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.