A Tribute to Stone Brewing

This is a love story about a boy who met a brewery who introduced him to a whole new world. This is a tribute to the Stone Brewery in San Diego, California. Stone embodies the vision of what I see craft beer culture to be. Before Stone, I was wasting money on what Stone’s founder, Greg Koch, likes to call “fizzy yellow beer.” To me, there are two rock stars in craft beer. You have Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head, who is your nice guy leader from the East Coast. Then you have Greg Koch of Stone Brewing, who is your arrogant warrior from the West Coast. I grew up learning the way of the warrior.

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Sipping Vs. Chugging

When I was younger, my priorities used to be a little different from what they are now, especially with beer. I remember the good old days when we would all go out and buy a bunch of the cheapest beer we could find just to get drunk. The one thing I definitely remember was chugging the beer like there was no tomorrow. The reasons were mixed. We wanted to get drunker…faster. We didn’t want to taste the beer after it reached anywhere above 40 degrees. Blech! Plus, in big groups, you almost had to drink fast to make sure no one else drank your share. Just look at how we have evolved. We are enjoying craft beer at tastings, beer dinners, and in the comfort of our home. We even ask ourselves whether we are going to drink something hoppy, malty, bold, or light.

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No Brand Loyalty

If you’ve read my blog on feeling like a kid in a toy store a few months back, you’ll understand that I have a serious problem with making decisions on which beers to buy and drink. I sometimes find myself to be completely overwhelmed at bars with a great craft beer selection. It sounds like a bad thing; but it isn’t. It is a testament to the beauty that is the craft beer revolution. Quite often, I will end up choosing a beer I have never had so I can take this opportunity to try a new brewery or style. I look back upon my favorites of all time and tell them quietly, “I’m sorry. I’ll come back next time.” What is it about this lack of brand loyalty and why it really shouldn’t even matter? More

The Curiously Light Stout

Picture yourself at the bar, ordering a drink with dinner. Let’s assume you are trying to keep your evening light and fit. You order a glass of red wine to pair with your medium rare, but gently charred steak salad. Congratulations! You’ve ordered an adult beverage that ranges between 90 and 120 calories. But wait! What’s this? The bartender tells you that you could have a pint of Guinness Stout for 125 calories. Plus, the alcohol content sits at a relaxing 4%. Red wine is about 12.5%-16% ABV. So now you are having a glass of wine with your light dinner which will probably give you a little bit more of a buzz, which will now lead to you blowing a little higher than expected on your BAC test when the cop pulls you over tonight on your way home to catch the finale of Biggest Loser.

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New Year, New Mission

Ladies and gentlemen, California Castaway is back! It’s been a long Christmas vacation and we missed you guys. We have been doing some drinking and talking to make sure we are staying on track with what we promised in our Vision Statement. We want to share our passion for this crazy little thing called craft beer. We want more people to drink craft beer, not just because it tastes good, but because of the great men and women who brew. We will continue to emulate their efforts through quality, passion, commitment, and respect. Our expectations are high for 2011. We hope to meet those expectations through some minor changes. You will see more interesting blogs from Nico and Miguel. Our Beer Finder and Calendar will thrill you with all of the updated content by Jay. You will see many more reviews of beers that we come across. We will publish as many wallpapers, fun guides, and more as we can on the Freebies page for your enjoyment. We expect to have merchandise on sale soon so you too can sport your love of the craft beer lifestyle. We plan to connect to every valuable beer-related website on the Internet in order to give you the most education and news. And we will also be more involved in charity work to help support our local communities. We can’t do this all on our own though. We need all you other Castaways to let us know where we are succeeding and where we are failing. The message of craft beer is not coming from a single voice. That much should be clear through the diverse videos for “I Am a Craft Brewer” and I Am a Craft Beer Drinker”. We hope you enjoy 2011 as much as we plan to. Take care, and keep “Living the Craft Beer Lifestyle”.

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