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What Was the Last Beer You Drank?


robbalvey
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After escaping Dark Lord Day's massive crowds, we headed to our next destination in Benton Harbor, MI. With a nice view of Lake Michigan during the drive we were more relaxed and glad to be done with the sea of people and able to enjoy ourselves at The Livery, a place that brews some great stuff. Then it was time to conclude the trip with a stop at our most sought after brewpub.

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to end our trip I got the Oatmeal Stout on Nitro while Carolyn got a mix of the Rubaeus and the Imperial Stout. Heath (not pictured) went with another Imperial Stout. Definitely want to get back to Founders, maybe I'll take the Greyhound since the Depot is right across the street

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Heath was happy to get Rubaeus' Ruben

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I went with the French Bread Pizza, also very good

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To start, some chips and fresh made guacamole that was refreshing and flavorful

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Much like Pizza Port, you order your food at a separate area. Founders really only has appetizers, sandwiches, and pizzas but they're good

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Kim goes with the Rubaeus while Heath also gets the Imperial Stout. Great flavors, balance, and mouthfeel, definitely worth its ranking

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First up for me is the Imperial Stout, one of the top 100 brews, while Carolyn gets the Vanilla Porter

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The tap list. While there isn't any specialty ales on tap, there is plenty of other things we want to try, and everything is worth getting

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too bad we don't have enough room in the car to take a few of these home with us. Oh well, next time perhaps

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down to the chairs themselves with the logo in the backrest

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This place is beautiful looking, lots of expense went into the S shaped bar

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Really psyched to be here, and it seems lots of other people are too

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Next up is the new and improved Founders Brewing just down the road

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Next up, another beer run stop in Grand Rapids to fill up any remaining room, but we gotta save a little bit of room for merchandise because...

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A cool old lift left from the buildings older days adds to the decor

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Also a nice little bar upstairs.

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Plenty of room for mingling and listening to music, and an upstairs area too with seating

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Afterwards we got a little tour of the upstairs from our bartender. Here's the stage that they use for concerts, which they usually have on Friday nights. Maybe BFD will play here some day

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Heath tried the King Cole Porter on cask, good flavors and creamy, while the girls played Battleship at the bar

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Next up I went with the raspberry weizen, tastes of a hefe with raspberry and lemon added, nice and refreshing

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Quite nice being the only people in the place, with the downstairs bar looking like a basement

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Heath started off with the Hoppy Chick IPA on cask while I went with the Double Paw IPA, a really citrusy double IPA.

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We found some good stuff on tap, 4 things on cask, ciders, lagers, ales, and some things that were hard to pronounce!

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But they had beer, so we risked battling zombies and gangs of renegade bikers

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Here we are at the very run down town of Benton Harbor. On a Saturday afternoon there wasn't a soul around, it looked like a post-Apocalypse city.

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I cut my grass today, so I had a beer to celebrate this rare occasion

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oh yeah.. the beer.. I have to say that if the world was ending and I could only have one more tripel, La Fin du Monde may be my choice (this or dulle teve). It was an excellent example of the style, lots of yeast and spice character with subtle fruit flavors like lemon or pear or grapefruit. With a fairly high 9% abv it was more drinkable than expected too. A fantastic beer!

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I've seen plenty of bottles and seen the proper glassware label, and even the popped cork one a few times, but I can't say I've seen a label warning of yeast sediment at the bottom!

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La Fin Du Monde, from Unibroue up in Quebec. A tripel and apparently the end of the world.

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Another beer last night courtesty of Bubba...

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Oh my!

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And speaking of Kev, looked what showed up on my doorstep yesterday afternoon. A little something that he helped pass along our way. What could be in there...?

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This was pretty tasty although the hope bitterness was more subtle, instead of being biting. It did have amazing drinkibility for a 7% beer though. I'd have drank another if I had one. :(

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From the Drake's Brewing Company in San Leandro, CA (how far is that from you Bubba?), it's their Drake's IPA.

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Awesome BTRs Derek, must have taken you a long time to write all that out and everything, we're thankful! Founders looks cool.

 

Glad the stuff arrived okay!

 

San Leandro is like 40 mins by car. I know that IPA isn't so bitter, but isn't the malt backbone and citrus highlights amazing?

 

Okay so it has been a while since I've posted pictures, was gone all last weekend so I didn't go over to my uncle's to have beers. I do have a couple though that I've just been drinking on weeknights.

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Pretty good stuff, some nice hop bitterness, but it didn't quite have the sweet tropical fruits I smelled in the wonderful nose. A little dull on the malt complexity, but solid.

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And last night I had Avery's Hog Heaven Barleywine. What a beautiful pour, and it smells GREAT to boot, can't wait to taste... Oh also, only 9.2% ABV which I appreciate.

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It tastes pretty Imperial Russian Stout too. There is some twangyness there that would be uncommon in an IRS though, so maybe that's why they won't label it as one? Not sure, but it was very well rounded with equal balances of twang/chocolate/coffee/rum/raisin. Very nice.

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Port Brewing's Old Viscosity. They don't want style guidlines binding this beer, so they don't tell you what it is! They do tell you however that it is 10% ABV. Hmm, looks and smells like an IRS.

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Now that the DLD photos are done, time to show what else I've been enjoying this week. I gotta make room for the Michigan stuff first!

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But the beer itself is darn tasty. Sweet and crisply bitter with a slight alcohol taste, which is unusual since it's only 5.5% ABV

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Wow, what a scary looking clown dude, all Coney'd up for today's generation

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Finally, better enjoy this Shmaltz's Coney Island Lager that I got back in Feb

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Lots of sweetness, alcohol, and a crisp hop finish

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Time to enjoy that growler of Troegenator Dopplebock I bought as a trade at DLD, but the guy got in an accident and didn't make it to Three Floyds, but he's ok

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Wow, lots of apples, peppery spices, banana, clove, and alcohol presence in this beer. Hope Joe will like it when I send him a bottle.

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About time I enjoy the Troegs Scratch #8, a Tripel

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A fairly well made Oatmeal Stout, but lacking that extra oomph I've been accustomed to tasting lately

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Next, Flying Bison's Blackbird Stout

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Smooth! This thing is definitely packing in the coffee flavors

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First up, the Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout all the way from Japan.

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I wish I got a case of Russian River!

 

anyways..

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I consider BHM to be very drinkable and good at hiding the 8% alcohol, but give it two years and the alcohol will really come out!! Of course, the hop flavor is dead, but the malts are still up there. It just tastes more like a strong dark Belgian than anything after 2 years.. actually reminded me a lot of the Avery/Russian River Collaboration beer..

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Today, while cleaning out the fridge, I decided to crack open one of the two bottles of Big Hoppy Monster I have left over from 2006.. !

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It was, of course, awesome!!

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Thanks to Derek, I was able to enjoy my third Nugget Nectar of the season!

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Last night was spent at Taco Mac enjoying Sweetwater Hummer and Sierra Nevada Bigfoot on tap, Dogfish Head's Raison d'etre in a bottle, as well as a nice shot of Jack Daniels to go with the Bigfoot. No pics though because I'm lame like that.. but I did remember to take pics as I chilled on the porch this afternoon

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Now that is good! A lot of wheat and grain-like flavor as expected in a hefe, and well endowed with lemon flavor. It was really light and easy to drink, a great session beer for the summer!

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I decided to give the summer ale a try!

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Picked this up at Publix yesterday, hopefully it has something good for me..

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and it was, uh, not good. For example, I liked the Moretti Lager I had at Carrabba's the day before better... yeah. Gimme an Oberon instead!

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First up was Bell's Pale Ale (insert Matt comment), part of my haul from Bruisn Ales a few weeks ago

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An absolutely beautiful day to spend on the porch drinking beer

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Time to play catchup from the last couple of days.

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A look at the future ales, definitely have to go back later in the month

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Nicole got a little daring and expanded her horizons by getting the Belgian Pale Ale, tasted better as it warmed up

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I chose to go with the Maibock, which was really light, sweet, and crisp

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A look at the current selection of ales and lagers

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Things were pretty light on a Sunday afternoon

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Today was such a nice day we decided to make an impromptu stop in Lancaster. First up, Iron Hill, where I can finally use my mug again

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Nicole seems to like the Agave Wheat for its sweetness and different flavors

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and who am I to argue. Great flavor combinations of banana, caramel, molasses, chocolate, orange, and vanilla

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Ranking in on the Top 100 as being a pretty darn tasty Weizenbock

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Back at home after constructing a table, we decided to drink to it. Time for some Aventinus and Agave Wheat

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Next stop, IKEA for some furniture and Swedish Meatballs

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But the Chocolate Thunder was my favorite. Really smooth and chocolately, but also with a nice coffee finish

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of the four beers, the Red Velvet was one of my favorites, being a combination of the Sunset Red and the Chocolate Thunder

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While I had a really good piece of salmon served with ratatouille and couscous

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Nicole didn't have a beer, but enjoyed a blackened catfish sandwich with fries

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I went with a sampler for maximum tasting; Chocolate Thunder Porter, Pacific Pale Ale, Red Velvet, and Sunset Red

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Everything on tap at the moment, all brewed downstairs

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A look at one of the two bars here. Supposedly the place is haunted, but I saw no ghosts. Maybe I needed to drink more, or come back at night.

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The place was built back in like 1732, that's almost as old as Jeff Johnson, folks!

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Saturday we decided to finally check out The General Lafayette Inn and Brewery down outside of Philly since we were heading down that way anyway

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Another good beer that's low in alcohol. Really creamy and tasty, sure beats Guinness!

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A gift from Heath, Beamish's Irish Stout, caught in mid-fall. Love those nitrogen cans!

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Quality stuff, lots of tasty sour and tart fruity notes, and pretty low in alcohol, meaning it's time to follow it up with something else

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Friday night I decided to crack open a bottle of one of the top Gueuze's in the world, Girardin Gueuze 1882, the Black Label

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tonight, a trappist

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A very good dubbel, one of the better ones. Lots of dark fruit flavors from raisins and figs, with a bit of caramel malt flavor. Drinkability is really high as the alcohol is well hidden. Getting kind of low on the dark Belgians, its almost time to make a beer store run for more summer-y beers =_

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Chimay Rouge, a dubble from the largest of the trappist breweries

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OK, just a couple pictures. I thought I had more. Yeah, yeah. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

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These crossovers are a bit much. I couldn't decide if I had mentally prepared for a stout, so my mouth was all confused at what it was tasting.

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Like Joe, I had picked up a bottle of Allagash Black. The belgian stout.

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I really liked this. It wasn't as heavy as I was expecting. A nice touch of milk towards the back end.

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I'm trying to clean out all the stouts I bought. Lefthand's Milk Stout.

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Nice and light. Now if we could just get the sun out long enough to enjoy this outside.

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New Belgium's spring seasonal. Springboard.

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Today's Cinco de Mayo, but since I carry no beers of Mexico in my house and am fresh out of limes, I'll just have to get as close to Mexico as I can while still having quality, so here's some brews from Texas!

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I'm a fan of rye ales, but this one fell a little short. Lacking carbonation and much hop presence it just tasted like caramel and some liquid bread with a sprinkling of grass clippings. I'll have to enjoy a real rye ale soon

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Then we have Blanco, Texas's Real Ale Brewing Company's Full Moon Pale Rye Ale, also a gift from some dude at DLD

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Elissa's a pretty solid sessionable IPA, more on the English side with a solid malty backbone and not a big hop punch. Reminded me a lot of HopDevil

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Tonight I'll start out with Houston's own Saint Arnold Brewings Elissa IPA, named after some Texas Tall Ship, not TPR's Head Mistress, though maybe they're just saying that ;)

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Wow, that's some good stuff. It's no St Bernies ABT 12, but it's got great sweetness, dark fruits, and peppery spices holding it all together with a nice alcohol warmth

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First, last night in honor of Joe sending me more beer I decided to open up my Pannepot- Old Fisherman's Ale, a top ranking Belgian Quad

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Hey all... So I'm leaving on a trip tomorrow (today) and want to rid myself of these pictures first, since I will have some new ones when I get back! Surprise location, don't want to spoil it for when I come home with pics. I'll be back Sunday.

 

Here are the pics from last weekend.

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I am so tempted to toss a scoop of Breyer's Vanilla Ice Cream in there... Maybe I'll try that sometime, Stone has done it with their Smoked Porter, and with supposedly great results.

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And how could we possibly end the night without dessert? We'd have a chocolate milkshake... I mean, Big Bear Black Stout.

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It seemed really light in color but pretty high in the flavor department considering the light color. Not bad Sudwerk...

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Sudwerk's Maibock. My first Sudwerk offering.

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Good stuff, tastes like you'd expect a Belgian Golden Ale to. With that said, I was expecting some sort of variation from the style from Russian River that just wasn't here. Still, a well done belgian golden ale.

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I brought over a special treat to share with my uncle. Russian River's Damnation, a Belgian Golden Ale.

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Also pretty good for a light colored beer. Drake's knows how to get their malt backbones just perfect.

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Following with another light colored beer, Drake's Blonde.

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I thought it was alright. It's a light lager so I didn't expect much but it had some nice floral and grassy notes going on. My uncle hated it, as I had guessed he would.

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Saturday we'd start light again with a Sierra Nevada Summerfest.

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Great stuff, one of my favorite single IPAs...

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The last Alaskan IPA from the sixer, darn!

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I wasn't sure if I had tried this before. It knocked my socks off. My uncle was loving it too, this is one darn tasty imperial stout, with a great balance of all the flavors we've come to love in this style.

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Ryan O'Sullivans Imperial Stout. From Moylan's.

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Didn't care for it. It was kind of like a light brown ale with some honey comb, not much honey flavor which I thought would be a good thing, but the malt backbone just tastes dull.

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Big Sky's Summer Honey up next, my uncle picked up some summer seasonal package at World Market.

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I think the veggie raw hop flavor has mellowed a bit, other than the too-thin feel, it was tasting real nice.

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Now at the uncle's on friday we'd try Blank Slate Porter for the first time in about 3 weeks.

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But it surprised me, quite good. Some nice chocolate and coffee stout flavor with tart cherry playing nicely. Mouthfeel was a little on the heavy side with little carbonation.

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Thursday I had Bell's Cherry Stout, courtesy Heath. I wasn't sure about this one since I'm not a big fan of fruity beers...

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There must be something in the water. I'm posting again! Twice in a week, holy crap!

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OK, I taste very little blueberries. Which is odd....because everything tastes like blueberries to me. LOL. Lots of fruit taste, and it's 8%. This could be trouble on a warm summer day.

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Ok, so the beer manager asked me to try this. Wild Blue from Blue Dawg Brewing. I think he said it's a AB brew. Good grief, it's purple!

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Nice and piney, with some fruitiness. Yum!

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I'm not down with DL, but I will drink Gumballhead.

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Nice roast, light coffee. Another fine Dark Horse brew.

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Next up, another of Matt's stout collection. Good lord, how many did I buy? Dark Horse's Plead the Fifth.

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St. Patty's Day 2009, can't come soon enough.

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Time to finish up the St. Patty's Day left overs. Goose Island's Kilgubbin. Seriously, one fine red ale.

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Having some great weather here lately, better have some great brews to accompany it.

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While it's no Rubaeus, it is refreshing and easy to drink with lots of honey, lemon, and a nice tart raspberry kick, but not overpowering.

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With temps near 80 today, time to enjoy something lighter and fruity, Dark Horse's Raspberry Ale, picked up on the DLD trip

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Not the hop bomb I was expecting, but really refreshing and sessionable with a nice mild hop presence

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Can't wait any longer, gotta enjoy this sweet rare brew

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One of the best IPAs out there, lots of malty sweet character mixed with some spices to back up the powerful hop presence

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But first, time to enjoy a bottle of Hop Rod Rye, picked up for $3.99 down in Virginia

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Woohoo!

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Always a good sign when you arrive home to find a package containing some great beers from Joe-gia

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^yeah, I know, I use them to protect my beer stash.

 

Wedding researching is tough, but is a little more fun when you make it Double IPA night!

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"Blimey Zartan, this stuff tastes nothing like grape soda!" Not sure what part of this the Dreadnaughts like so much, but it's definitely a hop bomb and leaves a nice bitter Cold Slither as it makes its way down. Yummy!

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Next up, another Chi-town localish that is as fresh as 2 weeks ago, the #16 beer in the world, Three Floyd's Dreadnaught, a double IPA with pinecone out the wazoo

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Slam! Duuh duuh duuh, duuh duuh duuh, let the boys be boys! This stuff is awesome, lots of citrus and pine flavoring with a nice biscuit and honey backbone. I enjoyed it a little better on tap at Bell's, but that may be because it was on tap, AT Bell's!

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First up, upon Heath's recommendation that now is a fine time to enjoy, some HopSlam from Matt's favorite local brewery that is difficult to get, Bell's!

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Brief introduction:

 

Hi All, I am James.

 

Back to the topic, I went to the pub last night after work. I went to Doggerts which is on the Thames in London. This pub always has a number of guest ales. At present they have guest ales themed to the 'Taste of spring'.

 

One ale in particular stood out.

 

(I apologize for the quality of the pictures as I only had my old camera phone with me)

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In my opinion the taste was nothing special. It tasted like any other average ale.

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The pint, which is surprisingly green. The label did say it would be green, but I was expecting a dark green rather than this neon color.

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The badge. Note the label above the badge, this introduces you to the ale with a brief description of the flavor.

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catchin' up...

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I love rye beers (Terrapin, Hop Rod etc) and this is no exception! Very strong alcohol, but still very easy to drink. Not as sweet as other bw's, and the hop flavor doesn't come out as strong as in other American barleywines, so its kind of lacking a dynamic flavor. However, all told, its a seriously good beer that is pretty easy to drink despite the abv, and is a great twist on one of my favorite styles. I mean I couldn't not like a rye barleywine!

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Picked up in Asheville... its Weyerbacher's 12th Anniversary Ale, an American Barleywine that uses rye malt

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Allagash's Curieux, a barrel-aged tripel, with a hefty price tag. Nice tripel flavor with some vanilla, lemon pepper, and oak flavor in the initial taste, and the feeling of bourbon going down. A very good tripel, Allagash is hard to beat domestically

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Giant head, with dark fruit and sugars dominating the flavor, it was an excellent American-made dubbel!

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Ommegang... from Brewery Ommegang! Its their dubbel

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Time for some catch up!

 

Being May and the month of American Craft Beer Week, I'm once again trying to knock some of the Best of BA beers off my list. Would they live up to their rankings? Let's find out...

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As for the beer, yes that is a look of complete happiness on my face! The Brett is this was magical, being fairly prominent up front at first but as it warmed, actually melded with the sour fruits in the background to give it a taste unlike a sweet tart or apple Jolly Rancher (complete with a slight sugary sweetness in the back). Wow! What a fantastic beer! Definitely one of the best out there in my opinion.

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And there she is in all of her glory! This was such a great looking beer with an effervescent carbonation that wouldn't quit for quite some time.

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...and put it in one of the Russian River special barrel-aged tulip glasses that we added to our order.

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When the cork itself has directions, you best follow them...

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Here's the back of the bottle to tell you a little bit more about it. So much time and effort goes into these Russian River barrel-aged beers, that they really can be considered works of art.

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All the way up at #23 (and probably rising) it's the Russian River Beatification.

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And finally on Thursday, a little something special from our recent Nor Cal order.

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Trust me folks, you can't fake that smile! This is just the epitome of a West Coast IPA. Tones of pine, grapefruit, and big malt sweetness to even thing out. Like it says on the back of the bottle, this is indeed awesome!

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On Wednesday, it was a return visit to one of my favorite IPAs out there and #37 on the list, Alesmith IPA.

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Beyond the absolutely huge Bourbon notes in this, the rest is pretty darn good too. Char, smoke, coffee, even some chocolate all lie underneath and I think that the awesome thickness of this guy's body is right up there Darklord and Expedition Stout. Very nice!

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...and boy can you tell! Whooooweeee! I've never had a beer burn my eyeballs before!

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The best of BA continued the rest of the week with some more top 40 hits. On Monday, it was a bottle of #25. Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout. This is their Stout that is aged in Bourbon barrels for 100 days...

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And Wow! This was something! Lots of different notes from char to tobacco, to coffee to candied sugars. The barrel aging of this was what was really nice though, with notes of bourbon, vanilla, and oak that were very well integrated with the rest of the flavors but without being overly harsh.

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After we finished the Deadly Sins, thanks to Deuane, I then kicked off the month with my first Top 100 beer. Coming in at #31, it the latest Anniversary release from Firestone Walker Brewing, Firestone 11. After the success of their 2006 10th Anniversary release, Firestone 10, they went back again and created another meticulous blend of barrel aged styles to create another masterpiece.

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I'm not going to post individual pics of each one but we all had our different favorites with mine being Sloth, a Belgian Style Imperial Stout that tasted like Kate the Great's younger brother. Very nice! Bonus points to anyone that can tell me the signifigance of the order that we enjoyed them in (from left to right in the pic above).

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Last Saturday, Deuane & Carolyn came over to help partake in something special that I had gotten earlier in the year via a trade with a BA in Alaska. Throughout 2007, Midnight Sun Brewing released their "7 Deadly Sins of Beer" series, with a lot of extreme styles based on the 7 Deadly Sins ranging from a Triple IPA to various Belgian styles to even some Barrel Aged/Brett infused varieties.

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I'm on my aunt's laptop!

 

I don't have my camera adapter with me though so no pictures until I get back to Sunnyvale tomorrow evening.

 

The order of seven deadly sin beers left to right as pictured is of course following the order of the murders in the movie Se7en.

 

What's in the ****ing box???

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Weekend goodness

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Very good for being a light lager and less than 3% abv! Really sweet and bready with a nice floral hop and lemon kick.

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and when I got home, time for some International delight in the form of Mahr's Leicht, a light lager from Germany

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As you can see, because of Mother's Day the bar was just as packed as SFA was!

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But since I hadn't had it yet, I went with the Hellrazer IPA instead. Fairly decent, not very hoppy, but still enjoyable

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The tap list was missing a lot, so here's a look at the taps themselves. Current seasonals include Blackout, Celtic Fury, and El Guapo

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Today, after a few hours at SFA, time to hit up Bowie's DuClaw.

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Pretty sessionable, nice sweetness, grass, and floral notes

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First up, Ithaca's Pale Ale

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Not posted for a while and I really should have got a shot of the Ayinger Weiss beer that I brewed for a party a couple of weeks ago as that stuff was some of my best brewing yet. So much so that another load of ingredients to make another batch are sitting in the kitchen. I shall post a Brew report at the end of tomorrows brew day.

 

Anyway onto tonight's small but well rounded tipple and that's a drop of my Imperial Stout I brewed a while back. It's had an extra few weeks since it was first tasted and the extra time has really improved the beer. Lovely smooth texture with a good malt in the mouth followed by a wonderful spicy aftertaste. Unfortunately I didn't quite get it right and it's only a 5.3% abv when it should have been nearer 8%. All part of the learning process though.

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Not bad when you can sit at home, have a drink and all whilst actually working! Yes, I am being paid to do this!

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^ Fun Stuff

 

Okay, the surprise destination of my trip will now be revealed! I got back last evening and did the whole mother's day thing after that. Was tired after that so I unpacked my bags and went to sleep earlyish last night.

 

First of all I want to apologize to Justin for the thunder I am about to steal from him... But Justin, you are just too busy nowadays to be the first one to Portland Deschutes!

 

Yes, I went to Portland with my Mom and Grandma to visit my Aunt and Uncle, Great Aunt, and Great Uncle. My Aunt and Uncle live up in a little town called Fife, WA. My Great Aunt and Great Uncle live in a little place called Pendleton, OR.

 

The first thing I noticed when landing and getting my bags was the Toyota Prius Taxis they had picking people up at the airport. I thought to myself, yeah, I'm in Oregon... Too bad my camera was not in a more convenient spot for a picture there...

 

Anyhow I am going to post the Portland ones now, which was the first part of the trip, from wednesday to friday.

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Their bling bling... This wall is like 40 feet tall with medals all the way up to the top, I couldn't back up to get them all in the picture though because of the lower level ceiling in the restaurant area.

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A picture of the brewery, but from behind the glass. Would have been cool to schedule a tour or something but I'll leave justin to do that...

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The fries were quite nice too.

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Here's my turkey sandwich, which was quite frankly amazing. Our server was awesome as well, the experience on the whole was an amazing one.

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The other sample of note was of course Mirror Mirror Barley-Wine. It's not your typical dark sweet fruit type of barleywine, it's more caramel and citrus based, probably because it's double strength mirror pond pale ale aged in used bourbon, pinot noir, and port oak barrels, then blended after aging.

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Two favorites to speak of, but all six were tremendous. This one is St. Tanith, which is what they had on their X-Tap. It's like a Belgian Strong Ale I suppose, but it's unlike anything I've had. Awesome malt backbone of sweet caramel accentuated by orange, spice, and oak from the oak aging. Also went down incredibly smooth for being 8.7% ABV.

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They give you this little form and a pen, and you write down which six you want. The wooden server has numbered etched into the bottom of each holder that correspond with each number on the paper, so you know what's what when it comes out and they can't screw up filling them and then forgetting which is which on the way to the table. A great idea.

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I just got a sampler since we didn't have as much time here as I would have liked. The way they do their samplers is pretty awesome though, the first smart way I've seen to do them yet.

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Stupid flash didn't go off because of the back-lighting, but I realized I had no other pictures of the huge windows in the place that were sort of left as is to show a bit of the history of what the place once was, an auto shop with car bays.

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A little gift area is set up when you walk in the door on your way to the reception desk area. I bought a glass.

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Plenty of stuff on that they don't bottle or I can't get in bottles down in CA.

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The bar area. Lotsa taps! Let's see what's on...

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The wall of interesting stuff hanging behind our table.

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A little scottish plaid area of the dining space.

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The place is gigantic. Tons of seating along with the brewery in back and a pretty big bar too. We got there right when it opened at 11 so I took some pictures before it got packed. This is a carving done by a famous chainsaw artist up here.

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Friday before we left to go up to Tacoma and stay at my Aunt and Uncle's house, we had lunch in Portland... at the awesome new Deschutes Brewery and Public House! Sorry Justin!

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The view from our table once we were seated.

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Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale? Sure, that's what I'll have! Yummy.

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The gang waiting for a table at the bar... Let's see what they have on tap.

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For dinner we stopped off at a little place off the road called Chicken n' Dumplins.

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Here's a picture from a little observatory on the way back from Multnomah falls that we stopped off at. This river is the Columbia, the largest in the region and the river that seperates Oregon from Washington.

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The lower falls.

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And the falls themselves, a big tall one, a bridge that lets you go up a ways, and a lower falls underneath the bridge.

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From Troutdale (Where McMenamins was) we left and visited the Multnomah Falls, about a half an hour drive from Troutdale. Here is the lodge housing the restaurant, and giftshop building.

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No brewery tour would be complete without a picture of hundreds of empty kegs. He also took me in their malt storage room and hop storage room, the hop storage room smelled like heaven...

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This picture didn't turn out so great but these are the huge fermenters, six of them total. The manager would explain that half of their beer for the entire chain comes out of this brewery, their main production facility.

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And the brew kettle which was being cleaned out by the Head Brewer who peeked his head out for the picture. Creepy!

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Time for the informal little show around I got at the brewery by the manager of the brewery. They were brewing as we walked through, so it was a little hectic, but my tour guide was great. Here's their Mash Tun.

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They grow their own grapes for their winery too. What, no love for the hops?

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They also have a little chip and putt 32 hole course and this putting green, too bad I didn't bring my clubs!

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We only stayed at McMenamins wednesday night, and I managed some more pictures early thursday, but I didn't get to go to as many of the different pubs as I had wanted. Like this one, The Pub Course. Housed in this building is a little pub, and a Distillery that was making whiskey when I went in, smelled divine...

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Later that night my mom and I went to see Semi Pro at the little theatre. They have tables in there so you can bring in food or drink while you watch. I was a little dissapointed with the movie, not up to the usual Will Ferrell quality, but I was hoping the beer sampler would save the experience! Bottom left to right, Ruby Ale, Bagdad, Hammerhead, Black Rabbit Porter, Terminator Stout, and Workingman's Red, their seasonal for spring. I was hoping the stout would be good too since they nailed the malt profile on their porter, but it was too mild, and too thin... Infact, besides the Porter, nothing really impressed me on the sampler...

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I'd have the Reuben for dinner. The meat was a little tough, but the toasted marble rye, cheese and saurkraut was good. I also like any place that allows you to choose salad for your side on a sandwich as opposed to french fries.

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I went with the Black Rabbit Porter, big surprise huh? This porter was TREMENDOUS. I think it's the best porter I have ever had, excellent flavor with a nice bitter coffee and chocolate flavor. Smoke and Roastyness is there too... Oh and the viscosity was PERFECT. Great mouthfeel.

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Their tap list...

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Later we'd have dinner at the Power Station Pub, their restaurant section is fairly big, and it's much cheaper than the Black Rabbit in the hotel area.

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The Little Red Shed had four taps, one bartender, and a maximum occupancy of ten people. On tap was Terminator Stout, Ruby Ale, IPA and Hammerhead Ale. I chose the IPA, and took it out to the fire, sipping it while enjoying the view and reading The Complete Joy of Homebrewing. Could there be a more perfect reading setting? By the way, the IPA was really good! Done more in the english style, but it was pulled off nicely.

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I took my book down there to sit at the picnic tables around this firepit and read a book while enjoying a beer outside. It was a bit chilly, probably low 50s, but the bartender kept the fire going strong by bringing out more wood every 10 minutes.

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After walking my Mom and Aunt over to the Spa so they could get their pedicures, I decided to check out the bar called The Little Red Shed visible from our room that opens around 4pm daily and had just started burning some wood out front.

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The view out the windows from the side of our room, with a little table. Not pictured on the left is another coffee table with a couch. The room was technically considered a suite, but we only paid something around $100 a night for it... No TVs in the room though, but who needs technology at a place like this!

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Our room was huge! Every room is different, and has its own name and story behind it. Some rooms have to share restrooms down the hall, but ours had our own.

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A side entry into the hotel and the fancy restaurant The Black Rabbit. Sweet all brick buildings with excellent gardening was pretty much the theme.

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The beautiful backside of the Power Station. This building used to house all of the electricity for the poor farm, but has been converted into a little movie theater and pub.

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Here's the Administrator's House, the Administrator of the poor farm would stay here back in the day. Not sure what goes on in here now, perhaps operations for the resort?

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The whole place is beautiful... I won't post all the pictures I took of the grounds because the post would be too long, but here is the little island roundabout thing in the front of the Hotel.

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The first destination is the largest McMenamins in the rather large chain. McMenamins Edgefield, a converted old poor farm into an alcohol making wonderland.

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^ Looks like a fun place.

 

So as I mentioned today would be a brew day and rather than bore you all with loads of piccies here's a select few and the rest are here http://www.bluebuzzards.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=119

 

I'd imagine Bubba may find these of interest given his recent reading matter.

 

Just for info I was brewing a version of an Ayinger Brau Weiss using :-

 

3100 grams of Pale Malt

2500 grams of wheat malt

25 grams of Hallertau Hops.

 

Should come out at about 5.1% abv

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The end result all nice and cosy in the cupboard under the stairs.

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Boiling away nicely

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The inventive sparging system.

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The Mash

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Just a couple of brews over the last couple of days, but nothing to turn up your nose at!

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I can see why it's in the top 100, this thing is tart, effervescent, and really easy to drink. Lots of tart and sour fruit flavors like peach, apricot, lemon, grapes, and apples mixed with spices and some wine notes. Must get more!

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I couldn't wait any longer to break into some of Russian River's greatness, Temptation got the best of me. Time to enjoy this Blonde Ale brewed with Brettanomyces and aged in Oak barrels

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I liked it a lot better this time around (maybe that's because I didn't have a whole bunch of beers beforehand). Very solid IPA with a nice mix of citrus, pine, and grassy hops as well as a sweet caramel and biscuity backbone.

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Time to enjoy some more goodies from Dark Horse, the Crooked Tree IPA, something I had on tap at the brewery last month

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A pretty flavorful Pils lager with nice balance and a solid crisp finish, low in abv too, easy to session and really refreshing in hot weather

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Starting out with a bottle of Ithaca Pils that I picked up in New York over Easter

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