Monday, June 29, 2009

What does Branson/Ruby Tuesday know about beer?

I still cannot believe it...
I was in Branson this past weekend (not to see a show but to buy several pair of GAP no stress pants)

After buying the pants I took the fam to Ruby Tuesday.

- little factoid, the guy who founded Ruby Tuesday worked in the same restaurant (Regas) at the same time as Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's. Regas is in Knoxville, TN.

Just out of curiosity I flipped to the beer section of the menu. I still can't believe this.
From the craft menu was DOGFISH HEAD 60 min IPA! Are you freakin kidding me? RUBY TUESDAY? It doesn't stop there. No. Underneath was YUENGLING! YUENGLING! America's oldest brewery. I thought you could only get that sh*t in the East. What the flip is going on at Ruby Tuesday in Branson, MO?

Branson? Ruby Tuesday? I still can't believe it. Did Dogfish Head drop a couple cool points or did Ruby Tuesday just turn it up to 11?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Wilderness makes a Saison

Not too long ago I had the privilege of tasting another home brew by The Wilderness. The Wilderness tried his hand at a Saison. Interesting. I don't know if I would have tried my hand at a Saison so early on in my home brewing journey but The Wilderness did and he did a great job.
Though I don't like this style of beer, I have to applaud the The Wilderness. It had a very professional taste - I can see people paying for this.

My tongue was going crazy from the overload of herbs, spices, fruits, and hops. I was impressed that this complex chaotic yet united and balanced beer came from a rookie home brewer.

Hats off

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dogfish Head vs. Flying Fish

Tonight I had a friend help me officiate a friendly competition between Delaware's Dogfish Head (60 min IPA) and New Jersey's Flying Fish (HopFish IPA). My friend doesn't mind IPAs. He'll drink anything and the only comment you'll get out of him is "wow". No one knows how to measure the "wow".
Is it "wow":
-this is really shit*y?
-this is perfect?
-this is totally average?

no tellin.

We drank Flying Fish first. My friend made no comment. I REALLY enjoyed the Flying Fish. It was one of my favorites that I tried in Baltimore a few weeks ago. I was really looking forward to drinking this one again. Loved it. So well balanced.

We ate a few more chips and dip, finished a brat, had a little macaroni salad, told the kids to shut it, then had Dogfish Head. "Wow", said my friend. He began talking about how he liked trying different craft brews and how superior they were to Bud, etc. (I let him ramble, sometimes it's best to, don't want to start an argument). I'm guessing this was a good "wow".

The Dogfish Head, though it is a good beer, is way off balance on MY palate. It needs to be polished up a bit; it's quite raw. When I drink Dogfish Head, I want to take a buffer to the beer for about 15min to smooth it out.

In it's current raw state, it's like one of those bad tasting delicacies that everyone eats because everyone else is and it's a "delicacy" and they don't want everyone to know they don't like it even though everyone else hates it too so they eat it and tell everyone how much they love it because everyone else is.

So I say Flying Fish wins...I don't have a friggin-glue what my friend's opinion is. He went home already so I can't ask him.


Flying Fish HopFish IPA: 6.2% ABV; IBU not given

DogFish Head 60 min: 6% ABV; IBU not given

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Let me throw this down before I have to wash the dishes...

Magic Hat's Lucky Kat (Irresistible Pale Ale they say). Brewed in South Burlington, VT. Magic Hat Brewery reminds me of 3 Floyd's in that they have the same type of wacky marketing approach.
Anywho, this is one of the brews I brought from the MO-PA-NC Beer Club convention. It is a silly beer as you can see in the picture. Under the cap it has silly sayings like "Hiding a fart is an age old art" or "Happy Beer-Thirty". I appreciate the silliness. I also understand it's all part of the business plan to build a strong cult base. Nothing wrong with that. I'm a fan.

I didn't know what to expect with Lucky Kat. I was afraid that it was going to be an artsy-fartsy impression of an IPA tasting like hay and horse piss. I was wrong.

Lucky Kat filled me up in one course. It was smooth too. While drinking I kept thinking to myself, 'is this an IPA?' It had the grapefruit taste but not as prevalent as other IPAs. It didn't make me beg for water like the Two Hearted or the O'Dells IPA. I could not make up my mind. I did like it though. I have one more in the beer fridge that I'm saving for Friday.

Lucky Kat: ABV 5.8% Bitterness: 58
Alpha King: ABV 6% Bitterness: 66
Single Wide: ABV 5.7% Bitterness: 59
2 Hearted: ABV 7% Bitterness: unknown
O'Dells IPA: ABV 7% Bitterness: 60

Thursday, June 4, 2009


seriously, this pabst right here, straight out of the can and answering to the activities that finally stretched my back and salted my brow, tastes better than anticipated. here's to more moments like this.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - The Beer Choice of Innovative Musicians

Last Sunday i had an experience that i will not soon forget. I was at The Pageant in St. Louis. I was 8 feet below and about 20 feet back from the edge of the stage. Blind Pilot came up and played. I was happy to find another band from Portland that i can explore later. It was a combination of bluegrass and indie rock. The lead singer wore a pearl snap short-sleeved western shirt, there was an electric xylophone player, and a girl who plunked on a banjo and danced a little.
The lights died. Out came 6 people to take their positions in front of a meager yet depth enhancing backdrop. The people around me screamed and so did i. The Decemberists have been a band i appreciated for some time now but this was my first time to see them. Colin Meloy made his way out in a full suit and he wasn't half-assing the tie either, he had the top button in place. He nonchalantly placed his beer on a back speaker and as he moved forward, a ray of light like a God's golden ray spot-lighted the bottle. Sierra Nevada if you please.
I don't know why he chose it. Maybe the selection is poor. St. Louis has some good brews, but usually you feel like someone is trying to cram Bud down your throat. Maybe it's the beer that fit best with the music we would hear; i'd like to think Meloy is that intentional with all that he does. If the other members are the Pinky, Meloy is the Brain.
If you haven't heard their newest album, The Hazards of Love, then you've been sittin' on an Ozarkian hill thinking you are somebody with Everest looming behind you ass! I have listened to the album straight through countless times and i believe without any fear of rebuke that it is the best album i have heard in at least 5 years, probably more. From genius lyrics, to creative storytelling, to a 17 song composition with no stops, to perfectly placed musical transitions paralleling and enhancing the emotions of the characters, who by the way, are also sung by Meloy and 2 new women (1 from My Brightest Diamond, and 1 from Lavender Diamond) whose voices beautifully express the intended character personalities, to some fucking awesome rock which i have never heard from this band until now, to 20 + instrument changes during the set by Meloy alone, to..........................................the list goes on.
The Decemberists walked out and played the album from start to finish. They did not say a word. An hour went by and they were done with it. They took a 15 minute break and then came back to play for another hour and a half of old stuff as well as a fantastic cover of "Crazy on You" by Heart. The female vocalists as new additions gave me goosy bumps in places i'd rather not mention.
I went home with my mind made up to buy Sierra Nevada Pale Ale to celebrate the victory which i had no part of creating but fantasized taking part in for over 2 hours. When i arrived at the store, however, Boulevard's Single-wide IPA was cheaper and i bought it and it was good. I'm drinking one right now.
I hope Colin and the crew can forgive me. Maybe if i drink more SN Pale Ale i can write and play and sing like him. Maybe he is trying to take over the world one Baker at a time. But, the Brain never did really get anywhere. Eventually he was cancelled. it's a shame.