Saturday, July 30, 2011

Oregon Brewers Festival

On Friday July 29 our office got let out early to go down to the Oregon Brewers Festival.  This is a yearly event since most of the people in my office are beer enthusiasts.  As always my reviews and ratings are based on how much I liked the beer not based on any style guidelines.

Colombia River Brewing co. - Nyctophobia IPA- C apparently nyctophobia means fear of hops )because under no situation would I call this an ipa.  Nyctophobia actually means fear of the dark.  7.5% was a good way to get primed for the beer fest.  This was a very dark ale with light roasted flavor.

Elysian Brewing Co - Idiot Sauvin - A-  Nice ipa uses the New Zeland hops that apparently becoming all the rage these days.  Not too bitter but good hop aftertaste.  Another strong beer at 7%.

After the last two full glasses i decided to slow down and just do some samples because I didn't want to get too drunk this early in the beerfest.  

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery- Black and Red - F- Fucking terrible, tasted like cough syrup very medicine taste. At 10.3% will knock your dick in the dirt really fast, unfortunately the dirt will be filled with vommit due to the abhorrent taste, smell, even the color was bad. I don't know how it just was. Pat had a great quote describing this beer "you know a beer is bad when you need a chaser." This beer was so sweet and it smelled like mint shisha. This was the longest line at the beerfest. Ben gave this excuse for getting an entier glass which I will not explain why it is funny, "This girl said it was really good."

After the terrible experience with the mint/raspberry/feces beer we headed for the south tent to see if anything better was to be drank. While waiting for others to get caught up we saw some type of wolf/dog mix and were looking at it from afar.

After a while a man in a kilt stopped by to pet the dog also, this was quite the popular pet. This is when things got ugly the kilted man squatted down to pet the canine and let everyone know he was taking the Scottish garment very seriously. I'm not quite sure it they touched, but his balls were hanging out of the kilt with no more than half an inch from the dirt.
Rock Bottom Brewery- Zombie Flanders-  Pretty sour Belgian beer they tricked me with the cool name and them let me down with the shitty beer.

Great Divide Brewing - rumble - C Not a clean aftertaste, slightly piney.

At this point I start to get pretty buzzed I may have wanted to try a few less full glasses and a lot less tastes of other peoples beers.

Coalition Brewing co - Wu C.R.E.A.M. - B-  Decent cream ale rich mouthfeel.  How I described it in my notes was "Huge Body, like a fat chick"  not the most eloquent way of describing a beer but it gets the point across.

Natian Brewery - CuDA Cascadian Dark Ale - A-  Good CDA went down good came up better. After drinking had possibly one of the best tasting burps of my life I got a full cup so I enjoyed several more of these delights at my level of intoxication. As the beer progresses the novelty of the unique hop burp wears off and it becomes a chore to finish this beer.  It may be because my rate of consumption has lowered but I think I'll just do samplers from now on.

Caldera Brewing Company - Caldera Hop Hash - C American strong pale ale 7% at 95 ibu there is a lot of hop bitterness with not a bunch of aromatics or hop flavor. At this point I am getting real drunk.  Any review after this point is not worth listening to.

Mt Emily ale house- Wildfire Red Ale - B+ American imperial red ale, nice aroma great flavor amber color I remember really liking this beer unfortunately after the previous disclamer I will have to disregard this endorsemtnt.  I would really like to got back and try it again though.

Thats all I have for this day, hopefully I will go back on Saturday with more stories of mint beer, wolf dogs and disgusting balls.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tour De Beers, Alaska Part 2

Tuesday June 28th 2011:
Kassik's Brewery- Dolly Varden Nut Brown - Kenai, AK
- Roasted nut flavor. Pretty good brown ale very malty with a balance of caramel and chocolate with a nutty aftertaste.

Alaskan Brewing Company - IPA - Juneau, AK - Ok beer didn't like the hop flavor. Decent amount of IBU's but I didn't like the aroma or taste of them, I don't know what hops they used.

Kassik's Brewery - Moose Point Porter - Kenai, AK - Real dark porter roasted Clean finish not a lot of residual malt flavor left in your mouth. Thick foamy head with a mild coffee aftertaste. Not a great beer for warm weather.

I quickly realized how expensive this proposition was to drink not only Alaskan beers but different Alaskan beers. So for the remainder or the trip I just bought 12 packs Alaskan brewing beer, the White and IPA.

My brother's girlfriend's brother (really?) is also a home brewer and Chelsea brought over some of his barley wine. It was really good and strong. Nice clean finish.

The Great Divide Brewing Co. - Hercules Double IPA - Michael bought this for me on trip as a present. Wasn't Alaskan but it was really good. Extermely strong (9.1% ABV) I was feeling pretty buzzed after just one 22 oz.

For fathers day we bought my dad a beer brewing starter kit and I helped him brew the Amber that he liked so much when he was down here. The rest of the trip was fun but not really beer related.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tour De Beers, Alaska Part 1

On June 25th I flew up to Alaska to visit my family for a week. While in Alaska I thought that it only appropriate to drink only beers from my home state during my stay.
I woke up in the morning and thought it was time to do some drinking. I looked in the fridge and there wan no Alaskan ales to be found. Patrick, my brother recently bought a Suzuki Samurai for an off-roading vehicle and took me out riding around on some trails. Since I had just woke up I was just wearing some work out shorts I had slept in.
After working up quite a thirst on the trail it was time to get some beer at the liquor store. Since the Samurai is a wheelin' beast it doesn't have any doors or top which proved to be pretty cold going down the road at 60 MPH. When we got to the liquor store there was an entire section of Alaskan beer ready to be drank. The easiest method of choosing what to drink was to start at the top and work down.

Kenai River Brewing- Soldotna, AK - Skilak Scottish Ale - This amber colored ale was packaged in cans. I don't think I have ever had a Scottish Ale before so I have nothing to compare it to. I wasn't really a huge fan of it.

After the morning beer we went on a bike ride down to The Last Frontier Brewing Company in Wasilla. It had been a long time since I rode a bike for any distance and this one introduced me to an aspect of biking that never seemed to be an issue when I was a kid. The bike that was chosen for me had quite the hard seat that when sat on caused a great deal of discomfort. After 10 miles of riding like this to the brewery it felt like I had been punched in the A-Hole by a boxing team. I only had a couple beers and was not overly impressed with any of them:

The Last Frontier Brewing Company - Wasilla, AK - Heavenly Wheat Ale Un-remarkable wheat beer, this beer made me come to a big revelation. I realized that although I order wheat beers whenever I am at a new brewery I am never really impressed with them.
The Last Frontier Brewing Company - Wasilla, AK - Ruby Red Cherry Wheat Ale - This was Whitney's beer another wheat with very subtle cherry undertones. If you didn't know what this beer was called you might not be able to pick up the flavor.

Since my cornhole was having some major issues, I decided to forgo the 10 mile bike ride and call my mom to come pick Whitney and me up. when I got home I tried a couple more beers:

Silver Gulch Brewing and Bottling Company - Fairbanks, AK - Coldfoot Pilsner - Much more malty than I was expecting from a pilsner. I got a 6-pack and was hoping it would be better after another 4 but it wasn't.
Kassiks - Morning Wood IPA - Kenai, AK - Possibly one of the worst "IPA's" I've ever had. Upon closer inspection I discovered that it was a English style IPA, translation too malty not hoppy enough. I really wanted to like this beer because of the clever label and because the rest of the beer line had funny labels on them too. But it was just not good. Sorry Kassik's but English IPA's are really not my forte.

Monday 6/27/11:
Patrick needed to go to Anchorage to pick up a hammer he won at an auction.... On the way home we stopped at Moose's Tooth Brewing Company. We brought in two growlers to fill up at the brewery. I had never had any of their beers so I ordered 4 tasters:
Darth Delirium 2010 - Belgian Dark Ale, high ABV but not an aggressive alcohol taste. Had a strong black licorice aftertaste. My least favorite beer that I tried at the moose's tooth but it may be because I wasn't really in the mood for it.
Fairweather IPA - GREAT balance of maltiness and bitterness. This was a very good IPA not an ultimate hop bomb but a beer that you can drink several of. Apparently 6 different American Hops.
Raspberry Wheat - Most fruit beers are offensive to my palette and they are overly fruity tasting like a Smirnoff Ice or some other headache in a bottle. This beer was not that, a good wheat ale with a small hint of raspberries but not too sweet, it was also a beer that you could drink several of.
Midtown Brown Ale - Average brown ale sweet maltiness flavor and full mouth-feel. Light hoppiness with mild chocolate undertones, pretty good.

I ended up getting a growler of Fairweather IPA and the Rasberry Wheat. These two were the easiest to drink and I really liked the IPA.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Zoo Brew, Santa Barbara

My friend Evan graduated from University of Santa Barbara this weekend and I went down for his graduation ceremony. While I was there we attended the annual Zoo Brew. I thought this would be a great time to try a bunch of local breweries and try their beer. Unlike most beer events I go to that you pay for tokens and then each sip of beer is a token this beerfest was all you can drink. Furthermore, the glasses that you drank out of were the bottom half of a reused beer bottle (They cut the tapered top off). This was pretty cool, and they painted or etched a logo in it, also cool.
Once again I am just ranking these beers how much I liked them now how accurate the were to their style or any pretentious garbage like that. Just how much I liked them that day, at that time. This reading as I have discovered is sometimes influenced by the amount I have imbibed.


Firestone - Humboldt Brown - A This was a very good brown nutty

Alaskan Brewing - White - B+ This was a beer I had tried many times before but they were giving out a ton of free swag. Which I am just a whore for free stuff and since it was all you could drink I didn't mind waiting in line for a beer I had already tried. Also the swag I got was pretty epic, A beer cozy snap bracelet.... Yeah let that soak in for a minute. It was insulated beer cozy material with two snap bracelets sewn into the fabric so it wrapped around your beer and kept it nice and cool. Unfortunately, I forgot it in Santa Barbara.

Anacapa Brewery - Golden Ale - B Good and refreshing golden, nothing remarkable about it but it tasted good.

The Brewhouse - Santa Barbara - Habenero Pilsner - B+ Hot. Very nice in you like hot things. Even though it was pretty hot outside this was still good to drink. I really like hot foods so this may not be the beer for everyone. I may try some habeneros in a beer soon.

Figueroa Mountain Brewing - Hoppy Poppy Ipa - C unremarkable good but nothing to write home about. This was probably a good beer but living in the Northwest I have become overwhelmed with IPA's so I have come to expect more.

While at this event my friends I came to find my friends sitting at a table with a couple girls. One of them introduced herself as Rebecca. After some small talk and a tiny awkward pause she asked if anyone knew who Rebecca Black was. After a pause I did. In case you don't she is a tween internet sensation who created an auditory assault known as "Friday". I dont know why she wanted everyone to know this, maybe she thought we would be impressed. Also she was very quick to whip out her drivers licence to prove it. Very trustingly she let one of the drunk group of frat boys (Me) take a picture of her I.D. giving me access to her home address. I must just be very trustworthy, she was very dumb or maybe just real drunk. The most likely scenario is all three. I blocked out her important information so none of you internet creepers can go stalk her.
To Clarify: This was not the teen pop sensation Rebecca Black just a girl with the same name that was proud of that fact.

Karl Strauss - Red Trolley Ale - C I didn't like this beer. I should have guessed becasue it was one of the shortes lines at the end of the beerfest when a lot of the breweries were just pouring foam

Karl Strauss - Pintail Pale Ale- C I dont really remember this beer but all I wrote in the notepad on my phone was 'durrrrr' so I'm guessing I didn't like it. We were hanging out by this tent and I drank my previous beer really fast because we were allegedly going to go see the animals.

At this point I am definitely drunk so we decided what better to do than go see the animals so on the way we stopped for a "to-go" beer at Sierra Nevada since it was close to the exit.

Sierra Nevada - Summerfest - B Good summer ale.

Apparently you are not allowed to bring beers to go see the animals so we had to chug our last beer before our animal viewing began. Which we were happy to do. Upon exiting the beer garden our first trip was to the elephants which were no where to be found so along to the next beast. On the way to the monkeys we were stopped by zoo security and informed that the zoo was closing! This was unfortunate because Evan really wanted to see the animals this year since last year he did the same thing.
At least the ZooBrew was still open so back to drinking we went. First I needed to pee really bad though.

In line for the bathroom some douche bag tells us that the lines are a lot shorter over by the portapotties so I thank him and go see. Twas all a trick. I quickly realize his clever ruse and return to the zoo's bathrooms and continue waiting. About 5 people from entering the bathroom a girl from the female bathroom asks if she can just go in the guys bathroom. Since silence is acceptance and nobody said no, she cut to the head of the guys line and waited outside the ONE stall.
This girl must have really needed to go because what I saw next will haunt me for the rest of my life. With someone occupying the stall with the door half open, since he was just peeing I assume, this girl pulls her pants down to her knees exposing her rather larger posterior for all to see. After about 10 seconds of the gentlemen finishing in the stall it was her turn so she ran in there pants at half mast all that was seen was what looked like a very stressed thong. When she competed and washed her hands I got a picture with this her for some reason, maybe I thought it would be a funny story to post on a blog.

After my gender-line pushing bathroom experience I returned to drink more beer.

Island Brew Company - Black Mamba Black IPA - NR - Unfortunately I forgot to rate this beer since I was getting pretty drunk at this point. Evan went to go get it for me, I do remember it being good though.

Wolf Creek Brewery - Mountain Hawk Red- B- very hoppy covers up red taste just hop flavor

At this point all the breweries were blowing foam so we decided to get something to eat, and what better place than a brew pub. The brewery of choice was Holister Brewing Company.

Hollister Brewing Company - The Pope IPA - B+ This was a good northwestern strong hop flavor aroma but not overly abrasive.

Overall this was a great weekend and I tried a lot of good local beers and had a great time. I would highly recommend ZooBrew to anyone that wants to experience California beers and, if you dont get too drunk or go too late, look at animals.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Alternitive brewing styles

There are many different theories on brewing the best beer and this comes through in the different brewery styles. This instructional video is no different I believe when I put my all grain brewing system together this is how I will do it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Matches the Drapes Blonde

My girlfriend Whitney wanted to brew her first beer. So we chose something simple that I knew was going to come out good. A light summer blonde ale. Since Whitney is a natural blonde she liked the name Matches the Drapes Blonde.

  • 7 lbs ExtraLite Malt Extract
  • 2.0 oz. Cascade (7.9% alpha-acid, whole leaf)
  • White Labs Dry English Ale Yeast (WLP007)
  • 12 oz. Carahell (10°L, Crushed)
On Good Friday, April 22, 2011 I had work off so... brew day. My girlfriend wanted to learn how to brew so I decided to let her brew. She wanted to brew a nice summer ale. So we went to main brew and bought ingredients. While the the grains steeped she zested 2 lemons, and split up the hops.
The brew started off like any other by steeping the grains in a bag while the water came up to temperature. Once the water began boiling we added the liquid malt extract and waited for the boil to begin again. After boiling had resumed Whitney added hops according to the hops schedule. Lemon zests, Irish moss and hops were all added during the last 15 minutes of the boil. A final addition at 5 minutes and the boil was done. After cooling with an immersion chiller the beer was transferred the initial gravity was taken and the yeast was pitched. Into the brewing closet the bucket went.

Hops/Ingredients Schedule:
QuantityIngredientBoiled for
1 oz.CascadeEntire 60 min. boil
1/2 oz.
CascadeLast 15 min. of boil
2 qty.
Lemon Zests
Last 15 min. of boil
1/2 oz.
CascadeLast 5 min. of boil


UPDATE: 4/30/11
I transferred from primary to the secondary today. Nothing special just an update. It's looking like it needs a while longer to attenuate. After I transferred to the secondary fermentation resumed immediately with a fury. It was bubbling every couple seconds once in the carboy.

Gravity at Transfer: 1.014

Current Alcoh
  • ABW=105*(1.048-1.014)=3.57
  • ABV=1.25*3.57=4.46%

UPDATE: 5/13/11
I transferred the blonde to a keg a few days ago. Unfortunately Blogger (that I host my site on) went down and I lost my original post so I had to rewrite it. The blonde turned out great very smooth and mellow. Slight citrus aftertaste. Great beer for a hot day.

Final Gravity: 1.012

  • ABW=105*(1.048-1.012)=3.78
  • ABV=1.25*3.57=4.725%

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pouring at the Coast

This weekend, for our anniversary, my girlfriend and I thought it would be fun to go to Pouring at the Coast. We were wrong. I called the chamber of commerce to ask some questions about the event since the website was lacking in information. I found out later that the person I spoke with had no idea what they were talking about. The event she described was many different brewers there to answer questions about the beer. In addition to this one on one time with the brewers there would be live music. What was delivered was a little different.

When we entered this blessed affair I should have smelled something fishy because the venue looked suitable for a high school dance. I was shocked at the miniature scale, but bigger isn't always better, big crowds, long lines, beer getting spilled when a drunk ass bumps you from behind. I was optimistic since there would probably be none of these usual brew-fest negatives.

Unfortunately this was not a typical brew-fest at all, it was a beer and food pairing. When first arrived at the chamber of commerce we were quickly carded by a surley security guard that informed us he had seen some fakes recently so he needed to check. After the security checkpoint we went to pay for the entrance which was an had 3 options all of which came with a pretty nice commemorative glass and entrance to the event. The pricing structure was as follows:
  1. 10$ 3 Tickets
  2. 20$ 14 Tickets
  3. 50$ 24 Tickets
At a usual beer fest 24 tickets would be an average night of drinking and you could try a bunch of different beers and still be walking. This was not the case here. A sample at this event was approximately 4 to 6 oz. We were not planning on staying the night so this posed quite this problem since one of us needed to drive.

The majority of beers at this event were in bottle form. Pretty pathetic for an Oregon beer event. That's something you would expect in Bud Country but not here. There was a table with a display of beer at a each end of the event. The beers available were good but I couldn't get over the fact that they were in bottles.

There were only 5 actual breweries there Rouge, McMenamins, Pelican, Astoria Brewing, and Fort George Brewery. The Representative from all but Fort George didn't know anything about the beer they were peddling.

The beers that I did try were as follows. I chose not to rate any of them because you can get then all in bottles at pretty much any decent beer store.
  • Rouge Dirtoir Black Lager
  • Fort George Sunrise Oatmeal Pale Ale
  • Pelican Riptide Red Ale
  • Hub Cascadian Dark
  • Astoria Brewing Company ESB
  • Lompoc Special Draft
  • Lompoc C -Note
As far as the entertainment goes I think this picture speaks for itself.
ALL COUNTRY ALL THE TIME (Sometimes about drinking beer.)

After having 7 drinks (Whitney had sips of my beers) we decided that the fun/intoxication level had peaked and decided to go. While Whitney went to the bathroom for the long drive home I decided to plead my case for giving me some money back to the ticket seller. Since we had approximately 20 tickets left and I explained we were used to getting served much less the she gave me 20$ back. Making the whole thing for both of us cost 20$. Not a huge saving but I was excited the $40 crap fest turned into a bearable $20 event.