Tag Archives: craft beer

An Angelika Date Night

The San Diego location of Angelika Cinemas

The San Diego location of Angelika Cinemas

Yesterday, my wife got official notice she’d been awarded her PhD. We were both ecstatic. Date night tonight, we decided. I worked late – much later than we expected – and so we weren’t sure if our previously planned dinner and a movie would work. We decided to do dinner (The Habit) and then see if we had time to make the 8:05 showing of The Martian at the new cinema practically next door. As we finished our chips (French fries to most Americans), we decided the movie was a go. The cinema we headed to is brand new. Like, been-open-maybe-3-weeks new. It’s called Angelika and it is a high-end, reclining seat/foot-rest, fancy food, digital projector cinema. We’d heard good things and were eager to try it. Normally, if we want to go to for a high-end film evening, we have to drive over to the coast. This new theater is only 15 minutes away.

We got to the lobby at 8:05. Recall our movie start time? Anyway, there was quite a ticket line and the two registers weren’t plowing through it fast enough. We tried to use the self service option, as well as Fandango, but neither was working (maybe they are connected). I politely asked a manager if there was any other way to get our tickets. He apologized for the delay but said there was not.

It’s not his fault we were late, obviously, so we thanked him and waited. My wife went to grab our snacks and I joined her with our tickets. Not only do they have those neat soda machines with 10,000 flavors, but Angelika serves craft beer, 8 taps of local beer to be exact (with 1 visiting beer from Avery Brewing in Colorado).

Chris, General Manager, Angelika San Diego

There was a glitch with the register and so they happily sent us into the theater and said they’d bring our credit card to us later. Again, us being late not their fault.

We went and found our dedicated seats: big, leather, comfy ones with a swing-out tray (like an old school desk, only much, much cooler). Only down side? Not loveseats like some have. Cuddling over the soft armrest still achievable, though. The cashier brought my card in almost immediately and asked me to stop after the movie to sign. We thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but we did not eat our caramel popcorn. It seemed a bit burned.

After the movie, we went out to sign the receipt and ask if they would refund us for the popcorn. Not only were they apologetic and happy to refund our money, they gave us a fresh bag and offered me another beer while they handled the refund. The manager from the ticket line came and found us to offer us 2 free tickets to return. Again he apologized for the delay in ticketing – though they didn’t do anything wrong. A different manager, Chris handled the refund and I complemented the beer selection. When he said he was responsible for the drafts, we had a nice chat. I asked Chris to pose for the glamorous tap shot above.

My wife and I wandered to the lobby to finish my beer and our popcorn, marveling at the outstanding customer service. To a person, they were kind, polite, and extremely helpful. We were both so impressed we thought a review was fitting.

If you are in San Diego, come check out our newest high-end cinema. If you are not, check Angelika’s website as they are in several other states (NY, VA, DC, and TX). Oh, and in case you were wondering, I had the Lost and Found from Lost Abbey.

It’s Butch to have date nights. Be Butch. 


What to Buy a Butch for the Holidays

(Notice the clever, but oh-so-subtle use of “Holidays” instead of any particular December religiously-identified festivity.)

Alright, so you just realized that your daughter is a butch. Or you have finally realized that your mom, who you always knew was a lesbian, is a butch. Maybe your co-worker or boss is a butch and you want to give her a little something. Or, perhaps most worrisome, you are newly dating a butch – be you butch, femme, or otherwise… What to buy your butch for the holidays? Well, fear not dear readers. I am here to serve. In that vein, let me give you a list of the best gifts for a butch. Really, of course, it’s just a list of gifts that I think are super rad and worth giving to someone like me. Your butch may hate all of these things. Generalizations are only as useful as humor and light reading (i.e., my goal).

Note to my wife, kids, and parents: This is not for you! We’ve already covered our holidays. :o)

Now, given that I am not sponsored, I will not be referring you to any items that anyone has “paid” me to suggest – though I might happily create such a list next year, if any of the lovely people who make these items and items like these want to ask. This post is all me.

1.  Bow ties. Yes, the proverbial tie might be lame for your father (Right, Dad?), but butches (at least my kind of butches) love ties – bow ties specifically. The crazier the pattern, the better. Something I wouldn’t have picked out for myself. Something that reflects you, so that when I wear it, I will think of you. Maybe your butch doesn’t know how to tie a bow tie? Never fear, send her this link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoUre0ugkmI), tell her how hot you think she’ll look, and give her a cool bow tie. She will be motivated to learn how to tie it.

My goodness! This is a real knife ($1600).

My goodness! This is a real knife ($1600).

2. Multi-tool. A fancy Leatherman or Swiss Army one is great, but you can also do any multi-tool you find in any bin at any hardware store or market. Because, let’s face it, what butch doesn’t want/need/have to have a pliers, pocket knife, and awl in her pocket/bag/car/desk at all times?

3. Alcohol. I’m going to say craft beer or scotch/whiskey. (I realize it’s a stretch). Minis are cool. If you do minis, get some weird stuff your butch may not have tried, or a full-size sampler of Belgian beers. There is always a Beers of the World box this time of year, and many of the butches I know would appreciate such a box.

4. Craft Beer Tour. I love experience gifts, as long as the giver comes with me. Send your butch on a craft beer tour. San Diego, Portland, San Francisco, Denver and other brew cities will have lots of these to choose from. Substitute historic homes or flower gardens if that’s better for your butch. It’s about the experience.

5. Anything from REI. For my non-US readers, REI is an outdoor adventure outfitter company and pretty much everything they have there is rad. Carabiners, D-rings, knifes, multi-tools, biking/kayaking/spelunking/climbing stuff, compasses, cool flashlights, solar-powered chargers for all your electronics. I mean, the list goes on and on. Any trip to REI will result in many lesbian sightings, even for non-lesbian flooded cities. I find things there each trip that I suddenly cannot live without, even though I never knew I needed them!

6. Video Games. Whatever her gaming system is (PS3/4, Wii U, iPad, etc.), take a look at her games and get her the newest one that is like those other ones she has. If she is into Call of Duty, she might not like Ratchet and Clank, for example. (It’s like the difference between a violent shooting game and a Mario Bros. game). Any of the people at a good gaming store (GameStop, Best Buy) will be able to make suggestions based on what your butch already owns and plays.

7. Lingerie. If you happen to be reading this as a femme in love with/married to/or dating a butch, consider giving your butch a lovely box of unmentionables that you will wear. I promise, your butch will think of this as a very special gift – even though you will be the one wearing it. Or get her lingerie for herself if she likes lacey things.

8. Kid Stuff. Kids take note, if you are of the age that you might need a ride to pick out a gift for your mom, think about making her something. Who doesn’t love a handcrafted gift from the kiddos? I, for one, absolutely cherish the painted cards, ironed crafts, and even the pottery gifts my angels have made for me. If you are old enough that you can drive to buy a gift yourself (but don’t want to make anything), think about getting your mum a gift card. If you know that your butch mom likes movies, music, or a particular store, you can get her a gift card for said store. No problem with that. Personally, I prefer that you struggle to choose something for me that you think I will like. But lots of people, butches included, love a gift card. If your mom loves going to Home Depot, then that might be a great gift card for her.

My new favorite. His shirts are so rad.

My new favorite. His shirts are so rad.

9. Her Favorite Dress Shirt. Parents, this is a great one for you. Think about getting your butch daughter her favorite designer shirt. Maybe it’s a little out of her price range (like my new favorite, Robert Graham), or maybe you found it on sale. Whatever the situation, one of the coolest things my mom and dad have given me in the past few years is dress shirts from my favorite designers. This falls into the category of things I might not have bought myself, and makes me feel very special. a) They paid attention to what shirts I like, and b) They took the time to go buy me something that they know I will wear and will make me feel great.

So there you have it, 9 ideas for gifts for the butch in your this holiday season. There are gobs of others, of course. Books, movies, food, tickets to a musical, concert, or ballet, candles, plants, tools, crochet kits. You get the idea!

Those of you who love a butch (mom, partner, friend, co-worker), It’s your turn to be butch. It’s very butch to give her a gift that shows you’ve been paying attention to what she likes and enjoys. Be Butch.


The ABCs of Beer: A through E

Alright, so it’s time to live up to my name – or rather the name of my blog.  A whole post devoted to beer terminology and things a newbie should know.  Actually, more like 5 posts; this is part 1 of 5.  Suffice it to say that this is the first step in one’s beer education.  For the butch, these are things that I, a beer fanatic, think you should know about – unless you don’t <gasp> like beer.  For the femme, these are things that you should understand so that when your butch says how excited she is to be bringing home a growler full of the Belgian Tripel from Alesmith, you will get it. I cannot tell you how exciting it is for me that the gorgeous fiancé, who doesn’t like beer, has learned so much about beer that she can walk into a brewery or liquor store and know what I will like and what I haven’t yet tried.  Isn’t that what we all want, really? For the one we love to love us enough that she cares about stuff that we care about? I am a luck son of a butch.  Ready? Here we go!

Ales

This is one of the two big categories of beer; lagers are the other.  Ales are “top fermented,” which means that the beer ferments at the top of whatever it is stored in.  Fermenting on the top means that the beer is ready in 7-8 days, which is faster than a lager.  Ales need to be stored at 60 to 75 degrees, and that is probably why ales are so popular in San Diego, and on the West Coast.  The ale yeast produces by-products called esters which are flowery and fruity.  Ales are delicious.

Belgian Beer and, specifically the Belgian Tripel Image

Belgian Tripel:  aka, Heaven. This is my current favorite so I want to give a full explanation of the type. The name “Tripel” actually stems from part of the brewing process, in which brewers use up to three times the amount of malt than a standard beer requires.  Traditionally, Tripels are bright yellow to gold in color, which is a shade or two darker than the average Pilsner. The head (this is the foamy top of the beer, ladies) should be big, dense and creamy. Aroma and flavor runs along the complex, spicy, fruity with a sweet finish. The beer’s sweetness comes from both the pale malts and the higher alcohol. The lighter body comes from the use of Belgian candy sugar (up to 25% sucrose), which not only lightens the body, but also adds complex alcoholic aromas and flavors. Belgian Tripels have high alcohol content, so beware. Here are my favorites:  Alesmith’s Horny Devil (San Diego, USA, see the letter X soon for more on this brewery), Unibroue’s La Fin Du Monde (Quebec, Canada, see the letter U soon for more on this brewery, too) – which I am drinking as I write this post, Brouwerij St. Bernardus’ St. Bernardus Tripel (Belgium), and Brouwerij Bosteels’ Tripel Karmelite (Belgium). My mouth is watering just thinking about these four lovelies.

Cicerone

A Cierone (pronounced, sis-er-own) is a certified beer expert. This is the equivalent of a wine sommelier – only less snooty. The word literally means one who guides sightseers. This is the butch who can tell you everything about beer, how to make it, store it, serve it, what the different types are like, and what kind of beer goes best with that Chilean sea bass you are about to eat. I don’t know the answer, by the way, but I am about to enroll in the Cicerone Certification Program, so I might know the answer soon!  The program is run by these guys, http://www.cicerone.org/, but you can use the word without being certified.  For example, I am an aspiring Cicerone. You will find a cicerone running a brewery or a gastropub – super knowledgeable and hospitable.

Double IPA

This is an extra hoppy take on an IPA, which is many people’s favorite type of beer. ImageI only recently started to appreciate the IPA style.  IPAs are very hoppy (hard to explain if you don’t drink beer, but try one and you will know what I mean), flavorful and bitter.  The Double IPA was actually first brewed by brewers in California, at least according to BeerAdvocate.com, and is like an IPA on steroids.  IPAs are robust, malty, and might just rip your tongue out – they are that strong. The highest rated Double IPA (on Beeradvocate.com) is Pliny the Younger, brewed by Russian River, and the third highest rated is Pliny the Elder. Pliny the Elder is one of the more famous beers – it has been relatively hard to find and so it garnered a mysterious Holy Grail type reputation. I tried this beer a few days ago, and it was good. Not great, but good. Not surprisingly, the gorgeous fiancé thought it tasted horrible. If I hadn’t heard so much about it, I probably would have enjoyed it more. I haven’t tried the Younger version, but will let you all know when I do.

Eating

For better or for worse, eating goes along with craft beers.  There are three different types of eating that go well with craft beer, or are commonly found by craft beer aficionados.

Image1. The coolest of these is a gastropub, which is a restaurant that specializes in good beer on tap and in bottles, but also tries to appeal to foodies with a decent selection of cool eats that are trendy and small.  We have a fair number of these in San Diego, and a few of my favorites are: Whisknladle (the best place EVER to eat and drink, even though it’s more of a high-end restaurant than a gastropub), The Urge Gastropub, The Linkery, and The Range Kitchen & Cocktails.

2. Next is a brewpub. A brewpub is a regular old pub that sports a crazy selection of beers on tap and in bottles, and serves pub food… fish and chips, burgers and chips, truffle chips, chips covered with cheese, you get the idea.  The difference between a brewpub and a pub is just the focus on a big selection of interesting beer.

3. The last type of eating that is common around a brewery is a food truck.  Food trucks, popular in large cities all over the country and really trendy, have become very common at breweries because most breweries don’t have the time/energy/expertise to serve food, but their patrons get hungry after they drink. Your basic tasting room, which is what most breweries that are open to the public have, just cannot offer much past a bowl of stale pretzels or some popcorn.  Have a beer or three, and walk outside to get a BBQ pork sandwich, or a spinach wrap. According to my gorgeous fiancé the coolest food truck in San Diego is Miho Gastrotruck. Others that deserve a mention are Super Q (gay-owned BBQ) and Eat at Recess.

Stay tuned for post 2 of 5 soon, where I will cover Flights, Grand Cru, Hitachino Nest, Innis & Gunn, BJCP, and Kona Brewing Company. Until then, study up, future cicerones!

It’s butch to enjoy beer. Be butch.


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