Sunday, October 25, 2009

What is the perfect beer for Halloween?

I love Halloween, and I love beer. This year, they are both going to be enjoyed on a Saturday night. Yes, I am a little excited.

Halloween is a huge deal in my neighborhood. It's like a ginormous block party. Everyone is out, there are parties everywhere. People set up tables with food and drinks for kids and parents alike. But the best part is sitting on the front porch, drinking some great beer with the guys.

But what is the best beer to drink on Halloween? Last year I spent the night going through a couple offerings from Reaper Ale. I think it was a great choice for the night. If anything says "Halloween Beer", it's any offering from Reaper Ale.

But this year, I need to find something new. I have been thinking about it for the past week. So I ask you my beer swilling friends, what is the perfect beer for this Halloween?
I have come up with a few ideas. Let me know your thoughts.
1. Stone Brewing Co. Anything from them would be a safe choice. Sure, their labels kick ass. But their beer is even better. I was leaning here at first. But I think it is just a little to obvious.

2. Reaper Ale. Again, a safe choice. But they have a few other offering that I can try. Aside from the Redemption Red, I could go with the Mortality Stout, Ritual Dark Ale, or the Inevitable Ale. I like these choices, a lot. To be honest, I think one of these will end up in my Trick or Treat bag before the night is over.
3. Rogue. Dead Guy Ale. To help celebrate the evening, I will be sporting my Dead Guy Ale t-shirt. I think it will go well with the events. But I don't want to be "that guy" wearing the t-shirt, and drinking the beer.

I know there are so many other choices out there. But what do you guys think? What are you going to be drinking? Let me know.

No more Dogtoberfest

I tried. I mean I really tried. But any way I look at it, the search is over. I will tell you that I have a void inside. A void that can only be filled by the sweet, brewed nectar from Flying Dog Brewery called, Dogtoberfest.

I love Oktoberfest style beers. They are by far my favorite. At the top of my list is an amazing beer called "Dogtoberfest" made by that kick ass brewery in Colorado, Flying Dog. It isn't their fault. They did their job. They brewed a great batch this season. It kept me going for the last month. But now I feel like a junkie looking to his dealer for his next fix.

I looked to a few of the other dealers, but they were no help. They were either trying to sell me something else to get my fix, or some cheap knockoff of the real thing. But I can tell the difference. I'm not stupid. I'm a seasoned user of Dogtoberfest. And that is all that I will settle for.

I will admit it, I strayed. There are some others out there that I really enjoy. However, Dogtoberfest is just a well balanced and extremely flavorful marzen. Not only is it a great Oktoberfest, it is a great beer!

I held out hope all week that I would be able to score some more. But no luck. I even went so far as to go around my normal dealer, and went straight to the source. I talked to a "friend" who is connected to Flying Dog. He told me "I'm not sure there's lots of Dogtoberfest 2009 left in the world, actually". Those words crushed me.

The only place I was able to score any this season was at Total Wine and More. I stopped by on several occasions and stocked up. I went through plenty of them myself. But I am a nice guy, and I like to share. So my stash went fast. I think about it now, and realize that was a bad thing to do.

For weeks now, I tried to track some down from BevMo, but they were not able to get any. I started asking about it the first week of September. I figured that was early enough to get some. But I was wrong. The list from BevMo included a Flying Dog "seasonal". But for some reason, they were unable to get it for me.

I tried to get it in bulk (keg) from Total Wine as well. Same thing. No go. But I was able to pick it up in 6 packs, which I did. I had to cheat on my normal dealer, BevMo because they were never able to get any. I tried at 3 different BevMo locations. All of them told me that they were expecting to get some, but it never showed up. My father in law (my latest beer conversion student) tried at another BevMo. He even left his name and number, but never got the call.

So I sit here, shaking from withdrawals, trying to type out my story. But all I can think of is that I have to wait another 10 months before I can get my next fix. It is going to be a long, cold, and lonely winter.

-auf Wiedersehen

Sunday, October 18, 2009

This Bud's for You

Note: It didn't work on Zerksis, and it didn't work on us.

Did you have absolutely nothing to do last Saturday night? If you one of the few, and didn't have anything to watch on your Tivo, then you might have done something stupid, like call your old girlfriend, or "drunk channel" surfed and crashed into the latest installment of Saturday Night Live.

The once famous show who gave us stars like Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Will Ferrell and Tim Meadows is a mere shell of it's once great self. To add insult to injury, along comes Anheuser Busch to drag the once funny show, further down their spilled beer drain.

I don't know who though it would be a good idea, but the CSI of beer (aka Bud Light Golden Wheat) was the sole sponsor for the entire show. Nearly ever commercial was a Bud Light Golden Wheat commercial. Every segment was brought to you by Bud Light Golden Wheat. There were even Bud Light Golden Wheat viewing parties around the country where I'm sure they handed out Bud Light Golden Wheat t-shirts and Bud Light Golden Wheat koosies.

As hard as I tried to watch the guy from 300 attempt to be funny, I just couldn't get over the constant bombardment of Bud Light Golden Wheat adds. It was nothing short of annoying. What disgust I already have for Anheuser Busch (which brings you Bud Light Golden Wheat) was magnified by the power of 10 burning suns!

Was it really necessary? Was it even a good idea? I don't think so. In fact, I think it probably had the complete opposite effect that AB (who brings you Bud Light Golden Wheat) was looking for. It became almost comical. In fact, the repeated commercials became the best humor of the night. Not for the comedic value, but for the joke that it was.

If not for that kid in the flying saucer balloon (which I think was sponsored by Bud Light Golden Wheat), this would be the worst publicity stunt of the year!
-This blog post was not brought to you by, Bud Light Golden Wheat.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A man becomes a Brewmaster

I wish I could tell you that it was me, but it isn't. This is the story of a man, who quit his job, to chase his dream to one day become a brewmaster.

Burr Street Brew Blog has been writing about his journey for nearly 6 months now. I have been following him, and cheering him on from afar.

It is a great story. And I encourage all of you to go, and read his story. At the least, read his most recent post.

BSBB, keep on living the dream!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ho White? That is funny, unless you are Disney

I don't care who you are, this is funny! Well, unless you're Disney. I don't think they are going to find is as funny as everyone else does. Whatever side you decide to take, hold on. Because this is going to be an E ticket ride!
So who would be so smart, or stupid, and use this image to promote their beer? None other that the Australian brewery, Jamieson Brewery . They decided to use this marketing idea to promote their new Raspberry Ale. They are using the picture, along with the tag line "Anything but Sweet" to convince Australian beer drinkers that their Raspberry Ale flavored beer was anything but sweet.
I think the picture of Ho White lying bare ass naked in bed with 7 little men, and smoking proves that point. It proves it very well.
This is pure genius. Anyway you look at it, it is going to sell. Even if the beer sucks, people are still going to buy it just for the label. And I hope they do, because they are really going to need the money to pay Disney when they get sued.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bud Light Golden Wheat?

Are you kidding me? First it was Bud Light Chelada. Then it was Bud Light Lime. Now it's Bud Light Golden Wheat? What the hell is this all about?

Bud light has become the CSI of beers. In their attempt to market yet another variation of their Bud Light series of beers, Anheuser Busch gives you Bud Light Golden Wheat. An unfiltered wheat beer brewed with "wheat malt, coriander, and citrus peels".

Could it be that InBev (Anheuser Busch) actually cares about making a nice tasting beer? No, it's just marketing. I'm sure it is nothing more than a direct attempt to gain market share from the Miller Coors Blue Moon drinkers? That seems to be the beer with the largest demand these days. A beer that most uneducated beer drinkers think is a craft brewed beer.

Don't expect a review of it here. It's not going to happen. That's not the kind of beer drinker I am. Plus, I don't think A/B ever intended for me to drink one. If they did, they are really stupid. Your average beer snobs will avoid this beer like the Swine Flu.

There are plenty of other "Wheat" style beers out there if you want one. Do yourself a favor, and try any of of them before you actually waste your hard earned money on a bottle of anything with a Bud Light label on it.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My problem with BevMo

Since "the incident" this summer, things have been great at BevMo. Everyone knows my name, I get treated with the utmost courtesy, and I leave happy every time. After my dealings with Alan Johnson, I found a new respect for his company. However, that respect has been wavering lately.

When it comes to beer drinking season, what comes to mind? Cinco De Mayo? St. Patrick's Day? Sure, but nothing says beer like Oktoberfest! So you would think that BevMo would be busting at the seems with seasonal beers from all the breweries to celebrate. However, that isn't the case.

Starting in September, I have been stopping by the local BevMo to see what kind of Oktoberfest Marzen style beers they had available. I look forward to this every year. But all I have been able to find in Samuel Adams Oktoberfest. Yes, they do carry Paulaner Oktoberfest all year around, and it keeps me satisfied throughout the rest of the year.

But what about the rest of the breweries? What about Flying Dog Dogtoberfest, Erdinger Oktoberfest Weizen, Leinenkugel's Oktoberfest, or Left Hand Brewing Company's Oktoberfest? I was able to buy them last week. But no at BevMo. No, I bought them at Total Wine and More. None of these seasonal Oktoberfest beers were available at BevMo.

As I mentioned, the one Oktoberfest beer I am able to get in a keg from BevMo is the Samuel Adams Oktoberfest. Because I am a loyal customer, and I like the way they have treated me, I ordered one. That was over 3 weeks ago.

Take a wild guess who took my order? Yes, the same fella I had the run in with this summer. Before I go on, let me tell you that he did apologize to me a while back. It was sincere, and I accepted. So I figured when I went in to order my keg, he would make sure to take care of if for me. Well, that didn't happen. I have been waiting for the phone call. It never came. I figured they were just waiting on me to stop by since.

I have been wondering about my keg, so I stopped by tonight. None of the regular guys were working tonight. So I asked the guy atop the ordering desk if my keg was ready. I told him that I had orderd a keg about 3 weeks ago, and it should be there for me. But guess what, it wasn't. I was shocked. How could this have happened? Things had been great since the "incident". So how could they let me down like this?

I went ahead and ordered the keg, again. It should be there Thursday. If not, I think that will be the perfect time to head over to Total Wine, and buy 2 kegs, and a bunch of Oktoberfest!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Beercation - part 3

Jamaica started off a little rough. First, we were about 30 minutes late getting to our bus. Then we had to wait another hour while Louie, our tour guide and driver, waited for Vagina. (Imagine my laughter when he told us that) I guess "Virginia" had a group of 20 people for another tour bus, but she was late. Louie asked if I would go back to the boat and page Vagina....but I thought it was better if I didn't.

Eventually, at the stroke of 9:30, we were off. Louie drove us around the different areas of town so we could experience the good, and the bad. He wanted to show us how the different groups of people lived. I'm really glad he did. I have a different perspective of Jamaica because of it. Eventually, we stopped off at a little shop to do buy some Jamaican crap. I had to try some more rum, get a beer, and buy a Bob Marley t-shirt.

Beer 30-31 - Kingston Pilsner. From my notes. "It's better than Red Stripe. It was a typical lager style beer. I wasn't expecting much, but it's worth the $3.00". Grade - 3 burps

Beer 32 - Red Strip. I had to have one. I was in Jamaica. All I was missing was a big joint, and I would have fit right in. It would have been easy. I was offered "Smoke" 9 times throughout the day. Grade - 2 1/2 burps

Beer 33-35 - Guinness Foreign Extra. Dom, dis is good beir mon. I am a fan of Guinness, but I had no idea this Guinness existed. It is hot in Jamaica, and I never really understood why they wanted to drink a stout in that kind of heat. Now I know, because it is so awesome! Foreign Extra isn't like the Guinness we get here in the states. It is so much better. I absolutely loved it. There I was, sitting on the beach, drinking a Guinness and eating Jerk chicken (which also kicked ass). The think that sucks about Guinness Foreign Extra, it isn't available here. Grade - 4 burps

Beer 36 - Twisted Lager. I found out there was a brewery in Ocho Rios, with WiFi. So I had to hit it. It's called the Twisted Kilt. No, not the Tilted Kilt, but the Twisted Kilt. Anyways, how can I say this without being mean? From my notes. "No Internet, no t-shirts, no quality beer, welcome to the Twisted Kilt, Jamaica". Yes, there was no WiFi, and they had no t-shirts for sale, and the Twisted Lager wasn't that good. From my notes. "It is really weak and without any flavor. I really wanted to enjoy it, but it is just a weak beer. Honestly, I would avoid it".
Grade - 2 burps

Beer 37 - Twisted Stout. From my notes. "It's good. Guinness like". They only thing they had available was the Twisted Lager. Once we got talking, and they realized I really wanted to try all their beers, they actually tapped a new keg for me. It seemed like they were excited about me being there and wanting to try their stout. They even talked my out of trying their Carib Lager in favor of the newly tapped Stout.

From my notes. "Definitely better than the Twisted Lager. Very smooth, but a light mouth feel. It does have a nice color though. But I think the the cold might have masked some of the flavor". Grade - 3 1/5 burps

It was getting late, and it was time to head back to the ship. I tried one last time to get Ishenne, the waitress, to hook me up with a T-shirt. Again, my charm worked. Ishenne promised to ship a shirt to me if I left her my name and address. It has been 3 weeks now, and still no shirt. Time will tell if she keeps her word.

- Cheers

Friday, October 2, 2009

Beercation - part 2

So, where was I? O, back on the boat. Key West was awesome! I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. It is packed with bars, and some descent beers. But I couldn't stay there and hope they picked me up on the way home. So I had to get back on the boat. At least I did it with a great buzz

Beer 21-25 - Samuel Adams. I enjoy drinking with my friend. And Sam has never done me wrong. In fact, I am picking up a keg of his Oktoberfest tomorrow. Sam was there for me when I needed him. And thanks to Renata, I was never without.

Beer 26 - Cay Brew. The Sharkbite Brewery is located in Grand Cayman. This is the place I wanted to go. And I'm happy I did. It's a cool place, right on the beach. They brew a few different beers, and a nice Rum which the bartender was nice to give me, on the house. So I started with the only beer they had on tap, Cay Brew. From my notes. "Typical Lager". "Great session beer while on a beach, so I love it". It is brewed on the island, and brought to the bar. However, their facility is only big enough to brew beer, or distill rum. But not both at the same time. The cool thing about their rum is that "it is aged in Jack Daniels barrels under the ocean". It is their thought that the constant subtle movement of the barrels under the water enhance the flavor of their rum. I'm not sure if it does or not, but I enjoyed it. Grade: 3 1/2 burps.

Beer 27 - Cay Light. Ok, before you judge me for drinking a "Light Beer", hear me out. I was on a "Beercation". Attempting to try as many beers as possible. Cay Light was all they had on Tap. The only other beer they had available was their Cay Light, in a bottle. So I tried it. From my notes. "Actually a good light beer". I don't drink light beer, so I am far from a qualified judge on it. But for a lighter style beer, it was ok. Grade: 3 burps

Beer 28 - Cay Brew. I enjoyed it the first time, and I wanted to enjoy it again.

From Hammerhead's, I headed back towards the dock. It was getting late. But I had time for at least 1 more beer. So I stopped at one of the tourist type bars, Senior Frogs. The only thing I could find on their beer list that I had yet to try was beer 29.

Beer 29 - Presidente Light. From my notes. "I don't enjoy it". "It is a super light lager made by Miller Brewing Co.". "If I knew that, ,"I wouldn't have ordered it". "Honestly, I couldn't tell the difference between Presidente Light, and a Dos Equis. Grade - 2 burps

The day was running out, and it was time to get back on the boat. I was feeling good, really good. Did I mention that I took a tour of the Tortuga Rum factory. I didn't? How could I forget? It must have been all the rums, because they give you free shots! Sure, they are smaller than a regular shot, but if you get 2, or 9 like I had, it is as good as 4 or 5. Damn it is good rum. I bought 7 bottles. Yes, 7. Some smaller than others. But flavored rums like Banana, Vanilla, Coffee, Orange, Spiced 12 year old Gold, Liqueur, and Coconut are worth the $9 a bottle. Isn't that nuts, $9 for a big bottle of rum? Who cares, it was worth double that!

Back on the boat, we went to dinner and called it an early night. I was done drinking. But tomorrow was another day it was going to be a day in Jamaica!