The Sonia Show

Writer. Podcaster. Beer drinker. Old movie watcher. Mother. Goober.

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Beer and now

Yeah, so, my mighty, mighty good man David and I went to the opening night event for SF Beer Week.

We go every year, but this year we decided to see how the other half lives and treated ourselves to VIP tickets. I’d love to say that it’s because we’re so fuckin’ cool and rich, but the truth is we’re a couple of olds who don’t want to wait in long lines.

VIP tickets meant we got to go into the event one hour earlier, which gives us a shot at trying a lot of the beer that usually has long lines and taps out before we get there.

Yes, we tried Pliny the Younger from Russian River Brewing. Yes, it’s a perfectly good beer. Is it “wait in line for three or four hours” good? Umm, no. No beer is worth that to me. Actually, if it were a beer that when you finished drinking it you looked 15 years younger and 25 pounds lighter I would wait in line for it. Or maybe this coveted beer makes you pee gold … that would be worth something. It would also give new meaning to the term “golden showers.” Yeah, I know. You’re welcome.

David and his friend Jay think drinking Pliny the Younger is serious business.

Actually, we tried HenHouse Brewing’s Big Chicken, which is kinda their Pliny. It’s a double IPA, and I really liked it. I liked it more than Pliny the Younger.

Actual footage of you reading that statement.

So anyway, a couple other favorites from the event:

Death of the Sun from Drake’s Brewing is 14.8% – daaaaaaamn.

And don’t worry. David and I were not hung over the next day. I bought Curry Up Now burritos and put them in my purse, so we could drunkenly eat them while watching “BoJack Horseman” when we got home.

Apparently, we didn’t get enough beer on Friday night, because on Saturday we went to Laughing Monk for their barrel-aged beer event.


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Mommy’s little pinball wizard

Yeah, so, we’re trying to have little adventures around San Francisco that our mighty, mighty good boy Calvin would enjoy during our winter vacation. BUT, we’re also doing a few things that we love like – Oh, I don’t know – hitting up a few breweries, because duh.

So, we checked out Laughing Monk, which moved into a new space right next door to their old space. They have really tasty beer. Our current fave is Winter Bough, which is a Belgian quad. Unfortunately, Laughing Monk doesn’t serve food, but you can order any delivery you want from the food delivery app of your choosing.

Oh, and they have pinball, which Calvin loved playing because he is our son.

His favorite was the Gun ‘N’ Roses pinball.

‪Welcome to the jungle
We’ve got fun and games
If you got the money honey
Insert coins, please

So, yeah. look at me trying to keep my New Year’s resolutions and shit by writing on my blog more often. LOL! It’s only January 2, and I’m bragging about keeping my resolutions.

But yeah, if only I were as awesome about maintaining my other resolutions. I’m not sure it’s possible for me to lose 20 pounds AND not be so truly mean and awful to myself at the same time. I might have to choose one or the other.

Be Nice To Myself vs. Lose 20 Pounds

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Weekend Getaway: Portland

Yeah, so, we went to Portland.

My mighty, mighty good man David had to go to Portland for work, so I flew up on Friday to meet him for a little weekend away. I left Calvin in the car in the parking lot at the airport. Don’t worry, I left the window cracked. I’m not a monster.

I kid. He stayed with my mom and had the best time ever. Grandma is his best friend.

So, yeah, I flew up to Portland, and I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but it was my first-time ever flying on a plane by myself. Also, I’m 46. I know, I know. It’s pretty ridiculous.

Look, Mom! I’m going to fly on the plane like a big girl.

I downloaded the new “Mystery Science Theater 3000” on my Kindle, and it turns out it was the perfect length for the flight. It ended right as we were landing. I was completely entertained and distracted the entire time.

We had an awesome time in Portland. It’s a great city. There was a ton of tasty beer and everywhere I went there was a variety of vegan options. And not just the “I guess I’ll get the fries and the salad” variety, but full-on vegan options. Even a divey bar would have nachos with a vegan cheese option. Heaven!

Our friend Caitlin showed us around on Friday, and we went to a vegetarian restaurant Harlow, where I discovered jalapeno cashew cheese that I will absolutely be trying to make myself. We also went to Breakside Brewery, where I had a couple of really good IPAs, Rainbows & Unicorns IPA and Lunch Break ISA. I also bought this rad hat, which David is modeling in this photo.

We also had dinner at a vegan restaurant, Blossoming Lotus, because David and Caitlin are nice people. I got the chickpea chana masala curry, because curry is one of my faves, and it was delicious. We ended the night with drinks at Horse Brass Pub with David’s friends Collin and Siri.

On Saturday, we went to Blue Star Donuts. Voodoo Doughnuts is super famous, but we were told repeatedly that Blue Star Donuts is a local favorite. We were not disappointed. David got the creme brulee donut, and I got a vegan blueberry one. Yummers!

After that, we went to 10 Barrel Brewing, and I had the milk stout, which was pretty darn good.

We had evening drinks with our friend Kirk and his girlfriend Emily at the White Owl Social Club, which is such an awesome place we didn’t really want to leave for our dinner reservations. But we’re so glad we did, because we had an amazing dinner at La Moule. As you can tell by the name, mussels are kinda their thing, so I decided to be a bad, BAD vegan for a meal and get the Korean mussels, which had miso, ginger, kimchi, garlic and sesame oil. It was good stuff. Honestly, I could have just eaten a loaf of crusty bread and dripped into the broth.

I can see why so many San Franciscans have moved to Portland. It’s very San Francisco-ish, except cleaner. Maybe that’s because of the rain?

We had such a good time. Big thanks to Caitlin for giving up her Friday to show us around, Collin and Siri for meeting us at Horse Brass, and Kirk and Emily for introducing us to the White Owl. Thanks, you guys!



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Six Things I’m Loving: Chef’s Table, SF Beer Week And More

Yeah, so, I’ve been stupid-busy at work. Don’t you hate it when you have to work at work?

On top of being swamped at work, where I just celebrated my EIGHTH year of working there (WTF?!?), both my mighty, mighty good man David and I caught a nasty cold from my mighty, mighty good boy Calvin. If you listen to this week’s Dorking Out, you can hear how congested I was earlier this week. It’s so sexy.

So, yeah, I’ve been swamped at work; our president is a raving lunatic who is going to get us all killed; and I had a cold. Good times.

Let’s talk about something else. It’s time for another installment of six things I’m loving right now.

Daily Skimm

Being outraged about everything that is going on is a full-time, but I already have a full-time job. Good buddy Kate recommended Daily Skimm to me, which sends an email newsletter every morning that summarizes the most important news stories of the day. It’s super helpful, and makes reading a lot of bad news a little easier … a little. I highly recommend it. You can sign up for it riiight here.

SF Beer Week


On Friday, David and I used Urban Sitter for the first-time ever (which worked out great – Calvin had a great time and was instantly comfortable with her) and went to the SF Beer Week Opening Night Gala, like we always do. Just in case you don’t know what that is it goes like this: You pay $80; you get a glass; you get to drink unlimited beer from more than 80 breweries. It’s awesome. We tried some really great beer. Favorites included a milk stout from Seven Stills, Shadow Of Their Eyes from The Rare Barrel and The Vastness Of Space from Cellarmaker Brewing Company.

Chef’s Table

You guys! Season three of Netflix’s “Chef’s Table” drops on Friday! Man oh man, we love “Chef’s Table” in this house. As “Top Chef” fans, we have found this show to be the part of “Top Chef” we loved the most with all the manufactured drama and stupid challenges. Each episode of “Chef’s Table” features a different chef. The second season was set entirely in France, but the first and this upcoming third season feature chefs from all over the world. We learn why the chefs make the kind of food they make. We learn about the process. And then you get to watch them cook. It’s rad! The cinematography is beautiful. We find the show incredibly soothing, and it is a nice break from all the news about how our country is basically a raging dumpster fire right now.


So, well we wait for new episodes of “Chef’s Table,” we started watching this other documentary series on Netflix titled “Abstract.” It’s basically “Chef’s Table,” but with artists. We’ve watched the first two episodes: one was about an illustrator, and the second episode was about the man who designed Air Jordans for Nike. This is totally a David series, and I wasn’t sure I’d be into it. But, it’s surprisingly interesting. You learn a lot about their creative process, and as someone who fancies herself somewhat creative that interests me.


We went to Bourbon & Branch, a speakeasy in San Francisco, with a group of friends for David’s birthday. It’s a real speakeasy. You have to make a reservation, and you get a password and all that. I’m not really a cocktail drinker. I’m a beer and wine drinker. But I figured a nice place like Bourbon & Branch would be a great place to try some delicious cocktails and figure out what I like. “I’m not a cocktail person. What should I get?” She has obviously heard this question before and immediately suggested a cucumber gimlet, which is made with gin. You guys! It turns out I like gin! I also had another gin-based drink, which I think was called Gypsy. I honestly can’t remember, because gin.


San Francisco Giants

Baseball season starts April 3. I cannot wait. Baseball, save me!



Our weekend beer-cation

Yeah, so, my mighty, mighty good man David and I finally got a much-deserved weekend away.

Mighty, mighty good boy Calvin and Homer spent the weekend with my parents. We took Friday off from work, dropped off the boy and headed up to Healdsburg. We got to sleep in, and it was everything I remembered it to be. We spent most of our time checking out a few breweries and wineries. I know what you are thinking: “Oh, you guys went to Russian River Brewery, right?”

Well, you are wrong! WRONG, I says.

It turns out Russian River Brewing was in the midst of its annual serving of Pliny the Younger, which means that lines were around the block to get in. I am not joking. People were waiting in line for more than 4 or 5 hours to get a beer.


I’ve had Pliny the Younger before. It’s a pretty OK beer. I’m not really an IPA fan, so it’s not really my bag. However, David loves IPA. He likes it, but he doesn’t “wait in line for four hours” like it. Honestly, they could be serving my favorite beer in the world, and I still wouldn’t be willing to give up like 6 hours of my day to drink it, and I really love beer. I do a podcast about beer!


I guess I’m just an old lady now. I have a rare weekend away without my kid. I’m not going to spend it sitting in line waiting to drink a beer. I’m going to go somewhere else and drink beer — immediately. No waiting!

There was no line at Russian River Brewing if you want to buy some beer to-go, so we picked up a bottle of Supplication, Consecration, a six pack of Blind Pig IPA (which is also difficult to get by the way – they don’t distribute it anymore and it’s tasty), and a couple of Pliny the Elder. We also picked up a few bottle of Sonoma Pride, which a side project by the owners of Russian River. They are also quite tasty.

We visited Lagunitas Brewing Company. We each got a flight of beer. I realize that Lagunitas is known for IPAs, but my favorite was the High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout, because of course that was my favorite. My favorite is always the darkest, highest alcohol content beer on the menu. Same thing at Bear Republic: I had a flight of beer, and my favorite was the Russian Imperial Stout, Old Baba Yaga.

David at Bear Republic. His beer flight runneth over.

David at Bear Republic. His beer flight runneth over.

Sadly, I couldn’t buy any of these beers in bottle to bring home. I was super bummed. However, we did have the Russian River beers to drink after we got home, and that did not suck.


For a complete rundown of my favorite beers, check out my Untappd profile riiight here.

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Old Movies, New Beer: Meet Me In St. Louis, Bathing Beauty and Deschutes Brewery

Yeah, so, my mighty, mighty good man David and I watched the glorified clip show that is “That’s Entertainment” Part 1 and Part 2, which got us interested in MGM musicals.

In our new episode of “Old Movies, New Beer,” we talk about “Meet Me In St. Louis” and “Bathing Beauty.” We also talk about some our favorite musicals.

We’re drinking Jubel 2015 from Deschutes Brewery, which is delicious and strong, so you know I’m say assy shit by the end of the podcast – as usual.

You can find the podcast riiiight here, or you can listen to us on iTunes. Cheers!


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Old Movies, New Beer: Christmas In Connecticut, White Christmas and Straffe Hendrik Quad

Yeah, so, I got drunk and said a bunch of assy shit on this week’s Old Movies, New Beer podcast again.

Are you guys listening? You should listen. Don’t you want to hear my voice? It’s so irritating sexy.


Check out our awesome Christmas village. It has a movie theater now. It’s totally rad, and not nerdy at all.

This week we chatted about holiday movies, specially “Christmas In Connecticut” and “White Christmas.” We were drinking one of my favorite beers, Straffe Hendrik Quad. It’s got a pretty high alcohol content: 11%.

And if that podcast puts you in the mood for other holiday movies, we talked about “The Bishop’s Wife” and “The Man Who Came To Dinner” as well as all “The Thin Man” movies (some of them are vaguely related to the holidays).



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Old Movies, New Beer: The Haunting, The Curse Of The Cat People and Firestone Walker’s Helldorado

Yeah, so, mighty, mighty good man David and I got drunk and talked about old movies again.

This time, we talked about “The Haunting” and “The Curse Of The Cat People” while sipping on Firestone Walker’s Helldorado, which is so good, you guys. It’s got a high alcohol content: 13.2%. Wheeee!


You can hear our sexy voices riiiight here. You can download our podcast in the iTunes store, too.

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It’s fancy beer time

Yeah, so, last week, mighty, mighty good man David and I went to the San Francisco Beer Week Opening Night Gala.

It was our first date night since the mastectomy last month. We had a great time, and there was a ton of beer to try. There was a much bigger crowd this time around. Last year, the event was in the Concourse Center, and this year it was in Fort Mason, a much larger venue. I heard there were 1,900 tickets sold. At first, I found the crowd to be a little overwhelming, and some of the lines were a little too long for Short-Attention Sonia, but eventually I got drunk used to it.


Just hanging out in front of the SF Beer Week sign, looking cool. You know, like you do.

I tried just enough beer at the SF Beer Week Opening Night Gala, meaning if I had anymore I surely would have been sloppy drunk. I was all about dumping the beer that I didn’t really like. I usually have the need to drink it even if I don’t really like it – kinda like the need to clean your plate even when you are full. This time around, though, I decided that if I can only handle so much beer, I’m not going to waste what I can handle on beer that I found to be less than delicious.

So what were my faves? I really loved the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Drakonic Stout from Drake’s Brewing. Not surprising. Drake’s Brewing had one of my favorites last year, too: an amazing sour beer. Also, I’m a huge sucker for bourbon barrel-aged beer. I almost always love it. I really enjoyed Bob Quad from Social Kitchen & Brewery and Brass Parachute Barleywine by Third Street Aleworks. David really loved the Drakonic, too, and ZZ Hop by Auburn Ale House.

We made sure to hit up a lot of the breweries that we never tried before. I love Speakeasy and Almanac, but they are our neighbors, and I have their beer all the time. I tried to be really good about logging all the beer I tried, but I know I failed. Still, if you want to see an almost complete list of what I tried, check out my Untappd.

Within the past year, David and I have collected many bottles of beer that we refer to as “super-fancy beer:” beer that we are saving for special occasions. Well, since I’m going to be doing chemo for the next five months, and I can’t really drink, we have decided that the next couple of weeks are special occasions so be on the lookout for check-ins, Instagrams and tweets about “super-fancy beer.”

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Let’s talk about beer or something, shall we?

Yeah, so, let’s talk about something else other than cancer. How about beer?

When mighty, mighty good man David and I went on our honeymoon to Paris and Belgium, we drank a lot of delicious beer. One of my favorites was Waterloo, which we had in a bar in Brussels. It was a strong dark ale, and it was served in a goblet. We drank a lot of beer on that trip, but that night in Brussels was the drunkest I got, and I wrote about it riiiight here. It’s one of my favorite stories from our trip, because it involves me yelling at a pickpocket: “I see you, and I’m taking your picture!”

So anyway, sadly, we could never find Waterloo here, and we certainly couldn’t get a hold of the precious goblet. David was always on the lookout for it, and, well, ta-dah!


It’s a Christmas miracle! David was able to find the goblets and the strong dark ale in a holiday beer pack that he ordered from a beer shop in Belgium for me for Christmas.

David gets me the nicest gifts.

Isn’t the goblet super cool? It reminds me of the grail in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”


We are planning to break in our new goblets tonight for our New Year’s Eve feast. Every year for New Year’s Eve, we stay home and David tries to recreate a meal we had on our honeymoon. This year, David is preparing Beef Bourguignon and pots de creme, and I think the Waterloo will go well with it.

Happy New Year, you guys!