Big Island Brewhaus

Big Island Brewhaus

On a rainy drive back from Hilo to Kona we decided to take a detour and hit the big Island Brewhaus. The Overbourd IPA we had picked up from the market across from where we are staying and fell in love. Unlike a traditional “Brewhaus” this place is Santa Cruz meets Jamaica and makes a baby in Hawaii. It’s super low key, hippie-esc, down-to-earth {no pun intended} and makes some incredible beers. It’s a mexican restaurant and a brewery. The food menu is pretty extensive and inexpensive. We tried a snack: the nachos with shredded chicken. Good flavors but the chips were soggy from the juice from the chicken {they must have been built then put in the broiler to melt the cheese}, there were about 9 chips on the plate, they were big but still unlike a nacho plate… the beers: they had 14 beers on tap. They do samplers of five 3.5 ounce tastes for $6 and some change. We tried them all. The Pau Hana Pale Ale, Panilolo Pale Ale, White Mountain Porter {so odd that I would like a porter but this was light bodied, with a nice clean finish of caramel and toasted nuts. It was fantastic.}, and of course the Overboard IPA.

We sat inside and listened to the music of the live band just outside on the covered patio. We ended up chatting with a sweet couple: Sandy and “Big” Earl. Nice people. Sandy resembled my hubbies mom a lot and that was kind of a cool thing since it was always her thing to come to Hawaii as a family. And Earl was a hoot. He had clearly traveled all over and lived in many places, he had stories about it all. Nice folks, the kind I always enjoy meeting when we travel.

The Brewhaus is well worth the drive where ever you are staying on the island.

 

Big Island Brewhaus & Tako Taco Taqueria on Urbanspoon

Beer VS Wine

 

At a recent wine tourism conference we had a session about beer and wine tourism. What are these breweries doing that wineries are not doing in order to be more successful? What separates out the beer industry from the wine industry? It’s the connections. I’ve been to over 300 distinct breweries all over the U.S. and 9 out of 10 of the breweries have replied to me and engaged with me in some way on social media when I tweet or post a photo tagging them. Aside from the online connecting before and after visiting, the breweries for the most part have someone who is so insanely passionate about the beer behind the bar to explain anything and everything to me, making it more evident that this is more than just a job.

 I have seen many people in breweries: the Brewers, owners, wives, or someone highly connected to the brewery who is taking their time out of whatever it is they’re doing to respond to my messages. Its awesome. One of my favorite things about the way breweries connect with me {their consumer: the beer traveler} is they will comment on my blog and make it obvious that they took a little extra time to look me up, check out what I do, and comment on that. It shows me that they care about their consumers, they want to know who we are and because of that, I want to buy more beer!!

http://jessposhepny.com/2014/11/beer-vs-wine/

And we already buy lots of beer!!

Having been in the wine business for over 14 years, I ask myself, “why do I prefer to go beer tasting over wine tasting?” Being a manager of a prestigious family owned winery where our customers come first and I make it my job to ensure each guest is happy, I wonder why other wineries struggle with this when it’s so simple: be transparent, be genuine, ask questions, care about the answers, and engage. After sitting through this seminar, I realized that it is not easy to give the customers what they want because as the business, you have to ask what it is they want first and that is what the breweries do and then they listen. It cannot be a one-off thing, and that’s really where people are having a tough time in the luxury service industries because people do not have to buy from you…they can buy from a hundred other places or people like you. What can YOU do to stand out? CONNECT. I am not quite sure why the beer culture has this down so well and the wine business that has evolved over the years seems to struggle with it.

 As a consumer, I want to hear from the brewer or winemaker, I want to meet the owner, I want to see them tweeting and pouring behind the bar, I want to see that they are human. There really isn’t much that is different from hundreds of years ago in sales: know your customer, gain their trust and keep a loyal customer.It’s work, but it is possible.

 Some tips from a loyal consumer: ease up on the snobbery, engage with guests on a more intimate level: ask them about who they are and what they like, tell them about you and why you are brewing or making wine; built a familiar connection and that will make them want to know more, tell their friends, and keep coming back.

 UPDATE:

This is a comment from a brewery owner I met at a new {at the time} brewery in Sacramento. Find my write up of Bike Dog here.

AJ on said:Edit

How about a brewery owner who gets a new Instagram follower, recognizes the name as the business of two great beer travelers he met almost a year ago then hunts them down, stumbles across their blog and writes silly response like this?

PS the Mosaic Pale Ale is proving to be a customer favorite, you were onto something early :) ”

This just goes to show that breweries have a lot of power with the people and many of them use it like AJ did above: he stumbled upon me through social channels and reaches out on my blog and even remembers the beer I loved so much when I visited once. All it takes is a little effort when you are literally stumbling around on the inter-web. Thanks AJ for taking the time out!

Cheers!

Quick + Easy Padron Peppers

Eyeing those baskets of freshly harvested Padron peppers at the farmers market but not quite sure what to do with them? They are so full of flavor on their own so the little you do, the better.

Heat up olive oil in a pan, just enough to almost cover them completely and when the oil is at a shimmer {or super effing hot :)} , put the peppers in. Leave in the hot oil for just about 1 minute. Take out of the oil and put on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil, transfer to your serving plate and season with Fleur de sel {a very flavorful sea salt}.

Padron peppers are mildly spicy and the perfect simple side dish for the summer.

Quick + Easy Padron Pepper Poppers: Heat up olive oil in a pan, just enough to almost cover them completely and when the oils is at a rolling boiling, put the peppers in. Leave in the hot oil for just about 1 minute. Take out of the oil and put on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil, transfer to your serving plate and season with Fleur de sel {a very flavorful sea salt}. Cheers, Moxie_Lady #food  #Farmersmarket

AT & T Ballpark Do’s & Don’ts

With the baseball season in full swing and having been to three games already since home opener on April 8th, I thought it would be fitting to describe a bit of ballpark etiquette {in my humble opinion of course}.

If you’ve ever been to a Giants game then you know that most anything goes. You can dress in the most insane attire, dye your hair or wear a wig, paint your face, drink your beer while walking down the street and in the parking lot, talk to strangers because they are fans as well, photo bomb other peoples photos, pull up at 10 am and crack open a brew, and leave your bottles on the ground in the lot. All of these things are acceptable because everyone wants to get on the big screen to show off their cool outfits, there is only so much time to tailgate, and there is a guy who comes around picking up the glass to make some money.

Giants Game

GIants

After a full season of many games last year, I got to thinking about all of the things that would make everyone’s time at AT&T Park more enjoyable. I figure if the Giants can train us to clap when they play a special tune   and cheer when the batter needs more love  or yell and scream “Dodger’s SUCK” even when we are not playing the Dodger’s, then we could train each other on what not to do at the ballpark. So here goes:

The Don’t ‘s

1. Don’t stand in the way of cars or continue playing catch in the parking lot when people are trying to park. Everyone is looking to have a good time, so be courteous.

2. Don’t leave trash out in the parking lot, just leave your glass {Recycling}.

3.Don’t smoke in the line to get into the park, it’s rude and gross. Children are around and someone could easily be burnt with your cherry.

4. Don’t stop in the stairwell, have your ticket out and know your section ahead of time so you do not have to stop continuously in front of people while trying to get to your seat. If you have to stop, walk to the side.

5. Don’t cut in line.

6. Don’t charge at people while walking, move with the crown and move your body to the side to be courteous when passing by in a crowd rather than hitting someones shoulders.

7. Don’t walk through the crowd and eat your fries or hot dog. You may think you can walk, look for your section, talk to your friend, AND eat, but you can’t, you’re slowing everyone down and you’re going to spill on someone else.

8. Don’t encroach in the persons space sitting next to you. Seating space is minimal, spare.

9. Don’t put your beer in front of someones feet in the bleachers or anywhere.

10. Don’t be this guy at a game: standing up and heckling at everyone else in the section especially if you are not in your home stadium….

Dodger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Don’t start unnecessary drama with anyone from the opposing team. This is a family fun activity, children are present, alcohol is involved; nobody needs it.

12. Don’t push and shove at the end of the game when leaving, we are all going to the same place. It will not get you anywhere faster.

13. Don’t get angry if someone photo bombs you. It’s funny.

Photo Bomb!

14. Don’t be annoyed if the kids and people around you are chanting and cheering for the players, it’s a baseball game, we are supposed to do that!

15. Don’t freak out when someone is sitting in your seat, just ask them to move.

16. Don’t cuss at players, even if they are Dodgers or Brian Wilson.

17. Don’t wear a Brian Wilson jersey or shirt. I know it cost you money, but he’s a trader and as a Giants fan, it’s just not right.

Wilson Don't

18. Don’t sneeze or cough without covering your mouth while walking in the crowd, sitting at your seat, or anytime! There are enough germs floating around.

The Do’s 

1. Do move over when people are trying to get to their seat in your row. Stand up, let them by.

2. Do watch out for small children when walking in the crowds.

3. Do pick up and carry your small child if they’re tired and can barely walk.

4. Do root for your home team regardless of what section you are in!

5. Do know where you are sitting.

6. Do know the chants. Know when to sing along. Be excited. Show the love.

7. Do be prepared to move if you are sitting in someone else’s seat. We all like to move a little closer and for the most part,it’s totally acceptable especially if there is nobody sitting there, but realize that there may be and they may be back.

8. Do have your I.D. on you and be prepared to show it anytime you are buying alcohol. Two drinks per person at one time.

9. Do look down the rows of bathrooms for open stalls, most of the time more are open than you might think, you have to just pay attention.

10. Do root, root, root for the Giants!

After careful consideration and many days and nights at the ballpark, I’ve decided that many people who are new to the stadium just don’t know how to behave there. It’s up to the seasoned Giants fan to introduce a sort of etiquette. That’s my two cents for a more enjoyable baseball game experience. Go Giants!

Thankful

Thanksgiving is a time for love, appreciation, memories, family recipes, and great food but behind all of that…{the elements that nobody wishes to discuss: the grudges, the distractions, the insults, the insecurities, the secrets, the embarrassing times, the family history… the list is endless} is something really special: the things that make family holidays more joyful and desirable than they are! Heck, if they weren’t so absolutely fantastic and desirable, we would do them more than twice a year, right?! We all have our vices  that get us through. Whether it be the long week of shopping, the late night of prepping {mostly because you go out Wednesday to hang with the “old buddies” and hoop it up because everyone is home} or simply because we are hosting and that could be traumatizing enough depending on the situation. In any case, my anecdote is some really delicious craft beer and local bubbles.   Here are my must haves for this Thanksgiving, whether it be to get you through or to pair with your dish, these treats will do the trick.  St. Florians’s IPA:  a hometown brew. When they first started selling their awesome craft beer, we were conveniently having our wedding so we were able to get a keg for the party! Next up is the Wunderlust IPA from one of my favorite breweries in Portland: Breakside. In a recent venture to PDX we sought out Breakside and it was the best thing we did that day! The bartender passed us this hoppy delight from behind the bar because we seemed like we were serious beer drinkers and really loved the hops. It’s not on tap but I highly recommend a bottle to accompany any part of this Thanksgiving feast, especially the prep. Finally, something very close to my heart, the Harvest Moon Sparkling Gewurztraminer. Now, I may be bias to this exceptional bottle of bubbles because my dear, dear friend Erin { @SparklingLover} is the main gal there BUT I do have to say, I have had many great holidays with this in hand. It’s well balanced, fruit forward, dry and crisp. Harvest Moon’s bubbles pair beautifully with any classic or new/hip recipe for the holiday season. A must have. So, that’s what I choose to have in my glass while I create the deliciousness that will be my Thanksgiving feast tomorrow.

beer

The Honeymoon Trip

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Our honeymoon was chalked full of fun EVERY single day. We are fortunate that we have so many people that love us so we had lot’s of friends to meet up with and my hubby is fortunate that his new wife loves baseball and beer!

We started our adventures in Chicago- the San Francisco Giants were playing the Cubs and we both have wanted to go to Wrigley Field, so that was perfect!

Arriving in Chicago, late at night- stuck in traffic and it was cold and raining. We did not expect much less than that though because it was April. After checking into a cute hotel in the Gold Coast district, we went on our mission to find the one beer we both had been yearning for since Vinny: brewer/Owner shared one with us at Russian River’s Pliny the Younger release in February: Hop Slam. Bell’s Brewery makes it and they just don’t make enough for us out in California to ever see.

This hoppy treat was naturally even better on tap than it was in the bottle from the hands of one of my favorite brewers!

The #Honeymoontrip was off to a fantastic start!!

With the rain and glum, we decided to rent a car and take a road trip into Michigan to Kalamazoo for Bell’s Brewing. A long drive through cities and towns filled with tumbleweeds, power plants, and, truck stops.

 IMAGE_2F43E5F1-A62D-41D4-8849-DC5218A7107A.JPG IMAGE_20B9D166-7091-4D89-84D3-51F422738DF7.JPG IMAGE_77C223AB-B5DE-45BD-A6B7-08BF8C2D5C5F.JPG IMAGE_C873C0EC-8114-470D-8A9B-0B4DD3E8CDB9.JPG IMAGE_99BC3E42-81DC-4BB3-BAE2-62AE8E837157.JPG IMAGE_5D81E5D8-A711-44C3-882D-CCFFD9BCC83B.JPG IMAGE_90838460-6FF7-44B7-B563-00C0B073D07B.JPG IMAGE_01BE8925-CB89-49E5-8EF9-F5CB3444A7D6.JPG IMAGE_B68CC60C-3001-421B-9522-BF619D56B62B.JPG Bell’s Brewing was everything we thought it would be and more. There is the brewery there and then next door is their general store where they sell all of the products to make beer, all of their beers {except for Hop Slam and other limited brews}, clothing, and all sorts of fun stuff. The entrance to the brewery was modest and it is  not until we made it to the back to look around that we saw how large it really is: outdoor patio, stage and lots of seating. Inside thy have a kitchen to order food {separate from the bar} and then the bartender will pour samples of the beers in samplers of four. We opted to taste ALL of the beers, since we would not be coming back anytime soon. Bell’s was amazing. The beer is delicious. All of their beers have character, body, wonderful flavors, and seem like they were made with love.

After such an amazing experience at Bell’s we went on to Munster Indiana and stopped at Three Floyd’s Brewery. By the time we arrived it was dark and raining and the place was really difficult to find {much like any of the microbreweries we visit} but worth the search when we walked in. We were greeted by a large biker looking man who was acting as the host {I imagine his bouncer responsibilities come into play later in the evenings as the crowds get rowdy}. We sat watching one of those cheesy Japanese fighting movies where the girls are overly risque and the guys chop off limbs and blood squirts out like a water hose. Perfect for the rough-like environment. The beers were off the hook.

 

Our adventures continued as we watched the Giants squash the Cubs on a {sideways} rainy day. Wrigley Field was something: small and in the middle of a neighborhood. It was not like anything we had been to before. We were excited to get our hands on one of the world famous “Chi-Dogs”. We had one at the Cubs stadium in Arizona for Spring Training but the original was mind blowing. I am not sure that neon green relish is good for me but it sure rocked my world!

 

We went about our trip seeing the sites, eating the deep dish pizza, drinking the beers we were only able to find in the Midwest. We found great gastropubs with honest character: the kind of places that clearly have not seen a dust rag in years and places that have not been cleaned since before cigarettes were still legal to smoke inside.

 

After five days of the windy city, we were ready to break out our swim suits and flip flops and head to Miami, Florida.

 

 

We did much of our trip on a whim so the night before leaving Chicago, I found us an great apartment on the beach in Miami by turning to my trusted friend: AirBnB. We arrived at our building and the first thing we see are these massively tall, big breasted African American woman all standing around outside. There were twenty or thirty of them, they were beautiful and I was not sure where we were… we walked inside to find marble floors, mirrored glass walls and cobalt blue and crystal chandeliers. This placed screamed for a makeover. As ostentatious as the entrance was {girls and all} the apartment was stunning and had the view to boot. I realized that Miami Beach was sort of like what I see on CSI Miami as far as the look of the people 🙂

 

 

 

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We found really great seats the the Marlin’s game and they were playing the Phillie’s so we thought, why not go and cheer on the Marlin’s? The stadium was crisp and clean. The top was covered so the air stayed cool and comfortable. We watched the Phillie’s annihilate the Marlin’s. Too bad they Marlin’s could not play that terrible against my Giants.

Florida was fun. We took the scenic drive down to the keys and stopped at a couple of funky places on the way. A great find was in the key’s: M.E.A.T. Eatery & Taproom. Great duck fat fries and great beers on tap.

The Florida Keys were absolutely gorgeous. Seeing all of the alligators was exciting and terrifying all at once. Those suckers are huge and when they started looking our way and swimming near, we took off!

The Cigar City Brewing was one of our favorites. There was a man sitting at one side of the pub rolling cigars the entire time were there. It smelled so rustic and hoppy in there and the bartender, she was a true craftbeer lover: fun to talk to and gave us recommendations for other cool places to go for local beers.

Florida was fun, we found an awesome spot down the street from our next house we stayed at on Davis Island. This place was one of the only spots we found with multiple televisions and the bartender had no problem changing it to the Giants game for us. Here, the special was “Whiskey”, my kind of place! And…they had these insane nachos: cheese, blue cheese, fried chicken, and hot sauce. They sounded so insane, I had to get them! Wow, delicious- definitely a good combo with the whiskey.

The trip thus far had been a blast but it was time to head to New York, my favorite city!! My hubby was so excited to see our friend Shawn {Manager at Brooks Brothers} that he let Shawn dress him in their new Gatsby line!

We met some very cool people through Instagram and hooked up with them at The Brickyard gastropub. Drew was rad- he was a total craftbeer geek like us and had lists of places we should go, set us up with the ultimate tasting of Widmer Brothers hard to find beers and sent us home with really beautiful beer glasses, one being the Dogfish Head IPA glass. Let’s just say hubby was in heaven.

The weather was fantastic. Our friend came from Boston and took us to a New York Mets game, touring through Brooklyn and to the Peekskill Brewery up on the Hudson River.

The trip would not have been complete without a stop over at the funky, old bar Mc Sorley’s where they serve only two kinds of beer: Light and Dark and there is so much head, they serve it in two glasses.

After two weeks of traveling, eating, drinking good beer and hanging with friends; our trip was over and as much fun as it was, we needed to come home!

A vacation was needed after our vacation :).

Eleven Madison

Eleven Madison was by far the best dining experience thus far. From the moment we sat down, not receiving a menu, being completely surprised, sitting next to my hubby and enjoying every single bite- this restaurant was like a dream!

The Picnic Basket of cheese made especially for the restaurant, as well as the craft beer made from Ithaca that is only available at this restaurant!

Each course was incredible, from the surprise in the box to the 140 day dry aged beef and the palate pleasing beef broth we were given to sip on to get us ready for the beef course! WOW.

 

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#BottleShareAwesomeness

My hubby and I have had a great few months. We went to Spring Training with our pals, brought back a ton of awesome craftbeers from Total Wine in Arizona. Then we went on our honeymoon to Chicago, Michigan, Indiana, Florida, New Jersey and New York. We brought back beers from all of those places too. We enjoyed an epic bottle share with some friends that added many other beers to the mix. It was a night of many beers and many laughs. Where to begin…

 

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And for my very favorite…

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We must have opened 40 bottles! What an experience!