Saturday, April 30, 2016

PUBlication: Revolution No. 001

Revolution Batch No. 001
Firestone Walker is at it again with their recent release of the Luponic Distortion revolving hop series. This inaugural batch is an amazing IPA brewed with experimental hops. Revolution No. 001 is a revelation; I say that because these hops are not the varietals most people are familiar with. With that said, the first taste reminded me of Pliny. I know, how can that be? These masters of craft brew have collaborated in the past. Russian River needed help when they were renovating their off-site brewing facility with new tanks and Firestone Walker was trusted with the continued production of a certain, awesome beer.

The six pack I picked up was bottled on April 6th—they recommend enjoying this brew within 90 days. This delicious IPA has a faint nose when cracked open and poured. Once in the glass, a beautiful golden clarity bubbles beneath a substantial head. The foam does retreat a bit, turning airy while still lingering. The carbonation is noticeable and adds to the palate feel. Brewed with 6 hops that were harvested in 2015, the blend can only be adequately labeled once tasted for yourself. Wheat malt partners sublimely, furthering the crisp characteristics. If you're lucky enough to spot this one-of-a-kind IPA, don't hesitate in buying it.  5.9% | 59 IBU


PS. My review of The Legendary Boonville Beer Fest will be coming soon...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

NBA playoff picture

Uncle Drew gets buckets & James approves!
This years' playoffs have been marred by injuries. Golden State's MVP is out, as are the top two players on the Clippers. Plus the Celtics, Grizzlies and Mavs were decimated by key contributors in street clothes. But enough about injuries, they're too depressing and always seem to shape the title run for playoff teams. With that said, are the favorites now San Antonio, Cleveland or even OKC? 

At the start of the season I made predictions as to which teams would compete in the second season. I nailed 11 out of 16. In the East I underestimated the complete collapse of Chicago, Milwaukee and Washington. Maybe the nation's capitol should have made a coaching change. The exact opposite could be said of Chicago (the Minnesota Timberwolves would like to thank you!). In their place we saw a young Detroit team compete hard in it's first post season appearance in years—they'll continue to climb with Stan Van at the helm. Charlotte's been a nice surprise as they retooled their offense and have a solid leader in Steve Clifford. The Pacers fought back as well, it's great to see Paul George playing at a high level.

All of this leads me to believe that LeBron will once again represent the East in The Finals. In case you forgot, that would be six straight trips, which is utterly ridiculous. He might be carving out the greatest career this side of Russel and Jordan. It's not a reach to suggest that the East is better top to bottom. The lower seeds in this conference appear to be far more competitive than those out west. 

In the West I missed on two teams. I thought Utah would make the ascension this year and they nearly did. It's too bad for NBA fans because the Jazz would have been way more fun to watch as the eighth seed. New Orleans also failed to continue its climb, reaching back into the lottery may be a blessing in disguise—the Brow needs help. Mad props to the Trailblazers. After losing four of their starters, Video Game Dame took control of the team and aided in the rise of CJ McCollum. Terry Stotts probably should have won coach of the year (or Clifford who I mentioned earlier). Dallas also showed resiliency. Rick Carlisle proves that coaches are worth wins. 

The juggernauts of the West are obviously Golden State, San Antonio and perhaps, Oklahoma City. Assuming Curry comes back and shakes off any rust that may have formed, the Warriors should still be the favorites. If he's unable to operate at his alien levels, the winner of the Spurs Thunder matchup in round two could taint the Dubs historic season. 

My love of the NBA playoffs pretty much turns me into a basketball watching vegetable though June, which I'm completely fine with. Only in the NBA.


Monday, April 11, 2016

Boonville Beer Fest

Saturday | April 30th
Get your camping gear ready and bring an appetite for craft beer. Boonville Beer Festival is on Saturday, April 30th. Advanced ticketing is only available online, click here. Tickets will be offered at the gate at an increased price. Taps will be flowing from 1pm - 5pm, so get there early and set up camp. Live music will continue until 6pm. Expect plenty of shenanigans after the final bell has been rung. One of my favorite happenings is the annual kickball game that rolls into the wee hours. 

This annual right of passage is one you don't want to miss. If you like costumes, this year's theme is roaring twenties. With over 80 brewers and libation makers, there's something for everyone. 

Some of the beer others are stoked to taste come from mainstay heavy hitters. I'll gladly hit up Stone, Russian River and Firestone Walker to see what they're slinging. However, I'm not waiting around for something that I can normally get my hands on. Instead, I'm going to make a concerted effort to sip on tasty brews from Figueroa Mountain, Georgetown, or Big Sky. I'm also going to taste as many new-to-me brewers as possible. Some of those flying under my radar are: Altamont, Base Camp, Beach Chalet, Central Coast, Devils Canyon, Linden Street and Redwood Curtain. Whew, and that's just my personal list. The legendary Boonville Beer Festival turns 20 this year. Make it to Anderson Valley, you won't regret it. Drive safe and enjoy responsibly.


Friday, April 8, 2016

Beach House Installation SF

Beach House | Art Show | SF
Beach House will unveil their installation performance for San Francisco on April 26th. The site is TBA. The imagery that I've seen makes this a must-see event. With a maximum audience of 200, availability will be scarce. Beach House will perform continuously as a two-piece. Those in attendance will be required to sit on the floor—so that everyone can see. Due to the alternative spaces, production cost and limited occupancy, expect a higher priced ticket. I applaud their attempt and desire to create a setting that welcomes the beginning phases of inspiration—all part of the creative process in making music and art. For more information click here


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Record Store Day < April 16th > 2016

April 16th, 2016 | Your Turntable is Not Dead!
It's the most wonderful time of the year... April 16th is just around the corner, so too is your favorite local record store. Once again I'll be waiting out front of The Last Record Store. It's always fun to be a part of the magic that occurs on vinyl's biggest day. The Bay area is blessed with a host of shops that will hopefully have the pressed gems you're looking for. 

Record Store Day has a plethora of options, as the list continues to grow year after year. Releases from Børns, Bowie, Johnny Cash, J. Dilla, Bob Dylan, Etta James, Matthew E. White and Jimi are just some of the treasures catching my eye. A couple of those are 45's, while others are LP's. The  Jimi's Smash Hit will be a RSD 1st offering. Keep in mind there are three vinyl categories every year. They are: RSD exclusives, RSD 1st and Regional/Limited runs. Exclusives are only available on Record Store Day. RSD 1st means that its title will get "special treatment" on Record Store Day, but will be available for mass consumption at a later date. The last category is self-explanatory. For more information and the complete list, click here

There are three selections that I will be aiming for the morning of the 16th. I'm not even sure I should be divulging these precious (say it in your best Gollum voice) records. James Brown, Johnny Cash (different title than the one previously mentioned), and the White Stripes are at the top of my list. I'm not quite sure if  the White Stripes BBC double LP will make it to Sonoma County. The James Brown wax is a live recording and the Johnny Cash title is an homage to his TV show. Support your local record store.


Monday, April 4, 2016

PUBlication: 6 Hop IPA

Ground to glass—I love it. Rogue beer has always stood out, now their farming skills are beginning to flex their might too. I recently picked up a 22oz. of their farm grown 6 Hop IPA. The early nose is resinous and dank. Those same profiles show up on the front end of your palate as well. As I continued drinking it I noticed an almost wine-like quality. Perhaps it's the Pacman yeast. There's a late subtlety that gives off a tangerine aftertaste. I realize now that I should have bought more.

The first pour is a bit cloudy, but the last pour is a murky yellow-gold. Again, this attribute may be created by the yeast, or the mix of roasted and non-roasted McKercher wheat. The unfiltered characteristic is a welcomed site for the senses. A formidable foamy head is present each time this ale hits the glass. This complex IPA would pair well with burgers or with earthy/zesty kabobs off the grill. Look for this and other multi-hopped IPA's from the Rogue Farms of Oregon. Get your hands on this before they're gone. Enjoy responsibly. 6.6% | 87 IBU