Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Indie Hops Celebrates Beer, Bikes, Kids and Good Health!

What a day!

Under gunmetal grey skies with a chill wind blowing off the Pacific Ocean, the action on the clean streets of Dana Point was red hot. We saw and felt it all: the thrill of fierce competition, the joy of cheering on children pedaling with all their heart, the pride of a community rallying to support noble charities, and the grief of honoring the life of Jorge Alvarado, a young racer killed before his prime a few days before by a street-racing motorist in Redlands.

It was a banner day. Over 800 cyclists in 10 categories raced their butts off for over $30,000 in cash and prizes. Even better, at least 300 children, ages 4-15, lined up in multiple age group categories to thrill the crowd and tv audience with their spirit, speed and happy faces. All proceeds from the race will be donated to charity, including the Boys and Girls Club of Capistrano Valley and the 5th Marine Support Group.

Indie Hops is proud to associate with quality beer and a salubrious lifestyle. Salubrious! Check it out: it means "enhancing well-being" or promoting the good life. Cycling is a perfect platform for trumpeting the virtues of a well-hopped malted beverage. In order to maximize what their bodies can put out, cyclists in general are very meticulous about what food and drink they put in -- it's got to be good, real good.

Quality over quantity. I always say that if I'm going to limit my beer intake to one-a-day, it better deliver on all counts. It better have plenty of nutritious malt and anti-oxidant rich hop oils and tannins. It needs to emit an aroma that whispers: relax and enjoy, you've earned it. And of course it needs the right amount of alcohol that can help liberate you from any festering deadweight that may be holding you down.

I want to thank my good friends at Karl Strauss. KS delivered big time. They donated several kegs of Woodie Gold, Amber lager, Pintail Pale Ale and Red Trolley to the beer tent, the proceeds of which will be donated to the 5th Marine Support Group out of Camp Pendleton. Hoo-rah!

And a special shout out to Chris Cramer, the CEO of Karl Strauss. He delivered several cases of muscular Big Barrel Double IPA to the race VIP event and later that night we toasted to their Gold Medal winning Red Trolley over a few bottles of Belgian-Style Anniversary Ale. I broke my one-a-day rule to pieces but it was worth it -- the bewitching brew transported me to the rolling hop fields of Poperinge, Belgium (saving a fortune on air fare!) and that night I slept like a baby.

In June, Indie Hops will be sponsoring the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in Portland, Oregon. We will be inviting all the local brewers to join in the fun. Our long term vision is to work with Oregon State University in conducting single hop variety brew sensory panels in conjunction with major bike races. Imbibing hopped up beverages in the name of science! Who knew data collection could be so much fun?

A big thanks to the Dana Point Community Cycling Foundation, the City of Dana Point, and all the sponsors and volunteers who made the 4th Annual Indie Hops Dana Point Grand Prix a great day for sport, family and quality beer. I had a blast on the mic and can't wait to do it again.

For an excellent video of the race in all its glory (and savagery), click here.

For stories and video footage of the race:

Cantwell Wins!

The Crash in the Pro Race

Roger Worthington

Here is my interview with Cox Cable. Gnarly!

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