Thursday, December 28, 2006

'Beerfest' tonight

One last reminder: The Beerfest Sausage Feast is 7pm tonight at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown. I'll be there, as will my pals John F, Lance, Nosregref, Jud, and Bobnoxious. If you want to join us, click on that link to buy tickets. If you're a regular reader but not someone I actually know, feel free to come up and introduce yourself, I'd love to meet you. I'll be wearing a dark green Austin Chronicle shirt, possibly covered up by a dark blue sweatshirt that says "London" on it. We'll probably hit the Gingerman afterwards.

Oh, and the menu sounds awesome. For $18, you get movie tickets and this (from the Alamo's website):

First we will serve Wurzburger Hefeweissen paired with Smitty's Sausage: Peppery sausage served with rye bread, sweet and hot mustard, and apple crisps.
Second course will be Hacker-Pschorr Edenhall Lager paired with Meyer's Sausage: Smoked Elgin sausage served with cheese and onion perogies.
The last course will be Spaten Optimator served with New Braunfel's Bratwurst: beer-braised New Braunfel's Smokehouse sausage with juniper scented saurkraut and sour cherry preserves.


Stop reading this right now.

Get up from your computer, and get yourself over to the Draught House. As I write this, they will be open for another hour and 45 minutes. Get over there immediately and order their house brew, a winter saison. OMFG. Really awesome Belgian-style brown ale. I just had a couple of them, utterly magnificent, shared with Bill C who is visiting from Portland (a place where they know what a good brewpub is about). If you love Belgian beers, this will blow your mind, and they said they might be out of it by tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Let it age

Karla sent me a fascinating article on how certain beers — your higher-alcohol, full-bodied ones, such as Belgians — can be a tasty treat if you let them age for a few months or years. I'd love to try this, except I don't have a wine cellar where I could keep them at 68 degrees or less. I have a beer fridge, but that would be too cold to let the aging happen. And during the Texas summers, I just can't afford to keep my house at 68, although the wife would very much like that.

***EDIT: So after saying I can't do it, the guy at Grape Vine Market just talked me into trying it. He told me to buy the special 60th anniversary edition of St. Bernardus Abt 12, and said I don't necessarily need to have my house at 68; I can probably pull it off even if I keep my house at 75 degrees. So I stuck the bottle in my closet. The key here is that, instead of aging for one or two years, he said at 75 I should age it for about five years. Which means I can't touch this bottle until 2011. You know, with a bottle of good beer in my closet, I don't know if I can hold out that long. Eh, I suppose I can. I know what Abt 12 tastes like fresh, and I can always get another bottle in the interim.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

She wouldn't like England

Least justifiable reason to kill somebody: because they offered you warm beer.

Sorghum beer?

If you're one of those folks who needs a gluten-free diet, Anhueser-Busch is riding to your beer-drinking rescue with beer made from sorghum rather than barley. And apparently it's not as strange a concept as it sounds, as it's rather common in Africa.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Friends of Texas Microbreweries blog

A few posts ago I wrote about attempts by Texas microbrewers to pass a bill this legislative session that will allow them to sell their product directly to the public on the premises of their breweries. If you want to track their efforts, follow this link to a blog maintained by Houston's St. Arnold brewery. (Note: I've also permanently put the link in the "Other Beer Blogs" section to the right, listed as "Friends of Texas Microbreweries."

Monday, December 18, 2006

Antique beer for sale!

So a nice fellow from Britain sends me an e-mail today asking me if I'd be interested in buying some vintage bottles of beer from him. I'm assuming they're not still drinkable — I think the idea is to set them on the shelves and have your friends ooh and aah over them. Check out the pictures. I'd gladly do it if I had more disposable income, but given the financial wrestling I've had to do lately, I think I'd be better off spending my cash on beer I can actually drink. However, maybe I can tempt one of you with his offer.

His name is Rob Earnshaw, and his e-mail address is (posted long style so spammers can't scoop it up): robertearnshaw at btinternet dot com.

Here's what he e-mailed me:

Hi lee

I was reading your blog and thought you may be interested in this

I recently acquired 17 (full) bottles of antique beers from a relative. I thought that they may be appealing to you and your members.

Please email me back to find out more information, below I have listed the beers I acquired
17 bottles of antique beers, ales and lagers, spanning from 1953 to 1981,

mainly celebration beers.

1x Harvey's Elizabethan Ale, brewed in 1953,

1x Barclay's Russian Stout, brewed in 1966,

1x Banks imperial old ale, brewed in 1960's,

2x Gold Label, Barley Wine, brewed in 1960's

1x corked bottle of George Gale Prize old Ale, brewed in 1960's

2x St George Strong Ale, brewed specially for St Georges Taverns, 1960's.

3x George Gale Silver Jubilee Ale, brewed in 1977.

1x King & Barnes Jubilee Ale, brewed in 1977,

1x Courage Silver Jubilee Ale, brewed in 1977,

4x Ind Coope Strong Lager, brewed to celebrate the marriage of The Prince of Wales & Lady Diana Spencer, brewed in Wales in 1981

Also I have obtained a full working beautifully crafted beer pump, complete with ceramic fox hunting style handle, in a hardwood frame, roughly 50 years old, made by Gakell and Chambers Ltd.

Drop me an email if you are interested.


Rob Earnshaw

E-bay listing:

Or call him at 07707083674

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Finally – the Bobnoxious Christmas beer party

Man, I should have written this up back when my memories were only partially fuzzy; now it's a week and a half later, and those brain cells are completely dead. So this will be much lamer than it deserves. However, with a bit of downtime at work ("downtime" meaning I really ought to be doing something work-related right now, but fuck it) and, a Spaten Optimator in hand, I'd rather do this.

First off, an explanation of what it is: My buddy Bobnoxious, with whom I've been drinking beer since ... oh, around the time fermentation was discovered ... annually holds a Christmas-themed beer party. Which doesn't just mean the party is Christmas-themed, but the beer itself is. Any special-release beer that has Santa or elves or snow, etc. on the label that Bob can track down gets included. Bob – or the alter ego that he assumed this year, Scottish Jimmy (I still need that photo, Bob) – is always a magnificent party host, and he treats his guests well. We each got tiny samples of every beer – which, cumulatively and accounting for the higher alcohol content that wintertime brews tend to have, causes you to get schnockered. Don't dare ask Bob for a bigger sample than what he pours – he knows what he's doing. Plus, if you do ask, he'll probably give it to you, and you'll regret it later.

Dangit, now I have to try to remember what all we drank, and I can't, except that they were all yummy things that go down to your belly and feel like a hot coal down there, warming you up and making you feel all fuzzy. Maybe the rest of you could tell me what your favorites were. But I'll try to remember mine: There were the usual suspects: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, St. Arnold Christmas Ale, Young's Winter Warmer, Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome. Plus two pretty good ones from the Samuel Adams holiday mix pack, Old Fezziwig and Holiday Porter (which Bob and I agreed was one of the better porters we've had).

Then Bob whipped out a magnum (or as he was calling it by that point, a "mangum") of the Anchor Christmas Ale, which is annually the only holiday brew that I just flat-out don't like, even though they claim to put out a different version every year. It's spicy. And not in a good way — like, a burning kind of spicy. But everyone else loves it, so clearly I'm an idiot, which I know they'll all be happy to tell me, just like when I said Guinness Stout is overrated.

I was most proud to have contributed to the stock this year: After returning from annual holiday visit to my Kansas City in-laws last year, I brought back a bottle of Boulevard Nut Cracker Ale. As I've raved about before, K.C.'s Boulevard is one of my very favorite breweries, and since they don't distribute to Texas, I and my across-the-street neighbor (who also has family in K.C.) are their two major Austin distributors, importing a good two to four cases annually. As with everything else they make, this is a mighty fine beer that held up just fine sitting in that bottle for a year. My mother-in-law has a case of Nut Cracker waiting for me when we head up later this month (and boy, doesn't that sentence just make its own joke?)

Let's see ... I also remember some Breckenridge somewhere in there, which was pretty good, plus an offering by Louisiana's Abita brewery, which everyone else thought tasted like ass but I thought was okay, so clearly I'm an idiot again.

And at one point Bob opened up some Belgian beers that had nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas, I think he just inserted them because he wanted some Belgian beer to really loosen people up (mission accomplished). I remember some Bernardus Abt. 12 and two different kinds of Chouffe, which Bob said he liked "Just because it sounds like what you'll do if you drink too much of it." (And you really must listen to the "Chouffe Happy Song," which is exactly what the name implies.)

Then we killed off the last bottle of some kind of British superheavy ale that had been aging in Bob and Cristen's fridge ever since they got married 12 or so years ago. (It was supposed to age, kind of like Samuel Adams Triple Bock, but honestly, years didn't help the taste one bit.)

At at some point, I polished off a full glass of North by Northwest's holiday beer, which was probably a mistake, as I didn't realize it was a barleywine. Oof. So by this point I was pretty hammered (thanks to M'Lady for driving home) although not as much as Bob, who was sitting by his fireplace wobbling like a Weeble.

And to crown the evening, Bob's pal and Bubba Coltrane bandmate Ed whipped out some of his home brew, which we've enjoyed on many occasions. Ed's a talented guy — mighty fine stuff, although at this point I can't remember what styles he brought over.

So there it is — the full play-by-play, as best I can reconstruct it. Perhaps next year I should be a good blogger and use Bob's laptop to for live coverage.

No, seriously, I really will post about Bobnoxious' xmas beer party

Possibly tonight. But in the meantime, here's a Christmas-beer-related posting on, a blog run by my college drinking buddy Siva Vaidhyanathan. (But if that name is too hard for you to pronounce, you can just call him "Professor Smallbeard.")

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Support Drinking Liberally by Buying Liberally

If your political leanings are similar to mine, then you should join (or start) your local chapter of Drinking Liberally, a group where lefties meet to drink and bitch about politicians. (As opposed to what lefties do the rest of the time: drink and bitch about politicians.) If you're wondering what to get your favorite feminist, tree-hugger, or union organizer for Christmas, try the Drinking Liberally store. The proceeds will benefit the organization.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Texas microbrewers want to sell direct to consumers

From News 8 Austin:

The Friends of Texas Microbreweries launched a campaign Thursday to change the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code and allow small Texas breweries to sell directly to patrons. They're shopping the Texas Legislature to find someone to introduce a bill for them.

Microbrewers want the chance to sell a drink or a six-pack directly to customers, not just wholesalers. When people take a tour of a Texas brewery, they can't buy any beer to take home.

Read the rest of the story here.

(This is a great idea. Write to your state representative and senator to support such legislation. If you're not sure who represents you, follow this link look them up.)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Cheap Christmas Gift Possibilities

Buy it here. A good supplement to your collection of "Old Bill & Bret" pint glasses.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Yes, I will blog about Bobnoxious' Christmas Beer Party

As soon as I get a chance, but @#$%! work keeps getting in my way. Plus I need somebody to help me remember what happened. And I can tell you, that person won't be Bob, 'cause he doesn't remember either. :-)

(Hey Bob or another party attendee — could you send me a picture of Bob in the Jimmy Scotsman hat or whatever we were calling that thing? I'm pretty sure I remember someone taking one.)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

'Beerfest' the movie returns to Alamo Drafthouse

As I noted in a previous post, Beerfest didn't do to well with the critics, but hell, with this menu of German beer & food that the Alamo will include with the ticket price, I could even sit through Showgirls again. M'Lady bought me a ticket for Christmas. Anyone want to join me? I'll be at the Thursday (Dec. 28) showing.

Well of course I speak German — this blog is about beer

Okay, no I don't. But I noticed that somebody from Germany used Google's translator service to look at my blog, which I think is pretty cool. Here's what it looks like, but don't blame me if it's grammatically incorrect.

EDIT: WTF? The German equivalent of "Lee" is "Schutze"?

Thanks Cristen!

I was just complaining on another blog about how my Blogger profile photo has me wearing a Texas Tech shirt borrowed from my dad, which just ain't right. But I loved the photo too much to give it up – it has me hugging a beer (necessary for this blog) and my beautiful wife (necessary for other reasons). So Cristen (aka Mrs. Noxious), who has much more computer savvy than I, helped me out with this nice job of Photoshopping. Awesome!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Superstitious beer drinking

I have to be careful which beers I drink while I'm watching UT football. Earlier this year, grabbing beer to take to our Glorious Victory in the National Championship, I almost reflexively grabbed some Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, which I love, but then I realized: It would be really bad karma to be drinking California beer while we play USC. Especially a Cali beer with a red and yellow label.

Today, I was digging through some holiday beers in the fridge while preparing for the A&M game, and almost reached for a Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic. Now, aside from the rather obvious point that it is just not appropriately manly to drink any kind of fruit beer while watching football – I really don't need to reinforce UT stereotypes to Aggie Dave any more than necessary (especially after the baked brie incident earlier this year) – I realized that it really wouldn't do to be drinking any @#$%! maroon beer.

Alas, dammit, the result of the game made my beer taste bad regardless. Maybe I should have bought some orange pumpkin beer?

Fine Dining

So, many posts ago, I thanked Mick and Adam for giving this book titled Beers of the World, which reviews over 350 "classic" beers, as the book calls them. And most of them are really interesting, and the book even makes some culinary recommendations to accompany each beer. Most of the recommendations are rather noble-sounding suggestions like "grilled salmon," "barbecued meats," or even "serve as an aperitif."

But for some inexplicable reason, it also reviews all the major American breweries – as if anyone who is going to purchase this would be seeking a review of Bud or Coors. So Todd P. was perusing the book before M'Lady's drunken karaoke birthday brawl, and he got a laugh out of the Miller High Life food pairing: "ham sandwiches." Yeah, that sounds about right. ("Champagne of Beers"? Well, you can get really cheap-ass crappy champagne.)

The one that really befuddled us, though, was Milwaukee's Best: "curries."

Curries?!? You know, when I sit down for a nice Indian meal, even a lowbrow buffet like Star of India, I can't say I've ever asked the waiter for a Milwaukee's Best. I've never even contemplated it. I suggested to Todd that the best thing to pair up with Milwaukee's Best is "more Milwaukee's Best." Clark T looked over Todd's shoulder at that moment and commented, "That should say 'Tums.' "

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Strange Ways People Find Me

Most of the hits I get that aren't from friends come from search engines; people looking for info on Shiner 97 and Oklahoma Suks beer have been my biggest traffic-getters. But the strangest search I've seen so far has been a Google on the phrase "how to annoy Lee." I was quite certain this must have come from Bob Noxious, as this is a favorite pastime of his, but in fact it came from Southampton, England. I'm pretty sure I don't know anyone there, but I do know I'd like to drink beer with them.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Winter beers to warm me up

The Christmas beers are hitting the shelves, and I've already been sampling a few. Of course the first one I got was the Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, which is not only my favorite winter brew, but maybe my favorite beer, period. No need to rave on too much about it – anybody who likes seasonal beers has had it by now, and if not, go get some immediately.

I also grabbed a 12-pack of Red Hook Winter Hook because it was on sale at HEB. I really don't understand why Red Hook went with this particular recipe. It's a particularly unexceptional beer. Which isn't to say it isn't good, just not spectacular. Most breweries like to really whip out Da Bomb for a special release, and this just isn't it. That said, you can rest assured I'll finish the 12.

Next I went to another special fave, Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome. Now this is a glorious winter brew – the alcohol level and malt combine for a nice warming effect that sits in your belly like a nice glass of hot chocolate. And it's even better when you get a fresh bottle, not the two-year-old bottles I've been drinking (see earlier posts).

And then today, I completely chanced upon another one. I noticed a guy in HEB carrying a six-pack that was clearly a New Belgium product, but not one I had ever seen before. And as I've noted before, just seeing that familiar red label on that peculiar brown bottle with the ring around the neck is all the recommendation I need. And sure enough, it's a winner. It's called 2 Below Ale (actually, it's 2 [degrees] Below Ale, but blogger won't allow me to make that little superscript circle), and it has a rich, warming flavor. Hints of orange, drizzled in brown sugar and butter, and heavy on the roasted malts. Mmmm.

But I'm confused. New Belgium, like the Belgian breweries it imitates, always makes a serving temperature recommendation on the bottle. The 2 Below bottle recommends that it be drunk very cold — 37 degrees. (Most of their beers come with recommendations of 45 or 55.) This is strange for two reasons: First, excessive cold numbs your tastebuds and kills the taste of beer. Second, why in the hell would you want an almost-freezing beer in winter? To get even colder?
All the great winter beers are best drunk after letting them warm ever so slightly out of the fridge – "chilled, but not cold" as I believe the Chimay bottles always say. I took a sip of 2 Below straight out of the fridge, and it didn't do much for me. After letting it warm, the flavors came out so much more. So I say ignore the brewmaster's recommendation and drink this like any sensible winter beer lover would.

Other winter brews I've spotted but haven't had a chance to grab yet this season: St. Arnold's Christmas Ale, and a longtime favorite, Young's Winter Warmer. And all this made me remember: We're only about a month away from Bobnoxious' Winter Beer Tasting Party! I finally got to attend my first last year, and it was a gloriously good time. I can't wait for the 2006 edition. I already feel warm and fuzzy just thinking about it.

EDIT: Others I just noticed: Samuel Adams Winter Lager, and the Samuel Adams Winter Classics Mix Pack, a 12-pack containing two bottles each of: Boston Lager, Old Fezziwig Ale, Winter Lager, Holiday Porter, Black Lager, and Cranberry Lambic. I was hoping to make it out of the Hancock HEB without spending any money, but I fell for the mix pack.

EDIT2: Well, so far I've tried the Old Fezziwig, Winter Lager, and the Lambic, and was only marginally impressed. The Old Fezziwig had a subtle taste of cinnamon, which was nice; the Lambic was actually too subtle, as I couldn't taste the cranberry at all.

Oh, and another I just thought of, but I can't get here in Texas (I have to grab it when I visit my in-laws in Kansas City every year): Boulevard Nutcracker Ale. Boulevard is a kick-ass brewery in K.C. that only distributes to the Midwest; thus, I and my across-the-street neighbor (who also has K.C. family) are probably the leading Texas distributors of their product, usually bringing home a case at Christmas and another in summer. It's pretty much the only beer I drink when I'm K.C.

What other special holiday brews do you know of? (And just as importantly, where can I find them?)

Event for you brew-your-own types

[Note: This is presented by the Black Star Co-op Brewpub, not me. Questions should be directed to the address at the bottom of this post, not to me.]

Black Star Co-op Presents:
Brewing & Flavor Analysis Class
Sunday, December 10th

The first portion of the class will take the participants through the brewing process and discuss the various techniques to control the final flavor before it hits the pint glass. Although brewing techniques and process will be discussed, the main focus will be on giving the attendee the necessary knowledge and skills to analyze beer flavors and learn how to control them in the brew house and during fermentation. This requires
some knowledge already about the brewing process, so first-time home brewers may not get as much out of the class as home brewers who have gone through the process a couple times. During the class, a barrel of wort will be brewed and a few of the participants can each take home a full carboy (first come, first served). This will also illustrate the process of brewing and allow the attendees to ask questions about the process as we are doing it.

Midway through the day, we will stop for a beer tasting! This portion of the class will consist of an organized beer tasting. Representative beers will be selected to demonstrate certain off-flavors and characteristics that can be controlled by manipulating the process and/or ingredients. With a greater understanding and appreciation of the brewing process and beer flavors, the participant will leave the class with practical skills to transform basic ingredients of malt, hops, water, and yeast into what they envisioned. The trouble shooting skills learned in the class will allow home brewers to locate, analyze, and adjust the flavors (or off-flavors) in their beers (and commercial beers) more accurately and fluently.

Who should attend?:
People who are comfortable in the brewing process but would like to learn more, as well as people who wish to have a better understanding about what makes the flavors in beer and how they are controlled. There will be a decent amount of chemistry and bio-chemistry, but don’t let that scare anyone!

How long is the class?:
The class usually runs about 5 hours and light snacks and tasting samples of beer are provided.

What should you bring?:
For those who will be taking home some wort, bring a clean carboy and air-lock set-up. Any further food or drink should be supplied by you.

How many people can take the class?
Enrollment is limited to 10 participants. The option of taking home a carboy of wort is limited to 6 participants, and is avialable on a first come, first served basis.

How much?:
Class & Tasting: Members: $25, Non-members: $30
Class, Tasting, Carboy of wort: Members: $50, Non-members: $60

Note: Please RSVP as soon as possible to You can also email me with any questions. Hope to see you there!

Friday, November 10, 2006


We're going to Wurstfest tomorrow! Yea! It's drunken fun for the whole family. This awesome little Oktoberfest party down in New Braunfels, Texas, is billed as a "10-Day Salute to Sausage," but let's be honest: It's a 10-day salute to beer. And despite that, it's still a great family event. There's plenty of good food, ranging from brats and kraut to traditional carnival food for the kids, and even stuff like you'd expect at the state fair in Dallas, like fried Oreos.

Although most of those attending stick to their light beer, the organizers do have the good sense to make plenty of real German beer available, so I get to swill (if memory serves) lots of Paulaner and Spaten and maybe even Hacker-Pschorr. Mmmm. (I don't really comprehend drinking bland, watery American beer at a German festival, but to each his own.)

Plus, a continual parade of oompah music (which I love) in this really huge dancehall, and for the kids there are lots of carnival rides operated by stoned carneys (okay, that's a satirical comment, I have no actual proof, so don't anybody sue me, although I did have an almost deadly direct experience with less-than-sober carney in my youth. The guy was almost lynched right there on the spot by my father and my friend's father). God bless my wonderful wife, who promised to be our designated driver home, not a pleasant chore going up I-35 toward Austin on a Saturday night with likely drunken Oktoberfesters all around. Please folks, don't get behind the wheel until you're ready.

And despite this dispensation from M'Lady, I'll try to pace myself and not be too big of an ass. She said if I start vomiting she'll leave my ass there. Which is pretty good incentive. I don't particularly want to end up in the Comal County jail, as the whole county is run by Republicans.

And despite the way it sounds, no, I'm not going down there with the intention of getting blitzed (oops, poor choice of words for a German festival), but as we've learned, when you give me an endless supply of really yummy beer, I occasionally lose count of how many I've had. In fact, sometimes I completely lose my ability to count at all. But I'll try to be good.

EDIT: Heh-heh. So it ended up being the wife that puked, not me. Except she didn't puke until we got home. And it was pretty obviously some bad food, not alcohol, that caused it. But I'll still consider it a minor moral victory for me. (Kidding, honey!) Actually, I almost puked while listening to the Texas/Kansas State game on the way home.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Drinking two-year-old beer

Okay, I can finally start blogging about beer again, now that I no longer have to blog about the election.

Just a brief post tonight, because I'm still exhausted from Tuesday and Wednesday nights. You remember that case of year-old Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome that I bought earlier this year? Which is now two years old? Well, with great trepidation, I finally tried it, and the results are mixed. It's definitely gone off a bit – it's taken on a more bitter taste. I checked it against a fresh bottle, which was definitely mellower. On the up side, though, it was such a good beer to begin with that it's still drinkable. I'll take this over "brewery fresh" Budweiser any day. Nonetheless, I've learned a lesson – don't drink 2-year-old beer if you can help it.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Combining My Passions, Part 4

I am utterly fascinated by maps. Any kind of map. Give me a map to study, and I will go into an autistic trance and lock in on it until my wife comes in and points out the pile of dishes in the sink and our children's cheeks sinking in from lack of food. So I was most pleased today to open the November issue of National Geographic and find a beer map! It was a world map showing the top beer-consuming nations per capita, with a special focus on Europe, natch. Top beer swillers in the world: Czech Republic, at 160.5 liters per person in 2005 (which I calculate is probably about what I drink every year). The next countries on the list were pretty predictable: Ireland (127.4), Germany (109.9), Austria (105.8), Belgium (98.6), and the United Kingdom (95.7). We Americans were well back in the pack at 11th (82.8). I was surprised to see Norway coming in at 25th – I learned during my visit to Karla that alcohol is ungodly expensive there (a single bottle of beer in a bar there will set you back $8-$10). Other countries I wouldn't have expected to see: Venezuela (10th) and Finland (13th).

Thursday, October 26, 2006

New brewpubs

Dammit, I hate getting beaten to a story, but I've had no time to blog lately (at least, not about beer – I've been busy with another project at work). So I tip my hat to Bobnoxious for digging up this important news.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The 25 Best Beers in America

Thanks to Bookhart for sending me this article. Wow, I think the Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA is the only beer on this list I've had. I have some drinking to do!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Oktoberfest celebrations around Austin

It's beer-drinking time, people. Oktoberfest is upon us, as I noted in previous posts. Here are some Central Texas suggestions for enjoying the season. Sadly, there are a couple of activities this weekend that I'll have to miss, as I'm taking the kiddo camping.

Saturday, Oct. 14: Independence Brewery's Second Anniversary Party — not a true Oktoberfest party, but still a worthy chance to support the local brewers who created the Oklahoma Suks beer (see post below).

Saturday, Oct. 14: Blackstar Co-op Brewpub's Oktoberfest Party at Austin Homebrew Supply — man, I hate to miss this one, as it's in my neighborhood! Always good to have beer-drinking opportunities that are walking distance from your house. No driving means more beer!

Sat.-Sun., Oct. 21-22: North by Northwest Oktoberfest — We always enjoy this one. I don't think I've fully sung the praises of this brewpub nearly enough. Their food and beer both are excellent, and this event always has a nice strong bock (among other choices), tasty German food, polka bands, and activities for the kids. Any event that lets me drink beer while my kids have fun is a good thing. Which leads me to my don't-miss event of the year …

Nov. 3-12: Wurstfest in New Braunfels — Get your kid a $20 pass for unlimited rides on the tilt-a-whirl, ferris wheel, mini-roller coaster, etc., and let them go crazy while you enjoy dozens of bands, gallons of beer (including Paulaner and others), a huge beer hall, and tons of good food, including great German food but not limited to that — plenty of more traditional carnival food available as well. New Braunfels is a great little German town on I-35 in between San Antonio and Austin which is attractive for a number of reasons, and this very popular event is a major one.

I've heard Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg, a similar German town not far from New Braunfels, is also great, but I've never been. Anyone else have any suggestions? (I mean, aside from going to the real thing in Germany?)

EDIT: Dangit, I am dirt broke yet again! I was forced to miss the stuff last weekend because I took the kiddo camping, and now I might miss NXNW due to lack of cash. Grrr. Anyhoo, if any of my friends want to join me there around 3pm, gimme a call and I'll decide whether I can afford to go or not.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Beer Blogging About an Article About Beer Blogging

How's that for existentialism? I am not alone.

A good deal gets even better!

Last month I noted that everything by New Belgium was on sale at the Hancock Center HEB for $6.99 a sixer, about 50 cents off; well, they must have ordered too much or something, because now it's down to $5.99! Get it while it's cheap. Damn good beer.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

OU Sucks!

Because Austin's Independence Brewery says they do. Get your Oklahoma Suks beer now. There is a stack of it at Central Market in that first aisle nearest the cafe.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Damn I love Oktoberfest

Sort of continuing the theme of that previous post — but focusing more on the beer than the breasts — I sure love it when Oktoberfest rolls around. (I bet the word "breasts" gets me lots of Google hits.) We've sort of reached an era where seasonal brewing is fairly dead — any kind of beer is available any time of the year, with a few exceptions. Nonetheless, I stick to a fairly regimented seasonal drinking calendar just out of preference, and for good reason — certain styles of beer just taste better at the right time of year. Heavy stouts and "winter warmers" are just kind of blechy in the hot summer — especially here in the blast furnace that is a Texas August. I want something clean and crisp. But when it gets cold (or what passes for such down here), I need something that's going to sit in my belly like a lead weight and radiate a glowing alcoholic heat from within.

And when the leaves start to die, I start thinking of German beers. Copper-colored, malty things with names that can't be pronounced without hacking up some phlegm. Toward the end of summer, I start contemplating what lies ahead; after the first cool front comes through, my mouth starts watering in anticipation of them. Here's some of what I've been enjoying lately:

Tonight at work, I've downed a Julius Echter Hefe-Weiss-Dunkel, a bit smooth for my Oktoberfest tastes, but still a well done beer. Didn't hit the bullseye, but got the next ring out. Followed that with dead aim: Hacker-Pschorr Original Oktoberfest, an amber märzen with everything that the Echter had, but with a nice load of malt dumped on top. Mmmm. It's like drinking a fall sunset.

My other discovery has been Shiner Dunkelweizen. I'm so glad I learned the difference between dark and light wheats. I've been staying away from dunkelweizens because I knew I didn't like light wheat beers, but I've learned they are very different animals, with the darks tasting much more like marzens and bocks. As with the other Shiner spinoff beers, this is better than either of their flagship beers, Bock and Blonde. I've been pining in previous posts over the fact that last year's Shiner 96 marzen was a limited edition release, but actually, the Dunkelweizen tastes very similar, so I'm not as sad now. I'll be drinking a lot more of this through the fall.

Coming soon: Wurstfest in New Braunfels, always a don't-miss on our calendar! Beer and sausage for the adults, rides for the kids, and polka for all. I look forward to this more than Christmas.

Monday, October 02, 2006

God bless Germany

And god bless good photography.

(Okay, they might never quite make up for the whole Nazi thing, but this is a good start.)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dammit, I just gave money to Budweiser

So I was craving some pumpkin beer – yes, this time of year, I actually start wanting some, and I don't care if you think I'm a freak – and I decided to be brave and try something other than Buffalo Bill's. So after considering the five (!) different varieties available at HEB – man, everybody is getting in on this fad – I settled on something called Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale. Only after I got home did I discover, much to my disgust, the words "Anheuser-Busch, Inc." on the bottle.

Now, despite the impression I give off, I'm not completely anti-corporate. If big companies put out a product I like or need at a price that's reasonable, then fine, I'll buy it. (Frankly, I've always thought Starbucks-bashers were a little irrational. Starbucks makes good coffee.) But the point is, there are plenty of small brewers who are making pumpkin beer as good or better as anything A-B is going to put out, and in that case, I'd just as soon give the little guy my money. Anheuser-Busch isn't as desperate for me to buy that six-back as the dedicated small breweres are. (Which is why I'll still go to Quack's or Little City instead of Starbucks
if the option is available.) So now I'm really wishing I had paid more attention. I probably could have just taken it back for a refund. But I decided to suck up my snobbishness and give it a try.

And of course, it was quite mediocre. Oh well, lesson learned.

Friday, September 22, 2006

What is your favorite beer?

I know people are looking at my blog, but not many people post responses. I want to get some discussion going. So I'm going to ask a real simple question: What's your favorite beer? Now, I realize that for a beer snob, that's a complex question; so, you can break it down to as many different styles as you like.

I'll get us started. My faves, which are always subject to change at any minute:

IPA: Dogfish Head 60 Minute
stout: Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
Belgian-style: New Belgium's Trippel
regular pale ale: Sierra Nevada or Boulevard
Black lager: 1554
Pilsner: I'm going to cheat and say Shiner Kolsch. Yes, I know a kolsch is technically not a pilsner, but it's close enough for me.
light beer: Skinny Dip, without question, because it doesn't taste like light beer.
Christmas beer: Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale. (Actually, this might be my favorite beer overall.)
Fruit beer: Aprihop
Oktoberfest beer: Shiner 96 – too bad this wonderful Marzen was a limited edition and is now gone forever. (Please bring it back, Shiner!)

I might add more later, but I have to get to work. Feel free to offer up your own suggestions and/or ridicule mine.

Beer drinkers of the world unite

I love Sitemeter (, which I mentioned a few posts ago, because it lets me know where my readers are. I'm not entirely sure how they all found me, or why they looked at my site or what they thought of it, but I've had not only readers from across America but the world as well. My foreign readers so far: several from Canada, and one each from Mexico City, a suburb of London, France, Germany, Denmark, the Phillipines, and most surprisingly, Beijing!

Welcome in whatever language you speak.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mighty Fine Beer From Mags' Denver Trip

M'Lady went up to Denver to visit our friends the Wesleys recently, and I'm long overdue in thanking her for the good beer she brought back for me. She returned bearing several pint-plus bottles from Rock Bottom Brewery, which is apparently some sort of chain, but beer like this could give chains a good name. Among their beers that she brought back: The Copper Ale (which I don't see listed here) didn't move me, but the Molly's Titanic Brown Ale was quite impressive, especially since brown ales are usually well down on my list of favorite styles (i.e., I've never been as knocked out by Newcastle as most people). It had a nice sweetness to it, not something I usually think of in Brit-style ales. She also brought back their 16th St. Wheat, which I'm unqualified to comment on since I'm just not a wheat guy – I'll leave that to her. But by far the best was the Falcon Pale Ale – excellent. I'd put it right in there with Sierra Nevada or Boulevard for hitting that just-perfect balance of hoppiness versus still being accessible enough that anyone can drink it (as opposed to the stronger IPAs that only us hop-heads can tolerate). (EDIT: Actually, I just drank another bottle and it's pretty damn hoppy. Maybe I should retract that previous statement.)

Apparently, each location has its own unique brews. Perhaps Mr. Canfield and Mr. Morris could scout out the one in Portland?

I won't go so far as to clamor for one of these in Austin – we already have North by Northwest, so we're set for slightly upscale brewpub/restaurants – but I'll definitely try to visit if I'm in one of their cities.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Black is the new black

Everybody is jumping on this new "black lager" bandwagon now. I just spotted this over at HEB. Haven't tried it yet, but hope to as soon as my next paycheck comes. I've used up my beer allowance, especially after buying that pricey Dogfish Head pumpkin beer.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Another Pumpkin beer

You just knew Dogfish Head would have to get into the act. And you just knew I'd have to try it. I swear, if the brewmaster of Dogfish Head decided to pee in a bottle and put a label on it, I'd have to at least give it a taste.

Thankfully, he did a little better than that. Instead, much like the Buffalo Bill guys (see a few posts below), they've made Punkin Ale, "a full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg." I was honestly a little bit wary – I mean really, how many pumpkin beers do we need? – but you know, I actually like this quite a bit better than the Buffalo Bill stuff. The flavor is more subtle – I'm not sure I'd guess it had pumpkin if you didn't tell me – and it's quite sweet. In both respects, it is very much like Dogfish Head's Aprihop ale. Whereas Buffalo Bill is fun for the novelty but doesn't hold up to more than just one or samplings a year, this is a beer I could drink just about any time and consider it a real treat. Even if you've tried pumpkin beer and thought you didn't like it, you may want to give this one a shot.

People are looking for Shiner 97

Being a stats geek, I couldn't resist putting a visit counter/traffic monitor on my blog. Sitemeter provides fascinating stats on who is visiting and how they're finding me. It's especially neat when I get foreign hits — I've gotten several visits from Canada, and one each from France, Mexico City, and the Phillipines.

Lately, Shiner 97 has really caused my activity to spike up. I guess I'm one of the few people to mention yet, and people are obviously hunting for it — of my last 20 visits, 13 were from people Googling "Shiner 97." And they're probably thirsty (pun intended) for that info because Shiner still has no information about it on their own website! Amazing. Somebody in marketing needs to get on the ball.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Shiner 97 reviewed

I finally got a six pack of Shiner's 97th anniversary beer (see post below about how Spoetzl is releasing a new beer every year leading up to their 100th). I'm a bit disappointed to say that my anticipation exceeds the beer itself. That's not to say it's bad – it's actually a decent rendering of the black lager style. If you've never tried it – it's a pretty rare style – it is jet black, but doesn't have the heaviness of a stout or porter. Shiner has taken a nice shot at it, but it doesn't quite stack up to New Belgium's 1554, my first experience with black. It's missing a little something – there's a thinness to the taste, whereas 1554 has a warmth, a roundness to it that 97 lacks. The roasty taste is slightly stronger in the 1554 … or, for that matter Xingu or North by Northwest's Okanogan, other great examples. It's a creditable enough attempt – I'd give it a B – but I don't think I'll be developing the addiction that had last year to 96, the wonderful Marzen-style Oktoberfest beer from last fall.

I would include links and art, but amazingly, Shiner has yet to make any mention of 97 on their website. I could just include a pic of a 96 bottle, because the 97 bottle is identical.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

FREE Belgian beer at Grape Vine!

I'll give you one guess what I'll be doing on Saturday afternoon. In case you aren't aware, Grape Vine Market is at 7938 Great Northern Blvd in Austin:

Beerman's Picks of the Week

Dendermonde Grape Vine Market's Beerman is possessed by the Devil!

... a devil named Belgium!

Beerman just can't get enough Belgian Beer. For such a small country (~11,690 sq miles of land), Belgium produces an astonishing number of truly outstanding beers, and it's Beerman's goal to carry every Belgian brew he can get his hands on.

This week, Belgian brewery de Block, which literally translates to "the Devil", is fanning the flames of Beerman's desire with two new brews:
  • Dendermonde
    $8.79 tri-pack 11.2 oz bottles

  • Special 6
    $7.99 tri-pack 11.2 oz bottles

Be sure to stop by the Beer department this SATURDAY, 12 N - 6 PM, where we'll be offering FREE samples of both Dendermonde and Special 6. Don't miss this opportunity to dance with Devil.

Are you ready for Oktoberfest?! Beerman is!

He's got several limited release Oktoberfest beers in stock, including Beerman's own personal favorite, Ayinger Oktoberfest.

Speaking of limited releases, don't forget the Shiner 97!

Beerman is so excited about this beer, he bought enough to build a couch out of the cases. Check it out!

Beerman's Beer Couch

This marvel of modern architecture is functional and is even set up facing the TV. It's the best seat in the house! Just don't lean back. She may not be very practical, but ain't she purdy?!

Excellent beer-soaked commentary

I've never been to the Horseshoe Lounge before, despite hearing great things about it. Sadly, I just don't make to South Austin much these days. Heck, I don't make it out to bars much these days. But this commentary by Aggie Dave makes me want to check it out. Sounds like my late, lamented Henry's Bar & Grill.

Monday, September 11, 2006

My wife has gone over to the dark side ...

Well okay, Pearl Light isn't really evil, but jeez, wouldn't tap water do just as well?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Yo, Shiner – WTF?

This ad was sent to me by a former San Antonian now living in Columbus, Ohio. What does Shiner mean by "we" owe Texas a few "shiners" (i.e., black eyes)? C'mon guys, I understand regional marketing and all, but are you a Texas beer or an Ohio beer? Time to take a stand, guys – no playing both sides of the fence. The sender felt a bit betrayed, and tend to agree. Hey – you're either with us, or you're against us.

EDIT: I also publicized this anti-Texas faux pas in The Austin Chronicle (scroll about one-third of the way down the page), and a few hours after publication, we received this statement from Gambrinus:

The Gambrinus Company, owner of the Spoetzl Brewery – Texas’ oldest independent brewery, and the Shiner Family of Beers, in no way sanctioned, approved or authorized recent advertising in The Other Paper in Columbus, Ohio.

Born in Shiner, raised in Austin, Shiner Beers, throughout its nearly century-long brewing history, has always embodied and been committed to the people and pride that is Texas. Preserving and protecting that strong Texas heritage is a priority for the Gambrinus Company and for the 53 dedicated employees at the Spoetzl Brewery deep in the heart of Texas.

(As it turns out, the ad was placed by Hill Distributing Co., Shiner's distributor in that area.)

Word of the Day: Small Beer

Thanks to Shirl for this:

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

You know Autumn is near when …

Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale starts showing up in stores. Yes, it's back, folks. Some of us look at it as nature's beautiful gift to eclectic beer lovers, others view it as a waste of hops, barley, and water, and still others are just nonplussed. I lean toward the first view, although I'll admit that one or two per year usually satisfies my craving, and I give the rest of the six pack to friends.

Shiner 97 is here! It's finally here!

This week's Grape Vine Market newsletter reports that Shiner 97 has arrived! That's exciting news for me, because last year's 96 quickly became a favorite of mine.

In case you don't remember, or live under a rock (or outside of Texas — same thing), Shiner is releasing a limited-supply new beer each year leading up to their 100th anniversary. Last year's brew was named 96 — for their 96th year in business — this year's brew is named 97, and so on. The 96 was an outstanding Oktoberfest beer that marked my first introduction to the Märzen style. I loved it and drank it constantly last fall for as long as it lasted. In fact, I liked it better than Shiner Bock, their flagship beer; I even wrote them a letter and begged them to make it a permanent part of their lineup. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who felt this way.

The Grape Vine newsletter reports that 97 is a "Bohemian Black Lager." If that means that it's a black beer in the mode of New Belgium's 1554 or the Brazilian Xingu brand, then I'm very excited, because I've really grown to love that style. North by Northwest brewpub makes a mighty fine black as well. Sez Grape Vine's Beerman:

"In spite of its dark richness, the Shiner 97 is one that even people who usually don't like dark beers will enjoy. It's actually very light on the tongue, and its crispness and low alcohol content make it an easy drinking beer. It's definitely worth a try, and once it's gone, it's gone."

The Shiner website has no mention of 97 yet, but it does say that, appropriately enough, the Old 97's will be playing their big Bocktoberfest bash on Oct. 14.

EDIT: Now when I say "it's here," I'm trusting the Grape Vine newsletter, which advertises it and actually gives a price. However, I just went across the street to the Hancock HEB and saw no sign of it.

However, I did see that that HEB has all Shiner products on sale for $4.99 a sixer — that's $1.50 off). Pretty good price, unless you think that's what Shiner Bock ought to cost all the time. (Now, I know HEB would never be so crass as to label it a "Back to School" sale, but the college kids are back and that store is the number one grocery outlet for students living on or near campus …)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

No, it's not brewed in Austin

Because if it was, it would be named "Lamar Blvd." instead of "Lamar St." But it's a most enjoyable hoppy little pale ale that Jud brought over today while we watched the Longhorns massacre North Texas. The beer was far more interesting than the game. It's brewed by Goose Island Beer in Chicago. John Bruzan, maybe you're familiar with it? Jud picked it up at Whole Foods here in Austin. Or as we like to call it, Whole Paycheck. And — fittingly for the place of purchase — it's organic! As regular readers know, I'm a strong advocate of protecting the environment while inebriated.

Friday, September 01, 2006

My buddies are blogging about beer, too

Far be it from me to be the only person talking about beer. I want to offer a diversity of drunken opinions:

Bobnoxious found a great thing to do with your Milwaukee's Beast empties.

And on the other end of the drinking spectrum, Karla contemplates the divine magnificence of London pubs.

And of course, Shirl's blog indexes his posts by keyword, one of which is beer, although I see he hasn't made any beer postings since April. C'mon, Bill, get to drinking!

P.S. Not exactly regarding cheap beer (see Bob's blog), but cheaper beer: H.E.B. at Hancock Center, which has a magnificent selection, has a bunch of stuff on sale now, including everything by New Belgium at $6.99 per sixer (about a dollar off). I think I'm gonna go grab a mixed case of Trippel, Fat Tire, Blue Paddle, and 1554. Or maybe Abbey. Or maybe Skinny Dip. Damn, they make too many good beers to fit into a case.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Another beer-themed movie at the Alamo Drafthouse

And this one is not a documentary, it's a comedy titled Beerfest. I haven't seen it, so I can't offer any personal insights, but my newspaper wasn't too kind to it.

Black Star Co-op Wants Brewers

Message from our favorite, not-quite-existent co-op brewpub:

Home Brewing on the BSC Brew House

Home brewers Unite! If you're interested in brewing a batch of beer up to 35 gallons, contact Black Star Co-op brewer Jeff Young. We are now set up for home brewers to guest brew on our unique 55 gallon system. Learn more about brewing as Jeff describes theory and practical brewing skills while you help him brew a batch. This gives a home brewer a chance to brew on a larger scale, deal with all-grain recipes, and learn the ropes around advanced home brewing equipment.

The majority of the batch produced will be donated to future Black Star events and you will get credit for helping create the beer. If you have a great recipe that you made yourself, it's possible we could use that recipe for the batch you help with!

Some conditions that apply are that we'll need 2 - 3 brewers for each session that will split the cost of ingredients and supplies (the average cost per person will be around $40) and you must dress appropriately and accept any risks that come with the job. We try to brew every 2 - 3 weeks and, when possible, we'll brew enough to let the brewers take a few gallons home for themselves.

So, for the price of brewing your own 5 gallon batch at home you can help brew 35 gallons of beer for future beer socials, learn more than you ever wanted to know about brewing theory and technique, and spend the day around people who are as passionate about beer and brewing as you are! Contact Jeff at for more information and to set up a brew day.

Mick and Adam kick ass

Because they got me this book. Except it was really evil of Mick to give it to me right in the middle of poker night, because I got distracted off of my game.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Combining my passions, part 3

Okay, for all of you who have been forced to suffer my babbling about track & field over the years, I have a good reason for you to watch the sport this weekend. There is a very important meet in Brussels today, and the guy picture here is going for the world record in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. If he gets it, everyone in the stadium gets A FREE BEER. And I assume it will be BELGIAN BEER. Let's see the NFL or MLB top that! If you want to see if he made it, turn on OLN tomorrow at 4pm and watch the tape-delay broadcast. (Karla, you can probably watch it live. I think it starts at 8pm Norway time.**EDIT: Oh, I just remembered Karla is in London today and won't give a flying flip about anything on TV, much less sports. Drink some killer beer for me, KKP!) Yeah, yeah, I know – you won't be getting the free Belgian beer – but it's the principle of the thing. If anyone, anywhere can get free Belgian beer, we should be pulling for them. So cheer mightily and keep your fingers crossed for them. It's just good karma. His name is Saif Saaeed Shaheen, he is from Qatar, and the time he is shooting for is 7 minutes, 53.63 seconds.

I'll actually be watching the meet live over the Internet today. I think I'll go buy a Belgian brew so I can join the celebrations if he makes it. (In the highly unlikely event that any of you give enough of a shit to watch it live, you can go to and pay them five bucks to see it. The meet netcast starts at 1pm Central Time; the steeplechase starts at 1:30.)

UPDATE: Alas … failure.

Rank Athlete Nat Result
1 SHAHEEN, Saïf Saaeed

2 MATELONG, Richard

3 TAHRI, Bouabdallah
EL 8:09.53
4 KEMBOI, Ezekiel

5 OBAID, Musa Amer
SB 8:14.70
6 KIPRUTO, Brimin

SB 8:15.39
8 TALEB, Brahim

9 SALEM, Jamal Bilal
SB 8:17.26
10 MARTÍN, Luís Miguel

11 POPLAWSKI, Radoslaw

12 MISOI, Kipkirui

13 CHERONO, Abraham

14 KIPROTICH, Wesley

15 DESMET, Pieter

16 TAHER, Tareq Mubarak

17 KOSGEI, Reuben

18 ABDI, Youcef

PEREZ, Cesar


DE SOUZA, Hudson


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Awesome beyond words

The Alamo Drafthouse showed Snakes on a Plane the other night, and were serving this. Damn I love those guys.

Wednesday Night Drinking at Work: Erdinger Pikantus

Tonight's beer review: Erdinger Pikantus, a weizen-bock.

Very malty. Nice, but not really right for summer. Then again, I'm inside in my frosty office. Reminds me very much of Spaten Optimator, although the wheat creates a noticeable difference from that favorite of mine.

Drool-worthy photography by Karla

And it doesn't even have any nude women in it. This is from her recent trip to Germany, although the beer is Czech. And beautiful.

Have a spare 3K?

Then you can take Grape Vine Market's Oktoberfest Tour (yes, the original Oktoberfest, in Germany). Um, if you order one, pick up an extra for me, willya?

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Tao of Nosregref

So I'm over at the combo 40th birthday party of Bill F. and Bret on Saturday night (a magnificent party, I might add), and I was faced with a bit of a crisis. I went looking for the awesome 1554 black beer that everyone was drinking. I looked out in Bill's beer fridge, and it wasn't there. Then I looked in his regular fridge. Still no luck, but I did find another of my very favorites, the magnificently hoppy Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. But then, just as I was about to open it, I spotted the cooler that did in fact contain the 1554. What do I do? I was pretty much at the point where I could only have one more beer if I wanted to be able to drive home, so I had to choose, one or the other. Bill was standing there, and I sought his wise counsel. Like some mystic guru perched upon a mountaintop, he spoke:

"Lee, sometimes it's best to just open the beer that's already in your hand."

That, my friends, is the pure essence of all that is Nosregref. Contemplate his wisdom and be awed.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Combining my passions, part 2

I may yet end up moving to Portland, Oregon, with Bill and Todd. Portlanders love their beer, and love their alternative transportation. Bill sent this to me yesterday:

Subject: BTA mini-Digest: Tour de Fat is this Saturday!
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2006 19:45:54 -0700
From: Michelle Poyourow
To: Michelle Poyourow

Don't forget - this Saturday is Tour de Fat, the big benefit bike and beer festival put on by New Belgium Brewing (makers of Fat Tire beer), at Waterfront Park just north of the Hawthorne Bridge. Come on down and have fun, or, if you like to earn your fun, we still need volunteers to help with the party.

The festival benefits the BTA and PUMP (the mountain biking group) - every dollar you spend on beer or t-shirts benefits the BTA!

Tour de Fat features:

--a bike parade, departing at 11 am, a costume contest, and bike limbo
--a corral of strangely engineered bikes you can try riding
--great live music
--great beers
--great company!

Taps open at noon and close at 7 pm.

Volunteer shifts that need to be filled are:

10:45-1 pm, at the front door
4:45-7 pm, at the front door
7-9 pm, tear down and a few other spots.

Volunteer and help support good biking in Oregon and SW Washington! Lend a hand if you can - email me to sign up.

See you on Saturday!

Michelle Poyourow
Events and Outreach Director
Bicycle Transportation Alliance
(503) 226-0676 x13

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Beer samples at Grape Vine Market

As if my Saturday weren't already going to be busy enough: Maybe we'll have time to check this out in between Michelle's baby shower and Bret & Bill's birthday party:

Beerman's Pick

Flensburger Beers FLENSBURGER BEERS are decidedly different. Their unusually fresh, full-bodied taste really is something special. Their high quality is achieved by the use of outstanding ingredients, state-of-the- art brewing technology and the expert care of experienced master brewers.

We've got four styles to choose from. Check 'em out!
  • Flens Pilsener
    This brew is unmistakable in character and freshness. Its unusually hoppy-fresh aroma and wholesomeness are the epitome of good taste in beer.

  • Flens Gold
    This is a mild, tasty beer with an elegant hoppy touch. It's brewed with fine aromatic hops in absolute premium quality - naturally to the strict standards of the 1516 German Purity Law. Flens Gold is a pale golden beer brewed like a pils with a good head, a full, soft, fresh taste and a pleasant, lightly yeasty bouquet.

  • Flens Weizen
    This is Flensburger's wheat beer. "Plop-fresh", prickling and naturally unfiltered. Glass or bottle? That's merely a matter of taste.

  • Flens Dunkel
    This is a dark treat with a finely hoppy, fresh and full taste, not least thanks to the malts that give it its dark but very mild character.

12 oz bottle $1.99 each

Be sure to come by THIS SATURDAY, 12-6, for a sampling of these unique beers!