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This is my personal drinking blog: don't take it too seriously.

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Furthermore: Furthermore
Festival of Hops
Winterfest highlights
A fridge full of New Belgium
Darkness and the last Porterfest
Barry's B-day at the Pig
Happy Hour at the Blue Door Pub
In which sweetness is a weakness
Flat Earth Porterfest: Xanadu

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Saturday, January 31, 2009   6:38 AM

My mom was in town last weekend, for a house-hunting trip that got canceled at the last minute. But since she was around I tried to show her some of the cool places.

We had lunch at The Blue Door Pub, which at around noon on a Saturday wasn't nearly as busy as it was the first night I'd gone there. I had The Blucy (blue cheese and garlic) and she had a Frenchy, which was like a Juicy Lucy version of a French Dip.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that they still had Lift Bridge Biscotti, a really neat (and delicious) Belgian Dark Ale that I'm looking forward to trying again at Winterfest on the 6th. I'd made a special trip to the Pig with Barry a few Thursdays ago to see if they had it, only to have our server say he hadn't even heard of it.

After driving around looking at the exteriors of some of the candidate houses, I took my mom to the Gnome. She's much more of a wine person than a beer person, but she ended up liking the Wittekerke and stuck with it. I had a Rogue Menage a Frog tripel (which of course was good), then my first Hopslam of the season, and I finished up with Kwak so that my mom could try that against the Wittekerke.

(The Kwak didn't come in the fancy glassware, which is always fun to look at, but that's probably the last of those I'll get anyways. I can get beers that I like more for less than the cost of a Kwak.)

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End of beer blogging hiatus?

Yeah. This is sort of an info dump for me, and it's going to be especially useful with Winterfest coming up.

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We now return to our regularly scheduled program
Thursday, November 13, 2008   4:39 PM

So, OK. I've been burnt out on blogging in general lately (somehow I've become "busy" — but mostly I just feel like I have nothing to say) and that means that I've drank a lot of great stuff that I don't have the space to mention (and tag, and thereby remember, which is the whole point) here.

Standouts include Surly Darkness (at the Pig with Barry and Jess), New Glarus Spotted Cow (at Jonas' wedding, which also featured some Ben-on-Meghan-on-Dan drinking) and Fire, a doppelbock from Capital Brewery of all places. I have never before had a Capital Brewery beer that I liked (and their Munich Dark is one of my least favorite beers) but doppelbock is a fantastic beer style so there you go.

I substituted my last bottle of Fire for the port wine in this duck recipe, and while my duck was meh, the reduced doppelbock sauce was fantastic over rice. I'm going to play around with drunk rice, see if I can duplicate the sauce without marinating a duck in it for 24 hours beforehand.

Last night Jess, Barry and I went to Grumpy's, where we'd had terrible service (that is to say: no service) last time and gotten a gift certificate for our trouble.

I'm trying so hard to drink seasonally because I think it will really pay off in the long run... but I started off with a light, delicious Ommegang Hennepin and was a huge snob about the pronunciation for some reason. Kinda an ass thing to worry about.

I had a Maredsous 8 after that (mispronouncing "Maredsous" spectacularly, for those of you keeping score at home) and I don't quite know what I thought of it. It didn't seem as good as I remembered, but that may be just because it was following an Ommegang and a fistful of French fries. A server was walking around offering up Maredsous samples.

It was randomly "Keep the Glass" night, so each of us got a Ommegang Hennepin glass to take home, and when we found out that Duvel glasses were also available Barry bought a round so we could all have one. We migrated outside with our new treasure and stood around a burning barrel, which is why every single one of my coworkers has commented on the smoky smell in my cube today.

Barry left and back at my place for Girl's Night, I mixed Jess a Colaweizen and had a Flying Dog Golden Ale, which was pretty pointless after three beers. I definitely need to switch to cheap beer after three, and I probably should just stop there anyways, outside of drinking games. No sense buying fancy beer if I'm going to be drinking it when I can barely taste it.

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This return to blogging about your beer must be a devious trick to get me to move back to Minnesota, because I am jealous. I can't believe you got to keep those glasses as well. Ridiculous.

I'm not sure our superior beer selection outweighs your superior weather, but get ready for some serious beer-snobbin' when you get back for Xmas.

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Project Runway Happy Hour returns
Thursday, July 17, 2008   8:21 AM

Yesterday Our Bold Hero, Ben, and eventually Markie met up at the Happy Gnome for a pre-Project Runway happy hour. I had a Pauwel Kwak, a
Belgian Strong Pale Ale from Brewery Bosteels: it was good — orange and creamy and mellow — but I admittedly would not have paid $8 for the beer if its special glass didn't look so cool. And now that I've had it, I probably wouldn't buy it at the liquor store unless it was on sale.

(It's a very small thing, but I'm generally fairly bored with the conical pint glasses you see everywhere. Give me tulip or even just nonic.)

I followed this up with a Rogue Latona 20th Anniversary, a delicious American Strong Ale that was correctly described as earthy. Mind you, I can't quite conjure up what that tasted like (besides "good"), but I remember agreeing with the Gnome's description at the time. I believe there was dry-hopping. As I told Ben, I've added this to the list of Rogue beers I like.

(So far Brutal Bitter and Old Crustacean are the only Rogue brews I remember that I haven't liked, but I'm sure there's one or two I'm forgetting. And I'm probably willing to put up with more from Rogue than I would from some random other brewery. See: Juniper Pale Ale.)

I also tried Ben's Tyranena Scurvy, an IPA "brewed with 30 pounds of orange peel," whatever that means. It smelled like orange, and while Ben (still recovering from oral surgery) thought this was another Applejacks beer, I could taste the orange at the end, and something right before that that was very loud and sharp. It's hard to tell this sort of thing off of a sip, but I don't think I like that beer very much.

At Barry's I gave in and let Jenna make me a vodka cranberry. It was very good, and apparently not that strong, because I had sobered from slightly to well below the legal limit by the time Project Runway was over.

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