June 27, 2008

Ummmmm, Apologies

I'm back from the trip, obviously. I'm sort of superstitious in that I don't like to write from the road often, don't want to jinx a safe trip back and all that.

So that happened.

And then I came down with a ridiculous cold for the tail end of the trip anyway, and have been suffering a bit since, and well, this got neglected.

But I'm back. I've got some things to say, some trip recap, etc. and then it's back to doing Baltimore stuff. Because Baltimore's such a fine beer city and right now I really miss Brewer's Art, Victoria and Frisco Grille.

June 12, 2008

Beer Trip Update

Doing well. Doing really, really well.

Not everything we've targeted is available right now at Russian River but who cares, the place is fantastic. I'll try to resize that picture in a bit, but that's myself and Steve from Summer of Beer chilling at Russian River last night.

Other stops so far: Bear Republic, Third Street Ale Works, The Flavor Bistro (for hard-to-find beers from Moonlight Brewing) and the Toronado Brewpub in San Francisco. Today should be a big day with several possible great stops including a brewpub we heard about near Oakland, Moylan's and Lagunitas.

Anyway, more updates coming.

June 10, 2008

Road Trippin'

I'm out in California making a beer trip with my friend Steve from "Summer of Beer". I'll try to post some updates, but in the meantime check his site for updates on our trip to Santa Rosa (Russian River!) and elsewhere.

June 8, 2008

My Beer Sweet Tooth

We all have a "sweet tooth", but I think after a certain age I lost much of mine. It's not like I don't enjoy certain fruit, or ice cream, or chocolate or candy, and so on. But over the years I've come to realize sweets don't pull on me the same way they do most people.

In truth, for the most part I can't stand most fruit. I think it's because generally they tend to spoil and rot pretty quick, and don't really deliver flavors to my liking straight up. I much prefer vegetables over fruit, oddly. And hearty food over sweets. As a larger issue, I simply don't seek out much "sweet" things other than the occasional binges on say, Dr. Pepper/Barq's Root Beer or a raspberry snowball at the local snowball stand.

However, one thing that occurred to me tonight while having a bottle of the Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour: beer is becoming the device by which I quench my sweet tooth. I absolutely love a Flemish Sour beer, as well as several other well crafted sweet beers. I'm talking about you, Brewer's Art Resurrection.

The Resurrection itself isn't really "sweet", but it's got some sweetness and some sourness on top of a fantastic Belgian base beer. It's ridiculously delicious and part of the enjoyment of it comes from just the right amount of sweetness in the beer. I'm hooked.

Same goes for something like a Rodenbach Grand Cru, another fabulous Flemish sour with the right kind of light sweetness. I could drink those beers all day, any day and some of their personal appeal is the sweet qualities within them.

Now, I don't seek out all sweet beers. I've never really fallen in love with most fruity lambics (enjoyable and refreshing as they are). They're just not the same. But it's interesting to think that of all things, beer is what satisfies my sweet tooth lately. It's a trip.

June 6, 2008

Parallel Blog Tasting: Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron

For laughs I traded tasting thoughts over AIM tonight with friend and fellow beer blogger Steve at Summer of Beer. Be sure to visit this link to get the rundown on our real time thoughts on a specially crafted beer from Delaware's Dogfish Head Brewery called Palo Santo Marron. It is a "brown ale" aged on Palo Santo wood.

Also: my review at Beer Advocate, as well as Summer of Beer's.

Not bad, overall. A unique tasting experience both trading thoughts with Steve and enjoying the unusual beer aged in the incredibly dense Palo Santo wood from Paraguay. Check out these YouTube videos for more on this crazy experiment.

June 5, 2008


Lots going on this coming week.

Although they've been open for a while now, this Friday June 6th from 5-8 p.m. will be the "Grand Opening Gala" at The Perfect Pour. The ribbon cutting ceremony (hokey!) is at 5:30. Food is provided by Aida Bistro. There will be beer and wine tasting stations to peruse and enjoy.

On Saturday at The Perfect Pour from 5-8 p.m., Alan from "Hook & Ladder Brewing" will present a tasting of their brews. New arrivals this week (in bottles) include 22oz Troegs Troegenator Doublebock (good!), Dogfish Head Peche and Coney Island's Albino Python and Sword Swallower.

DuClaw will debut a new beer next week: "Consecration". It is a "medium bodied hoppy American brown ale" with a "sweet and rich malt flavor with notes of chocolate, caramel and nuts." They are "balanced by an equally intense hop presence and a citrusy aroma" at 5.5% ABV. The release will be on Wednesday and Thursday (June 11th and 12th), either 6 or 7 to close at all four locations. "Pint Club" members get a sneak preview Monday June 9th.

Check the DuClaw website and get on their email list to get the lowdown on free goodies at these debut events. I've never been, but they promise free stuff if that's your bag.

Clipper City announces the arrival of their "Hang Ten" Hefeweizen Dopplebock, towards the end of June. It is their annual tribute to summer wheat beers, if more potent at 10% ABV.

Saturday June 7th is the "English Beer Tasting" at Burtonsville Crossing Beer & Wine (3 p.m.)

Also: The Pennsylvania Microbrewers Fest in Pittsburgh, PA. Purchase tickets for any of three, 3-hour sessions ($37). Souvenir glass, entertainment, and most of the major Pennsylvania breweries.

On Sunday June 8th, Mahaffey's has a bus trip to Lancaster and Victory Brewing companies in Pennsylvania. Call (410)276-9899 for more info.

Also on Sunday is the Bear Creek Beer Festival in Macungie, PA from 1-5 p.m. Tickets are $30-$40.

On Monday June 9th is the Lagunitas Beer Dinner at Birreria Paradiso (Washington D.C.). Call (202)337-1245 for more information.

Also on Monday (every Monday) is "Beer Club" night at Victoria Gastro Pub. Beer Club members get various discounts, guest brewers may attend in the future, lots going on, starting at 5 p.m. Inquire within for membership details.

On Tuesday June 10th, Frederick's Brewer's Alley is hosting a beer dinner titled "An Evening in the Far East". The food list looks great, check the website for details beyond the $45 cost and 5:30 first seating/7:30 second seating.

On Thursday June 12th is the SPBW Fells Point Pub Crawl. "Society for the Preservation of Beers from the Wood"

Also, Clipper City will participate in a "Meet The Brewer" night at John Steven Ltd. in Fells Point.

Also on Thursday is a Southampton draft promo at Capone's in East Norristown, PA. Call (610)279-4748 for more info.

Feel free to email me with event information if you would like to be added in future "Events".

"Forest" Beer?

Can anyone verify this?
You [dining at the Forest Diner in Ellicott City - Ed.] have a view of the Forest Motel and ice cream shop (more on that later), the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center (with a PetCo), and Rt. 40 traffic, but that was all OK.

Richard had a "Forest Beer," which was a dark beer--one of several selections on tap. We don't really know its origins, but he thought it was very good

If so, wow, a diner with its own brew(s). I've heard from several people now that the ice cream shop next door is great.

June 4, 2008

Just What You Love To See


Incidentally, severe weather and tornado warnings also kept me from last weekend's Maryland Brewer's Spring Fest in Frederick. I can't imagine the organizers were thrilled about the weather. Hopefully turnout was at least salvageable.