Friday, October 31, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 31

The beer for today is Einbecker Ur-Bock Dunkel.

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. The full name of it was the Ninety-Five These on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences. This document was largley regarded as the main reason for the Protestant Reformation. Ultimately, the document was about Luther's displeasure with the Catholic Church's sale of indulgences.

Martin Luther was born November 10, 1483 and was a German monk, theologian, university professor and is considered the Father of Protestantism. Luther's theology chalenged the authority of the pope by claiming that the bible is the only infallible source of religious authority. Luther was excommunicated in 1521, at the Diet of Worms.

At the Worms Reichstag, Martin Luther said, "The best drink known to man is called Einbecker Beer."

About the beer:

Einbecker Ur-Bock dark – brewed from dark malt – is characterized by a strong, robust taste.
So, for Martin Luther's 95 Theses, which led to the Diet of Worms, where he claimed his favorite beer, have the beer that evolved from his favorite beer, Einbecker Ur-Bock Dunkel.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 30

The beer for today is Great Divide Titan IPA.

On October 30, 1951. Harry Robinson Hamlin was born. He is best known for his portrayal of Michael Kuzak in L.A. Law. Prior to that TV show, he was known for being Perseus in the 1981 fantasy film Clash of the Titans.

Hamlin reprised his role of Perseus in the 2007 video game God of War II.

About the beer:

Titan IPA

Traditionally India Pale Ales, the hoppiest of all pales, were brewed with more alcohol and large quantities of hops in order to survive the lengthy ocean journey from the U.K. to India. Unlike our brewing forefathers, Great Divide enjoys the modern benefits of refrigeration and we don’t have any plans to ship Titan IPA to India. Instead, we brew Titan IPA for hop disciples – independent beer drinkers seeking out robust, flavorful beers characterized by their abundance of hops flavor, aroma and bitterness. As a big, aggressively hopped India Pale Ale, Titan IPA fills this bill – beginning with piney hop aromas and citrus hop flavors, and finishing with a rich, malty sweetness that is carefully balanced with crisp hop bitterness.

Titan IPA weighs in at a considerable 65 International Bittering Units (IBUs).

Alcohol by volume: 6.8%
So, for the star of Clash of the Titans, have a Titan yourself.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 29

The beer for today is Mt. Hood Ice Axe IPA.

On October 29, 1792, Mount Hood in Oregon was named after British naval officer Alexander Arthur Hood, by Lt. William E. Broughton, who spotted the mountain near the mouth of the Willamette River.

Mount Hood (called Wy'east by the Multnomah tribe) is a stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc in northern Oregon. It's snow-covered peak rises 11,249 feet and is home to twelve glaciers. It is the highest mountain in Oregon. It is considered the Oregon volcano most likely to erupt (3-7% chance in the next 30 years).

About the beer:

Ice Axe IPA is the Mt. Hood Brewing Co.'s flagship and best selling beer. Pale amber in color and aggressively hopped, Ice Axe is a mouth-filling and well balanced beer. Slight buttery overtones provided by oak-conditioning, gives it a character reminiscent of a fine wine. The mild spiciness and rich bitterness of the brewmaster's carefully selected hops shine through in the flavor and aroma. O.G. 1.060/ 5.9% abv./ East Kent Goldings, Mt.Hood, and Willamette hops/ Five different malts.
The Mt. Hood Brewery is part of the Ice Axe Grill. It began operation in January, 1991. The beer is only available on tap, at the brewpub, or at other places throughout Oregon.



You'll notice many beer related words that have been used in the first part of this narrative.

1. Mt. Hood. Mt. Hood is the name of a variety of hops. Oregon is the second largest producer of domestic (American) hops, behind Washington, and ahdead of Idaho. There are many hops varieties that originated in Oregon.

Mt. Hood is a triploid aroma-type cultivar, the 1983 result of a cross between the colchicine - induced tetraploid female Hallertau mf (USDA 21397) and the USDA 19058M, male plant. It is a half-sister to Ultra, Liberty and Crystal.

An aromatic variety derived from Hallertau with a refined, spicy aroma and clean bittering. A good choice for lagers. (alpha acid: 4.0-6.0% / beta acid: 5.0-7.5%)
2. Willamette. The Willamette River is a tributary of the Columbia River. It is 187 miles long and is entirely in northwestern Oregon.

Willamette is a triploid aroma-type hop, which originated in the mid 1970’s and is a seedling of Fuggle. It is a very popular aroma hop, contributing in 1998 to 18% of the total USA hop crop.

A variation on English Fuggle hops grown in Oregon and Washington. Willamette has a fragrant spicy woody aroma. An excellent American aromatic hops for ales
and lagers. (alpha acid: 4.0-6.0% / beta acid: 3.5-4.5%)
3. Cascade.

Cascade is an aroma-type cultivar which originated as the first commercial hop from the USDA-ARS breeding program. It was bred in 1956 but not released for cultivation until 1972. It reached its peak in 1975 when it produced 13.3% of the total American crop. It was obtained by crossing an English Fuggle with a male plant, which originated from the Russian variety Serebrianka with a Fuggle male plant.

A very popular U.S. variety, with a moderate bitterness level and fragrant, flowery aroma. Cascade is often used in highly hopped West Coast ales that have a citrus-floral hop character. (alpha acid: 4.5-6.0% / beta acid: 5.0-7.0% )

4. Wyeast. Wyeast Laboratories produce yeast that is used in brewing. Wyeast Laboratories is located in Odell, Oregon.

*hops information taken from Beer Advocate*

Radio Maria Beer Special

Tonight, October 29, Radio Maria, will be having a beer special $3 pints of Capital Autumnal Fire.

It's going to be coming off to make way for another beer, but I don't remember what that one was. Jakob was flagging us down to tell us this information as we were leaving Esquire from playing a little pool.

(On a side note) I'm very disappointed in Esquire's beer selection now. They used to have some good stuff, but it just seemed very bland. The taps were uninteresting, the bottles weren't that exciting either. Heck, I didn't even see Stroh's in the bottle selection anymore.

I had a Hacker Pschoor, Kriddy had a Dead Guy, Paddy had a Founders Reds Rye (the most interesting tap), Kai had Fat Tire. Nothing too outstanding in the place. Their food is pretty good, the Asian Dumplings are GREAT, the steak sammich is ok, but without a good variety of beer, what's the point?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 28

The beer for today is Budweiser (Czechvar).

On October 28, 1918, Czechoslovakia was granted independence from Austria-Hungary.

At the time, it consisted of the present-day territories of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Carpathian Ruthenia. The territory included some of the most industrialized regions of the former Austria-Hungary. It was a democratic republic before World War II, but there were ethnic problems with the dissatisfaction of the German and Slovak ethnic groups, as the Czechs held political and economic dominance.

In 1939, Germany invaded Czechoslovakia and divided it into the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and also the Slovak State.

After World War II, the pre-war borders were reestablished, and all people who took German or Hungarian citizenship during the war were forced out (the Hungarians were later allowed to stay, but the Germans were exported). In 1948, the Communists seized power. In 1989, the country became democratic again, around the same time as the fall of communism.

In 1992, Czechoslovakia was dissolved by parliament, and it's territories became the Czech Republic and Slovakia on January 1, 1993.

As to the beer:

The original Budweiser Bier (Budweiser Bürgerbräu) was founded in 1795, in Budweis Bohemia. Anheuser-Busch started using the Budweiser brand in 1876, and registered it two years later. A new company, Budvar, was established in 1895 by Czech brewers, which led to the Budweiser trademark dispute. Negotiations between the three companies, led to AB only being able to use the name Budweiser in North America. This also caused the Budvar to be sold in the US and Canada as Czechvar.

Czechvar is the special name (editor's note: for North America) of the world famous beer produced by the renowned brewery in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic. Benefitting from over 700 years of brewing experience of the South Bohemian region, Czech is the golden original, acknowledged by many connoisseurs as one of the best lagers in the world.
So, for the founding of Czechoslovakia, have a Czechvar.

Budvar/Czechvar has been distributed in the US by Anheuser-Busch since January 2007, so it seems part of the hatchet has been buried.

Rumor has it, that if you go to the brewery for a tour, they don't like Americans very much, especially if you mention Anheuser-Busch; but if you say you like their beer better, they are much more accomodating.

For more information, you can pick up a copy of Budweiser Budvar Budejovicky; Budvar 1895-1995. I believe I have a copy of this book on my shelf somewhere. I've also got a six pack of the beer, that I should drink really soon.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Easterly trip

In case you didn't know, Kriddy and I took last week off and headed out east (if you read any of the twitter messages, you probably figured it out). You'll note, I didn't miss any days of the beer, I had prepared them all to be published on their day, I didn't sit down at a computer each day in a hotel somewhere and plug them out.

Last Sunday, I went and got a rental car from Budget, we got a Chevrolet Cobalt sport, which was a kinda nice car, reminded me a lot of one of my old chevy cavaliers. On Sunday evening I packed up my bags and headed to Kriddy's around 9 or so. We left sometime on Monday morning, heading east.

Our first stop was in Columbus Ohio at Barley's Ale House No. 1. I got the pierogies and Kriddy got the mac and cheese. My first beer was a raspberry wheat, I followed that up with their cask ESB. The bartendress had stepped out and the head brewer was watching the counter for her. At some point a guy comes in and orders a beer, and starts talking about how he likes one of the beers, and how he really doesn't like one of their beers, and he's talking to the brewer about it. We were kind of flabbergasted that he would just start talking about it like that to him.

We jumped back in the car and headed east on Interstate 70. We got to Interstate 79 and headed south, then jumped on 68 east. That hooked back up to 70 and we followed that some more. It was really wierd for me driving on 70 towards Baltimore/DC. I used to live on Fort Meade, Maryland, every other time I had driven toward there, I knew exactly where I was going, what was on the other end, where my place was, this time, it was like... well, what do we want to do, where do we want to stay?

Monday night, we pulled off at Hagerstown, Maryland, and found a hotel. The place was relatively empty. We went down to the restauarant and I got a Reuben and Kriddy got the cheese stix (when she doesn't know what she wants off the menu, she gets cheese stix). I perused their beer selection, and noticed they had Chimay Red. So I got that. It was presented ice cold. It was so cold, it hurt my teeth to drink. They didn't offer a glass, so I had to ask for one. So, I had an ice cold Chimay in a frosted pilsner glass. What a tragedy. I held the glass until my hands felt frozen, to warm it up a little, but it stayed unpleasantly cold the entire time. I followed that up with a beer from Frederick (right down the street) from Brewers Alley. It was their pilsner, it was pretty good, and quite floral. The bartendress was rather impressed that it was from right down the street in Frederick and that they actually brew their own beer.

We then retired to our room. Got up on Tuesday and headed towards DC. After driving around the Mall for a bit, we found a place that had parking for $20 for all day, so stopped there, it was just outside the Art Museum, so we went in there, didn't see any art, but did walk through the gift shop. We walked down to the Museum of Natural History, and walked through that. Saw the dinosaurs, the gems and the rocks. I was thinking that the U.S. could sell all the stuff in there and pay off the debt, kinda like in Americathon (but not quite).

We left there and walked past the closed-for-renovations Museum of American History, you know, the cool one, with the fonz's jacket. We then walked past the Washington Monument, saw the Whitehouse, then went and saw the WW2 Memorial, Korean Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and Vietnam Memorial. Then we walked back to our car.

We attempted to go to the Brickskeller for a beer, but couldn't find a place to park. So we drove off to my old stomping grounds by Fort Meade. We drove past the first bar where I played APA pool, which was kinda cool, man, that was 10+ years ago. Then we got on a road and headed towards Annapolis.

As we drove around, we looked in the GPS for brewpubs, and it pointed us to Heroes Pub. This was a nice little place, that had 48 taps. As we were on the eastern seaboard, I ordered the fish sammich. Kriddy went with chicken strips. I had a Brewers Art Resurrection. Followed that up with a Blue Point Hoptical Illusion, next was a Fordham Tavern Ale, and finally a "natty boh" or National Bohemian. Natty Boh is apparently the local Old Style, style beer, it's from G.Heileman, so it pretty much is Old Style.

We left and found a hotel in Annapolis. Woke up the next morning, and went by the state capital building. Then drove up to Baltimore. We drove past the football and baseball stadiums, then went to Fells Point.

Fells point is the cool/hip section of Balmer. We walked around for a bit, and then went into Max's on Broadway. Max's has an awesome beer selection. It's got like 100 taps and like 200 bottles, I kept a menu. I started with a Legacy Euphoria, Kriddy got their Fat Boy Lager. I then asked for a Brewdog Paradox (something) that they didn't have, and settled for a 009. This went pretty good with my mushroom swiss burger. I also had an Oscar Blues Ten Fidy.

We left there and drove around for a bit, hoping my old boss would call back, but he didn't :(

We went to the Laurel Mall, to kill some time and maybe get a cheap souviner, which has changed SIGNIFICANTLY since I lived there. It seemed 75% of the stores were closed, and it was a lot darker than I remember. We left there and went to the nice mall in Columbia. This one was still nice. It was next door to the place where I had gotten my Microsoft certification, 9 years ago.

We left there and found a liquor store, and I got a 4 pack of Oskar Blues Ten Fidy (yeah, it's a Colorado beer, but we don't get it in Illinois, so I got some), also picked up a 6 pack of Troegs Trogenator, and I think their Hopback Amber.

Kriddy wanted BW, so we pulled that up on the GPS and headed north to Carrolton. There was a football game or something that had just ended, so the place was packed. I don't know why, but it seemed everyone there was staring at me. I had a hat on, so no mohawk, but still everyone looked at me like I had a penis growing out of my forehead. It was wierd. They had Sam Adams Octoberfest, so I got two of those. We left and found a hotel. I took in one of each of the beers, but we only made it through the Hopback. It's good, and is still ok in hotel plastic cups.

As we were driving toward BW, I saw signs that said Gettysburg was only 20 miles or so away, so that settled our plans for Thursday.

Woke up and headed north to Gettysburg. The visitor center was packed, so we drove around and saw signs for Auto Tour. So we followed that. It's amazing how many people died there. When you stop to consider everything that went on, in the heat of July, watching everyone die, that it only happened 145 years ago.

We stopped looked at monuments, took some pictures, pondered what happened, then got in the car and drove some more. Right at the end of the auto tour, is a brewpub. The Appalachian Brewing Company, is based out of Harrisburg, but has a pub in Gettysburg, in sight of the battlefield. We went there after we went to the Gettysburg Civil War Museum. This place is also the Gettysburg Gift Center. It's not really a museum (to me), it's a $5.50 wax museum. It's really friggin creepy. Try to think of the creepiest place you've been, then add just a dose of creepy to it. It's really creepy. At the end, an animated wax figure of Lincoln gives the Gettysburg Address.

So, we left and went to the brewpub. They didn't have all their beers, as it seems, the brewmaster has recently quit. So if you are a brewmaster and want to work in a place that's probably haunted, go to Gettysburg. We had all their beers except for the cask pale. They were good, nothing too exceptional, but all perfectly acceptable beers. It'd be nice to have that brewpub locally.

We left there and headed east again, towards Wilmington Delaware, as we had plans on Friday to go to breweries. As we got closer to Philadelphia, we started to get tired, so we looked for a hotel. We found one that was right next to a hooters, and a bar that had 50 taps and 100 bottles. We went in to the hotel for a room, but it was too much, so we went back down the street to get a hotel. Two miles saved us $40. We checked in, moved in our bags, and then headed down to Arbys for evening meal. Left there and went to Firewaters Bar (the one next to hooters).

I started with an O'reilly's Stout (like a Guinness, sadly), then switched to a Sierra Nevada Chico Estate Harvest Ale, on draft. I think that was it for the beer there, as it was getting late, and we were both kinda tired. If I lived around Concord Pennsylvania, this would be one of my favorite bars. Lots of beer, that wasn't too expensive, and (for when I do) smoking inside. They also had mixed drinks (Jack and coke) for $2.50, so it'd be my neighbor Eric's favorite bar too.

We headed back to the hotel, and woke up Friday and headed to Delaware. Our first stop was at Iron Hill Brewery in Wilmington Delaware. We shared the sampler platter, of 10 of their beers. Kriddy wasn't too enthused about the menu, so she ate my rolls that came with my bowl of seafood bisque, that was awesome!!!

We got two of their bottles to go. And then headed south to Milton. Milton is the home of the Dogfish Head Brewery. We took the tour, got to see their facilty, which is very nice. To the right you'll see a picture of their Palo Santo fermentation tank. During each tour we went on, they seem to always ask some of the same questions... 1. What are the 4 ingredients used in making beer? 2. Is anyone a homebrewer?

At the end of the DFH tour, you get four samples of beer that they have selected for the day. Our four were, (1) 60 minute (2) Punkin (3) Pangea (4) Theobrama. I asked the guy behind the counter if I could try their Shelter Pale, and he was nice enough to let me try that. I got a new beer bag, a hat and a shirt, Kriddy also got a shirt. We finished up the tour (the guy in the picture in the cream-ish shirt seemed to have gotten drunk on the 4 samples, as did some of the girls who also took the tour... geez, it was at the most 8 oz of beer), and headed to Rehobeth Beach, to go to the Dogfish Head Brewpub.

There, I had the Lawnmower beer, and followed it up with a Piston Honda, which was a brewpub only. Kriddy ordered a pizza, and I went with the fish and chips. What arrived was two of the largest pieces of fish that I've ever seen. One piece was enough for me, so we took half the pizza and a huge ass piece of fish with us. We left and drove down to the beach, Kriddy had never seen the Atlantic, so we went there. Found a spot just off the beach and parked. Then walked down to the beach. Kriddy was afraid she wouldn't be able to see the ocean, but there were little white caps and you could easily see the entire thing was water. We walked up to the edge of the furthest back wave mark to touch the water, as a wave came in, Kriddy stayed back further than I did, and I touched the water and had to run back to her, because it came in further than all the previous little waves. We walked down the boardwalk for a bit, then walked down the area with all the shops, books, jewelry, tshirts, candy and ice cream. It's probably the same in every beach city.

We left and found a hotel in Rehobeth. Thank goodness it wasn't the summer, because we paid $99 for the room, and the price on the door was $400. Woke up Saturday, threw away our leftovers, and headed north to Pennsylvania.

Saturday's agenda was two more breweries. First stop was in Easton Pa, at Weyerbacher. Weyerbacher is one of my favorite breweries, even though their beer isn't distributed in Illinois. I normally pick up their beer when we go to North Carolina, or any place else that I see it. We got the tour, and sampled the Winter Ale. Also bought an Old Heathen shirt.

We left there and headed for Victory in Downingtown. We got there a little early and went to the bar to have a beer. I went with the cask BP Porter and Kriddy got the Bags Packed Porter... had I realized that cask BP porter was pretty much the same beer, I would have gotten something different. They were two totally different beers, but still, somewhat the same. We took the tour, found out that the restaurant manager (who gave the tour) has family in Pontiac Illinois, and then were going to sit down to eat. The menu wasn't appealing to either of us, and Kriddy wasn't feeling well, so we left, and started heading to home.

We stopped and ate on the Penna Pike at one of their pull offs, and had Burger King, I had seen their ads for the new mushroom and swiss and it looked good, but didn't live up to the commercial. Kriddy slept for most of this, and I decided we'd stop just after we left Pennsylvania and did the West Virginia stretch, and got into Ohio.

We didn't want to go too far into Ohio, as Penn State just got done beating OSU, and we didn't need to try to get a hotel near Columbus.

On Sunday, I called From the Vine to find out their hours, they open on Sunday at 1, so I figured we'd stop and have a leisurely breakfast and kill an hour, and we'd get there right at one. Kriddy was more interested in getting home, so we stopped at McD, and we figured we'd pick up some beer at another place on the way. Remember, I only got 2 bottles from Iron Hill, 2 six packs and a 4 pack. We thought about stopping in Dayton, but that's more out of the way. So I thought we'd go to some of our favorite liquor stores in Indy.

Indy liquor stores aren't open on Sunday.

So we drove home. I dropped Kriddy off and went home to do laundry.

All in all, we covered about 2,200 miles. Stopped at 7 breweries/brewpubs (2 DFH). Went to some really good beer bars, saw 41 different state licensce plates (we kept track), and saw some interesting sites.

It was busy, even though we only really had plans for Friday and Saturday.

The updated list of my beers will be on the right soon.

Days of the Beer, October 27

The beer for today is Amstel Light.

On October 27, 1275, the city of Amsterdam was founded.

Amsterdam is the capital and largest city of the Netherlands. The name of the city comes from Amstel Dam, a dam in the river Amstel, where the Dam Square is.

Originally, it was a small fishing village, but became an important port town during the Dutch Golden Age. The city is home to the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, historic canals, the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank house, and the red-light district (prostitution) and cannabis coffee shops.

The city draws about 4.2 million tourists each year.

Amstel is a river in the Netherlands that runs through Amsterdam. It comes from Aeme Stelle which is old Dutch for "area abounding with water".


As to the beer:

A special light beer containing only 3.5% alcohol and approximately 35% fewer calories than regular lager beer. But every bit as thirst-quenching and refreshing.
The Amstel brewery is located close to the river, and is named for it. The brewery was founded on June 11, 1870. The water of the river was used for refrigeration, winter ice from the canals was cut out and kept in special double walled cellars.

Amstel was bought by Heineken in 1968, the brewery was closed in 1972, and production was moved to the main Heineken plant in Zoeterwoude.

So, have a light, thirst-quenching (read watery) Amstel Light for the city of Amsterdam, the commercial says its a Dam good beer. But don't believe everything you see on TV.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 26

The beer for today is Pony Express Gold.

On October 26, 1861, the Pony Express officially ceased operations.

The Pony Express was the original fast mail service that had messages carried by horseback riders across the prairies, plains, deserts and mountains of the western United States. Pony Express stations were places about 10 miles apart along the route, which is about the distance a horse can go at full gallop. A rider changed to a fresh horse at each station, taking only the mail pouch with him. The pouch (or Mochila) could hold 20 pounds of mail. The horse also carried 20 pounds of other things (bible, water, knife, alerting horn, revolver) , and riders could not weigh more than 125 pounds. Riders received $100 a month.

The route went from St. Joseph Missouri, to San Francisco California.

About the beer:

Fresh lemon grass and citrus notes herald Pony Express Gold. Light, smooth and finishing cleanly, our golden beer is enhanced with soy grown in the American Heartland.

Pony Express Golden Beer is bottled both in 12oz glass bottles as well as in polyethylene terephalate (PET) trip-layer brown plastic bottles for resealability, transparency, light weight, shatter resistance, temperature retention and extended shelf life.
Pony Express Brewing Company is located in Olathe, Kansas outside of Kansas City.

So, for the last ride of the Pony Express, have a Pony Express Gold.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 25

The beer for today is Smuttynose Brewing Co. Portsmouth Lager.

Today, the USS New Hampshire will be (is/was) commissioned. The commissioning ceremony is at 10 a.m. in Portsmouth NH.

The USS New Hampshire is a Virginia-class nuclear powered attack submarine. It is the fourth ship of the navy to be named New Hampshire.

The ship was christened on June 21, 2008 at General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Conn, by Cheryl McGuinness. McGuinness is the widow of a former Navy pilot, who was co-pilot of one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.

Originally, Smuttynose had planned to produce a special one time beer, called Granite Ghost Ale, for the occasion. However due to label bureaucracy, the beer had to be cancelled. New Hampshire is the Granite State.

The ship will be launched at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

As to the beer:

Named in honor of our hometown's 375th anniversary, Smuttynose Portsmouth Lager is a full-flavored, medium bodied continental-style beer - deep golden in color, featuring a mouth-pleasing maltiness subtly balanced with spicy imported Saaz hops. One taste of this fine lager tells you this is no ordinary beer: From its mellow, velvety body to its lingering, fresh hop finish, Portsmouth Lager is smooth, complex and satisfying.
So, for the USS New Hampshire, have a beer brewed in New Hampshire.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 24

The beer for today is Barley Island Beastie Barrel Stout.

On October 24, 1901, Annie Edison Taylor, became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Taylor was born in 1838, and was originally a school teacher. She later became a dancing instructor, but as she grew older, she stopped having as many students. She wanted fame and fortune, so she decided she'd be the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

She used a custom made barrel for the trip, made of oak and iron and padded with a mattress. There were several delays before she actually went over, mostly because, people didn't want to help her commit suicide. On October 19, she had sent a cat over to test the barrel. The cat survived unharmed.

On October 24, 1901, the barrel was put over the side of a rowboat, and Annie climbed in. After the lid was screwed on, her friends pumped air into the barrel with a bicycle tire pump, and plugged the hole with a cork.

Current carried the barrel toward the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Rescuers reached her barrel shortly after it went over, and she was found alive and mostly uninjured, except for a small cut on her head. The trip took less than twenty minutes.

If it was with my dying breath, I would caution anyone against attempting the feat... I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces than make another trip over the Fall.
She earned some money from it, but not the fortune she wanted.


About the beer:

Barley Island is located in Noblesville, Indiana. Beastie Barrel Stout is a newer beer that they are releasing.
On Tap: October 6, 2008 (Fall/Winter)
Off Premise: New Fall 2008 4/12 oz Bottles

Awards: 2008 GABF Bronze Medalist, Wood and Barrel Aged Category, Gold Medal 2007 Indiana State Fair - Wood Aged Style

Our Oatmeal Stout is aged in bourbon whiskey barrels from Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. 6% ABV
So, for the first person to go over in a barrel, have one of the newer barrel aged beers.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 23

The beer for today is He'Brew Genesis Ale.

On October 23, 4004 B.C. the world began.

Well, according to Archbishop James Ussher, that was the date of the creation of the world. The Ussher chronology was a 17th century chronology of the history of the world put together from a literal reading of the Bible by James Ussher. Ussher concluded that the first day of creation was on nightfall before Sunday October 23, 4004 BC.

In order to come up with a date for the earth (from the bible) you have to cover 3 eras, the early times (in Genesis, which has an unbroken timeline from Adam to Solomon) the Early Age of Kings (from solomon to the babylonian captivity) the Late Age of Kings (from Ezra to Jesus).

Going by those three things, Ussher came up with a date around 4000 BC (which is easy to come up with). He moved it back 4 years, based on his calculation of Christ being born on the year 4 BC.

He made it start in autumn, because that's when the Jewish year starts. He made it a Sunday, near the autumnal equinox, working backwards of God resting on the 7th day (Saturday).

Hence... the first day ever, according to Ussher, was October 23, 4004 BC.

Many modern christians will tell you that this date is very close to being correct.

About the beer:

Shmaltz Brewing Company is based out of San Francisco California, and brewed in Saratoga Springs, NY. They produce He'Brew (the Chosen Beer) and Coney Island Lager beers.

HeBrew Genesis Ale is an american pale ale. It comes in at 6% ABV.

Our First Creation

Crisp, smooth and perfectly balanced between a west coast style pale and amber ale, with a supple malt sweetness and a pronounced hop flourish.

Malts: 2-row, Caramel 40L, Dark Crystal, Munich, Wheat

Hops: Warrior, Centennial, Cascade, Fuggle, Willamette

So, for the anniversary of the world's first day, have a Genesis Ale.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 22

The beer for today is Carlsberg Elephant.

On October 22, 202BC, Hannibal Barca, the leader of the Carthaginians, was defeated by the Roman legions under Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama. This battle marked the end of the Second Punic War.

At the battle of Zama, Hannibal's army was 50,000 infantry, 4,000 cavalry and 80 war elephants, Scipio had 34,000 Roman infantry, and 9,000 cavalry. Hannibal's forces had 20,000 killed, 11,000 wounded, and 15,000 killed; while the Romans had 1,500 killed and 4,000 wounded.

The Romans involved in the fight were the most experienced from the Roman army. They easily destroyed the Carthaginians. The Roman cavalry rode the Carthaginians off the battle field, and then came back right as the Carthaginians were about to win. Then routed them and killed or wounded more than 60% or Hannibal's forces.

About the beer:

Pasteurised strong lager.
First brewed in 1959. Sold in a 330ml bottle in 1989 as "the beer you will never forget". In May 1996 Elephant Beer was repackaged into an emerald green 275ml bottle.
UK version is brewed at the Carlsberg Northampton brewery.
Carlsberg Elephant Beer is an amber-coloured beer with big intensity in its aroma, and with a distinct maltyness. There is notes of honey in the aroma. The palate of Carlsberg Elephant shows a good balance between a good body from the alcohol, and a discrete sweetness which is tamed by the sophisticated bitterness of the aftertaste.
For the man who was famous for riding elephants across the alps, have the most famous Elephant beer.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 21

The beer for today is New Century Brewing Edison.

On October 21, 1879, using a carbonized thread as a filament, Thomas Edison tested the first practical electric incandescent light bulb. The bulb lasted 13.5 hours before burning out.

An incandescent light bulb works by having an electric current pass through a filament, heating it until it produces light. The glass blubl prevents oxygen from reaching the hot filament, which would cause the bulb to burn out rapidly due to oxidation.

There are apparently 22 people who can be listed as inventors of an incandescent lamp before Edison. But Edisons bulb performed better because it had a more effective incandescent material (the filament), had a higher vacuum than the others.

About the beer:

Edison light was introduced on September 10, 2001. It's produced by Rhonda Kallman (formerly of Boston Beer Company) and Dr. Joseph Owades, known as the father of light beer.

Brewed for smooth flavor and easy drinking by the brewmaster who invented light beer.
http://edisonbeer.com
Edison has 4.0% alcohol by volume and 3.2% by weight per 12 ounce bottle. Edison 109 calories/6.6 grams carbs/0.0 fat/0.9 grams protein per 12 ounce bottle.
So, for the first lightbulb, have a reinvented light beer.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 20

The beer for today is Orkney Raven Ale.

On October 20, 2007, Paul Vincent Raven, died of a heart attack during his sleep. He was in Geneva, Switzerland at the time recording Treponem Pal. He was 46 at the time of his death.

Raven is probably best known for his work with Killing Joke, from 1982 to 1991, and again from 2003 to 2005. He appeared on their albums, Ha! Live, Fire Dances, Night Time, Brighter than a Thousand Suns, 2003's Killing Joke, and Hosannas from the Basements of Hell.

He's spent time in the bands, Prong, Murder Inc., Pigface, and Ministry. He played Schecter basses.



As to the beer:

Raven Ale is a classic bitter ale: complex and rewarding whilst remaining refreshing and easy to drink on any occasion.

On the nose, this black stout has a smooth roasted malt aroma giving bitter chocolate, dark roasted coffee and smokey notes balanced by hints of spicy Goldings hop.

On the palate, the dark roasted malts combine to give a rich, rounded palate with chocolate, toast and nut flavours, with a satisfying spicy hop finish.
So, for Paul Raven, have a Raven Ale. Throw on some Killing Joke and listen to Love Like Blood.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 19

The beer for today is Mikkeller Black.

On October 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 508 points (22%). This day became known as Black Monday. This drop was the largest percentage decline in the stock markets history.

Trading was halted later in the day, because the computer technology at the time couldn't sort out all the orders that had come in. This allowed the Federal Reserve and other banks time to add liquidity into the system to keep it from falling further.

The stock markets in the U.S. weren't the only ones to crash that day. It started first in Hong Kong and then spread through Europe and finally reached the United States after the other markets had closed. By the end of it, Hong Kong was down 45%; Australia 41%; Spain 31%; Canada 22.5%; and New Zealand down the most at 60%.

About the beer:

Mikkeller Black is Mikkellers strongest and wildest beer to date. Mikkeller Black Stout has the Chinese character for black on the label. Black is an imperial stout at no less than 17.5% alcohol, making it Denmark's strongest beer ever.

Ingredients :
Water, malt, roasted barley, dark cassanade, hops and champagne yeast.

I had this beer on October 4. It was very thick, with very little head. Poured dark black, and was hugely flavored, chocolate, malt, vanilla, coffee... everything you could hope for in an Imperial Stout. The 17.5% ABV was noticeable, but not overpowering.

So, for Black Monday, make it a Black Sunday.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 18

The beer for today is Alaskan Brewing Company, Alaskan Amber.

On October 18, 1867, the United States took possession of Alaska from Russia, after purchasing it for $7.2 million.

The Alaska Purchase (or Seward's Folly) was purchased from the Russian Empire at the urging of Secretary of State William Seward. The territory purchased 586,412 square miles. The purchase price worked out to be about 1.9 cents per acre. Russia at the time was in a difficult financial position, and was afraid they would lose the land in a future conflict, and receive no compensation for it.

Russia might have made a mistake...

The Klondike Gold Rush netted about 12.5 million ounces of gold. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that there are between 5.7 and 16 billion barrels of crude oil and natural gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

As to the beer:

Alaskan Amber is an Alt (or old) style of beer. It is based on a turn of the century recipe from a Juneau brewer. It was voted the Best Beer in the Nation at the 1988 GABV.

Alaskan Amber is made from glacier-fed water and a generous blend of the finest quality European and Pacific Northwest hop varieties and premium two-row pale and specialty malts. Our water originates in the 1,500 square-mile Juneau Ice Field and the more than 90 inches of rainfall we receive each year.
At 5.3% ABV, it's a good drinker.

So, for Seward's Folly, have a beer made in Alaska.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 17

The beer for today is Tetley's Bitter.

On October 17, 1814, in London's St. Giles parish, possibly the greatest beer disaster happened. The Meux and Company Brewery had a huge vat that exploded. After this vat ruptured, it caused other vats around to lose their integrity and they also gave out.

This caused a wave of beer, of about 323,000 gallons to rush into the streets. (By way of comparison, one batch of home brew is normally 5 gallons, and that fills about 24 bomber sized bottles (22 oz). This would be the equivalent of 1,550,400 bomber sized bottles (or about 3 million 12 ounce bottles) rushing through the streets.

The wave of beer destroyed two homes and crumbled the wall of a local pub. The wave killed 9 people, 8 of them from drowning, the other from alcohol poisoning.

The vat itself was 22 feet tall, and held 3,555 barrels of beer. Securing hoops failed, which caused the vat to break.

Since then, Meux and Company was sold several times, and eventually was acquired by Carlsberg - Tetley.

About the beer:
A traditional style canned ale with a full-bodied hoppy flavour and a refreshing crispness on the palate.

Tetleys bitter is available in a regular or widget can, and also on draught. I'm not sure of it's American availability. Although it appears to be available at Archer Liquors.

So, for the 9 people who died, have a beer that is a distant bastard grandchild of the beer that killed them. Do NOT pour out a few drops for your homies with this one... that's how they died, and that'd just be insulting.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Beer Events; Merchant du Vin Dinner at Crane Alley

Crane Alley will be hold a series of beer dinners in the coming months. The first will be a dinner paired with beers carried by Merchant du Vin. This one will be Monday, November 10 at 7 p.m. It will be $60 per person.

Here's the menu for the evening.

1. Salad-- Field greens, anchovy fillets, tomato, olives, fried capers with a lemon mustard vinaigrette.
2. Sushi 3 way White Tuna, Baked Eel, Smoked Roe each with their own sauce.
3. Cornish Hen stuffed with quinoa, and served with asparagus and hearts of palm sauce.
4. Port Braised Buffalo Shank served on Wild Mushroom Risotto drizzled with truffle oil and parmesano reggiano.
5. Marscapone-Jalapeno puff pastry with a honey-pecan-caramel sauce.

Each will be paired with a beer from the Merchant du Vin lineup.

The current list of the beers will be: Ayinger Brau Weiss; Orval; Rochefort 8; Lindemans Pomme; and Sam Smith Imperial Stout.

Merchant du Vin is the importer of Ayinger, Rochefort, Westmalle, Orval, Lindemans, Melbourn, Samuel Smith, and others.

Contact Aaron Wood (aaron@crane-alley.com) or call (217) 384-7526 to sign up.

Beer Review, Americas Brewing Company Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

While at Crane Alley for pool and the CU Beer Club last night; Aaron pulled out a bottle of Americas Brewing Company Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. He asked me to try it to see if it would be worth it for the bar to pick it up.

This one poured a purplish black, with a thick head that looked like bubbly chocolate milk. The head stuck around longer than I had anticipated it would. It had a weak bourbon smell but had some alcohol in the nose. It felt rather thin for an imperial stout, it almost felt like a rootbeer.

It tasted of smoke, coffee, and chocolate. It wasn't an overpowering flavor, it was nicely balanced. Many imperial stouts have the volume turned up to eleven. This one didn't really need to get that loud, and it seemed to work nicely around 3 or 4. It was an easy listening imperial stout. It was sweet, creamy, and smooth. Aaron said he tasted oak and bourbon.

It was an ok beer. It'd be a good intro beer for people working up to imperial stouts, who don't want/need something as potent as ... say.. Avery Mephistopheles.

This bottle was a promo given to the bar to see if they'd want to carry it in the future. Aaron said they'd probably pick up a case of it. I think the only reason he gave it to me, was to see if it was any good. Also, he knows I wouldn't be angry if he tried some of it.

It was a pretty good night all around, the beers were good, and I won at both 8 and 9 ball; and the team won both. Crane Alley will be having a beer dinner coming up on November 10, and I'll have more information on that soon.

I'm not completely sure of the distribution of this beer, but it is available at Archer Liquors, and is reasonably priced.

Days of the Beer, October 16

The beer for today is AleSmith Speedway Stout.

On October 16, 1968, Tommie Smith and John Carlos performed the famous Black Power Salute at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

Tommie Smith had set the world record in the 200 meter race in 19.83. Australia's Peter Norman finished second, and American John Carlos finished third.

At the medal ceremony, Smith and Carlos received their medals shoeless, but with black socks to represent black poverty. Smith wore a black scarf to represent black pride. Carlos had unzipped his top to show solidarity with blue collar workers, he also wore beads "for those individuals that were lynched, or killed that no-one said a prayer for, that were hung and tarred. It was for those thrown off the side of the boats in the middle passage." Both Smith and Carlos planned to wear black gloves, but Carlos forget his, and Norman (the Australian) recommend that Carlos wear Smith's left hand glove. All three athletes wore badges for the Olympic Project for Human Rights, which was there to raise awareness of racism in sports.

When "The Star-Spangled Banner" played Smith and Carlos raised their gloved hands with their heads bowed.

As to the beer:
Jet Black, with an off-white head. Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramel malt flavors. Clean and crisp, full- bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content lightens up the feel. You won't fool your taste buds - this beer is HUGE!
Original Gravity 1.111
Alcohol by Volume 12.0%
The Vintage Speedway Stout from AleSmith received a Silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival this year.

So, for the Speedster, Tommie Smith, have an AleSmith Speedway Stout. Both are Black and powerful.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 15

The beer for today, is Virgil's Root Beer, ok, so it's not really an alcoholic beer, but it's got beer in the name, which is good enough for me!

On October 15, 70 BC, Publius Vergilius Maro, or Virgil, was born. Virgil was a classical Roman poet who is probably most famous for writing the Aeneid. "I sing of arms and of a man." The Aeneid is considered to be the Roman Empire's national epic.

It is about Aeneas escape from Troy and making his way to Italy.

Virgil died on September 21, 19 BC, before he completed his great work. He caught fever and wanted the poem burned, but his two (basically) copy-editor friends finished the work, after ordered to by Augustus. .

In Dante's The Divine Comedy Virgil was the tour guide through Hell and most of Purgatory.

As to the (root) beer:

Virgil's is made of cane sugar and natural spices. A bottle has about 160 calories.

Virgil's ingredients are collected worldwide and gathered together at our facilities in the USA. From there they are imported to our brewer in the United States. At the brewery, the ingredients are then combined and brewed and finally flash pasteurized to insure the purest quality. Some root beers claim to be "cold-brewed". This is merely another term for the filtering process that yields common soda. Even so-called premium root beers like Stewarts, IBC and Weinhard's are not hand crafted brews like VIRGIL'S.
Virgil's root beer is available at World Market, Whole Foods and several other places. It's available in bottle or in mini-keg.

Root beer is also brewed by Goose Island; Sprecher; and there are some other brewers that delve into had crafted micro-brewed sodas and root beers.

Virgil's is one of my favorite root beers, and not just because it's named Virgil's.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 14

The beer for today is Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Pooh Coffee, but since you probably can't get that (yet) it's just Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast.

On October 14, 1926, A.A. Milne first published the children's book, Winnie-the-Pooh.

Milne named Winnie after a teddy bear owned by his son, Christopher Robin Milne, who was the basis for the character, Christopher Robin. Winnie was named after Winnipeg, a bear and "Pooh", a swan; both were in the London Zoo.

Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Pooh Coffee, isn't named for Winnie-the-Pooh, but is instead, named pooh for pooh... poop, crap, excrement, shit.

The beer is a breakfast stout, which is normally a thick oatmeal coffee stout.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, many say, and if you are a beer geek there is no better way to start the day than with a powerful, complex morning stout. The unique mix of oats and coffee gives this beer large body and power, while the coffee, at the same time, creates a nice balance.

Ingredients :
water, malt (pale, oat, smoked, caramunich, brown, pale chocolate and chocolate), roasted barley, flaked oats, molasses, hops (palisade, centennial and cascade), ale yeast and gourmet coffee.

Alc : 7,5 % Volume : 500 ml.

The POOH version of this beer has Kopi Luwak, or Civet coffee. Kopi Luwak coffee is made from coffee berries that have been eaten by and passed through the Asian Palm Civet. Civet's eat the coffee berries, but the beans inside pass through their system undigested. Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world, and sells for $120 to $600 a pound. A cup of the coffee will normally sell for about $50 to $100.

The POOH is currently unavailable (but I have it on good authority, that they will be brewing it again soon).

This beer was listed at one point as having the fourth best name for a beer.

So, for Winnie the Pooh, have a Mikkeller Pooh... unless you can't, then just have the Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Beer Events, CU Beer Club October 15

Wednesday, October 15, in the upper balcony at Crane Alley, the Champaign Urbana Beer Club is meeting.

The theme for this month is Scary Beers.

October: Scary Beer Names or Labels
Celebrate Halloween with Scary Beer. Ghosts and goblins on labels, skulls and grim reapers? Bring it along. Scary, macabre names? We want it.


If you are interested in attending, bring 24-36 ounces (about 2 small bottles or a 22 or a 750ml) of beer.

The club meets upstairs around 6:30 to eat, about 7 or so, the beer starts to get opened.

My pool team will be occupying most of the downstairs pool area. We've had tastings with most of the people from the pool team, so this might be a good way to meet more of the CU beer people.

*spoiler alert* I'll be taking a bottle of this. *click at your own risk*

Not sure what else I'll take, maybe a Fantôme?

If you want to go, but don't know what to take, drop me a note and we can come up with something.

Beer Review, Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA

Last night, after looking through the list of winners from the Great American Beer Festival, I noticed that I had one (ok, at least one) of the beers in the house that I haven't had before. In the box from Rob was a bottle of Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA. This beer took gold in the American-Style India Pale Ale category. With 104 entries in that category, it was the category with the most entries.

Firestone Walker also took 5 other medals including American Style Pale Ale. They seem to be good with hops.

This one poured a beautiful golden to light yellow color. It had some moderate pure white foam that didn't stick around very long. It smelled strongly of orange and citrus. I could tell this was going to be a hoppy beer. It was a bit thinner than some of the other beers I've had recently, it wasn't near as syrupy as Mikkeller Black, but did have a little stick around-ness to it. It turned slightly effervescent (bubbly) if left in the mouth for a while.

Again, this one's flavor could be described as bitter. It was also somewhat sweet. There was a little bit of a burn as it went down the throat, it wasn't an alcohol burn, more of a spicy burn. As it warmed it developed more peppery flavor. I did notice a little bit of a pleasant tartness to it. After a while of savoring it, my thoughts were "liquid hops".
This was an awesome beer. The malt was evident, but not too powerful, there wasn't much of a cookie flavor to it. The malt acted like a carrier for the hops, instead of the dominate flavor.

I began thinking I could just add this beer to my wort instead of hops, and I'd have a very mellow beer, but that'd be a waste.

There's no way I could drink more than one of these a day. The next morning, I'd come into work oozing hops. Pine fresheners wouldn't be as piney as me.

I'm jealous of the west coasters, as this beer (and many others) don't make the 2,000 mile ride here, unless they are smuggled as yeast samples.

Days of the Beer, October 13

The beer for today is Grumpy Troll Maggie Imperial IPA.

On October 13, 1925, Margaret Hilda Thatcher was born. Maggie was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990. She was the first and only woman to be the prime minister.

Her tenure as PM was marked by defiant opposition to the Soviet Union, and her tough-talking earned her the nickname of "Iron Lady".

About the beer:

Big, bold, and British! O.G. 1080, 100 IBU's, AbV 8.5%. She is amber/copper in color with a strong persistent head. An intense hop aroma is deliverd by copious amounts of English Styrian Gold and Kent Goldings hops. She is full bodied with a strong sweet malty toffee/caramel backbone that supports the 4.3 pounds of hops per barrel making her a very bitter, but delectible woman.
So, for Maggie Thatcher, have the beer named for her... no, not the grumpy troll part, the Maggie part.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Beer Run to West Lakeview

I didn't mention on here (I don't think) that yesterday I was gonna go up to West Lakeview Liquors for a backyard party. WLV was having Mikkel, his twin brother Jeppe, and their older half brother Kasper over, as Mikkel was over at Three Floyds brewing the next special release.

This years beer is going to be Havregoop, and is going to be an oat-wine-ish beer.

I got to spend an amazing amount of time with all three brothers; I wasn't really expecting it, but it kind of felt like I (and Zoe) monopolized their time from about 5 until 10... oops.

Let me backtrack a little. No one was available to go up there with me. Everyone I called was busy, or was too whiney (hippie!) to make the trip. So when I woke up on Saturday, I texted Zoe to see if she was free. I didn't even hear back from her, so I head up 57 around 1:15 (the party started at3, and that would put me slightly fashionably late). Just as I passed Gilman, Zoe texts me saying she's doing nothing, so I call and tell her where I'm going, and she says sure she'll go, sounds fun.

So I had just passed Gilman, and Zoe lives in Chenoa... So, I drive up to the next exit and turn around. This is Interstate 57, the next exit was 9 miles up the road. !8 mile turn around, then a drive on Route 24 for 45 or so minutes, and I pull into Chenoa around 3. Chenoa still has about 100 miles to Chicago on 55, so we head on up again. We finally pulled into the wrigleyville area around 5, but it's cool, I'm going with a good friend.

We find our way into the backyard party, and have a beer. They had three beers on tap (well, only two at first) Great Lakes Blackout Stout; Surly Fest Lager; and then eventually Founders Devil Dancer triple IPA. They also had some good food out: Zoe really like the goat cheese and was raving about the pork too. Also, the stuffed grape leaves were outstanding. Oh, and the potato salad that Kristina made was amazing.

Earlier I asked Kristina what time the store closed, she said 11. I saw an empty bottle of Sierra Nevada Chico Estate Harvest Wet Hop Ale, and asked her how it was, she said amazing, and said she'd sell me a bottle or 2, someone later mentioned they only got something like 8 bottles.

This was a very informal backyard gathering, but still, as informal as it was, how do you go up and start talking to the guy who's listed as one of the best brewers in the world? I did it by asking which one of them was Dr. Erikschon. After that, Kasper (the older brother) came up and videotaped me for something for the guy who did that video.

As Kasper and I discussed their blog, doctor erection, and other things. We moved from where we were standing, to go sit on a bench at the side of the party. Zoe had already sat there as Kasper and I were talking for a while, a bit about politics, some about cartoons. Kasper works with people moving into Denmark; teaching them to ride bikes, helping them get jobs, and other things. After a bit, Jeppe (the twin) came over and we started talking about beer. Jeppe runs an import business bringing in some great beers to Denmark.

How hard is it to go into a brewery and ask them to ship you beer, when your twin brother is Mikkel? They were going to be going to Michigan today, to go to Bells, Founders, Jolly Pumpkin and I think another brewery to try to set up some distribution.

After a bit longer, Mikkel came over and chatted with us too. I tried to keep the conversation somewhat light, but when you are sitting there having a beer with the guy who brewed two of the beers that got you messed up on Wednesday night, and also on Saturday, when you had the beer and went "Holy SHIT" you gotta talk some about the beer.

So I thanked him for making beer, and mentioned Saturday with the Black, and then Wednesday at pool with the Monks Brew, and It's Alive. I asked about how it works for him, being the gypsy brewer and all; he said he can only work with breweries he trusts, and basically, they correspond over email while the beer is fermenting, and when it's done, they let him know. He doesn't babysit the beer the entire time it's being made.

I had mentioned about how I'd love to reduce the Black down to even more syrupy and put it on pancakes, and he said that they'll be putting out a stronger version on Black, I think called Ice Black (or Black Ice) which will be the Black, but Iced. He mentioned it would be about 24% ABV. I asked if "It's Alight" would be coming to the U.S. and he said it had to have a different name, and would be called "It's Alright" (it couldn't have "LIGHT" in the name, due to some stupid U.S. rule that says that a light beer has to have nutritional information or something stupid like that). Another of his beers that had a naming issue was the American "Monk's Brew" which every where else in the world is known as "Monk's Elixer" but can't be "elixer" in the U.S. because that means it's a medicine.

The brothers got tired of sitting around chatting, so we went over and played bags for a bit. It wasn't played the way I normally play it, but I had fun playing anyway. (We played it where one side was the team instead of the familiar my half... uh.. how to describe it... North was a team, and South was a team, not East vs. West... I guess that's about it).

I guess we did kind of fanboy out and took our pictures with them, but hell, they were cool, and we spent an afternoon and evening with them, so we kind of deserve it...And they were cool about it too.

After that we went shopping inside.

Here's the haul:

Founders Harvest Wet Hop ale (4 pack)
Avery the Beast 2006
Struiselensis (yes I've had it before, but it was amazing, and I think I'll let this get old)
Struise Witte
Baladin Xyauya (the last bottle they had on the shelf; not sure exactly what I'll do with this; either me, or Andy, or send it to California)
J. W. Lees Harvest Lagavulin
J. W. Lees Harvest Calvados
J. W. Lees Harvest Sherry
J. W. Lees Harvest Port
Dogfish Head Theobroma (2 bottles)
Sierra Nevada Chico Estate (2 bottles)
Mikkeller Black (it was too awesome to not get another one of)
Hanssens Mead the Gueuze
DFH 120 (heading to California)
Taras Boulba (because last time, I just didn't remember it)

Zoe picked up a bottle of cider, I think this one, .

So that was a cool day, I got home around 1, so it was a long day.

Days of the Beer, October 12

The beer for today is Ale Asylum Madtown Nutbrown.

On October 12, 1773, the first American insane asylum opened for "Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds" in Virginia.

Early asylums were basically prisons for the mentally ill. Conditions were usually poor and treatment wasn't done on/for the ill. Humane treatment of mentally ill, didn't really begin until 1793. In the U.S. in 1834, Vermont's Brattleboro Retreat offered "merciful, ethical, and scientific care" to mentally ill.

As to the beer:

This nutbrown ale is velvety smooth with a rich caramel aroma. We blend seven different malts for just the right touch of sweetness and a creamy finish worth craving.
So, for the first Insane Asylum in the U.S. Have a beer from the Ale Asylum.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 11

The beer for today is Southern Tier Oat.

On October 11, 1946, Daryl Franklin Hohl was born in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

He later changed his name to Daryl Hall, and is half of the music duo Hall & Oates.

Hall & Oates have had several albums over their 30+ year career, including Private Eyes, H2O, and Big Bam Boom. They've had several #1 hits throughout their career. "Rich Girl", "Kiss on My List", "Private Eyes", "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)", "Maneater", and "Out of Touch".


As to the beer:

“brewed for the harvest” This beer begins in spring when oat seeds are sown as soon as the soil can be worked. Meanwhile, select types of barley are planted with hopes that Mother Nature will be kind. Our brewers wait patiently until the legumes are mature and ready for the scythe. Upon delivery to the brewery, these ingredients are mixed together in the mash tun where they steep, creating a rich molasses-like liquid. Spicy hops are boiled with the thick brew, giving balance and complexity. Brewers yeast feasts upon the rich sugars, concluding its transformation into oatmeal stout. Pour Oat into a snifter, allow its thick tan head to slowly rise, releasing unbridled aromas. The color of Oat is as dark as a moonless night. The first sip reveals Oat’s thick and nourishing taste. Like a haversack to a horse, a bottle of this stout is a meal in itself. Enjoy responsibly. 11.0% abv • 238º L
So, for Daryl Hall, have yourself an Oat.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 10


The beer for today is North Coast Brother Thelonious.

On October 10, 1917, Thelonious Sphere Monk was born. He was an jazz pianist and composer. He is considered one of the most important jazz musicians.

Monk has been considered the founder of bebop.

Monk was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He started playing piano at age nine, after the family moved to Manhattan. He had little formal training and was mostly self-taught. In his teens he toured with an evangelist and played the organ. He became the house pianist at Minton's Playhouse and that's believed to be where he perfected his style. His influences include Duke Ellington and James P. Johnson. It was at Minton's where he first played with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis.

Monk had recorded several albums before his first successful album came out, in 1956, Brilliant Corners.

Monk was on the cover of Time magazine on Feb. 28, 1964, and was featured in the article, "The Loneliest Monk". He was signed to a major label (Columbia Records) and released some well-reviewed albums, Monk's Dream and Underground.

Monk died of a stroke on Feb 17, 1982. In 1993, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2006, he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.

As to the beer:

Brother Thelonious
Belgian Style Abbey Ale

Like a Belgian “Dark Strong Ale”, the beer is rich and robust with an ABV of 9.3%. The package is a 750 ml bottle with a traditional cork and wire finish or 12oz 4 packs and features a label picturing the jazz master himself.
Vital Statistics

Style: Belgian Style Strong Dark
Color: Dark mahogany
ABV: 9.4%
Bitterness: 32 IBU's

When you buy Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale you also help to support the Thelonious Institute whose mission is to offer the world's most promising young musicians college level training by America's jazz masters and to present public school-based jazz education programs for young people around the world. All of these programs are offered free of charge to the students and schools.
So, for the great jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, go get a North Coast Brother Thelonious. Not only will you be having a great beer, but you'll be helping the next wave of jazz musicians.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 9

The beer for today is Satan Gold.

On October 9, 1958, Allen David Jourgensen was born. Happy 50th Al! Al is also known as Alain Jourgensen, Alien Jourgensen, Hypo Luxa, Alien Dog Star, and Buck Satan. Al was born in Havana, Cuba; he then moved to Chicago to live with his mother and stepfather (who changed his last name).

In 1981, Al formed Ministry. He claims that their previous tour C-U-LaTour 08 was the bands last. No one really believes him.

Buck Satan has many other side projects. He formed Revolting Cocks with Richard 23 of Front 242 and Luc Van Acker. He formed Lard with Jello Biafra. 1000 Homo DJs was formed as outtakes from the Land of Rape and Honey (Ministry album). Pailhead featured Ian MacKaye from Fugazi.

Al no longer does drugs... well... he doesn't allow heroin or cocaine in the band. The man loves his wine.

As to the beer:

Satan Gold is a Belgian Strong Ale from De Block Brouwerij. It's 8% ABV.

Satan Gold: the golden-yellow sunny colour and fruity taste make this for the connoisseurs and beer lovers the most beloved beer.
So, for Buck Satan's 50th birthday, have Satan Gold.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 8

The beer for today is Capital Brewery Autumnal Fire.

On October 8, 1871, fires broke out all around Lake Michigan. The most famous fire was the Great Chicago Fire. Additionally, Holland and Manistee Michigan burned. The fire that caused the greatest damage was in Peshtigo, Wisconsin.

Peshtigo was a lumber industry town. Around 1871, people were flocking to the town to work in the woods. On October 8, a fire broke out, no one knows for sure exactly how the fire started. It was a dry year, and most trees had shed their leaves, additionally, the pine trees had dropped their needles due to the dryness.

It was very dry. During the summer, there were several smaller fires (smokey the bear wasn't around yet) that had caused the area to have a lot of smoke. Traveling preachers went around preaching the end of the world was at hand; promising fire and brimstone.

On October 8, a front moved into the area and brought some high winds, this probably fanned the flames of the smaller fires and turned it into an inferno. By the time the fire was over, it had burned 1,875 square miles. It had destroyed 12 towns. No one is sure how many people died because people were burned beyond recognition, and there was normally no one alive who could identify the bodies. The estimated death toll was between 1,200 and 2,500 people.

The fire was very intense, estimated at more than 2,000 degrees F. It was a wall of flame, more than a mile high, five miles wide and travelled about 100 miles an hour. The fire jumped over Green Bay (the bay, not the city) and burned parts of Door Peninsula. The fire burned on both sides of the Peshtigo River. It created a fire tornado, the threw rail cars and houses into the air.

The people who survived the fire, did so by going into the Peshtigo River, wells or other bodies of water. Some people escaped the fire, only to drown.

As to the beer:

Captial Brewery is located in Middleton, Wisconsin. It was founded in 1984, and moved to it's current location in 1986. Capital Brewery was named the #1 Brewery in America at the 1998 Beverage Testing Institue's World Beer Championship. The beer won Gold at the 2004 and 2006 Great American Beer Festivals.

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 had this beer September 11, at the Blind Pig, at a meet and greet with the Capital Brewmaster, Kirby Nelson.

So, for the biggest Autumnal Fire in Wisconsin; have one of Wisconsin's best Autumnal Fire's.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 7

The beer for today is Front Street Brewery Raging River Ale.

On October 7, 1993, the Great Flood of 1993 ended at St. Louis Missouri, as the Mississippi River finally fell below flood stage. The flood lasted 103 days, starting in April. The flood caused $15 billion in damages and was one of the most costly to occur in the U.S. The flood covered more than 30,000 square miles, and was the worst disaster to the area since the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

The flood affected Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa.


About the beer:

A bronze colored beer made with the highest quality of malts and specially chosen hops to give this beer that extra hop bitterness with a delightful hop bouquet. A true English ale.
This beer was named for the Great Flood of 1993. Front Street Brewery is located on 208 River Drive, Davenport, Iowa. From the entrance, you can see the Mississippi River. I was at Front Street on July 5 this year, but they didn't have Raging River. Shortly before we got there, they had just recovered from the Mississippi flood of 2008, and were out of most of their beer.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 6

The beer for today, is Penn Weizen.

On October 6, 1683, William Penn brought 13 German immigrant families to the colony of Pennsylvania. These were the first German people to immigrate to America.


You'll remember William Penn was trying to be profitable without exploiting the natives or immigrants. So he opened up his colony to people outside of England. He basically made up a brochure highlighting Pennsylvania (the first time share pressure sales?) He wrote a prespectus, considered to be honest and well-researched for the times; that promised religious freedom as well as material advantage. Eventually, he sold 300,000 acres to more than 250 settlers; most of which were from London. Additionally, he attracted people from France, Holland, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Wales and Germany.

As to the beer:

Authentic wheat beer, brewed in the Southern German tradition, won the Silver Medal in 1997 and the Gold Medal at the 2000 in GABF. Penn Weizen is top-fermented, cask-conditioned, and very effervescent with a slight hint of tangy clove flavor.
Whenever I think of German beer, the first style I think of is Weizen. So, for the first Germans to arrive in Pennsylvania, have an award winning German style Weizen made in Pennsylvania.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 5


The beer for today is Flying Dog Collaborator Doppelbock Open Source Beer.

On October 5, 1991, the first version of the Linux kernel, version 0.02 was released. The Linux kernel is released under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) and is developed by contributors worldwide. Linux is one of the best examples of Open Source software. The kernel was initially created by Finnish software engineer Linus Torvalds.

About the beer:

On October 12, 2007, the Flying Dog Brewery released Collaborator Doppelbock on the public.

You are holding what we believe is the first Open Source Beer to hit the market in the United States. We started with a basic Doppelbock recipe and solicited suggestions from homebrewers on our blog. We took your comments and crafted this Doppelbock, aptly named Collaborator. The blog, recipe, and label are online at opensourcebeerproject.com, if you'd like to brew some yourself!

Here's the recipe if you are interested in brewing it yourself.

Flying Dog Open Source Beer Recipe
50 bbl (mash x 2)

Targets:

OG: 19.5 P
FG: 5.0 – 5.5P
Color: 18 – 22 SRM
Bitterness: 22 – 25 IBU
Conversion Temp: 155 – 156F
Total Conversion Time: 1.5 Hours
Boil Length: 2 Hours
Primary Fermentation Temp: 52F
Lagering Temp: 34F

Grist: LBS %
Weyermann Munich “Type I” 2240 75
Weyermann Munich “Type II 550 19
Weyermann Cara-Munich 55 2
Weyermann Cara-Amber 55 2
Weyermann Melanoidin 55 2
TOTAL: 2955 100%

Hops: (2 hour boil) LBS
Warrior (15.1% alpha) @ 30 minutes into boil 12.5
Mt. Hood (4.2% alpha) @ 90 minutes into boil 8.0
Mt. Hood (4.2% alpha) @ 105 minutes into boil 4.0

I had this beer last year on New Years Eve at our beer blowout bash.

We also had three other of Wild Dog line, Weizen Bock, Colorado Saison, and the aged Gonzo. We weren't able to acquire the Double Pale Ale (if you are reading this Flying Dog brewers... hint hint...)

I'm not sure if you'll be able to acquire this beer anymore, but you can just brew your own.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 4

The beer for today is Catawba Valley Brewing Company King Coconut Porter.

On October 4, 1754, Tanacharison (also known as Tanaghrisson) died. Tanacharison was known as the Half King. He was an American Indian leader who played a major role in the start of the French and Indian War.

Tanacharison was born into the Catawba tribe around the year 1700, near Buffalo, New York. He was taken captive by the French and put into the Seneca tribe. He grew to become a village leader (at the least) or possibly as the person with authority to speak on behalf of the Iroquois Confederacy.

Tanacharison worked with George Washington and the British during the start of the French and Indian war (and may have caused it). On May 28, 1754, as a party of French soldiers were approaching Washington's camp, Tanacharison sent word to Washington urging attack. Washington, Tanacharison and some British soldiers surrounded the French and fighting broke out. Nine French were killed, 21 were captured and two were wounded. The French and British were not at war when the attack happened.

He developed pneumonia and died on October 4, 1754 near Paxtang (Harrisburg) Pennsylvania.

As to the beer:

This unusual American Porter has become a Spring seasonal mainstay for Catawba Valley Brewing Company. Hand crafted using the finest malts & hops then infused with actual ovenroasted coconut. Combined with the rich chocolaty porter,coconut, and caramelized barley, King Coconut Porter has become lovingly known as the candy bar in a keg.
So, for the one time leader from the Catawba Tribe, have a King Coconut Porter from the Catawba Valley Brewing Company.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Beer Review, Russian River Supplication

After Scott and I finished Pliny the Elder, we decided to have another beer. There was quite the collection of IPA's that were sent, but since we just had one, we moved on to something different. Another of the beers from the gift box (holy crap, I called it Christmas in August, even though it was September) was Russian River Supplication.

As soon as we pulled the cork out of this thing, I smelled tart. I didn't have to move my head down, from holding the bottle at my hip, I could smell tart.

This one poured a dark golden amber, the foam was dirty, as though there was stuff in the bottom of the bottle (which there probably was from the cherries). It smelled tart. There was also cherry, sugar and sweetness in the smell.

It felt effervescent. It was so bubbly, that if you left some of it on your tongue for a while, it will completely foam out. This thing will also pucker your lips. Scott said it felt drying.

It tasted tart. If Pliny the Elder can taste bitter, this one tasted of tart. It was a citrus tart, and not very much cherry in the flavor. Scott thought it like a very dry wine. As the beer warmed, the cherry came out. It was no Unibroue Quelque Chose, for cherry, nor was it Cantillon Kriek for tart. It was a very happy middle ground. For being a tart beer, this was probably the easiest drinking tart I've had. Almost more so than even a Berliner Weiss.

Again, thanks Rob for this one. There's more in there, and I don't have to feel too guilty about drinking them without Scott there. This and Pliny were the two we most had to try.

Beer Review, Russian River Pliny the Elder

Well, Scott finally came over last night after work, so I was able to open up Pliny the Elder and not feel too guilty about it. You'll remember this came in the gift pack from Rob.

You can see that it was rather orange looking. It was an opaque orange, not a thin one. Held up to the light, there was no visible light streams coming through. It had a very persistent head that clung well to the glass. It smelled of citrus, pine and grass, lots of hops made up that bouquet. It didn't feel very thick or syrupy, but if it sat on the tongue for a while it became very effervescent.

It tasted piney (Scott accidentally called it Piney the Elder, as he was leaving), with bitter, if bitter is actually a flavor, this one was it. It also had some citrus flavor.

Man, this was a good beer. Really full of flavor. The bitterness made it kind of dry. It was awesome. This was one of the beers that Scott and I had been wanting to try for almost a year and a half, and we finally got to. It was worth the wait, but I really wish I didn't have to wait that long. I'm not sure when we'll be able to have it next, but thanks Rob for this one.

The Session #20, Beer and Memories.

The session this month his hosted by Bathtub Brewery.

Is there a beer that reminds you of a specific memory?

If you’re thinking, “Huh?” then you might want to craft your response along the lines of “Whenever I drink [insert brew here] it reminds me of that day …” Or perhaps it’s the reverse. Oooooh.

Well, if you've read here before, you probably know it's not that a beer reminds me of a day, but normally the day reminds me of a beer.

It all started when Kriddy got me one of those Calendars where you peel off each day, the one she got me was 365 Bottles of Beer for the Year. I was flipping through it, and was looking for certain beers, what did they pick for my birthday, what was this... what was that. Well, I looked up November 10, to see what they picked and it was Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale. What the hell does Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale have to do with November 10?

Absolutely nothing.

The beer that should be that day is Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald. On November 10, the Edmund Fitzgerald was lost in a storm on Lake Superior (yes the boat from the song by Gordon Lightfoot). Great Lakes Brewing Company named their porter after the ship. Since I discovered craft beer and Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, I've been having one on November 10, in memory of those who lost their life that day.

So, I started doing my own calendar on June 6. Since then, I've tried to pair a beer with each day. Some days are easier than others (Like when Arthur Guinness was born) others are kind of a stretch, but each day, there's something. There's usually some kind of history lesson, and also a little about each beer. Sometimes it's a fun pairing, (like when I picked a beer for Elizabeth Berkley's birthday) other times it's more serious (the Danish cartoons). But there's enough beers out there with important names, and enough days out there with important beers, to make a calendar. It doesn't hurt that I like history and I like beer.

Days of the Beer, October 3

The beer for today is Buffalo Bill's Orange Blossom Cream Ale.

On October 3, 1995 Orenthal James "O.J." Simpson was found not guilty of murdering his separated wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman.

O.J. (not for Orange Juice, although one of his nicknames was "juice") was a retired football player who had spent most of his career rushing for the Buffalo Bills. He was the first person in the NFL to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season. He was the first pick of the 1969 draft, taken by the Bills.

On June 12, 1994, Nicole and Goldman were found outside Brown's condominium. The trial was one of the most publicized in American history. It has been called "the trial of the century". Oddly enough in the 1967 USC vs. UCLA game, he was involved and that was called one of the greatest football games of the 20th century. The man had a lot to do in the 20th century.

Not wanting to leave his legacy only in the 20th, he's remained busy, as he's on trial currently (the jury is deliberating) for robbery with a deadly weapon, burglary with a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping.

As to the beer:

Buffalo Bill's Orange Blossom Cream Ale has nothing to do with OJ. OJ played for the Buffalo Bills, and the "O" was thought by some to be Orange, but it's Orenthal.

Cream Ale brewed with honey and orange peel, with orange flower extract added.
So for the verdict of the trial of the century, have an Orange Cream Ale.

Drink Beer, cuz OJ will kill you.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 2

The beer for today is Samuel Adams Octoberfest.

On October 2, 1803, Samuel Adams, statesman, politician, writer, Founding Father of the United States, BREWER, died.

Sam Adams was born September 27, 1722, Boston Massachusetts. He attended Boston Latin School and Harvard College. He was one of the early opposers to British control of the colonies. Adams played a key role in protests against the Stamp Act and the Boston Tea Party in 1773. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was a member of the Continental Congress. Adams later became the fourth Governor of Massachusetts.

Sam Adams father, also Sam, had a variety of businesses, one of which was a malt business. Sam worked for his father there, after being fired from a counting house. During his time at the malt business, he was called "Sam the malster". His father died in 1748, and Sam inherited the family brewery and the malt house.

As to the beer:

The first thing you notice when pouring a glass of this seasonal beer is the color. Samuel Adams® Octoberfest has a rich, deep golden amber hue which itself is reflective of the season. Samuel Adams® Octoberfest is a malt lover's dream, masterfully blending together four roasts of barley to create a delicious harmony of sweet flavors including caramel and toffee. The beer is kept from being overly sweet by the elegant bitterness imparted by the German Noble hops. Samuel Adams® Octoberfest provides a wonderful transition from the lighter beers of summer to the winter's heartier brews.
Even though Sam Adams was born and died before the first Oktoberfest in 1810, his birth is during Oktoberfest (which always starts before his birthday) and his death is before Oktoberfest ends.

He was known as "Sam the malster" (maltster) so have Sam's malty beer, Octoberfest, and remember the man who helped the U.S. gain it's independence.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Days of the Beer, October 1

The beer for today is Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest is going on now, what are you still doing here? Why aren't you in Munich?

Oktoberfest is a 16 day festival (the worlds larges fair) held in Munich Germany. There are 6 breweries that supply most of the beer for the fest, the Big Six are Spaten, Löwenbräu, Augustiner, Hofbräu, Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr.

The original Oktoberfest was on October 12,1810. Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on that date. He arrange a great horse race for October 17. Their wedding reception was the first Oktoberfest. Over the years, the fest got bigger and bigger, so they expanded to more dates, eventually moving the starting date into September, to allow for better weather. The final week of Oktoberfest takes place in October, no earlier than the third, for the next 7 years.

This years Oktoberfest started on September 20. At noon, the mayor of Munich tapped the first keg of beer. After that, everyone was allowed to start drinking. The last day of the fest this year is October 5.

The 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest is in 2010, if you want to go, you should probably have started planning the trip 5 years ago.

As to the beer:

Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest is one of the Big Six. (There will be a quiz)

Bavarian barley slow roasted, caramelized to a rich, red amber color combined with the purest spring waters from the Alps, exclusive yeast and the finest Hallertau hops.
The beer served now at Oktoberfest probably wouldn't be recognized as such at the earliest ones. Back then, the Oktoberfest would have been a Marzen style lager brewed in March and allowed to lager over the summer. They would have been dark, but since 1872, it's been a Vienna lager style of an amber color.

When you see pictures of people at Oktoberfest, they are normally drinking a lager that is paler than the traditional lager.

So, even though it's the middle of Oktoberfest, go out and have a traditional Oktoberfest lager.

If you find a hot chick in a dirndl, you get bonus points.