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Firestone Walker’s XVI Anniversary Ale

2 May

photo 2-2

For my 39th birthday, almost one year ago, I received a 22 of  Firestone Walker’s 16th anniversary ale.  As part of my mission to drink the beer that is now stored in the “food” fridge, I selected this one.  I think I should have read the bottle before cracking the cap, as this big boy clocks in at 13% ABV.  Not really a school night beer.  Who I am kidding, it is going to be summer-like outside and I am going to spend most of the day wishing I wasn’t inside. So being a bit slow in the morning will matter very little. Continue reading

Hotlanta

29 Apr
the view of Olympic Park from my hotel room

the view of Olympic Park from my hotel room

The South is a mysterious place to many in this country.  If you’ve never spent any time there, you might picture Plantation homes, humidity on a scale unimaginable, and glasses of sweet tea being consumed on a large wrap-around porch.  All of those are things you find down south, but there is so much more than that going on. I’ve been in Atlanta for the last several days at a professional conference, and it’s been great. Atlanta is an old southern city, known for its history and friendly charm.  Ive been here several times in my life and am always struck by the livability of the place.  Considerably larger that Portland, most would assume that it’s all traffic and concrete. The truth is that the city has done a fantastic job, the last couple of years, of focusing on amenities that soften the edges of the large metropolis that it is.  With all of that has come renewed investment in the city and a burgeoning food and beer scene.

Continue reading

Just a little Trip

27 Feb

photo 1Today I am drinking the Taylor Shellfish Farms Oyster Stout,a collaboration between New Belgium Brewing and Elysian Brewing.  A member of their Trip series of small batch beers.

The oyster stout is a fairly rare style but I have managed to try a few and really enjoy the beer.  As soon as I saw this beer at Belmont station I picked one up.  For me in an oyster stout the brine is the key.  I would say number one flaw I have found in some of the beer I have tried is, while labeled an oyster stout, it was in distinguishable from any other stout.  I am looking for a nice ‘sea’ brine, a bit different than a Gose, that mixes effortlessly with the dark malt and a softened the mouthfeel and finish.  Even before tasting, I a a bit concerned, at 7.7% ABV this beer is much bigger than any other oyster stout I have tried.  I hope the extra malt doesn’t lend a bit of sweetness that interferes with the flavors I am looking for.

This beer looks wonderful poured into a glass.  The beer is very dark but not total black and topped with a head of soft, tiny bubbles.  It is almost as if it was poured from a nitro tap, very nice for a bottled beer.

I will admit I am getting over a fairly nasty cold.  Trying to give anyone a reasonable description of the  aroma would be an exercise in futility, so I am just going to jump in as taste this beer.

This is a good oyster stout.  It has a nice brine, although I could ask for a bit more, and rich dark malts start to its nice smooth finish.  What keeps this from being a great beer is the size, confirming my original hesitation.  I believe an oyster stout is much better served by a smaller, say <5% ABV, drier beer.

If you have never had an oyster stout this is not be beer to start your adventure with the rarer beer styles, but for the few enthusiasts out there pick up a bottle and give it a try.  I would love to here your opinions.  Hell, while your at it, let me know your favor oyster stout

The Legend

19 Feb
My first beer club beverage…and it's a legend already.

My first beer club beverage…and it’s a legend already.

So I’m a member of a beer club now.  My mother got it for me as a gift for my birthday.  Not a bad gift, as gifts go…although the GIANT bone-in cured ham carried a bit more weight with my daughter.  She wanted to eat the whole thing in one sitting, but it will likely take me a year to finish it.  Good thing I can just leave it hanging in the garage.  But cured, bone-in hams aside, I went ahead and poured my first beer from my first month’s shipment.  Seemed like a good time to drink a brown ale from Legend Brewing, what with all the rain and wind. Continue reading

Prepare for Chaos

13 Feb

So I’m sitting at an Irish pub at the Dallas airport. Unfortunately I cannot report on drinking an amazing brew, let alone a local beer. I was hoping for a Lone Star at least but alas, none to be found. So I’m just sipping on a Smithwicks and a Guinness as I kill this three hour layover. But y’all know what those taste like and they are not earth shattering, so nothing to report, but they are good enough with my fish n chips. Continue reading

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