Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Family weekend

My parents just left after being with us for a few days, and tonight Mike and I are going to have a VERY romantic Valentine's Day date of sitting on the couch with takeout and Downtown Abbey. The weekend consisted of stuffing ourselves full of good food and excellent beer, and walking a lot in penance.

Friday night was the SF Beer Week opening party, with 4 hours to taste beers from 60+ breweries, including some really odd stuff.
My favorites were Pac Brew Labs' hibiscus saison, Almanac Brewing's winter wit, and Sierra Nevada's brown saison. We tried some tasty stuff from breweries that were new to me, too: Ale Industries, Lucky Hand, Blue Frog, Dying Vines, and Heretic.

The next morning we ran errands like I was heading off to college: we hit Costco, Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Trader Joe's. I feel like my parents' presence justified the big box store run, because they have the magical ability to know what I need to solve the niggling problems in my life. We picked up things like bulk flea medicine and fancy food for the cats, light fixtures for my hallway that don't require actually switching out the fixture and thereby likely electrocuting myself, gardening supplies so Mike and I can tackle the clover and nasturtium that have taken over our backyard, a beautiful All Clad pot (thanks Mom!), and, of course, lots of booze. In the afternoon we walked to the Mission and hit Southern Pacific, a new brewery in a beautiful renovated warehouse space. The beer was good, not amazing, but it was gratifying to introduce my father to banh mi, which he agreed is one of the world's finest sandwiches.

Sunday we went for a hike on Mount Sutro, a forest right in the middle of the city. We'd never been before, and spent a nice few hours tromping through the eucalyptus groves. The dogwoods are blooming and it smelled delightful. Here is my mom looking excited that she has a walking stick.
In typical fashion, we went straight from healthy activity to drinking beer at the Suppenkuche Biergarten. Until it clouded over it was lovely - the food is just the kind of horseradishy pickled teutonic goodness that I like, and the German beers were a nice counterpoint to all the hop bombs we'd been trying for Beer Week. On the way home we picked up an embarrassing number of macarons, which my parents appreciated for the glorious cookie creations they are. Salted caramel, holy hell.

We capped off their visit with one last Beer Week event, a Sierra Nevada night at Pi Bar in the Mission. The brewers were there, pouring from a giant bottle of reserve Celebration Ale (in addition to all the crazy stuff they had on tap), and I got to introduce my dad to the brewmaster, who I met at an event last year. He pretended to remember me. Plus the pizza was good. So: two pints up. (My parents aren't great at smiling for the camera, but I know they were happy inside.)
I'm sad to see them go - they really are a lot of fun - but the next wave of visitors is arriving soon. Brecki Bed and Breakfast, open for business.

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