Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dark Lord Day 2k9

Information for Three Floyds Dark Lord Day 2k9 is now on the web.

Click here.

You MUST register on the site, in order to purchase a ticket to get Dark Lord.

You should do this NOW.

Dark Lord Day is April 25. You need to register with the site (now) and then the tickets will be going on sale on St. Patrick's Day, so mark your calendars now.

When you register on the site, you'll get information (later) about the purchasing of the ticket.

I'd assume there will be a rush on tickets, so on st. paddys day, get up early!

My thoughts:

(I believe) This came about because there were many people who bitched about not getting Dark Lord last year. If you read the FAQ, it claims people showed up early and still didn't get any. On that, I call BULLSHIT.

If you didn't get any in years past, then you obviously didn't want any. You may THINK you wanted some, but you didn't. If you REALLY wanted some, you would have gotten there 3 hours before the doors opened. If you REALLY wanted some, you would have known to show up with $90 cash. If you REALLY wanted some, hell, you would have gone into the brewpub and gotten a glass of it, and the oaked, and the vanilla. If you REALLY wanted some, you'd have gotten a 6 pack. But, you didn't get any, because you showed up at the time when the doors opened, and the line was all the way back to the fire station, and curled up. You wanted to sleep, or wanted to take your girlfriend, who "doesn't even like beer", or wanted to stop and get breakfast, or had some other thing that was slightly more important than getting a beer that's been the #2 beer for the better part of the past 3 years (according to beer advocate).

If you really wanted it, you'd have been there early, in line, freezing your ass off, like everyone else. You are probably also pissed at the people who turned around and sold it on EBAY for a bottle at the price of a 6 pack. But you bought one anyway. Then you probably claimed the beer wasn't that good anyway.

Now, there's a new system. You are probably going to find a reason to bitch about it too.

If you've made it this far, I hope you clicked on the link and registered.

I'll see you there.

Seven Saints Beer Class

Beer Class at Seven Saints tonight.

Subject tonight is Southern Tier brewery.

Class starts at 9:30 and is $10. I'm not sure what all beers Eric has planned, but I've got, at least, an Oat, and a Backburner (barleywine) that I'll be bringing along.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Georgia Road Trippin

Well, since Kridz and I weren't going to Denver this past weekend, but we already had the time off (you gotta be prepared), we decided to take a trip down to Georgia.

We had initially planned on going down to Georgia for New Years, but a death in the family changed that plan. So, since we weren't going ... yet... we rented a car and drove south east instead of due west.

We left Thursday after work, headed down I-57 then took a little detour over to Evansville, Indiana, and visit Turoni's Pizzery and Brewery. We were afraid that we weren't going to get there in time (the website says they close at 11), but thankfully, that part of Indiana is still on central time and isn't Eastern, so we had about an hour and a half to relax. We ordered the sampler platter that came with 6 beers. Vinny's Light Lager, Honey Blonde Ale, ThunderBolt Red Ale, Blue Eyed Moose, Ol' 23 Stout, and the seasonal brown (that I don't remember the name of. All the beer was good. I enjoyed the red the most. Kridz, I think, liked the brown the best, or was it the IPA? We also ordered the garlic cheese toast, that was pretty good, and the Lots-a-meat pizza. The pizza was thin crust and pretty darn good. Skot claims it to be his favorite. I did enjoy it, but don't think it'd be my favorite, not that I have a pizza favorite. We finished up there, and headed down the road, headed towards Clarksville, and Fort Campbell.

We both got really tired at the same time, and tried to get a room. I guess I know how Joseph and Mary (were they actual historical figures) felt, as there was no rooms available in pretty much the entirety of Kentucky down the road we were traveling. As we drove, it was dark (being near 11 p.m.) but every so often, you'd see a tree limb coming right to the edge of the road. Power crews were still working to return lines back to people. At first, I thought there was a convention or trade show in the area, because all the hotels parking lots were full of trucks with cherry pickers. By the time we got down towards Fort Campbell, the crews had finished in that area, so we were able to get a hotel. There were still several cherry picker trucks in the hotels parking lots, but it wasn't completely packed, like a bit further north.

We got up on Friday, and continued the journey to Georgia. Our only real plans were for Friday evening and Saturday evening. We had minor plans for Sunday afternoon (Illini game) but other than that our schedule was flexible, we still didn't know what we were going to do on Monday and Tuesday (other than drive back). Well, on the way to the uncle's place, Frank (the groom) called to say he was going to be up in our area on Wednesday. After a bit more talking, we determined that we would drive up to Asheville on Sunday after the Illinois game, and spend the rest of Sunday and Monday with them. So, now we have plans for Monday, sweet.

We got down to the uncle's place, and took our stuff in, relaxed for a bit, then jumped in the car and headed to Sweetwater brewery. Sweetwater seems to pride itself on being ... um... not mainstream. They've got beers like 420, Happy Ending, Donkey Punch... and I'm a fan of their beers. We arrived at the brewery about 4:45. Walked in, and thought, that the place looked really nice. The merchandise was set up to the side, and there was a beautiful bar, with their tap handles. Their website said the tour started at 5:30, so we were a bit early (mostly because we're from out of town, and didn't want to miss it). The girl behind the merch booth asked if she could help us, we said, yes, we were there for the tour. She said, it starts at 5:30, we would have to go outside the gate and wait in line. No, we couldn't sit at the bar; no we couldn't wait inside. We would have to go stand in the line and wait until 530. She said the manager was very strict about no people inside. I thought about "don't float the mainstream" and their trying to be different, but when it came down to it, it's only ok to be different it it conforms to their rules.

So we got in the car and waited. A line started to form around 5:10, so we got in line. We met some nice people in line, what's his name, and what's her name, both from C-bus, Ohio (but they were nice anyway). He mentioned that the tour is apparently a good tour, because there's usually a line. This kind of confused me...

By the time the girl came out to the line and set up the table, there was probably 50 people in line, I thought, these people must really like brewery tours in the south.

The girl then told us our options, for $8 we could buy a brewery glass, that came with 6 tickets, that are good for 5.5 ounce samples of their beer, or for free, we could get the plastic cup, that had 6 tickets that would provide 6 tastes (about an ounce) of the beer. We obviously bought two glasses. The girl then said, that there would be no tour that day, there was construction in the back. Kridz and I almost left, at this point (Atlanta Brewing Company is a couple of miles away). but we went in and got our samples of beer.

Apparently, Sweetwater is a good place to have your company Friday happy hour. The place got to be very full. There were several hundered people in there. It was like a mix of a rock concert and college party style crowd. This was not what I had in mind when I thought "brewery tour".

It wasn't completely unenjoyable, but it wasn't the greatest time. There were more people in there that day than were at any other brewery that I've been to, other than Three Floyds on Dark Lord Day. It wasn't a special release, it was just another day at the tap room. No wonder the manager is strict. I'm a sort of "serious" beer guy. I was a bit upset that I didn't get to tour. I was also upset that people who have an interest in how the process is done, were thrown together with the people just there for happy hour. I'd recommend having an earlier 5 p.m. tour, before the mad crowd. Have it like Dogfish Head, where you have to call or email before, so that you aren't stuck with the raucus crowd. You can still run tours after, but at least be considerate of those who are going out of their way to be at your place, so they can get through before it just turns into a frat party. Sure, it's your place and you can run it like you want, if that's the way you want it.

I still got a trucker hat, and a happy ending shirt, because I like the beer, even though I didn't like how the friday evening was set up.

We finished up there and drove back up to Marietta, then went to Taco Mac. I'm a big fan of Taco-Mac. Last time we were down, I joined the Passport Club. I think I'm close to getting a reward or something. They claim to have 100 beers on tap and 300 bottles, how can you not love that? On Friday, I had four beers that I haven't had before. That and some wings, made for a good night.

Saturday, we got to help my cousin move back in to my uncle's. That man makes me do more work than anyone I know. In the times that I've visited him on "vacation" I've: raked his yard; cleaned his gutters; helped split wood; and now, moved my cousin back into the house. That's more than I've done at my place in the same amount of time.

We finished that up, got cleaned up, then headed for the hour or so, trip east to Athens to go to Terrapin. We showed up to Terrapin about 15 minutes early, bought our glass with 8 tickets (for 4 oz pours) but weren't told we'd have to wait outisde, which was nice. The lady actually let us buy our glasses, go get them filled, and then mill about in the merchandise area, instead of having to wait outside. Sadly, Terrapin only had their 4 year round beers on tap at the brewery. So 8 tickets for 4 different beers. If you gave 4 tickets you could get a full pour of something, so if you go, and they only have 4 on tap, try them all, pick a favorite, then have a pint of that. I wound up with a pint of the India Brown Ale. Terrapin actually ran the tour, which was nice. They have bands playing during the tours... which isn't as nice. The tour starts with taking everyone outside to the grain bin. There, the tour guide talks about the history of the place, a bit about their beers, and a bit about the brewing process. Meanwhile, inside, a band is playing, and college kids are playing bags, and the place is turning into a fraternity/sorority party with a band almost exactly like the day before.

After the outside part of the tour, the guide takes everyone in and he stands on the steps to the brewhouse. He's talking into a megaphone, but that doesn't matter, unless you are directly in front of him, you can't hear, because there's a band playing in a factory building... acoustics are horrible, sounds echoing, man talking about brewing process ".... (megaphone points towards where where standing) barley being passed around (turns) mumble... .... mumble... (turns towards) hops... mumble... boil... 90 minutes... volunteer..."Granted I've been on tours before, but not everyone has. I'd recommend to Terrapin as well, to have a before tap room opens tour. But, this place, I can see as almost being what the owners envisioned. If it was in someplace other than Georgia, it might be.

I already had a Terrapin shirt, but got one for the Oatmeal Coffee Stout (Wake'n'bake). Kridz also got a shirt. I figure I have enough brewery trucker hats, in Sweetwater, Bells, Dogfish Head; that I didn't need another, unless, I'm gonna be the Brewery Trucker Hat Guy. hmmm.

No results found for "brewery trucker hat guy".

Ok, so now I have a goal, great... this is gonna be expensive.

Well, we left terrapin and were looking for a place to eat, saw a hooters from the road, and were gonna stop, until the backseat overrulled the uncle and I, so then were were gonna have mexican, but saw a Mellow Mushroom, and I was like hellz yeah, mellow mushroom. I thought back to the one in Asheville, with 4 pages of local beer on the menu... and, this place had like 10 taps and about 20 different version of american style lager. I had a beer that I just had at the brewery, as it was the best option. The calzone was really good, but the beer selection wasn't what I wanted. Man, it seems like a trip of massive dissappointment so far, doesn't it? It wasn't there's just a few things I'd rather have be different.

Sunday, woke up, went to Waffle House (our first time ever, for Kridz or I) so our waitress gave us both a hat. The food was ok, nothing too great. Then we went back to the uncle's looked for the Illini game. From the time I looked on Saturday, to Sunday, the game had been moved from noon to 1. It also wasn't on local CBS, so we hadda go to Taco Mac... again. Darn. More beer... horray!!! But, the time change was disappointing, as that meant I wouldn't be able to get to Bruisin Ales, because they aren't open on Monday, and they close at 4 on Sunday.

I talked to Frank, wh went over there after church, and picked up a couple bottles of Dos Cocoas, from Terrapin, and he also got a few other things for us on Sunday. I told him to ask them, if they'ed open up for an hour on monday, if I promised to buy $200 worth of beer, they said, they would be open at noon for me. So that was awesome of them. After the Illini beat THE OSU, we packed up and headed up to Asheville. We arrived around 7. Frank picked up some beers, so we tried Golem by Wedge. It went pretty good with the chicken that night. We later had the dos cocoas, and some others. Then crashed on the couch while watching NHRA. (apparently the nitromethane shortage is over, if anyone was wondering).

Woke up on Monday, then headed out to Bruisin Ales to go make my purchases. It was a pretty good haul. I finally picked up a Taste Your Beer Kit. I also got a shirt, so now I've got shirts for the #3 and #10 beer stores, according to Ratebeer. (beer haul for the weekend will be below).

We then went to a Sushi place down the street. Then got stuff for dinner. Ate, drank some beer, played yahtzee, then went to bed.

Drove straight back on Tuesday, as there was already 4 boxes of beer in the trunk, and probably didn't need anymore.

It was a good trip. Got some good stuff, some good beer, had a bit of fun, and actually got some stuff done.

Highland Black Mountian Bitter (5)
Duck Rabbit Amber
Duck Rabbit Barleywine (5)
Duck Rabbit Wee Heavy Scotch (2)
Pisgah Valdez
Pisgah Vortex2 (not 2 bottles)
Abita Abbey Ale
Abita Andygator
Shipyard Imperial Porter
Shipyard Barleywine
Smuttynose IPA
Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale
Highland Imperial Black Mocha Stout
Ommegang Biere de Mars
Cantillon Saint Lamivinus
Boon Geuze Marriage Parfait
BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien
Lefthand Terra Rye'zd
Harpoon Rauchfetzen
Redbrick Winter Brew
Weyerbacher Firesirde Ale
Weyerbacher Autumn Fest.

Also picked up 8 bottles (but drank one) of Terrapin's Oatmeal Coffee Stout (Wake'n'bake) for eric, and 3 bottles of the Terrapin Dos Cocoas (drank one, one for Eric, one for skot). Also got 3 Terrapin Rye Pales, and 3 Rye Squared for Andy. Also gave a bottle of the Shipyard Barleywine to skot, as I apparently grabbed 2 of them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Seven Saints Beer Class

Thursdays, at 9:30 p.m. Seven Saints is now holding Beer Class.

If you are interested in beer, which you must be, otherwise why the hell are you here? then you may want to check out this ongoing event.

The class is taught by Eric, who is quite knowledgeable on beer. The class covers history of beer, breweries, styles, and stories.

Previous recent weeks have been: British beers, stouts, and hops.

The class initially was to give the employees of the bar a background of their beer (and other alcohol) selection. It's been going for a while, and is now open to the public. The cost is $10, but you'll sample several beers during that time.

It last over an hour, so it's not an early night for a Thursday. After class, we have some more "advanced" beers with the theme. It's a good time.

This Thursday's class is on Dogfish Head beers. If you are familiar with the beer, there might be some there that you haven't had (rumor has it there will be 120).

It seems the Illini have been playing a lot of Thursday night 8 p.m. games. If you are looking for a place to watch the game, Seven Saints has the game on, and beer class starts right after the game.

Champaign Urbana Beer Club, February

Tonight, in the upstairs at Crane Alley, the Champaign Urbana Beer club will be holding it's February gathering.

The subject tonight is Beer and Chocolate.

If you are coming, you'll want to bring 22 oz or more of a beer that you think fits the theme.

I still don't know what I'm going to bring.

It doesn't have to be a chocolate beer, but just maybe one that would go well with chocolate, like a raspberry, or other fruity beer. If you like it with chocolate, then someone else might too. Additionally, you can bring some of your leftover Valentine's Day chocolate if you want to get rid of it.

Days of the Beer, February 18

The beer for today is _ ll_g_s_ W_ _t_.

On February 18, 1957, in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Vanna Marie Rosich was born. Vanna later took the last name of her stepfather Herbert White.

Vanna White's first television appearance was on The Price is Right, on June 20, 1980; but she never made it on stage. She debuted as Pat Sajak's assistant on December 13, 1982, where she still remains.

As to the beer:

Allagash White is a witbier brewed by Allagash Brewing Company in Portland, Maine.

Our interpretation of a traditional Belgian wheat beer, Allagash White is unique and truly refreshing. Brewed with a generous portion of wheat and our own special blend of spices, this beer is light and slightly cloudy in appearance, with a spicy aroma. Overall, it is a beer that is very drinkable and smooth any time of the year.
The beer comes in at 5% so you won't forget too many letters if you only have one.

If you are going to buy a vowel, buy a lot of A's and get an Allagash White for Vanna White's birthday.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Days of the Beer, February 17

The beer for today is Fantôme Saison.

On February 17, 1936, the world's first superhero The Phantom, first appeared in print. The Phantom was created by Lee Falk. The Phantom is a mysterious crime fighter who operates in the African jungles.

The Phantom's alter ego is Kit Walker.

As to the beer:

Brasserie Fantôme is located in Soy-Erezée, Belgium.

This is a delicious, textural, and fizzy county ale, bright gold colour, citric and sour, reminiscent of a good champagne or lambic but in a class all its own.
Fantôme – Golden ale, 8% alc. by volume, with a wonderfully musty and characterful aroma. There are many drinkers out there who believe this is the “Nectar of the Gods.” Certainly no other brewer makes beer like this, in Belgium or anywhere. How many beers of 8% plus offer such fresh fruitiness? A solid Belgian saison beer at its base, with an unusual overlay of fruitiness.
Fantôme Saison, is considered one of the world's best beers, receiving a 97% on Ratebeer, and is currently #89 on the Beer Advocate Top 100 list.

So, for the first publication of a superhero, have a Fantôme Saison, just don't go putting on that skin tight purple outfit again, remember how the neighbors talked last time.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lack of updates

Sorry for the lack of updates, but 2 things have hampered my posting.

1. At work we have this thing that I'm calling "Project use the internet and you'll get fired." While I'm probably being more productive at the office, it's really cutting into this.

2. Paddy got high speed internet at the house, which seems to crap out every time I want to do anything here (productive) so that's hurting too. He's got a call into comcast about it, they are supposedly coming out on Tuesday, so we'll see how much that helps.

Next week, Thurs-Tues, Kridz and I will be going to Georgia. Hoping to go to Sweetwater and some other places while there.

Let's hope everything picks up with this soon.

Thanks for your patience.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Days of the Beer, February 7

The beer for today is North Coast Old Plowshare Stout.

On February 7, 1804, John Deere was born. Deere was an American blacksmith and manufacturer who founded Deere & Company, the largest agricultural and construction equipment manufacturer in the world. Deere was born in Rutland, Vermont and moved to Illinois, where he invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837.

When Deere was 4, his father disappeared on a trip to England. At age 17, he was an apprentice to a prominent Middlebury, Vermont blacksmith. Deere started a blacksmith business in Vermont, but didn't do well, so he sold the shop and left for Illinois, where he settled in Grand Detour. There were no other blacksmiths in the area, so he found work quickly.

In 1837, he developed and manufactured a cast-steel plow. It was wrought-iron framed and had a polished steel share, which made it good for the soil of the Midwest and worked better than other plows. He sold the first plow in 1838, and by 1841 was making 75-100 plows a year.

Deere left Grand Detour in 1848 and moved to Moline, Illinois, on the Mississippi River, by 1855, the factory sold more than 10,000 plows.

Deere left the company to his son Charles. He then went on to civil affairs and politics.

As to the beer:

North Coast Brewing Company is located in Fort Bragg, California. Old Plowshare was originally brewed for Whole Foods. It has since gone on to be sold at other locations.

Old Plowshare is a full-flavored Celtic style Stout. Smooth and firm-bodied with the bold flavor notes of dark roasted malts. Because Old Plowshare is organic it remains true to the time-honored Irish tradition of respect for natural ingredients. A great pub classic or the perfect Black and Tan.
North Coast produces some outstanding beers, Old Rasputin and Old Stock come to mind. In the Whole Foods line (currently AFA) there is also a Cru D'Or.

So, for the man who reinvented the plow, have an Old Plowshare.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Days of the Beer, February 6

The beer for today is Castelain St. Amand French Country Ale.

February 6, is the feast day for Saint Amand. Amandus was a French Roman Catholic saint. He lived from roughly 584 to 675.

Around the age of 20, Amand joined a monastery near Tours. He established monasteries in Ghent and Mont Blandin, the first in Belgium, among several others that he founded in his lifetime. It is assumed that the monastaries produced beer, and wine.

Amand is the patron saint of all who produce beer; be they brewers, innkeepers, or bartenders. He is also the patron of vine growers, vingners, and merchants, and for some reason... the Boy Scouts.

As to the beer:

Castelain St. Amand French Country Ale is brewed by Brasserie Castelain in Benifontaine, France. It is in the Biere de Garde style, and is 5.9& ABV.

Comments - First brewed 1978. Sold as Minator in Italy, and St. Amand in USA. Relabelled as Bière du Carnaval de Dunkerque.

Tasting Notes - An accomplished, fairly complex ale with masses of fruit, malt and bitter hops. Quite a range from the initial sweetness of the aroma to the bitterness in the finish. Easy drinking with a smooth almost creamy texture. JW: The elements come out one a time rather than blending together. KR: Excellent balance from the hops in the palate prevent a potentially cloying fruit tang taking over.
St. Amand is available locally at Seven Saints.

So, for the feast of Saint Amand, have a St. Amand French Country Ale.

Oh, and biere de garde is considered to be one of the best beers to have regardless of the meal. "In The Brewmaster's Table" by Garrett Oliver, he claimed it was the best beer (if not the only beer) to have on Thanksgiving. So, it would be perfect to have with a feast.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Days of the Beer, February 5

The beer for today is Cerveza Antares, Antares Barley Wine.

On February 5, 1971, the Lunar Module LM-8, or Antares, touched down on the moon. Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell landed at the Fra Mauro formation. Stuart Roosa stayed onboard the Command Module Kitty Hawk, while Shepard and Mitchell did their moon work.

It was during this lunar trip, that Shepard hit the golf ball athat went "miles and miles and miles" even though it only went about 200 to 400 yards; but that's still pretty good for a 6 iron.

As to the beer:

Antares Brewery is in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

The romantic term "barley wine" is used for the beers with an alcoholic content similar to the one of the wine. Of color bronze, the Antares Barley Wine is a hard licorosa beer and maltose, with an intense frutado accent, that remembers white grapes to us, originating of leavenings.
It would seem that the description from Ratebeer is translated... poorly.

I'm not sure the availability of this beer. So for the guys who landed on the moon, that one time... have an Antares Barley Wine.

It's also William S. Burroughs birthday, so have yourself a Naked Lunch. I couldn't find a beer that represented him, so just go shoot up some heroin.

It's also H.R. Giger's birthday, I couldn't find a beer for him either. :(

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Days of the Beer, February 4

The beer for today is Sweetwater Brewing Company Trippel Lindy.

On Feb. 4, 1902, Charles Augustus Lindbergh was born. Lindgergh (nicknamed "Lucky Lindy") was an American aviator, author, inventor, and explorer. Lindbergh rose to fame by flying solo non-stop from New York to Paris, in the single-seat, single-engine Spirit of St. Louis.

Lindy died August 26, 1974 from lymphoma.

As to the beer:

Sweetwater Brewing Company is located in Atlanta, Georgia.

Creeper aged in red wine barrel - cask with blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries Dry hopped with Cent, Simcoe, and Cascade * 3 yeasts, 3 berries. 3 hops, 3 fermentations *

I'm not sure where you could get this, but if it's from Sweetwater, it's probably pretty good.

So, for Lucky Lindy, have a trippel Lindy.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Days of the Beer, February 3

The beer for today is Northampton Brewery Daniel Shay's Best Bitter.

On February 3, 1787, the Shays' Rebellion was crushed.

The Shay's rebellion was led by Daniel Shays. His followers were known as Shaysites. They were mostly poor farmers, in Central and Western Massachusetts, who were struggling with high debt and taxes. At the time, failure to repay would result in imprisonment or by losing their property.

The rebellion started on August 29, 1786. The Shaysites were finally defeated at the federal Springfield Armory, in Massachusetts. As a result of the rebellion, a Constitutional convention began on May 17, 1787.

As to the beer:

Northampton Brewery is located in Northampton Massachusetts.

English style best bitter ale. Starts off malty on the pallet and finishes of hoppy.
Daniel Shay's Best Bitter is a year round offering from the brewery.

Shays' name was "Shays" so the beer should be named Daniel Shays' Best Bitter, with the apostrophe after the second s, instead of before.

So, for Daniel Shays and his rebellion, have a best bitter from Northampton Brewery.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Days of the Beer, February 2

The beer for today is Carolina Brewing Company Groundhog Day Rauch.

Today is Groundhog Day. It's a holiday celebrated in the United States and Canada (for all you Europeans who don't know that it's groundhog day, we don't know when Guy Fawkes day is!). Today, Punxsutawney Phil, from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, will come out of his hole and look for his shadow.

If a groundhog (woodchuck, marmot) fails to see it's shadow because the weather is cloudy, winter will soon end. If it sees it's shadow, the groundhog will retreat into its burrow and winter will continue for 6 more weeks.

The earliest reference to groundhog day was made in February of 1841.

There are several groundhogs throughout the U.S. and Canada, including Phil, Jimmy (Wisconsin), Wiarton Willie (Ontario), Chuck (New York), and Sir Walter Wally (Raleigh, North Carolina).

As to the beer:

Carolina Brewing Company is located in Holly Springs, North Carolina.

We are brewing a Rauch Beer this year. This style of beer originated in Bamberg, Germany. It's brewed with malts smoked over a wood fire for a truly unique, dry, smoky flavor.

Tentative Release Date - Friday, Feb 6
OK, so you can't get their Groundhog Day beer on Groundhog Day. The have previously made a Dry Irish Stout and a German Dunkel Bock for Groundhog's Day. This is in their series of special brews, Anniversary (July 3) and Holiday are the others.

So, for Phil and the other groundhogs that are out prognosticating the weather today, go out and get yourself a Groundhog Day Beer.

(In other news, it's Kriddy'z birthday (the GF) so if you see her today, or just want to wish her well, you can do it in the comments. Otherwise, we'll be out and around town on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. If you want to have a beer for her, she liks Oatmeal Stouts)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Days of the Beer, February 1

The beer for today is Great Divide St. Bridget's Porter.

Today is the Roman Catholic Feast Day of Saint Brigid of Kildare, also known as Brigid of Ireland.

Brigid lived from 451 to 525. She was a nun, abbess, and founder of several convents. Along with Patrick and Columba, she is one of Ireland's patron saints.

There are several stories that go with Brigid. Her father was a pagan, and named her after their goddess of fire. At an early age, she converted to christianity, and started her charity work, basically giving away the family fortune to the needy. She wanted to join a convent, and when she gave away her fathers jewel encrusted sword to a leper, he sent her away.

Another story was that she founded an Abbey in Kildare that was for both nuns and monks. At one point she was receiving the blessing as the Abbess from St. Mel. He accidentally read her the rite of consecration of a bishop, which cannot be rescinded, so she had the authority of a bishop from that point on.

Of course, the most famous story of St. Brigid was that she could turn her bathwater into beer. In The Life of St Brigid the Virgin:

On another extraordinary occasion, this venerable Brigid was asked by some lepers for beer, but had none. She noticed water that had been prepared for baths. She blessed it, in the goodness of her abiding faith, and transformed it into the best beer, which she drew copiously for the thirsty. It was indeed He Who turned water into wine in Cana of Galilee Who turned water into beer here, through this most blessed woman’s faith.
As to the beer:

Great Divide Brewing company is located in Denver Colorado.

St. Bridget, a legendary Irish saint, created a sensation by turning her bathwater into beer. What better way to celebrate her worthy miracle than with our zymurgistic tribute to her feat: St. Bridget’s Porter. St. Bridget’s is a smooth and elegant brown porter. Brimming with coffee and chocolate characteristics from dark barley malts, St. Bridget’s is carefully hopped to provide the perfect complement to its malty robustness. This beer is a “must have” beer for all porter lovers.
This beer is probably available where ever Great Divide beers are. It is in several of the better bars in Champaign Urbana. It has won several awards and is highly rated on both Beer Advocate and Rate Beer.

So, for the woman who turned water into beer, go have a St. Bridget's Porter.

Some info from Zythophile.