Friday, September 25, 2009

Victory Wilddevil: Houston Rodeo Beer

I've never had a beer brewed with pure Bret (a bacteria you normally want to keep out of beer). I must say that after getting a wine glass of this stuff last night in the form of Victory Wilddevil Ale. We had that bomber cooled down to 42 deg F. We were ready to rock and roll with some spicy spaghetti (seeing as how it's a Belgian IPA), and I was ready to pencil in a 5 Star.

I think I made it through about 3 tablespoons of this beer and I was done. It was bottle conditioned, so I knew it would be high carbonation, and it was. I was at a loss for words for how shocking this beer tasted. I later realized the answer: the Houston Rodeo. Every year for about a month Houston has the largest rodeo and livestock show in the world. It takes up all of Reliant Park including Reliant Stadium (Houston Texans home), the Astrodome, Reliant Arena, the Convention Center, and the entire parking lot. If you took all the cows, bulls, chickens, horses, hay, filth, turkey legs, day old bbq sauce, ferris wheels, game booths, and especially the dirt they put on the rodeo floor; stuff it all in a mash tun and soaked it in 140 deg water, added some British hops and fermented it, thats what this beer tastes like.
No rating as I know this is a new (to me) style and I'm still working on acquiring a taste for sour beers. But this makes those sour beers taste like Spaten Doppelbock. I love Victory and consider them a top 15 if not top 10 American brewery. What's bad is that I know they are going for a specific style and taste and probably hit it on the head, so God bless 'em.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sorry for not blogging

Apologies to the BeerBrotha Nation, all three of us. I have been uber busy as I've just been approved for a transfer to an onshore position, which means I'll be home every night and still doing what I like to do. Fantastic! But that means I'm working like crazy to wrap up my projects before I transfer. We're also doing a lot of research to revamp our investment club to investing in business ventures as opposed to just stocks. Lots more work involved deciding to be a major investor in a small company than a minor investor in a large company.

Not to mention I've just got the greenlight to give a presentation on the Energy Sector at a conference in Tulsa, OK (Pass the Choc Beer) this Halloween weekend. And the people of OK think they are just as big in this business as those of us in Texas, so I got to be on my stuff.

Somewhere in there I have my daughter's birthday today (2 Years old) and a little trip to OKTOBERFEST in Munich.

Anyway, how about a little month old review:

Beer Log: August 22, 2009
State: At the Alamo Drafthouse

Real Ale Phoenix Double ESB
Like Dave Chappelle said: "It's too real for ya!". Nothing like some good old ESB on a summer day at the old movie house. Light malt smell, copper color with thin lasting white head. Served pretty cold with a light malt/chocolate thing going on with the taste in the middle-back of the tongue. 2nd draught is just moderate grassy hops. 3rd draught is a little buttery and kinda chalky. Not sure how that happen in three separate gulps, but whatever. No rating just yet. Looking forward to this one again.

Turns out I only have one more beer to go before getting an Alamo Beer Hunter Beer Stein. Hellz yeah. It takes 30 beers on draft at the Alamo to make this happen, and after some hardwork and movie going, we're almost there. Holla.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Beer Snob Article: Not Exactly Wrong

"Interacting with Other Beer Snobs
While it’s perfectly fine and extremely pleasurable to rabidly denounce whatever swill your non-beer snob acquaintances are slopping down their gauche gullets, you must carefully weigh each word when amongst your own.

You will probably meet them at a beer club meeting. Beer snobs are generally very eager to form beer clubs, partly to discuss new beers, but mostly because their regular friends won’t drink with them any more."

"In fact, the only terms you really need to know are nutty, worty, fruity, hoppy, grainy, mouthy, sulpheristical, pine-needley, and bodacious. What do they mean? No one knows for sure. The important thing it to use as many of them as possible when you rate a beer. For example, you should never just say, “This beer is worty.” Instead you should say, “I find the wortiness of this beer fruity yet mouthy, with pine-needley undertones of sulpheristicallity, bodaciousamentally speaking.”"

"The Beer Fuehrer
This curmudgeonly gentlemen will declare he would rather guzzle urine than drink what he considers “bad beer.” And by bad he means any beer that comes in a can, has commercials on television, or has been heard of by more than fifty people. He can only pity the poor fools who sit in bars drinking the swill disgorged by the vast corporate vats, when they could be drinking swill produced in much smaller ones. "

Fantastic article getting on all of us. For the record, I do make fun of the swill, but have no problem drinking it. If Bud Light's what we got, then so be it, just keep it cold. And I do have a problem with those that claim they don't like a beer because it's popular (hello Shiner).

Luckily, most bars and whatnot have a great selection, or at least a Shiner Bock or Sam Adams, so I'm always good. Also, I have no problem with people liking what they like. It's beer dammit. Enjoy whatever you want. I always feel that with beer tasting, there's no wrong answer.

Click the link to read more of the article.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Next Divine Reserve coming out soon

Seems like Saint Arnold has decided to put out another Divine Reserve beer some time this November or December. It will be an Imperial Stout Pumpkin Ale. I've had my share of Pumpkin Ales with mixed reviews. But never an Imperial Stout. Looking forward to Divine Reserve getting back to its 5 Star status with this Imperial Stout. Hopefully I'll be onshore to pick it up.

So if you here looking for some good beering this winter, we'll have some great choices in the city.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Divine Reserve Number 8

Finally ready to taste this one.

State: Slight cough still from my swine flu.

Beer Log: Right now

Nose is a great chocolate, malt, and spiciness. I detect a nice fruitiness as well. Fantastic. Color is orangish with a nice smooth steady white head. Wow. Lots of chocolate and sherry flavors. Just a big dog gone beer. There is a lot of fruitiness in the afteretaste to boot. Great Scot that's a malty chocolate. I get some alcohol in there as well as it warms up, and its converting more to a raisiny flavor. Kinda like raisinettes. And for the first time in my beering career, I can comfortably say I'm getting a nice Band-aid flavor on the back of the tongue and the aftertaste. I always kinda wondered if those dudes on Craft Beer radio and the Brewing Network were honestly tasting band-aid, well, I see it now. Give me a 4 star when it's colder, a 3 star when it's warm. This beer has so much going on with it that I look forward to trying it again in 6-12 months with some aging. These flavors got to mesh a little more for me, especially as that smoke and band-aid comes out hard as it warms. Still a Divine Experience...

***Update. the wife says they actually put Peat in this beer, much like that Brew Dog I had a couple weeks ago. I think I'll have file peat in the same category as sour beers. It's not that I don't like them, I just don't have the taste for them at all and it would thus automatically get a lower rating. I was the same way about hoppy beers and now I'm a hophead, so who's to say one day I won't crave a band-aid bacon smoke flavor of peat or the baby diaper and stinky feet flavor of sour beers.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tailgating Beer Review: Part 1

Had some Southern Star, some Anchor Bock, and a little Summit IPA during the tailgate today and I was prepared to do some grandiose tailgating post and whatnot but...

The Texans were smashed today, the Panthers got murdered, the Browns still suck, and I just learned the Dynamo lost to the Crew. F*CK the beer, we're going straight to tequila shots. My fantasy teams are doing well and my two college teams won on Thursday night, so at least it's not a total loss, but this has been a terrible opening weekend for the Don Taylor Sports Association. And Serena got smashed (and not in that good way). This just really sucks. Good night.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A-B Calls Bud Light Lime Drinkers Gay???

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

You be the judge.

For my review of Bud Light Lime, click here

Friday, September 11, 2009


Just like last time, I did NOT get Divine Reserve the day it came out.

Yesterday (DR Day):
I get a WICKED fever and coughing bout at the job yesterday (honestly I did), and I asked the bossman to work from home and he granted my request. On the way back home I do stop off and lay in the car with the heat on HIGH (85 deg outside at the time) while I wait for my favorite Specs liquor store to open. They open and they have no DR. I drag myself up to the HEB at Barker-Cypress and they don't have it.

I am half dead at this point, so I go home, get under the blanket, and sweat about 5 lbs out of my system. Somehow I was Dayquiled up enough to keep my engagement that night to see the FAMU and Georgia Tech games at Buffalo Wild wings. I did kinda set it up and kept the ice water going to keep the old temperature down as FAMU and GT won their games.

My wife had the day off today and she decided to run by the same HEB. Lo and behold they got their shipment a day late and she picked up two six packs. She called me while I was in a meeting. I am SO proud of her! Name me a man who has a better wife than my Isos? I was stuck in a ditch, my tires spinnin, and Isos came with a truck and saved me.

Right now I am still kinda sick, and am popping Halls like Ecstasy pills. I tried to cure myself with some Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and that just made my cough worse, had to pour it out. The Halls seems to be keeping me under control as I was coughing to the point where my spine hurt. Could be the Swine, but I kicked it last year so whatever. The wife is hanging out with her friends and her new boyfriend watching the new Tyler Perry movie. She deserves it. We'll actually try DR first tomorrow night at the Saint Arnold beer tasting at the Alamo Drafthouse so the review is coming soon.

If you are keeping score at home, I owe you all a slew of reviews from my trip to Toronto. My beer notebook is at a friend's house, so hopefully I'll get it back Sunday. Also, we are still on track to go to Amsterdam and Oktoberfest (Munich) later on this month. I swear to Saint Arnold himself, I DON'T CARE IF I HAVE TO TAKE AN IV ON THE PLANE, I'm going on this trip baby. Holla.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Saint Arnold Divine Reserve Out TOMORROW

RUN DON'T WALK. This beer will sell out within 4 hours in the entire city.

(explicit lyrics)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Random Beer Review: Lunar Ale

Probably had this one in the cabinet for what, 8 months. I tried it a couple times but never formally reviewed. For all I know it's gone bad.

State: Slight headache, watching 4th episode of Dora the Exlporer with the baby.

Beer Log: Yesterday

Boulevard Lunar Ale

I must have had this one confused with their Zon beer, as I poured it into a wheat glass. Quick dissappearing tan head on top of a plain brown beer with some . Very slight cinnamon flavor. Well... it's beer. Just kidding. It has a little bit of spiciness going on in a light-medium body. High carbonation from it's bottle conditioning. I'm sorry, but unless it's a high gravity Belgian beer, bottle conditioning doesn't work that well for me. Anyway, the beer has a touch of sour chocolate in the aftertaste. When you buy this beer, the clock is running baby! A little better on the sweetness as it warms up. I could see this as a weak Belgian Dubbel. High 2 stars.

Beering Scene Houston and Fireman's #4

Either I'm paying attention more, or we're getting a lot more beer options in the bar scene in Houston. First we have Block 7 Wine having a great Belgian beer tasting, featuring some awesome beers like Deus and some more widespread Belgian beers like Delirium Tremens. I'll have a post about that sooner or later.

Next it looks like we have a new little spot called The Drinkery on Washington Ave in the Heights, with a nice beer selection. Actually they are owned by the same folks that own Corkscrew, a great wine bar also on Washington Ave. So that's another group of winefolk that are putting some of that energy in beer.

Next is a new spot called Taps House of Beers. We just came from that area and it looks like Taps was not open, but I'm looking forward to doing some Washington Ave beering soon. The Flying Saucer stays packed and apparently Sunday night is cougar night.

To add to the beer scene, Lil' Napoli in downtown Houston was your typical intimate Italian restaurant with a good seafood pasta selection. Now it's your typical intimate Italian restaurant with a good seafood pasta selection and about 20 taps of craft beer. NICE! But now come this November we'll have a Yardhouse at the new CityCentre complex on the west side. Should go well with a rather classy Studio Movie Grill and a super stylish pool bar MonnaLisa.

Most restaurants now at least have some Saint Arnold and Shiner Bock. I was even able to grab some Shiner 100 at Goode Co. BBQ out on the northwest side. But the common beer kinda making headway with the masses is Real Ale's Fireman #4 which I reviewed this time last year. Of all the great Real Ale beers, I guess I should not be surprised this Blonde Ale is climbing the ranks mainstream in Houston. This town is still owned by Shiner Bock with Saint Arnold amber a FAR second, but we now see F#4 appearing on more shorter tap bars. I would even say F#4 is a great introductory craft beer for swill drinkers. So if you haven't had some Fireman's #4 yet, um, you probably will at your company happy hour.

(And for clarification, I think Saint Arnold Amber is so far back b/c those boys just cannot brew anymore than they are right now, so I think they'll get more love once they expand operations.)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

College Football and Beer

I'm sitting enjoying some nice Goode Co. Bar-b-que chicken with some Southern Star Pine Belt Pale ale in my Otter Creek World Tour Glass. We've got Kentucky vs. Miami of Ohio on one channel. Ohio State and Navy on another channel. And for some oddball reason Notre Dame is playing some Japanese National team in Tokyo. Oh well.

Had myself a Flying Dog Amber Lager straight out of the bottle, and that has got to be one of the best session beer styles out there: Amber Lager. Don't worry, I've left my beer book at a friend's house, so I will catch back up with my Toronto Beer travels.

I may have to itznay my traveling to Atlanta this month, but the wife is actually going to be doing some corporate travel to Canada and Egypt. Would love to hear about her beer travels.

Basically, I'm sitting here waiting for the FAMU/Delaware State game to come online. Should be fun, as I'm going to MISS much of the game to watch a movie with another couple at Studio Movie Grill.

This Southern Star is pretty nice, with a nutty flavor, maybe a little chalky and dry as well. I think this is probably the most hop forward beer made in Texas. Has a clean finish and a nice decent maltiness making an attempt at balancing the malt. My favorite Southern Star beer by far. I just LOVE the fact that they come in 16 oz. cans. 3 Stars.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Angelo's on a Monday Night

There are FEW and THE DON MEANS FEW things that will make me give up tickets to a Monday Night Football NFL game, even preseason. This past Monday I headed toward downtown with the intent of hitting a bar and then taking the train down to the Houston Texans Monday Nighter against the Minnesota Favres.

Of course 99 times out of 100 that means I'm hitting the Flying Saucer, but with the crowd very packed and my need to jot down a few ideas for one of my businesses, I went next door to Angelo's. I've blogged about them before, but since that last post Angelo's has elected to emphasize having the COLDEST beer in downtown basically moreso than their having about 50-60 beers on tap. The Beer, TX blog on the Houston Chronicle website had a bit of a debate about the appropriateness of a beer bar to take up the COLDEST BEER strategy. Usually that marketing strategy is reserved for your ghetto icehouse.

And when they say cold, they are not kidding. A few of their faucets holding the taps is caked in a thick thick sheet of ice. It looks like marble... Hold on Erin Andrews on the screen.... I just don't see why folk are so fired up over Erin Andrews. She's cute and all, but come on. Angelo's actually serves things like Stone IPA and Dogfish 60 in these ice cold taps. That got beerfolk so fired up b/c it's not really the way the beer was meant to be served. I say just relax and let the beer warm a bit. Or better yet, note the changes in the beer as it goes from bone-chilling cold to the "ideal" temperature.

I started chatting up the brothas at the bar and basically one guy said he doesn't go to the Saucer as the beer is not cold enough. I could see his point. You like the beer the way you like it. IN the end we're still Americans. Turns out, not every culture puts ice in their drinks. Hell, I just ordered a couple Pacifico Claros let it rip.

Anyway, I had tickets to the game but was so comfortable talking football and eventually talking business with the guys at the bar I just stayed there. The Texans giving up a 70 yard touchdown run 15 seconds into the game didn't help either. But it turns out that if you're trying to make some money and get some business contacts, you need to belly up to Angelo's during Happy Hour. Forget spots like the Saucer and Cabo's. Angelo's is quiet enough yet jovial enough that everyone is having a good time and willing to talk shop. Oilmen, entrepreneurs, and generally your more well-to-do Houston area businessman who's just trying to relax. Not too mention that the outdoor area is perfect for cigar smoking.

It's tough out there for Angelo's given their proximity to the rockin' Flying Saucer, maybe two blocks from Lil' Napolis (Italian food and about 20 taps themselves). If you are downtown, maybe switch things up, get you some serious cheese breadsticks, and enjoy a nice cold craft beer at Angelo's. You won't regret it.

Dogfish Head and College Football

Beer Log: Right Now
State: Watching NC State taking on the Ol' Ball Coach at South Carolina

Dogfish Head Squall IPA
The head: Big, creamy, amber-white in color.
The nose: strong not overpowering malt, balanced flowery hops
The taste: PERFECT! Nutty, malty, a slight chocolate in the middle, with fantastic strong but not crazy hops. Can't nail down the type of hops, but they fit great. Moderate strong carbonation to cut any chance of cloying malt. Medium mouthfeel, fantastic malty, nutty, hoppy aftertaste.
The rating: 5 Stars out of 5

The Fish have struck once again.

I'm sitting here watching some college football on ESPN, and I just didn't realize how much I missed the game. They actually had some Division 2 Black college football going back to last week, but nobody showed the game. This is fantastic. I've got a BEER that I feel is the reason we are doing this Beer hobby in the first place, and I'm watching college football, AND I'm off from work tomorrow. Does it get any better than this?