Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Troegenator Double Bock

My three year old was sent home from school yesterday. I'll skip the details, but let's just say I've mentioned the problem before. The problem also kept him out of school today, so I needed to work from home as best I could considering his presence. We did our share of mind-stimulating puzzles and blocks and making marble-game roller coasters, but he also did his share of cartoon watching.

Some of the channels he watches have zero commercials, but some are so loaded with them that they outnumber the shows. And talk about psychological brainwashing. Every single commercial was for one toy or another, and he started saying, "I wanna play with that" for every single one no matter what the product. When he decided that Barbie Girl was for him, too, and even he was laughing and trying to get a reaction from me, it was time to change to something else. Now I can't get that damn commercial song out of my head (I can't find the song, but here's an equally exploitative commercial). It's horrible!

The beer I'm drinking today is not available in Florida. In fact, when I inquired with the brewery, the Brewery Manager basically told me not to hold my breath. He actually was much more polite with his one line response, "We have no plans at this time to expand into florida . Thanks." So when one of my friends was recently up in the DC area on business, he picked up a bottle of one of their beers for me. Thanks a lot! Take that with your expansion plans, Tröegs! I am speaking of Troegenator Double Bock brewed by Tröegs Brewing Company in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The aroma is malty with a bit of caramel there, yet it doesn't smell too sweet. The flavors up front are a touch of caramel with a big alcohol presence. However, this beer was extremely smooth and creamy considering how noticeable the 8.2% alcohol content was. After the initial flavors, things got a bit sweeter with molasses, brown sugar and syrup challenging the alcohol. You will also taste some light raisin and burnt flavors along with a bit of spiciness. This was a nice beer that I will drink again next time I'm in Harrisburg. (Since none of you has ever been there, you might mistake my comment as a joke, but it's actually not too far from where I grew up).

Fisher Price Manny's Repair Shop

Barbie Style Salon Playset

Family Dance--Dan Zanes

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop Ale

I heard this afternoon on 93 Rock, our local rock radio station, that they will be hosting the 93 Rock 'N' Brew this Friday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. For $20, you get a chance to sample around 200 beers or whatever you can handle in four hours. The best list of beers to be offered I found at the radio website, but if there are 200, this list is far from complete. It would be nice to have a full list, so maybe I'll send them a message requesting that. Anyway, I'm thinking about printing up some blog business cards and seeing what interesting people I can meet. And hopefully finding a few beer gems outside of the ones they have listed.

As far as 93 Rock goes, it has its ups and downs. I really like a lot of their songs from the 80's and 90's and even some newer stuff. But I can't stand listening in the morning, when they have that terrible Bubba the Love Sponge show on, and I can't listen any time my children are in the car as some songs start with "I like your pants around your feet." Oh, Nickelback, you lyrical wizards!

I'm just opening big (no, giant) 24 Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop Ale brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California. The bottle says this is its second release, so it must have had at least a warm reception the first time around. There is some story about flying around the globe for hops to get shit done, but I don't care about that--just the final product. I guess I do care about the lengths some breweries will go to make a great beer, but it seems not today.

Honestly, I thought this was going be just another big beer thrown together in a mass-produced almost 40-style beer. But... I am being surprised. (I was going to use past tense there, but remember, this is giant 24). There is a hoppy, earthy and floral aroma, a little sweet, too. Sweet initial flavors, with light carmel. Then bitter hops and a tinge of grapefruit take over in a really nice and smooth way. Some pine, grass and herbal tea type flavors are also present in addition to some lemon and orange citrus, not a lot but noticeable. Tastes oily, too. Very refreshing. Good carbonation, and tasty flavors all around. These guys should make a third release, for sure. This beer was even a little better as it warmed up slightly. I'll pick it up again and you should too! It's also share-able if you care or like to share--I don't.

Dark Horse--Nickelback

Guitar Hero 5 Stand Alone Software with Van Halen Offer

Bubba the Love Sponge Presents: Bubba Raw, Vol. 1

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Kidd Lager

I always get a kick out of some of the creative excuses that kids (and adults) use to explain why their homework or project was not completed on time. However, one time back in college, I needed to turn in a rather lengthy homework assignment. It was only three or four problems, but each was a super theoretical analytical chemistry mathematical equation, using practically every Greek letter, covering an entire sheet of paper, and providing an answer that looked much like the question. God how I don't miss those days!

When I went to turn in the assignment, I reached into my backpack only to find that everything inside, including my homework and now my hand, was covered with dog shampoo. I had visited the college veterinarian school earlier that day to pick up some special stuff to try to cure my dog's flaky skin. What a disaster! My homework smelled great, but it was a bunch of smudged letters and numbers and was not really readable. WTF? Instead of giving the excuse of "my dog's shampoo ate my homework," I just turned it in. The teacher was more amused than anything. I offered to copy it over, which likely would have taken a few hours, but he told me not to worry about it. I don't remember a grade but I did decently in the class overall. You guys have anything better for an excuse?

Today I'm drinking The Kidd Lager brewed by Fort Collins Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado. The picture on the label I am guessing is Billy The Kidd, but I could be wrong (wouldn't be the first time today). Apparently this is a Schwarzbier, which I'm about 99% sure that I've never typed that word before. And there is a slogan: "Looks Dark, Drinks Blonde" which sounds perfect.

The aroma has lots of malt and a sweet caramel scent to it. The flavors start out with a lot of smokiness, along with other burnt and roasted malts. You will not miss the dark chocolate and coffee flavors, either. I am tasting a little woodiness and even some lightly bitter hops as well in the background. This is not the beer I was expecting when I pulled it out of the fridge, but I don't mean that in a bad way. It's pretty unique and I am enjoying it a lot. Creamy, medium body, medium carbonation, and just a little roasted flavor left in your mouth when it's all gone. Check it out.

Excuses Begone!: How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits

FURminator Waterless deShedding Shampoo and Conditioner for Dogs and Cats

Junior Roll-Top Desk (Light Oak)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dogtoberfest Märzen

Today I just have some observations. That pool game Marco Polo is really stupid and annoying, and everyone always cheats. There was a gang of seven at our pool today, including adults, playing this inane game. And they were going all out with shouting MARCO... POLO... as a few of the kids were climbing out of the pool to escape (aka cheating). My kids started chanting MARCO... COLA... to make fun of them, even the three year old. To enlighten you non-speakers, "cola" is the Spanish equivalent of "ass".

Observation two also comes from our trip to the pool. One of the neighbors with zero power told my wife we really shouldn't be jumping over the gate because we might break it. Now I wasn't there, just observing from a distance, but if some nosy mofo said that to me, I'd tell them to mind their own something business. This management company has changed the entrance key to the pool three times in four years. We have the most recent key up until this newest change. We can get the newest version between 9am and 930am on Wednesdays except in September, October or November. If you don't understand my hyperbole, go work for Miami Management Incorporated!

Observation three: Moon Sand sucks the big one. It's not that fun, like the commercials, and makes a helluva mess that is not easily cleaned, and everyone goes home dirty. Observation four: children are not meant to ride bikes, as my seven year old fell off yesterday and got some nasty wounds on his elbow and knee, only to repeat the exact same fall and severely damage the same wounds this afternoon. He is walking injury right now! The teachers this week from his school will probably call me to see who is abusing him here at home. Beer Time!

This afternoon I'm drinking Dogtoberfest Märzen brewed by Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, Maryland. The label says this beer was crafted by a guy who studied brewing in Deutschland, and apparently he will put on some lederhosen when feeling saucy as well. The label also has its usual entertaining artwork. Two big dudes with cigars and steins of beer with a dog that looks like he's had a few too many beers as well.

There is a nice sweet caramel aroma, with a hint of citrus in there. Flavors start out with sweet caramel as well, with a very noticeable spicy black pepper profile right behind it. You will taste some honey and malts as the beer progresses, and a light floral and citrus flavor, too. Fruity orange comes in right around the end and helps make this a refreshing and smooth, enjoyable beer. I liked it!

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Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone

Moon Sand Treasure Kingdom

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Good Stuff #5: Yeti Imperial Stout

It's been a few weeks since my last Good Stuff review. Today I picked up my next entry at Total Wine. Good Stuff #5: Yeti Imperial Stout brewed by Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver, Colorado. Here was my original review from the middle of February. Looking back, I was educating my readers that day that the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny are not real. Guess what? They are still not real.

Finally today I get to sit down. After hitting the gas station, Total Wine, the dollar store, Publix, McDonalds, and playing outside with my kids on this slip and slide hose toy, I deserve a beer or five. Thinking back, if only that cashier at the dollar store could have complained a little more about me paying my $1.06 due with a $20 bill. When she asked if I had something smaller, I offered to pay it with a credit card, at which point she made the long-and-obviously-irritated jaunt to the money office to get herself some change. Too bad she was such a bitch too, because I'd have invited her over for a beer otherwise. Not!

Today's review: The aroma is awesome, full of raisins and other dark fruits, plenty of chocolate and a nice maltiness about it. Soooo inviting! The flavors start out with chocolate and a roasted, nutty goodness. This beer is not sweet and not bitter, but is perfectly balanced between the two. You will taste some raisins, plums and dark cherries while at the same time get some citrus orange notes and black licorice. Very complex and all the flavors work beautifully together. The 9.5% alcohol content also makes sure to tell you it's there, providing a satisfying bite and warming kick. Yeti is rich and creamy with a medium-full body and medium carbonation. You finish this guy with more licorice and alcohol and a drier bitterness left on your palate. Even after big 22 is gone, I am still longing for more. Absolutely delicious! For the record, since this bottle is going bye-bye, this Yeti was bottled on April 21, 2009.

Great Divide offers around two dozen beers, although not all of them are available in my area. However, I have had my share, and have yet to find one of their beers that isn't terrific. This Yeti Imperial Stout is clearly my favorite so far, but apparently they offer an Oak Aged Yeti, a Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti, and an Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, all of which sound like they have the potential to beat this one out. For now, though, I am super happy with this one.

Others from Great Divide that I have reviewed include DPA Denver Pale Ale, Wild Raspberry Ale, Hercules Double IPA, Saint Bridget's Porter, and Titan IPA. Some were better than others, but all were solid beers. Between these I've had and the others they offer, their beers sound a little like an American Gladiators episode if you're not paying attention.

According to the brewery, Yeti Imperial Stout "is an onslaught of the senses. It starts with big, roasty malt flavor that gives way to rich caramel and toffee notes. YETI gets its bold hop character from an enormous quantity of American hops." The label also refers to it as "Untamed" and "Imposing". OK, all of you know how I feel about label bragging (probably the Arrogant Bastard does it best), but let's let the beer speak for itself. You can for sure agree that if I put out a beer name tomorrow like Tits and Ass Sex Forever Ale that I better back it up with a smokin' brew. Anyway, I digress.

Yeti Imperial Stout has won some awards including Bronze Medal at the Great America Beer Festival, 2008; Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival, 2005; and Bronze Medal at the Great International Beer Competition, 2005. I don't usually pair food with beer, but they suggest you pair this guy with grilled steaks, strong/salty blue cheese, or chocolate. The brewery has won numerous other awards for other beers as well since setting up shop in 1994 in an abandoned dairy-processing plant at the edge of downtown Denver.

You can find a lot of information and rap with these guys on their blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, or if you're so lucky as to live nearby, in their Tap Room, where their "Hop Disciples" will make sure you drink and be merry.

In summary, Yeti Imperial Stout is great and you should go out of your way, if necessary, to bring home a few bottles tonight. Share it with your friends and that asshole down the street (if it can get him to be less of an asshole), and let me know what you think. BTW, the Yeti is not real either!

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STOUT Compostable Trash Bag

20 Empty DVD Cases (Each Holds Single DVD)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Anchor Summer Beer

Several months ago I told you a funny little racial story (it's hardly racial, but I know you can't help looking). Well yesterday, same son, we learned another lesson.

My three year old son and I were practicing the colors in Spanish by naming car colors as they drove past our house. One of the older neighbor kids stopped by looking for my seven year old just as a black car drove by. Negro came out of my son's mouth, which didn't even hit the radar of this little eight year old boy, who happens to be black. Of course the word in Spanish is pronounced differently than the English slur, but I doubt kids his age even hear the voices of younger kids. They tune them out. However, five minutes later, another black car with a black guy driving it with his window down flew by (people here drive too fast). Three year old pointed out loudly with his voice and finger that it was negro. The guy surely didn't hear, but I guess from now on we'll practice that game inside.

Summer ended officially a few days ago, but where I live it's perfectly OK to have a summer beer in September. Today I am doing just that with Anchor Summer Beer brewed by Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco, California. The label says this is an all-malt beer and the first American wheat beer in modern times, first made by them in 1984.

There is a relatively nondescript aroma, maybe a little wheat and sweet. The flavors are grainy, tasting a bit like bread with some decent citrus--apple, orange and lemon. Not too powerful, but flavorful. The body is light, bordering on watery, with medium carbonation. Crisp and refreshing, but not memorable.

Escort Passport 9500ix Radar/Laser Detector (Black)

Rosetta Stone Version 3: Spanish (Latin America) Level 1, 2 & 3 Set with Audio Companion

Cinco Monitos Brincando en la Cama/Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (Five Little Monkeys Picture Books) (Spanish Edition)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

India Pelican Ale -- Cooking Asshole Guest Post

As I promised yesterday, you're in for a treat today. When I was drunk a few days ago, I asked Cooking Asshole from the Cooking for Assholes blog if he'd like to do a guest post here. And moments later, he accepted. I don't really know anything about this guy except that he can cook, he used to work for a brewery, he likes beer, and he can curse like a sailor. Oh yeah, and his blog is hilarious. Go read it after you read this guest review!



Portland, Oregon has more breweries and brewpubs per capita than any other city in the United States but some of our most prized reside two hours outside the city on the dramatic Oregon Coast. Pelican is one of them. The hiss of the cap releases an aroma that you would swear smells like salt water. It conjures up all your memories of beach trips gone awry in an intoxicated haze: Bonfires on the beach before noon and beer to go with it, waking up to a trashed rental house and the sweet relief of knowing you will be there another few days, garage sales at Rogue brewery where you brought four cars and filled up every trunk (and one was a mini van), camping at Sand Lake estuary and the fifth member of the party being a handle of Maker's Mark, buying live dungeness crab off a boat in Depot Bay and then having crab fights and betting on them. Ah, the memories.

This is what Oregon Coast beer means to me. To you it means nothing. Your memories suck and your life is boring as shit. You sit at home on the weekend with your cats, your cat blog, and you chat with other losers online about cats. You make me sick.



In any case Pelican brewing is the fucking bomb and this IPA is no exception. It is incredibly bitter but palatable (unlike Dick's Brewing IPA), and has an wonderful orange glow and citrus flavor. I fucking love it. But then again, it means so much more to me. Drink it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Andygator

One of my co-workers mentioned attending her homeowners' association meeting last night, and how funny it was to see all the effort people will make to fight for ten dollars. Been there and done that, and it's exactly why I don't participate in mine anymore. But her story reminded me of a few times back in high school when my girlfriend and I went to the monthly school board meetings just to see what train wreck would happen.

There were a couple of regular "contributors" to those monthly meetings. Arguments were a regular occurrence with school bus routes, locations of athletic practices and the closure of one of the elementary schools as frequent topics. This was small-town America, people! And while those things were important, the no-rules-debate style of the combatants was always entertaining. To make those meetings even funnier, that girlfriend's dad was one of the higher-ups in the Superintendent's office, and he often found himself in the middle of all the nonsense. I don't remember any physical fights, but cursing and walking out, or cursing while being escorted out, were occasional bonuses. Today, I can watch the Broward County meetings on cable, and despite being in a major metropolitan area, it's still the same people showing up as did 20 years ago--did they really retire here, or is that the attendee profile everywhere?

One more comment before I get to the beer. I have a little surprise for you tomorrow, so be sure to stop back. And if you're anything like me and don't have a string to tie around your finger, sign up to the right for an email delivery, and Google will be happy to send you the goods.

OK. So that brings me to Andygator, a Helles Doppelbock brewed by Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs, Louisiana. The label on big 22 has an alligator profile on it with actual alligator-like texture, very cool. There is a story which calls this beer a "fearsome beast" and ends with slogan "Live it. Love it. Wear it." I'm pretty sure they are NOT talking about wearing alligator shoes, so PETA, stay away!

The aroma is pretty laid back, with a sweet light citrus and fruitiness. Flavors start out sweet but are balanced with some malts and hops. You will taste some light fruit, maybe an apple or a pear,
a little bread and yeast, and some spiciness as well. All said, the flavors are a bit weak and boring. A grainy feel in my mouth gives a dirty feeling, and this beer is also chewy and sticky. Medium carbonation. I was going to say that the 8% alcohol gave no bite at all and that this must be a very old and tired gator, but I guess that's why they bottle it in 22 ouncers. Because by the second half, the alcohol profile, including the boozy aftertaste, was all that I could taste. It was a drunk, yet ferocious, gator hiding under the surface. Sorry but not a favorite of mine. (Alcohol shiver!)

Landscaping With Fruit: Strawberry ground covers, blueberry hedges, grape arbors, and 39 other luscious fruits to make your yard an edible paradise. (A Homeowners Guide)

Get Over Your Ex Girlfriend Subliminal CD

Principals Pet - Women's Sexy School Girl Costume Uniform Outfit

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Saranac Pumpkin Ale

Fall started today. Whoopie! It's still 90 degrees out and we have more than two months left in hurricane season still. I'd love to roll in the leaves, but the leaves here don't fall unless the tree is seriously under-watered and on its way to tree Heaven. I guess I can go roll in the hedge trimmings that our property manager's guys left on my back yard. Anyway, that's all I have to say today, except for...

Today I'm drinking Saranac Pumpkin Ale brewed by Matt Brewing Company in Utica, New York. The label has a carved pumpkin with a big jagged smile on it and also says this beer is an Autumn favorite. Perfect timing.

The aroma is mainly pumpkin and cinnamon, not too powerful. The flavors are very good and are not as pumpkin pie-ish as some of the others I've had in this style. And that is a good thing. You do taste pumpkin, cinnamon and cloves, and there are enough hops to keep any sweetness in check, very balanced. It tastes more like a beer! The body is a little light, slightly watery, yet more refreshing than what I expected. You end with a dry finish. Check it out this Fall.

QVC - Garden Grabber Lawn & Garden Rake

Extreme Pumpkins: Diabolical Do-It-Yourself Designs to Amuse Your Friends and Scare Your Neighbors

Friends in Autumn 1000. Piece Jigsaw Puzzle by White Mountain Puzzles

Monday, September 21, 2009

Red Brick Double Chocolate Oatmeal Porter

So the electricity went out last night for one millisecond, which is exactly how long it takes to wreak havoc with my alarm clock. I can hear you asking already, so let me answer. Yes, it would make perfect sense for me to put a battery in the clock as a backup for these semi-frequent outages. But alas, I don't know if that is even an option with this clock; yes, I should look but there are a lot of things I should do, yet I don't. (Reminds me of a time I was playing roulette in Atlantic City when I should have put a chip on the winning number, but said it wont come up again; then it did 3 more times in a row, unbelievable odds).

Fortunately, the giant flashing red numbers along with the printer rebooting were enough to wake me up and force a time and alarm reset. And my wife and I got up as originally planned. Of course we were a little grumpier, which made the "I can't believe you put an ice cube in your coffee" comment directed at me a much more personal attack. Such is life. Note to self: when you're done writing this stupid posting, go across the room and check the clock for a battery backup slot and see what size battery you need.

Tonight I'm drinking Red Brick Double Chocolate Oatmeal Porter brewed by Atlanta Brewing Company in Atlanta, Georgia. The name is very inviting, so I'm hoping it lives up to that.

I popped the top off of this guy and wow, what a carbonated pop I got. Along with that mini explosion was a whiff of some chocolate, dark fruits, raisins and a solid malty base--very nice. Holy Bejesus! Again, what is up with the carbonation? I guess with the champagne pop I should have known to expect it, but that makes two from this brewery in less than a week. Between these guys and Unibroue they should have a Carbonation Cage Match. Anyway, I find this beer entirely too difficult to drink, although I will anyway. You will taste some nice chocolate, some roasted flavors and a light coffee after the bubbles subside. This beer is malty with a medium body, a little bitter and not sweet at all. The 7.7% alcohol was completely masked. The flavors were decent, but everything was ruined (like that Faith No More song) by the unpleasant carbonation.

Sony ICF-C318 Automatic Time Set Clock Radio with Dual Alarm (Black)

Coffee People Medium Extra Bold, Donut Shop K-Cups for Keurig Brewers (Pack of 50) [Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging]

Zojirushi Fresh Brew Coffee Maker with Stainless Steel Thermal Carafe

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunrye Summer Ale

So here' s the update on my new movie and NFL Sunday Ticket package. First of all, everything is turned on, and I can't wait to tell this prick from one of the other offices in our building. He was eavesdropping on my conversation with a coworker and basically made the insinuation that my $2 per month upgrade was impossible. Suck it, dude!

Next, today, I turned on channel 710 and it said that the Eagles v. Saints game was unavailable. I almost picked up the phone to flip out on DirecTV, but smarter, calmer Beer Drinker prevailed. First I checked and verified that every other game was on as scheduled, which is when I turned on the networks to find my game. Whew! Too bad they are getting their asses kicked right now. And I was stuck in a conundrum in Fantasy too, playing Drew Brees and the Eagles DST. Whatever, fantasy is for nerds (unless you're winning).

I'm also loving the movie channels again. Last night on one of HBO's I watched E.T. with my seven year old son. He got to stay up 'til 10pm. Now every one of you cried at the end of E.T., don't lie to me. I wasn't crying but you can't help but feel a little sad at the end. I asked my son if he was crying and he said, "No, this isn't real!" Good point. And while were on the topic of "not real," after the movie was over, the same son insisted on reading a Christmas book. As I was turning off the light afterward, he said that he thinks it's me that eats the cookies we leave out on Christmas Eve. Denied it!

Today I'm drinking Sunrye Summer Ale brewed by Redhook Ale Brewery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Let's jump right in. There isn't much of an aroma, just some rye and orange, slight hops. The flavors are also pretty weak. You will taste the rye, some orange and other citrus. The beer has a grainy and metallic taste. At least the metallic taste was weak too. Not great flavors and a weird aftertaste. I'm happy to wash this down with a Sam Adams Boston Lager. That's all!

Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Colored Water Bottles

Oster BPST02-B Professional Series Blender, Black

The Most Relaxing Classical Music in the Universe

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Stone Cali-België IPA

Finally, Mr. Ridiculous is gone, or at least he's considering retiring from making documentaries. Sounds too good to be true to me. I didn't know that loudmouths could just turn themselves off. Well, maybe Mark Cuban can come in and take over. He'd be perfect!

Does anyone else understand why people give half a shit about what Hollywood actors, writers, music stars, or sports figures have to say about important issues that affect us every day? I mean, really, Charlie Sheen to name just one bozo? WTF! These people live in a fantasy world and have zero connection with reality. When Paris Hilton or Britney Spears speak, I at least expect to see a nipple slip or crotch shot. When Sharon Stone opens her mouth, I am not really listening to what she's saying--I'm closing my eyes to try to remember that one famous scene. When these guys are elected to represent us, then, maybe, we listen. Like Fred Grandy, or Ronald Reagan or Arnold Schwarzeneggar or, God help everyone, Al Franken.

I just opened a big 22 of Stone Cali-België IPA brewed by Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, California. In usual fashion, Stone writes a book on the back of its bottle, and they wrote so much on this one, I'd be surprised if they offer this in a 12 ounce bottle. We are supposed to consider this the identical twin of Stone IPA, which I love, but this guy was raised in a Belgian culture. They went to a lot of trouble to basically say that this one has Belgian yeast which is the influence that makes the difference. One other cool thing they did is create two labels, one out of respect for the French-speaking Belgians (Cali-Belgique), the other for the Dutch-speaking Belgians (Cali-België). As you can see, I got the latter. The "Cali" part, by the way, means it's a California-style IPA.

Lovely citrus, grapefruit and hoppy aroma. The flavors start out with a big bitter grapefruit burst, astringent, good bite and a bit spicy. Lemony and fruity, this beer makes you think it's sweet, but it clearly is not. Hard to explain, but it is deliciously balanced. Orange peel, black pepper, and piney, too. After those initial flavors dissipate a little bit, that yeast they were bragging about does make itself known. Crisp and refreshing, with medium carbonation, nice and bubbly. The 6.9% alcohol never made an appearance, very well blended in with all those other great flavors. I really enjoyed this beer. Maybe next time I'll drink the French-name version, but regardless which version is sold in your area, definitely check this one out!

Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot

110 People Who Are Screwing Up America (and Al Franken Is #37)

Paris Pussy: French Glamour Girls of the 50s and 60s

Friday, September 18, 2009

Gonzo Imperial Porter

Get off your fucking cell phone and concentrate on driving. Next traffic light, same car. Put the fucking mascara down, close the mirror and pay attention to the green light and cars in front of you. GOOO!!! I do tone it down when my kids are in the car, but I guess I've gotta stop altogether. My kids are starting to say "Go!" now as well. Monkey see, monkey do.

I wish the Florida legislature would get off its ass already and make driving and talking on the phone (let alone makeup applying) illegal. It clearly is a distraction to what you're supposed to be doing--driving. And ask another buddy of mine if he'd stay off his phone if it were a law. He got a $142 ticket for just that infraction during a business trip to California. Apparently, I didn't know and any other excuses are not welcome there.

Today I'm drinking Gonzo Imperial Porter brewed by Flying Dog Brewery in Denver, Colorado and under special agreement, Frederick, Maryland. And I'm following the "OK! LET'S PARTY!!" statement coming from this creepy looking skeleton cowboy type dude on the label. The label also says this beer was made to honor the life of Hunter S. Thompson (and not Gonzo from the Muppets, which is what first came to my mind). This beer apparently won the Gold Award in the World Beer Cup in the American-Style Imperial Stout category. So that begs the question... is this a stout or a porter? Moving on.

The aroma of Gonzo is very nice with dark fruits, chocolate, licorice, alcohol and malts all distinct. Wow, the flavors are terrific, too! You start with dark chocolate and powerful burnt flavors. This is not a sweet beer at all, more bitter. You will also taste coffee and raisins, along with smokey and spicy elements as well. There is definitely a little kick from the 7.8% alcohol in this guy, but it is very welcome and nicely balanced with the other flavors. Nice and creamy, not too much carbonation, lingering aftertaste. This was an all-around great beer, and that's two in a row that I really loved from Flying Dog. I am really impressed and this is becoming one of my favorite breweries!

Plantronics CS55/HL10 Wireless Headset Bundle

Ralph Steadman (Dr. Gonzo, Hunter S. Thompson) Black Wood-Mounted Art Poster Print - 24" X 27"

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Love Wheat Beer

Showdown at the OK Corral. Well, actually it was a showdown at my kid's preschool run by a local city government (so it was exactly the same). I never complained one time for a whole year, but since he moved on to the 3-year old group three weeks ago, his new teachers have been giving us shit for the smallest things, calling my wife with something that could be handled with a one sentence note at the end of the day, and just seemingly singling out our little boy.

So I took up my problem with the big boss yesterday morning. I got to act out some of their teacher tantrums in front of her. I mean, how can one teacher say there is a pattern of behavior after two days? I'll spare you the details, but let's just say I've mentioned this kid's problem before, and it's not learning or behavior related. But that didn't stop me from making a very broad analogy of why he should get as much attention solving this problem as a kid that can't learn the alphabet or a kid that slurs his speech. I didn't win, but everyone's frustration was noted, and noted again. Maybe if I'd have shaved in the week before I walked in there I'd have won, but that's up for debate. For now, it's a draw. OK, I wont spare you, please son, shit in the toilet!

Today I am drinking The Love Wheat Beer brewed by Starr Hill Brewery in Crozet, Virginia. Not really sure how it got its name, but there is a star (the brewery?) and a heart (the love?) overlapping each other and inside a circle on the label. The label also says "The Gift of Great Beer" which is exactly what I'm looking for in my first beer from this brewery.

Twist off cap--as I've mentioned before, not a ding, just an observation. The aroma is very faint with a light citrus lemon and hint of banana. Flavors are also extremely subtle. You will taste wheat and some fruity orange and lemon flavors to start. In the background, there are also some hops and some cloves. It's not that there is no flavor, but everything is just very weak. Except the carbonation, which is medium. It is a refreshing beer, but that's not enough for me to say I'd drink this one again.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Red Brick Peachtree Pale Ale

Last night around 8pm I got a call from an 877 number. I NEVER answer those calls unless I'm in the mood to fight or tell someone off on the other end. Last night was just such an occasion as we've received a bunch of those calls lately.

So I politely answered with a gruff "hello". Finally a sales call from someone who clearly and cheerfully identified herself and her company, DirecTV. Now I've been their customer for a while, so I played along and said yes when she asked to confirm it was me, the account holder. Don't get me wrong, I was still super skeptical and ready to end it shortly and possibly nastily if provoked. But then the unbelievable offer: NFL Sunday Ticket + Cinemax + HBO for five months for just $2 more per month, and I can cancel at any time after that with no penalty. Now you know I made her repeat that like 8 times, but for two bucks, who would say no? That "trial" is not even really a trial considering it takes me past the Super Bowl.

Anyway, I am still skeptical as to what the catch is, but DirecTV has been good about being truthful and has been pretty helpful when I needed something. So I'll be watching a bunch of games this Sunday (mainly the Eagles) from my big comfy chair with continuous beer in my hand. Follow that up with a Skin-a-max flick and I'll be all set. And if anything goes wrong, like it's some fake NFL package or my bill is more than $2 more, they will hear from me. And so will you! BTW, DirecTV, I'd have said yes to $5 more per month and I think your price point should be a little higher, but I guess that's why I don't work for you.

Today I'm drinking Red Brick Peachtree Pale Ale brewed by Atlanta Brewing Company in Atlanta, Georgia. This is my first beer from this brewery. The label suggests you "Drink The South".

Fruity pear and apple aroma with a sweet caramel scent, too. The flavors are nothing like the aroma. Holy Fizzy Carbonation, Batman! The initial hit on every sip makes drinking this entirely too difficult, tough to even swallow. Citrus, hops, and a good dose of bitterness are all OK flavors, but they are completely buried behind that wall of bubbles. Tart too. I was completely surprised by the carbonation and the horrible mouthful it provides. Bitter and metallic aftertaste. Don't bother drinking this one, as I am not sure I can or even want to finish this one bottle.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Punkin Ale

Kanye West is a jackass! Everyone knows that, so let's move on. The better part of the story is that President Obama said as much in off-the-record remarks. And the even better part of the story is that those remarks were made public. I'm so sure it's hard for Obama to hold back his regular person comments out of respect for the office. I found this little gem of a blog post when I typed something like presidential cursing into Google--check it out. I just can't wait to see what the White House has to say, but I'd never let ABC or CNBC interview the President ever again.

While we're talking about Obama, we may as well mention Vice President Biden. Now this guy has stuck his foot in his mouth more times than anyone can count, but here's a funny one complete with cursing, him reacting to a Senator that called him "Mr. Vice President," his title. Joe can get away with it though; I think it's actually expected. Cursing is the least of his worries.

Back just one President, when GW was actually still running, he said to VP (to be) Cheney "There's Adam Clymer -- major league asshole -- from the New York Times." To which Cheney replied, "Yeah, big time." Those were also remarks that were supposed to be private and under the radar, but I'm sure the NYT guy earned his reputation, maybe not like Kanye, but in his own right. Funny Stuff!

Tonight I'm drinking Punkin Ale brewed by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware. I guess I can finally concede that it is possibly time for a pumpkin beer, with Halloween just a month and a half away. Let's see what these dudes came up with.

The aroma has lots of pumpkin and tons of spicy nutmeg and cinnamon. The flavors start out the same with pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon, pretty sweet as well. You will also get a big initial maltiness. Some hops do take some of the sweet away, and this beer is balanced very nicely. I must also say this is a very creamy beer. The 7% alcohol is noticeable but just barely and provides a slight kick at the end, along with just a little more pumpkin aftertaste. Definitely my favorite pumpkin beer to date after a handful on non-memorables that I've tried. Get yourself one of these.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Shiner 100 Commemorator

Yesterday, predictably, after a nice morning and early afternoon, it rained like hell for hours starting around 3pm. My seven year old was playing in the garage and in between rain bursts, he was riding his bike. At one point, though, the rain didn't stop and he was stuck (to his liking) at one of his friend's houses. We didn't see him for hours. But around 6:30 he came home dripping wet. Which is when my wife and I had one of our recurring arguments.

She, along with what I believe is a majority of people, still thinks that getting wet or cold (or God forbid both) somehow causes you to get sick with the flu or a cough. I can't tell you how many times that I've explained that colds are caused by viruses, not weather. Jeez, shoot me now! And I also throw in nicely that if you walk outside in the slushy wet snow naked in freezing temperatures, even if you get a cold afterward, those actions were not the cause. She loves that, especially with my delivery, too! Anyway, I'm hoping my son doesn't get sick to avoid Round 2 of the neverending discussion.

Let's see... Today I rummaged through the fridge and picked out Shiner 100 Commemorator brewed by Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. You may wonder how the beer got its name, but then you'd be kinda dumb, even moreso if you read all the cutesy things on the label like "Thanks A Hundred!" They also say "There's nothing finer than an ice cold Shiner" which reminds me of the time I caught that baseball with my eye socket, but I'll leave that for another day. Anyway, this beer was brewed as an Anniversary Centennial Ale, and I'm hoping for something awesome. I've had Shiners before on business trips to Texas, but never this one before now.

There is a malty aroma, but for sure there are hops too, and I noticed a bit of spiciness as well. The flavors start out very sweet with lots of caramel and little bit of chocolate. It's sugary with some honey and raisin flavors as well. A little nutty with just a hint of nutmeg. The hops from the aroma, however, never come in to challenge the sweetness of this beer. You do get a little bite from the 6.7% alcohol as you near the end of each sip, but it's welcome. Medium body and medium carbonation, you finish with more sweetness. Decent beer but don't go out of your way. Anyway, everyone goes to Texas at some point, so drink it when you're there.

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