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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2011 edited
    It's that time *hick!* again, folks.

    Currently sipping down a glass of Raison d'Etre, by Dogfish Head. This is my first Dogfish brew, though I'm very close to killing someone for a chance to try their Hellhound on My Ale - dark, scary beer dedicated to the one and only Robert "Sold His Soul to the Devil, Greatest Bluesman to Ever Live" Johnson? Sign me the fuck up.

    Anyway, Raison d'Etre - this stuff is brewed with green raisins, though you can just barely tell - in a good way. It's not up-front fruity like, say, some wheat beers are, and it's not all that sweet, aside from a bit of a charred caramel taste, like a really dialed-down, subtle version of marshmallows held too close to the campfire (i.e., the best kind). The raisins come in during the after-aftertaste, after you exhale, and just a little bit in the aroma, which is otherwise earthy and just a little bit meaty.

    I'm drinking it alongside a bowl of penne pasta in thick, chunky red meat sauce, and I can't think of a better pairing for this beer. The color is nice and dark, with a dark red-gold hue when held up to the light. It doesn't keep a head for terribly long, which is a little sad, because that's often my favorite part of a glass of beer. And by the way, you definitely want this in a glass - I took the first few sips from the bottle, but I could tell right away this beer needed a little room to breath. Sure enough, it got smoother and more complex in the glass. At 8% alkie-haul, it's pretty fun to stand up real quick after you've had half a glass in a relatively short amount of time - it gave me a pleasant heat under the collar, and has a very nice chill factor going for it - desperately needed after a nasty day at work.

    During the same trip, I also picked up a six-pack of The Poet, an oatmeal stout (because I fucking love oatmeal stouts - if oatmeal stouts could talk and raise my self-esteem, they'd replace girlfriends in my life) by New Holland, and an assortment of beers in a build-your-own-six-pack deal, including a bottle of Urquell Pilsner (lauded by Oldhat, whose word on beer is nigh unto God Itself as far as I'm concerned) and a personal favorite, Wailua wheat beer, which is brewed with passionfruit. Shut up, shut up, it's fucking delicious and I don't care that it looks like my Hawai'ian boyfriend bought it for me. I'll be getting to all of those soon enough, me hearties.

    So, time to weigh in, hopheads and malt maniacs, and everything in between. What have you been drinking, and how do you like it? If you make your own beer - Well, here's your advertising space.

    BEER. Let's TALK about it.

    (Pheeeeeeeew. 8%, Dogfish? Is that really all? I think you put extra in this one, just for me.)
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2011
    I'm a hophead and the weather lately has been the perfect pairing for Pale Ales. My two favorite so far have been Amsterdam's BONESHAKER UNFILTERED IPA and Kensington Market Brewery's AUGUSTA ALE.

    The latter is a new one to me, as it's only available in Toronto in the building it was made (it is the first brew from the owner of the Burger Bar on Augusta Ave., the street where the beer gets its name). On first inspection the colour was a sweet, honey yellow and the aroma was surprisingly very sweet. The taste though, damn. The hops hits you and it's a VERY pleasant surprise. I had two of those and the "Cask Ale" which is essentially the same beer except slightly hoppier and served at room temp. Both would go INCREDIBLY well with a burger.

    Next week I'm off to NYC and I'm looking forward to picking up some old favourites (Arrogant Bastard, Coney Island) and discovering some new ones. In particular I'm thinking of heading out to The Pony Bar, which changes their craft brews every week. Yum!

    On a side note, I'm also a homebrewer and considering growing my own hops and grains.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2011
    Oh man, Arrogant Bastard. I've got a good, good history with that beer.

    First had it in this little Italian joint not too far from my school's All-GenEd-All-The-Time building, and went in for a slice of pizza and a brew. The lady at the register, a two-months-off-the-boat Australian with the dirtiest smile you've ever seen, asked what I'd like to drink with that. I looked at the selection, and chuckled at the angry demon grinning down at me from above. "I'll take one of those," I said.

    "Glass or bottle?" she asked me.

    "Ummm, bottle," I said, flipping a mental coin, having no idea what I actually wanted.

    She grins, rings my up, and hands me a bottle she opened with a twist of strong, callused fingers. "Man after me own heart," she said. Apparently I'd made the right choice.

    Arrogant Bastard is not a perfect beer, but as an accompaniment to a thin-crust, mozzarella-heavy pizza, it is unparalleled. I rarely go more than two months before I get a hankering for the stuff.
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2011
    Haha my first experience wasn't anywhere near that fun, but the bottle did catch my eye in a supermarket.

    I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes and I better here from a few people who I know for a fact are fans of beer here.

    But for now...bed for me.

    (Also, thank you so much for the kind words)
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2011
    I think people pick it up for the label art, and buy it for the spiel on the back. They KEEP buying it because it's really, really good beer.

    (Any time, dear lady).
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2011
    arrogant bastid

    me gusta
  1.  (9928.7)
    I'm spending what little money I have left on a few firm favourites, plus some brews from around the East Midlands.

    My breakthrough ale was Badger's Golden Glory. It's the most inoffensive ale by far in my experience (sweet, light and peachy) and it taught me that the world wasn't all about pissy lagers like Carling or Fosters. I felt remorse at the teenage years I'd wasted on utter shit when I could've been enjoying my alcohol. I always come back to it if I'm unsure of what else to buy. I think my dad felt worse though, as he was the one who introduced me to it and he'd only just started drinking good beer because of a friend/co-worker who is a CAMRA member and massive ale aficionado.

    I will always always always recommend Wells' Banana Bread Beer. I can't get enough of it. If you don't drink it, or you don't like it, you are a filthy goddamn communist like my girlfriend (although she hates all beer... wait, how does my relationship work again?).

    I'm starting to get into darker ales like Theakston's Old Peculier and Hobgoblin, and just recently I actually enjoyed drinking Guinness for the very first time (despite years of drinking it beforehand just to keep up appearances in front of friends who probably enjoyed it as little as me at the time). I have tried others but honestly can't think of their names for the life of me at the moment. I've also found that I really like IPAs like Fuller's Bengal Lancer and Marston's Old Empire.

    Local brews I'm currently enjoying: Springhead's Roaring Meg, Derby Brewing Company's Old Intentional and Castle Rock's Harvest Pale.
    • CommentAuthorNil
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2011
    I'm afraid this isn't going to be much use to most of you, but any Glasgow based folks should endeavour to get their arses down to the Clockwork Beer Company for a pint of their "Thunder & Lightning". It's a dark ale unlike any other I've tried - surprisingly light and citrusy - and it packs a punch way higher than the ~7% ABV can account for. If you're feeling flush, I can also highly recommend the Weihenstephaner Weissbier they have on tap - it's £4.75 a pint, but SO VERY DELICIOUS.

    In non-beer news, Weston's Vintage Special Reserve cider is as tasty as I recall and rather good on a hot day (if you manage to remember that the delicious taste masks a hefty 8.2% ABV)
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2011
    Re: Arrogant Bastard - If you are ever down in San Diego, stop by their brewery. They have a good restaurant there and they sometimes give brewery tours (or at least they did a few years back when they were building the restaurant.

    Currently drinking Smithwicks (well, not right now as I'm at work and people frown when HR is drinking on the job). I'm going to stop by BevMo on the way home Friday and pick up a bottle or two of blue label Chimay. Mmmmm...
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2011
    Oh you people with your fancy beers. Labats Blue Ribbon for me.
  2.  (9928.11)
    I recently went to a friend's 40th birthday party. He's a massive beer nerd and has been collecting bottles for years especially for this do.

    Aftermath photos here...

    My favorite part was seeing how the imperial stouts held up with age. Three Floyds Dark Lord from '08 was fantastic, smoothed a bit while retaining great structure underneath. And the Old Rasputins were all terrific.
  3.  (9928.12)
    On the non fancy, I really like drinking Red Stripe, as it's possibly the most palatable of "shit beer you can buy in cans".
    In the event I can ever afford to go to a pub again, I'm a Pale ale drinker, which was just about the only thing of positive note about living in Sheffield.
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2011 edited
    @keyofsilence not to promote myself, but if you're getting in to dark ales, may I suggest this post on my blog?

    I think more than ever I could really go for a Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted right now. Nice and light with some wonderful citrus tones to it that would combat this incredibly warm weather well.

    As some of the beers I'd like to try, I really want to have some BrewDog. ANY of their brews, really. They do ship to Canada, but the problem is that shipping charges are £40 (When a bottle is roughly £2) so...not possible for me.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2011 edited
    Forty? That's... that's downright criminal.

    Trying one from the build-your-own pack right now, Star Hill Brewery's Dark Star Stout. I'm a little bit disappointed - it's a good, quaffable beer, but it's very light for something that calls itself Dark Star. It's got a good roasted malty flavor to it, but there's almost no balance from the hops, at least none that I can taste, and so it sort of evaporates in your mouth almost before you swallow it. There is an interesting hint of dark chocolate and... raspberries, I think?... in there, but, again, it doesn't last long enough to be truly identified or enjoyed.

    I suspect this would make for a really good beer-shake, though, now that I think about it. Hmmm... now, where'd that vanilla ice cream get to?
  4.  (9928.15)
    @oldhat, I'm a reader! I enjoy your blog very much. =)
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2011
    Alan, It's the summer. There are PLENTY of fruit beers out there right now and all of them make excellent ice cream floats. I'd suggest a good Raspberry one (I suggest Samuel Smith's Organic Raspberry Fruit Beer) or any other ones. Pear Cider and Apple Pilsner are also good styles that go with ice cream REALLY well.

    keyofsilence Oh, hooray! I'm so glad! I need to get around to doing another Gateway Beers article. Sadly, things have gotten really busy.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2011 edited
    Cider shakes... I can't believe I never thought of that before. And I've GOT an apple cider in the six pack, too!

    Gonna have to try that. I'll let you know how it turns out!
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2011
    Glad to say that I'm drinking some red ale that I brewed myself...first time trying it and couldn't be happier with the results. Part of the reason I couldn't be happier is the fact that it has some striking similarities to Arrogant Bastard despite being from one of the intro kit packages. Homebrew is turning out to be well worth the relatively small startup cost, thought the waiting was killer.
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2011
    Hey, I'll come out of hiding for this.

    Enjoying a Deschutes Inversion right now. I've recently realized that Deschutes is my favorite American brewery; at least for now. I've never had anything bad, or even "meh" from them. On the homebrewing front, it's all quiet, unfortunately, because I moved into an apartment last fall and my roommate and I haven't gotten around to figuring out some sort of small-scale apartment brewing scheme yet. It's probably been almost a year since I brewed anything (yikes, I didn't even realize until just now). I was working so much, then was overseas, then excuses excuses, and...I need to brew again soon. Oh and I also picked up a 4-pack of De Koninck today, because I had a craving for Belgian when I stopped into the liquor store.

    @oldhat, I paid $14 for a 12-oz. bottle of Brewdog once (it was a stout aged in whisky barrels, I think), and it was very well-made and delicious, but at that price...well, it's just hard to justify $14 for one small bottle. Take from that what you will. Also, I like your beer blog.

    Good topic. I tend to be quiet about most things but I can go on and on about beer.
  5.  (9928.20)
    i love my ales.

    currently working my way through a heavy duty addiction to Bellhaven's Wee Heavy - here.

    it's a beautifully full toffee like flavour.

    also greatly impressed with a Bavarian beer - Erdinger Dunkel - which is a delicious dark wheat beer - here.

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