Starting a small Tavern in rural Northern California. Barley and Hops Tavern catalogs the trials and tribulations of the restaurant biz, and teaching wine country to love beer.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kitty kitty blog time....

It's often necessary to preface a cat-related activity with "kitty kitty". Our kittens, Porter the Cat, and Hops Pierka Bolmer, are often subjected to the following:

"kitty kitty dinner time"
"kitty kitty bath time"
"kitty kitty outside time"
"kitty kitty advanced integral calculus time"

In much the same way, wines, and to a far lesser extent, fancy beers, are prefaced with completely incomprehensible balderdash. This serves, in theory, to tell a story about what sort of grape or grain made your beverage possible, which fancy hill it grew on, and whether or not it was made by magical ponies under rainbows. In the way that DiVinci doesn't preface his works with the chemical composition of the paint, but allows the onlookers to simply take it in and enjoy, the art of tasting has, at times, become obfuscated in the science. It's awesome and neato-rad-alicious to be able to wax coherently with other aficionados about whether it's caramel or toffee coming through on that last note, whether this estate is better at producing this grape because of this amount of relative humidity - but.... BUT! Beer ... (and wine) ... are about enjoyment. Is it... GOOD? Is it... YUMMY? Is it crafted with love by people who DO know the science AND the art? The overall experience of a beer shouldn't be lost by delving too deeply into the intricacies. This doesn't mean that there is no time nor place for the endless adjectives, appellations, and comparisons, but by all means: enjoy your beverage for what it's meant to be - an overall experience without the constant need to dissect. Even my cat understands. Simply have kitty kitty beer time.

Which brings me to rollercoasters.

A funny thing happened during a busy night. I turned 31. It snuck up on me because I was so busy owning a tavern and all, that I didn't have a chance to cry in the fetal position like I did on my 30th. It just so happens, that my in-laws were down for the event. Now let me tell you something about my mother-in-law. She's coo-coo for cocoa puffs, but without the for cocoa puffs. She's nuts, rather like me, but in a more New Jersey sort of way. A typical moment was Sigrid (said mo' in law) talking about how odd it was that Nikki (my chef) MISS-pronounces "herbs", because she says the 'h' (note that Nikki has an English accent, where such pronunciation is proper). All the while, in her very thick NJ accent, miss-pronouncing nearly every word BESIDES herbs. I love her dearly. I really wish the whole in-law fam lived here. They were so helpful the 2 weeks they were down, it was like having a real kitchen crew! As a small restaurant owner, I'm familiar only with being woefully understaffed and always within a centimeter of complete and total exhaustion.

So for my birthday, they took me to 6 flags Vallejo, which is pretty much like 6 flags anywhere, except it's a converted marine world, and has giraffes. Giraffes aren't marine animals (except for the water giraffes of Delaware) but this park is a zoo with rollercoasters - we saw killer whales, and manatees, and manta rays, and porpoises, and I saw a bee. Because of my wife's and mother-in-law's condition- not being able to withstand the extreme awesomeness of loopy-doopy coasters, Maria, my little sister-in-law and I went on every ride at the park. And then they all ate funnel cake, which I don't really like, because it's basically donuts, but less good.

Next, we headed back via Novato, home of Moylan's. Moylan's is yet another of north bay's many world-class breweries, along with Russian River, Moonlight, Bear Republic, etc... Moylan's'...s? Moylanses'' ? Moy... their... restaurant is really neato. It's open-beamed and beautiful, except for the acoustic tile false ceiling, which is lame, but the beer is great. I enjoy their barleywine, and their red (which I now carry in 22oz bottles).

The next day, at work, there was a whole thing with wearing a fuzzy apron and singing happy birthday to me and embarrassment on a very busy day. I'll leave that at that.

In other news, I had a visit by none other than's owner. I'm not sure what happened, but Firefox is telling me not to visit the site due to potential malware attacks at the moment, but rest assured, I'm sure he'll get it up in order. He reviewed my place very nicely, but missed a lot of great beer which I actually DO carry, much to the contrary of his report (I DO have lambic, multiple Bear Republic offerings, a Russian River handle, rares, and non-Chimay trappist). So come on back for a pint!

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