TWIB – Wine Bars and The Container Store

Parallel Wine Bistro

After a grueling workweek that included a 15+ hour post production marathon on Thursday, there was nothing more I wanted to do than unwind on Friday night. Mrs. Short On Beer and I met some friends up at Parallel Wine Bistro for dinner and drinks. Parallel has a large and regularly rotating craft beer bottle list despite being a wine bar. The beer prices mostly range from $6-8 and most are $2 off during their Happy Hour from 4:00-7:00PM.

One of the perks of knowing the bartender is getting the handwritten list of new beers not listed on the menu that even the servers didn’t know about (thanks, Liz!). The first beer I had was off this secret menu — Great Divide Rumble. Rumble is an oak-aged IPA. The oakiness took out most of the bitterness from the hops. This was quite interesting for an IPA. It was a good choice to go with the Brie and Manchego cheese plate.

I went back to the basics for my next beer with a Stone Pale Ale while I enjoyed my bistro burger and duck fat fries.

Seeing “duck” on the menu made me crave a Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout. Parallel does have it but I had a couple still stashed at home so I went with a Port City Porter since it had been awhile since I had had any Port City beers. They make some amazing beers…Optimal Wit, Monumental IPA, Downright Pilsner to name a few. Their porter doesn’t disappoint either. It’s perfect for dessert and gets better as it warms.

The last thing about Friday night I want to mention — here’s a shout out to CJ, our server, who will hopefully be a new Short On Beer reader.

The Container Store

The start of 2014 has me trying to organize everything. It’s not like it wasn’t organized before but I feel like it could be done better. So in the past week I’ve been to the Container Store more times than you probably have been your entire life. I’ll admit it, I kinda like the store. It’s way better than navigating through a crowded Bed Bath and Beyond or a HomeGoods. Don’t tell my wife.

Pre-reorganization had my beers on the floor of the pantry shoved all the way in the back on top of flattened empty 6-pack holders. I just can’t seem to throw away those holders just yet. A few beers would regularly get lost or forgotten about. On the plus side I found a Hardywood Bourbon Sidamo that I’ve been accidently aging for 5+ months. But as I reorganize I want the beers off the floor and in ideal grabbing placement. I am also without a dedicated beer fridge. Go ahead and subtract 3 beer blogger points from my score. So I’m constantly fighting for room in the main fridge for my beers.

I seem to keep 8+ beers at all times in the fridge even though I won’t go through them all that quickly. I need a variety… a couple stouts for after dinner, a couple IPAs for weekends, an ale for guests, a couple Belgians for dinner, and a couple randoms I didn’t like (right now it’s New Belgium Giddy Up) and I can’t seem to get rid of and don’t want to drink.

New Pantry Beer Storage Space

New Pantry Beer Storage Space

Give me some advice. How is your beer storage system setup? How much room do you take up in the main fridge? How many of what do you keep in there? Leave your advice in the comments section below.

That’s it for this week’s This Week in Beer. Make sure to sign up to receive email updates for new posts by entering your email address at the bottom of the page so you never miss anything! 

9 thoughts on “TWIB – Wine Bars and The Container Store

  1. I have my own fridge in the basement for storing my beer (I rarely keep any in the main fridge). I keep my homebrew on one side, my “to-be-tried” beers on the other. Unless I know I’m having people over, I buy anything other than singles, which makes storage pretty easy. I drink at least one a night, so the stock rotates quickly, and I’m never really out of space.

    My homebrew equipment on the other hand, is a complete storage nightmare. I’ve resorted to storing most of my carboys/buckets/big stuff in the shed, while the smaller stuff lives in a single tupperware box in my tool closet.

  2. Most of my beer is in the basement on shelves/in boxes. Ditto for Homebrew equipment (and yes, I have that stack of flattened 6 packs too, for some reason). I do have a piece of furniture in the dining room that’s dedicated to alcohol, but that’s mostly wine, whiskey, and glassware, though I usually have a few beer bottles there too. And I usually have anywhere between 8-16 bottles in the fridge at any given time. I just got a kegerator though, and it looks like there will be a fair amount of unused space in there that I could probably leverage (even when I have a keg in it)…

    • Nice setup. You gave me an idea. I can clear out/reorganize some of the “hard stuff” I keep in a cabinet and I’d have room to store more beer. Are you going to keg your own homebrew or buy?

      • I’m going to be kegging homebrew. It’s been weird trying to set this thing up though, as the connections are all different, etc… Should have it up and running this weekend though. Very excited!

          • Woops, sorry for late reply, yes I got it set up. Unfortunately, my beer was terrible for completely unrelated reasons (I tried harvesting yeast from Heady Topper and totally botched it). I had some trouble adjusting the pressure correctly, but I eventually figured it out and made the appropriate adjustments. Brewing my next batch in the next week or two, so we’ll see…

  3. My beer storage leaves much to be desired. My wife and I live in a fairly small condo, so there isn’t too much room for storage. We have a small cabinet designed for holding china that I keep beer and liquor in, but beer is almost always overflowing from the cabinet, especially cork and caged 750 mL bottles that don’t fit in the cabinet. Right now, we have probably 8-10 bottles of beer (of various size) in our refrigerator. I used to have a dedicated beer fridge, but it was a casualty when my wife and I moved into a smaller condo.

    I am lucky to have amenable in-laws. I keep 95% of homebrewing equipment at their house in the basement. I also use a closet in their basement that I use as my beer cellar. The only problem is, if I want to homebrew, or if I want a beer from my beer cellar, I need to drive b/w an hour and an hour and a half to get to their house. It definitely helps to keep our condo less cluttered though.

    • Roughhh. I just added a picture above of my new setup. It fits about 24 regular bottles/cans.

      We moved into our house right before I started this blog from an approximately 850ft 2-bedroom apartment. There was zero space whatsoever for beer let alone homebrewing.

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