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Pfendler Chardonnay, Pinot Noir Cost: $45, $55 What: If you want to find out why wine lovers rave about the Petaluma Gap, just try the Chardonnay or Pinot Noir produced by Pfendler Vineyards. The 2019 vintage of both wines displays all the best characteristics of wines originating in this unique area: rich, elegant fruit with crisp acidity. Just 25 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Petaluma Gap generates unusual wind and fog conditions that make the region one of the best for growing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. Pfendler and its winemaker, Erica Stancliff, take full advantage of these conditions to produce outstanding artisanal wines. Peter Pfendler planted the first vineyard on the family’s Sonoma Mountain ranch in 1992, with subsequent plantings flowing from the peak of the mountain to its base. His wife, Kimberly, founded the winery in 2007, after Peter had died. On the winery’s website…

Samra Morris took an unusual path to becoming a winemaker in the surging Sta. Rita Hills region of California. A native of Bosnia, she grew up in a war zone. Later she had dreams of becoming a brewmaster. Now she is the winemaker for Alma Rosa, a Sta. Rita Hills winery that makes some outstanding wines. Trying to make the best of the COVID pandemic lockdown, Alma Rosa introduced Samra to wine writers via a virtual tasting. She was delightful, and her wines were fabulous. The four wines we tasted all were the first wines in which she had control from vineyard to glass. I would prefer to do these wine tastings in person, and nothing can compare to meeting winemakers face-to-face, but the virtual tastings do allow all of us a greater range of tastings. And while wineries are slowly reopening tasting rooms, they can at least reach wine…

(Above: I enjoyed the Wexford with some Irish Stout cheese and some parmesan cheese crisp) Wexford Irish Style Cream Ale (Nitro Draught) Suffolk, England | King Greene 14.9oz Can, 5% ABV Each year I try to celebrate St. Patty’s Day with some green beer. I had heard of folks drinking green beer but during a visit to St. Paul, MIN, to cover what was supposed to be the last appearance of Robin and Linda Williams on A Prarie Home Companion on March 14, 1987 before Garrison Keillor was going to quit and take off for Denmark with his new wife. (They managed to appear one more time plus Keillor was back in the saddle so to speak just a few years later but without the wife). The St. Paul paper had a story on a local brewer who was canning green beer for the upcoming St. Patty’s Day. The odds…

Savannah River Brewing Beacons Coffee Milk Stout Augusta, GA | 25 IBU, 6% ALC I read the label and saw “coffee, lactose and chocolate.” I was sold plus it was a local brew. What confused me was what to call it? Not sure if the name on the label is hand-drawn or a font. If it’s a font then they need their money back. Trying to read the letters is a bit of a challenge for old farts like me and I’ve been analyzing fonts for the publishing biz for years. After a few minutes I realized the little seashell things weren’t letters. “BEACONS.” I had to check the website to confirm it. I could spend more time reviewing the label or talk about the beer (there is a strange lobster/giant cockroach-like creature and a man with a paddle floating from a lighthouse that reminds me of some of Monty…

The Beer Brothers actually sat at the Fire Pot Saturday night instead of gathering across the Interweb by means of “The Zoom.” It was good for all of them to be together. Dan has had his COVID shots so he was in the middle. This week we went live with the new BottleReport site and felt like celebrating. Beer Brother Dan was learning how to use Instagram much to the other brothers laughter. He had no clue as to what was going on and thought he could upload a long video. He was wrong. Guess 30 seconds is all he gets. But he couldn’t even do that right. They burned thru a crowler of Bell’s Hopslam Double IPA as they pontificated before they realized that nothing posted live on Instagram. So they punted and settled for just recording on the iPhone and sort it out later. Looks like YouTube is…

When I was a kid, every afternoon at 4pm I would plop down in front of the B&W TV and turn to Channel 2-WSB-TV Atlanta for The Popeye Club starring Officer Don. It was the premier kid’s show in Atlanta and I dreamed of being one of the lucky kids in the studio. One of Officer Don’s favorite games was called Ooey Gooey. He had a giant turning table top that was lined with paper bags filled with Lay’s Potato Chips, Hostess Cupcakes and other goodies from whatever sponsors they had. One bag lacked the goodies and contained something more sinister. With great ceremony Officer Don would add raw eggs, chocolate syrup, and I sort of remember mustard. They would blindfold a kid and spin the table. They would stick in their hands in one of the bags and either get prizes or “OOEY GOOEY.” Which all the kids in…

I found Angry Chair Untitled Art Loaded French Toast Imperial Stout at Toast. Sounded sweet and malty and I thought buying a single would protect me from buying a 6 of something that was too-over-the top. I decided to drink it on a nibble night where we had a summer sausage and some veggies. Not sure if I’ve ever been more confused by a label on a beer can. After visiting the Untitled Art website I’m not sure if I found a brewery, a specialty water canner or an artist colony. They don’t have much in the way of “About Us” so I can just surmise that they might be gypsy brewers who live vicariously thru collaboration. They list 21 collaborating brewers including Angry Chair. Since their website has a 2019 copyright on some pages I’m not sure keeping their website up to date is a priority so I can…

The Fall pretty much sucked for actually celebrating Oktoberfest with COVID-19 and all. I bought several to sample just didn’t get around to it. When Mrs. Dan had a hankering for some sauerkraut I thought this was an opportunity to whittle down the beer out in the garage. Guess we are having a Februfest. The Wild Heaven Fest Beer was my favorite but it isn’t the Märzen-style brew I’ve typically experienced. I have no true Oktoberfest experiences to compare it to but I’ve had several who have tell me which brews are similar to their German experience. The Wild Heaven is darker and maltier. It satisfies my dark/slightly sweet palate. It does have a slight touch of bittering hoppy toward the end on the first sip but that seems to go way after your taste buds get zapped with the first few sips. I could drink this all year round.…

The guys used to spread around the same brews so they could all drink the same thing. Unfortunately one of the spouses wanted their fridges back so our shared brews have come home to roost and we each try something different. Beer Brother Mark touched his German Wisconsin roots with Ayinger Hefeweisen out of Bavaria, Beer Brother Dan enjoyed Legal Remedy’s Plea Bargain Pecan and Brett mixed some Coca-Cola with Benchmark Bourbon.

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