Barry's B-day at the Pig
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Went to the Muddy Pig yesterday with Jess, Nick's brother Matt, Nick, Cari, Markie, and Barry's friend Eric for Barry's actual b-day.
It was a fun time, although I have to say that there wasn't much in the way of conversational overlap when it was just Nick, Jess, and Our Bold Hero there: either Nick needs to become a bigger hippie or Jess needs to get into videogames.
I started off with a Pilgrim's Dole from New Holland Brewing, which until just now I thought was a barleywine. Apparently it's a "wheatwine." Here's the style description from Beer Advocate:
A somewhat recent and over-looked American strong ale, the Wheatwine (or Wheat Wine) is akin to a Barleywine in strength, but contains a large portion of wheat malt; upwards of 50%. The wheat provides a soft and fluffy mouthfeel. Color and bitterness varies.
That's about right. I really liked it; the beer was sweet but not cloying, and as you'd expect from the name and the recipe, it had a nice wheaty character to it. I like barleywine and apparently I like wheatwine as well.
My next beer was the Brown Shugga from Beer School–favorite Lagunitas Brewing. This is an American Strong Ale (9.9% ABV — I remember being amused by the almost-10 percentage) and despite the name it wasn't too sweet for me. Again, I liked it.
For whatever reason I had a Summit Great Northern Porter before we left the bar: I've really got to stop wasting money on that third beer.
I think that I can have smoky beers now if they're paired with the right food, and the casked version of this was a favorite of mine at last year's Winterfest, but this isn't something I particularly enjoy on its own.
Barry and I stopped at the liquor store on the way to his place (I had no idea that they closed at 8 Monday through Thursday in St. Paul: we made it with seconds to spare) and he bought some Stella for everyone to drink while we watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid at his place. Ah Stella.
Drinks at the Coworker Cookout
Saturday, June 14, 2008
My coworker Pete hosted a cookout yesterday, so I brought four beers: a Two Hearted, a Skinny Dip, and two Sierra Nevada Stouts.
I enjoyed the first two, as usual — I think the Skinny Dip may have been more subdued following the Two Hearted — and the Stouts weren't bad. Although as b/4, they weren't really interesting enough for me.
Several of his guests like good beer, and we had a brief conversation about the weirdness of Surly brews (if you don't like one, you can always plausibly claim that you just don't understand it), the upcoming Flying Dog mix-packs, and their fondness for the Flat Earth Black Helicopter, easily (because I hate coffee flavors) my least favorite local beer.
Later on I was offered a Stella Artois and I just couldn't refuse. It's not that Stella is better than the Two Hearted or the Skinny Dip, but on an intellectual level Stella is so interesting — with its references in Achewood, failed British ad campaign, and mysterious choice of green glass for the bottles — that I like it far more than I would an identical beer under a different brand name.
Tavern on the Avenue
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Went to Tavern on the Avenue last night; it's actually a decent place, in the same rough bar genre as Memory Lanes or the V.R. at Lawrence. I started with a Stella Artois that was... not great, for whatever reason. I still had the taste of marrow in my mouth and it's pretty hard for a beer to win in that situation.
Barry and I once again talked about Springboard, though I didn't realize it at the time. (The label has "mountains" and a "glacier")
For the rest of the night I had Leinie's Honey Weiss with a lemon, my basic bar beer. It's not fancy, but it's good stuff.