Friday, December 31, 2010

Ramblings for 2010 End of Year Wrap-Up

As I sit here watching Dynamite! 2010 on HDNet DVR, I can't help but think this has been a most amazing year. Starting with the Houston beer scene, we saw the emergence of several new breweries, which had some honorable mentions for the best beer of the year (Ranger Creek Oatmeal Pale Ale and the Wytchmaker IPA by Jester King). Not to mention the killer Houston Beer Week by my babymamma Cathy Clark and beering for the first time at Petrol Station, River Oaks, and being 3 beers away from my 200th beer at the Flying Saucer. For a great wrap up of the beer events in Houston, please see my good friend and fellow MMA enthusiast barleyvine for a wrap-up. However, as I sip on my second Lagunitas Imperial Red, I cannot help but think of all the great places I was fortunate to visit this year.

I almost think that I should start with just after Christmas, which was a trip to Long Island, New York for some dear friends of ours. Two friends of ours got married in the LI and the wife and I had a great chance to try a number of New York beers like Captain Lawrence and Brooklyn. This year took to me to places like Indianapolis, New Orleans, Atlanta, and of course San Francisco. Sometimes you have to wonder about the beer travelers.

Sometimes I wonder, what if I actually find what I'm looking for? What if the Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA I smuggled from San Francisco's Bevmo in November be the best beer I've ever had. Or is is my 2010 beer of the year, the Real Ale Oktoberfest. What will I do if it turns out the best gastropub in the world is a soul food lunch place in Montgomery, Alabama we went to during Thanksgiving. (Nothing like Mac-n-cheese and fried chicken with Kasteel Tripel).

We made it to a number of different places this year without ever leaving the country. I still have to write up all the beers and city/restaurant reviews of these locales, but DAMMIT what a country for beer. San Fran, New Orleans, Lafayette, Mobile, Austin, Indy, and of course the newer spots in Katy and Cypress. This year I met small set of homebrewers that brew beer for Texans games and are in the same lot as me. I ran into hippies at Magnolia in Haight Asbury, threw fireworks for the Saints in Covington and of course later made it to the Abita Brewpub in Abita Springs. My only regrets is that I could not find the time to get back to my hometown of Charlotte or my wife's old stomping ground in Boston.

I didn't get anything international this year, but next year I'm looking forward to a trip to South America, maybe for another Marathon run, and I am dying for another trip to Europe, perhaps something in Denmark or Belgium. The wife and I are looking forward to a trip to Boston, and several more trips to New Orleans, Austin, and maybe a week longer to Canada. Holla back baby

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'll take another round of extra creamy

Beer Log: Right now

State: Sitting outside at the Saucer, just ran 9 miles at Memorial Park. Lovely December day in Houston. 73 deg F, mostly cloudy. Awesome.

Not to be confused with Thunderhead or Thunderbird beer. This nitro stout has a very long last head on top of a deep brown colored beer. Nose has a nice subtle roast/choco thing going on, maybe a touch of butter. Oh yeah man, I've got beer-stache. Mad creamy head is followed by a very smooth velvety beer. Nice and neat chocolate due to the malts and very thick body due to the oatmeal. I always have a very great impression of the first beer of the day and especially after a long run. It's funny, for the first time at Memo Park I used their fitness center locker room and shower facilities rather than dragging ass back home still sweaty. The place looks pretty old compared to something like an LA Fitness, but damned if this is not the ballz. You would think that when the Allen brothers discovered Houston, the first thing they built was the Memorial Park Fitness Center. I can do my long run, shower up, change clothes, and in a few minutes I'm in the Heights or downtown. Hell yeah baby. Back to the beer as it warms up, I just get even more of that great roast and chocolate. At 5% abv, this is a nice beer to have. High 3 stars.

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter

Don't remember if I ever formally reviewed this one. Ruby/brown color with a nice thin white head. Not much of a scent. Beer tastes like a vanilla/chocolate candy. One of those cheaper ones you get on halloween that your parents claim is the good shyt. As my palate gets used to the vanilla, I get something kinda thin and a little bit watery in the middle of the palate. I would say that I should have gotten this one first, as the fuller Oatmeal Stout just ran roughshod over the tongue here. Oh well. May as well just enjoy this puppy.

I'm one of those guys that thinks hot pepper beers are pretty much bad ideas, but here goes. Dark brown color and tan lasting head. Nose has choco and something like a hot pepper going on in there. Beer has a smokiness and harsh roastiness to it that basically overpowers the chipotle. Give this beer about 20 seconds after you down in and you'll get some of that pepper heat in the back. In all reality I think the Mikkeller boys tried to do too much here. Super hardcore smoke which has that light band-aid thing going on, and the roast, and the pepper burn. As you drink it, that chocolate and coffee are rather pleasent, it's just everything else is throwing it off for me. And now I'm getting that pepper heat in like the middle of my throat. Dude. And I'm one of those guys that puts cayenne on the hot taco McCormicks mix for even more kick. For this cacophony of foolishness that Mikeller has stricken us with, I'm going to have to skip the star rating and give this the Cowboy Curtis face. And to think Mikeller is typically the bomb. Oh well. If they just itznayed the pepper and black patent, we would be in there. And for 9 bucks too. Come on son.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

IPAing at the Saucer

Good to be back at the Sauce for some good ol' IPAs.

Nelson Sauvin Single Hop Mikkeller IPA (say that three times fast)
Nose has an excellent caramel malt on top of a creamy reddish white head (no homo). They actually have this puppy on draft at the Sauce. Kinda hazy beer that has an nice grassy hop to it. The taste is interesting in that I get lots of grassy and bitterness on the hops. Decent malt but it doesn't quite hang on long enough to make it balanced, which is probably intentional to focus one's attention to the hops. Usually not a problem for me but the aftertaste is a little icky. Kinda turns into a bitter grapefruit aftertaste. If this is indeed the New Zealand hop that is in the Sierra Nevada Southern Hemi, then I think it's actually a little better wet. It just doesn't have the depth of hops I like with my beers, and that probably comes with multiple hops. Body is moderately full with low carbonation. The beer is rather drinkable. The beeradvocates fricken love this thing, but that lack of depth and aftertaste take it from a 4 to a three star beer.

Lagunitas IPA
A copper color beer that's pretty clear. Thin lacy white head that did not quite last that long. Taste is a strong hop and almost a little watery in the middle of the palate. I guess I'm so used to Hop Stoopid and Brown Sugga that this beer is rather sessiony. Nice hops all around with more depth than the Mik, though I can tell I should have had this one first. Damn shame. It gets a lot better the further I get away from that Mikkeller. High 3 Stars.

A Dogfish Squall IPA I've already had and I'm ready to rock and roll. Turns out this one has a pinch of roast and something akin to peaches or sweet cherries compared to the beers I've had already today. Nice.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Beer and Beerbrotha Sports Review: Frank Bush, Get the Hell Out

So I'm sitting here watching Grey's Anatomy on DVR and I'm still fired up about how the Texans have been performing all season. Mostly we can't get started until the second half of the season, which really sucks. I have sat in the same seat at the stadium or listened to the game on the radio at home while watching the kid, and we keep f'n losing at the end of the game. SURELY we could have beaten that sorry chump Tim Tebow, and sure enough we got nuthin again. Just another loss, and another sorry quarterback like Tebow, Collins, Sanchez, and Garrett look like the second coming of Joe Montana on the Texans. A damn shame. I picked a hell of a day to take a break from beering.

I think I heard it best from Chris Rock when he said TRUE integration is when you see the mediocre black people being hired and given chances in high places. As a black QB or coach, you had to WALK on water to even get an honest shot at the big jobs, and this was in the 90s. General Manager was a pipe dream. We got one Tony Dungy while Marty Chokenheimer was given chance after chance. We managed to get a few excellent coaches in there, but fast forward just 15 years.

OH MY HOW WE HAVE OVERCOME! I don't care if the next guys are black, white, or purple, I need Frank Bush to TURN HIS KEYCARD in by Monday morning. Based on how they play against J'ville, it's probably safe to say that Kubiak needs to walk as well, but I'll give him another week. Rick Smith hasn't put together an even halfway decent defensive players. But the team's defense really comes down to the defensive coordinator: Frank Bush. They say he's a nice guy and I truly hate to see brothas get canned. But this just can't continue. If we can get the DC at Cleveland as a head coach, I'd bring him in now.

Frank Bush's Texans defense has TIED the record for the most 24 point games given up in a season with 14 games. And we still have one more game to go. We have given up the most yards per game of all time. I say we go for the record. Let J'ville run up the score as well. Frank Bush needs to take his butt on the first thing smoking out of town, and Kubiak can go one more week later.

We need to get one of those fat bastard defensive coordinators with his gut sticking out. A guy that looks like he smells like bratwurst, cheddar, and Yuengling. Romeo Cernell, Rob Ryan, even Wade Phillips would be better. You know I could even see someone like John Fox from Carolina after they fire him as our DC. Frank Bush has to be the worst coordinator we've ever had. So on the positive, if you throw in Singletary and Vince Young, integration in the NFL is COMPLETE. But on the negative, the Texans still have a horrible defense.

Let me do some of my reviews from Christmas day.

Ommegang Tripel Perfection
Golden amber haze with white head. Nose is light banana, sour lemon, and herbal. Taste is much the same. Very smith with killer drinkability. Light-mod pepper and nice smooth spice. So simple yet so complex. This is beer's answer to a fine wine. I'm talking a Bordeaux level wine here. Ommegang is just knocking it out of the park time and again with these awesome beers. It's such a simple beer, but just... perect. 5 stars

Deschutes Jubilale
Dark amber with a fantastic head. Nose is a soda hop with taxes of brown sugar. Decent bread and light malt. Beer has a time of spirness to it. Kinda boring. Reminds me of the twilight pale ale with those prevalent american hops. Low 3 stars.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Beering in Houston: Jesterking, Barcadia, Reef. Who you kicking out of the hot tub

So the wife wants to show me a good time as I happen to have had a particularly rough year at the job. I think I did pretty well performance wise, just a whole lot of work right up to the bell.

So she planned out this night of our hitting some great bars and restaurants.

Stop 1: Petrol Station
The owners wife couldn't help but remark on how great we both looked as we stepped into the bar Saturday afternoon. That's the kind of place this is. I've been making it a point that if all things were equal, I would order or buy the Texas craft beer instead of rank purchasing of the out-of-town stuff. But the beauty is that there was a beer on tap that I had had, but never reviewed.

Beer Log: December 18, 2010
State: Chilling, eating some hummus

Jester king Wytchmaker IPA
Ah I remember Jester King when they were still soliciting investors not too long ago. Now they've got a some great beer here in Houston though they are based in Austin, and they are going ballz out on the creative beer side as you can see the number of barrels sitting at the ranch/brewery for some aging programs. I'm sure they need to pay some bills now, hence the beer we are seeing at our beer bars in town.

Had this one on draft into a shaker glass. Little chill haze and burnt orange appearance (I'm sure those Longhorn boys will love that). Rather citrus hop nose. Big extra ipa hops, very orange citra and grassy. Loving the light caramel barely holding on for balance. Has a med body with something that's a bit chewy, which goes well for me in that I'm just all over this style of beer right now. 4 stars for the Kings.

After that we dragged ass down to the Tasting Room in the Upper Kirby area for some Pinot. Seems like the wine at the Tasting Room is just really fresh. I actually kind of dig that in that all the flavors have not melded together yet. Actually adds a little something for me.

Onward to Downing Street pub for some PRE-dinner cigars and Chimay Blue. I should have gotten the White. But any place with Chimay on tap is cool with me.

Finally onward to dinner at Reef. The beer twitter folks were saying they had some Saint Arnolds, but they must have run out or something, as I opted for the sparkling white wine to go with my Mussels made with Shiner Bock. This is my first time at Reef and man those boys just have killer seafood. The mussels were perfect, as well as the Salmon. I even ordered the fries to see how they would do it, and I think I got the Alton Brown method of french fries. Loving life. The ambiance at first blush feels like some of my rugby games, with lots of commotion, conversation, waiters everywhere. But once we sat down the rugby gave way to something like a ballet. Great service, everybody rolling nicely.

After stuffing our faces with mussels and Italian rice, I was feeling a little sluggish. And then she took me to Barcadia.

This spot just opened about a week ago, and I had totally ignored it as the advertisements n the Houston press looked like a burlesque house. And unless the house of burlesque has incredibly loud Lil' Jon and Ying Yang Twins music, owned by a Nigerian guy, and has a semi-legal champagne room, I'm not interested. However, this spot was rather a beer bar with great music, and a wall lined with 80s and early 90s era arcade games. And what's more, on that night most of the games were free. OMG. I felt like a pre-teen again. I was playing Star Wars, Ms. Pac-Man, Street Fighter II, the first Mortal Kombat, and Dig F'n Dug. Couple that was Dogfish Head 90 Minute on draft, a few other good brews, and the place is CONNECTED TO REEF. One time for the Montrose Area coming through once again.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Finally Sink the Penguin Beering: Culinary School?

So I'm sitting here just putting the kiddo to bed while the wife is sleeping off all the Tactical Nuclear Penguin and Sink the Bismark beer, and I get tweeted by one of my brothas in beer that my blog made the 50 best beer blogs on Guide to Culinary School. As much as I am a foodie (big fan of Fine Mexican Dining and Mediterranean kabobs), I'm not much of a cooking kind of guy. Maybe one day after the wife leaves me for one of those muscle framed brothas that play in the NFL I'll put some effort into cooking. Anyway, big thanks to GCS for the shout out on their website. I'm probably going to cry.

I guess I should fire up a recent beer adventure. So tonight the wife and I have meetings that start at 6:30AM (gotta get that oil), so what better way to spend an evening repairing the ol' marriage than a trip to Pub Hub for some Avery Rumpkin and two of the strongest beers EVER brewed.

Beer Log: Just about 2 hours ago
State: kinda hungry, still pissed the Texans blew it AGAIN, eating a BBQ chicken pizza

After a long day at the office, the wife and I met at our favorite Katy area beer bar, also known as the ONLY Katy area beer bar. Unfortunately the first couple of weeks after they opened, the B4-U-Eat folks were clowning these guys. Seems to have subsided. First up I grab the Scrimshaw Pils which is sweeter than I remember it last, and then onward to the Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye. Turns out that they are tapping the Avery Rumpkin tonight, so why not. They were supposed to tap it at 8PM, but here it is 6:08 and the guys said they tapped it earlier b/c they just had to taste it. So they had no problem getting us a couple goblets.

Avery Rumpkin
As much as I talk about Avery, do I need to put the link. This puppy was in your standard red wine goblet and served probably a touch too cold. But DAMNED if this thing did not taste and smell just like the Old New Orleans Rum Cajun Spice , which I also love. Nice high concentration on cinnamon, molasses, caramel, and joy. Enough hops to balance it out. I know some of the beerfolk would not dig that the rum came on this strong, but I like it.

Brewdog Sink the Bismark. So me and the Brewdogs have not been getting along, like ever. I think they use entirely too much black patent and peat in their beers, which is a flavor I just can't get with. But when your local suburban beer bar says that for $18 a shot you to can have the strongest beer EVER brewed (cost like 70 British Pounds for a 12 ouncer), why not. 41% abv. Great Ceaser's ghost!!! Mondo moldy bread and alcohol nose. Amber color. Great super malt, massive hops, and big burning alcs. Good night. Tastes like beer, just stronger than anything I've had in my life. WOW. 5 stars for the eisbier.

I love a great strong beer that is further distilled by freezing it, draining off all the thicker alcholic brew, shooting the remaining ice in your veins, and bottling the beer. Just a great old school technique. Though I'm used to it only being with bocks. Brewdog did good this time.

Damned if Pub Hub did not also have the Tactical Nuclear Penguin as well.
Tactical: malty peat and band aid nose. Has a strong scotch thing going on. Lots of peat, bitter, and whatnot. That one is a lot rougher. Like hickory bbq sauce. 3 stars

So there you have it. My first 5 star beer for Brewdog, just in time for the running of the Beerbrotha beer of year. Should be a great holiday season for all. Alright, I'm going to work. No more travel the rest of year save maybe a quick trip to Louisiana. Otherwise, next up is a Vegas baby early next year. Holla.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Belgian IPA: Great Divide

Turns out everyone and their dog is coming out with a Belgian beer with a harsh American hops. I'm pretty sure that the thinking is that many craft beer fiends love IPA, and they love Belgian Strong beers. So why not put them together and make SUPER-beers. I know I rated the Houblon Chouffe IPA Tripel as a 5 Star and the Flying Dog Raging Bitch as a high 4 star. It can really mess with your head, but usually it works out for the better. Imagine my surprise that Great Divide has tried their hand at this style of brewing, and I found it only in Montgomery, AL at the Filet and Vine.

Great Divide: Belgica
This belgian IPA I'm pouring into my Stella Artois goblet. How about that one baby! Kinda hazy straw colored beer with a big highly active white head (no homo). Beer has that ester nose with some citrus hops. I also smell something like a sugar sweetness. The taste is not bad. Has that Chimay Blue feel to it, with much stronger hops. Unfortunately I get some metallic and water thing going on in the back of the palate. I don't know how long that stuff has been sitting at that store in Bama, but with the selection they had, I should hope they are moving some product. As I drink it and get a little used to that aftertaste, one beer name keeps popping in my head: Pilsner Urquell in a green bottle. As much as I love the original Pilsner, I don't have any in the house to compare. Maybe it's my imagination. Low 3 Stars for the Belgica.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's a Firestone Walker Night

After hanging out all over San Francisco, I picked up a party pack of Firestone Walker Beers. We were very fired up to find this beer at the BevMo over on Van Ness. I gave a couple bottles of DBA to @Davewantbeer, and the rest is for Dad.

Beer Log: Right now
State: hungry, still a little stressed. Eating Pork chops and applesauce

Firestone Walker Solace
Lightly cloudy straw colored beer with white head in my Alamo Drafthouse shaker glass. Beer tastes of a great strong veggie and malt, and this one tastes rather sweet. Pretty smooth with a lagery taste yet ale feel to it. Don't really notice the 6% ABV. Very tasty that could go with a variety of foods. I wouldn't be surprised if some folks hated on this beer b/c it's kinda Cream Ale like. Great fruity and clove flavor reminiscent of some of those great Belgian beers you find out there. May be some wheat in there as well. Looking on their website I see they have seven different malts in this one. And it meshes just really well. I could drink an insane amount of this beer. 4 stars.

After all that goodness, actually taking it down a couple notches in alcohol with the

Firestone Walker Pale 31
You know this is a very interesting logo, with the lion on the left and the bear on the right. Looks like a kickass soccer jersey shield. Oh that smells great. Brilliantly clear, great hop and malt nose. Taste has a great musty bread thing going on. Has a soda/bitter type of hops flavor. Good crystal malt coming through early on. I like the subtle strength, the crispness, and whatnot. But we'll see. 3 Stars.

After setting up the Christmas tree and whatnot...

Firestone Walker Union Jack
This beer is what I heard about so much from the Brewing Network as their 2009 Beer of the Year if I recall. Excellent strong malt with balanced citra hops. Once again, perfectly clear with a poofy off-white head. Unreal flavor. strong malt and hops, though not too cloying. I can see this as the lighter end of a double IPA. Knocked it out the park with the caramel malt, maybe even a touch of roast. Moderate bitterness at the back of the tongue and the hops are not so strong that they punch you in the junk. I'm going to give this the big 5 stars. That one along with the Maui's Coconut Porter are just stealing the show from all the beer I smuggled from San Fran.
And speaking of Fire. I've never heard a sportstalk guy on as much fire as Chad Dukes after the Redskins lost 59-28 to the Eagles.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sun King Osiris

Picked this up in Indianapolis:

Beer Log: Right now
State: Just taking a break from fixing the car

Sun King Osiris

Shows up in a pint can (that's right cans). Lord knows it was expensive enough at $12 a 4-pack at the United Package Liquors. Drinking this out of the my BN Army glass. Amber color with a huge head. Very clear. Nose is an acidic grassy hops, probably cascade. Loving the light malt sticking out in there. Great hop forward balance, but not too strong. Very drinkable. Light caramel/bready malt and a great moderately citrus malt. Could stand up with the Ranger Creek OPA for my new favorite session pale ale. Low 4 stars.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Saint Arnold Altared Amber

Here at Pub Hub out here in Katy. Feeling good that I didn't have to drag so much ass to the inner loop for this beer. For those not in Houston, the Movable yeast series is a series of beer from Saint Arnold where they take their regular line-up of beers with the same malt and hops bill, but with different yeast. The first one I found OK, the Lawnmower with a German Hef yeast.

Beer log: Right now

Saint Arnold Amber
Nice toasty amber ale flavor. The aroma is a touch more metallic than I remember. High carbo out of the bottle, good and tingly. Light moderate hop aftertaste. Has a nice amber color to it, maybe some chill haze but that could be from just bottle storage and whatnot. I always like that English Muffin thing and whatnot.

Saint Arnold Altared Amber
Finally. Ooh that's a nice clear amber color (on draft) with a strong belgian clove and banana nose. Taste is rather belgiany. The American hops with the belgian ester yeast flavor kinda reminds me of those American-Belgo IPA I like so much, just toned down a little bit. Very tasty. Has a nice mixture with the harsh hops and whatnot that sits well on some sips and not so well on others. The body is a touch smoother and the carbo is a little less choppy, but of course that could be attributed to the difference b/t draft and bottle. I lose some of the English muffin and malt character that I get with the unaltered amber until the beer warms up. I would consider the regular Amber of this one if I had to choose which one they continued to keep in rotation.

I'll need to grab a bottle somewhere, but it seems like a stronger version of (dare I say it) Stella Artois. Getting a sampler of Stella right now...

Stella Artois
Crystal clear and simple. Oh no, not even close. Tastes like the Budweiser Movable Yeast series. I can see the belgo influence in Stella, but it won't work. Forget I mentioned it.

Overall impression: I still find it amazing that yeast has THAT much affect on a beer. If someone told me they put some clove in this beer, I would have believed it. 3 Stars for both the regular and altared ambers, though I prefer the regular amber. Keep 'em coming baby.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Beering in San Francisco: 21st Amendment

Finally getting to blogging about this trip. Earlier this month the family went up to San Francisco. The wife had a huge conference she was attending and my Mother-In-Law took the baby off my hands, so most of the day I was free to take long runs around the city and have beer up to my eyeballs. So the first day we get there and I am just awestruck at how much a fricken cab costs to get us to downtown from the airport. After the sticker shock, we check in, get cleaned up and IT'S BOSS TIME!!!

The first order of business is to get the wife registered for her conference and it was lunch time. I figure that this being San Fran, that we could walk into any decent restaurant and get some good local beer to start us off. We walk across the street from the hotel to Annabelle's. This nice restaurant that we felt a little out of place with considering we had a rambunctious 3-year old. But seeing as how the price is right, I didn't think we had anything to worry about. AB's has a very nice selection of area beer, about 10 in total if I recall. I'm kinda hot so why not start 'em up with a...

Beer Log: November 2, 2010
State: At Annabelle's in San Francisco. Pretty hot after all the walking, and eating some decent BBQ pork. Taking notes on my wife's ipad. What now son!

Trumer Pils
Big hoppy flower character with nice pilsner malt. Brilliantly clear straw color... Maybe it's just b/c this is the first beer I've had all day after the plane ride, but I like it. It's a slightly softer character to this one than I'm used to for a pilsner. Must have higher chlorides. Very quaffable and soft on the MT. 3.5 stars.

After the BBQ swine showed up, it was time for the next one

Speakeasy Prohibition Ale
Dark amber color, thin reddish-white head. Noseis very hoppy with caramel trying to come out. Nice hop malt balance. Nottoostrong at all, great for multiples. Nice caramel malt and a little to sweet. St. Actually nice crisp finish. Head has some lace. For some reason get a little wateriness somewhere in the middle of the palate. I like the cookie feeling as well. Good beer at three and a half stars...

After we took leave of the in-laws and the kid, the wife, a good friend ours, and I fired up the Android to find our way to the 21st Amendment. I am a HUGE fan of the Brewing Network and have been listening on podcast for years. I'm almost caught up on the archives. I listen to the BN so much that it has probably messed up my professional career as I stopped listening to NPR, Manager Tools, Oil and Gas Journal and so forth. I'll be so happy when I catch up on the archives so I can get it going professionally again. Regardless, I just had to make it to the 2-1-A as soon as possible. So we dragass to 563 Second Street (right across from AT&T park) to get us some.

Beer Log: That same afternoon after Annabelle's
State: A little warm after hoofing for a half mile or so, but enjoyed the joyful walk

21st Amendment Brewery and Restaurant .
So we go in there and it is VERY VERY Spacious. Lots of wood, elbow room, extremely high ceilings. They must pay a GRIP to keep the lease on this place. It's the middle of the afternoon on a workday, so the place was pretty empty. The thick white woman was working the bar as well as the tables. So my future babymomma eerrrr waitress gave us the beer list and it was nice. A good handful of the 21A beers with a few special collection bottles you can get in the back. No watermelon wheat, so I had to live with...


Kinda yeast and sweet on the nose, kinda funky. Clear beer, kinda plain. Reminds me of my home-brewed beg wit. Very smooth single, light and perfect for the summer slamming save the 6% abv. Decent carbo, though a little empty to me in the middle. Low 3 stars. Beer is getting worse as it warms. Take that to two stars

Noir de blanc

Very cloudy brown beer. Get some sweetness and esters on the nose, though it's the wife's beer and it's been sitting there for a while. Kinda reminds me of the stuff I had at Draught House I had in Austin. Very soft, mod carbo, and some big ester yeast flavor. Moderate malt flavor. Great mix of dark bock and wheat. Still a little weak for my taste, but I can see his one being a moneymaker for the pub. Low 3 stars.

Back in Black

Blackish brown with a thin white head and serious flowery hops, very cascade. Now we're talking. Harsh bit in hops with an actual soft finish. AT has hints of chocolate and roast notes. Adds to the bitterness. I like how this thing works together. Just what I expected from a west coast beer. Come on with it baby. High 3 stars for now. Will probably come back later to check it out. (Actually I never came back, but this Cascadian Dark was absolutely awesome).

The beering was not exactly what I expected at first, but not bad either.

Hold up:

Beer Log: Right now

State: Still got some of that sour Beer de Goord taste in my mouth, save us IPA

Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA

Very clean grass/flower nose on a brilliantly clear amber looking beer. Somewhat sticky white head to boot (no homo). A good mix of pilsner bread and hard cascade-like yet complex hops. Not sure where the 48th latitude is, hold up: ok that's pretty cool. it's all hops on the 48th latitude. German, english, american hops. I can get the german noble funky hops and the harsh american. The English hops are there if I let the power of suggestion take over me, but who knows. It's more like the malt is very english like, kind of like the malt on an Elissa IPA from Saint Arnold, very earthy and smooth. High 3 Stars for this complex IPA from SA. Nice.

So the 2-1-A is a great place for some good beering. I didn't get to try any food, but I know I would be spending significant time there if I lived in San fran. Especially on gameday.

Beer de Goord

Just got back from Dixie and feeling pretty good.

Beer Log: right now
State: Feeling fine, but my eye is killing me

Jolly Pumpkin Beire de Goord
At least I think that's how that is spelled. We got this hazy straw colored moderately sour smelling beer from the Rare Beer of the Month club. Taste is rather sour, kinda bretty as well. Mouthfeel is gritty, bitter like grapefruit rather than grapefruity hops. Makes me get that sour beer face. Hmmm. I'm not getting all that pumpkin and spices they claim are in this bad boy. I get a light bread in there in the aftertaste. I can take it however. Beeradvocate has this thing HIGHLY rated, but whatever. I guess we should have cellared it or something as this one is a limited edition. No rating.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Beering in Indianapolis: The Ram

Had a surprisingly good time in Indianapolis. I didn't really know what to expect, or even if I would have the chance to hit some of their brewpubs. I made it out there for a weekend business trip, and was not disappointed.

Beer Log: November 20, 2010
State: Tired from working and talking all day, ready for the RAM.

Made it to Ram Restaurant and Brewery in Downtown Indy. I had already had some Sun King Osiris in the hotel room as a pregamer. Then it was on to the sampler tray at Ram.

The place looked like a great spot to watch a football game. Lot's of space, lot's of TVs, though not overly done. Their specialty is burgers and I of course ordered my burger with cheese and a fried egg (the cholesterol burger).

Ram Blonde
Very good bread and malt, sugar sweet with light hops. Smooth with high carbonation, a little veggie as well. If this is a blonde, it's probably one of the best blondes I've had right up there with the NOLA Blonde Ale. High 3 Stars.

Ram Hefeweizen
High banana and ester nose. Light estery banana bread flavor. Very soft, a little clovey and fruity. 3 Stars.

Hold up...

Beer Log: Right now
State: Kinda thirsty somehow after slamming two pitchers of Crystal Light today, then again, I have just run 4 miles.

Founders Dirty Bastard
The beer must be good as the wife just poured more of my beer. Smells great, has an actual scotch nose with malt. Kind of a hazy brown with a cinnamon peppered head. Beer has a nice malt, cinnamon, and roasted/smoke notes. Plenty of hot alcohol in the beer, as it's burning while going down. Not bad, just a little rough on the bitterness. Let me check my BJCP Droid app to verify this is in style. Oh yeah, this is smackdab in the style, not as I like it. 3 Stars.

Now back to your regularly scheduled blogging...

Ram 71 Pale
Citrus hop on the nose. Cloudy amber color with low head. Light noticeable hops. Nice and soft malt/bread thing going on. I've been tasting a lot of funky bread in Pale Ales these days. I even tried to calibrate it with Sierra Nevada PA, and got the same. Oh well. Low 3 Stars.

I basically stopped reviewing then to pay attention to my colleagues, but I did have the Buttface and the Total Disorder. My favorite beer was the Blonde ale, which I ordered a full glass. This is a very nice brewpub with some pretty good beer. My burger was closer to Medium-well than medium-rare. Not bad though. And it doesn't hurt they've got a ton of french fries.

No other travels planned save for a trip to Alabama. Maybe one quick trip to offshore and copping some NOLA. We may stop off coming back from Bama to hit up Zea, but who knows. Have a great Thanksgiving, I know you'll be seeing me doing some serious catch up on my beer blog. I'll be happy just to have the time to relax. Holla.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Petrol Station Anniversary Party: Divine Reserve 10

So it turns that one of the best beer bars in Houston celebrated it's fifth anniversary. To celebrate, Petrol Station set up a tap list of all high gravity rare beers, including some special ones that are not even for sale. I must say it was a very special event. I had to beat it out of there at about 8PM unfortunately, but it was fantastic. It's one of those things where you wish there was a hotel next door to the place. One sec.

Beer Log: Right now
State: Rather thirsty from my run this morning still

Celis Pale Bock
Copped this one over the weekend at Spec's Downtown. Clear amber color (looks like rum in my Old New Orleans Rum glass) with a lasting white head. Just sad on the taste. Pretty bitter and sour. No real malt in there. It's almost like the beer is infected. Well, I'm pouring this one out. I'll let you guess the rating.

So at Petrol I sat with a few other Houston area beer bloggers/tweeters and we had a great time. Great beer, good beer talk as well. Not to mention some cigars outside. Anyway let's start the show with a few reviews. The wife and I basically ordered a bunch of the beer in half pints as everything was VERY HIGH ABV.

Beer Log: November 13, 2010
State: Fired up for the big event, eating a Rancor burger and drinking a Dogfish Head 90 Minute as a palate cleanser.

Founders IPA
Amber with a white head. Great balanced hop and malt aroma. Taste is nice and very drinkable. I get a lot of grass and wood for the hops. I actually find this very refreshing as a very hop forward beer. I could tell many were not too thrilled with this one, but hey, I like it. I've been backing off my love of the balanced IPA for a hop forward pale ale or even something like an extra pale ale. 4 Stars. Hold up...

Beer Log: Right Now
State: Still thirsty as hell but now I have this sour Celis bock taste in my mouth

The Duke of Winship by Middle Ages
Got this from one of the boys maybe a year ago. Great malty and somewhat lemony nose on top of the huge head. And the head is on top of a cloudy deep brown color. The first thing that strikes me is the high carbonation on the mouthfeel. The beer has a nice light porter quality (roast, malt). I get some cinnamon as well in there. The beer finishes very dry with a light light bitterness. The body is thin as per style. Otherwise I'm getting a touch of metallic and water in there which takes it down to a low 3 stars.

So back to the Petrol

Dragon's Milk by New Holland
I've heard so much about this beer. Especially in places like The Brewing Network. Deep brown color with bourbon/plastic nose. Very strong malt almost imperial like. Lightly hopped with an excellent kind of chocolate and cream flavor throughout the experience. High 4 Stars.

Southern Star Abiding Dude
I learned that this beer was made with of course Southern Star and Ben's coffee beans (owner of Petrol Station). How cool is that? Brown and cloudy, smells strongly of maple syrup and oak and coffee. The taste is of strong bitter coffee (not usually my thing). This one got a little watery on the back of the palate. But very good for it's purpose and seem to get stronger as it warmed up. 3 Stars.

Hop Mouth by Arcadia
I don't even know how these dudes even GOT this beer here. The rub about Texas beer laws is that you cannot sell beer in a bar that is not available to the public, unless of course the beer only comes on draft. So when you are out at a great beer bar, you can basically assume that whatever you are drinking you can run to the Specs Downtown or on Jones Road and pick it up. But these beers I have not seen anywhere. Moving on. Hop Mouth has an amber color and creamy white head. Cascadey nose. Very creamy and smooth, like an English pale ale with American hops. High 3 Stars.

Divine Reserve 10 by Saint Arnold
AT LONG LAST!!!!!!!!! I was in San Francisco when this beer came out and if not for the man @Davewantbeer, I would not have this beer with me at all. But I have three bottles in my beer fridge, and I figured what the hell, I'm drinking this one everywhere I can get it. Dark amber color with excellent malt and sugar sweetness. Smooth and very delicious with the strong caramel and malt flavors. Low hops and very very clean. And I did not find it too cloying. I gotta give it to them again. 5 Stars. Absolutely divine. And that comes after a sh1t-ton of other beers.

Real Ale Mysterium Velum
This one is from our good friends at Real Ale. I understand this is the great Devil's backbone (one of my favorite Tripels) aged in Merlot barrels. Now if they managed to age this in Pinot Noir barrels I probably would still be at the bar drinking it. I get this beer and the first thoughts I get are "oh hell yeah". Great banana, clover with light character that yes cut through the DR10 English Barleywine. I can see the wine flavor in there with a pinch of sourness that I first attribute to Chardonnay. As it warms and I get the palate cleansed, I can see the Merlot. Dry finish, soft character with a little tannins going on. 4 Stars.

Southern Tier Creme Brulee
Very nice nose. This beer is like a stout with Creme brulee. I get the cream, the vanilla, and the burnt sugar thing. I don't know how in the hell they pulled that off but the flavor comes out very well, especially in the aftertaste. Very creative. 4 Stars.

Stone 10.10.10
Ah the Vertical Epic beer that never made it to Texas due to some mixup in the labelling. It's a tripel (going so out of order) and it has a great tripel nose and great tripel taste. Similar to the stuff I've had from Ommegang and Allagash. You all know the tripel characteristics by now, so when I tell you these guys have nailed it better than any Belgian Tripel I've had from Belgium, you know it's is the bomb. I actually have a bottle we brought back from San Francisco, so on 12.12.12 I'll be cracking open at least one bottle. 5 Stars.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

...Like Hot Chicks on the Beach

So I'm weighing in a bit heavy after my trip to San Fran, so I'm back on the weight watchers band wagon. I had my dinner and I'm still hungry. I have several points still left, so how about some porter.

Beer Log: Right now
State: A little thirsty and light headed from my run earlier today

Picked this one up at the BevMo in San Francisco, the good one over on Van Ness. Big money baby. This beer comes in a can (that's right cans), so I'm fired up. Pour it into my dimpled pint glass and the beer is giving me more brown head than Pinky. The smell has a great chocolate, plum, roast, and almost that hard caramel imperial malt. I think there is a pinch of coconut in there, but it's a little hard to tell. Oh hell yeah. Nice smooth with low carbo, a great malt and chocolate with a nice roasty character on the aftertaste. Low balanced hops as well. I don't know how many calories are in this thing, but I'm giving it 4 WW points like the Anchor Porter, and giving it 4 stars as well. This thing is just a great porter, not all stouty and too thick. Maybe there is some coconut, but I'm not getting much of it. It's taking a lot of my will not to not SLAM this thing right now, go into the cabinets, put the other three cans on ice and slam them, then get on a plane to the Maui, open the fermenter, and dive in with a straw.
You know what. FIVE Stars for the Maui Coconut Porter. It was well worth the $12 for a fourpack.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Live blogging from the iPad: Allagash

Screw that damn ipad. I'm on my Dell now. It wouldn't let me type in the screen. Just got back from San Fran on Sunday and I absolutely loved it. Speaking of today, I just finished an Abita Fall Fest and did not care for it. Too metallic for me. Anyway, let's finally crack open some of that Allagash I've got in the house

Beer Log: Right now
State: Hanging out with the wife and kid, a little HDNet Fights on the tube.

Allagash BLACK: Huge head on a sour smelling beer Nice and dark amber with big tan head (no homo). The nose has notes of plum, brown sugar, and caramel malt, and some roasted notes. We had this in our regular fridge and took it out of the fridge for about 20 minutes to give it a good sweating. The taste is a strong bitterness not necessarily from the hops, but kind of like a bitter root flavor going on. Like if you mess around and added too much cinnamon to your oatmeal. Second sip hits us with a nice brown sugar and malt, much better. I like the soft yet crisp nature of the beer. It's very drinkable and leaves a nice roasty/coffee flavor on the tongue. High 3 Stars for the combo belgian style stout.

As soon as I can get those damn beer reviews off the ipad, I'll go ahead and post my adventures in beer in San Francisco.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Beering in San Francisco: Haight Ave

Sitting here in the hotel after a great day of beering yesterday, all without taking any notes. Started with lunch where MY OWN DAMN HOTEL has like 10 craft beers on tap that I've never had before. I would say the most interesting one was the Napa Smith Red Ale. One of the more flavorful and fuller Red Ales. It went very well with the Burger and Fries.

So after I chat it up with some folks back in Houston, I get on the cable car like bus thing to make my way over to Magnolia. The guys there were very cool in the Bohemian looking area of San Francisco (Haight Ave). The area reminded me a lot of Frenchman Street in New Orleans, with the shit-ton of flyers, colors, and white guys with dred locks.

I saw that Magnolia Brewpub had an extensive tap list of their brewed beers. I started out with probably the best Kolsch I've had in my life, the Kalifornia Kolsch. Very bready and full bodied, extremely drinkable with a great hop note. This beer had it all. 4 stars. I'm not sure how much this is "to style" of the kolsch's, but people that care about those things outside of competitions are tools. As long as they don't change the name to something like Kalifornia Krazy Kolsch I'm all for it.

I picked up some English style cask conditioned beer next. The dude had to indeed hand pump that sonofabitch, and it was very "authentic". Maybe the heat was getting to me, but this smooth, low carbo, 65 deg beer was not doing it for me. No doubt the Brutal Bitter could be pretty brutal if enjoyed in copious amounts. I had an excellent belgian blonde as well that they brewed with 21st Amendment. The last beer was the Proving Ground IPA. I don't care who your daddy is, you have to try the IPA in the Bay Area every chance you get. Totally knocked the bitter off my palate. Just excellent floral hops all around and very drinkable on a warm day. Just nailed it man. High 4 stars.

So I had a choice to make, my shins feel like they are made of peanut brittle, and the man says I can go west and hit Alembic, which the Magnolia owner also owns for some belgian beering, or I can go east and hit the Toronado and watch Georgia Tech play and try everything else on the planet. So I belly up to the bar at Toronado and man this place is packed. The bartender is pretty cool and looks like the bartender from Fangtasia in the first season of True Blood. I can't help but note that as much open space there was at Magnolia, this place is very small. How they get that much beer in this place is a testament in and of itself. Start talking beer with another patron, and I order a few beers which I'm having trouble remembering at this point. Just plenty of IPA's like Blind Pig and whatnot. I didn't really try to write anything down as I was focused on the game and acting a fool.

I miss the durn bus and have to drag ass all the way back to my hotel to relax the rest of the night. Great night overall and hopefully I'll make it to Oakland and Berkeley today for more reports. Hopefully I'll write something down this time. Holla.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Beering in San Francisco

I'm finally getting my nose above water. I've been staying up past midnight every night doing work for the job, and although I've been drinking some great beerrs, I've not had the chance or energy to do anything more than twitter. @beerbrotha

But I FIND MYSELF this morning in San Francisco, California. We flew in last night and after making sure the baby was with Grandma, the wife and I grabbed another friend of ours and hit the damn streets. I left my notebook at home but my wife brought her ipad, and I just took my notes on that. As I sit here, I can clearly see that the wife got up this morning and took her IPAD with her to her conference today, which means I don't have my notes.

We tried beers like Trumer and Speakeasy at this nice little restaurant Annabelles, from there we walked to the 2-1-A, the 21st Amendment. It was great to be in Brewing Network lore. The beers were alright, I loved the Cascadian Dark. Afterward we hit this little Indian place that had Taj Mahal beer on tap. The Kingfisher was pretty tasty actually. Dark amber color, a little metallic at first that went away. The Flying Horse was like cornmeal in beer form.

Afterward we did some assdragging over to Thirsty Bear, where I liked the Polar Bear Lager and we just got samplers of everything else. Not bad stuff. Will probably hit that one again since we ended up burning through samplers. Afterward we walked on up to Rogue's. Very cool spot if not rather subdued. They've got a ton of Rogue beer on tap, that was also very nice. I had the bitter. It was alright.

Hold on...

...okay I just got back from running "The Nob" or Nob's Hill. That is NOT to be effed with. Well I'm off to check out a little bit of the Giants Parade (may as well watch someone enjoy winning), and then I'm onward to do some beering somewhere in around the Golden Gate Park.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Beering in Houston Beer Week: Sunday the 10th

What a crazy idea. Having a slew of beer related events for over a week. So while I'm sittng here racking up the babysitter fees and the future doctor bills, we were scrambling for tickets for everything. Just like the first couple of Camp Beers, I totally just chilled out, figured I could play it by ear, and hit whatever pops up. WRONG. Tickets to these events are HOT! SMOKING HOT! EVERYTHING is sold out. I'm glad we jumped on Monsters of Beer, but for everything else we had to get in where we fit in. So let's starts with this past Sunday.

Beer week event: Houston Dynamo Oktoberfest?

Sunday October 10th

In what was entirely the worst idea ever, I woke up at about 5:30AM that morning and ran 6 miles at Bear Creek Park, which was the first 6 miler I've done since maybe April. It felt great. Then after BSing around for a couple hours I get up to the tailgate at the Texans game. The first time they required folks to either have tickets to the game or a $10 tailgate ticket. Which meant the tailgate was very subdued. After slamming some fajitas and drinking plenty of Modus Hoperandi and Southern Star Buried Hatchet stout, we make our way to the luxury suite. That was an awesome experience in and of itself. For crying out loud they had a man in the suite who's job was to mix our drinks and open the Shiner Bock. AWESOME!!!

I leave the game after the Texans got smashed by the damn Giants, and we make our way to the Saucer and then to the Dynamo Oktoberfest. For $20 you could a ticket to the game and then they let you into this little area where you can get all you can drink beer. The event was sponsored by Budweiser, so we were drinking plenty of Zeigenbock, seeing as how they ran out of the Michelob Pumpkin beer and the Shock Top. The event had a lot of people, with some live music to boot.

I think it is safe to say that the Zeigenbock is AB's attempt to siphon off some of the market share from Shiner Bock, especially with branding the beer without the AB name so folks think it's some craft beer.

Got to give it to the Dynamo, that's one way to get people to see a losing team. I'm pretty sure the Dynamo did not intend to tie this to the official beer week, but they MAY want to do that the next time. I'm sure AB could be persuaded to break more of their specialty Michelob stuff so the craft beer folk can get them some. It will be really awesome when the stadium is built downtown. Needless to say, I was hurtin for the first meeting at the job the next day.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Beering at the Saucer: Finally

Well I fell well short of getting to 200 beers at the Saucer this summer. Here it is October and I haven't been back here in a couple months. Oh well, I can certainly make up for lost time...

Beer Log: Today, right now
State: On the laptop sitting outside in perfect weather at the Flying Saucer. Putting together some documentation to get a raise and/or a promotion.

Real Ale Oktoberfest
The fellas in Blanco, TX are hitting us with a seasonal, and I think this is the first Oktoberfest they've done since I've been in the beer world. This beer looks and smells VERY authentic oktoberfest. Toast/malt nose coming off strong from the thin head. Not to mention a perfectly clear amber color. My first beer in over a week and this thing tastes almost alt-like or American Amber like. Lots of toasty malt and I want to say American citrus hops as opposed to the funky noble hops. This thing is tasting like manna from heaven right now. I love the slightly medium body, mouthfilling, moderate carbonation. I think I'm experiencing a little absorption right now. My system has cleaned out and now I'm getting some beer in my system. 4 Stars baby.

Dogfish Head Aprihop
Had this in the spring but it's on fire sale baby! Nose is rather hoppy/malty, almost imperial like as only Dogfish Head can. Great mix of apricot and a strong american IPA. Got to love the mashups. The apricot is strong enought to power through but not so strong that it overtakes the beer itself. High 3 Stars.

Well they were out of the 512 Two beer, but now I have my heart set on an Double IPA. DIPA baby. And here we go with some Brewdog.

Brewdog Hardcore IPA
Damn man, Brewdog. It's here. Damn, it actually smells like a beer and not the lit end of a cigar. The nose is actually rather fruity, kinda sweet cherries and apples, of all things. Maybe some pineapple. I get a nice citrus hop as well. This beer tastes pretty choppy, in that I don't get much up front, but hops come on strong a little bit after it gets in your mouth. The beer is full and wet, but leaves my mouth dry and a touch chalky. I like my beers to be more crisp these days. Harsh stuff but gets a little more drinkable as you move along. Give me 3 Stars for the chalk. I prefer the poofier and cleaner DIPAs of Avery and Dogfish.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Houston Beer Week Next Week

...and I'm coming back home tomorrow. Oh it's real.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Beerbrotha Sports Review: Send in the Clowns

So I'm sitting here drinking a Franziskaner Weissbier in my Munich Stein while watching some Carolina Panthers football. They are taking on Drewbreesiana and the Saints, and we are not expecting too much out of Carolina this year. Therefore, I'm not a nervous wreck like when Carolina was winning and I could barely stand to watch a game. Pretty much wrap up my beer a good 24 hours before I'm scheduled to fly out offshore tomorrow afternoon.

This weekend was pretty bad for the Don Taylor Sports Association. I swear I am rooting for a team full of CLOWNS!!! Florida A&M didn't even show UP against South Carolina State. We aren't even going to SNIFF the playoffs this year. Georgia Tech actually managed a great come from behind victory against the powerhouse Wake Forest football team. We actually had to pass the ball. Not to mention that Tiger Woods still sucks. Today the Texans take on the Raiders, and as an added bonus I've got the McNabb/Vick game on Fox today and the Negro Bowl.

Actually, I'm still recovering from last weekend. FAMU lost to Tennessee state which hasn't lost to them since I was in college. GT lost. Carolina Panthers: lost. The Texans straight up lost to the GD Cowboys. And all the tailgating and whatnot threw off my sleeping schedule and made me a fricken zombie all week. Damn shame. Not to mention the Dynamo have been stinking it up all year. Hell, even all the black guys lost in the K-1 Grand Prix. I mean, is it basketball season yet? The contrarion in me is going to root for the Miami Heat this year, just b/c everyone else hates them.

I've really just been drinking what we have in the house these days. Lots of local stuff, some Weissbier, IPAs, a little homebrew. When going out on the town, I'm switching from Pilsners to Citrus/Acidic IPAs. I want the strength to go along with the cooler months, but I just can't stand dunkel and malty cloying beers. I'm still in the mood for crispness baby. So no big IPA, just Modus Hoperandi and Flying Dog Snake Dog. Holla back, halftime is almost over.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Where I've Been

Haven't been blogging or tweeting in a while. Plenty of beers have come my way since last blogginig, including the EXCELLENT beers at the Stone Beer Dinner and the Camp Beer Stoutapalooza. I've just been burned out recently with the job, trying to submit a paper for a technical conference, planning 3 different "diversity" events, still running the investment club, entertaining the parents and inlaws for my daughters birthday party, and of course some beer reviews and blogging. Something had to give, and the blog was what was it. Too bad too as we have a new fridge in our garage and we promptly filled it up with the huge amount of bombers and specialty beers we have all over the kitchen. Not to mention our regular fridge broke, we're trying to get the roof fixed, and the wife is busting my chops about getting a new car and a new house in some far away neighborhood way north of town.

I'm finally getting my nose above water with all the work going on, and I may get some good blogging going on. I've just visited an old friend's new bar "Zanzibar" at the old Westheimer Pub location. And lo and behold she had some Shiner Oktoberfest and a couple other good beers on bottles. Maybe she could use a Cicerone.

On to the beer, as I've said I have been drinking some fantastic beer. Just finished off another can of Modus Hoperandi by Ska. Great beer right out of the can. Med-light body, great malt/hop balance, but a rather West Coast beer. Finishes a little dry, which is fine. Low 4 star. I've been running away from the dunkel and malty lagers/ales. I need crisp, I need big hops balanced with malt. I've actually been in the mood from some citrus/acidic IPAs like the Snake Dog IPA I had at Alamo Drafthouse.

Anyway, great reviews to come. Great travel on the way to San Francisco and Indianapolis. Maybe a quick trip to Austin as well. Looking forward to it all. Holla.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Two Rows in Houston, Done

Turns out Two Rows in Rice Village is closing up shop, and boy the comments are a-flying on Beer, TX blog. As much as I thought Dos Rows' beer was kinda meh, it was a nice change of pace. They always managed too have a little something different on tap, maybe tried to do too much with the food. Not to mention Two Rows was surrounded by places like the Gingerman, Baker Street, and Lil Woodrows for beer, and was surrounded by Mi Luna's, Le Madeliene, Ruggles, and maybe another 20 restaurants for food.

Houston now has NO brewpubs. A city with twice the population of Jamaica has no brewpubs, and Portland has like 12. I think the competition is just too strong out here. If it's one thing Houston has, it's food. There is STELLAR tex-mex at like every other gas station, forget the restaurants themselves. Best of luck to the staff at Two Rows and screw the landlords who may have just tried to push them out. Crazy man.

Best of luck to the staff of Two Rows. Hopefully they can get that equipment and open up something a little more boutique brewpub in a less expensive part of town (read: anywhere but Rice Village). I wouldn't be surprised if one of these areas like Pavilions would put a flier on a brewpub. But we have a better chance of somewhere like old Katy or down in that 12,000 block of Westheimer. Regardless, I guess we'll just have to slam more Saint Arnold's and other local brews until someone can make a brewpub work in this town.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Virtual Tasting Beering

So these guys say we should all drink up and review a Colorado Beer for this new beer blogger conference. I don't have any beers from "the sponsors", but I do have some beer from Boulder Colorado in the kegerator. We heard tell of this conference way back and honestly I'm glad Ronnie Crocker put it back in our minds. We are supposed to crack open the beer at 8PM Central time. So I've got just over 2 minutes according to Microsoft.

Beer Log: Right now
State: Watching Hard Knocks on DVR, should be catching up on some work.

Twisted Pine Honey Brown Ale
I've got 90 seconds to kill, so today I totally clam up all day at this company recruiting thing we had all day today. The night before at the Meet and Greet I was Mister Orator, but today I just didn't find anything all that inspiring. Can actually make you look bad, but at times I'll do that. I'm more of a backroom guy when it comes to my business transactions. Actually I'm a natural at working out deals and decisions "off-line". Preferably over a beer. Oh it's time.

Crack it open at 8PM sharp, and this thing pours with a big foamy head in my dimpled pint glass. I'm liking the sugar sweet malt nose coming off of this beer. I've been on this lager kick lately, slamming a lot of Pilsner Urquell of all things, but an ale could work. I even get a good bit of cinnamon and caramel. Nice soft beer, has a decent caramel malt and all that rot. I'm liking the cinnamon flavor as well, but it has a nice lighter more subtle flavor of a true session beer. The aftertaste has a gentle chocolate and roast notes. Moderate carbonation that leaves the tongue tingly, though the Pine was able to keep the beer very drinkable. At first sip this beer is kinda plain, but as it warms a touch I'm getting a lot more flavor. Certainly not a braggot level amount of honey, but a light amount to keep it interesting. The head remains throughout the drinking experience, which helps a lot as the nose is carrying a lot of flavor. The roast and choco notes make a stronger statement as the beer warms to probably 52 deg F. Like the man in the stall said to the man waiting: "Give me time baby". I get a little more choco and some sourness as it warms up. Not bad at all for a session beer. 3 Stars.

One time for Twisted Pine and of course a song from my baby momma.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Now that's more like it: Hofbrau

Trying to get that Oktoberfest out of my mouth, I crack on a bone-chilling cold Hofbrau Maibock. DAMN I LOVE MAIBOCK. Right now, my four favorite things are in this order: my lovely daughter, maibock, the movie Snatch, and James David Manning youtube videos. Maybe it's just that nobody fricken makes Maibocks these days, it's all Traditional bocks, or dunkel lagers or vienna lagers masqeurading as bocks, any of course the same 4 doppelbocks.

Hofbrau Maibock
This one has a crisp syrup sweetness, some funk from th hops, and a little stank on it from the green bottle. And I'm loving it. Great syrup/caramel malt, crisp finish, with some bread. I like the way it just cuts right through your palette. 4 stars.

Shiner Oktoberfest

Finally getting back to the blog after some vacation, football watching, and moderate drinking over Labor Day.

Shiner Oktoberfest

Picked this up from the store maybe a month ago at Specs Downtown. Has a big head that has that malty caramelness of an okto. Just the right gentleness. So after a month, this beer tastes kinda sour already. Has it's malt and rather ale-like smoothness. But not getting it for me. High 2 stars. But I like that Shiner is getting in there with some new beers. Let's keep it coming.

The wife has the word "straw". The malt is so thin, not bitter. Trying to like it but feeling it's a little boring. She's of course a big fan of Okto (Widmer) and Ourtoberfest.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Would you like some pepper in that beer?

After a great weekend of attending the Stone Brewery Beer Dinner at Vic and Anthony's, and hitting up Petrol Station to see my homegirl Moji singing with 2 Dollar Sound while slamming a ton of Indy Saison, and talking a ton of smack to the Cowboys fans at the Texans game, I'm just chilling out doing some work at the house and drinking another Longshot beer.

Sam Adams Longshot: Lemon Pepper Saison

I'm a somewhat fan of the "lemon pepper" type of flavor on things like chicken. But i've been drinking so much Saison lately... The nose has a veggie lager quality, and maybe the scallops the wife is grilling is throwing off the scent. The amber clear colored beer has a nice lightly fruity flavor, maybe some apple, with a soft body. Somewhere in the middle of the palate I get maybe some pepper. It's enough of want me to drink this Crystal Light to get it off my tongue. Otherwise it has the soft yet gritty body and light pinch of belgianess of a great saison. High 3 Stars only b/c I think the Independence Saison is four to five star.

Dogfish Head Theobroma

Light chocolate bar nose on top of a surprisingly light amber beer with high bubble carbonation. This beer has some caramel flavor and some toffee, not overwhelming. I think in the aftertaste I'm getting something like bitter chocolate. If ever ate chocolate, I could tell you exactly what the deal is. I've tasted Maibocks that are similar to this, maybe it's just the combo of honey and whatnot. Though it's certainly an ale. The back of my throat has some pepper heat to it. I can tell you right now that this pepper beer stuff is NOT working for me. I like spicy food and hot food, but not in my beer. Kinda like how I like crunchy food, but not crunchy bean sprouts in my fried rice, messes up the texture. Maybe this is a beer fad I'm just not going to get. No rating.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ourtoberfest in BN Glass

Beer Log: Right now

State: Relaxed

Magic Hat Hex Ourtoberfest

Drinking this copper colored beer in my new Brewing Network Imperial Pint glass. Nose is a rustic somewhat earthy caramel malt. Lord only knows what the mad Hatters put in this beer. A rather malty beer that somehow exploded with flavor then went down so smooth (no homo) it was like the beer imploded, but in a good way. I think there is something like a sour fruit that actually caused my mouth to pucker a good 3/4 of the way on my tongue. Malt is tasting more white sugary as I get used to the whole thing, maybe some brown sugar with it. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some random fruit in this thing like Ms. Pac-Man. After visiting the website you see it right there: Cherry Wood Smoked Malt. Boo-yah. The malted rye gives it some pepper as well, which comes through in the aftertaste. Low to moderate hops. I can dig it, but wish I had a cigar with this one. High 3 Stars for the beer that oddly works for me as an Oktoberfest.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sports Review: Strikeforce Houston and Sam Adam Harvest Pumpkin

One of the only two advantages of being black in America is that I can openly admit in writing that I root for the black guy in sporting competitions and no one will call me out. (The other is that people selling newspapers and doing promotional stuff at grocery stores exits leave you alone.) So I showed up to Strikeforce Houston last night pretty fired up to see King Mo and Bobby Lashley. And both of them consequently got f7cked up. Lashely just out-and-out gassed and gave up after some serious hammerfists by a guy that looked like a Confederate General. They did screw Lashley by standing him up while he had the full mount, but Lashley was fading to black very quickly anyway and probably would have keeled over and died if they made him go for a third round.

King Mo was doing ok the first couple rounds, but he pretty much tossed out any boxing skill at all and went in to brawl with a Muay Thai guy (bad idea). King Mo fell in love with the body shots, and although they had some stank on it, close range Balrog body shots open you up for the knee to the dome, everytime. Ask Rich Franklin (against Silva) and Rampage Jackson (the first two times against Wanderlei). Mo flattened, then got a single leg, then got elbowed down hard. Fight OVER! And the Texas crowd lustily cheered when the Dallas product was knocked out.

I'm just glad we hit the Saucer before the event for some Blonde Bock and some Stone 14. The Blonde Bock by Gordon Biersch is one of those other beers that is kinda like a combo beer in the style, but not quite. It had a real syrupy malt to it and very drinkable, but the mesh of the "blonde" and the "bock" actually throw it off for me. I'd rather be slamming some Hofbrau maibocks like I have been these days. The Stone 14 Emperial IPA I picked up b/c we were eating some hot wings. The last time I had wings at the saucer, they put some fire on it, but this time the hot sauce seemed to be a little heavier on the butter, which my bloated gut 24 hours later can atest to. But the EIPA was f'n AWESOME! I knew that I could count on Stone to provide a very balanced perfect finishing Imperial IPA. One sec.

Beer Log: Right now
State: Chilling out, eating lunch

Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale
Pours brown and smooth with a tan head. Nose is pumpkin and cinnamon with some caramel. Tastes like a light bitter bread with some pumpkin. Not my cup of tea. 2 Stars.

Moving on, the Dynamo finally won a game last night. Taking big shots from Ching to beat the Chicago Fire. The Flaming Footballers of Chicago tried to come back, but Ching would not be denied despite our goaltender's best efforts. Also, the Texans got mollywhoped by the Saints in preseason, which nobody cares about. Holla.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Weedwacker BABY!!

So I cut out fo work smackdab at quitting time and make a B-Line for downtown to the Saucer for some Weedwacker . As I set up shop at the kiosk to get my beer receipts, I find out that the Saucer does NOT have the Lawnmower beer, so I cannot do a side-by-side tasting of the Kolsch and Bavarian Hefe (not Belg Wit), with the same ingredients but different yeast strains.

Not to worry, I start out sitting outside with some Saint Arnold Texas Wheat, which never really did it for me, and built up to the moment of truth with some Harpoon UFO White. The Saucer is pack led and it's like New Year's Eve in there. Everyone is awaiting 6PM when they tap the keg of Weedwacker, a rare specialty beer from Saint Arnold. I'm somewhat in the wrong as I'm hogging an entire picnic table outside though I'm just sitting by myself and chatting it up with one of my boys from FAMU.

A couple looks all lost and I tell them to sit the hell down with me. Turns out the dude is a Sport Jiu Jitsu fighter (awesome) and his lady friend is a white woman who wishes she were half black (even better). I kept telling her the money is not as good, but whatever. The Weedwacker shows up in a cloudy straw color with a bubbly white head. Much more bubbly than your normal Belgian, much closer to a German Hefe (b/c it IS a Hefe).

I like how the nose on this has the veggie-lagerness of a kolsch (Lawnmower) and the estery-banana of the yeast (Weedwacker). The taste is much the same. I get the crisp lageriness of the kolsch with that banana weisse flavor throughout. Low to moderate hops. It honestly tastes like a combination of the two beers. How about THAT! The body of the beer is such that I would have sworn they put some wheat in that son of a gun, but not quite. (Turns out there is like 50% wheat, like the Texas Wheat. I'm getting better at my beer sampling, worse at Research). Although I enjoy both styles, especially when sitting outside in 99 deg weather, I think I would honestly prefer one or the other. Give me the full on kolsch with that cream ale-lager thing, or go all out with the wiesse. 3 Stars.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

International Beerfest... In GALVESTON?!?

Sitting here watching some World Series of Poker and flipping back and forth to the Concacaf game with Toronto taking on Cruz Azul. Got to pull for the MLS teams.

Anyway, I find I am enjoying the extra hoppiness of the Torpedo Extra IPA from Sierra Nevada. Very high on the cascade (citrus/grassy) hops, with a nice compliment of caramel malt to hold on just barely. As if SN needed a reason to add more hops, this one is obviously overdone on the hops, but with the thinner body works well with this weather. Low 4 Stars. Oh, I was eating some shrimp I overboiled in Corona Light and Fat Tire, no where near enough Old Bay. You can probably tell my wife is out on the town with one of her old friends, so my dinners get more exotic and not quite right. No matter, I'm hitting Petrol Station tomorrow night for some Weedwacker.

Oh great Phil Helmuth has finally showed up. I love seeing his b1tch @ss run out of the room crying when he gets eliminated.

So these Winefolk have moved to Galveston and managed to put together an international beer festival. The major location will be Moody Gardens, which you can easily spot in Galveston by looking for the glass pyramids. Although you would think a place like Galveston would be great for beer, they are relatively bereft save a couple of beer heavy bars on Post Office Street. Regardless, Florida A&M will be playing Univ of Miami on Thursday of that weekend, so I'm okay to hit this thing. Lots of beer dinners, a beer garden (one of my favorite places to drink beer), and high dollar beer pairing dinners. They have over 300 beers there, and the wife and I are debating how we will handle this thing. They said that if it's not sold in Texas, the Gestapo...errrr the TABC says they can only bring beers that are already sold in Texas, so to refrain from this being a festival version of Specs Downtown, I suggested that they try to get some beers on tap from the brewpubs in San Antonio and Austin.

By all means check this out and support these guys. The more support we give, the more the beer scene grows in our area.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Some Sour Ale

Beer Log: Right now
State: Just drank 12 ounces of Saint Arnold Summer Pils

Saboteur Brett Barrel Brown Ale by Odell Brewing
Try saying that three times fast. Drinking this out of my Stella Artois goblet. Brown smooth looking beer with a huge head, as expected with brett (infected beers). On the nose this is so sour it may me shiver all the way to my ankles, no homo. Nose is sour brett and sweet caramel (bourbon). Nice soft beer, with some oak and vanilla. Nice hoppiness. The sourness actually works for me here. An EARTHY sour beer that's working for me. We got this beer in our Rare Beer of the Month club. I think we held it for like a month. Great for a hot day, or for a cold night. I'm getting an apple, maybe cinnamon with it, something like a mix of Granny Smith and Washington Red apples, which the wife made for me when she was trying to get with me 10 years ago when we were still in college. This beer mixes very well together, very soft and low hops. Some sour finish as well. Their website says pineapple, and I can see that. Excellent fricken sour beer. All I need is my Hugh Hefner bathrobe, a couple of sistahs on each arm, and some Good Morning Heartache on Pandora and I'm good to go with this beer. 5 Stars. This is done so well that I could see some wine-makers shooting a guy.

And you know what, I'm thinking that if I ordered a beer like this at a bar, I think that I would look like a cartoon character of myself. "Sir, can I get a barrel aged brett brown ale, with a healthy amount of lacto and hints of vanilla". A lot different than, can I get a beer?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Le Freak

Beer Log: Right now
State: Just finishing up some Hofbrau Maibock in my Hofbrau Stein

Green Flash Le Freak
First off, is that one of the cooler comic style names for a brewery? Green Flash. Perfectly white head, very thin on a reddish-amber beer. Great candy sugar, some sour, some caramel, very complex sweetness, probably some cinnamon and nutmeg in there. Very mouthfilling yet airy, if that makes sense. Linger bitterness. The beer feels like it vaporizes on your tongue. I like the mild sugar sweetness and sourness. It has a strong hop bite just at the end there, very citrus/grapefruity as only Green Flash could do. 5 Stars for the freaked out hoppy belgian. You mean to tell me I get my two favorite styles (usually favorite), Imperial IPA and Belgian Trippel. Hellz yeah.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Countdown to Weedwacker

Saint Arnold is about ready to release the first of it's Movable Yeast beers on tap. The wife and I will probably be taking the baby with us to Petrol Station for dinner on Monday. But here's a great article on 29-25 listing the bars that will have it available.

"Proving that you can never learn enough about beer, Saint Arnold soon plans to let you do a little taste-test of Weedwacker - the first in its limited-edition Movable Yeast series. Weedwacker, best-seller Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower wort fermented with a Bavarian hefeweizen yeast, is being served side by side with the original Lawnmower so folks can understand the difference yeast makes in the taste of a beer."

The only risk is that we wouldn't be getting to a bar until like 7PM, and by then it could run out at most bars in the city. We'll have to see.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Some Cascadian Dark...

Apparently the folk out there has decided to put some effort in making hoppy dark ales. I don't know if you call them stouts, but they tend to use the citrus Cascade hops, hence the name Cascadian Dark Ale.

Deschutes Hop in the Dark CDA

Huge tan head in my dimpled pint glass. Nose is a huge cascade citrus/flowery hop. Loving life. Taste is a big citrus that nearly overpowers the chocolate and coffee notes from the darker malts. Body is medium to full, with a grapefruit hop finish. I'm loving this thing. On the second sip the dark malt has a light caramel sweetness to it. Awesome. 4 Stars.

Abita SOS

Nice head, golden straw, good noble hoppy nose, but a little thin on the body. I like my Pilsner's a little bigger on hops and malt, like a Pilsner Urquell. This one's a little too acidic and sour for my taste. Not sure if that's supposed to be classic or not. High 2 Stars.

You gotta give it up to Abita for brewing a beer and donating the funds to help the Gulf Coast residents with life after the oil spill has moved on.

Anyway, had a somewhat rough day at the job today, and I may be inhaling some beers tonight to calm my nerves.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Bartending Brotha

So last night while missing Anderson Silva taking out Chael Sonnen in the most exciting fight finish of all time, I was at my wife's coworker's birthday party and they needed someone to bartend. Already they had someone taking pictures, and a DJ. I figured since I'm a beerman and I wouldn't know many people there, I could handle it. I'm popping out beer bottles, mixing drinks, shooting the sh1t, and having a great time doing it. I'm thinking this may be my calling. I really enjoyed that people were getting absolutely slizzard off of my concoctions (no homo). And I managed to stay sober all night (much to my wife's delight) as I was working the entire time. Many folks took my beer blog business cards. A few wanted to hire me for their upcoming parties, some of women wanted to give me some good quality lovin. Doubtful that bartenders at house parties can make per hour what I make in the petroleum business, but it would be "the ballz" if I were single. I could see learning a few more cocktail mixes and doing some parties for people if the price was right. We were just tripping that I was making some dinero at all.

The only problem is that you are on your feet all night, but I did make enough money in tips to buy my three beers at the Saucer later. And what beers they were.

Started out with some Spaten Light, since it was so hot outside, even at 1AM. Afterward I hit the Victory Prima Pils which was on Fire Sale. I thought it was a great strong Pilsner until I had the Real Ale Hans Pilsner. THOSE BOYS KNOW THEY CAN MAKE A PILSNER. That is probably the hoppiest pilsner I've had ever. 52 IBUS baby.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Shiner Oktoberfest and Red Steel 2

So the baby is finally asleep and the wife is out painting the town red. I copped the game Red Steel 2 for Nintendo Wii last week and it is the BALLZ. I'm loving the sword fighting and then the gunplay. You really have to wind up and swing to get a strong sword swing. I'm over there sweating up a storm while playing the game, as I play to win.

Anyway the wife and I hit the Spec's Downtown to hunt down Abita SOS and whatever else is new. It's over 100 degrees outside, I'm changing shirts after being outside for 30 minutes, my lawn is cooking like plantain grease, and I'm all over Wal-Mart looking for testicle deodorant. That must mean IT'S OKTOBERFEST TIME IN HOUSTON!!!

Beer Log: Right the hell now
State: Starting to crash a little bit as I was up late shooting the sh1t and hitting the high gravity stuff at the Saucer last night.

Shiner Oktoberfest
Nose has a toasty biscuit thing going on, didn't see that coming. Maybe some veggie and caramel malt as it warms up. Perfect white head and clear copper color of the Oktoberfest style. The beer has a light sweet malt flavor with moderate hops. Kinda bleh to me with the bitter finish, not sure how noble that is. I'm getting some copper metal flavor about 3/4 of the way back. Dammit man. Upon slamming a big bit of it down, there's nothing to get fired up about with the lighter flavor. If they told me this was an amber lager, I'd believe it. I'll give it some time while I fire up the Red Steel 2.

An hour after slicing and dicing cats on RS2. Beer is more refreshing, but and with the warmup there's a little more of that malt showing through. Rating High 2 Stars.

BeerBrotha Sports Review: Beatdowns all Around

So last weekend I hit the mean streets of Houston to see some mixed martial arts at Legacy Fights out in the Sharpestown area of the Houston at Arena Theatre. It's a little hood over there, and when you get close you will hear this music...

The place was so Sharpestown I loved it! Super loud music, tons of security, the place looks like it was designed in the 70s, and even guys throwing up hand signs for what part of town their from.

Anyway, it works out well for me, b/c I saw some great local guys go at it in the ring (no homo), and then made it a B-Line to one of my friends' house for a midnight brunch, pretty cool. And then the next night Jon Jones blasts this dude and is ready to take on the best in the UFC. And even better, tomorrow night we've got my favorite fighter Anderson Silva taking on Chael "the Mouth" Sonnen. Loving life.

Anyway, the other day I finally was able to drink the Deathly Pale Ale by Reaper Ale , who wins the award for the scariest craft beer website. This is kinda freaking me out. Pretty hardcore name. It had a nice set up with huge head, light amber color and cloudy. Nose is a good strong citrus hops, light on the malt. Nice and strong on the hops, taking over that low caramel malt. Very smooth as well. High 3 Stars. I can only imagine how good it would be if I didn't leave it in the back of my cabinet for like 3 years.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sam Adams Longshot: Old Ben Ale

At LONG LAST!!!!!!!!!!! We have had these beer in our fridge for some time, and I'm finally getting to it. If you don't know about the Sam Adams Longshot beers, basically they are some serious beers brewed at the National Homebrew Competition, chosen by Boston Beer Company to brew on their system and distribute to the masses. If you can get, GET IT!

Beer Log: Right now
State: Chillin out, thinking about making money

Old Ben Ale
Pours a nice dark amber to brown color with a decent head. The beers smells of excellent raisin, caramel malt, brown sugar, and a touch of citrus hops. All very strong overall. YES YES YES. The beer tastes of caramel malt, raisin, brown or white sugar, hops are very balanced, a pinch of sourness, and amazingly it finishes pretty quick. We actually starting drinking this cold, and let it warm up over time. I am absolutely loving the very English level of smoothness with the cutting hops to keep it from getting too sweet. I could see myself just drinking a ton of this beer. I love a good Old Ale, but this cat improved on the style with the hops and the sour. 5 Stars all day long.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

Beer Log: Right Now
State: Slight headache after jogging in 100 deg weather at Bear Creek Park. If you can't run 4 miles in 100 degs in Houston, then you need to quit.

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis
Light golden/orange color with big poofy white head. Nose is uber-bananay and estery. Taste is nice soft banana (no homo) with low hops and a slight watery/hop finish. Not sure what to think there. Taste great save the finish. Has some of that German Weiss character, but a pinch more on the hops, probably American. It's rather thin on the body with high carbo. There is a little spice in there, maybe clove or pepper. I can drink a good chunk of this, but not over the Fransiskaner Hefe. Low 4 Stars.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Serafijn BPA

Well I'm sitting here at the house, and I'm crashing hard. The only thing keeping me up is that I can't find my durn Atlas Shrugged. Anyway, we had a great beer dinner last night at Pappas Steakhouse, sponsored by Anheiser-Busch AKA Big Evil. I have stated many times that I could care less where the beer comes from, either big conglomorate or some nano-brewery out in the Hills. If it's good it's good. Review coming later.

Beer Log: Right now
State: A little tired, probably didn't eat enough today, need some liquid bread. Damn Weight Watchers.

Serafijn Belgian Pale Ale by the Achilles Microbrewery
We got this one from the rare beer monthly club. Pours with a huge head, I almost thought it was infected, which could be a good thing for a Belg. Beers has a light chardonney nose, with some caramel and jolly rancher coming through. This beer tastes just alright in my wine goblet. It has a moderate body, almost as smooth as an English Pale Ale, and only a pinch more flavor than an English Pale Ale. I get a pinch of sourness maybe from some wild yeast with a dry finish. They probably fermented this son-of-a-gun all the down to the white meat. Just kind of a musty water thing. 2 Stars

Thursday, July 29, 2010

BeerBrotha Sports Review: Man U vs. MLS

So I had some great seats at the game last night to see Manchester United take on the MLS All-Stars at Reliant Stadium. The crowd was somewhere around 60% ManU fans. ManU had most of their younger players on the field, and those children TORCHED the MLS All-Stars 5-2. The Red Devils scored a goal in the first 28 seconds. Anyway, these children for Man U decided to let loose and bust our asses. They were doing all kinds of trickeration and foolishness. DAMN SHAME.

And because the MLS scheduler is a 12 year old, our best players had to fly in on a red-eye b/c they were playing in a Concacaf game the night before. So our best guys didn't play until about the last 12 minutes. The last couple years when the Dynamo were winning, we were playing games like every third day in the summertime: with Concacaf, Superliga, US Open, and of course the MLS. I'm talking we're in El Salvador, then LA, then Charleston, then Houston, then Puetro Rico. You are basically punished for winning.

Man U is so popular, even I have a ManU jersey before I even watched my first soccer game. One Man U dude even had a vuvuzela. I'm just glad we picked up a sixer of Negra Modelo for some poorman's tailgating just before the game. Although it was great to see a crowd of over 70,000, I just hope we get more attendance at Dynamo games point forward.

Everyone is putting a positive spin on the game for the MLS with such a huge crowd. Well, as long as we keep playing Man U, you will surly have 70K a game. For some reason the Dynamo can't even get a big crowd when we play those Mexican squads. Not sure what's going on here, but hopefully the new stadium downtown will do the trick.