Sunday, April 18, 2010

BeerBrotha Movie Review: Beer Wars

Beer Log: Right now
State: Watching Beer Wars on Netflix Streaming video

Boulevard Long Strange Tripel
Orange color with a thin white head in my goblet. My nose is starting to get a little stuffy, but it has a great orange and banana nose. Nose is also plum alcohol and peppery. Let's go get 'em. High carbo and fruity (fruit as in orange, apple, and banana). I get an easy drinkability despite it's bubbliness. It has some hint of sourness and brown sugar/white sugar taste I've come to associate with Tripels. 4 Stars baby.

Beer Wars
I know I'm probably the last American beer blogger to have say about this movie, b/c frankly it sounded like a simple documentary one would see on the History channel. Just by the title I could see that this would basically paint the bigger brewers as evil bastards using their resources to crush the Mom and Pop brewers just trying to live a dream. And sure enough, that's basically what it is.

As much as I am in support of the micros and regionals, we can't sit around and cry woe is me if a business tries to do... business. As much of a capitalist that I claim to be, I think that although this film can put up a sob story, it will hopefully energize folks to try these new breweries. And yes we must fight to keep the laws from busting our chops, but dammit we better be ready for a fight. No business, whether they are selling beer, baby bottles, watches, cocaine, or women (you can tell what's around my house right now) is going to let someone chomp into their market share. In this very film they started out with how A-B, Miller, and Coors went at each other. And it was brutal. Sadly in some internal promotional video for A-B, they showed a guys cutting out JAX beer, which of course was a local brewery in New Orleans which is now a mall for teenie-bopper shorts and rip off voodoo merchandise.

A-B and MillerCoors are getting into craft beer and going directly at the local guys. These somewhat familiar sounding beers with no buzz or anything just happen to show up at every ballpark and taproom in the city. The local A-B brewery here makes Zeigenbock to go right after Shiner Bock. And dammit it makes perfect sense to me, and I would be ashamed if Spoetzl and Saint Arnolds folks were caught by surprise when this stuff hit the scene. They've got more money, they've got hotter girls, they've got more resources, and they've got you in their sights. I'm just wondering how long before a big dog is just going to buy someone like a Sierra, Dogfish, or even Stone.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Brown Ale off

Hit the Saucer last night to get to my 125th beer there. Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale vs. Brooklyn Brown Ale vs. Saint Arnold Brown.

Sam Smith won. Saint Arnold came in at 2nd. And Brooklyn out-Englished Sam Smith and could never get warm enough to get any good flavor out of it. Something about Brooklyn and our friends at Boulevard that their regular 12 ounced bottled beer is pretty vanilla, and then they blow you out of the water with their bombers. I'm sure there's some marketing in there by not acting like Lagunitas whose beers kick you in the nuts everytime. Just procrastinating before doing a big stint offshore. Another 14 days without beer, starting tomorrow. Holla.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Live It Big Fest

This past weekend one of the boys and I hit the Live It Big Fest on Washington Avenue. The event was for the Friday Harbour charity and LIB are the same folks who do the very popular Camp Beer events. The event basically opened up all most of the bars on Washington for those wearing the bracelets. Many spots boasted drink specials and food specials, like crawfish. We stopped off first at Brixx. Great atmosphere outdoors if not sparsely populated at 2:30PM. The beer options were Ziegenbock and Bud Light, starting off the festival with a whimper. After our Budweiser's own Ziegenbock, we made our way down the street. At some point we made it to a Rodeo bar for some Shiner and then dragged ass to Soma for some sushi and sake. We did everything al fresco and both of us couldn't help but remark that Houston needs events like this every weekend. In the Heights area, outdoors, good food and drinks, meeting some new folks.

Afterward we made our way to Taps for some Crawfish and IPA. The crawfish was pretty tasty, though I guess they still are not all that big this season. I forgot how much I liked Dogfish Head 90 Minute and Avery Maharajah. Awesome 5 star beers that just got better with spicy crawfish.

We made our way out of the festival around 5:30ish. The crowd was pretty sparse throughout except for Brixx and Taps, kinda close to where they sold many of the bracelets. I'm sure Pearl Bar was well represented, with people drinking Pearl beer and playing beer pong. Didn't hurt that Bud Light was a major sponsor. Looking forward to more events like this, maybe a pub crawl is in order.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Beer Collabo: Van Twee

Beer Log: Earlier tonight

State: Eating garlic molasses pork tenderloin with asparagus and garlic spinach

So the wife picked this up at Specs some time ago. This one poured with a frothy tan head and with a dark ruby color in my snifter glass. The smell is a kind of tart cherry. Tastes is a sweeter cherry with high carbonation with a pinch of beets, not as sour as I thought it would be. As I keep eating the garlic spinach is not working well. But the pork is doing great with this thing. The beer comes together a little better with a pinch of warming, and you get more porter character (a pinch of coffee fighting to get through). I like the sour and banana that comes out the more you drink it and now that I've polished of the veggies and am just eating the pork. This beer is extremely complex, but seems a little meandering. I know this collabo beer try to incorporate elements of each beer, but this one seems to take you for a long walk in Wonderland, and not the cool one in the Disney cartoon but the gay one in the recent movie. As a cherry juice infused beer, it doesn't hold a candle to Three Philosophers, but it's still very pleasant. I can see drinking this beer in the right circumstances, so a low 4 star for the Bells/De Proef collabo.

Good thing this was bottled by De Proef, b/c we don't get Bells at all down here. Looking forward to hitting the Live It Big Fest this weekend, and maybe a Dynamo game.
I just love Collabos

Monday, April 5, 2010

BeerBrotha Sports Review: Butler vs. Duke

I'm sitting here actually watchng the first hour of 24, and will be checking out the second half of the Final Two game. Just came back from one day trip to the New Orleans area for a meeting, and it looks like the somebody snuck in a new brew on me. Covington Brewhouse put together a nice Maibock for me, but I defaulted to getting a NOLA Blonde Ale like I like to do at the NO Airport. The guy did give me a sample of the CB, very nice.

It's so rare that a beer is brewed at all in Texas or Louisiana, let alone a new brewery that I don't know about 4 months in advance. And damned if it's not one of my favorite styles. Upon further review (googling like crazy), it turns out Heiner Brau is brewing these beers under a new label. Probably a good idea, as a new brand can generate some much needed excitement. So it works out well for me. Though I'm not sure how this Bayou Bock matches up with Heiner Brau's Maiboch or the Mardi Gras Festbier.

So I'm rooting for Butler as I hate Duke. But unlike you chumps that hate Duke because they are better than your team, I have been a North Carolina Tarheels fan for 20 years, so I hate Duke as a basic rival. They dominate so much that I'm jealous of their success and want ANY team to beat them. So to honor the Butler Bulldogs (also the name and mascot of my late brother's high school), I am going to resample some Flying Dog beers.

Beer Log: Right Now
State: Watching 24 and the Final 2 game

Flying Dog Double Dog
I rated this beer as a 5 star beer without so much as a written word. It was THAT damn great. A beer so good I felt it exemplified the reason why do the whole beer thing at all. Ok it's the second half, Duke up by one. Dark copper and clear with a big tan head. And the nose is just awesome, caramel, malt, chocolate, and something like a cinnamon cookie. Just great. Fantastic combination of malty caramel and grapefruit hops. Just loving the biting hops in the finish as well. Malt is not cloying but kind of chewy. Just a great mixture of everything and a touch dry to boot. Dammit Butler's main guy just got 4 fouls. This Double Dog is probably not as aged as I would like it to be, but the melody and harmony of malt and hops still combines perfectly. No hint whatsoever of the alcohol. Dammit Butler's other big guy now has 3 fouls. Anyway, got to give this puppy the big 5 Star rating.

You know I'm reading so many magazines these days and kind of trying to learn of the best ways to describe these beers. I hate that I have such a great beer and I honestly cannot just make up some shyt, like the taste of Hawaiain roasted pig with a North Carolina bbq sauce, white clay earth dryness, and a jolly rancher type grapefruitiness in the hops, although I could use these notes for the Double Dog. Maybe I need to just become more of a foodie, or just let the imagination flow. Thoughts?

Anyway, Butler is still down by 2 with just under 11 minutes to go. Somebody's got to do something here. Now Duke is up by 5. Dammit man. Now the Dogs are down by only 1. And I'm feeling the ABV now. Probably that can of Heiney I had on the plane. Southwest Airlines rules. Butler only down by 1, 49.4 seconds left. Out of BOUNDS on DUKE. BUTLER BALL! Under 34 seconds left. I gotta put the computer down. Damn that, I'm getting a 7 ouncer of Horn Dog. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!