Archive for November, 2011

Surly Brewing Company Darkness (365 Day 363)

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
surly brewing company darkness

Surly Darkness

Tuesday Night Beer Club (TNBC) was held this month at Rich’s house with a theme of dark beers. The night started off slowly with a couple of American craft beers that were fizzles. As the evening went on the beers started to improve with most of the offers turned into some sort of Imperial Stout. Or course each stout seemed to be bigger than the last until you get to the point that a big stout doesn’t even feel big.

Time for the big guns. Rich rushed in with a bottle of 2010 Darkness by Surly Brewing Company and, before that was gone, broke open a bottle of 2010 Dark Lord by Three Floyds Brewing Company so that we do a taste comparison. Both damn tasty beers but American craft beer 363 is focused on Darkness.

2010 Darkness, in most of our opinions, is currently at its peak. It seems to be a smooth drinker with a nice balance between a sweet and dry finish, neither of which your mouth succumbs. I think you could maybe go another year at most on the 2010 batch before it would be past its prime.

I do have to say that I preferred the Dark Lord over Darkness but by the slimmest of margins. They are both solid beers. I will continue to find my way to the release parties each year. Enjoy!

Aroma: 10 (25%), Taste: 10 (25%), Look: 10 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 9.7

Useless Fact: The Venetian painter Tintoretto (1518-1594) once painted a picture of Paradise that was 72 feet long. It was made for the Doge’s palace in Venice.

Hill Farmstead Brewery Jim (365 Day 362)

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
hill farmstead brewery jim

Hill Farmstead Jim

I talked to my seven year old last night to make sure I knew how to count. According to her I should be good to go to finish off the last three days without any mishaps. I am glad that I received a clean bill of counting from her. Still can’t believe I forgot to post that one entry, screwing up the past 11 days of American craft beer counting. Enough of this as I have apologized enough.

Jim is my first beer from Hill Farmstead Brewery. This is one of those breweries I have read about recently and wanted to get a few American craft beer from. Fortunately I found a trading partner as Hill Farmstead beers are very low release in bottles.

Jim is a Cascadian Dark Ale which is an American IPA that has had some sort of dark malt added for aroma and flavor. Some of the dark malts used in this style are roasted barley, carafa, and even chocolate. Jim has one of the largest and thickest foam heads I have seen in an American craft beer. It makes the beer very pleasing to the eye.

A really well done interpretation of the style, Jim deserves your attention if you are fortunate to lay your hands on a bottle. Enjoy1

Aroma: 9 (25%), Taste: 8 (25%), Look: 10 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 8.6

Useless Fact: Ancient Chinese artists freely painted scenes of nakedness and coition. Never, absolutely never, would they depict a simple bare female foot.

365 American Craft Beer Goof, Oops!

Monday, November 28th, 2011

We all make mistakes. You better believe it that I make my fair share and then some. I was just doing the math in my head, in terms of my last day of 365 American craft beers in 365 days, and noticed that my original counts were off. Numbers have always come easy for me: I was an accounting major, taught high school math, and do logical thinking on a daily basis for a living. So how could the number get weird the last 10 days or so?

The entire time that I have been doing, I have been following King Bob as he has been doing the same. He has always been two days ahead of me. He always blogs on the day he drinks the beer, I always blog on the day after I drink the beer but in terms of days, when he is on beer 100, I am on beer 98, on the same day. I was reading his entry from yesterday and noticed that today is his last day and, I thought, that Wednesday was my last with Thursday being the one extra beer I promised for accidentally having a duplicate.

So how the hell did I get three days behind (based on current numbers)?

Great question and one I had to solve. I knew that I had to double number a blog or something similar. This is exactly what it turned out to be but one step further: I didn’t actually post the first 350.

So what does it mean? The last American craft beer I officially have will be on Thursday and numbered 365, as it should be. Simple. Clean. Done. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: Currier and Ives published more than 7,000 prints. They ran a large factory with hundreds of employees, including many full-staff artists. Through their prints are rare and expensive today, they originally sold for 10 cents apiece.

Crow Peak Brewing Company Pile O’ Dirt Porter (365 Day 361)

Monday, November 28th, 2011
crow peak brewing company pile o' dirt porter

Crow Peak Pile O' Dirt Porter

The last day of the long Thanksgiving weekend. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend: seeing family and friends, while spending quality time with the wife and kids, and giving me a good chance to recharge my batteries for work. Of course along the way I had some quality American craft beer.

American craft beer number 361 is Pile O’ Dirt Porter by Crow Peak Brewing Company. Not a name that really draws you in making you want to drink but, once you get past the name, this American Porter, is a nice offering. The porter is solidly built with only a few blemishes. Definitely one to have again.

Pile represents my first American craft beer from the state of South Dakota. I also noticed that the brewery is right on the cusp of the bad lands; a potential destination for the summer vacation, giving me a watering hole to quench my thirst. Enjoy!

Aroma: 7 (25%), Taste: 8 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 7.9

Useless Fact: The Spanish painter Velázquez was official court painter to King Philip IV when he was twenty-six.

Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery HUSH! (365 Day 360)

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

rock bottom restaurant and brewery

It isn’t a full blown Thanksgiving weekend with some type of shopping mixed in. How does the wife get me out of the house? Tell me that the Lego store has a sale and she has a coupon on top of it. Damn skippy. We were off for the mall and my wife had a few stops in store for me that I wasn’t even contemplating. The old bait and switch. Why am I so simple?

Now the good part: the wife knows that I am like a little kid in the sense that if she wants me to go shopping to places I would rather never be seen, she needs to reward me for being good. 😉 A simple sentence like, “I have a coupon for Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery“, puts me on my best behavior.

Rock Bottom isn’t the best place but they brew their own beer and, on some occasions, they will have a bourbon aged beer on tap. I prefer their one off American craft beers as they let the ability of the brewer shine. I had a glass of HUSH! with lunch. An American Imperial Stout, HUSH! delivered heaping helpings of roasted malt. More carbonation than I like in an imperial there was plenty of mouth feel to go around. I would say the beer was average overall. I would have it again. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: The horns protruding from the head of the famous statue of Moses by Michelangelo were a mistake! It is true that the Bible describes Moses as having hrons coming from his head. This however, was an error on the part of the translators. In Hebrew the words for “Horn” and “Ray of light” are spelled identically. The translators misinterpreted “Ray” for “Horn” and thus Moses is often portrayed in western art as looking like a devil.

Upright Brewing Company Six (365 Day 359)

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

upright brewing company

The day after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Christmas season. At least it does in our house. Growing up we had small “traditions” that never seemed to last. As a father I wanted to have traditions in my family as I remember those times fondly. The one that we stick to is the Friday after Thanksgiving being the day we go out and cut down our tree, decorate the tree, and then watch “Christmas Vacation”. It might not seem like much but we all look forward to this day.

Thoughts begin on wondering where the year has gone and how quickly the holidays have found their way back to our door steps. How fortunate we are to have young men and women give their lives daily to protect our freedoms. Which brings up a very somber point this year: Our good friends have a son that was deployed to Afghanistan two months ago. He stepped on a land mine earlier in the week, losing both of his legs and tips of two fingers. My heart and prayers are with them.

No American craft beer, no matter how outstanding, can compete with that bit of news. I tried to cope with the news with Six by Upright Brewing Company. I will stop there as this beer didn’t compete, not because it wasn’t worthy, because my mind was elsewhere. I had Seven a while back it was quite tasty, so I am sure that Upright will impress me again. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: It is believed that 30 to 50 percent more male fetuses than female fetuses are conceived, yet only 5 to 6 percent more males are born. Prenatal (as well as infant) deaths are much higher among males than females.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company 13 Anniversary Ale (365 Day 358)

Friday, November 25th, 2011
firestone walker brewing company 13 anniversary ale

Firestone Walker 13

Happy Thanksgiving! The one holiday that allows me to spend a ridiculous amount of time with family and friends. It cannot be beat for that aspect. Turkey, green bean casserole, sour cream cucumbers, double backed yam, and my Mom’s ludicrously delicious and home made stuffing. All piping hot, all fresh, and all making my mouth water again. Dessert is home made pumpkin pie with real whip cream; is there any other way?

The night cap on the evening was a stop off at Rich’s. I brought over a couple of American craft beers to help celebrate Rich’s birthday a day late. An American Strong Ale, the highlight of the evening was 13 Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker Brewing Company. Firestone’s anniversary beers are always a blend of bourbon barrel aged beers. Each year it is different and, I believe, a group of wine people from the local area come in to taste and determine the blend. Cool idea, great beer. Enjoy!

Aroma: 9 (25%), Taste: 10 (25%), Look: 8 (15%), Drinkability: 10 (35%), Overall: 9.5

Useless Fact: It is possible for a fetus in the womb to get hiccups.

Two Brothers Brewing Company Askew (365 Day 357)

Thursday, November 24th, 2011
two brothers brewing company askew

Two Brothers Askew

Thanksgiving Eve. This means that I don’t have to get ready for work in the morning and I can appreciate a few American craft beers without having to worry about the 4:30am alarm. This also means that the wife will be participating in a beer or two while we watch a movie.

Askew by Two Brothers Brewing Company is an American Wild Ale. A nice tart/sour beer that comes from a local brewery, which makes it doubly good.

I am looking forward to more sours from Two Brothers. I hope I don’t ave to wait to long or have to show up for some crazy release to get my share of the pie. Enjoy!

Aroma: 9 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 9.0

Useless Fact: The average brain comprises 2 percent of a person’s total body weight. Yet it requires 25 percent of all oxygen used by the body, as opposed to 12 percent used by the kidneys and 7 percent by the heart.

Midnight Sun Brewing Company Panty Peeler (365 Day 356)

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
midnight sun brewing company panty peeler

Midnight Sun Panty Peeler

Panty Peeler. Can I say that in the work place? Unfortunately there isn’t much you can say in the work place that will you get in you trouble. I am sure that “panty” by itself is bad enough but adding peeler to form the combo “panty peeler”, just makes it a bit worse. Good thing this isn’t the work place but a place to chat about American craft beer.

Midnight Sun Brewing Company brews up Panty Peeler which is a Belgian Tripel. Phenols, fruity, yeast, and caramel all top the list of characteristics of this beer. There is a nice balance but a bit of sweet finish that isn’t well balanced. The high alcohol is well hidden.

My second beer from Midnight Sun and I have been satisfied by both. Time to dig another out of the cellar. Enjoy!+

Aroma: 9 (25%), Taste: 7 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 8.2

Useless Fact: The average person’s hand flexes its finger joints 25 million times during a lifetime.

Russian River Brewing Company Temptation (365 Day 355)

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011
russian river brewing company temptation

Russian River Temptation

Russian River Brewing Company has created another fantastic beer. This time around it is Temptation another American Wild Ale.

The delight in this American craft beer is the subtleties of the complex aromas and flavors. Temptation is easy drinking and refreshing. Even though it is light there is an strong carbonation that adds to the drinkability. Enjoy!

Aroma: 9 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 10 (35%), Overall: 9.4

Useless Fact: There are almost 6 million red blood cells in a cubic millimeter of human blood. The entire body contains about 30 trillion red blood cells. When a person inhales several breaths of carbon monoxide, more than half of the blood’s hemoglobin combines with the gas, leaving only half the red blood cells to carry oxygen. This has the same effect on the body as a sudden loss of 50 percent of one’s red blood cells. Fifteen million red blood cells are produced and an equal number are destroyed every second.