Taste of Newport 2012 – Blondie / Devo

The Taste of Newport is the annual three-day food, wine and music festival put on by the Chamber of Commerce in Newport Beach, CA. You may notice, like I did, that they don’t mention “beer” in the description of the event, and in years past there was good reason. Last year I asked on Twitter if they would have any craft beer at the event, the response was, “We’ll have Shocktop”.

I was hoping to see Newport Beach Brewing Company at the event, but the local brewery wasn’t there. I was pleasantly surprised to see Golden Road and Bootlegger’s Brewery on the list this year. While they aren’t Newport Beach locals, they are Southern California folks. Golden Road is from LA, and Bootlegger’s is from Fullerton. Bootlegger’s recently won “People’s Choice” at the OC Brew Ha Ha event, so I started off with a Old World Hefeweizen.

The food and beer is great, but the real reason I go to Taste of Newport every year is the musical entertainment. In years past they’ve had folks like Sugar Ray, Foreigner, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and Barenaked Ladies. This year there were two headliners on Saturday night, Blondie and Devo. I took a handful of beer soaked blurry photos of the bands for your enjoyment. Continue reading

Simple upgrades for your Mr. Beer kit

Old spigot

old Mr. Beer push button spigot = bad

So if you’re like me then you got a Mr. Beer homebrew kit as a gift. You brewed your first batch of #craftbeer and made a decent drinkable beer. Now you want to brew again, but are wondering if there’s anything else that you need to order along with your next batch of ingredients. I was in the same boat, so I asked a lot of questions and came up with the essential upgrades for a new Mr. Beer brewer. Continue reading

Hydrometer – what is it and why do I need one?

A hydrometer is a tool used to measure the weight of a liquid in relation to to water. This measurement is called the Specific Gravity (SG) of a liquid.

In home brewing we use a hydrometer to measure the Original Gravity (OG) and Final Gravity (FG) of our beer. These two measurements, and a little math, help us to determine when fermentation is complete and how to calculate the alcohol content of our brew. Pretty cool, eh? Continue reading

Pacific Park Market – Aliso Viejo

I want to tell you all about one of my favorite places to buy #craftbeer in Orange County. Since my write-up of Korker Liquor has been well received, I thought I’d share another favorite spot for craft beer in Orange County. I’ve mentioned this place many times in my beer reviews, as they are one of the local bottle shops where I have found some really great beers over the past year. So to pay it forward I’m sharing another secret spot with you. Don’t tell anyone… at least not until you get your beer first. Continue reading