Sunday, August 31, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 31

The beer for today is Lewis and Clark Lager, from the Lewis and Clark Brewing Company in Helena Montana.

On August 31, 1803, at 11 a.m. local time, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark (Lewis and Clark) left Pittsburgh. On November 20, 1805, they finally see the Pacific.

Lewis and Clark went out to find out how big the Louisiana Purchase was. The U.S. paid 23 million to France for it, but no one was really how sure the area was. So Thomas Jefferson had congress pay $2,500 for an expedition.

As for the beer:

To commemorate a long and courageous journey we created a special Marzen style lager with fine Munich and Vienna malts. This beer is a malty, medium-bodied brew with a light amber color, a nutty malt aroma and a crisp finish.
Alcohol 5.4% abv.
So, in honor of the west, have a Lewis and Clark Lager, they probably wish they could have had a beer.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 30

The beer for today is Mackeson XXX Stout.

On August 30, 1720, Samuel Whitbread was born. When Whitbread was 14, he left his home town of Bedfordshire and headed to London. There he became a brewers apprentice. In 1742, he bought into a brewery and started making a very popular black porter.

By 1760, his brewery was the second largest in London. By Whitbread's death in 1796, his brewery was the largest in London.

Today, Whitbread PLC is one of the largest hospitality companies in the world. The company (sadly) doesn't brew anymore. They were sold to the company that is now Inbev (or is it ABInbev?) There are some beers with legacy connections to Whitbread though. Apparently, this beer might be from the Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams) although it is probably contract brewed through them.

Mackeson Stout was originally made in 1907. Eventually that brewery got bought by Whitbread, and they have since been sold to inbev. The beer pictured to the right is from my wall of beer (sorry for the dark image) It is brewed by the Whitbread Beer Company in Ohio, so the name lives on. They apparently also brew Whitbread Pale Ale, at the Cincinatti brewery.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 29

The beer for today is Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale.

On August 29, 1991, the Supreme Soviet suspended all activities of the Soviet Communist Party. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union had been in existence from January 1912 to 1991. The absolution established all those little countries in Eastern Europe that used to be part of USSR.

As for the beer:

This Special Ale is, in reality, a reconstructed exhumation of the very first ale that we ever brewed way, way back, in 1993. Brewed with a big head, a muscular malty thorax, a silky texture & all strung together with a hoppy sweet nerve sack... yum. O.G. 1.072 84.2 IBU.
I don't think it's still around... but then, neither is the Soviet Communist Party.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 28

The beer for today is Three Floyds Alpha King.

On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech during a civil rights rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
How I wish that were possible. I'm fond of saying "I don't hate you for WHAT you are; I hate you for WHO you are."

"Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children."
That speech was 45 years ago. There is finally a black presidential candidate; who gives his acceptance speech tonight in Denver. Will he mention any of the speech?

How many American's won't vote for Barack because he's black?

Hate may not be a family value, but it might be hereditary.

As for the beer; Three Floyds is out of Munster, Indiana. Alpha King is one of their flagship beers.

Big American Pale Ale with citrusy aroma- a hop lover’s cult beer and Three Floyds’ flagship beer Brewed with Cenntennial, Cascade & Warrior Hops.
It's 6% ABV and 66 IBU. It's available, at least somewhere, in most midwest cities. It's number 81 on the Beer Advocate top 100.

So, in honor of the man who had a dream, go have an AMERICAN pale ale; while watching Barack Obama accepting the democratic nomination. Think of how far we've come, in 45 years and how much further we have to go.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 27

The beer for today is Lost Coast Downtown Brown.

On August 27, 9163, Julie Dorne Brown was born. Julie, better known as Downtown Julie Brown, was an MTV VJ and host of Club MTV in the late 80's.

Julie was famous for her catchphrase, "Wubba Wubba Wubba". She posed nude for Playboy in March of 1998.

As for the beer:

A smooth, full-bodied nut brown ale, lightly hopped with a hint of roasted and crystal malts. This ale is dark in color without the heavy taste of porter or stout.
It comes in at 5% ABV and has 15 IBU, so it's not bitter at all.

Lost Coast is a brewery in Eureka California. It's owned by Wendy Pound and Barbara Groom. It is one of the few women owned breweries.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Beer Review, Sweetwater Road Trip

After watching the Cubs win (at 7S) and then heading to Cowboy Monkey (more on that later) came home and had a Sweetwater Road Trip.

This beer came out looking like a macro. It had the yellow gold color that is so familiar with the macros. There was a little thickness in the appearance, but not too much. It smelled sweet and Pilsner-y. It felt thin and almost unnoticeable on the tongue.

It tasted tart, sour, a little off-ish but not wrong. There was some grapefruit in the taste. But not an expected grapefruit. It was like when I was a kid and we'd go visit at the grandparents. Every morning grandma would eat a grapefruit (or was it just half a grapefruit) for breakfast. As a kid, I had never had grapefruit before, and it sure looked like an orange (kinda, the skin was different and the meat was different, but the only thing I knew that was citrus was orange) so I thought, it was an orange, or a really big orange that wasn't orange. Then I took my first bite, OMG, what the hell is this, it's horrible! The first grapefruit was nasty. (Remember first smelling a beer? (something macro) Remember the first taste? eeew) This had that weird first grapefruit taste to it. As I continued to drink it, the taste got better. Oddly, it only had the grapefruit taste as I let it sit on the tongue to get more of the mouthfeel.

It wound up being a pretty decent beer. I'm not sure how many of these I'd drink, but one seemed to be the right number.

I picked this beer up at Bruisin' Ales.

Road trips are carefree adventures that usually take unexpected twists, like when we created this beer. It started out as a Pilsner recipe, but halfway through it blew a tire and Ale yeast was put on as the spare. The result was so good, it never could have been planned!

Days of the Beer, August 26

The beer for today is once again a cider, Strongbow.

On August 26, 1346, the Battle of Cressy took place near Crécy in northern Fance. Many people consider this battle as the beginning of the end of chivalry (so it is dead???) The battle was part of the Hundred Years' War.

There were about 16,000 men from England, taking on about 86,000 french. The french force was mostly nights, wearing mail with plate. The english had 7,000 longbow archers. The french had to walk uphill through mud to get to the English, who mowed them down with their arrows.

This battle was a turning point in that it cemented the place of the longbow over knights and crossbow. Once the longbow had killed the horses, the knights were then killed.

Strongbow Cider (by Bulmers) is named after Richard "Strongbow"de Clare. He had nothing to do with this battle as he died 200 years before.

So, in honor of the end of chivalry, and the dominance of longbows, go get you a Strongbow. It's one of my favorite ciders.

In CU, it's available on draft at Bentleys pub. It's also available at several other locations in bottles.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 25

The beer for today is Russian River Pliny the Elder.

On August 25, 79, Gaius, also known as Caius Plinius Secundus, better known as Pliny the Elder, died.

Pliny was an author, naturalist and philosopher. His most famous work was Naturalis Historia. The book covered nearly the entire field of ancient knowledge. It had subjects on medicine, plants, agriculture, architecture, sculpture, geology and mineralogy.

One of the plants he named was "Lupus salictarius" which meant wolf among the scrubs (namely willows). The name was later changed to Humulus lupulus, humulus referred to the plants habit of climbing. Lupulus still means wolf. Of course, that plant is Hops.

Pliny died on August 25, at Stabiae, one of the towns destroyed by Mount Vesuvius. Pliny and his nephew Pliny the Younger, both saw the eruption. Pliny was at Misenum and sailed to Stabiae, to observe the volcano and to help rescue people.

Pliny's body was found on August 26 underneath some ashes with no injuries. His death is attributed to asphyxiation, or poisoning from gases released from the volcano.

As to the beer:

Russian River Brewing is out of Santa Rosa California. For the longest time, Pliny was only available on draft and at a few locations. In the past month and a half, it has become available in bottles, but again, only in a few locations.

Pliny the Elder was a Roman naturalist, scholar, historian, traveler, officer, and writer. Although not considered his most important work, Pliny and his contemporaries created the botanical name for hops, "Lupus salictarius", meaning wolf among scrubs." Hops at that time grew wild among willows, much like a wolf in the forest. Later the current botanical name, Humulus lupulus, was adopted. Pliny died in 79 AD while observing the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. He was immortalized by his nephew, Pliny the Younger, who continued his uncle's legacy by documenting much of what he observed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

8.0%ABV, 1.071 O.G

So, if you are lucky enough to get your hands on some (I'm still willing to trade Rob), have a Russian River Pliny the Elder. It's listed as a 100% on Ratebeer an, A+ on Beer Advocate, and is currently #9 on BA's top 100.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 24

The beer for today is Full Sail Vesuvius.

In the year 79, on August 24, Mount Vesuvius erupted. The cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae were all buried under volcanic ash. The eruption occurred the day after Vulcanalia, the festival of the Roman god of fire.

Pliny the Younger and his uncle, Pliny the Elder were both witnesses to the eruption.

Mount Vesuvius is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years. Vesuvius is considered to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes because there is a population of 3 million living close to it.

As for the beer:

Full Sail Brewing Company is out of Hood River, Oregon. The opened in 1987. Vesuvius is a Belgian Style Golden Ale, that is part of their Brewmaster Reserve line.

Strong in flavor and alcohol yet light in color and malt character this style has the warming presence of alcohol
That sounds like the kind of beer you'd need for being buried under yards of ash.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 23

The beer for today is Great Lakes Commodore Perry.

Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry was born August 20, 1785, and died August 23, 1819.
He served in the War of 1812 against Britain and earned the nickname "Hero of Lake Erie" for beating the British at the Battle of Lake Erie.

During the battle, September 10, 1813, Perry's flagship the Lawrence was destroyed and Perry rowed a half-mile through heavy gunfire to transfer command to the Niagara. His battle flag read "DONT GIVE UP THE SHIP" which he did. After the battle his victory report was:

We have met the enemy and they are ours' two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop.

Perry died in 1819 from yellow fever which he contracted during an expedition to the Orinoco River in Venezuela.

Great Lakes Commodore Perry IPA is:

A medium-bodied and well hopped India Pale Ale with a dry, fruity aftertaste.
This monumental India Pale Ale honors the hero from The War of 1812 who battled the enemy on Lake Erie.
So go out and get you a beer named for a war hero.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 22

The beer for today is Three Floyds Gorch Fock Helles.

On August 22, 1880, Johann Wilhelm Kinau was born. Kinau later became an author and poet and went by the pseudonym Gorch Fock. Gorch Fock was born on the island of Finkenwerder, near Hamburg. At 14, he served as a merchant's apprentice, where he worked as a book keeper.

In 1904, his poetry and stories started to be published. In 1913 his most famous book Seefahrt ist Not! was published (Seafaring is not).

He was drafted into the German infantry in 1915, and then was transferred into the navy and served on the SMS Wiesbaden. On May 31, 1916, he died in the Battle of Jutland.

Two Germany Navy training ships were named in his honor.

The beer is a Helles, or Bright, beer. It's 4.5% ABV, so it's also light and bright.

It's described as:

Franconian Helles Booyakasha

Whatever that means.

I had this beer September 14, 2007.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 21

The beer for today is Elevator Brewery, Bleeding Buckeye Red Ale.

On August 21, 1954, Archie Mason Griffin was born. Archie Griffin is the only person to win the Heisman trophy twice. Archie, number 45, played at the Ohio State University from 1972-1975. Griffin rushed for 5,589 yards on 924 carries in his four seasons at OSU.

Griffin was born in Columbus, went to highs school and college in Columbus, and then played professionally for the Cincinnati Bengals from 76-82. (He played for the Jacksonville Bulls of the USFL for a year, but that doesn't count.)

Griffin is currently the president of the Ohio State University Alumni Association. He's also the spokesman for the Wendy's High School Heisman award.

About the beer.

Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus is near the new Blue Jackets Nationwide Arena in the Short North district of Columbus. They have 12 house brews on tap, 10 are their usual beers, one is a monthly special, and one is their MBA (Master of Beer Appreciation) beer.

The Bleeding Buckeye Red Ale is:

A beautiful auburn color accents teh balance of malt and hops that makes this a real winner. Go Bucks!
"Teh" is their type-o, showing off their good ole' OSU education... hehe.

I had this beer on April 5, when Jimmy and I went to C-bus for the weekend. Elevator is a nice place, you'll remember they are the one with the hot stone steak.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 20

The beer for today is Atwater Block Vanilla Java Porter.

On August 20, 1920, WWJ (Newsradio 950) became the first commercial radio station, broadcasting out of Detroit, Michigan. Originally, it was 8MK but the name was changed to WWJ on Marck 3, 1922.

It got the name 8MK because it was part of the 8th Radio Inspection District, the M says it was an aMateur license. The station is owned by CBS Radio.

WWJ was probably the first station to broadcast news reports as well as the first to schedule religious broadcasts and play-by-play sports. WWJ is the only commercial all news radio station in Michigan.

As for the beer. Atwater Block Brewery is located in Detroit's Rivertown district, founded in March of 1997.

Atwater Vanilla Java Porter is:

A robust porter made with chocolate malt. We blend it with Vanilla and Java beans, and balance it with U.S. Golding Hops.
The beer comes in at 6% ABV, and only 15 IBU.

So, get yourself an AtWater Vanilla Java Porter (WVJ) and listen to WWJ.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Beer News; Changing the drinking age

I haven't seen much comment from bloggers on this, but it seems to be somewhat big real news these days.

Drinking Age Should Be 18, Colleges Say

Let Debate Begin: Drinking Age Back To 18

Heck, just do a yahoo news search for Drinking Age 18, and you get a bagillion results.

So, as an avid drinker, and supporter of peoples rights, what are my thoughts on this.

If a person is old enough to join the army, they should be old enough to drink. The minimum age for enlistment in the United States Military is 17 (with parental consent) #1

If a person is old enough to vote, they should be old enough to drink. 18; however, in many states, persons 17 years of age are permitted to vote in primary elections if they will be 18 years of age on or before the day of the general election. #2

So in the United States, a person is old enough to fight for their country; old enough to vote on issues; but not old enough to consume alcohol.

Earlier today, I mentioned the Age of Consent. My position is this, if a person is old enough/responsible enough to have sex/drive/enlist/vote, they are old enough to drink too.

The movement by the college deans is called the Amethyst Initiative.

Launched in July 2008, the Amethyst Initiative is made up of chancellors and presidents of universities and colleges across the United States. These higher education leaders have signed their names to a public statement that the 21 year-old drinking age is not working, and, specifically, that it has created a culture of dangerous binge drinking on their campuses.

The Amethyst Initiative supports informed and unimpeded debate on the 21 year-old drinking age. Amethyst Initiative presidents and chancellors call upon elected officials to weigh all the consequences of current alcohol policies and to invite new ideas on how best to prepare young adults to make responsible decisions about alcohol use.
MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is against lowering the drinking age.

MADD has a rebuttal to it. (available here)

Perhaps MADD should change their name to Mothers Against Drinking.

I do not like having anyone dictate to me, what I can or can not do. I do not like having MADD tell people who can do everything that a person over 21 can do, that they are not allowed to drink.

Life is full of milestones. At 16, you get your license; at 18, you get to join the selective service (register for the draft) you also get to vote; at 21 you get to finally be considered old enough to drink.

I'm against Drunk Driving, I don't know anyone who isn't. I'd wager people who have been arrested for DUI are also against it (but they'll claim circumstances... I know I do the times that I shouldn't have driven). If MADD wants there to be no drunk drivers, they'll have to outlaw alcohol, and we already saw how that worked in the U.S.

When otherwise normal activities are criminalized, otherwise normal people become criminals.

(Marijuana should be legal too)

Beer Review, Weyerbacher Old Heathen Imperial Stout

Last night, after accepting a forfeit at softball (due to nearly the entirety of the other team going back to college) and going to Hooters (and expressing my displeasure with the managers about their new pint glasses ... see picture), went home and had a beer while watching the Olympics (more on the Olympics later).

If you look at the pints, the one on the left has a thicker bottom, almost twice as thick as the one on the right. The glass itself is also slightly thicker than the glass on the right. (For more on the Honest Pint Project, check out Jeff Alworth's Beervana)

The beer was Weyerbacher Old Heathen Imperial Stout (as you've probably guessed by the title of this posting). It poured a dark black, with very little head. There was a little bit of seafoam in the middle of the glass, but nothing of note. It smelled of coffee, smoke, chocolate malt, syrup and molasses. As it warmed, I think I had a distinct smell at one point of tootsie roll. It felt thin, but also thick... if that's possible.

The taste was all the smells, and also alcohol. As it warmed, a nice toffee note came out. I once had a sip that completely reminded me of an overly creamed coffee.

This beer was really good. It wasn't the best RIS I've had, but it was an outstanding stout. It's just another great Weyerbacher beer. As I finished the glass off, I thought Weyerbacher might just be my favorite brewery. I can't think of anything from them that I haven't liked. But then, all their beers are strong. Old Heathen clocks in at 8.2% ABV.

As for the Olympics, I was watching He Kexin of China beat (somehow) Nastia Liukin on the uneven bars. There's been controversy about the age of some of the Chinese gymnasts, apparently they have to be 16 to compete in the Olympics. China says they are 16, they even gave them passports. Others say that He Kexin is only 13.

Here's the test. China's age of consent is (apparently) 14. Would you think it legal to have sex with this girl? By providing her a passport, China says it's ok. (U.S. law says that if you travel to a country that has a lower age of consent, that when you come back, you can be charged if you traveled to a country for the express reason of having sex with younger people. U.S. age consent is state based instead of federal, most states are 16 so sex with He Kexin would not be illegal in either country... unless she's only 13)

Days of the Beer, August 19

The beer for today is Minhas Craft Brewery, Barbary Coast Gold Rush.

On August 19, 1848, The New York Herald newspaper broke the news to the East Coast of the U.S. that there was gold, lots of gold, in California.

The Gold Rush started at Sutter's Mill, when James Marshall found pieces of gold along the American River, on January 24.

Originally, California was going to be an agricultural center, but the finding of gold turned those early settlers (who were farmers) into gold prospectors, practically overnight.

It wasn't until the New York Herald article that people on the East Cost started moving west.

As for the beer: Minhas Craft Brewery, is in Monroe Wisconsin. The brewery has been around since 1845, three years before the California Gold Rush. It's been through several name changes, Blumer Brewing, Huber Brewery, up to the current Minhas Craft Brewery.

The beer is a California Common (steam) beer. It's 4% ABV, so it'd be nice and refreshing for when you are panning for gold.

It's named for a neighborhood in San Francisco that was a hangout for prospectors during the gold rush. It was known for gambling, prostitution and crime.

I picked up this beer in a wooden 12 pack holder, at Highland Beverage, in Hiram Georgia (outside Atlanta). I had to go to Georgia to get some beer made in Wisconsin. I had this beer on April 4 of this year. I wasn't taking notes on the beer at the time.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Beer Review, North Coast Old Plowshare Stout; Cru D'or; Ramapo Valley Passover Honey Beer

Saturday was a relatively good beer day. After I got called in to work, I stopped by Crane Alley for some soup and beer.

As I walked in, on the new bottles board, it said "AFA Old Plowshare Stout" and "AFA Cru D'Or". So I asked for the stout (and the soup, which was a cream of potato with bacon and scallops; it was delicious).

At first the bartendress had difficulty finding the new beer, so I mentioned Aaron normally puts the newest stuff in the front cooler, so she looked there, didn't see them, until she saw the bottles with a red splotchy thing on the cap. She pulled it out, and it was the beer.

This one poured somewhat dark, light did leak through on the sides, so it looked somewhat thin. It had quickly dissipating head that left those little rings of foam, I realized after looking at it for a while, that it reminded me of spaghetti-o's. It didn't have much smell, possibly due to the full pint glass, but I think I picked up some chocolate malt and smoke. It felt rather thin on the tongue, and possibly a little bubbly.

It tasted of malt and slightly bitter. It was almost like a smokey tea, with some chocolate. It dried out my tongue as it left. It's apparently 5.7% ABV. Originally it was made for Whole Foods as an organic stout, but is now getting broader distribution.

The AFA stands for Authentic Food Artisan, and I'm not sure what that means. I do know this is listed as an organic product, so it might have something to do with that. It went pretty good with the soup.

The beer I finished my soup with was the North Coast Cru d'Or. This one is listed as a Belgian Style Abbey Ale. It's 8% ABV so it's a little bit stronger than the stout. It poured brown with a little bit of head. It smelled sweet, almost sickeningly sweet. It was also fruity, possibly dried apricot?

It felt thicker than the stout on the tongue, so it was thicker and higher ABV than the stout. It tasted fruity, I thought I noticed several dried fruits in it, apricot, nectarine, orange. It was a sweet bomb! There was some honey in it, and maybe some tart plums. I searched for some spices, but couldn't find any. Was hoping to maybe get a little pepper, but it wasn't there. This beer was awesome.

After I finished it, I realized that it reminded me of Orval. I wonder if that was the "Belgian Abbey" they were trying to reproduce? Cru d'Or, for Val d'Or. It'd be neat to sit down with one of these, an Orval, and a Goose Island Matilda and do a blind tasting... if only I had Matilda... oh i do!

The final beer I had on Saturday was Ramapo Valley Brewery Passover Honey Beer.

Supervised by Rabbi Zushe Blech this brew is the first Kosher for Passover Honey Beer in over 2000 years. Enjoy this unique creation made with water, molasses, hops, honey and Passover yeast.
Exactly how there can be "Passover yeast" is beyond me, as God hates Yeast!

Exodus 12: 19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.
Leaven is Yeast.

This "beer" is actually mead. Why it claims to be honey beer and not mead is a mystery (the mead name may be off putting?) There is no grain used in this, and apparently there is such a thing as passover yeast. (kosher l'Pesach yeast).

Kriddy said it reminded her of paint thinner or nail polish remover. I found it to be too sweet. It was better than the last mead that I had, but still wasn't that great. It'd probably be really good with some flavoring (a dash of koolade).

Days of the Beer, August 18

The beer for today is Hilton Head Lighthouse Lager.

Happy International Lighthouse Day!!!

I'm not sure who made it into International Lighthouse Day, but whoever it is, thanks! (Apparently, it was from the International Association of Lighthouse Keepers)

One of the most famous lighthouses in history was the Lighthouse of Alexandria, built in 280 BC. It's height was somewhere between 380 and 440 feet. It was on of the Seven Wonder of the World.
The first lighthouse in America was Boston Light, on Little Brewster Island (aww brewster, how appropriate). The oldest existing lighthouse in America is Sandy Hook Lighthouse in New Jersey, built in 1764.

Modern lighthouses are less picturesque than the older ones. They are usually in inaccessible locations, use solar powered batteries, and have a single flashing light sitting on a steel tower. The last manned US lighthouse was built in 1962.

As for the beer, it's produced by Hilton Head Brewing Company on Hilton Head Island South Carolina. It's probably named for the Harbour Town Lighthouse, which is a 90-foot, red and white striped tower. It could have been for the Rear Range lighthouse, however.

It's apparently a Dark American Lager. Hilton Head Brewing Company is apparently it's the first brewpub in South Carolina.

So, if you can make it down to South Carolina today, and you want to brave the oncoming hurricane, head to Hilton Head Brewing Company and get the Lighthouse Lager.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 17

The beer for today is Anchor Steam.

On August 17, 1807, Robert Fulton's first American steamboat left New York City for Albany, New York, on the Hudson River, which was the first commercial steamboat service in the world.

The trip was 150 miles. It made the trip in 32 hours, and had a 20 hour stop at the home of Robert Livingston.

The first run was led by Captain Andrew Brink, it had not regular passengers, but invited guests. The regular scheduled service began on September 4. The boat left New York on Saturdays at 6 p.m. and left Albany on Wednesdays at 8 a.m. There were stops at West Point, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Esopus and Hudson. The boat traveled at about 5 mph.

The steam engine was first made by a French inventor in 1690. Denis Papin later built a ship powered by his steam engine in 1704. Fulton's North River Steamboat (often called Clermont) was the first commercially successful steamboat. The second one was Vermont, in 1808.

Currently there are only six major commercial steamboats that are on U.S. inland rivers.

Steam beer, was originally made in California from the mid 1800s to the mid 1900s. Historically, it may or may not have been a really crappy tasting beer. It is a lager style beer, where it is fermented at ale temperatures.

*trivia* How many kinds of beer are there?

2, Lager and Ale (although lambics don't fall under either... so 3?)

*trivia #2* What is the difference?


Ale yeast works (ferments) at higher temperatures. Ale works at temps from 55 to 75. Ale yeast is top fermenting, so after it gots done working, it goes to the top of the beer. Lager yeast is best at temperature from 55 to 32. Lager yeast settles to the bottom as it gets done.

Steam beer uses the lager yeast at ale temperatures, which results in a unique flavor. The lager yeast was more common and available for the California brewers. Additionally, cold storage was almost impossible to come by, as was cold water, which added to the interesting flavors.

Anchor Steam is a California Common beer, by the Anchor Brewing Company, in San Francisco, California.

San Francisco's famous Anchor Steam®, the classic of American brewing tradition since 1896, is virtually handmade, with an exceptional respect for the ancient art of brewing. The deep amber color, thick creamy head, and rich flavor all testify to our traditional brewing methods. Anchor Steam is unique, for our brewing process has evolved over many decades and is like no other in the world. Anchor Steam derives its unusual name from the 19th century when "steam" seems to have been a nickname for beer brewed on the West Coast of America under primitive conditions and without ice. The brewing methods of those days are a mystery and, although there are many theories, no one can say with certainty why the word "steam" came to be associated with beer. For many decades Anchor alone has used this quaint name for its unique beer. In modern times, "Steam" has become a trademark of Anchor Brewing.
So for the first commercial steam boat, have the current commercial steam beer.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 16.

The beer for today is Elgoods Wenceslas.

On august 16, 1419, Wenceslaus, King of the Romans, died. Wenceslaus' nickname was "the Drunkard". Wenceslaus (not "Good King Wenceslaus" he was in the 10th Century) was the German King from 1376 and King of Bohemia from 1378. He was deposed as German king in 1400 but was King of Bohemia until his death.

During his reign, there was repeated conflicts with the nobles, who even had him imprisoned on two occasions. Due to his troubles in Bohemia (including the torture and murder of the Vicar General of Prague) Wenceslaus hadn't been to Germany in ten years. Because of this the nobles in Germany demanded he apear befroe them to answer charges that he failed to maintain public peace. He was unable to attend due to the Bohemian troubles, so they deposed him in August 1400 claiming drunkenness and incompetence.

Wenceslaus died in 1419 of a heart attack while hunting in the woods outside his castle.

Elgoods Wenceslas is a Barleywine that is considered a Winter Warmer.

Our "King of Winter Beers" is a true winter warmer at a strength of 7.5% abv. The beer is a deep, rich brown and has a very full, fruity body. The use of Roast Barley, in particular contributes to the complex flavours, a strong hop character predominates.
It may be named for the other Good King Wenceslas, but since Wenceslaus the Drunkard died today, and this beer is 7.5% it fits pretty good.

So, in honor of Wenceslaus the Drunk, see if you can find Wenceslas, then go get drunk and piss away two countries.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tasting Wrap Up

Last night's tasting seemed to be a success, all the beer was drank, and everyone seemed happy.

Some beer horizons were expanded, including my own. There were some happy surprises, and some disappointments, but it turned out good. We had about 20 people there, and went through quite a few beers.

The first beer was Ballast Point Calico Amber, which was slightly more bitter than I had expected it to be. I had hoped it to be a maltier, brown-ish, but it was definitely an ESB. It was pretty good for a bitter.

We next had the Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier. This one had some strong banana flavors that were coupled with what some people described as cinnamon, others found some clove in the taste. Some people claimed this was their favorite of the night.

Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot made it's appearance at some point (there was no planned order, we poured based on people reactions to the previous beer). This one became the evening favorite of Shayna, who seemed disappointed when I told her it's not available in Illinois.

The least favorite beer for the evening was Cantillon Kriek. This was definitely not a koolaid beer, like Lindeman's. This was a big boy beer. This beer was a lot tarter than anyone had really thought was possible with beer. One of the ladies who works with Kriddy mentioned that the tartness did dissipate as the beer warmed, but it was still very present. One person claimed it was her favorite beer of the evening (danielle).

I was going to follow that up with Bells Hopslam, but thought that would be too mean, to give a DIPA after the tart, so instead I ordered up some bottles of Westmalle Tripel from the bar. This beer went over very will with everyone in attendance. That it's available at several places around town seemed to please them. That it's $7.50 a bottle at those places wasn't published... (it's cheaper at Friar Tucks)

Bells Hopslam did make it's appearance, and Danielle said it reminded her of Great Divide Hercules, which is an apt comparison. As Bells hasn't made it south of Chicago yet, Hercules would made a good substitution for a DIPA.

Boulder Mojo came around in two pint glasses on draft, to compare the IPA styles. Some liked Mojo better, others liked the Hopslam. The thinner mouthfeel was noted by more than one person.

Not on the schedule was Stone Arrogant Bastard, but I brought a couple bottles anyway, in case we ran low on beer. This one went well.

One of the favorites on the night was the Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout. People were picking up the vanilla smell almost instantly, they also got maple syrup and other flavors. I was not as pleased with it, it was a lot thinner than I expected (I was hoping for a syrup, but instead got soda). It did have good flavor, but the thinness was upsetting. Several thought it their favorite on the night.

The final beer was pulled up from my cellar, and it was Great Lakes Blackout Stout, which was the Day of the Beer, for yesterday. This one was well received as well.

When we finished up, eating, drinking and paying our bills, the other couples went home, and Kriddy and I along with D & D and Bryan went to Bentley's for a beer and some darts.

It was a good night, there was a decent variety of beers and everyone seemed to have a good time.

Days of the Beer, August 15

The beer for today is Saint Arnold Amber Ale.

Saint Arnold of Soissons is the patron saint of hop-pickers and Belgian Brewers. Arnold lived from 1040 to 1087, he was born near Flanders. He started out low in the Benedictine monastery of Soissons (France) but eventually was made the abbot. He eventually worked up to being a bishop, but didn't want to do that. Later in life he founded the Abbey of St. Peter in Oudenburg.

At that abbey, he started to brew beer. He made the locals drink beer instead of water, claiming it gave the gift of health. He was right, as the hour long boil for beer killed most of the bad things in the water.

The romantic story involving Arnold of Soissons is that back when he was in Flanders, a monastery room collapsed, destroying the monk's supply of beer. After the collapse, only a few barrels of beer remained, Arnold prayed and asked God for help, and the barrels multiplied (like the loaves and fishes). Arnold was proclaimed a saint by the people and the monks on the spot.

Arnold is often shown with, what looks like a trident, but is actually a mashing rake. Which is used to stir the grains, as they thicken up in an all-grain mash.

At one point in history, Saint Arnold's feast day was on August 15, it has since been moved to July 8.

About the beer:

A well balanced, full flavored, amber ale. It has a rich, malty body with a pleasant caramel character derived from a specialty Caravienne malt. A complex hop aroma, with a hint of floral and citrus comes from a combination of Cascades and Liberty hops. It has a rich, creamy head with a fine lace. The light fruitiness, characteristic of ales, is derived from a proprietary yeast strain.

Saint Arnold Amber Ale is best consumed at 50 - 55° Fahrenheit.

Recommended pairings: Hamburger, fried seafood, & hearty soups.

Actually, Saint Arnold Brewery isn't named for Saint Arnold of Soissons, but for Saint Arnold of Metz, but he's for another day.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 14

The beer for today is Great Lakes Blackout Stout.

On August 14, 2003, at 4:10:48 p.m. Eastern time, 265 power plants that serve most of the Northeast U.S. started to shut down. This event became known as the Northeast Blackout of 2003.
It affected people in Cleveland, Akron, Toledo, New York City, Baltimore, Buffalo, Albany, Detroit and parts of New Jersey. The blackout covered about 9,300 square miles, and affected nearly 50 million people.

The day was rather warm, around 88 degrees in the affected area, which may have had something to do with the blackout as lots of people had their air conditioning on.

When power lines carry more electricity, they get hotter and sag. Trees under the power lines are pruned to prevent them from coming in contact with the sagging lines. If a power line touches a tree, it creates a short circuit and that power line is taken off the grid. When that happens, power is re-routed to a different line, and it carries more of a load. When lines are cut off, that causes power plants in different areas to attempt to provide more energy to the grid. Then, those lines overheat, stretch and fail, so the plants go off-line. The first power line failed at 2:02. By 4:13, 256 plants were off line, 85% because of failed lines.

Power was restored to most areas later that evening. New York's power was restored in the early morning the next day. By August 16, power was fully restored in New York and Toronto. Pretty much everywhere had power by August 18.

As a result, for the next week, most people were very conscious of their energy use and people who didn't conserve, were derided. This apparently didn't last. There were 11 fatalaties blamed on the outage. There were 3,000 fires reported, most were from people using candles.

On the night of the event, people in New York City could actually see the Milky Way and satellites, because their view wasn't obscured by city lights. (I wonder if the Perseids were visible?)

Gogol Bordello's song "Oh No" is about the event. In honor of the event, Great Lakes named their Russian Imperial Stout Blackout Stout.

The beer clocks in at 9%.

A Russian Imperial Stout with a hearty malt body and bold hop flavor. Named after the infamous "Blackout of 2003" that left the northeastern United States in complete darkness, but resulted in old-fashioned neighborhood porch parties and fun.
Available in February & March.
This beer gets 98% on Ratebeer, and an A on BeerAdvocate. It's one of my favorite beers, whenever I see it, I grab a bottle or two. It doesn't make it down here often, but is available in Chicago and is seemingly always in Columbus. I've got several bottles in my basement gathering dust.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Beer Event, Aug. 14, Seven Saints

On Thursday, August 14, Kriddy and I will be having some friends over to Seven Saints for a beer sampling. We'll be showing up around 6 and pretty much filling up the back room with people.

Here's the current beer lineup.

From 7S:

Westmalle Trippel
Rogue Deadguy
Boulder Mojo

Brought in bottles:

Ballast Point Calico Amber
Cantillon Kriek
Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier
Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot
Bells Hopslam
Southern Tier Creme Brulee

That's 9 beers on the agenda, there's at least 36 ounces of each to go around, it currently looks like we'll have 18 or so people, so it should be a pretty good time.

Days of the Beer, August 13

The beer for today is Left Hand Sawtooth Ale.

Happy International Lefthanders Day!!! That's right, today is the day when we left-handers have our day. In this predominately right-handed world, it's about time we can celebrate our uniqueness!

Only seven to ten percent of the worlds population is left-handed.

Left handers are right brained, which seems to help with geometry. Apparently there is a link between lefthandedness and intelligence.

The following U.S. Presidents were left-handed: James Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Ford, Reagan, Bush, Clinton.

These famous people were also left handed: Joan of Arc, Ramses II, Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Castro, Henry Ford, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Lenny Bruce, Matt Groening, Me, Bart Simpson.

There's famous left-handed musicians too: David Byrne, Kurt Cobain, Phil collins, billy Corgan, Glenn Frey, Jimi Hendrix, Tony Iommi, Isaac Hayes, Chuck Mangione, Paul McCartnely, Robert Plant, Cole Porter, Ringo Starr, Paul Simon, Lou Rawls.

M.C. Escher did all those drawings left handed, as did Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo (Donatello wasn't).

Dan Aykroyd, Tim Allen, Harry Anderson, Matthew Broderick, George Burns, Carol Burnett, Charlie Chaplin, Tom Cruise, Robert DeNiro, W.C. Fields, Mark Hamill, Kermit the Frog, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Michael Landon, Kristy McNichol, Howie Mandel, Marilyn Monroe, Sarah Jessica Parker, Anthony Perkins, Richard Pryor, Robert Redford, Julia Roberts, Dick van Dyke, Bruce Willis, Oprah... all left-handed actors. (Odd how many left handed couples there are)

As for the beer, Left Hand Sawtooth Ale is an extra special bitter.

Sawtooth Ale is an English style Extra Special Bitter. It is an extremely well balanced beer, with significant hop character, medium body, and a maltiness which increases in evidence as the beer warms to its "proper" drinking temperature. . The water used is quite hard, bringing it to near Burton on Trent levels, keeping it true to the style. This gives it the appropriate character and improves the malt extract significantly.
This beer is 4.75% ABV, so it's easily a sessionable beer. I had this April 13, 2007, beer 377. It's been called Left Hand's flagship beer in the past, and may still be.

So, in honor of our sinister-ism, and the fact that 2,500 left-handers die each year from using right-handed products, like can openers, and scissors; get a Left Hand beer! And I hope one of you right-handers chokes on it!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Beer Review, Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale

Last night after softball (in which I hit my first over the fence homer of the season, thank you very much, with only one more week remaining) and the post game festivities at Hooters, came home and had a beer. Last night's choice was Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale.

As you can see, this one poured a dark brown, almost like a dark tea. It had a massive malt smell upon opening the bottle, that smell followed it to the goblet and stayed during the whole experience. The next smell that I noticed was alcohol. Finally I started picking up some roasty notes, not a smoke or burned, just a roasted bread crust feel, not toast.

It felt somewhat thinnish, and had an alcohol burn to it. The taste was roasty, bready and alcoholy. As it warmed to room temperature more flavors developed; I started to get some hot tea and some dark fruit (raisins). It had a sugary sweetness and also a back of tongue bitterness that was quite pleasant.

After my first sip, it kind of took my breath away, like when doing a hard liquor shot, how it forces you to exhale. That felt like alcohol.

This beer clocks in at 11% ABV. Did I mention Alcohol? It had alcohol smell, feel, taste and ending. It wasn't a painful alcohol experience like Samichlaus. It was quite noticeable, but not to the point that it was undrinkable.

I picked this up at Bruisin' Ales in Asheville. I can't think of a Duck-Rabbit that I've had that I didn't like.

Days of the Beer, August 12

The beer for today is Goose Island 312.

On August 12, 1833, at a portage between the Illinois River and Lake Michigan, Chicago was founded.

The name Chicago comes from the Miami-Illinois (Native American) word shikaakwa, meaning "wild leek" or "striped skunk"; leeks are a form of onion. The name was initially for the river, but later became the name of the city. The Town of Chicago was organized initially with a population of 350. In 7 years it had grown to over 4,000. It was incorporated on March 4, 1837.

Chicago began to grow when the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad opened in 1848, which was also the year the Illinois and Michigan Canal opened. By 1890, Chicago had a population of over 1 million.

In 1871, one third of the city was destroyed in a fire, including the central business district. As part of the reconstruction, the worlds first skyscraper was made in 1885.On December 2, 1942, Enrico Fermi conducted the world's first nuclear reaction at the University of Chicago. The 1968 Democratic National Convention was held with famous riots in the city.

Chicago is home to the Cubs (MLB); White Sox (MLB); Bears (NFL); Bulls (NBA); Blackhawks (NHL); and Fire (MLS), in addition to several minor league teams. Chicago is one of the cities bidding to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Chicago has been known as: The Windy City (for the cities politicians, not for wind gusts); Second City (for when Chicago was the second largest city in the U.S., since been taken by LA); Hog Butcher for the World (from a Carl Sandburg poem); and the City I Hate Because I Always Get Lost In It (by me).

Chicago has several area codes (phone) from 1947 until 1988, it was served by only one area code. That code... 312.

About the beer:

Like the digits suggest, it's a beer that's densely populated with flavor and loaded with character. We don't filter it, so none of its life and soul is stripped away.

The first thing you notice is the hazy, cloudy appearance. That's how you know it's unfiltered. What hits you next is the spicy aroma of Cascade hops, followed by the crispy, fruity ale flavor delivered in a smooth, creamy body, the result of blending barley malt with torrified wheat. It's not like any other Goose Island Beer, but no less than you'd expect.

Goose Island is a brewery in Chicago, opened in 1988. It is named after the only island on the Chicago River in Illinois. The island is about a mile and a half lone and a half mile wide (at it's widest point).

So for the second city go get the beer with it's area code, 312... it's for you.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Great Taste of the Midwest, Event Review

Saturday morning, Kriddy and I headed on up to Madison for the Great Taste of the Midwest. It's about a 4 hour drive from CU up there, and it takes just about a tank of gas in the Aveo. We left around 8 and got up there just before noon. The GToM has set up shuttles from several breweries to the park. We parked at Ale Asylum and got on the second shuttle, so we had time for a beer. We shared the Hopaliciouis. When we got on the bus it took about 15 minutes from the brewery to the park; it was spent listening to people singing songs and discussing being thrown out of bars.

We got to Olin Park with about 10 minutes to opening, and got in line. Once the doors opened, the line moved relatively quickly. We got up to the gate and were handed our commemorative glasses and picked up some of the programs, and headed off to find some beer. With so many options, it was tough to figure out what to have first. I'm not sure the order of the beers we had, but we had quite a few. I do know that the last thing I had was Three Floyds Dark Lord. (I took a picture of it and sent it to J, as he sent me a picture of a state fair Guinness)

My favorite beer on the day was from a brewery I'd never heard of before, Dragonmead, they are out of Warren Michigan, near Detroit. Interestingly enough, the people who were in line in front of us, left the line to go be let in by their friends, who were the brewers at that brewery. The beer that I liked so much was "Ring of Fire" which was like drinking Monterey Pepper Jack Cheese. It was awesome. I've had some pepper beers before, but nothing that was quite this good. We also had their Wee Heavy and Triple Bock. This place makes some good beer. If you can find it try it, if you can get there, even better.

We didn't have any beers from Illinois brewers and only one beer from Indiana (Three Floyds Dark Lord). Michigan was good to us, with Dragonmead (3), Founders (2), and Short's (2). Short's had a stout that was rumored around the festival, so we tried that and weren't disappointed. Cup-a-Joe Coffee Creme Stout was one of the better stouts we had on the day. Minnesota provided Flat Earth (1) and Surly (6). From the Real Ale tent we had two offerings from O'Fallon. Out of Ohio, the Ohio Brewing Company, we had 6 of their beers including both of their special tappings. From Wisconsin, we had Angry Minnow (2), Pearl Street (2), and Tyranena (1). I'm not sure what that all adds up to, but I think between us we had about 34 samples.

We started out the day just wandering aimlessly, until Kriddy heard someone say her name, and it was Emily of the CU Beer Club. Emily had a plan of the things she wanted to get to, special tappings and other beers, so we followed her around. It seems that with three people you can get a much better representation of each brewery. Each person gets a different thing and then you just rotate the glasses. If you like something better, you can drink more of it.

The special taps we got to were:

Dragonmead Bourbon Cask Conditioned Wee Heavy
Founders Backwards Bastard
Sherwood 1492 IPA
Surly Bourbon One
Ohio Maple Porter
Ohio Smokin' Scotch Ale
Pearl Street Dankenstein!!

From the Real Ale (Cask) tent we had:

O'fallon Pumpkin
O'fallon IPA
Surly Tea Bagged Furious
Surly Oak-Aged Cynic
Surly Darkness 2008

We started the day walking around from tent to tent, then went to the Real Ale tent, then Kriddy and I got something to eat, then walked around some more. We saw several friends from the CU Beer Club and talked about good beer. It was easy to make friends there, as there were 5000 people who had the exact same interest as you, BEER!

Was hoping to run into Wilson, but didn't see a guy with a red goatee (and I figure a Duck Rabbit shirt). I was wearing my new Terrapin shirt that I picked up in Asheville, and received a few compliments on it, along with some questions about what they make.

If you can get to Madison for the GToM next year, you won't be disappointed. You definitely get your money's worth for a $35 ticket. Kriddy picked up a shirt from Tyranena, I just picked up various things from around the festival; menu's, stickers, anything else they were handing out. It's a good time. Tickets for next years go on sale the first Sunday in May, so mark your calendars.

(We went back to my sister's by Chicago on Saturday night. Sunday morning went to Archer Liquors, and got some beer; Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout, ST Cherry Saison, ST Pumking, 3F Fantabulous Resplendence XI and some other things. After that we headed to Flossmoor Station for lunch, then headed back to CU)

Days of the Beer, August 11

The beer for today is Brouwerij Van Steenberge, Sparta Pils.

On August 11, 480 BC, Leonidas I of Sparta died at the Battle of Thermopylae. You might remember, Leonidas was the main character in the movie 300... the guy who yelled:


The battle consisted of 300 Spartans, 700 Thespians, and 6,000 other Greeks. They took on 80,000 Persians led by Xerxes I. At the end, all the Spartans and Thespians were dead, along with 2,300 of the other Greeks, but they killed 20,000 of the Persian Army.

As for the beer, Sparta Pils is a pilsener that is 5% ABV.

Sparta Pils is certainly one of the best examples of Pils around. It is never pasteurized and thus not dead, and it is only brewed with the best ingredients: barley and hops. A Pils beer is drunk cold, very cold, and is light in alcohol.
Due to not being pasteurized, the shelf life of this pils is only one year. Leonidas died at age 60.
Van Steenberge are the people who bring you Piraat and Gulden Draak. I'm not a fan of either of these beer. So in honor of the Leonidas, the 300 and "THIS IS SPARTA!!!" go have a Sparta Pils.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 10

The beer for today is Arcadia Hop Rocket .

On August 10, 1945, Robert Goddard died. Goddard was one of the first people to make liquid fueled rockets. Goddard's first writing about liquid-fueled rockets came in February 1909. He had been studying ways to increase efficiency using methods other than powder. He thought he could use liquid hydrogen as a fuel, with liquid oxygen as an oxidizer.

Goddard began experimenting with liquid fueled rockets in September 1921. The first liquid-fueled rocket was launched on March 16, 1926 in Auburn Massachusetts. His journal entry for the day was "The first flight with a rocket using liquid propellants was made yesterday at Aunt Effie's farm."

The rocket was named "Nell" and went up 41 feet during a 2.5 second flight.

Goddard has 214 patents for his work. In 1959 the Goddard Space Flight Center was established. There is a crater on the moon named for him.

As for the beer, it's also Arcadia's 11th Anniversary Ale. It's an Imperial/Double IPA, that clocks in at 9% ABV.

Anniversaries are meant to be celebrated, and as we looked back on 11 years of “balance in beer,” we decided to take a walk on the wild side with this year’s Anniversary Ale. Our brewers were finally turned loose to craft a beer that’s focused on the hops, and the result is Hop Rocket… Arcadia’s 11th Anniversary Ale.

Hop Rocket is a veritable constellation of hops… including some varieties that we haven’t used in other beers, and it’s delivered by the same booster of worldclass malt that our loyal fans have come to know and love with all Arcadia Ales. We appreciate the opportunity to share with you this “launch” of our 12th years, and we hope you’ll enjoy the ride with Arcadia Hop Rocket!
So in memorial of the guy who brought you liquid-fueled rockets, got out and get a liquid-fueled Arcadia Hop Rocket.

Yes, I know, two Arcadia Ales beers back to back, no, I'm not getting corporate sponsorship...


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 9

The beer for today is Arcadia Ales Cereal Killer Barleywine.

Just after midnight on August 9, 1969, Charles Watson, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian and Patricia Krenwinkel went into 10050 Cielo Drive. They were given orders by Charles Manson to "totally destroy everyone in (it), as gruesome as you can."

Inside the house that night were Wojciech Frykowski, Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, and Abigail Folger (heir to the Folger coffee fortune).

Watson tied Tate and Sebring together by their necks with rope slung over a beam. Sebring was then shot by Watson. Watson then stabbed Sebring seven times. Frykowski was stabbed, beat on the head with a gun several times and shot twice. Folger was stabbed a total of 28 times. Tate was stabbed 16 times.

As for the beer; It's a 9% ABV, English-style Barleywine. It's made with Rahr Pilsner, Crisp Crystal and Crisp Munich malts; it uses Northern Brewer and Crystal hops.

Arcadia is out of Battle Creek Michigan.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 8

Lots of things have happened on August 8; none of them seem to scream out "pick me for the beer"; or have an interesting beer related event.

So as a cop-out, the Beer for today is Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale. Today is the release date for the beer. It has been shipped from the brewery, and some people on the internet have claimed to have already found it in some stores. Stone beers are not available in Illinois or Missouri, but Indiana has them; so I'll probably be making a border run shortly. The beer is described as this:

The inspiration for this year's edition comes from a trip to Belgium taken by Stone Brewmaster Steve Wagner and Head Brewer Mitch Steele in early 2008. There they discovered a special edition of a renowned Belgian golden triple that had been extra hopped up with American hops. Back in Escondido, we opened the bottle and found that it was good. Very good, in fact. Being the hop lovers that we are, we found the whole experience deliciously inspiring. Our Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is a variation on this theme. We proudly present you with this very dry pale golden beer which sports a thick, creamy white foam, is spicy, estery and fruity (from the yeast), and possesses a crisp bitterness - oh yes, and is very, very generously hopped. It's fair to say that this is a beer that was inspired by a Belgian beer that was in turn inspired by the well-hopped West Coast style beers - which are, of course, the very kind of brews that we are famous for! Interesting how the world turns sometimes. And delicious too.
This one is the seventh in the line. They will be going up to 12.12.12. I need to go buy a couple one to try and one or two to sit next to my 06 and 07.

In case you are wondering about August 8 events;

1988, at Wrigley Field, the cubs took on the Philadelphia Phillies in a game that was rained out after three and a half innings... oh and they turned the lights on.

1990, Iraq occupies Kuwait, the event that started the Gulf War.

Today, the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China begin.

So go out and find you an 8-8-8 and enjoy the hoppiness. If you do try one, take notes on the beer. Remember, it is designed to be drank for the next 5 years, the hops should mellow out over that time and it should be a substantially different beer by 2012.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 7

The beer for today is Nøgne Ø Imperial Stout.

On August 7, 1975, Kristian Eivind Espedal was born. Who the hell is Kristian Eivind Espedal?

Kristian is better known by his stage name, Gaahl. Gaahl was born in Espedal Norway. It's a small family owned village, Gaahl still lives there.

In 1992, Gaahl began his involvement in black metal. He's been in bands like Gaahlskagg (with Skagg; very original name), Trelldom, Sigfader, and most importantly Gorgoroth!!!

Gorgoroth is somewhat famous for their live shows. On Feb. 1, 2004, at a concert in Krakow Poland, they had sheep heads on stakes, 80 liters of sheep's blood, satanic symbols, and four naked crucified models on stage. This show was supposed to be for a DVD, but apparently it's illegal in Poland to be offensive to someone's religion; so the video footage was confiscated.

Gaahl uses satanic imagery to easily convey a point about Christianity. He is a practitioner of old Nordic Shamanism, but really really really hates Christianity, so he uses satanism to anger christians.

He was in prison in 2001 for assault. He was also in prison in 2006 for 9 months for assaulting a man and torturing him. He was released in December 2006.

So, in honor of the Blackest Norwegian Rocker, crack open one of the Blackest Norwegian Beers, Nøgne Ø Imperial Stout. I had this beer earlier this month on August 2. It's pretty darn good.

From their website:


We think the russian tsar would have liked his stout this way. A dark, rich ale in which a generous sweetness with roasted malt bitterness. Serving temp.10°C/50°F. Great with vanilla ice cream or dark chocolate.

Ingredients: Maris Otter, Munich, roasted barley, oat, black, and chocolate malt; Columbus and Crystal hops; English ale yeast, and our local Grimstad water.

I'm not sure if Gaahl is a beer drinker. He's a picky vegetarian. Although I think part of the torture charge included something to do with drinking blood. When I had the Imperial Stout, I didn't notice any hint of blood.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Beer Reviews, Harpoon 100 Barrel Series, Allagash Hugh Malone

Last night after work, Skot came over for a beer, or two. I had picked up several on recent trips that neither of us have had, the ones from yesterday I picked up at Bruisin Ales, in Asheville.

The first was Allagash Hugh Malone. Hugh Malone at one point was the world's greatest hops picker. Hops pickers were paid by the bag of hops, Hugh had large hands and was able to fill more bags than others. The bags were labeled with the name of the picker, and it seemed most bags had the name "Hugh Malone" on them; so much so that at one point hops were referred to as "Hugh Malones". When he was 66 Hugh took a boat to America and became a hops grower and picker. He also became a brewer. He became famous for making beers that were extra hoppy. Most people believe that it was because he followed simple recipes that called for a "handful of hops". Due to Hugh's large hands, his handful was a lot more than other brewers. Later in life he became a mean old man, some said he was bitter because of all the bitterness in his beer.

Allagash Hugh Malone poured a deep rich copper. It wasn't thin, it blocked light but did allow a little to pass through on the sides. It smelled flowery, with citrus hops smell (Simcoe).

It felt effervescent, almost coca-cola carbonation. It tasted very citrusy. Almost like an orange juice (skot said lemon). There was a slight bitterness in the finish. After you drink it, it thickens up. If you had enough of this beer, the elves would sneak into your house when you are passed out and put wool socks on your teeth.

It was really good; although Skot and I had difficulty finishing it. It's not an incredibly high ABV, but we were both kind of feeling it. We persevered and opened another bottle.

The second beer was Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Session 22 - Steve Stewart's Firth of Forth Ale (that's a name). This one is a scottish ale that poured dark brown, with not very much head.

The smell is where this one gets interesting. If you've ever brewed beer, you would recognize the smell instantly.


If you've ever gotten a tattoo, you can immediately recognize the sound of a tattoo gun. After a while, you may forget the pain of getting a tattoo, but the second you HEAR that familiar buzz, you remember everything. The smell, sights, and pricking pain sensation all comes back when you hear it.


This beer smell (to me and Skot) had the same properties. This beer smells exactly like when you are brewing beer and you've got your water and malt (doesn't matter if it's extract or whole grain) boiling, and you just pulled out that bag of hops, and you put it into the boil. You know the smell, if not, come by and we'll brew some beer. It's such a distinctive smell. Boiling hops has such a unique smell. This beer smells like its just about to boil over. Stir, stir, stir, reduce heat, stir stir... It's almost like a hot tea, but not quite. It smells like stirring.

It feels a little thin, but has some effervescence to it, which is odd because it had no head. It tasted of hops that then blended into a tea. Skot said it had some chocolatey flavor, I thought maybe a little caramel and vanilla. "That's good; mmmm" he said. This one was nice.

It led us to do an experiment, to try and capture the tea smell and flavor. I pulled out some tea bags and my instant water boiler thing and we made some tea. One of the teas was a vanilla caramel, but it had too much vanilla smell. The next was a breakfast tea, and it was pretty close to the beer. The final was Earl Grey, but that one had too much mint in the nose. We mixed a little bit of the vanilla caramel with the breakfast and it came darn close to the smell.

My final beer for the night, which was around 11; was Bottleworks Tripel Krullekop. This one is a Flemish ale. I thought it would be good to try in the new Budweiser glass. I was mistaken. The Flemish ale has too much flocculation (chunks) for a glass that produces bubbles. Basically, the beer in that glass looked almost like a lava lamp. There were, what looked like, black pepper, pieces going up and down. Those floaters were accompanied by other sediments, in various colors. The taste was decent, but it was definitely the wrong glass.

Days of the Beer, August 6

The beer for today is Ommegang Ommegeddon.

On August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay took off from North Field airbase on Tinian (near Guam) in the West Pacific. The flight from Tinian to Japan took about 6 hours. The plane was carrying "Little Boy."

At 8:15 A.M. Hiroshima time, the bomb was released. It took 57 seconds to fall from 9855 meters to 600 meters, and then it detonated. The blast was equal to about 13 kilotons of TNT. The area of total destruction was about 1 mile, with fires that spread over 4 square miles, 90% of Hiroshima's buildings were either damaged or completely destroyed.

During the war, Hiroshima was never bombed. It was a perfect environment for the U.S. to see what kind of devastation would come from the nuclear bomb.

About 70,000 people died instantly. Thousands would die later from burns and radiation poisoning.

The United States is the ONLY COUNTRY to use a nuclear weapon.

As to the beer, it was chosen as it has a nuclear blast (it appears) on the bottle. It's a saison brewed by Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York; just a short distance from the baseball hall of fame.

Belgian pale & pilsner malts w/ Styrian Golding for bittering and Saaz for aroma. Ginger predominates the spicing. Fermented in primary with Ommegang's house yeast, followed by secondary with Brettanomyces bruxellensis. Dry-hopped in secondary w/ a blend of hops; Tettnang being the stand-out. The flavor profile is very herbal with an earthy undertone (very fitting for a Belgian-style farmhouse ale). The dry finish and pronounced hop aromas hide the 8% abv very well. Dangerously drinkable for its strength and character.
I first had this beer on August 24, 2007; at Skot's birthday party.

(picture borrowed from the Underhill-lounge)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New Glassware; Budweiser Glass

Josh, the manager of the Champaign Hooters showed off their newest glassware last night. (It's so new I can't find a picture of it on the innernets yet; heck there's no news on it; am I breaking it?). I'll take a picture of it later tonight. (alright, image is uploaded)

The newest glass is a Budweiser pint glass. It's very similar to the Sam Adams glass.

It's got a similar shape to the Sam Adams glass, just not as bulbous in the middle. The mouth also may not present as well. Like the Sam Adams glass, it is laser etched on the bottom that will release bubbles/carbonation so long as there's beer in the glass. The Budweiser glass however has the etching in the familiar bow tie logo.

The sides of the glass have raised lettering of Budweiser and the familiar bow tie.

All in all, it's a pretty cool glass.

It's too bad, it's made for filling with Budweiser.

If you want to read about the Sam Adams glass, check this out.

If you want to read a blog with a guy who tries most of his new beers in the Sam Adams glass, check out Fermentedly Challenged, with Chipper Dave.

Josh gave me a pair of the glasses, additionally, he went back into his older stock and gave me a pair of Hoegaarden glasses and a pair of the Bass glasses.

Days of the Beer, August 5

The beer for today is Barley Island Sheet Metal Blonde.

On August 5, 1962, Marilyn Monroe was found dead in the bedroom of her Brentwood California home by her housekeeper. Marilyn was 36 at the time of her death due to acute barbiturate poisoning.

Marilyn Monroe was on of the first girls in Playboy and appeared on the cover on December of 1953.

Her movies included: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; How to Marry a Millionaire; The Seven Year Itch and Some Like It Hot.

She had songs including: "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend", "Some Like It Hot", and Let's Make Love".

As for the beer.

Sheet Metal Blonde is a Belgian Wit beer that is light pale in color, cloudy, contains added spices, and best if served with a slice of orange.
Brewed with wheat, malt, and a hint of spice, Just beneath its smooth, soft surface lies a beer with a shot of real personality.

While Marilyn may not have been a true blond, she was one of the most famous.

When old friends come and visit

Don't you just love it when your friends from way back stop by to see you.

In the past 2 weeks, my old Fort Meade army buddies have just sort of shown up for no reason. It started with Joe (Razor) sending me an email. Then just yesterday Pauli (Thumper) sent me an instant message. Pauli asked if I'd heard from James (Jimbo) recently, and I checked my fantasy football league, and bam, there he was.

The Feedjit traffic feed is pretty nice too. Look, there's Jimbo, and there's Pauli. (I don't have the Joe image).

In between, it looks like Lindsay showed up. So the old friends get to meet the new ones.

Ah, how I miss everyone and everything.

Pauli, I look forward to spending some time with you'z when we go to DC next month. Jimbo, you need to come back to the states some time.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Beer Review, Great Lakes Moondog ESB

Just some quick notes on Great Lakes Moondog ESB.

Had it at Lucky's Grille and Billiards. It poured a light yellow, that held decent lace on a cold glass. It smelled slightly vegetable-y; but I think that was due to the cleaning of the glass; as the next beer (Elliot Ness) had the same vegetable (celery? broccoli?) smell. The fell was mostly just of fizz.

The taste was just slightly bitter, and that's about it. Mostly the flavor was overpowered by the vegetable smell. It definitely had a crisp finish and was slightly tart. The entire experience, wasn't unpleasant, but with better presentation, in a not frozen glass that could probably be cleaner, this would be a good/better beer.

Funny, all Great Lakes beers have this on the side.

In keeping with the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516, this beer is traditionally brewed from all natural ingredients: barley, hops, yeast and water. No chemicals or preservatives are used.
If they were keeping with the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516, then no yeast would be used.

Road Trippin to Columbus

On Friday, August 1, my good buddy Jim (blog is over there) and his wife Kris; picked me up for a trip to Columbus. It was his annual early August pilgrimage for the Irish Festival and for the Ohio State Fair. We got there right as the sun was going down on Friday, and spent some time catching up with his dad. For the trip out there, his wife was re-reading a book, getting ready for the next release.

At around 1145, Jim and I were sent out to book stores to try to find Breaking Dawn, by Stephenie Meyer. We weren't allowed into the first book store we went to, because we hadn't reserved a copy. The second place let us in with no problem. The line went really fast, I wish Dark Lord was that fast. So we got the book then headed out.

Our next stop was Lucky's Grille. For a Friday night with another hour to drink, this place was really dead. There was a decent beer selection, but not very much on draft. The draft selection was predominately from the MillerCoors distributor. I looked through the cooler and saw some Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, so I ordered that. One of the bartenders/managers said he had 2 single bottles of other things, and asked if I wanted them instead. The first was Moondog ESB (review in a later post). I followed that up with the Eliot Ness Amber. After that, I got to my Edmund Fitzgerald. Jim had a Leinenkugel Summer Shandy. We finished our beers and headed back to Jim's Dad's and dropped off the book to Kris.

Woke up, and headed to the Irish Festival. There were lots of Irish things there. They had (what appeared to be) an Irish stout that was made specifically for the festival, but I (for some reason) wasn't really in the mood for a beer. They also had Killian's on draft. For lunch we all grabbed some grub, I went with a Reuben (go figure) Jim had a sausage, and Kris had a pork chop sammich. There were all kinds of other things available, Jim's sister had a sausage that had a flaky pastry crust around it, that was pretty good. We walked around until almost getting heat exhaustion, and then decided it was time to leave.

We then headed out to "From the Vine". (I wish From the Vine had a web page or a blog, they do have an Email newsletter that is pretty good). I delivered 2 bottles of Three Floyds Dark Lord and a bottle of the Hvedegoop to Jamie (the proprietor). Even though it's not the biggest selection of beer, she seems to just fill her store with great beer (it's mostly a wine shop). When I walk up and down the beer aisle, I just seem to find myself grabbing, what seems like, one of each. Here's some of the highlights (with links to ratebeer).

Oude Geuze Boon Mariage Parfait
AleSmith Decadence Anniversary Ale
AleSmith Horny Devil
Southern Tier Imperial Creme Brulee Stout

I got a box of beer, total cost was about $130 (after the trade).

We left there and went to the state fair. It was there that I picked up the Doctor Who Black Dalek Diecast Figure (yeah, I'm a geek). Didn't drink any beer there either. After leaving the fair, we had plans to go to a friends house to play poker, so we stopped at World Market, to grab some beer. I got a bottle of Arrogant Bastard, and a 6 pack of Bells Double Cream Stout. Also got me a nice big thick chalice for drinking my beer out of. Well, we changed our minds and didn't go play poker.

Instead we went to Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus. I started with the Three Frogs IPA, which went well with their spicy hummus. I ordered the crabcakes for my meal and had the Dirty Dicks Nut Brown Ale with that (I forgot I got crab cakes and ordered the beer based on eating fish and chips... oops; but it paired ok). Finally for a digestif, I tried their monthly special which claimed to be an Altbier. It was ok. Jim had their Rock Filet (which you cook on a 450 degree stone that is on your plate) while Kris had the burger.

After leaving there, Jim and I dropped off Kris so she could read some more. We then went to Bob's Bar. Bob's is a pretty cool place. It has the beer selection of Crane Alley, but had the ambiance of... well, I don't know any bar that is similar. It's like a corner tavern with a world class beer selection. They had some featured selections, mostly from DFH, but they also had the Stone Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, so we tried that. It was pretty good, but another beer that reminded me of my own Chocolate Stout. I followed that up with a Lone Star, and finally a Full Sail IPA.

We left there and went to Bodega. Bodega is listed as having 50 taps, so we thought that'd be a good place to try. Jim really likes Hefeweizens that have a banana note, so I ordered him a Konig Ludwig. I went with a Great Lakes Blackout Stout (I never knew it came on draft). After that, I ordered the Nøgne Ø Imperial Stout. They had apparently just got it in, as the bartender didn't know that they had it. It's also weird to try to pronounce it at a bar, especially if you don't know how to pronounce it in the first place. We left there and headed back.

Sunday was breakfast with the other part of the family at Bob Evans. Then heading back to Illinois.

C-bus is a good beer trip. If you are looking for Great Lakes beers, it's a good destination. There are several brew pubs that put out some quality beer.

Days of the Beer, August 4

The beer for today is Cucapá Imperial Stout.

On August 4, 1924. diplomatic relations between Mexico and the Soviet Union were established.

I'm not exactly sure what that means, but whenever I think of relations with Russia, I think of Imperial Stouts. There don't seem to be many Imperial Stouts made in Mexico. The only one I've found so far is from Cerveceria de Baja California, Cucapá Brewing Company.

The stout is in very limited distribution, and probably isn't available right now. The reviews for it on Ratebeer and Beer Advocate place it mostly at a bar called O'Briens.

Now for a beer lesson on Imperial Stouts.

Imperial Stouts, also Russian Imperial Stout, or Imperial Russian Stouts, are normally a strong, black, thick, kitchen sink of the brewery beers. They are normally pitch black, and the foam will normally be a darker murky brown color. They can have smokey, chocolatey, coffee, toffee, vanilla smells. They can feel like molasses or syrup; or like a chocolate milk on the tongue. There can be huge varieties in the taste from one bottle to the next or even from one sip to the next. All the smells, plus dried darker fruits (raisin, prune), some hops bitterness, dark chocolates, and espresso. They will usually coat the tongue and leave a pleasant aftertaste. Some are very thick and it's somewhat difficult to drink several in a night.

Some of the more popular Russian Imperial Stouts are: Bells Expedition; Stone Imperial Russian Stout; Three Floyds Dark Lord; Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout; Victory Storm King; North Coast Old Rasputin; Founders Breakfast Stout; and AleSmith Speedway Stout to name a few.

The story behind the style is that they were originally brewed in Great Britain and sent to the courts of the Russian Czars. Because the beer had to travel across very cold areas, it was brewed with a higher level of alcohol to prevent freezing. Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia was a huge fan of the style.

So if you can find it, in honor of those relations that started 84 years ago, have one of the only Mexican Imperial Stouts.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Days of the Beer, August 3

The beer for today is Shmaltz Brewing Company He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.

On August 3, 1966, Lenny Bruce was found dead in the bathroom of his Hollywood Hills home. There was a photo taken showing him naked on the floor, with a syringe and burned bottle cap nearby. The office cause of death was acute morphine poisoning caused by an accidental overdose.

Bruce is famous for being a Stand-up comedian and author. He wrote the book, How to Talk Dirty and Influence People. On October 4, 1961, he was arrested for obscenity at the Jazz Workshop in San Francisco. His use of the word "cocksucker" and "come" apparently caused a problem. He was acquitted of this charge. He later was targeted by the police in other cities where he would perform. He was also arrested for drug possession in Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

You can thank Lenny Bruce for pushing the envelope of decency. He was arrested for saying things that are commonplace today on cable television.

About the beer:

Ladies and Gentlemen, Shmaltz Brewing Co. is proud to introduce Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. Brewed with an obscene amount of malts and hops. Shocking flavors - far beyond contemporary community standards. We cooked up the straight dope for the growing minions of our nation's Radical Beer junkies. Judges may not be able to define "Radical Beer," but you'll damn well know it when you taste it. Bruce died, officially declared a pauper by the State of California, personally broken and financially bankrupt simply for challenging America's moral hypocrisies with words. The memorial playbill read: "Yes, we killed him. Because he picked on the wrong god." -Directed by, the Courts, the Cops, the Church... and his own self-destructive super ego. Like Noah lying naked and loaded in his tent after the apocalyptic deluge: a witness, a patron saint, a father of what was to come. Sick, Dirty, Prophetic Lenny: a scapegoat, a martyr, a supreme inspiration.
So in honor of that cocksucker; get a bottle of mother fucking He'Brew Lenny's R.I.P.A. and get fucked up.