Life is good at 600

Ever have one of those weeks? No, not one of THOSE weeks. I mean one where everything actually goes your way. It doesn’t happen often, but I recently had just such a week. And boy did it feel good.

To start, I finished my long awaited manuscript. That alone took a huge weight off my shoulders and it could have easily made my week all by itself, but there was more. A few days later Chris and I completed our 28-day beer hiatus. The day we went off the wagon I tweeted, “Life without beer is doable, but not nearly as fun” — a statement that underscores my appreciation for craft beer being in my life. With beer back on the menu, we could now celebrate my accomplishment properly. Plus, it did wonders for my adjustment to the long-forgotten state of mind called relaxation. Life saved the best for last, though, and I rounded out my week with a visit to my 600th brewery — Ale Industries.

Saturday we started our day early with a 2-hour drive north to Concord. The rain fell heavy at times, but nothing could dampen my spirit. I knew that soon I’d join Chris as a member of the ‘600 Club.’  After picking up our friend Renee at the Pleasant Hill BART station and watching Chris battle his iPhone for directions, we headed to Ale Industries.

600! Ale Industries in Concord

Once we knew the way, Ale Industries was easy to find. Located in an industrial park area, the brewery is conveniently situated next to Beer Beer and More Beer, a homebrew supply shop.

When we arrived, our longtime friend Rowdy was ready and waiting to celebrate my latest beer milestone. We often credit Rowdy as being our Yoda. For nearly 20 years, he has nurtured our development as beer geeks and it meant a lot to have him there. At Ale Industries we enjoyed a taste of everything they had to offer — from the hoppy Uncle Jesse’s Pale to the sour Pêche. We even enjoyed a rare treat in a brew called The Beer of the Future. At 3%, this honest to God session beer was full of flavor.

The party carried over to Oakland where we enjoyed a few rounds with friends at Beer Revolution and a few more at The Trappist. The night ended with seeing Flogging Molly at the Fox Theater. Yep, life is good, but life with beer is better.

Special thanks to Morgan and Steve at Ale Industries and our friends Wendy, Ivan, Motor, Rowdy, and Renee for making it a great day!

Here are some pictures from the day