Monday, July 17, 2017

Solvang...the Bonus Reel

Here are some parts of our Solvang trip that didn’t make the final cut but are still worthy…

Taking a little break to see the view from our second floor window, I look down into the side street and see a little shop. Out of the way, off the main tourist trail, it’s Valley Brewers.

I run downstairs, cross over, and check out this little shop of homebrew, home wine, and home cheesemaking supplies. One of the owners is inside. Chris shows us around, takes us downstairs where the real treasures are, and asks if we’ve ever brewed.

“Three batches,” I tell him. I also tell him about my latest attempt at a Belgian Dubbel which, although tasty, came out a bit flat.

Chris explains how to get the priming sugars just right, the importance of splashing oxygen in during the pour into the fermentation tank, and slowly letting the temperature rise a bit after bottling to get that all-important carbonation.

He also tells me that he has a killer Belgian ale recipe that he makes up for me for around $40. I should be able to get 48 bottles out of it once it’s brewed.

Now, I’ve got my favorite souvenir and found a great new place away from the overpriced wine tastings and mediocre pastries of downtown Solvang. I get to go home happy.

When we first got to Solvang, we made our way to NojoquiFalls for a hike. On the way over to the falls, we passed an idyllic looking farm. On our way home, I made our way back before hitting the freeway.

It’s Classic Organic farm, a green, grass-covered hillside with frolicking goats and mouse-hunting cats.

In the old wooden barn, baskets of apples, lettuce, onions, citrus and more await. A lazy cat sits atop the barrel where an honor-system slot and a tray of change sit for customers to deposit their money and make their own change.

We get some fruit and vegetables, eat some apples, and make friends with the goats.

It’s a great place for a quick and impromptu picnic before heading home.

Copyright 2013 – All Rights Reserved
Darryl Musick

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