Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Anchor Summer Beer

It was crazy dark and lightning bolt-ish this morning. All the radio pundits, even the innocent Lite ones, were doing their best to make it seem like the weather was an accessory to the new Twilight vampire werewolf whatever the hell that shit is about movie that got released or will be released soon. I just don't know or care. The closest I ever got to that movie/TV/not-sure series was at a party, and a 20-something girl had on a T-shirt with one of the vampires on it. She was kinda cute, so after mocking the shirt for a few minutes, I asked to take a picture of it. You know, stretched down to get a good boob (I mean vampire) profile! I have the picture on my cell phone, which unfortunately is just a phone with no internet hook-up. I haven't caved yet!

Tonight I'm repeating a beer I first reviewed last September. You may say that September isn't summer, but if you lived where I do, you'd be wrong! Yes, I'm drinking Anchor Summer Beer Brewed by Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco, California. The bottle as usual has the cool shape. The label says this beer is an all-malt wheat beer.

Lemon, wheat, a little floral aroma. Nice citrus burst right in the beginning. Mmmm. There is a wheaty twang or zing or one of those Batman words, with even a light sourness present. A hint of bread pops in and out, too. The upper-level carbonation is excellent and the beer has a bit of wheat texture. Very refreshing, and I liked it a lot. Simple and flavorful. The finish is clean, yet still wheaty. Check it out. It should be readily available where you live (unless you live in Fantasy Land, like, well, hmmm, haven't you been reading? I name at least one per week from there.)

Twilight Edward Juniors T-Shirt (This might be the one described above, not absolutely sure)

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [Deluxe] [+digital booklet] ~ The Twilight Saga: Eclipse -- #18 MP3 Download

Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1) ~ Stephenie Meyer -- Book 2 and 3 also available

Twilight Soundtrack

"That's a pretty crappy picture, dude!" Yeah, I know. Thanks for saying so and noticing and actually getting to the bottom of the review. If you would buy me a camera and some lessons (or read me the manual), I think I could do better. Thanks as always for reading!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

John John Ale

Tonight I'm drinking John John Ale, a pale ale brewed with Juniper berries and aged in Spruce gin barrels. This beer is the work of Rogue Ales in Newport, Oregon and their Spirits Master John Couchot and Master Brewer John Maier. I'm guessing you can add up the reason for the beer name! The label is a little old school, especially compared to the caricatures and cartoony style of their other labels. This label is paper and depicts both Johns in overalls looking ready to go to work, and sporting a pint of beer.

I smell wood and booze. Yes, the gin is definitely going to be a part of this beer right from the start. Lemony, a bit on the bitter side, and definitely giving me some wood! The yeast is prominent as well. I dislike bourbon barrel beers, so this one was an interesting twist on aging beer in spirits barrels, and also a step up from bourbon. I don't taste many beer qualities at all. Basically a beer plus gin and tonic, yes with solid carbonation. The gin is too prominent, and I even had one little shiver moment. Definitely a distinct flavor, though, perhaps from the juniper berries. There was some warming alcohol and slight burn, too. Slightly better as it warmed. You finish with a hard alcohol aftertaste and plenty of Woody (two days in a row)! Sorry but this beer does not particularly meet my fancy!

Japanese Juniper Bonsai Starter Tree - 4" pot

Rogue RA-100D Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Natural

Carhartt Men's Unlined Duck Bib Overall, Black, 46x32

Monday, June 28, 2010

Toy Story 3 in 3-D

"That movie was really fun and good, Daddy!" Well, I guess it really doesn't matter if I was even paying attention, honestly, when your four year old says that unscripted line to you after watching Toy Story 3! My wife cried, My eight year old denied crying. And I got choked up? Yeah, all because Andy's Toys didn't have to end up in the stupid attic when Andy went off to college.

Andy had decided to put all his toys except Woody up in the attic, but his mom, in some kind of rush, put these living, breathing plastics on the curb for trash pick-up. Thank God for Woody coming to the rescue to save them--for a moment at least!

You are then taken on an adventure with some new characters, led by Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear (aka Lotso) over at a local daycare. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Stretch,  Hamm, Jessie, Rex and Buzz are among the return faces you'll see. Besides Lotso, you'll meet Ken and Big Baby and a bunch of other classic toys from your childhood. Memories.

Without giving the story away, some of the toys do not get along and it takes the incredible bravery of Woody,  the ass kicking of Buzz, and the teamwork of their pals to get back to Andy before he leaves for college. There are witty jokes that your kids will enjoy on one level and you adults will laugh at on another. Very creative, funny, 3-D was terrific.

Finally, the money shot. If you don't want to know how it ends, skip this paragraph! At the end, Andy gives all of his toys to a little girl, including Woody! Andy's introduction of each toy to the little girl and his final decision to part with Woody are the reasons for any sentimental moments at the end. It was touching. They then play with the toys together a few hours before Andy goes off to some crappy community college to learn the ropes of binge drinking (I think that is Toy Story 4; ah, the American Dream).

Overall, an excellent movie! Personally, I preferred the other stories better, particularly the original Toy Story, but this was great. I could have done without the 20 minutes of previews; and what the hell is up with the seats at Cinemark? My little one couldn't sit comfortably in the chair because he didn't weigh enough to to keep it from folding on him. And the chairs with the forced recline were not even that comfortable for an adult. These guys need to rethink those seats!

If you enjoyed this review, I reviewed the movie Avatar when I saw it in January, also in 3-D. Also, no beer review with this movie review.  "But you said th..."  Too bad! This is my blog and I can do whatever I want with it!

Disney Store Exclusive Toy Story 3 Deluxe Play Set 13 PC Figurine

Toy Story (Two-Disc Special Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo w/ Blu-ray Packaging)

Toy Story 2 (Two-Disc Special Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo w/ Blu-ray Packaging)

Toy Story 3 The Video Game

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace

I saw Toy Story 3 today in 3D. Excellent movie! I will be writing a review here soon, because it was, well, that good! This review though is going to focus on Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, a saison brewed with Japanese-developed Sorachi Ace hops by the Brooklyn Brewery in Brooklyn, New York. Less than two months until their Brewmaster Garrett Oliver visits my Total Wine store! Hope you can make that awesome event!

I knew this beer was down here as several local buddies told me how great it was, but as usual, my Total Wine store gets their beers a handful of days later than the rest. In the interim of waiting, local Brooklyn Brewery Rep and awesome guy Rich Nowak sent me a profile sheet and a list of all local locations where I can find Sorachi Ace. In the end, my Pembroke Pines Total Wine got their shipment and I purchased mine there.

The presentation of the bottle and the label are beautiful. This is a wine-sized bottle featuring an Ace of Diamonds playing card. Nice colors too! The back label proclaims this tastes like "sunshine in a glass" so between that an what I've heard, I am psyched to check this out. I took a handful of really good pictures (tell me if you don't like them, though). I actually saw Rich from Brooklyn Brewery twist the cork cage around the bottle neck during a tasting one time and thought it was cool.

Lemony with a distinct funky sour and wet dog aroma. Wow, nice spicy black pepper kick right from the start, accompanied by potent lemon and tangerine rind flavors! Strong carbonation, too, and very refreshing. Good bitterness throughout plus a sour apple and tangy profile that just adds to the enjoyability. There are other flavors as well, layered upon each other in a truly complex way. You'll go through tea and light fruits and soap and wet dog before you are all done, all together. The yeast is mostly noticeable from a texture perspective. Long lasting flavors left behind on your palate. I really enjoyed every drop of this beer and think I'll go back for another if they still have one. Go buy this now! No, not after you finish watching Argentina destroy Mexico. NOW!

Toy Story 3 (Disney/Pixar Toy Story 3) (Little Golden Book)

The Homebrewer's Garden: How to Easily Grow, Prepare, and Use Your Own Hops, Malts, Brewing Herbs

The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food ~ Garrett Oliver

Notice I took the time to put my sad bonsai tree in the display. It's still recovering from a winter freeze a few years back. And a close-up of the ace of diamonds.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pike Tandem Double Ale

That Ed Roberts from Total Wine just keeps getting cooler and cooler. Now he's going to have a small group do a tasting of the beers from the newest brewery in town--Pike Brewery. Total Wine recently stocked seven new 22 ounce bombers (remember I shutter to use that elitist-sounding word) at which point I stocked seven new Pike beers in the box in my dining room where I store a beer or three. The catch with the tasting is painful, but I think do-able (no jokes, Joel Kodner)--it's in Boynton Beach! Ugh! If Delray, where our last meeting was, is like the moon away, then Boynton is closer to the sun. Next thing you know they'll have a beer festival each year in Jupiter or something!

So this evening, in celebration of post #600, yet because I decided to start mourning the US loss to Ghana, I picked out a beer from Pike. I will be drinking (you guys know I already started) Pike Tandem Double Ale brewed by The Pike Brewing Company in Seattle, Washington. The label is bright orange with black and white accents. Stands out nicely and is a strong presentation. There are two bikers on the label, but until I figured out that "tandem" was referring to their bike, I thought they each had their own. Appropriately named, I guess.

Caramel, molasses, maple syrup, butter aroma--I'm pretty sure those are all at least second cousins. There are some dark fruits in the aroma as well. Sweet flavors start things off. Raisins, dark fruits and an unmistakable cherry and cola combo. Seriously there is Cherry Coke in this! Also some wood and chocolate all wrapped together in this thick textured beer. Creamy, good carbonation. Some citrus and slight hoppy bitterness and the 7.00% alcohol decided to jump on that initial sweetness just in time, providing a good balance. Not bad. I think the flavors could have been a little more complimentary with each other, and I'm not sure, but I feel the raisin aspect was a little strange though I loved the cherry. Better as it warmed up a little too, and with 22 ounces, you have some time. Not a bad first one from Pike!

By the way, no matter which way I turned the bottle picture above, I couldn't shake those riders off. Wear your seat belts, people! And your helmets on bikes (I'm a hypocrite) and motorcycles (not a hypocrite), law or not! The ER is not a nice place, and I spent my share of time there with Dr. Dad growing up, sometimes because of the lack of seat belt and helmet wearing!

Who knew "Tandem" had so many diverse uses?

Mongoose Wanderer AL Tandem Bike (26-Inch Wheels)

Kolcraft Contours Options Tandem Stroller, Ruby

Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy and Beyond

Friday, June 25, 2010

Good Juju

Tonight I'm drinking Good Juju, a beer brewed with ginger by the Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont, Colorado. (Hmmm, seems they turned their website into a Blogger blog only since January and decided the .blogspot was a better option than their domain; again, hmmm)! As far as I know, this beer is the same as their beer from previous years but with a name and label art change. This beer was previously known as Juju Ginger. So what I've done is reviewed the newer version tonight and also posted the older review I did six months ago for comparison. I did not compare notes before today's review, so let's see how they match up.

Also, I made a note with the old review that I have a picture. But I just spent a whole freakin' hour looking through old photos yet still struck out! Since I aim not to disappoint, the picture below goes with this review from the blog.

Today: Good Juju

New label says "A refreshing frivolity" whatever the hell that means. Bottled on 2 24 10 (I think 95%). I am not positive because the date stamp is on upside down with some partial number in front of the first two (I think a half zero) and it's all smudged. The design is interesting with a skull camouflaged in psychedelic colors and the eyes made from snakes and rodents.

Fruity with an abundance of spice, not super strong, but distinct. Medium-flat beer is noticeable right away. I wrote flat first, but then forced myself to adjust upward. Sweet, malty, light ginger spice. Grainy and very weak flavors. Not too much to talk about here. Very boring and just OK.

January 3, 2010: Juju Ginger

Today I'm drinking Juju Ginger brewed by Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont, Colorado. I couldn't quite read the bottled on date, I think it said 04 08 09 which considering today is 01 03 10 is 8 months old. Whatever. The label also says IRIE! I will let you use the Urban Dictionary to help you decode that!

Spicy aroma, definitely ginger and gets more powerful the more you sniff. Smells like freshly baked goods in the kitchen, interesting from a beer. Malty and ginger flavors to start. Flat. I mean I see bubbles and I am burping after drinking, but my palate and tongue say flat. Go figure. Grain flavors also appear. The ginger is not very strong, and I would call this a boring and bland beer overall. Left Hand has much better beers. Pass.

What do you think? Is it the same beer?

Ginger Root 100 caps ~ Nature's Way

JuJu Bees, 16 Oz Candy

Ginger and Ganesh: Adventures in Indian Cooking, Culture, and Love

Why does theirs include a picture of the beer in a glass? Well, thanks for asking. It's because HOF over there gives a shit about you guys and clearly is a better photographer. I hope that's not how you're judging me!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Weizen Ale

Tonight I'm drinking Summer Weizen Ale brewed by Smuttynose Brewing Company in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. According to the label, this is an ale brewed with chamomile flowers. I am getting in the habit of reviewing the same beers on the same day/week as some of my local comrades, so let's keep the ball rolling as Clean Plate Charlie, er, John reviewed this today as well! This time I'm the copycat! Best before November, 2010.

Well at least the beer is fresh, because the label on this (and actually all of them next to this on the Total Wine shelf) looked horrible. Little rips, not glued completely or properly, placed crookedly, very sloppy job. And that says absolutely nothing for the absolutely horrid art work. Were they brewing this in the 60's and just didn't update the picture yet? Because that's what this looks like with a lady with an old hair style on a raft that doesn't exist anymore in a swimsuit that's 4 generations out of style swims on the edge of one of the worst blurry, terrible quality, off-centered photographs I've ever seen. If you check out my photos, I often tease how bad I am ( I actually tried to do a worse than usual one below, successfully). But I should be charging to give this photographer lessons. If Smuttynose was going for quaint, well, it didn't work. How about spending a few hours and updating some of your labels to be more appealing? Father, Son, Holy Spirit... please let the beer be much better!

Nice fruity peach aroma, sweet. Again fruity flavors, peaches and oranges. I finished about half the bottle waiting for a hint of bitter or little zing from the carbonation, but I never got any. The only other flavor besides those sweet fruits was a little wheat, flavor and texture. That solo fruitiness lasts but does eventually fade to nothing. Repeat. Very plain. A little sweet, but not bad. Super simple!

Intex Swim Center Family Lounge Pool

Floating Lounge Chair for Swimming Pool

Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" Display, Global Wireless, Latest Generation) Now $189!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Shiner Blonde

What an excellent sports day (at work)! The USA soccer team managed about a hundred awesome opportunities in their game against Algeria, but decided not to score on any of those until the last few minutes of the game. Final result 1-0 meant they won their group. Without that goal they go home! Was awesome to see them keep kicking the ball into the posts and crossbar just to keep it interesting for the American people, and then finally finishing it off.

Then I was back to work when I heard about some tennis match tied at 39. OK, that's WTF enough to look into. Yep, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut were in their second day and tied in the 5th Set. Thanks to having the ESPN3 gear all set up because of the soccer, we watched that match to a 59-59 tie suspended for the second time for darkness. That probably helped Isner as he was absolutely exhausted to the point of not being able to move. Really, aces and nothing else for him. Can't wait to see more tomorrow, though I bet it's over within an hour since they will both be rested! They've already played 10 hours though!

Tonight I'm drinking Shiner Blonde brewed by Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. The gold lettering on dark blue background makes things tough to read and is a bit weird for a Blonde. The label goes on to say that in Shiner, "Blonde is on tap at gas stations". Now there's a really good idea!!!

Twist off. Grain, typical lager aroma, very faint. Super thin and watery beer with zero flavors. Really, it's just smooth, creamy water! There's not even a little bite or anything. Faint corn, barely sweet, medium carbonation, a very weak beer and offering. Sorry to report that to you.

World Cup Stadium Vuvuzela Horn Blue 29 inches

World Cup White USA Adult Home Jersey

International Series Brazil Short Sleeve Jersey

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Triple Exultation

Last night I got an invite to a super-cool event taking place this Sunday. No, silly, it's not a Marlins game. I don't like the Marlins, and there isn't a Mariachi band playing after the game this Sunday anyway. Another extravaganza? Again, nope. We just did one a month ago, and they will mainly be quarterly (Ed, I'm on vacation the first week in August so don't schedule the next one then!) You'll probably need to wait until Sunday night for most of the details because I have this gag order (and I am no inside leaker, mainly because I like to keep getting the invites). But keep your eyes open.

Tonight I'm drinking Triple Exultation, an old ale brewed by Eel River Brewing Company in Scotia, California. As usual, beers by this brewery are organic. The label art has what appears to be a very heavy door knocker as its centerpiece.

Fruity, boozy, sweet caramel aroma. Big alcohol up front, extremely sweet with massive candy and sugar flavors. Mango, pineapple and orange are what the 9.7% alcohol is matched with in the beginning. Definitely like drinking a "Jack and Fruit" type cocktail! There are also some sweet caramel flavors, but the sweet is eventually attacked by a bitter component, which drastically thins out the syrupy beginnings. A bit of a roller coaster! Now I can appreciate this beer for what it is, but it ain't my favorite style and it's not even my favorite of the style. Much too boozy for me. I let it warm up... still boozy, though perhaps a little of that edge was taken off.

The Book of Eli ~ Frances De La Tour -- #1 Video on Demand

Alice in Wonderland (2010) ~ Mia Wasikowska -- #5 Video on Demand

When in Rome ~ Kristen Bell -- #6 Video on Demand

Monday, June 21, 2010

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

There has been a bunch of buzz lately that Boston Beer Company, maker of the Samuel Adams beer line, might lose its "craft" beer status as it crosses the 2 million barrel per year production mark sometime in 2011. I've seen a lot of arguments that Sam Adams isn't a craft brewery because they are publicly traded or they "sold out" or dozens of other reasons. In my opinion, those arguments are horseshit. This brewery is the definition of a craft brewery.

But this craft status really isn't about that argument. It's a discussion about business and money and how much the government can tax these guys for being successful. It's a little arbitrary to set the bar at 2 million barrels, but there are many thresholds like that everywhere. Instead of arguing within the beer-drinking community, we should support this brewery as one and have the threshold doubled or tripled. No one would argue these guys should be lumped together with mass producers like Anheuser-Busch. Anyway, if that doesn't work, they should just make the barrels bigger so they don't hit 2 million! Just one guy's thoughts.

Tonight I'm drinking Samuel Adams Boston Lager brewed by The Boston Beer Company in Boston, Massachusetts or Cincinnati, Ohio or Breinigsville, Pennsylvania. "What do you mean? I thought you drank this beer all the time." Yes, thank you for paying attention. What I meant is that I am drinking it, and you are going to get a review! Not like this pathetic post from the first week when I started this blog. You are right, this is one of my all-time favorites, and I've been known to drink one or two now and again. Enjoy before October, 2010.

Hoppy and malty aroma with some tea characteristics, very distinct and I could identify this across the room. Hoppy with pine flavors, just a hint of citrus, too. Malty sweet caramel but enough bittering hops to keep this perfectly balanced. There is a good little spicy and hoppy bite nibbling at my palate and that distinct tea flavoring is there as well. That herbal quality is very noticeable, and I can understand why some of my friends think there are marijuana-like properties in play. Creamy medium carbonation, medium body, wonderful flavors, easy to drink. I might be preaching to the choir; I really don't know. It is hard to believe that everyone hasn't had this once or twice or more, but I could be wrong.

Let me know what you think about the beer. You can chime in about the business aspect too, if you like, but please only well-thought-out statements. I don't want this to become some Fox Business or MSN Money Comment thread. By the way, if you like what you read at this blog (or even if you don't), do me a favor and tell a couple of your friends about the site. Thank you in advance; it's greatly appreciated!

Fenway Beer Soap- Made with Sam Adams Boston Lager

Guinness Pub Glasses, Set of 4

Libbey 12-Piece International Beer Glasses Set

Sad empty before. Happy full after. "But how is the glass full and the bottle still has the cap on it?" Duh, it's another bottle; I bought a 12 pack!

This is a little gem I bought at Costco a few months ago. While the beer is long gone, the memory isn't. A 28-pack!