MONDO DINNER IN SAN FRANCISCO AND WINE COUNTRY | JULY 2011 | PART 2
Sunday was a day to explore some local beers. We had the time to visit two local brewers/restaurants, Thirsty Bear and 21st Amendment. Thirsty Bear is a certified organic brewing company that also serves delicious Spanish cuisine. We began with a sample taste with the 7 brews, the following is the description that is featured in their website.
Browm bear ale
14.5 OG / 27 IBU / 6.3% ABV
Inspired by the brown ales of northern England, we brew this ale with crystal malt for color and brown malt, which provides toasted “bisquity” flavors. This ale is lightly hopped to accentuate the maltiness.
11 OG / 15 IBU / 4.5% ABV
A unique ale, lightly hopped and easy drinking, but “dry-hopped” with pounds of whole vanilla beans to infuse the beer with flavor and provide an incredibly aromatic sensation.
Howard street IPA
17.5 OG / 65 IBU / 7% ABV
The india pale ale is our strongest house ale brewed with copious amounts of American hops to highlight their resinous, piney, citrusy flavors and aromas.
14.5 OG / 35 IBU / 6.3% ABV
Black ale the color of midnight, due to being brewed with black malt, chocolate malt and roasted barley. Flavors of espresso coffee and bittersweet chocolate accentuated by a smooth mouthfeel provided by the classic nitrogen pour.
15 OG / 30 IBU / 6.4% ABV
Our interpretation of the great British extra special bitter, but offered with the twist of a cascading nitrogen pour! It is a harmonious blend of caramel malt flavors with floral hop aromas, complemented by the smooth nitro mouth feel. A house favorite.
Polar bear pilsener
13.5 OG / 35 IBU / 5.7% ABV
A golden, bohemian-style pilsner brewed with munich malts and generous portions of “noble” Czech saaz hops for a spicy finish, then fermented cool with our house lager yeast strain.
12 OG / 17 IBU / 5% ABV Our wheat beer brewed in the belgian-wit tradition, including unmalted wheat and spiced with coriander and orange peel. Added complexity provided by our house belgian yeast blend after its characteristic high fermentation temperatures.
My favorite was Meyer ESB and Alfie had Howard Street IPA. Considering the tapas inspired cuisine, we were tempted with the tasty bocadillos (pork sliders) and morcilla (blood sausage) flat bread. Great beers and god food.
That day we met a Mexican gentleman that gave us great tips for our next three days in Napa and Sonoma Valley. His name is Raúl Torres and hopefully in our next trip to the Bay area we will visit him in Berkeley.
Raúl Torres getting ready to take a photo of us.
Later that evening we walked to 21st Amendment Brewery, there we tasted three interesting beers.
Gigantes IPA (American IPA | 7 ABV)
The Conventioneer (American blonde ale | 5.50 ABV)
Hell or High Watermelon wheat beer (Fruit beer | 4.9 ABV)
On Monday morning we drove to Napa and Sonoma Valley to spend three days there. The drive was nice and after 45 minutes we arrived to downtown Napa to check-in at Avia Hotel. I have to say this is so far the nicest hotel of our trip.
Crossing Auckland Bay Bridge
Days before I read about the Oxbow Public Market and we decided to have lunch there, the food offer was abundant and diverse. I went for Mexican trying C Casa, an innovative taquería and Alfie went for Pica Pica Maize Kitche and tried a pernil arepa.
After lunch we went for a walk and later we drove through Napa Valley, visiting Yountwille, Rutherford, St. Helena and Calistoga.
It was interesting to see a Wine Spectator office right there in Napa.
During our excursion we found redwood trees located west to Calistoga.
At the end of the day we had dinner at Downtown Joe, a local brewery. The burger and steak sandwich were OK but the Tantric India Pale Ale was really tasty and brewed with local hops. I would recommend this brewery for its beers but not for its food. Before coming back to the hotel we stopped by at Back Room Wines to get some local wine. After some considerations they gave us great two Carbernet Sauvignon suggestions:
2007 Obsidian Ridge and Stone Edge Farm 2007 Surround
To pair the wine, we stopped by Oxbow Public Market to get mini Italian pastries at Ca’Momi Enoteca, Pizzeria, Pasticceria. They were perfect with the wine and the nice Terrace at the Avia Hotel.
We started our day driving around Sonoma Valley, getting a quick breakfast and experiencing at least one wine tasting at Hall Wines. It was very interesting to discover and recognize the different notes on each wine, but definitely if I have to select the best wine of the trip, that would be the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Educated Guess. Sadly we cannot get it in New York city, but I know that my cousin Ceci would love to try this wine and she can get it in Las Vegas at Southern Wine & Spirits (702 876 4500).
For lunch we got a sort of picnic at the Oxbow Public Market: semi-soft cheese, baguette, a heirloom tomato and juicy peaches for dessert. On my online research I found the Amstrong Redwoods State Reserve, close to Guerneville and we decided to drive to the cost to see the beautiful Pacific and also have the opportunity to see these magnificent trees.
Posted in: Daily Menu, Drinks
Published: 649 days ago