Thursday, March 31, 2011

Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 11: Winning

So it snuck up on me a little bit this time, but Saint Arnold came out with their 11th installment of their Divine Reserve Series. These beers typically are from a homebrew competition winner and are brewed only one time. The beer style is always extreme and as anyone in Houston can tell you, the ish sells out in NO TIME. This time around I finally am on twitter with a hashtag setup for #DR11. I easily slip out of my office around 10:15 to hit the Randall's at Town and Country to snap up my two 6 packs. Extremely easy score. WINNING. However we were not done there. The wife and I decided to hit up Petrol Station for the beer on tap and on cask. Already dudes have been drinking this beer all day, but it is always nice for a big beer release with all the beer nerds over at Petrol Station. You gotta love Petrol, it has this patchwork quilt of clientele of beer geeks, white collar engineers, some townies, and Gothic looking roller derby women. Anyway onward to the beer. Beer Log: Two days ago State: Fired up for the DR11, already had an Real Ale Lost Gold IPA and Avery IPA as a warmup. Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 11 (on draft) This one is a dippa, or Double IPA. Reminiscent of the first DR I ever had which was an American Barley Wine. This puppy has an excellent copper color, very clear, with a light tan head. The nose has a ton of grapefruit, citrus, and pine needle thing going on. The taste is just awesome. It seems to get better the more you drink it. Lots of citrus and pine going on. It's a little cloying, but gets right back off the tongue just as fast, leaving a balanced malt-hop aftertaste. The malt is heavy caramel, not much roast or choco at all. It's very full flavored without any hint of the 9% ABV. This DIPA is graciously tipped toward the hops. So good I'm actually back on an IPA kick. I've been slamming Maibocks and Weisse beers the last month or so. Got to go all the way to the 5 out of 5 stars for this one. The drinkability is what tears it for me. So many other DIPAs fill you up or are just glorified barleywine. Nothing wrong with that, but this one drinks so well and easy, you could have a ton of it. Matter of fact, since SA said that this beer is NOT meant to be aged, I'm getting another one right now. Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 11 (Cask) So they had this son of a gun on cask at PS as well. For comparison, take everything I just posted and take it down a notch in the hoppiness and the overall strength. It seemed mellow everything out just right. On top of that the carbonation laid down quite a bit more for a much smoother more English feel to it, though the hops were still certainly American. My tastes right now are for the higher carbo of a draft beer, so I'll knock this down to a 4 star. Great overall as usual, but I'd rather have this beer via keg stand. Divine Reserve 6 Review Divine Reserve 7 Review Divine Reserve 8 Review I actually had DR2 at a Camp Beer a few months ago... SA DR2 Cloudy amber with sweet malt, caramel and plum nose. A little cold right now on the taste, but as it warms up I get a nice brown sugar and caramel flavor. This one did not have much carbonation left, but still warranted a 4 star. I actually have some DR10 in the cellar, and I need to blog it up. By the way, if you have any DR7 left, drink it now. It ages terribly. Too bad though. Moving on... Next up I have a series of blogposts about my trip to St. Louis (WINNING) and I think I still have to wrap up Indianapolis and San Francisco. Next travel will take me to Mexico and then Mobile BAMA. This summer it looks like Chicago and maybe my home town of Charlotte Carolina if I can swing it. Holla.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Family out of town weekend Extravaganza 4

Oh man here we go again. Every once in a while, a loving father finds himself in the rare position where the wife and kid(s) are gone for an entire weekend and he has the house to himself. That usually results in something happenning between the movies The Hangover and Hot Tub Time Machine. However, this time I took it easy and just enjoyed the barscene in Houston. Oh did I mention it was Saint Patrick's Day as well?

So we kicked it off at (of course) the Saucer. I checked out my plate which they put behind the toilet and enjoyed the EXCELLENT dry irish stouts of Moylans and Breckenridge. For tradition's sake, I even ordered a Guiness. Unfortunately they were out of "Black Crack", also known as Southern Star Buried Hatchet Stout. Now the Breckenridge Thunder Stout was very tasty with the more intense chocolate flavor. The Moylan's Draggoon was bit more traditional in it's calming smooth stout flavor. We even took in the Real Ale Shade Grown Coffee Porter, which really stole the show. One I was already feeling sleepy after working all day, and that intense coffee/espresso thing that Real Ale does made a lot of sense. Afterward we hit up Taps and Brixx for a ton of Guiness and Bean Bag toss with the suprisingly non douche-bags on Washington Avenue. We somehow ended up back at the Saucer for some real beering.

Next day it was Friday night and time for some Petrol Station love. Haven't hit this spot in quite some time. Looking forward to some creative beers.

Great Divide Farmhouse Colette
Cloudy straw, very yeasty funky nose. Great lemony slight sour, great wit beer thing going on. Tasty. Some grit. Lots of wheaty leven bread yeast flavor. As estery a they come. 4 stars

Dogfish Na Meste
Serious coriander and orange peel. Nose and flavor. Goes down smooth. Less filling and great taste. As I type this two days later, I want to get a keg of this stuff and hook it up to my veins. High 4 stars for the Fish.

Petrol Station seems to have been struck by the Roller Derby women as well. I love a good roller derby, complete with clotheslines and powerbombs. Looks like they are ramping up the Derby and the ladies were hitting it hard at the Station. Pretty cool ish.

Next day, as in yesterday was a bit of a clusterf*ck. So I started it out last night having some Blue Moon in a can (that's right cans) at the Niko Niko's downtown at the revamped Market Square. I remember the Market Square area a few years back when we first moved to Houston, and the "it" crowd used to hang out there all the time. Then the crowd moved to Richmond Avenue, then Main Street, then Midtown, then the Galleria, and now Washington Avenue. Seems like as soon as me and a few of the brothas find a new cool multi-cultural bar scene, the culture shortly changes their minds. Anyway...

We started out the night at the Saucer enjoying some great Weisse beers. I made the mistake of going for the Jester King/Mikeller collabo beer Drinkin' in the Sunbelt first. The American Pale Wheat was just that, a mish-mash of an American Pale Ale and a Weisse beer. I mirco-blogged this one on my twitter page (@beerbrotha), but my twitter followers were saying they plan on toning down the hops for the next one.

Afterward we hit the Dynamo game home opener and watched the new guys flail around like the Lost Children of Isreal. Damn shame but it was a good time. We stood where we always stand, with El Batallon. The very energetic young supporters group. And they were in full force with trombones, drums, new shirts, ripped orange and black fabric, and early fist fights all in the first six minutes of the damn season. Don't worry, I'll post the video later. I love watching the game with those guys. The stadium officials no longer allow us to stand in the concourse during game play and we prefer not to be held up for everyone else to leave the stadium by standing in the EB after the game has ended. The EB is so wild, but sometimes they mess around and show up late for the game, and if you go to their domain name, you will see they forgot to pay to keep the domain name. But it's South American chants, kinda ghetto, and something akin to a P-Funk crowd is just awesome.

But we figured what the hell and for the first time EVER went to sit on the other side of the stadium with the Texian Army. We only see these guys from our side of the stadium, and their stuff looks organized, well thought out, lots of homemade flags, and whatnot. But the crowd could not be the exact opposite. So HILARIOUS. If the EB is inner city Houston, the TA is Cinco Ranch Suburbia. I'll give the TA credit, they are all in it with their Soccer moms waiving flags, retired oil execs on the drums, and darling little children throwing real ass confetti. The EB uses shredded phone books for confetti, whereas the TA actually went to the Party store. Ah the dichotemy of life.

So after the game, we hit us midtown for some beering and UFC. As per my stance I was rooting for the brotha Jon Jones against Shogun Rua. As much as I like Jones, I still don't have that connection to him that I have with Rampage, Evans, Anderson Silva, Alistair Overeem and King Mo. Jones answers the age old question: what if a hippie from the 1960s were black, athletically gifted, very intelligent, and fought in the UFC? I think I like more that the MMA fanboys hate him so much which is why I like him. He's getting his due and now it's gametime. Of course he absolutely smashed Shogun and made him tap out to strikes. Fricken awesome.
The family doesn't come back for a while, and after I ran 12 miles yesterday morning, I'm debating between getting some crawfish or a pedicure. Or a Pedicure while eating crawfish. That would be the ballz. Holla. See you at Anvil.