Monday, December 28, 2009

Sometimes, it's hard

Sometimes it is hard to find beer, even for me. One of the biggest reasons I love going on vacation is finding a new beer. Sometimes, I hit the jackpot. Other times, it is a difficult task. I fear the later.

California is gaining status in the beer world. That's awesome because I make it to the land of movies quite often. Luckily, that is where I am now (stop by and say hi if you're in the area). I have been here for 3 days now and I feel like I'm failing in my search for great West Coast beer.

I still have some plans to make up for the slow start. A trip to BevMo, and a stop at a local brewery or two will make everything better again.

In the mean time, I'm getting on a ride now, so I will have to finish this post later. I hope I do it with a microbrew in my hand.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Beercation in SoCal

I apologize for the extreme delay in posts as of late. But I'm back, and I'm on another Beercation.

I arrived in SoCal (Southern California) today. I'm going to be here fthrough Wednesday, and plan to see some characters, and drink plenty of beer.

My original plan was to hit Bootlegger's Brewery today, but I didn't make it. Instead, I made it down to TJ Schmid's Restaurant and Brewery for dinner and some beer.

TJ Schmid's had 6 different beers on tap for me to try tonight. I'm going to tell you right now, I was not impressed. Honestly, I was disappointed. Very disappointed. The beer just wasn't good. I think there was a problem with their Co2, because everything seemed flat, weak, and lifeless. None of the samples had any head at all. I don't know exactly what it was, but something just wasn't right.

So here is the list.

1. JT Light. "Weak flavor. It's like a Bud Light". I didn't like this beer. It was flat without much texture. It was a subpar beer. Grade - 1 1/2 Burps

2. IPA. "Missing that Hops hit I want, or would expect from an IPA. Again, it seems weak, and flat". I was noticing a theme with the beers after the first two. Grade - 2 Burps

3. Hefe. "Ew, I don't like this. I'm not a fan of Hefes and I'm not a fan of this particular beer either. The big slice of lemon doesn't help the flavor by any means. It is more sour than sweet." I can't recommend it. Actually, I didn't even finish it. Grade - 1 Burp

-Note- Our good friends, the Schalmpes are here with us just like all our other vacations (or Beercations). Mr. Schlampe is a Hefe kind of guy. I have taught him the way, and he didn't like it either. He said the one he had at Gordon Beirsch last night was 100 times better.

4. Amber. "A slight caramel flavor at the start, but quickly fades. Weak flavor again." This one was slightly better than the previous three. But there really wasn't anyplace to go but up. Grade - 2 Burps

5. Stout. "Again, weak and a lack of carbonation". It was very thin for a Stout. There wasn't that amazing smell or taste of roasted malt or coffee that I love. It was the best beer of the night, but it wouldn't be something I would buy. Grade - 2 1/2 Burps

6. Seasonal. I was so bummed out by the time I tried this last sample. Just like all the other samples, it was weak and flat. But you know what my first opinion of it was, "Water". This beer was so weak and flavorless, it was like a watered down Corona Light. It was not good, at all. I didn't even finish it. Grade - 1/2 Burp

There you have it. A very unpleasant beer tasting. So much that I didn't even buy a T-shirt. this isn't how I wanted to start off my Beercation. They do have an impressive brew system on display at the back of the restaurant. I didn't get a picture, but I think there were 5 fermentation vessels. It looks cool. But the beer coming from them isn't.

I'm curious what other beer people think of the beer flowing from the taps at TJ Schmid's. Because I can't imagine a brewery like this being able to succeed with beer like this. There has got to be some quality beer flowing at some time.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Early Christmas present

I know it isn't Christmas yet, but I am in the mood for giving. So I am going to throw this one out there as a teaser. Kind of like that present you get to open on Christmas Eve. Actually, I think it is more like being there when somebody bought you a present. You don't know what it is, but you know it's going to be good.

What could it be?

I'm going public!

Good Burp has evolved over the past year. It didn't start out as a blog all about beer, but it has become a very popular one. (Thank you)

For the past couple months, I have been more and more open about my beer adventures. In addition, I have started to tell people about my blog. So much that people have been looking for me. Some have found me, and others are very close. There are some out there who I need to be a little more accessible to. So I think it's time.

The day I remove my mask and show the world my secret identity is still a bit of a secret. But your smart, I think you will figure it out.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Another party tonight

It's that time of the year again. That means it's time for another party at my house tonight. I wonder what kind of stories I will have tomorrow. I always have something to share the next day.

I have the kegs all ready to go. I kept it a little mild this time. Sam Adams Oktoberfest and Firestone Double Barrel Ale will be the choices this evening. I'm sure plenty of beer will be knocking at my front door as well.

The people arrive in 5 hours. However, it isn't a party until someone throws up!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Are you sure you're drinking a real Micro Brew?

Anat Baron's insightful film, Beerwars introduced us to the war between Anheuser Busch and Miller Coors vs. the American Microbreweries. It was a fascinating film about the American brewing industry. It's a real life "David and Goliath" story.

I was fortunate to see the film on the theater when it was shown nationwide. I left the theater vowing to never drink another beer owned by Anheuser Busch (now In Bev) or the Miller Coors partnership.

Some of you fellow beer drinkers might feel the same way, and drink imported beers such as Pislner Urquell, Lowenbrau, Beck's, Bass, or Blue Moon is your way of sticking it to the man. I hate to brake it to you, but you have been had. Their evil plan has worked on you.

I have been searching for a list of beers and breweries owned by the corporate giants since that day. But I have been unable to find it, until today. Anat Baron was kind enough to post a partial list on the Beer Wars website today. I encourage you to read the list, and avoid the beers listed.

I also recommend that you watch the film Beer Wars. It really is a great documentary about the little guy taking on the big guy. I'm sure you will enjoy it for what it is. Who knows, it might even change your opinion of beer.

Here is the list. I hope you avoid them in the future.