September 3, 2009

Beer buddies, Pt I

If I haven't blogged about my ex-beer-iences in beyond yesterday's "Session," it's because I've been awash in great beer, or, more importantly, great beer experiences. Pt. I of IV starts with the Sunday before last.

I guess more accurately it starts with finishing my first triathlon down in Santa Barbara.  To get the full story on how I got into running, which led to the idea to go from marathoner to triathlete, click here. I completed (though not competed) it with Half Pint, Papa Yaeger (67), and Mama Yaeger (almost 66). While a big breakfast was our reward, another one came when my friend brought me to the brand new Union Ale Brewing Co. (a tap house, not a brewpub). It was started by brothers Ben and Matthew Chrestenson. I'll say this; for their first foray into the gastropub game, they hit it out of the park. 

The decor is stately yet inviting in dark woods with barrels about. The menu is comforting yet hip. And the beer, well, there are 20 taps ranging from the "accessible" (Red Nectar Ale) to the truly beer geek-worthy (Allagash Curieux, Green Flash Imperial IPA). It's nice that they had not one but two taps dedicated to their brewing neighbors, Telegraph Brewing. For the time being, their house beers are the Firestone-Walker brewed Pale (doesn't compare to Double Barrel Ale, 4.5%), Hefeweizen (bubblegummy! 4.7%), Blonde (surprising hop presence, 4.4%), and IPA (don't hate me; I prefer this to Union Jack, 6.8%) that they brew for all their pub accounts. There's also a decent bottle list and I got to try the Schneider-Brooklyner Hopfen-Weisse for the first time. They also created an extensive beer cocktail list. I know these things are hot, but I've pasted their offerings below for you to judge for yourself because while I enjoy cocktails, I believe beer tastes perfect right out of the tap/bottle.

Overall, a welcome addition to the Santa Barbara area beer bar realm. I'll always enjoy The Brewhouse, and after a day of ogling co-eds on campus there's the great Hollister Brewing Co. in Goleta, but for Santa Barbeerians (not just members of the homebrew club of that name), please welcome Union Ale.

Colorado Junkie Coors Light and Red Bull. Served over ice with lime. 

Bloody Beer Union Ale California Pale, clamato juice, horseradish, spices. 

Mexican PiƱata Union Ale Honey Blonde, fresh mango and strawberry puree. Served over ice 

with citrus garnish. 

Three Lemons to Cuba Union Ale California Pale, fresh lemon, orange and grapefruit juice. 

Served over ice with cinnamon, star anise and citrus garnish. 

Kuala Punch Union Ale Honey Blonde, fresh kiwi and strawberry puree. Served over ice with 

citrus garnish. 

Lemon Aide Stand Union Ale Hefewiezen, hard apple cider, fresh squeezed lemon aide. 

Served over ice with citrus garnish. 

Shandy Sierra Nevada Stout, fresh squeezed lemon aide. 

Summer Shandy Union Ale Honey Blonde, fresh squeezed lemon aide. 

Belgian Chocolate Waffle Sierra Nevada Stout and Anheuser-Busch Shock Top Belgian White Ale topped 

with whipped cream and bitter chocolate.  

Noidish Pancake Sam Adams fresh squeezed orange juice.

Black and Brown Sierra Nevada Stout and Root beer. 

Black and Apple Sierra Nevada Stout and hard apple cider. 

Trojan Horse Sierra Nevada Stout and Coca Cola.

1 comment:

Tim said...