I’m going to talk about beer first.
Yup American beer.
I know you’re all thinking of the old joke, “It’s a bit like making love in a canoe…it’s f@*%ing close to water”. yeah…well it’s gotten a lot better.
If you’re an American, you have probably noticed the burgeoning craft beer movement. Who among us hasn’t eaten at a brewpub in the last three months? Well, I just wanted to acknowledge it, and to convince any non-Americans out there that we got some stuff worth sippin’ here.
First, while I’m certainly no beer historian, I’ll attempt a short (probably flawed) explanation of the American brewing situation. Heavily populated by European immigrants, there was most certainly a time when breweries and quality ales dominated North America. However, the era of prohibition closed down the industry. Once prohibition was repealed, a tentative market ensured that only the strongest breweries would survive. Thus, the likes of Anheuser Busch and Coors prevailed offering safe and rather insipid beer which contributed to the perception of American products resembling water…or urine…or a little of both?
In the last few decades, smaller breweries have popped up everywhere with innovative tastes and techniques. Now, we are choosing between the likes of Blue Moon, Lost Coast, Widmer, Pyramid, Sierra Nevada, and Stone Brewing Co. Craft beer tastings, beer festivals and beer pairing classes are very trendy, and the landscape is far more diverse than Bud and PBR.
I met up with my looooooong time friend Jamie and her boyfriend Chris, and they suggested we hit up the Bruery in Old Towne Orange. The Bruery boasts delicious $5 beer flights, along with selections of cheeses and nibblies. With an impressive list of new and innovative domestic brews, some with colorful names like “snicklefritz”, it was a tasty and unfussy experience.
The following night I celebrated the third annual 21st birthday of another looooong time friend Tandy. We ended up at local haunt, Brühaus.
While this bar features mostly German and Belgian beers, it accommodates a small selection of craft domestics. Although Brühaus obviously promotes its foreign element, its success is a sign that Americans are appreciative of good beer, and are willing to seek it out.
Well…to be fair, it might just mean that pretentious young americans want to look like they have discerning taste when they sloppily chase the opposite sex. Anyways….
It was a fun way to spend a Saturday night.
Apart from beer, I’ve been enjoying the beach.
Gotta love a prolonged summer.
A few days later, I headed back to Ventura for a day with my grandma strolling through cute cafes, thrift stores and boutiques.