Friday, June 25, 2010

Around the World

On Fridy or Saturday nights, I like to do this thing I call "Going around the World". It's where I try a bunch of different beers from around the world and tell people on Facebook and Twitter what I'm drinking. I hope by mentioning what I'm drinking, the masses will find the urge to go out and give them a try. Does it work? I don't know, but it's worth a shot.

Tonight is one of those nights. I have a plethora of different beers to try tonight. Most were sent to me by my friend Brian at I am Beer Wise. He was cool enough to send me some really great beers that I can't get. I felt bad sending him sending him just New Belgium and a bunch of local brews. But he was happy and in the end, that is all that matters.

So what am I drinking? I'll tell you. Barley Wine is the theme of the night. Lets talk about them shall we?

Brookly Brewery - Monster Ale. This is a beer I really like. When we made the beer trade, Brooklyn Brewery was the only brewery that I requested he send to me. I can't get it in Arizona. I would have been happy with anything he sent me, but a barley wine moved him into my inner circle. I'm really enjoying this. It says 12 Fl. oz and 10.1 abv. That sounds like a good time. Trust me, it is. But you would never know it. There is zero taste of alcohol like some other barleywines. It has a great taste and a smooth mouth feel. If you were a rookie, you could drink 2 or 3 of these before you realized you were in trouble. It leans against the malt side of the fence so I am enjoying it. Of all the beers Brian sent me, this is one of my favorites so far. Grade - 4 Burps

Samuel Adams - Mile High Barley Wine Ale. This is one of the American Homebrew contest winners. Ben Miller from New Mexico knows how to make an award winning beer. I have had the other beers from this years Longshot competition, and this is my favorite. Like the Brooklyn Brewery offering, there isn't that harsh alcohol taste some barleywines have. It hides it well with the roasted malt. Sorry to tell you Ben, but I enjoy the Brooklyn Brewery offering more. But you still make a good beer. Good job. Grade - 3 Burps

I have a few more to tey before the night is over, so I have to run.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oktoberfest 2009 was a good year, 2010 will be better

I love to buy beer almost as much as I enjoy drinking it. The thing I hate about beer is that once it's gone, it's gone. To help ease the withdrawals of missing my favorite beer, I try to buy additional bottles (or cases) before they go into hibernation. Nothing hits that spot like a nice Oktoberfest Marzen in June.

Oktoberfest style beers are my favorite. They represent everything I love about beer. It's so special, they only serve it during the greatest festival in the entire world, Oktoberfest. Every fall, American breweries help celebrate the great festival by rolling out their version of an Oktoberfest Marzen. Most are enjoyable, but one stands above the rest, Flying Dog Dogtoberfest.

I've said it time and time again, I love these guys. They brew with a certain machismo, a kind of "Bad Ass" mentality. I think that's why I relate to them so well. The masses might be scared away by the art work on their labels, or the names of their brews. That's why there are other beers out there. Beer for people like that. Flying Dog is for the rest of us. For people like me, who like to drink good beer, be different, and do their own thing. They make "good beer, no shit".

This evening, I felt the overpowering need to open one of my few, precious, remaining bottles of Dogtoberfest from 2009. These are the infamous "Total Wine Incident" bottles. At one point, I think I had roughly 32 bottle on hand. Most of them were enjoyed during the Oktoberfest season. I did manage to hide a few in the back of the fridge in the kitchen and four others in my beer fridge.

I spent this weekend dreaming and planning my trip to Europe. One of the countries I will be visiting will be Germany. As luck would have it, I will be there during the 2010 Oktoberfest. However, I will not be in Munich, my favorite place in all the world. No, instead I will be to the north, in Berlin. It's not quite Bavaria, but I'm sure I will be able to partake in quite a few liters of Marzen.

AS I read about the the history and interesting places to visit while I'm there, I couldn't help but think about the beer of Germany. And that I was going to be there during Oktoberfest, but not able to attend. Then I remembered those 2 bottles of Flying Dog I had stashed in the fridge. I couldn't help it. I had to have one.

It's Wednesday, and I have been thinking about my trip and that beer since Saturday. As I sit here, and write out this post, I am finishing off my final, and last Flying Dog Dogtoberfest. It's a little bitter sweet. I'm enjoying it more than I did on Saturday, and possibly a little more than I did last October. But I know it will soon be over. Once I finish it, that's it. There is no more. All the bottles I had, visible and hidden are gone. And it isn't even July yet.

In a few months, September will be in sight. The cactus will start to turn brown, and I'll be getting my suitcase out of the closet. All the while, Flying Dog Brewery will be making beer. A few of those barrels will be filled with Oktoberfest, which will eventually be transferred to kegs and bottles and be on their way to Arizona. Once they get here, I will take a little time off from packing and brushing up on my German so I can make a trip to the BevMo and Total Wine.

There are a few beers out there that really move me. Flying Dog Dogtoberfest is one such beer. As I finish my last sip, I can't help but feel a little sad. But I know that we will be together again soon.

I'm going to miss you old friend. But I can't wait to meet your younger sister.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

BevMo 5 Cent Beer Sale

Doesn't that sound nice, 5 Cents. I think it does. There isn't many things one can buy for only 5 cents. How about for a bottle of alcohol? To the many wine lovers around the world, getting a bottle for just 5 pennies is in fact, a real deal. At BevMo, when you buy one bottle of wine, you get the second one for just 5 cents. If I enjoyed wine, I would take full advantage of this deal. But I don't. I like beer.

So, what about beer? I would love to purchase a second bottle of beer for 5 cents. But I can't. I want that same deal. I deserve that same deal. Why can't I buy a bottle of beer, at regular price, and get the second one for 5 cents? I want the same deal the wine people get. I don't think this is fair. In fact, I think this is discrimination.

Aren't beer drinkers considered a minority in the country? We are usually treated like it. I never see a Beer Cellar in an upscale apartment in New York City. The Wall Street guys aren't taking a vacation to Munich for Oktoberfest, or Denver. Instead they head to France, or the Napa Valley to sip and spit out their wine. That's doesn't sound like a good time to me. Belgium is right next to France people. And there, you don't have to spit out the beer.

I'm getting off topic here. I'm starting to rant and rave a little.

Lets crunch some numbers. At BevMO, a bottle of '08 McManis Chardonnay California sells for $11.99. One more bottle of this will cost you only $.05. So that makes 2 bottles for $12.04. Not bad, if you like wine.

Now lets compare the wine above with a beer we all love, Stone Double Bastard. BevMo sells a 22 oz bottle of this award winning ale for $6.99. The second bottle is going to cost you, $6.99. That makes the grand total $13.98 for two bottles of Double Bastard. Still worth it to me, but not a good deal compared to the wine.

Lets look at this another way. What if that second bottle of Stone was priced accordingly, at just $.05. That would take the price for two bottles of Stone from $13.98 to only $7.04. Now this is a SWEET DEAL! Even the wine snobs would have to agree.

However, that isn't the deal. It's not a deal at all because I can't buy the second bottle for 5 cents. I have to pay full price. I have to pay $6.99. That's $6.94 cents more for a bottle of beer than the bottle of wine. What does that say?

It says that beer is better than wine if you ask me. It also means that people are paying too much money for it. Damn, I'm happy I don't drink the stuff. But if I did, I would buy in bulk.

So what's a man to do? This man is going to "man up" and pay $6.99 every time.