Saturday, February 28, 2009

Difficult Beers to Get and My Hit List

OK. This is it for the night, I think. I am sipping a few Sammys (coulda been Fat Tire, but that explanation will come later).

So a few of my friends from work and on other beer networks have given me a list of "must-drink beers". Well that's all fine and dandy except that many of the beers are not even available through best friend Total Wine & More.

Currently on my hit list are Fat Tire and 1554 by New Belgium Brewing Company and Victory Hop Wallop by Victory Brewing Company. I've also added the Goose Island beers to my list. I've had several but they are not available here in Florida. After my last business trip to Chicago, I suitcased an entire 12 pack but that is long, long gone. What else do you all recommend?

So the friend from work that has been pushing Fat Tire wrote to New Belgium asking for some guidance. And they did take the time for a prompt reply. While I can appreciate this reply...

"We are doing our best to expand at a rate that does not exceed our brewing capacity, and maintains our high quality standards. It is less important for us as employee-owners to sell tons of beer, and most important to make consistently great beer."

...that does nothing for me as for me, it's still an unavailable beer. The responder went on to say that strict laws forbid the shipment of beer to individuals and pointed my friend to this link.

So I devised a plan to get my hands on those beers. Ha ha ha. My sales team will be traveling around the country this year and as New Belgium responder suggested...

"If you ever find yourself flying to any of the territories that we distribute to, keep in mind that you can always haul our beer back – just make sure and properly secure it because it must be checked. "

...I will be asking them to bring me back my hit list (changing daily). I'm pretty sure that I can get Fat Tire and Goose Island and 1554 from our upcoming sales trip to Chicago. And Victory Hop Wallop in a future trip to DC (hope I don't need to wait til August when my 7 year old comes back from Philly). And considering my new plan, assuming cooperation on the part of my coworkers, I will find other local brews in Atlanta, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Dallas and a few other places. Got any suggestions for those?

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Dogfish Head Raison D'Être

And now for your French lesson of the day, courtesy of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware. Raison D'Être (had to go to About.com to figure out how to make the capital E with the French circumflex accent, jeez, talk about geek).

Well, I know my raison d'être is not going to fly a kite on a day with no wind. Just came back from that little experiment. Wow am I tired of running around a rocky desert trying to make that thing fly. So I guess I'll try this beer, which the label says is a deep mahogany ale brewed with Belgian beet sugars, green raisins & a sense of purpose. I guess that sense of purpose is the raison d'être.

Wow! Good flavors. The first thing I taste is some maple sugar and caramel type flavors. Definitely a strong alcohol presence too. If they didn't say raisins on the label, I might not have noticed them. But yes, raisin flavors are also present. The aroma is sweet, like candy apples or something, much sweeter than the actual taste as the alcohol is cutting that down quite a bit, quite a bit, quite a bit. Not so sure about the aftertaste, as everything starts to dwindle down to just an alcoholic taste in my mouth. Very cleansing beer, warms you up and makes you feel good.

It's got potential for me and I will have this again.

Calories in Beer

I was over on my buddy John LeMasney's Beer Critic blog a little bit ago, just checking stuff out. One line from his "Who I Am" introduction caught my attention and made me think.

John says "I'm interested in the caloric content of beer." To me it is interesting that it is interesting to a beer drinker the amount of calories a beer may have. Like that tongue twister?

Usually people that are interested in beer calories are buying into that 95 calorie, 3g carb (or whatever it is) marketing crap that Amstel Light, Bud Light, Miller Lite and the rest of them are pushing. Those guys are preying on people wanting to drink beer while saving a few calories. I mean, if 10 or 20 calories difference stops you from buying a better tasting beer, then you need to rethink your drinking strategy. Or maybe you need to do some jumping jacks between beers.

But I thought of an interesting twist to the beer calorie conversation, one not focused on the health and diet nuts. One of my coworkers came over one weekend to watch the game. Not sure what game but the Philadelphia team probably won. He brought a six pack of Sam Adams Light with him, and was clearly interested in the caloric content of that beer. You see, my friend is a diabetic and before consuming 2 or 3 of the beers, he needed to set up his insulin pump to account for the consumption.

You know, it took us like 30 minutes online to find out how many calories one bottle had? It wasn't on the label and not easily found using Google, etc.

So I thought that was an interesting and clever take on the caloric content of beer, and a real life situation for when it might come in handy. I put clever only because another guy I work with said that, and he always gives me shit because he thinks all Cornell University grads are like Andy from The Office.

What do you think? Calorie or not to calorie?

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Friday, February 27, 2009

TommyKnocker Maple Nut Brown Ale

Dear (Beer) Diary. I have so much to tell you this weekend. So much is going on in my life. But you're going to need to wait on me, please.

Stopped by Total Wine on the way home from work for my weekly selection. Gave my kid an empty six pack to keep him busy and his hands off all the breakables.

Do you know that it's impossible to be unhappy at Total Wine? I mean, I thought that maybe if you're having a really, really bad day, you could at least frown there. But nope, I was wrong. Usually angry bar fighters with head to toe tattoos were saying "after you" to me at the cash register. Strangers were smiling at me and sharing stories. Clerks didn't need to help get high-up bottles as everyone was willing to help.

Now, the first thing I did was go get a 12-pack of the Champagne of Beers, Miller High Life. My (usually non-beer) wife had a bottle of that last week at a friend's house and thinks it's God's gift to the world. Wow, that is some cheap beer: $6.49 for a 12-pack.

Then the good stuff started. I picked out 6 individual bottle from the rack to get some diversity. Last week, you'll probably recall, I made the mistake of picking up a 6-pack of an unknown beer to me. And I didn't like it! There are still 3 left in the garage. I guess I'll have some house guests to pawn it off on at some point.

One of my new bottles is TommyKnocker Maple Nut Brown Ale brewed by TommyKnocker Brewery & Pub in Idaho Springs, Colorado. They go all out on the label telling you about how Tommyknockers are mischievous elves from the 1800's. You see, you learn something every day--I thought it was a movie by Stephen King.

So first impression (and actually mostly the only impression). There is an overpowering amount of maple syrup flavor in this beer, making it extremely sweet. There are roasted nutty flavors and the beer has a good finish leaving a good taste in my mouth, but it's just too hard to get past the sweetnessssssssssssssss. The aroma is nice but that is NOT why I buy beer. Maybe this beer would do better with a solid meal. And it's too bad. There was a variety pack from this brewery on the shelf too that I was thinking about getting, but I guess I'll just get each one, one by one.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Wasn't sure what I was going to drink tonight, if anything. I stopped at Whole Foods on the way home to take a look. After being spoiled for a few weeks by Total Wine & More, I realized that Whole Foods' selection is not that great and is quite a bit more expensive. So I didn't buy anything there.

But the funniest thing about my trip to Whole Foods today (besides the two chicks outside with hairy legs and armpits) was in their single bottle section. Some genius was showing off their Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA in the row right next to Pabst Blue Ribbon (sorry no link, although I've had it a million times). Someone who made a mixed six pack was surely in for a disappointing partial batch (hint: the PBR).

Endure with me one more story... I used to go along with my girlfriend at the time, say 20 years or so ago, when she needed to run the beer cart at the local country club. This one town clown would always ask for a beer. Since I was new, I asked him what kind. Then the lecture. There is only one beer--and then he told me--PBR. No kidding. And that's why people move out of small rural towns.

Finally the beer, which I did eventually get during a purchasing stop at Publix, buying some Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, CA. This is my fifth review of their beers. As you recall, I liked the Porter and Stout. Not so much the Unfiltered Wheat or the Celebration Ale.

This is a great beer. Very hoppy and a crisp taste that lasts for a long time on your palate. You can taste all kinds of citrusy bits exploding around your mouth. The aroma is delicious too. It's a refreshing beer that balances sweet and bitter nicely, and I think this would make a great beer on a hot summer afternoon.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pilsner Urquell

No new American craft beers around the house and no time to stop by anywhere but Publix on the way home. But I did pick up some of one of my very favorites Liberty Ale. However, the Liberty Ale is gonna have to wait for my new one of the evening--Pilsner Urquell brewed by Pilsner Urquell, A.S., PLZEN/PILSEN, CZECH REPUBLIC. I left the capitals because that's what my bottle's label has and I have no idea what to do with the crazy accents and too many consonants in a row.

Anyway, this beer is very flavorful and smooth. There are definitely hops flavors bringing on some bitterness, but for sure you taste other things too. There are some caramel-like and nutty flavors and even the aroma is very nice, like a sweet subtle flower (did I say that?). Anyway, the aroma I wasn't expecting, so pardon the brief wuss-out. And the beer in general, I was expecting much less. This is a very nice brew.

One last comment is that I really need to find out how to pronounce the PLZ together. To me that looks like an airport code identifier. Just wondering.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Porters' Pub

What is the only bar in Easton, PA open after 6pm on Christmas Eve? That would be Porters' Pub on Northampton Street. Well, at least that's the way it was in the mid-1990's.

When I lived in NY, I used to go down to my Aunt and Uncle's house in Easton on Christmas Eve to spend an extra night with part of my family. And when my aunt, my grandmother and my 3 cousins went to church, my uncle and I went to the bar. Now we never for 3 years in a row went right to Porters' Pub. That wasn't one of my uncle's watering holes. Instead, each year, we drove around to all his closed places only to end up at Porters' Pub.

And I really liked Porters' Pub. They have a great beer selection. They even have a club that earns you an engraved pewter mug to hang on the ceiling after you've tried so many of their beers. I have an account, so if you work there, tell me how I can see where I stand after 3 years.

I couldn't tell you one beer I had there. My uncle fell in love with Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome one year and bought every bottle they had (which I proceeded to help drink over the next 3 days). One year, a guy came in a little dirty and sat down next to me. He was a little shaggy in the hair, but so was I so I asked him how he was doing. Mistake. He said, "my brother and I got into a fight on our front lawn and my mom kicked me out of the house" so I moved stools. Told him Merry Christmas on the way out.

We never stayed til closing time. We had the after-church party at our good friend's house. More beer. Quoits (and not as Wikipedia calls in a lawn game) on the heated (inside) front porch on zero degree nights. Great memories.

Any of you ever been to Porters' Pub? It's THE place to go on Christmas Eve.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Stone Ruination IPA

Here's another beer recommended to me by the Beer Critic, John LeMasney. He was spot on with his recommendation of Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout, so I'm hoping for another winner.

My computer took forever to boot tonight, some security scan that was slowing all of everything down, then these dudes at work (don't comment guys) asking for something business related. Wow! So I've already had half of my big 22 Oz. bottle of Stone Ruination IPA India Pale Ale brewed by Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, CA.

I've had a bit of a run with great IPA's recently. First there was Stone IPA. Then there was Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, which I ultimately flipped a coin and picked the Stone IPA as a winner between the two.

Now a cousin to the Stone IPA, but at least second cousins, once removed, is this guy. I couldn't wait to open the bottle, with its great story about ruining my palate for any other beers. And if I'm a hop guy, I can appreciate it, etc. Long story, but I guess you're getting used to that here.

Strong and powerful aroma, very alcoholic and yet floral at the same time. The hops taste is double, triple that of the other two above, so I see what they mean when they are suggesting that they are overdoing it. But then the extreme bitter flavors calm down a bit and leave a really nice aftertaste on the palate. Hops, hops, hops. What more can I say about this beer? Well, it is extremely flavorful and a crisp, smooth beer. And now that the bottle is gone, there is a bit of an alcohol and tangy flavor left in my mouth.

Great to try, but I think I'll stick with slightly less hoppy ones, although I can certainly see how this would grow on you.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Peroni Nastro Azzurro

If you've ever been to this website before, you probably noticed a lot of changes to the way it looks. You may even wonder if it's the same blog--of course, that is, until you get a taste of the typical sarcasm.

Apparently I was using a "Classic Template" in Blogger and that allowed me to either become an HTML guru, rely on genius friends or just drink and be happy. But those genius friends started being less genius and talking about gadgets and how easy everything is. But I swear I clicked every single option possible in that classic template and found nothing. So I finally put down the bottle, did some Google searches, and watched a 1:30 video on YouTube that told me I needed to upgrade to a new template. Voila, here it is. I should've done that earlier on and not suffered like the time I tried to put together my son's tricycle without the instructions.

So now, you can see a decent posting archive and can subscribe to receive email updates down the right-hand side. And even a blog search box at the top. Read on, fellow beerites.

On to what's important. In a nearly complete reversal of my Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout from yesterday, I bring you Peroni Nastro Azzurro, a lager brewed by SpA Birra Peroni in Rome, Italy. Apparently, this brand became part of the SABMiller family in 2003. What a shocker!

The only other times I remember having this beer are when I lived in New York and went out a few times to some decent restaurants in Little Italy. I couldn't name one of those restaurants, but I remember getting ripped off on the bill with one of them charging like $100 for the seafood appetizer; and in another, a guy playing the accordion wouldn't leave us the hell alone. But I did have beer, so all was good.

This beer has a really unique flavor. The label says it has "an unmistakable touch of Italian style" so that could be it. I am pretty sure that is a load of marketing BS, but I can't quite put my palate on it. Very refreshing, clean taste. The flavors last in your mouth for a long time. Well, I do like it. Is it memorable? Probably. A favorite? I will not go that far. Worth a taste here and there, which is about every decade or so for me at this point, considering the last time I had it.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

WTF Post

So I've heard that a bunch of states are looking to raise money from their budget shortfalls by imposing a bigger beer tax. I'm not gonna get almighty and preachy Obama on you guys, but there are 50 other vices to tax before beer. Start with cigarettes, cigars, snuff, titty-bars, marijuana houses (San Francisco only), casinos and gambling places, whore houses (Vegas, legally), etc. (since I don't want to get my ass kicked, I'll stop there).

Maybe we should ask a true expert, Cliff Clavin, on how he feels about it. I'll bet you $100 we get an answer.

My beer is already too expensive so let's figure out how to tax the elderly and disadvantaged and less fortunate among us before resorting to extreme measures. Of course I am just joking. Jim Koch, call me. I have some ideas.

Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout

One of my friends from the Aleuminati (damn I have a hard time remembering how to spell that, could be the beer), John LeMasney, who also writes the BeerCritic blog, asked me my impressions on a few beers. One of them was Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout by Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver, CO.

So I picked up a bottle, a big 22 Oz. bottle, at Total Wine on the way home from work last night. Great recommendation, great beer. What a great guy John is! Let's see about the other two he suggested :)

This beer has a kick-butt aroma of chocolate and maybe burnt or roasted nuts of some kind. The taste is unbelievable. Rich chocolate and at the same time spicy cinnamon. Very smooth and a bit frothy, whatever that means. I really like that it is a bit sweet as that mostly masks a high 9.5% alc/vol. Don't get me wrong, that alcohol flavor is great, but being subtly hidden from view is also great.

Now, the Yeti, on the other hand. I'm pretty sure most of you know that isn't real. And sorry to the rest of you. The Yeti is in the same box as the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.

Friends, try this beer. You will like it!

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McGovern's Oatmeal Stout

On tap (not really "on tap" but in a bottle) for today is McGovern's Oatmeal Stout brewed by Belfast Bay Brewing Co. in Portland, ME.

Let's get right to the beer. I am an Oatmeal Stout fan so was expecting a lot more from this beer. I am actually drinking my second to give it a chance to grow on me. Nope. Not a winner.

This is an extremely bitter beer and I don't taste any of the characteristics of a great oatmeal stout. There is a very small hint of chocolate that comes through, but what I really taste are bitter coffee type flavors--I guess I should've put two Splendas in it instead of just one. On top of the bitterness, it's pretty flat. And the aftertaste reminds me of my days working in the science lab, with a chemical and metal taste (and aroma). I guess this is what they meant by don't drink the denatured alcohol.

Time to move on.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

Stopped by my favorite place on the way home and picked up a few more of their 1000 beers. Again, I must say the workers in the Pembroke Pines store were terrific--not with me as I was good--but with everyone that asked a crazy ridiculous question while I was there.

First for tonight. A gift that keeps on giving (go to 2:50 if you're impatient). Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware. Now I say it keeps on giving because after you take a sip of this beer, the hoppy bite keeps coming back for more (like that boxer who is getting his ass kicked but keeps getting up off the canvas for a few more punches). The hops in this are tremendous and I can understand why this would be the favorite of anyone. The aroma is also very citrusy and fresh. For some reason I feel like I am tasting a bouquet of flowers. Crisp and refreshing but I think a normal person would not drink more than two of these in a row. Maybe that's the point.

For me, I like the Stone IPA I had last week a little bit better. But it was like as close as the Bobby Flay Throwdown results are every week--usually a coin flip. I must say that both are tremendous India Pale Ales.

And wow, my second Iron Chef comment (for those of you not up to date on your Iron Chefs, Bobby Flay is one too--click the link and you can see him there too). Morimoto was the other one.

Bobby Flay's Grill It!

Battle of the Masters--Iron Chef America

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Stella Artois

Ok. First a story about a trip to Belgium--it's possible I told this before. Maybe there's a lesson in this. On a train from Paris to Amsterdam, my train stopped in Brussels. I took a leak in the train station bathroom and on the way out the lady asked for 10 francs. I couldn't believe it, but paid her. Afterward it was concluded she wanted 10 Belgian francs, and my disbelief was the French franc conversion. So $1.40 v. $0.20 to pee was huge. Thank God these dudes have Euros now. And Amsterdam was cool. Duh.

Stella Artois brewed by Stella Artois Brewery is billed as Belgium's original beer and a premium lager. Talk about old. It says since 1366 on the label. Compare that to bragging rights here in the States.

I like this beer about as much as Stanley Kowalski liked his Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire. Stella! I just don't see why people like this. It's very bland. It tastes like there is milk mixed in with it. And I can't believe I just bought a 12-pack of it. It's not like I've never had this before and couldn't resist all the people building it up.

Just another sub-par boring lager. Time for something else.

Set of Two (2) Stella Artois 40 Cl. Glasses Chalices

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Yuengling Traditional Lager

I've been holding off on writing about this one for a while. Looking back, I reviewed the Yuengling Black & Tan several months ago. And I knew I did, but when I went looking for it in my archive I couldn't find it. I guess that's because I was an idiot and couldn't spell it correctly, I was putting the e before the u, and everyone knows how that phrase goes "U before E except after.." Oh wait, that's not how it goes. Anyway, I have it right now.

So the reason I was holding back on this beer is because it just seemed uncool to me. Mixed in with reviews of Delirium Tremens and Samuel Adams Cream Stout and Anchor Porter, it stuck out like a sore thumb. Not up to most of those cool craft beers. But wait, this is the Original Amber Beer from America's Oldest Brewery, D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. in Pottsville, PA. I need not make any excuses for them. This is beer.

Now as far as the flavor goes, nice smooth refreshing taste. This is the beer you want very cold on a hot afternoon in your backyard sitting on your lawn chair. This beer is very sentimental to me, being from PA. It's a staple there of parties and hanging out. Oh the Drinking Jenga games we played. So yes, it's a simple beer, but it is good and quality and always priced well.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Smithwick's Imported Irish Ale

From the makers of Guinness, one of my all time favorites, comes a big disappointment. That would be Smithwick's Irish Ale from E. Smithwick & Sons Ltd. at the brewery at St. Francis Abbey in Kilkenny, Ireland. (After all of that, I am very confused who and where and what brewer, etc.) Another Diageo brand.

Their website says this beer won five gold medals in the famous Monde Selection Beer Tasting Competition. Wow! I guess that is impressive. Was there another Varsity beer competition that day, because I'd like to taste the #2 and #3 beers from each of those years and add my two cents.

Anyway, not a bad beer. Some good flavors but the beer seems a bit flat. Maybe satisfying yet still boring. I guess there's a bit of nutty or toasted flavors and aroma, but this is a second tier beer at best.

Go for something better.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Brooklyn Lager

First, I heard on 93 Rock here in Miami on the way home something about the Best Damn Brew Review, and then something about a preview today at Total Wine (my branch), but shit I can't make either. Another time I guess. Nothing better than sampling beers. 93 Rock and Total Wine I am figuring are sponsors of the event. I hope that Store Manager Jerry Felinczak Jr. will have other events and invite me. I hope especially as I am becoming their biggest fan and regularist customer.

Anyway, I am remanded to my home for the night. So I may as well try this Brooklyn Lager from the Brooklyn Brewery that's alone in the fridge. I've had it many times when living in New York, but none recently.

Pleasant beer, not too thick and pretty refreshing. Good hops which are not overwhelming (which is not necessarily a bad thing), crisp, fresh scent. The label says Pre-Prohibition Style, so I guess it's like great-great grandpa used to make in his cellar for his gambling buddies. Whatever, that's what pre-prohibition drums up in my mind. Am I to assume that there's a post-prohibition style? No way, these dudes never stopped brewing the stuff in the first place. That's what I think. No proof, one way or the other.

Update 8/13/2010: The Brooklyn Brewery was kind enough to send me the nutritional content for this beer. 5.2% ABV; Per 12 fl. oz.: 170 calories, 2.0g protein, 16.3g carbohydrates, 0.0g fat.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Morimoto Hazelnut Rogue Signature Ale

So there's this show that I watch all the time, Iron Chef--I'm sure you've heard of it. Well, I've been watching it since before they did Iron Chef America, all in Japanese with voice overs. Great show.

To my surprise, in the beer aisle, was a Rogue beer with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto on the label. No way? Way. Apparently Chef Morimoto partnered with Rogue on a couple of their beers. So here I am tonight with the Morimoto Hazelnut, a Rogue Signature Ale.

Another terrific beer from Rogue. You can for sure taste and smell the Hazelnut. It's like the Frangelico of beers. Being a beer guy, I prefer this to Frangelico, but both have that intense nutty flavor. Very nice dark beer, rich, creamy, and a really nice finish.

Battle of the Masters--Iron Chef America

Leonidas Belgian Chocolates: Gianduja -- Almond & Hazelnut Praliné

Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Charlie's Bar Somers Point

Just reminiscing about a great bar in Somers Point, NJ--Charlie's Bar. This is a family-friendly bar with great food, so I've been going there since I was young. This place has the best wings around, hands down.

During my college summers, I worked down on the Jersey Shore and I lived with my grandmother in Somers Point. I'd probably hit Charlie's at least once a week and sometimes many more. After golfing, for a night out, when my brothers and sisters visited, any excuse to get me some of those wings.

In addition to dozens of large screen TV's to catch all the Phillies games, Charlie's also has a pool table and shuffleboard and darts, although you better go at off-times to enjoy those--the place gets packed and it's hard to play then.

Once I went there with one of my friends after golfing when I was 20.5 years old. Of course, I still put down a couple. My grandmother asked me if I was drinking beer, and when I told her yes, well I got a lecture about my age.

On a better memory front, my coworkers used to ask me on the night shift if I'd like to get breakfast with them the next morning. Finally I said yes one morning. To my surprise, "breakfast" was code for a few drafts at Charlie's. The place opens at 7 am, so except for the super old whiskey dude on the end stool, we were usually the first ones in. A few beers, a few games of pool and then home. But no breakfast (at least no food).

I went with my brother and sister last August after a long time away (I live in Florida now). Same great wings and cold draft choices.

Next time you're in South Jersey, skip the vegetable stands and head straight for Charlie's.

One more thing... Cash only. But they conveniently have a cash machine if you forget.

Update 8/14/2010: I was at Charlie's two times in the past week. All of the pictures are from these visits. Same old place, same kick-ass wings, same cash only, same Phillies always winning. Beer taps seem the same too with nothing notable. What's new? Well, first of all, the cash machine was not working. According to my brother, that's two times in a row. There is no pool table or darts anymore--they were sacrificed for a handful of tables. The hostess station is now right at the entrance, encroaching on the defunct phone booth--big improvement from the hostess being in the servers' path from the kitchen, which it always had been.

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Stone IPA India Pale Ale

From exactly the opposite end of the planet from my Rogue Chocolate Stout, I am now drinking a Stone IPA brewed by Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, CA.

Now this is one beer that has some hops to it. Wow! Crisp, refreshing, a little bitter. The aroma is also great, hard to get away from all that hoppy goodness. This is certainly a beer to remember, and I'm thinking it's likely this will end up in my Best Sixer. I want a variety there and so far I'm a bit heavy on the stouts.

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Rogue Chocolate Stout

My wife just left with the kids to go to a neighbor's house, and she wanted to take some beers with her because she's always going there empty-handed. So on came the ensuing argument--of course I didn't want her to take any to the ad hoc party that I wasn't even attending. Then when I gave her 3 beers from the garage, a few Yeunglings and a Dos Equis, she was pissed that I gave her the warm ones. But I only had my Rogue Chocolate Stout and a few other special ones that I picked up yesterday at Total Wine in the fridge. So glad that is past.

I had almost forgotten about Rogue and all their great beers until recently. My roommates and I used to get all the Rogue beers from this specialty distributor in Yonkers, NY when I lived there. We tried every one we could, and saved each of the cool bottles--I'm betting we had like 20 different ones lined up on the kitchen counter if memory serves me right.

Someone mentioned the Rogue beers to me a few months ago, which was a great reminder to get back on the Rogue plan and start drinking them again. So for today, Rogue Chocolate Stout brewed by Rogue Ales in Newport, Oregon. I also opted for the 22 Oz. version. I mentioned the cool bottles, but what's also interesting is that they are very specific on the bottle about their ingredients and technical aspects of the beer.

My first impression is that this beer was given the exact right name. Wow, what a smooth chocolate flavor with each sip. It's like drinking a milk chocolate candy bar beer. It also has this creamy silky flavor and texture. And the aroma of chocolate and roasted nuts is awesome.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale

I've heard a lot about this brewery, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware, and the beers they've made. So I got me one of them--their Indian Brown Ale.

Not sure what a dogfish is. We used to catch catfish back in the day in Pennsylvania. And the Dogfish's Head, OK. Pretty cool name, one you don't forget. What does the "Indian" part mean? Anyone?

Well, because of the buying power of my new bestest friend and big toe, Total Wine & More, I picked up this beer this morning.

This is an awesome beer. Very thick and rich, lots of hoppy flavors, dark burnt aromas and tastes that linger long after taking a sip or two. I think that I'll have another. Tons of alcohol in this one. The label says 7.2% but that only adds to the experience and doesn't overwhelm this beer at all.

I'm definitely gonna go and get another different Dogfish Head soon.

Love (only because it's Valentine's Day).

The Beer Drinker.

Delirium Tremens

I mentioned earlier a trip to Total Wine & More. So here I am now with my first selection of the day--Delirium Tremens, brewed by the Huyghe Brewery in Melle/Ghent, Belgium.

As you may recall, I mentioned that I've had this beer before on a trip to the Peculier Pub in New York City. But this time, the difference is that I opted for the wine-sized 750mL bottle, all 25.4 Fl. Oz. of it instead of the undersized 11 Oz. version.

Cool Bottle. Cool name, although having delirium tremens for real sounds like a horror I'd like to skip. (Delirium tremens is Latin for "trembling madness", commonly nicknamed "the DTs", indicating a violent sickness induced by withdrawal after alcohol abuse.) Lovely.

I didn't really remember anything about my first drink of this guy 15 years or so ago, so let me drink a little now (actually I'm half done the bottle already while typing).

Very nice beer. Awesome aroma of citrus when I opened the cork (yeah, this thing has (had) a cork). Interestingly different. Very yeasty. There is a lot of citrus (and maybe cinnamon?) flavors that don't go away. For sure you know there is a lot of alcohol in it and the bottle says 8.5%. That would be my one complaint, as it's pretty overpowering.

I'm not going to say it isn't good, but in 1998 it was named Best Beer in the World. I guess the world is much different today--you probably noticed that too, if you were paying attention.

I gotta recover from drinking this whole thing now.

Valentine's Day

It's Valentine's Day, and guess what? I think I'm in love!

Total Wine & More (this one's my branch) opened up one its superstores in Pembroke Pines a few months ago, and I've been itching to go. Today was the day. These dudes have over 1000 beers on the shelf from every crazy part of the universe, every style, for anyone. I walked around for the better part of an hour with my cart and didn't even pick anything up at that point.

There was an extremely helpful lady working there asking if I needed any help whatsoever finding anything. She asked me twice and she was not being pushy at all--I guess she could read it on my drooling face that I was gonna buy something.

The prices were very reasonable and even beat the local grocery stores for the standard every day beers. Since they don't sell food too, Publix may still have a regular customer, especially when they have some terrific beer sales, but I think Total Wine will have my weekend and stock up business from now on.

I grabbed their Buying Guide on the way out too, with all of their beers listed on like 8 pages in some small print. This magazine would have rivaled a major metropolitan phone book (do they still make those in print?) if they'd have made the font size any bigger.

On the way out, while I was paying, the extremely awesome cashier took the time to let me know there was one Belgian style beer they had there that he had tried 2 days ago, and that it was the best beer he ever had. He also told me there were only 3 left on the shelf and in the store. Great salesmanship and you could tell he loved his job. On the downside, I didn't understand the name of the beer he was recommending--something to do with his Spanish accent and the dude behind me not liking the chit-chat waiting to pay for his bottle of Merlot. But I wrote the senors name down and will ask him next weekend.

So, look forward to some beer drinking and writing later.

Later.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout

Last one for tonight. Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout from the Old Brewery Tadcaster in N. Yorks, England. And this one's in the big bottle, 550ml. For those of you off the metric system still, 1 PT. 2.7 FL OZ. Get with the world--pounds and inches are nice if you're checking your weight and belt size, but the metric system is very natural once you give it a try.

I've been craving this beer since a long time coming. Today is the day.

What I think is super cool about this beer is that they don't put all the BS on the label, why you should like it, which colonial super-jerk they are celebrating, what coriander parts are included. Nothing but a cheap-ass paper label that is peeling off by the time the boat from England gets it to Miami. No advertised website, just the redemption value, Surgeon General's warning, a bar code and the bare bones basics. They are prepared to let the beer speak for itself.

I love the thick and rich flavor of this kick-ass beer. The big bottle gives me plenty of time to enjoy it and not have to pop a lighter out to open another one (or use the primitive paper way). A little snotty, but the chocolatey dark lovely richness, coupled with the aromas of coffee, double coupled with the roasted extinct-animal flesh rareness (I made that shit up). Jesus H., this is good.

Possibly promoted to a Favorite Sixer, although the large bottle I have doesn't quite occupy a normal sixer holder.

What do you think?

Rising Moon Spring Ale

Blue Moon Brewing Co. is apparently ready to call it a Winter. Thank God, I'm glad that's over! Actually "Winter" in South Florida equals about 3 nights per year that end up in the high 30's. And out comes the full ski gear on Lincoln Road in South Beach. You've never ever seen anything quite like the wusses that live in Miami Beach on a cold night. Not everyone, but enough people to give a reputation.

So Rising Moon Spring Ale is part of a Seasonal Collection. Their label also calls this one Blue Moon Spring Ale (probably someone there at this brewery got fired for not being careful before sending to the printer), but you get the point here. They say you are to celebrate the end of winter with this beer. Finally something to celebrate, because I thought I was gonna do that last night with my Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, but then my date stood me up. Anyway, winter in South Florida is over if it ever even started. I've been growing tomatoes and cucumbers and pumpkins and squash since the beginning of January. Bite me, Pennsylvanians! I jest, I am one, just don't deal with their weather anymore.

Finally, the beer is very refreshing. Light, crisp, nice flavors. There is definitely a light lime taste (surprise! there is supposedly an infusion of fresh Kieffer lime leaves and lime peel). I am pleased this isn't like that Bud Lime crap that Anheuser Busch put out not too long ago. The lime is for sure, but it is subtle, and I think you should all try this one.

Brooklyn Brown Ale

Wow! I went over to Whole Foods on the way home from work this afternoon. It made me remember why I almost never go there--a bunch of crunchy hippies sitting in the corner eating tofu and organic vitamins and brushing their matted unwashed hair.

However, I said almost never. The one kick-ass thing that Whole Foods has is a beer selection. And great flowers (and considering tomorrow's Valentine's day, I got some for my beautiful wife). So I plugged my nose, walked straight past Tree-hugging Grandpa, and picked up a variety of great beer for the weekend.

To start the night, I cracked open a bottle of Brooklyn Brown Ale. I've had this beer a lot of times, but I don't think I can remember any times since I moved from NY to FL in 2002. Brooklyn Brewery in Utica, NY makes this fantastic beer. It's too bad that I never got the chance when I lived there to do the Brewery tour. Someday. This beer is very rich, and the coffee and chocolate flavors make it so delicious. There's a bit of a roasted nutty kind of aftertaste as well that I can certainly deal with. I had one right when I came home that was a little warm from the 30 minute ride, but the one I am drinking now, very cold, and much, much better that way.

For now, Brooklyn Brown Ale doesn't go into spots 4, 5 or 6 of my favorite sixer. It's great, but no Dr. J.

Update 8/13/2010: The Brooklyn Brewery was kind enough to send me the nutritional content for this beer. 5.6% ABV; Per 12 fl. oz.: 190 calories, 2.0g protein, 16.0g carbohydrates, 0.0g fat.

Brooklyn Brewery - Logo Zip Hoodie, Black, Medium

Tree Hugger Womens Long Sleeve T-shirt in Orange Sun by Paul Frank, Size: Small, Color: Orange Sun

Tree Hugger Mug 4011283

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blue Moon Belgian White

One more for tonight. I've been waiting for this guy to go on sale, as I know it does periodically at Publix. Blue Moon Belgian White, which is a Belgian-Style Wheat Ale made by Blue Moon Brewing Co. in Golden, Colorado. Now I am sure there can be two breweries in Golden, but when I hear that name I've gotta think that this is somehow linked to Coors. I guess Better Research, Better Writing (Papa John's). But not tonight. Is Coors somehow involved?

Blue Moon is a pretty good beer. And I like this style beer a lot. The only criticism I have is that you really feel the unfiltered part on your palate. That is a good thing but at some point it makes the beer taste a little dirty. Great citrus flavors, subtle orange. Just what the doctor ordered for tonight.

Ok. Bath time. Not for me, for my two monsters, who are asking me what "beard" I am drinking. Can't wait til they're 21 and buying me beers.

Best Sixer

As much as I love the Philadelphia 76ers, this is a post about what I would put into a mixed 6 pack if I had every beer available. I probably wont finish the 6 pack, and of course will ask for some final suggestions. This sixer is also highly subject to change. So as I promised yesterday, here goes:

Beer 1. Guinness Extra Stout

Beer 2. Samuel Adams Cream Stout (even ahead for now of my beloved Samuel Adams Boston Lager)

Beer 3. Liberty Ale

Beer 4, 5 and 6. Tell me what I should buy. Please.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

So not a good start to the night. I cracked open this Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.--terrible. What am I drinking? Gasoline? Yes, gasoline. This is the Hennessy of Beers--pretty wrapper but tastes horrible. If this were any more alcoholic tasting...

Seriously, I can't taste anything except extreme bitterness and alcohol (like the taste in your mouth the next day after an all night drinking binge).

So let's see. Is there anything to celebrate? Well, I only bought two of these in a mixed six pack, and I haven't opened the second one. I guess I'll save it for my next annoying house guest.

Going Rogue: An American Life--Sarah Palin

Razor Spark Scooter

Motorola RAZR V3 Unlocked Phone with Camera, and Video Player--International Version with No Warranty (Black)


Update 11/15/2009: After reading some of your comments below, I promised to do another review of this beer. I fulfilled that promise today.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Anchor Porter

After posting last night about Liberty Ale, one of the guys I met on another beer social network gave me some solicited feedback on my blog here. He suggested that I was being too vague in my descriptions of the beers I am writing about. Now this guy is an expert and a certified beer judge, and I am ALWAYS open to non-Anonymous critiques--I ask for them.

But while I totally see his point about being vague when I am saying that the beer is delicious and has a great smell, I also am not willing to take things to the extreme of beer snobbery as I see it. When we get to the "carmelized hoppy frothy head" type shit, well, that's exactly what my blog's introduction (see header under title) says I am against and will not become. I will try, however, as I agree it's important, to be a little more descriptive.

Most of all, I want to be entertaining, sarcastic, witty, but still provide value to my readers, all 0 of you (after subtracting my mom, the beer judge I begged to come over, and some geek from work that I asked how to make blogger recognize the domain I bought--the last one's a joke in case he is an actual reader).

So onward and upward. Anchor Porter. I am beginning to love this brewery, as each one gets better. Anchor Porter is a thick and rich beer, great flavors, and as I am turning a new half leaf, there seems to be something smokey and a little burned (but in a good way) to this. Even the after-burp tastes good. Really, this beer is pretty sweet (not sweet like, say, ice cream, but sweet like the Flyers scoring a goal against the Red Wings).

Tomorrow (or when I can, but soon): the best Sixer. I am not talking Dr. J Julius Erving here, but what I want to put in that empty six pack holder that Winn-Dixie liquor lets you fill up with whatever is on the shelf. (And BTW, what I do anyway at Publix even without the special holder, although I try to stay within one brewery or at least pick the most expensive holder and trade down, if you know what I mean). Anyway, I am Publix's best customer ever. And my kids have never broken anything incredibly, so (let me give them another link and plug) I think they find me valuable. Especially when I win Powerball tonight that I bought from their store--big payday for them too.

Ok. The long rant is over.

God Bless America: The Ultimate Patriotic Album

Timex Ironman T5J985 Unisex Trail Runner Bodylink Heart Rate Monitor Watch

Nikon Coolpix L20 10MP Digital Camera with 3.6 Optical Zoom and 3 inch LCD (Deep Red)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Liberty Ale

Another review on a beer from Anchor Brewing Co in San Francisco. I had an Anchor Steam not too long ago, but this one--Liberty Ale--is one of my all time favorites.

Very crisp taste, lots of great smells. I can't say enough about this beer. It has that kind of flavor that once you taste it, you wont forget it.

Liberty Ale was supposedly first brewed to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere's famous ride on April 18, 1975. I'm not saying I don't believe that, but whatever, the beer should be famous for its taste.

Nice job, again, Anchor Brewing Co.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss

Last new one for today--Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss, which is a Wheat Beer supposedly brewed with real Wisconsin Honey. Not sure how Wisconsin honey differs from honey from the rest of the country--they probably have to get that honey though in the 3 months of the year when Wisconsin is warm enough to support bee life, so I guess that makes it rarer there.

I recently gave a decent review for Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat. This one's a little different, although based on its name I expected to actually taste honey in the beer. Maybe if I close my eyes real hard, I can actually taste it. But considering how sweet honey is, I'd have liked to taste it a little more like in Dundee's Original Honey Brown Lager.

Ok. I like it. It's smooth, nice taste. But not what I was expecting--I wanted something that reflected the name and more HONEY.

Sorry, folks. I gotta go now and figure out how to get my speeding ticket dismissed. Supposedly going 60 in a 45 last Monday. Luckily, Florida has an entire legal practice dedicated to helping innocents like me. Check out The Ticket Clinic.

Beer me!

Lavender Honey French Provence Mas des Abeilles all natural, 250 g 8.8 oz

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Radar Detector Car Dash and Windshield Mount

Dos Equis Cerveza Lager Especial

The Old Bald Guy couldn't have said it better. Mexico. I've been to Mexico a few times, and have thoroughly enjoyed each and every minute there. First in Cozumel, we stayed at El Cozumeleno; then several years later, at the Riu Palace Las Americas in Cancun. Both were all-inclusive hotel resorts, so I'm thinking you're getting my drift. If not, I'll spell it out--all the beer and tequila you can drink (as well as food, if you are interested.)

So I am pretty sure, if I remember correctly, that El Cozumeleno served Dos Equis as its main tap beer, so I had A LOT. The Riu chain served Corona though, so I guess I'll get back to that.

Dos Equis is brewed in Monterrey, Mexico by Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma S.A. de C.V. If you had to equate this beer with one from the US, this is the Miller Light of Mexico. It's funny that Miller and Dos Equis aren't both owned yet by the same beer behemoth SABMiller.

Finally, the taste. Decent fare, pretty light lager, smooth, good taste. In my opinion, it's a notch above the mass produced beers of the US because of the flavor.

By the way, Dos Equis means Two X's, in case your Spandicapped. And that's your Spanish lesson for the day. I'm guessing that I'll have 8 or 10 more lessons today--goes with the territory for a guy from Pennsylvania who hasn't learned Spanish after being married to a Colombian woman for 12 years. Pray for me!

Coors Light

I bet you didn't think that Coors Light was going to follow those two very dark beers from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., did you? Well, while I'm coming down off of my high, I'm going to have a Silver Bullet from Coors Brewing Co. in Golden, Colorado. No Banquet Beer today. We'll leave that for another day.

First thing I need to do is check and make sure the mountains on the bottle are blue, so I know it's as cold as the Rockies (BTW, I hate the Colorado Rockies; did I mention that the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series?)The turning blue mountains are just the latest gimmick by these guys, but yep, they are blue and yep, it's cold.

Everyone has had this beer before, along with Bud Light and Miller Light, so don't be shocked if you don't hear anything here that you haven't tasted for yourself. To me, they are all pretty much the same. So buy whichever one is on sale when you need to make a mass party purchase.

For me, this is the beer that you can drink all day in the sun. Perfect for the golf course, the beach, the pool, the party at the local park. And everyone will drink it. It is refreshing and especially so on a hot day. I think that these guys get a bum rap though as mass produced watered down beer. Coors Light certainly doesn't taste like water and has a decent flavor. And trust me, there are hundreds of cheaper and suckier beers than this. I've had most of those too--it's what we survived on in college, if you need a reminder. So give Coors Light a break. Are there better beers? No doubt. Worse? No double doubt.

Sierra Nevada Stout

So I just started the afternoon with a Sierra Nevada Porter and was very pleased with that choice. Now I am moving on to the Sierra Nevada Stout, hoping for a super beer.

Wow! Let me take another bite of this Stout. This is an extremely thick beer. Reminds me a bit of Guinness, which I also love. Great roasted and chocolate-like flavors. This is the kind of beer that I imagine monks drink during their fasting months. This could sustain a person who is not actually eating food. Hmmm. That gives me an idea.

Well, it seems that Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is becoming one of my favorites. Two great beers in a row. According to their packaging, these guys have a taproom and restaurant in Chico where you can try their Pale Ale, Porter, Stout and Wheat; and seasonally their Pale Bock, Summerfest, Celebration Ale (which I did just see at the store, so gotta go get me some), and Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale. Visiting sounds like a plan, although I'm not sure when I'm going to get to California next.

Sierra Nevada Porter

I've been priming myself all week for today. I'm going to try to do a marathon of drinking, reviewing, commenting, more drinking. Let's kick things off with a Sierra Nevada Porter, made by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, CA.

I was a little harsh on a previous Sierra Nevada beer--their Wheat. So I am hoping for a rebound.

Ahh. Now that's what I am talking about! Very dark and rich, great taste and the flavor sticks around long after you take a sip. Even the aroma is terrific. Definitely a recommended brew for Sierra Nevada.

I'm now ready to dive right in and try the Sierra Nevada Stout. Can it top the Porter? We shall see.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat

Moving right along, as I need to kill the flavor of that Harpoon UFO, I cracked open a Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat from the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company in Chippewa Falls and Milwaukee, WI. Wow, that is a hard name, but apparently they've been making this beer For Five Generations since 1867. Well at least they've been brewing since then, not sure about this Wheat.

Apparently they have what's called the Leinie Lodge too for regulars, kind've a club if I've read their site correctly. I guess next time I'm in town I'll look them up.

As for the beer, this one kicks the Harpoon's ass, and I can see why they call themselves (I'm sure others have said it too) the Pride of Chippewa Falls, WI. Very nice flavors, smooth taste and finish, and I can taste a bit of citrus in there. Those flavors are just not overwhelming.

One other comment. Apparently there's 4.9% alc/vol in this beer and to me it seems double that. You can really taste the alcohol in this, and usually that's a big negative, but for this one it's just right with the flavors. The only negative was that when I went to bed last night, my wife told me I smelled like beer, even after brushing my teeth and rinsing with mouthwash. I blamed the mouthwash, of course.

Harpoon Hefeweizen Unfiltered Wheat Beer

The label calls this Harpoon's UFO or UnFiltered Offering. Harpoon Brewery in either Boston or Windsor, VT made this one. It's decent at best but has a bit of a bitter taste to it. Whatever the taste is, I feel like there is too much lemon in there (even if it's not actually lemon). Who knows?

In other news, I joined a couple of social beer networks today to try to get some more ideas and input. The two main ones are Democracy's Drink and Aleuminati. I've already gotten valuable suggestions from a few of their membership, including their site creators, and do appreciate it.

Well, end of the line for this UFO. I guess you can chalk it up to being a mirage or some secret government aircraft--not because it disappeared rapidly, but rather because UFO's don't really exist and Harpoon should make that happen with this one.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Dundee Original Honey Brown Lager

There's a honey bee holding a mug of beer and playing the drum on the label. That's not the way I remember this beer from my past. But I do have fond memories of liking the honey flavor in it.

I remember drinking this beer often when I lived in NY. Makes sense I guess considering Dundee Brewing Company is in Rochester. One time sticks out in my mind. We used to go skiing a lot when I lived there and my roommates and I went up to Gore Mountain in upstate NY a handful of times. Dive hotel, dive bars that closed at 10pm, but we still got our drink on a few times. One time we went to this bar that had Honey Brown on tap, excellent. And their special was to have them fill this gallon jug with the Honey Brown, and we indulged a few too many times. Coolest thing was that we got to keep the jug, which was decorated with the Honey Brown logo. That's around this house somewhere I think. Oh the memories, and the skiing here in South Florida sucks, so that's all I have for now.

The beer. Honey. The honey gives this beer a really sweet and enjoyable taste, very smooth and yes, I think I'll have another. I guess I will ask for it on tap too if I ever get back to NY.

Wedderspoon Raw Organic Organic Manuka Honey Active 16+, 17.6-Ounce Jar

Ray Ban RB 2132 New Wayfarer Sunglasses

Certified Genuine Honey Amber and Sterling Silver Flaming Sun Hook Earrings

Aguila Pilsener

Here's another one from South America--Aguila, which is a Pilsener from Colombia brewed by Bavaria SA in Barranquilla.

So I am married to a Colombian woman, which facilitated my trying this beer for the first time. Before I got married (well before I met my wife at least), I thought that the only Colombian export was cocaine (I hope you all have a slight sense of humor). These are the facts as I remember them--mostly right I am sure but don't call me on any slight wrongness. My wife's family was friends with some pilots that regularly flew in and out of the New York Area. These pilots lived in Colombia, but flew via Avianca to NY then out of Teterboro around the world. The person they were shuffling around the globe in his private jet was a Colombian businessman who actually owned Avianca and Bavaria brewery. So these pilots had some Aguila in their lounge at Teterboro, and I usually had a few with them when they weren't flying. (BTW, I got to go on that private jet in the hangar. Very awesome. "Parked" right next to Bill Cosby's jet).

I know that was a painful story to hear just to know that I think this is a very nice beer. Apparently the elites of Colombia, according to my wife and her friends, prefer Club Colombia. But not being a Colombian or a snob, I prefer this one. Although I do prefer darker beers, this is a refreshing beer that you can drink several of and still enjoy. Nice flavor, not too watery.

The End. There will probably be more tonight--I'm just feeling it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pipeline Porter

DiversityDave told me a few weeks ago to go get me some Pipeline Porter, so I did. This one was brewed by Kona Brewery in Portsmouth, NH for their brewery in Kona, Hawaii, so I am guessing they try to duplicate the beer stateside.

This is a very thick and rich beer made with Kona coffee, which you can clearly taste. Very nice texture and aftertaste. The label says it has a Limited Release--probably limited by when they can stop selling it. I do like it and hope that I can drink it again before they take it off the shelves at Publix.

So what's the deal now? Am I caffeinated and drinking the downer alcohol at the same time?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Key West Southernmost Wheat Ale

Let's first start with some criticism and sarcasm, earned or not. Key West Southernmost Wheat is not made in Key West (despite the picture of a barrel stating so, 90 miles to Cuba). It is actually brewed by Florida Beer Company in Melbourne, FL. Now I am no Mapquest or anything, but I am pretty sure Melbourne is pretty close to Orlando in Central Florida which makes my home 200 miles more Southernmost than this brewery with still 200 miles more to go from my house to Key West. I am pretty sure that there has to be someone else making a Wheat between there and Key West.

Technicalities aside, this beer is pretty damn good. You might say because you've been reading my stuff that I am partial to these Belgian style Wheat Ales. Well, maybe, but while this has some of the same spicy flavors, you can definitely taste the lime flavors in it, the ones they are bragging about on the label. They say Key Limes, but whatever, I can't taste that specific. Trivia: there was a battle not too long ago to make Key Limes the state fruit, but I can't remember really what happened if anything or even what the Florida state fruit was or is anyway. Or maybe this was just some BS topic that Paul and Young Ron were talking about on their morning show. Who knows? Anyone?

So great beer--light, refreshing, flavorful, not Southernmost.

Later.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Samuel Adams Black Lager

The Super Bowl is just a few hours away. Was going to have a party and cook a turkey that's been in my freezer since around Thanksgiving, but that didn't happen. So I am getting primed for the game. Not sure who I am rooting for yet. Cardinals are the underdog, but I am pissed they got it all together and beat my Eagles two weeks ago. I should be a Steelers fan as I grew up in central Pennsylvania just a few hours from there, and all the locals were fans, but my family is from Philly and I am a die hard Philadelphia sports fan.

Sam Adams Black Lager is another from the Brewmaster's Collection. It's OK but certainly not the best of the bunch. Nothing like my beloved Sam Adams Cream Stout and the original Boston Lager (both of which I will be drinking more of later). The label says I should be drinking it with barbeque ribs--well I think I can make my evaluation without that.

It is a dark brew. It is also quite sweet and very smooth. I guess it's just not my favorite, and the standard I have for Sam Adams is very high. This beer beats tons of other dark beers, kicks their asses. But what I am trying to say is try it. You will like it and probably have more at some point in your life. I doubt this beer will be your #1 any time soon, but that doesn't mean it's not great.

Go Steelers, I guess.

Presidente Cerveza Pilsener Beer

Well, this may begin my run on the massive amounts of beers from Latin and South America available here in South Florida. One of the old standards here in my Miramar neighborhood is Presidente, which is a beer brewed in the Dominican Republic and imported by Miller.

Very cheap at the store, always available, you can find this at most parties (along with Corona) around this area. This beer is not very good, and unless it's very cold it's almost undrinkable except in the most dire of beer deficit circumstances. If it's the last 12 pack in the grocery store an hour before the hurricane hits, then by all means grab it. If it's the only beer at the party, sure have a couple (unless you live next door like I do to the party where I grabbed this one); in that case, get something from your fridge.

I guess I am saying that this beer seems to always taste "skunked" even when it's fresh. Very alcoholic aftertaste, it smells like my roommate used to when he came home every night when I was just out of college. I must just not be getting it, why so many people here continue to drink it. Maybe they should read my website here and get some new ideas.

Trust me, I just had one to put me in the mood for this post, and I need a chaser.

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