Last year I joined social media for the first time and this year our house is falling apart bit by bit. Coincidence?
Our kitchen has been torn out. I brewed a beer five weeks ago and it’s still fermenting in my closet. I have an electric skillet and the toaster oven out on the patio, but everything is out of sorts.
Now that our kitchen is gone we decided to try out some new restaurants in town. What we have learned is that the Main Street Brewery is still our favorite place.
Last week I was listening to the Adam Carolla podcast and he had on Jon Taffer from the Bar Rescue show. He explained that restaurants like quick turnover where as bars want people to stay longer and order drinks. All of the profit comes from serving drinks but it is still important for bars to serve good food because people who order food stay an average of 52 minutes longer than people who don’t. That probably also explains why brewpubs always have great food.
Last Sunday we showed up at Hoppy Brewing Company in Sacramento with a party of fifteen and we were seated and had beer in less than ten minutes. Do you think that would have happened at some jackass Applebee’s? Try doing that at a big dumb IHOP! Brewpubs rule. Each year for Father’s day I plan some sort of low stress family outing coupled with a nearby brewery. The tradition started several years ago by going to Half Moon Bay Brewing and the Beach. Last year was HWY 1 Brewing on the way back from Manresa and the year before that we went to the Black Diamond Mines followed by EJ Phair Brewing in Pittsburgh, Ca. (I actually learned about the mines by reading Black Diamond Brewery’s old web sight.)
This year for Father’s day Mount Tam came to my mind as a destination because of my last post on brewznewz. We drove to the top of North Peak, walked around the top a couple of times, and followed that up with a visit to Iron Springs Brewery in Fairfax. The town of Fairfax is a little ways off of the highway so it’s not a brewery you’re likely to run into by accident. I also went to Iron Springs a couple of years ago with my friend Hal so I knew it was a place the whole family would like. It was good to see that the super nice lady who does the fantastic chalk drawings is still working there! She brought me my second beer. I took a picture of her latest creation.
Last week I had a hearing test at Kaiser. They recommended I get a hearing aid, but it would be $1,500 an ear so that’s not going to happen. My bigger concern is the tinnitus anyway. My ears never stopped ringing after an ACDC concert 30 years ago. I got used to it, but about six years ago the noises in my head got worse. Sometimes I listen to the sounds in my head and I honestly wonder how (if?) I am still sane. I don’t want to complain though because I have two different musician friends who not only have tinnitus, but they have both gone completely deaf in one of their ears. Not only that, the deaf ears still ring! NO PEACE IN DEAF!! That sounds horrible, but both of those guys lead productive lives that are far from miserable. I admire them for that.
Thankfully breweries are usually pretty laid back and quiet. Altamont’s Tap Room being the one big exception, but that’s my own problem. I have ISSUES. It’s not Altamont’s fault that I’m a grouchy anxiety riddled old dude who pees his pants when the music is too loud. Plus, when Altamont first opened the owner took the wife and I aside at a sparsely attended Pleasanton brew fest and gave us an impromptu lesson in lager tasting. He was a really nice guy and the beer is great. I had a fantastic Smoke n’ Dank in Oakland recently, nice to find the local beer in the big city.
And now the music for this post, I love them, but I can’t listen to ACDC any more. I would also love to drive around blasting heavy bands like Ringwurm, Led Zeppelin, and Brainoil, but when I do that now, when I step out of the car the effect is as if a bomb has gone off. Not only is the ringing louder but all sound is deadened, and the effect of one transgression can lasts for weeks. That’s why I started listening to what the wife unaffectionately refers to as “your whiney voice music.” Neutral Milk Hotel and The Mountain Goats mostly. It has the raw energy and emotion of punk rock, but they are easy on the ears.
I am going to add another link to this post because I just realized that the Ringwurm CD I put out on my record label in 1996 is available in it’s entirety on youtube. Plus, the singer, cover artist, Joe is one of the half deaf dudes I was talking about above. I lost a good bit of my hearing blasting this CD 16 hours a day in my Freightliner truck, hauling tomatoes up and down HWY 5 back in the ’90’s. These days you can find Joe and his artwork at Idiomism Records on twitter. I also want to mention that this was an unmastered bare bones recording before the age of digital tweeking. There are no effects at all on the vocals, Joe was just born with some crazy ass vocal chords.