Wait you drove to Buellton for a beer?

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Damn right I did! Beer Roadtrip! But if you ask my kids we went to see Ostrichland USA IMG_6480and eat Danish pancakes IMG_6593in Solvang http://www.ostrichlandusa.com/.

You may know Buellton from the movie sideSideways..but let me tell you it has more to offer than wine and Pea Soup http://peasoupandersens.net/. Buellton is the home of Firestone Walker Brewing and our very very favorite Figueroa Mountain BrewingIMG_6537.
It was a one day/night field trip out to Buellton as I needed to see Figueroa Mountain Brewing http://www.figmtnbrew.com/ Live and in person. If you have read any of my past blogs, especially those after a Beerfest you know that we are BIG fans of Figueroa Mountain Brewing. Only cemented by a Tap Take over at our favorite bar Story Tavern http://www.storytavernburbank.com/ a few months back.

This Dad and son Brew team know what they are doing. Jim and Jaime Dietenhofer are brewing some of the best craft brews California, dare I say any state has to offer. And the best part at least for me is that they have such a WIDE variety of beers. IMG_6543 They are not just making the next best IPA like everyone else in So Cal is doing. They make everything. We even tried a Pear Cider there this week! Not all of their beers are available in bottles, or even at your local bar. Hence the roadtrip. We stayed locally (cause even a flight of beer is a beer to many to drive, especially home to LA) we were at a motel walking distance from FigMtn. Which was so convenient! There were several motel/hotels in the area lots to choose from.

Fig Mtn is probably best know by bar goers for their Danish Red Lager, IMG_6560 http://www.figmtnbrew.com/our-beers/#danish-red-lager,their Hoppy Poppy IPA, which contrary to its name is not overly hoppy. I really like it! http://www.figmtnbrew.com/our-beers/#hoppy-poppy-ipa, their Stagecoach Stout, http://www.figmtnbrew.com/our-beers/#stagecoach-stout, their Davey Brown Ale http://www.figmtnbrew.com/our-beers/#davy-brown-ale and Wrangler Wheat http://www.figmtnbrew.com/our-beers/#wrangler-wheat. These you can usually find in a store in big bottles. Their labels are pretty awesome and stand out. beer

Some other notable beers they carry (and you can get outside of their tap rooms (in Buellton, Los Olivos, and Santa Barbara) is their Lizards Mouth,IMG_6564 at 9.2% and 90 IBU (remember IBU is units of bitter) you would think I would be turned off. But man this is one super tasty beer! Find this one. Especially If you want a lil punch to your beer, at 9.2% it wont take many. Trust me.
http://www.figmtnbrew.com/our-beers/#lizards-mouth.
I also mentioned in my last blog what a big fan I am of their Big Cone, a black ale, http://www.figmtnbrew.com/our-beers/#big-cone-black-ale IMG_6563.

See that’s the thing about FigMtn, they do hops well. They aren’t trying to wreck your palette, so everything else you taste is “wrong”. They use hops the way they should be used, balanced and delicious.

We were lucky enough to find a few at the brewery that are not available just yet outside the tap rooms. First and foremost we must call out their Grendal,IMG_6546 it’s a barrel aged porter, maybe not for everyone and at 11% it’s packs a punch for sure. But man you can’t taste the punch. That’s dangerous. In a good way. This was hands down the smoothest, tastiest beer we had. 11% no way! It was amazing. Such a great beer I surely hope they make more and get it to folks in bottles. Great one!

We also tried their Biere De Menage, a mix of beer and sauvignon blanc wine. It’s a saison. Not usually my cup of tea. But as per usual I was like “yep I would totally drink this’ it would be perfect with some pasta, or a nice fish dinner. http://www.figmtnbrew.com/our-beers/#bieredemenage
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They have a Kolsch on board now (see I tell you they have all types of beers), Called the FMB101 named after the infamous 101 fwy, that sort of screams California. A Kolsch is made like a lager, so its fresh, clean, great for outdoor drinking and bbq’ing! http://www.figmtnbrew.com/our-beers/#101 This one I believe will be coming soon to a store near you!

They have a Pilsner that is available in bottles, Paradise Road, http://www.figmtnbrew.com/our-beers/#paradise-road-pilsner which we have had previously and enjoyed but that day they had a German Pilsner that was SO great! So great we got a growler of it to take home the next day!

Something’s that stood out about the entire experience, not just the beer. IMG_6576This place was beautiful.IMG_6540 Two stories where you could over look the brewery as it was brewing. IMG_6541Smell of grain and wart in the air… and so sleek.

IMG_6539With their beer labels as their wall art and table décor.

High Tops, long tables, square tables, bar tables,IMG_6547

and what a great outdoor seating area. I wish I had taken pictures of this when it was hopping the night before. These are from 11am then next day when we swung by again to grab a growler and a Tshirt. The outside seating to me just sums up “outdoor drinking” at its finest. IMG_6608Look at the great tables, the fire pits, the atmosphere. IMG_6607I wish we had another night and we would have gone back to sit outside. What a fun place!IMG_6607
Also to be noted, the brewery is child friendly. I asked prior to going if I had two well behaved children could they come in and sit with us. Got the thumbs up. Knew my kids had their DS gaming units and the World Cup on the TVs and they were fine as we tried our sampler flight!IMG_6555

We ordered pizza from a place near by. They brought it right to us.
Anthony was our bartender upstairs and he was so nice, and knowledgeable about beer and especially their beers. Very attentive to make sure our kids had water and were doing okay.

I know not everyone is going to drive to another city to try some beers. So I encourage you to order Fig Mtn from your bartender next time you are out. Keep an eye out for their bottles at the store and buy them! They really are the most well balanced, tastiest, biggest variety, family owned, operated by nice people, beer out there!

Hey the Beer Couple hits our 10 year wedding anniversary this fall….who’s up for a anniversary road trip with us??

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Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.

menuHeres a little shout out to one of my new favorite CA breweries: Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. http://www.figmtnbrew.com/ They are located in Buellton California just outside of Santa Barbara. Now you maybe thinking to yourself, Buellton, why is that name sticking out in my head, perhaps you have seen a lil movie called SIDEWAYS? The Hitching Post https://hitchingpost2.com/sideways.html was used for the film. And its now a “must stop” place for any fan of the film. But ah well that’s a movie about wines…and although that area of California is a mecca for great wine its also the home to great beer!

So what’s their story? Straight from the interweb Figueroa Brewing Co is a father/son business: “Jim and Jaime Dietenhofer are a father & son team with a passion for quality beer. Both businessmen and entrepreneurs, they’ve grown their companies on hard work and quality products. Jim raised his family in the Santa Ynez Valley along with wife Judie, and have enjoyed its natural beauty and the character of its inhabitants for years. Starting this business has been a dream of the Dietenhofers for some time, and they feel fortunate to provide patrons the quality that they deserve. Jaime’s wife Meighan and sons Anders and Gray are also key supporters of the operation.”

If you haven’t tried their beers you should. I recently went to a TAP TAKE OVER at Story Tavern http://www.storytavern.com and found SEVEN beers that were amazing. No really I have never had a flight where I wanted more of every beer.photo 4 Now heres the thing. Some of these beers are only available in their tasting room. They don’t have them bottled for distribution. Which really only brings two words to mind “ROAD TRIP”! But in the meantime there are some beers that you can get and should try.

First the ones that just tempted Mr. Beerman and I and sent us into a depression that we couldn’t run out and buy more. These included their Big Cone Black Ale 6.8%, Sisquoc Bock 8% (I know the Bierlady doesn’t like the High ABVs but this one was so good, I couldn’t even tell it was high) Oktoberfest/Figtoberfest Lager 5.5% it had me at Oktoberfest but man this was my FAVORITE. It had that wonderful “bread” taste that I mention in a recent blog referring to New Belgiums Blue Paddle. http://www.newbelgium.com/beer/detail.aspx?id=5aec31cf-c34f-4344-8dbe-91a0a5db67ca That same beer taste I loved with Blue Paddle, its like the way a beer used to taste before everyone started getting fancy, just beer, a fine loaf of bread in a bottle, Surfliner Lager 4.4%, and a Munich Style Dunkel at 6%. That was our second favorite. Perfect for the new season!
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brstredNow the ones you can get. Hoppy Poppy IPA 6.5%. I finally found an IPA that I really really like. And good gawd if that name didn’t cause me to want to go running. Hoppy IPA, redundant much? but no I really liked it.. WHAT? Its true. And their Hurricane Deck Double IPA also great. Even at 8% and an IPA I still found it perfectly drinkable. Davey Brown Ale 6% is a great ale. I find it slightly malty for my taste but its one of Mr. Beermans new “go to” beers. Their Stage Coach Stout 5.6% is a smokey smooth chocolate like stout It’s a good’un. Im on the look out for their Danish Red Ale I loves me a good Red. I’ll report back as soon as I find it.

They have several other bottles that I haven’t tried. And Now I have to. After being exposed to the flight of magic I am a true fan. And how can you not support a Father/Son Brew team? That’s like my dream for Mr. Beerman and one or both of our boys.

So look for these guys. They know what they are doing. I anticipate being able to find all their beers in stores soon.

In the meantime next time you are in the Santa Ynez Valley skip the wine tasting and head to their brewery!