Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A few beers, not a lot of biking, but a ton of coffee...

It's been a busy few, and I've had not too much extra time for research... At least this kind of research. I've been busting out 21 credits at ASU this fall, and working for the city a bunch.  So any time I can spare is spent with Emily.  Which I am happy to have my first day off in for-eva.  
Pyramid Outburst DIPA: Kind of a shocker, not gonna lie.  I didn't expect them to make a DIPA.  It's good, not Left Coast, or Alpha Dog, or Knee Deep, but it's pretty good.  C+

Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Wild: Delicious.  I've been impressed with Lagunitas for a while, I like most things they do.  I was happy to drink this one as well.  It was an easy beer, a smooth Belgian IPA, it had fun notes of citrus and pine come through and smooth out the hop character. B.

Landis Glass, Nice thick glass, great for freezing.  Holds temperature well, and keeps my beer the right temperature...

Hair of the Dog Blue Dot DIPA:  I loved this beer.  I realize it must be redundant reading that I love this, or that beer.  But I'm easy to please in terms of hops.  I love most beers.  This is an exceptional lightness and drinkability.  It was a great DIPA, had observably bitter taste, and an smooth sip.  If you see this, I recommend you buy it.  A.

Laughing Dog Brewery Alpha Dog DIPA:  Starts off bold, and then calms down.  It's bark was more intense than it's bite. The taste was very easy to take in, it smelled more bitter and hoppier than it was.  It was an awesome DIPA, I fell in love.  As Will Ferrell said "Once it hits your lips, it's so good."A+.
Deschutes Brewing Chainbreaker White IPA: My ninja senses tell me I've had this before.  I liked it then, and still do now.  Grade may have dropped though, I'd say it's a mixture better left undone at a C+.
Deschutes Twilight Summer Ale: Delish, it's a great go-to drink.  for those busy summer days when you don't want to spend time in the beer aisle.  B.
Helga wants to play.

Caledonian Brewery Company Limited Newcastle Summer Ale: Hops and Glory.  I don't know where the name starts or stops with this beer.  It was a nice brew, hoppy and smooth.  It had a nice bite to it that let you know that it was a beer not to be taken lightly even though it's got different roots than a traditional "good" IPA.  I liked it, I wouldn't search it out.  But I'd certainly like to try it on tap somewhere...  B-.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Here's the quick collection of clips from the Fontucky ride. Song oO0ooO0o by Oberhofer

Note: best viewed in the small format, the wonderful computer magic ruins all of the clarity when expanded...

Hangar 24 Brewery, Fontana ride

Hangar 24 DIPA:  A lighter and easier DIPA, it was nice.  Hoppy, and smooth.  It was very easy to consume.  And had a few notes of Grapefruit, not much else came through the hops. I was totally fine with that, it had a nice bold hop character that I missed.  It's certainly cool, however it was rather unremarkable.  There was nothing that really gave a wow factor, and made me want it again.  B
Hangar 24 Orange Wheat:  I'll bet you can't think of a brewery that made a hef without the use of Orange.  I can only think of three.  Hangar 24 is a nice little brewery located near an airport, hence the name.  I was pretty impressed with the diversity of the beers they produce, and enjoyed this one.  It's not as blatantly citrusy as you would expect with a name as such, but it's nice.  The whole Oranges are added throughout the brewing process, which seems to have tempered the over bearing fruit down a notch.  Granted, the most significant taste you get out of this is the Orange it's just not as bold as I'd expected, it's a nicely unfiltered brew thats an easy sipper and enjoyable. B-.
Fontana is host to a pretty sweet little hill in Southridge Park.  This place has a variety of races in the fall/winter season, from Super-D to DH.  I think I'd have enjoyed it more had I been in a race as there are so many off shoots to choose from that it was difficult to find flow in the trails, and I ended up making many laps down on new terrain-which isn't all bad.

Heretic Brewing Evil Cousin Ale:  You know the beer you're drinking is from California when on the bottle, and on the site describing it the word dank is used.  It's a fact.   This brew was a big bold smack in the face of Hops, it was supposed to be.  The brewery certainly hit the target there.  It was hoppy, but softer on malts which made it an easier drinking beer than some other WIIPA's. As stated on the bottle "this beer is intentionally on the dank side; big, sticky, and aggressive."   And I loved it there were more hops than I care to talk about but it was certainly up there with the Hoptologist, or the Hop Juice in terms of variety of Hop character and initial taste.  "Join us on the dank side."  I'm already there.  A.

Highwater Brewing Retribution DIPA: This beer pours a very nice clear crisp caramel amber, and as soon as the bottle is opened, your nose is alerted to the fact that you were ill prepared for this venture.  The hops come out in true fashion, as do the lemons involved.  It's interesting that the lemon lifts up the drinkability of the beer, and sweetens it differently than other citrus.  I found this to be a very good after meal beer, it had a lot of alcohol that was masked by the flavor fairly well.  It was a new freshness for me with the lemon intensity, I'd yet to see that in a DIPA.  Not bad, but not exceptional.  C+.
I think I'll go for a ride.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Vacation, 1 Year Anniversary, Beers, Bike ride

Just so you don't forget.  You have to drink this.  At some point in your life.  

D. Carnegie Porter 3.5.  A new breed for me.  A Baltic porter, I'm not convinced that this is the kind if porter I like.  The hops were subtle if there at all.  Pretty sweet, and syrupy, lots of malt that had a unique character.  An interesting find in Grandmas refridgerator for sure.  D.

Fitgers Brewing El Nino IPA:  I like most that I've had from Fitgers, definitely a solid IPA. It had some caramel that came through nicely and grapefruit that you could taste pretty early on.  It had a good bitter feel, but it was very smooth.  It was perfect for the 65 degree dayin which I indulged in it in Duluth.  A, I wish I could get more Fitgers...
Horny Goat Brewing, Baby Got Bock Spring Bock:  Not bad, not spectacular.  It was very drinkable, and smooth, nice slight malt.  Rather unremarkable, simple easy.  I didn't get much from this other than some much needed relaxation after shingling an overly steep roof.  B+
Horny Blonde: What can I say, it was a blonde ale with a great name.  Nothing too great here, it was a blonde ale.  Light refreshing, crisp.  C+
Lake Superior Brewing Special Ale:  It was a nice pale ale with some nice nutty/caramel notes.  It was a decent pairing for the Walleye I had for dinner.  It wasn't spectacular, but It was cool to have another new beer.  B-

I also had the Blackwoods Forest Ale: The restaurant had someone brew a beer for them, it was basically an american amber.  Darker pour with a good smooth head, and a nice mix of malts and hops.  Hard to discern much, as it was a chaser for the most spicy bloody mary I've ever had.  
Schell's Firebrick:  Some of you don't realize just how hard my job is.  It's not easy for me to take time out of my vacation to seek out and find these new beers.  This was a Vienna Lager, nicely roasted malts and a bready taste were there.  It was a great beer for a burger.  It was one I'd like to have again, though it may not be the same in the bottle...  B.
Summit Brewing Summer Ale, Horizon Red: The summer was Emily's choice for dinner drink, and it was delicious!  I had the red, nothing real exceptional.  Both were more on the generic side of what you'd expect.  C+, C.

Summit Saga IPA:  Nice IPA, neat light citrus flavors, and lots of hops.  I loved it.  I thought it was the best IPA I'd had in MN.  A-.

Summit EPA: It's hard to go to MN and not indulge in this old favorite.  It's like that old friend who has been consistent as long as you've known them and will always be there for you...  B+
Some Brown Ale:  It was a brown ale, I'm not a huge Brown fan.  It was pretty good, nicely paired with a burger.  It was a nice desert... C
Lift Bridge Farm Girl Saison:  A nice saison, I like spiced ale's and this was an easy sipper.  It was decent, not great.  But it had good spicing and a smooth texture.  B-.
Point brewing 2012 Black Ale:  Mostly tasted chocolate toasted hints.  It was a very dark brown ale.  I had it on a hotter day than I usually drink a thicker beverage such as this.  But it was nice, and unique. A good find, but not one worth looking for.  C-.

Surly Furious IPA: Worth the drive to Minnesota alone.  I love this beer, I love IPA's in general.  But I loved this.  It's got an amazing dose of hops that show up first thing, and don't let you go.  It's got some citrus as you'd expect, but it's definitely a delicious draft.  I miss this one.  A

Surly Bitter Brewer English Bitter:  
A lighter taste for all the complexity I found from this canned pint.  It had a nice amount of flavor and hops.  It was interestingly smooth and easy for all of the hops in this.  I'd liked to have tried this from a tap to see if there was more hiding in the can than I found. Definitely a cool one...  B.

Emily and I took our 1 year anniversary trip to MN, and were able to relax for a week together.  It was an awesome week in the quiet North.  It was a perfect respite for our hot and busy lives in Phoenix.  It was something I'd looked forward to for a long time, and enjoyed it far more than anticipated.  It was so much fun to have new and old memories with Em.  

And I rode my bike, then my master cylinders failed on my brakes.  Shimano sent some new one's out, so I look forward to trying them out on the Fontana DH course this coming week while I'll be out there for some shadowing of some Doctors for clinical hours so I'll have more experience heading into medical school. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rogue Brutal IPA: If when you ask yourself, 'Self am I  a man?' and you reply 'Damn Straight.' You get your ass off the couch and buy this beer.  It's not for the faint of heart.  It's for the man who just went and chopped down 6 trees with his leatherman.  Why? Just to say F*ck you tree, and F*ck your tree friends too.  This is my spot.  It's got hops out the wazoo, and the fact that you have to drink it 22 ounces at a time reinforces the fact that your'e a man.  A.  

Knee Deep Hoptologist DIPA: It's big big Hoppy, DIPA, it's got Citrus, Pine, and a small amount of Malt.  It's so hoppy that you think the green guy on the front was the actual brewmaster.  It's pretty good, I seemed to have dropped off my hop binge, and don't necessarily require the same slap in the face hoppyness that I once longed for.  It is certainly a quality product, and I enjoyed it greatly.  B+.  

In clockwise Order from Upper left corner:  Staff Hendricks: Brods Tripel, Dogfish Head Noble Rot(sour), Dogfish Head Red and White(wit), Dogfish Head Aprihop(american IPA), Carolus Xmas(belgian dark), Stone 2010 Old Guardian(barleywine).
Brods Tripel: Not bad, not exceptional.  It's a tripel that I'll remember fondly, though I doubt I'll look for it again.  The true triple for me is the Bosteels.  I don't think that this is quite up to par on that...  Good, but not my tripel.  B-.

Dogfish Head Noble Rot: This is their Wine/Beer creation.  It's got a cool amount of work done to it.  A couple kinds of grapes, and a neat flavor, almost sour, but sweeter, and smoother than any sour I've had.  I thought it was a deliciously easy drinker, and definitely something I'd buy if I saw it...  A.

Dogfish Head Red and White:  Wit with coriander, Orange peel and Pinot Juice!  DFH has been one of the coolest breweries I've ever seen.  They constantly produce cool shit all of the time.  I loved this, it was nice soft, with the pinot juice not slamming you in the face, and the coriander coming in nicely.  A+.

Dogfish Head Aprihop:  Hops, Hops, Hops, and Apricots.  This thing is awesome. The apricot is subtle, but comes in nicely.  There are 3 hops in here, the last is dry hopped, and so you get the intense hop flavor off the bat, and the fruit is slow rolling but delish.  It's a good A-IPA, certainly worth the purchase if you see it... A-.

Carolus Christmas: Anis seed.  That's all that comes to mind.  It tasted like anis, black licorice was intense here.  The rep for these belgians was in Vegas when I was drinking this beer, and he agreed that it was an overly intense batch this time.  I liked it, but it was too thick and sweet for me.  Hopefully the next batch doesn't have as much anis in it... C.

Stone Old Guardian 2010:  Malty masterpiece.  I like stone, I like most things they do.  This was no exception. It had an initial taste of almost a brown sugar, and sweet like it too. Then the hops were there immediately after the malt.  It was interesting, you can taste the alcohol off the bat.  I don't know enough about Barleywine's to really compare. But my taste buds enjoyed it.  B+. 

Hopulent DIPA: I thought I'd had hoppy beer.  I was wrong.  I think this is one of the hoppiest beers I've had.  It was Hoppy.     Not like a friendly kind of hoppy, but more menacing, and put you in your place hop.  It certainly had all the goods of a big DIPA, and I liked it.  But I'll be damned it had hops.  I enjoyed it, and I'd certainly do it again...  B+.

Jordan Beeskau et al. Java Haze Porter:  My cousin made this.  It was surprisingly delicious.  I'd never had a nut coffee porter, so it was a nice new try for me.  The smoothness of the hazelnut softened the coffee flavor, and added a nice sweet smooth taste.  It was a really good beer, and aside from the low carbonation a great drink.  The low carbonation wasn't a loss, the nice thick flavor of the beer lent itself to the lack of bubbles, making it smoother, and allowing it to roll down the gullet.  B+.  

Kasteel Rouge: It's got Cherries!  It's a surprisingly delicious Cherry Belgian.  Not a Lambic, but a cherry Belgian.  It's 8.6% or something, and flat out delicious.  It's a desert beer for sure.  It'd be hard to have more than one.  It's got a very sweet tart nose fully of cherry, and the taste is hard to believe.  A.
Mother Earth brewing Weeping Willow Wit: I love wits when it's cooler outside, and I can enjoy all the spices as the beer warms up in my hand.  It was started a little too cold so it took a while to really ramp up.  The allspice was nice, and there were smooth other catchy notes.  It wasn't overly spiced, nor under.  I was impressed.  B+.
Not Pictured: 
Double Dog Imperial Pale Ale: Hoppy.  Almost to the point of unpleasantness...  B.
Lips of Faith from New Belgium-Sour, mildly non-descript.  It's also been a while.  C+...
Mendocino Brewery: Redtail Red, Blue Heron pale, Eye of the hawk, Oatmeal Stout. I wasn't overly impressed with any of them, they are nice.  But I'd look for something with more intriguing notes...  B-

This is that flurry of action I eluded to.  Definitely a flurry.  No other word to describe it...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hop Juice, Left Coast Brewing:  They managed to have 5 different kinds of Hops in this beer, and then had it dry hop for two weeks to keep the Hoppy flavor that separates it from the group.  It's got a great aroma, with a thicker look and small fine head that laces a little leaving a nice small the whole way down.  The hops pop off, and are sweetly finished with the overall taste.  It's not too strong in hop flavor, yet it retains a nice intensity while keeping it real.  A-.  

 Kellerweiss Sierra Nevada Brewing:  You will go Bananas over this beer.  It's almost like you drove your Corvette to Germany, and bought one beer then drove back to America.  Without a cruise ship.  It's literally the most german tasting non-german beer I've ever had.  It's got giant notes of banana, and has deliciously smooth wheat and and yeast taste.  It's so easy to drink you'll forget that it's actually beer.  Solid A.

 Gubna Oscar Blues Brewing:  The Gubna is their Imperial IPA, a great addition from this brewery, I've had the G'Knight on tap, and want to try this on tap, it's exceptional.  It's a nice citrusy opener, with an good unique yet precise hop flavor, then a great finish.  The best beer is one that leaves you wanting more, and also sober enough to remember which one you had.  This achieves both of those.  Spectacular A.

Tomorrow I'm off for an XL sized bike adventure.  It should be around 35-40 miles with about 3,000+ feet of elevation gain, should be sick, I just hope my legs are up for it. Video or Pics soon. 

I also have more beers to write about, but I've got to import the pics from the iphone, so expect a flurry of action.  I'll just allude to some of the excitement, sour beers kick ass.  

Friday, April 20, 2012

New tires and moar beer!

Here is proof that I do actually ride my bike.  I just wanted you all to know that I'm not just an E-rider.  But I'm an actual to the bones rider.  I do work.  basically I'm a big deal.  Well, I do work.   

Gus(left) and Helga.  When I work in the office, this is most often the view I see below the desk.  I guess my intellectual processes scare them.  Duly noted, and I kind of wish my students were like this too...  

Eel River Amber(Organic): I got this one night when we were out having persian food.  It was a nice smooth organic, it lacked the bite that draws me to a beer.  But it was a beer, as my first adventure into the world of Organic brew, I must say preservatives are my friend.  I found this one palatable, but unexciting.  It didn't make me want to search harder for organic beers either.  Especially with the inside knowledge that one of the top organic brewers is a facet of Busch...  D.

Sneaky Pete Imperial IPA: First off, I saw the Boston Terrier, and my wife's Mother has a boston, so I thought i'd give this beer a try.  I hadn't frankly read what it was until I got to the register.  I knew that me holding a beer that had a likeness to Debbie's best friend would be a good thing.  Well, it turned out extremely well.  This is a delicious beer that certainly deserved a spot in my roster.  It's not the hoppiest Imperial, but it's got a malty finish that is certainly unique.  Almost touching the lines of an Imperial Robust Porter.  It's darker than the average IIPA, but it's most definitely delicious... Not amazing, but different enough to bring it up in scale, it gets an A-.  
So my Specialized S-works MTB shoes tore a seam the other day, and I went into the LBS and they were able to warranty them on the spot.  Luckily they had my size.  Plus they are super snazzy in black and how have two boas.  Thus far they are awesome, and feel much much stiffer and definitely offer more bike feel.  

New Rubber!   Michelin Wild Race'r 2.3-they run a little narrow for their claimed size (between 2.1-2.2 on a 26mm internal width rim), but overall an excellent tire.  I've had thesetires since last may, waiting to run them.  They are a very fast rolling tire similar to the Fast trak but with much better side knob traction.  There is a little bit of a disconcerting lack of traction.  But that's coming from the 2.4 Purgatory...  So anything will feel like less traction. The previous time I used these was in Montana which had more tightly packed sediment, and also less sharp rock/sand.  They were great there, very fast, that's the key word for these tires.  Just fast as all get out.

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum: At first thought, I hoped I was buying a new car part, or some sort of time travel machine.  But the Hoptimum is a Full Cone Imperial IPA, which means that it's been hopped, dry hopped, and torpedoed to have basically 5 pounds of hope per bottle.  Not really, but almost.  I actually have no factual data about how much hops are in this beer.  But it's delicious.  This is one of the smoothest Hoppiest beers I've had.  It's almost true love, it's a near perfect brew. If you see this, buy all the 4 packs your eyes stumble upon. A+.

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron:  Basically It's a giant brown Ale that's been aged in a huge-ass Oak tank by Dogfish Head.  Dogfish is the king in larger scale awesome brew's in america.  It's brewed in the largest Palo brewing vessel in North America.  It's a big bold Malty Brown that really doesn't taste like all the alcohol it has.  It's a sleeper in that respect, a delicious sleeper.  One of the smoothest beers I can recall, it's malty, dark and great for a cool night.  It's a hard beer to slam, but one of the best damned browns I've had.  A+.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Coffee seeing a resurgence in the Schmidt household.

For Christmas Emily bought me an espresso machine.  It's been overused like the rumble strip near an old folks home.  I love being able to wake up, and 45 seconds later have an espresso in one hand and be working on another.  If anyone has ever thought of it, they are a completely valid investment.  As well as a great pre-ride pick me up to boot!

Da Beers:

Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA:  Firestone has a fair share of beers but their IPA is consistently ranked on the top.  It's a true testament to what IPA stands for ImPressive Ale.  Some of the reviews I've read said they tasted "sugar cookies" which frankly made me feel amateurish, as I'd never tasted sugar cookies aside from sugar cookies themselves.  And I don't think my grandmother would approve of me saying a beer tasted like her cookies...  Aside from that it's got an amazing nose of citrusy fruits, and an immediate taste of pine and grapefruit with a brutish slap of hops.  I hate to follow the pack, but the numbers are too large to fight on this one.  It's a most excellent IPA, and one I will likely always have in the beer fridge.  A+.
 Bosteels Tripel Karmeliet:  A Belgian among Belgians.  This triple redefined what triple meant for me.  It's got a champagne esque sensation to it, so light, and so fluffy.  This is without doubt the Belgian Triple to compare to.  At least for me.  The fact that it comes in a pretentiously large chalice means it sits even higher on the chart.  I love belgians, and this has that smooth feel, the intricate taste, and the easy drinkability that I think of when I want a belgian.  Certainly an A+.

Terrapin Hopsecutioner IPA.  This is a uniquely bitter IPA, It's not necessarily one I'd search out again.  I liked it, but eh.  It was a beer which I generally like.  I don't know.  It's just not anything special, nor is it worth writing home about.  C-.
Highlander Oatmeat porter:  A fresh twist your'e thinking, yeah maybe.  This oatmeal porter certainly has a lighter feel than a stout, yet it's hefty, and tasty.  I've always enjoyed the extra bit of sweetness garnered from having oatmeal in a beer, and this certainly had that unmistakable nose of oatmeal.  It was smooth to drink, and a great winter beer.  Certainly decent enough for the colder snowy nights we had in NC.  B-.

Peacemaker Pale:  A decent light pale with a crisp smooth taste.  I enjoyed it, but it didn't have ay outstanding features that would draw you back again.  It's an easy drinker and an ok beer.  C+.

Boulevard wheat: This was all Emily and I could find on a road trip back from NC.  We stopped in Oaklahoma city at 11:00 and this was the only "craft" beer I saw in the cooler at the local vendor.  Emily enjoyed the wheat, but it just didn't have anything to offer me.  Perhaps I've gone to a level of beer-snob pretentiousness that can't be undone.  It did the job of help ease the road nerve's, but little more.  There certainly was no razzle in this bottle.  D.

Celebrator:  My second favorite Doppel, It's got a huge flavor, and a great nose.  It will knock your taste buds out for a minute, it's one of the greatest Doppelbocks I've ever had. Second in my heart to Salvator, only due to nostalgic reasons...  A+.

Primator.  This beer was a bit too much for me.  It was a nice flavor, but I found it a little blown form all of the 10+% alcohol.  If you wanted one beer to mess you up for an evening, and enjoyed the thickness of doppels, this is your guy.  Otherwise it's a sipper.  I drank mine over a huge variety of temperature, and found that colder it was smoother, and less expressive.  But the full extent of the alcohol came out when it reached the 45+ degree mark.  B.

I'll try to do more frequent posts that aren't such behemoths, I get de-motivated when I look and see how many things I have to discuss...  But then again, I'm behind... Oh well...