If you need me, I’ll be at the Crusades

29 October 2009

No, I’m not talking King Richard and fighting for religious dominance. While this crusade will have marginally fewer bloodied bodies, the motivations are much purer – bikes and beer.

What started as an off-hand twitter comment that I should catch some Oregon cross racing when I’m home for Christmas was interpreted by my co-brewer/cyclist as a call to arms (along with dates for all the cross races, his availability, and which would be optimal). Initially it seemed like too much to just head north for a cyclocross race, but after spotting the Handmade Bicycle Show in Portland the same weekend, we had critical mass and we started getting serious…

After some discussions, we decided on the level of epicness for the weekend: ultimate. With stops at various breweries/brewpubs (see Deschutes Brewery, maybe Cascade Lakes Brewpub, Fanno Creek Brew Pub, Rogue Public House, Laurelwood Brewpub, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Raccoon Lodge), Cross Crusade in Astoria, Handmade Bike Show in Portland, and at least a case of homebrew between the two of us, it’s looking like we’ll accomplish our goal.

With my trusty steed completed last Saturday:

A mere 50 miles of road riding since the build up and it seems to be functioning. Currently with slicks for commuting, but throw some nobbies on and let’s go coat it in mud.

Mount up, we’re off to the Crusades!


Amazing things are happening

2 October 2009

I’m guessing that I’m not the only one out there that has decided bikes and beer go well together. Given our largely bike-based brewing operation, we are no exception at Van der Dans. Which is why when we had the chance to provide some homebrew for the greater good of cycling, we were all in. While I haven’t been able to get out on too many longer rides lately, my brewing partner had been making it out pretty frequently with the good folks from Mission Cycling. At a post ride event, he brought some of our Wit and Bock to share. During the conversation, Rapha’s Gentlemen’s Race and the case of beer entry fee came up. Wouldn’t it be cool to show up with some SF-made homebrew?

That night I get an email with subject “Van der Dans Wit Question” that described Rapha (just your friendly transcontinental ridiculously high-end cycling brand), the insanity that is the gentlemen’s ride, how Mission Cycling was invited, and could we donate a case of our recently brewed Wit to their cause. My response: “Do it.”

So all that was left was to make it presentable… Good thing, I’m not the marketing guru, because the beer would not have looked near as good: introducing the Mission Gentlemen’s Kristalwit

Our contribution can be found within the pre-race photos where the race start was staged in Otis, OR. The start of a 137 mile journey to Portland. Of course there’s lots more to marvel at with the write up from the Mission riders and the great photos from the event collected by Rapha. So anyway, amazing things have been happening on bike and beer front.

Nice work Mission riders.


“Cross” Promotion

13 September 2009

I cannot pass up a good pun… apologies all around.

Amazing things are happening:

Months ago, I was reunited with a friend from undergrad at a wedding. At that point, I realized he had been brewing, something that was a bit tricky for me since all my equipment was about 600 miles to the north. Anyway, we start brewing, getting our supplies from SF Brewcraft and biking them to our luxurious brewing facilities. At some point in there, we decided it would be a good idea to race cyclocross, drink homebrew, and watch the good riders after we raced. Hence the birth of the California Cross Carboys (feel free to join the team, just ask). Some cycling, lots of brewing and drinking, but really mostly good times.

Shortly after that we started labeling our bottled homebrew. With some collaboration, our brewery was eventually christened Van der Dans Brewery — poorly translated from Dutch to mean “From the Dans” (we are in fact both named Dan – convenient). For instance, some Belgian Style Dubbel:

We were supposed to brew a tasty porter this weekend, but instead i’ve been sitting on the couch all weekend sick, writing blog entries.

So now you understand my need for a cross bike, and if you live in the bay area, join our cyclocross team. But seriously, relax, have a homebrew.