Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Beer Trade

I got an interesting email from a friend the other day. He is an avid home brewer and beer fan. We talk about cars, beer, boobs. You know, guy stuff. By the end of the beer talk, both of us end up being jealous. Why? Because the other one always seems to be drinking a better beer. You see, he lives on the east coast, and I am on the west coast. And when it comes to beer distribution, all things are not fair.

So he came up with an idea. He wanted to know if I might be interested in doing a beer exchange. After I took the 2 seconds to think it over, I think my response was something like, "Hellz Yeah". I have been dreaming of this for a long time. It seems like I am constantly reading blogs where people write a review of a beer I can't get. Or they post a picture of some new special beer that I will never be able to find. Honestly, it pisses me off. So I am all ready to start trading.

However, I have a little problem. How do I know what to ask for? I mean, if you asked for a brewery on the west coast, I can tell you which ones to try, which ones I like, and if there are any new seasonal brews available. When it comes to the smaller east coast breweries, I don't have a clue. I don't know of many. And I surely don't know which beers to ask for.

This is where I need you, my beer swilling friends. What do I ask for? What am I missing out on? What is the brewery out there that I just have to try? And what is that beer that I will fall in love with? I would love to have your recommendations. And when I do, I will tally up all the suggestions, and post the results. Once I receive the beer, I will write a full review of each and every one. I hope I get to write a lot of them. So please, help a brother out.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Beer Education 101

Damn, there is nothing on TV but the freaking Presidential Address. What should I do instead? How about I tell you a story. This is a true story. A true story of the compassion and education I share with the masses on a daily basis, for the greater good.

There is a guy at work. Lets call him Ship. He is a cool guy. He reminds me of a guy who likes to party and have a good time. But with that observation comes the problem. Ship drinks light beer. What a shame.

Today, we were talking about stuff like our wives, sports, our hobbies, and whatever guys talk about around the water cooler. Somehow, the subject of beer came up. What were the odds of that? I have no idea, But he asked me if I liked beer. Isn't that funny? Do I like beer?

I started into a 20 minute speech about why I LOVE BEER. I had an introduction, a body of support, and a closing statement. Ship was a little shocked. He had no idea that I was the kind of guy who would drink beer. Was that a compliment? I really don't care. But I still don't know what the type looks like.

Then Ship started asking me questions about my beer likes and dislikes. "What do you drink"? I love this question. What do I drink? It depends on the day. "Have you ever had this beer, or that beer". What do you think? Then he started to tell me some of the beers he has had, and which ones he "kind of enjoyed". Some like New Belgium, Sam Adams, St. Paulie Girl, and Sierra Nevada.

Now, I had something to work with. I told him to hop on the bus, because I was going to take him to school. And before I knew it, I was "educating" him on the different styles and different breweries he should try. I grabbed a piece of paper and started writing down the beers he should try. I tried to keep it simple. I gave him a list of the beers he should be able to find at a local grocery store or at the least, a BevMo. I think I put down a list of 12 or so to start him off. I could see how interested he was as he read the list and asked questions about every one of them.
When I noticed how enthralled he was, I knew I had been successful. I had just converted him to our side. Yes, I convinced a beer drinker to become a "Beer Enjoyer". I added a new disciple to my group. How do I know, because he is planning on going to "Beerfest" next weekend.

You read that right. Next weekend is Beerfest 2009! And I plan on writing a full report. It will be full of beer and boobs for all of you to enjoy.

It's time to go. I think the President just promised to make it rain beer every Saturday while he is in office. Awesome!


Friday, February 20, 2009

Monks make good beer

I am on a roll tonight, or a binge. Whatever. I am full of beer and opinions, so I am going to share them with you. And since the last aged beer was so good, I just opened another. What is the lucky beer this time?

Orval Trappist Ale.

I have mentioned before that I am not a big fan of Belgium ales. I really prefer the malt or hops flavors over the sweet ones any day. But in my lust for different beer, I made my way through the Trappist styles ales a year or so ago.

This Orval was one of the last in my fridge. I bought it after a recommendation from my friend Zane Lamprey of Three Sheets. (I miss that show). After Zane talked so highly of the Monks and their beer making abilities, I decided to make my own opinion. I was sadly disappointed.

The smack of citrus and sweetness was something I was not prepared for. I shy away from Heffes, and this was way beyond that. This isn’t the way beer is supposed to taste. It was closer to a Raddler than a beer. And I really don’t like Raddlers.

So the remaining beers sat in my fridge, until tonight.

It really is amazing how time can change the flavor of a beer. I will tell you that I am actually enjoying it this time. The flavor has mellowed a bit. That pungent taste has become enjoyable. The citrus flavor has become mild. Yet the overall flavor has improved. I would call this a great dessert beer.

Now, Trappist Ales are not for everyone. I would normally count myself in that group. But with a little time, and an open pallet, I think that you might enjoy this beer on the right occasion.

The Results:

Did I like it? I guess so.

Was it good? Yes.

Would I recommend it? Sometimes.

-'Op uw gezondheid'

It's working

I knew it. It is actually working. I am so smart. I was an Honor Student for 1 semester in college for crying out loud. I'm only two beers into my "binge" tonight, and I'm already typing. I actually have two posts I want to wright. But lets continue on my "Barry Badrinath Theory".

As soon as I opened my second bottle, it hit me. I am drinking my oldest beer. This is the first time I have cracked into a beer that I decided to "age" way back when. God, I am glad I did. The beer of choice is "The Original and Genuine MACKESON Triple Stout", brewed and bottled in England.

When I came home from London a few years ago, I was addicted to English Ale. I loved London. And I loved the ale. Sitting in a dark, damp, English pub to have a pint of Ale is something every living human being must experience in their lifetime. When I got home, I didn't want that feeling to end. So I looked all over town for for any ale that was from England.

Notice: The best beer I ever had was in a pub called, The George. "The George Inn lies about six miles south-east of Bath, in the village of Norton St. Philip. The George Inn is reputed to be one of the oldest continuously licensed houses in England". A small, local brewer from the area had a special ale available the day I was there. It makes me happy, and a little sad, to think that I will never have this brew again. Here is the link:

Anyways, I was hooked. I went through the major breweries, Bass, Newcastle, Fuller's, and Young's. Then one day, I found Mackeson. It was a different style of ale that I wasn't used to. This was a Triple Stout. I was just drinking regular ole ales. But I liked this one. I liked it a lot. So I went back and bought a second 6 pack with plans to save it. I am happy I did.

The Review:

The taste has intensified, yet mellowed. There is a strong caramel aroma, and a powerful coffee taste that is so smooth to the pallet. I really enjoyed this stout the first time I tried it. Bit I am enjoying it even more the second time around. So much that I am asking myself why I don't drink this on a regular basis.

The Results:
Did I like it? Yes!
Was it good? Yes!
Would I recommend it? Absolutely!

-Cheers Mate!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

No beerfest tonight

In a round about way, I am proving my theory. My theory that "I'm better when I'm drunk". In order to prove this theory, I planned to drink to the point of drunkenness. Then in that drunken stupor, attempt to type out an amazing blog post. But I haven't done it yet.

I only had a single beer each of that past two nights. I have been a little under the weather, and I really don't feel like drinking...that much. Besides, I can only imagine what I would be doing to my liver with the amount of alcohol and prescribed drugs I would have in my system.

And what does that little red sticker on the side of the bottle mean? "WARNING. Do not consume alcohol". In my book, I could drink 2 or 3 beers before I would say I consumed any alcohol. What if I drink something like Bohemia. There is a big difference between that and say, Tequila. They should put that on the side. "Do not drink Tequila".

Anyways, I hope to be better in a couple days. So this weekend, I plan on a great weekend of amazing posts. I have one in mind, but it is just a little to close to home. It might give me away. Let's see what happens.


Monday, February 16, 2009

I'm better when I'm Drunk

Who's Barry Badrinath?
Who's Barry Badrinath?
Who's Barry Badrinath?
Who's Barry Badrinath?
Who's Barry Badrinath?
Who's Barry Badrinath?

Lately, I've been feeling like Barry Badrinath. For those of you in the dark, Barry Badrinath is the guy in Beerfest who plays quarters, "better when drunk". You might have noticed that I haven't been blogging much lately. I really didn't know why.

Then it hit me.

I was watching Beerfest this weekend. There is the scene where the fellas try to get Barry to join their Beer Drinking Team to compete against the Germans in the super secret beer drinking competition, Beerfest.

Barry was the best beer gamer ever. Best at Quarters. Best at Pong. Best at everything. But Barry has hit rock bottom. Working under a bridge charging $15 for a ZJ. But most importantly, Barry has lost his special ability. He can't play quarters anymore. Or has he? When it seems like the fellas are without their best beer gamer, Barry shows up at the Schnitzengiggle and puts on a quarters show for the ages. What happened to Barry?

"I'm better when I'm drunk".

That is when it hit me. I am better when I'm drunk. At least, I am better at blogging when I'm drunk. I seem to be at the top of my game after drinking a few cold ones. I can't explain it. But my mind just starts going and I start typing. (thank God for spellcheck)

But I haven't been drinking much beer lately. I just haven't felt that desire to drink beer. I have been growing tired of the 3 beers in my kegerator, and I am running low on quality beer in my beer fridge. And I have been too lazy to make a run over to the BevMo to pick up some new styles.

So guess what I'm going to do tomorrow. Yep, I'm going to drink. And lets see if I blog. If I drink enough, I bet I will. Lets call it a test.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hofbrauhaus, German for beer

I have been growing a little tired of the beers I have on tap. So I decided to give them a rest for a few days and experiment. What am I going to drink tonight? A few of my favorites I think. I'm going to drink some good beer and get back to what I enjoy, Germany.

First on the list tonight, Hacker-Pschorr. I'm opening a bottle of Munich Gold finest Lager. German beers are by far my favorite, and Hacker-Pschorr is one of my favorites breweries in all of Deutschland. There is just something special in a bottle of German beer that makes me happy. I don't know what it is, but it tastes so good!

Next on the list tonight, Hacker-Pschorr Original Oktoberfest amber marzen. I can only imagine what Oktoberfest is like since I have yet to make it. But I know I like the beer. Marzens are my favorite style of beer. I love that malt flavor and the copper color. It sets it apart from a regular lager style beer. This is the last Oktoberfest I had in my beer fridge. So now I have to wait a good 6 or 7 months before I can get some more. But it is like Christmas. It just wouldn't be as special if I had it every day.

This is what I have been waiting for, Hofbrauhaus Original . A special beer for me. This beer takes me back to my happy place. Can you hear the band playing, "In Munchen steht ein Hofbrauhaus" (In Munich is the Hoffbrau pub).....come on, sing along.......

In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus,
Eins, Zwei, g'suffa.
DA läuft so manches Fäßchen aus
Eins, Zwei, g'suffa.
DA hat schon mancher brave Mann,
Eins, Zwei, g'suffa,gezeigt,
was er so vertragen kann.

I have a very limited amount of these bottles left. So I save them for special occasions. Tonight seems to be one of those nights. God, I love this beer. My ancestors really knew what they were doing. I am so proud to be of German descent every time I drink one of these. In fact, I think it is time to start planning my trip to Oktoberfest in 2010.

Now, since I got this party started, i'm going to crack open another bottle of Hofbrauhaus. It is so hard to resist. It's just as powerfull as crack to me. It makes me so happy to drink these, yet I feel a little more sad. As much as I LOVE to drink these, I can't help think that there is now 1 less bottle in my fridge. I am going to have to track down more. That is all I can do.

From what I hear, there is a Hofbrauhaus in Las Vegas. Since 2010 is a while away, I think I need to take a road trip. I think I am going to invite a bunch of friends and make a party out of it. I think they will come in droves. When it comes to a party, and beer, I am Moses. They would follow me through the desert to reach the Promise Land. In this case, across the desert to the Hofbrauhaus in Vegas. I can't wait to blog about that!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Too much of a good thing?

Having beer on tap in your own home is the greatest thing created since beer itself. So great in fact that I enjoy a beer from my home built kegerator on a daily basis. Since I finished it about six weeks ago, i have had the same 3 beers on tap in which to choose from. All three of them are great beers. However, I think I might be getting a little bored with them.

I bet I sound like a spoiled athlete right now.
- "It's so hard to drink this much beer."
- "I'm tired of drinking all this beer this cheap."
- "It sucks drinking draft beer at home."
- "I'm just taking it 1 beer at a time."
- "I'm giving it 110%."
- "I want to thank God for giving me this opportunity."

I realized this weekend that I haven't been adding any news beers to my "what I'm drinking" sections lately. Ever since I set up my kegerator, all I drink is what I have on tap. This isn't the norm for my beer drinking habits. If you look at my beer list on the right, I was averaging 5 different beers a week. Let me tell you, this is a must for any beer drinker. There are thousands of different beers out there, and I want to try them all.

I'm beginning to worry that I might be causing irreversible damage to my skillfully trained beer palate. The steady stream of these same three beers could possibly be hurting my chances at going pro someday. And I have trained too long and too hard to just throw everything away.

I think it is time to hit the BevMo. I think I need to start experimenting again. So I ask you, my beer drinking friends. Give me some recommendations. What are the beer loving masses enjoying these days? It has been nearly two months since I last strayed. I am ready to drink

I feel so much better.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

What a bummer

The Super Bowl (am I allowed to use the term, or do I use the "Big Game" so I don't get sued by the NFL? Who cares) it's over. It was an amazing game, but I feel empty inside. Normally a beer or 4 will make me feel better. However, that just isn't going to do tonight. Instead, I need to drown my sorrow and hope for a better day tomorrow.

What are all those stupid cliche's, "it just wasn't meant to be", or "everything happens for a reason". Does it really? Has anyone ever found out that reason? I sure haven't. Was it a good reason? Was it really meant to be? If it was, why? I have yet to ever find out what that reason was. I bet that reason just flat out sucks. I would rather have the win. Screw the "Reason".

I bet the idiot who started saying such stupid things was a Cubs fan. They are the only ones who could have thought up such a stupid term. Now I think have a better understanding of the Cubs fan. Year after year, decade after decade, they come back for more heartbreak. Yet they keep cheering and establish new hope every season. How do they do it? How do they get punched in the nads every year and keep coming back for more? It is that "reason"?

At least I got to Cheer for a team I liked this season. It was fun. It was exciting. But most of all, it gave me hope. I am actually looking forward to next season. What will happen? Who knows. But I am going to enjoy the ride.

I really hate the Cubs. They suck. I'm more of a "south side" guy. I'm looking forward to cheering against them with hope that my team will make it to the Series this year. Then all will be right in the world again.

Now I need to go pout for a while. Tomorrow, I will feel better and ready to tell you a new story. It will be a good one.

-________. (I don't feel cheers works today)