Campo di Bocce – Sport, food and beer

Campo di Bocce Located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains just south of San Jose is the small town of Los Gatos. Los Gatos is a well known town in the South Bay for being as small as it is. The town is known for beautiful scenery, great restaurants, a nice downtown, and highway 9.

I recently attended an event at Campo di Bocce. I was very excited because I love playing bocce ball. The only thing I knew about the place is they had great bocce courts and host the Madden / Mariucci battle of the bay charity bocce tournament every year where many 49er and Raider players and alumni play. http://www.maddenmariuccibocce.com

They have a impressive selection of Italian and craft beer for a venue of its type. I highly recommend this place!

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Ass Kisser Ales – Zeedonka and Stubborn Jack

I came upon these beers a my local grocery outlet. First I saw Stubborn jack and thought that sounds cool, what is it. I saw it was a smoked Porter and I love porters. Then I saw the price. $4.99 for a four pack? That is cheep I have to try it. Then the next isle they had another ass kisser beer, a Vanilla Pale ale called Zeedonka and its $4.99 a four pack also? Oh yeah it’s on. 

I looked up this brewery and Ass Kisser Ales is a family owned company owned by Ass Kisser Beverage company and they contract brew with Mendincino brewing Co in Ukia, CA

Zeedonka – Vanilla Pale Ale – ABV 5.5% – Golden yellow color with a nice foamy white head. The scent has a good amount of vanilla extract. I was a little put off because I didn’t smell any hops. The taste is light and clean with a creamy vanilla flavor. The beer is thinner then most pale ales but that makes it taste even more like cream soda in beer form. I also don’t taste any hops. I like it. It’s a good beer with a good twist. I give it 3.75 out of 5 

  

Stubborn Jack – Smoked Porter – ABV 6% – The color is black as midnight with a thin tan head with no lacing. The scent is strong of smoked malt. The mouth feel is pretty thin but the smoked flavor is good without being over powering. If there was ever a session smoked porter, this is a perfect one. It’s a strong beer. I give it a 3.75 out of 5. 

  
I am a new fan of Ass Kisser ales! Both these beers were very strong, good session beers and for the price I would take that all day, any day. I even told some beer heads about them. 

Current Craft beer craze, Is it a fad or will it last?

Craft beer in the United States has been booming the last couple years. Just in a year it has grown to new heights than it ever has before. Will this be like the craft beer boom of the early to mid nineties? At that time many great breweries were started like speakeasy and Stone, but most weren’t as lucky and were crushed or bought out by the big beer companies.

During the current craft beer and micro brewery boom, bolder, unusual, and interesting ingredients are being experimented with. Those who crave new and interesting flavors like food lovers, chocolate seekers and wine tasters started to enjoy craft beer. For people that have loved good beer for a long time like me this is an especially exciting time with craft beer in more liquor stores and more than double the craft beer bars and drinking establishments. Even long time great beer establishments like Harry’s Hofbrau have joined the revolution by having weekly tap take overs and pint nights.

California has always been a big beer brewing state but it has grown with the current beer boom. With LA area and SF Bay Area being huge hot spots. San Francisco beer week in February was huge with events all over the entire Bay Area multiple events everyday stretching from Santa Cruz to Santa Rosa. Old smaller breweries like Anchor Steam in San Francisco has been able to return to its heights of its past with opening a second large brewery location. It will be a brewery, museum and restaurant by AT&T park on pier 48. They are starting construction late 2014 and will open in 2016.

Imported beer used to be the way you would get a full flavored beer and domestic was just your basic Budweiser, Coors, and Miller. That is not the case anymore, beer in the United States has made a huge leap in beer flavor and boldness. Even foreign beer companies now can sell their full flavored beers in the US now. Before, these foreign companies like Guinness and New Castle had to make toned down bland versions of their beer to sell in the United States. This was done to be able to sell their beer in the US but now Guinness can sell their Foreign Stout in the US which is the Guinness you get in the UK.

I’m lucky to have some beer lovers around me like my boss who goes to the Harry Hofbrau beer events often, shares amazing beers he gets with me, and drinks with me in Memphis every year. My great friend Bryan in Memphis who I get to drink with in Las Vegas and Memphis every year and his wife has great taste in beer too (Hi Melissa). I also have 3 other apartments with neighbors like craft beer in my building of 8. We will have bottle shares every once in awhile and even random sometimes. So I am luck to share my love of craft beer with others and I love to share beer I have with others.

Most of my friends I grew up with only drink coors light and drink a whole lot of it. That’s how most beer in this country gets sold Budweiser, Miller, Coors with light crisp watery beer.
I don’t get it the stuff just taste like water with a hint of hops and barley but not enough to really taste the hops or barley. Most of my friends just call craft beer I drink “ale” or “molasses” ignorantly. I have been taking 21st Amendment beer with me to give away to my friend and most have gotten into their Hell or high watermelon.

With the majority of this country drinking watered down American lagers , craft beer being higher priced, the big beer companies working to take out the little guys, and the economy being do volatile can these beer companies survive? Can craft beer thrive? Will full flavored American beers always be around? I hope so on all counts I am a beer lover and a lover of flavor. Long live craft beer!!

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21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon and Bitter American

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21st Amendment is a local brewery in San Francisco, CA. They have been gaining more and more attention in beer blogs and the craft beer scene. Their big thing is Craft beer in a can which threw me for a loop but I kept an open mind and just wanted to judge them on the brew its self. I got a 6 pack of each Beer from my beer drinking partner. The 6 pack box and each can has very cool with very pop culture almost street art drawings on each one.

21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon
Fruit beer- ABV 4.9%
I cracked the can it smelled like a caned beer. I poured it its light like a American lager with a small white head. I smells like a normal American lager from a can. The taste is watermelon for sure but very light, not much hops kinda like a light lager. The color is light golden but you cannot see through it. It has a nice consistent white lacing. It’s a good fruit beer but too light for my taste.

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21st Amendment Bitter American
American Pale Ale- ABV 4.4%
I expected a much darker beer when I cracked the can and I was right. A darker golden color. I smelled it and said YES. It is a very strong hoppy smell kind of like a IPA. Thick white head with thick consistent white lacing. The taste is very hoppy and the bitter is on the back end only. I said to my wife when the beers in you mouth it’s not bitter it’s just very hoppy, the hops are strong with this one like a Jedi. I really really like this one. I find it to be a complex hoppy strong Pale Ale. My drinking partner thinks its too bitter but I don’t. Its not like bitter fosters which is too bitter to drink for me.

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