Thursday, January 17, 2008

Rock Art

Getting back into this has been harder than I expected and it doesn't help that work has seemingly blocked all blogspot pages. Strangely, they haven't blocked the homesite, so I can still log in and post but I can't view my actual blog. Weird. If I don't have access to Lew or any of the other beer blogs, I lose momentum...coming up with your own ideas is too hard! When I get home, I get involved in other things and forget to check them out.

Oh well. The other night I bought a variety 12 pack of Rock Art, a brewery in VT. It included a Golden Ale, a Red Ale, a Smoked Porter, and a Barley Wine (at only 7.5% abv). I'll probably post about the Golden Ale because it was very interesting, at least as far as "golden ales" go. Other than their winter seasonal Bock, I'm a newcomer to Rock Art.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

John Harvard's (Manchester, CT)

We hit John Harvard's on Sunday after seeing Atonement. I can't remember the entire tap list, but I'll do my best:

Armadillo Amarillo IPA
Dastardly Dark Lager
Helles Lager
Pale Ale
Oatmeal Stout
Fire Drake Barleywine

Unfortunately nothing on cask until 1/21.

They seem to be getting away from the spider theme of naming their beers. Their Schwarzbier used to be called Black Widow Dark Lager so they've either renamed it or it's a slightly different beer...not sure. I had the Oatmeal Stout (served via nitro), which was smooth and tasty but not earth shattering. Low in alcohol so it would be a good choice if driving. I also had a snifter of the barleywine, which is worth making a specific trip to drink. It's always great and was no exception this time. I'm not a big barleywine guy, but I've always loved the Fire Drake, especially if lucky enough to find it on cask. The sip of Mandy's IPA told me it was decent but not as good as the Brown Recluse (I wonder if this is a new recipe necessitated by the hop shortage?).

Monday, January 7, 2008

Back to the Grind

I'm back after a nice long break. I survived Christmas and there's really not much beer-related to talk about. I didn't drink a great deal and when I did drink it was rather run-of-the-mill stuff. I haven't been to a proper beer bar since the Allagash tasting at Eli's.

After Christmas we packed our bags and headed to Alabama (again). 4 adults and 2 dogs piled into a rental car at 4am and made the 18 hour trip in one shot (we also came home in one shot, which is a first for's harder coming home because you lose an hour). In AL I continued the trend of drinking just north of moderately, but the most exciting beer was Terrapin Rye (not to slag off Terrapin Rye because I'm a huge fan). Mostly it was Yuengling Lagers.

There was one beer highlight though, another beer dinner. The menu, as best as I can remember:

  • Kielbasa & Souerkraut paired with Terrapin Golden
  • Salad (loosely based on The Corner Pug's Pug Salad) paired with Hoegaarden Original White Ale
  • Kässpätzle paired with my homebrewed hefeweizen
  • Shepherd's Pie paired with Abita Amber
  • Bailey's Irish Cream Cheesecake paired with Rogue Mocha Porter

The best pairing, by far, was the Mocha Porter with the cheesecake (which was made by my BIL and was phenomenal). With the exception of my homebrew, I made sure all the beers were available in AL (I had to because I bought them all there).

After this longish break from geeking out about beer I look forward to getting back into the swing of things.