Friday, May 18, 2012

A Place I Live: Historic Homes and Beer. Heck YA!

In the last two days it has been suggested to me twice that I should move to The Colony.  This makes my mind wander thinking of living in an old Craftsman with a beautiful porch to drink lemonade with my Schnauzers. When I come back to reality I know that I’ve discovered a gem of a neighborhood. See, Anaheim is the largest city in Orange County. So large that some people think Anaheim Hills is a different city because it can be a 30 minute drive from the West side.

The Colony is the original settlement from the mid 1800s by Germans who wanted to use the land to make beer and wine. The settlement was bounded by North, South, West and East Street which are still present today.
Nowadays there are less farmers in the colony and more working people like you and me. Many of them who love history have focused on restoring their homes to the glory of the old days. I’ve been told stories of neighbors welcoming each other to the neighborhood, making friends that feel like family and working with the city to preserve the historic structures. Now, in one of the largest populated cities in California, the right people have found each other and created an awesome event to share the history, preservation and beer of The Colony.
The Anaheim Neighborhood Association (ANA), a self-described political action group, has organized the Historical Home, Garden and BreweryTour that is set to take place Memorial Day weekend. The tour will showcase several historic homes in The Colony which include two home brewers, Founder’sPark and The Anaheim Brewery.
Aside from being a fundraiser for the group, their aim is to promote interest in the history of Anaheim.  Dinah Torgerson explained that Anaheim has a high quality of historic homes. They have seen more neighbors being committed to restoring them and hope that the tour will encourage even more commitment from existing and new neighbors. Dinah and her husband Larry are proud of the historic homes ANA has already helped save and it is safe to say they look forward to seeing even more restoration projects.
Another member of ANA is Chris Maya who pointed out that this isn’t the first historical home tour held in Anaheim. “The Anaheim Historical Society has done a great job at showing the history of Anaheim. What we want to do with this event is bring the past into the present.” Showing the faces of now in a home of yesterday is a way for the group to show the heart behind the preservation and renovations in The Colony.
Chris points to Anaheim’s long history of beer in the connection between historic homes and breweries along the tour.  It doesn’t hurt that many of ANA’s friends and neighbors are also home brewers in historic homes.
Swing Door Murphy Bed at the Daniel's Home
I had the pleasure of meeting with the brewmaster of PeaceBreweries, Bradley Daniels and taking a tour of his home and pub. Bradley’s home was built in 1924 and he began restoring it five years ago. The land the house was built on used to be a vineyard and has quite an impressive tree that is even older than the house. Guests of the tour will be shown the front three rooms of the home and the pub.
Peace Breweries was in the making for over 2 years while Bradley collected small details and stored them in his garage. The finished pub is a beauty! It is complete with bar, fermenting room and a gentlemen’s restroom. Bradley’s daughter suggested a chalkboard door to the bathroom to keep from having to paint over the obscenities. Besides what bar doesn’t have graffiti on the walls of the bathroom?
Bradley and Abby at Peace Brewery

After home brewing for 20 years, the first batch was made in his home brewery pub in October of 2010. Since then he has made 42 more batches. On tap was his IPA (my personal favorite), Amber Wheat, Colony Blonde and Oatmeal Stout. For the kiddos, Bradley and his daughter Abby brew a delicious Root Beer and Orange soda. For Abby, brewing the soda was a great way to spend time with her dad. She did mention how much her friends enjoyed her Root Beer too. This is one part of the tour you don’t want to miss.
And did I mention the trolleys? That’s right, you don’t even have to drive yourself from the houses and breweries. There will be three routes to get you around. Ready to experience the small time feel of The Colony for yourself?  The tour will start in front of Good Foods Saturday May 26th and Sunday May 27th from 10 AM to 5 PM. Food trucks will be at Founder’s Park to refuel. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Wood Designs Debut & ACE

Last night I caught myself smiling as I was falling asleep. That is just how great this weekend went. We debuted our wood designs at the AnaheimArt Crawl Experience and had a fantastic time! All of our wood designs are made from reclaimed wood gathered in North Orange County. Most of it has been taken from torn down structures and trimmed trees. In repurposing the wood, we are reusing and recycling which is an added bonus to our green practices. In other words, no new trees were harmed in the making our designs.
Our largest designs are our Block Art series which is made using reclaimed redwood and eucalyptus. Framed in pieces of weathered redwood are blocks, diagonal cuts, layers and even cross sections of wood. They can be hung on a wall or placed on a table top. The flat designs can even be used as trivets when serving hot dishes.  

Our wood brooches are made from Ficus branches and are perfect for anyone! The most simple of our designs is wood that is sealed for protection or stained to add a bit of color. I have hand painted some with  retro designs like an anchor, cherries, even an owl. For a fancier look is a wood brooch with lace across the front.  Jeremy wore one of these for the craft show and I was surprised by how a beard can make lace look manly! Who knows, maybe they will catch on as the new wedding boutonniere? Last but not least we have our most colorful design that I call Citrus Squeeze is wood brooches in bright colors with splattered paint designs.
With some pieces of beams and larger wood we made candle holders cut into different designs. We displayed these on old ladders which fit just great.
We can’t wait to get our new wood designs in the shop!
This event’s theme was UFO Crash Landing and featured UFO artists among the other live artists and indie art and craft vendors. For eats there were a few food trucks and a beer and wine garden out of Good Food.  There was shuttle stops that visited the Muzeo and Anaheim Brewery.
After the craft show we headed over to Planet TNEZ for the Monsters, Creatures and the Strange exhibit hosted by artist Tommy Martinez. We met great people and left with a gift of oranges. For The Sunshine Grove nothing signified the debut of a new beginning like starting the evening and ending it with fresh organic oranges!