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A Californian Odyssey

The background: Grand Daughter (two and a half), Daughter and Son-in-Law live in Orange County which is just South of Los Angles. Son and lady friend live in London. We all went over for Christmas and New Year to have a family gathering/holiday.

This thread is an insight into beer rating while still trying to be head of a family and juggling time with booze.

Air New Zealand had the best deal for our dates, so Terminal 2 at Heathrow gave me two new Fullers rates and the Fullers pub London’s Pride was duly reviewed for the database.

My Son-in-Law isn’t a beer drinker, nor my daughter but they did have some beers that they thought I’d not had before. On opening the drinks fridge I discover various cans of orange flavoured IPA’s (very popular in Southern California), a huge bottle of Anchor 2017 Christmas Beer and some Mexican Pale Lagers, great, at least they tried and the tangerine selection were new to me.

Trips to a few supermarkets add to the beer choice in the house and I am content to be the family man for a few days. Our first outing is to Laguna Beach for this: https://sawdustartfestival.org/festivals/winter-fantasy/
Managed to find a Hawaiian Porter and a local Lager on tap inside the event before we retired to a brewpub: www.ratebeer.com/p/laguna-beach-brewery-grille/68154/
Two Flights and it’s back home. Seven of the eight beers on the Flights were new, four of their own, two Mexican and a Black Market Brewery ‘Is That A Cucumber In Your Pants? Happy To See Gose’.

Next up was a trip to https://www.ratebeer.com/p/stadium-brewing/447/
Been before, but it was a whole lot better this time, 60 Taps with 5 Garage Project beers from New Zealand on offer, we had those first. There are so many breweries in Southern California that finding non-Californian beers on-tap is an art, or lucky, I try to find as many ‘visitors’ as I can: shops also fill their shelves and coolers with locally brewed beers, so again locating outsiders is a challenge sometimes.

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Great to see you hitting the local supermarkets. One question though.
Did your wife, daughter and Grand Daughter give you permission to be head of the family? Or are just trying to kid us?

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Slip of the tongue, please don’t tell them!

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Part 2.

50 beers rated so far, a day at Disney with the family ($110 for a single day ticket) keeps the total at 50. Next up is a drive out to this: http://www.christmasparadeboats.com/2017_Christmas_Boat_Parade.html

Managed to find a small sausage café that had three new Italian bottled beers for me, so a bloody great chilliwurst and three beers please! Boats were good too. https://www.crockersfranks.com/

Into Old Town Orange for an afternoon and a meal in one of my Son-in-Laws favourite restaurants, which also a beer destination: https://www.ratebeer.com/p/smoqued-california-barbecue-orange/30902/

A couple of blocks and a short walk away is the Chapman Crafted Brewery, so we went there too. https://www.ratebeer.com/p/chapman-crafted-beer-orange/64536/

A ride on Santa’s train here: http://www.irvineparkrailroad.com/plan-your-visit/ followed by ‘Taco Tuesday’ produced nothing, but the family were happy.

The bottle selection at the home is increased with a trip to the excellent alcohol store: https://www.ratebeer.com/Place/state/city/placename/30645.htm

Also bought a 12 pack of St Pauli Girl Lager just for the single rate in a chemist store, because it was on offer. Pushing around 60 new rates and been here two of the six weeks we are staying.

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Part 3.

Two nights in Temecula: a one street ‘Old Town’ surrounded by wineries and brewpubs. Leaving the locals at home (daughter, grand daughter and son-in-law) I borrow the ‘muscle car’ and drove up with the wife, son and his young lady.

On the way we stopped at the 8 Bit brewery, it was their 2nd Anniversary on the day we popped in.


I then took us to a couple of wineries before booking into our digs and hitting Crush & Brews for happy hour: https://www.ratebeer.com/p/crush-brew/29836/ before eating, drinking and coming last in a quiz in Devilicious: https://www.ratebeer.com/p/devilicious-temecula/69104/

Second day saw us start with a bottle of wine before walking the mile or so out to the Garage Brewery https://www.ratebeer.com/p/garage-brewing-company-and-pizzeria-temecula/39278/ Good beer and great Pizza. Half way back into town is the Aftershock Brewery, so we popped into there too: https://www.ratebeer.com/p/aftershock-brewing-company-temecula/35114/ .

Uber to other side of town sees us at the Refuge Brewery: https://www.ratebeer.com/p/refuge-brewery-temecula/34755/ before walking the 60 meters to Wiens Brewery: https://www.ratebeer.com/p/wiens-brewing-company-temecula/33642/ .

Time for bed, but not before two drunken pints in the excellent rear garden of The Public House: https://www.ratebeer.com/p/public-house-temecula-temecula/18450/

Our journey back to Orange County had a detour as we took in Stones home: https://www.ratebeer.com/Place/state/city/placename/7319.htm One of the loveliest breweries I have ever visited.

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Part 4.

Drank so much on Christmas Day I had two days off the booze and bounced back well on the 28th Dec before going to San Diego Safari Park, think 1,800 acres of land stuffed with animals and people, luckily there are beers to be had and I picked up new rate while looking at the sights.

30th saw us hit two local brewpubs: https://www.ratebeer.com/p/docent-brewing-san-juan-capistrano/75051/ and https://www.ratebeer.com/p/left-coast-brewing/32686/ .

New Years Eve was a quiet affair starting at 16:00 local time we watched the fireworks from London with some sparkling wine and proceeded to drink for eight hours until midnight turned up here!

150 beers during the first three weeks, mostly Californian and on tap, the breweries offering Flights helps the rates rise without drinking huge amounts.

1st week of 2018 up next and then we are up to date.

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Part 5.

Children and partners went to Las Vegas and we looked after our Grand Daughter for three nights just after New Year, so in-house drinking has been the thing so far in 2018. San Diego calls though, so a couple of nights there should happen before we return to the UK.

185 new rates so far since leaving home on 5th Dec: 124 Californian, plus beers from 14 other States and 10 different countries. Not too bad considering it’s supposed to have been a family holiday.

High lights so far: finding those five New Zealand beers on tap and finally rating ‘Harp’, plus I’ve got a Wexford Irish Cream Ale can to drink later.

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Good stuff Jezza.

I’ve done many miles in CA but no been to any of the places you visited … just soooo much to go at over there !

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Yes, there are so many small guys in California brewing interesting stuff along with the bigger outfits. Every other shopping precinct seems to have a decent alcohol shop or a brewpub. Can’t go wrong really.

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This is the sort of stuff we need on Ratebeer. Cheers Jez. Glad you enjoyed your time with the family and the beers.

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Two weeks left, plenty more to come I hope.

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Next time you’re in Tickmecula let me know. Or even just orange county. We can try some supermarket branded blonde ales together.

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Thanks for the offer!

Hey, be kind: it’s not cheap getting to California from Shropshire and then drinking in So-Cal, so I buy loose change beers in the supermarkets to compliment the bottles/cans from Bev-Mo and Hi-Time, etc, etc. Plus I like Trader Joe’s stuff (sometimes).

If money was no object of course I would stay high-end, but that’s not the case with me, I have loads of holidays each year and only so much dosh, I need to be sensible when spending on beer as other priorities come into play occasionally.

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These are the sorts of posts that keep me coming back here - far more interesting to someone like me that isn’t a hardcore ticker than countless posts on stats.

Very impressive number of beers packed away there. I have the same issue in balancing beer stuff when on holiday with my wife, she isn’t a beer fan so naturally it has to be fitted in around normal holiday stuff, but I get by!

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Well done Jeremy. Good stuff, loving the photos, especially of the muscle car.

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Thank you for the kind comment about my thread and yes it’s all a matter of balance really when it comes to drinking and family holidays.

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I think having me on the insurance knocks the price down over $200 a year. Great fun to drive, uses only 4 of it’s 8 cylinders when driving slowly then you put your foot down and you’re off.

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Other tasks for me while here has been looking after Peanut the dog:

In fact I have just been out with Peanut for a 45 minute walk in the mid day sun and rewarding myself with a cheap supermarket can:

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Another two brewery taps: imageimage

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One minute away was the next place:

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