Thursday, December 11, 2008

I had a drinking problem.

Is this the sign of a problem? I guess it all depends on the way you look at it. I do have a drinking problem. Well, I did have a drinking problem. The problem is that I didn't know what to do with all the empty bottles after I finished them.

This is where they end up first, on the side of my desk. As I write the posts for my blog and make the roster moves for my fantasy football teams, I would drink them, then line them up to the side when they were finished.

By the way, I have the best record in one of the leagues thank you very much.

Anyways, eventually there would be too many empty bottles. They would start to crowd my keyboard and get in the way of my monitor. So I would move them to a box on the floor. I am conscientious about the environment, so I saved them to recycle. Actually, the city gave us a recycle bin so it leaves more room in the regular trash can.

Eventually, the bottles start to get in my way again, so I start a new box. It is a vicious cycle. A cycle that finally ended last week, with 96 empty bottles on the floor. That's right, in less than a month, I ended up with 96 (ninety-six) empty bottles of some great beers. That is like what, 3 - 4 beers a day on average? Not to bad if you ask me.

But no more. I have given that up. I have solved my problem. I am going to stop drinking.....from bottles.

From now on, I will drink from a keg. The bottles take up to much space, and I hate carrying them to the recycle bin. It is all the way outside. No more. Just fresh kegged beer from a tap for me. It is such a great thing to be able to take a mere 18 steps to refill my glass, which I will wash and use over and over again.
See, I care about the environment.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I am so cool!

Just when I thought I couldn't be any more popular, it happened. I am.

A kegerator will make you a very popular person. Not just in high school, but anytime. I figured my friends would think it was cool and want to come over to drink the "Free Beer". But I had no idea that my friend list would grow to include my friend's friends, and my even wife's friends.

Of the 3 beers I have on tap, I figured the Samuel Adams Boston Lager would be the most popular. Quite the contrary. It has been the least popular by far. I'm not sure if they don't like it, or just like the others more.

The most popular beer has been the Four Peaks Kilt Lifter. I bet the keg is nearly empty now. All it took was one Saturday night. Guys lined up for it all night long. It was a surprise as well as a let down. I am happy I got the Miller Lite drinkers to drink a good beer. But I am bummed out that they have nearly finished off my keg.

So the keezer is fully functional and pouring liquid gold for everyone, pint after pint. Or in my case, liter after liter. (I guess the metric system isn't all bad now that I think about it). So if you get the time, feel free to stop by for a beer. Everyone else is.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

A's or D's?

I told you I had a funny story about my kegs. It is funny, but I feel like an idiot. So much that I can laugh at myself and share the story with you, my close friends.

You might have noticed that I have been building a kegerator, aka "HIT - Home Intoxication Kit". And if you follow my blog, you will know that I love beer from Europe, in particular Germany. So why wouldn't I tap a few German kegs for my personal enjoyment.

As luck would have it, my local beer specialty store had a bunch of 5 gallon kegs on sale. Could you imagine my excitement when I read Paulaner Oktoberfest and Bitburger for $32.00 each. Are you kidding me? How freaking sweet is that!

At that time, I wasn't ready to buy any kegs because the kegerator wasn't finished yet. My plan was to go back and pick them up on Tuesday night. In the mean time, I needed to buy some German "A" system keg couplers. Damn, they are expensive. Nearly $30 more than a standard American "D" couplers. (Who would think that A's would cost more than D's) But I needed them, so I bought them.

With everything ready for the Germans to come home on Wednesday, I made the trip to buy the kegs. I walked down the long isle of amazing beers with a big grin on may face. I wasn't here to buy single bottles this time. I was going to buy, a keg. No, not just a keg, but 2 German kegs.

My smiling face soon turned to a look of anger, then disappointment, followed by embarrassment. You see, that smoking price for the 5 Gallon kegs of sweet German beer was correct. However, I was overcome with excitement that I didn't notice the L instead of the G.

Yep, they were liters. Not gallons but liters. They were those stinking over sized beer can kegs with a spicket on the side. My first thought, "Shit! I just spent $150 on fucking A couplers. What the hell am I going to do with them now"?

Those aren't kegs. They don't count. There should be at least 5 gallons in a keg, not 5 liters. All that time wasted in elementary school preparing us for the stupid metric system was a complete waste of time. Remember, we were going to be switching to the metric system. But it never happened. I guess they didn't get the memo.

That brings you up to date. I exchanged the A's for D's (I love D's, They are my favorite). All is well again. As long as my kegs show up tomorrow, I will be ok. Some day, I will get a German beer in there. I don't know when, but some day.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

CO2 is a Go.

We are almost there. I'm still waiting on the kegs though. They were ordered and confirmed this morning. I double checked. I am going to pick them up on Friday night. They better be there, or there will be hell to pay!
In the mean time, I need to get everything else ready to go. I want to finish as much as I can now so all I have to do is "tap" the kegs, and I am ready to go.
So, this is where I am as of 5 minutes ago. I just hooked up the CO2 tank. It worked perfectly. I pressure tested the system and everything looks great. I am going to let the tank sit in the keezer to see what happens to the pressure.
From what I have read, and been told, the pressure drops when the CO2 tank is inside the freezer instead of being outside.
I'm not happy with the temperature probe just hanging there. I am looking for a better way to have it in there without being in the way. But for now, it will do.
Friday night, I will hook everything up and take some more pictures. I will post them for you to drool over. Just kidding. But I sure was envious of all the other guys who made keezers before I did. I am thankful that they were nice enough to post the pictures and give steps and directions on how they did it. I hope I have returned the favor.
If you have any questions about anything, please let me know. I will do my best to tell you how I did it, and why I did it. It wasn't to difficult to build by any means. I wish I would have done it sooner. I'm happy I have one of my own now.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I ordered my kegs!

I just got home from the BevMo. It was a kind of a big deal. I ordered my kegs. Not exactly the selection I wanted, but they will do just fine.

I decided to order 3 different 5 gallon (or so) kegs.

1. Samuel Adams Boston Lager. I needed a session beer. A beer that friends and family will enjoy and not make that hops face.

2. Flying Dog Old Scratch Lager. I love this beer. I am so happy that they actually had it available in something other than a 15.50 gallon keg. This is a great beer that I will enjoy while it lasts. And it is a beer that I will give to those whom I feel are worthy of a quality beer.

3. Four Peaks Kilt Lifter. A local favorite. Brewed here in my home town, it has quite a following. It really is a great brew. I'm sure it will last longer than the others, but that is what I want. It is the beer that I will drink on special occasions.

Taps 4 and 5 are reserved for home brew. I was supposed to brew this weekend, but plans changed. So I will have to wait a while before I can tap the final two spots. I wonder if I can wait that long.

I also made another trip to the beer store. I got the CO2 tank filled. As soon as I am done typing, I am going to hook it up. I wish I had the kegs to get everything set up. But I have to wait until Friday night. I have to go back to the beer store tomorrow. It;'s kind of a funny story. I will tell you about it tomorrow.

I will post the pictures tomorrow. So until then.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Kegerator is almost done

I am almost finished with the Kegerator. All I have to do now is hook up the CO2 and the kegs. Here are some pictures of what I did.

First, I cut the wood and assembled the collar. I checked the fit to make sure all the gaps were close. It was hard to keep it flat. I used the concrete garage floor. It is flat enough for my needs.

I wanted to be sure the corners were as tight as possible. Therefore, in addition to the 8 screws holding the collar together, I added some angle brackets on the inside. Simple enough, 4 screws.

The next thing I did was fill the holes with wood filler. You can see it here in the screw holes. I also filled the areas where the wood was screwed together. I wanted it to be smooth when I painted it.

Then I took the collar off, sanded down all the wood filler, and painted it white. I used a kitchen semi-gloss white. I wanted it to resist moisture and mold. This is what the Home Depot recommended I use.

I'm sorry didn't get a picture of the weatherstripping between the collar and the freezer. But what I did was lay down a 1" wide layer of 1/4" thick adhesive backed weatherstripping all the way around. It worked out well. It fills in all the gaps between the collar and the freezer for a tight fit.

I was worried about the weight of the lid pulling the front end of the collar up. So I added these little brackets. I made a tiny hole in the freezer lip to get that little screw in there. I hated doing it, but it gives me a little more confidence in the strength of the collar.

Here you can see the back side of the freezer. This is the one hinge with the spring in it. The other one doesn't have one. I don't know why, but it works. Everything worked out well with the alignment. I used the same holes in the lid, made 2 new ones in the wood collar, and used the original top holes for the bottom.

The next step was to drill the hole for the temperature controller. I used a 1/2" drill bit to make the hole. I am going to fill the hole with something after I stick the probe through it. Not sure what yet, but I will fill it to try to keep the keezer sealed the best I can.

You can also see the manifold in there. I screwed it to the collar. I had to buy a 6 piece unit because they didn't have a 5 piece. O well, it was cheaper than adding an extra one to the 4 piece. I plan on having 5 kegs in it eventually.

Here is the inside of the keezer as of right now. I am letting it sit flat before I plug it in. You can also see the rubber mat I added. It is an entry mat from the Home Depot. It is a 24"x36" rubber mat, and fit perfectly. I traced the hump and cut it out. Not bad for $7.00

So this is where I am at right now. My plan is to plug it in tomorrow morning. It will be cold by the time I get home. Good thing, because I am picking up 2 kegs on my way home from work. I will put them inside and let them settle for a day. This will give me time to sanitize the lines and hook up all the plumbing and air lines.
If all goes well, I will be able to pour my first pint on Wednesday. So check back and see how it goes.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Kegerator is still in the works

Well, my plan didn't work out exactly how I thought it would. In fact, I am still working on it right now. I just came inside to write this post and let you guys know where it stands. Here is the status thus far.

I started this morning by opening my new saw. O so sweet! I love it. Powertools rule.

Anyways, on to the fun stuff, cutting the wood. I measured all the pieces to make sure they were the right side. I cut the four pieces in a few minutes. No big deal.

Next came the screwing (that's what she said!). This is the most difficult part. The pieces have to align up as close as possible, and as flat as possible. I laid the pieces out on top of the freezer first, but that wasn't working. So I set everything up on the garage floor and started drilling.

I drilled pilot holes first to help with the 2 1/2" screws make it all the way in. Then I simply screwed 2 in each corner. Then to help keep everything a little more secure, I screwed some brackets on the inside.

Because I am a bit of a perfectionist, I started sanding. I don't know why. It is going to be completely covered inside the bar. But I can't help it. So I sanded, and sanded. Then I used wood filler to fill in all the cracks and screw holes. I even sanded down the high spots so the frame would fit more flush to the freezer.

Now, I am painting. I am using a semi gloss kitchen paint. It resists moisture and mold. So it is perfect for what I am doing. I have a couple coats on there right now. I am going to let it dry over night.

Tomorrow, I will add a couple more coats in the morning and let it dry until the afternoon. Then I will screw the hinges back on and the hard part is done. Then all I have left it the plumbing.

I will post pics tomorrow.

This is so much fun. It is going to be even more fun to put it in my room and drink beer from it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Tomorrow, will beer flow?

With a little skill, and a little more luck, tomorrow will be the first day that beer will flow from my keezer (freezer kegerator conversion). I know, I am am excited too.

I made a last trip to the home brew store to get the few remaining parts I still needed. It wasn't my final trip. That will be tomorrow.


Because I forgot the main reason I was going there to start fill my tank. I think I got so excited and ran out out of the house and left my CO2 tank sitting there. I was so bummed.

It ended up being a blessing in disguise though. In my drive home, I stopped by the beer store to see if there was anything new. I was in the neighborhood, and I had a little time to kill, so why not.


I scored a few killer new brews. But the best news is that they have some killer brews in 5 gallon kegs on sale. A few of my favorites in fact. It was just meant to be.

What are they?

You will have to wait for me to take the pictures. They are going to keep me company while I assemble my new baby.

So check back tomorrow. I hope to share a pint with you.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Is it cool to be Thankful?

I got so sick of EVERY SINGLE BEER BLOG posting the results of the 2008 Great American Brew Fest. It was so pitiful. I mean come on. I couldn't even keep count the amount of blogs who cut and pasted the results like they were doing us a favor.

It reminded me of a Presidential Speech. Why does every stinking station have to broadcast it? CNN, I get it, I understand that one. But MTV, Animal Planet, the Travel Channel? Really? Are you serious?

So to keep with that tradition, I considered writing about what I am thankful for since today is Thanksgiving. However, I would be like one of those channels broadcasting something that everyone else is. I have never been one of those kind of people. I avoid the popular or trendy way of thinking at all costs.

So today, I will tell you that I am thankful for all those people that walk to their own beat.

No, I'm not talking about all those people who join a group to be different. You know who I am talking about. Those people who have no self confidence and join a subculture to "be different". And to be different, they dress, act, and get into everything that everyone in their group does. To conform, it means they are being different? I don't get it. I'm sorry daddy didn't love you. But get over it, and move on.

Anyway, I am talking about people who stand up and voice their opinion even if it pisses someone else off (like I am sure I just did). People who are willing to be their own person. People who say "Screw You" to the man, and mean it.

You know what, I am thankful. I am thankful for those people who were willing to defy an entire country, even if it meant death. The people who were willing to stand up for what they believed is right. Those people who brought beer to this country.

I hope I didn't turn this into a CNN wannabe channel, or a conforming non-conformist.

So I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. Now go drink a beer. A nice Samuel Adams would be perfect today. And be thankful I didn't talk about the guy in the bathroom that didn't wash his hands.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm spoiled, or is it the beer

Can I just tell you how much I am not enjoying my latest beer. It is Old Stock Ale by North Coast Brewing Co. I bought it because it was a new 2008 edition, and it was a 12.5% abv.

This is the first beer I have had since Beerfest. And can I tell you, I am bummed. I don’t know if all the beer I consumed at The Big Pour spoiled me, or that this beer is just not that good.

O well. I love to have high abv beers on hand for the times my friends and family come over. Of course, they all think they have such a high tolerance for beer. They are so cool, and can drink everyone under the table. I love to bust these out and see what kind of drinkers they really are.

I am so evil.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Beerfest part 3. The people

Part of the fun at beerfest is the people watching. It brings out all kinds of different people. Some good, some bad, and some I can't explain. So I think you might enjoy seeing some of the Fascinating people I met this weekend at "The Big Pour" beer festival.

These guys were here to party. It takes a big man (or Scotsman) to wear a kilt. I would totally wear one. In fact, I will buy one the minute I arrive in Scotland in the year 2012. I'm just saying.

I promised you some pictures of chicks with big racks didn't I. These were big, and fake. But she was old and worn out. I'm sure the guy she was with was 15 years younger than she was. But I told you I would. I am a man of my word. It is all about you, my blogging friends.

OK, one more. I thought this one was funny. Quite the opposite don't you think. But either way, it was a picture I had to get. Like I said, it is all about you guys. I will do whatever I can to make you guys happy.

This guy knows how to drink....or does he? Who would be sitting on the ground at a beer festival? And after one hour of beer? I know one guy. But more on this guy later.

I'm not sure what was up with these two. I think they were "working" the festival. To what degree, I can't say. But they were around all day, and were quite popular with the fellas.

I mentioned I visited the Modelo booth 2 or 4 times didn't I? I needed the free shirt. And I heard they were giving out free glass mugs to people. I tried and tried, but all I got was 2 shirts and a bunch of crappy beer. But I got this photo for you guys. Again, it is all about you.

As the day ran out, I snapped this one. This was my favorite. I don't know if he is a Bleacher Bum from Chicago, a transplant Chicago fan, or an alcoholic Cubs fan. Either way, it was a cool jersey. I should get myself one. But I hate the Cubs. Possibly a Whitesox jersey then.

This girl must have had a bad day. Actually, the story goes something like this. As people were leaving the field, I was taking pictures of the drunk idiots trying to make it up the stairs, or people wearing cool beer shirts or something. This chick flipped me off as she walked up the stairs. I didn't know why. I was trying to take a picture of the guy behind her with a cool shirt (below). Would you really think I would take a picture of such a hottie like this on purpose?

I ran into her in the parking lot as she was leaving. I asked her to flip me off again. She said that felt bad and apologized. I said it was ok and asked if I could get a picture of her doing it again, because I missed it the first time. She said ok.

This is the best shirt of the day. This is the guy that was walking up the stairs with the nice bitch above. I liked his shirt. I wanted to share it with all my fans. What I have to put up with to please you guys. But this shirt sums up what we all felt at the end of beerfest.

These guys did it right. Pedal power is the new taxi. I was really worried about the amount of cars in the parking lot as I arrived. These guys did it right. Biking it to and from the beerfest.

So that is it. There are some more pictures, but I think you get this idea. I wish I could have taken a picture of the drunk hippie in front of me at the Sam Adams baseball throw. Or the completely obliterated frat guys who would have surely thrown a punch if I took their picture. There were plenty of "enhanced" women around. But I realized, they didn't like it when strange men tried to take their picture.

I hope you enjoyed my reviews. I know I sure did. It really was a great time. I hope all of you can attend the next one.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Beerfest Part 2 - The Beer!

It is called a "Beer Festival" for a reason. Beer! You were kind enough to wait for my list and reviews, so I will take the time to go over as much as I can. I believe there was a 15 beer limit. Whatever. I don't live my life by rules. At last count, I think I was ringing in at a big 29+. So lets get this party started.

With the advise of some blogging friends, I started my day with their recommendations. So I started with:

1. Reaper Ale - Pale Ale. I have had Reaper Ale before, but not their Pale Ale. It was good. I think I still prefer their Red Ale though.

2. Nimbus - Old Monkeyshine. I have heard of it, but never tried it. Weighing it a 8.2 abv, this is a fun beer. I will get this one again.

3. Redstone Meadery - Nectar. This one was a little different. The bright red mead was sweet. I think it is something my wife will enjoy. Not for me.

4. Oskar Blues - Old Chub. I love this brewery. It is the only beer I will drink that comes in a can. This was my first time drinking Old Chub Scottish style Ale. It is good stuff. I will be buying this on my next beer run.

5. Dogfish Head - 60 Minute IPA. This is just so good. You knew I was going to say that. So are you going to be surprised with my next one.

6. Dogfish Head - 90 Minute IPA. Again, an amazing beer. This is a staple of my diet. Sam is the man. What will he come up with next? Peaches?

7. Dogfish Head - Festina Peche. Uhmmmmm, it kills me to say it, but I didn't like it. I tried, I really did. But it just didn't do it for me. Sorry Sam.

8. Spanish Peaks - Black Dog Ale. It was ok. But my friend "Schlampe" loved it. He wanted me to make note that this was his favorite at the time.

9. Boston Brewing -Cider. Not sure which one it was. But it was ok. I enjoy a good English Cider like Strongbow now and then. I doubt I will buy this one. I think Jim should stick to beer.

10. Shiner - Bock. The first time I ever tried any of Shiner's brews. It was ok. A little on the weaker side. I was expecting a more flavorful beer. It reminded me of a big brewery beer.

11. Avery - I didn't get which one. I forgot to write it down. Bummer.

This brings you up to speed for the first hour. It was then time to get something to eat, and chill out for a while. Schlampe was wasted. He isn't quite a seasoned drinker yet. I am working with him. But he only drinks like this when he is with me at a beerfest, or in Europe.

12. Deschutes - Obsidian Stout. I was excited to see that they brought out Woody. The beer is always good. I think they are a step below the top tier breweries. But I still buy their beers.

13. Green Flash - West Coast IPA. This was really good. Another one recommended to me. And I am glad I tried it. I have passed it by many times on the shelf. I will buy something from Green Flash next time.

14. Grand Teaton - XX Bitch Ale. I like this one. I have tried the Au Naturale Organic Blonde Ale before. I am a fan. I think they make some good beer.

15. Sierra Nevada - Summerfest Lager. I like Sierra Nevada. I was hoping for one of their special releases. But I guess they were not available. O well.

16. Hacker-Pschorr - Oktoberfest. I love it. It is one of my favorites. I actually went around the tent to get another. I'm not going to count it as two, because I had three in total. But I love it.

17. Paulaner - Pilsner. I love Paulaner. Then again, I love most German beers. I was really hoping for something different than the Pilsner. But I will take it on tap when ever I can.

18. Dale Bros - Pomona Queen. This is a good lager. I really enjoyed it. I actually stuck around and talked to the guys about the brewery. During our conversation, he kept filling my glass with all of their different beers.

19. Dale Bros - Winter Haze. I really like this one as well. It is an amber lager. A little more robust than the Pomona Queen. I would search this one out if I were you.

20. Rock Art - Ridge Runner. An english barleywine. It was an enjoyable beer. There was a lot going on in there. But I know I enjoyed it because I tried their next offering.

21. Rock Art - IPA. Not on the same league as a Dogfish Head, but it was good nevertheless. A Vermont brewery that I have never had. I am glad I had the chance to try it.

22. Brooklyn Brewery - Lager. You can't go wrong with this one. I good beer all the way around. I wish it were a little easier to get out here on the west coast. And from what I was told, it soon will be. They are close to having it readily available soon. I am excited about this.

This brings it to the two plus hour mark. At this time, Schlampe needed to sit down. And he did, where ever he could. He eventually made his way into the stands to fall asleep I think. Time was running out, so I made another lap to try to score some free swag, and a few more beers.

To be honest, I was feeling really good. And to be completely honest, my palate was gone. My judgement in beers was severely lacking. All the different beers were tasting the same. Don't judge the next samples at face value. I got something out of each one.

23. Delirium - Tremens. I am not a huge fan of Belgium brews, but Delirium is a good beer. So much in fact, the term Good Burp is from Belgium. Thus my blog. Neat huh.

24. Santan Brewing - Not sure which one because I cant read my writing. I know it was ok. I kissed his ass and told him I would write something great about them. His name is Klye. He gave me a cool shirt. Thanks Kyle. I hope to make it over to your brewpub in the future.

25. Modelo - Especial. I know, I know. I did it for a shirt. And I got one!

26. Modelo - Negra Modelo. I needed another shirt for Schlampe. At least I didn't drink the Corona.

27. New Belgium - 2 Below. I really wish I could have remembered this one. I am sure it is a good beer. But my cup was in dire need of a rinse after the Modelo contamination. I will find it and buy it. I owe it them.

28. Cucapa - Chupacabra Pale Ale. I don't know what to say. It tasted like beer. I know it was ok because I finished it. I wish I had more to tell you.

29. Bear Republic - Red Rocket Ale. I have a bottle in my beer fridge. But I wanted to taste it. I think I liked it. Yeah, I am pretty sure I liked it. I remember that they were sold out of shirts. Only $5 for a shirt. No wonder. I got some coasters though.

There you have it. There were still so many more to try. I just couldn't do it. The cheap disposible plastic cups were bigger than I any cup I have ever had at a beerfest. And the people pouring the beer were not very stingy. Especially those with short lines. By the end of the day, it was a free for all. Just fill it up and walk away, no questions asked.
The beers were a plenty and a flowing. There were a few I will pass by on the beer isle. But i found many more brews that I will surely buy for now on. The different selections made for a great time. And I am happy I did it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Draft Magazine's 1st Beer Festival - Part 1

Draft Magazine knows how to party! In their first attempt at a beer festival, I think it went very well! The beer selection was great, the facility worked well, and two sessions helped control the crowds. Overall, it was a a great time. I can't wait to do it again.The crowd was great. It grew larger as the day went on. No reported fights, nobody falling over drunk, and no one screaming "Rumspringa....woooooow". People were there to drink the beer and have a great time. That is exactly what they did.There was plenty to do if you needed a break. There were games set up all over the field. A large amount of people played "cornhole". (I didn't name it) A game where you throw a bean bag and try to get it into a hole in your opponent's board. I have played this many times. It is fun, and easy to play drunk. I guess that is why it was so popular. I think most of us have played this one. "Beer Pong" has taken the world by storm. Millions of drunk frat guys have made it a mainstream game. So popular in fact, that the cast of "Big Brother" played it after hours. Check out those tables. A simple portable table that you can pack up and take anywhere. I gotta get one.
For those who were not quite drunk enough, "Pop-A-Shot" was usually open. As you can see, there wasn't many people playing. I guess they were all standing in lines for beer instead of throwing up bricks. This is just one of those games that gets more difficult to play, the more you drink. Unlike pong and bowling.
There was a huge tent set up with all kinds of games. Darts, pool, and foosball were the games of choice. There was a crowd in there all day. I'm sure the fact that it provided a great deal of shade made it a popular place to hang out.
One of the most popular events of the day was this, the baseball toss. Samuel Adams set up a pitching net to win all kinds of stuff. You got three pitches. Throw 1, then predict the speed of your next throw. Early on in the day, all you had to do was guess within 5 MPH. That didn't last long because everyone was winning, so they changed it. The rest of the day, you had to guess exactly. I won my first two times, winning a magnet and an old man v-neck golf sweater. All I wanted was a t-shirt. But that stupid wheel didn't like me.

Overall, it was a great time. There was plenty to do when you needed a break from trying all the different beers. It helped break up the day and give you a chance to just hang out and talk to some interesting people. It was a lot of fun.

But what about the beer?

You are going to have to wait until tomorrow for that. This post would just be to long. So check out my thoughts on the beer tomorrow. I even kept a list.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Beerfest was Awesome!

I did it. I made it through another Beerfest. I tried as many beers as I could. Some new, some old. Either way, I enjoyed every sample. I think I represented the beer blogging world well.
I need a little time to decipher the list of beers I tried. Not sure how many I tried, but I know I had plenty. Come back tomorrow. I will share my opinions of the beer, and the festival.
Right now, I feel like this dude. He passed out right there in the grass after the festivities were over. I think it is time for me to pass out as well.
(Thanks for the help Brian. I took your advise and ran with it.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Willkommen to BEERFEST!

Tomorrow is the big day. I have waited patiently for months now. No. it's not my birthday, it's better. Tomorrow is BEERFEST! Well, to be politically correct, tomorrow is the 1st annual "Big Pour" beer festival. It feels like the night before Christmas. I am so excited. I hope I can sleep tonight.

I will be taking notes, and pictures, and buying lots of shit from every brewery I can. I hope to score some sweet stuff, like bottle openers, coasters, stickers, calendars, posters, hats, and shirts.

I just hope I can try as many different beers as humanly possible. That seems to be the most difficult part of a beer festival, trying everything. I know it will be a difficult task, but I am going to do my best.

However, I have a favor to ask of you. I have tried many different beers in my day. There is even a list of them to the right. I would love to get suggestions. I am really going to go out of my way to look for the brews from the east coast, and breweries I can't get here at home. But I need help. I need you guys, the beer loving readers of the world, to give me guidance. Help me decide what breweries I should look for. What beer can I not pass up. What is that beer that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

So come on people. Help a brother out. Help me make this the most memorable (or one I wish I could have remembered...thus the camera) beer festivals I have ever attended. I will make you all proud.

I will post my fuzzy thoughts tomorrow night.....hopefully.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bloggin MoFo

I don't know why, but I decided to join the NaBloPoMo. For those who are acronym challenged, it stands for National Blog Posting Month. I am an idiot for deciding to join.

My wife talked me into it. It is all her fault. "It will be fun to post every day". Yep, every day for the month of November. (I don't understand because November has disappeared from the calendar this year).

Here I am on day 19 asking what I got myself into. Another 11 days of posts is what. Another 11 days of asking myself what I am going to blog about. Sure, I can blog about beer, but I am stocked up on all my favorites, Fuller's, Tennent's, Flying Dog, Hacker-Pschorr, Samuel Adams, and yes, Dogfish Head. So I can't give any reviews.

I just have to make it until Saturday. Saturday is the "Big Pour" beer festival. I am uber excited for it. I will be drinking with camera in hand. I will take plenty of pictures of drunk people (because they are funny) and chicks with big racks beer. That will get me through the Thanksgiving weekend for sure.

In the mean time. Thanks for reading. Keep the comments coming.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No turning back now

They are on their way. There is no changing my mind now. As if I would have anyways. Last night I ordered all the remaining pieces I need to finish my kegerator build.

My ultimate plan is to build a bar to house the freezer / keezer and my beer fridge. But I am in a bit of a hurry because of the party that I will be having in the next few weeks. I need to finish the keezer before I start building the bar. If all goes according to my plan, I will be able to finish it up next weekend with the help of a 4 day weekend.

I am finalizing my blueprints for the bar. I will make a run to the Home Depot this weekend to buy the wood. Time permitting, I will start the build soon thereafter. It is a descent size, so it will take some time. I hope not to long because I really want to get it finished in the next 3 weeks.

I will post the pictures as I go. I appologize for the sloth-like speed of the build. But my job gets in the way of my beer fun. Stay tuned. It will be fun.

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Best Friend Sam

Look what I got in the mail today. It is an autographed copy of the new book "Extreme Brewing" by Sam Calagione. And look at that, it is even personalized to me. Sam and I are like this (my fingers are crossed). How cool am I. I know everyone is going to be so jealous when they see it. I can't help it. I rock!
Aside from the amazing inscription, the best writing in the book is about brewing beer. It is great how Sam goes through the steps of brewing some extreme brews that have made him famous.
For a home brewer, novice or seasoned, it is a great read. Either one will learn something new about brewing beer at home. I loved it. Then again, most anything that educates me about brewing or beer makes a good read.
If you want one, I'm sure he will autograph one for you. Just be sure to tell him that I sent you.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Kegerator, Day 1

I promised I would post pictures of my kegerator build. So, here they are. Only a few. But more to come.

After serious consideration, I decided to go with a Whirlpool 8.9 cubic feet freezer. I could have went with something smaller, but I wanted to be sure I could fit everything in it.

With the 8.9 cubic feet, I can fit Five, 5 Gallon kegs in there. Or I can get 3 kegs, and a carboy. In the long run, I figured it was better to have a little more, than a little less. I did buy it new at Lowes. I looked for a used one, but I just couldn't find what I was looking for.
The first thing I did was insert a screw into the hinge. This was to make sure that the hinge didn't spring back. It is simple enough to do. There is even a picture on the back of the freezer to show you what to do.

Then it was as simple as removing the screws from the lid. There are 4 holes, but only 2 screws. I'm not sure why. Cost cutting move I would guess. After I removed the screws, the lid simply comes off. It is light, so don't worry.
The next step was measuring for the collar. I measured the freezer lip 2 times just to be safe. I even set the lid back on to see how the fitment would be made after I put it all back together. Now I am ready for the wood.
This is as far as I got because I forgot the wood and all the other parts in the back of the wife's truck, and she wasn't home. So this was as far as I was able to get on day 1. I know, uneventful. But day 2 will be more productive, I promise.
So stay tuned to see how things progress.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Party Foul

I went over to a friends house tonight to play poker. I am not much of a poker player, but I have fun anyway. Besides, it was a shitty day so I was looking to blow off a little steam. It was a perfect reason to drink some good beer.

As with most poker nights, it was BYOB. I prefer it that way because there is nothing worse than showing up and having nothing but Bud Light to drink. So I made a stop at the BevMo on my way over to get a few treats.

I picked up the usual favorites. Fuller's, Paulaner, Ayinger, and Tennent's. I also picked up a couple new ones just for fun. A Left Coast Sawtooth Ale and the new seasonal K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale from Flying Dog.

The night started off perfect with the pint of Ayinger. I then moved on to the Fuller's London Pride as I moved on the the next round. This was the highpoint of the night because my money soon ran out just as my Tennent's ran out. I needed something to make me feel a little better.

How about a little Holiday cheer in a bottle. Time to bust out the K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale.

I made my way to the kitchen to grab my bottle from the fridge. But something wasn't right. I swear I had only finished 3 of my beers. That should leave 3 more in the fridge. But I can only count 2. What happened?

I see the bottle of Left Hand, and the bottle of Paulaner. But the bottle of Flying Dog is missing. I didn't drink it. Did I misplace it? Did it get moved? What the hell happened?

Someone took it! I closed the fridge and scanned the kitchen. There it was. Sitting on the counter by the sink, empty! What the Fuck?

What kind of loser drinks another man's beer? And not just any beer, but a quality beer that everyone was asking about when I got there. Bringing a 6 pack of 6 different beers that they had never head of was like showing up in a Ferrari. But you don't steal the Ferrari when the owner isn't looking. You might ask for a ride (or a taste), but you don't take it.

I love to share beer with people. I will give you a beer just to hear your opinion of it. I will give you a beer with hopes that it might sway you to give up Coors. I will even buy you a beer to get you drunk. All you have to do is ask. But it pisses me off when they steal it. That just isn't right. That is a major Party Foul!

That sucks. I am out $20, and a beer.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My new Scottish friend.

Do you see that?
Do ya, do ya?
Do you know what it is?
Sure, they are bottles of Tennent's.
But not regular Tennent's.
It is Tennent's 1885 Lager.
Do you know where I got them?
No, not BevMo.
They were hand delivered to me all the way from the Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow Scotland.
How freaking cool is that!

The Tennent's that I can get here in the states is like that foreign friend you have. He was born in Scotland, but he lives here now. He is still has a Scottish accent, but it's not quite as authentic as it once was.

My new Tennent's is like the old Tennent's older cousin. He still lives in Scotland, but just crossed the pond to visit his cousin for holiday. (I don't think he is going to make it back home). New Tennent's is a true William Wallace loving Scotsman. He loves his country and is proud to wear a kilt.

The story goes something like this. My wife helped this Scottish fellow with his finances. He lives in Scotland, and comes to the states to visit family every year for the holidays. He keeps money in accounts here so he doesn't loose it every time he exchanges currencies.

My wife was able to save him so much money, that he felt indebted to return the favor. By chance, he asked if she liked beer. What luck, I do. Being the cool wife she is, she told him that I love Tennent's. So he said he would bring some "Bud Light of Scotland" with him as a gift.

He was true to his word. He brought 4 bottles with him. Why is there only 2 in the pictures?

Because our skilled government employees in the customs department broke the other 2 bottles.

Next time, he said he would bring me a special limited release Guinness. I can hardly wait.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Beer on my Ipod. Right on!

I love my Ipod. I usually carry it with me everywhere. Good thing too, because my boss has horrible taste in music. But I am getting sick of my songs. So what am I to do?


O man, what have I been missing. Podcast are so cool. I can learn how to invest in the stock market or speak German. I can even find out about my fantasy football team. But the best thing I can learn about is, BEER!

Damn, this is so cool. I have spent hours listening to podcasts about beer. They talk about making beer, drinking beer, different kinds of beer, and everything beer. I love it.

There is Beer School, Basic Brewing Radio, Craft Beer Radio, and my favorite, Brew Crazy. I would listen to all these for the entertainment value alone. But the cool thing is that I learn all kinds of things about the wonderful world of beer. Everything from home brewing techniques and equipment, to all the different stles of beer.

I strongly recommend that you check out these beer podcasts. I'm sure you will learn something you didn't know about beer. The Ipod is so much more than just a music player now. Good thing, because I don't think I can go another day listening to Abba or Enya.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to Me!

It looks like Thanksgiving is going to be a couple days early this year. Thanks to the amazing people over at Draft magazine, I will be celebrating "The Big Pour" with thousands of my closest friends. Friends who love this amazing country, and good beer. I am so thankful that there will be more than 100 different breweries pouring beer for me to try. Isn't that great.

I will see you all there. I love this country!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Kegerator Part 1

I finally did it. I bought my freezer to build my 5 tap kergerator, or "Keezer" as most home brewers call it. It is nothing fancy now. But by this time next week, it should be fully functional and pouring up to 5 different beers from a 5 tap tower in my guy room.

My beer fridge just couldn't cut it anymore. There are just to many different beers that I love to keep in stock. That leaves little room for the many different beers I like to try every week. My wife gets upset when I fill up a shelf or two in the main fridge in the kitchen. She says that is what my beer fridge is for.

My plan is to get the keezer functional in the next 10 days. That way, I can enjoy the draft beer while I start the other project. The Bar.

The bar will be built to house the keezer and the beer fridge. If all goes according to my plan, I will have everything built and ready to go for the Holiday season. Who know, maybe I will have a Christmas party. That would be one hell of a party. One of the great ones where the cops show up!


Saturday, November 8, 2008

I'm a stone cold gangster yo

Sometimes, you see something that has got to be a joke, or a punk. But it wasn't. It was proof that the world is full of idiots.

I stopped to get gas yesterday ($2.45 a gallon, Right On!). As I started entering my data into the pump, I hear some idiot driving up with his rap music blaring from his stock stereo. I say that because music (even rap) sounds so cool blaring out of a sweet system. But when a stock stereo is screaming for help with all that distortion, it makes me cringe, and laugh at the same time.

Back to the story.

As I start to pump the gas, I see the idiot pull up to the pump one row over from me. I started to smile. It was a big white Chevy cargo van. It gets better. I hear something to the effect of...."pop, crackle, crackle...I'm a stone cold gangster yo". Then the door from the van, opens.

I started to chuckle. A tall goofy looking white guy gets out of the van. He screams out, "I'M A STONE COLD GANGSTER YO"! I immediately started laughing. The guy looked like Ali G. He was wearing big gold Elvis glasses, and his straight out of Compton, LA Dodgers hat with the front on a little sideways. This had to be a joke. I kept laughing as he strutted into the store from something. Probably a 40 of Mickey's or King Cobra.

While "G" was in the store, a car pulled up to the pump between us. I was just waiting for my receipt from the pump when I hear,

"What's up baby? Yo fine". O my God. Did he really just say that out loud? You see, that car that pulled up had 2 girls in it. I start laughing again as I reached for my camera phone. I had to try to get a picture of this guy because people are not going to believe me when I tell them.

"Sup Baby. You want my numba. I'll give ya my numba."

I notice the driver has now hunched down into her car while the pump is still going. G hopped into his van, and proceeds to lean out his window in his attmpt to woo the laides.

"Whats yo numba baby. Gime yo numba.....Dam, Yo fine"

That's it, I lost it. I am started laughing hysterically. He must have heard me because his eloquent banter with the "fine" women ended, and he started up his sweet ass gangster plumbing van.

The first thing he does is turn up his stereo even louder than it was when he got there.
Pop, crackle, crackle,......."You Fuck'n with me, you Fuck'n with a P.I.M.P".

Just in case we didn't know by now, "G" let us all know again as he drove away.

"You Fuck'n with a P.I.M.P"!

- Cheers

Friday, November 7, 2008

Now I am the Master

I just came up with a new name for myself. For now on, I will demand for my friends and family to refer to me as, "The Beer Master". You may be asking yourself how I am able to make such a claim.

My friends like to call me, "The Beer Connoisseur", and for good reason. I admit, I have to agree with them. However, I think I have moved to on to the next level.

Here is my story.

I got an email from my cousin today. He was in dire need of help. So of course, he calls the Master (me). You see, my little cousin is in a desperate search. An all important search for an ever valuable beer.

You see, his friend from work was just transferred to "Beer Nirvana". a.k.a. Belgium. This guy has been living the dream, and drinking beer after beer from all the amazing Belgium breweries. Now, one of these sweet nectars has turned this rookie beer drinker into a beer lover.

He tells my cousin that he has got to find this beer as soon as possible, at any cost. Because I am who I am, I (The Connoisseur) was the first, and only call. It is enriching to teach the younger Miller Lite generation the way to enlightenment.

Without haste, I proceeded to give my lil cuz all the information he would need in order to be successful in his crusade.

The amazing part of this story is, I have this beer sitting in my fridge right now. In fact, I always have bottles of this in my fridge at all times.

To make my status legendary, I emailed a photo of myself drinking it at that very moment.

What beer could have been?

It was the infamous, Delirium Tremens.

I know...I know. I am the shit!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

What happened to November?

I walked into the Home Depot yesterday to get some parts for my kegerator build.

(More on that Later)

I swear I just decorated my house for Halloween last week.

Yep, there are still orange lights and pumpkins on my porch.

I don’t understand. Isn't it November? I sure feels like November.

But 2 miles away at the Depot, it is Christmas time.

What happened to Thanksgiving? I didn’t get to eat turkey. I love turkey.

What happened to the month of November?

If I remember right, our great country got it start, in a round about way, in the great month of November. Our founding fathers landed early because they were running out of beer. How could the Home Depot forget about a monumental occasion such as this?

If they sold beer, I'm sure it would still be November there too.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Whorelloween, not just for adults anymore.

I don't know what to say. I wrote my last post about the women (WOMEN) who want to dress like Hookers in hopes of getting lucky, or making up for lost time in high school. But I was shocked by the number of adolescent school girls who came trick or treating to my house dressed in the very costumes I wrote about yesterday. What the hell?

What parent would allow their teenage daughter dress up like a prostitute for some candy? An actual prostitute might. But I doubt there are any in my neighborhood. What is wrong with parents today?

I think I know the answer to this question (they don't give a shit). Still, it amazes me that parents would allow their kids to dress like they work for Heidi Fleiss. Then they are all shocked and appalled when their 16 year old daughter comes home pregnant. The fact that the daddy has a semester of community college and a job as the night manager of the Burger King doesn't make it right.

I'm not trying to drag down family values of today, but come on. Have you ever watched Chris Hansen of Dateline? Parents, get your kids in line. Get a little involved. Don't let your daughters grow up to be a Prostitot.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

October 31st, Whorelloween is here!

Can someone tell me when Halloween become National Slut Day? What happened to the ghosts, witches, princesses, and vampires? I will tell you what happened. They grew up, and became sluts (not that I am judging).
The Witch grew into the Wicked Witch, and the Princess became a Hooker, while the Vampire became a Trampire. What happened to the innocence of Halloween? It used to be about the candy, and the pumpkins. Now, it is more about the "Tricks", than the Treats.
However, to keep with the Halloween Spirit, I feel it is my duty to show you some of my favorites.

The Pirate.
I don't remember anyone looking like this on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. Nor do I remember any in the the three movies . But I have a feeling if there had been, parts 2 and 3 would have been so much better!

A Devil.

Ok, I get this one. It is Halloween, and devils have always been popular. But for the life of me, I can honestly tell you that I don't remember a single one of them looking like this. It kind of makes you second think that whole, "devil is bad" thing, doesn't it.

A Nurse.

Hmmm.....I think I might be coming down with a fever. No wonder hospital bills are outrageous today. Who knew that they were offering "Escort Service" to their patients as well. I wonder how much insurance would cover.

The Mafia.
Wasn't she in The Godfather? No, it might have been Good Fellas. I just can't remember for sure.

It has got to be a difficult to hide a gun in that outfit somewhere. It has got to make it even harder to eliminate someone without being noticed in an outfit like this. This might not be the best choice of suit for a "Whacking".

Beer Wench

This is my favorite. You can't go wrong with this one. It is practical, colorful, and tasteful. Isn't that nice. She even has a beer in her hand for me. I feel so honored that she would feel the need to bring me a beer dressed as an authentic beer maid from Germany.

I just love Halloween!