Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Oh No!

As posted by BeerInBaltimore.com (brad), Beerinbaltimore.blogspot.com (Alexander Mtichell IV), Midnight Sun and others, the Fells Point location of DuClaws will be closing today.  I feel this is a sad situation, as it was a pub that we went to all the time with friends.  The food was ok, the beer was ok, the atmosphere was ok.  Everything was a-ok to go to it.  At least the Bel Air location will remain open, and it will make a nice road trip during the summer.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone has a joyous and safe Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cause for Alarm

I do love Guinness.  I consider it one of my base beers.  A beer that I have no problem drinking at anytime, and also the measuring stick for many stouts.  But tragedy almost struck:
TWO FIREFIGHTERS were injured and some 200 people evacuated from the Guinness brewery at St James’s Gate, Dublin, yesterday when a fire started during roof repairs on a storage warehouse at the site.
Fifteen units of Dublin Fire Brigade attended the blaze, including three aerial appliances with turntable ladders, after the alarm was raised at 12.10pm.
Flames shot through the building for a short time and billowing smoke could be seen for miles while fire crews fought to bring the blaze under control.
The roof of the building, partly made of felt, caught fire during routine repairs.

I hope everything gets repaired and the firefighters get back to health.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Work and Reward

After travelling 3 hours back to Baltimore, I get to see this:




So I had to dig out.  Finally, we made it look like this:


So I rewarded myself with this:



If you had to dig yourself out, how did you reward your hard work?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Off the web...

From FlyingDogJT's twitter stream comes a DCBeer.com 2009 beer list.  I couldn't agree with this list more.  Even more surprising for me is that I have had many of the beers.

Also, a news story on how to not bring up your children.

The Sacramento Kings hosted a dollar beer night.  Amazingly enough, it wasn't a sellout; but very close. (The Kings are one of the lowest in attendance this year.)

And apparently LaBatt Blue wanted people to set out beer for Santa instead of milk.  This didn't go over well with some.  Even though it was for their non-alcoholic beer.

No beer at a St. Patrick's Day parade?  That sounds sacrilegious.

And that is all I got.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A beer in hand, another in the fridge

I didn't get over to Max's yesterday, so I popped open a few from the fridge that I got on a beer run the other day.  The Bear Republic Red Rocket is a delicious, smooth brew.

My second beer was a pilsner from Brewer's Alley out of Frederick.  It was a very good pilsner.  Clean and crisp.  I will look for this beer during the warm summer and spring months.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Good Commercial, Change the Beer

I just wish it wasn't Miller Lite.  Good Commercial

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Great lakes, Great Video

I cannot say that I have had their Christmas Ale, but now I want some after watching this video.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Best Baltimore Bars....

Here are 2 Best Bars in Baltimore lists that were brought to my attention by Midnight Sun's Sam Sessa and BeerInBaltimore.com's Brad.

Baltimore Magazine's Top 25 Bars
and
BaltiManual.com's Bar Guide

I like the category break down on BaltiManual. 

Can it be fresher?

Tonight's brew is HopMouth from Arcadia Brewing out of Battle Creek, Michigan.  I was given this bottle from my brother, guaranteed fresh.  Why was it guarenteed fresh?  Because he helped bottle and package it.  On Monday, November 23, my brother and his home-brewing buddies traveled to Arcadia.  Arcadia apparently only bottles on Mondays.  If you show up in the morning, sign in, and stay, you become their free labor.  Your reward- pizza at lunch and a case to take home.  Working in the brewery was a neat experience, and the take home was just icing on top (it was also one of his buddy's birthday).

A little about Arcadia Brewing.  They brew their beers in small batches.  As noted above, they bottle on Mondays, proving that their output is not as large as other breweries.  I have seen their beers in our region, I have seen Max's have HopMouth and their other big IPA (Hop Rocket) on tap every once in a while.  Probably my favorite name of any beer they brew is Cereal Killer, a absolutely delicious Barleywine.  The reason it is called Cereal Killer, is because Battle Creek is also home to Kellogg's cereals.  I think the name is genious.

Anywho, that is my beer for the night, and tomorrow looks like Max's (to see if they have any left over Jolly Pumpkin) and then home to drink some more of my wedding beer- Post on that beer will be coming soon.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Session- Stumbling Home


My first dive into The Session.  This weeks Session deals with the local watering hole.  It was brought to you by Two Parts Rye.

I have been fortunate enough to have a few "local" watering holes.  I have my way-home-from-work bars and pubs, the right around the corner pubs and I have my go back to the hometown pubs.  Each have their own mystique, and I treat them as such.

When I moved 150 miles to a city where I knew few people, one of the last things on my list was to find my local bar.  The one where I can go in, know some people and have a good drink.  I was lucky enough to find one.  Mike McGovern's Pub is a small irish pub, with tons of character.  Not the crazy people character, but the family character.

The beer selection is okay.  In our neighborhood, there are many more places that give you better beer.  The 6 taps have common irish pub beers (Guinness, Smithwicks, Harp, Boddingtons and 2 rotating taps).  The bottle list is ok, with american macros (Bud, Miller), import macros (LaBatt Blue, Molson, Murphys, Magners) and a few micros (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Leinekugels).  I go with Duvel while there, and love that an Irish bar has a tulip glass to go with it.  If I am there for a while, Yuengling it is; there on a hot day, Warsteiner.  Always a beer that I enjoy and drink.

What makes up for it is the friendship.  Many of the people who go to McGovern's live within a few blocks.  The owner will be there with a friendly smile, and offer you a seat.  After a few trips, half the people in the bar know your name.  There is the real estate agent/beer guy at the stadiums guy, the couple who always offer Saturday boat rides, the first guy I met you lived 10 miles from me at home, the crazy guy who is always up for a game of Jenga, the italian couple who can always keep the conversation going, an Enginerd (her term for geeky engineer), an 80+ year old man in a suit (because he just likes to get out), and so many more personalities that blend together.

The bar treats itself like family, and what is better than that?  Need a dog watcher, got one.  Need somewhere to go on a holiday if it is too far to go home, McGoverns will be open with people there for you (or they invite you over).  The people make the bar turn, and enjoyable.  I can't imagine having a better watering hole, two blocks from my house.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

All over the map.

My stop at Max's yesterday left me all over the map, beer wise.

I was looking for something I haven't had yet.  It had to be delicious (obviously).  So I started with an Avery DuganA (Imperial IPA).  I figured if it tasted anything like the Maharaja, I would be happy.  I was not disappointed.  This hop bomb hit the spot.  Even at 8.5%, I couldn't taste the alcohol, and the beer was smooth.  Definitely dangerously drinkable.  The piney hoppiness was on right from the start.  It infected mynose, and took over my mouth.  A+ in my book.

Next up, I saw a Flemish Red I haven't had before.  And of course, I had to give it a go.  Hop-bomb to super-sour, that's how I roll.  The Bockor Cuvee Des Jacobins pierced past the remainders of hops that were in my mouth and made me pucker up.  Another successful find for the sour lovers.  Sour apples and cherries are the two pronounced tastes and smells resonating from the beer.  Very nice beer. Not the easiest to drink, due to the sourness, but hopefully I can grab another pint some time.

Following my Flemish red, I wanted a beer that was low key.  I looked toward the Winter beers.  I grabbed a Flying Fish Grand Cru winter ale.  It was much lighter in color, maybe strawish with a little amber.  The taste was just not there, not what I was looking for.   Then again, the dIPA and Flemish Red before it could have killed the taste for me.  It was bready (doughy) and very lightish, watered down taste.  Maybe I will give it a go some other time, maybe not.

To finish off the night, I grabbed a Raging Bitch.  Sweet love of the Gods, this is a great beer.  One of which I cannot wait to get to Frederick to grab a couple of bottles.  This is one of my top beers of the year, and hope it can stay on tap for a while.  (I also placed it on my Christmas list here).

On my way out, I was able to do some Christmas shopping.  As Baltimore Beer Guy pointed out, Hugh Sisson was at Max's signing bottles of Yule-Tide.  So I grabbed one for my brother, he likes that kind of stuff.

Anywho, I hope your beer has been flowing this week.  What have you had?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Brewdog, my thoughts

There is much controversy over BrewDog and their crazy beers.  The latest, Tactical Penguin, is at 32% abv., swamping other beers.  There are many people who do not consider this a beer.  The reasoning that I understand, is because of the way the raised the abv.- by freezing the water out of the beer, and pouring off the remainder.  Basically, it is distilling, but instead of heat to boil, they are using cold to freeze the water out; which would make it a spirit.

The other thing that has people up in arms, is due to the price.  At almost $50 a bottle, it seems outrageous.  I know I will never spend that on a bottle, but if someone else does, good for them.

Below is their promotional video, which I find fun and hilarious.


Tactical Nuclear Penguin from BrewDog on Vimeo.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Wine Lovers Beer List

Wine Enthusiast released a list of their Top 25 beers.  I agree with some of the choices (#4 Avery Maharaja is top 3 in my book), and was left puzzled by others (#18 SA Boston Lager).

I take listed for what they are, people's opinions on the Top-whatever of something.  I make lists, talk about lists and contemplate lists, but they are what they are, just a list.  Here is the top 10 on their list of beers:

1. Captain Lawrence Rosso e Marrone
2. Unibroue Maudite
3. Orchard White
4. Avery The Maharaja
5. Southern Tier Imperial Pumking
6. Rochefort 8
7. Eliot Ness Lager
8. The Lost Abbey Cuvee de Tomme
9. Nogne O/Jolly Pumpkin/Stone Special Holiday Ale
10. Russian River Beatification

All I want for Christmas....

This is my Christmas list this year.  First off, my Five beers that I have enjoyed and want more of this year.

1. Stone Vertical Epic 09/09/09.  This was the first porter that I have enjoyed in a while.  The beer has more of a sweetness, not much burnt maltness to it.  Delicious.

2. Troeg's Nugget Nectar.  I am looking forward to this beer coming out again.  We were fortunate enough to get some in August, and I still have a bottle for over New Years.  But there is nothing better than Nugget Nectar out of a cask.

3. The bottles of Flying Dog's Raging Bitch.  I know they will be out soon, but it should be now.  I can't wait to get this and share it with my friends who cannot get it.

4.  Jolly Pumpkin anything.  So glad the Michigan Brewers Festival allowed me to sample their beers, and then the present from my brother to enjoy WeisenBam and La Roja.  I just want more.

5. Kuhnhenn Brewing's Solar Eclipse Imperial Stout.  One of my favorites from the MBF.  Their Simcoe Silly was almost just as good.

6. Basically any of the other delicious samples from the MBF, New Holland, Arcadia, and Short't to name a few.

7. I was happy to be introduced to Koningshoeven.  It was requested that I try it, which I thoroughly enjoyed, by the chef at Jack's Bistro because they were out of...

8. Witkap Pater Dubbel.  Grape Kool-aid.  I don't know why, but I get grape kool-aid from it.  Yes, I know there is other stuff, but what blew me away was the grape kool-aid.

9. My Base Beers.  They are the special beers that no matter what, you know what you are getting, and it is a good one.  60 Minute IPA, Racer 5, Yuengling Lager, etc.  It doesn't matter.  It established the style for me.

10. My next beer, because that is my favorite kind.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Too Early

I stopped in at Baltimore Taphouse yesterday on my way home from work and had a Sierra Nevada Celebration, officially opening my Christmas beer season.  I felt a little odd.  I do not like the Christmas creep, and I was partaking in the offerings of the creep.  Felt kind of off.  Anywho, it is a delicious brew, as usual.

What do you think, Too Early?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tall or Short glass

There have been times when I have been asked whether I wanted a tall (20 oz.) or short (16 oz) glass of Guinness.  But never have I received and 8 foot tall glass.

As stated here:
A crowd of 400 people gathered in the bar's patio to watch the mammoth 900-lb. glass, made of shatter-resistant acrylic, being filled with 2,772 lbs. of beer.
That is one nice pour.  The world record beer bested the former record of a small 4 foot glass.  Crazy stuff.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Welcome Back, Kasper

Kasper on Tap, the beer blog taken away from us by The Sun, has reappeared HERE.


Follow it, he likes converation.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jolly Pumpkin No.2

Tonight, I figured it would be a good night for La Roja, which is:
An artisan amber ale brewed in the Flanders tradition. Deep amber with earthy caramel, spice, and sour fruit notes developed through natural barrel aging. Unfiltered, unpasteurized and blended from barrels ranging in age from two to ten months.

The beer is a good beer, but I can find some flaws in my favorite style brew.  First off, I find that the beer starts out too carbinated.  The cherry is in the nose, but you have to search for it in the taste.  Finally, I feel there is too much of an alcoholly taste to it.

Other than those few complaints, I do like the beer.  It is smooth in the mouth, with a really nice tart sourness to it.  It really zaps the tongue in a pleasant way (if you like a Flemish red style beer).

Overall, I would suggest this beer to someone who is looking for something different, is adventurous, and patient- you have to wait for the cherry to come out.

Time for me to get some more Jolly Pumpkin beers.

Veteran's Day

This one is for you: Sprenkle, Yoder, Matty B, Sheatler, and all the other soldiers out there.


Stay safe out there.

dreary day beer stop

I would like to say everyone should take a moment today to think about those serving the country.

I had off today, but had a lunch meeting for a committee that I work with.  After the lunch, I ran up the Well's Discount Liquors to use a gift card I received last christmas (most people wouldn't be able to hold onto it as long as I have).  I came away with a couple of things that I can look forward to, and another that I thought I would give a shot.

I gave Anderson Valley Brewing's Brother David Double a go.  I didn't know much about the brewery or the beer, but thought I would try it.  If you have had it, let me know.

Next, I grabbed a bottle of Wild Devil from Victory Brewing.  I loved this beer when I had it before, and wanted to make sure I had a bottle for another time.

I then saw the bottles of the Stone Vertical Epic 09/09/09.  One to drink this winter, one to save for the future.  This is one of the few porters that I like, so maybe I should have grabbed a bunch of them.

Finally, I was able to grab a bottle of the Autumn Maple from The Bruery (last one on the shelf or I would have grabbed a couple).  I have been looking forward to trying this beer, and this was the first opportunity I had to get one.

Overall, I feel that I had a good go at the store.  I didn't spend too much money, and was able to being home some good stuff.

Have you picked up anything lately?

The Hindenburg beer

I would drink it, would you?   Actually, I think it is a really neat collectable for someone with way too much money.  But other than being really old, what is the guarantee that it was on the Hindenburg.  After the crash were they like, "Oh My, Let's save a bottle of beer!"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Craft Beer Sales

Who is the biggest you ask:  (@Cizauskas via @ratebeer)
 And other numbers...

 Chart found here


Monday, November 2, 2009

Jolly Pumpkin Weizen Bam

Definitely will agree with the name as it slams into your mouth with delicious funk. I am not the biggest hefeweizen fan, but this one definitely agrees with me.

The beer poured a cloudy yellow (what I think a hefe should look like). Lemony/grassy/funk smell comes out of a good size head that holds up well against the glass. The funk gives the initial taste a different swing to it. The lemony/green appleish taste goes well with the little carbination that it has.

This beer was a delight to drink, and it is definately something I will be looking to get again.

"The Button"

Great movie from Funny or Die:


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nice surpise of the night

Max's yesterday had some great beers on tap, but I decided to not drink at 10%+. It was hard, so after my Flying Dog (Pint Night) Snake Dog IPA, which is a good basic IPA- nothing great, nothing wrong- I had a Duvel Green, which is a nice Golden (wouldn't expect anything less from Duvel).

For my final beer, I took a stab at a brewery called Het Alternatief. Their sour, Piet-Agoras, was extremely delightful. I need to get at this beer again with a clean mouth, but I thought it was a complex beer, with some sourness pushing through a bit of bitterness. The flavors exploded in my mouth, lemon/citrus/caramel and others. I need to get it again to see what I can find.

What have you had lately?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vermonster Debate

Monster Energy drink's parent company is suing Rock Art Brewery for trademark infringement due to their Vermonster beer. I am not an attorney, but I cannot see where they feel they can win, except for the big money factor (which is how the owner of Rock Art feels).


Monday, October 12, 2009

Blue Hill Tavern and base beers

We travelled around the block to the Blue Hill Tavern on Friday to grab a bite to eat. While they do not have a lot going for them beer wise (a good selection of micros, macros and imports, but nothing special), the food we had was delicious. I chose to drink a Pilsner Urquell to go with my pork tenderloin meal.

Many times I have commented on other people's blogs my feelings toward beers like Pilsner Urquell, DFH 60 min, Stone IPA, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and a few others. These beers I consider base beers. There is nothing wrong with them, and they are quite good. But for me, they set a standard for their respective styles. Pilsner Urquell is what a pilsner should taste like. Yes, there are many beers that taste better, have more hops, etc. But when I think pilsner, PU is the base line. Any other pilsner beer should resemble it somehow, and find a way to improve upon it.

That is the same with the other beers above. 60 min. is my classic example of an East Coast IPA, Stone IPA is a great West Coast IPA. When I see 60 min, I know what I am going to get. I like 60 min and hit helped me get into IPAs, but there are much better IPAs from the east coast. (Weyerbacher Hop Infusion-and Double Simcoe, Victory Hop Devil, and Brooklyn IPA) Stone IPA is a classic West Coast IPA, but I think Green Flash WC IPA, Bear Republic Racer 5 and Avery Maharaja sky above Stone's offering.

I have found a base beer in almost every style that I have tried. Have you felt this way toward your beer? What is your base beer?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Beer Article in the "b"

Brad over at BeerinBaltimore.com helped the b magazine produce a Baltimore Beer Week article. look it up, it gives a good overview of replacing macro beers as well as a quick overview of BBW events.

Check it out

Friday, October 2, 2009

Brad at BeerinBaltimore.com found an awesome time lapse video of GABF '09:

The Great American Beer Festival from Brewers Association on Vimeo.



Thursday, October 1, 2009

Going Vertical

Max's description of Stones Vertical Epic 09/09/09 was just "Dark Belgian Ale". I wasn't too sure what to think before it came to me. But I was not thinking Porter. And then I saw it. Dark as night, creamy tan head. Porter overcame my mind. Chocolate came through on the nose, with not much else. Then the taste. Definitely some chocolate, vanilla and little spice. Could use more spice to break up the chocolate. I would expect a little more hoppy bitterness from Stone (but not too much to over power everything, just enough to pull everything together). The beer was not too heavy or too light.

I would not call it a Belgian. Maybe when sitting in a cellar it will round out better, but for now it is a Porter. With that note, I normally do not like porters. Usually a porter has the burnt taste to it. The VE090909 did not. It was sweet and delicious. Although, one was enough. Not something to have a night of. (Especially at 8.5%.) I think I will try to go and grab a couple of bottles, this is a beer that should be really good on a cold night in the winter. I am thinking Christmas time.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

From Wired.com... What???

The people at wired.com had the brilliant idea of pimping out a kegerator for a How-To Wiki.

We didn’t know this passing idea, the kind you often have after several beers but never follow up on (”Dude, we should totally road trip to Jazzfest this year!”), would culminate in a keg party at that same brewpub to celebrate the public debut of Beer Robot.


I am glad they had fun with it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Wild Devil

This past weekend, we had our engagement party. The beer was pretty simple, a couple cases of Yuengling, along with my bottle of Victory Wild Devil and a bottle of Brewer's Art Resurrection. The surprise of the day was Raski showing up with a couple bottles of the special release of Nugget Nectar that he ran down an picked up in Saturday. That beer never gets old.

I had been looking forward to the Wild Devil for some time. I heard mixed reviews of the IPA with wild yeast. Many reviews said that it was simply Hop Devil (which it isn't). I read that the bottles were released a little early, so people drinking it right away were left with an inferior bottle; the wild yeast needed time to do his thing. I kept it in my beer box for 6 months, and was hoping that was enough time.

Once we pulled the cork, you could tell this beer meant business. The abstract nose of the beer pulled us into it. Right away you could smell the wild yeast, a sour smell. There were hops there as well, but it didn't overpower everything else going on.

There was a sweet citrusy taste mixed with dry-sourness from the wild yeast, finished off by a bitter hop pop at the end. Very unique. Very delicious.

I will be looking for a couple of bottles to hold onto again, just to see how good this beer can be.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm Back

With bad news that is. (If you like the Macros). InBev and MillerCoors both announced that they will be raising the price of their beers. Personally, dirt cheap is too much for them. On occasion, I will drink that beer, but I feel bad for the people who buy it because it is the only thing they can afford, and now it is going up.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Growlers (AKA Balto Taphouse)

I decided to have a go at the Baltimore Taphouse today (formerly known as Growlers). Marty, the Thrusday bartender at McGoverns, works there on the weekend, and he had the Saturday day schedule, so I thought I would make a visit.

I love the Taphouse, because of their selection. I grabbed an Allagash White, then a Brooklyn Summer, then an Anchor Steam and finally a Sierra Nevada Saison Brown. I wasn't disappointed by any of the beers that I had.

To top it off, I grabbed a growler to go. I wanted the Brooklyn Summer, but it tapped out as my growler was being filled. I told Marty it wasn't a problem, as it was only me drinking it tonight (she doesn't drink beer). So it was a glorious Saturday afternoon.

Cheers, what are you having this weekend?

Friday, July 31, 2009

The (Michigan) Beer List

This is what we partook of during the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival. Full list of available beers can be found here.


My favorite: Kuhnhenn Brewings Simcoe Silly, a Belgian Pale Ale is made with Simcoe Hops (some of my favorite), leading to a unique beer. I need to have my brother pick up some for me.


Arbor Brewing: Abby Normal, Batch 2000 Strong Pale Ale, Uskratch Mai Bock


Arcadia Brewing: Cereal Killer Barleywine, Sky High Rye


Copper Canyon Brewery: RyePA Double IPA


Dragonmead Microbrewery: Bill's Witbier, Juggernaut Double Red Ale


Founders: Centennial IPA, Red's Rye PA, Barrel Aged Red's Rye PA (no, I did not have the Kentucky Breakfast Stout, I messed up)


Hopcat: Hopopotomus IPA


Jolly Pumpkin: Perseguidor 4, Roja du Kriek, Weizen Bam w/Hibiscus


Kuhnhann Brewing: Simcoe Silly, Solar Eclipse Imperial Stout


New Holland Brewing: Brother Jacob Dubbel


Old Hat Brewery: Bees Knees Honey Ale


Right Brain Brewery: Little Italy Honey Basil


Saugatuck Brewing: Barry's Best Bitter, Bamberg Rauchbier


Sherwood Brweing: Green River Wheat IPA


Short's Brewing: Huma Lupa Licious IPA


Walldorff Brewpub and Bistro: Padawan Pale Ale, Strawberry Rhubarb Cream Ale.


I know I missed some of the beers that my brother had. This is what I remember trying, or him trying. As you can see, the list was pretty extensive, and very diverse. We tried to be creative with our selections, but as you can see, I kept going to the ales anyhow.


Summer Beer Fest an German Park, Part 2






As I continue to figure out the details of the Beer Festival, let me tell you about the German Park. Three times every summer a German club in Ann Arbor hosts a German Park Festival. Basically, food, beer and music are the focus. We had to wait in line to get in, but it was definitely worth the wait.



With the German music playing in the background, the beer flows like water. On one side, the Coors and LaBatt Blue line is 2 people long. On the other side, the Spaten and Frankenweiss line stretches 20 long. You can buy a beer by the cup, or the bucket. Yes, the bucket. We had a bucket of both the Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse and Spaten's Optimator (below).



The food was delicious as well. We just piled it on two trays for the group. Luckily we were able to grab some spots at the picnic tables, since our friends were able to get there early. The place was comfortably packed, with a line still waiting to get in when we left.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

GonzoFest

Flying Dog is hosting their GonzoFest on September 12, at the Brewery. I am thinking about going. Not sure yet.

What do you think? Have you been there before?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Beer Fest and German Park



I travelled out to Ann Arbor to visit my brother, as well as take in some good brews from the "Great Beer State" (apparently that is one of their nicknames). I after arriving at Detroit Metro and a quick drive to Ann Arbor, I found myself getting ready for the brews. Bell's, one of Michigan's largest breweries, was not going to be present, so we cracked open an Oberon, their most popular beer. Although I do not typically drink wheat beers, this beer is smooth and delicious.




We hopped in the car and made our way to Riverside Park in Ypsilanti. There wasn't much of a line, thank goodness as I heard the line can extend for a while, and grabbed our cup and tokens. This festival gave you 12 tokens to start. At each brew, you could pay one token for half a cup, or two tokens for closer to a full cup. The smarter of the two of us stated that the pourers normally had a heavy draw, so we only ever paid one token, and towards the end of the night- no tokens (it was a long night with strong beer).




Overall, there were 50 breweries there. Some where just typical places that brew typical beer. The bulk of the breweries brewed high quality suds, but what we went for were the breweries that really tried something special with their beer. There were a few breweries that I wanted to get to, since you can't, or it is hard to, get them in Maryland. Founders, Jolly Pumpkin, New Holland and Arcadia were the highlight breweries for me.


Even if we had been to some of the breweries, many brought brew that they have never pushed before. They could have been rejected trials, or could be beers that are coming out. Talking to one of the brewers, they felt like trying it to see what it would do (Strawberry Rhubarb Cream Ale from Walldorff Brewpub). The brewers present were very accommodating to questions, especially from my brother, a home brewer.


The long day pushed into the night. Thank goodness we had a ride home, we surely were not in any shape to drive.


I will post the beer list that we had, as well as thoughts on the beer in a different post.




Obama Beer Meeting

He picked Bud Light. He had the choice to go with a Mass. beer to make the local (to them) connection, or he could have brought in Goose Island (like he had at his election day party). This would have been a show of supporting the little man, buy local or whatever you would want to call it. But he did go with "America's Choice" based on sales.

Who knows?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Coming up, left behind

The past week has been very uneventful on the beer front. We moved into a new place, so that was hectic. I was able to eat some crabs down at Canton Dockside, and they were really good. I am not sure if they were good because of the crab, or if they were good because we were hungry. The best part of the meal was when I saw they had Stone Arrogant Bastard on tap. Arrogant Bastard worked very well with the beer. It remains one of my favorites. I have always felt the beer was a perfect balance of maltiness and hops. It is also one of the maltiest beers that I drink. (Surprisingly enough.)


The highlight of the week is this upcoming weekend. On Friday, I will be boarding a Southwest flight for Michigan to see my brother. The Michigan Brewers Guild has their Summer Beer Festival Friday and Saturday. This is the real reason I am going. I am looking forward to Friday night, 50 breweries and 300 different beers to choose from that I don't get here. Founders, Jolly Pumpkin, New Holland, etc. All calling my name.
I will be sure to report back on what I had, and the other smaller breweries around Michigan.
Saturday, Ann Arbor is having a German Festival. Food, Beer and Music. I am looking forward to this family oriented beer drinking with my brother, sister in law and niece.
Cheers to the weekend.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mid Week Max's

On Wednesday, I did my normal stop in at Max's. I was glad to start me day off with a Belgica from Great Divide. The Belgain style IPA is a delicious brew. After chatting with the Sierra Nevada rep for a bit, I took up his offer of a free SN Harvest (southern hemisphere wet hop). I enjoyed this beer last year when it first came out, and I enjoyed it again this year. The ale poured a little darker than I remembered, but no complaints. It is a basic ale with the hops being in the taste all the way through. The other citrus/sweetness is there as well. Definately something I would drink again and again.

I also had the SN Summerfest lager. I love this lager and think it may become one of my favorite summer beers. It just tastes so good on a hot day. To end the day, I had a Stone Levitation. The amber ale, poured a dark amber color. Smelled very piny, so I prepared for a hopbomb. The piny taste did not slam into my mouth as I expected, but I was able to get a very heavy bitterness, which I enjoy. Overall, this was a nice beer. And at 4.4% a very drinkable beer.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The week

I had a good week in brews. Wednesday at Max's, Newcastle was the Pint Night. So I had one. Made me happy, Newcastle is a beer that I don't mind. It isn't the greatest, but it is ok.

I followed the Newcastle with a Duvel Green, De Ranke XX Bitter and finally an Allagash Confluence.


The Duvel Green is a delicious brew. A bit lighter mouthfeel than regular Duvel (one of my favorites, I don't care how "popular" it is). The Green seemed very spicy in both the mouth and the nose, but not overly spiced. This was, I believe, the second time I had the Green, with the first being at this past year's Belgian Fest, again at Max's.


The De Ranke XX Bitter was good as well. It was nice to sip this beer with no expectations. The golden colored beer smelled of citrus and a little bit of hops. Even though it is an IPA, I didn't want to expect the big hopbomb. The citrusness came through in the mouth as well. The hops were there, but they weren't overpowering. It was a very drinkable beer, one I was happy to partake.

Finally, I had the Allagash Confluence. I picked it because I haven't had an Allagash brew in a while. I was super happy I did. (That seems like a very juvenile phrase, but I was ecstatic on the selection.) The Confluence was listed as a Belgian Style Brett Ale. I normally like beers brewed with Brett, so I was hoping for a good beer. The funky smell (sour apples) came through on the nose, and instantly I was turned on. I couldn't wait to taste it. It also had a somewhat grassy smell to it. (The assumption is the hops, but I am no expert.) Once it hit my lips, I couldn't put it down. This beer is not a heavy beer at all, so it would be very easy to put back multiple in one setting, just don't forget about the 7.5% alcohol, because you don't taste it while drinking.

Overall, it was a good night. I was extremely satisfied with the selection. Thursday, I traveled down to my normal stool at McGoverns. Had a few Duvels, as well as a couple Sierra Nevada Pale Ales. Can't complain.

What have you had lately?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Saturday, Fun Day

Last Saturday, we had a get together for a couple of friends' birthdays. Everyone brought some beer/food. We had a nice selection. I grabbed a mixed case (because I can and they can't- Pennsylvania sucks). My case consisted of Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale, Dale's Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada Summerfest lager and National Bohemian. The Natty Boh didn't belong, but it was supposed to be a hot day (and it was very pleasant).

We were outside playing some horseshoes, redneck golf and frisbee. It made it easier to drink out of the bottle, sorry Brad-Beer in Baltimore.

Anywho, I grabbed the Lagunitas on a whim, the label looked good. I like most Lagunitas brews, so this one couldn't be that bad. I was rewarded for my whim, as the Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale was absolutely delicious. I couldn't have been happier. The "American Wheat Pale Ale" was light and crisp on the hot day. The citris and hops kicked your mouth, but the beer was very very smooth.

Summerfest is one of my favorite summertime beers. It tastes so good on a hot day. I had no problem drinking that. I brought the Dale's along to reduce my carbon footprint. Natty Boh represented Baltimore. That was my case.

What would be in your mixed case for a hot summer party?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Typical Thursday

Went down to McGovens, where there was not surprise as I grabbed a few Duvels. Always good, always delicious.

This made me think of a blog post I read the other day. I cannot remember who wrote it, and I apologize for it. The post was talking about how Duvel and other common Belgians are becoming a cool beer. The very basic beer is making people feel as if they are drinking something exotic. I can understand what this writer was saying. There are bigger and better beers out there. But I feel the people need the gateway into the world of beers. If they really like Duvel or even US pretenders (Shock Top/Blue Moon) hopefully some bartender somewhere will turn them onto a real Belgian that is comparable. This will lead them to trying other beers and eventually broadening their horizons.

When I find the initial article, I will clarify the post and make everyone else understand where I am coming from on this. If you know of the article, or wrote it, please let me know.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rare and Obscure at Max's

Stopped in for my typical Wednesday, and discovered some delightful brews.

First off was a Japanese beer: Hitochino Classic. This IPA was very smooth and a little sweeter than what I normally drink. Not much of a hoppy backbone, but the hops were there. I would drink all night long and enjoy it.

Next, I grabbed a Nogne O IPA. This Norwegian beer had the "typical" (I guess the word expected would work better) dry, bitter hop backbone that I expected. The beer was very nice. I would love to have it again.

Last, but expecially not least, I had the Harviestoun Ola Dubh (18 Year). This Scottish dark beer was delicious. Definately not a beer to drink the entire night, but the sweet tasting ale would be great for after dinne/ late night. The alcohol comes through heavily in the nose as well as in the taste. I am happy I tried it, and hopefully in the future I can get some again.

"Ola Dubh" means Black Oil. (Harviestoun also produces a beer called Old Engine Oil that is the basis of Ola Dubh.) The beer is aged in whiskey barrells (from Highland Park Distillary), which is where the 12/18/30/40 numbers come from. The age is the age that the whiskeys were in the barrels. This also is the cause of the

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Loss, Baltimore's gain?


Our third roommate is moving out this weekend to take a job back up in PA. He is moving home to be closer to his golf courses and be back in the open land that he loves. I will stay here and dodge bullets.


Definately my loss, as now I will be back to going solo to Max's on Wednesday. It will also be up to me to grab the beer. I don't know about you, but I had choosing a sixer. It is bad enough when I know I am grabbing 5-6 bottles at Wells/WineSource/Wine Underground, but finding choosing one six pack for a quick week is tough.


Hopefully, he visits us often and not just for the Belgian Fest.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bruitally Honest Beer Labels

Great list of Bruitally Honest Beer Labels

PA beer and Wieters- and Happy Birthday Brad

Good day yesterday. Grabbed a Stoudt's pint glass from Max's on Pint Night. Followed it with a Weyerbacher Foxtrot (Biere de Garde). And then, finished the night off watching the O's beat the Mets- with Wieters crushing an opposite field HR.

The Stoudts was their American Pale Ale. It is a very basic APA, exactly what one would expect, nothing special or different from a general mold. I thought it was a golden color (wish it was darker), little head (can blame the bartender) and the nose was a little hops with some malt to cut it up. The taste is balanced with malt and hops, nothing over the top (could use a little more hoppiness to it). I thought it kind of tasted watery when drinking it. Overall, I think this beer could work as a summer BBQ beer. Not afraid to drink it, and very drinkable.

The Weyerbacher was more complex. I found it hard to describe. I will try. The very dark brown colored concoction had a sugar/caramel/molasses smell to it. The molasses came though on the taste followed by a coffee-esque roastiness, but they didn't get beat out by the undertones of the mild hops, which were present but not overpowering (this was from Weyerbacher, you never know). There was some other stuff mixed in there, but either a) I can't remember or b) I wasn't sure what I was tasting. What I do know is that it is a good beer. I wouldn't drink it for and entire night, but I will be grabbing a few more in the future.

Weyerbacher is 2 for 2 on the new beers I have tried from them. I am glad I was able to try a pint.

Eric grabbed a Kona Fire Rock Ale. I had a sip. Not a bad beer. Seemed like a beer to drink for an entire night. Light and airy in the mouth. Very drinkable.

Best part of the night- Matt Wieters. He has steadily gotten better. One step at a time. Thank goodness.





And a Happy Birthday to Brad. Enjoy the Beer and the Game.

Monday, June 15, 2009

In the box

I placed a couple of bottles of Brewer's Art Ozzy in the box today. Starting to get a nice little collection for a rainy day.

What have you gotten lately?

Iron City

I don't like the beer, but it is iconic of Pittsburgh, but now it will be brewed in Latrobe. It will always be a Pittsburgh beer, but just as Natty Boh is a Baltimore beer (but brewed in Wilkes Berre), Iron City will be a Pittsburgh beer (but brewed in Latrobe).

Been too long.

I have been MIA lately as I havent had the time to grab a few. This week I will be back on schedule with Max's, McGoverns and probably a little Russels (bloomsburg, pa)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Jack's... again (no complaints)

I was able to go to Jack's Bistro tonight, but this time the food was on the works tab. I was excited to get another Witkap, but when I got there, it wasnt on the list (asking for it anyways didnt work either). I settled for a Clipper City Red Sky at Night. It is another good beer. I think I gave my thoughts on this beer earlier, so I will spare you, if I didn't I will post them in another post.

Best part of the night was the hostess approaching me after I requested the Witkap, which wasnt on tap. She told me the chef (as well as owner) overheard my request, and would like to suggest another beer. He was spot on. La Trape Dubbel- Koningshoeven- was a delicious brew. This belgian style double is brewed in The Netherlands- who would have thought it. It is a nice complex. crisp beer that works its way through the malt. As it gets a little warmer, you can taste the different malt levels. I took in some caramel before the clove and spices finished off the beer. Nice stuff, thank you Jacks!

A new beer at the Pint Night


I wasnt going to go, but ended up with a Weyerbacher Zotten, their Belgiam style Pale Ale. Nice beer. Apparently, yesterday was the national release of the beer. I was glad I stopped in for one.

Here is what they said about it in their press release.


"Zotten (rhymes with verboten) is bottle conditioned, with a small amount of yeast sediment and carries the distinctive flavors of the house abbey yeast strain that Weyerbacher uses for its Merry Monks’ Ale. At 6% abv, this is one tasty session beer. With a dry hoppiness for balance and fruity notes on the palate the bottle conditioning finishes this beer with a very nice complexity."

The bars which apparently have it are: Max’s, Mahaffeys, Jack’s Bistro, Lures, Racers, Alonzo’s and Frisco’s.

If you are going out, grab a pint.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Coors pulling beer of the shelves

Apparently Coors are pulling their beer off the shelves due to it being "subpar".

Shouldn't they be pulling all of their beer off the shelves then?

Jack's on Saturday night

We are going through a good stretch of luck at Jack's Bistro. Saturday night we show up to a full place and get a table in a couple of minutes. Two minutes after we are seated, there is a line of probably 10 people for tables.

Anywho, I had some fantastic Steak Frites. I wasn't sure which beers to throw at it, so I went with the Three 6oz pours for $8. BA Ozzy, Witkap ("Grape Koolaid") Double, and an IPA that I am ticked I can't remember what it is. (I will update this to say what it is.) Both the meal the the beer was great. Fun time.

How was your weekend?

UPDATE: The IPA I had was the Rogue Frog Rye IPA. It was delicious and I am kind of embarrassed that I forgot what it was.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Max's

Clay Pipe Hopocalipse was the pint tonight. Nice beer. It is a basic IPA with a great name. It was a bit "coppery" or metalic, but the hop/malt was able to make it good enough. I would give it another go/

Next, I had the Southern Tier Mokah. The Mokah is a 50/50 mixture of ST's Javah and Choklat beers. The beer was very chocolaty. The Belgian Chocolate that was placed in the Choklat beer is a bit overpowering the Javah, but you can pick that out. Very light beer to drink compared to other chocolate beers.

I spanned the globe on beer styles as I finished with a Victory 8 (their belgian double). Very nice, drinkable beer. I got a lot of bready taste as well as raisons. Still I think it is very drinkable and delicious.

What did you have lately?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wedding update....

It was Yuengling and Coors Light. Classic. Good thing I like Yuengling. The wedding was nice and teh food was good, so the beer selection wasn't bad.

I was there for the wedding and was driving home, so I guess I can be happy that really good beer wasn't served. I will take what I can get.

How was every one else's memorial weekend?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday at Max's

I should have sat outside, but the chair was too comfy inside. They had some great beer on tap (as always), and it took all my strength to not order the Oak Aged UnEarthly, Double Simcoe on cask or the 120 minute. I did "settle" on the Great Divide Belgina. It is their Belgian IPA. Very nice beer. Nothing special, but it was exactly what I thought it was. Sometimes that is nice. I kind of wanted it to surprise me a bit.

My second beer was the Lagunitas Correction Ale 2009 (on cask). Very nice American Ale. I thought it was very simple, not sweet with a good hops/malt balance. I was actually thinking it would be hoppier. Very nice, drinkable beer.

The last beer I tried was the Pint Night beer. Stoudt's Abbey Double. I wasn't quite in the mood for a abbey style, so I left it for last. I thought it was what I wanted. I found out that I was wrong. It just didn't hit the spot for me. Overall, I typically like this brewery's offerings. I think maybe the first two beers threw my tastes off. I will try this in the future to give it a fair chance.

Cheers. Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Weddings and beer

I don't dislike going to weddings. Most of the time, the wedding isn't bad (open bar, right?). But then the question of what beer/liquor is at the open bar comes up. This is how my conversation usually goes- first note that I am from NE-Central Pennsylvania, bartenders need to learn more about beer:

Me: What beer do you have? (Because it usually isn't visible.)

Bartender: Ummm, Bud, Bud Light, Heineken, Sam Adams, and some other stuff.

Me: Oh, what other stuff? Any IPAs, Pale Ales, or that sort?

Bartender: Well, we have some Yuengling. (note, I like Yuengling, I drink a lot of it. It is definitely not an ale.)

Me: (Looking dumbfounded at the bartender) Ok, well that is a lager, anything else back there that you never heard of?

Bartender: Well there is this Tro-eggs and Victory stuff, but I don't know what it is.

Me: I will take it all (figuring I can't go wrong with Troeg's or Victory).

Sometimes they don't have a good beer in the back. Worst I ran into was when I was at a wedding on Michigan's western shore. (This is pre-beer lover stage, but I after drink anything stage.) The groom, one of my good friends, ordered Bud Light for his wedding. One keg. Now if you brought together a bunch of guys, I think there were 200 guests total, and provided one keg, that isn't good planning. But besides that. The wedding was 45 minutes from Kalamazoo. That would be Bell's town. Why didn't we have something better. Sadly enough, we didn't know. If I knew then, what I know now. Anywho, the night was awesome (even with the Bud Light- Thank You 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch), and we made it thought.

Another time, I was at a wedding that was all top shelf. The beer- Miller Lite. Seriously. I was blown away. Speechless. Not to mention this wedding took place across the river from Philly in NJ. Within an hours drive of countless breweries (Victory, Riverhorse, Lancaster, Sly Fox to name a few). Savior= Grand Marnier. I don't ask for much. Just a good beer.

With that note, I must admit that I am going to a wedding this weekend. The girl doesn't drink beer (she is in the wedding), so she will have her fruitty foo-foo drink, as I will hopefully be swilling something half decent (I am contemplating taking a cooler for in the car). The groom is a west coast guy, so I am hoping this plays in my favor.

Anyone else hate the bad beer at weddings thing?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Playing Catch Up.

Last Thursday, I did the normal McGovern's, and I drank some Duvels. Still a good choice.

Saturday night is where the fun was though. In the afternoon, I placed my bottle of Brooklyn Local 1 in the fridge. We were watching a movie, so I thought it would be the best time to pop the cork. I still am reeling over this beer. I really liked it, but am trying to place it. It is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. For me, the best Belgian Strong is Pauwel Kwak. I like sweetness, malt and a good hop balance.

Here is what I will go with: The beer poured a earthy color, not orange or brown, but maybe a mix of both. The smell was some sweet citrus, but a lot of yeasty aromas. The taste was a good mixture of malt, hops, and spices, but I felt the yeasty taste was a bit too much. Overall, the beer was very good. I would drink it again, and would enjoy it. If I had my choice, I would go with Kwak or Brewer's Art Ozzy, but would never turn Local 1 down.

Up next for this week, Brooklyn Local 2. Anyone have either of these two beer? How far off was I on the Local 1?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Celebration (2007)



Max's Pint Night/American Craft Brewers Week


Pint of the Night- Sierra Nevada




I sat down, and was pleased to see the beer list. Too many that I wanted, what should I go for. I chose to begin with a Troeg's Scratch #18- Rye IPA. I tried to have Eric pick up a case for me a bit back, but they were out. I am glad I was able to try it yesterday. Initially it had that sweet spiced smell that I was kind of expecting. Knowing Troegs, I kind of thought that it would be a bomb, but it wasn't. The ryeness and an earthy sweetness balance everything out. I could have had it a little more bitter, but overall it was a solid beer. Now I am really mad I was unable to get a case.




My second beer came courtesy of the Sierra Nevada rep. (To be fair, I had already ordered it, and would have grabbed it first if it wasn't for the Scratch.) Sierra Nevada Celebration. "In May?" one would ask. Apparently, Casey (the beer genius) kept a couple of kegs around (since 2007!). Pleasant surprise from one of my top beers. The "aged" keg poured a little darker, with less head and less carbonation. Where this beer stood out, was how the hops really blended within the spices. You could still get the spice out of it, and you could get the hops (it is Sierra Nevada), but they meshed together so well. Brilliant idea Casey. I was glad I was there.




I tried two other beer that I cannot exclude. First of which was a Hop Stoopid from Lagunitas. Many people have had and loved this beer. What made this special. Cask. The taste and smell were extremely hoppy. But about a foot from my nose, the pine hit me. The pine was so prevalent I was searching for the hops in it. The pine was still overpowering (for me) in the taste. It took me a sip or two to appreciate this beer. I am glad I took my time. Even though the pine was upfront and foremost, there was a myriad of grapefruit, hops and other citrusy nodes in the beer. Great stuff.




The final beer that I had was from a new brewery named Evolution, out of Delmar, DE. I had their pale ale, and it was just a simple beer. I can't compare it to the others that I had. Hopefully, this brewery catches on and I can try it on a more even ground.




What else is out there?




Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pint Night

Last night, Max's beer du jour was from Starr Hill out of Charlottesville, VA. I had their Northern Lights IPA. Nice beer. Poured orangy amber, with a bit of head. Smell of citrusy hops. Tasted mild bitterness with a little malt. Finished dry, hops hung around. It was nothing special, but definately a beer I would grab again.

After the Northern Lights, I grabbed a Hop Hog from Lancaster. (I tried to compare the Starr Hill to something.) The Hop Hog is a bit sweeter for an IPA (I haven't had one in a while, kind of forgot). The hop bitterness eventually pushed through, but not enough in my opinion.

Next, I had a Witkap Pater Dubbel. The bartender argued with me when I said this, but it smelled and had a slight taste of grape koolaid. It took me a little until I figured that out, but that is what I tasted. This could be due to having a Starr Hill and Hop Hog beforehand, but I wouldn't those would make that result. Anywho, it is a great tasting brew.

Anyone else have any of these beer? Can you back me up on the grape koolaid?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Max's

I haven't been over for a Wednesday Pint Night in a couple of weeks. Can't wait to see what is pouring today. Cheers

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Start of Last Weekend

Thursday, we ate at Jack's Bistro. Great food. (steak frites and fries, she had the crabcake. You can't go wrong with either.) But to top it off, I still am in love with their beer list. I stayed calm and local this time and order the Clipper City Red Sky at Night. It is a Saison/Farmhouse style ale.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Germany and No Smoking

According to this article in the LA Times, German domestic beer sales are down 6.8% in the first quarter of this year. Exports to other EU member countries are down 12.5%. Exports to all other countries are up over 2%, but only 21% of its total exports go to non-EU countries (I would assume a huge number of that 21% is the US).


How does this mesh with Balto/MD/USA? The brewers are blaming the ban on smoking in the bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants as the main reason for the decline (Germany banned the smoking).


Ever since Maryland considered legislation through the implementation of the legislation, I have been at odds with it. Do I like smelling like smoke after leaving a bar? No (Max's was horrible, IMO). But I always felt that the bar owners should have their choice. Maybe restrict new bars, or liscence transfers, but to make someone who has owned a bar for 30 years change it now. I hated it. Ron at Max's loved the cigars bar, and sold cigars to people who enjoyed them. Even had a happy hour devoted to beer and cigars. I sided with them. If you wanted to go where you weren't around smoke, Red Star was a couple of blocks away, McGovern's was a neighborhood over. I believe Berthas was nonsmoking as well. People had choices, they just didn't want to use them. That was my problem.



Anywho, what do you think about declining sales/smoking ban/any other topic for today?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Who comes up with this?


Apparently Beck's is turning their a Hello Kitty themed beer. Packaging and bottle label. Who would ever think this is good? Maybe they are targeting making their beer for women, but I can't see how any man that sees this bottle would be like, hmm, maybe I will grab a case.
I am sure it won't hurt their sales too much, but unless it is for a good cause (I am thinking Breast Cancer research), why would a beer go pink?
Would you drink this beer with this label?

Friday, April 24, 2009

First up...


Trying to start the weekend off right, I went to the fridge and grabbed a Sierra Nevada Torpedo. This 7.2% "Extra IPA" is a delicious brew by the always good Sierra Nevada. I don't look for Sierra Nevada to break any molds, but I always know they will produce a good beer.


It looks (amberish orange), smells (citrus and pine) and tastes (citrus hop with a good combination of malt) exactly how an IPA should. (I normally do not likeit when people categorize, but this is how I think it should be.) I think they took their pale ale, and looked to improved everything. Fine job Sierra Nevada, I look forward to any future offerings.


How are you starting your weekend off?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Where's the Beer?

Anyone know where I can find some Bear Republic Racer X? I am very intrigued, and first off thought that they kept it close to home. Then over on Lew Bryson's blog, he said he had it in PA. So any around Balto?

I also grabbed a bottle of Brooklyn Local 1 last night. Now I just need to find the time to open and drink 1 and 2.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

What would make a green beer?

It takes so much energy to make it, store it and ship it, I would think it would be hard to consider any green. Organics like Wolevers are doing their best to be environmentally friendly. I like Wolever's IPA, nice beer, but it being organic does not make me want to have one more. And they ship it from Vermont, in bottles.

Oskar Blues has always used their can as a way of reducing their "carbon footprint". Again, I love Dale's, Gordon's and Ten Fidy, but it comes from Colorado. That is a long way to ship something to say that it is green. The best I can think of are local brewpubs. Straight off their tap. Reuseable kegs limit waste, I guess.

So, I guess the better question is, what beer hurts the environment less, compared to the others? I don't know that answer, and probably no one does.

What beer are you swilling today?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Beer Wars

Here is a great link that I stole through Lew Bryson. It is from Harry Schuhmacher. It gives the other side of the War. And I thought it was interesting.

Click Here

Monday, April 20, 2009

Brewer's Art

I have stated my opinion of Resurrection (good beer, could be sweeter) and Ozzy (my favorite from BA, delicious golden), but now Brewer's Art is getting props from Esquire. Best Bar. Congratulations.

Their explanation of a good bar:
"If it's a dive, it's Christ-this-place-is-a-dive dive. If it's an Irish pub,
it's not an "Irish" pub. If it's a cocktail lounge, it's got some Tanqueray Ten
and a bottle of good rye somewhere. This site is about those places."


I can't complain about that. If it wants to be a certain type of bar, be that bar. Brewer's Art has its own thing going. I love going downstairs grabbing a beer, and finding a table in the cave. Good stuff.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

DogfishHead ApriHop

Last night was the Pint Night at Max's. When I walked in, I was told it was ApriHop. Immediately, I figured it was another day for me to dislike the beer (I always try it, and leave disappointed with it). But for whatever reason this time, I really enjoyed it. Maybe it was so fresh that it turned me on. I don't know. I felt it was very sweet, malty sweet. A little bit of hops, but not overpowering. The aroma was good, and represented the taste well. I didn't ever think that I would like this one, but I did.

My second offering was Ommegang Rouge. I am a fan of Flemish Red beers, and I have been waiting to try this one. Finally, I was able to get into Max's when they had it on tap. The beer did not disappoint me. Deliciously sour, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it. The sourness hits you like a brick, and then disappears, making you go back for another sip. I would drink a couple of these, but I think it would be better to enjoy it every once in a while. I will think of it as a treat. (Normally, I don't drink Flemish Reds when I go out. I like to think of them as something to have to treat myself.)

Finally, I went with a York Nortic Fury, which was on cask. Probably not the best choice to go with an English Bitter following the Rouge, but I was going to give it a whirl. I usually like Bitters, and I was kind of in the mood for one. I must say I was disappointed in it. It just didnt give me what I was looking for, or the Rouge killed my taste buds and I didn't get everything out of the beer. I am hoping it is the latter, and I would grab another pint of it in the future to give it its due.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Brewery visit

Last Saturday, I met some friends at the Yuengling Brewery. They drove up from Baltimore, and I was already in PA, so I came down. I always forget how nice the tour is. This was my thirdish time going on the tour, and I always see something different. I am one of the few people on the tour that isn't looking for that free sample at the end, although I normally partake of it. The other day, my sample was of their Bock beer, which apparently they are only brewing for a short time. It was delicious though. If you have a chance, grab a pint.

Yuengling is held dear to my heart. I was turned into a quasi-hophead when I moved to Baltimore. Sitting in Max's with my friend Chris gave us hours of IPAs, Belgians, maibocks, yada yada yada. But through it all, I could go and grab a Lager and enjoy it. In Bloomsburg, we would spend hours downing pitchers of Lager, then go to someone's house after the bars closed to drink more Lager. It was the beer we drank. It isn't the complex beer that makes you love beer. It isn't a beer that will win gold medals. But it was what we drank, and enjoyed. (Better than drinking a miller lite, or any other macro-crap). The brewery tour reminded me that I don't drink it much anymore. Too many other beers to try, so little time. I will get back to Yuengling. When we go out with friends, it is Lager. So go out, drink what you like, try many beers, but don't forget about your first love. (Also, head up to Pottsville and take the tour. It is worth it. Family owned since 1829.)

What beer did you have that was (and always be) your beer?

Now after all this talk of Yuengling, I will have to grab a hopbomb.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Choosing Beer

I had off on Friday. That meant it was my job to drop the Better Half off at work (from now on she will be the NonBeerChick, since she doesn't enjoy it like me). So I decided to stop by the Wine Source and pick up some Resurrection for my brother, who lives in Michigan. (Note, even though I claim to be BaltimoreMan, I am from PA, a transplant). I gave him a bottle of the Green Peppercorn for Christmas two years ago, and missed out by 4 feet of getting him a bottle of Resurrection this year. I found it fitting to get him a bottle of Resurrection for Easter.






That is when the fun began. I walked into the Wine Source at 9:01. They open at 9, so I figured I was the first one there. Until the lady behind the counter stated a man was waiting, as soon as she opened the door, he grabbed his bottle, paid and was out. Wow. Anywho. I walked to the beer section, and that is when I felt like I was in a candy store.






There are the beers that you always get, and can get anywhere (racer, 90 min, Sierra Nevada, etc.), but I didn't want them. I found the Resurrection, and decided to grab one for me as well as a bottle of Green Peppercorn. Then what?






I had to push myself past the Ommegang. Maybe they would have the Cave-Conditioned beer? I went back. No luck. Maybe the Rouge? No luck. So I press on. My first grab was a bottle of Green Flash Grand Cru. I never had it. Never even heard of it. Kind of intrigued me. Green Flash IPA is one of my favorites. What possibly could go wrong with a Grand Cru from them?






Travelling down the aisle, I find purchase #2. It just happens to be Brooklyn Brewing Local 2. I had heard a million good things about this brew, but never had a bottle for myself. Now I do. (I am excited about this beer, I hope my excitement doesn't ruin the experience.)






The final bottle I picked up was a hard decision. I heard good and bad from it. I grabbed a Victory WildDevil. On some accounts, you get the HopDevil IPA with funk (from the Brett) making it a delicious complex beer. On the other hand, people have stated it is just a HopDevil with very very mild changes, at a premium price. I will be delighted if it comes out as the former, or mad if it comes out as the latter. I will have to wait and see. It is a nice bottle though.






The Sweet Nectar of the Gods

Pulled the cap off of a bottle of Troeg's Flying Mouflan last night. I will call it sweet hops. The south has sweet tea, so the north can have sweet hops. Much more maltier than Nugget Nectar, has the strong backbone of hops that one would expect. Very very drinkable, maybe dangerously drinkable. Overall, a very nice beer. Go find one.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Pint Glass


Last night, Max's pint glass was from Lake Placid Brewery. Their beer was called Ubu Ale. At first I was timid, due to the dark pour. I am an amber colored beer type of guy. But, as Will Ferrel says in Old School, once it hits your lips, it's so good. Nice beer. Nothing overdone. Very drinkable.
The other beer that I gave a whirl was the Claymore Scotch Ale from Great Divide. You can't go wrong with most Great Divide stuff. Claymore is dark and a little heavy. Good beer, with a caramelly malt flavor, I guess, that goes well with the hops. Nice beer, if you haven't had any, get a pint.
To top it off, the O's took down the Evil Empire again.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

That's Not Baseball...

Baseball. Some call it America's Pastime. All I think is a warm night, a hotdog and a cold beer. What is better than that. Sitting in centerfield at Camden Yards, drinking some Clipper City. Yelling to KoolAde (a vendor friend) to get a hotdog. That is baseball. Families come to the game. What do they buy? Hotdogs, cotton candy, fries and the dads drink beer (so they can put up with the kids).

But not in Canada. Beer was banned for the Detroit Tigers v. Toronto Blue Jays game last night. I cannot express how wrong that is. I hate that there are people who ruin it for others,

This is the reason:

The clubhouses were cleared of booze, too, after the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario suspended the liquor license at Rogers Centre for three dates because of past infractions. The stadium will also be dry April 21 when Toronto plays Texas and for a Canadian Football League game Aug. 1.

The Blue Jays' 12-5 win Monday was delayed nine minutes in the eighth
inning when fans threw two baseballs in the direction of Detroit left
fielder Josh Anderson and tossed a handful of paper planes and empty beer
cups onto the field.

I can't say I don't blame the Alcohol and Gaming Commission for it. I would be mad if I got there and couldn't grab a brew, but I would eventually understand. I have yelled at players/refs/coaches, but I would never throw something on the field.

A Tradition Unlike Any Other...

This year was the first time in a couple that I did not attend a Masters practice round. Two years ago it was the Monday practice round. I remember walking onto the course, seeing all that green at 8 a.m. Never did I imagine that it was that green, that perfect, and that (Ugh!) hilly. The television broadcast does not give the hills justice. Up and down. When you walk around the course, you are sore, tired and just feel beaten up. No matter how sore you are you leave amazed at its beauty, especially Monday, at 8. The best conditions, no one was on the course except Tiger, who started before the crowd was let in. Augusta National has crazy elevation changes. That day will always stick in my mind.


Last year was a let down. We went for the Wednesday practice round and the Par 3 tournament. The tournament was neat, but they pack everyone that would be out watching the course onto a packed par 3 course. We were still able to get a seat and view some of the shots. The highlight of that day was seeing Jack and Gary Player out on the course before the Par 3. (Also seeing KJ Choi and Justin Leonard running with their kids from the tee to the green. Leonard's daughters thought it would be fun to roll onto the green, so they did. Classic family moment.)

Where does this pull in beer? It is golf, and golf goes with beer. Augusta National is pristine. You do not put trash on the ground. The food is as cheap as it gets, one dollar for a bag of chips, $1.50 for a ham sandwich, a buck for a candy bar and, get this, $3 for a Heinekin. Where are you able to get a $3 beer at an event that huge. They don't care about the money, but you better not miss the trash can.

Anyhow, Tiger will win. That is what he does. Go on, be a Tiger.








Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Champion



Rodenbach Grand Cru came through last night with a win over DogfishHead 90 Minute. Grand Cru used strong defence and a low turnover to win the Championship of Beer, 2009. 90 Minute, on the other hand, turned it over way too much, and was downright sloppy. I am sure Sam will clean it up for next year and have another good showing.



I turned the game off in the middle of the first half as Michigan State refused to hit their shots, or sometimes they just handed the ball to UNC instead of shooting. The second half was much better, but UNC's lead was too great. Unfortunately, I did not partake of any beverages during the game last night, maybe why I didn't enjoy it as much. What did you think of the game?


Go Orioles!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Taming of the Brew

The Taming of the Brew is a fundraiser to support the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensamble. They limit the tickets, creating demand, but also giving the participants a chance to sample a wider range of beers. (No 10 , or even 3, person lines.) The TotB also has area restaurants participate. Along with the beer and food, there was a presenter who gave a history of beer as well as samples. (I am sorry, I forgot my camera. I was not pleased with myself.)

There were some nice surprises, good beer and good food. It was a really nice night.

Bullfrog Brewery (Williamsport, PA) didn't bring the Edgar IPA (I was a little disappointed) but did have Houblonium P-38. They call it a Belgian-inspired IPA, and it was just as good. If anyone ever gets up to the Little League World Series, or if they are just looking for a trip, Bullfrog is a must stop. Good food, Great Beer.

Sly Fox released their Odyssey at 10. The Odyssey is an Imperial IPA. Very well balanced. Not the super hopped up IPA that I normally drink, but it was very tasty. I wish I could enjoy this beer more. Also of note, Sly Fox bottle the Brewer's Art beers. I thanked them for that.

And finally, the surprise of the evening was Ommegang. Their taps, Hennipin, Witte and Rare Vos, are all great beers. But I was hoping for a little more. Last year, I was able to introduce some of my friends to Three Philosophers. This year I was hoping for Ommegeddon, Rouge, Friut or something else. (As long as it wasn't Ale 2009. Obamagang is aweful. Some people may like it, but it is aweful. The guys at the TotB from Ommegang agreed with me.) What they did have, at 10 o'clock, was a Cave-Aged Three Philosophers (I missed out on it) and a Cave-Aged Abbey. It blew me away. So many different flavors than the regular Abbey. I am going to start searching for the beer this week. Hopefully, I will be able to find a couple of bottles.

Full Pine

The Oregon government is trying to make sure you get a full pint.

What's a Calorie?

I stumbled across this website today, thanks to http://mybeerbuzz.com/, http://www.beer100.com/beercalories.htm. It gives the calorie information of many beers. Very cool.

Best reply I have ever heard about calories. One lady asked the bartender how many calories were in a certain beer. The bartender pointed out that, since there wasn't any calorie information listed on the lable, the beer had zero. I think the lady actually believed the bartender, because she proceeded to order the beer a couple times that night.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pint Glasses

When I initially moved to Baltimore. My friend, now roommate, informed me of Max's Pint Night. I stop by after work most Wednesdays, and I would do it just for the beer. The pint glass has been a treat.

Last night, I was able to pick up a Sierra Nevada Harvest pint glass. It was the pint of the night at Max's. I followed the Harvest with a couple of Nugget Nectars. One on tap and another from the cask. I am not looking forward to when the kegs run dry. I enjoy the Wednesday Pint Night.

Looking at the 65+ pint glasses is usually fin as well. Thinking about the beer that came in them, as well as the uniqueness of the glass. From German mugs to tall Hefe glassware to a simple pint glass with a brewers logo on it, each glass gives me thoughts on their beer. And it is nice to drink a X beer in and X pint glass. There are some pint glasses that may never be filled with their beer again. Off the top of my head I can think of Dos Equis, Miller Lite (I didn't have miller, it was an O's glass though) and Peroni.

My favorite glass that I picked up was a Amstel Light glass. It is basically a wine style glass, with detailing on the stem and around the rim. The glass is thin, which makes it extremely light. Overall it is a clean, good looking glass. I would post a picture, but after its last use, yours truly dropped it on the counter. Stupid me.

There is always the debate over which pint glass to use for what beer. If it is glass, then I will use it. I don't segregate when it comes to glassware. I could use a tumbler for an Belgian as well as a wine glass for a stout. Will it change the taste/texture... maybe, but not enough for me to decide on whether I like the beer.


What is your opinion on glassware? Do you have a beer glass at home?