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Cover of Happy Hour Magazine March/April 2012


Cover of West Coaster March 2012

KUSI Morning News Segment: Craft Beer Pairing for New Year’s Eve

We\'re Buying a Beer ForView More from this Issue


Laurie Delk from 100 Beers, 30 Days virtually stops by to answer our questions.

What do you like more: drinking beer or blogging about beer?

Hahaha. Are you serious?? Drinking. Definitely drinking. I adore writing, but the real joy is in the experience. I try to share that with people as much as possible.

What’s the craziest experience you’ve had as a result of your life as a beer blogger?

Public recognition and international fans. When someone comes up to me and says, “Hey! You’re the 100 beers. 30 days. girl! I love your blog!” That just blows me away. And to have amazing fans in countries like Sweden, Italy, and Australia that regularly follow and comment. Wow.

Do you have a favorite post and why did you like it?

Hmm. Tough one. Probably the post entitled “Saints, Penguins, and Zee Germans.” about Brewdog’s James Watt visit to Stone Brewing. We tasted the Tokio, Tactical Nuclear Penguin, and Sink the Bismarck that night. It was mind-blowing. Their beers inspire me and make me a better writer, I swear.

Where can we find you blogging about beer? (A physical location, like Perez Hilton and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.)

TapRoom or Pacific Beach Ale House in Pacific Beach. They are within walking distance of my house, and always have good beer flowing. A must for creative writing.

The Lumberyard Tavern’s Laurie Delk on pairing food with beer by David Boylan

I’ll admit up front that I’m a bit of a latecomer to the whole craft beer thing. If it were not for my son and his insistence that I expand my horizons beyond “yellow fizzy beer” as the people at Stone call it, I probably would still be calling my occasional forays into Sam Adams and Guinness adventurous.I’ll always stick to my rule that if it tastes good to you, drink it. That goes for beer and wine as there is a time and place for a crisp cold light beer and even a chilled white zinfandel on a hot summer afternoon. Wait, did I just say that? Yes I did. You get my point; drink what tastes good to you. That said, if you limit yourself to the beer of the masses, you are really depriving yourself of a wonderful experience.

I recently met Laurie Delk, an emerging expert and chronicler of the craft beer movement. Laurie tends bar at The Lumberyard Tavern & Grill in Encinitas and I became aware of her blog , when I Licked the Plate there a few months ago. The blog has become a bible for beer enthusiasts internationally and I would highly suggest it to both rookies and veterans alike.

Here are some highlights from a recent conversation with her.

Lick The Plate: Let’s start with your background and what lead you to be such a beer aficionado.

Laurie Delk: My background is actually in wine. I was general manager of a wine shop in New Orleans for several years. I taught classes, helped customers organize their cellars, and conducted tastings. I have taken classes from UC Davis and lived in Italy where I worked a harvest with a prestigious Piedmont winery. I honestly thought wine was what I would do for the rest of my life! Then about a year ago, I discovered the wonderful world of craft beer and I haven’t turned back. Wine will always have an important place in my life, but the craft beer movement is incredibly exciting right now.

LTP: Do you recall the first time you had beer paired with food, was there an ah-ha moment where you realized that beer could compliment food as well as wine?

LD: The first time I had beer paired with food purposefully was a tasting in the wine shop with various cheeses and wine versus beer. With each cheese, one wine and one beer was selected as a pairing to uncover which was the better match. We did six pairings, and amazingly beer won five out of six times! It was a tremendous revelation for me. It wasn’t long after that I had my idea for my blog.

LTP: San Diego is

officially on the map as a craft brew powerhouse. What is your take on the local craft beer scene?

LD: I think the craft beer scene here is brilliant. I am literally in beer heaven here. I am consistently blown away by the marvelous offerings of breweries like Lost Abbey, Alesmith, and Ballast Point. I also love Pizza Port, Green Flash and Stone.

LTP: You have obviously paired a lot of food and beer. Can you run through an example of a multi-course meal and describe the beer pairing with each dish?

LD: Given the season, start with a gazpacho or a light summer salad with grapefruit wedges and light citrus vinaigrette pair beautifully with a Saison such as Goose Island Sophie. For a main course a Maple Glazed Salmon, paired with a delicious Ommegang Abbey Ale. For dessert go with a Dark Chocolate Lava Cake with Raspberry Coulis paired with a big, rich stout like yummy Green Flash Double Stout. If you like coffee with your dessert, skip it and try the Nils Oscar Coffee Stout. It’s amazing.

LTP: Have you worked with Chef Ryan at the Lumberyard Tavern to develop beer pairings with menu items?

LD: So far, I have been pairing our specials on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays with both a wine and beer to give our customers a range. Ryan and I have definitely discussed working together on menu items, so I look forward to working with him in the future on more pairings.

Per Laurie’s suggestion, I recently paired a Humboldt brown ale with pulled pork sandwich and sweet potato fries at the Lumberyard Tavern. Consider me a convert.

Follow Laurie and her blog at http://100beers

Avenue Pub Website 11/25/09:

One Woman, 100 Beers, 30 Days…

In the month of November, Laurie Delk, general manager of the Cork and Bottle wine shop (3700 Orleans Ave.) will drink 100 bottles of stout and porter in 30 days to raise funds, food & awareness for the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Every Tuesday this month at Clever, Cork and Bottle’s adjacent wine bar, you can join Laurie for a free sample of four stouts and porters. Donations of non-perishable food and cash will be accepted. On Wednesday, November 25, at 8pm, Laurie brings her project to the Avenue Pub – bring a can of food to receive one dollar off a pint of stout or porter. Other events will be announced (and beers critiqued)at

“For me, beer is for when my palate is completely fatigued from wine,” she said. “There is nothing like a beer to refresh me and wake me up.”

No chance of failing to complete the task, “I am a beer drinker. I can drink some beer.”

Cork and Bottle general manager drinks 100 beers for charity

By Todd A. Price

November 02, 2009, 2:17PM

In the month of November, Laurie Delk will let her life be guided by the classic song “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” The general manager of the Cork and Bottle wine shop (3700 Orleans Ave.) will drink 100 bottles of stout and porter in 30 days. Although such a worthy project needs no justification, Delk is using her personal quest to raise food and funds for the Second Harvest Food Bank.

guinness beerA pint of Guinness stout.Every Tuesday this month at Clever, Cork and Bottle’s adjacent wine bar, you can join Delk for a free sample of four stouts and porters. Donations of non-perishable food and cash will be accepted. On Wednesday, November 25, at 8 p.m., Delk and the Avenue Pub (1732 St. Charles Ave.) team up for a food drive. Bring a can of food to receive one dollar off a pint of stout or porter. Other events will be announced, a blog where Delk chronicles and critiques the beers she drinks this month.

Although Delk is in the wine business, she is no stranger to beer. “For me, beer is for when my palate is completely fatigued from wine,” she said. “There is nothing like a beer to refresh me and wake me up.”

And what happens if she fails to finish 100 different bottles this month? “I won’t,” she said. “I am a beer drinker. I can drink some beer.”

Interview with Murf Reeves of WWOZ radio, New Orleans, December 2009:

Social Media:

Craft Beer Locator:

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi Laurie. I’ve been reading your blog for a long while now and only just took the time to read this. I see that you own a wine/beer (I presume) shop – can I ask how you found setting that up, and whether you gave up another career to do it? I’m looking at doing something myself in the near future, you see, and am simply trying to get as much info as I can at this stage!

    1. Hi there! Thank you so much for reading and supporting! I actually don’t own a wine/beer shop, but ran one for several years. I do know it’s a great financial challenge to successfully run a shop of this sort, as margins are so difficult to manage with larger stores like Bevmo, Total Wine, Costco, etc, undercutting so many price points.
      Best of luck in your venture, and I wish you the greatest success!

      1. Ah…I see! Thanks for replying anyway, Laurie. Best of luck for the future and….cheers!

  2. I think you are living my dream life!!! Good job!!!

  3. Scott Grove says:

    Here is information on a new brewery opening in Frederick, MD.

    Local Brewery to be Established by Monocacy Brewing Company

    Frederick, MD’s reputation for beer production will grow substantially in the coming months with the opening of the Monocacy Brewing Company, LLC. Phil Bowers, managing member of the newly formed company announced that it will establish a 15,000 s.f. brewery and operating headquarters at 1781 N. Market Street in Frederick. He expects the brewery to open in November 2011.

    Bowers, a businessman whose downtown restaurants include the brewpub Brewer’s Alley, has been retailing his craft beers on a small scale throughout Maryland for the past five years. “There is a tremendous market for craft beer,” said Bowers, who notes that the number of U.S. breweries has grown from approximately 250 to 1,760 during the past 20 years. Bowers says that over 1,715 of the 1,760 are craft breweries. “Spirit shops that specialize in craft beer sales utilize some 75-80% of their dedicated beer floor space to merchandise craft beer.”

    “Just like wine connoisseurs who explore the nuances of regional grapes, so, too do fans of craft beer, who want to enjoy beer styles created with locally-grown ingredients,” says Bowers, “Local origination of ingredients will be one of Monocacy’s major brewing initiative.” Tom Flores, who has served as brewmaster at Brewer’s Alley since 1997, will oversee operations at the brewery.

    Named after the river that flows through Frederick County, the Monocacy Brewing Company will hire some 25 employees in time and have the ability to produce up to 20,000 barrels a year when operating at full capacity. Monocacy will brew its own lines of beer as well as Brewer’s Alley’s retailed beers, and others upon request.

    After studying dozens of potential brewery sites, Bowers chose the circa 1930s Market Street Extended factory building that originally housed the Ebert Ice Cream Company. “We all liked the idea of reusing and adapting an existing property – as opposed to building anew on a raw parcel of land,” he said. “It was a perfect spot because the building was originally designed and used for factory food production.”

    Bowers plans to renovate a front section of the building that originally served as an ice cream parlor for use as a tasting room and retail shop. He will also make improvements to the façade of the building and restore the property’s once beautiful landscaping that includes a large fountain and vintage streetlamps. “The property holds personal memories for many local residents,” said Bowers

    The Flying Barrel, a Frederick-based retailer of ingredients and supplies for beer and wine making since 1980 will move to the brewery and occupy 3,000 s.f. Bob Frank, owner of The Flying Barrel said that his relocation is a good business move. “Phil and I share a lot of the same customers. They’ll be sampling and buying Phil’s beers as well as purchasing supplies for home brewing.” Another benefit, Frank says, is having brewing experts next door. “My customers love to talk with professional brewers. This will provide them with an even greater opportunity to do so.”

    For more information on the Monocacy Brewing Company, contact Bowers at 301-631-0671.

  4. Brian Becker says:

    Hey Laurie..

    My name is Brian Becker, i am the owner of BBbarfly Bottle Openers,

    Our company manufactures some kickass, customized bottle openers…

    Just wanted to introduce myself. Keep up the good work!



  5. Billy says:

    HI Laurie We met a few days back and wanted to remind you about a great brewery here in the Inland Empire, called Hanger 24, Hopefully you can make up here and try a few, The other spot i mentioned for great beer and gourmet burgers is called Eureka Burger’s located in Redlands.

    Take care and hopefully I will be down for a cold one next month Billy

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