Friday, December 21, 2012

How Do You Fall? Brewery Tour, Redlands

With this being the last day before Winter, I'm here to give you my last posting before fall is officially over.  Two weeks ago, I went on a tour of three breweries in one of the farthest reaches of the Inland Empire, Redlands. The three breweries I went to were Hanger 24, Ritual and Donkey Punch. The only  one of the three I can give a good recommendation on is Hanger 24, and that is just barely.

I have a small standard when it comes to breweries. I visit my local brewery, Bootleggers Brewery, on at least a weekly basis. Sometimes multiple visits in one week. So, lets get down to the dissecting  my bitching, and the breweries.

I was joined on my tour with my friends Natalie, from The Devil Wears Parsley,  and her husband, The Angel of Deth. We might have had a tad bit of a high standard going into this, since Stone's Vertical Epic, and final Epic 12-12-12, was set to be released a mere few days after we went on this tour. But, all three of us were giving Hanger 24 a second go. Both Angel and Natalie had a lackluster first time when they came here last year.

Located directly across the street from the Redlands Airport. They actually had a plane crash in their parking lot last year.

The view from the street. The view of the mountains was astounding.

Nice little engineers model of a test plain hanging in the middle of their tasting room.

All of our flights. For some reason they were out of their Double IPA. We offered to go to the liquor store nearby to pick some up, but they declined. They are sold in practically every grocery store in the IE.

Here are my flights before I took off. Kinda cheesy that they used plastic cups instead of glass ones. You would think a bigger microbrew like these guys would have glass like the smaller ones do.

The view from where we sat. They had some park benches outside to enjoy your flights. Its really brutal in the summertime, like when I came the first time.

The best part! Somebody brought their cute lil doggie.

In between Hanger 24 and Ritual, we stopped at a gormet burger joint called Eureka Burger for a bit of snacks, water and better beer for a little break. We ordered a bottle of Stone's Vertical Epic 6-6-6, 12-12-12, and a pint of Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. Their food was Excellent!

Our final two stops were Ritual and Donkey Punch. Both are directly across the street from each other. I don't have much to say about Ritual. They only had 4 beers on tap and their flights were a bit on the pricier side. if they had more, we would have spent a decent amount of time. We only stayed for about 15 minutes before we jumped ship to Donkey Punch.

Donkey Punch Brewery is a place I have some strong opinions about. I got a really mixed reaction over that place. They had some excellent beers. At least the ones I tried were excellent. The main issue I had was some of their customer service was a bit lacking at points and their presentation of their business wasn't something to write home about.

Their branding was excellent.

My flights on the bottom. Angels flights on top.

Now that I have the pictures out of the way, Lets get into my gripes. I accidentally left my card there. There were only a couple of groups in there before we left, so the lady manning the register didn't come around and ask us if were ready to check out. That wasn't a big issue because I should have payed attention to my card not being in my wallet. I din't realize I didn't have my card until we got back home, 30 minutes away. The main problem I had was that we tried to call and see if they could hold my card until the next day, since they were closing in like an hour and a half and I wasn't sure if I would make it back in time. We tried calling about 3 times and they didn't answer their phone. We tried looking up their website and it just forwarded to their Facebook page. How are you supposed to run a business if you don't answer your phone or have a website with information we can get a hold of them with. Granted, they may have been too busy to answer the phone, or hear it, but how is a customer going to find the place if they are trying to get directions by phone? you can't. No website with a map either. Double loss, Good beer, doesn't make up for not being able to contact you.


I think I'll end this post on a high not. Before we went on our tour, Natalie was working on a new submission for her website. I was able to take a few candid shots of her and I took one of her subject myself. It's my first food shot and my white balance was wayyyy over on the blue side like it usually is. 

In case you're wondering. The post she was shooting for was the dark topping inside the cool little jar and on the burger underneath the white cheese. It was made with blueberries and tasted like a spread from heaven! You can read more on her process of making it Here. Thanks Natalie!