If you are reading this, chances are that you are a beer dork. If by some weird twist of fate you have stumbled upon this blog and are not a beer dork, but are thinking, “hey, getting into a craft beer is a hobby I might enjoy” I implore you to back away from the computer screen, and go grab yourself a Miller Genuine Draft. Being a beer dork is a lonely existence, as it is rare to find anyone who shares not only your love for good beer, but also your precise flavor profile. How often have I met someone who knew their way around a beer menu only to discover that their love of beer is focussed on lambics and brown ales, and they dislike the hoppier English-American hybrids that I favor? Actually, that has never happened, but it could. And if you are a guy, forget about meeting a woman who shares your love of good beer. If you do, she will be one of the following: a) married; b) seeing someone c) not into guys in general; d) not into you specifically; e) under the impression that Blue Moon is a Belgian beer; f) some combination of the above. Read the rest of this entry »
Late Summer 1987, and I am backpacking around Europe with Pete S. We had Eurail passes and we were not going to let them burn holes in our pockets, so we were rolling arond Western Europe like Patton racing towards Germany.
Our trip took us to Copenhagen. I pulled out my dog eared copy of “Let’s Go:Europe” and start reading about Copenhagen. Per the advice of Let’s Go, we saw the statue if the Little Mermaid. I dutifully took a picture of it, but that was a total waste of time. We decided to go to the Tuborg Brewery for a tour of the works, and then the free beer samples at the end.
On the way to the brewery, we passed a small sandwich shop. Let’s Go had advised trying these open faced fish sandwiches that Denmark was famous for, and the window of this shop was filled with them. Pete and I popped in and each grabbed a sandwich. As we sat down, I noticed that the mayonnaise on my sandwich looked just a touch off, just a wee bit nasty, just a tiny bit rancid, but as you all know, I am an idiot, so I just wolfed the thing down. Pete, to his credit, looked at the sandwich, and asked, “Are you sure about this?” Having already finished my sandwich, I said “it’s fine.” Pete took a few bites, thought better of it, and dumped the sandwich.
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 »
Having tried Jester King’s Wytchmaker Rye IPA on tap a few times, and being somewhat underwhelmed by it, I was not especially enthused to crack this bottle open. Holy Crap was I wrong about that! The bottled Wytchmaker Rye IPA was great, one of the better beers I have tried in some time. It pours a cloudy burnt orange with a fluffy head and the mouthfeel is creamy and chewy and was complex with the pungent citrus, mango and piney hops offset by the rye and caramel malts. This is a beer I would give to a wine snob who claims that beer is unsophisticated, as the interplay of flavors is fantastic. Definitely a contender for Beer of the Year, 9.5/10.
In addition to making a kick ass beer, Jester King needs to be applauded for taking a stand against beer protectionism in Texas. The full story is here, but the short story is that Texas law makes it difficult for out of state breweries to sell their beers here, particularly if the beer is a one-off beer. Jester King understands that making good beer available to Texas beer drinkers, no matter where that beer is brewed, will only serve to increase the thirst for good and interesting beer in Texas. Good for them for taking a stand against a bad law, even though the law may serve their interests in the short run.
I have been in Texas for a few weeks now, and the one thing I cannot adjust to is the heat. T.E. Lawrence and his band of Merry Arab Pranksters may have crossed the Sun’s Anvil to attack Aqaba by land, but the Mexicans who work construction here in the summer think A’Lawrence and those Arabs are a bunch of candy asses for hiding from the sun during the day. It is the end of September, shortly after 10 a.m., and it is over 90 degrees, and no one here thinks that is odd. It is just the way it is. Read the rest of this entry »