Friday, March 28, 2014

Seven Weeks...

Seven weeks...where does the time go?  Believe it or not, my absence was for a good reason.  Since January I have been writing like a madman.  I've probably put down over three hundred pages--not sure how good some of the stuff is, but at least I'm writing.


A quick writing update without the caps.  My book of short stories has changed drastically since I first envisioned the selections seven months ago.  Stories have been deleted, others added or edited, and two have actually spawned companion stories.  I might just be my own worst enemy when it comes to deciding when a story is finished.  Damn.

Fear not folks, I have not forsaken my love for craft beer.  For now, I'll skip my rant on beer snobs, beer geeks, and beer assholes, in favor of giving you a quick rundown of ten recent beers that I sampled.  Some were great, others were clunkers.  Here goes.

1. Sierra Nevada's Ruthless Rye IPA (draft) -- solid IPA -- rating 4
2. Troeg's Nugget Nectar (draft) -- better on draft than bottled -- rating 4
3. Sierra Nevada's Snow Wit White IPA (bottle) -- easy drinking IPA -- rating 3
4. Sierra Nevada's Torpedo Extra IPA (bottle) -- tasty and hoppy -- rating 4
5. Sierra Nevada's Nooner Session IPA (bottle) -- malty hoppy goodness -- rating 4
6. Sierra Nevada's Blindfold Black IPA (bottle) -- like drinking a hopped up coffee -- rating 4
7. DuClaw's Dirty Little Freak Coconut Caramel Chocolate Brown Ale (draft) -- the name lasts longer than the muddled taste -- rating 2
8. Tongerlo Prior Tripel Belgian Triple Ale (bottle) -- excellent, but strong -- rating 4
9. New Belgian Spring Blonde Ale Belgian Ale (bottle) -- OK at best -- rating 2
10. New Belgian Snapshot Wheat Beer (draft) -- thin and lacking -- rating 2

OK, so I like everything that Sierra Nevada makes (including their Summerfest which grew on me slowly). 

I'd love to write more, but it is Friday and there is beer to drink.  Cheers!!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Better Late Than Never

Hello beer fanatics, it's Monday and I'm finally posting what I had promised to post three days ago.  Better late than never.

First, let's talk about some craft beers.  I'll start with a new release from our friends at Sam Adams.  Their new beer, a west coast style IPA, is called Rebel.  I sampled this beer twice on draft and thought it was quite good.  The beer arrived in a Sam signature glass--the color was bright amber, clear, with a fair amount of bubbles, topped nicely by a thick white head.  The beer smelled of piney citrus with heavy notes of grapefruit.  The taste was bitter and typical of an IPA.  At 6.5% ABV this was a solid beer.  It's not the best IPA, but I would drink it again.

The second beer was enjoyed during the Super Bowl.  Rogue's Yellow Snow IPA is also another example of a quality beer from a great company.  The beer was sampled (I drank the whole thing) from a 1/2 gallon growler (their packaging) on that boring Sunday.  The beer first, then the Super Dud.

Rogue's Yellow Snow IPA was poured into a SPG and was a cloudy crisp yellow, with a nice off-white billowy head that yielded thick lacing.  The smell and taste were both of floral and citrus notes with a mild sweetness in the background.  Pleasant beer and easy drinking--I did finish the half gallon.  Also, if you check out any of Rogue beers, you'll find out about IBUs, degrees Plato, and Lovibond.  It's complicated...Google it.

The Super Bowl.  A football fan's best and worst day.  If your team is in it and wins it, oh happy days.  If not, you still want a good game, with good commercials, and a decent halftime show.  If you watched the game, as I did, then maybe you might agree with me.  One word, horrific.

Game was a snorefest, halftime sucked, and the commercials were just OK at best.  If it wasn't for the company of my wife and brother, great wings and chili, and lots of craft beer, I would've never made it through the day.  That's that.

The last beer I want to tell you about is Iron Maiden Trooper ESB English bitter.  This is a solid British-style beer.  A little thin in smell, taste, and even the finish, but I love Iron Maiden (the band), so I forced myself to give this a decent rating.  Bias is a bitch.

My ratings for these three beers...Rebel IPA 3, Yellow Snow IPA 3, and Iron Maiden Trooper a 3.  I guess I'm in a generous mood.

Next time, beer snobs, three brews I'm looking forward to, and a writing update.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Return of Craft Beer Friday

Hello to all.  CBF will make a triumph return this Friday.  Super busy the last few weeks, churning out what I hope are four really good stories so far this year.  Friday, I'll be talking about a new beer from Sam Adams, a beer called Yellow Snow IPA, and a few others, including a beer from one of my all-time favorite bands.

A hint on that last beer, Up the Irons!!!

I'll also talk about beer snobs, a horrible Super Bowl Sunday, and a few new beers on the horizon.  See you Friday.  Drink up...

Friday, January 10, 2014

MIssing a Friday and Happy CBF

Happy Craft Beer Friday.  It is a wonderful day for drinking craft beer, but so is any other day.  Somehow, I missed last Friday (maybe too much craft beer).  Anyway, a trio this week plus a writing update.

All three beers this week are from our good friends at Sam Adams.  All beers are collected in the Sam Adams Spring Brews 12 pack.  Each of the beers were poured into a SPG and enjoyed fairly early this morning I'm not ashamed to admit.

Number 1, the Maple Pecan Porter.  The beer pours like a cola, with a reddish tint to it and a small head.  An attracvtive beer.  This American porter comes in at 5/6% ABV.  The smell, sweet and malty, is followed by a nice mix of chocloate and syrupy goodness.  The taste is very good.  Pecans, a hint of vanilla, and a good balance of malty sweetness, without being too sweet.  Overall, a solid 3.

Number 2, is Cold Snap, a witbier at 5.3% ABV.  The look and smell of this beer is typical for most wheat beers, cloudy yellow with a good head and decent carbonation.  Hard not to compare this beer to Blue Moon, other than the fact this beer is a little spicier.  If you want a witbier from Sam Adams, I would suggest the Blackberry Wit--excellent beer.  This rates a 2.

Number 3, is Escape Route, a Kolsch beer at 5% ABV.  This beer was the most difficult to rate.  I liked the appearance and the smell was OK, but the beer started out tasting a little too tart for me (almost lemony), but finished with a malty sweetness.  On Sam Adams website they claim that the beer is a hybrid of an ale and a lager--maybe that's where my confusion comes in.  An oddball for sure.  I'll rate it a 3 (grudgingly).

Sidebar--look for Sam Adams Rebel IPA coming soon.  I can't wait to review this west coast-style IPA.

9 of a Kind, my first book is really coming soon (by the end of the month I hope).  I'll blog the first of the week about my writing plans for the year.

Cheers!!  It's Friday...drink up.