All posts by grotusque

My name is Dan and I like a lot of things, but this blog will be about the beer I drink and occasionally make. Well. Mostly.


The Feds are telling brewers in Florida to stop making marijuana flavored beer. So I hope they don’t find out what I’m doing.

But on a more serious note; What did anyone THINK was going to happen? And why weren’t people a lot smarter about that?

That last question is purely rhetorical, given our current “leadership”.

One more note: I’m off until Wednesday next week. Cheers!



Whatever You Say 26\Second Pint AFSP

I almost don’t recognize my friend as I saunter up to the bar at the Upper Lip, but as I get closer, his beard fails to disguise him so I greet him heartily. It’s been a couple months and when you live in the same city as someone, a couple months is probably too long to go between visits.

We catch up rapidly, using the short form this evening, (unfortunately) because he’s on his way out to get dinner with a friend he’s with, and I’m just stopping by to write before I head to the Hyborian show at Dante’s.

However, there’s no reason to miss this opportunity, so I ask what they had and, given the options, I choose the Alesong/Bailey’s collaboration, Bailey’s Joy, an imperial stout with coconut and cacao nibs, aged in bourbon barrels.

Alesong-Bailey's Joy stoutWe say our goodbyes and I am left alone with the Joy. Its nose has a diminished bourbon quality, the cocoa an even fainter undercurrent but both exist. The flavors follow it up nicely, but in reverse: Cocoa first, then a bit of bourbon, followed with a very dry finish. That finish practically sucks the moisture out of my tongue, it’s so dry. I like it.

Since I’m left to my own thoughts, I think about Anthony Bourdain-a man whom I never met and have no knowledge of, aside from his work-and the sorrow that comes with his death.

My take on Bourdain was that he was someone who had made some mistakes, seen and quite likely been part of some bad shit, but had come through it better, kinder and with more curiosity about the world, rather than less. A greater willingness to champion a better world, instead of being intimidated by those forces to keep it the same.

That’s the kind of story I can get behind. One that has helped inspire greater empathy in myself, too, transitioning me from being a beer elitist to one who just is happy to have one with friends, or soon to be friends.

While my vision of Mr. Bourdain is woefully incomplete, and I am not the kind of person to idolize someone, especially someone I’ve never met, the lesson still remains: be curious about the world, and try to be kind to people along the way.

Today’s second pint goes to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Living In A Pale Blue Dream

This is the second marijuana ale of the year. I didn’t realize that I’d be producing two ales repeatedly-the amber being my ‘official’ yearly project but here we go!

Marijuana pale aleThe marijuana strain is evident in the nose still-not as intense as the first beer but still there. There are also hop scents too, underlying the marijuana ale. Not bad, but not well balanced, either. So: lots of earthy, dank scents but much less overpowering than last time and I think the malt is showing up a little more.

On the improvement side, the marijuana flavor isn’t as strong in this beer as it was in the previous one. The added malt sweetness has helped this beer, providing a little more dimension to it. It’s not much, and it goes fast but there is enough there to pull the beer from being one dimensional.

The effervescence is consistent, providing for a fairly clean mouthfeel and a reasonably brisk finish-it’s actually a little dry! Which is a surprise but not an unwelcome one. This pale has a bit more complexity than I would’ve expected and I’m not at all upset about that

Brew date: 1/28/18

Steeping grains
2 lb Carapils
2 lb 2 row
1 lb C30
1 lb Victory
1 lb NW Pale
1 lb Golden Promise

Fermentables: 5 lb ExLME

1 oz Centennial @ 60
1.5 oz Blue Dream Marijuana @60
.5 oz blue dream @ 30
.5 oz Warrior @ 5

Irish Moss: 1/4 tsp @5

Yeast: Imperial-Joystick (3rd use)

OG: 1.07

FG: 1.016

Secondary on 3/7 (no dry hopping)

Bottled 3/11

ABV: 7.3%




Whatever You Say 25\Second Pint New Avenues for Youth

The fellow I make my inquiry to is Rob, who introduces himself after I explain why I’m here. We shake in the common language of strangers, then he goes back to his phone.

I’m a little thankful for that: I’m punchy from a day in the sun at a wedding, with a few ales to keep me cool during that time. A lot of water, shade and sunscreen has kept me in the fight but we are coming into the final stages and I’m having to screw up my determination to keep going.

Still, on the days when the work is a bit more challenging due to time constraints, I’m grateful for an easy evening. The pub is engaging without being subdued, so I can function here without feeling overwhelmed. Which is great, because I’m in a good mood and I don’t want to be discouraged.

Because weddings are a little weird, right? All these people coming together from different quadrants of both the bride and groom’s lives (which has got to be at least eight quadrants) in order to meet up, get along and be happy for a happy thing.

And we do this! We come together as strangers in order to celebrate our friends and we are just happy for them because we can be. We decide that whatever fears or harm is out there in the world, well, that stuff can fuck right off for a day, because we have something important to do.

Laurelwood Rando paleWhich is a good thing. The world is presenting more of a terrifying face to us than it usually does. Coming together to celebrate, especially in the face of such fear, is one of the best ways I can think of to defy such terror.

From out of nowhere, Rob taps me on the shoulder.

“What do you think of the Rando?”

It’s what I would expect from Laurelwood, I tell him, a delicious IPA. I suppose it’s NE style (hazy) but the Rando doesn’t want to hammer the grapefruit home too hard. It’s quite drinkable and really good. They’ve got a long tradition of solid beers and this is a fine addition to their library. Like some of the more established breweries in town, they can get overlooked sometimes, which is a bummer. They make tasty beverages.

He nods, pleased that we’re in agreement and goes back to his phone again.

Today’s second pint goes to New Avenues For Youth.

Common Ales: Boatswain IPA

Boatswain IPAI’m always on the lookout for something I haven’t had before and during an uncommon trip to Trader Joe’s I found it. It looked inoffensive enough-that kind of bland TJ marketing at play-but that was also why I got it: it’s the kind of thing a not-me would probably purchase.

There is a caramel malt nose. So already, I have a problem here. Not that there shouldn’t be any malt present in the nose of an IPA-some sweetness can help balance things out.

But IPAs should have IPA scents-citrus, pine, floral kinds of things. So I was not hopeful and that hopelessness was rewarded upon tasting the ale. A halfhearted middle, thin and weightless does nothing to impede the veggie tainted bitterness. The bubbly finish doesn’t help either-though I will say that this beer does keep it’s head all the way through.

Just trying to find something positive to say and…well, it ain’t easy. It’s not very good, even for a pale. Avoid.