Monday, February 14, 2011

Epic Adventure Down Under

So guess who's about to embark on a two month trip to New Zealand, Australia and Tahiti? It's ok to be jealous. Now, I know they won't exactly be Madison beer reviews, but I'm going to write about the beers down under anyway. Deal with it.

First stop on the trip: LA. My co-traveler and I are currently enjoying the patio at Belmont Brewing Co. in Long Beach, CA. First and foremost, you can't beat this view. The patio is directly above the beach overlooking the Pacific, with glass panels up to break up the wind coming in off of the ocean. And the temperature in the upper 60's right now (negative windchill in Wisconsin?)- I am one happy girl right now. But what about the beer??

Both the porter and the stout are solid. Nothing exceptional about either of them, but very good, very drinkable- nice, roasty and smooth, and relatively light bodied for their styles- which I think is a good thing considering the weather (we aren't dealing with Wisconsin winters here folks). My travel companion, JR, got the strawberry blonde and while I am not a fruit-beer fan, the strawberry is very subtle and really only in the forefront of the taste, while the blonde shines at the back of the throat and in the wonderful, bready aftertaste. Yum. The food here is also quite excellent: Asian-Mexican fusion seafood, which is apparently the big trend in LA right now. I got the Hawiian Poke wrap, with Asian slaw, avacado, ahi tuna and poke sauce with a mango salad on the side. So good (though probably paired better with the blonde than the porter). JR got the shrimp enchilladas, which were fantastic, though probably better paired with the pale ale. Eh- to each his own, right?

Tonight we're headed to Red Car Brewery in Redondo Beach before our 14 hours worth of flights to Auckland, NZ tonight. I'm skeptical about the beer options on the flights- may have to resort to vodka and sleeping pills. Happy travels!

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