Brewcation: Paso Robles & San Francisco (Part II)
Continued from Part I
We’ll return to the beer theme momentarily, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t include some background and photos of the reason behind our entire trip: Brooke and Pete’s wedding at the Loading Chute in Creston, CA. Brooke is my only sister and since we were always kind of “whatever” about marriage growing up, I think it’s pretty funny that we ended up getting married a little over a month apart (4/13/13 and 5/26/13). You’re welcome, parents!
[I’ll do a post on our wedding at Ceres Park Ranch, home of Jester King Brewery and Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza, one of these days…probably around the same time I finish the thank you cards…so, seemingly never.]
Matty and I woke up early and hit the coffee shop across the street from the hotel.
We took the scenic back roads out to the Chute to help set up for the wedding. As it happened (and had been happening throughout the weekend), we were the first to arrive despite being late. We walked around Creston a bit. It took us 3 minutes.
Reinforcements arrived eventually and we lent our considerable brute strength and design expertise to the setup process. In other words, we stood around a lot, moved some boxes, and strung up some lights. Somehow, although we were only outside part of the time, I also managed to pick up a light sunburn (see bear flag photos below). We excused ourselves from the prep team a little early to allow enough time to get back to Atascadero and get ourselves to a suitable level of pretty. This always takes longer than you think. Please indulge me while I lament some first world girl problems here, but while wielding a new hair curling apparatus like a weapon I burnt my (already sunburnt) face repeatedly trying to curl my substantial amount of hair. We made it back to the venue just as the wedding party was entering photo shoot mode.
A good time was had by all and an after party with the cousins ensued at a little dive bar in Atascadero called Terry’s. Bad jukebox. Bad shuffleboard table. Cash only. Cheap beer. You know the type.
The next day we hung out with family and continued our pattern of buffet-style grazing, pausing to dole out hugs as people departed back to their various hometowns. Then it was our turn and Matty and I embarked on our 3 hour drive to San Francisco.
San Francisco (or, a happy accident)
It was early evening by the time we got to SF and checked into a hotel. It was later evening by the time we had read through a list of Yelp reviews and decided where to go for dinner. It was alternating between mist and rain when we got to 21st Amendment Brewery. Started with a Bitter American.
I’d read that a lot of folks were impressed with their watermelon wheat and I was hoping to try it, but they were out. So I had a flight of: Tripel Crown, Amber Waves, Homefront IPA, Brew Free! or Die IPA, and MCA Stout.
Toward the end I mixed the Brew Free! and MCA and that was actually my favorite. I also tried the Oyster Stout Matt ordered and that was pretty good as well. It’s a nice building that kind of feels like an open-concept log cabin, and the food and drinks were tasty.
We braved the rain (and navigating by phone maps) to find a nearby convenience store where we’d find local beer. We ended up at Monterey Deli…a little corner store…and we left with a 6-pack of Speakeasy Scarlett (Red Rye).
Before we went to sleep, Matt asked me to double-check our flight departure time for the following morning. So I dutifully picked up my phone and checked my neatly organized trip itinerary and confirm that it is 11:15 am.
So imagine my surprise when we arrive at the airport on-time (I think) at 9:45 and go to check our bags and the nice lady tells us there isn’t enough time because the plane leaves at 10:15 and luggage has to be checked at least 45 minutes in advance. I’m still sure our flight leaves at 11:15 and I shuffle through my backpack to retrieve my phone and pull up my itinerary and –surprise!– it does say 10:15. I’m feeling pretty stupid at this point, having never missed a flight because I misread the time, but the lady assures me it’s fine and she can book us on the same flight the following day at no extra charge. Thanks, Virgin America! After a few minutes of panic and calling our employers to tell them we’ll be out an additional day, booking another hotel room, and securing another rental car, we settled back into tourist mode.
It turned out to be a great day in San Francisco. Sunny and warm. We drove around and did some touristy things we probably wouldn’t have done otherwise.
And, of course, another beer destination: City Beer Store. After grabbing a couple of beers on tap (a Bonnie Lee’s Best Bitter by Magnolia Pub and Brewery and an Oud Bruin by Grand Teton Brewing), we sipped and shopped through the cases of beer. Narrowing it down to three choices (since we were determined to make our flight the next morning) was a daunting task. A City Beer employee was kind enough to talk beer with us for a while and make lots of good suggestions. Something local. Something we couldn’t get in Texas. Something outside our usual beer styles. We ended up with:
- Stateside Saison by Stillwater Artisanal Ales
- Pimock by Freigeist Bierkultur
- Biere de Chocolat by Almanac Beer Co.