Archive | December, 2011

Christmas Eve

24 Dec

Christmas Eve is typically a day and night for the wife and I to get together with friends in Portland who are sans-family in the area.  We make Posole and tamales (our New Mexico tradition coming out) and drink beer until 11:00 or so.  Usually late enough that I am stuck putting some stupid kid-shit together until 2 am.  Not this year baby!  The tamales and posole were still on the menu, but I managed to get the toys together on the 23rd, so it was beer time at the Harper’s.  Miranda and Michael joined us, as they always do, and we decided to dig into the plethora of beers in my garage.  I managed to convince the two that we should do a tasting of the Sam Adams Holiday Pack.  Not sure why this struck me as something fun to do, because in hindsight it was not the best of ideas.  On a positive note, it’s not Bud.  But when that’s some of the best you have to offer a beer…well…you understand where we’re coming from, don’t you?  I am probably going to be dropping the remanants of that 12 pack on a street corner for a local Portland homeless person to have on Christmas.  Regardless, here are our notes from the “tasting”.  I use quotation marks because it’s debatable if this was a legitimate beer tasting or not. Continue reading


Christmas Yeti

23 Dec


‘Tis the season to raise a glass with friends and family, and to drink rich, roasty winter warmers. So, the other night we shared a bottle of Great Divide Brewing’s Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout that we have had aging in our beer cellar for just over a year.  Overall, this beer was enjoyed by all and met my expectations for sipping a stout on a cold winter’s day. Continue reading

Four Years of Sour Beers

17 Dec

Last Thursday Miranda forwarded me an e-mail about a vertical tasting of the Cascade Barrel Houses’ Sang Noir.   I sat at my desk at work and thought, “should I stay late to get work done? or push it to Friday?”  With only one barrel of the 2007 Sang Noir left, I thought it best to push the work to Friday.  And off I went to the Cascade Barrel House.  Besides, well-aged beer just makes me happy.

I will admit right up front the Sang Noir was one of the first sour beers I ever tried and to this day, it remains my favorite.  Now I was getting to try four years of this excellent beer side by side. Continue reading

An El Paso brewery and the end to a looooong trip

11 Dec

So…I must have done something to upset the beer gods.  Seriously.  First it’s a closed brewery in Port Aransas.  Then it’s a freak icestorm during my time at High Desertin Las Cruces.  Then I get to Jaxon’s Restaurant and Brewery in El Paso and their entire brewing system is under repair!  Jaxon’s bills itself as the fourth oldest brew pub in the state of Texas.  I could find no dates that would allow me to verify that statement, but this place has been around since forever.  I remember eating here as a small child with my parents.  Not sure how long the brewing has been going on, but they entered a handful of GABF competitions in the late 90’s, so they have probably been at this a while.  Check out their normal line-up.  Thankfully there were still two beers available when we went: Chihuahua Brown Ale and the Borderland Lager.  All was not lost!  I ordered some food and asked the server to bring me the two pints that were available. Continue reading

Craft beer in the Southwest

6 Dec

Well, the wedding in Port Aransas was a success…even if the attempt to find local beer wasn’t.  After a delayed flight out of Corpus Christi and an extra connection in Dallas, we finally got home last night.  Too bad it was after the local El Paso brewery had closed!  So this morning I woke up in a different state (NM) and more determined than ever to visit my old stomping grounds in Las Cruces: High Desert Brewing.  I probably started going here as an undergrad in the late 90’s.  I remember the beer was flavorful and BIG!  It probably seemed that way because I had been drinking Bud Light and Keystone my entire college career.  I also remember that the beers always seemed sweet.  Not in a cloying way, but looking back, it was clearly residual sugars from the brewing process.  I also remember wicked hangovers after just 3 pints!  I was eager to see if there was a difference this time around.  Upon arrival, I ordered 2 taster trays (they pour four 4 oz tasters per tray) and got down to business. Continue reading

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