30 December, 2009

Shipyard Brewing Company Pumpkinhead Ale

Shipyard Brewing Company Pumpkinhead Ale
no alc. given

This brew came from my Boxing Day collection, and was a nice surprise. It doesn't taste much like pumpkin, which is a good thing. But it does have a wonderfully spicy fall type thing going on. More of a "fake pumpkin pie with nutmeg sprinkles" type thing, if that makes sense.

It really was quite nice, and may be the only "pumpkin" beer I've liked.


28 December, 2009

Happy Boxing Day!

My favorite Mexican Mother gifted me with a six pack of brews for Boxing Day, in celebration of my Canadianous. A wonderful assortment spanning from fruity wheats to hoppy pale ales. Mmmm.

Don't mind the crooked photo, my I-phone was drunk.


27 December, 2009

Newcastle Brown Ale

Newcastle Brown Ale
1 pint 2.6 oz.
no alc. given

Tonight's Newcastle came courtesy our dinner, which was a wonderful crockpot dish of beer, cheese, veggies, and bratwurst sausage. Oh, it was delightful. So of course we had about half the beer left, and I felt the need to make sure it didn't go to waste. A nice mellow English brown ale. Very smooth all the way through. It does, however, make me appreciate a stronger brown ale like the Messiah Bold I enjoyed yesterday.


26 December, 2009

Shmaltz Brewing Company Messiah Bold

Shmaltz Brewing Company Messiah Bold
no alc. given

My second foray into the world of Hebrew brews, and a second home run!

This dark brown ale is a perfect combination of what I like about typical browns and porters. The nutty body of a brown comes alive in the nose, while the body leans more toward the smooth sipping and finish of a porter. Very well balanced, with the perfect level of carbonation and thick clingy head, even after the glass is down to the bottom. Susan particularly enjoyed it.

A very nice treat! Thanks again Shmaltz!


Lost Coast Brewery Tangerine Wheat

Lost Coast Brewery Tangerine Wheat
1 Pint 6oz.
5% alc.

Hhhmm, another fruity wheat beer, I wonder if I'll like it?

Of course I do! I've had the Tangerine Wheat before, so I was excited to get a big bottle of it as part of my Christmas basket. Wonderful fruity nose that really does hint of tangerines. The body is very smooth while retaining the fruit and sweets tastes. I managed to kill the big bottle in about 20 minutes today, while we watched some Top Gear.

Speaking of Top Gear, I finally moved into the 2000s and learned about these things called "torrents." Amazingly simple, thanks to the basic directions and advice on the Top Gear web site. I grabbed all of the Season 14 episodes last night, so Susan and I planted our butts on the couch today and watched five non-stop hours of Top Gear awesomeness.

It was as easy as making my TV an extended desktop, and plugging the laptop into the surround sound for audio. I only downloaded the "standard" def files, and I was amazed how clear the picture was. In the future I might try the hi-def files for single episodes.


25 December, 2009

Day After Beer Blog - Flying Dog Brewery Snake Dog IPA

Flying Dog Brewery Snake Dog India Pale Ale
7.1% alc.

As luck would have it, I received quite a bit of beer for Christmas. So why not continue my ale inspired blog? Exactly!

Of coure, I had already forgotten about my blog and cracked open a new bottle, poured it, and enjoyed half of it before I remembered to snap a pic. So don't mind the above pic, missing roughly half of its volume.

The description of this IPA compares it to a bitchy old ex girlfriend, one who would slap you in the face. That's pretty accurate, because this IPA slaps you right in the pucker factor. Awesome color with a very hoppy nose. there is a good bit of alcohol aroma too. The body is quite strong with hops. At first, I thought overdone, but I'm enjoying it quite a bit. It has a nice constant strength though, meaning the hoppy bitterness stays the same from start to finish. It never gets wickedly bitter. Just bitter enough to keep it interesting.

As a side note, this beer appeared very carbonated, as the glass bubbled away 30 minutes after I poured it. We joked that it looked like we dropped a fizzy alka seltzer tablet in it.

Overall, I like this quite a bit.

Edit: I've been trying to leave a bit in each glass, to see how it tastes when it warms up. Well, this IPA gets strong. Like really strong. Much stronger alcohol scent and the bitterness gets magnified. It never gets real harsh, but you can tell this is a strong IPA.


Christmas Foods and Booze

My relatives know the way to my heart. It is through my belly! Just a sample of the booze and grub fest I'll be enjoying today:

There is at least 2 gallons of beer and wine, and about 2 pounds of meat and cheese. So much meat and cheese, that we've decided to cancel our plans for Christmas crockpot, and just snack all day. 11:09am...too early for a beer? Maybe a fruity wheat bear!!??!?!??


24 December, 2009

Christmas Eve Gift Preview

Since we had dinner with my folks for Christmas Eve, we of course exchanged gifts. I got a nice long-sleeve flannel shirt from Mum, we both got a bag of awesome food goodies from Harry and David, and I got this from Mr. A:

A wonderful pencil and marker rendition of RalphVee at Thunderhill, presented in 11x14 format, nicely framed. For those eager eye viewers (Sean) you'll notice the silver 2.5RS in the background wearing the "subrew" license plate, and 130 numbers. Nice touch. This will go prominently in the living room, next to our wall of beer bottles.

Merry Christmas!


Beer Advent Calendar: Day 24

Abita Brewing Company Purple Haze
No alc. given

Deer Abita Brewing Company,

I am your newest fan.



In all seriousness, this was a nice treat for a late 2pm lunch on Christmas Eve day. This is a Raspberry Wheat, with thick luscious raspberry particles floating about waiting to swim into my mouth. The bottle says they add fresh raspberry puree after filtration, hence the very turbid view through the class thanks to all the raspberry sediment. It isn't overly sweet though, so if fruity beers aren't your bag, don't be put off.


And now that I'm happy, I have some sad news to break to all of you. This was the last day of Beer Advent. Yes, I know. No more blogging from me on a daily basis. Sniff sniff.

I only hope you can make it through the rest of 2009 without me.



Chris and Susan: Expert Kid Sitters

Susan and I trekked up to P-Tizzle to visit our friend Susan and her two boys, Andrew and Connor. We exchanged gifts, played with the boys, and got stuffy noses thanks to their cat "Big Boy." I of course wanted to bring Big Boy home with us, and I honestly believe we could have. He is the perfect cat for us. He pretty much sleeps, wants love, sleeps some more, and eats. Just like me!

Here is Susan playing with the boys:

Here is Big Boy and his soon to be owner (i wish):

Big Boy is a moose! Like 20 pounds of fluff and awesome. I've decided to name him Argyle, since he looks like an Argyle sweater.

If Santa really loved me, he would give me Argyle for Christmas. Hint Hint.


Beer Advent Calendar: Day 23

North Coast Brewing Red Seal Ale
12 oz.
No alc. given

A wonderful Red Ale from North Coast Brewing. This a great combination of a Pale Ale and a Brown Ale, with just enough hoppy aromas to keep it exciting, and a deep malty body. One of the better Red/Amber ales I've had, and a nice treat!


22 December, 2009

Beer Advent Calendar: Day 22

Shipyard Brewing Company Fuggles India Pale Ale
No alc. given

This is apparently my last IPA in the calendar. And it was very enjoyable! Fairly mellow hoppy nose with quite a bit of alcohol scent. More turbid and muddy that I remember IPAs being. The body is very nicely balanced, and isn't overpowering with hops. It gets a bit more pungent when it warms up, yet nothing gets bitter or sharp.

This went very well with the bowl of pasta and roasted veggies that Susan made. A great combination!


21 December, 2009

Beer Advent Calendar: Day 21

Erdinger Weissbrau Hefeweizen
5.3% alc.

A traditional bottle fermented Bavarian Hefeweizen. Nice sweet nose, and a fairly mellow initial body. Bavarian Hefs are far from my favorite, so I was waiting for the bite to kick in. And it did. First sip was rather strong, in a "oh nelly, I'm sure I'll be able to finish the glass" kind of way. But of course I presed ahead and found myself enjoying it more and more as I went on. It finishes off very smooth, so perhaps that keeps it from lingering too much.

Quite possibly my favorite Bavarian Hefeweizen. Out of the two or three I've ever tried.


20 December, 2009

Beer Advent Calendar: Day 20

Spoetzl Brewery Shiner Bock
4.4% alc.

A very nice American style bock. Somewhat sweet on the nose, it has a very clean mellow flavor. More caramel then hoppy, the sweetness stays through to the finish. It has almost a sparkly feel in the beginning, yet flattens off through the middle. Nothing is very overwhelming with this beer, it just has a nice pleasant mildly sweet flavor throughout. It goes very nicely with our spicy peanut Thai noodles.


19 December, 2009

Beer Advent Calendar: Day 19

Butte Creek Brewing Organic Pale Ale
5% alc.

A nice medium bodied Pale Ale that went great with our Mexican fest of burritos and rice, made by my favorite Mexican. Nice hoppy nose, with a fairly smooth caramel body. Not as bitter on the aftertaste as some Pale Ales, so it was great for sipping even after it warmed up.


18 December, 2009

Beer Advent Calendar: Day 18

Woodchuck Granny Smith Draft Cider
5% alc.

Another fine cider tonight. This time a very sharp, and very crisp Granny Smith from a Vermont Brewery. Not a lot of nose, but boy howdy does this have a great sour bite. You really have to hold it in your mouth for a few seconds to get the bite out of it, and then if you wait just a tick too much, watch out pucker face!

I could drink this like kool aid. mmmmmmmmm.


Beer Advent Calendar: Day 17

Hofbrau Original
alc. not given

This fine beer brought me back to my days in Macau, where the only offerings were random European beers on tap. I call these "green bottle beers" and they all taste the same to me. Like skunky Bud Light. Not skunky horrible, just sorta skunky. I managed to finish off the bottle whilst snacking on some spicy chips.

I could see how this beer would be great on a cold Sunday, watching football, after the apocalypse and no other beers are available. Actually, it isn't that bad. I guess I just don't appreciate a good (?) green bottle beer.


16 December, 2009

Beer Advent Calendar: Day 16

Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA
9% alc.

Another sample from Dogfish Head. After Midas Touch, I just have to close my yes and pray to the beer gods that I enjoy this one. And of course I do, since it is a nice hop infused IPA. Great nose, with fresh hop scents and a touch of alcohol. Clean and clear in color, it also sticks to the glass well.

Great hoppy body, and a strong hoppy finish all the way through. But not in a bad bitter way. In a "super hoppy, chewing on hops, gargling in hops" sort of way. Did I mention it is very hoppy?

This isn't something I could drink everyday, but when I want to turn my hops up to 11, this would make a great choice.


15 December, 2009

Beer Advent Calendar: Day 15

Grimbergen Double Ale
6.5% alc.

Initially this smelled like a very strong blonde ale, but a bit more sour with a unique scent of alcohol. Hmmm, this should be interesting. It has great mouth feel, and the sourness continues through the body. Very smooth, with definite hints of toffee and brandy. Again, the alcohol taste comes through, but not in an over powering way. It is quite pleasant for something so unique and strong tasting. I'm surprised I've enjoyed it as much as I have.

Quite good.


14 December, 2009

Beer Advent Calendar: Day 14

Abita Pecan Harvest
5% alc.

Susan warned me, that I might possibly hate this. And just reading the damn label made me think she would be correct. Pecan? For realz? I pretty much dislike anything nut flavored, especially pecans, walnuts etc. After a delicious dinner of blue cheese burgers and spicy fries, I gave it a try. And you know what? It isn't that bad. Actually, it is pretty decent. Mostly because the pecan nose and body are very mild. It pretty much feels like a nice smooth brown ale. Not very nutty, not very hoppy. Just nice and mild.

Better than expected


To ALL My Fans: You're the Reason I Do This

If you find yourself longing for my nightly blogs, please feel relieved to know that you are not alone. In fact, I have literally half a dozen (+- 6) fans tracking my every sip, and every swallow through this 25 day beerventure. One such fan recently sent me these:

That's right, a Pyramid Brewery T-shirt, emblazoned with all kinds of Audacious Apricotness. Plus a bottle opener, and an autograph request from my biggest fan, Meech.

How did Meech know that I struggled with my fruitiness?

Thanks again Meech! I'll wear it with pride.


13 December, 2009

Beer Advent Calendar: Day 13

Shmaltz Brewing Company Hebrew Genesis Ale
5.4% alc (thanks to Zac at Shmaltz Brewing)

Tagged as a "Smooth and Distinctive Light Brown Ale."

And they are correct! A very nice light brown ale, which is something I think I've discovered I enjoy. It is much hoppier on the front end, and has a less nutty middle. By the way, you said nutty middle. Great smooth finish, that is still hoppier than a typical brown has any right to be.

A nice surprise.


Another Productive Sunday

Football, Torpedo, and a bowl of olives. Yes sir, it has been a very productive Sunday.

I did, however, rake leaves for an hour this morning, after the morning rains subsided. So my booze was well deserved.


12 December, 2009

Beer Advent Calendar: Day 12

Kona Brewing Company Pipeline
No Alc. given

Described as a "Porter made with 100% Hawaiian Kona Coffee."

This is one strong, smooth Porter. I don't get many coffee notes, but it has a certain bite and strength about it. Very dark, and very thick, this is proving a great sipping beer after our beef stew. A nice surprise.


11 December, 2009

Beer Advent Calendar: Day 11

Anchor Brewing Company Liberty Ale
6% alc.

Susan stepped it up a notch today, and had my beer poured and a plate of fried chicken on the table (ottoman) the minute I walked through the front door. I think her having Friday's off is a good thing.

Today's beer is a very nice Pale Ale style beer. Fresh hoppy nose, nice clean body, and a mellow finish. Like a toned down IPA, which I'm enjoying.


Beer Advent Calendar: Day 10

Sea Dog Bluepaw Wild blueberry Wheat Ale
4.7% alc.

A wonderfully refreshing fruity wheat beer. Very strong blueberry nose that stays with you all the way through the finish. Surprisingly fruity from sniff to burp. This went great with a Cobb Salad. The only bad part was the fact I needed at least 2 or 3 more bottles, as I drank it up so quickly.


09 December, 2009

Beer Advent Calendar: Day 9

Black Boss Porter
9.4% alc.

Maybe it was the fact I split a pitcher of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale with J-Tizzle after work, but the nose on this Porter was absolutely stunning. Huge deep boozy smell, that I thought would be a bit too much given the 9.4% alc content. But it is impressively smooth. Great smooth body and a nice finish. Lots of chocolate. I have a little more than 14oz to go, so this should be a great topper to a nice dinner with a mate.


Beer Advent Calendar: Day 8

Grimbergen Blonde Ale
6.7% alc

A totally predictable, and good Blonde Ale. Blondes aren't my favorite, and the nose of this reminded me of Midas Touch, which almost made me convulse. But I worked through it, and found it enjoyable. We had a great dish of spicy spaghetti and meat balls, so it went well together.


08 December, 2009

Clean as a Whistle!

One of the few times you'll see me with no facial hair:

I think I actually look younger, without all the gray hair on my chin. Look out college girls!


07 December, 2009

Beer Advent Calendar: Day 7

Dogfish Head Brewery Midas Touch
9% alc.

The web site says: "This recipe is the actual oldest-known fermented beverage in the world! It is an ancient Turkish recipe using the original ingredients from the 2700 year old drinking vessels discovered in the tomb of King Midas. Somewhere between wine & mead; this smooth, sweet, yet dry ale will please the Chardonnay of beer drinker alike."

Midas was paired with a Parmesan Herb Tilapia, with a herb and garlic risotta, and asparagus. Dinner was great, but as my old grandmother used to say: "I couldn't go the bastids" when it came to the beer. I mean, I still consumed about 3/4 of it, mostly because I couldn't get over how much I disliked it. I couldn't stop myself from trying it over and over. Susan, on the other hand, really liked it.

It has a very nice nose, which sucked me in. Sweet, with a bit of honey. Then you sample it. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be experiencing, but I get a sour note, followed by a rough alcohol taste. I guess I wasn't destined to live in Turkey 2,700 years ago, if this is what was being served. Worse yet, the finish lasts about 3 weeks, so I'll have this taste in my mouth until Christmas dinner.

I bet Seans tells me he loves it!


06 December, 2009

Beer Advent Calendar: Day 6

Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager
12 oz.
5% alc.

Today's beer was a total surprise, because I've tried not to look at the upcoming bottles. I just leave them in the fridge and let my bar wench do the pouring. Tonight's beer was paired with a pulled pork sandwich and a blue cheese green salad. I've never had a "blackened lager" so I didn't know what to expect.

A nice smooth fairly mild porter is what I got. And it is very good. Rich nose and great color (almost looks like a hearty root beer) smooth out into a nice mild porter body. Not overwhelming in the taste department, possibly even a bit bland after the sniff test. But overall, a nice beer for a Sunday evening.


05 December, 2009

Beer Advent Calendar: Day 5

Green Flash Brewing Company West Coast IPA
7.3% alc

A very good, and very hoppy IPA. Loads of hoppy nose, hoppy body, but with a smoother finish. Not much bite at the end, which makes it nice to drink. I'm not a real lover of a bitter/hoppy after taste, so IPAs aren't typically my favorite. But this was good.

This went very well with our italian seasoned grilled fish sandwiches, with fries and a nice green salad on the side.


Not Beer, but Still Good

I was craving an afternoon snack earlier today, so we uncorked a surprisingly refreshing Lambrusco, an Italian red wine we picked up last week, as part of our attempt to sample wine varieties we don't normally try.

Of course, just about any drink goes good with a plate full of olives, spicy veggies, and muenster cheese.

I hear dinner being prepped, and I'll have a West Coast IPA to try. Mmmmm.


04 December, 2009

Beer Advent Calendar: Day 4

Cucapa Chupacabras Pale Ale
5.8% alc/vol

Absolutely, totally surprised by this offering. A Mexican Pale ale? Really? This should be interesting I thought...

And it was, in a good way!


A rich, dark, creamy pale ale. It went awesome with the Spicy Seafood Pasta Susan made for dinner. She seems to be relishing the challenge of matching up dinner with my daily beer.

I think I'm going to try and find a couple other offerings from Cucapa, as this was a very nice surprise.


03 December, 2009

Beer Advent Calendar: Day 3

Pyramid Breweries Audacious Apricot Unfiltered Wheat Ale
5.1% alc/vol

Yes, I know. Another fruity beer. But I love fruity beers! And I love wheat beers. So basically, this is awesome. Wonderful color and turbidity. Great nose, and good pungent Apricot taste. This should go nicely with our dinner of honey mustard chicken patties and fries.


02 December, 2009

Beer Advent Calendar: Day 2

Wyder's Dry Peach Cider
5.0% alc/vol

Oh man, I love a good cider. Especially when it pairs up so well with dinner. As it turned out, Susan made a glorious cold pasta salad, with raviolis, diced turkey, calamata olives cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and sliced red onions, all slathered with a lemon, olive oil, and thyme dressing. Oh man. All washed down by a nice cold Peach cider. Nice and tart, with a crisp bite.



01 December, 2009

Macau Video

I took my little Aiptek digi cam with me to Macau, and grabbed a few short video clips of the World Touring cars from the hairpin. Note Craig standing on corner exit in the first few clips. He even gets so bold as to be leaning on the guardrail as the cars zip by a couple feet away.


Beer Advent Calendar: Day 1

Guinness Extra Stout
12oz Bottle

Typical Guinness. Nice stout with a slightly bitter finish. I forgot what I was serving and poured it into an iced glass. So while eating my leftover ham, mashed taters and gravy, I let it warm up a bit. What a wonderful dessert! Been a while since I've had a Guinness, so this was a nice surprise.