Sunday, April 21, 2013

Booze Bus

Every couple of year our home brew club likes to put together a club-sponsored group outing. Two years ago the club rented a tour bus and did a pub crawl through Sacramento. It was such a hit, officers of the group put together another pub crawl this year for the first 80 members to sign up that took us through Nevada County and eventually over to the Roseville/Sacramento area. Yesterday we met in Chico at 8:30 a.m. since we were supposed to be leaving at "9:00 a.m. sharp", but seeing as how club members were spending that first half-an-hour drinking their breakfasts (i.e. mimosas, bloody mary's, gin & tonics, coffee and Irish cream, etc) we couldn't actually get ourselves together enough to leave until 9:15 a.m. which immediately put us behind schedule and set the tone for the rest of the day. As we loaded up on the bus, each of us were handed a lunch bag with our names on it that had a plastic drinking cup, bottled water, and some snacks.
Drinking's allowed on charter buses, so beer was flowing before we even pulled out of the parking lot.
Our first stop was at Ol' Republic Brewery in Nevada City. They had graciously agreed to open an hour early for us, had put together samplers for us at a reduced rate, and gave us a great little spiel about their new (14 months old) business.

Our next stop, and lunch location, was at Auburn Alehouse. They were located in Auburn's historic downtown district and was already packed with their lunch rush which made us very grateful that we had their outdoor patio reserved and had already given them our lunch orders. But, as with any big group such as ours, it takes considerable time to serve that many people and get the bills sorted which only put us further behind schedule.
Once we were stuffed with food and ready for a nap, we soldiered on to Loomis Basin Brewery.

Loomis was our favorite brewery as far as the atmosphere was concerned. They had plenty of indoor room as well as a whole back yard patio area where they had picnic tables set up covered with tents to protect you from the sun. Plus, their stout wasn't too bad either! After LBB, we headed over to Roseville and stopped at the Roseville Brewing Company which was a tiny, roll-up door warehouse operation that was actually our Sacramento area drop-off for entries in our upcoming home brew competition.

Even though the place was small, hot, and crowded with people from a local rugby match, I think it had the best beer selections. The Canadian had a smoked amber, which we found out later had been smoked with bacon, and apparently their stout (with cinnamon) was a group favorite. Now I wished I'd asked to take a sip of somebody's!

Our last stop of the evening was at Track 7, south of South Sacramento which sounded like that was not a good thing. Again, another roll-up door warehouse operation that was hot and didn't have very good selections. I talked the boy into getting their stout, so that I could take a sip or two, and neither of us ended up liking it nor did anybody else who'd picked it also.
We could have left this place off the crawl and not missed a thing. Seriously. There was nothing redeeming about this place other than we ended up having some conversations with club members we hadn't spoke with before. We finally headed home around 7:00 pm which got us back to Chico around 9:00 pm. Although the boy enjoyed trying some new breweries, neither of us feel the need to do any club sponsored pub crawls again in the future. The group tends to get loud and obnoxious by late afternoon and neither of us can stand that behavior. If Chris wanted to watch people get shit-faced and obnoxious, he'd just stay home and watch me drink orange juice with whipped cream flavored vodka all day. At least that's free!

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