Wednesday, April 28, 2010

23 Beers! Bootlegger Anniversary Tasting

Yes, 23 beers, and we didn't even taste them all!

I was introduced to Bootlegger's by The German because he went to school with the Head Brewer Aaron Barkenhagen.

Located in Fullerton, California a little off the beaten path of the downtown strip Bootlegger's Is a 7 barrel brewhouse with 3 fermenters offering a WIDE variety of styles. All of them were on display for everyone to try for their 2 year anniversary.

Aaron and his dad built the brewery from the ground up. They put in plumbing, electrical, and all the inner workings of a full scale microbrewery. It's truly a family affair with Aaron's wife being the Vice President of the company.

We were a little disappointed about the food truck that was at our later session. I had been looking forward to the gourmet truck from Vizzi's but we ended up with a sort of half staffed, half stocked "gourmet" sausage joint. It was just ok, and not what we had expected nor was it what I would consider worth the price of the ticket.

All three of us(Myself, D, and The Girl of Jewish Descent, as my Mom would now like me to call her(Now to be known as, Tofu? I don't know, Other friend maybe? Suggestions?) were very pleased with the beer offerings. Yeah, there were some weird ones, Pink Funkasaurus? But that's what you do when you come to a tasting like this, broaden your horizons. I'm just glad my horizons don't run as broad as what Talya described the aforementioned funk as, "Sugar and bubbles added to sweaty strawberries, steeped in a gym sock." Funky.

However, the "Plum Riot" was the best fruit infused ale I've ever had and the Lambic #2 was also a standout in the sweet category.

One thing we definitely noticed about ALL of Bootlegger's beers is that they ALWAYS tasted how they were described. The beer of the night for both Tofu/Jew/Other Friend and myself was the Black Phoenix which is a coffee chipotle stout. Pefect balance between earthy coffee and chipotle with just a hint of heat on the back end of. The best thing was that this wasn't 7-11 quality coffee, it wasn't burnt or roasty toasty. This was more like artisinally brewed Italian coffee that you get in a taza in Rome while you eat a bit of bread and listen to the old men's morning banter. The body was velvety but not too thick, perfect amount of carbonation and the deep black liquid with light tan head was just nice to look at.

I enjoyed every minute of the day. The sun was out, D was with me, Seitan(not Satan)/tofu/Something was there. Random people in Utilikilts were making me laugh.

Which, funny enough, I am totally familiar with since my beer loving and brewing cousin wears one all the time. Is it weird that I think I might too if I could get away with it? Imagine me coming to school in a "dress kilt." I don't think that would go over too well. Yet again, I might spark a craze. ANYthing is better than those too tight pants that my students wear now.

Thank you Bootlegger's we had a great time! You have renewed my interest in filling the growler that has been collecting dust in my pantry. I see a Black Phoenix in my future.

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