Quest for the Great Pumpkin

Posted in Ales on September 11, 2012 by wiseweizen

This is my favorite time of beer! I will consume almost any pumpkin related food, and beer is no exception. Every year I go on a quest to find great pumpkin flavored beers. My favorite so far is Southern Tier’s Imperial Pumpking Ale, but I won’t be discussing that one now. On the docket tonight is Saranac’s Pumpkin Ale and Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead. They will be rated on a pumpkin carving scale.

First, Saranac’s Pumpkin Ale: The stats off the vine are 5.4% ABV and somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-22 IBUs. The aroma of this beer was like a rainy fall afternoon, so I had high hopes before I had even poured it. In the glass it appeared red gold, like the color of fallen leaves. I continued to get excited, but was ultimately a little disappointed in this one. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t that great. Also, for a spiced ale, it was a little too bitter for my taste. I was getting trace sensations of fall flavors, but the spices don’t really shine though here as much as I’d like. At about the halfway point, I realize it has a bit of a funky aftertaste to it – like when you can taste yesterday’s lunch from a burp. I wasn’t a fan of that. I probably wouldn’t order a second round of this and I sure wouldn’t buy an entire six pack. Here’s the carving rating.

I feel like I’ve had Shipyard beers before, but looking over their website, none of their brews sounded familiar. I can say for sure I’ll be giving more of them a try though, because Pumpkinhead is amazing. This gourd-a-rific ale is a mild 5.1% ABV and only 15 IBUs. The smell is fantastic, like fresh pumpkin pie filling and the color is that of a just ripening pumpkin – a little gold, just before it turns orange.As for the taste, yum! The best two words to describe this would be “liquid pie!” Pumpkinhead is going on the good list, for sure. I would, without hesitation, drink this all night then probably try to sing a song about pumpkins and how much I love them. Here’s the carving rating.

Three Things I love about pumpkins: You can carve them into wicked sweet things, pie, everything.

So I was thinking today, dangerous, I know. I don’t have any kids, but if I did, I would want them to be involved in something like the Scouts, but not the Scouts. So, I think someone (or me if I have kids before something like this gets created) should make an organization called something like… Society of Intrepid Explorers. Many of the activities would be like those found in scouts, such as : knots, wilderness survival skills, etc. But there would be some differences too. At this point I should note that while I was in scouts, it was 20 years ago, so perhaps some of these things I’d have in my Society are already things Scouts do these days – I don’t know. Ahem, anyways… in addition to outdoor skills, we’d teach modern things like computers, and useful things like how to change a tire or how to tie a tie. There’d be fun field trips to science centers as well as t he more traditional canoeing and camping. My Society for Intrepid Explorers would be open to all kids. I don’t feel the need to call out specific minority groups that would be welcome (like homosexuals) because I personally feel that “all” sums it up nicely. Would the kids sell cookies and popcorn? Hell to the no. Instead, they would earn money doing chores for their neighbors like raking leaves, mowing grass, painting, whatever they could actually be of assistance with. Safety tip: parents should vet the neighbors to make sure they aren’t sending their kids to some creeper’s house. So yeah, someone get on this so if I do have kids, they can belong to some super sweet organization. Also, there should FOR SURE be a merit badge for “Excellence in Starship Piloting Simulation.”


That’s all for now kids,



And… I’m Back!

Posted in Lagers, Porter on July 17, 2012 by wiseweizen

So, it has been a while. Sadly, life has gotten in the way of my drinking.  Since last I posted I’ve become unemployed,spent some time trying to figure out what to do with my life, and eventually decided to go back to school to get a masters in education with the ultimate goal of teaching middle school science and/or English. Very shortly after that decision was made, I started school which is taking up much more time than it did when I was an undergrad since I’m actually attending classes and doing all the required work – plus extra credit assignments! Finally, I was spending lots of time trying to put a costume together since I attended the 2012 San Diego Comic Con. Things are a little calmer now that the con is over, and I’ve got a rhythm down as far as school is concerned. Oh yeah, I also brewed a batch of beer (which I’ll talk about in a subsequent post). Hopefully I’ll be able to post more often now, I’m going to start out shooting for every other week and see how that goes.

Without further ado, the beer of the moment is Indigo Imp Brewery Co’s Gate Keeper. This Cleveland brewed beer is 5% ABV with 40 IBU’s. This is a very dark porter with about two centimeters of persistent head. I’m very impressed by the smoothness here, it is as if I were drinking velvet. There’s a nice malt flavor with hints of caramel and… I want to say “trees” but that seems off-putting. Instead, I will say that it tastes like a mid-autumn evening in the woods. There’s a rich earthen aroma that doesn’t smell very alcoholic. Instead it smells, well, calm. If I were to undergo aromatherapy treatment, you could pump this smell into the room and I would just fucking cozy up and chill out. I’m finding this beer very surprising.While I don’t dislike porters, they generally aren’t my favorites either, but this beer seems to be exactly what my body and mind need at this exact moment in time. Well played beer, well played. I don’t normally associate porters as beers that would facilitate relaxation but this stuff is really hitting the spot. I almost wish it were like late October, with a bit of a chill in the air. I’d go outside, mildly bundled, sit on a porch somewhere with, I’ll be honest, like five of these beers, and just sit there drinking, letting the autumn evening have it’s way with me.  The stars winking at me knowingly, nature making sounds infused with the evening, as nature is wont to do, and the occasional chilly wind that suggests winter is coming.  The only negative thing I have to say about this one is that, while it doesn’t feel very heavy/filling as you are drinking it, about five minutes after you finish you’re all “ugh, so full!” Still, I’m a fan. So, on my coziness scale from 1 to “Snuggling with the significant other” I’ll give Indigo Imp’s Gate Keeper a score of Jayne’s Hat. *

Three things that were the most disappointing about Comic Con 201: I didn’t get into the Firefly 10th anniversary panel. I was unable to participate in “The Walking Dead Escape” event. The con is over.

So, airplanes. They have all these rules once you are on board like no electronics and upright tray tables. Do these things really matter? If there is some sort of problem, is the position of my tray table in any way going to assist or exacerbate things? And while we’re at it, the emergency countermeasures like floating seats and oxygen masks… have they ever saved a life? If my plane crashes into a body of water, I’m fairly certain that I won’t need a flotation device, as I was killed on impact – or shortly thereafter. I feel as though these “safety measures” exist more for psychological reasons than practical ones. Someone that isn’t me should research the issue, then report to me their findings.

Oh look, another beer! Since the interior of my body has limited space and I’m having pizza for dinner, I opted for a much lighter second beer: Southern Tier’s Raspberry Wheat.** A modest 4.9% ABV with only 5 IBUs. The beverage looks like lightly carbonated apple juice, or something you’d give a kid for a toast at a wedding. Right when I opened the bottle an intense fruit aroma hit me,*** right around the septum. It doesn’t taste bad, but is a little more bitter than I expected from something so light on IBUs. Let me break down this taste for you. It is as if someone took six ounces of Rolling Rock and four ounces of Corona, then added two ounces of raspberries. Once the diabolical mixture was complete it sat for, I want to say two months. The raspberries were then removed, with all of their liquid squeezed out of t hem and into the beer. After that, a spell was cast to bind an invisible spirit to the bottle. This spirit would patiently wait until you were about to open the fridge and grab the beer (it is a telepathic spirit), and would give the bottle a good jarring, to ensure a proper slow fizz. End result: the thing I’m drinking now. I personally guarantee that the last six sentences are 100% accurate. This isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever had in my mouth… but it doesn’t really make me eager to keep drinking it. On my Real Fruit Flavor scale from 1 to Fruity Pebbles, Southern Tier’s Raspberry Wheat gets a score of grape Fruit Roll-Up.

So, as many of you may know, I’m doing the Winking Lizard world tour of beers. We’re already in mid-July and I haven’t even hit the halfway point of my tour yet. Here’s my proposal, non-tour members who are interested in going out for a night of drinking, we hit up the Lizard, everybody can drink stuff I haven’t had before, I’ll bring a bunch of note cards, and do a big guest blog post based on your thoughts of all the assorted beers we drank. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, leave a comment on here or send me a Facebook message if we happen to be friends on that.

Until next time, cheers!

* If you are all “WTF, I don’t get it…” then you need to watch all fourteen episodes of Firefly. Right the hell now.

** Side note: I recently enjoyed, but did not blog about, Southern Tier’s Imperial Pumpking Ale. It. Was. Amazing. Once fall hits and it comes out again I endeavor to purchase more, and it will be blogged about then.

*** For this image search I typed “1960s Batman pow.” Scrolling through the results, the 48th image was one of Ronald Regan standing in front of the American flag. What the fuck Google Image Search, what the fuck?

And… we’re back.

Posted in Stout on May 23, 2012 by wiseweizen

Well, it has been a while, hasn’t it? Sorry about that folks. Here are some potential reasons for the length of time between posts: Diablo 3*, trying to figure out what to do with my life**, things not going according to plan***, and a little bit of good old fashioned laziness thrown in.  But, I’m back! I’ve got a standing invite to a once a week trip to the Winking Lizard (most of those trips will result in a post), and things are starting to take shape so far as life is concerned. With that out of the way, let’s get to it!

Today’s beverage of choice is Oak Barrel Stout by Old Dominion Brewing Company. The stats are 6.1% ABV and 30 IBUs. This smells damn delicious. A sweet scent of vanilla with a slightly oaken afterscent.Yes, that’s right – afterscent.  Stouts are super dark, and this one is on exception. I’d call it burnt mahogany color with an ebon interior. There’s a very light layer of head on this beer, maybe a centimeter thick. I feel as though it is shaped like a central African country. Maybe the Congo or something.

As a rule, I generally don’t like stouts. In fact, I’d venture to say I like them even less than IPAs, which would explain why this is the first one I’ve bothered to review. Personally, I don’t like to chew my beer, and I find most stouts I’ve tried to have sat too heavy. They have too much density for me. I’m delighted to report that Oak Barrel Stout isn’t that dense. I’m 1/3 finished and I don’t feel as if I’ve eaten a three course meal. That said, I’m still not a fan of the taste. It has some good things going for it – I like the hints of vanilla, whose beans were used during the fermentation process. I also appreciate how smooth it goes down, unlike some stouts which feel as though you are swallowing mashed potatoes. My issue with this beverage is that it unsuccessfully straddles the line between sweet and bitter. Sweet with a hint of bitter, or vice-versa can be done well, and I’ve enjoyed several beers in each of those categories. This though… I feel like the brewers put in equal amounts of bitter and sweet ingredients and hoped for the best. What they got was a mishmash of flavor sensations. Rather than complement one another, they fight for dominance within your mouth. That’s a war no one wins and the imbiber especially loses. I feel fairly confidant that even my peers that enjoy stouts would find this unremarkable at best. Sadly, the pleasant aroma and smoothness isn’t nearly enough to redeem this. For my scale today I did a Google image search on the word stout. So, from 1 to this (which was the fourth image) I’m giving Dominion’s Oak Barrel Stout a ranking of this.

I’ve been training for The Warrior Dash, which is two weeks from now. I’m pretty pumped regarding my progress, and am hoping to beat last year’s time of 38m 46s. My bronze goal is to beat last year’s time. My silver goal is under 35 minutes, and my gold time is under 32 minutes.  One of the trainers at the gym suggested that while running I vary my speed every once in a while to get a more effective workout. He was right, switching speeds throughout the run does make for an ass kicking workout. That brings us to our Three Things for today. My Three Running Speeds: 1. low – “That goose is coming after me!” 2. medium – “Mall cops, scramble!” 3. high – “ZOMBIES!!!”

With that, I’m off. Cheers everyone!

* Why yes, I did hook my PC up to my TV to play Diablo, effectively giving me a 55″ monitor. Thanks for noticing.

** You would think this would involve more drinking. Turns out I was actually trying to take life seriously there for a bit. Don’t worry, I probably won’t happen again for another decade or two.

*** So my elaborate plan was for Scott and Adam to meet me at the Lizard, then I’d make them write up their thoughts on the beers they had and make a “guest post” out of it. Adam never showed, and by the time Scott got there I was already a little tipsy and didn’t remember my master plan. Foiled again.


Pork Pie Slap

Posted in Ales on April 30, 2012 by wiseweizen

Because I’m classy, I took my lady to The Winking Lizard last week, in the hopes that she’d help me out with a tour beer or two. She was in a cider mood, and I’d already imbibed all the ciders on the tour. However, that allowed me the opportunity to recommend the Aspall Dry Cider, which was covered in a previous post. As is customary to my WL trips as of late, I enjoyed the contents of two bottles of beer.

First up was Star Island Single, by Smuttynose Brewing Co. This pale ale is 5.8% ABV (not a whole lot stronger than your generic beers) and 15 IBUs. Golden orange in color, it boasted a crisp citrus aroma. I found this to be super drinkable for a pale ale.* I’d describe the initial flavor as “citrus tang;”** the finish is quite crisp. That said, I found the aftertaste to be rather odd… in fact, it was more of an “after-breath”. Not that it induces halitosis, rather I experienced weird sensations/flavors while exhaling immediately after taking a drink.*** Despite the “after-breath” phenomenon, I’d say it was a pretty decent beer overall. I wouldn’t want it to be the only thing I drank in an evening, but I wouldn’t complain if I was given a second helping. In honor of the mermaid on the label, I’ll utilize an “Under the Sea” scale for this beverage. From 1 to Fluke (duke of soul… yeah), I award Smuttynose’s Star Island Single with a Carp (plays the harp).

Next up, a beer from Two Brothers. Perhaps you remember their disappointing Long Haul from this post? They did better this time, but honestly the bar was set pretty low. With 5.9% ABV and 15 IBUs, Domaine DuPage is described by the brewers as “a food friendly ale… with just enough hops to clean the palate.” While I agree with that, it probably isn’t for the reason they would want. After drinking an entire bottle, and actually putting thought into it, I can honestly say I have no idea what this beer tastes like. It wasn’t bad, mind you, though “exceptional” would be a gross overstatement. I could discern that there was a special blend of herbs and spices, but they served to make a flavor indistinguishable.  While the lady and I agreed that DuPage’s color was that of cherry wood, we disagreed on the scent (of the beer, not of cherry wood). I found Domaine to emit an aroma of some floral concoction – she ever so eloquently stated that “it smells like beer.” Well done, dear. 😉 Because of the enigmatic nature of this beverage we’ll use a “?” scale ranging from 1 to The Riddler! I think Domaine DuPage deserves a question mark block from Mario Kart. In the grand scheme of things, I try not to write off a brewery that crafts thirteen beers after only trying two of them. So, if anyone has enjoyed a Two Brothers beer more than I have, please let me know which of their beers I should try.

At this point, I’d like to relate an incident… nay, a kerfuffle, that occurred during dinner. It is the opinion of my girlfriend that waving food in front of someone will entice them into reconsidering her offer of eating her unwanted food. Admittedly, this seems to work to great effect on her brother, but less so with me. After rejecting her offer of the last slice of her sausage pizza, she utilized this tactic – a respectful 6-8 inches from my face. At this point, I would like to mention that we’d each only had one drink and thus, were sober. I declined the pizza again, as I was full from delicious wings. Instead of the normal circular enticement protocol, she now switched to an up and down flopping undulation of pizza moving ever closer to me. I’d hoped to stare her down, but this was not to be. Eventually, the pizza flopped in such a manner as to actually have the tip of it land on my lip. We both found this hilarious and I finally took the pizza. This done done more to get it out of her hands than because I wanted to eat it. There was a look of smug satisfaction on her face that would not stand. In one smooth swift motion I grazed her cheek**** with the pizza (sauce side of course) and brought it back around to take a triumphant bite. Victory was delicious. She was momentarily stunned while I was chewing, and then we both burst into laughter, looking more like crazy people than we had during the entire ordeal. As an epilogue, she got her revenge several days later at Panera by lobbing a slice of turkey at me, which stuck to my forehead for a second before falling onto my plate.

Since we talked about pizza, here’s the Three Things for today. Three specialty pizzas I’d make if I had my own pizzeria: 1. The Pork Pie – ham, bacon, sausage. 2. The Black & Tan – sausage, mushrooms, olives, with a white sauce. 3. The Ginger (dessert pizza) – a layer of strawberry glaze, a layer of cheesecake, vanilla bean frosting, 3 strawberries on top, all on a ginger bread crust.

If anyone has any World Tour beers they’d like me to review, let me know! Until next time,


* Note that it is NOT an IPA.

** Not TANG the beverage, which I would describe as “bleh.”

*** Sadly, these experiences didn’t award any XP.

**** She claims it was an ocular assault, I adhere to the sauce all over her cheek speaking to the contrary.

World Tour, Local Beers

Posted in Ales, IPA, Lagers with tags , on April 11, 2012 by wiseweizen

Totally without meaning to, the last time I was at the Winking Lizard, I ordered all Ohio brewed beers. I was the vanguard that evening, holding down a table for ten by my lonesome. Other folks waiting for tables gave me an envious look as I followed the waitress, strutting toward my giant table.* I sat down, started playing Super Bust-a-Bubble on my phone, and placed my first drink order: The Doppelrock, from Great Lakes Brewing Co.

This lager is a pretty potent first beer, weighing in at 7.8% ABV and with a modest 18 IBUs. For all you cheese fans out there, Doppelrock pairs well with “earthy cheeses.” Just thought you’d like to know. Mid beer people started to arrive, so I made Lauren smell my drink. Her nose interpreted the aroma as hickory, though mine was able to discern the chocolate undertones. Her husband/manservant Sam noted the color as “sanguine” which I observed that the closer to the center of the glass you looked, the darker the beer became – something that I don’t think I’ve noticed in a beer before. I really enjoy the Doppelrock, it is exquisitely smooth for such a powerful brew. It is very rich without being heavy, and has the faintest hint of caramel.  Apparently Meg thinks it tastes like a unicorn. On my Rocking Out scale from 1 to Queen, I’m going to give this an Aerosmith.

With dinner, I ordered an IPA. I figured if it tasted bad I could always follow a swig up with a delicious bite of my Blue Shroom Burger w/ Spicy Garlic BBQ sauce on the side. The IPA in question was Rivertown‘s Hop Bomber. This Cincinnati beverage is a low 5.5% ABV but boasts 60 IBUs. This amber toned beverage had a floral aroma, despite the beer’s write up saying it was supposed to smell like pine and caramel. Meg decided that it didn’t taste as awful as she thought it would – based on the smell. I found it to be quite hoppy, and very warm with a spiced flavor. All in all thought, it was pretty “meh”. For an IPA it was pretty tolerable, and if I can tolerate an IPA that means it probably isn’t a very good one, right? On my Bomber scale ranging from 1 to Bombman, I’m going to give this a Unabomber, for the one note flavor. Also, take a gander at the lip of the bottle in the picture. What the hell is that smegma?

My final beer of the night was one I couldn’t bear to finish. Thirsty Dog Raspberry Ale. Having enjoyed Thirsty Dog  products before, and considering raspberries are among my favorite fruits, I was really disappointed. A very low 3.9% ABV and 7.5 IBUs for this ale that smelled like a sugar laden Popsicle. It had a hazy yellow color and there were flecks of red… faux-berry in there too. It was like the gold flecks in Goldschlager except the resembled red Fruity Pebble crumbs. No matter how you pour, as seen from the picture, there is a tremendous amount of foam. I mean, I poured as slow as I could, with the perfect glass to bottle angle, and still ended up with all that head. The beverage was very bubbly and tingly, and seemed to foam in your mouth. I like raspberry and I like ale, but yuck.  I’m not even going to dignify this one with a fake rating scale. Instead, I give you this.

Before I go, today’s three things is: Three things that are awesome about being unemployed… 1. Severance 2. Afternoon Naps 3. No Corporate Politics

That’s all for now. If there are any World Tour beers you think I should try so you don’t have to, let me know! I generally just pick them at random. Until next time,


* Mental soundtrack was something from The Commodores, hence the strutting.

Dicken’s Cider

Posted in Cider with tags , on April 2, 2012 by wiseweizen

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.*

I was back at The Winking Lizard last Thursday. I decided to take it easy because I thought I might be catching a cold, so I just went with ordering two ciders.

First up was Aspall’s Dry Cider. This cider is rather potent at 6.8% ABV. I had some trouble locking down the IBUs on this one. A few sources said 0, a couple others said 4. Regardless, the bitterness is almost nonexistent. I wouldn’t say this is a sweet drink, though.  Pardon me… Aretha dance break… Ok, back. Sometimes my Jackson 5 Pandora station causes an irresistible urge to boogie. So, cider. My erstwhile lady companions thought this smelled of apple and vanilla, which would totally make sense. My, apparently malfunctioning man-nose was under the impression that the cider had the aroma of an orange creamsicle. Regardless of scent differentials, we all agreed that the coloring was translucent gold. The taste, wow. Two of two tasters felt Aspall Dry Cider exemplified all that is cider. I wish I’d have had this second, because there’s no way my next drink could measure up. The sparkling bubbles burst in your mouth with a refreshing effervescent crispness.** Now, my little World Tour booklet tells me there is supposed to be a hint of honey in the beverage. I couldn’t taste it. This could have been due to my trying to fend off a cold, or perhaps my mouth requires slightly more than a mere hint. Other people at the table could taste the honey, and since I’m supposed to be the beer “expert” we’ll say it was the fault of my overactive sinuses, rather than a glossopharyngeal*** deficiency. I’m going to level with you, this was a $7 drink. You know what? Worth it. If you like cider and can find a way to get these on the cheap, do it and never look back. This means you, Dan.**** No, seriously, it is super good, go try one. On my Apple Scale from 1 to Steve Jobs, I’ll award Aspall Dry Cider a ranking of Apple Dumpling Gang. Yes, that is a terrible movie, but for some reason I have a super hazy, yet fond memory of that film, so it is a pretty high rating.

Speaking of fond memories, this post’s Three Things are my three favorite scenes from Batman: The Movie. #3: Batman can’t drop the damn bomb. #2: The shark. And my favorite bit #1: Super asinine logical deduction. (from 1:50 to about 3:20) If you ever get the hankering to watch the film, I recommend watching with the commentary track from Adam West and Burt Ward for extra hilarity.

Back to the cider. My second drink of the night was Harpoon Cider. I’ve enjoyed pretty much all the Harpoon beverages I’ve tried, and the cider was pretty good. Unfortunately it had to follow the Aspall, and while tasty, was not as ciderriffic. This one was a little tamer at 5.1% ABV. Here’s another with 0 IBUs, and I’d totally believe that as it was pretty sweet. I’m going to cut and paste from the brewery’s website because I liked this little blurb:

Other Ways for You to Enjoy Harpoon Cider
Cooking with Cider:
enjoy cider-marinated pork, or use cider to steam mussels.
Always enjoy a cider while cooking
Serve Cider: as an apertif, at brunch, and for special occasions
Bring Cider: along for picnics and parties
Mix Cider: with Harpoon beer. Cider and beer have a heritage in New England that dates back to the Pilgrims. The two drinks can be enjoyed together or you can enjoy cider on its own. Here are some of our recommendations.

Try mixing Harpoon Cider with the following Harpoon Beers:
Harpoon Cider + Harpoon Brown = Copperhead
Harpoon Cider + UFO Hefeweizen = Apfelweizen
Harpoon Cider + UFO Raspberry Hefeweizen = Indian Summer
Harpoon Cider + Harpoon Winter Warmer = Apple Pie









Harpoon’s cider had the pleasant scent of candied apples. It’s color was super light yellow, in fact there was barely any color at all. It tasted like a sour apple Sweet Tart or Jolly Rancher. While good, the flavor wasn’t quite as complex as the last drink. I’d still recommend this though, if you couldn’t find the Aspall or didn’t want to pay the premium price. On the same Apple Scale as before, I’d go ahead and give this a Jolly Rancher.

I’m hoping to make another trip to TWL this week. I’m thinking a Dopplerock might be in order if they still have it available. Until next time,



* Yes, I know Bob & Tom did this originally.

** Regular readers of my blog know that I’m a terrible speller. I’d just like to express my pride that I was able to spell effervescent without the assistance of spell check.

*** That’s the nerve that lets you taste stuff. -THUD- I just dropped knowledge on you.

**** Dan hates beer, but seems to really enjoy cider. I feel like this excellent beverage is perfectly pH balanced to not upset his delicate vagina. *****

***** I’m sorry. That burn was inappropriate. I hope I didn’t hurt Dan’s feelings. Robust and manly, that’s how I should have described his vagina.

More World Tour

Posted in Ales, IPA, Pilsner with tags , on March 29, 2012 by wiseweizen

You would think unemployment would give you tons of free time. Turns out I’ve been a busy bee, hence the lengthy duration between last post and this one. A few weeks ago I went to The Winking Lizard to celebrate my final day of employment and drink four more World Tour Beers. Fortunately, I took some notes, so here we go…

First up was the Polestar Pilsner from Left Hand Brewing Company. This pilsner has 5% ABV and 33 IBUs. I found the aroma to be very hoppy. The coloring was a super light yellow that was almost see-thru. I found the Polestar to start out hoppy, but have a smooth malt finish. There was a slight tangyness to this beer… it didn’t taste like orange, but rather, as if it were infused with orange, if that makes any sense.  The name made me think celestially, so on my Constellation Scale from 1 to Orion, I will award Left Hand Polestar Pilsner with “Sagittarius.”

The second beer was another from Left Hand, the 400lb Monkey. I didn’t read the guidebook before ordering, and this ended up being an IPA. As it turns out, I found it to be a very easy to drink beer, for an IPA. Stronger that the first beverage, the Monkey clocks in at 6.7% ABV with 60 IBUs. I couldn’t really get a good sense of the armor on this one, nor could two of my compatriots. Perhaps this is made with Iocane Powder? The color of this beer was on the orange side of amber, and again, another see-thur beer.  I found this to have a sharp aftertaste, and very herbal. According to another member of my party “this tastes like chewing on lemongrass.” She didn’t go on to indicate if this was good or bad. While I did previously state this was “good for an IPA” it is still an IPA, and thus I wasn’t really that big of a fan. I would venture to say that if you like IPAs, you’ll enjoy the 400lb Monkey. On a Simian Scale from 1 to King Kong, this one is going to get a Rafiki.

Next is one of my favorite beers, and the one that is currently highest rated among my World Tour beers, 3 Philosophers by Ommegang Brewery. The most potent beer I drank that night, this bad boy is 9.8% ABV with only 15 IBUs. As a disclaimer, I’m a lightweight. So it was a little tipsy when writing the notes for this beer and the next one… 3 Philosophers has an aroma that smells like sex and dreams.  The color is that of molasses with a hint of love. It tastes like the Triforce of Wisdom in liquid form. Super smooth, with just a hint of cherry.* Pure joy and alcohol. I have no idea what sober me could add that would more clearly state what tipsy me has already said. On a Philosophic Scale from 1 to Aristotle, I award 3 Philosophers a prestigious ranking of Nietzsche.

After two strong beers, my final beer of the evening was the wimpy Long Haul Session Ale, by Two Brothers Brewery. Only 4.2% ABV and 27 IBUs for this one. While I didn’t expect it to be as good as my last drink, I was pretty disappointed. I always think it is a bummer to end the night on a beer that you don’t really like. I neglected to note an aroma. Perhaps I’m a horrible person, perhaps that is just how underwhelmed I was, who can say? For color, I observed that it was “the color of mahogany, if mahogany was suffering from depression.” As for taste, I’ve got down that it tastes “like the sorrow of broken dreams. Also, carmely.” Waxing philosophic about bad beer – its what I do. On my Scale of Broken Dreams, from 1 to I Don’t Have Superpowers, this super quality -sarcasm- Long Haul Session Ale gets a score of I’m Not An Astronaut.

So, guess who went to 1.5 games of March Madness? Me. I was shocked too, since I’m not really one for the sports-ball matches.** My lovely girlfriend is a Georgetown alum, and their game was in town. Her dad was on deck to go but couldn’t make it, so I stepped up to the plate. Er, foul line? Whatever. I tried to ask intelligent/insightful questions and pay attention to the games. That was made easier because my phone wasn’t getting any internet connection, so any temptation to utilize it wasn’t there. Anyways, she’d given me one of her shirts from college (no, it wasn’t a ladies tee). Multiple people, making the assumption that I was a student/alumni/fan/knew anything yelled team specific things at me. I was like a deer in headlights, much to the amusement of my lady. She then taught me a few of the most commonly used Georgetown phrases so that I would be able to respond when a stranger yelled at me. I ventured off on my own for a pee break, and stood there, silently repeating the phrases/responses in my head, mid pee. Sometimes I’m weird like that. Honestly, I was happy to go with her, but I must say I didn’t find it terribly exciting. In fact, I think the whole March Madness thing could use an overhaul. I did some research. Turns out a team ranked 16th has never beat a team ranked 1st,*** and out of 108 games, a team ranked 15th has only beaten a team ranked 2nd 6 times. This seems super unexciting to me. I think the games would be more evenly matched, and thus more exciting, to have 1st v 2nd, 3rd v 4th, all the way down to 15th v 16th. Sure, the top teams would still probably have an edge, but I bet we’d see more upsets, and a much more interesting Elite Eight and Final Four. Granted I know only the rudimentary amount on basketball, so maybe that’s a horrible idea. I just think it would be more fun.

Well, that’s all for now. Cheers!


* Normally I HATE cherry flavoring, especially in beers. For some reason though, the fact that there’s just a hint of it in this particular beer, I really dig. Go figure.

** Except for hockey (Go Pens!) and Rugby (Go Squirrels!).

*** For anyone unaware, 16 plays 1, 15 plays 2, all the way to 8 playing 7.