Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hops: Stream of Consciousness

Beer Log: February 26, 2008
State: Dehydrated a bit and eating pork chops and rice

I just came off a 3 mile run, and after a soak in the tub, I've ready for some beer (gotta keep a balance). Looks like the wife has picked up what's supposed to be a very hoppy beer. It's called Victory Hop Wallop. The wife is getting on my eating habits. Anyway, this Hops Wallop is from the Victory boys in Pennsylvania. Gotta love picture of some cartoonish looking redneck dude on the cover. I can only imagine what yah playas in Philly would think if this character was Black. Looking like a straight Sambo. Anyway, I'm so excited about this beer, I decided to do this puppy in Stream of Consciousness on the blog. You'll have to pardon the mess, as I won't be editing.

Victory Hops Wallop
Opening now...I can smell the malt straight out the bottle. That baby looks so cute...pours good but I gotta get a little vigorous to get some head. Now it's pretty heady. I can smell the sweet malts and flowery hops on this baby. Straw colored with a poofy Mother of Pearl colored head. I'll let my two fingers of head settle and have more swine. It pops in big bubbles and is taking it's sweet time. And the head has a bit of lace on it as well. Some more rice and swine, and now for the booze itself...better be bomb...I've tasted much hoppier, but it's very good. Strong hops with strong malt for balance. Medium carbonation and my tongue is still feeling the bitterness a full 60 seconds afterward. The wife tells me it's 8.5% ABV, cool beans. My tongue is ubertingly. Another draught...goes down smooth and pretty durn drinkable, medium-to-full body. Yes. I may like Broken Halo IPA a little better...I need to review them officially some day. Those chumps at Central Market are doing well. This pork chop is so good, and slightly spicy. I'll try Wallop again with some very spicey food this weekend. Can't believe I got f8cking Jury Duty, I say lock 'em all up. The judge keeps nodding off during the trial. It feels good as it warms a bit more in my 2005 North Carolina championship mug. I remember I couldn't stop screaming when the Heels got one. I even called a friend I hadn't talked to in 2 years. Hops mfing Wallop. Sounds like something out of an Amos & Andy show. Brothas would be so fired up if this cat was black. About halfway down and it's tasting a little better. I let it warm up, so it's about 60 F now. I don't care what the wife says, I'm getting another helping of rice. He's hot, he's spicy, he taste great, he's Curry MAN!!! Damn this stream of consciousness crap. I'm getting more of the caramelly malt in there now, I guess at some point I should make an attempt to see what else they put in the Wallop. Another draught bartender...that girl was fine, but she knows my wife and I can't cheat on her, waaaaaaay too much paperwork, I'm talking about the girl at Two Rows that is. There's the ALCOHOL. You can't get a beer that's probably twice the alcohol of a Miller Lite, and be able to hide it through the whole 12 ounce experience, that's what I'll have to call my review style, the "12 ounce experience". Damn this devil's swine...Barack Obama better win. I get to caucus and vote in texas. I already voted for his black ass, and I dare someone to stand up to 6-2 230 lbs of black man in the Cy-Fair caucus. Maybe I'll get a few hard piping hitting n*ggas to roll with me like the brotha in Pulp Fiction. I'm so glad the baby likes me now. She's smilin. Yeay. I guess I should stop the stream writing before someone finds out I'm only voting for Obama b/c he's black, and that under normal circumstances (read everyone's a white man) I would be voting for John McCain...sh*t. last draught and I'm getting more of the common malt tastes most beer use. The hops aftertaste is not killer. Some cats would call this a Hop Bomb, but I'm not biting. I measure my hop bombs by the face I make. If I don't cringe, it ain't a bomb, bottom line. But I may call this one a Wow beer like those chumps from Craft Beer podcast. Probably more for the great balance. Maybe Victory raided the Dogfish Head recipe, or vice versa. I think 60 minute is a little better, but Go 'Head Victory. Done.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

From the Redhook Section

Beer Log: February 24, 2008

State; Hungry, dehydrated, eating chicken and rice.

One time for the Westcoast. Every time I hear of this brewery, I keep thinking of Tazz, the wrestler from ECW. Tazz was pretty bad ass in his day, and I still get chills when I see his first entrance www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rdx7g88Bm3g into WWF back in the day. The boys from Red Hook actually sell their stuff in Reliant Stadium for the Houston Texans games, along with Widmer.

It kind of irks me that the Texans can't manage to sell St. Arnolds and Shiner beers in the stadium. Maybe not Lone Star, but if we are going to have a little variety at the game, let's promote some of our own stuff. What does Houston owe to the durn Pacific Northwest. Let them sell their stuff at the booty Seahawks games. But I digress.

I have a bit of a fetish for hoppy beers right now, I had some Broken Halo IPA at a bar, nice stuff. I sent the wife on a mission to find me some bitter stuff at the grocery store, and she comes back with Red Hook ESB. You'd think ESB would be really bitter, as we got in Baltimore at Wharf Rat. Well let's see...

Red Hook ESB:

The beer has the word CHILL on the bottle, so I don't feel bad about drinking it cold. I've had the beer at Texan's games, but I forgot what it tasted like, as by the time I get into the stadium, I've already had at least 7 beers. So the ESB makes me think it should be hoppy, but I'm still learning. The color is a good FAMU Orange, with a white fleeting head, and slight caramel scent. I wonder, "How is the head fleeting if it's a bitter beer?", and "where's the flowery hops aroma?" The beer is even a little cloudy. It has a sweetness and caramel taste to it, damn! It's got low carbonation and hops, and an only slightly bitter finish. It's very drinkable. This is pretty surprising.

The wife recommended I look it up on Beer advocate, and it looks I have much to learn. Both my beer book and Advocate both says that "despite the name, Extra Special Bitters are not bitter at all, more malty". Well hush my mouth. Red Hook has done a great job with this beer and it seems great for mass marketing. It has enough noticeable flavors, but it doesn't eff you up on the hops, and it's actually much more drinkable than the pale lagers they pour down your throat in the States. I'm still thirsty as all get out after my 9 mile run a couple hours ago, so I'm grabbing another one. Oh it's real.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Combo Beer???

Beer Log: February 22, 2008
State: slightly tipsy, smoking a cigar

Brothas are coming up these days. I'm hanging out with another cat, who also has a young daughter at the house. We got out to hit the golf course, got some sushi and sake, and hit Downing Street Pub for cigars and drinks later on. I think I even converted a couple other brothas to beer tasting. Oh yeah, this is a Barack Obama thang. Not that we don't like fried chicken, soul food, and hip hop or jazz clubs, but it's good to see what else is going on out there. While smoking a Monte Cristo and sipping on scotch, we noticed a combo beer of Guinness Stout and Maudit, called "The Damned".

I've had various combo beers before, no big deal, but I haven't had it since I've started connoisseuring. This one had Guiness on top, with Maudite on the bottom. I've never heard of this combo or of Mauudite, so I figured this would be a good opportunity to try and figure out what kind of beer it was. The waitress with the killer legs, tells us the beer is made by monks in Canada, and is a stouty beer. I've never heard of monks being in Canada, though I figure if it's anywhere, it's in Quebec.

The Damned
Black Guiness on top with white head, and a dark amber on the bottom. There's no Line of Demarcation like the Guiness-Blue Moon drinks, so it a very blurred line betwixt the two beers. I figured I'd try and evaluate it at certain points in the pilsner glass. First taste is straight up bitter Guiness, with a little citrusy flavor to it. I'm not a hardcore Guiness man, but I don't recall the citrus in there. We did a straw test: basically putting a straw to the bottom of the beer, holding the top, and pulling it out to try the beer on the bottom. It seemed like an aged Old Ale, with high alcohol type flavor. I'm thinking it's aged in Bourbon barrels. Regular drinking stays with basic Guiness (low carbo and some bitterness) about 1/4 of the way down, with a touch of the Maudite coming through. After this point, holding the beer up to the light shows it's a dark red color from top to bottom, so the beers are mixing as I keep drinking them. The Guiness is TOO COLD, but whatever. When we got to the bottom quarter of the beer, we're getting a citrusy and spicy old ale flavor.

All and all, it's a decent combo beer. I've alway thought these things were there to impress women in a bar, but this one has some mixing to it. Pretty good stuff, but I notice that they look to have a nice selection of beer overall, so I look forward to going back. Turns out, Maudite is a Strong Red Ale, pretty close.

I do pretty well until Sundown

Beer Log: February 15, 2008
State: Hungry, eating Cheese Ravioli

I'm typing this while trying to balance my 5 month old daughter on my chest. She's finally going to sleep but is slipping off. So cute.

Something about this beer's box and design made me want to check it out. It has an orange in the beer on the cover and fantastic art. And my love for Blue Moon (at 50 degrees F) is what makes me want to try many of the Hefe's and Witbiers out there. Oh it's real.

Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat
Of course I'm mature enough to NOT put an orange in the beer. We got the six pack, so I may get an orange in there and re-evaluate. I'm having visions of their Berry Wheat which was terrible in my opinion, no disrespect to the Kugel boys out there. Enough of this shit talking, on to the beer.

Had to pour it in a regular beer mug, gotta get some beer glasses. The smell is acidic and orangey. It's cloudy with a orange-yellow look to it (no surprise). Can't really get some head on it. I did vigourosly try again later to get some head, but it was fleeting; and then I poured the beer (hee hee). Got a bit of an orange peel thing going on, with an orange soda-ish taste. Kinda makes me think of the Undercover Brotha with his orange soda. It's got a wheat taste, with low hops and a tingly finish. It has a low to medium body, with medium carbonation. Smooth man, yet only moderately drinkable. It's got a sudden yet light citrus and acidity a little later on in the taste. The wheat comes on skrong with the warmth. Nice, but not something I will go ga ga over.

Now she's good and asleep, but now I can't get up and grab a beer. I'm stuck watching the State of the Black Union with all their fancy speeches, yet no solutions. The sista from TransAfrica is pretty good though.

Give me Two on That

Beer Log: February 13, 2007
State: Chillin Hard, eating Ribs

It's me and my coworker and fellow Yellow Jacket out here in the Bar scene of Rice Village, and I'm finally making it to Two Rows. They make much of their own beer in Dallas and I think Houston as well. I think I can count on one hand how many microbreweries and brewpubs are in Houston. Sad, very sad.

But since I live here, this a chance to evaluate a brewpub in a nice and easy way. No need to try 15 beers in two hours. The food was great, which is essential for a good brewpub. Not so much for the beermen like myself, but so that they can keep the bills paid to supply craft beer, HD TV, and cute co-eds. The waiter seemed like he knew what he was talking about, and could even explain a bit about some of the other beers not on the menu. We nailed it, as we got to the restaurant on $1 Beer night. Hellz yeah. Only problem is, they give it to us in a regular size plastic cup. So I'll have to tell the true story of these beers and their others later. Oh it's real. Let's get it started.

Old Town Hefe weizen
And we're off. In this plastic cup, I see a cloudy orangish beer with a white head as is typical of a hefe. It's a bit on the cold side, but I get the taste of bananas and oragne peel. It's kind of like a Hoegaarden. It's smooth with medium carbonation. As it warms up, I'm getting a litte more banana and now some apple. The head is kind of lacy on the ribbed plastic cup. Not a Wow Beer, but pretty nice for starters.

We are being stereotypical tonight, so we're eating bar-b-que ribs, so Old Town may not be the best pairing. Onto an Amber Ale...

Route 66 Amber Ale
Dark Brown color with a light tan head. It has a light malt smell that comes about after I swirl it up a bit. Tastes of biscuits and fruitiness in the first draughts. It's low carbonation and light bodied. It's just too damn cold to get the flavor. Pretty low dryness. As my hand's 98.6 degrees manages to penetrate the Great Wall of China-like barrier wall of my plastic cup, I'm getting some bread flavoring and some light chocolate notes. Going back to the originals, it's not malty or hoppy, just kind of there. It goes alright with the ribs.

Dark Star Lager
Ooh scary. At this time, the waiter filled us in to all the extra beer not on tap. This seasonal is HARD to find on the net, but it seems to be considered a Fall/Halloween type beer. I think I'm smelling butterscotch scent, but there's no head any way. Dark brown color of the beer. Finally a little roasted malt, not hoppy and medium carbonation. It's very drinkable, with a slight sourness. I didn't know it a the time, but it seems lagerish to me. When it warms up, you get a smokey flavor.

Not a bad experience overall, and I look forward to going back to try the rest. I reaaly appreciate places like Two Rows for keeping craft beer alive in the Houston and Dallas, TX. Good show.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Coming to you Live

Live Evaluation:
Beer Log: February 16, 2008
State: Slight Hunger and dehydration, eating pizza.

We are coming to you LIVE. I’m not writing this in my notepad, it’s coming to you straight onto the computer like a porno site. The Beer of Distinction is St. Arnold Spring Bock. This Spring Seasonal is already out of production. I believe their website said they drank it all. We managed to grab it at Kroger. Reddish copper color. Light hops and spice on scent. White haed is fleeting and slips around the mug. Almost like a fall beer. Medium body and light noticeable hops. Medium carbo. Kind of a sugar sweetness. It just flies down the tongue for a quick finish. It’s not really dry. I can it has some more than average ABV. I’m having thoughts of a light bodied less sweet Grand Marnier. The wife has a sweet tooth, and it doesn’t taste sweet to her. Overall a good beer, though I’m a bit more partial to Shiner Bock. I could have sworn the spring beers were supposed to be a little lighter. I’d rather drink this one when it’s nice and frigid outside. This may even be better as a Winter Beer as I think about it. But it’s tastes great regardless.

The Wife's Stuff

Beer Log: February 10, 2008
State: Full, eating cooked apples

The wife is big on Stout, the more chocolaty, the better. So I’m drinking more of this stuff than I ever thought.

BridgePort Black Strap Stout
You gotta love that “BLACK STRAP” name. Sounds like something out of a blacksplotation film played by Samuel L. Jackson. I’m Black Strap Motherf*cker! But it’s actually form Black Strap Molasses. It’s opaque and black (big surprise), with a light tan head. Got a sweet and coffee smell to it. Roasted Malt taste first with a coffee finish. Low carbonation, yet it’s very fine. Head has a slight lace to it. Medium Bodied. It’s aiight.

China and the Alcohol Invasion

Beer Log: February 9, 2008
State: Hungry, and slight heartburn from Anti-inflammatories.

Damn this ibuprofen. I’m trying to heal up my ankle to run a marathon in April, and sure enough the Doc gives me this stomach burning stuff. So what better cure than a healthy dose of fried rice and some Tsingtao? I’ve never had Tsingtao before, just the Japanese stuff in some Sake Bombs in my younger days of last year.

Tsingtao Beer (Lager)
The man brought it out in a green bottle and a glass that was a shorter version of a stange. I’m always wary of green and clear glasses, as I believe that light does a beer damage. Try Heineken in the bottle, and try it in one of the little baby kegs. Anyway I’m not too optimistic about these Asian lagers. It had that classic vegetal scent, and was a clear old gold color. The white head was fleeting, no surprise there. Let’s drank this one. Medium body and low carbonation (yes). Light malt in there, okay. Drinkable and it tasted best when cold. Very low hops and kinda sweet as it warms, as well as some moderate dryness and vegetal flavor. Pretty good though.

After the Chinese, we went to the Sauce, as I always do when downtown. They have this chalkboard with all these beers not on the menu, like seasonals. Shit, they have some St. Arnold’s Spring Bock, which has already run out at the brewery. But I’ll take my chance and go for some high alcohol stuff.

Northcoast Old Stock
Oh yeah, something like 11.7% ABV (Alcohol by Volume) in one snifter. I thought it was an Old Ale, and someone told me it was a barley wine. Of course the website proves I'm right. Getting good at this. It was dark brown with a light tan head. We were sitting outside, so it was bronze in direct sunlight. And it smells of caramel and ALCOHOL. Oh dear Lord what have you wrought on me. First taste that hits me is alcohol, then caramel sweetness. I notice that is very smooth and fullbodied, yet it goes down quick. It has a light bitterness as well, but reminds me of a thick version of Amaretto. Another connoisseur was there, and he agreed with the Amaretto distinction. It’s probably more complex than what I could pick out, so I look forward to grabbing this one down the line.

The Australian just came by and let us know that they may still have some Dogfish Head 120 Min IPA over there on bottle. Damned if I thought you couldn’t even sell the shit with that much alcohol in Houston. It cost me $12 a bottle. Damn. But The 60 Minute version is one of my favorite beers of all time, and the 90 minute was great.

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA
We are talking 21% ABV. One bottle is like 4 Miller Lites worth of alcohol. It has a flower fruity aroma as it sits in the snifter. Cloudy reddish orange color, a mother of pearl colored head that is lacy. And here we go. It’s malty and full bodied. I was told it’s not as hoppy due to the fermentation and alcohol, and sure enough it’s nowhere near a hop bomb like the 60 and 90 Minuters. This is sweet, like liquor in style. It’s thick, and I’m not too proud to say that it made me shiver. I don’t even shiver anymore from straight vodka shots. It has low carbonation, and surprisingly easy to drink. It’s not a fruit beer (thank goodness), but it has some fruitiness in the flavor.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Blasian Fusion

Beer Log: February 7, 2008, yeah yeah I know

State: chillin hard, wondering if anyone thinks it's ghetto to bring your baby and wife to a company happy hour

Hanging at one of Houston's many Asian fusion restaurants/bars, we had one of those African-American employees outings. We open it to all employees, but we make sure we put the words "Black History" somewhere in the invite. It's a sure fire way to make your event all Black and still cover yourself politically. I've learned that most American white folks refuse to be the minority in a room, even if it's for 2 hours. Kinda funny, as we deal with it everyday, everywhere, everytime, except at home and the occassional booty bar. And I'm only a moderately angry black man. Anyway, I left my notepad at home, so I looked a chump reviewing the Kirin on the back of a business card.
Kirin Ichiban

A lager... fanstatic. Actually, I'm no snob, so I'll go for it. It's got a vegetal lager smell and no head, just great. Suprisingly good taste, which is probably because it was served bone chilling cold. It has a vegetal lager type taste, and is pretty light all around on the hops and malt. Not bad. Very drinkable with low carbo, which is important to me. I actually liked this Premium Lager, though I can see that this was made for Mass Consumption. Nothing to harsh one way or another, and a great thirst quencher with sushi. How we didn't have fried rice on tap is beyond me.

Shine on Me

Beer Log: February 8, 2008
State: Hungry, eating spaghetti

Back with the Shiner. They brought the 96 back out and are selling it as Shiner Dunkelweizen. Never tried anything with the word "Dunkel" in it, but I understand they roast some of the malt here.

Shiner Dunkelweizen
Dark red color with a fleating white head. Malt, citrus and spice in the scent. Tast has some light roasted malt, slight cinnamon. Low carbonation and hops, very dinkable and goes down quick. Light bady. The beer tastes sweeter and just better when it's warmer, kinda reminds me of a stout. Another great one from Shiner, though I know we have a lot of hater out there.

The Superbowl

Beer Log: February 3, 2006
State: A bit hungry and anxious

Well, I gotta give it up to New York Giants. I'm so glad they beat those cheating bastards, the New England Patriots. Oh it's real. So we went to a Superbowl party complete with a DJ. Nothing puts me in the mood for football like a loud arse version of Souljah Boy. We did go nuts when Burress got that touchdown. But the wife and I picked up some Spring Seasonal of Blue, and some Blueberry beer. I figured the womenfolk would feel the fruit beer, but no one touched it. Nothing like a beer to mix with that haterade.

Rising Moon (Spring Ale)
Yes. The Blue Moon boys have yet to dissappoint. Coors blows, but Blue Moon is probably keeping all of Coors from going Chapter 11. It pours smooth, with a wheat scent, straw color, and a white frothy head that is sustaining. Upon tasting, it's got medium body and a taste of wheat bread. It warms up to a slight toast flavor and lime (nice surprise). Excellent as usual for sessioning. Looking forward to the next beer.

Leinenkugel's Berry Weiss
They sell this Wisconsin stuff at the local grocer in Houston. Nice. This was has a STRONG berry smell, with alight body and carbo. The color was a little red, but nothing like the frambozen and whatnot. It has an overpowering rasberry and blueberry taste, and very tart. This actually made me a little sick to my stomach. Luckily they had some ice cold Heineken to get me back to center. I think it's time to say I don't eff with cherry and rasberry beers. Period.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ahh, the Conversion

Beer Log: January 19, 2008
State: Hungry, at the SPRC

So we are at a convention of black engineers in Downtown Houston, and we are at a loss of where to go for dinner. I keep pushing that we got to the Sauce so we can try some new beers. Everyone is skeptical at first but we bring in about 12 folks. I love converting folks who claim they don't like beer.

Most folks have only tasted Bud or Miller, and they claim it tastes like urine. Problem is, they probably got it at a crappy hip hop bar that hadn't changed out the kegs in months, and it may have been warm. So we get everyone on the frambozen, the rasberry beer. They bring it out in this champange flute and everyone is drinking it like water. I didn't touch it myself, anything that bright red scares me.

Others even got themselves some chocolate stout and we're suprised that there are beers that taste like a Snickers bar. It works every time. It's easier to convert women b/c they like the ciders, fruity beers, and whathaveyou. Brothas are a little tougher, as they tend to drink overpriced tequila and Hen-Doggy Dog. Maybe I should offer the brothas some barley wine next time. Oh it's real.

Spaten Franiskaner Hefe
Nothing like a hefeweizen to get 'er started. This was cloudy and had a white head. I first noticed the high carbonation (not my cup of tea), and the head got flat fast. I noticed something like apples (probably from the lactic acid), and a slight banana thing going on. Medium bodied. Not bad.

Sam Adams Cherry Wheat
Well this is my first pure fruit beer, and it smells of harsh cherry. ILt was amber and translucent with a white weak head. It was cherry sweet with a long finsh. Got medium carbo, no hops bitternes, and a light slippery body. It was also acidic. It kind of made me think of a regular light beer with someone slapping in some cherry at the end. Nothing to write home about.

The chicken tenders have shown up at this point.

Full Sail IPA
Have to go to something harsh after all this fruitiness. Deeper amber color, white strong head that sticks to the side of glass (lace). I can smell the hops on this one. Very smooth and very hoppy, though not thunderbird hoppy. I got a slight cinnamon spiciness with a 60 second finsih. Good way to wrap up the night.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Back in the Easy

Beer Log: January 30, 2008

State: slight hunder and a headache.

Ahh New Orleans. Come on baby. I'm traveling the city streets and finally made it back to the airport. Sitting around waiting for plane, and I notice something peculiar on the bottle list. Abita. http://www.abita.com/ Lord knows everyone is all up on the Abita water, so the beer has to be good right. Word is, NO cats love this stuff, so I gave this my fullest review yet.

Abita Beer (Amber):
I poured it from a bottle into the plastic cup they gave me. Oh well, it is an airport. Slight malt scent, amber color with a light cream colored full head. Head actually has some Lace. First thing I notice is the aftertaste, which as a a little bitter. High carbonation, light malt & hops, uberlight citrus. I'm actually thinking of water and earth. Medium to full bodied beer that is very wet. As my adventure with a damn plastic cup continues, the head sustains and pops in fine bubbes. But its nothing to write home about with drinkability due to high carbo. Damned if this isn't a Metallic feel in my mouth a few minutes after drinking it. As it warms up it's light caramel as it warms up. Not bad, butI can see why it could be popular in NO. Though they surprisingly don't have it on tap. And I do wonder how long you could stay in business in Houston without having some Shiner on tap. Oh my, there is something like biscuits in that last draught. Oh well. I did session this puppy in an attempt to knock myself out on the flight, which didn't work of course. I look forward to trying more Abita stuff as I continue travelling to NO.

Beer o' the Month again

Beer Log: January 27, 2008
State: Hungry and dehydrated

Back to Howard Dean Land. We all thought his dumb ass was going to sink the Democratic party, but it looks good for a brotha to get in the white house now. Hellz yeah. And I don't even agree with many of his Politics.

Back to Otter Creek. Gotta love the Pale Ales eaten with spicey food. Gotta love the tastebud assault.

Otter Creek Pale Ale
Has a flowery aroma, dark brown color with white head. It pops in big bubbles and whatnot, a little lacy. Beer has a good strong hops (kinda medium for a American Pale Ale), 30 second finish. Low carbonation, and even more bitter finish on the back of the tongue. Slight citrus thang with a dry finish. Pretty good but I like my Pale Ales to bring the pain. Oh it's real.

The Malt of the Earth Club

Beer Log: January 24, 25, 2008
State: Eating Dinner both times

So my wife has me in this club that sends you some random beer every other month. Gotta love that. When in the blue hell would I ever go to Vermont. Do they even have brothas up there? Probably a couple.

Otter Creek Copper Ale
We were eating some ribs with brocolli and corn, good woman.
Never had "Copper" Ale, so I'm curious. Well it pours smooth, with a copper color (wow!). Malt and cinnamon flavor smell. It's got a damn near white head (cream color perhaps). It's got noticeable but light-medium hops, some malt. Has some medium carbo, and a (damn) metallic taste. I took several drinks before I could figure out what that was, damned if it ain't metallic. It has a bitter aftertaste with some spiceyness.

New night, we broke out the stuff. Left Hand
Gotta love the bright red hand on the bottle cap.
While munching on some chicken and fries, we hit the...

Left Hand Sawtooth Ale
It's got a dark straw color, with a poofy white head and spicy caramel scent. Suprisingly full bodied, with spice and medium hops. Just when you think you got away from it, there's a slight hops aftertaste on the back of the tongue. Wet (not dry) with maltiness and some light hops tasts after it warms up. Well done Left Hand.

First Post at the Sauce

Beer Log: January 17, 2008
State: Thirsty and waiting

I am known to frequent the Sauce every time I go downtown for a meeting or event. I've got about 30 beers on the UFO club card, and only need another 170 beers to get a plate on the wall. So I usually grab a seat, break out the cell phone or Houston Press and do my best not to look like a drunk. I was waiting on a convention meeting a few blocks further down the street, so what better way to prep than get a couple of the highest gravity beers on the menu...

Old Peculiar
This Old Ale is my first of its kind. It came in bottle form and was poured in a regular ass pilsner glass. It was deep amber with a crimson color in direct light. Tan head with a cinnamon spicy scent. Amazing b/c it was sweet when it was cold, but soured up as it warmed up. Nice light carbonation and hops. It had a slippery wet body like Trina in a Trickdaddy video. Great beer and probably more complex than I could figure at the time.

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
Oh yes. The Delaware boys have made it to Texas. I've had the 60 Minute IPA in Maryland and loved it. So it's time for the 90 minutes. The 120 Minute is not on the menu sadly. She brought it out in something akin to a wine goblet. Very European. It had a strong lacy, and light tan head. Smells like a bouquet of flowers and was straw in color. Flavor a strong malt first, then cames the high hops. Full bodied and full. I actually wrote down "f*cking good". This is what beer tasting is all about right here, and I think this supplanted the 60 minute IPA as my third favorite beer.

I think I hit on the girl running the convention a few times, as well as one of the female volunteers. This high gravity stuff is great, but please don't session it whatever you do. Oh it's real.

Best in Texas

Beer Log: January 13, 2008
State: Kinda Hungry

My boys at Shiner have broken back out their Shiner 97. It's Bohemian Black Lager. Awesome new black label and whatnot. We also have some Shiner Dunkelweizen (formely Shiner 96) down in the fridge. And we got this stuff at our local grocery store in Houston, not at some hardcore beer bar. Gotta love it. So my wife fired up the Rotiserrie Chicken and we cracked open the black lager in a standard beer mug.

Shiner Bohemian Black Lager

Served pretty cold. Poured smooth with a light tan head. Very black color with some amber on the edges in the light. We've got a caramel/honey scent. Much more different than the ever popular Shiner Bock. Drinks with a light body and smooth. First taste are some roasted malts and smoke. It finishes quickly. The head is fleating, and as it warms up, I'm getting more of a low/medium maltiness.

The end. Perhaps all novels end feebly, but I just don't see myself liking a beer with a smoke flavor. Not to mention it was a little cold in the house as well. Not my favorite coming out of Shiner. The Bock is still my favorite beer, but this one is a little disappointing for me.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Bitter Me Baby!

Beer Log: December 29, 2007
State: Hungry

Back in the Baltimore area trying to try a few more beers before we make it back to Houston, and there you have the guys right next to Camden Yards, jolly good Wharf Rat. You'd think a guy like me who works for the British would be able to handle an onslaught of English Bitter. It was after this experience that I wanted to get myself acclimated to bitter beers, and eventually find some of the hoppiest stuff out there. I may have already found it with that Thunderbird (shouts out to LSU), but we'll keep trying dammit.

We understand that the Rats may be moving location or going to pure distribution, so we had to get 'er done all in that day. Totally broke my rules of tasting no more than 3 beers in one sitting. But here we go with that 11 beers, all bitter as successful black woman forced to marry an illegal immigrant. This stuff is BITTER man. The beer was bitter, the Ravens fans were bitter, my nephew was bitter. The waiter looks like he knows what's going on, which is a must. Of course they are in the business of making money, but I wouldn't recommend trying more than 4 of these at times.

Blonde Ale
Very Clear, medium bitter for a Blonde Ale. Light carbonation, with a light body. Kinda a vegetal (is that a word?), which reminds me of a lager.

Cream Ale
Light malty scent. Medium body & bitter, smooth beer with a strong ale drinkability.

The fish and chips have shown up. They actually ain't bitter.

SW1 Amber
Not Shawn Wayans from In Living Color. it had some mal scent with astrong lacy head. Medium bitterness but a nice quick finish.

Best Bitter
weak head with a sweet smell. Very smooth and full bodied (yes), with med/high bitter. Low carbo. Another smell made me think of aroma hops

3 Lions
Long live the Crown. Dark amber color, witha strong head. Caramel notes in the scent, full bodied, medium maltiness, medium bitter, with a loooooooooong lasting aftertaste.

I'm a little nervous about something called Extra Special Bitter. I hadn't made it to the "Britain" section of my beer book, so I'm thinking it's supposed be eating away at the glass.

Slight mal, medium body. High bitter, and I count a 60 second finsih. Had a nice malt balance.

Iron Man Pale Ale
Oh my God, we are just NOW getting to the Pale ales? Slight malty cent, wiht a quick finish. Smooth and frothy. Some bitterness but I'll concede, at this point my tongue is probably imploding.

Mad Monk
Buttery tast, light slippery body, strong head. Deep brown color, and dry aftertaste

Porter (Pagan)
Kinda like Smoke, that Mortal Kombat 3 character. Very bitter and dry, with a quick finish

Black Friar
Black color, with a brown head. malty scent. Taste is smooth with a dry finish. Buttery and light carbo. Coffee-like.

And we're done. Well, that was interesting. They know how to do bitter, but I've tasted some IPAs that I like a bit better. They were getting it done on bitters, and have no qualms about taking chances with all those bitter beers. Good for them and good for us looking for bitter beers. Hopefully next time I make it up to Baltimore, I hope I can jump the end of this list and get a full glass going.

How do you know your Mother In-Law Knows You

Beer Log: December 26, 2007
State: Full

So it's the day after Christmas, and as most fathers out there, I got Jack Shit for Christmas. Actually, my wife hit me with a homebrewing kit and a monthly beer membership. Pretty Cool.

Well, my Mother-In-Law loves me a lot. I think she's glad that her daughter happened to get a black man to marry her rather than another of the thousands of strong black women who never find a brotha with credentials to match theirs. So I grab a couple Yuengling Black & Tan, and when I get back upstairs, there's twelve craft beers sitting there for us to try. How sweet. We all sat around and tried a few Belgians and stuff from the Stevens Point Brewery in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. We also had a couple local beers from our boys at Clipper City

Yuengling Black & Tan
How did I not try this beer before now. It's worse considering that Yuengling sponsored our Rugby jersies when I played for the Gulf Coast Club. Damn shame. It was served in the mid 40F. It had a rather fleeting head for a porter. I found a med/light roasted malt flavor. Med carbonation with a quick finish. As it warms up I'm getting a hint of Caramel. No bitterness to speak of. Very nice stuff. I drank plenty-o-this for the rest of the vacation.

Now on to the tasting. We ate fine cheeses and crackers in between most beers. We drank it in flight form with 5 ounce glasses. Although near the end I was feeling pretty buzzed.

Point Special Lager
Gotta start of with the light stuff. Has a vegetablish scent. Very weak head. As I drink it, it's got a light body, light carbo, light hops.. No maltyness to speak of. One word: BUDWEISER.

Point Special Beer
very pilsnerish. Light hops, weak head, light-med carbo.

Stella Artois
Had this several times over the years, though the last time I was on a cruise ship and with... um nevermind. Not much of a scent. A little bitter, I'll go on and say medium hops. Light to medium malt

McHenry Old Baltimore
Ah the local local stuff. Caramal baby. Light carbo, med malt. sticky/lacy head. It had some body, kinda like that one girl in the club. It has a light bitterness at the back of the tongue. Nice.

Hoegaarden Withier-Bierre Blanch
For those of you that are keeping score at home, I've already had this one at Ram's Head. Again we had strong head, with apple and grapefruit flavor. Low carbo with mother of pearl color on the head. I kinda take a look at the head first, then jump into the beer, than evaluate the head. Sorry, I'm a bit anxious and can pop off at any time (sorry baby, I swear that only happened to me once.)

Point Belgian White
And we're back to the Points. After getting on that Belgian white from Belgian, this one was a disappointing Belgian White from Wisconsin. Medium boy, light hops, somewhat malty. Not as smooth as we first thought, with a quick finish.

Point Honey Light
Good head, can I say "slippery" mouthfeel (heh). Medium carbo, light body, light hops. We looked in the beer, under the couch, in the bedroom, but none of us could find the Honey in this beer. I even grabbed this one a couple more times in the following days and STILL couldn't find the honey. It reminded me of Miller High Life.

Leffe Blonde Abby Ale
We didn't have the kickass glass, but it was cool. Strong head. Medium body, caramel, low carbonation, sweet residuey after tast. with some light hops. I found this one to be very complex. I'll need more training to nail this sucker down.

Point Amber Classic
Good red-amber color, excellent slight sweet smell. med maltiness, light carbo. THERE's the Honey! Had a medium body as well.

Balto Marzhon
Another local one. Weak head, medium malt in the taste. Spicey cinammon. Pretty complex with medium carbonation. Good stuff.

Point Cascade Pale Ale
I can smell that bitterness coming. Medium head, high hops. Kind of a regular Pale Ale level of hops. I'm getting butter, and some citrus flavor as well.

Review of Point
I think Point has some good beers in there. But of what we had, their lighter beers are uberlight and dare-I-say-it, uninspiring. Seems like they are going for the Mass Production factor.

Review of Belgians
Good stuff overall but I will back out and wait until I get to Europe in April for training and evaluation.