Tasty

Fact: I really like beer tastings. While I am not a beer guy in the traditional sense of it, I never really crave a beer in and of itself, I find beer tastings to be great experiences.

Recall, one of my favorite Denmark activities:

https://weissworld.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/look-who-came-to-scandinavia-oh-and-somebody-is-now-21/

I think the pleasure I get out of beer tasting stems largely from the variety of sensations that a good beer tasting invokes. Unlike tasting wine (which is still fun for other reasons;), with a good beer tasting, the spectrum of flavors is huge.  This allows those of us with less sophisticated palettes to actually understand  what we should be tasting, instead of nodding our heads in agreement while secretly having no conception of what “aged oak with a strong terroir” actually even means( definitely no clue what it tastes like..).   This is why we can try everything from a Chocolate Milk Stout( https://www.odellbrewing.com/beer/lugene/)  t0 a Bacon Flavored Porter that was actually brewed with pig parts (http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/16503/72900/)….

What a time to be alive..^

“So… like why are you telling us this?”  Good question. The reason is, one of the most fun adventures I have been on in the Bay Area since moving to SF, was to Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa. Yes yes I know.. I know.. I lied. I said these would be SF adventures only. My b world. but…. it’s that good so.. I have no regrets.

10 Second History: So Russian River Brewery started out as the side project of Korbel Champagne Cellars in 1997. They brought in legendary brewer Vinnie Cilurzo(the guy that invented the double IPA) and basically made a bunch of hoppy beers that have since won every beer award in existence.

The flagship  Russian River Brew is called Pliny the Elder and it is Nom.Com. You can only get it in certain (not-so-common) locations, and is consistently named one of the best beers money can buy. Far more interesting though, is Pliny the Younger. Pliny the Younger is a seasonal version of the Elder. It is only released for one week in February, and the line to get a glass can be up to 8 hours long. This is the Mecca of beer, and has a sort of legendary status in the brew world. Since Pliny the Younger is so rare, it has built a cult-like following, fueled by a combination consisting largely of  exclusivity and good old fashioned quality.

I would love for this to be the part of the blog where I tell you how Pliny the Younger changed my life. Alas, it was not to be.. We were off by a  month or so, but rest assured I will scratch this one of the bucket list in good time.

The good news is that even without Pliny the Younger, a beer tasting and dinner at Russian River is one of the more fun ways you could possibly spend an evening.

Look at this and tell me it doesn’t look like a good time:

Russian-River-Brewing-Co-tasting-flight-e1402940958148

This is definitely a splittsies thing. You basically find each logo on the card in the top right, and read the description. As you go the beers get hoppier, and you get fuller. The tasting finishes with a delicious Pliny the Elder.

So.. Russian River.. Very cool. Would recommend. In the meantime, my goal is to go to tastings in all the best spots in SF.

PLEASE TELL ME ANY THAT I MUST VISIT!

My current (SF) tasting list:

  1. Mikkeler Bar (duhh): Mikkeler is beer legend in Denmark, and his tenderloin beer hall is likely to steal my heart. It also has a separate Danish themed tasting room… ❤
  2.  Fat Angel
  3. Monks Kettle: 27 beers on tap and 180 in bottles.
  4. Hopwater Distribution
  5. Tornado

Ok. Sleep time. Ill let y’all know when I defeat that list.

Kyle

 

 

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Wait thats not travel! “Finding life in San Francisco”

Hey.

Yep. Back at it. Probably completely compromising the little integrity this “travel” blog has left by writing about my current home of San Francisco. Apologies. but… I think that there is enough in this city to qualify it as an adventure, and I like writing about adventures.. So here we are. I will probably give the site a facelift soon and make it less Denmark focused, and more “life” focused, but baby steps….

Last Season On Blog

Ok so quick review before we jump into things. In 2014 I had the chance to go live with an awesome family in Copenhagen for a Semester. I was determined to get as much as possible out of my time abroad, and to document as much as possible. And document I did.. I wrote over 50 blog posts on this thing, and had maybe the best time of my life. Read it to learn more! PSA: I write with a satirical/sarcastic voice, so try not to judge me if I sound like an arse. Sorry mom. Brag: The blog now has 15,000 lifetime views! Thanks guys!

Fast forward to last summer and my friends and I closed out college with a trip all over the world.

We went from San Francisco -> Barcelona (grandpas boat) -> Amsterdam (yikes) -> Copenhagen (yay!) -> Thailand(paradise) -> Laos ->Cambodia -> Thailand (full Moon Party!)-> Malaysia -> Australia (actually I was the only one who went to Australia. Was visiting my awesome girl friend/life coach/adventure buddy Chantal who was studying abroad in Melbourne)->SFO (shave beard and sleep)

I also wrote a bit about that trip on here, see the PG version below.

Nowadays I work at a pretty awesome tech company called Intuit in Mountain View (an amazingly boring place given that it is the heart of the tech world). Since you haven’t heard of Intuit, think TurboTax, Mint or QuickBooks. We make those things! I have the coolest job I could imagine, being a  Product Manager. I’ll write about this later, but I get to work with developers and designers to create and test super cool new features/products for QuickBooks Payroll. Pretty amazing job that I am lucky to have .

So What Now!?

So now I live in San Francisco, and to be perfectly honest (warning: controversial opinion), I don’t absolutely love it yet. Thats not to say I hate it by any means, it is amazing in a lot of ways, but on balance it is not my favorite at this point. I am going to write a full post on this feeling at some point, but the sparknotes are important for understanding the direction I am playing with for this blog.

My issues with San Francisco can mostly be traced to the rapidly changing demographic makeup of the city (also the hills.. damn these hills). As you probably know, Tech and Finance have completely taken over this city. Individually, most of these companies are great, they make amazing things, and employ the most intimidatingly creative/brilliant people on earth. Collectively, they have created a monster. This monster has  rapidly homogenized (and not in the cool Scandinavian sense), and gentrified SF. Fun fact: rents have risen 40% since 2010 and evictions are up 38%. Point is, the city has basically turned into a whole city of Kyles. Scary.. I know. Go out on a typical weekend night, and most bars will be packed full(line outside too) with some variation of  male, econ major, 20-30, white, 6 ft 1, button down, etc etc. Aka, the mean tech/finance/consulting company employee (who are the only ones who can afford the stupidly high rents in this place). Now thats not to insult that person (I am basically that person!), but to explain the uniformity of the city.  Now, I don’t need to explain why diversity is important, but the lack of uniqueness in SF can be suffocating coming from the wonderfully eccentric and diverse world of Liberal Arts College . Life in the City can feel bland, narrow, and slightly devoid of meaning.

Well that was dark^. I’m fine guys. I promise! Sorry for going all ‘Catcher in the Rye’ on ya. I will expand on that in a full post later, but the flip side of it is that the whole city hasn’t quite gone to the dark side. There are still amazing/thought-provoking/eclectic areas, establishments, and people all over this city. Upon realizing this, I have taken up a personal quest to find them and experience them. Hence.. This blog. Trying to shine light on some of the cool/weird/fun places, and document them for yall.  San Francisco is full of awesome hidden gems, and I intend to find them all and give them to you. Also.. I just like writing and blogging works well with how my brain works.

Anyways..

Some recent favorite spots!

1. Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park: Super cool spot with all sorts of cool plants and ponds and bridges and Koi! Biked here this weekend han solo and loved it. It was built in 1894 as part of the Worlds Fair.. Thats.. Old.

2. Pläj: Scandinavian Restaurant.  Very fancy themed spot with amazing food and all sorts of Scandinavian delicacies and decor. Obviously I was in love with this place. So much Danishness.

 

3. Smugglers Cove: Right next to Pläj. Pirate themed bar! Three stories. Awesome drinks. 200+ types of Rum. Drinks on Fire. Overall super weird place that breaks the typical SF bar mold in an outstanding way.

11_Smugglers_Cove_A61A1054.0.0

4. Ebisu: Could be the best sushi spot in  a city full of sushi.  Longtime favorite of the Evett family. You have to go all the way to the Sunset to get to it.. but sooo amazingly delicious. No reservations so prepare to way in line or do what we did and just be there obnoxiously early.

Thats all the places for now! I am getting sleepy and it is a school night.. But, let me know if you have any place I should check out, or anything that should be written about.

Goodnight and Go Warriors!