start, then we’ll go from there! If you’re around NorCal let’s grab a beer or three!

All I know is that I’m no longer going to be 16 Ounces of Seattle- welcome to the new 16 Ounces Of… well, I haven’t decided on what it will be. So… stay tuned!!

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Cheers Xx

Mac & Jack’s Starts Canning

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I remember the first Mac & Jack’s experience I ever had; my brother and I were going to dinner when I was about 19 or 20, he was wearing a “Mac & Jack’s African Amber” shirt and there just so happened to be the African Amber on tap. I literally had no idea about Mac & Jack’s then (okay, or any beer except that disgusting stuff you drink in college) but instantly thought it was cool because, honestly, I just wanted to be as cool as my brother.

Fast forward a few years and I still believed that that was the name of the beer- and I know I’m not alone here… Chances are if you’ve worked at a bar and have anything on tap from them, everyone assumes it’s just the African Amber. And I bet you might even be guilty of that as well (no judgment… I did it too).

Mac & Jack’s is a brewery out of Redmond, WA and was founded in 1993 by Mac and, yes, Jack. Today the brewery is still owned AND operated by those two gentlemen. Yep, that’s right. No corporate beer here! These two dudes started brewing in their garage years before, only now they are brewing out of an old automotive garage off 520.

They are known for their African Amber, but also have a few staple beers (seriously, try their stout because it’s damn good) and are coming up with more rotating brews to keep us all on our toes. So. Why the hell are they canning now? What happened after 24 years that pushed them in that direction? Well, they say why the hell not. Craft beer has some serious competition these days and you have to make your beer interesting, exciting and readily available- and that’s exactly what they’re doing.

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You Say Oulde We Say New Pale Ale is an English style ale with American hops and is a collaboration with their friends from Foggy Noggin; Fn is a brewery out of Bothell that operates out of a garage (with all the legality there) and seemed like the perfect combination for M&J’s canning dreams.

This beer is small batch; which means you shouldn’t expect it to stick around long. While Mac & Jack’s is just starting to can, they want to keep it small and keep it fresh.

This ale was a bit of a surprise for me; it was pretty refreshing with a nice level of hop bitterness but had a little English malt twist to it. A little under carbonated, but still pretty crushable.

Maybe english malt isn’t your jam, but this beer really is something worth trying! If you love your west coast style beers, this one will tug at your heart strings! Plus it’s still hot as hell outside and you can suck this beer down way too quick.

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While Columbia Distribution has gotten a bit of these, definitely check out their brewery (sorry, no tasting room but you CAN get some cans– see what I did there?) and you better do it quick! Also keep your eyes peeled for more exciting and amazing things coming from the crew at Mac & Jack’s!!

 

Cheers to local brews, small batch & drinks on a Wednesday.

Xx