Getting Punchy at MBF

Not even one speck of fog greeted Merideth and I as we arrived at the Monterey County Fairgrounds mid-Saturday morning. With only blue sky above us, it was going to be a glorious day for the 2012 Monterey Beer Festival.

All set up! Our booth with Peter B’s Brewpub

With Merideth’s book to sell, we weren’t at Monterey Beer Festival to make merry, rather to promote Teachings from the Tap. But that doesn’t mean Merideth and I were all business. Setting up next to our friends at Peter B’s Brewpub, we were guaranteed an afternoon of fun and good beer.

The festive crowd at Monterey Beer Festival

The VIP Session was mellow. We chatted with friends and a few book customers. Once that first hour was up, however, the floodgates opened and our relaxing afternoon was over. From our vantage point away from the main area, we could see a large mass of people busily getting into the business of drinking beer.

Keeping the beer flowing at the Peter B’s booth…

We were happy to see that Peter B’s was very, very, busy. With long lines continually in front of the booth, the wonderfully dry and tart Alvarado St. Raspberry Wheat quickly ran out. Our collaboration Bavarian-style Hefeweizen was also very popular, despite it not being served with the banana round with clove mohawk, a garnish I recently invented. Even with the warm weather, the bright and smooth Oatmeal Stout aged in Chardonnay barrels was also a hit. I focused my limited beer drinking on the delicious IPA, both keg and cask versions. Being big proponents of our local brewpub for the last 18 months, Merideth and I were so pleased to see their beers heartily consumed and enjoyed.

Kevin’s turn to be punched

A bit of levity during the busy day was provided by Kevin, brewer at Peter B’s and the ‘mature’ one of the group. He had this ‘punch’ sticker which he tried to stick on other people. In the end, Kevin unknowingly sported the sticker the longest, while Petra from Trailside Cafe gave the sticker an extended tour of the festival. Somehow, I was the only one who was actually punched, courtesy of the Celebrator’s Mr. Pitsker.

All and all a great day for us at Monterey Beer Festival. Thanks to Kevin, Carrie, Christian, Sonny, Renee and the Craft Beer Gnome for making it a fun day!

 View all the images from the Monterey Beer Fest…

To Davis and Beyond

The first weekend of June kicked off a busy week of book touring; a portend of what is yet to come for us this Summer.

Buy my book!

First up, on June 2 we had the pleasure of participating in the Davis Beer Fest benefiting Citizens Who Care. Held beneath an overpass at Sudwerk Brewing, it was the perfect antidote to a warm day. As we spread the word about beer travel and introduced people to Teachings From The Tap, approximately 1,000 beer lovers enjoyed some amazing brews.

Morgan Cox with Ale Industries served up Orange Kush, a refreshing beverage for the warm weather. Steve Altimari and his wife Barri from Highwater Brewing offered the ever popular Hop Riot and their recent release, Berliner Reisse. Russian River was also present and even donated 2 magnum bottles of Consecration for a silent auction. We kept an eye on those bottles all afternoon, as they were on a table right across from us. At one point, a large beach ball was bouncing around the fest. We watched in horror when the ball hit one of the bottles not once, but twice! Luckily, a volunteer with quick reflexes stepped in to offer protection and a crisis was averted! Good friends, awesome beer, and high drama, what else could you ask for in a beer festival?

We followed that up with two book signings; one at Post No Bills and the other at the Independent Marketplace, both in Sand City. Since the book has been out for several weeks now, people are starting to give me feedback and I am happy to report that it has all been positive. Thanks so much for all the support and encouragement!

Upcoming Meet the Author Events: June 17-Portland,OR, June 21-Seattle, WA, July 6-San Leandro, CA, July 7-Concord, CA, July 22-Oakland, CA, August 25-Papillion, NE. Visit to get more information on these events.

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View all the images from the Davis Beer Fest…

Our Local Beer Scene – Sante Adairius Rustic Ales

On Memorial Day weekend, Merideth and I took a break from our hectic book lives to celebrate the opening of a new local brewery, Sante Adairius Rustic Ales in Capitola.

Sante Adairius Rustic Ales in Capitola, CA

Like it seems with most brewery openings these days, a myriad of delays pushed back a scheduled January opening to late spring. On a couple of occasions, their Facebook status announced an opening day only to be later cancelled. But the big day finally came Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.

A festive occasion at Sante Adairius Rustic Ales

Despite the delay of maps on the douchephone sending us to a nearby mobile home park, we arrived at Sante Adairius’ industrial park location a few minutes early to find the soft opening already in full swing. We joined our Grillin & Chillin friends in the tiny tasting room.

My first Sante Adairius beer... 831 IPA

There were six beers to try on opening day and Merideth and I had four of them. I started with 831 IPA, a 7.2% ABV brew with really nice pine and citrus hop character. Merideth went with their Belgian-style Golden Ale, Golden Bell. We followed those up with Sara Loves Brett, a tart, pleasantly bretted brew with nice lemon notes. Merideth and I finished with Saison Bernice, a lightly bretted Farmhouse Ale that shined after it warmed up a bit.

Things are really looking up in our local beer scene. This event was the first of hopefully a string of brewery openings on the northern end of Monterey Bay. Congratulations to the folks at Sante Adairius! Not only did they survive starting a brewery but debuted with a excellent selection of beers.

View all the images from the Sante Adairius opening…

Meet the Author at City Beer Store

Six years ago the Bay Area was blessed with the opening of City Beer Store. Since then it has become a hub of the beer community in San Francisco and beyond. Despite no longer living in the Bay Area, Chris and I make a habit of visiting City Beer as often as we can.

Merideth with Beth from City Beer Store

Last Thursday, we were lucky enough to spend the evening there drinking beer, chatting with friends, and signing books. Even with all the expansions (shop, staff, and family), Craig and Beth are still the heart of City Beer and it was an honor to have them be part of the launch of Teachings From The Tap.

Cheers to Merideth!

Big hugs and thanks go to all the friends who came out to support this fledgling author and especially to Craig and Beth for a wonderful evening. Congratulations on celebrating another successful year serving the craft beer community!

Upcoming Meet the Author Events: June 2-Davis and Sacramento, CA, June 5-Sand City, CA, June 7-Sand City, CA, June 9-Monterey, CA, June 21-Seattle, WA, July 6-San Leandro, CA, July 7-Concord, CA, July 22-Oakland, CA. Visit to get more information on these events.

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View all the images from the City Beer Store…

Meet the Author at Grillin & Chillin

After Saturday’s book launch, our Teachings from the Tap road show continued at Grillin & Chillin in Hollister.

The "Teachings from the Tap" road show hits Hollister

Sharing the stage with Firestone Walker on brewery night, Merideth and I enjoyed an evening of beer, friends and beer travel talk. Of course, Fran was first in line to get her books signed.

Thanks for our friends who came out to Hollister. And thanks to Chuck, Joanne and the Grillin & Chillin staff!

Upcoming Meet the Author Events: May 24-San Francisco, CA, June 2-Sacramento, CA, June 5-Sand City, CA, June 9-Monterey, CA, June 21-Seattle, WA, July 6-San Leandro, CA, July 7-Concord, CA, July 22-Oakland, CA. Visit to get more information on these events.

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View all the images from the Grillin & Chillin…