Sunday, September 21, 2008

Punkin Ale

First off, the Houston Texans suck. Matt Schaub needs to be sat down. The picture on the left is fitting for the Texans Quarterback. Moving on.

September 21, 2008
State: Wishing I could sell my season tickets

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale
Strong tan head sitting pretty on top of a brown beer. Smells of pumpkin, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Put in my dimpled glass. Oh yeah. Brown ale fullness. Can taste the pumpkin, as it has that pumpkin character. I get the cinnamon and brown sugar. Maybe the nutmeg in the aftertaste. Lightly hop but a little high on the carbonation. Tastes a little roasty as well on the next draught, with a little bitterness at the back of the palate. A high three star and would be 4 if not for that bitterness. I like it b/c it does not taste like a pumpkin pie. But this is a great beer with more body than your normal Fall beer. Just ate an orange, and the roasted breadiness comes out now. You know what, this one is a 4 starer. Definitely the best Fall Beer I've had so far, and it blows away the other Pumpkin ales. Not too hard core, just right.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Oktoberfest and FAMU Football

Sitting here watching my alma mater Florida A&M whoop up on Howard U. We got a 41-0 lead and we just intercepted the ball and ran it back to the 4 yard line.

We found PLENTY more Oktoberfests at a different SPECS out here in the 'burbs, so I'm going to have to beer it up. Hold up. FAMU TOUCHDOWN. Fade pass.

I'm getting an Oktoberfest.

Sept 20, 2008
Rahr & Sons Oktoberfest

Nice brown color and opaque. Tan head. Light cinnamon and malt on a decent head. Nice full body and roastiness. Not much malt in first taste, kinda like a harsh feel on the back sides of my mouth, can't put my finger on it. Light nutmeg on the finish. A little gritty. Not really all that good with SOMETHING they put in there that is out of the ordinary. Nevermind, that's just metallic. I haven't tasted that one in a while out of a bottle. Very high metal feel. Not cool at all. Firmly a 2 star beer if not a 1 star with that metallicness. My glass may not be clean enough. I'll give it a go with one more later on. I have a 6 pack and it's a local beer (Fort Worth, TX), so I kinda have to give 'em another shot. This is my first R&S, and this specs has enough beer and local beer to rival Central Market. But I can't finish this beer. At least I'll have points to try another one today. The wife thinks it's okay. We both now agree that there is a lot of coriander in there. That must be it. The guys on Beeradvocate that gave it a low rating agree with me with the sour metal thing going on.

FAMU got another two scores while I was typing this, we are destroying these chumps. Mecca of Black colleges my arse.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Found another Oktoberfest... Yes

And I thought I had found all I could down this way without resorting to beer trading. We braved the roads of downtown to go to The Sauce, as that and a couple of Chinese and Mexican joints are the only ones that are open. Broken glass everywhere.

The waitress brings out my Oktoberfest and the wife's beer, whatever she ordered.

Live Oak Oaktoberfest
And its local. Light malty and cascade hoppy smell. Clear amber color. Light malt in the taste but medium to strong hops. WTF man? Lacy head. What's going on here. I'll have to try this one again at maybe Alamo Drafthouse or something. If someone told me this was a Pale Ale if not an IPA with that maltiness, I would believe them. I mention to the waitress that this is kinda hoppy for an oktoberfest, but she must be new as she didn't seem sure what I was getting at. Oh well, I'm already halfway through the pint. I even go to the kiosk to see what the "answer" is on the receipt. I has German hops on there, which could mean it has those musty hop aromas like the Hofbrau I have in the fridge. I taste the wife's beer and realize that she has a soapy oktoberfest while I have her Flying Dog Doggy Style Pale Ale. Isn't that just great. At least I got the style right, and even the hops. 3 Stars for the Doggy Style. It's so funny b/c I was thinking medium malt the entire time, but still got that pale ale flavor going on.

Live Oak Oaktoberfest, the real one this time.
Wow. Lighter amber than the Doggy Style, low head. Light malt and sweetness. Lops hops. True oktoberfest but has some bubblegum mintyness to it. Turns out the wife's lipstick is on the glass and that's what I'm smelling and tasting. Oh behave. Medium carbonation and kind of light in the body. 3 Stars. Goes great with the Guiness Au Jus sauce and roast beef sandwich we're having. Here's to hoping I can find a few more Oktoberfests before the season wraps up.

But the oktoberfest was what I thought it was. And we let 'em off the hook.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Oktoberfesting in a Green Bottle

I have this aversion to green and clear bottles, as it oxidizes the beer faster than an amber bottle. I'm even more wary of imports in green bottles, as it I know it probably got a lot of light on the trip overseas. I'm even MORE wary of imports in a green bottle from a corner liquor store which means that after its trip overseas, it has probably sat in the lit cooler for weeks if not months. But I need something new as I got the kegerator working finally, and I'm trying to get as many Oktoberfests as I can find.

September 16, 2007

Hofbrau Oktoberfest

Clear in a pilsner glass, I wanted more scent than what comes out of a beer mug. Clear straw color, strong poofy white head. Kinda skunk smell right off the bat. Dammit man. As the head goes down slowly, I'm getting more sweet smell off of it. Kinda like a lager sweetness. Tastes a little bready and lager vegetally. Bad bitter AT (aftertaste) man, very nasty on the back of the tongue. Kinda gritty and whatnot. Low carbonation, which is good. Medium bodied. The more I drink it the more I get a little of that sweetness. Typically the Oktoberfests I've had are dark and malty. If someone told me this was a budweiser or even a malt liquor, I would believe you. I'm not even getting that much Munich malt. Got to give this one a 2 Star. They say the German hops have the mustiness to it, so I'll roll with it. In a better situation, like on tap in Munich, this is probably a 3-4 star.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Sitting here watching the Cleveland Browns, who haven't won since...



Another New Belgium product.
Dark brown and blood red in the light. frothy tan head, smells of choco, malt, light mapleyrp. biscuity as well.brown dark suager, light honey, light roast and smoke. a be;lgian dark ale to be sure. lightly Hopped. mod drinkablity, low-med carbo. a little bad mt on the at. full bodied. 3 star. not bready but kinda like english muffiny. I like this one.

Hunkering Down: Ike Beering

Yesterday our power went out, but we still had some cold beer. So I was able to try out the Flying Dog In Heat Wheat. It was a little humid in the house, so a cold wheat beer should do the trick. And it did.

Flying Dog In Heat Wheat

Just got to love that name. And there funkadelic bottle labels. This one has some high carbo but has a nice steady rush of coriander and orange peel. They kept the temperature low on the fermentation, so it doesn't have all those yeast fruity flavors that come through like in things like Hoegaarden, which actually turned me off to Hefs for a while. Just excellent in this hot weather. High 3 Star beer.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hunkering Down: Hurricane Ike Beering


Your favorite oilman is in it again with the Tropical storm/hurricane. Right now the weather is fine where we are in the upper Northwest corner of Houston. By design I do not live South of I-10. So we bought a lot of craft beer to hold it down during the storm. May as well start with the top...

Dogfish Head Raison d'etre

Had to get this one some day. I am trying to take a break from hoppy beers, and I am not finding much in the way of Oktoberfests out here. So I'm still buying wheat beers like it was summertime (which it is) and we are getting into the darker Belgians a bit more. As much as I love Dogfish, I had to cop this one. Pours with little than suddenly strong poofy tan head. Dark brown/crimson color of all things. I'm not getting much of a smell, maybe some syrup like stuff, but that's it. Tastes just fine. It took me a while to put my finger on it, but I would say it's somewhere between wine and rum. Got something like roasted fruit going on in there. It has beet sugar which I've never had straight up, so I'll assume that is what's giving me the molasses taste. Very nicely done, moderately drinkable, low carbonation. The finish is okay for me, doesn't linger. The finish is really alcoholy and lightly bitter. I like it and it would be a 4 starer, but that alcohol aftertaste is not quite what I'm looking for. There are other Belgians I would rather have. Big fan of Brown sugar. This would be great if it had a touch of bret in there or a touch of sourness to balance out the sweetness. Oh well, it has a lot more going for it than most of my 3 Star beers, low 4 stars. I could see me ordering this as a late desert beer or something, but not in everyday drinking. It's actually getting a little worse as it warms, which puts it firmly in 3 star land.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Beering in Houston: Two Rows

August 30, 2008
More Two Rows in Rice Village. We had to get to Two Rows at some point. I took it a bit lighter this time, as ti's still so hot outside.

Osage Gold Wheat
Clear like Budweiser and gold. A slight skunk on the nose, maybe some esteryness. Medium body and bready are the first things I notice on the first draught. It's smooth with a medium carbonation. There's even a medium level of hops near the back of the tongue. I wish they had it a little bit colder. It's kind of basic to me. After the Hefs I've had in Atlanta, I'm giving this one a 2 star.

Honey Blonde Light Pale Ale
Tinged bar gold color, no smell. It's nice and bready with low hops and a quick finish. Medium carbonation, but I'm having a hard time getting any honey. Slight sweet but low on favor, 2 stars again.

As much as I like Brewpubs, I would like to see a little more out of Two Rows. Their other beers I've had in the past have not had me jogging back for more either. The place was cool, yet the waiter was not all that aware of what was going on on the chalkboard. Food and atmosphere is good stuff. They have a few more I haven't tried, including their darker beers. We'll give it a go when it gets a little chillier outside.

Beering in Atlanta: Taco Mac

I'm sitting here drinking a Corona and watching Unbeatable Banzuke. Clear bottle with the funky smell and flavor. Maybe some malt and corn in there, but I'm not feeling it. Even in my tall pilsner glass, this stuff ain't the ticket. But I wanted something light. Should probably keep some Heineken on keg in the house. But I just wanted to say a bit about Taco Mac in Atlanta: Come for the Taco, stay for the Cougars.

August 28, 2008
We were only in the ATL for what was no more than 36 hours, but we dragged ourselves out on the streets to hit Taco Mac. This is one AWESOME beer bar. Right on Peachtree at the bottom the Metroplis Loft, it is perfectly positioned to be a premier ATL bar. Even more so as Buckhead has gone rather hood as they shut down the hip hop clubs in Bankhead. It's a damn shame, as I saw Buckhead go downhill all within the two years I was in Grad School.

We got in there and we noticed the other attraction about Taco Mac, the Cougaring. A few seasoned sistas that went to my undergrad were hollering at my boy, so he struck up convo with them and we joined them at their table. They told me that I was suspect as I was wearing an extra-medium Affliction shirt. In Houston, brothas with some muscle on their frames can wear extra mediums with no big deal, but in Atlanta, they'll think you're batting for the other side.

But we did try Sweetwater's Hummer and 420 IPA. The waitress knew what she was doing as I asked her for something hoppier than the 420 and she brought me the Dogfish Head 60 Minute. I did not have my journal, and so I didn't write them down, but they were excellent beers. Certainly the best I had in the ATL. If you go to Atlanta, please take yourself to Taco Mac. And if you don't try some Sweetwater, just stay home.

To finish out the story, I think my friend could have hooked up with one of the Cougars, but I mentioned how I may be the only black man not voting for Obama and the conversation turned political. Too bad about that one. I didn't help that the cute one started getting all emotional with some random rant about how she won't talk with guy who have not had tragedies in his life. Probably not the way to attract a man. Waitress, Check Please!

Beering in Atlanta: Gordon Biersch

August 28, 2008
Finally made it back to where I got my complete arse whoopin, er Graduate education. We were recruiting at Georgia Tech, and one of the guys in the crew (Bud Light Lime Fan) notified the crew that I'm a Beer Connoisseur. I convince everyone to go to Gordon Biersch on Peachtree St. for our lunch. Eating on the company, gotta love it. The only other time I made it to GB was in New Orleans, and I only had their Marzen, as I was a stone's throw away from stumbling all over Market Street and being picked up for public drunkenness, also on the company.
So we hit GB and we're loving the decor and the food was just fine. We went ahead and got the sampler to see what's going on, and I'm still watching my Weight Watcher points (lost 13 lbs as of this post, hells yeah).
Gordon Biersch Sampler
Not a fan of doing samplers, as I like to see how the beer changes as it warms, but we don't have a GB in Houston, so we gotta roll with it.
Golden Export
Obviously something to introduce Bud and Miller drinkers to craft beer. Smart idea. Give them something lighter than a triple IPA to get them used to the idea of trying new beers. Lager smell and clear gold. It's kind of Budweisery, but a little more hoppy. Just what I expected. 2 star beer, by design I'm sure.
Yeasty smell (estery) and cloudy orange. It tastes fruity with light banana. Lower carbonation than most Hefs and very nice. Medium body and quick finish with low hops. 3 Star.
I don't even know if I'm spelling that right, and I'm having some trouble finding it on Beer Advocate. But the waiter said this was their seasonal. Clear, and kind of looks like tinged water. OMG hits you hard with the spice. A late shocker on spice and sourness. Can't believe I'm doing this, but this is 1 Star for me, a beer that could turn you off from beer. I typically have NO PROBLEM converting folks to craft beer, but my mentor also ordered this beer, and she will probably never touch beer again. The waiter did not care for it, but I don't know about this. A little warning would have been nice. I'll seek it out and try a couple more in this style, as I'm sure this is a style play. There was a time I couldn't stomach a pale ale. But dammit man, this ain't working. We lost a few folks on this one. 1 star.
Had it in NO. On point.
Brown and kinda opaque. Chocolate and roasty caramel smell. Tastes roasted and buttery. Medium carbonation. Lite hops. Just not feeling it. 2-3 stars
Blonde Bock
Little malt smell. A clear beer that comes on malty and strong. Medium body and not bad. Bready and nice.
I did not order the Blonde Bock or Hefe as I had to watch the points, but I am disappointed with this adventure. With what I've had a BJs and Zea, I expected GB to be the King Ish. Of course
I'll try another location, probably New Orleans and report back in. But damn, this was not a nice
Best beer, the Hefe. Loved it, and I know the boys in the ATL would dig it. Especially with the popularity of the Sweetwater Hummer.
2. Blonde Bock
3. Marzen

Sunday, September 7, 2008

UFC 88 and Bottled Beer

Well were watching UFC 88 at Champps, getting fired up and eating way too many buffalo wings. The waiter was cool as all get out and kept bringing us free bottles of Shiner Bock. In between yelling "It's OVER" prematurely during the fights and whatnot, I happened to notice I could get a nice flavor out of Shiner out of the bottle. Got the slight high carbo, but also got that light chocolate and light syrupyness that I get in the more hardcore bocks. The waiter then brought out a glass that was broken, so he brought out some pilsner glasses for the third beer. In the glass, I just was not getting as much flavor at all. What the hell is this? Anyone ever experience somethhing like this. The fourth beer (in a bottle) was back to normal and the reason I starting drinking SB in the first place.

I only had 4 SBs, so I wasn't even tipsy. Although you couldn't anyone else that, as when my boy Rashad Evans dropped Chuck Liddel like a sack of potatoes, I was the only, and I MEAN ONLY guy who got fired up and hype. Normally at Champps you get a portion of the crowd that just wants to see the action (like it seemed like for all the undercard fights), and a smaller portion that is actually rooting for one guy. The more we thought about it at while trying Scotch at Downing Street, I was the only guy even making noise at the knockout. Normally a big knockout is just a clustereff with people clapping hands and a couple of guys trying to sneak out without paying the bill. Luckily we paid the bill quickly and got THE F&CK out of there before someone tried to holler at me.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Good Belgian

We hit the Specs Downtown to see what's poppin, and we grabs a Dubbel, a Triple, and a Quadruple. Seeing as how all of these are pretty high in alcohol content, we only tried one tonight. I had the Dubbel a couple nights before (though I'll review it later), so we reached for the Trip.

Allagash Tripel Reserve Batch #114
Bottle to Wine Goblet
Status:Eating Chicken breast basted in leftover Shiner Bock and Oatmeal Stout

Big head, malty smell oh yeah. A little sourness, (Bret I think that is). Light gold color with cloudiness. Head ain't going nowhere. Smooth, sweet, moderate drinkability.Feels good. Slight bitterness on AT. High-med fine carbonation. Oh yeah. No real taste of alcohol, nice and smooth. We're thinking 4 star here. Maybe some slight honey and fruit but not much. Getting better as it warms, more fruity. It was served in the upper 38ish degrees it was from my fridge. Kinda like Leffe but a little better done and a little more hops.

A little bit later I stood up and walked around, and am now feeling the 9% alcohol. Igot to get to work today, and I don't want to put a wine stopper in it and risk it going bad. The wife is not feeling it as much, she liked the Ommegang we had at a house party better.

I have some extra WW points so I knocks to what amounted to 24 ounces of this stuff. The wife is wearing her revealing gear while watching Good Eats, so I'm probably not going to be blogging much longer. Just waiting for that baby to go to sleep. Dammit man that's good beer. I have a double and a quadruple at the house for comparison, so right now, this one is 4 stars. I need a stash of this at the house at all times

Me and Hops, Done

I figured it could happen at some point. I finally OD'ed on hops and am drinking malty beers. It's just in time for the Oktoberfest season, so I'm good. I know I'll get back to hoppy beers, probably right along with the progression of the season beers (Oktoberfest/Pumpkin Ale in the Fall, Winter Warmers/Stouts/Christmas Ale in the Winter, Bocks in the Spring). So I guess I'm right in line with it all. Neat. My ratings for IPAs and whatnot are not getting above a 3, so I know somethings up. I've even have some Elissa IPA in the fridge that I haven't touched in weeks. You know that its real when the Shiner Helles Lager is just awesome for me back in my Fantasy Football draft.

So this happened after a Houston Dynamo game with a couple drinking buddies at the Sauce. I usually get three beers of a certain style in one night to compare, plus its fun. So here we go...

August 16, 2008
State: Packed in the bar, still sweaty from watching the Dynamo murder Real Salt Lake (Texiaria Army Baby), and eating chicken fingers and fries.

It was supposed to be on fire sale but they hadn't erased the board, so I had to pay full price. Dark bronze-copper. Smells a little malty, low head though. First taste is a low malt and then a RUSH of hops that taste like Cascade. I think it was Cascade that did it for me. It's bitter on the aftertaste and feel kinda gritty on the finish. Not very balanced, very tilted toward hops. I put in parenthensis that I got a slight "emptiness" that I associate with light beers. 3 stars. I'm tasting this one long after I drank it. As the place was packed and our waitress who looked like a beer waitress version of Beyonce was taking forever, so I had that stuff on my tongue for many minutes.

Gotta love that name. Flowery biting hop scent, copper color. Medium body, with a strong strong rush of hops on the outset I would expect from the West Coast. Lingering aftertaste. Lacy white head. Bring the pain baby. Light malt in there but its greatly overpowered by the hops. I like my IPAs with at least a little balance, like Elissa and Broken Halo. Lacy head with low carbonation as I keep drinking it. It actually has a better balance as it warms and I get used to it all. I would probably really like this one 5 months ago, but for now its a 3 star.

My main man is trying the Brother Thelonius which I put as a 5 star, so am a little nervous. I hope he really likes it, or he'll bust my chops forever more like I do for one of my other friends with his Bud Light Lime.

(Classic American IPA)
At least that's what it says on the menu. I was dangerously close to blowing my weight watchers points, but we were still there and I didn't want to be chugging water, so I went for this one to wrap it up. Nose is fruity, like apple. Light straw color with a kinda foamy white head. It tastes almost wheaty for an IPA, medium hops, and light malt. I keep thinking it's wheat-beerish. I know Anchor is considered top-notch, but whatever. When I think IPA I think about Halo and things like Stone. Crisp and light-medium body. High Carbonation. The carbo is getting weaker now, but the At is a little icky yet dry. I should have gotten this one first, and we all agree this should have been a starter beer. I didn't even write down a rating.

Well, I think that about wraps it up for me for hops. I have had pale ales since then, but I need something more sweet for now. I've heard people's preferences change over time anyway. I may grab me some of the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale for my tailgating beers for good measure. Next up, a little trip to Atlanta and did a Gordon Biersch beer get a 1 Star rating?