Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I'm back

Hello my avid followers. I want to apologize for my absence over the past 7 months. Those of you who know me well, know that my wife and I had a beautiful baby boy. As he is the most important thing in our lives right now, I chose to put the blog on hold for a little while. Well the good news is, I've got the writing bug back and a fridge full of beer so there's lots to write about. Stay tuned for new sections on home brewing, beer DIY and the regular brews reviews.

Cheers, The Beerblogga

Friday, October 12, 2012

Beer n philosophy n stuff

I found this online and thought it would be worth sharing. If goes to show that there is always room for a little beer along side family, friends your job and the rest of your life.

"When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. Th
ey agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.The students laughed..

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else---the small stuff.

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.

Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.' The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend."

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stiegl Radler Lemon, Austria

Stiegl Radler Lemon - 3/5

I stumbled upon this one whilst browsing the beer isle at my local supermarket and it looked quite interesting and rather cheap. Having spent a few days in Austria I don’t recall drinking any of their local brews. I guess the hills we not alive with the sounds of people drinking Stiegl Radler Lemon.
It poured out a lovely golden yellow with a bright, white frothy head. I think my expectations were a little high as I was hoping for something very lemony. There was a faint yeasty, lemony smell which was somewhat pleasant but the taste seemed rather uninspired. I feel like fruit notes in beers need to be very subtle or quite predominant and in this case it was neither. All I got was a very light malt and a mediocre taste of over ripe lemon.
Having said all this you might be questioning my three out of five rating. I had just been out on the bike and I was in desperate need of a cleansing ale. Although maybe not the best man for the job, this beer really hit the spot. Any other day and it might have received a point off.

Stone Arrogant Bastard – Stone Brewing Co, Escondido, CA

Stone Arrogant Bastard - 4/5

Arrogant Bastard is the epitome of San Diego style brewing. It’s bold, hoppy and in your face. The attitude with this beer is that if you don’t like it then you’re not worthy and let me tell you, you better like hops.
Unlike their IPA which to me is all hop, Arrogant bastard is a better balanced beer but not as perfectly balanced as their pale ale. You will get a nice caramel and florally hop smell which is not as aggressive as the taste. In the mouth there is a strong citrus and floral hop followed by a rich caramel note.
If Stone Pale Ale had a ugly, overly aggressive, pubescent, older brother or friend then this would be it. It’s the Wayne to the Kevin Arnold or the Biff to the Marty. You get the idea.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Tardis Bottle Opener

Those of you how know me well will know that a few months ago my wife and I bought our first house. Those of you who know me really well also know that I'm a self confessed sci-fi geek. Having only ever rented before, we were excited to put our own little personal touches on our new home. My wife got her wicked awesome kitchen and designed and put together the nursery for our upcoming baby while I was given free rein on the garage. Having said this, the "man cave" is a work in progress but I managed to get the more important projects completed first. I finally have a full size beer fridge. It's so nice to have room to properly store the random beers I stumble across but more on the fridge in another post. Next to every beer fridge in every man cave there needs to be a decent bottle opener. Last Xmas, my wife's grandmother gave me a little cast iron, wall mount bottle opener. Having never mentioned I was planning on making a wall mount opener for the new house I was pleasantly surprised that she knew me so well. I guess anything beer-centric is a safe bet. So basically I cut, sanded and painted a piece of 1x4 I had laying around from other projects. I then nailed it with long finishing nails into a stud making sure the nails would be hidden by the decal and opener. I then carefully applied the decal which I purchased from www.etsy.com for a few dollars. Once I was happy there were no bubbles or creases in the decal I screwed the opener onto the 1x4 centering it by eye.
I love my geeky tardis opener that's on the wall right next to my beer fridge. I would love to turn the fridge into a tardis and have it be much bigger on the inside but I need to put my projects aside for now and concentrate on our imminent baby. I'll write another blog soon about my space saver solution for the fridge and as always, more brews reviews on the way so stay tuned.

Cheers, The Beerblogga

Friday, May 25, 2012

Gulden Draak - Belgium

Gulden Draak - 4.5/5

This little Belgian dark tripel is not for the faint of heart. It’s incredibly complex and earned its title of “best tasting beer in the world” by the American Tasting Institute in 1998.
The golden dragon mostly smells of alcohol due to its whopping 10.5%
however you may get some hints of coffee. It pours out a vibrant, dark ruby color and has a substantial, white frothy head.
On the tongue you will get notes of raisins, plum and dark cherries. There is a touch of sweet caramel malt in there too for good measure. Overall, an incredible beer that needs to go on your beer bucket list.

Karl Strauss Red Trolley Ale - San Diego CA

Karl Strauss Red Trolley Ale - 3.5/5

Clang, clang, clang goes the sound of a case of Red Trolley in my shopping cart. Trolley as we simply call it has become a keeper in my beer fridge. I quite enjoy it and it would be safe to say that it’s my wifes favorite beer.

It pours a light red color and has minimal head and medium fizz. It’s sweet and malty with little to no hop bitterness.
With this in mind, I find it to be a little one dimensional.

It’s a good consumption beer and pairs well with grilled pork or BBQ chicken pizza.

Monday, May 14, 2012

St John Brewers – Virgin Islands, Island Hoppin IPA – St John

Virgin Islands, Island Hoppin IPA - 3.5/5

A friend from work, Paul was thoughtful enough to smuggle me back a beer from his week in the Virgin Islands.
I happened to be eating a meaty pizza last night so thought it was a good opportunity to pull out an IPA from the beer fridge. Having said that, it would take some convincing that this beer is a true IPA. It poured out a light amber color and had a nice white foamy head. It was light and fizzy which lead to high drinkability. There was a sharp citrus hop note up front which gently lingered and slowly drifted away. Sounds like an IPA right? I would almost call it an India Pale Lager.
Although deliciously drinkable, it lacked the complexity of a true IPA. If you can get your hands on it, I recommend it as a session beer. Thanks Paul for the donation. It was a worthy addition to my repertoire.

Fullers Vintage Ale 2010 bottle # 092429 - Chiswick, London - UK

Fullers Vintage Ale 2010 bottle # 092429 - 4.5/5

My lovely and thoughtful wife bought me a “Groupon” for Texas Liquor which is a favorite, eclectic local liquor store. Considering it was a smoking deal I thought I would pick up a few higher end beers specifically for the brews reviews.
Having eyed off the Fuller Vintage Ale many times and dreamed about the malty goodness within, I found it to be a no-brainer to make it a part of the next tasting session. Being bottle conditioned, it has the opportunity to mature given the optimal environment. The bottle I picked up happened to be a 2010 vintage. This one had a classic English dark ale feel to it. It has a nice fizz from the bottle conditioning and notes of dark fruit and caramel. There is a dark, roasty taste and then a warm undertone at the finish.
I would recommend letting it sit out of the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes to bring the temperature up to bring out the rich flavors. Overall, a very impressive drop.

Stone Pale Ale - Stone Brewing Co - Escondido, CA

Stone Pale Ale, Stone Brewing Co - 4/5

Stone Pale was one of the first local San Diego microbrews I stumbled across and is now a “go-to” beer for me.

It’s hoppy and malty and strikes what I feel to be one of the most perfectly balanced pale ales on the shelves.
It pours out a light hazy amber color and to the mouth you will get a subtle toffee maltiness harmoniously balanced with a bold floral hop.

It has the drinkability to be a session beer but also the complexity to be paired with cheeses and meats.

I am so fond of this beer that we served it to our guests at our wedding. What better way to showcase a local San Diego brew than to offer it to a mob of thirsty Australians.