Thursday, June 29, 2006

Long Overdue Thanks

Karla went to Southeast Asia a couple of months back and sent me a couple of cool T-shirts of exotic beers from the area. Haven't tried the beers, but I proudly wear the shirts. Whenever I find time to learn how to load pics, I'll take shots of myself in the shirts. In the meantime, I'll just offer links to the two brews: Beerlao (which I assume is Laotian) and Singha (Thai). Thanks Karla!

Damn I wish I had the money to travel

Margaret's friend John in Chicago sent this to me today:

This article from Fodor's came in my news feeds today. It's a travel piece of all the Belgian brewery tours to visit. Thought you might be interested.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Yet another edition of Wednesday Night Drinking at Work

Coming to you live from beautiful Chronicle Towers. A brew that is completely new to me: Nethergate Augustinian Ale. Made by the same folks that produce Old Growler, which I remember liking. Thanks to the miracle of blogging technology, I'll be updating this live as each sip washes over my tastebuds. (Because I know y'all are just hovering over your computer hitting the refresh button on every 30 seconds.)

Wow ... weird, but tasty. The bottle says it's flavored with "a touch of coriander," and I assume that's what's giving this really powerfuly flowery taste. It's like somebody shoved a bouquet of roses in my mouth, minus the thorns. Or berries of some sort, but not like a lambic. I doubt it's something I could drink on a regular basis, but it's nice. I sort of hoped with the picture of the monk on the front that this might be an English brewery's attempt at a Belgian-style, but this is definitely a malty English ale.

Aaahhh ... Budweiser

Bob Noxious is way cool ... because he bought me a Budweiser. No, not the crappy American beer. He bought me a real Budweiser, brewed in the Czech Republic, back from his trip to the World Cup. If you're not familiar, read the link — Anheuser Busch and the Czech Republic's Budvar brewery have fought over the name worldwide for years. The bottle says "Original Budweiser" on it. It even still tasted good after boiling in his car all day during our trip to Schlitterbahn. I want to keep the cool bottle, which has Czech writing all over it since it was brought over straight from Europe instead of being imported by an American distributor, but my mean wife doesn't want it cluttering up the house. (Okay, she's not mean, but she doesn't understand the male compulsion to collect stuff, unless it's Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVDs.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

More Ghana-watching

Since Ghana kicked U.S. butt the other day in the World Cup and advanced to the Round of 16, the folks at the Black Star Brewpub Co-op (see a few posts below) decided to have another Ghana-watching and beer-drinking party tonight. Most of you probably already know the score, but if not, head over there and watch tonight. Here is the invite:

After Ghana defeated the USA last Thursday we decided that as long as the Black Stars are advancing, we will continue to screen the matches. The venue and format will be basically the same as before.

1506 Kirkwood Rd

Beer tapped at 8:00 PM.

Sunset is at 8:36, and we'll start the match as soon as light conditions permit.


Finally, we had a new member join on Thursday, and I'd like to welcome Richard to the co-op. If anyone else would like to join, our membership coordinator will be at the event tonight.


Steven L. Yarak
President, Board of Directors
The Black Star Co-op

Inappropriate beer humor

As several of you know, my two-year-old daughter recently acquired a really ugly black eye. I swear to god this is NOT how it happened.

And here are some other funny beer T-shirts.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Beer drinking at the World Cup

I don't know exactly what is the meaning of this guy's helmet, but since it bears a resemblance to a German military helmet circa WW2, I'm guessing it's an insult. Sadly, this poor Englishman is probably being forced to drink Budweiser.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Brentwood/Crestview pub crawl

My neighbor Mike Lavigne organizes some sort of a pub crawl through our neighborhood. I haven't done it before, but I think there may be some sort of competitive aspect to it. Sounds like fun; I think I'm gonna sign up.

The 3rd 6th Annual
Violet Crown Independence Day Invitational

July 1, 2006

$12 entrance fee, 10 Dive Bars, 5 Hours, 5 Member Teams,
2 bad if you don't make it. 0 Losers.

Yep, it's a pub crawl.

It's that time of year again. Our forefathers fought so you don't have to, and now its time to toast them - over and over and over again. There are some great dive bars in and around the Violet Crown; here's a good excuse to hit a bunch of them.

Start time: 2:00 PM at 1514 Richcreek Road

Meet back at 1514 Richcreek to eat some BBQ and drink more beer at 7 pm. I'm thinking briskets and ribs this year. There will be a keg.

Come as a 5 man team or come solo. We will draw for teams at 2 pm for those that don't come attached (this is always more fun).

As always, no driving or biking during the event. Walking, running, swimming and hitchhiking are all acceptable though...

Feel free to pass this along!mgl
Good luck!

RSVP not mandatory, but it helps give a sense of how much beef to buy.
We usually average between 30-40 participants in the pub crawl and another 20 or so for BBQ...

Mike Lavigne

New Belgian brews at Grapevine

I really ought to charge Grapevine for advertising as much as I promote them. From their latest newsletter:

Brand New Belgian Brews
Beerman gets a visit from the Belgian Beer Gnomes

Brasserie d'Achouffe
Once upon a time, the Grape Vine Market Beerman wished for something new and exciting to bring his customers. Casting his wish into the ether he turned in for the night and dreamt sweet dreams of hops and barley.

When Beerman awoke, he found that Belgian Beer Gnomes had paid a visit and granted his wish, delivereing three new brews from Brasserie d'Achouffe. Beerman drank happily ever after.

Brasserie d'Achouffe was started by two Brothers-in- law who began brewing as a hobby and wound up creating beers that are now world renowned.

The folks at Achouffe strive to make beers that are different from the rest, and they've succeeded with these three:
  • Mc Chouffe is inspired by the dark, rich and malty ales of Scotland.

  • La Chouffe stands out with is its use of coriander, which gives it a robust, spicy flavor.

  • Houblon aspires to combine two very different beer styles - a Trippel and an I.P.A.. This a beer that should make even the snootiest wine lover realize that beer can be just as complex and nuanced as any wine. It's a truly amazing beer.

750 ml bottle $8.49

WARNING: Uncontrollable silliness can be a serious side effect of playing with Belgian Beer Gnomes

Thursday, June 22, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: World Cup and Beer!

If you don't already know the USA vs. Ghana score (or if you do, but can keep your mouth shut even when you're full of beer, which rules me out), the folks at the fledgling Black Star Brewpub Co-op are having a tape-delayed soccer-watching party over in the Kirkwood/Maplewood neighborhood. (Warning: They might actually be rooting for Ghana, since their name was inspired by a trip to Ghana; the Ghanian team is nicknamed "the Black Stars" because of Ghana's flag.) Here's the e-mail they sent out:

I want to remind everyone that tonight we will be showing a replay of this morning's World Cup match between the Ghana Black Stars and the USA tonight at 8PM. Yes, the match has been decided already, so DON'T PEEK AT THE SCORE!

There is a flier available on our website:

and a map of the location can be found here:

I'd also like to give a special thanks to Ty Phelps, the brewer at North by Northwest. He has generously donated 5 gallons of his pale ale for this event, so if the soccer match hasn't convinced you to join us tonight, perhaps his delicious beer will!

Finally, since this is the first real event we've had in a while, there will be membership forms available and t-shirts for sale.

That's it. I'll see you all tonight!


Steven L. Yarak
President, Board of Directors
The Black Star Co-op

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Live World Cup reports!

Holy crap, I didn't realize Bobnoxious was going to be sending blog reports back from Germany. I thought he was going to wait until he got back. Go over to his site now for updates on soccer/football and drinking German and Belgian beer.


I've received warnings not to blog drunk (see here, here, and here), but hey — I think it should be expected on this blog! I was just over at my boss's house watching the World Cup. England vs. Trinidad & Tobago, so we were mixing some nice English brews with some mighty fine dark Cruzan rum (not literally mixing it, just drinking side-by-side — I wouldn't want to commit the sin of messing with either of these fine beverages). Beer was Whitbread Pale Ale (a classic pale ale) and Mackeson's Triple Stout. Whoa Nelly on the latter — maybe it's just because I had it last, but the flavors were really coming out on the stout. Very roasty, very chocolately. Not normally a summertime drink for me, but the air conditioning was sufficient to make it quite satisfying. Actually I had some at the first England game on Friday, which meant I was drinking at 8:20am, which I'm certain is an all-time record for me, not counting a few times in college in which I was still going from the night before, so it doesn't count. To my disgust, no one joined me. Stout makes for a mighty fine breakfast. God bless soccer and my boss. Okay, I'm almost sober now — back to work.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Spaten Premium

I'm enjoying a Spaten Premium at work. Nice and malty, yet still crisp enough to be a good summer beer. And it occurs to me — I'm enjoying better beer than the World Cup fans in Germany. Because I'm drinking German beer. And they're having ... Budweiser.

Well, okay, not now — at this moment it's 1am in Germany and the last game of the day ended two hours ago, so I presume they're getting blitzed (whoops, made a peculiarly German pun there) at the bars. On real beer. (In fact, I assume they're getting really blitzed, because Germany just pulled out a last-victory over Poland. Boy, that's gotta really piss off the Poles. They know a thing or two about German blitzing.)

Saudis be hatin' on beer

The Saudis refuse to allow any of their World Cup players to be awarded the "Man of the Match" award because the award is sponsored by a brewer. Now, I could understand if they were boycotting because the sponsor is a particularly crappy brewer — that being the aforementioned Anheuser Busch — but no, they think all alcohol is evil. It baffles me how major world religions can rise to prominence by banning fun.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The World Cup, Part II

This is why Anheuser Busch, and McDonald's for that matter, are evil. The short version of the story: Those two are the official beer and food vendors at the World Cup. Think about it -- in the land of sausages, pretzels, kraut, and fabulous beer, you'll pretty much be limited to Bud and Big Macs. That is utterly, morally wrong. I think the Germans threatened to riot and eventually got FIFA to allow some other vendors in, but Bud and McD will constitute the majority of the offerings. That's one of the few things I'm grateful for about the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, which in most other respects is an evil, worthless agency -- they require that any festival selling beer is required to offer at least one competing company to sell brews in addition to the big sponsor.

Signs of America's decline

Good god, what the hell is wrong with college kids these days?

How utterly appropriate

"I Love Beer" regular Karla has had a beer named after her. I must try some.

Edit: Okay, after reading the article more closely, I realize this beer is NOT appropriate to be named after Karla, and I do NOT want any. One percent alcohol? Come on, that's not beer!

The World Cup

Bobnoxious and Lance are heading out to Germany today for the World Cup. The rest of us will have to be jealous and just watch on TV with a beer in our hands. The first match, beginning in just half an hour from now, is Germany vs. Costa Rica. You shouldn't have any trouble finding a good German beer to accompany the game, but a Costa Rican beer could be harder. This is the best resource I could find. My advice: the Cup is being staged in Germany, so if you want to fee like you're there, just drink lots of Paulaner, et al.

EDIT: So my boss likes to host World Cup breakfasts, except given today's 11am start time, it was more like a brunch, so we had some beer there. German beer was easy, but he didn't have any luck finding Costa Rican brew, so he settled for Suprema from El Salvador. Not bad – a crisp pilsner that was perfect for today's weather.

Dang it, now my belly's full of beer, sausage, and cheese and my head is full of football, and I have to go back to work. Must ... be ... productive ... ugh.

Monday, June 05, 2006

6/6/6 - Devil's Day

Tomorrow is June 6, 2006; the date 6/6/06 (augh!) won't occur again for another 100 years. How to celebrate? In lieu of animal sacrifices or some other such nastiness, I recommed you kick back with a bottle of Duvel (translation: Devil), Old Nick, or Hop Devil.

Oh, and I almost forgot: Canfield recommends observing the day this way, although it has nothing to do with beer:

Saturday, June 03, 2006

A beer that's too hoppy for me

I didn't think it was possible, but I have met my match — I have actually encountered the beer that is too hoppy for me. I went to Grapevine Market with great excitement when they announced they had a shipment of Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, supposedly just about the most hop-loaded beer you can find. I'm not sure, but I think I got their very last bottle, and got it on sale — it's normally $10 for a 12-ounce bottle (yes, you read that right — $10 for just one bottle. In Norway, Karla refers to this as simply "beer.") Mrs. Beer Lover and I split it, and our eyes bugged out on the first sip. (The 20 percent alcohol may have had something to do with that as well.) She pretty quickly settled into liking it, but I just can't say I ever found my taste for it. You know the "bitter beer face" in the Keystone ads on TV? I was making that face. And I never make that face. I'm a champion of bitterness. I love Dogfish Head 60 Minute, and their 90 Minute is easily the best IPA I've ever had. But this was just too much. Maybe some of you other IPA lovers can track down a bottle and splurge and compare notes with me.