January 22, 2012
This past week my husband and I ditched the kiddos and spent five days in McCall, Idaho. We haven’t taken a kid-free vacation in 7 years and were anxious to have some time to ourselves. This provided a great opportunity to drink some tasty brews.
McCall surprisingly has two brew pubs, both of which offer a great atmosphere. The first brewery we visited was a rustic pub that combined their brew facility with the bar. As an avid home brewer I enjoyed this. I loved watching the brewer take his hydrometer readings while I sipped. The beer was enjoyable. I appreciated the brewer’s use of East Kent Golding in their IPA. The other brew pub offered a nice atmosphere and a delicious porter. I was disappointed in their 190 IBU IPA though. That seemed truly excessive.
We enjoyed a variety of beers on our trip. The two I’ll remember most fondly are the PBR I had at Brundage ski resort after fighting the slopes in the midst of a frigid snow storm and the Widmer O’Ryely IPA. I knocked a couple back over sushi and truly enjoyed the body and hop profile. I typically loathe Widmer’s brews but was pleasantly surprised by this delicious IPA.
My husband and I had a great time getting away. Good food and good beer are two things we enjoy tremendously. Throw in some skiing (downhill and cross country) and a beautiful natural hot springs, I’ve got my dream vacation.
And as always, it was great coming home to five kids that I missed dearly. Vacations are wonderful, but coming home is priceless.
January 12, 2012
So the story goes like this, I was sitting in a pub in Portland, OR with my family drinking some mighty tasty beer. I was drinking a lager from HUB (not anywhere near as good as their IPA). My brother and mother were drinking tasters of every single beer the pub had on tap. My husband was drinking an ESB (he always drinks an ESB). I have no idea what my father drank because his selections are usually nothing of interest. While we sipped our beers I looked over a free publication about breweries in the Northwest. There was a column written by a sarcastic, opinionated woman. All she did was bitch about people that don’t like the same beer that she does. That’s when I said, “That’s what I want do when I grow up.”
My brother was quick to tell me that my ambition was stupid. Everyone else just ignored me because, well, it’s usually best to ignore the words that come out of my mouth. Then I said, “I know, I’m going to blog about beer and brewing! That sounds like fun!” I sounded like a child. My brother looked at me with an unimpressed look on his face and said, “Don’t be an idiot.” Yes, I’m an idiot. I am going to blog about beer, raising children, and how the two mesh well together with some self-control and a daily trip to the gym.
Tonight I’m brewing my staple Northwest Pale Ale. It has a simple grain bill (2-row, 40L, and 60L), but includes some melanoidin to give it a hint of interest. As for hops: Bravo, Cascade and Willamette. It’s a good, solid beer that’s easy to drink. At 6.1% alcohol it’s just over a session brew, but I like that extra kick. Tonight I ran out of Cascade. This is disappointing. I went through a pound of Cascade in just over two months. I think it’s time to fall in love with a new hop. I obviously overuse Cascade.
I did a load of laundry, put those rubber finger nail thingies on my cat so she’ll quit climbing the curtains, cleaned messy carboys, tucked my kids into bed and organized the laundry room. Brewing is productive.