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Let's eat.

From Big Sur's killer cliff-clinging eateries to Salinas' unparalleled produce, this blog aims to sniff out all things Monterey County can stomach, via picture and prose, curiosity and appetite, hand and mouth.

Friday, May 28, 2010

You Had Me at "Beer"

Seems peeps have pilsners and ports on their minds. Might be because the Monterey Beer Festival is right around the corner June 5 (preceded by a free admission pre-party June 4 at the Culinary Center of Monterey), and because Cannery Row Brewing Company is scheduled to open around two weeks after that.

Nicole Gustas of Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau found a way to tap the current tide of beer enthusiasm with a fun rundown of 10 Places to Get a Beer on MCCVB's worthy blog.

It would be impossible to pour out a perfect list of 10 places, of course, but the most egregious absences I see on theirs would be London Bridge Pub (372-0581) with its great live music and picturesque dockside patios and The Bulldog (658-0686) given its cheeky bartenders and classic pub energy. (Both have very solid draft lineups.) My favorite two semi-secret spots, meanwhile, are the Aquarium's beautiful marble oceanview bar in Portola Restaurant (648-4870) and scruffy, old-school and simple awesome Duffy's Tavern (372-2565) next to the Presidio.

Local craft draft obsessors Merideth Canham Nelson and Chris Nelson (above) of Carmel Valley, also known as the Beer Geeks, enjoy a beer enthusiasm that's always flowing. They have somehow figured out a way to run all over the world sucking down noteworthy beers at the source, from Washington to Wales.

Yes, they are my heroes. And their weiner dogs (beer braut dogs?) are named Porter and Stout. (And it gets better: Stout is a stud at catching frisbees.)

I like the approach the Geeks articulate on said site: "We are not trying to tell you where to visit or what beers to drink; rather we hope to inspire you to look for your own beer adventures." They do that via video and prose, pictures and descriptors. Check out their website here.

Chris says Maiden Publick House in Big Sur (667-2395) and Crown and Anchor (649-6496) make his short list of prime places-for-a-pint, though he still mourns the passing of Ol' Factory Cafe.

"Maiden has a really good beer list," he says. "Crown and Anchor's just a fun place to go and meet friends for a beer or two."