Archive for May, 2008

Hip-Hop BIF – Incoming

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

I received the incoming leg of a new BIF I am in yesterday, the Hip-Hop BIF.

Hip Hop BIF 1

This BIFs theme, for lack of a better term, was hoppy beers and hip-hop music. Each person was to ship at least 144oz of hoppy beer and a hip-hop mix CD. I’m all about hoppy beers and I like some hip-hop (1990 and earlier preferred), so I decided to take a gamble on the music in order to get some hoppy love, and it was totally worth it. This is the 214oz of hoppy goodness wrapped up in 13 beers I received:

Boulevard – Double-Wide IPA – 750ml
Southern Tier – Back Burner Barleywine – 22oz
Bear Republic – Hop Rod Rye – 22oz
Sierra Nevada – Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop Ale – 24oz
Terrapin – Big Hoppy Monster 2007 – 12oz
Bell’s – HopSlam – 12oz
Samuel Adams – Hallertau Imperial Pilsner – 12oz
Troegs – Nugget Nectar – 12oz
Tyranena – Hop Whore IIPA – 12oz
Surly – Furious – 16oz
Surly – Cynicale – 16oz
Surly – Surly Fest – 16oz
Surly – Bitter Brewer – 16oz

And this is what was on the CD, named (by him) “Hip Hop BIF – PitMonkey’s Pretty Lame Hip Hop CD”:

The Gourds – Gin and Juice
The Go! Team – Grip Like a Vice
50 Cent feat Snoop Dogg, Don Magic Juan – P.I.M.P (RMX)
Sultana Erkez – Big City
Busta Rhymes – Turn It Up
Everlast – Get Down
The Go! Team and Chuck D – Flashlight Fight
Wookiefoot – Nothing
Kid Rock – Roving Ganster (rollin)
Beastie Boys – High Plains Drifter
RATM and Cypress Hill – How I Could Just Kill a Man (live)
Wookiefoot – John Henry
Big Tymers – Oh yeah
Sultana erkez – Pek Yaman
Beck – Hotwax
Wookiefoot – Can’t Get a Job

Really, for me, this isn’t all that bad of a hip-hop CD. Sure, I don’t know half the songs, but I do know half the artists and none of them really fall into the hip-hop style I don’t like. So it looks like I have some new music to listen to. I should be sending out my leg Monday or Tuesday and I’ll put up another post of what goes out.

BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II Issue IV

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Looks like I skipped a post about Volume II Issue III and all the other magazines I typically read, oh well, I’m sure no one was missing them.

BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II Issue IV

I freakin’ love this cover this issue of BeerAdvocate magazine, headless dolls on top of tap handles with freaky lighting – shweet! This magazine actually came out like a month ago, I just refound it in the back seat of my car, so I’m really just going to hop through it more than anything else. Great 9 Steps to Beerdom article on Carol Stoudt, the “godmother of brewing” who founded Stoudt’s Brewing Company and is one one of their top brewers. Actually, I got to meet her at the Savor event I just went to, totally cool person. There was an interesting perspective in the Advocate This article claiming that there should be a standard for dating for beer freshness. Beer is essentially a food, thus should be properly dated for best freshness, like every other food. I think they concluded that the easiest would be a “packaged on date” which would then inform the consumer of how fresh/old  the product is and an informed consumed can make informed decisions. In the Beer Destinations article they focused on Washington D.C., I wish I would have remembered that before my trip last weekend, oh well. And the Last Call article written by Tony Magee owner of the Lagunitas Brewing Company was,…detached. It was actually a fun read, and way bizarre, but now I can understand even more their Frank Zappa tribute beers and the influences which exist.


Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

(savor) an american craft beer & food experience, may 16-17, 2008, andrew w. mellon auditorium, washington d.c.

(savor) an american craft beer & food experience

So this past weekend (May 16 & 17, 2008) was the first ever Savor beer and food event presented by the Brewers Association. Robert and I attended the Saturday evening event (6:30-10:00PM) held at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington D.C. To say this event was unique is not enough. To say this event was unlike anything I have ever attended is at least the truth. To say that this event was a great time, well, that’s what I’m going to say.

I had heard about this event like six months ago or so and really started to try and find a partner in crime about two months ago. It took until about two weeks before the event for me to convince someone to go, and I bet Robert doesn’t regret it one bit. This event was to my knowledge the largest craft beer and food pairing event of its kind. They paired approximately 48 different foods with 96 different beers. The idea was to show that not only is beer as good as wine for food pairings, but it may be actually better with all of the diversity that has arisen in the past 20 years or so in the craft beer movement. Actually, it was more than that, there was more of a ‘shock and awe’ factor involved: dress was business casual, the location was an old auditorium with many steps and columns, much like the Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy album, the decor was dazzling, the representatives were top-notch, owners, head-brewers, Brewer Association top members, the food was way more gourmet than pretzels and waffles, and the beers were only the best in all of America. It was one of those ‘Wow’ moments when you first walked in and it never really got dull.

Hyatt Hotel Psycho Wubbie & Bri-Bri Houses of the Holy

Throughout the weekend during the event the Brewers Association put together small (100 people) demonstrations and seminars on the different attributes that the craft beer community is making. We were able to attend the He Said Beer, She Said Wine: A Debate on Food Pairings with Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Marnie Olds a well established sommelier. It was actually a very fun and well thought out discussion, they offered us three small food selections each paired with a beer and a wine. First was chips and spicy salsa which was paired with Stone Smoked Porter and Riesling Loosen “Dr. L”, the beer won this round by crowd vote. Second was aged farmhouse cheddar cheese which was paired with Rogue Morimoto Soba Ale and Cabernet Sauvignon Concha Y Toro “Marques de Casa Concha”, the wine won this round. And third and finally was Askinosie dark chocolate which was paired with Dogfish Head World Wide Stout and Banfi “Rosa Regale” Brachetto d’Acqui, the beer won this round giving the night to beer. Sam and Marnie have done similar beer and wine pairing/competitions 22 times, and now beer has won 11 and wine 11, interesting. They both really had a lot to say on the subject, and have a great book available too.

He Said Beer, She Said Wine Marnie Sam Robert Last Call

Some of my favorite beers, and/or foods from the night that I can remember were: New Holland Brewing Company’s Dragon Milk Oak Aged Ale paired with Maytag Blue Cheese, New Albanian Brewing Company’s Thunderfoot Oak Aged Cherry Imperial Stout, Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey’s Judgment Day Abbey Ale and Veritas 003, Avery Brewing Company’s Fifteen (a farmhouse ale brewed with Brett) paired with Christopher Elbow Venezuelan Spiced Artisan Chocolates, Deschutes Brewer’s Obsidian Stout paired with Blue Cheese and Walnut Shortbread Rounds, Foothills Brewing’s Hoppyum IPA and Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout paired with Crostini of Figs and Prosciutto, Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Elder and Supplication, Stone Brewing Co.’s Ruination IPA paired with Peking Duck Purses, and of course Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s Palo Santo Marron and two versions of World Wide Stout (’06 &’07). The biggest disappointment was 21st Amendment’s Watermelon Wheat paired with Strawberry Chicken Salad, the beer was underwhelming and the salad almost made me sick, but really the only disappointment I can remember. To say that it was generally overwhelming in the best way possible isn’t saying enough.

My brother Dave also helped me start a really useful Google Map which helped me pin-point all of the local beer spots we may want to check out while we were in the area and their relationship from our hotel and the event. In addition to Savor we also stopped at RFD (a beer bar) and Capitol City Brewing Company (a brewpub), both were pretty cool and very close to the hotel.

Frootid the Wheat

Monday, May 19th, 2008

So I am a little behind, but it doesn’t really matter, because I wasn’t keeping a schedule!

Frootid the Wheat

So I fruited the Wheat Beer last Wednesday. It went well enough I suppose. You can see above the awesome color purple it was for the first two gallons or so, now it just looks like a muddy beer – yum! I used all four of the Naked Juices mentioned below, it maybe a little over kill, but whatever. The funny thing is I hadn’t tried the juices before I bought them I was just going from the raw ingredients and my past knowledge of them. Well of course I had to taste each in a sample cup before I added it to the fermenter and yum-my. Both the juices were banging, but in all honesty if I would have tasted them first, it would have been four bottles of the pomegranate blueberry juice, hands down. Over the past week there has been a mild secondary fermentation, but nothing physically violent. I’m tempted to move the fruited version of the wheat to a third fermenter, more to help remove it from the fruit pulp before transferring to keg than anything else. Tentatively the two wheat beers are being called Frootid “the Wheat” and Naked (the plain wheat, you know the one without the Naked Juices, get it? McCloud? 😈 )

Also, since I was out of secondary fermenters at the time of the wheat transfer, I had to transfer two beers into kegs.

 Fool’s Gold Kegging

So the Fool’s Gold and the Amber Ale got transfered into my last two kegs. Wait a minute, he doesn’t even have my kegerator yet and he’s out of kegs? And he’s already thinking of buying more kegs? Yup. Yeah, even with interruptions, I was able to clean and sanitize two kegs and transfer two beers and soak two carboys in less than two hours. I would have never have been able to even bottle one batch of beer in two hours. OK, maybe if the bottles were already ready, but that’s it. So right now I have four kegs of homebrew downstairs ready to go, three carboys awaiting kegs, and enough ingredients lined up for two more batches. I need to start drinking!

Naked Wheat

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Probably in the next couple days I’ll be transferring my wheat beers over to secondary fermenters, and you know what that means right, fruit!?

Naked Wheat

Well, this time I am taking a different approach than I have in the past. Instead of actually adding canned fruit, or fruit puree, or whole fruit – this time I will be adding 100% fruit juice. Yeah, I know adding real fruit to the fermenter feels right, but I figured that really the juice is what’s going to do all of the work, so since I don’t have a juicer, it was time to find a source I was comfortable with. I was at the Newark Co-Op today and came across these “fresh” juices by a company called Naked Juice. Basically Naked Juice is just that, juice. Sure they made some that aren’t just juice, they have added vitamins and proteins and little helper-outers, but the ones that I chose were literally just juice. The only slight problem I could find with the juice was that it was flash pasteurized, so that could lend to a slight pectin haze, but really it’s a wheat beer – who cares. But on a positive note, because of the flash pasteurization, I know I won’t be adding any funky bugs either. Other than that, there is no preservatives, or additives, or extra sugar, or anything – nice.

The two juices I’m choosing to blend are Pomegranate Blueberry and Plentiful Pomegranate (which is a pomegranate raspberry blend). So I suppose it’ll then be a Pomegranate/Blueberry/Raspberry Wheat beer, but I think I’ll stick with just calling it a Pomegranate Wheat. I think Saranac makes a Pomegranate Wheat now that I think of it, oh well. According to the bottles each bottle contains at least a pound of fruit, so you figure I’m working with the potential of four pounds of fruit. The fruits and quantities listed on the bottles (all four together) break down like this: 13 pomegranates, 22 raspberries, 46 blueberries, 1 apple, and “white and red grapes for good measure”. Sounds good to me.

I may need to go and buy a wheat beer that I am guessing ours will be similar to, the un-fruited wheat that is, like Harpoon UFO or Magic Hat Circus Boy and do a little fruit juice testing on a sample before I start dumping away in the fermenter. Or not. We’ll see.

Draw Yourself as a Teen

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

This isn’t my normal kind of thing, but it grabbed my attention all the same, and well…yeah.

Bri 3 of Them

Anyway, I was directed to this website and read the challenge: draw yourself as a teen. I’m not claiming to be a great drawer by any means, but I like to draw and used to do it all the time. I flipped through a couple people’s links (there are over 350 of them as of now) and laughed (in a good way) at what I saw and thought ‘I can do that.’ So I thought back to being a teen and all the different levels of Bri-Bri there were, so I kind of chose the book-end teen years (13 & 18) and now (30). Hopefully you guys will get a giggle out of this and maybe even someone else will give it ago.

Prohibition Paper

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

So, I found an old 3.5″ disk the other day that was labeled with a bunch of my old class coursed from the University of Delaware.

 Prescription Alcohol

These were from like 2001-2002 and saved in some wacky WordPerfect file format that I couldn’t get to open. Well, with the help of my brother he open up what was my Freshman English “term” paper which happened to be on Prohibition and how I tried to show how it was a failure. It’s not an awesome paper, but I share it with you all the same. I honestly remember getting an ‘A’ on the paper, though I think the teacher chewed it apart. She was a hottie young red-headed student-teacher who I think thought we were all idiots – whatever. Anyway, here it is in a PDF format, read it if your interested, don’t if your not.

2008 Bock Fest

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

So today was the Sly Fox Bock Fest and Goat Race – Rock the Goat!

Grundles McFister?

I think the winning goat’s name this year was Jasper, so that would make it the Jasper Maibock that was tapped at the peak of the Bock Fest this year. Good things that Sly Fox did this year: Put up some large tents (30’x60′, two of them) for shade and protection from rain (which it didn’t), and separate the food and beer lines. Bad things that Sly Fox still has not learned: They need MORE taps, period. It is really weak to get a beer and think, ‘I guess I should get back in line, because by the time I get back to the front I’ll be done this beer.’ Saw a bunch of people up there again this year, but still missed a couple of the usual suspects, oh well.

 Oompa-pa-pa Oompa-pa-pa Oompa-pa-pa - - pa!

Freakin’ goat races, a German Oompa Band, more Bock beer than you can shake a stick at – where else could you be besides Sly Fox Brewery in Phoenixville, PA in May.