Last Gasp

Before I started my new job, I brewed a beer. Called it the Free Man Stout as a way to celebrate my time unemployed. It has a chocolate liquor nose but with a nice level of carbonation, the beer feels pretty light. I did well with this one.

Brew Date: 2.15.10

Steeping Malts
1bl chocolate malt
.75 lb Munich
.5 lb Black Patent

2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 tbsp Molasses

1 oz mystery hop pellets @60
.75 oz mystery pellets @ 20
.75 oz Ginger @ 10
1/4 tsp? Ground nutmeg @1-

reused Ginger Stout 10 yeast 4th use, done

IG 1.078

TG 1.021

put into 2ndary 2/25
Bottled 3/23

Finished drinking 4/30

Food pairings

I’ve found my way to this post on pairing beer with food at The Kitchen. It’s pretty good advice for people who like beer and may not be sure how to pair it with food. They lay out guidelines as such, not as rules, which I find to be a wise choice when dealing with any food.

If I had one sticking point, I suppose it would be their statement “And Belgian beers can handle just about anything!”

I have two issues with this statement: first, I don’t think you can really say ‘Belgian beers’ and have it mean something like German or British beers, where those nations have some iconic styles that are associated with the country, lager and porters in this case. Given the number of breweries in Belgium, what can the statement possibly mean?

Second, because of the sheer range of styles from Belgium, beers can range from banana sweet, clove flavors to raspberry tart and chocolate to sour. Even amongst the flavors I mentioned, Belgian beers can run to an extreme; cloyingly sweet to stomach-churning sour, depending.

Are these the kind of flavors that can handle just about anything?

That said, I can get behind this article on dessert beers a hell of a lot faster.

The Local: Zach’s Shack

I’m having an Alameda El Torrero IPA in a glass that’s been in the freezer.

This is not the ideal way to drink a beer-let’s just get that out of the way from the start. Even if you want a lager, unless it’s a summer day there’s just no reason for a glass that’s been in the freezer. In the case of this beer, almost all the other flavors or scents are stolen by the cold and I’m left drinking a beer with a bitter aftertaste.

Moreover, why am I at Zach’s anyway? They do hot dogs and fries. Their selection of beer is limited at best, though the choices are never displeasing. There’s an ice skating competition on one of the TVs. It’s not a pub.

zack's shackThere’s also hockey playoffs on two other televisions, which are located in areas that allow visitors to ignore them. Promo posters for Radiohead, Maktub, Neil Young and My Morning Jacket. A portrait of Bill Hicks above a 90’s era jukebox. A staff that gets why you’ve arrived. So there’s something here but that’s not why I’ve come.

I’ve come to Zach’s Shack because it is part of the drinking culture. Sure, you can come in, get a good hot dog/sausage, beer, fries, call it good. But you’d be missing the point.

The point comes when it’s 1:45 am and your night isn’t quite done yet. When you’d get another beer if you could but really, really what you need is a basket of french fries. There’s no sense in lying to each other about this. Those nights happen. Oh sure, maybe less than they used to, maybe a bit more for some of my readers but they do happen. It’s late. You’ve been walking a bit and the drinks have overwhelmed you-not in an evil way but in a; I’m going to sleep on my friend’s couch tonight, way.

Before that, however, the Universe needs to provide me with fries.

So Zach’s Shack exists so we can make that final pilgrimage to remember the day, burn our fingers on hot fries and smile once more before we go home. Maybe you have a pint, maybe you share a pint, maybe you’ve had enough. It’s all good to me-and I’d bet all square by them, too.

Just the same…

I didn’t know Toby Day but I’ve met Lisa Morrison and if she says he was a stand up guy then it must be so.

There will a chance to honor his memory on Sunday; you can read about why at her blog.

If you do decide to contribute and have a pint, you can do so at these locations on April 25th:

Sam Bonds Garage
The Bier Stein
Cornucopia (2 locations)

The Moon & Sixpence
Concordia Ale House
Roots Organic
The Horse Brass Pub

Uber Tavern
Brouwer’s Cafe

A bit here and there

For those of you who haven’t seen or heard about it, the winners for this year’s World Beer Cup are announced here. I’m a little stunned that there aren’t more winners from non-US countries. I’m not sure if that’s because there were just an overwhelming amount of beers entered from the US or for some other reason.

Also, I’ve found out that Hopwork’s Gigabit IPA has been made open source. You can read more about that awesome stuff at Taplister. I think I’ll have to try my hand at that beer soon. I can compare it to the original and see how I did!

Finally, I’ve got a friend coming into town next week and I think he’s going to want a bit of a beer tour with my -ahem- expertise to guide us.  Bailey’s is a clear choice but do my readers have any suggestions?

The Local: Bar of the Gods

I walk in to Busta Rhymes‘ Gimme Some More. It’s the kind of place that fearlessly bleeds hip-hop and punk rock.

The BOG used to be a dive but I’m not sure it qualifies anymore. The back room became a kitchen, they expanded eastward and now there are windows letting in natural light. The bathrooms are no longer supremely cramped locations you have to walk a maze to get into. There’s a back patio with heat lamps and shelter from the rain. It has, in a word, upgraded.

bog ceilingThen again, the tables are longer than the seats, awkwardly sticking out into the walkway, the walls are emo black, I’m pretty sure the floor tiles had some kind of color once and there isn’t a non-muted source of light. The windows have large thick velvet curtains to stave the sun away. It hasn’t strayed too much, is my point.

The BOG is a place that likes the dark. If you can see clearly, something is off. It also likes it loud; the music causes everyone to shout even when talking about really boring things. Hard to appreciate that in a bar. I think this place is at it’s best when the sonic level is just a bit lower.

There are a few really interesting things about the BOG though; first, the food is really good. Surprisingly so, really. Chicken strips that are really lightly breaded, meatball subs you can get with bacon, secials like roasted red pepper, white bean and artichoke heart dip served with some veggies and pita bread; just the kind of stuff that I want with my Ninkasi Double Red.

Second; it’s the only bar I’ve been in where someone actively doesn’t like me. There’s a woman I see sitting at the bar sometimes and she seems familiar but I do not recall her. And that’s the weird part; as far as I know I haven’t interacted with this person. I don’t know her name, I only know her because she’s in the ‘hood. When she looks at me though, her eyes hope something bad happens to me soon. So I don’t try to talk to her.

Fortunately, she is not here tonight. I do not know how I may have offended her but maybe it’s for the best. Everyone needs a nemesis, even if it’s a low key one.

So much to do!

There’s a Meet the Brewery event at Belmont Station for Brewer’s Union Local 180. But I have plans to make beer…so that’s what I’m doing instead.

Mildish recipe;

1 lb 6 Row
.5 lb Victory
.5 lb Munich

7 lb Light Malt Extract

1 oz Santitam pellets @ 60
1 oz  Nugget @ 20

Yeast: reused from previous mild, 3x use so no reuse after this.