I've been away and I haven't been posting as much as I should. I'm trying to change that. Over the past year I have found that I enjoy drinking and finding the beer more than I enjoy writing about it. The past year has brought some awesome beers to my life. I am also writing a post about my beer adventure in Boston, Vermont and Chicago. Of all times of the year to visit those places I visited Boston during a record snow storm and Chicago when the high was 3 degrees. I don't regret the trip at all. I made some awesome grabs in those cities. I look forward to returning soon.
In the meantime check back often as I update beer pages with my latest tastings and the conclusion of my hop finder adventure.
Where do I begin? I found myself with a large about of time to kill while I was in Seattle hanging out with my girlfriend. She was heading out of town on a business trip for two days and I didn't want to sit at her house alone for that time. Fortunately, I have companion passes on Alaska airlines and I thought about all the places I could go for two in half days. The possibilities were endless. I had the entire lower 48, plus Hawaii, Alaska and Mexico. I was in need of an adventure and decided this would be the perfect time to take one.
I had several days to make a decision and when I let my girlfriend know what I had decided she said I was crazy. Boston, Vermont, and Chicago! I exclaimed very proudly to her. You're absolutely crazy was her reply to my proclamation. Who the hell wants to be in Boston right now after their record snow fall? I did. I thought. I wouldn't be in Boston for the entire time though. I was going there strictly to stay one night, get a rental car and head to Vermont in search of the Heady Topper, Fiddlehead and Maine Brewing. I also discovered while mapping out my trip that Magic Hat was along the route. Why the hell not I thought. After my trip to Vermont I would head back down to Boston for the night and fly out to Chicago the next day in search of Zombie Dust, Daisy Cutter and Abrasive Ale. Any other beer would be a bonus.
Day 1/2: The beauty and curse of being a companion flyer is that you can anywhere but you fly standby on all of your trips. No seat is ever guaranteed. You are at the mercy of the flying Gods when it comes to getting a seat to your destination. I arrived at SeaTac nervous and excited about my adventure. My girlfriend wished my good luck as she dropped me off laughing about what I had gotten myself into. The redeye to Boston, after another massive snow storm, was full. I was fucking nervous and confused. Who the hell wants to go to Boston besides me? Apparently about 161 other people. As the flight boarded and my name remained on the reader board my hopes of getting the Heady Topper were slowly falling. I would have to rearrange my trip and possibly head to Chicago first and then to Boston. I knew once I was on the plane everything else would fall into place. Did I mention that I had no rental car in Boston because I wasn't sure if I would make the flight. Today's technology is the best. You can book anything, anytime and anywhere. I just needed that flight. I paced some more trying to rearrange everything in my head if I didn't make the flight. Passenger Wells, I heard above my thoughts. Jackpot! I was on my way to Boston.
Day 1: I landed in Boston around 6am on Tuesday morning. I had booked my air bnb in Cambridge. David, the owner of the loft apartment, was nice enough to let me check in early before I headed to Burlington, VT which was 3.5 hours away. After getting my bags I found a bench and proceeded to search Priceline for a rental car. They had me cornered. All the bids I placed they weren't taking given the time that I needed to pick up the car. I conceded that I wouldn't get the car for less than $42 a day at the hour that I needed it. Boston was cold and the snow was piled high. I was happy that the roads were clear and everyone was getting around just fine.
I arrived at my loft apartment in Cambridge. David met me outside and was trying to direct me on how to park. Anyone that has ever been to Boston knows that street parking is a premium and that you shouldn't drive if you don't have to anyway. I was headed to Vermont so I had to have the stupid car. He pointed to the parking spot that I was to park in. I consider myself a fairly savvy parallell parking guru. Not today! I had to park in between two snow hills and had to make sure that I didn't hit the cars, buried in snow, as I "punched" the car into the spot. After several failed attempts and blocking the roadway, of course it was a one way, David offered to park the car. He made 4 quick moves, bounced the car off of the two snow mounds and the car was perfectly parked. All I could think was how the hell am I going to get this thing out? I smiled and thanked him. He showed me up to my room. Three flights later I made it into the room and settled in. My plan for getting in at least a two hour nap before heading up was gone. I sat on the edge of the bed, and once again looked at my notes for my adventure. Thirty minutes would do. Around 9:30am I woke up and got dressed and ready to head out.
I came outside to find David sitting in his car. I smiled and we talked briefly. He asked if I would like for him to get the car out of the spot. He's a mind reader. Yes! I exclaimed. He laughed and in two quick moves the car was out of the spot and waiting for me. I hopped in and drove away smiling about what was waiting for me.
My girlfriend sent me this article. I pictured her in my head agreeing with every single fact, yes FACT, about dating a beer geek.
Please feel free to add anymore to the list in the comments below.
Matt Zajechowski and his team over at Digital Third Coast Marketing brought an interesting study to my attention done at Kendall College. A study that shows the breakdown of the influence of craft beer on baby boomers and millenials and the beer industry itself. The whole reason I started my beer blog because I want people to know that there is so much more to beer than fizzy and yellow. Craft beer comes in different colors, alcohol content, IBUs, weight (heavy versues a lighter beer), and some are seasonal. You can't get the same beers all year round. I, for one, am looking forward to trying to get my hands on the Dark Lord in the spring. Bigger doesn't always mean better. Faking a craft beer doesn't get it done either. You know which ones I'm talking about. As many know some of the best beers in the country and world are produced by the smaller craft breweries. If you like your fizzy yellow beer then by all means keep drinking it and stop reading. But, those of us who enjoy substance and flavor should keep reading. You should also check out my beer reviews page to see my obsession with IPA beers.
Kendall College study courtesy of Matt.
Consumers are more curious about craft beer than they ever have before. Consumer’s curiosity has lead to increased sales and growth within the industry over the past decade. This growth trend within the craft beer industry is one that both faculty and students at Kendall College were excited to study and learn more about. Who wouldn’t want to learn more about craft beer as a college student? John Laloganes and Phil Mott, both Assistant Professors within the Kendall College hospitality program along with their students looked into many aspects within the growth of the craft beer industry. Their insight and advice resulted in the creation of this infographic. This was designed to showcase the knowledge of the faculty and students at Kendall College, as well as to document the potential impact and growth of the craft beer industry as a whole. Some of the more interesting findings in the craft beer infographic can be seen below:
People are always pairing craft beers with cheeses and food. How about pairing craft beers with music. When I think of a certain beer certain songs seem appropriate for that beer. As ecletic as my taste is in beers so is my taste in music. You may find some Metalica and Nine Inch Nails on here alongside the Temptations and Robin Thicke. I drink whatever feels good to the soul and palate the said can be said about my music. Whatever evokes a certain mood in me or is good in the moment I am listening to it. This will be a fun social experiment to see what you guys come up with me. Send me your suggestions on any that are listed and any beers that are not here. I am looking to make this a monthly adventure into the pairing of beer and music.
Metalica, Enter the Sandman: Arrogant Bastard
Robin Thicke, It's in the Morning: Founders Breakfast Stout
Maxwell, A little Sumthin' Sumthin': Lagunitas A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale
Maroon 5, Sunday Morning: Pyramid Apricot Ale
Toby Keith, Red solo cup: Boulevard Double Wide IPA
Alanis Morissette, I'm a Bitch: Bitter Bitch Imperial IPA
This debate is fucking stupid I have decided. I engaged in it briefly but I realized I don't give a shit. Give me a tulip, a pint, a pilsner, a flute, a chalice or even a red solo cup. Ok, the solo cup is pushing it but you see my point. As long as the beer is cold, has the proper head and is an India Pale Ale I. DON'T. CARE.
In all of my beer drinking no matter the glass it has tasted all the same. No glass has provided more aroma or taste versus the other. I don't need science I have experience. What if science told you the best time to have an orgasm is in the morning? Last night, though, your experience was a mind blowing, toe curling, you saw God...You getting my point? Are you going to go with science or experience on that one? Yes, of course I went there. Sex and beer always gets people's attention.
You beer fanatics are probably going ape shit at my flippant attitude towards beer glasses. You will say but it does matter. Why? It just does. Not an answer. Beer should be served in its proper glass. So, you're telling me if someone places your favorite beer in front of you and you have been looking forward to this beer all day. You're going to say, uh no thank you, because it wasn't served in the proper glass? That's what I thought. You will absolutely drink that beer right up. Sure, you will Facebook and tweet about how wrong that bar and bartender were. Maybe vow to never return. That's fine. More for me.
From here on out I am proudly going to sit and enjoy my beer in a pint glass or chalice. Who cares! The time I waste debating the glass is time lost enjoying my beer.
Cheers to the pint glass!
When I'm not tasting beer I coach basketball. During the summer we run week long camps. Parents always ask their kids two questions in the car on the way. Wanna guess? As a coach we want to make sure they can answer these same two questions everyday.
Did you have fun? Did you learn anything new? That's it. Two magical questions that will decide if you ever get their money again. Hell, it could decide if you get their friend's money as well. If they can't answer yes to at least one of those two questions we are in trouble. Kids and pets are pretty honest when it comes to what they do and don't like.
What's my point?
People who drink beer are the same way. Hell, you can throw food people in there too. They will always ask two questions. Is it good? Will I like it? That's it. Depending on how you answer they will then follow up with how does it taste? After you fumble around for the right words will they then follow up with questions about aroma, appearance and finish. Rarely do you get this far. I realize that taste is subjective. It still won't keep people from asking those questions. You can give a dissertation on why you think the beer is good or isn't good. It could even include all the other elements for judging a beer. At the end of day though it always goes back to the original two.
Beer geeks do not fret. I understand the appreciation in going on and on about the charteristics of the beer and what makes this beer good, great or awful. I also understand that people have the attention span of a nat. Being a craft beer novice-afficinado I am willing to go either way. How I answer always depends on my audience.
Next time someone ask you about a beer employ the KISS METHOD. Keep it simple stupid. Is it good? Will I like it? And leave it at that.
If you live in Seattle and need a reason to drink then here you go. I love good beer, great people who drink craft beer, my hometown and helping out a good cause.
Monday Night Brewing on Monday is a Monday well spent. These guys have been around for awhile holding tastings out of their garage. This year they moved into their kickass space off of Howell. Doesn't feel like a brewery until you go into the actual brewery. Feels more like a place you want to hang with your friends and shoot the shit, drink beer, play corn hole.
Joel gave the tour and you can tell he is passionate about what they do. I almost had the urge to go and buy a home brewing kit afterwards. Almost!
I tasted their Eye Patch IPA at 11th Street Pub and quickly became a fan. On my visit yesterday I tried their Fu Manbrew Belgian-Style Wit. It's spicy flavor, which ended up being the ginger, will be a favorite this summer. Wasn't in the mood for the scotch style but knowing them I'm sure it was good.
When: Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Where: 670 Trabert Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30318.
Avid fan of awesome beer and awesome people. Anyone who has good taste in beer is all right in my book.