Monday, November 30, 2009

Beering in Ontario: Yonge Street


To continue on with my adventures in Ontario, I wake up after my nap to see it's already dark. I'm a little sick from overdoing it at BeerBistro, but who knows when I'll be back in Toronto. And there's at least two more beer spots I wanted to hit.

So I walk the lovely streets of downtown Toronto and make it to Yonge Street. On the map it looked like just another street, but in real life it's somewhere between Time Square in New York and International Blvd in Orlando with a nice dose of the Rue Royale in Paris. I couldn't believe the crush of people out partying it up. Very multicultural and very jovial. Lot's of hot Indian women, go figure. So what better to do than try some local craft beer smackdab on Yonge, and Les 3 Brasseurs (The 3 Brewers) certainly provided.

3 Brewers is a brewpub with probably the best location on the planet for a brewpub. Right on Yonge street smackdab in the thick of things. This place was packed, but I was able to get a table with big open patios to the street. Lots of dark red and whatnot, and a pretty nice placemat that goes over the process for brewing beer. Very nicely done. Doesn't hurt that they have Glam Rock on the TV. Looking forward to trying their beers along with some fries.

State: Still feeling the effects of overduing it at the BeerBistro and it's cold in July for me.
Beer Log: July 13th-ish, 2009

Blonde Ale
Slight sour nose like a belg. Clear straw color. On the first few sips, I get a medium body, banana, then notice a pleasant sourness, perhaps from some bret. 3 Stars.

Wheat Ale
Cloudy color that's a dark straw. Same nose as the blond ale. Nice orange and ester flaovor. Soft medium body and ever so slight bitter aftertaste. 3 Stars. Both this and the blonde ale tasted kinda like my yeast cake when I homebrew.

Red Ale
Dark bronze color. Bitter taste, but pretty plain otherwise. I get a light toast and cinnamon on the next few sips. Aftertaste is still bitter. Medium carbonation. 2 Stars.

Dark Ale
Black color, low offwhite head. Chocolate taste with bitter coffee making a cameo. Moderate carbonation and good drinkability. 3 Stars.

Afterward, I dragged-ass over to Volo, the beer version of an eclectic coffee house. Cool house music and the waitress really knew her beer. I originally wanted to run into another Toronto beer blogger, but he had to do some stuff for his planned wedding, poor bastard. Damn he spends waaaaaaay more time on his blog than I do. Anyway, I only had enough points to get one flight of beers from Ontario. Don't worry, I walked everywhere I went, including back at the hotel.

Publican House Ale (Petersburg, ON)
Lighter/blonde ale flaovr. Kinda toasty/hop going on. Malt doesn't quite make it out of this beer. Moderate body and dry. Low-medium carbonation. High 2 Stars.

Corporal Punishment (Scotch Irish Brewing Company from Ottawa, Ontario)
Surprisingly strong chocolate/roast nose on an amber colored beer. First taste: you don't get much up at the front of the tongue, but plenty of chocolate in the back and aftertaste. Hop bitterness coming out in the aftertaste after a few more sips. Not sure what they're trying to do here with that combo of color and taste, but I wouldn't call it punishingly bitter. 3 Stars.

Quad
Dark copper color with a estery and apple smell. Matly sweet and smooth. Great flavor Complex sweetness and probably some sugar. High 3 Star. Maybe someone can help me find the link for this brewery, all I have written down is "Quad". Holla.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Beerbrotha Sports Review: Bad Weekend to Stop Drinking


So I've decided to put beer and wine and whatnot on hold for a while until this cough is cleared up. It's sad because we even had a nice visit to Yardhouse in the CityCentre area and I could barely make it through half a glass of Chardon before I'm coughing up my kidneys. I got myself checked out and it's not Swine Flu or strep. My doctor thinks it's an allergy of some kind why I haven't been able to kick this cough.

So I've been drinking something called "fre" this alcohol free wine. I bought the "Merlot" and the "Chardonnay". The Merlot was basically bitter grape juice without the alcohol kick to make it worth it. It's like you expected it, and it didn't come through. How about a formal review of the "Chardonnay"


Beer Log: Right now

State: Ticked off with my football teams.


fre
It's spelled lowercase so it looks hip and trendy. Nose is like white grape juice and so is the color. Tastes rather fruity, like raspberry and grapes.

TOUCHDOWN JACKETS!!!!!!! GEORGIA TECH ON THE BIG RUN TO OPEN THE SECOND HALF.

Well I feel better now. This stuff ain't half bad. No legs obviously b/c of no alcohol, but it's just some overpriced grape juice that's not as sweet. Even has a pinch of carbonation.

Moving on...
So with the sports review, FAMU was not in action as we missed the D1 FCS playoffs, so our conference's hopes lied with South Carolina State, the team that beat FAMU a few weeks ago and basically ran away with the MEAC title. SCSU got the screw job and although they were undefeated in D1 FCS play (granted it was all Negro League teams), they had to go to Appalachian State. Again, I could give two craps about SCSU, but in this case we needed them to win this game, big time. Reason being, our conference commissioner is a strong advocate for reinstating segregation, and forcing the MEAC champion to forgo the playoffs to play the SWAC Champion for the Aunt Bessie May's Chitlins and Watermelon Black College Championship game. In case you haven't figured it out, I went FAMU, a Historically Black College, and am a huge supporter of HBCUs.

As you can guess I'm a booster at FAMU and have strongly believed that all Historically Black Colleges...

DAMMIT UGA GOT A BIG RUN RIGHT BACK, TOUCHDOWN FOR JIM CROW U err UGA.
You gotta wonder what the 12 black students that attended UGA (including my wife) think about UGA's slave owner diddies that is their fight song and whatnot. But I digress.

...all HBCU's should strive to be the best in all categories against all comers. That includes sports. If you play the sport, you should try to be the best in your Division. Our leaving the playoffs because our conference hasn't won a first round game in 10 years is not a good reason to just up and quit for what we already know is a poorly attended Black National Championship game. Focus on building up our programs to be National powers, don't take a step back.

Well GA Tech (my grad school) is down by 14 right now although we're the highest ranked 1 loss team in the country. We just gotta get by Univ of Georgia. Damn I hate the Dawgs. We're still smarting over the Texans blowing it against the Titans. We've got the Colts tomorrow and hopefully we can turn things around against them.
And I'm just getting plain ti'ied of of this Tim Tebow talk. Seems like a nice guy, maybe a little effeminate, but my irritation comes from the foolishness from the media. What is it about him and Brett Favre that makes grown men...
TOUCHDOWN JACKETS! GET SOME BABY! WE AIN'T GIVING UP!
Alright enough of this. I plan on getting back on the sauce some time around Christmas. So I'll just be emptying out the old notebook and getting ready for travel to the Maryland and New York during the holidays. I plan on hitting up Lafayette right on the New Year, so hopefully I can hit Zea again. They had a great amber lager and some nice bread pudding.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

UFC 106 Beering: Athens vs. SoCal


I'm here watching the Paulo Thiago fight getting ready for the co-main events. I'm actually more fired up for the Johnson v Koscheck fight. Both fighters are black I guess, so when situations like that occur, you pull for the darker skinned one, so go Johnson. Anyway, as is my little tradition when I watch UFC's at home, I try to find some beer from the areas of the main event fighters. The best one was when I had BJ Penn (Kona) and Georges St-Pierre (Unibrou). This tradition would be great if only we could get some fighters NOT from Brazil. How much Xingu can a brotha drink?

Tito Ortiz is from Huntington Beach in Southern California. Seeing as how they probably just drink Jamba Juice in Huntington Beach, I'm going with some Stone from San Diego. Griffin is from Athens, GA, so that's Terrapin all day long. Both beers are one-time releases, so it's all even to me.

Stone 13th Anniversary
Hell of a beer baby. The bottle says we should drink this in 2009, and we are coming on the end of the year, soon. The gargoyle on the bottle is holding up a beer mug, so that's what I'll drink this one out of. My North Carolina Tarheels 2008 NCAA Basketball champions beer mug to be exact. Pours deep dark ruby colored with lacy frothy head. Smell is just like Mrs. Buttersworth without the butter. Oh yes, a richly malty beer with a strong citrusy hops to cut. Low carbonation yet not cloying. Very very smooth as well. Hmm, only 9.5% ABV... I would have guessed they would have purposefully made it 13%. Amazing amazing beer. Probably should be in a snifter, but whatever. I can see I'll need to knock back this whole 22 ouncer. I just love how drinkable this beer is. So good I may even take the the time to read all that text on the bottle. 4 out of 5 Stars.

Aw snap man, here comes Anthony Rumble Johnson. This one is gonna be "the ballz". And now Kos is coming out to Stevie Wonder.

Terrapin Side Project Volume 6 90 Shelling Scotch Ale
Try saying that three times fast. This one is straight out of Athens, GA. Home of the Georgia Dawgs, and Forrest Griffin. I poured this black colored low head beer in my snifter. Nose is strong malt, cinnamon, and some cherry liquor. Taste, is none of that, just plain. I think the Stone blew my taste buds. Kinda sucks as this Scotch ale is a one time release we bought over the summer in Atlanta. The taste is malty and spicy. It has a great smoothness with a touch of dryness. 3 Stars.

Dammit man Johnson kneed Kos while he was down. I'm hoping Kos is good to go. If not, we'll have to do it again. Now in the second round Kos is poking in the eye. This fight is jacked up. Dammit, Josh Eyepoker Koscheck got the submission. Dammit all. Rumble will be back.

Well the wife hates the Stone as she hates all the hop bombs. She did like the Terrapin. I'll need to find the cork so I can put that in the fridge for her. Ok here comes Tito, the clear winner of the beer challenge with the Stone. Although it looks like Forrest is going to win on the cards. Oh well. It think the 45 bucks I laid down for this one would have been cheaper than going to a bar, ordering food, beer, and probably the DUI ticket thanks to all the beer I had watching the FAMU game.

Celebrating FLA Classic



The DTSA has only one team playing in college, FAMU in the Florida Classic. Right now it is early 4th quarter and we are whoopin up on Bethune-Cookman 35 to nil. I've been drinking Bavaria out of the green bottle all day since FAMU's colors are orange and green.





Beer Log: Watching the game at the house, wish I was in Orlando


State: Enjoying FAMU beating up on BCU





Bavaria
Poured out of the green bottle into my tall pilsner glass. Clear beer with a slightly cooked straw color. Fizzy white head without much of a lasting power. Beer-veggie smell. Mod body with nice balance of hops and hints of bread. Not bad man. I would say the body is just under medium like they put some wheat in the grain bill. High carbo. Low 3 Stars. Rather enjoyable and very Heineken-like.

I guess I've got a new love for Dutch lagers after coming back from Amsterdam, where I was drinking that stuff like water.



To further celebrate, I break out the champagne flute and the Dogfish.

Dogfish Festina Peche
The nose is pretty nonexistent, but the taste is uber-sour. Made me nearly double-over the first sips. I'm not getting much peche in this amber colored beer. As I drink it up, it gets a little better, less harsh, less bitter. I'm actually getting the bread and malt. The sourness is still pretty strong, but not as shocking. No rating yet, but I am acquiring the taste.

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon was So Bad and Girly

I had to grab a Dogfish Palo Santo Marron. Just a terrible movie. If I were a less honorable man, I would slam this 12% ABV beer, get in my convertible, put the top down in 55 deg weather, light a cigar, turn on some DJ Screw, drive to 6000 block of Richmond, beat up a guy at Scott Gernters, grab a woman at Onyx, and probably get arrested before I could do anything too stupid. Yes the movie was THAT FEMININE.

Beerbrotha Movie Review: New Moon = FAIL

So the wife just came back from a trip to the Motherland on business. It's Date Night so we debate between the Saint Arnold Pub Crawl, and checking out a movie at Alamo Drafthouse. We're both a little tired, so Alamo it is. At first we were set to see the new Christmas Carol CGI movie and I get in my head that that movie New Moon will probably be pretty good.

Like Pokemon and The Chappelle Show, I came on this whole Twilight series very late, and just like those other two things, I figure that since it's amazingly popular it's worth a try. I was even thinking I could be drinking Blue Moon at New Moon. Get it? Not to mention the trailer had all kinds of special effects and vampire/werewolf whoop-ass. I'm thinking this will just be Underworld for a less goth crowd. And it had enough young hot half-naked men that I figured the wife may just get a fired up and we can come home and make sweet sweet love. Instead the wife is upstairs stone asleep, and I'm downstairs watching Strikeforce and drinking a bomber of Ruination straight out the bottle like a homeless man.

Well I should have skipped the beer and went straight to Everclear and Cocaine, because this was the WORST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN. I guess I should have noticed something was up, when my beloved "21 and up" Alamo Theatre was chock-full of 10-14 year old girls. I think I was the only son of a bitch in the whole theatre that ordered a beer. Those girls were hooting and hollering like we do at the strip club. That's not cool. Is nothing sacred?

And let's be clear, I'm not going to out-and-out dismiss a teeny-bopper chick flick b/c I'm a 29 year old 6' 2" 210 lb black man that loves watching random violence. Bring It On wasn't that bad. It had conflict-resolution, and kinda cute. I'm all over the Harry Potter. Hell, I like Grey's Anatomy (Izzy could get it).

It took all of 1 hour before there was any action at all in New Moon, and that was with the black Jamaican vampire with dreds getting jacked up by the werewolves. There was all of 15 minutes of action in a 2 hour movie. I had to sit there watching this flat-chested brooding-ass Wednesday Adam chick spending 80% of the movie crying over Cedric Diggery leaving her, or the Native American dude leaving her. It wasn't even a good love story. No flow to anything. No rhyme or reason. Just 90210 for douchebags. And what the hell was up with this Italy crap near the end? And what the hell happened to the smoking hot redhead vampire the werewolves were chasing? Can we learn more about her? What were her feelings, her needs? How could I help?

I was able to try the very nice Beck's Oktoberfest and the New Belgium 2 Deg Below. Both were fine. But in reality, I needed something with a kick to it, like heroine. And to think, sooner or later I'm going to have to see The Birth of Nation Part 2, also known as Precious.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sierra Nevada Celebration 2009 and MMA

Beer Log: Right now
State: Just put the baby in the crib, watching some Colbert to let the DVR of the World Extreme Cagefighting get recorded a little bit so I can fast forward the commercials.

This is what it's all about folks. I've got WEC live, I've got The Ultimate Fighter, I've got some Sierra Nevada seasonal beer, and the baby is asleep.

Sierra Nevada Celebration 2009
I sampled this and blogged about it almost exactly one year ago. I wasn't using the rating system, more trying to guess the hops in the beer. This movie Avatar looks like it will be badass. Anyway, I'm drinking this one in my snifter goblet. Orangish ruby color. Grassy, piney, citrusy hops nose coming off of a poofy white head. Oh snap, they got Leonard Garcia fighting Manny Gamburyan. Hell yeah. This beer is a strong hop Christmas bomb as only Sierra Nevada can make. Moderate to high carbonation to cut through the strong taste and facilitate a rather quick finish. The hops are rather grapefruity and grassy, probably Chinook again, mixed with some Cascade. Again, Sierra Nevada all day. Funny how the WEC has the most competitive fights as opposed to some of the more recent lumbering displays we've seen on the UFC. I am still a big fan of the balanced hop bombs and this one isn't it. I sense some caramel malt in there, but that's all I get, a sense. High 3 Star.

It's been a great year for me, and some great beering to go along with it. I just booked tickets to our annual trip up to the Maryland/DC area for the holidays. I'm considering making it back to Frederick, MD, which was the quaintest little town, and at Christmas time this place is right out of a movie. Not to mention a nice beer scene.

I'm going to attempt to train for the New Orleans half marathon on February 28. Should my knees and ankles hold up, I'll make plans for a marathon in Fall 2010. I've got my eye on Buenos Aires. Ratebeer.com shows that B-A has a great beer scene. Plus I want to have run three full marathons on three different continents. Let me know if you have any other suggestions for beering in South America...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Beering in Ontario: C'Est What


I knew I wasn't that much of a lightweight. Before I went to the Beerbistro for some really classy beering, I made it to the brewpub C'Est What(SAY WHAT?!?!) on Front Street in downtown Toronto.

I barely found the joint as the majority of the spot is underground. Despite the fact that the area on Front Street looks to be very popular. The interior was dark with a blue, green, and amber lighting. 35 beers on tap with 6 of their own. They had 5 beers on cask, and 3 on nitro. That's what I'm screaming.

Beer Log: Hanging in Toronto
State: Thirsty, dry throat

I started out with some samplers of the brewpub's own stuff, and a couple of full pints.

Al's Cask Ale
Straw colored with a muffiny nose. The beer is very smooth on the mouthfeel with a hoppy aftertaste. Low carbonation as is normal with cask beers. The taste has a light grass and bread thing, with a 60 second bitterness in the aftertaste. I'll give this a 2 Star on the plainess of it all.


Homegrown Hemp Ale
I saw this one all over interwebs when I was looking up beers to try in Toronto. The name says it all, this beer has some hemp in there. Doubtful you'll get high or anything, but just to try: Straw colored beer with a white head. Very light veggie nose. The taste is a little spicy with light pilsner character to it. The carbonation is low again yet it leaves my mouth feeling slightly sticky. Not sticky-icky-icky ooh-wee. But just a little sticky. The body is medium and smooth like a wheat beer. 3 Stars.


Not feeling to blitzed I burned through the sampler of the

Caraway Rye Beer

Thick mouthfeel you notice first, then it leaves you dry. I got a low spice and malt. 2 Stars as the last few sips are kinda sour.

At this point I wrote this passage in my notebook
"My palette is too American for this Canadian Beer. Ironically this beer would be fantastic in Texas with these English styles and the abundance of pilsner." I figure the irony comes from the fact that it's usually cold as all get out in Canada, and they would be well served with warming stouts and high gravity stuff. Anyway, time for another three beer sampler, but I'm going darker with the nitro beers.

Coffee Porter
I just need some stronger flavors here. Low sour and medium carbonation. A good mix of chocolate and coffee. The beer has a nice softness to it. 3 Stars.


Hazelnut Chocolate Ale
Nose is strong cocoa powder. Soft bitterness sneaking into a strong chocolate flavor. Very smooth and surprisingly dry. 3 Stars.

Old Town Brown Ale
Medium cinnamon and spice, as well as a little gritty on the tongue. Smooth again but loacking in flavor after the last two. Should've got this one first. No rating.


Excuse me... had to put the baby in her crib and grab a Lagunitas Brown Sugga, damn thats good beer. Like an idiot, I didn't think there was any affect with those samplers, so I few full pints of some other Canadian craft beer wouldn't hurt.


St. Ambroise Pale Ale
The only St Amb I've had was their Apricot Ale, which was on a dusty shelf at a beer store in Lafayette, LA. Then I held on to it for nearly a year before drinking it. Needless to say it was pretty terrible with a pinch of apricot. Anyway, the pale ale was copper/amber color, with a reddish white head. Rather malty nose. The taste is a light caram-malt and spice, with a pinch of grassy hops in the back of the tongue. Basically a Low 3 Star American Blonde ale.



My kingdom for a bock. Cinnamon, malt, bread nose on a dark ruby colored beer. Low tan head. Fruity flavor (like sweet cherries) right up front, that seems almost peachy/apricoty on the second sip. Low carbonation. A few more sips and I get the light bread and notice the moderate body, followed by a very light hoppy aftertaste. 3 Stars. Feeling this one for sure.



Some random rock due came in looking like 140 pound versions of the Undertaker and I asked the waitress for her favorite beer. Although I'd rather not try a pilsner at this late in the game, why not? Clear, straw and a touch of sourness on the nose. Good hops and low malt. Light-medium odies. GOes down really easy. 2 Stars.


Overall, C'Est What was pretty nice. The beer was okay, but is probably the balls for the Canadian pallete. Just love the selection




Sunday, November 15, 2009

BeerBrotha Sports Review


It turns out that some of my most popular posts are when all my sports teams lose and I'm sitting here bypassing beer for hard liquor.

Well this weekend is no exception. On Friday night I find a babysitter and dragass over to Lucky's Pub for some good beering and for their Houston Dynamo game watching party. This place has about 250 beers available, maybe 30 on tap. Good prices on pitchers of beer, plenty of craft beer from all over. I was drinking only Texas beers but the last pitcher we got was of Hoegaarden. BIG MISTAKE. At that point, the Dynamo let those pretty boys on the LA Galaxy score a goal. Then later on they got a penalty kick. This loss knocked us out of the playoffs, and the CONCACAF. Painful man.
Georgia Tech basically raped Duke to take home the ACC Coastal title, good stuff therre. The Perfect Option is killin' em out there. I finally got the baby asleep (wife is out of town) and I put my FAMU football game on the online radio. FAMU was ranked at 20th in the D1 FCS with the magic number at say 16 to get into the playoffs. I dose off as we are down 6-0 to sorry Hampton. (The beer from Lucky's messed me up, especially since the baby wouldn't let me sleep more than 3 hours).
I manage to wake up when the radio is already playing light airy favorites of the 70s. I look up the score we got SHUT OUT 25 to ZERO against Hampton, at 5 loss squad. So much for the playoffs.
Houston was on bye week and Carolina got the big win, but like an idiot I didn't update my fantasy squads, so I was stuck with Jay "5 times" Cutler at QB, and no kicker. So I'm on track to lose in both my leagues.
Tiger Woods won but screw him, it's football season. I couldn't even muster the strength to watch any NFL football today. Just down in the dumps, again on the sports scene. I was pulling for Pacquiao and that worked out well, but Brandon Vera dropped the decision to Randy "Lay-and-pray" Couture. Hate when that happens.
I had myself a Pyramid Juggernaut, Real Ale Coffee Porter, and some Fat Tire, and it all tasted terrible. You know it's bad now.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Roxy Rolles


Magic Hat has been calling me once again. I've been taking a break from beering, working out, everything, while I heal up a bit from being sick last week. I've been on a Menage wine for a couple days now and no real affect, so let's ease into the beering shall we. The wife picked up this Magic Hat's Autumn seasonal a few weeks ago and I'm just now getting to it.


Roxy Rolles

Seeing as how the magicians adhere to NO style whatsoever, I'll just use my Harry Potter Butterbeer pint glass. Nose is a cinnamon sugar cookie with a touch of honey. Dark ruby colored beer with a thick tan head. Beer is surprisingly bitter all over the place. Has a nice sweetness right up front that does not last long. The more I drink it I get some burnt grain thing going on, nothing like the smell of the beer, as is Magic Hat's M.O. 2 Stars already on that nasty bitterness. Not what I'm looking for there. The only thing keeping it from being 1 Star is the badass label. Actually, the more I drink it the more the bitterness fades into a steely kind of malt. Like licking some caramel off of a Ginsu knife. That hot. Low 3 Star.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Beering in Ontario: Toronto

Absurdly late I know.

Beer Log: July 2009

So I got into Toronto around 10PM at the Strathacona hotel. Lovely hotel. Kind of one of the classic old style hotels in downtown that everybody likes so much. Those hotels are like the best place for a tourist visit to a new city, yet it's cheap enough for a one night stand.

The next day I have a nice breakfast and take a very long run along the harbor on Lake Ontario. So long in fact that I was sore for days. But it was gorgeous run. Cool architecture on your right, and a non-Hurricane producing body of water on your left. Anyway, I clean up and whatdoyaknow, it's Beer 30.

I decide to walk it out and make the 0.7 KM trek up to the Beer Bistro for lunch and *gasp* beer. Kinda sucks I gotta roll on the solo, but whatever. I've traveled by myself a lot, but it's too early for me to get all chatty at the bar, which is what I normally do. I get there and this place is very classy. This is what we need, great beer and a lot of class. I counted about 20 beers on tap, tons of bottles, and about 30 rare find/cellar beers. The snob in me was very satisfied. I actually opt to sit outside. It's like 74 deg, sunny, perfect.

The only and the Don mean ONLY time I'm ordered Saison right out of the gate is when I'm feeling like I'm big money. This one had lots of fruit, banana and some sourness on the smell. The color is tinged gold with a white head (I'm guessing the blackness of the oats didn't make it). The taste starts off with banana and ends wheaty. The bitter aftertaste develops then dissipates. It's a rather dry beer with moderate carbonation. Low 3 Star.

Moving to something a little more to my liking. This beer has a banana and vegetal nose. Not sure how bananas mixed with green beans would smell, but something like that. Cloudy gold with a lasting thin white head. Moderate body with a good witbier taste, but it doesn't do much for me. Just too dry again. Low 3 Star. Didn't help that my last drops were watery.

Somewhere in here, I got the mussels with french fries. Time to turn up the juice with a hoppy beer. Strong malt and hop nose. The taste is a very strong grassy hop with a low malt. Somewhat unbalanced toward the hops. Low carbonation and very smooth (probably some wheat in there). Hoppiest beer I've had in the province thus far. Guess I forgot the ranking.

OK, when the mussels and fries made it out here, I had to REALLY amp it up with one of their rare find beers. They had this one in the cellar and it was so good I drank the whole bottle. I think it was 750 ml, 11.5% ABV.

I'm a big fan of having champagne with mussels, but word is that this beer is the perfect substitute for champagne. Turns out BeerAdvocate says this beer is in the Biere de Champagne style. I didn't know anyone was actually trying to make a beer like this.

Gold color, lots of head, very expensive. YES YES YES, spicy flavor, high carbonation, perfect for my Belgian White Mussels. The waitress has this bottle in an ice bucket on the side of the table, and she came back and refilled my champagne flute for me. Sweet. Acid, apple, and grape flavor notes throughout. A perfect foil. 5 Stars for sure.

This is what we need. Some fantastic high end beer, the perfect answer to the foolishness you see for 99 Cents for a 6 pack. Fast forward to September 2009 and we have a bottle of DeuS in our house now that we bought from a wine shop in Houston. Fantastic.

So good infact I downed the whole bottle. I make it back to the hotel, send a couple of notes, and consequently pass out for about 5 hours.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Beering in Bavaria: Fussen


So after a couple days of taking a few years off of our lives acting a fool at Oktoberfest, we decide to take a little excursion to the countryside. Well, only two of us. The other guys were not feeling the 2 hour train ride out to Fussen, but that castle was too bad ass for us to miss, so we split up 2 back at the Weisn and 2 going to Fussen at the foot of the German Alps.

The train ride was pretty nice, and went by fast. It helped that we met a couple of backpackers. I notice a couple of local beer houses with brands I've never heard of before while on the train: AWESOME!! We switched trains to a less attractive train for the last 45 minutes. I couldn't help but notice that way out in the countryside, the German teenagers dressed like they were straight out of the BET Awards. I'm talkin' baggy coats, baggy jeans, and they all had New York Yankees or Mets baseball hats, all turned to the back. Hilarious! The school age children that got on the train were wearing at least the baseball hats. Couldn't spell Mets if I spotted them the M and the E. Hip Hop has taken over the world's youth. Kinda odd that the only people that live the hip hop lifestyle past age 22 are black people. Every other ethnic group wises up. ANYWAY, enough race relations.

I'm not gonna bore you with endless pictures of the Neushwanstein Castle and whatnot. But I will say that I've fiction stories of a rich noble trying to model a landscape or an area like a painting. Indeed, there isn't a major city that doesn't have city planners that try to make their downtown areas look extremely picturesque. Until I made it to Fussen, I thought that Gaudi did the best job of it, just outside of Barcelona. However, Ludwig II's boys truly captured the whole life inside a painting. The Castle inspired stories like Sleeping Beauty, but at every angle, there is a fantastic marriage of nature and architecture. Combined with the view on the bridge which has the lakes in the background, or from the other side with the Alps in the background. I'm talking about every blade of grass, every leaf on the ground, even the town with it's shops and old style hotels that were surely added later, all fit perfectly. The castle itself was designed by a painter, and it truly shows. Rembrandt would be jealous. Ok ok, let's beer it up.

After hanging out all day, we go to the aptly named Cafe Bistro Relax in Fussen. Nice relaxing atmosphere with a SMOKING HOT waitress. Moving on. Most of their beers are by . Allgaeuer in Kempten, Germany, about 50km Northwest of Fussen.

Furstabt Weizen by Allgauer
Nose is yeasty and orange. Hazy with a big poofy head. Great orange and banana at first, then empties to a metallic coin thing. Gets dry and chalky at the end. Medium body. 2 Star.

After some beer trading (everyone else liked that Furstabt), I got my hands on the Urtyp Export.

Urtyp Export
Typically I'm not a fan of Dortmunder Exports. Nice clear straw color. Taste has a nice strong hoppiness with a high carbo. Good basic beer with some power to it. 3 Star. Probably the best Export I've had.

Teutsch Pils
Yeasty again. Brilliantly clear. The taste was okay for a pils, but a little funky. 2 Stars.

Not the best I've had with all the Oktoberfest beer, but an excellent excursion. We made it back to the train station in Munich pretty late and things were a little off. Lots of cops and whatnot around. Anyway, I was able to score a couple nice bock beers out of the bottle at the train station. It was the best beer I had the whole trip and I did not write it down. LOST OPPORTUNITY.

That was the end of the trip. We hung out at the bar at the hotel with the old crew telling stories and talking smack with the other Westerners. From there it was onward to New York. But I was waaaaaaay too alcoholed out for any Brooklyn Beer. The beauty is that they didn't have any real selection anyway. We were all basically sick and on detox for a good week after the trip. Just a great time overall.



Best beer: Paulaner Oktoberfest

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Just for the Record

Flying Dog Double Dog is a 5 Star beer. Fantastic out of the 7 ounce bottle from the variety pack.

That is all.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Beering in Tulsa



I'm still awaiting some pics from Oktoberfest to wrap up those posts, but whatever. This weekend I was fortunate enough to participate in a couple of workshops for NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers). Sadly it was on my favorite holiday (Halloween), but why not mix it up a little and spend All Hollow's Eve in Oklahoma. But seriously, I am really going to have to have a heart-to-heart with the NSBE leadership, they love having all these conferences on holiday weekends: Halloween, Memorial Day, MLK Day, Spring Break. I wouldn't be surprised if the next one was on Superbowl night.

Anyway, I looked forward to doing some new beering out in Oklahoma, a place I'd never been before. Friday night NSBE set us up at this sophisticated like dive bar called Lola's. The bar was downtown in the Brady District. It was all of 10 miles from our hotel and took us about 30 minutes to get there with all the construction blocking off so many of the onramps to the freeway. Anyway, the Brady District is a funky rustic looking couple of blocks with a few dives. Very historic looking. My kinda place.

I had some Dewars scotch and just couldn't get it down, so I switched to beer and fortunately they had DNR on tap.

DNR (Do Not Resucitate) is brewed in Oklahoma City. Although the bar was a little busy, the bartender let me sample it, and told me a little about it's roots in Oklahoma. The taste had a nice brown sugar sweetness, fruitiness, and some cinnamon spice, though not much of a scent. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a nice dryness. The slight sourness and bret bacteria effect told me it was definetly a Belgian, and I pegged it as a Belgian Dubbel, bottle conditioned, but a little low on the carbonation. And I had no hint of the 10% ABV, as I had about 3 of them.


In fact, the only things that clued me in to the high alcohol content was my dancing to crappy Autotune music, a slight hangover the next morning, and then the guy at Joe Mamma's telling me the actual ABV. 3 Stars. PS: Turns out this is a Belgian Golden Ale. But with that dark ruby color and tan head, they may want to consider calling it a Belgian Dark Ale or even a Belg Red Ale.

The next night (Saturday) most people were worn out after the late night and the long day at the conference, so I went with one of my colleagues to scare up some food and brews and check out the OK State game. There was not much promise on 71st street where we were staying, so I found a way onto the freeway and we hit downtown again. But this time we asked around as I was looking for McNellies. We made our way to another rustic looking cluster of bars downtown circa 2nd & Elgin, and found McNellies and Joe Momma's.

First we hit McNellies and noticed the lack of large screen TVs. Unless I'm in a small hotel room in a small country town (like I am right now), I just can't watching football on TVs like that. So we vowed to come back and hit Joe Momma's for some pizza.

You want talk about a kick ass pizza place. The Mamma's Bread was enough for a meal, the hot wings were very well done, and the BBQ Pork pizza was excellent. But they also had the lineup of Marshall Beer all on tap. It helped that the waiter was a real cool dude and really knew his beer. We ended up trying them all.

I started out with the Marshall Old Pavilion Pilsner and found it HEAVY on the saaz and noble hops. Great high carbo but maybe a little too American for the style. Low 3 Star. The waiter brought us the samples of their Atlas IPA and Pub Ale. The Pub Ale had a lot fruitiness too it with a touch of sour. But it never really came together well for me.

The waiter was big on the IPA claiming the brewer tried to make it a quintessential style of IPA. I asked if that meant American or English, but it turned out to be right in the middle on the hop strength. I would lean it toward a strong English IPA, as I think of Widmer's Broken Halo as a base level American IPA. I actually say the Pilsner was a little more hoppy. Otherwise it was PERFECTLY balanced and had the just right amount of malt, and a strong enough carbonation to get that flavor right back off your tongue. 3 Stars.

But our favorite was Marshall's Sundown Wheat. Brewed with orange rinds and whatnot, it had a fantastic medium body and strong orange flavor that even peaked through the hot wings. There was a touch of some coriander but it was much heavier on the orange. Just had a great... poofiness to it. We both ordered more of Sundown. 4 Stars.

Joe Momma's had a local swing band playing as well and I love that kind of stuff. I loved their old school pizza place ambiance with maybe 47" screen TVs. OK State was blowing it against Texas so we eventually broke out as the Swing Band was started to rev up and we just overate.

No energy to sit around at McNellies and I felt bad as I had my colleagues rental car. He's not as married as I am, so at about 10 PM is figured to get the car back to him. I had half a mind of to steer everyone to McN's should we all go back out again, but EVERYONE clocked out. Just no energy to hit the streets.

For a while back in the day, Tulsa was a big deal in the Oil & Gas world, though much of that is now in Dallas and Houston. But, like Houston is now, people from the area tell me how there used to be strip clubs on every corner. Turns out you also cannot store a beer over like 3.2 ABV in a fridge, it has to stay at room temp in the liquor store, or it has to be on draft, something like that. Though in Texas we just keep you from making decent money.

Anyway, as a wrap up, nice little town. Good people, very proud of their beer. A few good hangout spots. We just gotta get that Black Wall Street back up, and we're good to go.