Category Archives: misc

The problem with the news

Hey, who doesn’t want to have authentic Oktoberfest beer, right?

Except when I read on the OBC listserv that these five beers all come from the same German brewing conglomerate and only one from Bavaria (though I’m not sure why that’s important yet) and people who drank it that the beer(s) suggested  aren’t so hot. Which suggests that maybe these recommendations aren’t so authentic.

Now, I don’t know German well enough to properly research the subject but because it is a fairly well known item now that news outlets tend to provide less-than-awesome coverage of news and instead bring up stories about…say, the top five beers for an authentic Oktoberfest, forgive me if I trust the experts I have access to over CNN and two chefs from NYC.

On the other hand, when I read about the world’s oldest beer found in a shipwreck, that’s pretty damn awesome. A story that can be verified and really can’t have an angle to get me to be a better consumer, just more informed.

It does raise those dilemmas though.

Finally, I saw a review of Annville Ale at Topless Robot. Which I’m just posting because I never thought I’d see a beer inspired by a comic but it’s a weird world, isn’t it?

Let’s keep it that way.

On a slightly more personal note, underground beer tunnels have been rediscovered in Cinci. More personal because to me, that’s just a little cooler than shipwreck beer.

Thanks, ladies

An early morning post to make up for yesterday’s very late post….

The history says women were crucial in making beer. Which is awesome and makes perfect sense. Thank your moms (past and present) for keeping the art of brewing alive for us to enjoy now!

For a little more history (but of an entirely different sort), check out this article on the sale of the Anchor Steam brewery.

Finally (and this is more for me so I can view it later) Oregon Public Broadcasting has posted Beervana, the story on Oregon’s history with the beer world.  Pretty sweet!

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:

Eugene:
Sam Bonds Garage
The Bier Stein
Cornucopia (2 locations)

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

Seattle:
Uber Tavern
Brouwer’s Cafe
Cheers!

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 US Catches up

At every McDonald’s I went to in Europe, I could get a beer. Shitty beer, but beer. This was true in every fast food joint, actually. This really isn’t new information though, to readers who have seen Pulp Fiction:

Finally, the US is getting it’s own fast food with beer. I never ate or drank in a fast food joint in Europe, because to me the whole point was to try the things over there that I couldn’t get here. Hell, I wouldn’t try it if I went back for the same reason, honestly. Who goes to Italy to visit McDonald’s? So the coolness of getting a Royal with Cheese and a Bud was forever lost on me.

Now, I am totally good with fast food in limited doses and really, what goes better with a hamburger and fries: a soda or a beer?

Of course, I don’t have to encourage all readers of APfD to take advantage of their local pubs, menus, and brews. But sometimes, the occasional Royal with Cheese with a beer might be just the thing. Might have to try it out myself sometime, for science of course.

Odds and ends

Casualbrewery forwarded to me this article on brewing with hot rocks. Apparently it’s old school brewing Finnish style. I have actually had the Hot Rocks Lager and I enjoyed it. However while it was a good beer I have to admit, I liked it more because the idea of people throwing superheated rocks into water is very appealing to me.

And my friend Ed has this post at his blog about a North Korean brew, Taedonggang. I generally don’t go for brews from that part of the world, but this has everything to do with exposure. All I seem to see are lagers, and big brewery lagers at that. Budweiser from Japan, in essence. That said, I like to give anything new a chance and I don’t know that much about North Korea so if they can ship a bottle to me unbroken, I’ll drink it.

Beers for summer

As suggested by this guy. I don’t know what his qualifications are beyond writing a column on the internet, especially since he gets the Weissbier wrong; they don’t serve beers with fruit anywhere but America. (Well, they might, but they do it because we started doing it.) PBR is not a good beer, and it’s hoppiness is laughable at best. The Grains of Paradise used in Sam Adams Summer Ale are not what I’d call rare. Then again, I’m just some guy writing on the internet and I don’t even get paid. I leave it to the reader to make some discerning judgments about the quality of that list. 

I found the article via Fark, and the comments of their readers are here. Maybe you’ll find something worth checking out amongst their suggestions, maybe you’ll just enjoy the snark. Maybe you’ve got beers of your own to drink this summer that encapsulate the season for you. I certainly hope so. 

As for myself, it’s been too cool for lagers, kolsches, light wheat beers. I’m going to stick to pales until the weather starts demanding something else from me. 

I’m going to go to the Portland Beer and Blog tonight and see what that’s about. If nothing else I’ll get to check out the Green Dragon which I haven’t been too since Rogue took it over. Should be fun!

Membership has its privileges

Last night was the monthly OBC meeting at FH Steinbarts. There was booty to plunder.
This is not quite half of what I was able to come away with. There’s 3 more bags of hops and one more bag of  malts that aren’t pictured. 

These ingredients were donated to us by the really cool people at Full Sail, who had to discard them because they were ‘old’. They may have been too old for commercial brewers, but when those bags of malts and hops were cracked open, they smelled wonderful. The resulting grab-fest was probably as close as I’ll ever come to the bridal dress sale madness that I’ve heard about. (Although to our credit, we weren’t fighting over resources, just jockeying for position in line. No actual fighting happened.) 

What does this mean? Well, it means that my original plan from Monday to start making beers that I’d made before…has been put on hold. More than anything else, I like to use the materials at hand. Now that these things are no longer in vacuum packs, I feel like they ought to get first priority. However, there’s enough of these hops that I can probably repeat the future concoctions I come up with. So: Onward to Mayhem! 

Bonus: From It’s Pub Night, the Six Pack Equivalent Calculator. That’s. Just. Awesome.

The lawnmower beer is what I say it is

I’ve probably talked about this before, and so I’ll undoubtedly do it again. 

When most beer people talk ‘lawnmower beers’ they are talking about beers they can have and then go back to work, sober enough to feel like they can accomplish something, refreshed enough that doing more work doesn’t seem like a horrific chores. Frequently these are lagers of some kind, and I cannot fault anyone wanting a good lager on a hot day.

I won’t speak for everyone, but I’d bet that a lot of people my age feel this way, and they get it in part from this scene:

“I think a man working outdoors feels more like a man if he can have a bottle of suds.” 

“….we sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men…We were the lords of all Creation.”

Yeah. 

Now personally, I don’t get the idea of having a beer in the middle of a job. What’s the point? Sure, when you’re a convict you don’t really have a choice, but I’m just a dude sweating over a lawn. 

As my forearms began to ache, and the sweat trickled under the arms of my sunglasses, I kept thinking about how much I hate doing this. It’s why I do such a half-ass job of it. But as my vision began to become obscured by the moisture from my head, droplets burst from my mouth as I exerted to mow and rake and clean up, my back starting to protest, another thought worked its way in: You can totally have a beer when this is over. 

When it’s over. I won’t have to do more, I don’t have some other kind of effort to put out. I can say I’m done, and look out over the yard and go: Finished. I don’t have to touch this for two weeks. And I feel good about that. In some way, I feel like I’m carrying on a tradition of men and women everywhere who work like hell and sometimes the only reward they get is someone buying them a beer at the end of the day. Yeah, I get a little self-inflated sometimes. 

But I don’t want a pilsner or lager; and the beer in my fridge just doesn’t seem to work. So I walk down to the 7-11 and get a Grifter IPA from MacTarnahan’s, and open it up. 

The only way it could get better is if there was someone to split it with. But I get to share it here, and that’s alright too. 

Now I’m going to get a shower in, and enjoy my day. Hope you do too.

Edit: Post has been updated to reflect the proper maker of Grifter. Sorry everyone, and thank you, Bill for the correction.

The argument

I enjoy going out with my buddy Jim. We pretty much argue half the time, but it’s always about things that utterly don’t matter
(him: Deep Purple was a hugely influential band with great songs
me: No they fucking weren’t, they had Smoke on the Water, and everything else was shit.
The Decemberists are awesome and lyrically amazing!
The are the dullest band ever.)

so our feelings never get hurt.

Of course, all of this is inspired by the Morrison Hotel playing really shitty Foo Fighters songs (instead of good ones), and we could both agree on that. So it was in the spirit of spirited argument, I had the following:

Some unpleasant tasting beer that I couldn’t exactly see who made. It was known as a ‘Dark IPA’ and it tasted bitter, like it had been burnt. I regreted choosing this over the Dogfish beer that caught my eye, but I had to try it.

Nostradamus Belgain Brown. The nose was full of banana. As a matter of fact, it was like a banana split; sugary and whipped cream backing up the banana nose itself. This banana flavor ran through the whole beer–the belgain yeast just dominated over the malts. However-and I’m just taking this from my notes- as the beer warmed up, I noticed a cinnamon touch in the nose, and the dessert confection started to mellow out. It became easier to drink the warmer it got. I suspect this beer might’ve been served to me too cold, and if I’d just given it a couple minutes my experience would’ve been different.

Next: St Bernardus Quadrupel. I got this b/c at the Belmont Station for the Six Rivers event, my girlfriend asked me: what’s a quadrupel? And I had no idea, aside from it being Belgain and probably following in the line of the dubbel, trippel ales that Belgain abbys are so famous for. The head on this was as dense as a nerf ball, and I could hardly get a scent off of it, but clove seemed to touch my senses for a moment. The flavors were very, very common to a trippel; sweet, with an alcohol warmth to help bring it back (11%!), but then I caught a touch of something else…sourness. Just a little bit at the end, a nudge utterly opposite the rest of the beer. That’s when I realized that maybe this yeast is what’s being used for the raspberry lambic at Six Rivers.

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale was next up, as I came back to the choice that I’d initially hoped to drink. This beer had mocha running in it, chocolate malts that were really tasty…of course, between the lateness of the evening and my allergies, I got no nose off the beer whatsoever. But there was a slight coffee bitterness and drying effect at the very back that had me wanting more. However, it’s strong for a brown ale (7.2%) so I opted to cease so I could get home.

Or at least, I thought I had. Earlier in the evening, Jim in a kind of faux-macho swagger ordered an Old German. It came in a can. I’m not sure I can say anything more about that, except the waiter grinned and gave Jim an ‘Oh yeah!’: he knew how bad it was, and exactly why it was being ordered. When I saw it, (about the time I was drinking the St B’s) I laughed and said that I had to order it.

And it was after the Indian Brown Ale that Jim reminded me of that.

It was terrible. My notes plead with me: I have to finish a pint of this? I didn’t.There\'s a straw in my beer

And yes, the Old German was served to me with a straw in it.