Monday, December 24, 2007

Silent Night?

Whew. Tis the season, eh? I am so tired. We've been everywhere and done everything. Almost. Not counting tomorrow, and 2 families on top of cooking a ham. But at this exact moment, I am sitting in my living room with my youngest brother and his girlfriend and my husband, trying to get the darn Wii set up on the wireless network so we can play Mortal Kombat, drinking stouts and holiday ales. A very large group just vacated the living room to attend church.

I feel terrible that I am still unable to meet up with Lee & Margaret, or Chris. I haven't been able to figure out how to gracefully bow out of family holiday commitments to meet up with beer bloggers. Call it a crisis of priorities. :) But I toast you all tonight. Cheers!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Let's do beer

Lee from Austin is going to be in town for the holidaze. We were going to try for a beer meet here in KC. Probably over this weekend. You in? Where should we go? What day/night?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Holidays!

I think that I may be too worn down to beer blog well for now. But here is my holiday card to you all. (Again, on the crappy camera phone. I have asked for a new camera from the Husband, so if he listened, the picture quality will increase over time. ) That is a Four Fingers Stout from Flying Monkey. Flying Monkey is brewed in Olathe, Kansas, in a southwestern suburb of Kansas City, and the smaller brewer in town. Their labels are the best. The stout is dark and sticky and jet black with a dark tan head. This has a tiny bit more of a bite than the blander, Guinness-like stouts of the world. I can't place it. A little nutty, a little roasted, burnt, oatiness, even a little black coffee bite? I am sure someone who reads this can tell me exactly what's in it. But it is tasty, and just what I needed tonight.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Winter warmers

It is beyond cold here, and while I typically enjoy a good winter storm, I am really only looking forward to my post-Christmas trip to Mexico at this point. I usually have an entirely too romantic viewpoint of ice storms (because I got married during the worst one KC has seen in a while) but this week I am over it. This was taken by my camera phone in my front yard this morning. Blerg.
All the cool beer bloggers are covering the holiday/winter special brews. Don't you want to be cool? Sadly, I am too busy to be cool. So I will introduce you to the cool kids.

KC Beer Blog does Schlafly, New Belgium, & Breckenridge
The Cure For What Ales You does Magic Hat
Beer Haiku Daily ponders winter brews in 5-7-5 format
Hail The Ale suffered a bottle mishap

And I bet there are a lot more that I haven't had time to read via my completely chock full RSS reader, that poor, underused receptacle of unread feeds. Have a good beer for me, k?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Grrrrrrr, baby, very grrrrrr

A wonderful beer-friend, Nate, gifted the Husband and I a growler full of Free State Brewery beer last weekend. I didn't crack it open, and was kind of afraid to without being able to finish it, knowing it would go flat before I get through a whole half-gallon. But I opened it this weekend and was super excited to learn that it contained John Brown Ale. Yummy yummy. I love me some browns. It is the mildest dark beer possible, heavy on malts, sweet, and highly drinkable.

Because I left my growler unattended for too long, I didn't realize that it was going flat anyway. John Brown Ale usually generates a creamy head, but my growler didn't quite deliver. The smell is sweet, like malted chocolate. A loverly scent for a freezing winter evening! The taste is a bit more coffee/toffee than chocolate, with a medium bodied mouthfeel, and a slightly dry finish. It just brings to mind roasted, toasted, sweet winter warmth, and I am in love all over again.

Friday, December 07, 2007

History Lesson

Last night I half watched, half dozed thru a show on the History Channel about beer brewing. It came on at midnight, give me a break. But it seemed quite good, and featured Jim Koch from the Boston Beer Company, Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head, and the home brew club the Maltose Falcons. I am bummed that I was too sleepy to see the whole thing. I am sure it will air again, so I am putting my DVR on the case. In the meantime, here's the synopsis of that episode of Modern Marvels from the History Channel's website:

It's one of the world's oldest and most beloved beverages--revered by Pharaohs and brewed by America's Founding Fathers. Today, brewing the bitter elixir is a multi-billion-dollar global industry. Join us for an invigorating look at brewing's history from prehistoric times to today's cutting-edge craft breweries, focusing on its gradually evolving technologies and breakthroughs. We'll find the earliest known traces of brewing, which sprang up independently in such far-flung places as ancient Sumeria, China, and Finland; examine the surprising importance that beer held in the daily and ceremonial life of ancient Egypt; and at Delaware's Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, an adventurous anthropologist and a cutting-edge brewer show us the beer they've concocted based on 2,700-year-old DNA found in drinking vessels from the funerary of the legendary King Midas.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

And brown paper packages tied up with strings

Some one in Kansas City should do this for the holidays. I would MOST CERTAINLY attend a beer and chocolate tasting. I'd pay perfectly good money to attend. Maybe a micro-brew beer bar and a desert maker could team up. Maybe a particularly high end chocolatier could team up with a local brewery. Just sayin'....I'd be there!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Beer Counting Technology

Your bartender saying, "This one is on me," may be a thing of the past. New software programs monitor tap lines, and are synced with the register, so any unpaid for pours are noted. Then that info goes to a centralized database, where bar owners can pull reports on beer loss. While I know that this is good for bar owners, who
lose tons behind the bar, and the geek in me does love the accountability of the machine, I can't help but lament the end of an era when people could be trusted more, when drinks weren't measured by the ounce, and when there wasn't a report available to be pulled for EVERYTHING.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

They call you Mr Personality because you're so ugly

I took this beer personality quiz, and this was my real result:

You Are Bud Light

You're not fussy when it comes to beer. If someone hands it to you, you'll drink it.

In fact, you don't understand beer snobbery at all. It all tastes the same once you're drunk!

You're an enthusiastic drinker, and you can often be found at your neighborhood bar.

You're pretty good at holding your liquor too - you've had lots of experience.

But I didn't like that connotation that I must drink a lot, so I tried to snob it out, and I got this:

You Are Heineken

You appreciate a good beer, but you're not a snob about it.

You like your beer mild and easy to drink, so you can concentrate on being drunk.

Overall, you're a friendly drunk who's likely to buy a whole round for your friends... many times.

Sometimes you can be a bit boring when you drink. You may be prone to go on about topics no one cares about.

So I went over the top snobby, and I got this.

You Are Guinness

You know beer well, and you'll only drink the best beers in the world.

Watered down beers disgust you, as do the people who drink them.

When you drink, you tend to become a bit of a know it all - especially about subjects you don't know well.

But your friends tolerate your drunken ways, because you introduce them to the best beers around.

I think this was written by a college student. But amusing on a busy Thursday regardless.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Majority Rules

So this weekend I drank the voting majority of a 6 pack of O'Mally's Irish Cream Ale while watching my Jayhawks stumble. Despite the score, I still lurve the bee. What started as a Caffrey's replacement crush has mushroomed into a stronger like. I still haven't had it on tap yet, but that day must be coming soon, because I need a nitro tap fix. One can only drink so much Guinness. Hey you, Weston Brewing Co friends and fans! Please tell me where I can drink this on tap! I promise to share with the rest of the class. Danke!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rock Chalk Jayhawk

The trash talking started a few weeks ago. The drama begins in earnest at 7 pm CST tonight. I've been watching the hype of ESPN's GameDay all morning. I'll be watching the actual game from the safety of a suburban living room with a massive screen, drinking lots of beer. So, what beer goes best with Tiger meat?

**edited to add, post game**
Being a real KU football fan is new to me this year. I never bothered with it outside of a passing interest, to keep me busy until basketball season, so I have to say that I am blown away by the combined effort they made this year. I hope this means wonderful things for the future. And to the Mizzou fans - be thankful. Your quarterback rocks, this is your winningest season, I think, ever. Good luck meeting the Sooners.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

She could be a FARMER in those clothes

I may not like the early morning lifestyle, but I'd gladly drink like a French-speaking Belgian farmer any day of the week.

I tried the Boulevard Smokestack Series Saison last weekend, and I loved it. Saison means season, so by definition, this is a seasonal beer, supposedly brewed in the winter months for summer consumption. It is golden, and light, and juicy/citrusy, and I can't wait to spring it on my family tomorrow during Thanksgiving dinner. (My sole responsibility is to provide the bread & the booze. Rock.)

The brewers notes on the Smokestack Series site makes the necessity of writing a full review less pressing. They literally spell out the taste, feel, flavor, etc. On the other hand, they are excellent sales tools, cuz when I read 'am, I want 'em!

How to spot a geek

I don't mean the cool kind. Not the, wow-you're-smart-and-know-all-kinds-of-useful-techy-cool-nerdy things. Not that kind. I mean the truly geeky, the embarrassing-to-admit-you-hang-out-with-them kind. I think producing a spreadsheet like below while planning a party might be a clue.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Drive by

Hey! You know what would be awesome? Cram a full 5 day work week into 2.5 days, add one new employee, 2 million additional time-suck projects, a few impossible deadlines, drop long-term planning off the table, and then shake until fully pressurized. Whee! Poppin' the cork on that one tomorrow afternoon, fo' sho'. I think the IPA, the Sixth Glass, and something completely different will be consumed on this upcoming 4 day.

Oh, and? Completely out of character, I was awake at 5 am this morning. FIVE. A. M. Run errands, do stuff, get Starbucks, and STILL get to work a full 30 minutes early. I mean, I know some people get up that early everyday, but those people are not me. Those people are farmers.

Last item. I saw this on the KC Beer Blog. Apparently, after all my not-really-holiday-hints, I actually DO need this item as a gift.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Seeing Tripel

I cracked open the Long Strange Tripel last night. And I have to say, damn! Those corks are NO joke. It took several attempts to get the bottle open. When it finally popped out, there was just a small little vapor snake making an escape. Up front, I loved this beer. It is strong, though, and after one, I felt it.

I didn't buy a chalice or a goblet or a snifter or a tulip glass. I poured it into my trusty Boulevard pint glass. And while I am fully aware that I may have missed out on some key character of the beer by totally disregarding the directions, I feel that I still got as much of a good sense of it as someone with my limited beer snobbitude would anyway.

The head bubbled up with a tiny delay, making me glad that I poured the glass only slightly over half full. The clean white bubbly head simmered down quickly, however, leaving just this thinner layer after a minute or so. By the time I finished, there was just a small, thin ring of white lacing at the bottom of the glass. The smell was clean and fruity, with an earthy undertone, and a heavy reality check on the alcohol content (9%). *Clarification - when I say earthy, I mean something that reminds me of the smell of the earth when it has been freshly turned over, like they way my garden smells right after I have planted and watered something for the first time. * The appearance was a bright golden hue, cloudy and carbonated. The first sip was a knock out for me, not having had anything else to drink before hand. "Whoo, that's some strong beer!" came from the husband. (But he drinks Bud Light, remember?) The first sweet, fruity, malty hit on the tongue gave way to some peppery and slightly spicy sensations. This beer is not over-carbonated, but maintains a nice body throughout, and after the first initial sips, the alcohol-burn seemed to dissipate. I liked it. A lot. But like other abbey tripel style beers, I can't drink too many. They make me sleepy. :)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Am I not worthy?

I have 2 bottles of fancy schmancy Boulevard brews, from the Smokestack series, sitting in my fridge. Specifically the Long Strange Tripel and the Saison. The Tripel is a strong golden brew, with tripple amounts of malt and alcohol, while the Saison is supposed to be a more refreshing, fruity, more summer-like beer.

(I purchased one from Rimann in PV and one from Batson in Mission, and picked up a 12 pack of Bud Light for the hubby to keep the peace. ) I am all about Belgians, apparently. I can't wait to pop the cork on one tonight - I have been saving them for the weekend. It gave me something to look forward to all week. :)

But now I am starting to get nervous. (slight exaggeration,k?) There are directions on the back of the bottle that strictly instruct me to use the correct glassware to consume this fabulous beverage. I don't have the correct glasses. I don't do glassware for specific drinks. We've discussed this before here. Like when I tried the Orval Trappist beer that demanded a beer chalice. Beer chalice? Really? I mean, if you REALLY want to know, I actually DO have something resembling a beer chalice. It is made of clay, and came from the Ren Fest feast I am forced to attend every year with my family. But if I pour beer into a clay-mug-like-thing, I won't be able to admire the color. So that's not happening. Besides, these 2 beers are supposed to be poured into a Tulip glass. Nope, don't have one of those. Beer Advocate has a Beer Glassware 101 that is currently scolding me for my casual attitude toward beer chalices.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I hate waiting too

My unnatural love for both beer and celebrity gossip rarely connect in a story that should appear here. But today, TMZ really came thru for me. This post appeared today, talking about a New Zealand guy who loves cold beer and hates carrying coolers full of ice as much as I do. And so he has invented the most important beer-related item since, well, I don't know what. And he calls it the Huski. Heh. It costs $50 in NZ $, which is around $38 US.

Although, really, what this story is pointing out to me is that as we approach the icy winter in North America, they are going to beaches in NZ because it is summertime. I am thinking that I need to be able to work virtually anywhere in the world, and a location in the southern hemisphere wouldn't be a terrible idea. Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, wherever.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Boo, I know. But it is holiday time, and I am compelled to post something about not being stupid, getting hurt, or getting thrown in to jail when enjoying beer. So here's a few "didja know" facts to ponder while staring down a packed November/December booze-fueled holiday season. The Almstom Bros over at BeerAdvocate had some great tips, basically reinforcing their "Respect Beer" mantra:

  • There's plenty of beer to be had, with plenty of time, so pace yourself. Drink for flavor, not just for impact. Always practice moderation when drinking. Get to know your limits, and don't exceed them. If you feel that moment of absolute cheer, take a break, grab a water and some food.
    • Water is your friend. Drink plenty of it, to help detoxify and counteract the alcohol stripping water from your system.
    • Eating also replenishes the system, slows down your rate of consumption, and helps to absorb alcohol so you don't find yourself inebriated after a few beers. However, though eating will slow the absorption of alcohol, it won't necessarily stop its impact.
  • Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream at a different rates. Factors that can change this at the individual level include:
    • Health. Mental and physical issues, such as your mood, illness, depression, stress, and fatigue, can increase the effects of alcohol.
    • Weight. People who weigh less or have higher percentages of body fat will be more affected by alcohol.
    • Gender. Men typically have less percentage of body fat than women, thus they tend to have a higher alcohol tolerance.
    • Medication. Follow your medication's instructions or doctor's advice before drinking as some medications mixed with alcohol can be deadly.
    • Time. How fast did you drink? Breaks in between beers? It all adds up. Pace yourself. If you had say 5 pints of a 5% beer within a short period of time, it would take your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) around 15 hours to return to normal. FIFTEEN HOURS, PEOPLE!
Missouri & Kansas both have 0.08 legal limit on driving under the influence. Here's a calculator that will tell you how the math works. If I had 2 beers in 2 hours, I'd have a 0.04 BAC level. But if I had 4 beers in 4 hours, I'd be over 0.08. Think about your own habits, how having a clean legal record and a valid driver's license makes your current lifestyle possible, and how you really like not being guilty of harming innocent people. Or yourself.

Oh, and who else has noticed than KC has gotten remarkable in the availability of cabs in the last few years? It is awesome. The cost of a cab is SO MUCH cheaper than the alternatives. Don't drive if you shouldn't.

K, I think that's enough lecturing from me for today. The next post will be much more upbeat. Perhaps jovial. Or lighthearted. (These are my favorite, vague, mean-nothing terms that appear on creative concept scopes. Best ever.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I like shiny things!

Fresh from their MySpace & Facebook debuts, and just now available to the the general population of the innernets, meet Boulevard's New Smokestack Series - limited edition artisan beers, featuring both traditional styles and experimental brews! (yay!) Behold, the Smokestack Series micro-site. Get it? Micro-site? Cuz it is for Micro-brews.

I am an idiot. But enjoy anyway! This stuff goes on sale in KC very, very soon! Like, super-duper soon, like today, now, soon!

Monday, November 12, 2007

These are a few of my favorite things

I love coffee. I love beer. I love DARK, PORTER beer. I am now singing Maria's song, while dancing around my office:
When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad."

Copied & pasted from my inbox:

Get your jolt by the pint at 75th Street Brewery

UP ALL NITRO ESPRESSO PORTER will be on tap starting

Monday 11/12 @ 5:30p.m

It's got our brewers running circles around the other guys - literally. This is a brew that will give you stamina...

Power to the pint!

This espresso porter began simply enough: a beautiful, dark-brown brew with hints of red on the sides of the glass. The aroma is all grown up: an perfect balance of roasted coffee and toasted malts. The taste has go power: it is a complex blend of nine malts and two varieties of local Roasterie espresso beans. The sweetness of the malt is trailed by a smooth bite of coffee.

We're pouring this beer with our own nitro system to add a tasty, creamy texture that rounds out the flavor.

If you like exquisite coffee and quality beer [why settle for less?], we dare you to be disappointed by this brew - it's for you.

Stop in Monday @ 5:30p.m. for a pint of UP ALL NITRO ESPRESSO PORTER. Then change the world.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Beer Me Monthly, Please!

Out of character, I decided to start thinking about holiday gifts BEFORE it is actually December. Staying more true to form, that means I am just doing a lot of internet searches, and not really purchasing anything yet. I am trying to decide what to get my youngest bro and his girlfriend, who are budding beer snobs. I am thinking a micro-beer of the month club might be appreciated. But none of them tell me enough about the beer to be sure they are worth the spend. Anyone have an experience with beer of the month clubs? I'd love some recommendations.

Oh, and hey, Boulevard Brewing Co.! You guys should really put together a bigger, more blown out holiday pack. I'd love to be able to give 12 months of Boulevard Beer to someone, without actually purchasing 144 bottles at once. I'm not even talking about the awful logistics of shipping beer, but maybe something with coupons, mailed to the recipient once a month, to be redeemed at a KC store? That would rule.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Two for the price of one

TWO WHOLE POSTS! On a Friday! Crazy town. Know what I want for dinner now? A boxty. And a pint or three.

How much beer would you have to drink to get a $300 bar tab?


OK, I've never personally had a $300 bar tab, but that is not unheard of with a group, especially at an overpriced club in Vegas. But what if you spent $300 on ONE bottle of beer? Dustin, who pokes me with a stick every now & then to see if I am still alive, sent me an email today about this. Sam Adams releases a special edition called Utopias each year, and this year it is just in time for the holidays. It is dark, uncarbonated, 25% ABV, and very spicy, earthy and more like a port than a beer. You are supposed to drink it like a fine liquor, in a brandy snifter, at room temperature. It has a suggested selling price of $140 per bottle, but everywhere I have noticed it, it has never been for less than $279. So, you know, if you are racking your brain, trying to figure out what to get me for the next gift giving holiday...ha ha.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sam says hi

I am in Boston for work. Like all work trips, it is a whirlwind. Up at at 'em at 7 am, go until it's not fun anymore, fight rush hour traffic to Logan and get back on a plane to cow town as the sun sets. But I did manage to snag Sam Adams, and he said to tell you all hello.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Beer Review: Bob's 47

I mentioned that I have been drinking good beer again. Must be the fall weather. So after all my name dropping, I thought that I should throw another actual beer review into the mix. It's been too long.

I have great beer in the fridge. Tonight felt like a Bob's 47 night, with a crisp bite in the wind outside, me warm inside, watching my Jayhawks dance all over Texas A&M. Boulevard's Bob's 47 is a Munich Style Lager. Very oktoberfest. I poured a bottle of the brew into a glass beer mug, and snapped this picture with my phone. The head pours bubbly, but thin, and quickly dissipates, leaving very light lacing. The color is an orangey-amber, like copper, and very clear, in a filtered sort of way. Sticking my nose into the mug, it smells sweet, a little fruity and slightly spicy. The first sip has a sweet, malty, bready flavor, followed by minor bite, perhaps hops. (The Boulevard site says the beer is brewed with a combination of Pale, Munich, Carapils & Aromatic malts, and Magnum & Hallertau hops.) It is carbonated well to provide some lightness, and the mouthfeel is on the thinner side. This beer presents like it will be too sweet, but the taste left afterwards is a bit dry, only slightly bitter, and drives me to take another sip, and another. Like most of Boulevard's seasonal brews, I wish this one was available for longer periods. Our keg at work is sporting Bob's right now. I have been working overtime lately. :)

Random note, belated congrats to J & D! You guys are the cutest couple ever.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I guess I am not the society type

Clearly, we aren't talking debutante balls , or even Junior League. Not me. But Dustin forwarded an email today from the Brewmaster Society, and I thought hey, that's a society I might like. Too bad it was not to be. This is the image I received when I visited the site.

Ahhh! An effort by our friends at Anheuser Busch. Dustin is now an insider. And they didn't even invite me. Sigh. I am a lazy blogger, and don't link back to other blogs. I only update when I feel like it. My Technorati ranking is low, among other things, and no one ever sends me free stuff. Sad. ~sniff~ I'll make it up to myself with the sick amounts of traffic I get from my friend Google.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

They drink early , often, and for a cause

The Kansas City Dog Advocates group is a community of concerned dog owners (of all breeds, mixed breed and rescue) that band together to give our dogs a voice in our local communities through grassroots outreach initiatives.

I haven't posted one of these in a while. But they happen with a very steady regularity. (Maybe monthly?) If you want to get on the list, just visit this page and sign yourself up! Even at $15, it's a great deal for good beer and great pizza.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I Told You I Was Trouble

I need this for my birthday. It is the Double Trouble Combo, and it costs $30. It doesn't come with any razor blades, drug paraphernalia, or ratty ballet shoes, however, so you'll have to provide your own if you're going as Amy Winehouse this Halloween.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Things I Fall For

I not-so-secretly love fall. Everyone I know seems to love the season they were born in, probably because as a child it meant good things, parties, presents, etc. I whine about having to rake roughly 10 million leaves, but I'd gladly rake my yard forever, if it meant I wouldn't be shoveling snow in 10 degree weather or mowing the grass in mid-August when it is 110. I had the best weekend, and it wasn't that exciting. We cleaned up the yard, trimmed trees, attempted once again to murder my neighbors out of control vine collection, cleaned the house top to bottom, had friends hang out on the deck, drank dark beers and went furniture shopping. (We didn't buy anything. We shop past the point of it being fun, then impulsively buy things on the internet. That's how we roll. )

We drank Paulaner's Oktoberfest, Boulevard Bob's 47, Lowenbrau Original, and a healthy dose of Gentleman Jack was administered amongst the guys. Somebody brought some 12 year Elijah Craig, and this was a wonderful development, I was told. I am more of a beer sort of girl, regardless what tales anyone has told to you, related to vodka or tequila. I was young and foolish once too.

Next weekend my mom is coming to visit, and then after that I am off to Vegas to celebrate turning 31. It just sounded like the good, adult, responsible thing to do.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Engraved Invitation

When: This Saturday evening, Oct 20th
Where: My backyard
Why: Good drinks, random tunes, cheap seating and awesome company
RSVP: email me

Fall is officially here, but the leaves are still on the trees. That means that this weekend is probably one of the last weekends we will be able to spend completely rake-free! It will also be perfect weather. These are reason enough for us to declare a celebration.

It's a house party, a fall deck party, a much delayed Oktoberfest, an excuse to have open flames in our backyard, and basically a decent setting to sit around, drink, and talk to some very cool people.

Come enjoy a crisp fall evening on the deck with some tasty beverages and snacky treats. We'll provide a selection of Oktoberfest beers, spiced cider and mulled wine, as well as finger food munchies. Feel free to bring anything (or anyone) you'd like. I'd recommend bringing a sweater or a sweatshirt.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

No wonder it goes well with Japanese food!

I'm not original. I heard about this on the morning news, and noticed the bad ad parody on AdRants yesterday, all but ignored the story in my self-absorbed daily routines. Then I saw it on the KC Beer Blog too, and it hit me that I am kind of an idiot. (Shut up.) I'm not even delving into the whole issue that Greenpeace has. What was upsetting me is this - Budweiser is brewed from RICE? Yup. Apparently from a mixture of rice and barley malt, according to the never-questioned, all-powerful Wikipedia. Huh. Most American lagers are brewed from cheap mashups of rice, corn, barley malt and a handful of hops. What ratios? Don't know. I am becoming enlightened.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

At Last

Spot from Guinness. I don't seem smart enough to make YouTube and Blogger act like they love each other. Anyone who has hints, they'd be welcome!

Anyway, cute spot, with nerds being nerds always. Etta James' At Last is the track, which of course is a wedding song for millions of people. Me & the Husband included.

**edited to add that clearly I am not a creative person. Those 2 words, "cute spot," are enough to make some people's heads explode. To them, I am sorry.**

Monday, September 17, 2007

Nuttin', just, uh, you know, um, stuff, and, ah, whatever

*mumbling like a teen who wears too much eyeliner and refuses to stand up straight*

It is pitch black in our hood, after 11 at night. My neighbor is doing some sort of unexplainable yard work. The dog finds this unacceptable, and will not stop barking. Loudly. I'm don't really blame him.

I am not drinking beer. I am saving all my beer love for Saturday and Oktoberfest. The Husband will be in town and everything! Woot. But I missed my beer blog, and had to do a drive-by even though I've got nothing really beerish to say.

I will take pictures this weekend. Of beautiful beer. I'll take pics of people too, if they allow such nonsense. But those will probably materialize in a more picture friendly forum, like the newly-discovered-by-lame-adults-Facebook or the dying-a-slow-death-MySpace. Or somewhere else entirely.

About the above, I'm sorry to offend anyone, and I include myself in the first group. I realized how ridiculous my status updates were, broadcast for anyone to consume, in some horridly, overly cutesy tone in my own mind. I still do it, of course.

Here's to hoping that Tuesday isn't so, you know, Monday-ish.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

It's September - time for Oktoberfest!

I have Oktoberfest on the brain today, and came across these articles that give all kinds of detailed advice for people attending the festival in Munich.

Guide to the tents
Don't look like a tourist

It isn't really the kind of advice about where to stay or where to eat, but practical tips on navigating the beer tents and what not to do. If you're headed out there, color me jealous. Someday, my friends. Someday.

In the meantime, all I have to look forward to the local KC version. It is Sept 21-23, held in Crown Center, and it only costs a measly $5 to get in the door, listen to some oompah music, see grown men in lederhosen, and watch a few women, fresh from the local Ren Fest display their ample bosoms in corsets and peasant blouses. Although between you & me, most of those women have overly ample everything.

I haven't reviewed an Oktoberfest in a while. I think I'll have to grab a few bottles and do a little tasting party at the beer sort of house. I'm thinking that we'll need
some Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbrau, Lowenbrau, Paulaner, Spaten and the local, Bob's 47.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

What do you drink when you order Panang or Doro Wat?

According to this article, the rise of Thai, Moroccan and Ethiopian foods are increasing the profile of craft beers. Wine doesn’t have the body to stand up to the heat and the spice. It has relatively narrow range of flavors that are really best suited to more elegant, delicate, Cordon Bleu and northern Italian type dishes. Beer lists are growing by the foot at ethnic restaurants across the nation.

My favorite quotes :

Beer as a sophisticated drink is not a new concept. Until the '60s it was beer, not wine, that was the alcohol of moderation - what Koch calls a country club drink that respectable adults drank after attending the symphony.

"I love beer commercials cause they're great pop art. But nobody was really educating beer drinkers about the dignity of beer, the history of beer, the tradition of beer, the brewing process, the nature and the quality of the ingredients."

"Your definition of beer and your expectations for beer are too low. We brewers have not really elevated your expectations for what beer can be."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Light headed

I am officially a light weight. That didn't take long. I stopped drinking beer, mostly, except for a Saturday here & there, and now I get girly-buzzed fast. Especially if it is a non-lite beer. Sigh. On the upside, I've lost a few pounds and I'm a cheap date. But guess what I found? A nice little study from our friends the Swedes that encourages drinking the good stuff, not the lite stuff. Not just another rehash of the red wine-heart health angle, either.

Drinking wine or beer could lessen the risk of kidney cancer, says a recent Swedish study. The researchers at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute studied the relation between intake of different types of alcoholic drinks and the chance of developing kidney cancer.

The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, considered 855 people suffering from kidney cancer and a control group of 1,204 people who did not have any problem. They reported on their consumption of wine, beer, fortified wine and spirits.

The study, led by Professor Alicja Wolk, discovered that the possibility of having kidney cancer was 40 percent lower for those who ingested 620 grammes of alcohol each month as compared with those who did not drink at all.

The investigators found that the risk was decreased in people who drank over two glasses of red wine every week, or comparable amounts of white wine or normal-strength beer. They also found that intake of lighter beers, fortified wines and spirits was not related to a reduced risk of cancer.

The researchers believe that the relationship between alcohol and the reduced risk of kidney cancer could be because of the presence of antioxidants and antimutagenics in some drinks.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Wait, does that mean drinking can impair your judgement?!

Bears eat man at beer festival

What genius thought that it would be a good idea to host a beer festival at the Zoo? I'm no animal expert, but I've watched stupid people throw things at the animals in the zoo when they are sober. I can't imagine what retarded things those same people would do if they were also drinking large amounts of beer. Climbing into a bear cage wasn't at the top of theoretical list, but there you go. Stupid people will always surprise me.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

You never miss the water until the well has run dry

I added estimated Weight Watchers points to the post that contains all the calorie data I have been able to dig up on my favorite beers. Please let me know if you have more info. I'd love to add more beers or more data.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Bad beer decisions

I've been on a faux beer diet. It hasn't been a good time. I have been only drinking light domestic beers for the past few weeks. (Hence the sporadic and stinky posts on my i love beer all the time blog.) I am currently waging a full-out-war on squishy body parts and regardless of how often I tell myself that having a beer here or there is ok, it really hasn't done anything to help my efforts. I am going dry for a week. If I lose a ton of weight, I'll have to admit that drinking yucky Bud Light really isn't worth it at all. ~sigh~ Why drink yuck if it makes you fat & doesn't taste good anyway?

It's like a beer sort of lent. You know, without that whole connection to the son of god fasting in the wilderness. Or something. Religion & politics have no place on a beer sort of blog.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Something for Friday - Get on TV

I break into the regular beer news to share something from Department Zero:

This Friday (8/10/2007), the CBS Early Show will be broadcasting LIVE from the Liberty Memorial in KC. This is the final stop on their “Summer in the City” tour. The live broadcast will feature CBS Early Show anchors Dave Price & Harry Smith, plus a live musical performance by country artists Big & Rich. If you're into country, this is for you. Big & Rich are playing the MO State Fair in a couple of weeks, so if you don't plan on driving out to Sedalia, come see them here for FREE.

This is a FREE event – so bring yourself, your family, your co-workers, and your friends! The catch is that it is early. (You know, that's why they call it the EARLY show.) The broadcast is from 6:00am to 8:00am at the National WWI Museum at the Liberty Memorial. To get a seat, you probably want to show up before that. But hey, it's FREE!

It's HOT outside. You need a pool!

Because I am a dork, I captured the above screen shot. Because I am an interactive media nerd, I thought it was nice to see weather-triggered messaging used for something beyond tires, collision repair and allergy med companies . And because I am a beer fanatic, it kind of made me laugh. When I see that is going to be over near 100, or feel like over 100, the last thing I want to think about is beer. Even me! And I drink a lot of it! I know it is the whole angle of Miller Chill (refreshing, tropical vacation beer) and maybe this strikes a chord with the kind of people who drink beer outside when it is over 100 degrees. All it makes me think of is dehydration. I guess it really is true - I'm not in my twenties anymore.

Sorry for the lack of Watson's references to justify the title. It just keeps popping into my head.

Harpooned on an island

I really wasn't done with vacation. It never lasts long enough. I did manage to finish 3 books, go sailing, hit the beach, laze around, and get the Husband to step away from the Motorola Q for a while, so I think it went well. Now I am back, and dreaming of not being back at all.

We went to
the Vineyard for a long weekend, and needed beers to go with all those lobster rolls, stuffed quahogs, sushi and scallops we planned to eat. So we picked up some Harpoon Summer Beer and regular Harpoon Ale.

Harpoon Ale was the first in the family of Harpoon beers. When it was first brewed in 1987, there were virtually no other American Pale Ales or Amber Ales available in Boston, let alone an ale brewed within the city limits. Harpoon Ale was the product of extensive research and test brews by Harpoon’s founders to find the right beer to launch the Harpoon Brewery. When first seeing Harpoon Ale in a glass, you will notice its golden caramel color. You will also see that it is not excessively carbonated. High carbonation would mask this beer’s subtle flavor. The first aroma will be fruity. This is produced by the yeast and is a signature characteristic of Harpoon’s proprietary yeast strain. The second perceptible aroma is from the malt, with a delicate caramel note. Upon tasting Harpoon Ale, you will find that the malty, fruity character is nicely balanced by the mild hop bitterness. It has a smooth, medium body. The finish of this beer is crisp but not dry.

Harpoon Summer Beer is a Kolsch style ale. Originating in the Rhineland city of Cologne (Koln), Kolsch ales have the characteristics that many people associate with lager beers. Kolsch is brewed with an ale yeast, but like other northern German light ales, it is straw gold in color and light bodied. The flavor is mild. The hopping levels provide a crisp, dry finish that make this beer particularly refreshing. Harpoon Summer Beer is a beer brewed to be enjoyed with summertime activities. It is light, refreshing, and crisp.This beer goes well with a wide variety of foods, including delicate dishes such as salads and seafood.

I would like a lobster roll, a Harpoon Summer, and the ability to hear waves lapping at a beach again. ~sigh~

Monday, July 30, 2007

Who took Latin in High School?

75th Street Brewery

520 West 75th St. Kansas City, MO 816.523.4677

Ex Desparatus

Tonight at 5:00pm

What's in a name really? The first time the Master Brewers at 75th Street Brewery sampled this beer, they realized that a simple or clever name would never do this beer justice. "Ex Desparatus, a votum pro spes" is a Belgian style pale ale that pours a dark copper color with an aroma of coriander, malt and a slight hint of yeast. The taste profile reveals a higher than normal carbonation followed by coriander and a touch of noble hops. A malty finish rounds out the taste to complete an ensemble several times more laudable than the name the brewers have chosen for it.

Ex Desparatus, a votum pro spes...

Out of desperation, a prayer for hope.

What does that mean? That's for you to decide. Everybody finds a different meaning after trying this belgian style pale ale, and that's just the way the brewers want it.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Let the Sun Shine

I owe Lee so much. This guy is one of the coolest beer bloggers ever, and you have no idea how shamefully I’ve treated him. Because I am self-absorbed. And lazy. Which is hurtful to others. And whatever else it was that my second grade teacher said I didn’t want to grow up to become. Actually, I was sick as a dog, and had just started my new gig, so time-strapped and exhausted doesn’t even begin to cover it. We met in the parking lot of Boulevard, where they were about to begin a tour. Because I couldn’t make it to hang out with them at Grinders. I, being me, made them late for the start of the tour. God, don’t you want to be friends with me?!

Lee is this most amazing person. He lives in Austin, the capital of cool, and the lucky man got to visit the exotic location of Kansas City while on vacation. OK, well, that wasn’t so hot. But his wife? Is adorable. And the man actually brought a COOLER, full of TX beer, all the way to KC, just for me. How do I repay him? By not even talking about it for over a month. Shameful!

Lee brought me many beers. One of them was the limited edition Shiner 98 Bavarian Style Amber Ale. In bottles, of course. The fact that it had “Amber” printed right on the label meant that it was the first one I tried. Honestly, as soon as I got home. Congested head meant that even the husband got in on the beer review, noting the nose and confirming taste for me.

The beer poured golden-red into a room temperature pint glass, with a thin head of lacy froth. It smelled familiar, a little like the Shiner Bock I drank too much of at a conference in Austin. A little hoppy, a little malty, a little generically beery. (Man, can you believe that I don’t write for a living? What a grasp on the English language.)

The taste is slightly dry, and the hops really aren’t as aggressive as a hop-fearing light beer drinker might think. The carbonation is higher than I expected, with the low level of head it poured out of the bottle, but I liked it. Still has that "thick" beer mouthfeel. Better than Shiner Bock. Some of the Beer Advocate peeps thought it was not as nice as previous years’ releases, but this being my first, I thought it was quite nice. I had absolutely NO problem drinking the rest that were in the fridge, after beating the husband away from that shelf with a broom.

Lee, I owe you more reviews. I promise that they will come. Hopefully before Boulevard releases that new Belgian saisson farmhouse ale you got to try. Because you had better believe that I will make good on at least that promise.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Something for Saturday

Flying Monkey Brewery gives free tours and samples every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. It's the third Saturday of July, so it is time for another round of brewery tours and beers. Get some friends together and come out!

Noon-3pm this Saturday!

311 N. Burch St
Olathe, KS
(two blocks west of I-35 and Sante Fe)

Map of 311 N Burch St Olathe, KS 66061-3649, US

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Field Trip!

Our employee summer party is taking place this afternoon in the kind-of-still new Muelbach Suite at the Boulevard Brewery. There will be trivia, and beer, and like, 300 co-workers. OK, probably not all 300 will show. Because some people actively avoid fun and beer and other people. They cannot be helped. It should be a lovely afternoon. I'm hoping to get a sneak peek at whatever is brewing and bubbling down stairs in those giant silver vats. If I do, you know, I'll share.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Inevitable Return Of The Great White Dope

Part of my hiatus from blogging has been my hiatus from tasty brews. It's hot, and I have been quaffing watery mass-produced stuff in ice cold bottles. It is cheap, works well at BBQs, is low in calories, and for some reason, all of that has been very compelling. Shhhh. Don't tell. Gotta maintain this facade. So instead of talking about how I am not really worthy of beer snobbitude, let's talk about why no one else is drinking beer these days. What the heck is going on?

Miller Light recently debuted Chill, a Mexican Vacation themed beer, based on the michelada, which is apparently a popular drink at Mexican resorts. They test launched it in Texas, so I am not really sure if they want the people who vacation in Mexico, or the people who came here from Mexico to drink it. But either way, they want someone, to drink something brewed by Miller, and soon. They be hurtin'.

UK beer sales are down, so naturally, analysts blame the rain (…?) Really? Do people in the UK really drink more beer when it is nice outside? Do they drink more OUTSIDE than inside? Do they not go to pubs when it rains? Or it is because so much of the consumption of beer happens during big events?

Even Guinness is struggling. The company that owns the brewer may even shut down their historic St. James brewery in central Dublin. (NOOO! I haven't visited there yet!!) Why? Smoking bans are driving beer drinkers out of the pubs. They are buying beer at the supermarket and taking it home, but a Guinness is tied to the idea of a pint from a tap. Huh. Sales are still strong in the US due to our infatuation with anything imported.

Japan isn’t drinking beer this year, either? Notably, the young people stayed away, so what ARE they drinking? Oh, apparently imported wine is making a big surge there now. Huh. So yay for California wines, I guess.


I actually have overdue drafts of reviews of TEXAS beers, saved on another ‘puter. I swear they will be coming soon. “Soon,” loosely translated as, “whenever I get off my lazy summer keister and edit them.”

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I've gone all ADD again

The new job, setting up our next house projects, vacation dreaming & booking, birthday party planning and piles of social events stacking up across my outlook calendar, combined with the thick hazy air of summertime demand me to sloooooow it all down. I have notes on beers, and owe reviews, especially to Lee. I'm just so darn lazy that the nagging guilt hasn't eaten away at me yet. So until I am appropriately ashamed and come back to be responsible, or feel a spark of inspiration, I am on beer sabbatical.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Quick announcement

I've been AWOL. For that I apologize. I have lots to share, but I have to save it for another day. I changed jobs, I met Lee, he gave me beer (!!), I've been sick, and I have a whole bunch of TX beers to report on soon. Stay tuned...I'll be back soon, I swear.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Standin' outside on a Friday, Livin' on tha edge

I am *pretty* sure it is going to rain tonight, so the First Friday Bob Schneider concert might get rained out. I hope not. But either way it is still warm and summery and it is a nice evening to pop down to the Crossroads, see some art, and drink a good beer or two.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Blood is thicker than beer...wait, what?

My Dad got married this weekend, so I had the privilege of having both of my brothers, one sister-in-law and one long time girlfriend over to my house last night. This required beer, so we ran to the friendly neighborhood liquor store. We picked up a selection of things, but the most popular by far was the six-pack of O'Malley's Irish Cream Ale. I only got one myself. And when it was gone, everyone begrudgingly drank my youngest bro's Warsteiner. His girlfriend liked the Schlafly's Raspberry I had left in the fridge, so overall, we cleaned out my beer stock.

But back to the Irish Cream Ale, brewed by a little local brewery in Weston, MO, that recently reopened. I had been to the underground pub in Weston before, but they didn't have the brewery back up and running when I was there. If you have a chance to go, you should. It is quite the experience, sitting in the giant cellar, listening to live music bouncing off the stone walls. When you order an Irish Cream Ale at a bar in town that serves it on tap, you get the whole nitro tap experience, like with Guinness. This is my best Caffrey's replacement! Much more so than Boddington's, love it as I do.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hey Y'all! Miss me?

I just came back from a work/ad/media/conference jaunt right outside of Austin, TX that was fun and interesting and oh-my-god humid. But since this is the beer blog, I thought I would tell you about what I drank. In quantities far too large, by the way. I drank Shiner Bock, brewed by the Spoetzl Brewery, which is located somewhere around Houston, Austin and San Antonio.

Shiner Bock has been brewed at this brewery since 1913, but used to be a seasonal beer for Lent. (Huh? Keep reading...) Today Bock makes up 80% of all the beer sold by Spoetzl, who used to keep their business within a 70 mile range, but now are actively growing distribution. They just started appearing in parts of Missouri.

I drank many bottles of Shiner, like this one. For a random point of reference, one of the friendly Texas bartenders who we kept hopping during our cocktail hours told me that she thought Shiner Bock tasted kind of like Sam Adams. It might, maybe, to some people, but not really to me. Sam Adams is more of a dark lager, while a bock is a style all on it's own. BeerAdvocate is at the ready with a description:

The origins of Bock beer are quite uncharted. Back in medieval days German monasteries would brew a strong beer for sustenance during their Lenten fasts. Some believe the name Bock came from the shortening of Einbeck thus "beck" to "bock." Others believe it is more of a pagan or old world influence that the beer was only to be brewed during the sign of the Capricorn goat, hence the goat being associated with Bock beers. Basically, this beer was a symbol of better times to come and moving away from winter.

As for the beer itself in modern day, it is a bottom fermenting lager that generally takes extra months of lagering (cold storage) to smooth out such a strong brew. Bock beer in general is stronger than your typical lager, more of a robust malt character with a dark amber to brown hue. Hop bitterness can be assertive enough to balance though must not get in the way of the malt flavor, most are only lightly hopped.

Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 5.5-7.5%

So it comes with a little ABV kick. And as I said, I drank many bottles of Shiner, maybe one too many. I never poured it into a glass (because I am classy!) so I can't note anything about color, or head, etc. All I can tell you is that it smelled sweet, kind of malty, tastes smooth, sweet, and only has a little bit of carbonation.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Demon You Know

I ate so MUCH. I could have kept a whole village alive on the food I consumed this weekend. It is actually quite astounding. I only managed to try 2 beers. (Hey, cut me some slack, this weekend was all about MOM, not all about beer.)

I tried one of A-B's newest brews, the "craft" types they are brewing for different regions. I had a Demon Hop Yard IPA at Westbrook Lobster in Clinton, CT. I didn't expect much, so I wasn't surprised when it poured a clear and filtered amber color into the pint glass. I was suprised to detect a fair amount of hops, and a taste that actually bit back! I wouldn't say that it was anywhere near the BEST IPA I've ever had, but it was pretty darn good. Good job.

My brother & sister-in-law were up for a beer last night, so we cruised to New Haven and hit up the Bru Room at BAR, in the Yale neighborhood. We didn't have any (thank god) but I saw the HUGE pizzas they were bringing to the tables, and I think we'll have to do that sometime. They looked & smelled wonderful. I had a pale ale, which seemed nice and balanced and went down easily. My brother had a thick and sticky stout, which was sweet and delicious, but I was far too full to appreciate it all. The bar started to get crowded around 11:30-midnight, full of Yalies in ironic t-shirts, and we had to get home early to get up for the big family brunch the next day.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Moms Day Hiatus

I'm going on my own mini vacation, and vacation to me always means fresh seafood, time spent on the water, and grabbing a new beer or two. It's Mother's Day weekend, and I am going to visit my own little madre. As additional benefits there will be the Long Island Sound, my brother and sister-in-law, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. I'll try to grab some interesting beer to talk about here. In the meantime, have a great weekend, and do something nice for your mom, the mother of your children, or yourself if you are a mom.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Sneaky sneaky. Here's a way to save money, make friends, and quite possibly enjoy attending college sporting events a tiny bit more. For the dudes, the BeerBelly. If you already have a large "natural" beer belly, I guess you won't really mind it sticking out a little bit farther for one day, right?

Never fear ladies, they're working on a Wine Rack right now, so you don't have to look like an alcoholic pregnant chick. You know. Unless that's the look you are going for.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Flava In Ya Ear

It is Friday and I've got this in my head. I can't explain everything, sometimes I can only report the news. (But whoa, Busta looks so young!)

So I was purusing some other beer blogs, and came across Hail the Ale. (Hey looky, they have sponsors!) I saw this post about Michelob's flavored beers coming out soon. And I remember writing a post that was similar, but I forgot that it was NOT about Michelob, but rather about Anheuser-Busch, and apparently I had saved it as a draft for a while, and never published it. Curious. Am I losing my mind already?

So read about A-B's fruit beer here, and Michelob's there, and get ready for a summer filled with girly beers.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Grind it out

I love Grinder's, the sandwhich/pizza shop in the Crossroads. They have great food, wonderful beers, and they've actually opened a gigantic outdoor music venue. Last week they had hometown groups Pomeroy and Anything But Joey, but this Friday they've got Robert Randolph and the Family Band, AND Ziggy Marley. On Wednesday the 9th, George Clinton & the Parliament Funkadelic and Four Fried Chickens and a Coke are playing. I am so excited.

Bob Schneider is playing on June 1st, and that's a FREE show! Love First Fridays. So go reserve your G.A. tix now.

This picture from Grinder's MySpace cracks me up. Yay. Scooters. Really.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Its Fruity!

You'll have to try them for yourselves. I've realized that I am a strict no-fruit-in-my-beer-sort-of-girl.

Anheuser-Busch last week unveiled “fruity“ pilsners as the latest brews in its Michelob family. The debut comes as the summer grilling season is set to get underway, coinciding with the top selling season for alcohol.

The beers are “light and refreshing with a subtle hint of real fruit,” the company said.
The new beverages come in three flavors: Pomegranate Raspberry, Lime Cactus and Tuscan Orange Grapefruit.

"Adults who live an active lifestyle will appreciate the subtle fruit flavors and light effervescence found in these beers," said Jill Vaughn, Anheuser-Busch brewmaster. "Michelob Ultra Fruit Infused beers are perfectly balanced and best enjoyed when paired with bold ethnic dishes and lighter fare such as grilled chicken."

"Anheuser-Busch has had great success with Michelob Ultra and Michelob Ultra Amber and we wanted to provide consumers with a refreshing summertime offering," said Eduardo Pereda, director of Michelob Family, Anheuser-Busch, in a statement.

The brews are now available through Labor Day in grocery and convenience stores in 12-bottle variety packs or single-flavor six-packs.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Rogue Agent

I have a big bottle of Rogue American Amber chilling in the fridge at home. It was my name on it. Literally. 5:45ish this evening. There might be a review. There likely will not. But I promise that it will be enjoyed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It's only Tuesday. I can't be so Loverboy already.

Dustin knows ALL of the good stuff! He says that the Parkville Brewfest is coming up, that he's been to it in the last few years and that its a good time.

Event Details:
April 28th - Micro (brewers) Festival

English Landing Park, Parkville, Missouri
Saturday, April 28th 2007 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Sample beers from Regional Craft Breweries at this festival, including:

Boulevard Brewery, Kansas City, MO
75th Street Brewery, Kansas City, MO
Free State Brewing Co., Lawrence, KS
Blind Tiger Brewery, Topeka, KS
Little Apple Brewery, Manhattan, KS
McCoy's Public House, Kansas City. MO
Power Plant Brewery, Parkville, MO
23rd St. Brewery, Lawrence, KS
Weston Brewing Co., Weston, MO
O'Fallon Brewery, O'Fallon, MO
Schlafly Bottleworks, St. Louis, MO
Upstream Brewing Co., Omaha, NE
River City Brewing Co., Wichita, KS
Augusta Brewing Co., Augusta, MO
Granite City, KC locations but it is a chain
Flying Monkey Brewery, Olathe, KS
and more!!

Guests will be supplied with a commemorative logo tasting glass, a custom tasting note sheet, and live Blue Grass music.

Learn home brewing techniques from the Kansas City Home Brew club.

Admission is $20.00 per person payable at the gate, and guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy a relaxing day in the Park. Beer will be available at the festival, but cannot be taken out of the park. Outside alcohol will not be allowed into the festival site.

For more information contact:
Angelo Gangai - Event Co-Chairperson
Warren Crouse - Event Co-Chairperson
Ph: 816-505-2227

The Power Plant Brewery and Stone Canyon Pizza are reason enough to visit Parkville again. This festival just puts it over the edge for me. Plus, have you seen the forecast?!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hey! Why don’t you bang your head against this?

I went to the beer tasting on Friday. I like Cellar Rat’s store a lot, and I had a nice time. It would have been more fun if more of you were there. But that’s ok. I had a going-away get together to go to afterwards, so I couldn’t stay anyway. On the way out the door, I snagged a 6 pack of Schlafly’s more recent seasonal releases, a Raspberry Hefeweizen. “Light, summery, girly, to be drank cold," were the types of things I imagined as the lovely man behind the counter rang up my purchase.

I stuck the 6 pack in my car, and went on a later-than expected, Friday-fueled bar crawl of sorts. I didn’t crack into one of the bottles until later on Saturday. Turns out that I should have grabbed the Summer Kolsch instead. And I really should have known better. I don’t do fruit beers.

It doesn’t really taste like beer with a raspberry tang as much as it tastes like a beer cocktail with raspberry flavored soda. Remember the shandy? Yeah, it’s kind of like that. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t love it. I drank one, and left the other 5 in my fridge, hopefully to offer to a more girlier girl than me.

It smelled a little sweet, like raspberry candy, when I opened it. It poured into my glass pink (pink!) but with mild cloudiness and beer-like qualities, so it didn’t look like pink lemonade or anything. It settled to a orangey-pink color with a light pink head of foam. It reminded me of the green St. Pat’s yuck, and it turned me off a bit. The flavor of the beer wasn’t raspberry, as in fresh raspberries, but rather raspberry-flavoring, like Kool-Aid. Kind of artificial. There were underlying beer flavors, to be sure, like some yeast and malts, and the slightest twinge of wheat.

To be fair, I don’t like 75th Street Brewery’s Royal Raspberry either, and was never fond of any of the fruity beers the now-extinct microbrews around here offered. So yeah, I know. What was I thinking? I guess I was trying to keep an open mind. The answer is that I still don’t like it. But if you do, you know where to find some for free!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Friday Happy Hour

A neighbor in the Crossroads district of KC, Cellar Rat Wine, is hosting a few tastings this week. They are primarily a wine place, so the first tasting is for those of you:

Thursday April 19th, 5:30pm - 8:30pm
20 Great Wines all priced under $20!

There are so many great values out in the wine world right now. We have chosen 20 wines that we feel represent some of the best bargains that are currently available. You may recognize some of them, but most of them are smaller production, up and coming wineries, newly discovered regions or just wines that have gotten overlooked. Come see for yourself why some of the best wines in the world can still be had for less than $20 per bottle.

Here are some of the wines we will be sampling:
Agricolas Costamolina, Pillar Box, Trevor Jones, Las Rocas, Gran Feudo, Galida Cava, Juan Gil, Clara Benegas, Qupe, Crios, Gianni Gagliardo, Regusci, A to Z, Zaca Mesa, Vega Sindoa, Altos de la Hoya...

*cost for the tasting is $10 - and you get to take home a Cellar Rat engraved wine glass.

For the beer people (my people!) they are hosting a FREE beer tasting on Friday. Yeah!

Friday April 20th, 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Handcrafted & Specialty Brews

Join us for our first ever tasting of handcrafted & specialty brews. No Budweiser, Miller or Coors' products here! We will be sampling some of the hottest brews in the market, both domestic and imports. Here is a partial list of brews we will be pouring:
Boulevard Lunar, Rogue Imperial Stout, Pilsner & Pale Ale, Schlafly, O'fallon, St. Peters, Houblon Chouffe just to name a few...this is a free tasting!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Well, Now I'm Trapped

I ran by Batson Liquors on my way home on Friday. ( not say Batshit, do not say Batshit, it's Batson...) That's the store I mentioned before that sells all kinds of interesting beers by the individual bottle. I picked up a nice selection of things, so now I have motivation for reviews sitting in my kitchen.

The first one I tried was Orval, a trappist beer brewed by monks in Belgium.

First, what is a trappist? It is a Belgian Pale Ale, defined per BeerAdvocate: Belgian Pales consume the Belgian brewing scene, and were initially brewed to compete with Pilseners during the WWII time frame. They differ from other regional Pale Ale varieties, by traditionally being less bitter, using aged hops for a delicate hop finish, and boasting sweetish to toasty malt overtones. They should be decanted properly, leaving the yeast in the bottle. This will showcase their brilliant color range from pale straw yellow to amber hues. Most will be crowned with thick, clinging, rocky white heads. Flavors and aromas will vary. Some have natural spice characters from yeast and hops, while others are spiced.

The Orval website is deep, so if you ever want a step by step education on the monk's brewing process, click here. Here's a picture of the beer in a brewing vat, with a motorized stirrer keeping the malts from thickening too much. They even have the rules of drinking their fine beer:

Beer, a refined drink in the same way as wine, must be stored away from the light; it must be maintained at a temperature between 10° and 15°C (46° and 56° F); it hould be served at this same temperature and in its special glass; one should taste the sediment of the beer separately.

Me being me, I stuck it in my fridge, chilled it a bit too much, and poured it into a pint glass, what with my kitchen cabinets sorely lacking a tulip shaped "beer chalice." Fancy-schmancy, I just can't deal with owning glassware dedicated to any one purpose. Wine glasses? Yes, we have some. Do not ask me if they are for red or white. The are for WINE. Ahem.

So, back to the Orval. When I popped off the cap, it immediately starting foaming out of the bottle, so you can imagine what the glass looked like - half beer, half thick foamy whitecap. It took a while to get it all into the glass. I tried to leave the yeast in the bottom of the bottle, and not in my glass. It is a deep golden color and slightly cloudy, reminding me of cider in the fall. I smelled a mix of fruity, malty, nutty tang, like citrus and berries and brown sugar with a kick. And maybe just because it looked like cider, I thought I got a hint of apple. At 6.9% ABV, there was a bit of the alcohol sting in the scent as well.

The first sip seems tart, and then warms into a more sweeter flavor, almost a sticky consistency, but finished quite dry. This is probably a "thick" beer for most of you. The Husband liked it, but said he'd never drink more than one. I loved it, but I don't know if I would have many more than one at a time either.