#Lagunitas #Beer #Tour

We took a trip up to the Lagunitas factory in #Petaluma. Here is a shot of the entrance:

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These are the Lagunitas cows. They own this patch of land and the cows on it, and apparently the workers can buy the meat if they wish.
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Here is a shot inside the factory. They have a similar setup in Chicago, though that one is much larger as that factory serves more of the country. The process involves shooting the wort through a centrifuge so that the solids fall in the center, while the liquids can be extracted from the sides. This process lets them push out ales in as little as 5 days, and lagers in 30 days.IMG_20141020_141001

For good measure, here is a shot outside the factory.IMG_20141020_142241

For the actual tasting, we got to try their Pilsner, Copper Red Ale (they didn’t have the Censored that day), Pale Ale, IPA, and Couch Trippin Fusion (another IPA). We also got to try Lagunitas Sucks.

Lagunitas emphasized that they don’t brew to style, so most of their beers aren’t like what you would expect. We got to hear stories behind some of the names, such as why “The Kronik” became known as “Censored” and where the “Sucks” label came from.

Answers: The Kronik was seen as a drug reference by the government and was rejected, but the retort name “Censored” was accepted. If you look behind the label, every year the censored tag gets smaller, so you can see the original “Kronik” name more. The “Sucks” label was a makeshift beer when one year Lagunitas couldn’t meet demand for their winter seasonal “Brown Shugga'” and in self-deprecating fashion, came up with this replacement with a name that both poked fun at themselves and showed their love for the band Primus.

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The founder of Lagunitas, Tony Magee, was originally a homebrewer. He started the craft because he was spending so much on beer, that his brother got him a kit with the goal of him saving money on beer. Unfortunately homebrewing is actually far more expensive, but he did not know that at the time. This is a shot of the employee lounge that tries to showcase some of that original love for craft beer.IMG_20141020_130312

21st Amendment #Brewery

As we’ve mentioned before, one type of common non-technical startup that can be found in San Francisco is the independent microbrewery.  Last week we decided to check out one such establishment in SOMA, the 21st Amendment Brewery.  We got there a little early for happy hour, and we wanted to check out the brewery to see the process for ourselves, so we first went to the back and caught a glimpse of several of their signature beers fermenting in the back through a window on the upper floor.IMG_20141002_142510[1]There was also this highly amusing painting hanging on the wall depicting many of the prominent San Francisco independent brewers, vaguely in the style of “The Last Supper.”  It was so wide I couldn’t catch the whole picture here.  The quote hanging on the back wall is the popular misquote of Ben Franklin’s: “Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy.”

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We did of course sample the local inventions.  Avi wanted to try several of the beers to get a real test of the brewer’s skills, so he got a flight, featuring the flavors of a watermelon wheat ale, a beer infused with red wine, a darker stout with coffee, a belgian golden ale, and a full-bodied Oktoberfest (I got the full version, foreground).

IMG_20141002_143947[1]Overall we were quite satisfied with the selection and the tastes.  It was an excellent precursor to the next restaurant we went to in our excursions throughout the city that day, a hole-in-the-wall Mexican place.  More on that next!

 

Tiny #Kitchen, #Culinary Mission: #BeerBattered #FishAndChips

Beer-Battered #FishNChips

Recipe by Nowcado Team

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Now that we’ve gone over all the components, its finally time to make our beer-battered fish with side of french fries!

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

Cooking Directions

  1. Cut up your fish into suitable fillets. The smaller they are, the more batter will be used to cover the surfaces.
  2. Completely coat the fish in rice flour, keeping them on a cutting board or other clean surface.IMG_20140912_215419
  3. Coat the floured fish in the beer batter.  This is where it’ll get really messy if you haven’t got a decent-sized board.IMG_20140912_220655
  4. Pour the oil into a pan (enough to cover the bottom well) and heat on high until a drop of water sizzles.
  5. Carefully place each batter-covered fish into the pan and fry for 2 minutes or until golden-brown.  Then flip each piece and fry for another 2 minutes or when golden-brown.IMG_20140912_221137
  6. Remove the fish with a spatula and keep on a plate.IMG_20140914_214536
  7. Carefully dump the fries into the pan (you may need to use a bowl to avoid splattering hot oil everywhere).  Spread the fries out so they are all mostly submerged.  You may not be able to fry it all at once.  Fry for about 4 minutes.
  8. That’s it!  Divide and plate the fries with the fish.  Top with the tartar sauce, and you can top your fries with more malt vinegar and salt if you like.IMG_20140914_215347

Tiny #Kitchen, #Culinary Mission: #Beer #Batter

Beer Batter

A good beer batter can immensely improve the flavor of food you might make when frying. There isn’t anything particularly challenging with making a beer batter – it mostly has to do with getting ratios correct and using a decent, dark, high gravity beer. For this one, we opted for a good scotch ale. Once you have your batter, you can dip most anything into it and fry in hot oil.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Total time: 5 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 oz all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 oz dark beer

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients (everything except the egg and beer) to a large bowl, and mix well.IMG_20140912_213508
  2. Make space for the egg, then crack it in and lightly beat it in that area. Stir the egg in to the dry mix.IMG_20140912_214159
  3. Add the beer, being careful not to pour too quickly and get too much foam. Stir in until you end up with a beer batter dough.IMG_20140912_214847

Celebrate #LaborDay!

This #LaborDayWeekend, we thought we would celebrate the #SanFrancisco way.  It is well known that SF has the highest concentration of start-ups in the world, especially in areas of technology.  Of course, we at Nowcado fall into this category, but you may not have realized that San Francisco is also a great place to find a totally different kind of startup – microbreweries!  Having a beer is a typical part of standard Labor Day events, so in the spirit of supporting our fellow entrepreneurs, we decided to check out a few such establishments in the city, and the products they had to offer.

As with any startup, the key to success is differentiation from your competitors, and understanding what appeals to your customers.  It was fairly obvious to us that these brewcrafters had it down to a science.  Everything from the catchy, unapologetic names of the beers to the unorthodox ingredients made sure to leave a lasting impression – there were too many intriguing options to try them all (though we certainly tried)!  Most remarkable is the diversity of the styles, from Belgian lagers to tripels, custom IPAs, wheat, barley, or even oatmeal ales, infusions with chocolate, citrus, herbs and spices, and several styles we had never even heard of before.  Each new beer is “tested” with the brewery’s customers, like any great startup product, and refined by adding or adjusting ingredients based on feedback over several weeks.  After the brewer (and customers) are satisfied, the beer will start to be distributed to the various stores and restaurants where that local brewery’s products are available.  So if you’re an avid beta tester of new products, don’t forget to check out the new products at your local microbreweries.

Beer!

Hi everyone

I know it’s Monday but here’s some news that hopefully will cheer you up. I just got filled with a bunch of beer prices in the College Park area!! Now you can find the prices of beer and your favorite liquor. Be sure to download me at the Play Store to find exactly what you’re looking for this week.