Spread The Word: Other Beer Bloggers Who Are Fighting the Good Fight

October 4, 2012

Sexier than a photo of Marilyn Monroe making out with Brigitte Bardot 

Back of the Ferry: Bladdamasta and his band of bloggers weigh in from Sydney with their take on the Australian beer scene. As most of my readers are American, most of us will never try the beers they write about, short of taking a trip to Australia for a week or three of drunken wanderings, but don’t let that stop all of you from checking out the blog on a regular basis. You learn all sorts of stuff about cricket and rugby and arcane bits of Aussie culture, and the photos of the beer, usually taken from the back end of a commuter ferry with the Sydney Opera House in the background, or taken on some impossibly beautiful beach, make for the best beerporn on the internet. Lately these Australian Merry Pranksters have gained some access to some of the better American brews, and their take on our beer makes for fascinating reading.

Beer Samizdat: Speaking of Merry Pranksters, Jay in San Francisco has established a little fiefdom in a corner of the web, at various times blogging about music, books, politics, movies, sports and beer. I first encountered him on his Agony Shorthand blog, which as I recall was all music, all the time. He stopped updating that blog and has since then opened and closed blogs dealing with music, politics, books, beer, sports, etc. I think there was even a short lived movie blog in there at one point. The one topic that he regularly returns to is beer, and Beer Samizdat is his latest beercentric blog (he also currently has a general interest blog (The Hedonist Jive) and a music tumblr (Dynamite Hemorrhage)). Being in Northern California, Jay has ready access to some of the best breweries in the country, and he has also developed a nationwide trading network, which nets him tasty treats from all points on the map. He is an impeccably honest reviewer, one of the few to say that when it comes to Pliny The Elder, the emperor has no clothes. I don’t necessarily agree with that assessment, but I like that he is willing to call ’em as he sees ’em.

You Stay Hoppy Austin: More than just a blog, You Stay Hoppy Austin is one man’s attempt to be a central clearing house for all Austin beer news. Not being in Austin, I am not in a position to judge how well that goal is filled, but as a supporter of the ever growing Texas craft beer scene, it is a must read for me.

The Vice Blog: The proprietor of the Vice Blog, Aaron, is focused on writing novels, so he does not update this blog as often as he used to, but this blog is still one of the funniest reads you will find, and is well worth poking around in for a few hours. I am ever mindful of Aaron’s admonition that Most Beer Blogs Suck and do my best to keep Tilting Suds above the Mendoza Line of Beer Blog Suckitude.

It’s a Fucking Beer: Pithy reviews of beer, which get more entertaining the less he likes the beer. The blog name says it all.


A Cornucopia of India Pale Ales

July 21, 2011

Santa Fe Brewing Co. Happy Camper IPA:  Creamier than the usual IPA, Santa Fe Brewing Co.‘s Happy Camper IPA is malty and piney, with a nice cloudy orange color and fluffy white head.  Probably not worth seeking out if it is not readily available to you, as it is nothing spectacular, but it is a decent beer, 6/10.

Maui Brewing Big Swell IPA:  This has a crisper mouthfeel than the Happy Camper IPA, which I attribute to the higher carbonation level, and is not nearly as malty.  The hops are on the tropical fruit and grapefruit end of the spectrum, with a hint of lemon as well.  Another IPA that is good and drinkable, but is well short of spectacular, 6/10.

Thirsty Planet Buckethead IPA: I tried this at the Katy Road Icehouse (“KRI“) in Dallas.  Pluses for KRI: It is located on a popular bike path that I ride on occasion; It is an open space with a huge outdoor seating area, and has those giant misting fans to combat the Texas heat; It has an enormous selection of Texas beers; And it is usually packed with tons of attractive women. Read the rest of this entry »


Advice to the Ladies on Your Internet Dating Profile; Also, Beer

January 16, 2011

I have undertaken a detailed sociological study of profiles posted by women on internet dating websites for a project* I am working on.  I present to all of you, free of charge, the following advice: Read the rest of this entry »


Southern Star Blonde Bombshell

December 22, 2010

I am more of a brunette guy.  Both of my exes had dark hair, and  most of the women

The Blonde Bombshell of all Blonde Bombshells

I have dated had dark hair also.  That may just be my personal preference, or it might be that Blonde Bombshells are just way out of my league. Maybe I should start dating blondes, that might change my luck.

I am sure there is some primal explanation as to why men are attracted to blondes, some evolutionary reason explaining why blondes are more attractive to drunk guys at closing time.  As a simple beer blogger, such explanations are beyond my rudimentary thinking.  I cannot explain why, I just know it is so.

Not all Blondes are Bombshells.  The stereotypical ‘ditzy blonde’ is never a Bombshell.  To be a Bombshell requires more than just a blonde hair and a nice figure.  Bombshells are intelligent, often highly so, and their emotional intelligence is fine tuned.  Most of the ‘Baywatch’ blondes are not Bombshells.  They almost all have that vacuous look in their eyes that makes the prettiest girl unattractive. Read the rest of this entry »


Ska Brewing Euphoria Pale Ale

December 22, 2010

The version of The Harder They Come that Jimmy Cliff sang in the movie is not the same version that was used on the soundtrack.*  The lyrics are slightly different, and the performance is remarkable.  Listen to that silky smooth guitar line snaking through the song, and Jimmy’s most soulful vocal performance.  I love the version on the soundtrack, but the movie version is better.

The Euphoria Pale Ale by Ska Brewing is silky smooth and easy drinking, with just a mild grapefruit bite from the hops, perfectly balanced by the toasted caramel malts.  Only 6.1% ABV, so you can drink a bunch of these at a sitting.  The folks from Ska Brewing not only have good taste in music, they make some damn fine beer also.  I am giving the Euphoria Pale Ale a 7.5/10, and am on the lookout for other offerings from Ska Brewing.

* The Harder They Come is the greatest soundtrack album of all time, and if any of you are thinking of making an argument that The Big Chill, or, god help us, Footloose is better, please leave my blog and don’t ever come back.  However, to show how magnanimous I am, I will listen to arguments made in favor of Valley Girl.


Southern Star Pine Belt Pale Ale

December 1, 2010

Continuing in my journey through the generally excellent (and at least to me, surprisingly so) beers of Texas, we come to Southern Star Pine Belt Pale Ale. This might as well be marketed specifically to me as it is (1) a hoppy, piney, sticky-icky IPA and (2) it comes in a can, which as loyal readers know I have become a passionate champion for after my initial fuckwittery concerning canned beers. It pours a deep and cloudy orange, with some massive hops aroma and a foamy head with great retention.  At 6.5 % ABV, this is one beer to have when you are having more than one, as long as someone else is driving. This is a fantastic beer, 9/10, is in the starting rotation, and is damn close to being the ace of the staff.


Restrictions on Christmas Decorations; Glenda the Good Witch Was A ‘See You Next Tuesday’; and Beer

November 18, 2010

Christmas Decorations

It is the week before Thanksgiving, and there is a house in the neighborhood already festooned with Christmas lights, and they already have  their tree up and decorated, which means it is fake.  Fake trees are like fake boobs, wholly unnecessary, not fooling anybody, and quite frankly, an affront to Nature and Nature’s God.

Away from the implants and back to the Christmas decorations:  When my master plan is finally implemented, and I am the Somewhat Benevolent Dictator of North America (with a Mild Nasty Streak)*, it shall be decreed that Christmas Decorations may not be displayed until the day after Thanksgiving, and must be taken down and packed away by Twelfth Night AKA the Feast of the Epiphany.  Waivers may be applied for, but will be rarely granted barring unusual and/or exigent circumstances.

The same restrictions will apply to the playing of Christmas Music.

On the other hand, Christmas Beers may be released as early as All Soul’s Day.

Glenda the Good Witch

I recently took my nieces to see a middle school production of The Wizard of Oz.  It was great, especially considering the actors were no more than twelve years old.  The actors portraying the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow were especially good.

I have not seen the movie version in a good thirty years, so I was seeing this with fresh eyes.  Glenda the Good Witch is not good at all.  She is a Machiavellian beast who manipulates Dorothy to get total control of Oz.  Let’s review the facts.  Dorothy accidentally kills the Wicked Witch of the East when her house falls on the Witch.  The Wicked Witch of the West wants the ruby slippers, but they end up on Dorothy’s feet.  All Dorothy wants is to get home to Kansas, and with the slippers, she can do so immediately.  Glenda does not tell her this.  Rather, Glenda sends Dorothy on a fool’s errand to see the Wizard.  The end result is that Dorothy kills the Wicked Witch of the West, and the Wizard returns to Missouri in his hot air balloon.  With her competition out of the way, Glenda tells Dorothy that all she has to do his click her heels together a few times, and the magic ruby slippers will bring her back home.  Glenda is now the undisputed ruler of Oz, and holds absolute power.  The Flying Monkeys are fucked, and God help those poor Munchkins.

Beer

New Belgium’s Hoptober Golden Ale is the best beer New Belgium makes.  Light golden in color with a thin white head, this beer is nicely balanced with some orange peel hops and bready malts.  They may use hefeweizen yeast in this, because I picked up some banana and clove as well.  It is light enough in both flavor and alcohol (6% ABV) so that you can knock back a few without being knocked out yourself.  I’d buy this year round, but it is only a seasonal brew.  Well worth grabbing if you see any on the shelves, 7/10.

*I am a few simple steps away from Phase One of this plan.  Believe me when I say that lists are being kept, and you do not want to be on the wrong side of the ledger when the Final Phase begins.  Those of you who are in danger know who you are.  Forewarned is forearmed.


Ska Brewing Co.

November 10, 2010

I was a huge Specials fan when I was a kid.  Still am in fact, and I still love all of those old Two Tone Bands so when I came across Ska Brewing Co.’s beers, with their obvious homage to the iconography of the record label, I had to give them a try.  It was the marketing that made me pull their beer off the shelf the first time, and while it worked with me, how many middle aged beer dorks are there who are also music geeks specializing in British Post-Punk Music of the Thatcher Years? In any event, while it was the packaging that first caught my eye, it is the quality of their brew that keeps me going back to them.

The Modus Hoperandi (Great name!) is a hop bomb extraordinaire with massive amounts of piney hops in the nose and the taste, a rich amber color with a white head, 6.8% ABV and a thick chewy mouthfeel to boot.  I love this beer, 8.5/10.

The Decadent Imperial IPA is a boozier version of the Modus Hoperandi with some spice and sweetness added to it.  I noticed the 10.0 % ABV immediately upon opening the bottle.  The alcohol is that strong on this one, but it is tempered by the flowery hops, both of which carry over to the flavor.  I liked it, but not as much as the Modus Hoperandi, 7/10


Saint Arnold Divine Reserve No. 10

November 6, 2010

Each year, Houston’s outstanding brewery, the venerable Saint Arnold, produces a special limited edition beer called the Divine Reserve. The beer is a different brew every year, a barleywine this year, and I have been told that it sells out quickly.  The release date this year was November 2.  I have discovered a few good beer emporiums in the area, and I thought that as long as I got to at least one of them by the end of the 2nd, I would be able to snag myself at least a six pack.  No problem, right?

Problem.

I hit my favorite local beer emporium, and the Chinaman tells me that he closed his waiting list in September.  Fuck.  I go to my next favorite place, and they tell me that their three cases were gone by noon.  Double Fuck.

I hit supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations.  Saint Arnold? Divine what? Beer?  Sounds sorta blasphemous to me, Sonny, and where yall from with that funny way of talking you got? Triple Fuck.

As I am swinging home, I pass the brand new Whole Foods that opened the day before.  I figure if I can’t get myself some Divine Reserve, I can at least get some goat cheese, olives and ciabatta and maybe some red wine to knock back as I watch the election returns, and as I am gathering my provisions, I stumble into their beer section.  Saint Arnold IPA? Check. Saint Arnold Brown? Check.  Saint Arnold Amber? Check. Saint Arnold Christmas Ale? Check. Saint Arnold Divine Reserve?  Nope. Quadruple Fuck.

As I am leaving the beer aisle, an older woman asks me if I have found everything I am looking for, because if I have not, her son, who is standing right over there, is the beer manager for this Whole Foods, and he can help me find it.

<play it cool, Mr. Tilting Suds, play it cool>

Her son comes over and says hello, and we chat a bit.  I tell Mom that while I am a man of limited means, I will do everything in my power to make her son the superstar of this store.  We all laugh at my charming witticism, and we talk about the fire at Rahr Brewing and how Austin’s Real Ale Brewing Company makes some excellent beers and you know, Shiner has some surprisingly good beers. I am doing a song and dance routine, showing the depth and breadth of my knowledge, such as it is, all the while buttering up Mom with the old Tilting Suds charm, and those of you who know me, know how effective that charm offensive can be.

“So,” I ask, “do you have any Divine Reserve?”

“No, I don’t.” Quintuple Fuck.

“Ah, too bad,” says I.

“But I am getting a case in tonight, come back tomorrow, I’ll set aside a six for you.”

I swear on the souls of my ancestors that I did not do my Victory Jig until I was out in the parking lot.

This is heavy on the booze.*  It is listed at just under 12% ABV, but my guess is that it is quite a bit higher considering the way my tongue was numb on my first sip.  It has some nice cherry and dried fruit flavors, some nutty hoppiness along with some caramel, smoke and spice, but the alcohol is dominant, especially as it warms a bit.  This is a good beer now, 7/10, but it is a bit too ‘hot,’ and if it ages a bit and mellows, it will probably be a great beer.  I have five bottles left.  One is earmarked for a beer blogging novelist in NYC, and my plan is to cellar the other four and come back to them in a year.

Ah, who the hell am I kidding? Six months at best.

I am so full of shit, it will all be gone by Thanksgiving.

*GEB sent me text the other night asking if the Divine Reserve was stronger than a regular beer because she had three of them and was “drunkity drunk drunk drunk.”


Alternate Spellings of Names

October 18, 2010

Do you know what really chaps my ass?  Alternate spellings of first names.  Using my first name as an example, Shaun, Shawn, and, God help us, Chone, are unacceptable spellings of Sean.  If it is good enough for Sean Connery, it is good enough for everyone.

This alternate spelling of Jennifer is the Queen of Alternate Spellings. What. The. Fuck.  I am not sure what is more offensive:  The way she spells her name, that she lists her profession as Child Caretaker/Magician’s Assistant, or that she lists her greatest accomplishment as, and I quote, “Being able to enrich the lives of others through dance has been my greatest aspiration.”  The sad thing is that she is good looking enough that guys have been telling her that it is cool that she spells her name that way in a desperate attempt to get in her pants.

On to beer: Oskar Blues Old Chub is a scotch ale with a malty caramel body and a smoky aftertaste.  It pours a deep mahogany with a cafe au lait colored head, a rich velvety mouthfeel, and a touch of coffee and chocolate in the aroma.  I am generally not a fan of scotch ales, not hoppy enough for me, but this is a good one.  Another winner from Oskar Blues, 7/10.


%d bloggers like this: