Archive for the Ales Category

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,

Cheers!

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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. ūüėČ 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,

Cheers!

* 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,

Cheers!

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

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.

World Tour Quicky

Posted in Ales on February 17, 2012 by wiseweizen

Last night saw us taking another trip to The Winking Lizard. We had 10 people joining us, so it was a fun time. That did lead to some less than eloquent notes by yours truly, so this is going to be a brief post.

Beer number one: Bayerischer Bahnhof, from¬†Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei. The website is in German so good luck with browsing it. This very blonde ale is only 3% ABV and has… wait for it…. o, zero, nil, nada, no IBUs. ¬†The color of hazy straw (not a drinking straw, but straw like hay), it had an¬†aroma¬†that reminded me of sweet and sour sauce. ¬†This tasted like someone combined apple juice and lemonade, then found a way to ¬†put alcohol in that, yet somehow only leaving a trace hint of alcohol taste. The initial flavor is super sweet, but ends with a sour and ever so slightly bitter finish. Meg suggested I use The Richter Scale to rate this, so on a scale of 1 to Ruinous Wasteland, I’m giving Bayerischer Bahnhof a rating of “Did you feel anything rumble? No? Well, ok.” I’m fairly certain you could give this to a 12 year old and they wouldn’t get drunk.*

Up next we have Piraat, brewed by Brouwerij Van Steenberge. Clearly I was on a roll picking ridiculously named beers/breweries. Since the last one was such a lightweight, I decided to kick things up a notch with a beastly 10.5% ABV ale containing about 30 IBUs. Piraat had a tart, melonesque aroma and an orangish gold color. This has a citrus flavor, is quite powerful, and sort of just tastes like I’m inhaling. Which is weird, but it reminded me of the first time I tried Gentleman Jack Whiskey. Granted Piraat isn’t as strong, but there were similar sensations as I was drinking it. Sometimes I can be a bit of a wuss, and I have no problem admitting I was chasing sips of this with french fries. On my Pirate Joke scale from 1 to “What’s a buccaneer?”**** I’m award Piraat with “What’s a pirate’s favorite fast food place?”

Last and, in most of our table’s opinion, least is beer number three: Sweaty Betty from Boulder Beer. The website lists the ale at 5.2% ABV but the menu at the Lizard, along with several websites has it at 5.9%, so I’m going with that. Clearly the brewer can’t be trusted. Oh, there’s 15 IBUs. After that Piraat I was feeling a little tipsy, so here’s the portion of the night when the notes get terrible. Ahem, Sweaty Betty “smells like nothing, looks like pee, and tastes like tingly bananas.” I probably shouldn’t wonder why I don’t get paid for this. ¬†Another gent at the table had this to say about Sweaty Betty “I can taste the yeast just from smelling it.” Apparently Betty should have that looked at. I’m giving this one a “half shoulder shrug” on my scale of 1 to Complete Disdain.

While it was a home run of fun, or at least a triple, I really struck out as far as beers were concerned last night. Ah well, can’t win them all.

I just noticed that someone at my work has an e-mail signature that is a bible verse. Now, while I feel that they have every right to believe anything they want, it does seem rather inappropriate to use a portion of religious text on a work email. If we’re going to start using book quotes, perhaps in my last two weeks with the company I should change my e-signature to include, from Moby Dick “…from Hell’s heart I stab at thee!”

Since I said “quicky” way at the beginning and have yet to really make a sex joke, here are Three Things (most) men don’t want to hear during sex: 1. laughter 2. “let me find the strap-on” 3. “IMPREGNATE ME!!!”

And on that note, I’m going to make like a fetus and head out.

Cheers!

 

* The writer of this blog would like to take a moment to address underage drinking. I tried it once** and now there’s a tape recording out there of my drunken ramblings (thanks Dave). So, um… don’t drink underage, kids.***

** Once might be a bit of an under exaggeration.

*** Ah, what the hell. Drink up. Just be responsible.

**** The price you pay for corn.

Steve Buscemi

Posted in Ales, IPA on February 10, 2012 by wiseweizen

Last night was a Lizard night, as I wanted to get a few World Tour beers in this week. My longtime friend and occasional PIC (that’s Partner in Crime, for you crackers) Alexis joined me for this round. We’ll go into my drinks in a bit of detail, and she’ll add a¬†sentence¬†of color commentary on each of hers that way no one would be like a child that walks into the middle of a movie. I know you Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.*

First up is Conway’s Irish Ale, from the ever delicious Great Lakes Brewery. Conway’s if one of my favorite GL beers. It was named after the owner’s grandfather, who was a traffic cop for like 25 years. His beat just so happened to be in the same neighborhood of the brewery. This Ale is a robust 6.5% ABV with a tongue tingling 25 IBUs. Conway’s has a sweet apple/lemon aroma, about half the intensity of Jolly Rancher smell (which I find to be overpowering) and is deep red amber in color. ¬†Alexis says: “This is malty, but with a kick. I don’t usually like malty beers, but this one is pretty good.” ¬†As I just mentioned, this is one of my favorites. There’s just enough of a hint of sweetness, and the ale goes down smooth, like the sound of an evening gown sliding to the floor.** The lemon isn’t overpowering, and I could be more than happy drinking these all night. On my Awesome¬†Policeman¬†scale of 1 to¬†Commissioner¬†Gordon, I’m going to award Conway’s Irish Ale a score of… wait for it… Commissioner Gordon!!!¬†If you didn’t click on that last link. Do so now. It is awesome, I promise.

Next up is Founder‘s Double Trouble. I ordered this one because I liked the name, and failed to notice it was an IPA until it was too late. I gulped this down, not because I enjoyed it, but rather I just wanted it over quickly. IPA lovers would probably enjoy this a great deal, as it is a whopping 9.4% ABV with an intense 86 IBUs. My notes always start to get a little sketchy around this point. For instance I have the aroma down as “HOPS!” (yes, all caps), and the color is “pure gold baby!” Now, there was no comma in that, so I’m not quite sure if that was a type or if I wanted to indicate a baby of solid gold, or at least gold coloring. Since I’m a pretty weird dude***, I don’t feel confidant ruling anything out. Interpret as you will. On the taste portion of my index card I wrote: Mango and hops, bitter! Does not pair well with spicy garlic sauce. So, there’s that. I gave Alexis a taste and her reaction was, and I quote “Oh, hey. Fuck, now!”**** On my reverse compliment IPA scale of how this beer made me want to hurt myself, from 1 to Rip Own Throat Out, I award – with esteem – Founder’s Double Trouble a grandiose Sear Off Taste Buds with Hot Poker.

As promised, here are Alexis’ one liners: Southern Tier Unearthly IPA – “This beer is not fucking around.” Left Hand Fade to Black – “Pepper taste to the backend!” Ruthless Rye IPA – “I started talking about blow jobs and Armageddon, it was that good!”

Now – Three Things I Love About Steve Buscemi: 1. His cameos are always entertaining. 2. He’s Mr. Pink. 3. He unabashedly embraces his Busceminess.

I propose we redefine Buscemi as “weird, but fucking rad.” ¬†Examples: “Did you see that movie? It was so Buscemi.” or even “His new sex move was Buscemi. I think we’re going to work on perfecting it next weekend.” I like to think I’m a modest guy, but you know what, I’m going to say it… I’m totally Buscemi.

Cheers!

* Per Alexis: “Aerosmith’s daughter cried, and Ben Affleck was all Afflecky.” This, is why we’re friends. I would be remiss if I didn’t add her “this is why we’re friends” moment right after I said “…just dove in there like I was searching for pearls.” Everyone can feel free to speculate on the topic of discussion.

** It is perfectly natural to be aroused right now.

*** But not so weird that I’d have a creepy desert tea party after escaping from a plane full of convicts.

**** This was most certainly not a proposition. I think the taste of the beer caused an acute momentary case of Turret’s.

Winter Scorpions

Posted in Ales on January 31, 2012 by wiseweizen

Last night I enjoyed a bottle of Mt. Carmel Brewing Company’s Winter Ale. MCBC is a local brewery, hailing from Cincinnati. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve only been to Cincy once, about six years ago to see The Aquabats play in some dive bar near the university. Most of the time I drive about 30 seconds past Cincinnati to Covington, Kentucky to go to concerts. Anyways, back to the beer. The Winter Ale is a robust 8% ABV with 36.8 IBUs, which is something I probably should have looked at before I started drinking on a Monday night.

Winter Ale is what makes Sleepy Bear sleepy.

This beverage went down damn smooth. While not as powerful or having as much bite as Great Lakes Christmas Ale, MCBC’s Winter Ale could almost be more dangerous, just because of how easy it is to drink. Upon first opening the bottle a pleasant aroma of spiced honey lingered in the air. It smelled divine. If I could get a Winter Ale candle, and somehow devise a way to utilize it at work so as to trick myself into think I’ve been drinking, that would be awesome. Besides, I could use something other than just my Darth Vader bust candy jar at my desk to remind me that there’s joy in the world.* For being such a dark ale, I was surprised at just how smooth it tasted. The bottle claims this is from the “ginger and orange spice bread”. I don’t think I’d eat orange spiced bread, but apparently it is enjoyable in liquid form. I’ve got to say, this is one of the best¬†wintry seasonal beers I’ve had. Strong and spiced without assaulting you with either aspect, I could be happy drinking this one brand of beer all night. On a scale of 1 to Dirigible, I’m going to award Mt Carmel Brewing Company’s Winter Ale a score of Tauntaun!**

Since tauntauns are so awesome, that’s as good a segue as any into the Three Things… I Wish I Could Have as a Pet: a triceratops, a luck dragon, and either a winged lemur or an air bison.

A few posts ago I mentioned that I’d be attending the Columbus Winter Beer Fest. While I did have a good time, ultimately I don’t think I’d go again. You pay $30, get a 5-oz tasting glass, and are set loose for about four hours in a room full of beer vendors. That sounds great in theory, but doesn’t work terribly well in practice. There were two main problems. First, the lines were super long. In the four hours I was there I only tasted 7 beers. Again, that sounds good, until you remember that each one is only 5 ounces, and that equates to just under three full sized beers for the totally not a bargain price of $30. I sort of paid $10 per (full) beer and wasn’t even at a “gentleman’s establishment.” If I pay that much for a drink, it better come in a sweet glass I get to take home, or be offered with a table dance. The second problem, was probably only problematic for me. There were no height appropriate hard horizontal surfaces upon which to take notes. I went with dreams of being able to write about each beer as I was tasking it, to regale you all with an epic post afterwards, but alas. I think I’d rather invite a few select friends to my abode with instructions to bring 3 or 4 unique beers each. We’d just hang out, taste beers, and eat pizza. It’d be cheaper and ultimately more fun. That said, I suppose I am glad for the experience. Now when people mention the Beer Fest, I can act all¬†knowledgeable¬†and superior. I mean, I’ve been there, so clearly my opinion is better than everyone else’s, especially that guy who thinks the new flavor of Bud Light is “off the hook”. Off the hook, huh? Good. Now I have something to impale you on.***

While I’m ranting… at the office the other day I was walking to get a drink of water and happened to notice that someone’s computer’s desktop background was a big picture of a scorpion. I really wish they’d been at their desk so I could have pointed and said “Why?” One of my brain noodles just popped. I just can’t comprehend how someone could have that as a background. Let’s break it down, shall we? You’ve got two types of background. Type one is the “passion” background. For most people this is going to be a picture of a family member, maybe a pet, or reflective of one of their hobbies. The second type of background is “artsy”. Perhaps a nice landscape photo (real or drawn), or an interesting art piece that caught your eye. There was nothing particularly artistic about the scorpion background, and I really can’t see someone being passionate about the creature. Maybe some guy that studies scorpions for a living, but certainly not some random office dude. Now, if it were something like a scorpion with razor pincers and a tail that shot lasers fighting a bear that’d been hit with a shrink ray, but who received gladiatorial armor to compensate, I could see that as a background. That’s bad ass. Hell, I’d want to see that in mural form. But no, this was just a scorpion with some leaves and a rock. What. The. Fuck.

Well kids I’m going to leave it at that. Until next time, watch out for those Care Bare Stares!

Cheers!

 

 

*I’d like to assure my readers that I’m not an alcoholic, despite the fact that I write a beer blog and just declared a wish to feel like I was drunk at work. Let’s be honest, who hasn’t wished they could be drinking at work? Probably actual alcoholics that are trying to stay dry. Also, lion tamers.

** Note that this particular tauntaun would come equipped with an air freshener.

*** Of course when I say “I” what I really mean is “my team of people that lift heavy things to compensate for my T-rex arms and lack of upper body strength.” Didn’t know I had a posse, did you?