Friday, December 17, 2010

Six Row Brewery

This afternoon I had the pleasure of sipping on Six Row's Double IPA. What a wonderful beer. If I were to rate it using the trademarked J.K.'s Beer Scale I would give it a 4. It's a good beer, I love Double IPAs, and I would definitely buy it again but I need to try it from a bottle before I can give it a 5.



p.s. why is $4.00 the starting price for a microbrew/craftbeer?

Monday, July 26, 2010

method of hoperation...

Modus Hoperandi - I just had one for the first time thanks to hopregister or prescription - whatever he goes by now.


see Hamster's review from September 2009 for more and better details...

Friday, June 18, 2010


in fact, i'm sipping an Anderson Valley Hop Ottin IPA (7% ABV, 80 IBUs) right now. lifting this glass towards oklahoma, toasting my old friend, mr. andrew botsford, who helped me cut my beer teeth on plenty of red stripe and rogue dead guy back in south kansas city. here's to the beauty of ya, sir. them were good and overdue chats tonight.

* * *

these scratches about Hop Ottin in my little pocket ledger make no sense. i'll type them out exactly as i sketched them a few nights ago:

in this bottle, the aroma is hidden. with persistence, i smell the color red. funny, because the ale pours a dark orange with heavy white lacing. there maybe an aroma of hearty homemade bread. first sip: magically balanced. loads of "hard working hops" and a backbone of stiff malts. i'm thinking of anti-pesto on bruschetta the way this ale puts the floral and citrus forward, held on a firm bed of brown-crusted malts. this beer is a flipping side item! loads of bread! almost a rye flavor due to spiky hop flavors.

i'm not sure what half that jibberish means, but, as i'm sipping it again, i agree with myself about the heavy bread balance of malty heart and hyper hoppage. reminds me of what Jesus said about building your house on the rock: that joker'll stand. and this IPA stands on a multitude of tree-trunkish legs.

prepare for slow sipping on the Hop Ottin. due to the concreteness of flavor and the high alcohol, i would not recommend Hop Ottin for gushing refreshment or backporch lounging. Hop Ottin would pair really well with a good medium rare sirloin and a baked tater. maybe with a serious game of backgammon or a Robert Rodriguez film. i'd like to take it on a roadtrip: not to sip at the end, but along the way. there's longevity in this bottle.

ps. i listened to tracks from Metallica's . . . AND JUSTICE FOR ALL while writing this review.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


yesterday morning i jogged 2.5 miles. woke up at 6:30 (on a saturday, no less), left the house at 7:20 (had to work a few things out first), and jogged over to marky-mark pepe-guzman's house. pepe keeps chickens. has a brood of them in this fancy little 5 star hen resort on the side of his house. i told pepe i'd let the chickens out of their roost in the mornings. that's why i jogged over there yesterday, to let the chickens out. they chattered their hen-pecked gratefulness in little circles around my feet.

i'm making a big deal about this jogging thing because it's the first time i've done anything of the sort in nearly 2 years. so 2.5 miles, straight out of the coop, made me feel pretty good. what did not make me feel pretty good was the 150% humidity levels at 7:50 AM. i sweated two gallons of hamsterian salt-waters before breakfast. i don't fancy mornings that feel like afternoons or sunrises that blister with the same needle-flecked boiling dusk breeze as sunset. and, Lord knows, south texas produces summers as infamously brow-melting as those in north mexico.

go figure.

so praise Christ for cold beer! and praise Christ for this blessed season of light, crisp summer ales hitting shelves just in time for my sweat-soaked post-jog breakfast!

and, as an extra praise Christ, i think i have just found this year's #1 summer beer: Widmer Brothers Sunburn Summer Brew.

there are several things i like about this beer. hazy bright orangish-yellow sunlight bends through a constant ascension of halo-lacing hallelujah bubbles. the aroma is soft and haylike, reminiscent of a german kolsch, though with a bit less grass and a bit more blonde ale citrus. the citrus forwardness of the aroma ebbs on the tongue, revealing a malty sweetness that never drags thick in the mouthfeel or the aftertaste, keeping a crisp focus on hops and a subtle off-stage, alcove present fruitness. also, a low ABV (4.3%) means that sunburn is a safe kicker-backer lawnchair ale comparable with real ale's fireman's #4 blonde ale, one of my top three favorite texas beers.

Widmer Brothers Sunburn Summer Brew is a great blonde-ish ale for all us outdoor athletes on these blazing summer days, especially when you want a wee more flavor than Pabst or Miller Lite have to offer. not to mention, finding Widmer's Sunburn was rather redeeming after the tragedy of their Deadlift Imperial IPA. let a brother know what you think.

ps. i wore homemade jorts and listened to Queens of the Stone Age while writing this review.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


here's a true indicator of a beer's worth. watch this, it's right here:

you're driving home from a long day at work. it's not been the best day, but not the worst either. you started out the morning at the dentist office, your jaw unhinged for two straight hours like a freshly fileted salmon. then class didn't go well, and probably because you weren't going well. repeatedly, for three full hours in class, you check and re-check and re-check the clock, thinking about driving home, about kicking your shoes off, about watching an ellen page film, about pouring a nice tall glass of beer. but then, suddenly, you remember what beer you have at home in your fridge, your countenance drops, so you turn around, drive to the store, and get another kind of beer.

yessir, i just lived this scenario. and the beer i drove away from this afternoon, that i chanced to repeat with something finer, was this here widmer brothers deadlift imperial ipa. honestly, to this day, i don't know if i've ever driven away from a beer. i might need to jot this event into the diary i one day hope to hand off to somebody kids, maybe mine -

June 9, 2010

Shit day. Turned the X-Terra around and drove away from shit beer. Gas costs $2.45/gallon. Community college girls wear rainboots when the sun's out and flip-flops when it rains. Whitesnake is still on the radio. Something ain't right about any of this.

before slamming this deadlift imperial ipa, i'd just like to say that widmer brothers is a great brewery. established by two beer guzzling brothers back in '84, this portland brewery produces one fine hit after another. i've even counted their broken halo ipa and their hefeweizen as two of my new favorites. also, word from sharif riad said that the widmer brothers prickly pear is so bizarre that the uniqueness alone makes it a beer to hunt and devour. widmer is one of those rare names in beer that you can fully trust to deliver big, full-bodied beers worth revisiting many times over.

until this one.

first off, the bottle says that this deadlift imperial ipa is an imperial ipa - meaning big ABV, big IBUs, big hops, big flavor, big BIG. however, the charts on this thing read 8.6% ABV and 70 IBUS. that's pretty weak for an imperial ipa. not to mention, all those low numbers show up in the flavor and the mouthfeel of the beer. this is a thin beer, barely registering on the palette as a ipa, let alone an imperial ipa. the only thing doubled in this beer is the miles i drove out of my way to find another beer to drink this afternoon.

again, if the label says widmer brothers, pick it up. take it to a friend's house. impress your corona drinking neighbors with these fine oregonian ales. but if the label reads deadlift imperial ipa, back the truck up and grab a sixer of PBR. then record your beer-ific virtues in a ledger for future generations.

(ps. i listened to Flatt & Scruggs with Doc Watson - STRICTLY INSTRUMENTAL - during the typing of this here review. get on it!)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


i'm not sure i can express in words the blackness of oskar blue's ten fidy imperial stout. it's like way black. imagine crypticus' times 10.50. ten fidy is so black that it's unsettling to watch as it pours into the glass. it looks like oil. black gold. texas tea. the crap that got the clampetts loaded.

and this stuff will get YOU loaded easily.

i'm not sure if this is a good thing or not, but the 98 IBUS, 10.5% ABV are not readily evident in the flavor of ten fidy. the aroma, smoky and raisin heavy, smells a bit sweet. the initial flavor feels a bit off-putting, considering the enormity of the beer, but mellows out to something also smoky-sweet. the alcohol heat is there, though not pervasive. and while all the reviews i've read mention overwhelming flavors of coffee and chocolate, i only taste dark-chocolate covered raisins, with raisins as the primary flavor profile. perhaps ten-fidy should be labeled a "raisin stout." i'd still buy it.

i'm convinced, hands down, that ten fidy is the BEST imperial stout i've ever tasted. sadly, oskar blues is also convinced. they're so convinced they charge $15 for four-cans of the stuff. but one taste will show you where your money went.

this review has been written to the tune of my last ten fidy can and lamb of god. sorry i didn't go with jay-z. after watching POULTRYGEIST: NIGHT OF THE CHICKEN DEAD, i needed a different sort of black.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Business

Thanks Hamster for your recent posts.
I just want to take some time to share with the members and followers of this blog how our club is doing financially. Since we started this blog over a year ago we have made $8.56. When we make $100.00 we get a check from google. We're meeting all the outcomes in our strategic plan and I KNOW for a fact that if we keep at it we'll get our beer money.
Thanks EVERYONE for all your hard work


Monday, May 10, 2010


i'm writing this review while my students are taking their final exam. as a teacher, i love this time of year. all the major work is behind me, all the major stretches of summer lay before me. and summer time in texas definitely calls for lighter beers. and this summer, i'm addicted to blondes.

blonde ales are closely related to the german kolsch style ale, but blonde ales do not feature the sharper, grassier flavors of the kolsch. from what i understand, blondes are a relatively light version of typical belgium ales: malty, but bright; fruity, featuring a bit of banana, but not overly sweet, still tinged in caramel; golden, airy, light and (hopefully) balanced delicately between complex and refreshing.

one thing i do know is that i've fallen in love with blonde ales this past year. and for some reason we have a growing list of the belgium style blondes popping up all over america:

- Real Ale's Fireman's 4
- Shiner Blonde Ale
- Southern Star's Bombshell Blonde
- Rahr Blonde Lager
- New Belgium's Skinny Dip
- Boulder Beer's Buffalo Gold
- Bridgeport Brewing's Haymaker Golden Ale
- O'Fallon's O'Fallon Gold

these are the blonde ales i've tried. and these are all beers i would gladly lay down the price of admission to take home, pour in glass, and behold over a backgammon board or a maud casey book on the back porch. i do enjoy this style of beer because blondes, when done well, have an odd way of putting the palette through plenty of calisthenics while still turning the day's volume down to a fine line of nada.

and then this here Leffe (6.6% ABV), from way over there in belgium, shows up all over town. i like this beer. in fact, this might be my favorite of the blondes, which probably makes sense since Leffe is the ideal Blonde Ale. these other blondes, the ones listed above, are working to match an ale similar to Leffe. Leffe is to blonde ales what lovecraft is to weird tales, what romero is to zombie films, what the ramones are to punk, what marmaduke is to great danes.

over the next couple of weeks, i'll try to feature a few more blonde ales, particularly those from the texas region. although i've mentioned them briefly before, this is a new season. and i'm always stoked to try old favorites again.

Friday, May 7, 2010


(i listened to blink-182 while sipping this beer and writing this review. so here's your built in reading soundtrack)

for some reason i drink a lot of michelob ultra. and, for some other reason, i don't seem to mind. several men in my community simply love the michelob ultra, and, nine times out of ten, when i'm offered a beer at a friend's house, the beer that lands in my hand is a michelob ultra. fine. i've got no problem with that. there may have been a time when i talked bull-honkus on the michelob ultra, but i don't anymore.

the truth of the matter is that michelob ultra is not a bad tasting light beer. it's simple. refreshing. bubbly as the BFG's frobscottle. and you can easily kick back several ultras and never think anything about it the next morning. the alcohol is low. the flavor is smooth. and the belch factor is so unladylike.

i like to think of michelob ultras as sparkling water with a little beer flavor hinted in the background. i would never personally buy michelob ultra, but i welcome a bottle (or four) when offered.

but this here beer is no normal michelob ultra. this beer here has lime cactus in it. and this lime cactus is lovely. simply lovely.

just when i thought that michelob ultra was refreshing, this michelob ultra with lime cactus is ultra refreshment times enormity. no joke: i would stock my fridge with this stuff. this is the perfect ultra hot day, sweaty t-shirt, post yard labor or tiger sex kinda beer. down this after any number of demanding deeds, and you'll love your body more than you did before you opened the bottle.

there's not much else to say about michelob ultra with lime cactus. i can't imagine it pairing well with food or backgammon or a zombie flick, but i'd drink it if i was hot. hell, i'd drink three of these if i was hot. this beer is a good reason to mow somebody's lawn.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


yesterday marked exactly four months since my last post on this website, though it surely does not mark the last bottle of beer that i consumed, enjoyed, or loquaciously reflected with a friend. the truth is that i sometimes fear writing about beer. i fear it because i want to say so much about beer. i want to talk about the brewery, the style, the ingredients, the moment in which i enjoyed the beer. there's so much to say about beer that sometimes i'm left dumbfounded and speechless. sometimes for four months on end.

i hope this post will put the words back into my fingertips.

i've thought about this site a great deal lately. i've thought about why this site was brewed in the first place, and i've thought about the gentlemen behind these beer posts that i've loved so greatly over the years. and all this thought has led me to a conclusion about my writing on this website, and that conclusion is this: i write for these men.

in the future, my reviews will be written to the men on this site and who subscribe to this site (jason scott and clint newlan and ben langford, that includes you) as the opening lines of dialogue about beer. forget the fanciness and the smartness and the pitch perfect wonderment of language. on this beer site, we're on the porch. we're hovering over the backgammon board. willie's on the dial and there's a story to be told tonight.

welcome to the conversation.

tonight i'm sipping a sierra nevada torpedo extra ipa. this beer is a beast. it's huge. and this is the last bottle in the six pack. one went to ian c. nelson; the rest went down the hamsterian hatch. i've chatted this beer up with several friends, all to great fanfare, and the unanimous word proclaims torpedo a beautiful ale. and it is. enormous citrus hop flavors nearly burn the tongue in the initial mouthfeel, followed by resinous copper flavors in the aftertaste. i'm not even sure if i know what i'm talking about, but multiple six packs and five ales over fives days tell me i'm not too far from my own palette's version of truth.

the one caution i do feel towards torpedo is that, by the last bottle, i grow nearly offended by the enormity of this beer. in the future, i'll probably purchase a sixer of torpedo alongside a sixer of something more subtle, like a blonde or a pilsner or some God-lovely PBR. perhaps an alternating sip of this one night alongside a good mellow chocolatey porter the next would save my sensibilities. all i know is that i love this beer, but by the end of a sixer, if this is all i'm sipping, i feel nearly nauseous at the sight of the sierra nevada label.

by the way, i showed my class the film HENRY POOLE IS HERE today. (long story). at one point the camera pans back to show a wide angle of henry poole's (luke wilson) kitchen. on the bottom shelf of an open faced pantry, the observant viewer might notice a six pack of sierra nevada pale ale. i wanted to call it out to the class, to say "that's the beer that taught me to love hops!", but i said nothing. and neither did anyone else. surely, american education is doomed.

so here's to happy returns. to more words. to more reviews. to letting go of perfection in trade for conversations. and here's to stocking the fridge strategically. God knows i've only got the one tongue.

Monday, February 15, 2010

President's Day, a good day to post.

This is Baker here. Behind me is The Prescription and Church Key. Tim will be along soon. I am here to discuss our current situation. I am three beers deep into our mini-keg of the Two Hearted Ale. This beast is so much different than our of the bottles. It is sweeter and creamier and much smoother. Still great, of course, but actually better than i've ever had it. And yes, i thought that even after the first beer.

In the fridge we also have Schlafly's Extra Irish stout ( we are in St. Louis), Moose drool, and New Belgium's new Ranger IPA boasting 70 IBU's. It is very good also, and seems like they were trying to mimic Boulevard's Single and double wide ipa's. Last and least, is Church Key and my new Pale Ale--the first of hopefully many.

In typical style, we opted for a Mr. Beer kit first, but now that we understand the process, we can do the real thing. I think we may go for a Imperial Stout next from a friend's recipe. Nate is currently dancing with The Prescription's 15 month old son. He was invited to the festivities.
Church Key will be having a new son soon, and The Baker will be in DC soon and have many new beers to post about. Praise be to new beers!

Monday, January 4, 2010


inspired by our own only prescription hop guru, i will soon set myself about the task of listing every beer i have ever tasted. this will take the better part of the spring, so i plan to launch "the still's exhaustive concordance of beers" by may.

in the meantime, i just returned from a two weeks venture through saint louis and kansas city sipping and tasting beers with some of my favorite beer connoisseurs. i thought i'd begin my exhaustive life-long list by jotting down all the beers i tasted on this trip.

NOTE: PLEASE REMEMBER!!! the following list does not indicate entire bottles or pints consumed. 75% of these are shared bottles or 2-3 ounce tasters given, purchased, or stolen off the head of a friend's glass. no, my liver is not as advanced as this list may sound.

this list is chronological, and each beer is rated with a 1-5 rating: 1 being horse-urine; 5 being Zeus' urine. also, i've highlighted in bold and italics all the 5 ratings. here we go.


Big Sky Moose Drool Brown Ale (3)
Schlafly Oatmeal Stout (2)
Schlafly Pale Ale (3)
Schlafly APA (3)
Founder's Red's Rye (5)
Southern Tier Mokah (3)
Rogue Yellow Snow IPA (5)
Avery Maharja (3)
Lagunitas Cappucino Stout (2)
Caldera IPA (3)
Schlafly Winter ESB (2)
Tin Mill Lager (1)
Lagunita's Brown Shugga (-2)
Founder's Porter (5)
Xingu Black Beer (3)
Bell's Porter (4)
Boulevard Bully Porter (3)
Southern Tier Porter (2)
Southern Tier Cuvee 2 (1)
O'Dell IPA (5)
New Belgium Wild Fall Ale (4)
Founder's Breakfast Stout (5)
Founder's Centennial IPA (2)
Arcadia Hop Rocket (1)
Lemp St. Louis (2)
O'Fallon 5 Day IPA (4)
O'Fallon Chocolate Cherry (-3)


Boulevard Nutcracker (1)
Boulevard Pale Ale (4)
Boulevard Pilsner (4)
Boulevard Single Wide IPA (5)
St. Peter's Golden Ale (1)
Abita Christmas (1)
Anchor Christmas 2008 (3)
Anchor Christmas 2009 (5)
Bell's Best Brown (2)
Big Sky Trout Slayer (3)
Shipyard Prelude (3)
Harpoon Winter Warmer (4)
Stone Ruination IPA (5)
Avery Old Jubilation (3)
Breckinridge Lucky U IPA (3)
Avery Czar Imperial Stout (5)
Grand Teton Au Naturale Organic Blonde Ale (4)
Boulder Mojo IPA (5)
Boulder Hazed and Infused (4)
Big Sky IPA (4)
Lost Coast Downtown Brown (2)
Lost Coast Great White (4)
Great Divide Hades Belgian Style Ale (3)
Avery Out Of Bounds Stout (4.5)
Founder's Double Trouble Imperial IPA (4.5)
Bell's Rye Stout (5)
O'Malley's Dropkick Ale (3)
Sam Adams Imperial Stout (4.5)


Jesse Robertson's New Year's Pale Ale (3)
Rogue Chocolate Stout (4)
Miller Lite (5)
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (3)

i realize that there are several beers rated at a 5, which brings my palate's discriminatory tastes into question. i have two defenses for this: A) with such a limited time on the road, i tried to choose my beers wisely; B) i was sipping beers with the likes of only prescription, the baker, clint newlan, jason scott, and nathan jones. these men know beer dang near biblically. so when they say "drink this" i drink that. and most of the time i agree with them on what is good.

to top off this list, i will revisit all the beers i rated as 5 to list my top three finds on this trip. in no particular order:

1. Founder's Porter
2. Founder's Breakfast Stout
3. Rogue Yellow Snow IPA

these were each new beers to me, and each of these three beers defined, in some capacity, what i believe the perfect porter, the perfect oatmeal stout, and a really great IPA should taste like. these are top shelf beers, in my opinion, and i wish they held constant place in my ice box. unfortunately, distribution laws deter me from Founder's, but i'm stoked to find and distribute this Rogue Yellow Snow all over my quaint texas town.

by the way, i sipped my last Bell's Rye Stout while writing this post.