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!

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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

Bay Area Beer Guide

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If you guys haven’t been following me on Instagram, you definitely should be; over the last few months I’ve been lucky enough to head down to the Bay Area every few weeks to see my boyfriend, find the most perfect donut and, of course, check out local breweries around town.

These spontaneous trips to San Francisco & Santa Rosa, as well as him flying to Seattle to surprise me (that’s an entirely different mushy and perfect story), has taught me a lot about myself.

The beer world has taught me to get up and go, have fun and absolutely love what I’m doing. Isn’t life too short to be miserable and living day to day? Yeah, I thought so too. I’ve gotten out of my comfort zone by talking to random beertenders, owners & sales guys all while pretending my social anxiety isn’t through the roof, social media has been an amazing way to network with other beer lovers and inspired even more trips as well!

My last trip to The Bay involved half a day running around SF, buying plants, checking out Land’s End with the dude and donuts- because we would be insane to not visit every single donut shop around town. We headed up north after that for a few days and got to check out Santa Rosa, Windsor & Petaluma, work on my sunburn and take my very first motorcycle ride (well, of my adult life and I didn’t even die that much!).

Maybe it’s the sun’s fault, but the beer vibe in these cities definitely feels completely different (and I love it). Especially in San Francisco where the neighborhoods are drastically different from one another yet so close, each beer bar and brewery encompasses a completely different atmosphere.

While I still have so much more to explore around The North Bay, here are a few stops you definitely need to make it to:

One of my favorite stops is Fieldwork Brewing Co. in Berkley; while it’s about 30 minutes from the city, it’s a great spot to hang out, grab some beers and snack on some tasty food. They are super IPA forward but usually have at least one stout, some farmhouse/sour ale and lighter brews as well! While they do make those hazy IPAs we’re all obsessed with right now, they do an amazing job at bringing a little bit of a bitter bite to the IPAs I’ve gotten my hands on. In a rush? No worries- they offer crowlers to go and also crowlers of things they don’t have on tap! Aside from their Berkley location, they’re also in San Mateo, Napa & Sacramento… so you have no excuse to not drink all the things. Oh, they also have the prettiest most bad ass labels for their cans!

Also in Berkley is The Rare Barrel; this all-sour brewery offers a kick-ass selection of sours on tap and bottles you can find at their tap room and around town. They keep about 5-10 of their own beers on tap as well as 4-6 guest beers on tap- so if you aren’t a crazy sour fan… don’t worry!! You have options! But if you’re in town and looking for a killer oak-aged sour beer (everything they do is oak aged), definitely check them out! And just look at that comfy couch. How do you not want to drink beer sitting on that guy?

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Trying to find some bottles/cans or just a tasty pint of beer? City Beer Store in the South of Market District has a great selection of local and not-so-local beers you can take with yah or you can hang out and enjoy one- er, or five of their 15 rotating taps! Loved this place a lot, and made it there at least once every trip I’ve made to the city; always super friendly staff and a really awesome vibe to the space! Their beer to go was also pretty damn fantastic. Feel free to mix & match a 6-pack, grab a limited bottle or, like me, buy everything. Seriously- this spot is worth checking out!

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Right around the corner from City Beer Store you’ll find Cellarmaker Brewing Co.; not only was this a great space, they also have a wide array of tasty things on tap. I had a few IPAs but really loved the Cigarettes & Coffee stout the most! Definitely worth the stop-in. We went during a Golden State game and the atmosphere was pretty awesome- but I’m sure it’s a bit more chill out of basketball season!

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Heading a little SE for about a mile and a half you’ll run in to The Crafty Fox Ale House. Dustin was actually the one to find this little gem when he was hunting down some Alvarado Street Brewing for me; with 36 taps (maybe more.. counting is hard) offering tons of California goodness and nationally sourced, you’ll find something you might already love or a new beer to try! They also offer a small selection of cans and bottles to go or drink on the spot (with a $1 corkage).

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Seriously, everything is so close together in this city! We also went over to Monk’s Kettle, which is just a few blocks from Crafty Fox, where they had a pretty impressive tap list and a DAMN good burger. If you’re in to macaroni then you have to get it with lobster and it will literally change your life. I’m not even joking. There tap list offers a wide variety of California beers but also gems from around the world. It’s a bit more intimate of a spot but they also offer outdoor seating!

The Smokestack at Magnolia Brewing Co. is worthing checking out if you’re around the Dogpatch neighborhood; with an impressive list of beers, cocktails and barbecue, you’ll probably never leave! While I’m usually an IPA fan, I was really digging their darker beers. They offer tons of different barbecue goodness; we stuck with a pulled pork sandwich with a side of macaroni. Because we aren’t insane. Enjoy a beer in their main bar area or venture out to their barrelhouse.

One of our last stops for the city (for now) is Almanac Beer south of the Mission District. I’ve been a fan of Almanac but, and I say this with regret, they weren’t on our initial beer list. We were on a donut hunt, as we usually are, and I of course spot out the one beer spot in the neighborhood: this place. They constantly rotate 15 taps of their brews along with draft wine and cider for those non-beer drinkers. We didn’t get to try the food (yeah.. we were stuffed with donuts) but it looked incredible and changes seasonally. Don’t forget to snag some bottles or a growler on your way out!

We finally made it to Russian River Brewing Co. over the 4th of July weekend and… when I die, bury me there. When we went they had 21 beers on tap and all of the amazing food- yeah, you know I love my pizza and it was so so good!! My favorite part about the beer world is the beer friends you end up meeting along the way! I’ve follow Mikaelaa for over a year and she’s definitely been one of my beerspirations (that’s a word, right?) with not only beer, but fitness and adventures. Seriously, you all should follow her on Instagram here. While I’ve had a few Russian River brews, she insisted we try the sampler and ooooohh my lanta. LOOK AT IT! Needless to say, you need to check this place out and it’s worth it to wait in the line to get in. So make sure to show up early and bring the sunscreen, but you won’t regret it!

Aside from all the beer spots, we came across a whole bunch of amazing food that… let’s just say I’m going to be in the gym for a few weeks.

Make sure to check out Twisted Donuts, Dynamo Donuts, The Grove in Fillmore, Il Casaro Pizzeria & Mozzarella Bar in Little Italy for some of the best Italian pizza & you of course gotta go to In n’ Out!

I mean.. just look at all the tasty things!

 

 

Did I miss something or need to check out a spot my next trip? Let me know what we need to visit! Whether that’s beer, food, outdoor activities ect. Holler at me!

 

Cheers & happy drinking Xx

Supporting Local Brews

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I love beer fests. Seeing brewers, owners and other staff just being completely jacked about their beer and seeing everyone being equally excited about drinking that beer is just way too awesome. But it also gives me this sense of urgency to really support those smaller breweries hiding out at these festivals and to really explore new beer things to fall in love with.

In the wake of Wicked Weed Brewing being bought up, Lagunitas’ full buy out by Heineken, and our access to hops being hindered, it’s been pretty interesting watching how people adjust, protest and shut down Big Beer.

The Big Bad Wolf who is Anheuser-Busch seems to be going after all our beloved beers, and now even our hops. Sure, businesses open to bring in revenue and, of course, they want to keep that train rolling. But when and how do they stop caring about the beer and start caring about how deep their pockets will get? Wicked Weed might have been one of the most controversial (in my SUPER professional opinion); they made damn good beer and had four successful locations around North Carolina and had collabs with some of the best.

You’re probably thinking, “why the hell is she bringing this up now??”- Well, now is the time to support your local breweries. I think Jester King Brewing did an amazing job explaining Big Beer and why they won’t support them; breweries under AB inBev might still make some good brews (okay, let me know if this is true… because I’m not sure), but the money that this big corporation brings in is used to hurt craft breweries (read the full press release from Jester King here).

While I’m so thankful for every beer opportunity I have been given, loved every owner, brewer, beertender, sales guy and supportive manager I have crossed paths with, it’s also taught me a lot about the ambitions and intentions of this industry.

I love all beer things- hopefully you know that by now… I’ve worked with people who absolutely want to share their beer passions with people… and also those people who only care about the $$$ and not about the consumer or even the people who work for them. And honestly, that breaks my heart! As I pointed out before, the point of a business is to bring in money (in some people’s opinions…), but it just sucks when someone almost takes advantage of an industry just to bring in the dough?

Let me clear a thing or two up; I don’t completely despise those who are in the business just for money, but I kind of get super bummed when breweries fully sell out to huge conglomerates like AB InBev. AB is known for being dicey and quick to try and nip craft beer in the bud… or whatever. Distributers have the option to renegotiate distribution ‘laws’, and for big macro breweries who have a bit more of a say (whether that’s money or something else), they can help sway a distributor to choose that macro brewery over a smaller brewery- leaving the little guys with not a lot of choices.

Also, local breweries like to support local companies! How great is it when breweries use hops from local farmers or get their supplies from a local shop? It’s pretty damn awesome to see the community supporting eachother and putting that energy, focus and love back into it!

Alright. Maybe I just needed a minute to bitch, and thank you if you made it this far. I guess what I want people to take out of this, or think about, is those breweries who live for their patrons; the breweries who stepped away from the big guys to follow their passion (Uhhem- Cloudburst’s Steve Luke leaving Elysian because of personal beliefs. You the real MVP).

Plus- small breweries (generally) make even more delicious beers. So use your power. Stand up for better beer.

 

Cheers Xx

Melvin Comes to Washington

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I discovered Melvin Brewing Co.‘s beer a little over a year ago and was immediately blown away. Way back then, you could find it at a few places on tap- and that was literally it. Today, you can find their cans all around town and sip on their tasty brews on tap at a lot of those locations too!

Well, as some of you know, co-founder Jeremy Tofte actually grew up in the Pacific Northwest and left the PNW to explore more, snowboard, surfing and an even deeper obsession with craft beer.

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This has been a long time coming (I mean, just look at how happy I am drinking a can of Melvin?)… but Melvin is finally opening their doors in Bellingham on June 3rd! That’s. Right. Just TWO days away!

What can you expect from this Kung Fu lovin’ brewery? There will be 20 taps including some rotating guest taps, glasses & bottles of wine from local and regionally delicious wineries, an American Brew Pub menu including Pacific Northwest inspired items as well as featured items from their Thai Me Up restaurant in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and a pretty awesome happy hour every day.

If you haven’t experienced Melvin beer before you 1) can still fix the mistake of missing out all this time & 2) have the perfect excuse to road trip up to Bellingham. Known for their huge hop forward beers and pretty kick ass names, you won’t regret.

Wait– does this mean I’m moving to Bellingham? Because I’m pretty sure they’ve got it all going on right now.

So make sure to stop on in on Saturday, drink a beer or ten for me (responsibly) and help welcome Melvin to the PNW! They’ll be open 5p.m.-11p.m. and the beers will be a’flowing! Driving up from Seattle? No problem, Bellingham has some damn fine AirBnB’s too!

 

Cheers Xx

 

UPDATE: 

Opening Date:

June 3, 2017

Hours of Operation:

4:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. seven days a week

Operating Brewery: Holiday Season 2017

Check out the full press release here:

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