St Patricks Day!

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If ever there was a day to churn out a new blog it seems St Patricks Day is the one! And really whats the best time to start writing the blog? Like 1pm after you have been drinking since early this morning on a Monday. IMG_3012Thank you Story Tavern http://www.storytavernburbank.com/ in Burbank, our favorite! Okay in my defense writing a blog 20 min after I had many beers and a shot of whiskey…this may not be my best…

So I decided aside from the obvious reason to write a beer blog on St. Paddy’s Day, I should write it because today prior to going drinking at our favorite bar (#mom/bierlady balance) I had to go to Target. The young gentleman at the cash register, guessing 18 maybe younger asked why it was so crowded. I immediately responded, kind of without thinking “cause we are all here now so we can go drink some beers”. He said, “that’s right its St. Patricks Day, why do we celebrate that again”. Oh no. I thought ….dont you have an Iphone, don’t you google? Then I told him. But when I posted that update on Facebook several friends commented they had to look it up. Its so Pavlovian to just want green beer, but why?

Okay so to most people the answer would be: St Patrick’s Day, celebrated on the 17th of March, is always marked by people wearing green clothes and hats. There are also festivals held in most major towns on this day, during which people dance, and drink a lot of beer. The shamrock is the main icon of this Irish holiday, and it’s worn alongside buttons with such messages as ‘Kiss me, I’m Irish.’ But whats the real story?

Saint Patrick, who lived during the fifth century, is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. Born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people. In the centuries following Patrick’s death (believed to have been on March 17, 461), the mythology surrounding his life became ever more ingrained in the Irish culture: Perhaps the most well known legend is that he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock. And hey guys SPOILER ALERT: although he spent most of his life in Ireland, St. Patrick himself was not Irish.
He was a Roman citizen from Great Britain, the son of a deacon and grandson of a bishop, who was kidnapped from his hometown of Banna Venta Berniae (the location of which is disputed) by Irish raiders at the age of 16. He spent seven years as a slave in Ireland before escaping and returning to Great Britain.

How did some American St. Patrick’s Day traditions get started?
WEARING GREEN
St. Patrick’s official color is blue…so why do we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day? The simple answer is that St. Patrick’s Day has become more a celebration of Irishness than a religious observation…and the color most closely associated with Ireland– The Emerald Isle — is green.
PINCHING PEOPLE WHO DON’T WEAR GREEN
This is a uniquely Irish-American tradition, originating in the 1700s. It was thought that wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns (who will pinch you if they can see you!). The pinch was a reminder to get your green on if you didn’t want to be pinched all day by the nasty little beasties (or by your peers!).
Irish food is more than just potatoes and cabbage. 1981997_10152137555881704_774091368_n Though potatoes and cabbage are a staple in Irish cuisine, foods like corned beef, stews and dishes prepared with potatoes should be on the menu as well.
Hey what about Soda bread is a traditional Irish staple that has been around since the early 19th century. This side dish creates crusty and zesty bread that goes well with stews or is good by itself. Though modern recipes have raisins and other items added into the dough, the traditional recipe does not involve any of these added ingredients.
Man I love, this, Mr Beerman not so much but I could eat it any day of the year…The traditional meal of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day is a plate of corned beef and cabbage. IMG_3023Corned beef has been served on Irish tables during the holiday and is prepared with a corned beef brisket, onions, garlic, potatoes, spices and carrots But Mr Beerman is a fan of Stew. They are a staple in the Irish household and can be prepared with lamb, IMG_3024potatoes or Limerick ham. Though the Irish traditionally prepared stews in a Dutch oven, you can make a Limerick stew or Irish lamb stew at home by using a crock pot or even a large stock pot. Today my friend Wendy got at Story Tavern: BoxtyIMG_3025, or Irish potato griddle cakes, is a popular dish served on St. Patrick’s Day. These griddle cakes are made with shredded potato, mashed potatoes, flour, egg, milk and shredded onion. Cooked just like a traditional pancake on a griddle, these treats can be served for breakfast or dinner. Man it was good!
Of course the traditional beers or drink of St Paddy’s day consist of green beer (which is typically anything with green dye) and of course Guinness. Seriously I wont lie if you haven’t tried Guinness stop reading me now, go drive to the store get some cans, not bottles, and drink a Guinness. I’ll wait…..guinness

Youre welcome.

And of course other Irish beers, Im particularly fond of Harp,harp and Smithwicks. Now Harp is something you “I don’t know if I like beer” beer drinkers will be okay with. And Smithwicks is somewhere in between a light beer and a good dark beer. Big fan! http://www.smithwicks.ie/landing.html

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Or you could do what I did today…a Black and Tan (sort of ..technically a half and half) Guinessess and Harp mixed together, or if you are my friend Leslie you want to order a Snake Bite (Gunniess and Cider!) 3856_10152137555766704_1761336139_n

Ultimately it’s a super fun holiday if celebrated correctly. Have fun! Have a green beer! Eat some traditional St Paddy’s Day food. And most of all don’t bug or piss off your bar owner, and staff. As we left Story Tavern, our local pub today they looked on the ready. They knew someone will come in tonight and get too drunk and be a jackass..IMG_3047 Be Cool. Enjoy the day~ enjoy your beer or cocktail or just enjoy the good food. IMG_3046But remember don’t be THAT guy. Have fun today but remember don’t be drunk enough not to tip and don’t throw up….that was so 7 years ago dude.

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The Pub at Golden Road and Tony’s Darts Away

I’ve mentioned it before but I will say it again, Boy do I love the bars near my home. During Craft beer week I decided to spend my Wednesday visiting two of my favorites. I started out at Tony’s Darts Away http://tonysda.com/in Burbank for a happy hour brew. I sat at the bar and enjoyed one of their awesome menu items, the vegan tater tots and had a chat with our bartender. Nikki (or Nicki sorry should have asked) is so great. She is not only super friendly and fun, she knows her beers. I asked her if I could interview her one day. She agreed. So look forward to that blog. I told her I was a beer blogger, for folks who don’t know everything about beer. In fact I assume most readers don’t know much. And don’t care enough to google for answers. So I’m here to feed facts that I find interesting. Also to taste some beers and give my reviews.

creamI tried TAPS Cream Ale. http://www.tapsfishhouse.com/brea/ TAPS is another California Brewery out of Brea. It was 5.3% so easy to drink, and it was a creamy ale on par with a Boddingtons. I won’t lie I still find Surf Brewery’s Mondo Cream Ale superior but this was super drinkable. I found out straight from their website that it is the Gold medal winner at the 2005 and 2001 Great American Beer Festival , Gold medal at the 2002 California State Fair and, Bronze Medal 2012 and 2007 Great American Beer Festival. I recommend it!

More importantly I recommend Tony’s Darts Away! You know what I found out this trip to the bar? Okay for the true beer encyclopedias…I mean beer wikipedias, you know this already I did not. So for those not in the know this was a big find. So you know I don’t LOVE the IPAS. I tend to find most too hoppy, too much like drinking a Christmas tree, but every once in a while I find one I really like. And usually they are Double IPAS. I was dumbfounded. If I don’t like IPA why on earth would I like a double? Well Nikki told me that Double means double the malt not double the hops. SO the reason I like those beers is because its more malty (the stuff I like). OH wow. This changes everything. I shall go out and find IPAs and bring them back to review now. Thank you Nikki. Again like I said Im sure I could have googled that. But really when youre drinking who cares. But now I know and so do you!

More about the awesomeness that is Tony’s in a future blog. Cause I love this bar and it deserves its own.

Next stop was to pick up the kids and head to the Pub at Golden Road for dinner. http://goldenroad.la/place/#/pub Okay let me say that I can’t even express to you how thrilled I was to have a brewery built down the street from me. And it looks cool. There are different brightly colored buildings, red, blue and yellow. One is offices, one is the actual brewery (they do tours!) and one is the Pub.

And then to find out It had great food, and then to find out its kid friendly I was giddy.sippy BUT this trip…(have to admit hadn’t been in a few months) this trip I found all the great things my friends and family can do while we are there. First of all for those of us who love our Outside drinking this is the spot. Their patio is GIANT they have an upper section, a section by the parking lot (which is dog friendly) and a giant portion on the side of the pub. This side has an outdoor bar (so you don’t even have to trek upstairs a few feet) open Thursday, Friday nights and Saturdays and Sundays.

Initially I would bring my two boys there for dinner because the Pub sits almost directly next to train tracks. And if any of you reading have sons, yah trains are BIG. So we could enjoy a beer, and dinner and the boys would gobble up their spaghetti and watch the trains past by. But wait… Check out these games.424 The outside area had a giant connect four, shuffleboard, foos ball, ping pong, sand bag toss, and an outdoor bar.shuffle WHAT? Are you kidding me? foosI can eat those delicious fries, have a pint and watch my kids play happily? Well this changes everything. PGR you are now my go to summer place like every week. I don’t normally put pictures of my children in a beer blog but wanted to prove how fun this was for them.

The thing that stopped Mr. Beerman and myself in our tracks was this sign posted above the doorsign
The Puritanical nonsense of excluding children and therefore to some extent women from pubs has turned these places into mere boozing shops instead of the family gathering places that they ought to be. – George Orwell Its true. I have mentioned in blogs before. If your kids are well behaved, meaning not running around bothering other customers, especially those there without kids, and you don’t drink what you would if you were out with friends and cabbing it home. I find it more than acceptable to bring your kids to dinner and have a beer. I remember when my 6 year old was maybe a year and a half and we went to a Scottish restaurant/pub to celebrate Burns Night. My son was happily eating his chicken fingers, toasting his sippy cup against the pint glasses, dancing a jig with the patrons. A much older Scottish woman came up to me and said “your son is so cute, I remember when my son was a babe we’d bring him to the pub with us every time we’d go, you just don’t see that in America”. So PGR Thank you. We now have a place that my whole family can enjoy for dinner or lunch on a weekend. And don’t think I didn’t email every family I know who loves a good beer and has kids. Don’t worry they are nice kids and we won’t all come at once.

Now on to the beer.choices I had to introduce Mr. Beerman to the Almond Milk Stout I had found at The Vegan Beerfest a few weeks back. We both agreed it’s a damn good stout. If you have a chance to get there before they run out do it! I just hope it becomes a staple. I also tried Aunt Sally’s Pale Ale. Pale ales were basically borrowed from the British. You know a good ol cup of ale….but American Ales seem to be a bit crisper and albeit a bit more hoppy. So I kind of liken them to a kinder gentler IPA. And much like I enjoy Golden Roads Point the Way IPA It was a really tasty pale ale. I highly recommend it!

How can you beat a place where the food is great, the beers are brewed THERE, and you can come alone, come with friends, or bring the family. If you live in LA and you haven’t visited The Pub at Golden Road, you should. Maybe today. It’s still craft beer week! Do it!