I had my first drink as a teenager. In college I drank a bit more. I have tried many types of drinks in the bar and at parties, from daiquiris to mixed drinks, but have always returned to beer.
In college I did like drinking a little tequila sometimes in Mexico; I believe that it was an atmosphere thing. We’d go down to San Diego and then drive the additional 30 minutes to the border of Mexico to visit “TJ”, a short name for Tijuana, for dancing and drinking from the ages of 18 years old to 20 years old since they have a lower drinking age. We’d hop in a taxi to the street Avenida Revolucion and the party would begin from the many bars and night clubs to pick from. The waiters in the bars would go around with cheap tequila, pour a little bit down your throat, shake your head back and forth, and blow whistles. Youth, that seems so unappealing now!
My girlfriends in college also preferred beer. To this day we still are beer drinkers. Last year we did a micro-brewery beer tour with Santa Barbara, California as our home base. We had a great time leaving our husbands and kids for two days, one night and meeting up for girl time!! Most people visiting this area are looking to do a ‘Sideways Tour’ (based on the movie “Sideways” which visits the wine country of San Ynez Valley), we were not. Being the organizer of our tour I opted for a beer tour. I later found out that one of my friends was now allergic to hops, which is a flavoring agent and key ingredient in beer. Yikes!!
I found a nice 2 bedroom suite hotel in downtown Santa Barbara for us to stay. We began our day by eating lunch and having drinks at a Mexican restaurant near our hotel. Returning to the hotel to our hired limousine awaited us to begin our private tour. We stocked the limo with beer, wine, snacks and music. Cruising around Santa Barbara, Solvang and Buellton we visited some great breweries and wine bars. After visiting a brewery in Santa Barbara city limits we headed on the road to my favorites of the day:
1. Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Buellton. We had appitizers here, some great beer flutes, and great conversation. I also picked up some stuff in the souvenir shop. I highly recommend this spot.
2. The Wondering Dog Wine Bar in Solvang. They have a mix of beer and wine. I chose this spot for my friend now allergic to hops. Solvang is a cute Danish town so it was nice to see the surroundings from our limousine and be in the downtown district.
We returned home after 7 hours of fun touring the micro-breweries of the Santa Barbara area. We dined, danced and had a great evening catching up. I cooked breakfast in the morning; we did a hike, and headed back home. Can’t wait until the next tour— so far we’ve done wine tour in Napa and Sonoma counties, and a beer tour of Santa Barbara and San Ynez counties, maybe next time it’ll be a club tour of Las Vegas!
Abroad I’ve tried some good beers too. Favorite types/locations include:
1. The framboise beer I first tried in Belgium. It’s a raspberry beer, not too sweet. Can be bought in other countries (including the USA) as well.
2. German beer is always good, especially when drunk in Germany. The best location I’ve experienced was at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich, Germany. I visited here on my first Europe tour after college and we had to down a liter of beer in a little over an hour. That experience along with eating a giant German pretzel is still a great memory.
Right now I have some beer in the refrigerator waiting for a nice evening to drink. I definitely don’t drink all the fancy beers out there, but I’ve definitely moved away from my Budweiser days.
Topic tomorrow: Why can’t I keep my house clean??