Dogs, Books, and Beer. Not necessarily in that order.


Full Sail SanctuaryI started the day out right, wandering downtown with Maddie and Jennifer after breakfast, stopping by Acre for a bittersweet (soy) mocha, checking out the Dia de los Muertos window displays, and then heading back home for some serious reading. Now I’m enjoying a Sanctuary–a Belgian-style Dubbel from Hood River, Oregon’s Full Sail Brewing–with music on the TV and a bit more reading planned. How’s Sanctuary stack up? Let’s see… Continue reading

Idiot IPA

Coronado Brewing Idiot IPAIt’s been a good week, with a handful of projects resolving nicely, good reviews on a couple of books I’ve recently worked on, and an e-mail to let me know that my short-short story “Jamie” will be appearing in next week’s issue of the North Bay Bohemian and that I’ll be reading the story at the Java Jive event at the Sebastopol Copperfield’s next Wednesday. Continue reading

Punkin Ale

Dogfish Head Punkin AleI’ve had Dogfish Head Punkin Ale recommended to me a few times lately. Not one to ignore a testimonial, not to mention being a fan of Dogfish Head’s other offerings, I had to try it. This one’s “a full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, & nutmeg.” And how can you not like the “punk” pumpkin on the bottleneck? Continue reading

Double Dog Double Pale Ale

Flying Dog Double Dog Double Pale AleOne of my biggest literary influences is Hunter S. Thompson. Progenitor of Gonzo journalism, unapologetic gun nut, and political raconteur, Doctor Thompson was a true American original. Flying Dog Brewery, originally of Aspen, CO, but now located in Frederick, MD, was started by Thompson’s friend and neighbor George Stranahan, and has distinguished itself as a brewer of Adult Beverages that exemplify a particularly Gonzo attitude. Continue reading

Hillbilly Blonde

Pale Horse Hillbilly BlondeEverybody loves the Farmer’s Daughter. She’s one of those great stock characters of literature (and the subject of more than a few dirty jokes, usually involving a Traveling Salesman). Depending in the needs of the narrative, she can be plucky, optimistic, and naïve, or seductive, manipulative, and dangerous. Continue reading

Smashed Pumpkin Ale

Shipyard Smashed PumpkinI read a Stephen King story this afternoon, which put me in mind of Maine. Which is funny, since I’ve never been to Maine, and really only know it via fiction. Namely, Stephen King’s fiction. Continue reading


New Belgium KickIt’s finally Fall, or so we discovered on our walk downtown this morning. Steelgray skies, the scent of rain in the air, leaves scattered on the ground. Halloween’s around the corner. And, of course, Petaluma’s autumnal bookends: the Antique Faire and the Petaluma Progressive Festival, were this weekend. Continue reading

Hopyard Dog

Pale Horse Hopyard DogI’ve said it before. Put a dog on the label, and you’ve got my attention. Pale Horse Brewing Company, from Salem, OR, have done just that with their Hopyard Dog IPA, putting a handsome bulldog front and center. I picked this one up at Petaluma Market yesterday evening after a conversation with Jeffrey the Beer Guy about Oregon’s ubiquitous microbreweries (“And I though we had a lot of breweries down here,” confessed Jeffrey, having just visited Portland). Continue reading


New Belgium ClutchI spent the nineties running a record store. Some would say into the ground, but I insist it was those far above me who had chosen that trajectory with their hedonistic ways and questionable life/business choices. But that pretty much epitomizes the decade.

You know what else epitomizes the decade? A record store that didn’t carry vinyl. Continue reading

Hops on Rye

FireHouse Hops on RyeI wandered out to see Apollo 18 this afternoon and talk about H. P. Lovecraft and horror-as-escapism with David Templeton for his column in the Pacific Sun. The movie was fun, a found-footage monster flick with creepy creatures, government conspiracies, and outstanding lunar landscapes. I got home in time to watch the Giants beat the Dodgers, and am now settling in with a bit of reading, KCSM, and a FireHouse Hops on Rye, which sounds like a lost Dr. Seuss title… Continue reading