Category Archives: 52 Weeks

52 Weeks 4: Wild River Double Eagle

It is, for the first time, dark and starting to rain as I type this. I honestly expected the weather to be much worse sooner but December is here and gloom has settled over the city. Finally.

 

The unsmiling author has been cut out.
The unsmiling author has been cut out.

I’m drinking Wild River’s Double Eagle Imperial Stout, and it’s very good. Oh yes. It is good. A touch hotter than I would expect from a stout; even at 7.6%, there’s a burbony alcohol flavor there that is quickly covered up by slightly burnt chocolate. 

Thanksgiving was a winner I’m proud to say and I hope it was for my readers as well. My Dad came up to visit and he was able to try a great many of the beers I’d been making for the past year. With the exception of the Cheswick clone that I’d made, they all aged quite nicely and tasted pretty good. It was my Dad who bought me the starter kit to start homebrewing, so it’s only just that he get to taste some of the spoils sometimes. That he’s stuck in a hellhole far from family and friends is unfortunate on multiple levels so his visit was, in the newspeak, doubleplus good.

I am recalling the positive in order to negate speaking of a Monday that started off askew and never quite found itself again. December has begun with a rough push, like being awoken by chainsaws, but why presume that it will stay that way? 

I’ve got a good beer, I’ve got stout at home to bottle, a pale and Demon Alcohol to manage (updates soon) and a belgian ale to make with serious hops. With some bitterness to balance out the sweetness of those belgian yeasts, I expect a wonderful beer. In time.

So; no point in being dreary, yes? Darkness has come upon the city, and I do enjoy going outside under these circumstances and stalking the city, weather be damned. My beer smells a little like brownies now, and really, how can that ever be a bad thing?

It is sometimes hard to be hopeful at the end of a year, but I’m going to give it a shot anyway. We’ll see how that works out in the coming weeks together.

52 Weeks 3: Hopworks Abominable

So here I am, with my sweet new hat and a tasty ‘winter’ ale and a headache. The sun has been a liar today, showing itself all throughout but never providing any warmth. The wind blew and snarled away any pockets of heat that might’ve taken refuge in the city.

Fuck, I hate the cold. I like winter though, so it’s always a strange time for me.

I was the first customer today, and as such got to chat a little about what might be tasty. There was a strong wit from Off The Rail which seemed interesting, but better in the warmer weather. A little high on the citrus, so I avoided it.

The Abominable however is more piney. Almost like pine tar in the nose, but definite pine flavors in the bite. Tasty and something that says; ‘Fortify yourself from the cold!’ 

I’m planning on brewing tonight, a very light beer which I’m hoping to balance with a bit of tea to give it a little more body. Should have a post up on it in a day or so. Experiments are interesting!

They’ve changed the layout at Bailey’s. Currently, I approve. The big table where groups can play cards is still there, but in a more open corner. The more isolated space to the south of the entrance now has low chairs and a small table, which is perfect for small groups who want to have a huddled conversation, furtive plans over beer and dusklight. 

Across the street, a man vacuums at the Tugboat Brewery, preparing it for customers, and in the other direction, the Saucebox remains closed and dark, white blinds cutting me off from its interior. I am glad I am here and not there, for a variety of reasons, chief amongst them that they are closed and I would be standing in the cold waiting for a beer. Who does that?

I’m afraid I’m nursing a three-day headache at this point, so this post will have to end. Cheers to all, if I don’t get a post up before Thanksgiving!

52 Weeks #2, Collaborator Doppelweitzen

The lousy pics will begin now.  This is more of what I had in mind when I started this project; me, typing away on my laptop, taking pictures with the lappy-cam, hoping for the best. I’d forgotten my laptop last week, but had my camera, so I made do. 

 

The first of many
The first of many

 

 

Anyway, it’s a too-large image for a too small post. But I missed the bus to work this morning because I’d forgotten the laptop and my camera, so I went back to fetch all of them, just so there would be a proper update for the 4 people who read this. Try to look thankful. 

This beer was made for the Collaborator Project, and before you ask, no I didn’t make it. Still, it’s an interesting beer, with that banana nose but dark malt roasts keeping the usual belgian sweetness from taking over the beer. Far more drinkable than I would have thought, given the name and what that implied about the beer’s style. 

In a glorious moment, the radio at Bailey’s has followed up an Elliott Smith sounding song with Tomahawk’s Sir Yes Sir, and the clash of styles is immensely appealing to me. I also happen to really like Tomahawk, which certainly plays into things. That was followed up by what sounded like a Bad Religion clone, but they can’t all be winners. 

Bailey’s is understandably unpopulated at this time of day. Still, I wonder how I’d be impacted by either more people, or the presence of a second person as I wrote. Who knows? I figure eventually someone will be here; 52 weeks is a long time, but at the same time, they’d have to put up with me essentially liveblogging, and who wants to do that?

Prince’s Sign o’ the Times just came on, and I can’t help but think that there’s a delicious and sad clash between how he’s presented himself for the past, oh, thirty years and his recent comments on homosexuality. It’s one of those sad reminders that people are sometimes a bit more frail and a lot less compassionate than they ought to be. I realize it’s just his opinion, but it’s a narrow, spiteful one, and I don’t have to be part of it.

I think I’m going to go home and play Little Big Planet and be reminded that sweet things that people will interact with are still out there. I’m also finishing this post to an awesome remix of a Bloc Party I can’t recall the name of. The sun is almost gone and I need some dinner. Should be a good night.

52 Weeks, #1, Ninkasi Sleigh’r

So, I’ve decided to start a new project, which I’m calling 52 Weeks in a totally original fashion.

Truthfully, the idea was inspired by the movie Smoke. There’s a point where Auggie Wren says (and I’m paraphrasing) “If you stay in one place long enough, the world comes to you.” So I thought; why not go to the same bar on the same day each week for a year, and let the world come to me? These posts will be part stream-of-consciousness, part beer related, and probably have poorly taken pictures from my laptop, but there you have it. 

I decided to go to Bailey’s Taproom for this project, because they’ll always have something interesting to drink, but mostly because I like it there.   

At 4p.m., daylight still exists, but I’m here for the dark alt by Ninkasi. While I don’t know the style, the beer smells very malty; carmels run through everything, with a hint of chocolate at the very end, and the beer delivers on this promise. There’s a slight hit of bitterness after the sweetness drops away, and I’m not sure if that’s because the beer is bitter, or because of an alchemy in my mouth that  brings bitterness to me after I have sweet things. I like this beer a lot, though. 

I’m not sure what’s going to happen with this project, because I’ve got some life plans that might make this more challenging. But I like Bailey’s and it ought to give me a good beer to drink, even when I don’t have anything else to talk about. I’m rolling this slick beer under my tongue (it’s the kind of beer that turns your spit brown) trying to appreciate it, relax, and enjoy myself, but I’m thinking too far ahead. Food and drink insist on your presence in order to appreciate it, and I’m having trouble being here, now.

Maybe that’s what’s so nice about patterns: we get to set aside anxiety and appreciate the little things that appear only when we’re calm. Not that most of us do that; we just feel comforted by the familiar. Still, I hope to break that and notice all the little things I can get. After all, I have fifty-two weeks to go, and I have to prevent boredom every way I can.