Posts Tagged ‘beer’

cabin-sm

Like many of my fellow patriots I had no wish to watch the slow-motion train wreck of the Presidential election, so since October of 2016 we have been hunkered down in our SHTF “bug-out” cabin in an undisclosed wilderness waiting for the post-American fallout to clear. We assumed we were well supplied and prepared to outlast the inevitable Hillary Clinton presidency (and the subsequent loss of liberty, freedom, and the collapse of our once proud nation) but SOMEBODY seriously miscalculated the pop-tart inventory. Also, I’m out of beer already (no surprise) and our DVD collection is wearing thin.

Since I am making this trip to pick through the ruins of civilization to remedy those “basic needs” shortages, I decided to charge up the old electronic devices on a lark and was surprised to find the Wifi and cell-phone coverage is still functional. How odd.

Well, now. It seems that even the Internet is still up and running. Let’s just scroll through some old headlines here to see how bad things got before the end of Western civilization.

This can’t be right…

He… he won? How the hell…

Well, even so, he’ll never keep those outrageous promises he… wait just a friggin’ minute. He’s done what? Huh.

So. There you are. I’m speechless. And, frankly, giddy with relief. I guess all I can do now is quote the late Gilda Radner: “Never mind.”

P.S. What am I going to do with a room full of MREs and a metric ton of toilet paper?

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This is a mini-post of a larger article.  Click here for the full article. 

Round One

Game Five:                Bell’s Oberon v. 21st Amendment Bitter American

9. Yeah, I know. If I hate wheat beers so much, why do they keep ending up in the competition? I don’t know either, so there. Bell’s is a terrific brewery, and Oberon was one of the first varieties I tried during my 100 Beers 2011 challenge, and I liked it – best wheat beer I can ever remember drinking. My first Oberon was almost exactly two years ago. And today? It starts with a nostalgic summer beer aroma, only a slightly cloudy pale yellow hue, and a bright crisp flavor with just a tang of pungency at the end. How is this a witbier? Better yet, why aren’t all witbiers like this? Delish, refresh, and a perfect session beer for today’s “sunny and seventy-five” weather.

10. Ah, the Bitter American – another favorite that has been worth purchasing several times in the past. (I remember my first time with this one, too. I had been debating Tea Party politics with a friend earlier that day, and the name of this ale seemed to speak to me.) I found it odd that this very different ale is identical in appearance to Oberon. But the pleasant hops aroma and crisp IPA flavor set it apart, and there’s a stark bitterness at the back of the tongue. Bitter American is an Extra Pale Ale that is about as highly-hopped as I ever like it; a good beer to satisfy my occasional IPA desire.

*** Winner:          This was a very, very close battle. I had so much trouble picking one over the other that the game went into extra innings. Finally, after exhaustive analysis, I declare Oberon by the narrowest of margins – and now I can drink all the rest of the Bitter American now that it has been knocked out of the tournament! What? Are you saying that may have biased the call?

Game Six:                Sweetwater Brown v. Highland Little Hump Spring Ale 

11. Sweetwater Brown. Well, it is brown. Also clear, with very little head or lacing, and a nice little old-style beer aroma. The first sip gives you a much stronger punch than you expect, with a hint of bitterness at the back. A pleasant and not overtly strong dark beer. It’s an odd turn that brings the Brown from Sweetwater (a brewer most known for a solid line of IPAs) up against the…

12. Little Hump Spring Ale from Highland (a brewery I most associate with their oatmeal stout); sort of like playing weak sister against weak sister. Little Hump is a bright yellow, hoppy and refreshing ale. Completely unexpected, with a clean highly drinkable mouthfeel and almost no aftertaste despite the weedy style of hops.

*** Winner:          Little Hump Spring Ale. I have high expectations for the Highland varieties because of their dark beers, and thought a light summer style would be out of their reach, so Little Hump was more than I had hoped for. Sweetwater Brown just wasn’t very interesting in comparison, even though it’s a good beer that’s very enjoyable and is always welcome in my frig.

This is a mini-post of a larger article.  Click here for the full article. 

Round One

Game Four:                 Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale v. Pyramid Discord 

7. Lagunitas Brewery gets a second chance for the title with the new-on-the-shelf, oddly-named Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale. This clear copper ale with a nicely frothy head and great lacing smells hoppy, tastes creamy. There’s something about it that’s kind of sticky/sweet, though. Gets more aggressive as it warms, and finishes with a fairly bitter aftertaste – which ties in nicely with the great backstory. They call it an American Strong Ale on beeradvocate.com, but should probably be in with the ESBs.

8. Pyramid Discord is a dark IPA that pours like a great stout; even the frothy tan head sticks around, although as just a skim after several minutes. Smells decently hopped and tastes slightly more so. Blindfolded you would guess the color to be dark golden, because it tastes like the good IPAs or 2Xs, has the bitterness as well, and lacks creaminess. The malts only step up as it warms and provide almost a cigar character as you swallow.

*** Winner: Discord – which is odd because I thought, head-to-foamy-head, any Lagunitas brew was going to beat down and punish any Pyramid brew. Discord wasn’t very exciting but it was really good. I often enjoy the bitter style that Undercover represents, and it is a good ale I’ll probably have again, but the stickiness was too off-putting to win this challenge.

Round Two

Game Two:                Pyramid Snow Cap v. Pyramid Discord

It’s the battle of the Pyramids! This much anticipated showdown should be exciting, as I’ve very much enjoyed both varieties.

Sadly, Snow Cap may have reached its expiration a week earlier than the date printed on the bottle. Or maybe I had previously paired it with a highly complimentary meal – several times. Or maybe I suddenly fell out of love with Snow Cap. Whatever the case, during this session it had an unpleasant witbier aroma and flavor. I noticed no improvement as it warmed, either.

With no serious competition this round, Discord could win the game with its beautifully effervescent pour alone. Thankfully, there is some character there to back up its good looks. I have really enjoyed the way the malt-ness and ale-ness still comes through in what is unmistakably a well-hopped IPA.

*** Winner: Discord. I get the impression that Pyramid Brewing Co. gets sneered at by the microbrew elite, but this seasonal Dark IPA is one that I plan on purchasing in the future, like I do with Watership Brown – Discord’s next opponent. The next round should be interesting.

2013 Brackets: Insanity v. RHWB

Posted: March 29, 2013 in Fun, Hobbies
Tags: ,

I’ve changed things up a little and made the 2013 Beer Brackets page no longer password protected. Every one or two “games” will now appear as a regular mini-post on the main blog page, but the full article with updated posts and the brackets chart will remain available at the game page by clinking the link below. Don’t worry, that’ll make more sense as the tournament advances.
I’ll try to remember to include “Brackets” in the title so those not interested in this topic can easily skip it.

 Click here for the full article. 

Round Two

Game One:                Watership Brown v. Insanity

This matchup between the $1.50/12oz Watership Brown and the $3.79/12oz Insanity would be a David and Goliath story on any other blog. I’m honest enough to say that in a blind taste-test, I am unreliable guessing which beer is the “most premium”. There are some low-end beers I enjoy and some high-end beers I just couldn’t finish, and vicey-versy. These two brews rank among my favorites and I had no bad things to say about either one in their first round challenges. I’ll use a snifter glass for this competition.

WB smells good and malty like a porter and starts with a pleasant bitter flavor. This time I get a slightly burnt aftertaste, which is probably that “chocolatey note” the brewer was talking about. If so, it’s a raw, unsweetened dark chocolate. WB gets pleasantly spicy as it warms (but not as flavorful as Insanity), settling in to a solid example of the type but with American style (that’s the hops coming through).

That first blast of aroma from Insanity is so infused with whiskey and plum that it is surprising. Even the air above the glass is sticky-sweet. The color is as dark as WB, only opaque. All that prepares you for the heavy robustness of the first sip. Insanity is like a thick hot toddy (yum) but is probably even higher proof – it has an APV of 11.1, which is over 20 proof. Truly Insane.

Winner: Red Hare Watership Brown. I’ll probably get grief for this one. I really do like Weyerbacher Insanity, and can imagine there will be times I would purchase it. But there are such narrowly defined situations in which this is enjoyable that the win has to go to Watership Brown. challenge.

Many Hues of Brews at Summits

Posted: February 29, 2012 in Food, Reviews
Tags: , ,

It’s probably a good thing that my favorite pub is a 20 minute drive from home, or I might be tempted to trash my budget and visit far more often. I have a deep-seated blue-collar affection for dive bars (I use only the most complimentary context of the term). All the proper elements are present at Summits Wayside Tavern in Snellville: a large group of regulars, a friendly and informative staff, a massive draft beer selection, and excellent pub food with a menu that often travels into “gastro-pub” territory for pleasant surprises.

Summits’ Snellville location was once a Taco Mac; the concept is still the same but they do it better. Superficially there are very few things that set apart the two Atlanta chains – both have plenty of TV sets, the wall of beer taps, a “world beer tour” passport club, and trivia nights – so it must be the staff (front and back) that make it superior. Summits keeps luring me in for their frequent pint glassware giveaway specials, but if I’m honest with myself that’s just an excuse to go get the food.

Choosing a beverage to start can be overwhelming for the newbie, because the available draft selection alone is well over 100 beers long and is updated weekly. If you enjoy craft beer but don’t know much about the breweries or beer styles all of the servers are trained to help you select the one you’ll most enjoy. As for grub, always ask your server for the seasonal menu. They don’t always have one, but it’s always worth it when they do. Sausage month was particularly memorable, as was Regional Sandwiches month and Flatbread Pizza month. And I’ve never been to another pub with a noodle bowl section on the regular menu. (Probably not quite what you get on Buford Hwy, but tasty, with generous portions and chopsticks.)

The food prices are reasonable when compared to other restaurants, but I’ve seen people blanche at the cost of some of the brews. A decent craft beer here will cost as much as a six-pack of the yellow fizzy watered-down stuff at your local Kroger – and it’s actually worth it, because you can’t usually get these on draft anywhere else. (One last thing about beer pricing: like every other bar, they charge about 3 times as much as the liquor store does for a 12-oz bottle of the same thing, and half as much as the ballpark would. Big deal.) The dozen or so high-gravity beers will add another buck or two to your tab and are served in a 10-oz glass.

So if you’ve always driven by and were too put off by the sketchy-looking front entrance to check it out, you’ve got new reasons to put aside your doubts. There’s good beer and good food to be had! Watch for the occasional Groupon special, and check out the website for holiday specials and events.

Happy Half Year

Posted: July 6, 2011 in Growth
Tags: , , ,

Everyone gets so excited about January 1, setting goals and listing their resolutions. I admit, it is helpful to have a solid line of demarcation, but who says it has to be at year’s end? Why not the exact midway-point between one year’s end and the next – say, July 1?

There are gobs of topics and news items that have popped up since last I wrote, and even a couple of goals accomplished since the year began. Which leads to another idea – if a goal is reached before the year ends, why not redirect my efforts towards a new goal? More on that soon. Meanwhile, here are a few new things this year that may appear in upcoming posts:

  • Softball – second season
  • Hiatus from DYB10Y
  • 50 books in 2011 (did this last year, too)
  • 50 beers in 2011, and Summit’s 100 Draught Passport program
  • Buick purchase
  • Kid off to college
  • Map-Cat close (turrns out the ones who needed it failed to understand that they needed it)
  • Telework pitch – fail?
  • New boss with big ideas of his own – but facing similar obstacles as mine
  • Warrior Dash! (goal reached!)
  • Inspired by 4HWW, frustrated by those who would never get it
  • Sunday DVD classes grow
  • Minimalist goals / mindset for minimalist home life
  • New kitchen, dining area, rugs
  • Golf with Paul
  • Subversive website launch for the boss
  • And probably much more that I can’t remember just now…

So it seems that I ought to have a lot that prevents me from claiming writer’s block.

As for my half-year’s resolutions, I have chosen this blog as a venue for acheiving this goal: 50 posts in 2011! Wonder how many “50”s I can hit this year…

And how many things should be on my list to STOP doing (that’s right, Blockbuster movies-by-mail, I’m talking to you!)

 

 

You know, sometimes it’s the only way I can watch the man speak.

Take a drink whenever Obama says, word for word:
Let me be clear OR Let me make this clear
Put[ting] insurance companies back in charge
Millionaires and billionaires
Reach[ing] across the aisle
Era of bipartisanship
Eight years of failed policies
Tragedy in Arizona
Second amendment
Bring civility
Heated rhetoric
Jobs created or saved
Worst recession since the Great Depression

Drink an entire beer whenever Obama makes one of these claims:
Claim: Limiting availability of weapons makes people safer
Claim: Porkulus pulled our economy “back from the brink”
Claim: GOP has not presented any ideas
Claim: Economic recovery depends on green energy and/or education
Claim: The wealthiest Americans have more than they need
Claim: The repeal of Obamacare will cost $[any] dollars more than leaving it intact

Orwellian Doublespeak: Whenever one of the following terms is used, the last person to cross their arms and make quacking motions with both hands must drink.
Term: Any use of Investment OR Reinvestment that does not involve the stock market
Term: Any use of the term Progressive that actually means Democrat
Term: Any use of the term Terrorist that actually means Radical Islamic Terrorist
Term: Any derogatory use of the term Wall Street that actually means Successful US Businesses

Soaring Rhetoric: Any player can yell out, “Rhetoric!” The last person in the group to hold their arms out like a bird must drink, but only if at least half of the group agrees that Obama’s statement was, actually, soaring rhetoric.

 

Have fun, and always make use of your designated driver. Unless it’s a par three hole.