Tag Archives: california

Fire in Paradise

Fire in Paradise is a 2019 Netflix documentary about the devastating Camp Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise in California. Real survivors recount how they escaped with their lives, complete with actual video and hear 911 recordings. It’s tough to watch, particularly the tale of two teachers trying to calm their terrified students as the world burns around them. Or when a cop talks about the longest shift of his life. Or when an old woman talks about seeing fire and brimstone rain down from the sky.

One clear takeaway is that these fires are the new normal. And it’s our fault. They are a result of building where we shouldn’t be building, living where we shouldn’t be living, and climate change. Climate change. It always comes back to that. Listen to Greta. She might be onto something. The documentary is short, only 40 minutes long, so you have no excuse not to watch it. Watch it and hope you never have to experience it.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Breaking Bud

I went camping with my family over the weekend in California’s gold country. A few of us went to the Knee Deep Brewing Company in Auburn to try some of their amazing craft beers. Hoptologist is probably their flagship beer but they have a lot of other brews that rival it, chief amongst them is Breaking Bud. It’s a pretty amazing American IPA. It pours a nice golden color with a thick white head. The aroma is of citrus hops like grapefruit and subtle orange peels, and there is also a little pine and malt as well. It tastes of grapefruit, tropical fruits, dank hops, and little resin. Not only is it a great beer, it also pays homage to Walter White and Breaking Bad. How can you not want to try it? Pick it up if you see it at the store. The brewery is definitely worth checking out if you’re ever in the Auburn area. Plus they sell it in growlers or crowlers (32 ounces sealed in an aluminum can) so you can buy it in bulk. If you like IPAs, you’ll love this beer.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Sock Knocker (beer)

Sock Knocker is an Imperial India Pale Ale from the Coronado Brewing Company in Coronado, California. It pours a golden orange color with a thick foamy off-white head. The aroma is mostly pine and citrus hops. I also get grapefruit, orange, orange peel, and malt. The taste is as you would expect. It’s hoppy. It’s bitter. It’s delicious. There’s a lot of citrus, pine, resin, and a little malt creaminess. It’s 8.5% alcohol. It’s a satisfying craft IPA, but it really won’t knock your socks off. They lied to you.

Critically Rated at 12/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Racer 5 India Pale Ale

Racer 5 India Pale Ale is an IPA from Healdsburg, California’s Bear Republic Brewing Co. It’s one of their flagship brews along with Red Rocket Ale. It pours a golden orange color with a small white head. It has a nice hoppy aroma with traces of citrus, cedar, pine, and sweet malts. It tastes like you would expect. I get lots of citrus hops, grapefruit, orange, orange peel, some pine hops, and it’s balanced with toasty malt. It’s not as bitter as I thought it would be. The 7.5% alcohol content isn’t as high as I’d like it to be, but this is a solid IPA and worth trying. Me likey.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Youngbear-republic-racer-5-ipa

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Board Meeting (beer)

Board Meeting is an American Brown Ale from Port Brewing Company in San Marcos, California. It’s a Malt Beverage With Coffee And Cocoa Nibs. If there’s one thing that every beer needs more of, it’s cocoa nibs. And this beer has cocoa nibs. It’s very dark for a brown ale, it’s pours almost like a porter. It has a great aroma of roasted coffee, chocolate, and toasted malts. It tastes like you would expect. It’s malty with chocolate and coffee flavors, and there’s a little hazelnut and caramel, maybe some vanilla. It’s delicious and has a much better flavor profile than a Newcastle. It’s 8.5% so I would suggest drinking it after work and not before work.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Drought

California Governor Jerry Brown has recently declared the state to be facing the worst drought since record keeping began over a hundred years ago. There’s been practically no rain and that’s not so bueño, especially since we are an agricultural state. We can’t control the weather, but we can control our water usage and right now conservation is key. There are a lot of ways that you can keep water wastage to a minimum. For starters, I’ve quit drinking water. It’s beer and soda only from here on out. I’ve also started practicing the old policy of “if it’s yellow let it mellow; if it’s brown flush it down.”  I’ve also stopped washing my hands, and I use deodorant instead of taking a shower. It’s amazing how much body odor a stick of Old Spice can suppress. I use Febreeze instead doing laundry. I’ve thrown away all the houseplants and I left the front door open so the cat can find its own water source. There are a lot of tips and tricks to help keep water usage down to a minimum. I’m doing my part. What the hell are you doing to help?

Critically Rated at 9/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Moylan’s Kilt Lifter Scotch-Style Ale

Moylan’s Brewery from Novato, California presents Kilt Lifter Scotch-Style Ale. It’s a good beer from a good brewery. It’s a solid 8% ABV, but you can’t taste the alcohol. It has a robust malty flavor with caramel and toffee notes, as well as dark fruit and hop spice. You also get hints of Scotch whiskey, smoke, and earthiness. It smells bready and malty with Scotch, toffee, caramel, and plum aromas competing for your nose’s attention. It is mildly carbonated and has a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. There are a lot of things to like about this beer. It’s a beer that you can sip and discuss. I think you should try it. You can thank me later.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Anchor California Lager

California Lager is another delicious offering from the Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco. They are best known for Anchor Steam, but I think California Lager has the potential to usurp its position as the brewery’s flagship beer. People like lagers and people like California, so it’s only fitting that they would be enticed by a lager from California that’s called California Lager. It has a 4.9% alcohol content, which is in the average range for lagers.  It’s crisp and refreshing, and hoppier than most lagers. It tastes kind of like Stella Artois, but with more of an attitude. It’s a great day beer, ideal for hot summer days and backyard barbeques. I like it. And you’ll like it too if you’re a fan of good beer.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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