Friday, March 27, 2009

And last night's dream was just dumb nonsense. Like a stuck channel selecting button on an old remote. I guess it's been a long week.

Went to a new brewery yesterday! Breakwater Brewing Co. in the new, revitalized downtown Oceanside. Okay, so the city isn't done revitalizing itself. Neither am I, but a brewery always helps. I saw it going in about a year ago and thought, of course, that's what this fair city needs! Finally made it down there yesterday, stopping in after going to the dump, and which I've been in the habit of doing every Thursday of late. Anyway, I walked in and was immediately disappointed in the layout of the place. It's not the glamorous temple dedicated to hops and barley, with a shrine of holy water nearer the taproom to thee. That's the way Gordon Biersch makes them, but rather this was little more than a pizza joint with cheap carpentry and a formica bartop. Ordered some beer anyway. It was awesome.

No, really. The beer is good. I've been to enough breweries that I can tell when the brewmaster is actually spending some time in there experimenting and learning. People don't realize that Karl Straus and BJ's and all those other odd microbrews that restaurants slap their name on for show are all the same dumb recipe made with tap water and surplus malt and little generic packets of yeast. I can't abide those places. So, Breakwater is pretty good. It's no Lost Abbey, but it's drinkable. And the bartender was friendly. Always: the best beer in the world is easily ruined by an inattentive, ill-mannered bartender. Bums me out.

Lost Abbey has kind of a depressed tasting room too, to be sure. It's not bad, given that you're in a factory warehouse, but where Oceanside Ale Works in a similar venue has a sunny and cheerful air about it, Lost Abbey is a little dark, a little dirtier, and hard to find. Like a lost abbey, I imagine. Only I suspect an actual abbey would be tidy to a fault.

Oh, what does it really matter if the beer is good, eh? I've actually been thinking about getting back to brewing my own beer. Years ago we made more than a few splendid batches, and had a grand time doing it. Each batch cost about ten bucks and would make over a hundred beers. The stuff wasn't half bad, honestly, and no more difficult than making bread -it's basically the same ingredients, you know. The hard part was managing all the damn bottles. First you have to drink a hundred beers (no problem) and save the bottles, and then you have to bottle and cap them one at a time, making sure you have enough caps on hand (and a working capping tool.) Then there's the problem of storing a hundred bottles of beer in the fridge, which is easy when you're a bachelor, impossible when you're living in the suburbs with your non-beer-loving brood. So I was thinking the solution would be to distill it to a keg and purchase a kegerator, for conditioning. I'll have to look into it.

And I'm looking for financiers. Invest some cash and you can have as much as you can drink and we'll name the first batch after you. It'll be a swell party.

Have a marvelous weekend. Mrs Ditchman and I were wed 6 years ago, Sunday. I may just take her out for a beer. She deserves it.