The Greatest Week of All

It has recently come to my attention that this is indeed the greatest week of all.  Many of you who are not ‘in the know’ are probably wondering to yourselves, What?…PARDON?!? This obscure, off the beaten path seven day string in the middle of May has no importance whatsoever.  No holidays, no national days of work, this gentleman must have lost his proper mind.

PSHAW I say to you!  Let me enlighten you as to what makes this the most wonderful time of the year.

Sunday, May 12th, 2013 – Mother’s Day

What a wonderful day for the most important women in our lives.  Whether they be our own mums, our wives, sisters with kids, women friends with kids, mothers all over the nation get to celebrate with this day made just for them.  After becoming a parent, I am of the belief that there should be not just a mother’s and father’s day, but perhaps a mother’s and father’s week.  During this week, the parent whom is celebrating gets to do whatever they please and have 0 children responsibilities unless said parent wants them. I hope you all took the time to let your mother know how important she is to you.

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013 – My Birthday

Friday, May 17th – Sunday, May 19th – MAN WEEKEND

Madness...THIS. IS. MANWEEKEND!

Madness…THIS. IS. MANWEEKEND!

Man Weekend.  Man Weekend! MAN WEEKEND!  Man Weekend is a camping trip to the middle of nowhere, KY.  It is in between Falmouth and Berry where Aaron’s grandpappy owns a bajillion acres of land.  During Man Weekend this land is overrun by all that is man.  Drinks are drank, cigars are smoked, frogs are gigged, memories are made, and Man Weekend bonds of brotherhood are forged stronger than that of The One Ring.  This is quite possibly my favorite weekend of the year, every year, and it is this weekend!  This is our fifth consecutive Man Weekend, the event originally started as my bachelor party.

Monday, May 13th – Sunday, May 19th – American Craft Beer Week

Oh craft beer…the nectar of the gods. Craft beer means so many things to so many people; it’s a past time, a hobby, a delicious beverage, an eye-opener, an art form, a science, a lively hood, and so much more to so many people around the United States and the world.  This week is the time to celebrate those who broke out of the chains of Coors, Anheuser-Busch, Miller, etc. way back in the 70’s and 80’s and really started what is now the craft beer boom that we are experiencing.  I thank my lucky stars that I did not have to grow up in a society in which the only beer I would be able to buy at the store was Budweiser, Coors, and Miller.  I intend to support some of my favorite craft breweries this week, many from Ohio.  Probably my favorite brewery in the world resides in my own state in Cleveland…Great Lakes Brewing Company.  If you haven’t tried their offerings, they are a must.

And so now you know why this week is so glorious.  Go out, help me celebrate, grab yourself a craft beer and cheers to somebody sitting next to you!

Prost!

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Alaskan Amber

You walk outside in the last great frontier. The parka you are wearing is thick, but not warm enough as you see your breath freeze and fall to the ground. Your boots are heavy and provide traction on the ice as you make your way to your car. Dust off the snow that has covered it and ensure the chains are on your tires. As your car warms up you look out into the ocean and see one hell of a sight… snow covered mountains, miles of ocean and ice, trees stretching out into the great unknown. This is Alaska, and this is heaven.

Located in Juneau, a Southern Alaskan City, is a brewery that captures the essence of Alaska in every bottle. I may be partial because of my exposure to Alaska and the memories I have with the beer, but it just feels right. The picture on the bottle is of a fishing boat coming towards you with trees and mountains in the background. If you have been up there, you know that is an accurate picture.

Popping off the top brings me back to the cabin my family stayed in during our fishing trip. Shades thicker than the comforter of my home bed to keep the sun out. Sunglasses at 2 am so you could see the fireworks in a sunny sky. Wearing long johns, jeans, 3 shirts, a sock hat, and gloves in July. I take whiff of the beer and get a chill of the brisk Alaskan weather… or maybe because it is also 10 degrees outside this night in Columbus. I feel like I can smell the salt water in the beer, but it’s more a malty smelly than actually smelling like the sea.

I close my eyes and take a drink. As smooth as I remember, the malts bring it home. This beer is absolutely delicious. It has always been known as one of the best Alt Biers, and the more I drink the more I understand. This isn’t a beer that will smack you in the face with hops, indulge you with chocolate or refresh you with citrus, but it is a beer you want to keep drinking because of how easy it is to drink.

My mind drifts off to another Alaskan memory where I was walking on a gravel street in the woods up in the mountains. It was 6 pm in late November, so it was pitch black. There were houses spread out every 100 yards, and the snow was coming down and landing gracefully around me. As I looked down upon Anchorage, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of this land that so many people don’t understand. I find that to be true about Alaskan Amber, if more people understood or knew of this fantastic creation I might be able to find it in Ohio instead of having to smuggle it in from the Pacific Northwest.

I give this frontiersman’s beer 5 frosty mugs.

5 beers

Amarillo – De Molen (not by Morning)

I picked up 2 of these beers my last trip down to Kentucky. THe sign in the store said they were highly rated so I picked 2 very different tastes… this one is an Imperial IPA. Since I have to work at 8 am on a Saturday I figured I could at least do some beer tastings. Let’s see if it was worth it’s $8 (for a 12 oz bottle) price tag.

I normally don’t use a glass, but figuring this one was expensive i decided to use a sifter. The beer pours well but leaves a distinct smell. It has hints of caramel in it, but is powerful. When I pull it away from my face it reminds me of leaving a swimming pool. The way chlorine stays in your nose as you walk away. I can feel the beer in my nose as a pull it away.

As I watch, it bubles like a witch’s brew. There are small bubles coming to the top, but just sitting on ths surface not popping. The beer looks thick for an Imperial IPA. It is also very hazy for an IPA.

As I pull it towards my face, that smell hits me again and it is not pleasant. I might have used a wrong glass, because I don’t think anyone is going to want to smell this as they drink it. At 9.2% I can taste the alcohol more than I would like. The more I swallow, the more i feel it coming up through the sides of my cheeks, making them aware of their surroundings. It isn’t bitter, it is smooth. No grapefruit taste, which a lot of IPAs use and I have grown to dislike.

The beer is thick, really thick almost like Nyquil or a syrup. The taste lingers too, which brings more of the IPA taste. I can’t quite put my finger on the main taste, but then again maybe it’s something I have had.

Overall – If you can get this beer for 3 bucks for a bottle, it’s worth a try to see if you like the style. I would never recommend it at the price I paid. Netherlands… I hope your next one is better.

I give this 3 frosty beer mugs out of 5

3 beers

Alert the Porter, There’s a Shipment of Blueberries

After reading John’s beer review, I thought it had been too long since my last beer review.  Oh man, I found a good place to start.

I was in Anderson’s today, patrolling the beer section, when the associate asked me if I needed help.  I told him flat out, “I want to more stout and porters, something smooth.” He gave me a smile and told me he had just the beer.  After about 4 steps we had arrived at this 22 oz Blue Labeled bottle.  “Shipyard Smashed Blueberry Porter”! Interesting, but what is it?  A hybrid between a scottish ale and a porter… or so the bottle says.

I unwrap the gold aluminum from the top and pop off the top.  As I bring the bottle to my nose I can smell the blueberries from afar. I close my eyes and imagine a blueberry bush in front of me.  The sun is beating softly on my skin.  I put my hand out to feel the berries, and open my eyes.  Oh Right. I’m in ohio and it is overcast and cold, but this beer will warm me up.

I take my first drink and hold it in my mouth.  As I breathe I can taste the blueberries.  Wow, this has to extremely fruity.  As I swallow, I am reminded this isn’t a fruit drink.  The full bodied liquid has a strong coffe and roast taste to it.  It was almost as though there were two different drinks, a pre fruity drink and a post porter drink.

I put my thumb over the top and fliped it to mix up the tastes, which was not the smartest idea.  The beer fizzed and I had to chug some of it.  When it settled I went back to tasting.  The tastes combined a little, but was still mostly separate. It’s like the blueberry taste stays in my mouth, but the porter taste lingers in my throat.  It may be odd but I like it!

At 9% A/V and 22 oz.  this could get the party started.  As I drink the bottle, I am continually reminded of the separation of taste.  If you want a fruity beer, I wouldn’t start with this one.  If you want a porter, this probably isn’t your best bet.  But if you want to try something different, this is a great place to start.  You won’t be disappointed by the fruitiness of the porterness, they mix very well and create a unique taste that I enjoyed the whole way through.

I give this a 4 frosty beer mugs out of 5.

Brew Review of Heady-Topper by The Alchemist

Beer Review –

I realize I haven’t done a review on here in some time, but I have been reviewing on my own.  I will try to put some of my more recent reviews up here, and continue posting reviews in the future.  The format I use is that of Beeradvocate, which I am a member of so if you would like to follow me on beeradvocate just let me know.  This quick review is of Heady-Topper brewed by The Alchemist.  It is one of the best representation of hops in a beer I have ever had, and I have tried my fair share of Pale Ales, Strong Ales, etc.

The Alchemist – Heady Topper (American Double / Imperial IPA), reviewed 10/28/2012

Serving Type: can

Appearance: can art is awesome. The dood’s head is exploding hops!!!

Smell: I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to smell the full aroma through the can, but I can! A lot of hops filling my nose through this small can hole.

Taste: Really does live up to all the hype for me, an amazing representation of hops in this beer.

Mouthfeel: Great

Overall: Very very good. I hope everyone has a chance to try this beer.

BA Score, 100 – world-class

Rating: 5/5 

CHEERS!