Trip down memory lane

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Wow what a fun night at our Members Happy Hour!  Tons of members showing up to sample some new wild ales and some fun vintage ones from the past.  It always gets me jazzed up to see the excitement people have for some of these vintage beers and boy does it bring back a lot of memories.  Here is a little trip down memory lane….



The volcanic rocks we had grabbed from the base of the iconic Morro Rock that looms over the sleepy fishing town of Morro Bay weren’t “technically” supposed to be taken, but as I shouted to the guy yelling at me as I pulled away, back of my Yukon filled with rocks,  “Don’t worry I’m only going down the street!”.  We took these protected stones (btw these same rocks were mined from Morro Rock for years to build breakwaters all down the coast before the rock was designated as a state park), and threw them right on the burners for the restaurant.  A look of horror filled the two cooks eyes as Sean and I shook with anticipation.  With our gleeful ignorance and flare for danger we grabbed the rocks off the stove at around 900 degrees and filled a metal basket we had fashioned from scrap metal at a local yard, and slid a metal pole through the strap.  Carrying the popping, hissing, volcanic rocks straight through the main dining room shouting “HOT STUFF!”, with the same no cholent-ness that one would when carrying a hot plate of enchiladas to a table.  Rounding the corner to our makeshift “brewery”, we sat the near liquified rocks down in front of our kettle filled with wort we had hand mashed in with trash cans and a home brewing mill borrowed from our friends at Central Coast Brewing.  Looking at Sean with a carefree smile we simultaneously lifted up the metal basket, and when I say simultaneously I forgot to mention Sean has sweet tribal tattoos that evidently give him his extra Texas sized strength, so as we lift Sean's side goes up way faster and higher than my side.  My exuberance turns to pure terror as the lava hot basket of death comes careening at me at what seems to be the speed of sound.  I immediately try to back up but realize that my back is against a plate glass window and I have nowhere to go.  The basket now slams into my arms and I can hear the sizzling sound of my delicate man flesh burning.  With no choice left I summon all of my inner cave man strength and with what was probably a preteen girlish squeal lift the rest of the basket above my head and over the side of the kettle where a volcano of boiling wort now cascades down the sides of the kettle.  I finally free myself from the corner and run across the room.  I cant help but think about how millions of years ago those same rocks came out of their own volcano on the beach.  As my excited smile of accomplishment starts to come back and Sean and I high-five, I smell the always appetizing aroma of burning hair and flesh and realize that the whole restaurant is staring at me in utter horror.  I brush off some burned hair (and probably some flesh) and walk back to the kettle to add some hops with a sense of accomplishment and excitement to see where this brewing adventure will take us… 
Oh, and Sean should probably take me to the hospital.



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Sean Zurbriggen