Sunday, May 23, 2010

Running through Shiner Family

So I'm doing a little beer arts and crafts with our beer labels, mod podging the TV trays with some beer labels. Just labelled up one of our TV trays with some of our rare find beers. It was a task just not filling it up with Boulevard and Allagash beer labels. Anyway, I wanted to make a Texas one and sure enough I don't have any Texas labels at all. So all that means is I'm hitting the store for some Saint Arnolds Amber and the Shiner family sixpack.

I just realized that of all the Shiner family beers, I do indeed think their Hefeweizen is the best. Followed by the Bock and then the Shiner Blonde. Thankfully these beers are lightweight stuff on the weightwatchers, so I just had at it today. Still got to give Shiner some props for being the 10th largest brewer in America. With the Shiner Hefe being the only Shiner beer other than the Bock that I've seen on tap or at stores around the country, it's got some good wheat beer and decent hops going for it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Random Beering

Mikeller Draft Bear (a malt liquor)
Nice amber color with white somewhat lasting head. Nose and flavor suggest a basic amber lager to me, all the way down to the moderate carbonation and whatnot. It works out very well for me. Not as bad as malt liquor's reputation. Not bad. Low 3 stars.

Brideport Imperial IPA
Strong poofy head that is rather lacy. Sharp caramel and plum nose with flowery hops. Beer has a nice malt and citrusy hops, but I got a pinch of copper penny in there somewhere. On the second sip, I think it's safe to say that this beer has not meshed well yet. I'm going to store this one a year and come back for it to see how it goes. Right now it's just too much hops, and too disjointed. Moving on.

Well I'm sitting here watching "Fighting" by myself. The wife and I made an agreement that I would only go out one night a week and she would itznay the laptop after the baby went to sleep. And for the first time we try it I am up by myself once again downing some Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale and watching a B MMA movie. This movie has some good points, including an appearance by Cung Le, but otherwise I've found myself watching Genki Sudo entrances on youtube and trying to fast forward through a DVR of Monster's Ball to see Hall Berri getting freaky with Billy Bob Thorton. Fighting just has too many slow points. "Make me feel good".

Anyway we did make it to Two Rows today and I tried their new ESB. I like a good ESB myself.

Beer Log: Lunchtime today
State: Doing alright, eating BBQ wings and fries

I ate so many 50 cent wings and fries that I haven't had to eat anything else all day. I'll input my formal review later, but I found the ESB to be way too buttery, kinda like a buttered toast beer. Only ordered one. We went Gingerman afterward by without a baby sitter, we had to take the baby. No seats avaialbe anywhere at 2PM, though the baby liked their decorations. Had to skip out and just take it back to the house. Kinda sucks that we drove all that way, but it be like that sometimes.

I'm considering a quick trip to Buffalo on July 4th weekend to see my mother and grandmother, as well as beer it up at Cole's and OD on Southern Tier. Maybe find a car to slip across the border to hit Volo and the Beerbistro in Toronto. Not to mention that I have in mind a quick 24 hour trip to San Antonio to see the Bellator Fighting Championships this Thursday night. Wouldn't hurt to grab a German hotel downtown and hit up Flying Saucer and Free Tail out there while I'm at it. Probably just leave directly from work with my Tapout shirt and sportcoat. You know, big money MMA. That's it , whip his black ass.

Still thinking about a trip up to Portland/Seattle this Fall. I've found I have a love for Seattle/Portland beer, and I'm getting a little affinity for the Seattle Sounders as well, just b/c their fan support is so hype. I'm still rooting for the Dynamo all day everyday, but nothing wrong with a second team you like. Holla.

Hanging out in Houston

So last night I was able to get the Green Light to hit the mean streets of Houston. It was so great b/c it's American Craft Beer week and the Sauce was having an Allagash night. Turns out I had never had Allagash at the Saucer, though I've had plenty of their stuff in the past. I just can't get over how great Allagash Odyssey was. Finally I'm getting back into Belgian Strong dark ales. I've been doing the Tripel thing for a while. Anyway, it had a very nice combination of big poofy tan head, near black color, with a choco, raisin, and banana thing going on. Very very sweet. Kinda makes me want to see if we have it somewhere in the house for a breakfast beer. I didn't notice the 10%+ ABV as I just inhaled that beer after the terrible traffic getting to the Saucer.

Afterward I went completely backwards and copped the Allagash White (hey it was only 3 bucks). It barely held its own after the Odyssey, with that banana bread thing going on. A pinch of sour and a nice soft body to it. Fast forward and I'm thinking I'm going to be passing out at the Astros game, but we go ahead and get the Allagash Black. Tastebuds were blown at that point, only was a little chocolatey and roasty.

Afterward a quick trip to Minute Maid park to watch the Astros ACTUALLY WIN A GAME! And it was against Tampa Bay Rays. Their pitcher hit a couple of our guys including Brett Myers our pitcher, and I just kept yelling about how this is the National League, and the Rays pitcher has to get on that plate at some time. I was hoping Myers would at least give that chump a close shave with a 90 miler, but alas he let him off the hook. Which is why we are sitting pretty with only 16 wins going toward Memorial day and Roy Oswalt wants to be traded. Then again, we were 15-35 the year we went to the World Series, so who knows.

I was pretty tapped out, so we went for cigars and at Downing Street to cap off the night. Turns out the condos at Kirby and Westheimer have come up very nicely (if not bankrupt), and there is a great LAish feel while sitting at Taco Milagro and/or Downing Street. A little Grand Marnier with my Romeo y Julieta worked out well, while all the hot women seemed to be wearing red dresses. For a while there I thought Milagro had had it's time in the sun, but around midnight they had their little dance floor packed and plenty of folks posted up outside enjoying more drinks. I need to drag-ass back over there at some point like we used to do.

Got home at a decent hour and wanted to get the cigar and Marnier taste out of my mouth, so a Red Hook Mudslinger Spring seasonal worked out well enough. To cap off Craft beer week, we'll be hitting up Two Rows for lunch and Gingerman for their anniversary party. Word on the street is that Two Rows has a new head brewer. Curious if they have any special beers on tap.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm Still Hungry, time for a beer

Sitting here with my eye still burning. I'm not quite doing it Kano style except at night. And I'm rocking the Kanye West shades while driving my car.

Otherwise, big shouts out to No Label Brewing right here in Katy, TX for having a tasting that I ended up missing. They are still on the hunt for their first brewing system, but we are very fired up in the Katy area for a brewery to call our own. Chances are they'll get started up just as we move to the north side of Houston, putting us in Southern Star country. Only the big money and/or single people can live in Saint Arnold's turf. Galatic Coast Brewing is working on getting started up in the NASA area, which will set Southeast Houston straight. After that, all we need is some in Sugarland or Pearland to quit dragging ass and we are good to go in the five major areas of Houston.

Beer Log: Right now
State: Watching Good Eats

Harpoon Glacier Harvest 2009
THe nose is fantastic, very grassy hops and nice caramel malt. The taste does not stand up, just a bit watery with very grassy hops. A basic pale ale that is just too hop forward for me. Leaves a bit of an icky hop aftertaste. High 2 Stars.

Oh well. I really love the wet hop series from Sierra Nevada. I think we just aged this one too long.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Beer Log: Just now
State: Eating the same steak I had yesterday with some sweet corn on the cob

Mikeller It's Alive
Sweet and sour nose with some bread and brett to go along. Very effervescent with a tinged red copper with mild white head. The beer is moderately sour and bitter, kind of grapefruity. It has an earthiness and dry character. High carbonation. It's not as good as it smells (how many times have I said that?). I imagine this is the famed "feet" taste of a brett/sour/bottle conditioned ale. It gets more sour with a pinch of sweet sugar as it warms. But not quite enough. I've had enough sourish beers to claim this one is 2 Stars.

I'm out of WW points, so I need to take 'er easy the rest of the night. Hopefully I've lost a couple of poundals while I was laid up not able to work out. Travel plans include a trip to the DC area next month and if I don't make it to Brickskeller, I'm going to be sick. Also will be doing the family cruise

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Best English Barleywine I've ever had???

So I'm having dinner with the Misses while the baby is watching another episode of Diego. I wanted to fire up the Backyardigans Castaway episode, but the baby shut me down. So why not just enjoy some steak and garlic mashed potatoes and garlic spinach (the wife loves garlic), and get some English Barleywine. I can't even remember when we picked up Lagunitas Olde Gnarlywine Twenty Aught-9, but after keeping it on top of our cabinets for over a year and whatnot, I figured this is as good a time as any to drink 'er up.

Beer Log: A few minutes ago

State: Eating the basics, steak, mashed potatoes, spinach

The nose has an apple, plum, a pinch of caramel malt, and plenty of brown sugar. The color is a solidly ruby in the light and cloudy, with a frothy tan head. The beer is extremely malt, sweet, and reminds me of port wine. I LOVE PORT WINE. For years I would not even get deserts, just port wine. High 4 star. This thing is great with the staek, low bitterness. Moderate body, low carbo, extremely drinkable and I'm about ready to have this stuff injected in my veins directly. You don't even notice the high IBUs, but the hops just keep the malt from blowing you out. You know what, 5 Stars.

This is what we need. While I've been big on American BW, this English stuff is not to be effed with. Lagunitas surprises all by not hop bombing this beer but rather letting the malt take over. Unbelievable. I've found that I am just downing some serious Lagunitas beer in our stock if we don't buy anything new for a while. Especially the Imperial Red and the Brown Sugga. Turns out the wife loves cooking with the Brown Sugga, so not much of that one left.

We have the 2010 Gnarlywine as well but won't touch it for a year or two. Just let it age in the house for a long while and let it rip. Great job 'Nitas. Prost.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Back on the Block

Finally I'm back in the game. Had to lay off the booze for a while to get some surgery. Now I'm almost healed up though I look like Kano from Mortal Kombat. "Hey baby, did you miss me? Do you remember this knife, it's when I cut your partner, ear to ear". Man that movie ruled. Anyway, the wife and I are sitting here about to put the child to sleep. All while I was laid up looking like the Phantom of the Opera, the wife was busy buying new beer at specs. We've got an extremely grassy, acidic, and apple like Imperial IPA from Widmer. Also there are plenty of bombers and whatnot. But let's give Brewdog another shot.

Beer Log: Right now
State: Down to one eye, relaxing, eating some angel food cake

Brewdog Isle of Arran
No I'm not stupid enough to eat a palate busting food like angel food cake before trying the beer. I'm pouring this beer in my Old New Orleans Rum goblet. It pours thinner and faster than I thought, but no head at all. I've seen water bubble up more than this. Nose is complex with raisin, apple, cherry, and something like a bitter cigar smoke lingering. Not much choco or coffee like so many stouts. The taste is surprising uncomplex, just a thin woody beer, a pinch of coffee, and moderate amounts of piney hops. The second sip gets me a touch of that wood and the beer is a little puckering, sour like in feel. The body is thin, but just kinda basic. Let's see if anything changes with some warmth and a foiling AFC. It's just kinda hoppy and smokey now, black patent is what the wife thinks, and I'm inclined to agree. Maybe I was just in the mood for something stouter. Low 2 Stars.

Not sure what to think about the Brewdogs. I think they overdo it on the smoke for the beers I've had so far, and every beer I've had of there's so far is best described as what I dreaded craft beer would taste like when I was a Miller Lite guy. Not a good feeling. Kickass names though. Anyway, we've got some 5 AM and I very well may order some bottles of their super high gravity beers to put in our cellar and to sample for myself. Regardless, it's good to be back on the block.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bully Saison-Brett

I just had a couple of wins on a project, so time to celebrate. I break the absolutely wrong glass for a Saison (champagne flute) and go for a Boulevard Saison-Brett.

Beer Log: Just a few minutes ago
State: Trying to relax watching 30 for 30 drinking number 06883 of 13400 bottles produced

Gold-orange and a pinch cloudy. Big white poofy head with a big fizzy head that overflowed nearly everytime I poured another one. Sugar sweetness and a light brett nose. It has some moderate sourness but no banana like a belgian tripel on the smell. The beer has a moderate carbonation, goood candy sugar, and a light-moderate jolly rancher taste. Wraps up with some sourdough bread thing goin gon. Minimum bitterness that leaves the tongue a bit gritty. I just can't stop drinking it. Probably one of the best brett beers we've had so far. 4 Stars.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sam Adams Longshot: Michael Robinson

State: A little sleepy
Beer Log: Right now

Old Ben Ale
Copper and clear with a strong cream-colored head. Copper ale style nose with a malt thing going on. Oh my. A great strong malt, a pinch cloying. Kind of like a super scottish ale. Great caramel and crystal malt taste. A good pinch of raisin. Moderate body and lightly hopped. If I wasn't 6 beers in today and very sleepy, it would probably be a lot better. It's supposed to be an Old Ale. I can see that. If only I had a cigar, a fine white woman singing Ella Fitzgerald with a dude playing acoustic bass, soft lighting, and a 35 year old sista feeding me some brie, and I would be straight to go with this beer. Instead I've got a headache, Dora the Explorer on TV, the baby spilling ketchup on the floor, and 24 upstairs on pause. High 3 star for now, and going upward with every sip. Not too strong, but good enough.

Working from Home: At the Sauce

I'm sitting here putting together project documentation for the job, and as I don't want to hamper myself and feel like a prisoner in my own home, I took to the streets and to the Saucer to keep working. With some hot wings and some fries, I'm ready for some beering.

At the Saucer: Working from home

Sierra Nevada Summerfest
I knew there was a reason I didn't remember this beer from last year.This thing is maybe a few ticks above MGD. Not quite up for a goodstrong pilsner, and kinda funky hopped. Come on guys. 2 Stars.

Brewdog 5 AM Saint
Dark copper-redish color with poofy slightly rusted color head. Nose is a sweet caramel with a pinch of copper like a Scotish ale.Great rudy-malt flavor, mod hops not standing up to the hot wings.I guess that the Munich malt and the crystal I'm getting as the dominantflavor here. 3 Stars.

Funny how at lunch time it's all button-downs, some ties, a few suits. That's how business gets done, a beer lunch.

It claims it's got some iconolastic affect to it, but after knocking this puppy back, I get that this is more of a funkiness to it. Notquite as good at all as it warms up. 2 Stars. I had maybe the RogueChipotle beer on my list, but after a couple of mediocre beers, it's time toSAVE US IPA. I could have sworn I've had the 512 IPA already, butIndependence has a new-to-me IPA, so let's go for that one.

Indy Stash IPA
Orange and eversoslightly cloudy. I've got a thin head and a lowersobriety right now. It happnens everytime I go offshore for long timesand come back to the Saucer and the Sauce. Moving on. Not much ofa nose, just some slight malt and grass hops. Moderate grassy/citrusyhops. Not much on the dry hopping here for the nose to give the fullsensory experience. When I get my IPAs, I like to have the whole sensoryoverload. Kinda like watching an Akihiro Gono entrance at an MMA event.No hint of the 7% plus ABV, though I may notice it as I try to stand up. A muted strong IPA, good for the hotter days we are starting to gethere. It's a lot closer to American PA than American IPA. Low 3 Stars.