Saturday, October 31, 2009

Golden Monkey

Well, let's see. First, Happy Halloween! Keep an eye on your children. While you're at it, keep an eye on all the neighborhood children (unless you're one of the pervs we're worried about). And don't forget to have a good time. I've had some pretty fun Halloweens in my day.

One year after college, my girlfriend and I went to a party as the Budweiser Frogs, and we were a big hit. The party was at a bar that a bunch of her friends rented--they took the whole place and hired a band that they followed for a long time. Was a really fun night. Next morning, the girlfriend puked when she smelled some industrial odors on the Garden State Parkway, but whatever, it wasn't me!

One year back in high school, my friends and I couldn't decide what mischief to start with, but we opted for knocking on asshole neighbor's door and running out into the woods to see his reaction. I know, so adult.

The first two times, the guy was just pissed off, but he took things OK. But that's when great minds need to decide how long we need to wait before going a third time. We decided around 30 minutes, which was just enough time to throw those little crab apples at the backs of 18-wheelers on the highway. Ring, run and hide in the woods. This time the dude came out, and started walking into the woods, right in our direction. The moon was bright enough to light the sky, but his cigarette added an orange glow that we could see coming toward us.

He got pretty close, when one friend yelled "RUN!" at which point we did just that. This dude and his old cigarette lungs were no match for our speed, but he did chase us all the way to our high school a few miles away. Lots of scratches and hours later, we ended up back at my friend's house. His mother, smelling our fear and seeing blood, not to mention not being born the yesterday before, calmly said that Mr. H had been over to talk to us. She told him that she'd let him know when we were back, but as far as she was aware, we were at another friend's house. So down to their basement to plan our next move. Finally, after pushing the charade a little further, my friend's mom caved and told us it was a joke.

Phillies are playing (and winning) today, and I need to try to get trick-or-treating out of the way before the game gets too far in. Yes, I am going to play the Victory beer game again, for luck, like I did for games one and two. This afternoon I'm drinking Golden Monkey brewed by Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. My first two beers from this brewery were gems. Can't wait here. This is a Belgian-inspired Tripel with a label story about some magical mystical monkey with a golden soul. Hmmm. A costume idea has arrived!

The aroma is spicy with a good dose of fruity pear and apple, very sweet. First flavors have lots of spices, mainly black pepper and cloves. You will then taste a bunch of fruits, like pears and bananas. The 9.5% alcohol then says hello and warms you up. I must say it is a prominent component, a bit boozy and over the top annoying. Big carbonation leaves a lot of fizziness in your mouth as well. Dry finish with alcohol still lingering around, and a medicinal band-aid flavor left on the palate. Not a favorite to say the least.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Hoptober Golden Ale

Phillies lost last night, bummer! Tomorrow they take out their frustrations at home, and are going to put up at least eight runs, my prediction. And what a long-ass day at work! Then I came home and found a stack of papers that I put on my desk to remind me of some shit I need to do NOW (you know, instead of amusing you people). Things like paying the mortgage on time and calling the city to find out why I have a pink water bill invoice which (I guess) signifies a late payment penalty. (This city blows--their website didn't work for a week to pay the bill, so the day before it was due, I sent an email asking for options which they never replied to, at which point I researched how to pay via telephone. I paid lunch time, day it was due, and then they send me this shit?) Well, they are NOT getting my $15 even if it costs me $115 in my time.

I almost forgot to tell you about the car at the stop light in front of me on the way home. Good thing it was a very long light because the passenger opened the door a dozen times to puke her guts all over the road. You know how you swerve to miss dead animals? Well, this puke puddle was big enough to call for a similar response when the light finally turned green!

I'm starting off this weekend with "a veritable cornucopia of the earth". Really, that's what the bottle says about Hoptober Golden Ale brewed by New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colorado. Yep, you guessed right since you are such a loyal reader! This came home from Texas a few weeks ago, as no New Belgium beers are available in Florida. The label has a bunch of people on unicycles and using hula hoops around a camp fire--I'm pretty sure that is standard stuff in Colorado, along with wind-powered breweries. New-age hippies? Or was the illustration a circus practice?

Anyway, Hoptober has a fruity and floral aroma, nice but not powerful. You start out with malty and spicy flavors in your mouth, and wheat as well. Then the beer turns hoppy and fruity, with pears and citrus flavors. The carbonation is very high and bubbly. The 6% alcohol is completely masked and you finish with a dry metallic flavor left in your mouth. Not horrible, but I'd say boring if it weren't for the giant carbonation and bad aftertaste. Just an OK beer!

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Bell Double Back Two-Bike Trunk Rack

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hop Wallop

First the great news! The Phillies went to the "House That Jeter Built" last night for game one of the World Series and razed the place. Not like "raised the roof" but more like burnt the place down. I'm hoping for a repeat tonight for sure!

Now the ridiculous part! I got a call from my three year old's teacher yesterday. Actually, it was just a message on the answering machine when I got home. I'm pretty sure that the teacher thought it was the cell phone of my wife, as she's called her there before.

In the message, my son's idiot teacher generalized that "men don't look at notices anywhere near the door" making sure to note that I hadn't signed up to bring any of the items for the Halloween party on Friday. Bitch! The real reason I didn't sign up for anything had nothing to do with not noticing her sheet on the classroom door. Rather, it was because a group of more-responsible, brown-nosing parents filled in all the blanks for everything, and there were no things left to sign up to bring. Some parents put their names in two or three spots.

And apparently the phone message wasn't enough. Bitch teacher had recruited the timid innocent afternoon teacher to tell me to pick an item. Yes, there were choices now as some of the double-names had been whited out. No shit! So before I even heard the answering machine, I actually had my name on the door sign-up sheet.

So I'm good--I took a loaf of bread and a bag of candy. My wife begged me not to make a scene so I controlled myself and saved this little gem for when I need some extra ammunition. I did write my son's name in GIANT letters on the loaf of bread bag--I couldn't help myself completely. But whatever, dude, don't fuck with me, save your breath, and next party please spare me the drama and tell me what you want me to bring on what day in what colored bag and on what serving platter you'd like it displayed. It will be done!

Considering the positive effect that drinking Victory Brewing beer had on the outcome of yesterday's World Series game, I'm going to try that strategy again today, starting with the other from this brewery that I've been itching to taste. That's Hop Wallop, a double IPA. "Hop" Wallop is apparently a dude that discovered hops and his legend is recounted on the bottle. Anyway to make a long story short, he concluded "hoppiness is happiness".

The aroma is fruity, citrusy, hoppy and inviting. You will start with some delicious fruit flavors, not just the citrus but also some pear and peach beautifully blended together. An awesome burst of the more typical grapefruit and lemon comes next providing a strong bitter bite. Some sticky and oily pine flavors are by now coating your mouth before a small hit of the 8.5% alcohol says hello. Medium carbonation and a dry yet plain aftertaste. This is some good shit and I think I've found another favorite brewery to fall in love with!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Storm King Imperial Stout

My interest in Victory Brewing beers started back at the beginning of the year when a couple of my Philadelphia-area friends couldn't stop talking about them. Great, another reason to hate Florida, where they were not available! So I started developing my strategy for getting those beers here. One of my co-workers struck out on a few northeast business trips. So I casually dropped a comment on the Victory website, wondering out loud when they'd be distributing them near me.

Well, I got a prompt reply back on July 7 from Brewmaster and President Bill Covaleski. He told me that consumer interest in Florida has been high for years and that they were just starting to put together their Florida distribution plan. Now, I've heard that before, so I pretty much took it as a canned BS answer. Regardless, it is so super cool when the highest levels of a company still respond to customer service questions and comments, even if they use phrases like "slaking your thirst". Awesome like this.

Three months later, and I happened upon a list of places in Florida that Victory beers are sold. No shit! Bill's comment wasn't a line to get rid of me after all, and all of a sudden I had a place to buy the beer. Since BFF Total Wine wasn't listed there, on the way home from work last night I stopped by this strip mall liquor store to get me some. There were no other customers in this dive, three people "working," no eye contact, no help. I walked to the refrigerator where I think they had their entire beer selection. Very weak in options. No Victory either. So on my way to ask the three no-helps, I saw two cases of Victory beer, one Prima Pils and one Hop Devil, so I knew I was in luck.

Wrong! Those cases plus two behind them were "labeled to be shipped back" if you can believe that shit. I told her my looking for this beer story, so she called some dude. They had no idea the price, at which point she told me that these beers have no following in Florida. How could they possibly know that considering it's only been available for two weeks here? In the end, I left my number with these retards and I told them to give me a call "in case they felt like selling beer they have sitting on their floor". Over a day later, still no call. Unbelievable for a no-customer business!

In an effort to avoid the kings of idiotness (those three no-helps), I summoned insider Total Wine corporate guru RH, begging him to confirm positively that Total Wine Pembroke Pines would be carrying this brand. Very promptly, and even after 6pm, not only did I get a detailed reply confirming an expected delivery today, but also a list of which beers would be in that delivery. I called the store this afternoon to make sure the delivery took place, and although the guy on the other end sounded completely caught off guard by my question and surprised that I would know about this delivery, he confirmed that he was actually looking at the cases as we spoke. I told him I'd see him later. I must admit that I'm feeling quite a bit like James Bond with this whole thing, just much less British!

So I arrived at Total Wine, incognito, with my three year old in tow to throw them off the scent. Actually, after a brief look around the store, I asked one of the managers where I can get the Victory brews. He then identified me as the caller from earlier, blowing my cover. To the back of the store, he went to Employees Only area, I stopped. Then he started bringing one of each, one sixer of each of the five delivered, which I then corrected to one bottle of each, for now. (God, I am such a pain in the ass! Please help those around me.) Nice dude.

One last test for my BFF today. Yep, I printed the $1 off coupon again to see if my mixed sixer (I added some other random one to complete the five from Victory, because the coupon is for a 4- or 6-pack and Jesus help me try to pass a 5-pack after my 12-pack fight just a few weeks ago. Actually the Assistant Manager who gave me a legitimately hard time that day was in the back of the store, anyway.) To make things better, I got the same cashier that told me she couldn't process that coupon with a 12-pack without a manager last time, so I'm figuring about 15% chance I don't meet any resistance today. Nope, my mixed sixer was a six pack, was over the minimum dollar amount, and I got zero shit. On my way. See you soon!

What are the reasons I am going to such great lengths to get these beers today? Great question and thanks for asking! The Phillies start their World Series defense tonight against the Yankees and I can't think of a better brand than Victory to be drinking during the game, especially considering brewery HQ Downingtown is the Phils home turf.

Now I have five Victory Brewing choices to pick from tonight, and two more soon, so I'm told. There are two that I've been so aching to try, so I picked one of them, Storm King Imperial Stout. The label on this makes it sound delicious, so needless to say, I have extremely high expectations. Let's go!

The aroma is very nice, dominated by chocolate and coffee. You will start out with dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavors in your mouth. Some burnt and nutty flavors also are present but not nearly the boss of this beer. Light hops make the beer slightly bitter. That coffee flavor lingers on and on and on. Wow, this is a smooth and creamy beer, at least for most of the way through it. Toward the end, a little bit of the 9.1% alcohol provides a slight kick and warming sensation, and that feeling is accentuated by the medium-upper level carbonation. The thick body covers your entire mouth for the entire bottle, and there is a great aftertaste that lasts for a long time. I will drink this again. Love it!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Stormcloud IPA

Any of you not a member of Upromise? Why not? You don't know what Upromise is? OK here's the rundown from my perspective. First let me tell you that Upromise is an advertiser through an affiliate program that I am a member of. But I've been a member of Upromise since 2001, long before this website was in existence. Everything I say will be the honest truth. Trust me, I couldn't retire on the commissions even if thousands of you sign up through these links. It really is a useful and worthy program!

First, Upromise is free. Upromise is a way to help you save for college for your kids or your grandkids or your nephews and nieces or your step-goddaughter's uncle's fifth cousin's teacher's pet. Will you save enough to pay your tuition? Not a chance, but...

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At the very least, check it out. God knows you're not going to give up your beer money for the kid's education instead! Join Upromise and Save for College

Today I'm drinking Stormcloud IPA brewed by Rahr & Sons Brewing in Fort Worth, Texas. This one came back from my friend's Dallas trip as well. You probably recall me mentioning that a few days ago while drinking the other from Rahr that came home, Buffalo Butt, with its eye-searing label. The label on this bottle tells the story of William Rahr, which I guess is a relative, coming over on a voyage through a fierce storm, then celebrating with a beer after their journey was complete.

The aroma is fairly weak, but you will notice some floral and fruitiness to it. Very light hops begin in your mouth, but you will then taste more bready and light caramel flavors. A very small amount of lemon and citrus, maybe a touch of alcohol and that's it before a dry finish. Not like any other IPA I've ever had; that could be a good thing, but this beer was not the go-getter, trend-setting type either. Average, but not bad.

Join Upromise and Save for College

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Better Music, Better Beer, Better Outcomes -- The Unlikely Entrepreneur Guest Post

Here is a guest review by Cynthia Wunsch, The Unlikely Entrepreneur. After reading her posting and beer review, it's pretty obvious to me why I am so awesome! Maybe you will agree. First, I have musical talent, and although at the time I hated playing trumpet for 6 years of my adolescent life, looking back it was a great experience. I wish I still played, actually. Secondly, I'm a Penn State college football fan--none of these minor league Big 12 teams. And finally, Cynthia picked one of my all-time favorite beers to go along with her encounter. Read on and then head over to her site... Oh yeah, and also keep your eyes open for one of my posts on her site. Something about sneaking beer into an opera or some other crazy stuff like that. Go ahead, I'll shut up now, Cynthia...

Last Saturday night was the Texas-OU game, one which often engenders bitter rivalries, as I found out. I was sitting in a fast-food restaurant with a friend, trying to catch up, when a very drunk Texas fan in his late 20s or early 30s, accompanied by his sister, approached a group of four OU supporters in their late teens or early 20s. Although Texas had won (I think), somehow this fan didn't feel the game was over, and accosted these inoffensive kids, who had been talking quietly amongst themselves and minding their own business. The Texas fan repeatedly called the Sooners "d---------s" and was loud and belligerent. The OU fans were polite, and tried to placate him but he repeated his profanities several more times. Despite the best efforts of everyone in the restaurant (except his sister, who egged him on), he would not be quieted. Eventually he left, and we all breathed a sigh of relief, and several of us apologized to the Oklahoma fans.

Unfortunately, it didn't end there--the Texas fan drove away, then changed his mind, and drove back through the parking lot, got out of his car, and hurled a drink at the glass window next to the Oklahoma guys. Finally, one went out and threw his drink at the Texas fan, who in trying to get away had slipped and fallen on the ground on the way back to his car. I was already digging for my cell phone to call the police. Then the OU fans packed up and got out of there, as we wished them a safe journey home. A good thing, too, because the Texas fan had still not had enough and came back; fortunately by that time there was no-one left to take his anger out on.

It occurred to me that that Texas fan was probably listening to the wrong kind of music, since it's been shown definitively that Mozart reduces stress levels. But for sure he was drinking the wrong kind of beer, and with that I come to my review of Young's Double Chocolate Stout. My local store sells it both in bottles and cans--the cans have the typical stout widget. The beer is produced in Bedford, England.

I didn't have a Young's glass, so after some deliberation, I chose a Duvel glass.

The stout pours beautifully, and with a little encouragement can produce a half-inch-thick head of fair body and holding power. The colour is dark and opaque, and the bouquet is wheaty and yeasty, lots of roasted notes, with hints of very dark chocolate (over 90%), and a faint aroma of coffee. The thing that you notice first is the velvety texture of the beer--there's absolutely no "kick" of alcohol--just a smooth, velvety sensation on the tongue and down the throat. Young's is not a weighty, thick beer, like the Irish stouts, but substantial. Just a hint of bitterness for bite, but everything about this beer is beautifully balanced. There are no off notes or bitter tastes; this is a finely-crafted beer. The chocolate flavouring is subtle, not sweet, and comes through better after several sips. The foam clings to the glass for a long time, and like Guinness, you can draw your initials in it, although they don't have the same staying power.

The carbonation is extremely fine, almost like a Czech Pilsener. And the finish? The beer melts away to a silky coffee aftertaste. A luxury beer to be sure (the can explicitly says so), but penny-wise, pound-foolish, right?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

db double black stout with coffee

After I woke up this morning, I had a few cups of coffee and instantly became the Book Report Czar for the next several hours. The promotion and task was not unexpected; rather, it has been coming to a showdown for weeks now. The second grade report is due on Wednesday and this is the last day to spend a good amount of time on it. My seven year old has spent time reading the book and making an outline for the report over the past few weeks, but he's been pretty slick at avoiding doing the actual report.

Until today... I got out the whips (I mean pencil and paper), the iron maiden (er, "no outside" threats) and he got started. At this point he's almost done with an A report. He just needs his mom to help with the illustration requirement since I suck at drawing. Now for some football and hopefully some baseball, if the rain in NY can hold up. To the beer!

Today I'm drinking db double black stout with coffee brewed by Redhook Ale Brewery in Woodinville, Washington or Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Apparently this is a limited release beer, and mine was from batch 08-0410 bottled on 10/08/08. The name makes it sound yummy.

Dark chocolate aroma with plenty of plums and coffee there, too. The flavors start out very rich, with a large dose of roasted chocolate. Dark fruit with slightly bitter coffee flavor are next in line and balance out the beer very nicely. Some vanilla and molasses nuances come in and out of the profile and provide a welcome complexity. The carbonation is medium-high and provides a bubbly, yet creamy mouth feeling. Mostly a sweet beer, but not overly so. Toward the end you will notice the 7% alcohol content and get just a bit of a warming sensation, but not too much, just enough to get your attention. This was a great beer and I suggest you try it when you can.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Buffalo Butt

Back around 10 years or so ago, before the kids came along, the wife and I would spend time together doing puzzles, especially on cold winter or rainy spring days. My youngest son has apparently picked up the same interest in puzzles and has become quite the little genius with them.

So last weekend, out of the closet came this super-complicated Santa puzzle, 1000 pieces or something like that. We've made some decent progress, but both children have long lost their interest. My guess is that we got the puzzle out just in time to be finished for Christmas, at least at the rate we're moving. We'll see, but puzzles are a fun family activity, no doubt. I found the one we are doing, Christmas Presence, at Amazon, but only a 500-piece version. The link is below along with another that looks pretty cool and challenging, if you're interested.

Today I'm drinking Buffalo Butt brewed by Rahr & Sons Brewing in Fort Worth, Texas. This beer is not available in Florida, and likely will never be. But I have a friend that visits San Antonio to visit his brother on a regular basis, so I've sought out more information on this brewery's beer availability. By "sought out" I really mean that I've been a bit of a pain in the ass for the brewery President Fritz Rahr and his business partner. They've been cool, telling me about their distribution plans, etc. I even sent them an email yesterday to try to get a comment to go with this posting, but I guess they are busy with more important stuff. Can't blame them. Maybe they'll comment later, and I'll be sure to let you know.

Now I came upon this beer because that same San-Antonio-going friend actually had a business trip to Dallas last week. And this brewery is local there, for you geographically-challenged readers. First the label, which has a prominent buffalo ass on it, with tag line "Everything It's Cracked Up To Be". The label also tells a story about some drunk brothers telling stories in Ft. Worth's Hell's Half Acre, which is I guess where you could get a beer and a hooker a while back. One of the stories led to this beer, named to commemorate the, yep you guessed it, Buffalo's Butt.

As for the beer, the aroma is earthy and grainy. The flavors are also earthy and grainy, with a nutty profile that lasts in your mouth. You will also taste some toasted bread and grassy flavors as well. Light hops appear and are enough to keep any sweetness away. The finish is dry. Light-medium body, refreshing, maybe slightly bland. This was a decent beer, and the label picture is actually burnt into my retinas now. Try it when in Dallas or Ft. Worth.

Merry Christmas to All 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle by White Mountain

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Kennebunkport Pumpkin Ale -- Bunny Guest Post

Bunny at bunnygoround and your humble Beer Drinker go way back, all the way back to the beginning of October this year. It was just after I made this culinary masterpiece that Bunny jumped in and assaulted me for not using pecans. This chick has so much time on her hands that she prepared a cook-off rebuttal for the Cooking Asshole to publish. Since then, we've made up, and I learned that Bunny also has a drinking, um, interest. Without further ado, here is her post...

A “downsized” economic statistic, I don’t have much more to do with my days than drink beer, tend my hemp patch and go to strip clubs. Ok, I don’t have a hemp patch. But I am a lover of good craft beers, and a damn fine writer, too, so if you need a freelance editor/proofer/writer, ask Beer Drinker to put you in touch. My rates are lower than a grandma’s bra-less boobs. Now, on to the review.

I was in Trader Joe’s recently and, on a whim, picked up a six-pack of Kennebunkport Pumpkin Ale from Kennebunkport Brewing Company. Had never heard of the company or the beer, but I have been jonesing for a good pumpkin ale with the onset of fall. Now for the back story.

I first had pumpkin ale two years ago on vacation in Wilmington, NC. I remember the meal well….an awesome burger and sweet potato fries. And that beer. Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale by Carolina Beer Company. Like drinking a pie. If loving that beer was wrong, I didn’t want to be right. The next two days, we drove to every Kroger in Wilmington to find it and, by God, I can home with three 6-packs.

I don’t know that I’ve had a pumpkin ale since then, and any contender had a lot to live up to. So, I picked up the Kennebunkport with somewhat high expectations. Dudes, not only were they dashed, they went up in flames.

I opened the bottle expecting my olfactory senses to be overwhelmed with the smell of pumpkin spicy goodness. Nothing. I took a deep sniff. Ok, maybe a wee bit of cinnamon? Molasses? I poured it into a glass—the color is pale amber, which may be the closest thing to pumpkin about this beer. It has an ok head, which disappears quickly—a plus for me because I am not a big fan of lots of carbonation.

Then, the taste. Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. Where’s the pumpkin? For some strange reason, the longer I drank, the more “pumpkin” I could taste, but this beer is weirdly bitter, with a weak pumpkin aftertaste at best. If I didn’t know better, I would have guessed I was drinking a domestic after eating a piece of pumpkin pie. Two hours ago.

Very disappointing for my first pumpkin ale after Cottonwood. I don’t know what kinda moose crack they’re smoking up there in Maine, but this beer sorta blows. I don’t think I can even finish the six-pack.

In an interesting footnote, the brewing company does not have a website, but I did find the following on the Internet: “Kennebunkport Brewing Company is also known as Federal Jack's. Along with Shipyard and Sea Dog, they are all under the same parent company. I wouldn't be surprised if these beers and Sea Dog’s are exactly the same.” Hmm. Let’s hope this beer is one they chose not to repackage. 2 out of 5.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Abita Abbey Ale

So you all probably know that the Phillies won the National League Pennant last night. Now we just need to see who they are going to beat in the World Series, which for this team is a mere formality. Personally, I don't give a rat's ass who they play, although I hate the Yankees much more than the Angels.

Also, if the Yankees win the ALCS, it looks like the Phillies will pick up some new fans. I saw this bumper sticker on the way to lunch yesterday. "I root for two teams... The Boston Red Sox and whoever beats the Yankees!"

One other quick observation: C.C. Sabathia is a fat fucker, and hardly looks like an elite athlete. But I guess it doesn't matter when you throw 95 mph with such ease for as long as necessary, amazing. But I'd love to see the Phillies push tubby around, return him to a similar performance as he had a few years back in the post-season, and shut up his fan club and all the people saying how awesome he is. Overrated!

Today I am celebrating the Phils World Series Championship (yes, early, duh, is there any doubt?) with Abita Abbey Ale brewed by Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs, Louisiana. This is another brewery that supports the monks and in this case they give St. Joseph's Abbey a quarter for each bottle sold. This is a dubbel which is "bottle aged to rapturous perfection". I damn well hope so since the Phils can only win the World Series once a year!

The aroma is pretty nice with lots of pears and bananas with some cloves and caramel, too. The flavors start out sweet; actually they middle and end pretty sweet, too. You will taste lots of fruits up front starting with bananas and pears and maybe a little apple as well. Some bready and spicy flavors follow that up. Yes we're still sweet. Creamy and carbonated feeling in the mouth, maybe a bit overdone carbonation-wise. By the end of big 22, and with a little warming, the 8% alcohol comes out of hiding. You finish with a boozy aftertaste accompanied by a strange fruitiness, like super-ripe bananas. In general the flavors were good, but they could have complemented one another a little better. Up to you!

Philadelphia Phillies Mr Potato Head

Nike New York Yankees Navy Blue Practice T-shirt


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Deep Cover Brown Ale

I'm still getting over the Eagles pathetic performance and loss to the Raiders on Sunday. And it's not like the Raiders had a super-stud day and put up 45 points. Nope 13-9 final score. Three field goals just doesn't cut it!

One interesting twist with this game was that one of my sister's friends and a kid from our home town plays for the Raiders in a specialty role. However, in that role, fuck ups are very noticeable and can potentially cost points. So that's the dilemna. Do I straight up root for the Eagles blindly? Should I proactively root for this kid to make a mistake that costs his team points, but could cost him his job, too? That's what I'd do if I didn't have any connection at all. Well, for me, I guess the only way you pick town over your team is if you're financially linked, which I'm not. (Then some more rationalization.) Besides, he's eight years younger and I really don't know him anyway, although I used to have a huge crush on his sister. Does that count?

I just started drinking Deep Cover Brown Ale brewed by Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont, Colorado. The label says it was bottled 10/08/08 so over a year ago. Lots of chocolate and caramel on the nose, a rich and sweet aroma. The body is not nearly as thick as the aroma would lead you to believe. You will taste malty and caramel flavors to start, with a large amount of roasted flavors as well. Hops are definitely present and keep this beer nicely balanced and not overly sweet. Medium body, medium carbonation, and you finish with a hint of chocolate left on your palate. Nice beer, simple and tasty.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tire Bite Golden Ale

Today I'm going to tell you about two of the most genius fantasy football managerial performances of the past decade. Actually, they both happened in my league this past weekend. Go figure!

We'll start with case study #1 otherwise known as "me". I lost by 36 points, which didn't make me particularly happy. However, unlike some fantasy players, I can separate this from reality. My skills as a head coach are being called into question, though. Drew Brees has been on fire this year, and I've reaped the benefits of his performances. This week he was facing the #1 passing defense, the Giants; at the same time, my backup Matt Hasselbeck, who also performed splendidly in Brees' bye week, was facing the worst passing defense in the league. Yep, you guessed what I did--benched Brees for Hasselbeck. Brees had almost a career day, scored 38 fantasy points while Hasselbeck bombed, scoring zero fantasy points. Switch QB's and I win! Very good thing I can't be fired.

Genius manager #2 is a Cowboys fan, even in Fantasy. He has said he can't have any other team's players because rooting for anyone other than a Cowboy in fantasy would be a real-life conflict of interest (or some super-duper bullshit to that effect). His line-up of nine players this week had eight Cowboys on bye and one no-name WR that ended up getting him 13 points. Needless to say he was crushed, yet a man of principle (despite how stupid fake sports principles are). The end.

I am now drinking Tire Bite Golden Ale brewed by Flying Dog Brewery in Denver, Colorado and under special agreement Frederick, Maryland. As usual, there's a crazy dog on the label. This one has a severe underbite but has a good grasp of a bicycle tire in his teeth. Then the stupid dog, smart dog story. Speaking of "stupid", my kids think that is the "S" word, but were just cracking up laughing when this girl cat on Tom and Jerry addressed Tom as "Stupid" (go to 6:25 if you're too damn lazy to watch an entire classic).

Anyway, this beer has a floral and citrus aroma, nothing too much. Flavors are earthy, hoppy, floral with a good dose of lemon. The medium-upper level carbonation helps the hops provide a good bitter bite. Crisp, clean and refreshing, although there was a weird band-aid type flavor left for an aftertaste. Strange to say the least. Anyway, decent beer.

Band-Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages, Variety Pack, 280-Count Assorted Sizes (Pack of 2)


Live Aid (4 Disc Set)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Shitty Team -- Even Shittier Beer -- Miss Suzie Guest Post

Today another guest reviewer from a blog that I think is pretty funny. Now I don't know Miss Suzie from the Bringing Bitchy Back blog too well, but I do know her well enough to know that she doesn't wear underwear very often. For this contribution, my guess is that she was doing some drunk writing last night. I mean her precious Bengals are still in first place, despite their loss. (She could be a Titans fan, after all, which would warrant the complaining). That and questioning whether any beer really tastes great? She is obviously not a regular reader here or just doesn't trust me yet. Check out this bitch's site! Here is her post...

Ever since I was little, football has always been in the picture. Both of my brothers played in school, my family spent every Sunday huddled around the television set watching the games, and the Superbowl was almost as big as Christmas. When I was ten, I fell in love with Boomer Esiason and absolutely adored Ickey Woods and the Ickey shuffle -- not to mention their kickass jerseys. I knew I was destined to become a Cincinnati fan.

I lived through both lost Superbowls (both of which were to my mom's team), I have seen quarterbacks come and go, and witnessed firsthand our first loss of this season to Denver (with my Denver-loving brother sitting right next to me in the stands). So yes, you may say my team sucks, but they are my team. I am a loyal fan and every Sunday, you'll find me in the sports bar or huddled over a computer cheering my boys on with a Bud Light in hand.

Yes, Bud Light. It is fairly cheap, tastes like shit (does any beer really taste great), and gets the job done. With fewer calories than a lot of other beers, it doesn't totally kill my workouts and jogging. I've never been picky and have no desire to start now. So keep your fancy-smancy beer if you want and I'll stick to my shittiness.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sierra Nevada 2009 Anniversary Ale

Oh my God! We finally had a beautifully chilly windy morning today and the high for today is supposed to be only around 75 degrees. But if you're from anywhere but Florida, you've never seen anything like the over-reacting spectacle that happens here. The hats and gloves come out, scarves, news people talk hot chocolate, it's really unreal.

What did I do? I took the opportunity to open 15 windows in my house to air this place out from stale bacon, my kids' bedroom sties, the bathrooms, etc. Then I went for a long walk with my shorts and shirt on, being thankful I wasn't pouring sweat as I normally would be. That's about it for now, but the Phillies better get their asses in gear tonight and take back the NLCS lead. Now, beer!

This afternoon I'm drinking Sierra Nevada 2009 Anniversary Ale brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California. This is their 29th anniversary, and they brewed this IPA to celebrate. Congratulations!

Hoppy and citrus aroma, with a dose of caramel, too. The flavors start out with big grapefruit and lemon bitterness, with some grassy and light spiciness as well. Actually, the lemon flavors are giving a sourness that is slightly unpleasant. Bitter continues and continues with the bubbly carbonation helping it out, but then it subsides at the end. You are left with a crisp and dry finish. Not bad, but I prefer their Torpedo Extra IPA any day of the week.

Columbia Sportswear Men's Steens Mountain Fleece

Mastex Thermal Heat Cap

Dog Coat - Red Fleece Reflective Safety Jacket For Dogs - X-Large (XL)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale

So don't be shocked, but I won the Nobel Prize today. Seriously! I won one of the lesser-known Nobels, the one for gardening. Actually it's still an experimental Nobel, not dissimilar to the IOC adding golf to the Rio Olympics. Yes, seriously!

Now I've avoided this topic for a week or so because, well, I didn't want the Secret Service and FBI breathing down my neck again. But, dude, really? President Obama and Nobel Peace Prize are antonyms and should never go in the same sentence. Take that truth serum! I'm not saying he isn't for peace and he didn't wow the world with some slick talk, but really? Who believes this? Why didn't they give it to him for economics? He's talked a hell of a lot about that topic, to the point of delirium. Look, here's the scoop... I hope that President Obama de-nukes Iran, turns North Korea into a role-model country, hosts the first Israel-Palestinian Spring Break bash, and brings peace to some of these desperate countries in Africa. Actually, just one of those would win the Nobel Prize, but this guy has done nothing yet. This year's prize is bogus!

But back to me. I am now telling you that I planted two beautiful Gardenia trees today. I am also telling you that these trees are destined to have the most beautiful flowers and most intoxicating scents in the near future. That is why I won the Nobel in gardening, one of the newest of their door prizes. I'll probably win it next year, too!

The wife took the little one out for a few hours, so I have time for a beer I've been eying for a few days now. That is Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale brewed by Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, California. Yes, the gargoyle brewers with the long stories, and no, they didn't disappoint on this bottle. Something about how awesome they and this beer are, using phrases like "liquid dichotomy" and "sublimely sacrosanct ale". In the end, this beer was the Stone 11th Anniversary Ale, and since they and their fans have missed it for a few years, they decided to brew it again with this new deserving name.

Wow! Lots of hops, grapefruit, citrus on the nose. I'm guessing a big bite is coming shortly! Yep, big bitter bite on impact. There is a really nice grapefruit and pine profile going on here, and oily, too. Powerful, yet still silky smooth with a terrific feel in the mouth. Mmm. Creamy. The 8.7% alcohol is well masked, but does provide a warming sensation as the beer progresses. As the beer warms up just a little, a bit of burnt and smokey flavors become increasingly more noticeable. I didn't even taste those at the beginning, but having big 22 gives you plenty of time to savor all flavors. Bitter is left on your palate, cleansing, refreshing. I think this beer is really terrific. However, I must confess that I don't dig the smokey aspects (in any beer, really). You gotta check this out!

SALE: President Barrack Obama Full Vinyl Mask


A Beautiful Mind

Friday, October 16, 2009

Jomo Lager

The Phillies are on TV right now. They won game one of the NLCS yesterday and are beating the Dodgers 1-0 in game two so far today after six innings. Just another day at the office for the World Champions. BTW, I can't stand Manny Ramirez, in case you forgot.

What else is going on? I have another guest blogger surprise for you in the next week or so. I had a flight of wine shots on the way home at Total Wine. Everyone is healthy and alive. I guess it was a good week.

Friday night. Let's start with Jomo Lager brewed by Starr Hill Brewery in Crozet, Virginia. I'm not exactly sure what to expect here, but I guess I'll know soon enough.

Very light citrus aroma--you know there is a beer there, but barely. You start out with an earthy, dirty and grainy flavor profile. Not very good. Some bread and citrus also makes an appearance. Some hops are present to bitter up this beer. Medium carbonation, grainy aftertaste. Sorry but I did not like this beer!

Manny Ramirez Los Angeles Dodgers Replica Home Jersey

Naked Girls Smoking Weed: Best of 420 Girls

Facing Mount Kenya

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Motor Boat Ale

Guess what? I am a hero! My son came home sobbing yesterday because one of his friends threw the keychain and keys he's been playing with for weeks into a neighbor's tree. And they didn't come down and they were too far up for anyone to pursue easily. And the fire department doesn't respond to keys in the tree calls. If I could only get the damn cat next door to chase something up that tree. Anyway, back to me the hero.

I actually didn't have to do anything except say we'd try to get them in the next few days and give him a combination lock to play with. So I'm not really a hero, at least for that! That was just to get your attention. Ironically, in high school, a girl I was friends with wrote a "hero" essay about me because I didn't drink and get drunk with the rest of the losers in my class. I guess the tables have turned! I bet I can find that essay, too, given a few hours in my parents' house in PA. I'll let you know in the next 10 years or so.

Today I'm drinking Motor Boat Ale brewed by Sweetwater Brewing Company in Atlanta, Georgia. This was one of the beers that came back from my friend's business trip there and is not available in South Florida. I was introduced to this brewery with their 420 Extra Pale Ale about 6 weeks ago, and really enjoyed that one. The label says this is their version of an ESB and that these are built for speed and comfort. I guess that means pounding?

Bready with a citrus and hoppy aroma. This beer tastes like tea! Yes, like with a tea bag. No Shit! It's a little more complex than that, with orange and lemon flavors, plus grassy and earthy components. There is also an underlying spiciness. Some hops, light bitterness, medium-high carbonation. You end with a drier finish. Pretty cool and unique beer. I'd drink it again for sure!

Master Lock 5400D Select Access Key Storage Box with Set-Your-Own Combination Lock

New Balance Men's MR1224 Running Shoe

Excursion 4 Inflatable Boat Set

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Reb Ale

I decided to have some fun today, piecing together some of the funniest massive spams that I receive at work, in an attempt to make one cohesive message, or not. Let's see what I can come up with, with some commentary of course. You'd expect nothing less.


It`s Catherine again. Will you ever contact me? I made those nude pictures especially for you and I wont write to you again! But she did, 30 times that day and included her email, too. Then her colleagues got in touch with me with some tips and offers including...

Solutions for hot humping... Be the king of F-k hill!... Turn your meat battleship on!... Immense weapon of love... Grow Giant Snake in Pants!... Anyway, you should see me naked and in bed now!... Which is when I hit the financial jackpot...

I am Elizabeth Etters, a Christian. I have picked your email address randomly for an inheritance of USD Dollars. Please contact me for more details via her email address. You don't think I want you to steal that random prize from me do you? At that point, some Confucius types got in touch with me...

Every man would give up his brain for a decent size... Having a big penis is the most important out of all male qualities... If you had a gold fish, you would ask for a bigger instrument... whatever that means... Going for a big fishing is easy when you have a big bait in your pants... and my favorite... When your girl falls asleep without having a ramming by your rod it is time to think of special caplets for improving your malespirit! At which point the poet arrived...
Hang out with your wang out... You can have a mega tool like a horse or even mule...

This is your penis: 8--o
This is your penis on drugs: 8=====O

And someone who is not my friend asked me for help moving, the nerve... I would like to find a Mexican driver that speaks English with a large truck to move me and my furniture to Cabo San Lucas, MX. Hmmm. I'm not sure why a Mexican was requested. Who knows?

This crap could go on forever, but I'll stop here. Use your imagination.

Today I'm drinking Reb Ale brewed by Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company in Kiln, Mississippi. I've had the other two they bottle in the past few weeks, Southern Pecan and Indian Summer, in addition to one they don't bottle Jefferson Stout (in a bottle). The only one I'm missing from their five beers is another they don't bottle yet, Southern Gold. All around, trying these beers was great. My favorite was Jefferson Stout followed by Southern Pecan, with the other two tied for third (including the one I'm going to tell you about now).

Reb Ale seems to be dedicated to rebels. Rebels against England, Rebels against the Confederacy, and finally Rebels against that damn beer style guide. These guys say they created their own style here: Deep South Pale Ale.

OK. Light lemon and grassy aroma with a hint of wheat, but all scents were mostly subdued. The flavors are good, and there is this really unique cooked bread flavor that shows up in the beginning and at the end. You will taste some light citrus with some nutty elements as well. Earthy with just enough hops bite to keep this on the slightly bitter side of things. Good carbonation, refreshing, and again, you end with that nice cooked bread on your palate. Get this when you can!

Spam Musubi Sushi Rice Press #K5SPS

SPAM Classic, 12-Ounce Cans (Pack of 6 )

Kongzi Yanjiu = Kung-Tzu Yen Chiu = Studies on Confucius

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager

Seeing snow on the baseball field in Denver a few days ago made me think of a skiing trip I took to Colorado back when I was in high school. We stayed at my parents' timeshare in Keystone, Colorado where they go skiing almost every year. That was some of the best skiing I've ever experienced. And one of the most memorable parts of it was the outdoor heated pool at the condo. I mean, it was like 15 degrees outside and the pool was 80 degrees. Talk about a great use of electricity and being "green"! These guys had signs everywhere and rubber mats as far as you could see so that you didn't get your skin frozen stuck to the sidewalk around the pool. I can hear the 9-1-1 call now from the person who didn't heed their warnings.

Today I'm having a beer that I've had before but not for a very long time. I'm drinking Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager brewed by Joseph Huber Brewing Company in Monroe, Wisconsin, for Dixie Brewing Company in New Orleans, Louisiana. Now, Google didn't even find the website for Dixie, but they advertised it on their bottle. I'm not sure why as it's a nothing logo page that says "Coming Soon". I couldn't find anything for the Joseph Huber site except a third party review. Weird considering they are the second oldest continuous brewer in the US. Time to get some computer skilz!

The aroma is pretty strong, with caramel, dark fruits and lots of malt. You start out with a burnt flavor in your mouth, and the first thing that caught my attention was that this beer isn't nearly as rich and thick as I was expecting based on the aroma and trying to remember the last time I had it. The carbonation is fairly high, but once it subsides just a little bit, you will start to taste some coffee, nuttiness and light chocolate, too. You finish with some burnt and chocolate flavors left on your palate. Definitely a distinct flavor to this beer that will be hard to forget--maybe that is the "touch of magical New Orleans spirit" they are talking about on the label. Check it out.

Columbia Sportswear Women's Benton Springs Fleece

HeatMax Toastie Toes Foot Warmer (40 Pairs)

Under Armour® ColdGear® Mock Turtleneck