Tag Archives: Beer

Beer Flavors

17 Jun

When you drink a beer you do it mainly for taste. Nobody likes tasting a crappy beer, but each of us enjoy certain beer types with flavors that appeal to our taste buds the most while also quenching our thirsts.  Beer types can vary from IPA, Wheat, Pale Ale, Brown Ale and so on.

It’s often difficult to describe the flavors you are tasting, or know their origins and how it all fully impacts the taste and quality of the beer you are drinking.

Here’s something that should hopefully help you better determine the flavors of the beer(s) you are tasting.

This is a Beer Flavor Wheel taken from the book Craft Beer World by Mark Dredge

Beer Flavor Wheel

Beers and Pubs in Amsterdam

1 Aug

I recently traveled to Amsterdam for work during June and again in July and found the food and dining there to be absolutely outstanding!  So many choices of great food and beverages were to be found everywhere all within walking distance while staying at the city center in Amsterdam.

This is the beginning of a series of articles and photography of restaurants and pubs I visited during my travels to London and Amsterdam in June and July of 2013.

This first in a series of foodie related photos I’ll be posting. This first set are photos of various brew pubs and beers that I visited and tried while in Amsterdam.

FLB Entertainment Center and FLB Sports Bar & Casino

30 Jul

Folsom is fortunate to have a long time family owned and operated bowling alley that has been around for many years and over the past several, has evolved into a state of the art family entertainment bowling center.

Come check out the new FLB Entertainment Center, with comfy couches, and a remodeled bowling center & party room.  You can now reserve bowling lanes directly through their website!  www.FLB365.com

Located in the very same complex you will also find (for the adults) FLB Sports Bar & Casino which has a new 20 tower super cold draft system featuring many great local craft beers.  Did you know they have been voted Best Sports Bar 5 years in a row now.  (why haven’t you been there yet?)

Watch all your favorite sporting events & UFC fights on one of their 37 HD TV’s & their New GIANT 80″ LED HD TV for the best viewing experience in town!

FLB Casino has a very popular $1,000 guaranteed tournament every Saturday starting at 8:00pm only $15 to get in! (ask Floor person for details). They offer Texas Hold’em, Double Deck Black Jack & 3 Card Poker daily.

FLB Entertainment Center & FLB Sports Bar & Casino are located at:

511 E. Bidwell St.
Folsom, Ca 95630
T: 916.983.4411


Worthy Brewing in Bend, Oregon

5 Apr

In case you were not aware, there are a lot of breweries in Bend, Oregon.

You’ve probably heard of Deschutes Brewery and maybe 10 Barrel, Good Life, Cascade Lakes Brewing, Boneyard, Solstice, Silver Moon or one of the other of the many breweries in Bend. There are a lot.  Personally, I’ve been to nearly all of them over the past year while traveling for work in the area, it’s been fun exploring the culinary scene there.


Well, I have to tell you that now, there’s a brand new brewery that just opened in Bend – called Worthy Brewing Company and I have to note that it is now #1 in my book for best  Brew Pub in Bend Oregon.

Worthy is located at 495 NE Bellevue Drive, Bend, Oregon http://www.worthybrewing.com/

This brewery and restaurant are a sight to see, it’s a large industrial modern building with an outdoor raised bed hop garden, hop green house, a full scale brewery and a very nice restaurant section.  The wood rafters and the bar top in the restaurant are all made from recovered wood from an old insane asylum in Oregon where the movie “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” was filmed.  So right from the start, this place already has built-in history, that’s pretty cool.  Needless to say the ambiance is outstanding.

Worthy Brewing Company

Hop Garden

They have a very good seasonal chalk board beer menu at Worthy. They not only serve their own beers, which are all very good, they also have guest taps with other beers and ciders from all over the west.

Beer List

The food is what really pushes this place to #1 from day 1. It is outstanding! They have a really nicely tiled wood fired pizza oven that they use to make great tasting pizza’s and entree’s.  I’ve been there 4x’s so far and every thing I’ve eaten has been excellent.  Some of their pizza’s have a wow factor with their creativity using a melding of delicious ingredients with a great tasting wood fired pizza crust.

Irish Pizza

To round it all out, service was impeccable.  I could not have asked for anything better.  My beer glass never ever sits empty, and my food is always served promptly.

Two big thumbs up for Worthy Brewing Company!


36 Handles Pub & Eatery, El Dorado Hills CA

28 Dec


Richard Righton has done it again! The owner of the successful Bidwell Street Bistro in Folsom, and Relish Burger Bar in El Dorado Hills has opened his 3rd restaurant (nearly next door to Relish) called 36 Handles Irish Pub & Eatery, and from our first visit I can tell you right now that Richard has done it again – this place is great!

36 Handles is an Irish Pub with an upscale decor that is noticeable as soon as you see the ornate wood red and black doors at the entrance. Upon stepping inside it’s like being transported to Ireland, this place truly has the look and feel of an authentic Irish Pub – it’s very nicely done with excellent quality furnishings and interesting wall hangings. The bar itself is a sight to behold, you don’t see really cool large wood bars like that very much anymore and this one is great, and very well equipped.

The staff and the service deserve special notice because we could not have wished for better service then we received at 36 Handles on our first visit today, simply put – the service was outstanding.

From the minute we sat down at our table in the bar area, we were handed menus and a minute or two later we had our drink orders in. Our waitress was very attentive and had a really great attitude. I’ll discuss the food later, for now I want to tell you more about the great service. My wife’s order of fish and chips came out wrong, she ordered panko crusted instead of traditional but that was no problem and did not end up being an issue, in fact it helped us experience another level of service that is sometimes awkward. Our waitress immediately took care of the mix up and promptly kept us informed on the status of the order every few minutes and she even brought over a plate of fries until the new order of fish and chips arrived. That mix up was easily forgotten when getting to experience this kind of top notch service.

The beer list is great with lots of excellent choices of beers of all types, and what’s really amazing is that for an Irish BEER Pub, they have a pretty good selection of good wines too! My wife enjoyed a nice Hess Chardonnay while I had a Kroenenbourg beer.

Photo from 36 Handles Website

The menu has a nice selection of traditional pub fare and more. For food I tried the Corn Beefed Reuben Sandwich made of marble rye, corned beef, white cheddar, braised cabbage, whole grain & served with pub fries. My wife had the fish and chips with Cod (there are 3 choices of fish) and she had it panko style (it’s also served traditional style).

My wife and I have had some pretty good fish and chips at another local restaurant lately, so that was what we used as a benchmark to measure how well 36 Handles makes their fish and chips. The results were immediately recognized, the fish and chips at 36 Handles BEAT the competition! The flavor was outstanding, the sauce amazing and the fish was cooked absolutely perfectly, very nice and flaky and tasty.

36 Handles, has it all – great ambiance, great service AND great food – two thumbs up here! We will be back – often!

36 Handles Pub & Eatery
1010 White Rock Rd.
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
(916) 941-3606




10 Barrel Brewery, Bend Oregon

17 Dec


Next time you’re in Bend Oregon, stop by 10 Barrel Bewery and try their great beers and food. More to follow.

Most Interesting Tasting Beer

15 Dec

I happened to be sitting in the Whole Foods Beir Garden enjoying a Lockdown Brewing Company beer when I spied a strange looking pink beer bottle.  Upon closer look I found it to be a beer by Rogue Ales called Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale.


I had to try it.  Bought it and later that night had a tasting and wow! The super incredible smokey maple bacon flavors were intense and very flavorful.  This was the most interesting and unique beer I’ve ever tasted.

Here’s what Rogue says about their beer:

Rogue Ales has collided with Voodoo Doughnut to create Bacon Maple Ale! This unique creation contains a baker’s dozen number of ingredients including bacon and maple syrup from one of Voodoo’s signature doughnuts.

To add, if you enjoy smoked foods, you must try this beer. It may be hard to find, but if it is stock at your local store, you won’t miss that pink bottle in the beer section.  This beer would taste good with a variety of foods, from entree’s to deserts.

Urban Dog & Sausage

26 Aug
Urban Dog & Sausage

Located at 424 E. Bidwell in Folsom, this restaurant specializes in hot dogs, sausages, burgers and beef.

Urban Dog & Sausage has got a festive industrial meets neighborhood ambiance with plenty of tables and a very friendly staff. You select your dog off the chalk board, place your order at the counter and select your table and wait for one of the most tasty hot dogs you’ve ever had. Beer and wine is also available, including one of my favorites on tap: Shocktop

Below are a few selections from the menu, many of these are very creative concoctions. All dogs are the best brand on the planet – Vienna Beef.

The Chicago Dog $3.39
Frankfurter, yellow mustard, onions, neon relish, tomatoes, pickle, sport pepper, poppyseed bun, and celery salt

The Coney Dog $3.69
Frankfurter, meat sauce, yellow mustard, onions, poppyseed bun

Da Capone $3.79
Frankfurter, pastrami, yellow mustard, pickle, poppyseed bun

Barbie Dog $3.49
Frankfurter, barbeque sauce, smoked bacon, fried onion strands

Folsom Bulldog $3.39 
Frankfurter, mustard, grilled onions, tomato, jalapeno-lime aioli, cilantro

Royale with Cheese $4.09
Juicy stuffed double stuffed burger, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, yellow mustard

Maxwell Street Spicy Polish $4.19
Hickory smoked beef sausage, yellow mustard, grilled onions, sport Peppers, poppyseed bun

The Govna $4.19
Beer bratwurst, Dussledorf brown mustard, grilled onions or sauerkraut, Steamed roll

The Balboa $4.19
Mild Italian pork sausage, marinara, fresh mozzarella, steamed roll

Check ‘em out at …

424 E. Bidwell St. Folsom
(916) 984-1003

Manderes Re-Visited

3 Aug

Manderes Re-visited
Manderes has relocated! New Address is 1004 E. Bidwell
(near Bidwell Street Bistro, Target Center)

One of my favorite beer joints / restaurants in Folsom is a small (now larger) pub and grill at 1004 E. Bidwell, Suite 600 called Manderes. They have a motto that says “No Crap on Tap” and they mean it. This place is just like Cheers. Brent (pictured above), the owner, along with staff members Avalon, Lindsay, Tim and the rest of the crew are super friendly and always make you feel welcomed in their “home”

Manderes only serves the best of the best beers and wines, and their food is very good.Some of their great beers include my favorites: Alagash, Leinenkugel, Anderson Valley, Deschutes, Lagunitas and at least 100 more choices between on tap and bottled.

I’ve had a lot of fun going to this place over the past 3 years since they opened and once a month they (used to but soon will again) host a really fun beer tasting event that always packs the house. They usually showcase a brand or style of beer each time that includes a tasting of the best selections along with an entree’ for $18. It’s held on the 2nd Wedensday of every month

If you’re ever in the Folsom area, I highly recommend you all check out this restaurant and bar.

They have daily food specials consisting of grilled salmon, pork chops, and more, and their regular menu consists of such tasty dishes as Chimay Glazed Chicken, Korean Bulgogi (which you know I like) and they do up a really great steak, ribs, shrimp and more.

Be sure to try their cheesecake blintz dessert sometime too!

Another thing to note about this great little place, they’ve won many awards since opening: They’re in the list of Draft magazines Top 200 bars in the NATION, they were ranked in Sacramento Magazine as one of the best things to do in the Sacramento area. They won KCRA 13′s Best Beer Selection in Sacramento, and they have won several times for Best Bar in MyFolsom.com’s Best of Folsom selection.

Check out Manderes at:
1004 E. Bidwell Street
Suite 600
Folsom, CA. 95630
(916) 986-9655

Folsom’s New Beer Garden and Grill

12 Mar

Last night the misses and I went out to visit Folsom’s newest gastropub, The Beer Garden and Grill at 6608 Folsom-Auburn Rd. Folsom, CA 95630  (no website yet).   They opened a week ago and have so far received some fairly good reviews from locals.   Folsom could use another pub being that our two favorites (Manderes and Samuel Horne’s) tend to get fairly packed on weekends and can sometimes be hard to get into, so new alternatives are good to have as options in case a Plan B is needed when going out on the weekends.

Unfortunately we found ourselves very disappointed by the Beer Garden and Grill, I’ll call this Strike One.

The menu and list of beers, wines and concoctions looked good, and I bet any of the items would have been good…. if only we could have been able to order something.

We ended up leaving after being unable to get any service at both the bar and at a table that we later got.

I know they’re still new and I like to give the benefit of the doubt and try to be patient and it looked like they had plenty of waitresses… but apparently none of them know how to give good service (yet).  Good looks are nice, but intelligence and knowing how to take care of customers is a lot more important to help achieve success with any restaurant.

Unfortunately after a period of time, bad service becomes a serious pet peeve of mine.  I have no patience at all for poor service…or in this case, no service at all.

I always give at least 15 minutes before giving up (I even set a timer for it).  I’m not asking for much, I just want to order something… I mean come on, at least stop and acknowledge our presence and let us know you’ll be back to take our order later!  This is why I don’t got to the Sports Garage anymore either, the service is bad there too.  Went with 6 friends a month ago, we were 1 of only 2 tables and we always had to go find the one waiter/bartender/cook guy to get refills, order food and get our bill.

When I spend money going out, I want it to be money well spent on having a good time enjoying good food, drink and service – I don’t want it to be a hassle in any way.

We ended up leaving the Beer Garden Grill without getting anything and it will be a while before we go back to give them another try, it seems they still have a lot of work to do with their wait staff.

We then drove over to Samuel Horne’s in old town Folsom (on Sutter Street) and had a great time!  Even though you have to go to the bar to order, we can always count on good food, a good choice of beers and a nice friendly staff that will take our food and beverage order right away. Same with Manderes, it may cost a little more there, but the food, beer AND service is top notch and well worth it and that’s why Manderes remains my favorite place in town – because they know how to do everything right.

Having both good food AND good service is the only way any restaurant is going to survive, and that’s why Manderes and Sam Horne’s are still doing great and why I will continue to go support those places.

Maybe the owner of the Beer Garden should send his waitresses over to Manderes to see how good service works and how it makes a restaurant successful.

The Beer Garden and Grill does have potential and it’s in a nice location with lots of outdoor patio space which will be great to hang out at during the summer, I just hope they can get their wait staff up to speed because poor service will always keep me away.


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