The Shandy and the Dirty Hipster

Shandy Sun Time and the Dirty Hipster

Hella people are brewing Radlers and Shandies these days. Hub, Widmer Brothers, 10 Barrel, all thanks to dirty hipsters acting like they don’t want to get drunk as fast… Shit, maybe they’re onto something and just want to be able to drink all day long.

In an attempt to be as ridiculous as possible, Fern and I played Kendrick Lamar too loudly on our porch while we arranged a rocking lineup to test the resiliency of one of the more stigmatized drinks in the beautiful and free USA, the beer cocktail. While most friends and co-workers sneered at my suggestion of testing the waters of the shandy, some brave souls got beyond their alcohol machismo and said why yes! That could be good, the shandy.

What works and what doesn't?

What works and what doesn’t?

We lined up three beers and tried each under the same conditions, mixed with 1/3 Santa Cruz lemonade, 1/2 Santa Cruz Lemonade and lastly 1/2 San Pellegrino Limonata. Even with only two 22’s and a tall boy we kinda got drunk on a beautiful spring evening, taking one for the team. It’s a pretty hard life.

Dinner to start us out and a little bit of Pabst to wash it down.

Dinner to start us out and a little bit of Pabst to wash it down.

Pabst plain- It’s like choking down something you still haven’t acquired a taste for after hours of shoulder tapping in front of 7/11 before the freshman dance. So ya, it’s pretty nostalgic i’d say. Nothing like sparkly banana flavored chemical water.

Lemon and Lemon

Lemon and Lemon

Pabst with ⅓ Santa Cruz- Tastes vaguely bitter, like fox pee, which I have unfortunately smelled before. The weakest portions of both drinks are accentuated. Tastes like cleaning up last night’s kegger with citrus based solvent. O, the early college years.

Pabst with ½ Santa Cruz- Tastes like Richer pabst with a sour undertone that creates a whole body.

The Pellegrino

The Pellegrino

Pabst with ½ San Pellegrino- Strong citrus aroma, tastes like way more magic. The carbonation is kept alive, strong and light lemon flavor with the beer richness behind it. The best so far! It’s actually really good, perfect because it’s not over sweet. The little bit of bitter completes the circle of what Pabst lacks.

*Disclaimer, I like all of the beers chosen for this experiment. This certainly has many bias.

*Disclaimer, I like all of the beers chosen for this experiment. This certainly has many bias.

Spring Reign from Ninkasi Brewing- Golden appearance with a yellow flower floral aroma. Pretty bitter that leads to salvation on the finnish. Very strong malt profile that carries all the way through.

Spring Reign with ⅓ Santa Cruz- Highlights everything bad about bitter and sour. This does not work in any way shape or form.

Spring Reign with ½ Santa Cruz

Spring Reign with ½ Santa Cruz

½ Cruz- Like a badly executed home brew with lemon flavor or a cocktail with bad fake lemon it tastes kinda fake. The sour lemon rides the malt like a bullrider all the way through to the overly bitter finish. At least it’s fairly sweet.

Spring Reign with San Pellegrino- The malt, sour and bitter doesn’t but heads quite as hard. It tastes like eating lemon skins. Fern says it’s like when the T.V. show tell you “don’t zest past the skin” but you do, you always zest past the skin. Of course she’s right, that’s exactly what it tastes like, she’s always right.

The Imperial IPA!!!!!

The Imperial IPA!!!!!

Alpha Centauri Imperial IPA from Hop Valley- Tastes like strong hops, hop tincture and a lot like weed. It has a strong bitter component, did I say that it was hoppy? A really great pine and citrus aroma.

Alpha Centauri with ⅓ Santa Cruz- The sweetness of the lemonaid cuts the bitter a little bit. Otherwise it just tastes like a toned down version of the beer.

Alpha Centauri with ½ Santa Cruz- The lemonade cuts the bitterness of the hops really well. It has this really great sour and sweet start that finishes clean and complex. The hops and lemon highlight elements within each other to balance out the profile. It tastes like a grown-up lemon candy. Definitely the best of the evening.

Alpha Centauri with San Pellegrino- The pellegrino has a good lemon flavor but lacks the sugar needed to round out the flavor. The final outcome is that it accentuated the bitterness. An unfortunately horrible pairing that falls flat.

Fern was right, most of the mixtures did taste horrendous so we finished off the night with one last little glass of the best and brightest, the ½ Alpha Centauri and ½ Santa Cruz Shandy. We paired this with a little bit of Lemon Haze, a Sativa that smells strongly of Lemon and has these little orange yellow hairs. We figured, pair like with like, and it worked. Lots of lemon flavor, with a good expression of hop and pine to cut through the cotton mouth. We are definitely done for the night, and probably for the week. Both Fern and I can’t stop giggling. No more tasting.


This one goes out to the Ladies

Fern here. To talk about the best red wines to drink while you have dancing red goblins inside your uterus punching you with steel gloves. And by dancing red goblins, I mean crying Drakes with psychedelic acid tears.


We badass feminist chicas get as much shit done as we do when we are not on our periods—-there is no cool red tent in the middle of the desert with straw beds to escape to with all our friends and husband’s mistresses and bleed everywhere.

During our sacred time we still vote, we work our full time jobs (although we don’t quite get paid as much as our male counterparts), we go to boxing class, we read books, we hike mountains, we have rosemary for our yoni parties.

However, it is important to have some ‘me time.’ And what is more ‘me time’ than drinking wine and watching Gilmore Girls or New Girls… or Girls, while laying the fetal position and farting?

First of all (in a long Island accent) we need

And this…..


And of course this..


And we need a wine that can hold up with the large amounts of meat, cheese and chocolate we will be consuming. We also need a wine that will parallel our big feelings.

 Lets break it down: Sweet, Salty, Rich, passionate, sad and self-reflecting.

I am not as much of a wine-o, so I’m gonna pick a wine I’ve had before that is pretty bad and pretty good simultaneously—-Just like our activities and behaviors when Aunt Flo stops through.

7 Deadly Zins Zinfindel from some winery in California. It doesn’t matter, you can find it at virtually every grocery store ever. It’s a little sweet, a little complex, a little bit romance novel.

Dopestwinetaster’s notes: fruit blah blah

It’s a winner, and it’s affordable. We need to spend our money on chocolate and food tonight.

Bleed well lady readers, bleed well!

Dopeness: 6/10 (but we can’t handle any higher)

Affordability: 9/10

Pinot and the Irie Eyrie

It was recently my birthday and if I hadn’t already created enough excuses to drink, here goes another one. My yearly tradition on this mildly obnoxious day is to splurge on a Willamette Pinot that is beyond my price range. This year I examined the Willamette scene’s roots with the 2012 Pinot Noir from Eryie Vineyard’s. Also I went to a Reggae show…


**Warning– This review has stepped beyond the Dopest Wine Taster’s promise of only reasonably priced. If this unabashed and obnoxious breach of trust bothers you, please leave this blog immediately. And yes, $35.00 is kind of a lot to pay for a bottle of wine, and no I will not tell you how old I am.

This was my first experience with the legacy of Papa Pinot (David Lett) and damn what a legend.  Thank you, thank you, thank you. With 13.5 % Alc. , aged for twelve months in French oak barrels, and from the same vineyard that in 1965 planted the first Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris grapes in the Willamette valley it has an impressive resume, and it even holds up. The world would be a terribly sad place without the groundbreaking work he did for the respectability of both Oregon, and American wine.

Now I’ll get off my “high” horse because the herbals always make me a little bit sentimental and we have a show to get to!!

Aroma: Piercing clean and slightly sour like those soccer moms you can’t quite trust partially due to their crazy eyes and partially dues to their impressive grip strength. Likewise, the aroma is clean, lean and slight while being really, really promising.

Tasting: Whooooaaahh, it’s as dynamic as if it were carbonated. Lingering sour with a slight delay before juicy hits the tongue and salivation starts to roll. The sour centers on the tongue like one of those super gnarly sour candies that cut up your mouth except this one doesn’t and it’s actually kind of good for you. The finnish has this dipping swooping kind of movement from front to back so the wine being named after a birds nest makes perfect sense.

Fern’s notes: Moderate purpley color with a perfumed aroma. Light but deep with a long and complicated finish. Berry/Cherry flavor with not too heavy tannins. surprisingly intense and subtle sour with a hint of spice.

Affordability: 4/10

Dopeness: 9.5/10

Rain, Caña Manabita, Tweakers. A Surf Trip on the Border.

Don’t park your car in the parking lot. It’s like 95% that tweakers will roll in for a smash and grab.  We encourage all campers to park behind our work station. – Redwoods Park Ranger 

Not the words you want to hear while being issued a camping permit, but hey, it was free! If anywhere could provide a perfect place to sip Ecuadorian sugar cane liquor and get thrashed by a bunch of cold cold waves, Enders Beach was it.


You might be asking how I ended up on a rain drenched surfing trip just south of meth infested Crescent City with a bottle of south american hooch and the answer is Alex, my no-good adrenaline addicted homie that has been dragging me on adventures since high-school. He also happens to import handwoven hats from a small fishing village in Santa Elena, Ecuador. A venture that has left him chronically broke but also happy because the business provides a livable income for the people there. You can find his hats at Ecuadoras

Personally, I love his career choice. He always brings back bottles of my favorite aguardiente… Caña Manabita!


After a messy day being buffeted by wonky waves we got back to camp shivering in our wetsuits. That’s when it started to rain and after two hours of constant maintenance we let our spluttering fire go out and ate our lukewarm dinner.

Finally, just as we got to the good part, Caña with a coconut water chaser in hand, the rain turned to mist and we headed down to the beach. This resulted in the normal shenanigans, Alex doing some night time free climbing (always a good idea), finding some coyote tracks, a surprisingly fast incoming tide and a few minor cuts and abrasions. Nothing out of the ordinary.

We were the only people in the camp and on the beach, it was serene and wonderful, even with our jabbering. We had our own shitty break, which is better than no break, and also a half coyote tweaker showed up in our camp with flushed cheeks and some crazy scary eyes… Contrary to the appearance in the picture he was super stoked and happy if a little wet and frazzled.


This is a great destination on the North Cal coast. If you’re planning on camping, a quick stop at the Redwoods state park office in not only technically “required” but also very helpful. It can be found in Crescent City CA, at 1111 Second St.

Tasting: Smooth white liquor that finishes with banana. No frills that gets you wrecked easy and cheap.

Affordability: If you, for example, happened to be in Guayaquil for a business trip, it would probably run about two bucks. 10/10

Dopeness: Nostalgia has invaded this review. 9/10

416 Years Later

Since 1150, the Böckenhöff family has owned their farm in northern Germany and more importantly, distilled their own drink. In 2011 I met Leo Bökenhöff through a mutual friend in a pop music infested surf-town on the Ecuadorian coast. Recently, while traveling through the states, Leo dropped through Southern Oregon toting a bottle of his families’ hooch.


Back home, generations of Leo’s family has home distilled a special liquor known as Korn, a grain alcohol (35%). In most of Germany the proud tradition of home distilling is becoming increasingly rare. In step with the nation, the family stopped production in 2000.

There are only a few barrels left, which Leo’s uncle bottles and sells from a small shop on his farm. Made from traditional fermented rye, the secret to the Bökenhöff’s vintage is that it is stored in limousine oak barrels like whiskey.

We’re drinking Alter Bökenhöff, a recipe from 1598. Now, 416 years later, after a bike ride through the orchards and a steep slog up the Southern Oregon hillside, we crack open the smoothest moonshine I’ve ever tasted…

It tastes fruity and faintly citrus, which is probably because we used an orange as the back. Korn is commonly served as a sipping drink, sometimes paired with a beer called a “workers set menu”. It’s clean, tasty and perfect for an adventure to the rocks looking down on Talent’s wine and orchard lands.

  • Tasting: definitely white spirits…

Affordability: FREE!!

Dopeness: Hella Exclusive 10/10

Dope adventure train with Leo on the hook-up/knowledge, and instigation from Alex. Check out his  website:


Two Birds and a Squawk

Since wine and Valentine’s day co-create a mutually parasitic relationship, Fern and I celebrated this year by squawking from our balcony and surveying the contours of our personal kingdom. In other words, we giggled and drooled over our funny little love with a bottle of Two Birds from Cuckoo’s Nest Cellars.


It was definitely a froggy wine that leaped right out of the bottle. Grown in the local Illinois Valley of Southern Oregon, this 2011 blend (52% Cabernet Sauvignon 48% Syrah) paired perfectly with our Lamb dinner. Delivered direct by the local wine maker, estate grown, and only $11.95, very little could make this bottle more attractive.

  • Tasting: A big bright pepperberry like if a cranberry and black pepper kernel got it on in a cabaña and made a funny looking but tasty baby. A juicy mid-tongue freshness that makes me want another glass.
  • Fern’s Notes: Slow start with an acidic finish. Full tart berry with a spicy twist like a falling off the tree ripe bing cherry with the skin left on. Fresh juice of late spring. Acid buildup after first glass. Could use another couple months in the “cellar”, i.e. next to the blanket pile in the bottom of the closet.

Affordability: 8/10

Dopeness: 7.5/10

One Bottle in One Soak: Gnarly Head’s Old Vine Zin

Drinking a bottle during one uninterrupted soak has three clear advantages:

  •  The sweat running down your body is actively preventing tomorrow’s hangover
  • The heat creates a natural urge to clutch and guzzle any liquid within reach
  • The small rivers of sweat running down your body purges toxins and regulates alcohol leading to the elusive “clean drunk” or perpetual buzz

Drinking a bottle during one uninterrupted soak also has one clear disadvantage:

  • Both hot water and alcohol expand your blood vessels and raise body temperature. This can lead to heat exhaustion, dizziness, fainting, etc….

But, no worries, I have Fern to watch over me, and who claimed that anything I do is a good idea?
And dizziness?? Who cares!?! That would only be a problem if Tokatee hot springs, for example, happened to be perched on the edge of a steep ravine…


For this challenge I will drink an entire bottle of Old Vine Zin during the course of a single soak.

Seriously though, this is kind of a ridiculous and stupid idea so even though we aren’t endorsing your participation in this action, if you choose, please have lots of water within reach. Hydration is key, maybe a sandwich or salad second. Please keep in mind, all previous claims are unfounded and unsubstantiated generalizations.

Fern and I set up shop in the third pool down the mineral formation. The water flows from one pool to the next in naturally carved channels that allow the water temperature to gradually decrease from the springs which gurgles at about 110.

This is definitely a potent, heady and gnarly place so Old Vine Zin from Gnarly Head provided not only a cheap play on words but also an unexpected pairing with a premo winter soak sesh.

First taste, 2:00
Forward, dark, sour and sweet with no grip. Reminiscent of an old spinster surrounded by vanilla scented candles gumming a red delicious apple while slouched behind her hickory dining table. Aroma of current, spice, red delicious apple with a slight hint of sulphur.

  • Fern’s note “Because we’re in a hot springs ya dingus”

Half way, 2:30
I need to pee. I’ve been really sweaty and the wine is really good and cold because it’s winter so I’ve really been enjoying it but I didn’t really think this part through.
I need to pee but I think I can hold it.
The sweet and sour thing the wine has going is making my mouth salivate a lot, it’s like how green and moist and mossy the valley is right here. There’s a lot of steam rising off the springs.

Three-Quarters, 2:55
I feel really good and the wine is really good and well everything is really good but I also need to pee so fucking bad I’m confused like if we brought that old spinster to soak with us in her Costco bikini, or like we’re in a puffy jacket commercial for Colombia but the jackets are unnecessary because we’re already warm and in a pool.

I went pee, don’t worry, not in the tub so technically this has no longer been an uninterrupted soak but hey, if you’ve read this far you deserve honesty.
This wine is so drinkable I think you could eat it with french fries or better yet with pineapple juice and vodka like sorority sangria.

  • Fern’s note “He’s definitely drunk and kind of off balance. He almost fell as he was getting back in the pool, I was trying to figure out how I was going to catch him. He keeps talking about food”

Finish, 3:20
This shit is Bear Grylls extreme, I feel like wwwooooaahhhh. The hick grower scene has just rolled in with their national guard backpacks and a Boxer that keeps trying to eat our tortillas. I like dogs.
Final and sober notes
Gnarly Head’s Zinfandel is surprisingly drinkable and at a great price point. It’s sweet and sourness was a godsend for the hotsprings challenge because it didn’t dry out my mouth at all. A great buy for someone who doesn’t want tannins or a quick and easy glass or five that even Auntie Margaret would like.

Affordability 9/10

Dopeness 7/10

Hopportunity Knocks IPA for a Six-day Six pack

I got some good head during this Six-day six pack…

A glass with a solid two finger light tan head!

On sale for 5.98 with an advertised 6.8% alcohol and 100+ IBU, I couldn’t pass up the towering sale pallet in the back of the most boozer friendly grocers in town.


Day One-

The cosmic theme is in, and the stars mirror the brightness of the hop flavor that presses down on the tongue like a hop spoon which dissolves with a fleeting caramel malty finish. After the third sip I’m hooked even though it doesn’t hit as hard as other 100+ IBU.

After careful examination I realize that the beer is almost two months old and even canned, that amount of time lets the hops to loose their full zest. This beer however has held up remarkably well and Fern has to stop me from drinking a second.

Day Two-

Fern is closing at the cafe tonight so I celebrate the cosmic nature of this beer with a fellow star lover. Make it so.


Day Three-

As my tears pooled on the cutting board I began to understand that two habanero peppers are

  1. More than enough for a homemade batch of Island style hot sauce
  2. Without a beer, it would singe off every flavor taster nerve I ever had. Enough said.

Day Four-

Had my beer after a brisk run on the white rabbit trail system. Sipping on it after stretching and a shower I remembered that up too one beer is scientifically proven to be more hydrating than its equivalent amount of water*.

*Cited from my co-worker’s friend Jim whose sister read an article on the internet.

Day Five-

Date night! Fern and I managed to sip down the nights ration while walking in the alley way between the sushi restaurant and movie theater. The can looks like soda, not that we encourage public consumption…

Day Six-

This is the training bra of IPA’s. The rounded and full finish of the malt helps those who are not hop crazy (Fern) begin to enjoy that tinge, that rush of pine which many of us lust after daily.

This Six-day six pack has remended us at the Dopest Wine Taster to always check the dates on beer cans no matter how rocking Shop n’ Kart’s sale is.

Luckily, at almost two months old, Hopportunity Knocks has held up amazingly well and over the course of six days drinking it in six different ways I would buy it again. 


DOPENESS  8.2/10

2 Copas Hour Challenge

For the Dopest Wine Taster’s first Hour Challenge installment last October we picked up this 2012 Red Blend (20% Malbec and 80% Tempranillo) at our local Co-Op for a premo 7.99

The label claims one should never drink it alone, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’ll write my review as I drink one bottle in one hour. I have eaten a salad to offset negative health impacts. Fern, my trusty and sober sidekick, will join to keep my record honest and to administer the tests.

  • Speed – Racoon, keep clever – Able to outrun heavy doughnut eaters.
  • Resilency – Prime, almost there – The finish line shimmers in the distance as the table is beginning to remind you more and more of a giant down pillow.

First Taste. 7:30 P.M.

Smooth spice on tip of tongue with a hint of bright pine in the back of the nose. Overall, smooth and fruity with a light grip that takes two seconds to hit.  Fruit profile bounces between raspberries and cherry. Earthy undertone of pepper that smooths out toward the end of the first glass. (Thanks to our trusty flavor blanket, alcohol)

Halfway. 8:02 P.M.

Cruising like Lance Armstrong into his seventh tour win (who cares if he had a little kick in his trailmix, he had one fucking testicle!). Still feel spiciness in the back of my throat. Sitting cross legged makes my stomach engaged and less upset.

  • Fern’s observations: He’s giggling for some reason about Lance Armstrong and emitting an odor from food, wine and lentil snacks. Not sure what that means but it seems like a good idea to him.

Finish. 8:29 P.M.

An almost unnoticeable slight burn at the point where entering stomach. Acid build up. Slight inhibition in relation to rambling. Interrupting frequently. Passionate about social issues. Fern is sending me on this vortex tour of modern culture and it couldn’t be more perfect. Constant burping, might be swaying slightly, definitely feel alcohol heavily. Haven’t sat up, drunk as damn euphoric, wine tastes good, smile definitely and talkative and awake rocking back and forth with roll on sentences and forgetting to breathe. Over explaining which isn’t unusual. This crappy music is influencing my shoulders to dance. 2 Copas could be used as personal bar music enhancement device.

  • Fern’s observations: At 3/4 of bottle, cringes after glass. Spraying food on himself. Very acidic. Cussing and a bit more slurring of words. He is typing and spelling everything wrong, and is passionate about rap artists controversy. Excited and feels like everything is fitting for the moment. Distracted while looking at video I played, he looks and kept typing and now is just watching again.

Pre-Run Procrastination Ramble. 8:45 P.M.

I need water. Wine only hits back of throat and on the way down sits heavy and makes me nauseas. I don’t know who decided this was a good idea.

Sober .3 Mile Dash – 2min 1sec.

Drunk .3 Mile Dash – 2min 45sec

  • Fern’s Observations: He was swerving during the run and is now bent over winded and i’m afraid he might throw up. Nope, he’s good, but can’t manage to say anything other than, ‘why the fuck did I come up with this idea’ in between wheezing. He looks like a skinny red Smurf.

Chick-Flick instalment – When Harry Met Sally

Stayed awake ~ 1:56:00

  • Fern’s Observations: He’ll deny that he wants to rewatch the end tomorrow.