Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hollister Hills Taproom & Brewery

Two Sundays ago, after a hot day of hiking up and down the deAnza Trail  in San Juan Bautista, the Husband and I longed for an ice cold beer. But, we weren't in the mood for going to one of the bars in San Juan or to either of the two beer pubs in Hollister. Nor were we interested in going to the market to buy a six-pack. Yeah, I know, picky, picky.

As we drove back to Hollister, the Husband suddenly said, "Maybe the new brewery is open." So, we swung by. And, wouldn't you know it. Open!

The Hollister Hills Taproom and Brewery was exactly where we wanted to be. It is a small, intimate establishment that serves various microbrewery beers on tap, including its own brew. That Sunday, it was Red Beard.  (Last Saturday, it was Easy like Sunday Morning). Oh, did that beer hit the spot. (So did the one on Saturday after a hot day at the county fair.)

The brewery is owned by two couples—Sean and Fran, and Chuck and JoAnn (who own Relax! Grillin & Chillin). We met Sean, Chuck, and JoAnn. Very cool people.

Sean gave us a tour of their nanobrewery. Yes, that's what he called the small room where they do their magic. They only brew small amounts of a beer at a time. They started brewing beer a few years ago. We thought they had been doing it much longer because of the passionate and joyous vibes that Sean gave out as he spoke about all that goes into crafting beer, including the choice of hops and other ingredients. I should've taken notes, but by then I was already "happy" from sipping the Red Beard so my notes wouldn't have made sense later on anyway.

Hollister Hills serves non-alcoholic beverages (their own brewed root beer, for example) and artisan fare.  They try to use fresh, local ingredients. What I like is the choice of ordering full or half portions of a sandwich, which comes with a side of macaroni, potato, or green salad.  We tried the Rueben and the  French Pig—prosciutto, brie, and apple slices on ciabatta. The potato salad was yummy, but the macaroni salad reminded us of Hawaii. Yep, that tasty.

Hollister Hills is open daily. Monday to Friday, 11a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. It's located in the Clock Tower Plaza on McCray Street. It's next to Subway Sandwiches and kitty corner from the pet store. Its exact address is 401 McCray Street, Suite B24. Click here to visit its Web site, and here to visit its  Facebook page.

Note to FCC: Nobody paid me or gave me free samples to write about this establishment. So, there.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

San Benito County Fair: Sept. 28, 29, and 30, 2012

"Saddle your pony, here we go. . ." Oh wait, that's the ditty to sing to go down to the Mickey Mouse Talent Rodeo. Hmmm. How about, "Get in your car, here we go, down to the County Fair."

Yep, it's that time of year again to head over to Bolado Park and enjoy the day (or days) checking out the county's agricultural bounty, the livestock that the 4-H and FFA kids have raised year round, our neighbors' and friends' food, crafts, quilts, and gardening entries. And, then  there are the carnival rides, the fair food, the vendors' booths (Will "See the Strange Thing" be there again?), the live music, the truck pulls. . . .And, of course, the bumping into and gabbing with friends we haven't seen in years or just saw the other day.

All fun at the San Benito County Fair. Just like the poster says.

Here are some photos from last year's County Fair.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

From Dough to Dough and Back to Dough

The Pendergrass Restaurant is now open for business!

The new restaurant sits at the bottom of the old Pendergrass Building on the corner of Fifth & San Benito Streets. Being "old", I still remember when that space was the California-something Bank where I had my first not-a-Bank-of-America savings account. I have no idea whether that was the first bank there. And, I can't recall when the last bank left that spot. The Pendergrass was built in 1927 as both a hotel and office building. If I'm remembering correctly, the building also had a restaurant. Ah, see, the benefits of being "old".

Buena fortuna, Pendergrass Restaurant!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The 19th Hole

Martini coins? Jalapeno coins? Popper rounds? 

I just can't remember the name of the delicious deep-fried coin-shaped jalapenos that the 19th Hole Booze & Food serves in a martini glass, topped with an olive. I could just eat that with a green salad and a glass of beer. Yummm. 

The 19th Hole in Tres Pinos has been around since 1883. It's yet another fun place to stop for lunch (Thursday through Sunday) in the small village after a cruise through the back roads of San Benito County, a drop from a plane, a hike at the Pinnacles, a movie in Hollister, or whatever else you've been doing. Dinner, too, I bet. 

For photos, menus, and other stuff about the local watering hole, check out these links: 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Art All Around

These PG&E thingies are on the sidewalk in front of Heavenly Bakery on the corner of Sixth and San Benito Streets.



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