Monday, July 28, 2014

Beer Beer Beer

It's gonna be a hot, hot, hot week.  The only cure is beer, beer, beer.  (Please take note, this is not actual medical advice.  Or even good advice.  It may in fact be a bad idea, but nonetheless, that's what WE are going to do to combat the heat.). 

And if you are looking for a place to drink beer, there are lots of places with good, cold, refreshing, life-affirming beer.  And if you happen to be looking for some places that are pouring single-batch, hand-crafted, love-infused beers from River City Brewing, there here are some places to check out:


RIVER CITY RED
Elkins Resort (Priest River)
Central Food
Total Wine & More (North & Valley)
Greenbriar Inn (CdA)
Italia Trattoria
Left Bank Wine Bar
Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub
The Lantern Tap House
Ripples on the River
Bon Bon
Denny’s at Geiger
Pacific Avenue Pizza
Windows
The Onion (downtown)
Tonicx

GIRLFRIEND GOLDEN
Nyne
The Lantern Tap House
Andy’s
Famous Eds
Mackenzie River Pizza (57th)
The Hub
Webster’s Saloon
Total Wine & More (North & Valley)
219 Lounge (Sandpoint)
Beardmore Bistro (Priest River)
Shakey’s Pizza Parlor

AFTERNOON IPA
The Lantern Tap House
Bardenay Restaurant (CdA)
Knockaderry
Total Wine & More (North & Valley)
Linnies Thai Cuisine
Shakey’s Pizza Parlor
Sunset Café (Cle Elum)
Uncle Sam’s Saloon (Kennewick)

RIVERKEEPER IPA
Knockaderry
Fire Artisan Pizza (Kennewick)
Steelhead Bar and Grille
The Hub
The Shop

HUCKLEBERRY ALE
Wild Dawgs
Browne’s Tavern
Sapphire Lounge
JJ’s Grill
A-1 Smokeshop
Fire Artisan Pizza (Kennewick)
Shakey’s Pizza Parlor
The Basement
The Moscow Alehouse
Bricks and Barley (Sandpoint)
Crickets (Sandpoint)
McClain’s Pizzeria
Mid Columbia (Kennewick)
Paragon Brewing
Waddell’s Brewpub and Grill
Waddell’s Neighborhood Grill
Zola
Fieldhouse Pizza Pub

VB STOUT
Browne’s Tavern
Chan’s Dragon Inn
A-1 Smokeshop
Bottles
DogHouse (Walla Walla)
Fox Bear Public House (Kennewick)
Pilgrims Natural Market (CdA)
Shakey’s Pizza Parlor
Total Wine & More (Valley)
Capones (CdA)
Geno’s
Growler Guys (Richland)
Roosters Landing (Clarkston)
The Moscow Alehouse
Vintage Vines
Wrangler Bar and Grill (Lewiston)

CLOCKTOWER IMPERIAL IPA
South Perry Pizza
Black Diamond
Growler Guys (Richland)
Steelhead Bar and Grille
The Lantern Tap House
Rocket Natural Market

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

MORE Riverkeeper IPA

You can find River City Brewing beer a lot of places these - around 80 or more - in Eastern Washington and North Idaho at any given time, but among those is the list of places you can find the Riverkeeper IPA, which serves the dual purpose of being a damn fine IPA and helping the Spokane River and Watershed.  Here is where you should be drinking it now:


-Spokane-
Steelhead Bar and Grille-Downtown
JB’s Foods and Bottleworks-North side
JJ’s Grill and Brewhouse-Indian Trail
The Rocket Market-South Hill
MacKenzie River Pizza-South Hill
Flying Goat-North side
Bon Bon-Garland
Knockaderry-Broadway

-Spokane Valley-
Boomers Classic Rock Bar and Grill-Valley
Black Diamond-Valley

-Sandpoint-
Baxter’s on Cedar-Sandpoint

-Cheney-
Zentropa Pizzeria-Cheney

-Yakima-
Beer Shoppe-Yakima

-Ellensburg-
Iron Horse Brewery-Ellensburg

Monday, June 30, 2014

Oregon Wins the Craft Beer contest - economically speaking


This came to my attention from Brewbound (brewbound.com) and it speaks to not only the trends in Oregon (more people drinking more locally made beer) and the economic impact of that simple and joyful act:

Oregon’s affinity for local craft beer has reached an unprecedented high, as more than 18 percent of all beer consumed in the state last year was locally produced, according to the Oregon Brewers Guild.  Of the 1.4 million barrels the state’s breweries produced last year—an uptick of 8 percent over the year prior—500,000 were sold to Oregonians, a new in-state sales record.


After adding more than 200 jobs in 2013, the state’s brewing companies now directly employ more than 6,600 people, the Guild added.

Additionally, retail sales of beer produced in the state totaled more than $400 million last year, according to the guild, as the industry at large contributed $2.83 billion to the state’s economy, while also employing “roughly 29,000 people directly and indirectly.”

“We have the largest number of breweries per capita and also the highest percentage of dollars spent on craft beer in the U.S.,” Brian Butenschoen, executive director of the state’s brewer’s guild, said in a statement. “Hood River has a brewery for every 1,433 residents and Portland has more breweries than any other city in the world.”

[. . .]

“The palate of the consumer has changed,” he [Jim Brady, Full Sail] said. “The beer consumer, they’re picking up more variety, more flavor, if you will, in their beer. That’s been fairly consistent, not just in Portland, not just Seattle, but throughout the country.”

Though in Oregon, despite the challenge of keeping relevant in the rotation, the dedication to local has prevailed, as an estimated 53 percent of all draft beer consumed in the state last year was brewed in Oregon.
Overall craft production grew 18 percent in the U.S., the guild added, and accounts for 7.8 percent of the total volume of beer brewed in the country.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Riverkeeper IPA Update

Riverkeeper IPA is LITERALLY sweeping the nation!

Oh, someone over my shoulder just told me what the word "literally" means.  I literally did not know that, but it doesn't appear that anyone in the United States knows what that means either so maybe I should have stuck to my original statement.  But for the sake of truth, honestly, justice and the dictionary-supported American Way, let me restate that:

Riverkeeper IPA is FIGURATIVELY sweeping the region!

That just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?

Okay, let's get down to brass tacks here.  (Actually, what does that mean?  There are no literal brass tacks involved here at all, to be honest.)  (Anyway.)

Riverkeeper IPA has garnered a lot of positive media attention, more importantly garnered a lot of positive reviews, and is starting to pop up all over the region!  And that, my friends, is good news.  Here is the current list of where to find Riverkeeper IPA:


Steelhead Bar and Grille-Downtown Spokane
Boomers Classic Rock Bar and Grill-Spokane Valley
Black Diamond-Spokane Valley
Iron Horse Brewery-Ellensburg
JB’s Foods and Bottleworks-Spokane North side
JJ’s Grill and Brewhouse-Spokane Indian Trail
The Rocket Market-Spokane South Hill
Zentropa Pizzeria-Cheney
Baxter’s on Cedar-Sandpoint
MacKenzie River Pizza-Spokane South Hill
Flying Goat - Spokane Downriver area
Bon Bon - Spokane Garland District

Thanks to these early adopters and thanks to all of you reading and drinking to support the Spokane River!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Secret Post

If you look closely, and I mean "closely," you will see a former River City Red rider in this video, along with . . . his River City Red shorts.  But don't tell anyone because the video seems to be promoting something else.

LAPIERRE - XELIUS from ROGEL MEDIA on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

2014 24-Hour Mountain Bike Race

A.W. collected some great pictures of the past weekend's 24-Hour Mountain Bike Race.  And before you ask, we don't know the whole story on F.J.'s face-crash, but we hear he's okay.  Hopefully more details later.
I'm going fast, right?


I'M HAVING FUN! YOU CAN TELL FROM MY SMILE!

This is hard work.
I'm not afraid - I just look like it.
Beautiful kit - thanks for noticing!

No, that isn't a strawberry goo I spilled.

Are they still looking for extras in that Zombie show?

On your left, on your left!
Congratulations!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Bike Racers are Amazing

Two videos that show, in different ways, the skills that set apart top-level bike racers from most bike riders.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Enumclaw Stage Race Report


The following is from Jed Barden, a relatively recent Spokane transplant that has jumped right into the River City Red Cycling team, about his own efforts and those of teammate Richie Frahm.  Take it away, Jed:

There is so much that goes into getting to the start line of a stage race.  Travel, gear, lodging, food.  It's been about two years since I've done a stage race, and I am reminded the logistics compared to a one-day race are much more complex.  Since I am hoping to have my act together for Baker City in June, I needed an early season stage race under my belt. 

However, my motivation last week was dropping.  Not only was this a B training race for me, the weekend weather forecast in Enumclaw looked bad--70% chance of showers.  My main concern was the eight-corner crit, which is dicey even when dry.   But I grew up in Seattle and I haven't lived in Spokane long enough to turn into a water weenie.  And as our director sportif said last week, HTFU.   

But more ominous signs.  Getting ready to leave Friday I suffered not one, but two inner tube blowouts--while loading the car.  Apparently I did not get the inner tubes inside the beads properly the night before when I was changing tires.  This has never happened to me before, and just nuts that it happened twice in the span of about 20 minutes.  This unfortunately delayed my departure; plans for luxurious lodging were replaced by the tent and sleeping bag I threw in the car at the last minute. 

After a long nap outside of Vantage, I rolled into Enumclaw late, about 2:30am, and set up my tent in the county park near the TT start line.  I had just grabbed my sleeping bag from my car and was walking to my tent when suddenly a flashlight shines on me and I hear, "it's the police!"  The officer wanted to know what I was doing.  I told him I was going to sleep.  He asked why.  I said because it was late and I was tired.  He asked where I was from.  I said I just drove over from Spokane.  Across the pass?  Uh huh.  He then commented about weirdos in this part of the park.  By this point in the conversation he noticed my cycling cap and Gorge Roubaix t-shirt. He asked if I was there for the bike race.  Yes.  (An answer that now had me slotted as a cool guy, as opposed to a weirdo.  Although, most "normal" people I talk to about driving all night to race a bike in the rain think I'm a weirdo, but I digress).  The officer then kindly pointed me in the direction of a campground about a hundred yards away, and wished me good luck in the race.  So I upgraded to the campground.  The Enumclaw police hugely support this race and it was nice that they were there to greet me, even in the middle of the night!     

Meanwhile, Richie was sound asleep in a hotel about fifty yards away. 

Time Trial
57 riders had signed up for cat 3.  Good strong competition with many teams from BC, Canada.  Race rules called for mass start bikes with no aero equipment.  At the start the guy behind me was complaining there was no start ramp.  I asked where he had done a TT with a start ramp.  "Nationals."  Ok. 

Despite the gloomy weather predictions, there was no rain and conditions for the TT were perfect.  I finished about a minute down from the leader, around 30th.  Richie had a good TT and was sitting about 15th (:40 down).  

Criterium
The TT start was 10am.  Our Crit start was 8pm.  I have never had that long of a break between same day events.  Instead of hanging out in Enumclaw I drove to Seattle to visit my sister.  The sun was out and it was a beautiful day there.  When I drove back to Enumclaw, the sky began to cloud up.  When I crossed the city limits the pavement went from dry to wet.  Awesome.  Richie had been watching the earlier crits and tells me it is just carnage.  The main problem being the white and yellow lines all over the course.  Fortunately the clouds clear, the sun peaks out, and the course mostly dries up by our race. 

We all line up to start, Richie and I in the second and third rows respectively.  Starting position in this crit is critical.  With the figure-eight configuration there are only a couple spots where it is possible to move up.  If you are in the back you are working harder than the guys in the front--the accordion effect in action.  The official asks how many juniors are in the race.  About 15 riders raise their hands.  Audible groans from other riders.  Juniors have a reputation for being strong but sketchy.

After the start I am in the back third and Richie is in the front third.  Being in the back I am working super hard out of the corners.  After moving my way up to about 15th position, my rear tire goes flat.  I almost slide out in the next corner before I can get clear of the field.  I swap wheels, get my free lap, and get back in with about 20 minutes to go.  Fueled by adrenaline I work up to about 20th before running out of gas and drop to the back.  I thought I was going to get popped but there were enough wheels to follow to stay on.  With eight laps to go a crash in one of the many corners takes out 4-5 guys in front of me.  I avoid the bikes and bodies and sprint back to the pack. 

Sitting about 45th with 5 to go, I was resigned to a pack finish time.  I could see Richie further up looking good.  With 1 to go the pace predictably picks up.  About halfway through the lap, a nasty crash in one of the corners.  Unfortunately Richie is caught up in it, with about six others.  Richie's right side and kit are cut up and I guide him to the finish line.  When the EMT in the medical tent tells Richie to get his elbow cleaned up at the ER, he looks off with a steely gaze and mutters something about character. 

I get a pack time but Richie drops about 3 minutes on GC.  Scoring effup there but rumor was the time keepers were boozing that night. 

Road Race
This was the day it was really supposed to rain, but the skies were bright and almost sunny at midday for our 1pm start.  While Richie cruises around the campground working out the soreness, I am still wrestling with my damn inner tubes.  The course is five laps, 72 miles, with a 500 foot climb each lap up Mud Mountain.  After the start, the pace is leisurely except for a fair amount of twitchiness.  We hit the first climb and the pace is still easy.  No fireworks yet. 

On the second lap, bad luck strikes Richie again as he flats.  Sam Maples also flats (he flatted in the crit too).  To compound Richie's bad luck, he is given a junior wheel with a 25 tire.  A tire that does not fit into his S5.  After riding on the tire and burning his frame for half a lap, he heads back to the team van to switch bikes.  Richie goes back out onto the course but is significantly behind and DNFs. 

The second lap is also when the sky darkens and it starts raining, hard.  Everyone is completely soaked as we hit the base of the climb on lap 2.  The pace at the front lifts but I try to stay at a comfortable tempo knowing that most of race is still in front of me.  At the top there is a long false flat plateau.  There I can see that the peloton has split into three groups; I am in the third and largest group.  I sit at the back of this group knowing (hoping?) others will work to catch the front groups.  We catch the second group on the long descent down highway 410.  It takes our now main pack another 4-5 miles to catch the front group of about 10 riders on the flat section. 

The third time up the climb, the race lights up.  As the climb starts my positioning is bad and I am towards the back.  This is a stair step climb with portions you can draft.  I was caught up in a slower group but did not want to push wind.  When we hit the sustained climbing section I threw down wattage but could not catch the lead group of about 20 riders.  Regrouping with a few stragglers, we started pacelining to catch back on.  A couple guys were ready to throw in the towel.  Screw that, there was a lot of racing left.  In our group of about 7-8, four of us work to pull back the front group over about 10 miles.  We finally caught them about two miles before the climb.  Nice, but there would soon be a price to pay for my efforts.   

Fourth time up the climb, the pace is reasonable but I was at the limit.  I manage to hang until the very top where I get unhitched.  Argh!  There is one other dropped guy who I chase with, and the lead group dangles in front.  But with only two us, both fried, we were not going to catch back on.  I spot a couple other riders approaching from behind and we sit up and wait for them.  We ride the fifth lap together, through an increasing drizzle.  I was essentially bonked after the last climb and just dragged myself to the finish line.  Fortunately Richie was there was some drinks. 

About a third of the field DNFed the road race.

22nd overall in GC, plus some good training and lessons learned.  The most important lesson is how critical positioning is.  I wasted a lot of energy because of poor position, both in the crit and in the road race.  Also, I need to learn how to change a dang tire.   

Monday, May 12, 2014

On Tap - Craft Beer Week Edition

This is Craft Beer Week.  To celebrate, lots of places are featuring hand-crafted beer and special events.  Check out your favorite watering hole to see what they are doing and please consider stopping in to any of these places and thanking them for supporting great, local beer this week and every week.


RIVER CITY RED
Northern Quest Casino
Jackson’s Sports Bar (Yakima)
MacKenzie River Pizza (downtown)
Ripples – Red Lion on the River
The Lantern Tap House
The Onion Downtown
Webster’s Ranch House Saloon
Total Wine & More (North & Valley)
Bardenay Restaurant (CdA)
Denny’s (Geiger)
Famous Ed’s
Fire Artisan Pizza (CdA)
JJ’s Grill
Fire Artisan Pizza (downtown)
Left Bank Wine Bar
Shakey’s Pizza Parlor
The Beer Shoppe (Yakima)
Andy’s
Steelhead Bar and Grille
Sunset Mart (Pullman)
The Italian Kitchen
Seasons of Coeur d’Alene
Rocket Market

GIRLFRIEND GOLDEN
The Growler Guys (Richland)
Jackson’s Sports Bar (Yakima)
Nyne Restaurant and Bar
Stubblefields (Pullman)
The Lantern Tap House
The Onion (North)
Pacific Avenue Pizza
Total Wine & More (North & Valley)
Lilac Lanes
Garland Avenue Drinkery
The Shop
Fox and Bear Public House (Richland)
Andy’s
Morty’s Tap and Grille

HUCKLEBERRY ALE
The Moscow Alehouse
Chair’s Public House
Mid Columbia (Kennewick)
The Basement (Cheney)
Fedora Pub and Grill (CdA)
The Growler Guys (Richland)
MacKenzie River Pizza (Downtown)
Manito Tap House
McKay’s Tap House (Richland)
Paper Street Alehouse (Kennewick)
Red Monkey (Walla Walla)
Twigs Bistro (Wandermere)
Checkerboard
Fox and Bear Public House (Richland)
No-Li Brewing
Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub
Ramada Inn at the Airport
Red Robin (Valley)
Screaming Yak
Adelos Take-N-Bake Pizza
Fieldhouse Pizza Pub
Bricks & Barley (Sandpoint)

INCONCEIVABLE IMPERIAL PILSNER
Fox and Bear Public House (Richland)
Rocket Natural Market
Uncle Sam’s Saloon (Kennewick)
Vintage Vine’s
Bennedito’s Pizza
South Perry Pizza
The Lantern Tap House
Fire Artisan Pizza (Kennewick)
The Flying Goat
The Growler Guys (Richland)
The Hop Shop
Waddell’s Brewpub and Grill
Pacific Avenue Pizza
Red Robin (Valley)
Bag O’ Nails Pub
Bottles
Butcher Bar
Fox and Bear Public House (Richland)
Greenbrair Foods
The Black Diamond
Two Seven Public House
Zentropa Pizzeria

VB STOUT
MacKenzie River Pizza (Downtown, 57th, and Nevada)
Window’s – Red Lion at the Park
Saranac Public House
The Moscow Alehouse
Total Wine & More (North & Valley)
Wolf Lodge Inn (Idaho)
Chan’s Dragon Inn
Pacific Avenue Pizza
Birch Barley (CdA)
The Growler Guys (Richland)
Mid Columbia (Kennewick)
Bill’s Place (Yakima)
Capone’s (CdA)
My Office Bar and Grill (Pullman)
Rooster’s Landing
The Screaming Yak
The Lantern Tap House
Zany’s Hollywood Grill
Bottle’s
Fedora
A-1 Smokeshop
Java on Sherman
JJ’s Bar and Grill

RIVER CITY IPA
The Growler Guys (Richland)
Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops
The Lantern Tap House
The Boiler room
Brix Elevage (Ellensburg)
Hogan’s (Clarkston)
Somewhere Bar and Grill
Shakey’s Pizza Parlor
Italia Trattoria
Total Wine & More (Valley & North)
Linnie Thai Cuisine
Neato Burrito

AFTERNOON IPA
The Black Diamond
The Lantern Tap House
Adelos Take-N-Bake Pizza