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You Know He’s the One…

2 Jun

…when his fridge looks like this!

Craft Beer Heaven

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Two Beer Trends to Try For Kicks: Spicy and Sour Beers

2 Jun

Although I try and hide it, I have very weird food routines. I love putting salt and vinegar chips in my sandwiches and I dump a bucket of Crystal hot sauce on my eggs first thing in the morning. So it’s no wonder I was drawn to sour and spicy beers and have acid reflux.

Spicy peppers + Beer = ❤

And just as I grow tired of eating the same thing every day, I have grown tired of a lot of my old favorite friends beers (bye  Old Chub). I know…#BeerGirlProblems

I am definitely one to take the challenge of spicy food. So of course I was game for a spicy beer. Think chipotle for a smokey mild indulgence and habanero for a real kick in the boobs.

I tried Rouge Chipotle Ale , which I thought was really tasty. It was smooth, slightly spicy, smoky, dark and sweet. Brewed out of Oregon, Rogue has their stuff together to say the least. The beer is only 5.5%, so I am still not sure why they served it to me in a little dinky glass.

I have also tried Billy’s Chilies, which is pretty good – just enough spice so it’s not overbearing. It’s brewed by Twisted Pine, who does a lot of experiential delicious things. 

If you really want to feel the burn Ghost Face Hillah by Twisted Pine is unbearably hot. If you are from Latin America or have no taste buds, you will probably be fine

For sours, I would recommend Duchesse De Bourgogne or Rodenbach Grand Cru  for a brown, oaky sour that leaves no aftertaste. I am on the search for a lighter sour beer. I had a home brew from Alligator Brewing in Gainesville that used loquats to add the sour taste, without having the age the beer for long.

Craft Beer Week Q&A Craig Birkmaier, Head Brewer at Swamp Head

14 May


Well, American Craft Beer Week is right around the corner and I am smiling like a little kid waiting for Santa to bring the gifts. Only my gifts will be alcoholic and I will be buying them for myself. I interviewed head

Courtesy of Swamp Head Website

brewer of Swamp Head, Craig Birkmaier (who makes delicious IPA’s and Stouts)about his plans for craft beer week, expansion and craft beer in Florida.

I was going to talk to founder Luke Kemper as well, but he was off in the Bahamas getting hitched to longtime GF and Swamp Head bartender, Katie Allen.

I also snagged some pics when I was trespassing no one was looking *sneaky sneaky

So what can you say the importance of craft beer week is?

It’s an opportunity for brewers around the country to get people focused on what we’re doing. It gets people thinking.

Where does Florida fall into the craft beer mix?

We were late to the party, but things are starting to take off. The container law change in 2002 helped craft breweries begin.

And was Gainesville responsive to craft beer?

Our experience has been phenomenal because of people going in and asking for our product.People are willing to spend a little more money for a local, higher quality product.

Microbrewing is taking off – a lot has to do with the tasting rooms. They allow brewers to sell out of their establishment and put revenue back into the brewery. It’s helping us grow faster.

What kind of things are you doing for craft beer week?

We’re doing a people’s choice brew day Wednesday. We solicited requests for recipes. People can send them in online. We’re going to brew the best recipes on a pilot system. We’ll be here to talk to people and show them how it’s made.

So what’s next for Swamp Head?

We’re starting to look for a 30-barrel brewhouse. We have a 10-barrel right now. We brew 100 barrels a week, so we would brew 2 times a day, 5 days a week and more than triple the product. We have a couple of places we are looking for.

Dogfish Head’s Amazin’ Raison

11 May

Image

Or not so amazin’. 

This frankenbeer makes me want to vom monster all over my stereo (which i sit atop while sip-guzzling Raison D’Etre). Seriously, who on God’s green earth thought it would be a good idea to turn everyone’s LEAST FAVORITE FOOD, the raisin, into a f*cking 7-dollar pint?? 

Not I, said the fly. “This is not a good beer,” the fly, who is not involved in the case, continued. The fly’s associate, Gnatty Light, could not be reached for comment at the time of publication. Fictional calls to Dogfish Head Brewery, of Delaware, were not returned. 

Guess what was returned. THIS BEER! 

All kidding and DEAD SERIOUSNESS aside, this beer effin rulez, mate (according to an Australian who doesn’t know ANYTHING about good beer, and is a poor speller). But really, it’s okay. It just has a really funky, lingering afterflavor that tastes of booze and spoiled fruits.

AND SELF LOATHING! 

According to the label, the brown stain that I just vommed all over my speakers is a “Belgian Strong Ale.” HA! Belgian Strong AIL is more like it. I taste caramel. I taste malts. I taste raisins. I taste alcohol. I taste my tongue trying to off itself in the bathroom. 

But really, truly, this is a fantastic brew — and by “a fantastic brew,” I mean “an affront to”:

a) All of Delaware, including Quahog, birth place of Peter Griffin 

b) The sun, because it didn’t spend 3 months drying grapes for this horsesh*t

c) My speakers, which have Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre all over them, and part of lunch it appears

d) Shawn Hannity, because everything is an affront to that assh*le.

When I started typing, there was a caramel white 1 1/2-finger head on this puppy. That, my friends, dissipated faster than Julia Robert’s career.

F*ck my life, why did I drink this beer? My body hates me right now, and so does Dogfish Head for besmirching their reputation with a false agenda. This is actually a highly sessionable beer that I quite enjoy and have purchased to impress friends with my good taste.

Just kidding, ladies. Stay away. Your TWENTY SEVEN DOLLARS of carpet cleaner will thank you.  

Soundslides of Neal Mackowiak, Florida brewer extraordinaire

23 Apr

Hi there,

Thought you may enjoy looking at a soundslide project I did on a local brewer.

I am so looking forward to this pancake beer (for girls)!

Blonde Ails

9 Apr

Come for the corny titles. Stay for the shitty analysis. 

Who needs Little Yella Pils? Um, Betty Draper Francis. Clearly. I mean, holy hell, Bets. I turn around for 17 months, and you’re pushin’ 2 bills and your husband to drink. Hypothyroidism. Riggggghhtt. I know a Blue Bell diet when I see one. And Betty Draper is on the Pint-a-Day.

Hey, speaking of pints… Mama’s Little Yella Pils is an easy-drinking Czech Pilsener (get it) from the guys that brought you Ten Fidy, Old Chub, Dale’s, and all the other tastily metallic brews that come in those budget-breaking cans. Look, I like Oskar Blues as much as the next guy (provided he’s HopLover82), but at $10.75 for a sixer, I’m expecting a little more than Budweiser with pretty artwork.

Oskar Blues - Mama's Little Yella Pils

LYP is bready, slightly lemony and drinkable by the gallon at 5.3% ABV. It pours a translucent yellow, which wafts of citrusy ethers and sprouts a healthy two-finger white head — just like The King. You would like it, if you don’t have a penis.

Whoa, the P-bomb comes out early. Apologies. This is what happens when you drink Old Rasputin while blogging. Or as I call it, “field research.”

Let me tell you about a beer that I do like. Abita Strawberry LagerTrois Pistoles is a beer you can bring home to your mom — strong, dark, and French (note 1: Trois Pistoles is brewed in Quebec by Unibroue; note 2: my mother likes black men; note 3: I have a girlfriend). I had it last night in a bucket-sized Hoegaarden glass that Ms. Bartender Come Lately sought fit to serve my 12 oz. Belgian in. Hey, it was five bucks. I can live with the ill-fitting frat-ware.

A strong (9.0% ABV), dark (coffee-colored) Belgian ale with a dissipating head and malts galore, this one tastes like Blue Moon on a power trip. The knock-you-on-your-ass raisin/coriander/booze profile is a slog to drink, but the complexity makes for rewarding sipping and even better debate. Some people love this beer. I just used the plebeian Blue Moon as reference point… Its reputation exceeds it, no doubt, but it’s certainly worth a try. A beer for girls? Yeeeeeeee…. No. Unless you’re Betty Francis, who will put down anything.

Trois Pistoles

So, recap. Mama’s Little Yella Pils is Bud for snobs — a lightweight pilsener that you might’ve had from a warm keg once at a Tri-Delt mixer. Boringly refreshing. Trois Pistoles is a dark fruit-laced conversation piece that you might like, but you will definitely respect. It’s big and full-bodied, like — wait for it — Betty Draper Francis.

Man Lives Off Beer For Lent

12 Apr

Don't judge me. I'm doing it for the monks...

 

Normally, people give up something they like, such as sweets, coffee, soda, etc. But THIS GUY gave up everything except beer and water for lent.

I can’t decide if I think this guy is my number one hero or an alcoholic seeking to make a mockery out of the sanctity of religious sacrifice.

Either way I’d probably give him a high five for being able to stomach 4 – 5 Doppelbocks a day on zero food.

Newspaper editor and beer blogger J. Wilson has vowed to only live off beer and water for 46 days as a test of Franciscan monk fast.

According to a nctimes.com article, this non-denominational Christian drinks four 12-ounce Illuminator Doppelbocks on weekdays and 5 on weekends. The beer is 6.7% ABV and got a rating of A – on beer advocate so it must be okay.

He is 35 days in and still truckin’ through lent although he told reporters he was tired of the beer after day five.

He has a keg installed in his house and at his work so he has easy access to the 288 calorie brew at all hours of the day.

Now, there’s this pesky rumor circulating that beer makes you fat. I would like to quash that right now since this guy lost 15 pounds in a month. Sign me up for this diet.

His plans for his first non-beer meal? Smoothies, Mexican food and a bacon sandwich. That’s an interesting combo.

Read the full article here.  Or watch the video I have conveniently embedded for you.