Sunday, November 30, 2008

Days of the Beer, November 30

The beer for today is Czech Rebel Beer.

On November 30, 1955, in Stanmore, Middlesex, England, William Michael Albert Broad was born. Based on one of his school teacher's descriptions of him as "idle", William took the stage name of Billy Idol.

Idol, started his punk career with Siouxsie & the Banshees (before being named), in 1976, but quit and joined Chelsea in 1977. He soon quit that, and co0founded Generation X, and became the lead singer. After three albums, the band broke up, and he began his solo career.

His first few songs, "White Wedding and "Dancing with Myself" got him lots of airplay on MTV (back when they played videos).

Idol's second LP was released in 1984 and was Rebel Yell. It reached number 2 in the UK and #6 in the U.S.

As to the beer:

Czech Rebel is brewed by Měšťanský Pivovar Havlíčkův Brod, A.S. I'm not exactly sure what that means, or how to pronounce it. They are located in Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic.

Light draught beer with nice bitterness, higher volume of carbon dioxide and higher frothing quality.
Czech Rebel comes in at 4.4% alcohol.

So, for the guy who popularized the Rebel Yell, have a Rebel Beer.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Turkey Day Beer Run to West Lakeview Liquors

I had corresponded with Kristina at West Lakeview Liquors on Wednesday, to find out if they'd be open on Thanksgiving, happily, she said they would be.

So after dropping Kriddy off at my sister's place in Lockport, Paddy, my brother-in-law Mike, and I headed north to West Lakeview. Here's the haul.

One six pack of Bells Expedition, the rest were individual bottles.
Southern Tier Oak Aged Cuvee Series 1
Mikkeller It's Alive
Lost Abbey Avant Garde
Lost Abbey Inferno
Lost Abbey Judgement Day
Lost Abbey Devotion Ale
3 Floyds Broo Doo '08
3 Floyds Alpha Klaus '08
Port Santa's Little Helper '08 (2 bottles, it's sooooo nummy)
Dogfish Head Immort
Samichlaus Helles '07
Haandbryggeriet Brewery Dubbel Dram
Nøgne Ø Winter.

Earlier in the week, Paddy and I went to Friar Tucks in Savoy, and I took quite a haul from there too.

4 pack of Founders Backwoods Bastard
4 pack of Konings Hoeven Quadrupel
4 pack of Mad River John Barleycorn
6 pack of Anchor Christmas and Happy New Year 2008
(the rest are individual bottles)
Mac Queen's Nessie
Mikkeller From/To 2008
Mikkeller To/From 2008
Mikkeller Santa's Little Helper '08
Mikkeller Santa's Little Helper '07
Hebrew Jewbelation 11
Hebrew Jewbelation 12
Sam Adams Chocolate Bock

I also pick up a mix a six from the back rack, of things I haven't had, but didn't write them down.

I almost picked up a 4 pack of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout on Thursday, but I'll just wait until it comes downstate to get it.

I think I'm stocked up on beers that should last me to New Years.

Several of the items I picked up are going straight into the cellar. The Expedition, most of the Barleycorn's, the Backwoods Bastard, Anchor xmas, and the Konings' Hoeven are for aging.

Port/Lost Abbey are now in Chicago, so I won't be needing anyone from California to be shipping me any. The next box for there will be heading out in the second week in December, and should be arriving just in time for the winter solstice.

In other news, Frank went to Bruisin Ales yesterday, and picked up some bottles of Struise Black Albert, and also got a bottle of the latest Terrapin Side Project Volume 3 Gamma Ray. He should be coming up shortly before Mithras birthday. We're going to shoot for a beer tasting gathering on December 19, so mark your calendars.

In other news, I'll start to prepare the time schedule for the New Year's Eve party at Josh and Audra's shortly. A new beer every 15 minutes is the goal. Last year we had 24 beers on the schedule, I don't think we're starting at 6, but I might be.

Days of the Beer, November 29

The beer for today is Scottish and Newcastle Tutankhamun Ale.

On November 29, 1922, Howard Carter opened the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, to the public. On November 4, he had found the steps that led to the tomb. this was the best preserved and most intact pharaonic tomb ever found in the Valley of the Kings. On November 26, he made a "tiny breach in the top left hand corner" of the doorway and by candle light, could see gold and other treasures still in place.

As to the beer:

Archaeologists from Cambridge University's Egypt Exploration Society uncovered a kitchen complex in the Sun Temple of Queen Nefertiti, who was related by marriage to Tut. They examined the grains and seeds left behind, and analyzed the dregs of beer to determine how the beer was made.

The beer made with emmer (ancient wheat) and coriander.

This beer is no longer available. There were only 1000 bottles of it made. At it's time, it sold for $75 a bottle.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Days of the Beer, November 28

The beer for today is Bear Republic Racer 5.

On November 28, 1895, the first American automobile race took place from Chicago's Jackson Park, to Evanston, Illinois. The race covered 54 miles and was won by Frank Duryea in about 10 hours. The race was sponsored by the Chicago Times Herald, and was held on a snowy Thanksgiving day. They averaged 7.5 mph. Was the race held during Chicago rush hour traffic??? This was the first U.S. race where any of the entrants finished.

Frank Duryea was an inventor, and built one of the first gasoline fueled automobiles. His company, the Duryea Motor Wagon Company, was established in 1895, ans was the first American company to build gasoline autos.

As to the beer:

Bear Republic Brewing Company is located in Sonoma County California.

This is a hoppy IPA. Did I say hops? Your brewer is a hop head! This is a full bodied beer using American grains. The goal was to create a base for showing off the unique floral qualities of two Pacific Northwest hops, Columbus and Cascade. Columbus is a new hybrid High Alpha Acid hop used mostly for bittering, but used heavily as an aromatic in this strong brew. Cascade is the balance that ties the malt and bittering hops together. It is a true specialty ale and is our brewer's statement on this style. ABV 7.0%, IBU 69.
For the first race winner, have a Racer 5 IPA.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Days of the Beer, November 27

The beer for today is New Holland Dragon's Milk.

On November 27, 1940, Bruce Lee was born. Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco, California and raised in Hong Kong. He sparked interest in Chinese martial arts, and raised awareness of Hong Kong martial arts films.

Lee had nicknames that translate to "Lee the Little Dragon", "Lee Little Dragon", and "small dragon". He was born in the Year of the Dragon. His most famous roles were probably as Kato, in televisions The Green Hornet, and in the movie, Enter the Dragon.

As to the beer:

New Holland Brewing Company is based out of New Holland, Michigan.

The beer you hold in your hand, Dragon’s Milk Ale, is a crown jewel of New Holland Brewing Company. It is the unrivaled result of painstaking processes - both creative and scientific.

We could tell you about the centuries-old tradition of the term, Dragon's Milk, or we could tell you about the history, craftsmanship and challenges of important, the beer inside this bottle.

Expect a complex ale with a soft, rich caramel-malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones; all dancing in an oak bath. Unmistakably distinctive example of New Holland’s Art in Fermented Form.
It comes in at 8.5% ABV, and is available locally in 22 oz bottles, as well as being on draft at some locations (it will soon be on draft at Crane Alley, but is available in bottles now).

So, for the Little Dragon, who entered the dragon, have a Dragon's Milk.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My new Beer Fridge!

Last night I picked up my new beer fridge. It's actually a bar back fridge, that I got used from Hooters.

I'll be converting it to be holding 5 gallon soda kegs. Next year, I'll probably be purchasing less "new" beer, and just be focusing on stocking the cellar, and brewing more. It's not like I'm going to stop drinking.

It looks like it'll be able to hold at least 7 of the Cornelius Kegs. That's a lot of beer.

I don't know if I'll be able to get it in the house, without the help of some REALLY strong guys, so for now, it'll be in the garage. Additionally, I'm not sure where I'd be able to put it, so the garage may become the bar anyway.

But, it's friggin AWESOME!!! I'll post a pic later today, after I get home, since I took one last night, but it was very dark.

The fridge is apparently a Perlick 3 door roll top cooler Model 9277a.

There's one just like it on Ebay for $2,200. I bought it for $300.

Days of the Beer, November 26

Sadly, the beer for today is Anheuser-Busch Bud Light.

On November 26, 1917, the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs, and Toronto Arenas formed the National Hockey League. The league itself came from the National Hockey Association, which was disbanded to get rid of an owner that they didn't like.

The league is currently composed of 30 teams, 24 of which are in the United States, with six in Canada.

Sadly, the NHL has a contract with Bud Light, that makes it the official beer of the National Hockey League, currently, through the 2010-2011 season. They have been partners since 1998, and is the exclusive beer sponsor for the NHL All-Star Game, the NHL Winter Classic, and has some promotion for the Stanley Cup.

As to the beer:

It's Bud Light. It's the same everywhere. It's really cool that all those beer factories can produce exactly the same beer, and that it tastes the same every time. It's really sad that those factories produce exactly the same beer, and that it tastes the same every time.

So, for the NHL, crack open an ice cold Bud Light, remember the colder it is, the less likely you'll be to actually taste it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Days of the Beer, November 25

The beer for today is Port Santa's Little Helper 2008.

On November 25, 1984, 36 musicians got together in a Notting Hill studio and recorded the song "Do They Know It's Christmas", to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.

The group of singers became known as Band Aid. The song was written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. Artists began arriving at 9 a.m. Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Culture Club, George Michael, Kool and the Gang, Sting, Bono, Jody Watley, and Bananarama were some of the artists who appeared on the song.

The song became the best selling single in the UK for 13 years. It was a UK number one single for 5 weeks.

As to the beer:

Each and every year, the Jolly Old Fatman sits down and compiles a list of who's been naughty and nice. It's curious that he never knows which list to put our brewers on as this is one naughty but incredibly nice beer.

Originally brewed at the Pizza Port in Solana Beach in November of 1997. As dark as the biggest lump of coal Santa can deliver, this beer has earned a dedicated following and is code named Satan's Little Hangover by those who have indulged in a holiday like manner from time to time.

The beer comes in at 10.5% Alcohol. If you have enough of it, you won't know what the hell day it is, let alone if it's Christmas.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Beer Events; Crane Alley Left Hand Beer Dinner

Just received the menu for the next Beer Dinner series to be held at Crane Alley, Dec. 8. This one is going to be built around Left Hand Brewing beers.


Ju Ju Ginger
Panko crusted Salmon cake stuffed with spiced cream cheese with an Orange-Sesame vinaigrette
Sawtooth Amber Ale
Jumbo Lump Crabmeat tossed with micro greens drizzled with remoulade and smoked sea salt
Snowbound Winter Ale
Pan Roasted Duck Breast with wild rice pilaf, grilled zuchinni and squash, and a Blueberry demi-glace
Warrior IPA
Alligator Sirloin on top of creole cous-cous, with a spicy trinity broth

Milk Stout
Pistachio infused Tres Leches cake with a Left Hand Milk Stout reduction

That's right, alligator!

Left Hand Brewing is based out of Longmont, Colorado. The beer will be presented by Mike Walters the Midwest Sales Manager for Left Hand.

The dinner is $50 a person. Make reservations with Aaron before it fills up.

Aaron at

Days of the Beer, November 24

The beer for today is Darwin Brewery, Evolution Ale.

On November 24, 1859, Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species. Also, today is the 149th anniversary of Evolution Day!

The books full title is On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. By the books 6th edition in 1872, it was shortened to The Origin of Species.

The book is based on evidence collected by Darwin, after his voyage on the Beagle, in the 1830s.

The book was (and still is) controversial because it contradicts religious beliefs (creationism vs. evolution).

We've already covered an "Evolution" beer here. The Catholic Church has recently changed their stance claiming evolution does not contradict that God made everything, most protestant religions hold evolution to be completely contradictory to creationism. A majority of people who believe evolution to be true, don't believe in God (*end wild speculation).

As to the beer:

Clean, dry and hoppy. A beer to satisfy your thirst and renew your sparkle. Strong enough to satisfy, light enough to refresh. Brewed with pale and specialist crystal malts together with Fuggles and Cascade hops to give a clean and satisfying finish.
Evolution was one of the first Darwin beers produced. The strange thing was that a mistake was made on the original recipe - yet the resulting beer was (and still is) better than we could have imagined.. hence the beer evolved into one of our best sellers.
So, for Origin of the Species, have a Darwin Evolution Ale. Unless you believe the world was created in 6 days, 6000 years ago, then have a Hebrew Genesis Ale.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Days of the Beer, November 23

The beer for today is Fort Collins The Kidd Lager.

On November 23, 1859, Henry McCarty was born. Henry went by aliases Henry Antrim, William H. Bonney, and Billy the Kid. According to legend, he killed 21 men. During his life, he was mostly unknown, but he became legendary after his death, when his killer, Sherriff Patrick Garrett, published a biography titled The Authentic Life of Billy, the Kid.

As to the beer:

Fort Collins Brewery is located in Fort Collins, Colorado (home of Odell Brewing Company and New Belgium Brewery as well).

Schwarzbier was crafted to taste much lighter than it looks. Chocolate malt lends Kidd it's color while German tettnang hops create the minimal bitterness of this brew. We've added a dash of smoked malt to make our schwarzbier slightly more complex.
For Billy the Kid, have the Kidd Lager, and hoped you don't get smoked by Patrick Garrett.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Days of the Beer, November 22

The beer for today is Virgin Islands Brewing Co. Blackbeard Ale.

On November 22, 1718, off the coast of North Carolina, British pirate Edward Teach was killed in a battle with a boarding party. Teach is best known as Blackbeard.

Blackbeard was an English pirate in the Caribbean Sea and wester Atlantic during the early 18th century. His best known vessel was the Queen Anne's Revenge. Blackbeard would target merchant ships, and his crew would take all the valuables, food, liquor and weapons. There are no accounts of Blackbeard killing anyone, he had a barbaric reputation, so that he wouldn't have to kill them.

As to the beer:

Virgin Islands Brewing Company is located on the island of St. Croix. It was founded in 1996. The brewery produces two beers, Blackbeard Ale and Foxy's Lager.

Blackbeard Ale is listed at 5.2% ABV, and is an amber or pale ale.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Days of the Beer, November 21

The beer for today is Oliver Biere de Garde.

On November 21, 1986, National Security Council member Oliver North and his secretary started to shred documents that implicated them in the sale of weapons to Iran and then sending the proceeds to Nicaragua to fund the Contras. This happened as part of the Iran-Contra affair.

Originally, the U.S. had tried to sell weapons to some Iranians through Israel, and that the people who eventually bought the weapons would work to free six U.S. hostages. Eventually, it turned into an arms for hostages trade. Later, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North modified the plan and used a portion of the money to help fund the Contras, who were anti-Sandinista and anti-communist rebels.

An investigation took place but it was made more difficult by North's document shredding, that started on November 21.

Ultimately, 14 administration officials were charged with crimes, eleven were convicted, but all were pardoned by George H.W. Bush.

As to the beer:

The Wharf Rat is a restaurant and brewpub, located in downtown Baltimore. Their house beers are called Oliver Ales.

Oliver Biere de Garde is one of their house ales available on draught.

There isn't much info available about the beer itself, so here's a beer lesson on Biere de Garde, from Beer Advocate.

The Biere de Garde is golden to deep copper or light brown in color. They are moderate to medium in body. This style of beer is characterized by a toasted malt aroma, slight malt sweetness in flavor, and medium hop bitterness. Noble-type hop aromas and flavors should be low to medium. Fruity esters can be light to medium in intensity. Flavor of alcohol is evident. Earthy, cellar-like, musty aromas and flavors are okay. Diacetyl should not be perceived but chill haze is okay. Often bottle conditioned with some yeast character.
Biere de Garde, literally means "Keeping Beer".

So, for the Oliver who didn't keep his papers, have an Oliver beer for keeping.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Days of the Beer, November 20

The beer for today is De Dolle Brouwers, Dulle Teve 10˚ Tripel.

On November 20, 1956, Mary Cathleen Collins was born in Long Beach, California. She would later change her name to Bo Derek.

Bo had her acting debut in 1977, in Orca: the Killer Whale. She is probably best known as Jenny Miles, in Blake Edwards movie "10". She would later be in the movies Tarzan, the Ape Man; Bolero; and Ghosts Can't Do It; Malibu's Most Wanted; and Tommy Boy.

In March 1980, she was in Playboy, in a twelve page spread.

As to the beer:

De Dolle Brouwers is a Belgian brewery, based in Esen, in West Flanders. The name means, "Mad Brewers". The brewery was bounded in 1980.

Dulle Teve means "Mad Bitch" in Flemish.

De Dulle Teve is brewed in the tradition of a Belgian Triple. Its high density stems from large amounts of pale malt increased with pale candi sugar in the brew kettle. Unfiltered, unpasteurized, bottle-conditioned.

De Dulle Teve keeps two to three years without major changes in taste. Further maturing, up to 10 years, will cause it to darken a little and lose some of its bitterness. The bittering of about 30 IBU is due to Goldings hops in the brew kettle.
The beer comes in at 10% ABV, and is highly regarded on Ratebeer and Beer Advocate.

I had this beer last year at our New Years Eve beer bash, I'm not exactly sure where we picked it up at. It appears to be available at West Lakeview Liquors.

So for the star of "10", have a Crazy Bitch 10.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Days of the Beer, November 19

The beer for today is Appalachian Brewing Company Shimmelfenig Smoked Ale.

On November 19, 1863, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at the military cemetery dedication ceremony, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

The speech came four and a half months after the union armies beat the confederacy at the battle. The speech came to be regarded as one of the greatest in American history. There are five different manuscripts of the Address that have several different details. The first two copies were given to his private secretaries, the final three were written by Lincoln for charity after November 19. The version that is accepted now is one of the final three, as it has a title, and is signed and dated, this is known as the Bliss Copy.

At the time, the Address wasn't considered a great speech. Some people said there was little or no applause when he finished.

The programe that day consisted of Music; a prayer; Music; followed by the main speech for the day, given by Edward Everett, who spoke for over two hours; more music; Lincoln's "Dedicatory Remarks"; more music; and finally a benediction.

As to the beer:

Appalachian Brewing Company Shimmelfenig Smoked Ale is a Gettysburg specialty. ABC, has three breweries: Harrisburg, Camp Hill and Gettysburg.

In line with the great Rauch (smoked) beers of Bamberg, Germany, our brewers bring you a rich and delightful smoked ale. This beer is brown in color and features Weyerman's smoked malt and is aged on smoked applewood chips. This offers an intricate smoked flavor balanced by a medium sweetness.

Born in Prussia, Brigadier General Alexander Shimmelfenig was in command of the Union's XI Corps on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg. During their retreat to Cemetery Hill, he was "struck down by the blow of a gun" and had to seek shelter in a pigsty for two days. To him and his unfortunate experience, we dedicate this bold smoked ale!
So, For (score and seven years ago) Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, have a Gettysburg specialty beer.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Beer Review, a pair of Ports

For the first free Monday that we've had since... um... April??? Kriddy and I finally got to watch our favorite Monday Night TV shows. The first is Chuck, man, we've got a lot of catching up to do on that one. That is followed by Heroes. I've been watching that on Hulu, so I know what's been going on, but Kriddy hasn't been able to watch, so she probably doesn't even know who half the characters are.

I took over two of the Rob provided beers for the evening, both by Port Brewing, High Tide Fresh Hop IPA and 2nd Anniversary. High Tide was the first drink, and went with Chuck. It was a yellow, orangey, hazy beer. The foam clung to the glass and made nice Belgian Lace. The thin head stuck around for a while. It smelled of citrus hops, there was also some grass and pine. It felt thick and syrupy.

The beer's initial taste was BITTER, is bitter a flavor? After getting past the initial bitter shock, there was some sweetness in the flavor, also some pine. Exploring further, I found a bit of caramel sweetness and also some chocolate flavor hiding in under the pine needles.

Wow, this was a great IPA, it had some potent, powerful hops in it.

The next beer was the 2nd Anniversary beer, which is listed as an Imperial IPA.

This poured a brown-yellow-orange. It came out of the bottle almost completely flat, but then some bubbles came up out of the bottom. It looked like a cask ale. It smelled piney, floral, hoppy, and a little like black pepper. It felt flat and runny-ish, it had a mid-level thickness to it. It almost felt creamy.

It tasted of pepper, pine, a bit of caramel, and ... surprisingly, hot sauce.

It was a pretty darn good beer. I've never had a beer that felt like a cask ale come from a bottle, I'm not sure if it was intended, but it came out pretty cool.

Again, thanks to Rob for this shipment. Yours will be heading back that way sometime next week.

Days of the Beer, November 18

The beer for today is St. Peter's Old Style Porter.

On November 18, 326 and then again on November 18, 1626, St. Peter's Basilica was consecrated. St. Peter's is located in Vatican City. According to catholic tradition, it is the burial site of Saint Peter.

Old St. Peter's (the one from 326) was built during the reign of Emperor Constantine. It was over 350 feet long. The church was built over the small shrine that was believed to be the burial place of St. Peter.

The current building was built to be the grandest building in Christendom. The foundation stone for it was laid in 1506.

Inside, there are over 100 tombs beneath the Basilica, including 91 popes.

As to the beer:

St. Peter's Old Style Porter is 5.1% ABV. It is an English Style Porter.

This fine beer is a blend of a mature old ale and a younger light beer - just as a true Porter should be. The marriage produces an extremely characterful brew which is dark in colour and complex in taste. Gold Medal Winner, What's Brewing Awards 2004.
For the dedication of St. Peter's in Rome, have a St. Peters from England.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Days of the Beer, November 17

The beer for today is Staropramen Velvet.

On November 17, 1989, riot police in Prague Czechoslovakia, suppressed a peaceful student demonstration. This event sparked a series of demonstrations that went from November 19, to late December. These demonstrations were referred to as the "Velvet Revolution".

The original protesters numbered about 200,000 but within a few days, their numbers swelled to about a half million. On November 27, all citizens of Czechoslovakia conducted a two-hour strike.

As a result of these demonstrations, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia announced on November 28, that they would dismantle the single-party state. Additionally, barbed wire and other obstacles were removed from their borders with West Germany and Austria. On December 10, the first largely non-Communist government was appointed since 1948. Shortly thereafter, the president resigned.

The origin of the name "Velvet Revolution" is still unknown. One of the possible origins is that the leaders of the opposition groups met in theaters, and the velvet is referring to the velvet ropes in the theater. Another theory is that it took it's name from The Velvet Underground. One of the leaders was a fan of the band, and is a friend of Lou Reed. In Slovakia, the name for the revolution is Gentle Revolution.

As to the beer:

The Staropramen Brewery (Pivovary Staropramen) is the second largest brewery in the Czech Republic, and is located in Prague. It was founded in 1869, and has since been purchased by Inbev. The name Staropramen means "old spring".

A bottom-fermented beer, 5.3% alcohol, with a remarkable visual appearance and taste, whose development was inspired by a traditional English recipe.
The beer gets its name from a combination of three malts that produce a gentle, bittery, golden brown color, and velvety taste.

So, for the Velvet Revolution that spawned the end of communism in Czechoslovakia, have a Staropramen Velvet.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Beer Review, Port Brewing Santas Little Helper 2008

I took a couple of beers with me over to Kriddy's last night, she was going to have some friends over, and I needed to take some beer to numb myself. My choices were Port Brewing Santas Little Helper Imperial Stout 2008, and Barley Island Single White Friar.

The friends went there to ... um... explore paranormal activity in the house. That's right, they are ghost hunters. We kind of think Kriddy's place is haunted. OK, so that goes against, pretty much everything I don't believe in, but still, sometimes we see things. Nothing seemed to happen when they were there.

Before they got there, we watched some of Season 1 of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. My chosen beer for this was the Port Santas Little Helper. Kriddy asked if I already had it, but I informed her, that it was Rogue that produced a Santa's Little Helper, that she'd be familiar with.

This one poured black, it was opaque, didn't let any light through even the narrowest part of the glass. It had a beautiful dark brown foam, that dissipated somewhat quickly. It smelled malty, sweet, syrupy, with chocolate and some bitter (coffee?). It felt thick, not quite Dark Lord thick, but pretty darn thick. Probably the thickest, non-glass coating beer that I've had. The other feel could only be described as warming. The beer had a warmth to it, that belied the fact that it had been in the fridge for a couple of days. (if you say belied, do you also have to say "the fact" after?)

It tasted of the warming of alcohol. There was chocolate, coffee, some vanilla, and oh yeah, alcohol. There was a little bit of bitterness, but that could be associated with a dark chocolate or coffee and not necessarily hops. It was a great Imperial Stout. It was pretty much everything I'd want in an imperial stout. As this beer got up to room temperature, it wasn't even noticeable that the beer had warmed up. This one would make a great Imperial Stout 101, intro to Imperial Stout. If anyone ever asks what a great imperial stout would be, recommend this. They'd have to have no tastebuds to dislike it. If you couldn't find a flavor in there that you liked, then you don't deserve to drink.

Overall, it was a great beer. It came in the Port/Lost Abbey box that Rob had sent to me. One of these days I've got to put together the return trip box and send it on it's way. Again, thanks Rob.

Days of the Beer, November 16

The beer for today is Kona Pipeline Porter.

On November 16, 1973, United States President, Richard Nixon signed into law the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act.

This act authorized building an oil pipeline connecting the North Slope of Alaska to Port Valdez. The law stopped all legal challenges, most filed by environmental activists, that were against the construction of the pipeline.

Eventually, as a result of this act, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System was built. The pipeline was completed in 1977. It covers almost 800 miles.

As to the beer:

Kona Brewing Company is located on the Big Island. It was started in 1994, and their beer was first packaged in 1995. Kona is contract brewed by Widmer in Portland, Oregon. They are distributed in the U.S. by AB.

Pipeline Porter is smooth and dark with a distinctive roasty aroma and earthy complexity from its diverse blends of premium malted barley. This celebration of malt unites with freshly roasted 100% Kona coffee grown at Cornwell Estate on Hawaii’s Big Island, lending a unique roasted aroma and flavor. A delicate blend of hops rounds out this palate-pleasing brew.
Pipeline Porter is 5.4% ABV, and has 30 IBU.

It isn't named for the Trans-Alaska pipeline, but for the pipeline that occurs in waves.

For the pipeline in the 49th state, have a pipeline from the 50th state.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Beer Review, Nørrebro Bryghus Skärgaards Porter

Headed out to Kriddy's last night, after stopping at Walmart to pick up some lightbulbs, Great Stuff Foam Sealant and some other crap. Also picked up some DVD's, The Number 23 staring Jim Carrey, and season 1 and 2 of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. If you don't watch It's Always Sunny... you probably should. FX network on Thursday nights... great show.

Well, as I sat down to watch The Number 23, I poured myself a Nørrebro Bryghus Skärgaards Porter.

This one poured dark brown, with dark brown foam, the was some pretty good head retention. It smelled chocolatey, sweet and a little like honey... wait, does honey smell? When I tried to put together what it smelled like, I thought Toblerone!

It felt a little thin and fizzy. It tasted of coffee, dark chocolate, and some honey. Wait, it is a Toblerone Dark. I had some of them left over from when I picked up some candy around halloween, (not FOR halloween). So I had a mini Toblerone Dark, with this beer. Kriddy didn't like the Toblerone (have I said "Toblerone" enough?) earlier, so she tried the beer with a Hersheys Dark.

A real porter, 6.0 % alcohol. This is our second Nordic guest brew created with Lasse Ericsson of Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri south of Stockholm, Sweden. The beer is top fermented and honey is added before fermentation, the result being a smooth and creamy black porter with gentle chocolate, coffee and nut aromas. The taste is dry, light and elegant with liquorice and dried fruit being the primary flavours. Bitterness is slight and liquorice will linger on the palate.

Ultimately, I thought this was a great beer. It went really good with the darker chocolates. I believe I picked it up at West Lakeview Liquors. It looks like I did. The beer is available there.

If you are going to be have a beer and chocolate pairing, this would be a good one to add to your list.

Days of the Beer, November 15

The beer for today is Founders Dirty Bastard.

On November 15, 1968, Russell Tyrone Jones was born. Jones, was best known as a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, and went by the stage name of Ol' Dirty Bastard.

ODB's name came from a 1980 kung fu film titled Ol' Dirty & The Bastard. He dided in 2004 from congestive heart failure as a result of an accidental drug overdose two days before his 36th birthday.

Other names he went by were, Bib Baby Jesus, Osirus, Joe Bananas, Old Dirty Chinese Restaurant, and Peanut the Kidnapper.

Albums he's been on include, Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, Nigga Please, The Dirty Story: The Best of Ol' Dirty Bastard, and Free to Be Dirty! Live.

As to the beer:

Founders is based out of Grand Rapid's Michigan. It was started in 1997.

Founders flagship beer. Dirty Bastard is an absolute beautiful beer to behold. Dark ruby in color and brewed with ten varieties of imported malts this beer continuously lives up to its reputation as a bold and powerful ale. Dirty Bastard is complex in the finish with hints of smoke and peat paired with a malty richness, finalized with a good bit of hop attitude. This beer “ain’t fer the wee lads”
The beer comes in at 8.5% ABV and is 50 IBU's.

So for Ol' Dirty Bastard, have yourself a Founders Dirty Bastard.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Beer Review, Fantôme Brise-BonBons

Last night, after Paddy and I got done transferring our beer into secondary fermenters, I opened a Fantôme Brise-BonBons, November 13, Day of the Beer. (I guess there should be an exclamation point after the name)

This one poured out very flat. As you can see from the pic, no bubbles at all. I even got somewhat aggressive, but still not much. The ones that were there quickly dissipated. The color of it reminded me of dehydrated pee. It was a dark yellow. Paddy's glass was the first I poured and it was almost crystal clear, my glass wound up being murky from sediment, but I didn't try to stir up the sediment. It just sort of naturally settled lower.

It smelled fruity, like pineapple. It felt thin, and there wasn't very much fizz.

It tasted tart, and orange, like a pineapple-orange juice. It wasn't very bitter. Kriddy said it had a vinegar flavor to it, but I didn't get it. Of course, I think she looks for the vinegar flavor whenever something is tart.

After a couple of sips, I couldn't help but do Chipper Dave's Burp Test. It burped like I was drinking a glass of OJ. I could even feel (if that's the right word) the pulp.

It's not a horrible beer, it reminded me a little of a Goose Island Imperial IPA that I had once a few years ago, that had very strong citrus notes to it. It's definitely not the beer for everyone.

Days of the Beer, November 14

The beer for today is Marshall Brewing Company Sundown Wheat.

On November 14, 1970, at 7:35 pm, Southern Airways Flight 932 crashed into a hill near Ceredo, West Virginia, killing all 75 people on board. The plane was chartered and carried 37 members of the Marshall University Thundering Herd football team, 8 members of the coaching staff, 25 boosters, four flight crew members, and an employee of the charter company.

The team was returning home after a 17-14 loss to the East Carolina University Pirates.

The film We Are Marshall, was a dramatization of the crash and it's repercussions.

As to the beer:

Marshall Brewing Company is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They are currently producing three beers, Atlas India Pale Ale, Sundown Wheat and McNellie's Pub Ale.

An American wheat beer with a Belgian inspiration, Sundown Wheat aims to blend the best of two worlds.

This refreshingly light beer is brewed with American wheat, two-row barley, and a touch of flaked oats. It is delicately hopped with American Sterling hops and spiced in the tradition of Belgian wit beers, using coriander and dried sweet orange peel.
Marshall Brewing Company beers are available in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Norman, Stillwater and Enid.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Beer Review, New Holland Cabin Fever Brown Ale

Before heading out to pool last night, I sat down and had a beer. Last night's choice was New Holland's winter offering Cabin Fever Brown Ale.

Robust in character yet smooth in delivery, Cabin Fever is a roasty brown ale and a hearty, comforting companion for long, mind-bending winters. Its rye, roast and raisin notes play off a subtle caramel sweetness and culminate in a dry finish. Excellent with roasts, stews, caramelized onions and snowfall.
This one poured a very dark brown, almost black, there was nice light brown head. It's always nice when the head on a darker beer isn't fluffy white and is a brown or black color, it lets you know you are in for a treat. It was nearly opaque, In a standard pint glass, the only place any light got through was at the very bottom, the top completely absorbed any light coming to it.

It smelled malty and sweet. There was a slight bitter presence too. It had a faint smell of homebrewing, not as stong as the Harpoon Steve Stewarts Firth of Fourth, but it was definitely there. The beer was a lot thicker than I had expected, if you leave it in your mouth for a while, it does get effervescent. I had this beer in my fridge for a day and a half, and it still felt as though I were drinking a warm beer, normally my fridge makes them colder than that, but this one had something that kept it feeling warm.

It tasted of malt, sugar and alcohol (that's where the warmth came from). There was also toffee, coffee, dark chocolate and some late bitter.

After a couple of sips, I notice my lips felt as though I'd been eating something with syrup. It felt very sticky. Being the guy that I am, when Kriddy showed up at the house to pick me up for pool, I attempted to transfer the sticky from my lips to most of her face. She realized something was going on when I started to stick my bottom lip out further and wipe it on her cheek.

All in all, the was a pretty darn good beer. It seemed almost perfect for last night. It was cold, drizzly and somewhat miserable outside, and it was nice to be inside with this winter warmer brown ale. It sort of reminded me of Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron, although this was darker, and not quite as thick. Paddy said that it was one of the first brown ales that he's had, that he actually liked.

Days of the Beer, November 13

The beer for today is Fantome Brise-BonBons

On November 13, 1002, English king Ethelred ordered the killing of all the Danes in England, that event became known as the St. Brice's Day massacre.

The order came about, as Vikings had been attacking England from 997 to 1001, and had eventually wore down the defenses of the country. Additionally, there was a population of Danes in England, and it was believed that they were providing support for the Vikings.

Because of this, Ethelred "the Unready" published the decree to slaughter all the Danish men and women and children who were in England.

It is not believed that all the Danes were killed, but in some cities there was a significant loss of life. In Oxford, the Danes took refuge in a church, that was later burned down. Among those killed was the sister of the king of Denmark.

Her death led to an invasion of England by Denmark in 1003.

The name St. Brice comes from Bricius of Tours.

As to the beer:

Fantome Brise-BonBons is a Hoppy Saison or IPA that is 8% ABV. It comes in 750 ml corked bottles.

With joy, and a little bit of mischief, Fantôme brewer Dany Prignon dedicates this very bitter beer to all of the many varieties of brise-bonbons - literally, ball-breakers - in the world. Specifically, this beer is meant for wise-guys, braggarts, pains-in-the-ass, muck-rakers, trouble-makers, know-it-alls, stuffed-shirts, blow-hards, and bores, as well as nut-cracking, wind-bag, prattling-on, self-appointed experts on every-thing, and nose-in-the-air snobs, convinced they can do anything better than you.

Dany intended to make a beer too bitter for a normal person to enjoy. The problem is, everyone loves it! Guess we're all just a bunch of brises-bonbons sometimes.
I've got a bottle of this chilling in Kriddy's fridge. It is currently available at West Lakeview Liquors, but is not on their ordering page.

So, for the St. Brice's Day massacre, have a Fantôme Brise-BonBons, hold your nose in the air, and go kill some Danes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Insuring Your Beer

Over the past couple of years, I've started to amass a quite a collection of beer. The other day, after I inventoried, I got kind of worried about what would happen if my house burned, or if I was robbed (the most valuable thing in the house now is probably the beer, and it's conveniently in boxes).

So, I exchanged emails with my insurance agent.

Things you will need to know to insure your beer.

1. The amount of the beers you have.
  • Do an inventory of your beer. Write down the Brewer, Year (if you know it), and quantity of your beers.
2. Purchase price of your beer.
  • If your beer is stolen or burns, and it is not a vintage, this will probably be the amount you will recoup.
3. Current value of the beer.
  • Vintage beer will get to be more expensive, the longer it ages. Some beer will not age well, but normally higher ABV beers will. An old bottle of Bud Light won't be worth what you paid for it, unless it's a collectible bottle.
  • Certain beers will gain value from the second it's purchased. Three Floyds Dark Lord is $15 a bottle on Dark Lord Day. Later that evening, you can find it on EBay for probably $80 a bottle. Is that the current value? What's the value on a two year old bottle?
Knowing these pieces will help you and your agent come up with the replacement value of your beer. My agent recommended that I yearly provide him with an updated inventory.

Happily, your beer is probably covered under your home-owners, or renters insurance. There will probably be no limit to the replacement costs that you can get for your beer. My agent said that it is covered under the "named perils" part of the policy.

So in other words, if there is a particularly valuable bottle/case/etc., you would need some sort of documentation showing that it is worth more than an old can of Bud!
If (since) your beer costs more than a normal can of beer, they will need some documentation showing that. You don't necessarily have to keep receipts, just document what you have.

The biggest thing you should do is talk to your insurance agent and find out what kind of documentation they will need. Mine says an inventory with purchase price and current value is about all I'll need. He will be keeping that list in my file. He asked that I update him yearly with the new inventory (the man doesn't realize that it has additions monthly or even weekly).

It doesn't seem like you will have to have photographic documentation of your beers, but that probably can't hurt. As a little tip, if the beer doesn't have the vintage listed on it, write down the year on the cap with a sharpie. If you don't want to mark up the cap, put a piece of tape or sticky on it, and write on that. Or you could color code your tape by year, if you want to get REAL creative.

In addition to giving your insurance man the copy of your inventory once a year, I recommend keeping your current monthly inventory in a place other than in your home, or on your home computer (as that will probably be stolen/burn too, when you need it the most).

That's about it. Call your insurance man, he'll probably have no idea that beer is worth more than $12 for a case. Inventory your collection. Get prices for your beer.

On a funny side note, my insurance man asked me about a beer that he had, and was it valuable.

Hey - I have a bottle of Three Stooges beer - is that worth anything!?
I told him, that it looks like an empty bottle of it is going for $8 on EBay. Also recommend that unless he stored it in a temperature controlled environment, and out of light, that it probably wouldn't be any good to drink, due to it being a macro-style lager. I did inform him that it's collectible nature is higher due to it being full, but that's like having an antique toy with the box.

If you are worried, call your insurance man.

Days of the Beer, November 12

The beer for today is Schloss Eggenberg MacQueens Nessie.

On November 12, 1933, the first known photo of the Loch Ness Monster was taken, by Hugh Gray.

The Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie, has been seen in the Loch since 565. The latest video of it, "The Holmes Video" was taken in 2007.

As to the beer:

Brewed with Scottish Highland malt, the main ingredient of the world famous whiskies from Scotland, Nessie is called "The whisky among the beers." It's colour is of a reddish touch, alcohol reaching 7,3 % by volume.
Schloss Eggenberg is located in Vorchdorf, Austrai. They brew out of Eggenberg Castle, and have been since the 14th century. Commercial brewing began in 1681, when the property was purchased from a monastery.

Their most famous beer is probably Samichlaus, which is one of the strongest lagers in the world, at 14% abv.

So, for the Loch Ness Monster, have a Nessie.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My beer cellar

Saturday, I was bored, and did something that was long overdue. I went through the basement and inventoried.

In my basement, I've got 125 different beers, and 263 total beers. Here's some of the highlights.

5 bottles of Bells Expedition
3 bottles of Dogfish Head 120
4 bottles of Dogfish Head Raison d'extra
2 bottles of Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout
a pack of the Dark Horse Stout series, One, Too, Tres, Fore, and Plead the Fifth
2 bottles of Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel
4 bottles of Founders Breakfast Stout '07
23 bottles of Founders Breakfast Stout '08
10 bottles of Goose Island bourbon County Stout '06
4 bottles of O'Fallon Whiskey Aged Smoked Porter (#'s 16,17,97, and 240)
14 bottles of Three Floyds Dark Lord '08
2 bottles of Three Floyds Dark Lord '07
a bottle (each) of BrewDog Paradox 001, 005, 008, 010, and 011

Most of the 263 bottles, I'll just let get older. But some are probably too old, so I should drink them soon. I count 28 bottles that should be drank somewhat soon, otherwise they might show some bad aging effects, these include some IPA's, DIPA's, wheats and some other lower alcohol beers. The hardest part with maintaining the cellar is to not give in to people who want me to open a beer. "Come on V, open a Dark Lord... you've got 14 of them!"

I did have 4 bottles of Czechvar down there, that have been there for nearly a year, that didn't show too many signs of aging, and were actually better than some Czechvar's that I've had at bars, so the conditions in my basement seem to be really condusive to aging beers.

I'm wondering if I should call my insurance agent to find out about insuring my beer for theft or fire, or if it's covered in my regular policy, as the beer is (just about) an investment now.

Beer Events; Crane Alley Merchant du Vin Dinner wrapup

The dinner last night was great. Good food, good beer, good people.

The dinner started with a salad with Anchovy filets, Kalamata olives and fried capers. This was served with a Samuel Smiths Winter Welcome. While I don't normally like that beer, it seemed to go really good with the salty pieces in the salad. The beer also seemed to be a little less spiced than I remember it previously. I'll have to give it another try.

The second course was three different sushi's. The first was a white tuna, the second was a smoked roe, the third was a baked eel. This was served with ayinger Brau Weiss. This wound up being my least favorite pairing of the night. I thought the seafood might have gone better with a Gueuze, and I mentioned that to Aaron, and he said they also thought that, but didn't want to put two lambic's on the menu. Other people there, who were more familiar with sushi, thought this was the best pairing of the night. So, if I became more familiar with sushi, I might have liked it better.

The third course was oven roasted cornish game hen, over quinoa, with green, purple and white asparagus. This was served with Orval. Prior to the presentation of each beer, the Merchant du Vin distributor (Brian Van Zandbergen, I believe) spoke about each beer. For Orval, he gave a history of the beer, described it, and also told the romantic version of Dame Mathilda's ring (with the caveat, that it's most likely not true).

The hen with the beer was outstanding. The quinoa (that I've never had before, but read about from 3D) was great. The three asparagus, were really interesting to note the flavor differences in. The purple almost had a chlorine flavor to me, and reminded me of swimming. Kriddy's didn't have that same flavor, so I don't know why mine had that.

The fourth course was buffalo shank with wild mushroom risotto. This was served with both Rochefort 8 and 10. This was an outstanding course (sorry no picture). We got to try both side by side. The 8 was definitely sweeter than the 10, but the 10 seemed to go better with the meat, as it wasn't as sweet as the 8. Several other people in attendance agreed with me on that.

The next course was the first of the deserts. This wsa a pastry shell stuffed with jalapeno-marscapone, topped with honey pecan drizzle. It was served with Lindeman's Pomme. The marscapone was surprisingly spicy, and held the heat of the jalapeno well. The pomme cut right through that and was a nice compliment of apple to the desert. I don't think I've ever had a spicy desert before, other than maybe having a slice of cake on my plate where there was some residual tobasco sauce on it, but this was outstanding.

The final beer and food for the night was Sam Smiths Oatmeal Stout, served over Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. It was a Sam Smiths Oatmeal Stout float. Kriddy was in heaven, one of her favorite beers, served over ice cream. On the side were strawberries dipped in dark chocolate fondue. I only had one bite of the ice cream, then passed the rest on to Kriddy. I did drink all my beer though.

It was a good meal. I was thinking I would go away hungry after looking at the first two courses, that appeared tiny, but by the end of the hen, Kriddy was getting full, and I was starting to slow down as well. If the portions were much larger, it would have been almost too much food. (Although a good soup before or after the salad would have been a nice touch). If this becomes a once a month event, like Aaron expects it to be, it would make a pretty good "date night" for a couple. It was a little pricey at $60 a person, but the food was not your average bar food, and was darn good.

The next beer dinner will be with Lefthand Brewery. Upcoming beer dinners will be with Unibroue (makers of la fin du monde), Rogue (makers of Dead Guy) and Aaron claims the one "not to be missed" will be the Dogfish Head dinner.

Days of the Beer, November 11

The beer for today is 1648 Brewing Co. Armistice Ale.

Today is Veterans Day, an annual American holiday honoring military veterans. Originally, it was called Armistice Day, until 1952, when it was changed to honor all veterans, instead of just WWI vets.

On November 11, 1918, World War I ended. Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside of Compiègne in France. The war officially stopped at 11:00. This brought to an end four years of fighting, from 1914-1918. There were more than 40 million casualties.

World War I was (technically) started by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who was the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, by a Bosnian Serb. The result of which set off a series of chain reaction war declarations, that eventually led to most of Europe in a state of war.

As to the beer:

1648 Brewing Company is out of East Sussex, England. Armistice Ale is a seasonal beer and has an ABV of 4.2%. It is usually available in October and November.

So, for all the veterans, have an Armistice Ale.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Days of the Beer, November 10

The beer for today is Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter.

On November 10, 1975, The SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank. All 29 crew members died in the wreck.

The ships maiden voyage was on September 24, 1958. The boat could hold 26,600 tons. It would be loaded through 21 watertight hatches. It was originally a coal-fired ship, but was converted to oil later. Until 1959, it was the largest ship on the Great Lakes.

During it's 17 year career, it carried taconite around the great lakes. Taconite is an iron bearing rock. Until World War II, it wasn't used for iron production, as there was higher quality ore's available. Afterward, most of that ore was consumed, so taconite was turned to as a source of iron.

On it's final voyage, the ship left Superior, Wisconsin on November 9, and was headed to a steel mill on Zug Island, near Detroit, it was full of taconite. The ship met up with another headed for Gary, Indiana, and they followed one another for some time, with the Fitzgerald in the lead. As the boats crossed Lake Superior, they encountered a winter storm and reported wins more than 58 MPH with waves as high as 35 feet. The ships changed their course trying to get out and headed for the Canadian coast.

By late afternoon November 10, there were sustained winds of 50 knots (58 mph). At 3:30 p.m. the Fitzgerald radioed the other ship to report a list and loss of radar. Visibility was poor, due to snow. At 5:45 p.m. the captain radioed to say he had a bad list, lost it's radars and had seas washing over the decks. At 7:10 p.m. the last communication from the Edmund Fitzgerald occured. Captain Earnest McSorley replied to the question of how they were doing "We are holding our own." A few minutes later, the ship sank.

It is assumed that the ship sank because water had gotten into the ore holds. As the water came over the top from the massive waves that day, it slowly filled the ore holds leading to stress on the ship's hull which lead to the hull snapping.

As to the beer:

Great Lakes Brewing is out of Cleveland, Ohio. They opened in 1988. Edmund Fitzgerald is their award winning porter. It is currently listed as #84 on the Beer Advocate top 100 beers of the world.

A complex, roasty porter with a bittersweet, chocolate-coffee taste and bold hop presence.

Named after the ship that frequently docked in Cleveland and sunk in Lake Superior on November 10, 1975 with many Northeast Ohioans on board.
So, for the 29 members of the crew, who lost their lives on November 10, 1975, have a beer named in their honor, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter.

Sadly, I only have one bottle of this in my basement :(

I don't know anywhere in CU that has it available.

If you want the Simon Barr Sinister version, it's available on Emusic.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Days of the Beer, November 9

The beer for today is New Glarus Unplugged Berliner Weiss.

November 9, 1989 is considered to be the day that started the fall of the Berlin Wall. The wall separated East from West Germany for 28 years and a day. On Nov. 9, East German officials announced that it's citizens could cross the border into West Germany. On that day, thousands of people left the east and went through checkpoints and also climbed over the wall itself.

The fall of the wall, was one of the first steps that led to German reunification, which finally happened on October 3, 1990.

As to the beer:

New Glarus is out of New Glarus, Wisconsin. The "Unplugged" line of beers are brewmaster specialties, that aren't part of their normal rotation of beers.
Napoleon hailed this tart beer style "the Champagne of the North." A lively and elegant masterpiece this Berliner Weiss is a kaleidoscope of fresh flavor. Barrel fermentation, Pinot Grigio, Riesling grapes and Wisconsin White Wheat are bottle fermented with five proprietary yeast strains. A connoisseur's rare jewel both spirited and subtle, enjoy your sparkling toast under summer stars.
New Glarus Unplugged Berliner Weiss came out in July of 2008, and is probably hard to find right now. They currently have an Apple Ale, that is scheduled for release this month.

So for the fall of the wall, have the "Champagne of the North", a berliner weiss. If you can get it from New Glarus, all the better.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Days of the Beer, November 8

The beer for today is Back Street Brewery (Yorba Linda) Super Vlad.

On November 8, 1431, Vlad III the Impaler, was born (well it's presumed he was born on November 8). Vlad was born in Sighisoara, Transylvania. He dided in December of 1476, he is not still walking around.

He got his nickname of the Impaler (or Ţepeş) from his favorite method of execution. He chose impalement, called "bung poling" by dropping a person upright ont a sharpened tree trunk. The weight of the person would force the tip of the trunk through the chest cavity or neck.

Most of Vlad's life was spent defending Wallachia from Ottoman expansion.

As to the beer:

Back Street Super Vlad is a sweet stout brewed by the Back Street Brewery in Yorba Linda, California. (They may not still be making this beer). It was 5.6% ABV. It was described as dark black, with a creamy black or tan head. It smelled roasty, with chocolate, roast and oatmeal in the flavor.

So for Vlad, have a Vlad, if it's not available anymore, then just be thankful that impaling people isn't still done now either.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Beer Review, Magic Hat Odd Notion Winter 08

After drinking the first glass of Founders Breakfast Stout '08 at Crane Alley last night, went back to Kriddy's and perused through the fridge.

Earlier in the day, Thad was commenting on how he really enjoyed this beer, so I was kind of looking forward to trying it.

It poured out a cloudy yellow with a thin fizzy looking white head that didn't stick around very long. It smelled sweet, and almost lager-y, with a little spice in the nose. It felt a little thin and effervescent.

My first reaction to the taste was WOW. It presented a lot of chocolate flavor to me, that Kriddy didn't notice. There was also a little sour and some bitter in it. Kriddy thought it was bitter. Later, it became more floral, and the chocolate dissipated. (It wasn't residual chocolate from the Breakfast Stout.)Thad said the taste reminded him of sitting in a cabin in the woods in winter time.

Overall it was a pretty good beer.

This morning as I contemplated it more, I thought it had the feel of a lager, with also some mead characteristics. Apparently it's a "spiced honey mead" so it only took me 8 hours to conclude that on my own.

It is currently available at Friar Tuck, and I picked it up out of the mix a six.

Days of the Beer, November 7

The beer for today is Harmon Brewery Puget Sound Porter.

On November 7, 1940 Galloping Gertie, or the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, collapsed into Puget Sound.

The bridge spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It had originally opened on July 1, 1940. During it's brief time span, it was the worlds third longest suspension bridge, behind the Golden Gate Bridge and the George Washington Bridge.

The wind-induced collapse happened at 11 a.m. due to aeroelastic flutter. No people died in the collapse, although a cocker spaniel was lost in a car.

As to the beer:

Harmon Brewery and Restaurant is located in downtown Tacoma. They produce 5 year round beers, seasonals and cask conditioned ales.

Our brown porter is brewed with eight different malts to produce a smooth, well balanced, dark beer. A specially roasted barley provides a hint of chocolate. 5.6% ABV
So, for the Tacoma bridge that fell into Puget Sound, have a Puget Sound Porter from a brewery in Tacoma.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Days of the Beer, November 6

The beer for today is Cintra Pilsen from Cervejarias Cintra, in Brazil.

On November 6, 1854, John Philip sousa was born. Sousa was a composer and conductor for American military and patriotic marches. he eventually became known as "The March King".

Sousa started playing the violin at 6. When he was 13, he was enlisted in the Marine Band as an apprentice. He apprenticed there until age 20. He left to join a theatrical orchestra where he learned to conduct. He returned to the U.S. Marine Band as it's head in 1880 and stayed there for 12 years.

Sousa wrote 136 marches, some of the most popular were: "Semper Fidelis" the Official March of the United States Marine Corps, "The Stars and Stripes Forever", "The Liberty Bell" credits theme for Monty Python's Flying Circus. He has also written marches for several universities including Kansas State University, University of Nebraska, Marquette University, and University of Minnesota.

As to the beer:

Cintra Pilsen if brewed by the Cervejarias Cintra in Pirai and Mogi Mirim, Brazil. The brewery was started in 1998, by Jose Sousa Cintra. Cintra started as a snail trader, then elevator operator, then sold watercolor paintings. After four years in the Portuguese Navy, he acquired a mineral water company. After he started brewing in Brazil, he purchsed a brewery in his native Portugal, and started selling Portuguese Cintra. He sold that and kept the Brazilian breweries.

The Cintra beer is a pilsener type of beer with a golden shinning color. It is a refreshing, less filling, dry beer with an intense taste and low caloric level. Its aroma is slightly fruity with hints of malt balanced with Hallertauer premium hops. Its foam is white, creamy with a medium sustainability. The alcoholic content is moderate, thus its freshness and less filling taste yield moments of pleasure one after the other.
So, for the guy who probably got you tapping yoru foot in rythm more times than you realize, have a beer that is made by a guy with that middle name.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Days of the Beer, November 5

The beer for today is O'hara's Irish Red.

On November 5, 1913, Vivien Leigh was born. Vivian is best known for two of her roles, Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and for Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939).

Around 1937, Leigh read the Margaret Mitchell novel Gone with the Wind, and determined she would be Scarlett O'Hara. At that same time, David O. Selznick was looking for an actress for the role. He agent put her name in the search, and she auditioned. The four women who were up for the role were Paulette Goddard, Jean Arthur, Joand Bennett and Vivien Leigh.

Leigh won the Best Actress Academy Award for her role. She won it later again for Streetcar.

As to the beer:

A fruity and aromatic beerwith a distinctive smokey like finish, Molings has a traditional hop flavour to balance the sweet malty caramel taste.
O'hara's Irish Red is from the Carlow Brewing Company in Carlow, Ireland. It comes in at 4.3 ABV. The brewery was established in 1998. They are probably better known for their Celtic Stout.

So, for Scarlett O'Hara, have an O'hara's Irish Red.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Days of the Beer, November 4

The beer for today is Seabright Brewery, Cobra Kai Rice Beer.

On November 4, 1961, Ralph George Macchio was born. He is best known for his role as Daniel LaRusso in the Karate Kid series.

His first major movie role was with C. Thomas Howell, Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, and Matt Dillon in The Outsiders. His later films included My Cousin Vinny, Crossroads, and Beer League.

In The Karate Kid, Macchio moves to Los Angeles, and accidentally makes an enemy of Johnny Lawrence (played by William Zabka), who is the start pupil of the Cobra Kai karate dojo.

Eventually Ralph wins.

As to the beer:

Seabright Brewery is located in Santa Cruz.

Surfers, collegiate types and young families converge in this popular Santa Cruz brewery for some upscale pub grub and a stellar selection of award-winning beers. Whether seated on the outdoor patio or in one of their comfy, inviting booths, the cheerful, veteran staff is always 'on' and delivers everything with a smile. Regulars line up for weeknight specials like Neighborhood Night Tuesdays with all night happy hour and free live music on Fridays. Just a short walk up from the water, a visit to Seabright is the perfect way to cap off a day at the beach.
Cobra Kai Rice Beer appears to be a seasonal brew and isn't listed on their website.

So, if you are around Santa Cruz, and want to celebrate The Karate Kid's birthday, go have a Cobra Kai Rice Beer, it's 4% ABV, so it won't kick your ass too bad.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Teach a Friend to Homebrew review

Well, Saturday was Teach a Friend to Homebrew day. I think it went really good. We had the Josh and Audra, Ty and Linds, Dirty Steve and Ann, Kai and Janelle, Paddy, and Thad over for the day.

We started out brewing around 3:30, and first went with the IPA, which we named Fun Bags. We took the base kit for the IPA, then added some additional ingredients (it came with 3 oz of Cascade). Friar Tucks had a very limited selection of Hops, so Thad and I picked up an ounce of Spalt, and a tube of high gravity yeast. On Saturday, Thad went to the Champaign pet and hobby store, and picked up two more ounces of hops, (I'll list what they were later, after I go check on the fermentation).

We started out cleaning, then got to the boiling. Our kits both had crushed grains, so we steeped them for the recommended 20 mintues, along with an explanation of why we were doing it. Then we added our LME and first set of hops. Every 15 minutes we added another ounce of hops, and we boiled for about an hour and 15 minutes. At the final addition, we threw in the wort chiller to sterilize that.

We encountered an issue, when I noticed the wort chiller wouldn't attach to Kriddy's faucet, so we found the garden hose and hooked that up. At the end of the boil, we rushed outside and hooked up the chiller. The temperature of the wort dropped from around 212 to 72 degrees after running 6 gallons of water through the chiller. We rushed it inside and filtered out the 6 ounces of hops and then topped off our water to five gallons. Threw in the liquid yeast, along with the dry packet that comes with it. Took our OG, and it came out about 1.052. We covered it, filled up the air lock, and set it in Kriddy's laundry room.

Then, we got to clean everything, again.

At this point, everyone who was at the football game showed up, and we pretty much repeated the process, this time making a brown ale.

Everything went the same, except we got our temperature dropped with only 5 gallons of water through the wort chiller, as the outside temperature had dropped significantly.

As we were brewing the brown, everyone was trying to think of names for it. The IPA got named "Fun Bags" earlier, due to one of the unique health benefits of a compound in hops that makes breasts grow larger. Sticking with the "bag" theme, the brown was almost named colostomy bag brown, but it was decided no one would want to drink that. Eventually it became known as the "Brown Note".

It's OG was 1.040 (I believe).

We cleaned up, and that was it.

During the day, we all sampled some of mine and Thad's previous brews, including the Punkin Pumpkin Ale (which everyone really seemed to like), In My Country Chocolate Stouts YOU!, regular Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Stout, and a bottle of Oatmizzle Stoutizzle.

The chocolate foamed up again, and the oatmeal also had significant foamage.

Everyone seemed to be interested in how to brew... well, except for Kai, as he would rather run to the store and get bud light; but that's just Kai...

Everyone got to taste LME, and sniff several varieties of hops. Most people took turns stirring, and cleaning.

Hopefully, it leads a couple to brewing their own, I think Ty seemed the most interested... brew kits, they make a great Christmas present!!!

Days of the Beer, November 3

The beer for today is Port Dock Black Bart Milk Stout.

On November 3, 1883, "Black Bart the poet" got away with his last stagecoach robbery, but left a clue that lead to his capture.

Charles Bolles was an American Old West outlaw who left poetic messages after each robbery. He was one of the more notorious stagecoach robbers who operated around Northern California and southern Oregon.

The Black Bart character was taken from a Sacramento Union newspaper serial called The Case of Summerfield. In it, the villain was dressed in black, with black hair, a black beard and grey eyes.

Bolles the outlaw, was a polite and good mannered fellow, He told the driver to "Please throw down the box." He was courteous and didn't use foul language. He covered his body in sacks and linen to hide his clothing. He eventually began to leave poems at the sites of his crimes. He was very successful and made off with thousands of dollars a year.

It is believed that Bolles committed 26 robberies.

At his last attempt, Bolles held up a stagecoach at the same spot as his first, on Funk Hill near the present town of Copperopolis. The stage driver was Reason McConnell, the stage had just crossed Reynolds Ferry, on the road from Sonora to Milton. At the ferry, the driver picked up Jimmy Rolleri, the son of the ferry owner.

Jimmy had gotten off to go hunting and was going to be picked up at the other side of the hill. When he got there, the stage wasn't there, so he travelled up the road and found the driver and the horses. He learned that Bolled had unhitched the coach and forced McConnell and the horses to go over the other side of the hill, while he attempted to get the lock box. Bolles couldn't get the strongbox out, as Wells Fargo had bolted it to the floor inside.

McConnell told Jimmy that there was a holdup, took his rifle and fired at Bolles but missed. Jimmy took the rifle back and fired one or two shots. Bolles dropped the items he took from the box and fled.

The incident was investigated and some personal items of Bolles were found at the scene, including some of Bart's handkerchiefs with a laundry mark. That mark was traced to Ferguson & Bigg's California Laundry, where it was identified as belonging to Bolles. Bolles confessed to several earlier robberies, believing that the statute of limitations had expired.

Wells Fargo only pressed charges on the final robbery. Bolles was convicted and sentenced to six years in San Quentin. He was let go after four years for good behavior.

As to the beer:

Port Dock Brewery Hotel is located in Adelaide, South Australia. They produce six beers including Black Bart, and an alcoholic ginger ale, Ginja.

Dispensed with a high nitrogen gas, giving this Stout it's thick, rich, creamy head! Brewed with the inclusion of Lactose(sugar of milk) giving the Stout it's initial sweet taste, followed by a chocolatey smooth mid palate and a sweet dry roasty finish... Cheers!

So, for Black Bart's last train robbery, 125 years ago, see if you can find a Black Bart Milk Stout. It'd probably help if you were in Australia.

If you aren't, then Bear Republic, from California at one point made a Black Bart Imperial Stout, but it hasn't had a review on Ratebeer or Beer Advocate since 2007.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Days of the Beer, November 2

The beer for today is Steamworks Spruce Goose.

On November 2, 1947, the Hughes H-4 Hercules, made its first and only flight. The aircraft was built from wood due to wartime restrictions on the use of aluminum, it ws nicknamed the "Spruce Goose" by its critics. The Hercules is the largest flying boat ever build and has the largest wingspan and height of any aircraft in history. It is currently in the evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.

Despite the nickname of "Spruce Goose" the plane was built of laminate birch.

On Nov. 2, the aircraft took a series of taxi test runs. Howard Hughes was at the controls, he also had a co-pilot, two flight engineers, 16 mechanics, two other flight crew, seven press corps guests, and seven industry representatives on board. After two uneventful taxi runs, four of the reporters left to file stories, but the remaining people stayed for the final run. After the plane picked up speed, it lifted off, and remained airborne 70 feet above the water at a speed of 135 mph for about a mile.

The plane has never flown since.

About the beer:

Steamworks Spruce Goose is a spiced beer, from the Steamworks Brewing Company in Durango, Colorado.

Inspired by Vikings. It goes without saying that it’s bold.
Beers made with spruce or other types of pine were brought to Scotland by the Vikings who brewed ales and spice with fresh spruce shoots to prevent scurvy on sailing voyages. Spruce beer was also drunk before battle as it was thought to bring out one’s animal instincts. Spruce Goose, our modern-day version of the Viking’s beer, is a darker brew with complex earthy flavors throughout.
The beer is 7.3% ABV and is available from November 1, to January 31 in 22 ounce bombers.

So, for the maiden and only flight of the Spruce Goose, see if you can find yourself a Spruce Goose.

I expect to hear a review from the Colorado Contingent, sometime soon.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Days of the Beer, November 1

The beer for today is Michigan Brewing Company Mackinac Pale Ale.

On November 1, 1957, the Mackinac Bridge opened. It is a suspension bridge the connects the Upper and Lower peninsulas of Michigan, that connects the two. It connects the city of St. Ignace on the north with the village of Mackinaw City on the south. It is the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western Hemisphere.

The bridge is dedicated as "the world's longest suspension bridge between anchorages" as it is shorter than the Golden Gate Bridge, which has a longer center span. Additionally the designation allows it to be considered longer than the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

The bridge is currently a toll bridge on Interstate 75. The toll is currrently $3 for cars and $3.50 per axle for trucks. Every Labor Day, part of the bridge is closed to traffic and open to walkers for the Mackinac Bridge Walk. It averages 11,608 vehicles per day. With the leadup to the bridge, the length from shoreline to shoreline is 5 miles.

About the beer:

A deep golden-orange hue provides the backdrop for a well-balanced, medium bodied ale. Hop flavor and aroma are distinctly American with a spicy, citrus finish.
The Michigan Brewing company is located in Webberville, Michigan. They started in 1996. They are probably most famous for their Celis White, which was the Wit beer made by Pierre Celis, and is considered to be the original recipe for Hoegaarden.