The editor has noticed a distinct drop off in both production and quality in this new weekly (?) format. There will be a conversation with the reviewer.
The editor has noticed a distinct drop off in both production and quality in this new weekly (?) format. There will be a conversation with the reviewer.
Barrier Mare Undarum
Hill Farmstead Everett Porter
Red rooster stout
Six Point Sol (salt)
Ok. No way I can get through this intelligently, let alone the intelligence I thought I was gonna bring to it, not even the intelligence I thought was successfully infused throughout this blog. We have spel check…an automated feature in typing these days…even grammar check, a suspect quality of typing and checking in any universe…but no check for intelligent signs of life in the universe.
This review was suppose to be written … well… shortly after tasting. And can I add right now, that this was indeed a tasty selection of brews, served up at what might well be the best the best bar in all the universe, The Pony Bar. Yes…. yes… yesssss, indeed.
Not that all these brews worked. Not that any of us really work. Not in the way that, say, the sun is hard at work keeping us all alive. Thank you very much there sun.
The Barrier was. Was a barrier to a real belgian. I mean, like throw a sunripened orange peel into to a pale ale glass and call it a successful hybrid. Was not.
Rooster…yes, yes, enough to wake you up, but perhaps not enough to keep you going through the whole sunlite day.
WTF … say no more. Yes.
Six Point…sol something. Yes. Like throwing the salt into a bottle of Sol. And then like throwing the hops of Sierra into a bottle of Sol. Maybe something happening there, but the sun is setting now…….
Leaving (actually, poetic license, I started here) with the charcoal sunset quality of Everett. Porter carry me away. Nicely.
Barrier Mare Undarum : 60%
Hill Farmstead Everett Porter : 76%
Red rooster stout :69%
WTF: whatever it was before +1%
Six Point Sol (salt) : 72%
… too much cluster here.
From the timing of the submission here, apparently this piece was written, never re-read, submitted after an extension discussion the reviewer had about what ever the hell happened before the big bang. We only hope it involved hops.
Hurricane Kitty : Keegan Ales : IPA
Mother’s Milk Stout : Keegan Ales : Stout
I first had Mother’s Milk poured from an unmarked brown jug into fruit jars, whilst sitting at the linoleum kitchen table of my friends Rick and Gail. Slightly sweet with a underlying chalky quality. Big wrap-around arms for late spring. And a healthy freshness that suggested a local cow and sweet hay farmed just down that dirt road over there was involved in the making of the beer. Keegan’s brews are made in nearby Kingston and that impresses the sentiment that drinking local is somehow drinking better.
Rick is a crazy-assed, jokester…the kind of guy who would crawl under a house, armed with a car jack, just to level out an uneven floor board or two. But alas, he’s given up drink along with the desire to place his life in the hands of insane chance. I’ve had the pleasure of Mother’s Milk elsewhere from time to time, but nothing’s quite matched drinking it in the jacked-up elevation of Rick and Gail’s kitchen. Location plays a role in taste.
I suspect that even a lesser (note: not an intolerable) beer in a great location tastes better. (Just as any great beer served pourly (think dirty taps, for instance) will suffer greatly.) Such is certainly the case for Hurricane Kitty, served on the slopes of Belleaire and at all the hotspots of Fleischmanns. (If the name sounds familiar, you’re right on in your guess.) I bought a Milk Stout just in case, but it was unnecessary. The resulting black&tan was thick, rich, sharp and sweet but the IPA on its own made the tumbles of amateur skiing (truly amateur) badges of the wearily happy. Medium and crisp, lyrically citrus.
I know now that Keegan brews for winter and early spring. But you have to be well-positioned: it’s a local thing.
Hurricane Kitty: 79%
Mother’s Milk Stout: 75%
The Bronx Pale Ale : Bronx Brewery : Pale Ale
So on a late afternoon, when the hard winter sun illuminated the sharper angles of Lincoln Center, I stand along the window table, sampling Bronx Pale Ale. The woman who served me it in a pint water glass had blank marble eyes. She looked through me for a whole minute before crossing the foot and a half space between us to ask if I wanted anything. All around tall people abound on the street and in the shop. A man and his wife chant through a shopping list of things in New York City, he repeating the refrain “well, we deserve this…” whenever there was a gap in the inventory.
The pale burns without complexity. I’m wondering if they are attempting an IPA, but dropped the I — not from humility, but from a need to separate themselves from the crowd. The thickness…thinking nitrogen here…is delightful, as is the hint of salt…but it all just burns like the cold flares hitting the crowded, directionless streets. Another year older and not the whole lot wiser, all I feel is ten dollars lighter.
It is all a ghostly experience.
Harpoon Black IPA: Harpoon Brewery : IPA that’s Black
Four in Hand : World Brews, Winery Exchange Inc.: IPA
Clementine: Clown Shoes : Wheat
Wyld Extra Pale Ale : Uinta Brewing Company: Pale Ale
Golden Spike : Uinta Brewing Company : American Pale Wheat Ale
It’s a time of introspection and laughter…so that must mean a birthday party…or the re-birth of the beer blog. Either way, what better way to celebrate than with friends and an assortment of new IPAs, a pale, and a clementine wheat for kicks. Bright, fascinating, compelling…and I am, of course, just speaking of the company.
Just out of the gate again, I suppose it’s all about the results and I anticipate talking about the results of a year of suds sampling. Detailing the merits of pale ale in the world of IPAs. Highlighting the importance of odd varietals or the zaniness of fruit. Promoting labels as art.
All in due time. Since it takes a while to get back up on the bar stool, even if it a more manageable once a week, I’ll stick to what little I can remember of the tasting notes. Oddly enough, just four months after completing the year long journey, IPAs are still universally appreciated. I enjoyed the more floral qualities of the Four in Hand (yeah, I know, run away because this is brewed in the same vats as Genny), whilst distinguished guests settled more solidly on the darker, but bitterer qualities of that odd hybrid, Harpoon’s Black IPA. (“Is this a porter?” “No.”)
Lost in the shuffle are the lighter pleasures of Uinta’s Pale Ale…a simple, bright beer that reminds one of refreshment…and the Clown Shoe’s clementine wheat (as promised), with it’s citrus layerings acting exactly as promised. Ah, this Clown Shoe brewery: I tried a couple of beers from this laughing ale house in the dry months since retiring the blog, and the tastes (along with my thirsts) are another reason to pick up the quest again.
I’m back, baby, if not yet brilliant.
Harpoon Black IPA: 84
Four in Hand : 72
Clementine: Clown Shoes : 76
Wyld Extra Pale Ale : 72
Golden Spike : 63
After destroying this site in a misguided web administration move, after four months of beer withdraw, after the demands of this site’s sole reader, the reviewer has made the brave decision to return to the topic of suds, if on a less alcohol intensive schedule. So once a week, probably Wednesday, the reviews once again saddle up the bar.
So this blog comes to a slow conclusion. As of this writing, three entries outstanding…
But, in offsite consultations with the reading public, the editor is working to convince the reviewer to find some way to not only complete the remaining entries, but some way to perhaps extend the project, if only in some kind of pony bottle format. Negotiations are under way…
Oh, the last notes are slow in coming. Apparently, the reviewer is slow to step away from the task at hand. Perhaps he is still drinking beers on the sly and that is slowing the progress, knowing it’s the equivalent of a free drink…essentially, nothing to have to write about.
But somehow, some day, this all must get down.
Cuvee 1 : Southern Tier Brewing Company : Strong Ale
“Here’s to good friends, tonight is kinda special.” Kinda? I have three more days, hundreds of unwritten topics, and thousands of untried beers. Michelob will have to remain untried.
If you’re gonna undertake some mission in drinking a beer a day, it helps to have good friends. They’ll buy you a beer from time to time, to time, to time and again to time. Time, gentlemen, please.
These friends fill up a growlers at places like Pony Bar or at Bierkraft, at Whole Foods or even Duane Reade. They put a bottle pressed between cloths and tie it all into a suitcase, sneaking it across some invisible border.
Friends: how much laughter served over sausage and honey and Rolling Rock at Harry’s, even with that old gym teacher Flip in the room. Ah, buy him a round, because time and a little green pony buries all bad things.
But wait, who dat knocking at the back door? Ah, my old friend and vintager Rick showing up with a couple sixes of Anchor Steam, just off the plane from San Franscico and bringing with him the first illumination of quality beer difference. “They called it Steam Ale. I don’t know why, but you gotta try it cause it’s good.” Raise an etched pint glass, then, to the ghost of Christmas parties past.
Then there’s the invisible sun pouring over the sidewalk cafe on a Cambridge corner, waiting for Bob to clear his classes and drinking a Newcastle Brown Ale on tap with my friend John, talking about New Orleans. Come dinner time, we followed up with Chinese food and scorpion bowls and listening to Lightnin’ Hopkins.
This was miles under the bridge, where my friend Fuzz shook the bubbles out of cheap champagne and we passed the bottle, each of us offering a graduation toast. Ah, but it would have tasted better with beer. Across the railroad tracks, you could see the lights of the Lower Allen Police Department. We had survived a scare on a stupid evening not long before, me driving…but not drinking…weaving the car to song Venus when the blueandreds come on behind us. “I would have pulled you over even before you threw that Bud can out the window.” My longlost friend Stumpie leaned forth from the back seat and replied, “It wasn’t Bud…it was Miller.”
Run, beer man, run. I’m wearing Don’s jacket that he earned drinking over a hundred beers at Albany’s Maher’s pub. He’s dying of cancer and I’m running the NYC marathon with miles to go. Years later, while pondering with my friend Larry the excellent beer choices at Buzz & Ned’s excellent bbq, he reminded me of the story of the road trip to Niagara Falls, when Don finished all the beers as we drove the bridge back from the Canadian side. “Do you have anything to declare? Bringing in any beer?” My friend Don leaned forth from the back seat and replied, with a rattle of the empty in his hand, “not any more, no.”
The long road back from driving forklifts in a warehouse in Lodi and there was the afterwork surprise: one sunny afternoon on a hundredandsixth street, they pulled the tables from the sedentary inner darkness, painted all their tops brilliant blue, and screwed down a wavy plastic lid. Just for one day, Canon’s transformed itself into some aquatic paradise, an accidental upgrade; it didn’t last long, with the bewildered regular clientele scissoring up pieces of plastic to get back to carving their initials in the wood underneath. All was fine with my friend Darrell and me as long as the pitcher prices remained student cheap.
Diane gave us student pricing every Wednesday at the North Shore Brewery. The multimedia department would make the trip down from Syosset to enjoy the salty air of their imperial stout or other delicacies, all rough for the price of a glass of water. And there were pitchers at Hungry Chucks and cascades of light and dark at McSorley’s. There was my friend Craig’s Gennysicles and then the receptionist’s retort to my friend Ian’s question about whether you could still buy beer after crossing back into North Carolina from South Carolina: “Can I still buy beer in this state?” “Son, in the state your in, you don’t need another beer.”
And Olde Sluggers from Cooperstown, beers in the backyard with friends. Perhaps most memorably etched when, after delaying the start of the service in order to get the right tap for the keg, I hold hands with my newly wedded wife and see a thousand smiles looking back at me, each guest with a draft in hand.
The Cuvee is a good enough beer, adequate for the penultimate in the experiment. I will need something more uplifting tomorrow.
Merry Monks’ : Weyerbacher Brewing Co. : Belgian
Blithering Idiot : Weyerbacher Brewing Co. : Barleywine
Old Heathen : Weyerbacher Brewing Co. : Imperial Stout
To quote Sting (and maybe a million others), I am not alone. No, I consider myself in that crowd of blithering idiots who attempt to write about drinking a different beer a day for a year. Some of these colleagues have started with the best intentions, only to be crippled along the way. The path is not wide and it is rutted by ironic distractions, such as gaining weight in the waist while losing it in the wallet. There are also the full ranks of beer bloggers who wander casually through the adjacent aisles of opportunity, sampling and spelling. This is a vast army that hear the siren call, but, although they tread the right direction, they missed the unbridled thrill a year’s discipline unveils.
Or perhaps they fear that once they make that simple commitment to drink a beer a day for the beneficial illumination of the world, well, that they would find themselves addicted to the mountain trek, where crossing a simple Alpine meadow leads to the strut up a never-ending Matterhorn of continuous beer consciousness connoisseur commitment.
So familiar reader, where does your path lie? Will you stay in the band of merry monks, tripping lightly with their bowls of fruit–bananas, plums, a slight warmth of cinnamon? Are is your calling higher, much higher, to the something big boozy and warm, on some malted mountaintop, flicking caramel dusted figs into your thirsty mouth? Or can you find a more simple comfort in a step away from insanity, in the path of the old Heathen, a tad salty in his wisdom gained gathering hints of vanilla and cream, the chocolate in his pockets warming to the twilight air?
For those still looking for more guidance on the question, I leave behind these illuminated manuscripts:
365 Days of Beer–a pleasantly direct and knowledgeable account of beer drinking, peaceful almost to the point of being completely non-judgmental.
It’s Pub Night–not a daily account, but a detailed one, focusing on PacNW brews and drinking places and he offers the Six-Pack Equivalent Calculator, a crafty tool for pricing out growlers.
Small Beer–perhaps he doesn’t write everyday because of supply issues, or perhaps because of the lyrical ponderings of each review.
Left4Beer–not daily, but extensive, creating a deep inventory of traditional reviews
BrewPublic–kinda the Wall Street Journal of beer in Portland.
Kupko’s Mind. Bottled.–straight-out traditional style reviews, but a great selection of interesting brews.
Slosh Spot–the site itself is silly and confusing like a blonde drinking her first warm beer in college, but this particularly page linked here is still an attractive graphical account of beer drinking around the world.
Brew 365–a daily beer brewing (not beer tasting) site, with recipes that reverse engineer your favorite beers.
Beer Mapping–for the lost and thirsty in all of us.
An answer to the most pressing of questions…
BottleTrek–a place to buy strange beers (for collection purposes only).
Blood, Stout, and Tears–a little history, a little opinion, a little slice of south Wales.
Firkin Pub–have pub, will travel.
A Bar with No Name–nice name for an otherwise pretty standard blog.
A Year of Beer–not to be confused with a blog with a similar sounding name, this is not a daily accounting, but it mixes personal perspective on beer and beer culture with more traditional tasting notes.
Tasty-Takes–beer and fish and everything else.
Hop Head and Porter–the leading ladies of beer, on video.
Beer Per Day–can’t figure out the calendar on this one, but the writing is both light and personal and the beers always interesting.
fuck yeah beer–pretty much the title says it all.
1yob–standard accounts in a daily record without dates, but nice pictures.
A Year of Beer (the video)–this is the way to do it.
The Year of Beer–maybe not THE beer website, it’s a multimedia exploration of what it means to drink a beer a day.
My Yearly Lesson Blog–more like different beers around the year, but still an nice archive of brew notes.
There are, I suppose, more beer bloggers than breweries. All you can do is pick up a pint and pen.
Rating Merry Monks’: 76%
Rating Blithering Idiot : 74%
Rating Old Heathen : 78%