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.