Posts Tagged ‘lost abbey’

Well, in case you don’t remember the Alamo, it is located in downtown San Antonio and quite the boring tourist attraction. I have always been a mild war history nut but the Alamo itself was kind of a let down as far as a tourist attraction went….and they didn’t even serve craft beer (now you can see my disappointment).  The building that you see before you was actually the Chapel of the entire Alamo compound and there isn’t much more beyond that, other than a small courtyard and a gift shop (which must have been built by Davey Crockett himself).

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The Alamo…..(in the basement!)

So my wife wanted to go someplace on vacation that was a heck of a lot warmer than sunny Buffalo (like such a place exists) but wasn’t really interested in going back to Florida, so we decided on taking the kid to Sea World in San Antonio TX.  What we didn’t realize that we came down to San Antonio during Fiesta…which someone described to me as their version of Mardi Gras….except with a lot less boobs being shown and more Mexicans to go around.

Fiesta goes for 18 days straight and is now loosely based around the annual Battle of the Roses, which started as a dedication parade for those that fought at the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto back in 1890.  When we went downtown on Monday night, we visited the Market Square where there were streets lined with vendors and several stages providing various styles of music.  We also visited the famed San Antonio Riverwalk where there was a boat parade going on.  But, by Wednesday afternoon, we had noticed that downtown was becoming crazier with half the roads being closed, bleachers being set up all over the parade route, the cost of parking doubling and every corner being crazy busy…not exactly ideal when towing around a four year old with you.

One of the highest rated and most famous restaurants in San Antonio is Mi Tierra .  Located in the famed Market Square area of downtown San Antonio, this place is know for its great food and 24 hour bakery that never closes.  The food was decent, the atmosphere was great and my daughter is a huge fan of table side Mariachi bands.  Since I was in a Mexican restaurant, it was only fitting that I had to get a Mexican beer that I had never had before…

While we were watching the boat parade on the Riverwalk, I found a kiosk nearby that was serving finger food and serving local craft beer, so I got to drink something while we watched the boat parade…

Later on Monday evening, after the wife and daughter called No Mas!, it was time to meet up with my local trader at his local watering hole for a small bottle share…or so I thought, at Big Hops Growler Station.  We managed to keep the employees up past their bed times and we’re able to crush bottles until 1am (even though they closed at 10pm).

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Big Hops Growler Station now has three locations around the San Antonio area and is a local watering hole for my TX trading partner Chris.  He managed to swindle the employees to allow us to have a bottle share there that night, for my arrival….and here is what we crushed:

Jester King Brewing RU55 ~ American Wild Ale ~ 7.3% ABV
Dark Horse Brewing 3 Pairs of Legs Maple Porter ~ American Porter ~ 7.0% ABV
Prairie Artisan Beers Bible Belt ~ American Double / Imperial Stout ~ 13.0% ABV
Grassroots Brewing Arctic Soiree ~ Saison / Farmhouse Ale ~ 6.0% ABV
Pisgah Brewing Hellbender ~ American Barleywine ~ 10.2% ABV
Bruery Griffon Bruxellois ~ American Wild Ale ~ 6.1% ABV
Bruery The Wanderer ~ American Wild Ale ~ 8.0% ABV
Freetail Brewing Ananke (2012) ~ American Wild Ale ~ 5.8% ABV
Freetail Brewing Ananke (2013) ~ American Wild Ale ~ 5.8% ABV
Lost Abbey Angel’s Share Brandy Barrel Aged (2008) ~ American Barleywine ~ 12.5% ABV
Karbach Brewing Series F.U.N. Series 008: Fra-Gee-Lay ~ Herbed / Spiced Beer ~ 8.0% ABV
Freetail Brewing La Muerta (2010) ~ American Double / Imperial Stout ~ 10.2% ABV
Cascade Brewing Elderberry ~ American Wild Ale ~ 8.1% ABV
Crooked Stave Artisan Beers Batch #60 ~ American Wild Ale ~ ABV Unknown
Ithaca Brewing Luminous ~ American Wild Ale ~ 6.0% ABV
Darkside Fermentation Flanders Red ~ Flanders Red Ale ~ 7.0% ABV
Grassroots Brewing Arctic Saison ~ Saison / Farmhouse Ale ~ 6.0% ABV
(512) Brewing Whiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter ~ American Porter ~ 8.2% ABV
Harpoon Brewery 100 Barrel Series #49: Brown IPA ~ American IPA ~ 5.7% ABV
Brewdog Paradox Springbank ~ American Double / Imperial Stout ~ 10.0% ABV
Buffalo Bayou Brewing Smoke on the Bayou ~ Scottish Ale ~ 9.0% ABV
Crooked Stave Artisan Beers Nightmare on Brett (aged in Leopold Bros Whiskey Barrels) ~ American Wild Ale ~ 9.67% ABV

 

On Tuesday, we took a bus tour around downtown San Antonio, a RiverWalk boat tour, then lunch at a downtown brewpub called The Granary ‘Cue & Brew.

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The Granary

The Granary ‘Cue & Brew has been open for several years now and feature Farm to Table proteins from several farms in Texas.  They strive to feature fresh foods while using only the best local quality ingredients, nothing off the back of a distributors food truck.  From what I can gather, he Granary has been brewing their own beers now for a little over one year now, in keeping with the same standards of ingredients that they utilize with their food too, Farm to Tap.  The interesting thing about their location is that is located in the vicinity of the Pearl Brewing Complex, which has been defunct now for many years.  It was only until recently that a company came along, purchased the entire canning complex and repurposed the property for loft apartments and retail shops but still maintain the Pearl identity.  My wife got the Beef Brisket, my daughter has the chicken and I destroyed a Pastrami Rib crusted with a cracked pepper rub…all of the food was excellent and their BBQ sauce was decent with a nice mildly smoked flavor to it.  At the time we went, they had 4 in-house beers on tap, 2 in-house pops (yes, Pop not Soda) and several guest taps…but since I wanted local beers, I grabbed these selections:

After getting blasted by 95 degree heat all day, we decided to hit the hotel and relax for a little while…and thankfully the Embassy Suites by the airport had a bar inside, so I decided to grab a happy hour turd.

Since we were still very tired from the heat and long day, we decided to stay down for dinner that night and ended up at Freetail Brewing for some pizza and beers.

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Freetail Brewing Company

Freetail Brewing Company was started towards the end of 2008 and have since then grown very nicely with a goal of making quality beers, which they have done.  Some of their bottle selections have become some of the best beers made in TX in many different beer styles with options like La Muerta, Old Bat Rastard and Ananke.  Over the past 5 years, they have grown beyond their current locations capacity and are expanding to a new locations dubbed FT2, which will be their production brewery located in downtown San Antonio.  When we arrived, as if on queue, my daughter passed out in the car about 90 seconds before we arrived, so she was cranky and tired when we entered the place.  Unfortunately, I had enough time there to order a pizza, two quick pints and pay the bill…and all within 20 minutes.  The pizza was pretty good and the in-house beers were decent (tonight):

 

Wednesday morning rolled in and we were all still pretty tired from the previous day, plus my wife still had a touch of heat exhaustion.  We were kind of dragging our asses in the morning but had to power our way through the day because we had tickets for several things that we had to do.  After jumping back on the tour bus and looping almost all the way around downtown again, we stopped at the 750 foot Tower of the Americas.  The Tower of the Americas was the corner stone piece of the HemisFair Park, home of the 1968 World’s Fair, and it listed as the second highest free standing structure in the US, second only to the Stratosphere in Las Vegas.

We decided to head back down to the RiverWalk and hit one of the highest rated restaurants in San Antonio, Boudro’s.   Set along the riverwalk, we were able to grab a table right on the riverwalk where my daughter was amused by the birds swimming the riverwalk and waving at all the boats passing by.  While Boudro’s was supposed to be known for their great food, my wife and I left both disappointed in our meals…maybe they are well known for their dinner food.  Anyways, I couldn’t come down to Texas without slamming one of these ‘craft beers’:

After lunch, we headed over to the San Antonio Children’s Museum for a couple of hours to burn some energy off then down the street to San Antonio’s famed Buckhorn Saloon & Museum.  The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum is listed as the oldest running saloon in Texas, dating back to 1881.  It was originally established as a trading post originally for all of the cowboys to blow off steam but then turned into a saloon and house of ill repute.  The interior is loaded with a ton of taxidermy and the largest collection of antlers ever assembled.  For a tourist trap, they actually had a nice tap list of local Texas beers, so I grabbed this one:

After returning to the hotel and the family passing out early on me, I had a little under two hours to get for a couple…and since I was only 10 minutes from Freetail Brewing, I decided to head back there again.

While I was there, I was bullshitting with a couple of guys and it turned out that one guy was opening his brewery sometime by the end of this year.  San Antonio Brewing Company coming soon..plus the guy was really cool about wanting to hear an out of towners perspective on the craft beer scene.  Overall, a really good place to visit with some really good pizza but the house beers were rather disappointing.

 

Thursday morning came and we decided that instead of dragging the four year old all over downtown San Antonio with the craziness of Fiesta, we opted for a two hour drive down to Corpus Christie so that we could hit the beach for the day.  When we got to the shores of North Beach, to my surprise was this fucking beauty…the USS Lexington.

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USS Lexington – Corpus Christi TX

After being at the beach for roughly an hour, the sun broke through the overcast and it was time for a beer, but the only shit that the nearby bar would allow me to leave with was this nasty gem…

During this time, my wife had the realization that her father had served on the Lexington.  As much as I would have loved to tour an air craft carrier, we were nasty from swimming in the Gulf (see BP Oil Rig Spill for more details…), we didn’t think that our daughter would want to take the tour…plus we had to meet some friend out for dinner later that night.

After getting back to out hotel for much needed showers and some quick relaxation time, we headed over to meet up with my Texas trading partner, Chris and his new bride Amanda, at a real San Antonio gem, The Cove.  This place has to be the most diversified business plan in the history of the world…maybe a close second place behind General Electric.  The Cove is comprised of the following entities on the property…a Self Serve Car Wash, Coin Operated Laundry, Ice Cream Parlor, a walk up Food Counter, a music bar, playground, dog park and 50 tap Texas Craft Beer Bar.   Yeah, it was interesting but such a cool set up…after we ate dinner in the front bar (indoors), we headed outside to let the daughter play with the other kids at the playground while the adults drank from the Texas Beer Bar.

 

On Friday, it was my daughters reason for pestering me for the past month…Sea World.  Of course, I had to grab a beer for my theme park tick on Untappd.

Every night between the hours of 5pm-730pm, the hotel we were staying offered up a free happy hour…which included PBR and Killians. Gross indeed, but the hotel bar also had some bottles (that I didnt realize until our last night there) so I decided to grab another Texas turd from the bar…

With the kid and wife passed out and our last night in San Antonio, I decided that I had to sneak back to The Cove for a couple more beers..

Airplane beer, courtesy of Southwest Airlines…

 

I have to say that when we booked this trip, I told the wife to not book anything other than the day to Sea World because I wouldn’t to do things on the fly…after everything was said and done, we did a shit ton of things…and I got to drink a shit ton of good beer.  San Antonio was fun to say the least and a nice craft beer town on the rise.

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Texas Whalez Bro…

Welcome to 2014…the year that I had to start paying for my craft beer trips….errrr, ‘work trips’.   Yes, I know that almost every post recently starts off with me getting laid off and being broke…blah blah blah.  Unfortunately, one thing with my new gig is that it requires a lot more travel in order to make money, so I made trips to Albany, Vermont and Long Island this month with more on the way.  I will skip to the meaty portion of our program and the soft beer porn starts.

Anyways, I have gotten several inquires from several people about why I don’t tick or trade….your answer is that I do.   Since I have officially abandoned that shitty website run by the dickhead Alstrom brothers, I took all of MY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (yes, any posts, reviews or place reviews on BA are considered Intellectual Property of BA…fuck that.)   All of my intellectual property was posted up onto Ratebeer.com and deleted from BA.  Furthermore, I do have a decent sized trade history including BIFs too but my entire profile was deleted from the craft beer Nazis on BA and I haven’t posted them up on here yet (Im lazy…).   Currently, I am pretty much on a Trading Hiatus for several reasons….1) ISO forums are laughable these days as you can’t really make a trade without it being lopsided or including whales….2) I am sick of boxes getting lost en route….3) I am tired of douchebags who don’t know how to trade….4) I am really trying to scale back the cellar.     But from this disasterpiece of craft beer enlightenment comes the phoenix rising from the ashes as I have kept several trading relationships going with traders that I trust and am opening up the cellar to one and all.  Gone are the days of saving bottles for that special occasion that will never come….gone are the days of hoarding bottles to share with a specific person, whom I cant seem to get a tasting going with….beer sharing should be free and open…and without restraints.    Rant over…here is the purpose of this post…

Top 5 Beer Reviews for January (yes, I realize that there are 9 but that’s how it ended up):

The 5 Beer Reviews that made me regret the start of 2014 already:

  • Flying Bison Holiday Ale ~ Scotch Ale ~ 3.1 /5 Rating
  • Sam Adams Boston Lager ~ Amber / Vienna Lager~ 3.1 /5 Rating
  • Molson Rickards White Ale ~ Witbier ~ 2.7 /5 Rating
  • Flying Bison Rusty Chain ~ Amber Ale ~ 2.5  /5 Rating
  • Molson Rickards Red ~ Amber / Vienna Lager ~ 2.2 /5 Rating  (totally infected….)
  • And the beverage that made me regret going to Canada was Thornbury Village Premium Apple Cider  ~ Cider ~ 1.6 /5 Rating

Several things to note here….

1)   Funky Buddha was on top for the second straight month

2)   Even though I have pulled a 180 0n Bruery and now think they can suck it, two of their beers made the Top 5 list this month (okay…top 9 again)

3)   Bruery Bois comes in 4 versions, the base and three different barrel aged versions.  I happened to bring the 3 barreled versions for a side by side and Brandy was the best but Ratebeer will only list one version for some reason.  Dumb!  They have three different UPC codes for gods sake.

4)   Flying Bison and Rickards both had two beers each on the Bottom 5 (err….6) this month…but I am sure they make a fine beer.   (muhahahahahaha)

…with that said, more travelling in store for February, more bottles to be cracked, more pints to be drained.  Peace.

…if you read the title and kept reading this thread, well then that is on you.  You’ve been warned!!!

A quick recap for myself in the craft beer genre

As all of my friends know that I am a craft beer ticker.  A ticker is someone who rates every beer that they have tried as they go, regardless of style, preference or quality.  A rating can be anything from a quick 1 to 5 score (5 being the highest) up to a full review with full descriptions of appearance, nose, taste and mouthfeel.  Unfortunately, I do not have a total for beer reviews for 2013 because I dumped all my information from Beer Advocate to Rate Beer then blew up my BA account.  If I were to take an educated guess, it would have to be upwards over 700 different reviews and with that being said, lets check out the best of the best from last year.

The Merc Top 20 of 2013:

20.   Deschutes Brewery Black Butte XXIV ~ American Porter ~ 4.44 /5 Rating

19.    Bruery Sour in the Rye with Kumquats ~ American Wild Ale ~ 4.44 /5 Rating

18.    Upright Brewing Four Play ~ Saison / Farmhouse Ale ~ 4.45 /5 Rating

17.    Trappistes Rochefort 8 ~ Belgian Strong Dark Ale ~ 4.46 /5 Rating

16.    Almanac Beer Co. Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine ~ 4.46 /5 Rating

15.    Founders CBS Imperial Stout ~ American Double / Imperial Stout ~ 4.48 /5 Rating

14.    Hoppin’ Frog Bairille Aois BORIS ~ Russian Imperial Stout ~ 4.48 /5 Rating

13.    Cantillon Fou Foune ~ Lambic – Fruit ~ 4.48 /5 Rating

12.    Cigar City Hunahpu Imperial Stout ~ American Double / Imperial Stout ~ 4.49 /5 Rating

11.    Fat Heads Brewing IBUsive ~ American Double / Imperial IPA ~ 4.49 /5 Rating

10.   The Ale Apothacary Sahati ~ Sahti ~ 4.50 /5 Rating

9.     Live Oak Brewing Hefeweizen ~ Hefeweizen ~ 4.50 /5 Rating   (thanks Chris)

8.     Bruery Preservation Series: Or Xata ~ American Blonde Ale ~ 4.50 /5 Rating

7.     Bruery Oude Tart with Cherries ~ American Wild Ale ~ 4.50 /5 Rating

6.     Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze (batch 1) ~ American Wild Ale ~ 4.54 /5 Rating   (thanks Nate)

5.     Cascade Brewing Vlad the Imp Ale ~ American Wild Ale ~ 4.60 /5 Rating

4.     Funky Buddha Veruca Snozzberry Gose ~ Gose ~ 4.60 /5 Rating   (thanks Miami Mike)

3.     VooDoo Brewing Black Magick Pappy Van Winkle ~ American Double / Imperial Stout ~ 4.61 /5 Rating  (thanks Tom)

2.     Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek (2003) ~ Lambic – Fruit ~ 4.70 /5 Rating   (thanks Tom?)

and the Top Rated Merc Beer for 2013 was….Trappistes Rochefort 10 ~ Quadruple ~ 4.75 /Rating

Honorable Mention: Funky Buddha Passion Fruit Berliner

You will notice some names next to some of the beers listed above, that is just an appreciation to the people that shared or gathered those beers.  One great thing about the craft beer community is that most people will get really outstanding or rare beers not only to try them but to also share them with other people.  It is not all about a bunch of guys getting together to get drunk and make fools of themselves, its more of a profound brotherhood.

Now it is time for the 2nd annual installment of “The Merc-y Awards” (pronounced Merk-ee)

Favorite New Breweries Visited in 2013:

  1. Crooked Stave Artisan Beers ~ Denver Colorado
  2. Hoppin’ Frog Brewery ~ Akron Ohio
  3. New Belgium Brewing ~ Boulder Colorado

Honorable Mention: Voodoo Brewing Company ~ Meadville Pennsylvania

Favorite New Brewpubs Visited in 2013:

  1. NoDa Brewing Company ~ Charlotte North Carolina
  2. Tired Hands Brewing Brewing ~ Ardmore Pennsylvania
  3. Olde Mecklenburg Brewery ~ Charlotte North Carolina

Honorable Mention: Market Garden Brewing ~ Cleveland Ohio

Favorite Beers of 2013 (regardless of review or rating, this is more of preference):

  1. Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek
  2. DESTIHL Saint Dekkera Reserve Sour Raspberry/Strawberry Ale
  3. Funky Buddha Veruca Snozzberry Gose

Honorable Mention: Bruery Oude Tart with Cherries

Biggest Surprises of 2013 (regardless of review or rating, more of a surprise because I usually don’t like the style):

  1. Bruery Or Xata
  2. New Glarus Strawberry Rhubarb
  3. Perennial Barrel Aged Abraxas

Honorable Mention: Buffalo Bayou Gingerbread Stout

Here is to a healthy and great drinking 2014 (hopefully, I get a real job soon…).  Prost!

The second day in Denver started off much like the previous day, getting up way too early and having way too little sleep.  My bunkmate for the evening keeps off hours for his work schedule and no matter how drunk or hungover that morning, he was still up at 730am that morning.  Being the light sleeper that I am, as soon as he got up out of bed, my eyes were wide open (and so was the head pounding).  I decided that after laying awake for 20 minutes, it was time to hop out of bed, slam down mad amounts of water then go out for a nice morning jog??   53 degrees outside, sidewalks wide open, homeless people still sleeping…a perfect time to go out for a stroll around downtown Denver.  My goal was to run to Great Divide…

…down to Coors Field then back to the hotel.  The only problem with that plan was I wasn’t 100% sure where Great Divide was, so I over shot it by 4 blocks.  Plus, just two blocks from Great Divide is the Salvation Army and a soup kitchen, so there were plenty of street people about on the sidewalks.  Hungover and off the beaten path, I just decided to do an about face and headed back to the hotel.  2.4 miles in roughly 22 minutes wasn’t bad considering how bad my head was still a little fuzzy.

After a large breakfast, we decided to head over to the Colorado Convention Center so we could wait amongst the masses of beer crazed nerds.  As we anxiously awaited the doors to open, there was plenty of entertainment with the people watching.  As noon approached, the line erupts into a roar and what begins as a muddled mess of people pushing the line forward, quickly turns into a nice brisk pace getting through security, obtaining bracelets and our glass for the afternoon.

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I do not know if I can accurately describe the feeling when you enter the main hall of the convention center but once you obtain your glass, whatever plan of attack you had prepared is now gone.  Basically, it was a mad scramble for the three of us in our party to decide what beer we wanted the most…and the winner was…. Bruery Sour in the Rye with Peaches.   But fear not, it was not the only beer of the afternoon, there were definitely plenty more in store…(in order of rating, 4 stars)

 

Four Star Beers…

  1. Bruery Sour in the Rye with Peaches
  2. DESTIHL Saint Dekkera Reserve Sour
  3. Russian River Framboise for a Cure
  4. Deschutes Jubelale 2012
  5. Avery Ross’s’s’ Melange
  6. New Glarus Strawberry Rhubarb
  7. Live Oak Brewing Hefeweizen
  8. Buffalo Bayou Gingerbread Stout
  9. Freetail Ananke
  10. Bear Republic Tartare
  11. DESTIHL Saint Dekkera Reserve Flanders
  12. DESTIHL Saint Dekkera Reserve Sour Raspberry/Strawberry Ale
  13. Nebraska Barrel Aged Hop God
  14. The Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze
  15. Olde Hickory Event Horizon
  16. Fat Heads IBUsive
  17. Spring House Kerplunk! Chocolate Imperial Stout
  18. Peekskill Awesome Sauce
  19. Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Coffee Porter
  20. Funky Buddha Passion Fruit Berliner
  21. Deschutes Bellmore Sour Quad

 

Three Star Beers…

  1. Buffalo Bayou Figaro Figaro Figaro Fiiigaro
  2. DESTIHL Saint Dekkera Reserve Belgian Style Lambic
  3. 7venth Sun Mangrove Double IPA
  4. Blackberry Farm Classic Saison
  5. New Belgium Coconut Curry Hefeweizen
  6. Crossroads Outrage IPA
  7. Great Basin Bitchin’ Berry
  8. Sweetwater Dank Tank Price is Wrong
  9. Round Guys Saison du Pomme
  10. Sweetwater LowRYEder
  11. Swamp Head Saison du Swamp Brettanomyces
  12. Smuttynose Straw-Barb Short Weiss
  13. Forest & Main Solaire Reserve
  14. Crossroads Maggie’s Farmhouse Ale
  15. Bell’s Sparkleberry Ale
  16. Fat Heads Alpenglow
  17. Scratch Carrot Ginger Saison
  18. Freetail Salado Kriek
  19. New Holland Blue Sunday
  20. Austin Beerworks Heavy Machinery Belgian IPA
  21. Funky Buddha No Crusts
  22. New Glarus Serendipity
  23. Trinity Brewing 7 Day Sour
  24. Surly Furious
  25. Kuhnhenn DRIPA Double Rice IPA
  26. Avery Thensaurium
  27. Listermann/Triple Digit Brewing Nutcase Peanut Butter Porter
  28. Dad & Dudes Prickly in Pink
  29. Squatters and Wasatch Squatters Hop Rising
  30. Dad & Dudes Rum, Forrest! Rum!
  31. Goose Island Kisetsu
  32. Goose Island Sofie
  33. Goose Island Sofie Paradisi
  34. Squatters and Wasatch Squatters Hell’s Keep

 

Two Star Beers…

  1. Dad & Dudes Watermelon Basil Wheat
  2. CAUTION: Brewing Hippity Hops Chrysanthemum
  3. Flossmoor Berliner Weisse
  4. Blue Mountain Spooky
  5. Gravity Brewing Orange Blossom Saison
  6. 7venth Sun Brewing Graffiti Orange
  7. Cigar City Cucumber Saison

Now some might wonder why I have had so many great beers at my fingertips but landed on some beers that no one has ever heard.   From time to time, you find yourself wondering through a section, just checking out breweries and you see one that sounds interesting…so you stop and sample it on the way to the next stop.  Also, you may also notice several breweries where there are multiple samples from…well, that is because after waiting in line (for more than several minutes), it is easy to step up, grab a quick sample, slam it, step down about two feet then ask someone else for a sample from the same brewery.  I am not necessarily camping in front of the brewery, thus blocking other thirsty beer nerds, just sampling on the move.

One thing (that is actually a good thing) is that the people pouring the beer are very religious of only pouring the beer samples to the one ounce pour line on the glass.  When you are drinking 50+ samples of mostly high ABV beers, you will come to appreciate them doing their job properly.  The problem is that towards the end of the brewers reserve session, they are trying to empty remaining kegs and leftover pitchers towards the end…so that one ounce pour may turn into a full 4-5oz fill.

Another cool thing about the beer festival, is that there are plenty of guys from the industry to talk to.  Most brewers, especially the smaller ones love to talk about their beers.  Sometimes, you even get to see old friends reunite (and sporting their hardware)…

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(I tried to get them to say FUCK ITHACA instead of the traditional CHEESE but Chief laughed hard, doubling over with Hutch turning away red face… so I had to retake another picture).  (also, the picture is not blurry, this is just what your vision looks likes after 4 hours of solid drinking).

To be concluded…

It has been a rough week to say the least between my cell phone crapping out for 4 days, my brand new dishwasher crapping out and someone hacked into my paypal account and drained it (plus my bank account).  If there was ever a time in need of a good beer, it has been this week for sure.  Unfortunately, I am on beer lock down this week because of the Buffalo Zombie Mud Run this week.

Although I have listed that I am on trading hiatus, it seems ironic that I still have trades going on.  Here are some of the completion of some of those trades:

From BA Itsthepleats…

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From BA SDStoneEnthusiast…

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For anyone who is curious about trading or looking into it for the future, here is a bit of free advice…try to avoid sending Pale Ales and IPAs as extras unless someone really wants them.  Pale Ales and IPAs do have a shelf life before the hop character starts to fade away, especially after three months.  (see Rule #9 on My Trading Etiquette on my Beer Advocate profile)  I do not want to sound ungrateful but… (here comes the ungrateful part) but I really don’t have a need for an IPA that was canned on 6-4-13.

Three days until the Buffalo Zombie Mud Run 🙂

After the Memorial Day Weekend tasting , I have really slowed down on the drinking so that I could put more of my focus on losing some of this weight that has been apart of my BeerAdvocate build for so long now.  Well, since I have started this little endeavor, I have dropped 10 pounds over the past month and a half.  But with the good of losing weight, also comes the bad of not reviewing as many beers as I normally do.  I have to go back and figure it out but I was reviewing roughly 55-60 new beers per month but since I have been on this weight loss kick, that number has dramatically fallen to about 35-40.  I know, its not like I gave up drinking altogether but that is a serious fall off for a ticker like me.  Anyways, lets get to the tops (and bottoms of the month)…

Top 5 Beer Reviews for June:

 

The 5 Beer Reviews that somehow made it into my mouth during June:

  • The Bruery Provisions Series: Snicklefritz ~ Belgian Strong Pale Ale ~ 3.58 /5 Rating
  • ShawneeCraft Brewing Sub Rosa ~ Quadruple ~ 3.55 /5 Rating
  • Free Will Brewing Napoleon Sour Farmhouse Ale ~ Saison / Farmhouse Ale ~ 3.34 /5 Rating
  • Rohrbach Brewing Gimme Shelter ESB ~ Extra Special / Strong Bitter ESB ~ 3.26 /5 Rating
  • And the beer that makes me want to avoid Troy NY altogether was Browns Brewing Troyalty Series #1: Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout ~ American Double / Imperial Stout ~ 2.90 /5 Rating

When a Loon can only make the #4 spot for the month, it still isn’t a bad month… but, I promise to drink more in July…mainly because I have several beer hauls coming in over the next week and the big Buffalo BA summer tasting coming up next weekend.  Details to come…

Okay, so it is exactly all California loving in this box but it is pretty damn close and I will forgive those ‘other’ bottles.  For the record, I am a Bruery Reserve Society member and as part of my allocations that come out from time to time, it also the opportunity to purchase other releases of their beer or additional bottles of their RS member allocations.  My good friend Clarky has been a great trading partner of mine for what seems like forever now and is always kind enough to pick up my bottles from the Bruery and send them to me…along with some of these other California Shelf Turds.

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From Left to Right (not including the doubles on the far right):

  • Bruery Mrs. Stoutfire
  • Bruery Saison Tonnellerie
  • Bruery Chocolate Rain (batch 3)
  • New Belgium La Folie
  • Russian River Pliny the Elder
  • Drie Fonteinen (3F) Zwet.be
  • Cantillon Saint Lamvinus
  • Bruery Imperial Lokael Red
  • Prairie Artisan Prairie Gold

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  • Lost Abbey Angel’s Share Bourbon Barrel
  • Lost Abbey Cuvee de Tomee
  • Lost Abbey Red Poppy

..the bottle of Cantillon Saint Lamnivus has been a Top Want for a long time now so I am super stoked to bury it in the basement and never drink it, just like I do with a lot of my beers.  LOL.

I have been trying to be more conscious about my cellar recently and it seems like it is getting to the tipping point now.  Although I have cut back on my bottle purchases, mainly because of the cost of the Bruery bottles and I want to start saving money, it seems that it keeps growing and growing.  Couple that with the two boxes I am getting from my Beer Advocate Sours for Dummies BIF (beer it forward) and the many boxes that I will soon be receiving from splitting the top prize from the Beer Advocate Frozen Whales Fantasy Hockey BIF (fuck you Erik Karlson and your empty netter assist in the last minute of the last game of the regular season) and my cellar is going to be on overflow.

Tasting anyone???   Well, Memorial Day is around the corner and the tasting that comes with it.