First beer in the keg!

So we’ve made a beer. Our first one, a Brut IPA, was always going to be the one with all the mistake so it’s possible this one won’t see the light of day. The great thing is with brewing, of course, is that we won’t know until we try it – probably in about a […]


Ready. To. Brew.

Just as I was beginning to think it might never happen, the final missing piece of the brewery has arrived and we are, at last, ready to brew. We need to tell you all about our first brew day but before we do I know some of you will be interested in the kit. I […]


California 15: The Rare Barrel / Jupiter, Berkeley

It was with some sadness that we headed to Berkeley; grumpy kids the night before meant we didn’t get to go to the funky-looking brewery in San Jose that we wanted to visit (Uproar) plus we were moving into our last few days of holiday.We’d decided to visit Berkeley because we wanted to eat at […]


California 14: Firestone Walker, Paso Robles

We almost didn’t make it to Firestone Walker – we’d spent the morning at the fabulous Hearst Castle, built by billionaire newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, then popped to the nearby beach to marvel at the elephant seals lazing in the sun (spoiler, they’re huge!). Our kids were a bit grumpy and we almost pushed […]


California 12: The Bruery, Placentia (South LA, near Disney)

The Bruery. It’s the reason I was persuaded to come to California – literally; because when I looked at Disney I saw they were a mere ten minutes drive away. The Bruery are both prolific and excellent, and those two things don’t always go together. They are also really inventive and I always look forward […]


California 11: Draughtsman, Palm Springs

Vegas was so Vegas that there was a tv in the corner of our bathroom and a phone on the wall in the WC. To us Brits, this is the very height of decadence. Anyway, on our last morning there, the tv weather presenter delivered the news that temperatures that day would reach 110. Ho, […]


California 10: Vegas, Baby!

Ah Vegas! The city of conspicuous consumption of all things – water, neon, and of course money… A city where you can watch, astonished, as a man playing blackjack casually loses twenty chips to the dealer over a 90 second period. Then you realise each one is worth $1000. Still, we managed to tear ourselves away […]


California 9: Idle Hour / The Surly Goat, North LA

You may or may not know that California law means drinking under 21 is illegal, and many bars, well, bar young people. Particularly annoying for us, with two teens in tow – esp one who is nearly 19 – we were usually on the look out for inclusive bars and taphouses. But often a nearby […]


California 8: Verdugo West Brewing Company, North LA

There are many many breweries and fabulous bars in Los Angeles, and LA itself is absolutely massive. We decided to just be opportunistic and go to bars near to where we would be anyway, to try to maximise our time and not pretend we’d get everywhere we planned to go. Hence we ended up in […]