Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Oh No!

As posted by (brad), (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 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's Brad.

Baltimore Magazine's Top 25 Bars
and'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.