Archive | March, 2012

Father Jack

29 Mar

After tasting the *amazing* Night Stalker from Goose Island Brewing on our trip to NYC last spring, we have been on the lookout to try any other Goose Island we can find. So we picked up a bottle of 2010 PERE Jacques when we saw it. A Belgian-style abbey ale, Miranda forfeited the review to me, since this is not her favorite style and she knew I would have a greater appreciation for the Pere Jacques.  She was right as this beer was very true to style.

It poured a beautiful golden amber color with a sparse head and a complex nose of various fruits: currants, raspberries, figs, dates. Which one exactly, is hard to say. This was the best part of the beer, which speaks more to how fantastically complex the aroma was and not to any weakness in the drinkability of the beer. There was no noticeable hop to speak of, which I did not necessarily expect since it is a Belgian-style ale. It was sweet with the lightest buttery-ness on the tongue and a reasonably strong alcohol finish. This was a hefty, bigger bodied beer where the extra alcohol was needed to help balance all the malt. Although it didn’t make the same statement as the Night Stalker (you must drink it if you find it), it was definitely a nice belgian-style ale.

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Poppin’ our Cherry

28 Mar

Subtle, right?  Nothing like a sex reference when discussing beer.  But it is pretty appropriate considering that Michael and I were taking our first foray into all grain brewing. We’ve been at this home brewing business for going on 3 years now.  We’ve had our highs and lows, but we had not yet made the leap to all grain.  That all changed when Michael received a Home Depot cooler for Christmas, and proceeded to track down the necessary parts to put a homemade mashtun together. Continue reading

Interesting

25 Mar

Decided on the bitter sweet symphony from the Gaverhoptke Brewery in West Flanders, Belgium tonight.  Apparently it is a collaboration beer between the Belgian brewer and an American brewer.  I did manage to find some pictures of the making of this beer on the Gaverhoptke website.   Supposedly, the American brought over some hops to help “American” this beer up.  No idea what kind they were.  The beer is labeled as a Belgian-Style Double IPA.  Through my impressive powers of deductive reasoning (the American’s shirt in the pictures), I managed to link The Station Taproom in Downington, PA to this brewery where they have one of their beers on their current tap list.  Could it be that this mystery brewer works(ed) there?

More importantly, I saw this bottle at Belmont Station several weeks ago, and the name alone inspired me to give it a shot.  I have to admit, I was (still am) a fan of the band The Verve.  The song Bitter Sweet Symphony got a lot of play on my car stereo back in the day.  Sappy?  Sure.  But I’m ok with that.  I love what I love…what can I say?  Although I could never quite figure out the video.  Walking down the street like that in the States would probably end with someone inserting their fist into your throat.  Also, what’s with the band coming in at the end?  It’s like: “Thanks for doing all the hard lifting, mate!  Now that the sidewalk is clear, we’re all about heading to the pub with you!” Continue reading

Who wants a ride?

23 Mar

So the wife is in Boston, and I am home with the little one all week, which means that I will be drinking a beer almost every night.  I gotta cope, right?  People just don’t understand what a 3 year old can do to your psyche after a couple of days…sounds like a good time for a mustache ride, don’t it?

More like Mustache Rye’d Red Ale from Flat Tail Brewing in Corvallis.  Even used the appropriate pint glass to drink it!  Ever since our Brewvana tour of this fine establishment, I have been trying to get my hands on whatever they are bottling.  Their whole ethos really struck a chord with me.  They are all about brewing and drinking really great, fresh beer.  Fresh being the key word here.  Beer is meant to be drank as soon as it’s ready, in their humble opinion.  “Ready” usually means within a few weeks of the beer being kegged/bottled.  And to be quite honest, I have slowly started to realize that I agree with them.  Don’t get me wrong…aged beers are wonderful (which Flat Tail also agrees with) and I have plenty of them in my fridge/garage, but there is something about beer that is fresh  Something beautiful.  It’s crisp.  It’s clean.  You make it, then you consume it.  Very much like cooking a meal, right? Continue reading

Aggies! Aggies! Goooooooooo, Aggies!

12 Mar

It’s already a fantastic time of year, what with March Madness and all.  It gets even better when your Alma Mater (New Mexico State) makes it into the field of 68 (I will never get used to that number…it’s 64, dammit!).  Even better than all that?  They are playing here in Portland!

If you recall, I have tickets to the opening rounds this year at the Rose Garden.  Just so happens that the Aggies beat LA Tech last night and made the Dance.  Their reward?  A 13-seed and a  match up with the Indiana Hoosiers.  That’s a tough mountain to climb for the Aggies, but they are one of the top rebounding and inside scoring teams in the nation, so I expect them to take it to Indiana if nothing else.

I had to celebrate the fact that I get to catch the Aggies in action, so I opened up a Black Butte XXI after dinner.  Some beers are just meant to be held on to until the right occasion.  This is that occasion.

Let the Madness ensue.

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