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.