Monday, November 24, 2014

Sharing & Enjoying

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Friday night, I met up with some coworkers for Happy Hour at Hotel Nikko which was actually really nice. Typically with hotel bars you kind of expect overpriced, lackluster food and below standard service… but at Anzo & Feinstein’s there at Hotel Nikko, the food was amazing & the service was top notch. The beer selection was a little to be desired with only three choices… but at least those three were Anchor Steam, Anchor Porter & Lagunitas IPA… which if you’re going to have three local staples, that’s pretty much what you want.
An added bonus was that jazz vocalist Freddy Cole, the younger brother of the great Nat King Cole (one of my personal favorites of ALL F**KING TIME!!!), was playing in their performance area at Feinstein’s. As luck would have it, we were able to check that out… and it was well worth it. The man has an amazing voice for being over 80… and been doing it for over HALF A CENTURY!!! He played some great hits including “Route 66” and even a few new things from his album. Yes… he’s still releasing albums. Check him out! Sorry, no pictures during the performance…
Saturday, the SF Homebrewers Guild had their semi-annual Homebrew Share at Pi Bar in the Mission. Dozens of our guild members brought in a few growlers/bottles of some of their prize brews that they probably had an excess amount of… or just wanted to share & get some honest feedback like we did. Pi Bar hooked us up so that basically for $15 per person, you got a sampler glass for the beer… and all the pizza & salad that you could eat… and the pizza was actually pretty amazing (one of my favorites was a white wine sauce, bacon & onion pizza). We brought some of our Bock, ChocoNut Stout, Torpedo Clone, Pineapple Pale Ale & Strawberry Pale Ale… and all of them were hits, including a few votes for the People’s Choice award… but that ultimately went to Swany for his JD-VIP (Jack Daniels’ Vanilla Imperial Porter) which makes absolutely sense as it’s f**king amazing beer. Hopefully our Imperial Stout can be half as good. Overall, we met a lot of great brewers, had some good food & good times… and brought a lot of business to Pi Bar, which I highly recommend if you’re in the area. The pizzas good, the beer selection is amazing & the service is top notch too. That’s right, I’m recommending bars now.

 Badass sign in the bathroom...

Afterwards, Izzy & I stopped by her place in the East Bay… but along the way decided to stop by Flowerland in Berkeley to get a few things for my garden. I mentioned that I was growing Ox Blood Beets & Purple Carrots a while back… but I haven’t updated you. About a month ago, my carrots were pilfered. Something took every single last one of my purple carrots seemingly overnight… though I’m pretty sure it was more someone, than something. Why? Because the green tops of the carrots… were in a neat little pile on top of my soil… as if some rat bastard took out all of the carrots, put them in a bundle in one hand, grabbed the tops with the other hand, twist… and then gently set them in a pile on the soil. Also, about half of my beets were missing… as if someone pulled up one or two… noticed that they weren’t carrots… and just left the rest. Thank God those f**king asshats don’t enjoy the amazing awesomeness of beets. By the way, fool me once, shame on you… Fool me twice YOU’RE GOING TO GET F**KING ZAPPED AND/OR STABBED!!! BACK UP OFF MY CARROTS!!!
So we had empty gardening buckets… and I had just bought a “fruit cage” to protect (or at least sway) from “animals” who might want to pilfer my sh*t. There are also surprises for anybody who wants to f**k with them… but we’ll save that for the police reports. Now, just had to add some stuff to grow, namely mixed greens & snap peas… and after constructing the fruit cage, there’s easily space in there for another 5-6 buckets (probably going to be filled by this spring with amazing awesomeness) and one of my neighbors was throwing away a slightly weathered shelf, so we’ll probably be putting some little herb pots or something in there. It’s going to be quite awesome when it’s all done… but here are some pictures thus far.

Sunday afternoon, Izzy has been a part of a Creative Writing class for the past few months… and this evening was their final readings where they would go up in front of a group of their peers & read their favorite short story or excerpt from the class (usually about 3-5 minutes long). This final reading was held at Emerald Tablet in North Beach, which is actually a pretty amazing little gallery / space. Check it out if you get the opportunity. Izzy & I brought the Pale Ale that we made on National Learn to Homebrew Day to share with the rest of the group… and basically a few dozen writers and their friends helped us to finish off the entire keg! It was actually quite impressive! The short stories were too… but you know me, I’m all about the beer… which of course, rave reviews. Here are some pictures…

 After a while, I just let the cat Xeno take over dispensing the beer...

After the readings, a few of us decided to grab a bite at Tomasso Ristorante a few blocks away, which is kind of a San Francisco staple… and I had wanted to eat their for years, but there’s always a long wait… well, we stuck it out… and the food was amazing. We shared three different kinds of pizza (Italian pepperoni, spinach & super deluxe which is kind of a combo) and they were all great. Unfortunately my phone had long since died (running theme that week as apparently both my phone & PS3 are no longer talking to me… again… FML…) but definitely try them out if you can find a time they’re not insanely busy already.
Anyway, that’ll do it for this weekend’s activities… this next week is Thanksgiving so it’ll probably be a little slower on the brewing front… but the following week is the big annual SFHG Brewery Tour… so that’ll be quite epic. Have a great day everybody!!!

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