Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Days of the Beer, September 30

The beer for today is Lagunitas Brewing Company Censored (aka The Kronic).

On September 30, 2005, Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 editorial cartoons. Most of these cartoons depicted the prophet of Islam Muhammad. The newspaper announced that the publication was done to help in the debate of criticism of Islam and of self-censorship.

Self-censorship, what an interesting concept. The newspaper asked their editorial cartoonists to draw some pictures, and that ---> is what they came up with.

These 12 cartoons caused a HUGE uproar in the muslim world (it's ok, they hate beer as much as they hate cartoons, so we don't really have to worry about them coming here... unless they are looking to be outraged) where members of the "religion of peace" made death threats against the cartoonists and rioted (among other things).

If you want to know everything, read this whole blog. (Yeah yeah, he has a link to my blog)

Really, if you want to learn this read the above blog. It's very informative.

As the controversy grew, other newspapers reprinted the cartoons. In the United states, there were 27 papers (the New York Sun published one and then two on separate occasions) that printed some of the cartoons, these were the ONLY papers to print them all.

1. Northern Illinois University campus newspaper "The Northern Star"
2. The Communicator
3. Human Events, Washington D.C.
4. Clemson University Tiger Town Observer
5. Clemson Forum
6. Oregon Commentator, University of Oregon
7. Fairmont State University, The Columns
8. College of DuPage The Courier

That's it.

The student editors of the Daily Illini were suspended, and one later fired. They wereone of the first American university papers to run the cartoons. They ran them Feb 9, 2006, almost 6 months after the controversy. (Go Illini)

As a lesson on self censorship, the world failed. What won't you say because you think you might offend someone?

Here's another censorship article for you to read and enjoy.


As to the beer:

The Censored
Rich Copper Ale

This ale contains no actual copper but we're pretty literal... It looked coppery, so we lamely called it a copper ale. Lots'a nice caramel malt though...

Alcohol 5.9% by volume
So, for Self Ceonsorship, go have a beer that's been Censored.

I hope you don't get any death threats today.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Beer Review; Flossmoor Station Collaborative Evil

Saturday, we stopped at Flossmoor Station for the release of Collaborative Evil. We aren't mug club members, but we've been to Flossmoor like 5 times this year, so we might as well join up.

After going through the line outside to get the beer (and two bottles of De Wilde Zuidentrein) we went inside to eat. As mentioned before, I ordered "the burrito that ate flossmoor" (steak) Kriddy got my usual Fish and Chips.

Kriddy had the amber; I ordered the Collaborative Evil.

It came in a nice big chalice. It came out a thick brown with bubbles and other stuff suspended in the glass. There wasn't much head to speak of, but it did lace nicely.

It smelled malty and sweet, like sugar, also there were notes of spices in it. A less full pour would have released more flavor, but hey, it was on draft, so you take what they give you. This beer sat on the tongue like syrup. Even though the head looked to be fizzy, there was no fizz whatsoever in it.

It tasted of raisin, alcohol, and spices. But mostly, it tasted sweet. It was delicious.

This beer would be great to for sipping on a day when you have nothing else to do. It'd be perfect for just sitting around, reading a book or (beer) magazine. It's the kind of beer you'd want to drink while sitting in a big comfy overstuffed chair, while reading a leather bound book. Heck, you might even want to drink this beer at room temperature. You should wear an ascot while drinking this beer.

This beer will put you on a higher rung of the social ladder.

At 10% ABV it's not the strongest beer on the market, but if you drank it fast enough, it'd get you toasted. It was $12 a bottle, which is pretty low for a one time release beer. It is not on ebay yet.

If you can find this beer (you'll need a friend) get it. You won't be disappointed. (Unless it seems I hyped it too much, then you can blame me).

Beer Review; Nørrebro Bryghus Old Odense

After Josh, Audra, Steve, Ann, Kriddy and I finished up at the Urbana Beer and Chili thing, we went to Crane Alley for dinner. While there, Aaron offered up a bottle of Nørrebro Bryghus Old Odense Ale.

This one poured out orangish and hazy. It had a fizzy foam that didn't stick around. (The fizzy foam should have been a clue). It smelled citrusy, and vinegary. It was a sour tart smell. Later it started to smell a little of apple cider.

It felt thin, watery. There was a little fizz and it tingled at the back of my throat.

It tasted sour. There was a tart grape flavor in it; also vinegar, and maybe some tart apples.

It wasn't the beer for me, but as I drank it, it became more and more tolerable. It wasn't quite as tart as Cantillon Kriek, but it did put people off almost as much. (They thought I was continuing to tortue them). Ann seemed to enjoy it more, as she drank it. I wouldn't go out of my way for this beer, but with the right foods, it could be enjoyable.

Beer Review; Olde Hickory Bardstown Brand Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels

Thursday night after returning from the bars, Frank and I cracked open an Olde Hickory Bardstown Brand Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels, 2007. This was a massive barleywine. It didn't have an extremely high ABV, at 10% but it was enough.

This one poured Amber with a slight haze, and a very thin head. There was some flocculation (chunks) but that didn't affect the taste. It did have bubbles coming up from the bottom, showing that it was bottle conditioned, and still trying to work. It smelled malty and of alcohol, with raisins. Almost like it was a raisin cookie (I drank many beers with raisin in it this weekend). It had a huge alcohol burn while on the tongue and a pleasant drying.

It tasted of raisin and bread, with malt, sugar, syrup and cookie. Kriddy got bourbon in the flavor, but I wasn't noticing it.

Overall, It was a darn good beer.

Beer Trippin; Urbana to Milwaukee and Back

Thursday evening Frank showed up. When I got out to Kriddy's he was already having a beer, so I had one as well. My choice was Mendocino Oktoberfest. We then headed out to downtown Champaign for dinner and some beer.

We ate at Guidos, I had the prime rib sammich, kriddy had the grilled cheese, I'm not sure what Frank had. I'm a HUGE fan of their prime rib sammich, dunno if I've mentioned it before; but when our pool team was at Guidos, it was there solely because of the prime rib sammich. Kriddy thinks it's one of the best grilled cheese sammiches in town too.

After eating, we headed around the corner to Radio Maria for a beer or two.

There, we tried the Eugene City 200m ale, which was ok. We then headed across the street to Blind Pig, and I had the Coney Island Freaktoberfest (top picture). It was good, not quite as malty sweet at the Mendocino Octoberfest, but still really good.

We then headed back to Kriddy's for the night. Frank had brought with him a bottle of Olde Hickory Bardstown Brand Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels. This was a pretty good brew as well. It's a Barleywine style. (Review to follow; second picture)

Went to bed, woke up and we headed to Milwaukee. Stopped at the hotel then headed out to grab some food and hit some breweries. Had hoped to get to 3, but only had time for 2. First brewery (and lunch) was Water Street Brewery. This place was a brewerania collectors wet dream, except that it's someone elses collection. There were walls covered in cans, bottles, shirts... if it had to do with beer, or had a label from a brewery/bar, they might have had it.

They had 10 house beers on tap. All were pretty good, none were mouth cringinly bad. (third picture). For lunch, I had the Pollack which was awesome, Frank had the perch, Kriddy had ... um... what did she have? It came with some really good vegetables. Oh yeah, it was some parmesean chicken strips, I think. It also came with some stuffed potatoes that were really good.

Next stop was Lakefront Brewery.

Lakefront is not on the lake. It's on a river. It's in a massive Cream City Brick building. We showed up around 2:30, and the guy behind the bar asked if we were there for the tour, and we were like "sure" so he sent us out back. We waited there for a while, then went inside. Saw there was a line forming at the gift shop so we asked/listend to what was going on.

Lakefront's tour is worth the trip. Although we didn't take the tour itself (we've been to breweries before), we did pay the $6. For $6, you get a plastic cup, four wooden nickels, and a coupon. The wooden nickels are good for a cup of the beer, or for 2 you can get a bottle. With the coupon, you can go to any number of other bars in town and have a full pint, on the brewery (before 6 p.m.). At the end of the tour, you can trade in the plastic cup, for a glass pint glass. For $6 you get 4 samples of beer, a pint glass and a beer at another bar.

We left there, headed back to the hotel, and got ready for the game. We were meeting some friends for tailgating. So we pulled out the GPS and looked for a liquor store so we could get some beer. The closest one on the route only had 2 good beers available, so we got a six pack of New Glarus Fat Squirrel, and a sixer of New Glarus Spotted Cow. Drank the beer, ate a burger, a guy at a nearby car was drinking Michelob Dunkel Weisse and he gave us 2 bottles, so that was nice. Then went in and watch the Cubs lose :( Worse still there was a fight behind us, and I got splashed with beer. I said to the people around me "great, now i smell like shitty beer".

As I looked around the beautiful stadium, (Miller Park is really nice). I noticed some luxury boxes. This really pissed me off. That MILLER park, (Miller, of the commercials where the delivery guy is pissed off about the luxury boxes) would have luxury boxes. Hypocrasy from macrobrewers? I find that hard to believe... Oh wait. nevermind.

Kriddy and I were tired, so we went back to the hotel after the game (about 1030) around 130 or so, Frank showed up and scared the bejesus outta me. I let him in, went back to sleep, and woke up and prepped for Saturday.

First stop on the drive back, West Lakeview Liquors. I picked up a case of Founders Breakfast Stout; and a couple bottles of stuff from 3 Floyds, most of those will be heading to California. While at the store, they mentioned that Mikel will be there and they will be having a big party on October 11. (If you've followed my links to West Lakeview before, you'll notice they changed their website. Also, they are preparing to start shipping, so that's another one that you can order from)

It was about 1215 as we were leaving WLV, so we had to skip going to Archer Liquors, we headed straight to Flossmoor for the Collaborative Evil release. We got there just in time (should probably join the mug club there). We bought a case of beer, 10 bottles of Collaborative Evil and a couple of bottles of something else that they were selling, but I didn't get the name. A bottle will be heading to California; one will be going to Andy at 7S; one will be going to the next CU Beer club; skot wanted one; I'll probably be giving one to the bartenders at CA as well. A 10 pack of beer goes pretty quick. After buying the beer, went inside and ate. I had the "burrito that ate flossmoor"; Kriddy had the fish and chips. While there, they had Collaborative Evil on tap (review to follow) (fifth picture) and it was good.

After that we headed back to Urbana for the Urbana Beer and Chili Cookoff. It was pretty good, lots of good beers there, highlighted by the Dogfish Head booth. I had 12 samples, I'm not sure what all Kriddy tried. Big Brad got drunk. We met Josh, Audra, Dirty Steve and Ann there. I felt kind of like I was Emily at the Great Taste of the Midwest. We had a good time, then headed over to CA to eat. At CA, we all shared a bottle of Nørrebro Bryghus Old Odense, which was a slightly tart beer. I had the calamari to eat and it went pretty good with that.

We finished up, I headed home to pack up some beers, then headed out to Kriddys, where the Gilmore's, Eck's and hippy +1 showed up.

We had 8 more beers there. The highlight was definitely Baladin Xyauyù. This one was almost like Avery the Beast Grand Cru. It also reminded me of a slightly weaker version of Sam Adams Utopias.

I tried to finish off some bottles after everyone left and Kriddy went to bed, but I wound up sleeping on the couch for an hour and a full still glass. Woke up Sunday, and cleaned up a little then we went to Hoots.

That's about it. The highlight beer was definitely Baladin Xyauyù, followed closely by Collaborative Evil.

Days of the Beer, September 29

The beer for today is Four Peaks Brewery Blind Date Ale.

On September 29, 1650, Henry Robinson opened the Office of Addresses and Encounters on Threadneedle Street, London. The Office of Addresses and Encounters was the first historically documented dating service.

Threadneedle street got it's name from the Merchant Taylors Company. The Bank of England is on the street and is called "the old lady of Threadneedle Street" and it's been there since 1734, 84 years after the first dating service. Until 2004, the London Stock Exchange was on the street. So people have been trading on it since at least 1650.

As to the beer:

Blind Date Ale One of a kind. We throw 600 pounds of Arizona-grown Medjool Dates into the boil and the alcohol content varies with every brew. This Great American Beer Fest Gold Medal Winner is usually very strong, with sherry or port-like flavors. Brewed quarterly with an alcohol content of approximately 7-9% by volume. It's really freaking good.
Four Peaks is located in Tempe, Arizona, it is located in an old creamery and warehouse. It is a brewery and restaurant.

So, for the first dating service, go out and have a blind date of your own.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Days of the Beer, September 28

The beer for today is Sam Adams Boston Lager.

On September 28, 1941, Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox finished the season with a batting average of .406. This would be the last time that anyone has hit over 400.

Ted played baseball for 19 years, but would have been more, but he twice was in the Armed Forces during baseball.

Ted has the highest career batting average for anyone who has hit 500 or more home runs; with an average of 344 and 521 home runs.

After his death, Ted's son had his head removed and placed in cryonic suspension.

As to the beer:

Samuel Adams Boston Lager® is the best example of the fundamental characteristics of a great beer, offering a full, rich flavor that is both balanced and complex. It is brewed using a decoction mash, a time consuming, traditional four vessel brewing process discarded by many contemporary brewers. This process brings forth a rich sweetness from the malt that makes it well worth the effort. Samuel Adams Boston Lager® also uses only the finest of ingredients including two row barley, as well as German Noble aroma hops. The exclusive use of two row barley not only imparts a full, smooth body but also gives the beer a wide spectrum of malt flavor ranging from slightly sweet to caramel to slightly roasted. The Noble hops varieties, Hallertau Mittelfruh and Tettnang Tettnanger, add a wide range of floral, piney and citrus notes, which are present from the aroma, through the flavor, to the lingering smooth finish. We take great pride in the Noble hops used in our beers. They are hand selected by Jim Koch and our other brewers from the world's oldest hops growing area. Among the world's most expensive, they cost twenty times as much as other hops.
So, for the last batter to hit 400, raise your glass of Boston Lager to Ted Williams. Make sure that there's a good amount of head on the glass.

Days of the Beer, September 27

The beer for today is Lancaster Brewing Company Amish Four Grain Pale Ale.

On September 27, 1777, Lancaster, Pennsylvania was the capital of the United States. The Continental Congress fled Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War as it had been captured by the British. After spending the day there, they went further away from Philadelphia to York.

As to the beer:

Our multi-grain pale ale summons the sweetness of oats, the complexity of rye and the smoothness of malted wheat, balanced by a generous dry-hopping of imported, noble Saaz hops.

Malts Used: 2 Row Barley, Rye, Oats, Wheat, Carmel 40
Hops Used: Willamette, Fuggles, Saaz
OG: 13.8 ABV:5.60% IBU: 28
So go support your revolution with a beer run to Lancaster PA, and think about how our forefathers were on the run to get there too.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Days of the Beer, September 26

The beer for today is Avery Ale to the Chief.

Tonight is supposed to be the first of this years Presidential debates. John McCain has asked that the debate for tonight be postponed until later, so that (in his role as senator) he can help work on the 700 billion thing. Barak Obama has said that a president should be able to do more than one thing.

It's all bullshit.

Since 1987, the debates have been a dog and pony show put on by the Commission on Presidential Debates. That sounds all well and good, but the CPD is a front organization for the Democrats and Republicans to marginalize any "third party" candidates and not allow them air time. Where is the Green Party candidate (McKinney)? Where is the Libertarian Party candidate (Bob Barr)? Where is Ralph Nader?

They are left off, because their presence would take away from the stranglehold that the democrats and republicans have on American politics (and YOUR life).

The CPD is headed by a former leader of the Republican National Committee and a former leader of the Democratic National Committee. The CPD was put together because in 1988, the League of Women Voters (who used to sponsor the debates) withdrew their support.

They said "the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter".
What were the demands of Bush (I) and Dukakis?

1. There was a "memorandum of understanding" the would decide who could participate in the debates.

2. Who was able to ask questions.

3. Height of the podiums.

In 2000, the CPD added a stipulation that said that candidates could only be invited to the debate, if they had 15% support on five national poles. This new stipulation, kept Ralph Nader from being able to attend the debates.

In keeping with their policy of excluding other candidates (who are on the ballot, go ahead and look, there's WAY more than 2), on October 8, 2004, the Libertarian Party candidate, Michael Badnarik, and Green Party candidate, David Cobb were arrested in St. Louis, for civil disobedience. They were arrested because they crossed a police barricade while attempting to go to the debates.

At election time, Badnarik was on the ballot in 48 states (exlcuding Oklahoma and New Hampshire).

As to the beer,

We the Brewers of Avery Brewing Company, in order to form a more perfect ale, require a new leadership that can liberate us from our quagmires in foreign lands; embrace environmentally sound energy alternatives to imported oil; heal our ailing health care system; free us from tyrannical debt and resurrect the collapsing dollar. We hereby pledge to provide him or her with an ample amount of our Presidential Pale Ale to support in the struggle for the aforementioned goals! Hail to the New Chief!

Not an "Imperial" pale ale, this is a democracy. It's Presidential! Take the all-American pale ale, a bipartisan blend of malt and hops, increase to both Avery Brewing standards, and then, of course, dry hop the result with that most quintessential of American hops, Cascades, and you get this... Ale to the Chief. A brew worthy of the Oval Office! Brewed with Rocky Mountain water, malted barley, hops and yeast.
So, if your going to be watching the sham of a debate tonight, and are looking for a beer to get the taste of bullshit out of your mouth; go with Avery Ale to the Chief.

And yes, they are pissing on your leg, on your back, on your head...

Here's a fun thing to try... go to the CPD website. Right at the top, there's a search function... type in Nader. Type in Libertarian. Type in Green.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Busy Busy Weekend

Alrighty, this weekend is gonna be fun and busy...

Tomorrow, going to Milwaukee for the Cubs and Brewers game.

I still need to figure out what all breweries we are going to hit on Friday before/after. Lakefront is on the schedule.

Saturday, we'll be driving back. On the way, we'll be stopping at West Lakeview Liquors. Second stop will be Archer Liquors. Final stop will be Flossmoor Station.

Then at 3 is the Urbana Beer and Chili cook off. Then we will be having an after party out at Kriddy's to sample some of the beers that I have in my inventory, that I haven't tried before.

So, Saturday's going to be quite the busy day. Not to mention, that there's the 230 mile drive from Milwaukee to Urbana.

Some of the beers on Saturday are from California, sent by Rob (who frequently comments here).

So, it should be a fun weekend, but also busy.

Sunday will either be at Hooters for watching a day of football, or we might be heading up to Chenoa for an early Thanksgiving, for a friend before he is deployed to Afghanistan.

Yes, Rob, I'll see about getting one of the Flossmoor's for you.

*update* Planning on visiting Lakefront, Stonefly, and possibly Water Street breweries.

Days of the Beer, September 25

The beer for today is Orkney Skull Splitter.

On September 25, 1066, the Battle of Stamford Bridge took place in England. King Harold Godwinson of England, marched his men over four days to Stamford Bridge in four days. There they met King Harald Hardråde and his Norwegian (viking) army, who had just won a battle shortly before.

The Brits, caught the vikings by surprise, and they were unarmoured. Most of them were killed that day.

As a result of the battle, King Godwinson accepted a truce with the survivors, and they were allowed to leave after pledging to never attack England again. This marked the end of the Viking Age.

Skull Splitter beer is named for Thorfinn Turf-Einarsson, the Earl of Orkney. The Orkneys are an archipelago in northern Scotland. During Viking times, Orkney was annexed by Norway in 875. It went back to Scotland in 1472. Thorfinn was the Seventh Viking Earl. He ruled around 950. He was apparently appropriately named.

As to the beer:

Big, strong dark amber ale, satiny-smooth in the mouth, deceptively light, dangerously quaffable; brewed in the Viking tradition by the native Orcadians - still homebrewed with island ingredients!
It's about 8.5% ABV.

The beer is coming under attack from the "Portman Group" which is an alcohol watchdog group. Portman claims that Skull Splitter's name promotes violence and that at 8.5% ABV, it is too strong a beer.

So, go out and have a Skull Splitter before it's "Viking Age" is done.

(Skull Splitter is available at Crane Alley and at Bentleys, in Champaign-Urbana.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Beer Review, Budweiser American Ale

Well, it's finally out on the streets. Budweiser American Ale, the beer that will change the world... or not. It's available at Hooters now, on draft, I assume it's pretty much everywhere else now. The commercial is on every other minute while watching sports, so I bet the distributors had this one ready to go to all their accounts yesterday.

So how was it?

It poured our a light amber. It had a decent meringue looking foam. It didn't hold its rocky shape for long in the glass (but did in the pitcher). It did cling to the glass nicely (so it wasn't a dirty glass). It smelled sweet and malty. It almost smelled sugary to me, like a sugar cookie. I didn't get any hops in the aroma. As I drank it down, it started to smell a little like banana.

It felt thin and somewhat fizzy. After a while it became drying, almost unpleasantly drying. It tasted, surprisingly hoppy and bitter. The sweet smell really covered up the hops. It wasn't malty at all.

I'd read several reviews of this beer and most people seemed pleasantly surprised by the beer. But then, they had gone in expecting (hoping) to hate it. I went in thinking I'd probably like it based on their reviews, I was disappointed.

I didn't enjoy this beer. I don't know if I would order this beer regardless of who brewed it. I've seen some people compare it to Goose Island Honkers, but I'm not sure. It's a hoppy amber, possibly like Dark Horse Rod (except I kind of like Rod). So, maybe a side by side.

I'll try it in a bottle next, see if that's any different. It's apparently available at Friar Tucks. The locator on the website doesn't list it at the Picadilly's.

Other people at the table who tried it, also thought it was bitter. (So the dry hopping did it's work). In a funny side note, it had been since May 28, since I had a new beer at Hooters. Most of the people at the table last night had never seen me "review" a beer, so it was kind of funny. People asking what I was writing, looking at me funny as I was trying to snort the beer.

If you want to see bud's hype, here's the website.

Days of the Beer, September 24

The beer for today is Guinness Extra Stout.

On September 24, 1725, Arthur Guinness was born. Yes, that Guinness. He was an Irish brewer and founder of the Guinness Brewery.

Arthur leased a brewery in 1755 and brewed ale. In 1759, Art moved to the St. James' Gate Brewery in Dublin. He leased the land for 9,000 years at 45 pounds a year. It is assumed that his first porter sales were in 1778. When Guinness died in 1803, the breweries anual output was over 20,000 barrels.

The brewery is currently owned by Diego. It is not the worlds largest brewery anymore, however it is the largest maker of stout.

As to the beer:

Guinness Extra Stout was introduced in the 1820s. The beer has 176 calories. It comes in at about 5% ABV.

Guinness Extra Stout is steeped in heritage - a whole costume drama in a bottle. It’s naturally Guinness a complex beer full of character that’s great with food. Strong tasting with a distinctive roasted bitterness, Guinness Extra Stout is our authentic carbonated classic. It’ll transport you back to an 18th Century world of stouts when the ancestor of this beer was known as Guinness East and West India porter. In 1821, the definitive early Guinness became known as Extra Superior Porter.
It seems the differences between regular Guinness and Guinness Extra Stout, is that the Extra has a higher ABV (by about 2-3%), is darker and richer.

So, for Arthur Guinness, have his stronger stout. It's extra Guinness-y.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Days of the Beer, September 23

The beer for today is sadly no longer available, Rainier Beer.

On September 23, 1920, Joseph Yule Jr, was born. After changing his name to Mickey McGuire, he later changed it to one that stuck with him. His mother suggested he change it to Mickey Looney, but he went for something close, Mickey Rooney.

Mickey has been married 8 times, won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor- Miniseries or a Movie for 1982's Bill, won 2 golden globes, won Academy Juvenile Award in 1939 and a Honorary in 1983 for Lifetime Achievement. He's been in more than 200 films, had 5 Oscar nominations, and 5 Emmy Nominations.

In 1970's, he made a series of commercials for Rainier Beer.

Rainier was a brewery in Seattle, Washington, from 1884 to 1999. The brewery started as the Claussen-Sweeney Brewing Company, and then became the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company. The brewery shut down in 1916 when Washington state outlawed alcohol, and was sold to a San Francisco company. After prohibition, the brewery was purchased by Fritz and Emil Sick, who began brewing Rainier in 1935. In 1977, Rainier was sold to G. Heileman Brewing Company, and then made it's way to Pabst, who closed it in 1999. The brand Rainier was sold to General Brewing Company, who is out of San Francisco, and apparently, Rainier is still being made (according to wiki). Although I can't find any information more on it.

So, if it still exists, and if you can find it (no not the A-team) for the guy who made 200 movies and about 10 Rainier commercials, have yourself a Rainier beer, it'll probably taste bad.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Days of the Beer, September 22

The beer for today is Dieu du Ciel Rosée dHibiscus.

On September 22, 1982, Billie Paul Piper was born. Piper began as a teen pop singer, and then moved on to acting. From 2005 to 2006 she played Rose Tyler, a companion to the Doctor, on the TV show "Doctor Who". (She also came back for episodes in season 4).

She currently is on the Showtime series, "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" starring as Belle. Which is almost reason enough for me to get something other than rabbit ears for my TV.

As to the beer:

The Rosée d'Hibiscus is a soft spoken wheat beer. The rose colour comes from the hibiscus flowers added during the brewing process. The aromas and flavour of this tropical flower are very prominent in the beer, giving it a slight acidity and a very agreeable fragrance. It is the perfect thirst quencher on a hot summer day.
I had this beer on August 23. I'm not sure where all it is available. I picked it up at Archer Liquors, in Chicago.

David Tennant is the best Doctor.*ninja*

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Days of the Beer, September 21

The beer for today is Farsons Lacto Milk Stout.

On September 21, 1995, a miracle might have happened. Before dawn on that day, an Hindu worshiper at a temple in New Delhi made a milk offering to a statue of Lord Ganesha.

When a spoonful of milk was brought to the trunk of the statue, it would disappear; as though the statue was drinking the milk. This became known as the Hindu Milk Miracle. However, it wasn't just confined to the one statue in New Delhi; when word spread of the miracle, people tried it at other temples with other statues, and it was found that almost every Hindu statue, that day, was thirsty for milk. The miracles happened as far away as Britain, Canada, Dubai, and Nepal.

That day, sales of milk jumped 30% in New Delhi.

Scientists in India, attempting to debunk the miracle, dyed some milk, and found that it settled at the base of the statue. They said it happened due to capillary action, and that the surface tension of the milk was causing it to be drawn up to the statue and appear like it was being drank.

Oddly, the miracle mostly ended before the end of the day (most had stopped by noon), but some temples reported it going on for a couple days after. All of the milk activity had ended by October.

As to the beer:

Farsons Lacto is made in Malta.

Historically, the style “Lacto Milk Stout” was created on the British Island to emphasize the “nutritional value” of beer. At that time {Industrial Revolution in Europe in the 19th century as well as both World Wars in the 20th century} adults were looking for a sweet, energizing beer to compensate for almost daily food shortages. Hence, breweries started to add “lactose” {milk sugar} to their stout recipe. As Lactose is unfermentable by ale yeast the resulting stout was rather low in alcohol by definition [with a tiny touch of sweetness}. The style was born!

The very strong historic connection between England and Malta {background: The Maltese Islands are located at a very strategically important place in the Mediterranean linking Southern Europe with Africa and the Middle East . When the French emperor Napoleon invaded Malta in 1798 the British consequently liberated it in 1800. In 1964 Malta became independent from UK.} brought this new style to Malta via the British trading company “Simonds of Reading, Berkshire UK”. In 1927 the Maltese brewery Farsons was founded . Shortly after World War II they started to brew their Farsons Lacto Milk Stout, which has become a classic in this category.
So, for those Hindu's and their milk drinking statues, have yourself a milk beer.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Days of the Beer, September 20

The beer for today is King Mocha Java Stout.

On September 20, 1973, Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs squared off in a battle of the sexes tennis match at the Houston Astrodome, in Houston, Texas.

Riggs was a sports hustler and showman. In the 1940's he was a tennis star and had been the world #1 player. He challenged King to the match after already beating Margaret Court, another top ranked tennis player.

Riggs was 55 at the time of the match, and was attempting to raise the popularity of tennis. He did it by acting like a male chauvinist, and claiming that the women's tennis game was inferior to men's and that even at age 55 and having been retired from the game, he could beat a top female player.

King defeated Riggs, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

As to the beer, King Brewery is out of Pontiac Michigan.

Two row malted barley, crystal malt roasted barley & a heavy dose of chocolate malt blended well with French roast coffee, create a complex serious brooding ale. ABV 9.0%
I picked this beer up in Asheville, NC, the first time I was down there. It's a decent coffee chocolate beer.

So, in honor of the Battle of the Sexes... which we men lost... have yourself a King Mocha Java Stout.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Beer stuff

I was just reading a yahoo thingy about Lane Kiffin and Al Davis (of the Oakland Raiders) and got down to the end and saw this little tidbit

Please Boss Send Me To...

Green Bay, where I plan to enjoy some Spotted Cow ales Saturday night without having to dress like I'm about to climb Mt. Everest. Oh, and there should be a decent football game at Lambeau Field the following night.
So there's a little shoutout from Michael Silver to the New Glarus people.

Beer Events; Urbana International Beer Tasting and Chili Cook Off

On Saturday, September 27, Jaytv.com is sponsoring the Downtown Urbana International Beer Tasting and Chili Cook Off.

It's scheduled to have more than 150 different beers.

Tickets are $5 in advance, you can get them online, at the Canopy Club, or by calling (800) 514-3849

The firt 500 people will receive a souvenir glass.

Unlike some other festivals, this one requires sampling tickets, which are 50 cents each, good for a 4 ounce sample.

There will also be a chili eating contest, a red hot chili pepper eating contest, and apparently seminars on different types of beer.

If you would like to volunteer, you can call Jannell Justice at (309) 208-3540 or email jannell@jaytv.com.

I may have to volunteer.

*edit* Do NOT order tickets online!!!

I ordered them and there was a $2.51 convenience fee per ticket. As I bought 2 tickets, I spent $1.02 more than if I got them the day of the event. If you did get tickets online, look for me and I'll buy you a sample on Saturday.

Days of the Beer, September 19

T' grog for today be Van Steenberge Piraat.

September 19 be International Talk Like a Pirate Day. This holiday was invented in 1995, when John Baur (Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy), invented it.

It came about as Baur and Summers were playin' racketball, and one o' them was hit by t' ball and exclaimed "Aaaarrr!" T' game took place on June 6, 1995, but out o' respect for D-Day, they instead chose Summers' ex-buxom beauty's birthday for t' holiday.

As t' t' grog:

Piraat be a 'livin'' grog, which means that after t' primary fermentation in t' keg, t' grog also continues t' evolve durin' t' secondary fermentation in t' bottle or in t' keg after packagin'.

This be a world-class amber colored grog. American grog connoisseurs give it 98 out o' 100. No other grog scores better. T' flavor be so complex and so rich that every swallow conjures up new associations. Note t' spicy light sweetness, which be richly balanced with t' robust bitterness o' t' hops. It be an adventure o' a grog, a treat.

So, go have yourself a Piraat, and start talkin' like a pirate.

(in English)
The beer for today is Van Steenberge Piraat.

September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. This holiday was invented in 1995, when John Baur (Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy), invented it.

It came about as Baur and Summers were playing racketball, and one of them was hit by the ball and exclaimed "Aaaarrr!" The game took place on June 6, 1995, but out of respect for D-Day, they instead chose Summers' ex-wife's birthday for the holiday.

As to the beer:

Piraat is a 'living' beer, which means that after the primary fermentation in the keg, the beer also continues to evolve during the secondary fermentation in the bottle or in the keg after packaging.

This is a world-class amber colored beer. American beer connoisseurs give it 98 out of 100. No other beer scores better. The flavor is so complex and so rich that every swallow conjures up new associations. Note the spicy light sweetness, which is richly balanced with the robust bitterness of the hops. It is an adventure of a beer, a treat.
So, go have yourself a Piraat, and start talking like a pirate.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

$25 Food Challenge

This isn't beer related, but more humanity related.

Take the $25 Challenge

For thousands of families in eastern Illinois, grocery shopping is a challenge. Each week, they struggle to make end meet as they try to stretch just $25 per person to buy healthy, nutritious food.

From September 22 to 28, $25 Challenge particpants will eat on only $3.45 per day, the same amount received by the average food stamp recipient in Illinois.

Join the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, along with community leaders and partners, by particpating in the $25 Challenge and learn more about the struggles faced by the thousands in our area at-risk for hunger.

If the Challenge isn't for you, you can still participate; Donate $25 to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank to help us provide $250 worth of food to pantries, soup kitchens and other emergency food programs.

Read about the experiences of EIF Executive Director Jim Hires and other Challenge participants on the $25 Challenge Blog.

I'm willing to try. There will be two hard parts for me. 1. Diet Mountain Dew. 2. Beer.

I spend more than $25 on beer each week, heck I probably spend more than $100 on beer a week.

I wonder what the loopholes there are in this challenge. If someone else brings donuts into work, can I steal those? If there's fruit, can I take that? Can I become a freegan? What if someone else buys me a beer (other than the GF?)

So, next week, I'll be hitting up all my friends to buy me beer, sorry guys. Also, no hooters for me after softball, but the games are at 8, so that's not a problem. Pool may be an issue...

I'm willing to try, if you want to contribute and not try to starve yourself, donate to the Network for Good.

Here's an article on it, from the News-Gazette.

Remember, the U.S. is the only nation in the world... ever... where poor people are fat.

A long time ago, I was moved by this Hungry Planet, What the World Eats. The third family FAMILY, spends about $1.23 a week on food. The 14th family spends $5.03 for 13 people (unless there are more in the picture).

There's a Hungry Planet, What the World Eats Part 2, up now.

So there ya go. $25 for food for a week. MMMM, beans.

Days of the Beer, September 18

The beer for today is Matsushima Brewing Company Helles.

On September 18, 1944, the British submarine HMS Tradewind torpedoed the Junyō Maru, a Japanese cargo ship.

Specifically, the Junyō Maru, was transporting 1,377 Dutch, 64 British and Australian, and 8 American prisoners of war. The ship also had 4,200 Javanese slaves. The ship was headed for Sumatra.

The Junyō Maru was known as a "hell ship". These ships were used by the Imperial Japanese Navy to transport Allied pirsoners of war, to Japanese areas, to use the people as forced labor. The prisoners were crammed into cargo holds with little air, food, and water for trips that would last weeks. Many prisoners died from asphyxia, starvation or dysentery.

Some of the POWs became delious due to the heat, humidity, and lack of oxygen, food and water.

During World War II, Japanese ships would sometimes mark their weapons transports with red crosses, but they didn't mark the "hell ships" which often led to these ships being targeted by Allied submarines and aircraft.

One of these ships the Oryoku Maru, carried 1,620 survivors of the Bataan Death March. While in route, it was bombed by American planes.

The Junyō Maru, disaster was the worst where 5,640 of the POWs died after the ship was sunk.

About the beer:

Its flavor is similar to that of beer offered at the famous German beer festival, Oktoberfest. The fine creamy foam is beautiful and the refreshing aftertaste heals you gently.
Matsushima Brewing Company is located in Matsushima in the Miyagi Perfecture Japan.

In honor of the 5,640 POWs who lost their lives on the Japanese Hell Ship, have a Japanese Helles beer, if you can find it.

For more on how great the Japanese were during World War II, here's some good reading material for you.

Hell Ship

Bataan Death March

Unit 731

Comfort Women

Just keep reading

Humanity, we are awesome!

Remember, this stuff only happend 60 some years ago. How much have we (humans) changed in that time? Will it happen again? We'd like to think not, but the Khmer Rouge was doing similar stuff back in the 1970's, 30 years ago.

Go world!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Days of the Beer, September 17

The beer for today is Lost Coast Brewery, Lost Coast Pale Ale.

On September 17, 1179, Hildegard of Bingen died. Saint Hildegard was a German abbess, artist, author, counselor, linguist, naturalist, scientist, philosopher, physician, herbalist, poet, visionary, and composer. She was born in 1098.

She was one of the first composers with a biography. One of her compositions, Ordo Virtutum, has been called the first opera, and may be the origin of the opera.

Of the other things she did, in her book Physica Sacra, she described the use and value of using hops in beer making, she wrote "(Hops), when put in beer, stops putrification and lends longer durability."

Some people think that her mention of hops in the book, started the downfall of the use of gruit.

Today is also the day of her saint feast.

Lost Coast Brewery is woman-owned brewery, in Eureka, California. Lost Coast Pale Ale is a California Pale Ale.

This highly hopped california style pale ale showcases the brewer's art of balancing malt and hop characteristics. A generous addition of munich malts balances the bittering from chinook hops, and cascade hops round out the flavor profile.
So, for the lady who said that hops preserves beer, have a woman produced beer that's made with lots of hops.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Days of the Beer, September 16

The beer for today is New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale.

On September 16, 1949, Ed Begley Jr. was born. He was known for his role as Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the tv show St. Elsewhere. He has appeared in Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital, Six Feet Under, 7th Heaven and Arrested Development.

He's been in the movies, This is Spinal Tap, Transylvania 6-5000, She-Devil, A Mighty Wind, and Batman Forever.

Currently, he has a reality show about green living on Planet Green called Living With Ed.

Since 1970, Begley has been an environmentalist. It started with an electric golf cart, and then he started recycling and became a vegan. His home uses solar power and wind power. He claims his annual electric bill is around $300. He is also known for riding bicycles to get around.

New Belgium Brewery is located in Fort Collins, Colorado. Their flagship beer is Fat Tire. The idea came from the co-founders bicycle trip through Belgium while on a brewery tour. New Belgium Brewery is entirely wind powered. The brewery purchases 100% wind generated electricity from the Fort Collins Utilities, Platte River Power Authority wind site.

To provide the electricity to the brewery, the electric company had to install an additional wind turbine, to supplement the two that were already on location. The brewery pays an additional premium to guarantee that the power they use is from the windmill.

Named in honor of our founder Jeff's bike trip through Belgium, Fat Tire Amber Ale marks a turning point in the young electrical engineer's home brewing. Belgian beers use a far broader pallet of ingredients (fruits, spices, esoteric yeast strains) than German or English styles. Jeff found the Belgian approach freeing. Upon his return, Jeff created Fat Tire and Abbey Belgian Ale, (assuming Abbey would be his big gun). He and his wife, Kim traveled around sampling their homebrews to the public. Fat Tire's appeal quickly became evident. People liked everything about it. Except the name. Fat Tire won fans is in its sense of balance: toasty, biscuit-like malt flavors coasting in equilibrium with hoppy freshness.

So, to celebrate tree hugging, windmill powered, bike riding Ed Begley Jr.'s birthday, have a beer from a tree hugging, windmill powered, bike riding brewery.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Days of the Beer, September 15

The beer for today is Charles Wells Brewery, John Bull Ale.

On September 15, 1831, the John Bull steam locomotive operated for the first time in New jersey on the Camden and Amboy Railroad.

On September 15, 1981, one hundred fifty years after first running, the Smithsonian Institution operated it under it's own power outside Washington, DC, making it the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world.

The John Bull was built in Newcastle England. It was dismantled and shipped across the Atlantic aboard the Allegheny. The train was put together by Isaac Dripps as well as he could, as there were no drawings or instructions for assembly.

On November 12, 1831, the engine pulled some dignitaries around the rail yard. The railroad itself wasn't finished until 1833, so the locomotive was placed in storage. The locomotive operated until 1866 when it was put in retired. It then went around on tours including the Centenial Exposition in 1876, the National Railway Appliance Exhibition in 1883, the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, Fair of the Iron Horse in 1927, Century of Progress Exhibition in 1933, New York World's Fair, 1939.

As to the beer:

Wells John Bull is a traditional London beer with a distinctive hop bitterness. At 4.1% ABV it is a refreshing ale to be enjoyed on any occasion. The characteristic palate is derived from the English Challenger hop whilst the aroma comes from the East Kent Golding hop and the beer is best served in a conical glass without a sparkler.
I'm not sure where you can get this beer, but it's by the same people who make Banana Bread Beer. Charles Wells Brewery is out of Bedford England and opened in 1876. It's still a family owned brewery, and is in the fifth generation.

If you can find it, jump a train and drink a John Bull, for one of the first steam locomotives in the U.S. If you want to see the John Bull, it's on display in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

Beer, Weeken of Drinken

Friday night started out with little plans, that morphed into a somewhat full weekend. We were going to go meet Evan at Jupiters Classic around 7:30, and that left some time before, so Kriddy and I went to Crane Alley to have a beer or two.

CA, recently got in several New-To-Me beers, so I started (and kind of finished) there. First up was the t'smisje Double IPA. (Sorry for the dark picture) I wasn't able to capture it, but all the t'smisje's are bottle conditioned. There is a friggin yeast cake on the bottom of the bottle. If you leave a tiny amount of beer in the bottle, and swirl it around, then pour it out, it looks like a yeast starter. This one had some massive head, looked like merange going into the glass.

If a bartender did the bottle roll thing that they seem to like to do with hefe-weizens, that bar would be out $10 as there's no way I'd drink that beer.

The second beer on Friday night was the Fiori. This one says it was brewed with vanilla and corriander. It was definitely a spiced beer. Wasn't horrible. But not really the style for me. Meanwhile, Kriddy was drinking a Victory Storm King.

We then went to Jups classic and had a couple of beers, including a Tucher dunkel, and the bartender did the roll thing... man, I hate having a beer that's not done my way. I don't want the yeast, it's cloudy enough, I also don't want fruit in my beer.

After we left, went back to Kriddy's and I had a De Dolle Bos Keun. This was a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. It took me like 2 hours to drink, after about 20 minutes to pour. As you can see, there's very agressive carbonation in this thing.

Saturday, went back to Crane Alley in hopes of watching the Illinois football game. For some reason it wasn't on at CA either, the TV said it was Illinois, but the team playing was Northwestern.

I started our time there with the tsmisje Wostyntje. This was an odd beer. Brewed with Mustard seed. That's something you just don't normally see.

Kent Goldigs hops is added at the beginning of the boil while Challenger hops, dark candy sugar and the crushed mustard seeds are added after about 50min. into the boil. The addition of light candy sugar and fresh top-fermenting yeast to the bottle starts the secondary fermentation in the bottle. After three more weeks Wostyntje is ready to become part of your dinner.

Wostyntje has a unique bitterish finish, which stems from the use of "Torhout's" mustard seeds.
I was drinking this one with their corn chowder soup, and at first the mustard wasn't noticable, but it came out as the drink warmed, it wasn't like drinking a bottle of mustard, there was just a hint.

The final new beer for the weekend was De Dolle Oerbier. You can see the bubbles on this one too. The beers this weekend were all very bubbly.

I'm not sure if any of these would be my favorite beers, or even come close to my favorite style. Most of them were priced at $9 or $10 at a bar, so that would probably preclude many people from buying them. It was an interesting drinking weekend though.

Sunday didn't have anything special, just ate wings and watched football at hooters, while drinking some Boulevard Pale, Killians, Bass and Sam Adams.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Days of the Beer, September 14

The beer for today is Harviestoun Old Engine Oil.

On September 14, 1960, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded.

Venezuela was the country that first wanted to establish OPEC. They got together with Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in Baghdad, to try to find ways to increase the price of crude oil.

Currently, Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Venezuela are members of OPEC.

OPEC's objective is to co-ordinate and unify petroleum policies among Member Countries, in order to secure fair and stable prices for petroleum producers; an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consuming nations; and a fair return on capital to those investing in the industry.

They regulate how much each member nation can/is supposed to produce each day. (One of the reasons that Iraq invaded Kuwait prior to Desert Storm was because they were exceeding their quota).

As to the beer:

An unusual name for an unusual beer. Strong and dark but wickedly, wickedly smooth. Chocolate dominates the flavour, which is nicely balanced by the bitterness of the hops. A delicious "after dinner" beer which leaves a bittersweet aftertaste to savour.

Harviestoun’s original master brewer Ken Brooker spend much of his early life crafting wooden design prototypes for the Ford motor company. This black, viscous beer reminded Ken of thick, gloopy car engine oil, so he named it in honour of his second love, the internal combustion engine.
The goss…

Henry Ford once remarked; “People can have the Model T in any colour--so long as it's black.” Well the same applies to this uniquely atramentous after-dinner ale.
This beer isn't found in too many bars around town (I don't know of any). It is available at Friar Tucks and at the Corkscrew. The Ola Dubh varieties are making their way around town and one will be at Crane Alley shortly.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Days of the Beer, September 13

The beer for today is Youngs Double Chocolate Stout.

On September 13, 1857, Milton Snavely Hershey was born. Hershey was the founder of The Hershey Chocolate Company. He's known as the Chocolate King. Hershey was born on a farm in Pennsylvania.

He started working as an apprentice printer, but didn't like the job, so he let his hat fall into the printing press. His next apprenticeship was for four years with a Lancaster Pennsylvania candy maker. After that, he started his first candy-making business in Philadelphia. That failed, so he tried again in Chicago, which also failed, twice.

He moved back to Lancaster and started the Lancaster Caramel Company. This business established him as a candy maker. At the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, he saw machinery to make German chocolate, and decided he wanted to do that. He sold the caramel company for a million dollars in 1900.

With that, he started The Hershey Chocolate Company. He built it, and the town of Hershey, out of 40,000 acres of land north of Lancaster. From there, he was able to get the milk that he needed to produce the milk chocolate. After much experimenting he came up with the formula.

He died in 1945 at the Hershey Hospital.

As for the beer:

Available filtered and pasteurised in 500ml bottles and in nitrocans. Also Nitro Keg on Tap
Production moved from Youngs to Wells & Youngs in 2007.
Ingredients: Pale ale and crystal malt, chocolate malt, special blend of sugars, Fuggle and Goldings hops, real dark chocolate and chocolate essence.
Chocolate malt and real dark chocolate are combined with Young's award winning rich, full flavoured dark beer to craft a satisfyingly indulgent, but never overly sweet experience.
This was one of the first beers that changed my perception of what beer could be. I had it on draft at Bentleys Pub (in Champaign) and was blown away that a beer could taste like drinking a milkshake.

This beer is available at several places in CU, normally it's on draft at Bentleys, it is listed on Blind Pig's menu as well. It used to be available at Guido's in a can, and may still be; I think it is also at Seven Saints.

The can has a widget, so don't be surprised by the clanking in the can.

If you are trying to get someone who "doesn't like beer" to drink a dark beer; give them this confection, they'll say "I didn't know beer could taste like that".

Friday, September 12, 2008

Beer Events; Beer Class at Seven Saints

After finishing up at Blind Pig's event with Capital Brewery, I headed down to Seven Saints to watch the Cubs game.

I had earlier messaged Jim, who used to work at Seven Saints to see if he had gotten any new beers... wait... back up... While at BP, Noah (from the CU Beer Club) told me that Chicago would soon be getting Lost Abbey beers. So I texted Jim, who now works for a distributor in Chicago and asked if he had gotten any good beers recently (no one seemed to know who would be distributing Lost Abbey, so I asked my man in the business). He replied that he had a bottle of Three Floyds Moloko for me.

So I was like... cool. I then went to 7S and started watching the game, and drinking a Dark Horse Rod. While I was at the bar, one of the waitresses said that Andy was in the back having a beer class. She took me back and they were going over Octoberfest beers. So I sat in and listened for a while.

Andy then ran off to get another bottle for the class, this wasn't an octoberfest, but the special "the students paid attention" beer. His choice was Avery the Beast Grand Cru. The one he brought out wasn't just any bottle, it was the 2005 edition, so it had a good 3 years under it's belt.

It was split into 8 glasses and everyone sniffed, sipped, sniffed, and sipped some more. What a great beer; raisin, molasses, sugar, alcohol, malt... it was outstanding.

One of the girls who worked (Kristine?) there told me she had talked to Jim earlier that day, and that he had a beer for me. I told her, yes I knew. Which is really odd, since I haven't talked to Jim since like... Dark Lord Day, April 26, when we dropped him off at Flossmoor, or was it more recent than that?

Well, Jim said he'd be shipping that beer down to me today, so it should be on my door within a week or so.

Additionally, before I left, I bought a bottle of 2007 GIBCS and smuggled it out of the bar. So now I've got a bottle of 2007 and 2006 GIBCS along with their year counterparts of the Imperial IPA to send out to California... among other beers.

It seems Andy is holding beer school for his employees on Thursday nights now, so I may have to go... um... sit in on school. He's been there long enough that he can start teaching others, like he used to do at Crane Alley.

Beer Events; Capital at Blind Pig *recap*

Went to Blind Pig last night for the meet and greet with the brewmaster, Kirby Nelson, from Capital Brewery.

The event went from 7-9, however I didn't get there until 8:15 or so. I went in, and got their Autumnal Fire. This was an outstanding dopplebock, and possibly my favorite of the evening.

A blazing rich beer, this is a doppelbock based on an Octoberfest personality. Warm and intriguing, the perfect "Brandy Snifter" beer. ABV 7.26%
I then sampled the Blonde Dopplebock.

A deep golden color leads one to an extremely flavorful, yet very drinkable beer of great character. Treat this malt monster with respect!
Also tried the U.S. Pale Ale.

This is an American pale ale defined by the assertive, but not overshelming, use of American Cascade hops. Exhibiting an inviting golden hue, U.S. Pale Ale is a zesty choice fo those who believe that hope are "hip". Refreshing and clean with medium bodied flavor and an easy, dry, and memorable finish. Hops with an American accent. Disarmingly drinkable.
Also tried a beer I believe they called a Belgian Pale Ale.

All the beers were pretty good. Capital is a serviceable brewery. All their beers are good. It's solid, similar to Ale Asylum, there's not really a bad brew in the bunch. One of the first beers I had from them was the Island Wheat, which was a gift from Andy at Seven Saints, last year.

I related the story to Kirby about Frank and Dana's engagement party back on March 29 (prior to my blogging life) that one of Frank's aunts/uncles brought a cooler full of the Wisconsin Amber. I asked if Capital would be at the Great Lakes Brew Fest this weekend, and he mentioned that he wouldn't be able to attend as he'll be up in Washington Island with their wheat providers for a commercial fishing trip. We talked about Wisconsin, brewing, shortages, and accents.

They packed up shortly after 9, and I headed down to Seven Saints to watch the rest of the Cubs/Cards game ...

Beer Review, Terrapin Side Project # 2, RoggenRauchBier

After work last night, Scott stopped by to pick up his Harley, and we had a beer. At first, I didn't think I had any to offer him, my fridge appeared completely empty of 22 oz. or 750 ml. bottles of stuff we haven't yet had*. But then I noticed one bomber on the side and that was Terrapin Side Project Volume 2, RoggenRauchBier.

*I have lots of beer in the house that I haven't had yet, I just haven't chilled them yet.

So, we cracked open this one. I used my Cubs Old Style glasses because, well, I like the Cubs and I like Old Style, and these aren't massive pint glasses anyway.

This one looked like an amber (scott said rusty) beer with whitish foam. It looks almost like a pumpkin ale (it's a lager). After a while, it developed the spaghetti-o foam rings.

Scott said it smelled like gym socks; it seems smoke beers (and pepper beers) can have a tendency to smell kind of bad. I thought it smelled kind of spicy, but not smokey. I think I smelled the spice (like nutmeg maybe) because it really looked like a pumpkin ale.

It felt thin and fizzy, and had a salty bite to it. It tasted smokey and salty. there was a little bit of bitter, but I expected more from a rye (since rye's seem to hold their hops flavors longer than other malt styles). There may have also been some pepper spice in the flavor.

Overall it was a decent beer. It would go really good with hot wings. Sadly, I doubt I'll be able to find this again, due to it's once ever nature.

I picked this up at Bruisin Ales in Asheville. Yes, I paid $7.25 for the beer.

As I was drinking this, I thought about how smoke beers normally have the malt smoked, I was wondering if it would be possible to smoke the hops.

Days of the Beer, September 12

The beer for today is Kronenbourg 1664.

On September 12, 1940, four teenagers, Marcel Ravidat, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel and Simon Coencas discovered a cave in Lascaux, France. Inside that cave complex were some prehistoric cave paintings. These paintings are now some of the most well-known examples of Upper Paleolithic art. The paintings are estimated to be 16,000 years old. The pictures are mostly large animals like bulls, horses, bison and other animals.

The most famous section of the cave is The Great Hall of the Bulls. Additinoally there are rooms called, the Lateral Passage, the Shaft of the Dead Man, the Chamber of Engravings, the Painted Gallery and the Chamber of Felines.

Lager comes from the German word for storage. Lager beer is traditionally stored for several weeks before it is served. This storage is normally done at colder temperatures. Caves in Germany proved to be excellent places to store the beer and to allow it to ferment.

There are two main styles of beer, Ales and Lagers. The difference in the two is the yeast used (otherwise, they both use barley, hops, water and then the different yeast style). Ale yeast normally ferments at higher temperatures, while lager yeast ferments at lower temperatures. Ale yeast tends to float to the top of the beer when it's done working, and is called top fermenting, while lager yeast sinks to the bottom and is called bottom fermenting.

For a really good article on yeast, check out A Short History of Yeast, by the Zythophile.

Kronenbourg 1664 is a 5.5% ABV pale lager. It is the best selling beer in France.

The premium beer of Brasseries Kronenbourg brewers since 1664. Kronenbourg 1664 is brewed with a unique hop blend including aromatic hops from Alsace.
So, for the find of caves in 1940, have a cave beer.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Cunning Political Satire

I saw this headline and it reminded me of something.

Bush marks Sept. 11 with moment of silence

Click here for what it reminded me of.

That is all...

Beer Events; Capital at Blind Pig

Tonight! 7-9pm
Capital Brewery Kick Off Party!
Meet Brewmaster Kirby Nelson and try his award winning beers!
Capital Island Wheat Middleton, Wisconsin, Wheat Ale, % abv
Capital U.S. Pale Ale Middleton, Wisconsin, American Pale Ale, 5% abv
Capital Autumnal Fire Middleton, Wisconsin, Doppelbock, 8.5%
Capital Prairie Gold Middleton, Wisconsin, Belgian Ale, 6.7% abv
Capital Oktoberfest Middleton, Wisconsin, Märzen, 5.5% abv

For the most current beer list, visit our website @

It's at Blind Pig. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to make it or not, remember BP, doesn't have tv's and the cubs are playing the cardinals tonight.

Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day *Update*

Over lunch today, went to Friar Tucks and picked up two kits to be used on Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day, (Nov. 1).

I got the English Brown Ale and the India Pale Ale kits. I was going to pick up some extra hops to throw into the IPA kit, but Tucks was completely out of hops. I will be going back closer to November 1, to pick up some better yeast than the packet of "Brewers Yeast" that is in the box.

We'll be in the kitchen all day.

Remind me that I'll need my wort chiller back from Scott. Also, I need to pick up some more cleanser.

Days of the Beer, September 11

The beer for today is Olde English 800, or OE, Olde E, Olde Gold...

On September 11, 2001, Leftöver Crack released their first album, Mediocre Generica. Leftöver Crack is an American anarcho-punk band based out of New York. Leftöver Crack is anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, anti-religion, anti-racist, anti-police, anti-fascism, anti-impreialism, anti-capitalism and anti-government. If one can be against something, they probably are.

The album has songs like, "Nazi White Trash", "Atheist Anthem", "Gay Rude Boys Unite", and "Crack City Rockers". The album was originally to be names Shoot the Kids at School, but their record label objected. "They wanted mediocre generic artwork and they wanted a mediocre generic title, so I called it Mediocre Generica and I guarantee you the irony was lost on Epitaph," said Stza, the lead singer.

Leftöver Crack's next album Fuck World Trade, was released on August 31, 2004, and had an image of the second plane flying into the second tower. Due to the name and cover, the album was banned by Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart, Music Land and other places.

This album has the songs "Life Is Pain" (anti-breeding), "Gang Control", "One Dead Cop", and a re-release of one of their first songs "Rock the 40 Oz".

Olde English "800" is a malt liquor made by Miller Brewing Company, best known for being a forty ounce bottle. There are two strengths of it in the U.S., 5.9% in the East, and 7.5% in the west.

Olde English 800 is one of America's leading malt liquor brands. Commonly referred to as "OE800," it offers a smooth, rich taste with a slightly fruity aroma that is a favorite among malt liquor drinkers. Introduced in 1964, Olde English 800 was one of America's original malt liquor brands. Olde English 800 enjoys a diverse consumer base that is linked together by an urban mind-set.

So for the release of Leftöver Crack's first full length album, crack open a cöld OE, and think about how your freedoms have eroded.

Christmas in August

Christmas came early (not that I celebrate; but it is a good time of year for Christmas beers) in fact, it came 3 months early.

Rob and I are going to be exchanging some beers that neither can get in their area (or is "the other can't", if NEITHER could get it in their area, then how did either get it?). My package arrived yesterday (as you probably saw from the entry below).

Horray a box

So I cut it open and waded through the vast amounts of delicious popcorn and cheesey poofs that he also sent (California makes some great cheetos, who knew?) There was a really nice Styrofoam 6 bottle holder thing, which probably helped a lot in the transportation.

Where's the beer?

So I filtered through that, found one bottle hidden amongst the foam and pulled out the rest.

He sent me:

Russian River Supplication
Russian River Damnation
Russian River Redemption
Russian River Pliny the Elder
Russian River Blind Pig
Firestone Walker Union Jack
Speakeasy Double Daddy

So now it's up to me to fill it back up with local goodies... But what to send... what to send...

They don't get Three Floyds, Bells, Goose Island... do they get Founders?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I'm just sitting here refreshing my tracking code from UPS... waiting...

Weight: 17.00 Lbs

09/10/2008 4:55 A.M. OUT FOR DELIVERY

Soon, it will change to DELIVERED

and then... oh and then...

Thanks Rob

*update* well, it's 4 p.m. here, and in the whole "watched pot never boils" theory, I went and got a haircut... and it's still not delivered, or it may be, UPS might just not have updated it yet... or something.

*update #2*

Type: Package
Status: Delivered
Delivered On: 09/10/2008
3:54 P.M.

There's gonna be something for me when I get home...

Sadly, I have no time tonight to drink it all.

Champaign Urbana NFL Sunday Ticket Locations

It seems there are several people trying to find places in the C-U area to watch the NFL each Sunday. Here's a list, it's by no means complete.

Buffalo Wild Wings (Savoy and Champaign).


Tumble Inn.

There are probably more, and I'll look around for places that have it. I can name several that won't have it. As of right now, none of the CU-bars (Carlos) have them. Of all the bars in town, very few have enough televisions to support the complete lineup of football each Sunday. To see them all, I'd recommend either BW or Hooters.

I know Hooters also has free wi-fi, so if you want to track your fantasy team on your laptop, that'd be a good place to go. *edit* BW Savoy also has wi-fi

If you know of any other place that has it, feel free to leave a comment.