Monday, November 30, 2009
I started off like a 21 year old kid at his first beerfest. Pounding down post after post. By the time I hit post 11 or 12, I was drunk, I mean done. That was my wall.
Since I am not a rookie, and more like a special forces trained beer man, I powered through. I wrote post after post with skill and precision. I talked about Beerfests. I reviewed different beers. I talked about beer stores and beer people. Even the Queen stopped by and wrote a post (making my writing skills look bad in the process) about her first ever Beerfest. I even posted drunk!
Honestly, it was fun. I made a few new friends, and picked up a few new followers. But most of all, I hope you all enjoyed it.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Honestly, I'm a little surprised. Total Wine has come by Good Burp and read some of the posts before. They have even left a comment from time to time. And recently, they started following me on Twitter. So after the issue I had with them last week, I thought they might post a comment attempting to explain their side of the story. But it didn't happen.
Honestly, I didn't write the post to get their attention. I wrote the post because I write about my adventures with beer. I'm sure fellow beer fans in my area frequent Total Wine. So I wanted to share my experience.
I'm left with the opinion that Total Wine doesn't care. They don't care how their employees treat the customers. They don't care what their customers think. In fact, it seems like Total Wine just doesn't care about their customers at all.
Then there is BevMo. BevMo goes out of their way to show their customers that they are important. In fact, they go above and beyond. Can anyone out there tell me that a CEO of a major company contacted them over an issue in a store? Anyone? Anyone?
I can. Alan Johnson, CEO of BevMo contacted me. But he wasn't the only one. The store manager and the District manager both called to apologize and attempt to make things right. Believe me when I tell you, they did.
There really is a difference between BevMo and Total Wine.
Unlike the people at BevMo.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Firestone Walker - DBA. The Double Barrel Ale is exactly what I was looking for. An English style ale is what my kegerator has been missing. Next to a Marzen, a good English Ale is nest on the list.
It should be ready to pick up and tap come Thursday. Lets all cross our fingers it works out according to plan.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Each year the good people at Sierra Nevada brew up a new batch of their Celebration Ale for all of us to enjoy. Some years are better than others. I recall last year being a bit heavy on the hops side of the spectrum. For 2009 however, it is a much better balanced ale. It might even lean a little to the malt side, which I have made my camp. No wonder I'm a fan.
It rings in at a jolly 6.8% abv, but I didn't notice to tell you the truth. It had a slight bitter finish, but I would say it was from the hops and not the alcohol. It was a little on the thin side for a winter beer, but I'm not holding it against them.
I like the smell. It has a bit of a fruity and hops aroma, with a hint of Christmas Tree. Honestly, I wish the pine smell was a little more dominant. Then it would qualify as the perfect Holiday beer. However, it does a good job of getting you into that "Christmas Spirit!"
Grade: 3 1/2 Burps.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I have been looking through the catalog all day. I have an item picked out for each and everyone on my list. I hope there are some great "door buster" deals. I plan on picking up a few special things for myself as well. Not to mention a new keg for the kegerator.
Time to go. I have to make sure I'm first in line.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Now first and foremost, I must tell you a tiny little nothing bit of background info on me. Are you ready? Okay.
I am not a beer lover.
I know. I am sorry. Hey! I know! Stop yelling and throwing things! Let's all just calm down a little. I have slowly been developing a taste for beer over the past few months, and I rarely make that "Oh my god this is so disgusting" face after I take a sip of the Burper's beer. And recently, I have been known to knock back a few whole ones on my own. I know, right? Baby steps people. Baby steps.
So needless to say, I was a little nervous about what this day would bring. But I walked in with an open mind and left with a few faves. Without further ado, here is my review.
Please note: There are many "girly" beers on this list. News flash: I'm a girl. You don't have to try them, but I'm not gonna tell anyone if you do. It's our secret, okay? All righty then, where were we?
1. Lindeman's Framboise: I have had this before, it is divine. Seriously. It tastes like liquefied raspberry jam in a glass. So delish. Grade: a million Burps.
2. Dogfish Head Raison: Yummy. But kind of a yucky after taste. But it's fun to say. "Raison!" You have to kind of start your "r" sound in the back of your throat and then end it with a long "oh" sound and only a hint of the "n", just like the French. Say it with me - "Raison!" Ooh la la, oui oui! Grade: 3 burps (2 1/2 for taste and 1/2 for pronunciation).
3. Coney Island: Okay so obviously I was still concentrating on saying "Raison" and I forgot to write down which Coney Island I tried. But I did note that it was a little "gingery" with a nutty after taste. And just okay. Grade: 2 Burps.
4. Wyders Pear Cider: Gross. So so so gross. Not even Burp Grade material. Instead I give it a gag.
5. Wyders Raspberry Cider: Excellent. Light and refreshing, like a flavored mineral water. Grade: 3 Burps.
6. Redstone Meadery Black Raspberry Nectar: First sip was okay. Second sip not so good. An overwhelming flavor of cheap beer and cough syrup, but slightly fruity. Grade: 1 Burp.
7. Strongbow Cider: Oh. My. God. This is my most favorite thing in the whole world to drink. Just hook me up to an IV and I am happy. I paid so many visits to this booth, by the end of the night I was Facebook friends with the girl pouring. Grade: A million trillion bazillion Burps and four snaps in a Z formation.
8. Mikes Hard Lemonade - Spiced Apple: Delicious! Like Christmas in your mouth. I am pretty sure this is what Mrs. Claus is drinking while Santa is out doing deliveries. Grade: 4 Burps.
9. Full Sail Session Black - I was surprised at how good this was. I actually met the Pour Girl, Celeste, in the ladies room prior to tasting the beer. My girlfriend Lola and I were having a serious conversation about legalizing marijuana and Celeste piped in with her opinions. I liked her right away. She took good care of us the rest of the day. Another fun thing about this beer, there are drinking games in the cap! How cool is that? Fun and functional! And dudes, I am all about multi tasking, know what I mean? Grade: 4 Burps!
10. Session Lager - Not as good as the black, the aftertaste was a little too much for me. But because Celeste knew her stuff, I am still giving it 2 1/2 Burps.
11. Ace Pear Cider - Sweet and Yummy. Grade 3 Burps.
12. Fuller's London Pride - I know The One Who Burps loves this beer. And I feel a little guilty about saying this but BLECH!! Not good. Grade: 1 gag.
13. Stone Smoked Porter - I don't remember this one. My notes say it tasted like "dirt mixed with asshole." That can't be good. Grade: 1 gag.
14. Rogue Dead Guy Ale - Oh. My. God. So disgusting. Lola said this one was like swallowing a fart. Grade: 2 gags.
15. NYPD Pizza is the BOMB. (Obviously this is where I got a little loopy.) And just in case you are wondering, this note has nothing to do with beer.
16. Magner's Irish Cider - My notes say this one tastes like ass sitting in apples. Again, can't be good. Grade: 40 gags and a dry heave.
17. Old World Blonde - A deliciously refreshing and nutty beer. Loved it! Thank God The One Who Burps is friends with these guys. YUM! Grade - 4 Burps.
Well there you have it. All in all, my first Beerfest experience was a good one. I had a great time, learned a lot about beer and got to see my man in his element. It was wonderful and I am looking forward to the next one.
Until then, cheers!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
It sucks being sick. But it sucks even more not being able to drink on of the new seasonal beers I just picked up. Scratch that. I can drink the beer, but it just doesn't taste the same. It doesn't smell the same either. And that's what I love the most about beer, the smell.
I wish they had beer scented cologne and beer air fresheners. I would douse myself with it every day. Then hop into my car with a Hops shaped air freshener hanging from the review mirror. That is what I wish.
But I don't want to go to jail, or get fired from my job, or have people insinuate that I am an alcoholic. That's what my cousin is for.
So I'm going to go to bed, and be ready to post tomorrow.
Tomorrow, The Queen is going to make her much anticipated guest post about her very first Beerfest!
Monday, November 23, 2009
There were 6 packs of Left Hand Oktoberfest, Shipyard Pumkin Ale, Weihenstephaner Festbier, Gordon Biersch FestBier, Paulaner Oktoberfest, and a few others.
I instantly grabbed a 6 pack of Flying Dog's Dogtoberfest for $7.99 and put it in a cart. Then I noticed another 6 pack of Dogtoberfest with a pink tag which read, $1.00 off. So I grabbed that one too. At the next register, there were a bunch of single bottles available. I picked a few other beers, then noticed that there were 3 single bottles of Dogtoberfest, priced at $1.09 each.
Lets do some math here. 6 bottles at $1.09 is $6.54. But the 6 pack is going to cost me $6.99. Shouldn't it be the other way around? I think it should. So I wanted to find out.
I loaded up my cart and wheeled it over to the Managers station where Marlene was standing. I stood there being ignored for a good few minutes until I finally said, "excuse me."
Marlene finally looked at me and said, "yes", in a dismissive tone.
Me: "Are all the Oktoberfest beers on sale?"
Marlene: "The ones with stickers."
Me: "Some have stickers, and some don't."
Marlene: "Only the ones with stickers are $1 off."
Me: "But they are the same thing. So only certain ones are $1 off?"
Marlene: "Only the ones with the $1 sticker are on sale. They are from last season and we're trying to get rid of them."
I was still confused. There must have been 8 or 10 six packs of the Dogtoberfest there, but only 2 of them had the pink $1 off stickers. I couldn't imagine that they were the only two 6 packs on sale. Then there were the other beers. Some Paulaners had tags and others didn't. Same for the Left Hand and the Breckenridge Fall Ales. Some were tagged and others were not.
I wanted to ask her a few more questions, but I could tell she didn't want to help me. She was getting very short, and very snippy with me at this point. But I asked a few more questions anyway.
Me: "There are some single bottles priced at $1.09. That is cheaper than buying a 6 pack."
Me: "Can I buy single bottles from the 6 pack then or get them at at $1.09 price as well?"
Me: "Do you have any more single bottles then?"
Marlene: "That's all we have."
Me: "I just want to make sure, because it ends up being cheaper to buy single bottles instead of 6 at a time."
Marlene: "Then buy them that way!"
Wow, I was amazed by her complete lack of profesionalism. She obviously didn't want to help me, and made it known by her rude replies. If I wasn't such a big fan of the beers, I would have walked out buying nothing.
So I spend the next 5 minutes searching each check out line for the single bottles priced at the $1.09. At one point a young lady asked if I was ready to check out, and that she could help me if I was. I told her I was just about ready, but I was searching for single bottles because they were cheaper that buying 6 at a time. She said no problem, and for me to let her know when I was ready.
Some Flying Dog and Four bottles of Dogfish Head Punkin Ale later, I got in line.
The young lady started to scan each individual bottle. The first one scanned in at $1.49. I said that it's supposed to be $1.09, not $1.49. She stopped, looked at the bottle, and said she would have here manager fix it. She walked over to her as I stood there waiting.
The young lady came back and told me that her manager would fix it in a minute. She then proceeded to scan the rest of the bottles. Again, each one scanned it at $1.49. Then she asked if I wanted the 6 packs scanned in 1 at a time since it would be cheaper that way. I said "sure, that would be great." So she grabbed the first one, and it scanned in at $10.99.
I was starting to get a little adgitated at this point. I told her that was the wrong price, and it was even the wrong beer. The scanner said it was Flying Dog K9 istead of the Dogtpberfest. The poor young lady looked puzzled and again asked me to wait why she went to talk to her manager.
Another few minutes later, they both returned to the checkout line. The manager, Marlene, asked what the problem was. I told her that the bottles were scanning in at $1.49 instead of the $1.09 as advertised, and that the 6 pack was scanning in at $10.99 instead of the $6.99 on the side of the carton. Then she got mean.
Marlene: "Where does it say that price?"
Me: "Right here, on the tag stuck to the shelf.....Flying Dog Dogtoberfest Marzen $1.09."
Marlene: "Then what's wrong with this one?"
Me: "It says Flying Dog K9 for $10.99, when it's Dogtoberfest for $6.99."
Marlene then walks over to the shelf, and rips the tag off. Then she shuts the register off, and tells the young lady that she needs to start all over again. That poor girl had to start scanning each bottle of Dogtoberfest again.
She picks up the first bottle, scanns it at $1.49, then the next, and then another. Then she picks one of the bottles from the 6 pack carton and scans it in.
Marlene stops her, and says, "I already talked to him before. I told him he couldn't do that." She then turns to me, and starts pointing at me. "I told you before you can't do that!"
This is when I got mad. What is wrong with this woman? She is getting loud, and pointing, and accusing me of something I didn't do. I'm the customer. Did she forget that?
I told her that the young lady offered to scan them 1 at a time because it would be cheaper, and I said that would be great. Marlene's face was turning red, and I felt like I was being disciplined for cheating on a test or something.
I told Marlene that I didn't ask for the bottles to be scanned 1 at a time. "Your employee offered to do it." I told her to stop pointing at me and accusing me of something.
At this point, I was done. I put my wallet back in my pocket and was ready to walk out. I was mad and shocked that this Total Wine store manager was talking to me like this. I was a customer, and she was treating me like this. Customers were staring, employees were watching. It was a complete scene!
Then something popped into my head. I thought of BevMo, and Alan Johnson. I knew Mr. Johnson would never stand for this. At that point, I felt guilt. I felt guilty for being there, for buying beer there, and for allowing this to escalate to that level. Then I realized that this would be a great story for BevMo and Alan Johnson to hear about. So I pulled my wallet out again, and stood there quietly while the scared young lady rescanned all the beer, correctly this time.
The other customers behind me quitely backed their cart out of line, and moved to another register.
As I paid and loaded up my cart, the manager told the young lady, "When you are done here, I need to talk to you." I felt so bad for her. This girl was just trying to do her job, and do it well. She was even offering to take out the trash before I got into her check out line. She asked twice while I was searching for the single bottles. The manager, Marlene never even responded to her. It was sad.
I left the store in shock, and still a little upset about what just happened. To make myself feel better, I stopped off at the BevMo and picked up a 6 pack of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. Tomorrow, I'm going back to order my kegs.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
$5 later, I was in my happy place, drinking with Sam (not Calagione) Adams. $5 for a bottle of beer takes me back to the cruise ship. This was going to be an expensive night. About the time I finished number 1, my cousin walked by with a bottle of blood, I mean Bud. I asked him how much it cost him. He laughed as he blurted out "$3.50"!
What? How did I just pay $5 for a Sam Adams, and he paid $3.50 for a Bud. I can justify the difference due to quality and taste, but come on, I got ripped off. What I didn't know was that there was a bar set up to the side of the reception hall for us wedding patrons.
Now was the prefect time to grab another. I was in the mood after my $5 mistake. I sulked over to the bartender and asked what he had to make me feel better. He rattles off the saloon favorites, and a few other mass produced variations like Bud Light Golden Wheat. Then he turns around, and pulls a bottle from the ice. He says, "I have a few bottles of this".
I heard Angels sing as he pulled a Holy Grail from that sea of beer and ice. A bottle of 2008 Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout. I tried to subdue my excitement. I recall saying something like, "hell yeah, give me that"!
I asked him how much, expecting the $5.00 price tag or more. God must have been looking down on me, because he said those magic words, "$3.50". Can you believe that? I was just at BevMo tonight and it was selling for $19.99 a 4 pack.
He said it was an old case given to them, and they were just trying to get rid of it. As luck would have it, I showed up. Coincidence, I think not!
I spent the rest of the night drinking with my new friend on Bourbon Street. It turned out to be a great night!
Grade: 4 Burps!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Imagine my surprise when I found this story in the Contra Costa Times about BevMo, Mr. Johnson, and me!
I know, I'm famous!
I will soon be posting my shopping schedule at the BevMo just in case you might want to stop by and chat about beer. I will be more than willing to give you my opinions and recommendations.
Sorry, no autographs.
Friday, November 20, 2009
It's a bittersweet decision. I get to choose a new beer, but I can't pick them all. It's hard making a decision like this. No matter which keg I ultimately choose, there is that voice in the back of my head saying, "you should have gone with the Flying Dog instead, or the Stone".
Honestly, I would love to go with something from Lost Abbey, Port, Rogue, Firestone, or Breckenridge this time. I'm all about variety and trying a new beer. Besides, it's time for another "Epic" party and I have a beer rep to protect.
I have until Monday to make up my mind. But it seems like every time I finally do, that keg isn't available. But I don't have time to mess around. The party is in 2 weeks!
I'm going to stop by The BevMo tomorrow grab the updated keg list. I'll post my top 5. Look them over, and let me know what you think. I'm open for suggestions.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
9. Firestone - Oaktoberfest. This was a good beer. I am a sucker for Oktoberfests, and I loved this one. I know I liked it, and I remember it had a more hop style to it that I expect. With that said, I would buy it again. Well, if I could buy it, I would. Grade: 3.5 Burps.
Honestly, I've never been a fan of Firestone. I figured it was the tire company or the guy from The Bachelor making beer out back. The label also gave me the impression it was one of those fake microbrews owned by Anheuser Busch. Boy was I wrong.
I was lucky enough to spend about an 30 minutes talking to Jennifer, "The Goddess of Pale". This is where the beerfest really started for me. I was able to ask her questions about the beer and the brewery. And she was more than willing to share her thoughts and opinions. It was great. I learned so much about Firestone, that I am now a loyal fan. I hope to set up an interview with her soon.
10. Firestone - Aged. I spent so much time talking, and tasting, that I forgot to write down which beer it was. But I will tell you it was awesome. It is aged in their multi barrel system. It was really good. In fact, I am going to give it a good grade. Grade: 4 1/2 Burps
11. Speakeasy - Prohibition Ale. I have had this before, but it is worth trying again. It's a nice beer. Light and clean, with a citrus feel. It's a nice beer to have around for friends and novice beer drinkers. Grade: 3 burps
12. Full Sail - Session Black. It's better than the Lager. I would consider this to be a nice session beer. I would buy it, but I think I would be more interested in something else. I hate to not love this beer. Don't get me wrong, you will like it. Grade: 3 Burps
13. Full Sail - Brewers Reserve, Grandson of Spot IPA? I don't know exactly what it was. This was a table with "hired professionals". She offered us some "Jamaican Pastime", and poured us as much beer as we wanted. But she knew shit about beer. Grade: 3 Burps
14. Avery - IPA. From my notes, "Great Beer. I like it, actually love it". The hops flavor stuck around and didn't fade like a regular IPA. Avery is a great brewery. The IPA is a beer you have to try. Grade: 3 1/2 Burps
15. Bell's - Amber Ale. I have been able to try a few bottles of Bell's before. My friend Seawolf sent me a few bottles. But this was a new one. From my notes, "Very smooth beer. It's on the hops side, but has a clean finish". Grade: 3 1/2 Burps.
This is the point where I wrote down, "Finally Tipsy". It had been a good beerfest to this point. Had some average, good, and great beers. But I was only halfway through the evening.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
1. Ayinger - Oktoberfest. I was beyond excited to try this. I can't get it anywhere. Imagine my excitement when I say that tap handle. Pure joy. Ayinger is one of my favorite German Breweries. Their Oktoberfest Marzen solidified my opinion. Grade: 4 Burps
2. Coney Island - ___________. I don't know what it was. It was one of the tables where nobody seemed to know what was going on. I was excited to try Coney Island though. Grade: 3 Burps
3. Alpine Beer Co. - Captain Stout. It was weak for a Stout. Very thin on the pallet. Had a heavy coffee flavor with a tart finish. Grade: 3 Burps
4. Big Sky Brewing - Bi ere De Noel. This was a treat. A limited edition, bottle conditioned Belgian style Ale brewed for the holidays. It was so smooth. I really liked this one. It was a nicely rounded beer. Grade: 4 Burps
5. Lost Abbey - Devotion Ale. I've had this before. And I try to have it as much as I can. These guys are quickly moving up my favorite brewery list. Devotion Ale is a must beer for anyone who enjoys beer. Grade: 4 Burps
6. Port Brewing - Santa's Little Helper. A great name for a great beer. Port has been turning out some amazing beers lately. This Imperial Winter Stout was good, but not awesome. For a winter style stout, it leaned a little to much on the hops, and a little bitter. I still prefer Avery's Stout over Port's. Grade: 3.5
7. Coronado Brewing Co. - Orange Beer. That's not the name, but it was something Orange. I didn't want to try it, but I felt bad for the woman pouring. She actually works for the Brewery, and was excited about it. Although sh said it wasn't for everyone. Count me in that group. Ugh, I didn't like it. I don't like fruit in my beer. Grade: 2 Burps
8. Coronado Brewing Co. - Islander IPA. This was better. Not my favorite from these guys. I enjoyed their Mermaids Red Ale I tried last week more. But it's a descent beer. Grade: 3 Burps
I'm going to stop here, because this is where the beer "got good"! I actually had the opportunity to talk to who worked for the breweries who were pouring the great beers.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
This weekend at The Big Pour, I was constantly given blank stares when I asked about the brewery which they were pouring for. Most of them didn't know anything about the beer period! It was so annoying and aggravating.
There were so many breweries that I was excite to try. I really wanted to talk to someone who could tell me about the beer they were serving. I was excited to try all the new beers. I wanted to know about the different styles they brewed and what was available in my area. I wanted to ask them about the hops and the malts. I wanted to know how they brewed and aged their beers. But I couldn't.
Instead, I was told "I don't know" or "I don't work for the company". It sucked. So I usually took my sample, made a few notes, and moved on to the next table looking for a little beer conversation. Luckily, I was able to find it.
So a word to you, the distributors and breweries. Do yourself a favor. Use educated people to pour your beer. Most people who are willing to fork over $30 or more to try some quality beer aren't there for a Miller Light. They like beer, and they want to know about it. If they wanted some pretty girl to give them beer, they would head down to the local bar and have the girls sell them buckets of cheap, mass produced beer with hopes of winning a free koosie.
Monday, November 16, 2009
I can count on 1 hand the amount of times I would consider myself to be "drunk".
My definition of drunk is: "drinking to the point of vomitting, or passing out".
On Saturday night, after a good 25-30 samples of some serious beer, I got drunk. There is a note in my little pink notebook after sample 15 (Fuller's London Pride) which says, "I'm starting to feel a little buzzed, finally". Who would have thought that I was just about at the half way point.
But I finished the night strong, and made it back to the car just fine.
On the ride home, that's when it hit me, I was drunk.
I remember most of the ride home, and getting home and going to bed.
There was no vomitting, and no passing out. I went to bed. However, I am going to count this one. Either way, I am still counting on 1 hand!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I'm not sure how many samples I had. The Queen and I were sharing my little pink notebook. I have a list of 22 different samples. But there were so many more that I didn't get to write down. There were some really great beers this year. I think I only tried a few that I didn't like.
The good news is that The Queen kept a list, and even made notes. I am so proud of here. She did so well.
Tomorrow, we will start our reviews.
This should be fun!
I still owe you guys pictures from the beerfest last week. I'll get them edited and posted this week.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I just got home from the Draft Magazine Big Pour, and I am so drunk. Honestly, I remember walking in the door to my house, and not much more. I'm not proud, I'm drunk.
This has got to be the longest post ever. It's taken me like 20 minutes to type this shit out.
I feel like an armature. I'm so embarrassed.
I;ll make it up to you tomorrow.
Friday, November 13, 2009
AKA, my 2009 Christmas list.
Lets see what I want this year.
Page 3: New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale Keg. $119.99 for a 15.5 gallon keg. This is a big keg. I might want to make a note, and ask for a 5 gallon instead.
Page 4: Anchor Steam Christmas Ale. $10.99 for a 6 pack.
I love this beer. I buy it every year, and give it away as Christmas presents to my friends. But I want some some for myself this year.
Page 12: Mendoncino Red Tail Ale. On sale for $6.49 a 6 pack. I've never had this before. It's on sale, so someone on a budget can pick this up for a bargain!
Page 13: Duvel Belgian Ale. Only $2.99 each, for a 11.2 oz bottle. I like to have a beer like this on stock for those times a friend is looking for a different beer. Can't beat it at this price.
Page 14: Stone Brewing Double Bastard. $6.99 for a 22 oz bottle. 2 bottles please.
Page 14: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. $3.99 for a 24 oz bottle. I still have one of these in the beer fridge from last year. I love to age a bottle of this every year.
Page 14: Moylan's Tipperary Pale Ale. $3.99 for a 22 oz bottle. I am excited about this one. I've never tried it. I think I'm going to pick up a bottle of this early.
Page 15: Stone Brewing IPA. $9.99 for a 6 pack. This is a good deal. I like having a Stone in the fridge at all times.
Page 15: Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA. $8.99 for a 6 pack. You know I gotta get some Flying Dog for Christmas. Nothing says Holiday Spirit like a beer from Flying Dog. Some of their 20th Anniversary "Raging Bitch" would be even better!
Page 15: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. $149.99 for a 15.5 Gallon Keg. This is a must for any beer loving American with a kegerator in their house.
Page 18: North Coast Old Rasputin. $6.99 for a 4 pack. On sale from it's regular price of $7.99. I am crossing my fingers for this.
Page 24. Anchor Steam Christmas Ale. $14.99 for a 1.5 Litre bottle. "This Special Ale is the thirty-fifth annual ale from the brewers at Anchor." Who doesn't want a bottle of this?
Well there is my Christmas list for 2009.
I want to thank BevMo! Thanks to their Holiday catalog, they will make my Christmas just a little brighter.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
As much as I would love to go to a beerfest for 4 days, I'm not. Saturday is my day. I have to work on Thursday and Friday, and Sunday is a day to nurse the hangover, and watch football.
There is an impressive list of beers available for the sampling. I'm not sure how many I will get to try, but I'm going to do my best to try as many as I can. I really want to concentrate on the rare, seasonal, and beers not available around here. From a look at the list, this isn't going to be a problem.
If you get a chance, click on this link, and go through the list. If you see a beer you think I can't pass, let me know. I will go out of my way to find it, try it, and review it in my little pink notebook.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
This weekend is Draft Magazines, Big Pour Beer Festival. And the Queen is going to be there!
She has been to many beerfests before. She always picks me up. So this is actually going to be the first time she ever participates. She's really excited about it too.
But the news doesn't end there. Next week, she is going to "Guest Blog". That's right ladies and gentlemen, The Queen herself is going to give all of you were thoughts and opinions of the beer she tried at The Bog Pour.
You guys are in for a treat!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I had no idea that that level could go any higher. How could my love for such an amazing woman, who was starting to like beer grow any larger?
I just found out.
A I am sitting here, typing out this amazing blog post, The Queen is drinking a pint of Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. I have a little tear right now. Can you believe it? My wife is drinking a serious beer. A beer that some of my friends can't even handle. A beer that God himself gave to Sam to create.
I love this beer, and I love this woman.
You know what, I just remembered that The Queen thinks Sam is "cute". Do you think she is drinking his beer just to get closer to him? We will find out next week.
Monday, November 9, 2009
I have the same routine. I stand in line. I hand the person standing behind the table my sample cup and a drink ticket. Tell him what I want to try. Then I step to the side, take a few sips, and begin to write. Sometimes the notes are better than others, sometimes they just say "Good, or "Not Good". But I always try to write down the name of the beer, and what my first impression of it was.
Normally, people don't say anything. They just go about their day, slamming down their sample, then stumbling on to the next line. A true tale sign of the amature.
But this brewfest was different. On several occasions, I was asked about my bright pink notepad. Don't judge, it was all I had at the time, and it works. It's worked for the last 3 beerfests so why stop now?
The most common question they asked was if I was keeping a list. My response, "Yes, I am keeping a list". Then some were asking if I was taking notes. My response, "Yes, I am taking notes". Then a few actually wanted to know what I was writing, and why I was writing. So I told them.
This is a direct violation of my beer blog rule #1. Keep your identity a secret. But just like Prohibition, that rule seems to be relaxing on a daily basis. Depending on who I was talking to, I told them that I wrote a beer blog, and that I was making notes about the beers I was sampling. The people in line thought it was cool. The people pouring the beer thought it was awesome, and wanted to know more. And as they would pour me another, or suggest a special or seasonal beer, they would attempt to talk up their beer. In other words, they were "schmoozing" me. They were attempting to bribe me with beer.
Did it work? No. But I did take the extra sample, and give it an honest review in my notebook. Sometimes, I told them I liked it when I really didn't. And sometimes I told them I really liked it when I did. When it came down to the truth, I didn't want to lie. I didn't want to be influenced by the people with an agenda.
On a few occasions, I did let the title of my blog slip out. But I tried to avoid that question. And for the most part, I did. I think 2 or 3 people actually know the title. That's not that bad considering that I tried at least 20 different beers.
I was fortunate to talk to Brendan from Left Hand Brewery. He had some vacation time, and offered to come and pour at the brewfest. We talked for a while, and he gave me his card. He said he would love to answer some questions. So next week, I plan on talking to him and conducting my first real interview.
So don't knock the little pink notepad. It did it's job well. And next week, I'll pull it out again and fill out the pages with my thoughts, and first impressions.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
10. Oskar Blues - Mama's Little Yella Pils. This was the first big disappointment of the day. I really like Oskar Blues. It is the only brewery that I will buy in a can. They really make some nice beers. But this just isn't one of them. I'll say it with my notes, "Almost Not Good. Ugh, it's not good. Bummer". It wasn't good. It was a bit sour, and bland, and dare I say Budweiser like. As much as I want to give it a good grade, and am struggling to give it this one. Grade: 2 burps
11. Flying Dog - Old Scratch Amber Lager. (Smile). Was there really a need to try this beer? Actually yes, there was. After that last one, I needed a great beer to get me back in the mood. And what better was to do that than with a Flying Dog. We all know this is a kick ass beer. One of my favorites. I've reviewed and gushed about it before. So just do yourself a favor and go out and buy some for yourself. Grade: 4 Burps.
12. Flying Dog - Classic Pale Ale. Why stop? I was already at the table, and I still had plenty of tickets left. So why not one for the road. Besides, I was talking to the guy pouring the beer, how awesome Flying Dog is. He agreed, and topped me off once more. Classic Pale Ale is a great beer overall. It isn't extreme, and it is such an enjoyable beer that you can't stop with just one. This is becoming the beer I give to people to get them hooked on microbrews. Grad: 4 burps
13. Breckenridge - Vanilla Porter. This is a really nice beer. I am not a fan of vanilla. Don't like it as an ice cream, and I don't like it in my Diet Coke. However, that small amount in the beer really makes it different. In fact, I really enjoyed it. This would be a perfect beer for a cold winter evening. The vanilla is not overpowering, yet you can taste it. With the malts, it makes this beer so smooth. Grade: 3 1/2 burps
14. Guinness - 250 Anniversary Stout. I should have known as soon as I watched the girl try to pour it from a pitcher. They had filled pitchers then tried to pour them into the sample cups. It was all kinds of bad. The pitchers were more than filled with foam,and not much beer. It was a disgrace honestly. We all love Guinness. But they really messed it up. I don't think it would be fare to grade it.
15. Port Brewing - Panzer Imperial Stout. This is a hoppy beer. Since I've been on a hops binge lately, I'm getting a little burned out honestly. But this was still a good beer. It's very flavorful, and not finished clean. I actually liked it, even though it didn't fit my idea of an Imperial Stout. There are far better choices when it comes to this style of beer. But if you are a fan of Port Brewing, then you will like it. Grade: 3 1/2 burps
16. Avery - White Rascal. "This is a good beer. In my opinion, this is a beer for the seasoned drinker." It's a White, which I usually don't enjoy. So why did I like it? Honestly, I don't know. I wasn't past the point of no return, but I was getting there. It's a Belgium style so I would have passed at this point in the day. I don't understand my grade. So don't hold me to it. Grade: 4 burps. (This has got to be wrong. I'm going to buy a bottle and try it again next week)
17. Santan Brewery - Sun Devil Ale. The first thing I noticed was the hops. They were strong. I can't read my notes. But I do see the words, "but I'm not buying". So I don't think I liked it. Grade: 3 burps.
18-?. I can't read it. By this time, it had been about 2 - 3 hours of "sampling". I did have a few more than once. And I had a few more that I didn't write down. I know I had a Dogfish Head, something else from Alaskan, one from Anderson Valley, another one from a can, and something organic. But I don't remember what they were.
As much as I wanted to write more, and be more descriptive, I couldn't. It was hard to walk, and write, and drink and take pictures. But I tried.
Well that's the list. Some were better than others. Some I will try again (next week). Some I won't. But I still had fun.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I was on a slow pace this time. There wasn't as many beers to choose from. I wasn't going to stand in line, nor attempt to try Negra Modelo, Coors, or Killian's Irish Red. That is not my style. I was looking for the beers that I have yet to try. Overall, I think it was a job well done.
So without further fodder, here is the list.
1. Grimbergen - Abbey Ale. This was an awesome beer. It was different and so good. I loved it. What a way to start off a beerfest. The guy pouring it said it was a Double Bock. But this is the guy who was setting up the Co2 tanks at the last beerfest. So I'm not taking his word for it. It was on line with a Belgium style ale. It was sweet, but no to the point where it bothered me. Overall it's a flavorful beer. Grade - 4 burps
2. Alaskan - Baltic Porter. I was hit with a strong, almost overpowering coffee taste. It also has a very nutty taste. However, it is still a nice beer. But I still don't think I will be picking up a sixer of it any time soon. Grade - 3 burps
3. Cucapa - I missed the name, and it isn't on their website. But I will tell you, hey poured it from a can! It had a picture of a man, or a monster on the bottle. But honestly, it doesn't matter, because I didn't like it. It was very dry. Not something I was expecting. I think they labeled it a Pilsner style. It had a slight malty flavor with a bit of nutty hops aroma. Overall, it was a weak beer that I didn't enjoy. Grade - 2 burps
4. Lost Abbey - Devotion Ale. Damn I love this brewery. Just about everything they make is a beer of art. And Devotion Ale is not different. Again, I am not a fan of the Belgium style ales, but these guys are converting me. This is a great beer, especially for a fan of this style. Grade - 3 1/2 Burps
5. Lost Abbey - Red Barn Ale. Again, this is a Belgium style ale without that over sweet flavor. Had a nice, clean finish with any aftertaste. I like it for the style. You just gotta love a beer that has a cork. Grade - 3.5 Burps
6. The Bruery - Black Orchard. This is my first time ever trying this brewery. Based in Orange County, this brewery is doing something right. So why haven't I tried them before? The Black Orchard was a good beer. I was beginning to see trend here. It was a Belgium style ale, but not a sweet as I was expecting. Good thing. Good beer. Grade - 3.5 Burps
7. The Burery - Trade Winds. Can you guess the style? Yep, a Belgium ale. However, this was a little different for a Triple. It was sweet, but not like candy. And not to the point where I hated it. It was actually enjoyable. I think I still enjoyed the Black Orchard a little more. Grade - 3 Burps
8. Coronado - Mermaids Red. This was another first. It was a typical red, nothing special. The guy pouring it was all excited, trying to tell me it was "an awesome beer". No, it wasn't. I guess that is why he was pouring instead of drinking. I can't tell you that I hated it, but I can't tell you that I liked it. It's just, o.k. Grade - 2.5 burps
9. Speakeasy - Untouchable Pale Ale. This is a good beer. I really liked it. It was had a nice flower hops aroma. Not like an IPA, but fits the Pale Ale style very well. I guess it might lean toward the hops side of the scale for some. Grade - 3 Burps
This brings us to the halfway point of the day. I'll finish up tomorrow, with some pictures. Until then, have a good night.
Friday, November 6, 2009
What could be so important as to make me go to bed sober on a Friday night at 9:30?
That's right ladies and gentlemen, tomorrow is the Southwest Brewfest! Yes, I am a little excited about it. I always get excited about a beerfest. I love beerfests. Beerfests are my friends.
This is the first Southwest Brewfest, so I really don't know what to expect. It has received a lot of press, and I am expecting a big crowd. But the crowd I am expecting is not the typical beerfan.
I think tomorrow is going to be a shitload of college students looking to get lit before the football game. It is being held at an outdoor mall, 1 mile from ASU, who is playing USC.
Not to mention that the largest brewery in attendance is going to be Anheuser Busch. That is disappointing. As much as I would love to tease, and laugh, and make fun of the people standing in line to get a "sample" of Budweiser, Bud Light, or the newest creation Bud Light Golden Wheat, I am all for it. It's simple actually, the won't be drinking any of the good beers. That means more for me and the beer snobs.
Again, I will be toting my camera and notepad. I will be taking plenty of pictures. Beer, Babes, and boobs.....and drunk people. I'm also going to do y best to keep a list and attempt to critique each and every beer I sample. I will be making notes of things overheard while standing in "the beer line".
This is going to be fun!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Photo Courtesy of: The New York Times
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Me: "Are you serious?" "Of course I have beer, I'm me."
Queen: "Do you have one that I might like"
Queen: "I think I'm starting to like beer."
I have been known to help others switch teams. I enjoy educating anyone willing to listen, about beer. So far, I have had a very high success rate. Everyone from my Miller Lite swilling cousin, to the Queen's Wine drinking father.
But this was the last person I thought I would ever be able to show the way. Beer has never been her drink of choice. She has tried it plenty of times, but she still didn't like it.
Recently, she has been asking for a beer every now and then. Because I am so awesome at what I do, I gave her a Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. Guess what, she liked it. She liked it, a lot.
I guess it is time to make a trip to the BevMo to pick out a few different beers I think she might like. I'm so excited.
Can I tell you that I don't think I have ever loved my wife more than this very moment.
Monday, November 2, 2009
There are what, about 50 pints of sweet golden nectar in a 5 gallon keg, give or take. I'm sure I went through half of them the first night I tapped it. That left about 25 more pints for me to enjoy.
Let's do some math here. Even if I am overestimating a little, or more than a little, I'm sure I've gone through 50 pints. It just doesn't add up. It isn't possible. Even if there was only a single pint poured that night I originally tapped it, I am still defying the laws of physics.
Can I explain this 8th wonder of the world? No, I can't. Am I complaining? No, I'm not. In fact I am thanking the All Mighty Beer God and Sam Calagione for this magic keg. Because I'm sure they both got together to make this keg of "Godfish Head" just for me.