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.