Monday, November 27, 2017

Visit Dog Rose Brewing

In September the wife and I (J) visited the Ancient City of Saint Augustine Florida. We stayed at the Saint Francis Inn and did the whole walk around town thing. Pretty much hop from bar to bar to distillery. You know had a good time. The we were walking down Bridge Street, there it stood a big redish building with the word Brewing inscribed . I was excited, mouth salivating with anticipation of new never before had brews.  I walk briskly up the steps grab the handle of the door and look through the glass as the door doesn't open. Dust, unfinished bar top, paint in progress. It isn't open. Disappointment rushes over me like a kid opening an empty box on Christmas. I walk on and enjoy the rest of the trip with an emptiness inside that I must shelve for next time.

Since we come often I knew it wouldn't be more than a few months before I could walk up those steps again. So yesterday while coming for the city in lights show I decided we had to try again. After a nice dinner downtown we started the walk to Bridge Street. The anticipation mounting with the slight memories of failure from the last trip melding in the back of my mind. We walk closer this time child in tow. She's jumping on an do the crooked sidewalks laughing and singing. I think she's displaying the excitement I wish I could let out. There it is, the redish building, lights on, it looks occupied from down the road. Joy sets in new beer is on the horizon. We'll it disappoint, well it be amazing, only one way to tell.

Walking in is a nice open Floorplan. Real darts in the corner, shuffle board next to that, a large wrap around bar and several table of varying sizes. In the back the shine of fermentation tanks bring joy to my eyes and maybe a tear. On the left a board with seven colored names. Speedball Stout, Ramble on Red and Roadside IPA catch my eyes. We take a seat and I walk to the bar. How many are in your flight? "As many as you want." Oh these are my favorite words... One of each please. "I'll bring the right over." Wowzers full service, nice...

I try all seven, even the wife has a sip to see if her pallet has matured to beer. The six year old sticks to water for this trip and is enjoying the electronic device in her hands. The beers overall were good. I wasn't disappointed at all by them. It seems they are Brewing for both the first timer (bud light drinker) and the craft beer lovers. So there is certainly something for everyone. Two I would consider the New guy first step beer, either their Lincolnville Lager which is really lightly hoped or the Palace Pale Ale which is more the citrus route. My favorite here was the Roadside IPA which smells as good as it tastes. The Set Break oatmeal stout and the Speedball stout also very good.

Saying I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin in advance (mostly because it's almost always pumpkin spice) I wasn't a fan of the Jolly Jack's Pumpkin Ale. It gave me more of an Old Bay taste than a strong pumpkin spice.

All in all it is a nice brewery to visit. I'll look forward to coming out again and will certainly visit each time. It's nice to have two good Taprooms downtownish and worth the short walk to each.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

GABF Thursday

Thursday the morning starts not knowing what to expect. Breakfast is had at the hotel, the dining room is filled with shirts of beer from all over. Brewery after brewery, GABF shirts and soany more. We picked the hotel everyone is staying at, we find out later there has to be easy more than one.

We decided to walk the downtown area and do the beer tourism thing. Being from the east coast we started a little early for the area. But wait what's that in the distance, they might be open.. @Great Divide Brewing is open and already serving. There's a small crowd of fellow early morning folks busy for this time of day but the two girls at the counter had it covered no problem. We ordered our flights and found our spot to begin. All of a sudden minutes later we were moving, we picked the crowded area but there was no more room to move too. The place was packed, the two girls behind the counter were joined by another guy and still the line formed, us with three beers left to try.

After the first brewery we went walking again, the only plan, find another place of beer. We posed at Coors field because, well, when in Denver... Then we walked on. Finally a little brewery with open doors was shining light on our path.
@JaggedMountain brewery had their doors open and welcomed us in with morning smiles. Beer the only thing that brings morning smiles. A fantastic Grafruit beer was had, Cattywampus, with not a drop of rhine flavor hitting the batch. Great conversation with a home brewer and his son meeting back up from opposite ends of the country to enjoy the pastime of drinking beer. Then lunch suggestions are heeded and are of again.

Stomachs grumble and the thurst of more beer drives us forward. Taking the suggestion of Jagged Mountains bar tender we headed towards @TapXIV a place just across from another filled tap house but upstairs past the empty bar below it. Taps down the entire length of a nice size bar call us in. Local, distant they are from everywhere. We ordered new beers, ahh life is good. Enjoying the view from the rooftop bar we notice some local brewery friends have gotten the same advice for lunch. The guys from @EscapeBrewing joined us at the bar for beer and a delishious lunch. Conversation, beer and food who could ask for more, this was only part of the reason everyone was here. There's still more to come.

It's almost time to go. A short walk down the street to the convention center leads us to a line, an amazing line. Just prior we finished some great Mexican food from down the street, were full bellies a mistake? The line lead us to the now customary security checks we all must endure these days. Once cleared to drink we arrive at line two, holy crap how many people are already here. Many of the brewers guild already roaming the floor. We are hearded into the corrals and asked to move forward and fill all the available space. We comply, there is beer to be had, soon. The bagpipes signal we are getting close and the corrals one at a time in order of their fill are left loose. 

The game is on, where to start, how to record, what do we do? Overwhelmed feelings hit almost immediately, how can we try 3800+ beers in our available two days. The fact that loss is inevitable is soon washed away by the sheer number of delishious new beers. Recording them all is impossible. Games are afoot on the floor, visit brewery XYZ fill out this card get a shirt, done. Drink until they tell you no more. See the device's of beer making, take it into your home. We made a dent. Just a dent. But wait Saturday there's more to come...
(proof reading will take place soon) 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The landing in Denver

Wow budget plane's! Hey it got us here to Denver in luxury and style. The 1230 am landing as uneventful as you can hope one to be. Let's check for an Uber, hey Uber pool is about an hour wait, we are at the cabbie spot let's ask them, wow twenty bucks more let's check Lyft. @Lyft you win in Denver tonight only minutes away, cheaper than the cabbies and faster than @Uber. Our drive begins to the @Marriott downtown. It's dark so there isn't much to see a bit of construction ohh what's that in the distance? A shinny city on the hill? Breweries! Seeing them from the road even at 1am makes you want to stop. It's almost time. We will see you soon my friends. 

So we get to the lovely Residence Inn @Marriott check into our room. We go up and snag a single queen bed. I love A like a brother but am not a fan of sleeping in a tiny bed with him. Well we call down the the front desk, all rooms sold out but hey our room has a sofa-bed. So we don't have to cuddle. Hopefully the only not so great hiccup in this trip. 

So we're on our way out the door, where too? Well a brewery. We have a few shirts with us a couple guys medium and a ladies large and XL. If you're the first to tell us you want it, you can have it. Our gift to you. See you with a beer in hand! 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The road to @GABF

The Great American Beer Festival is approaching. A and J are sitting at the Rum Fish in the C terminal of Tampa International Airport. Enjoying a Reef Donkey from Tampa Bay Brewing Co to start the prep of our livers for two days of trying to try 3800+ Craft beers from around the country. Can we prep for this? I'd like to think the years and years of beer has been prep. How many can we try? Well the dream goal is is all of them, reality will break our spirts at some point  but the alcohol content will keep them alive.

We board our flight shortly hoping to meet new brewer's and most importantly new masterpiece craft beers.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Beer for Breakfast

Now I've seen a lot about this recently. It is like a craze and people are going nuts over it, I mean not anyone I know. We are all for it! For some reason, my guess is the same reason we still can't buy liquor in some places before 11 am on Sundays, having a drink before noon is still Taboo. This is ludicrous folks, there is absolutely no reason that "In the land of the free" (I know some may not be here) we are not "free" enough to have a beer with or even for breakfast.

Was it that it was a British thing to do and when we crossed the pond we threw it out? Come on you know George sat in his favorite chair in Mount Vernon with a nice stout in hand. Imagine that; Martha walking by seeing George's cup empty thinking , You're already on your second one George?, heck no the man was a general! She called to the kitchen and shouted, friends he's out again!
Here's a fun article about good old George and his Beer.

So beer was originally for breakfast because well water was horrible, carried these killer bacteria and people knew it was bad. So the solution Brewing and fermentation. I mean you could just pour yourself a glass of Airag which is a delicious glass of fermented milk, I'm guessing it tastes like the way I'm saying the word in my head (Eh - Rag). Personally I'd rather pour a glass of Chicha de jora which is drank in the Andes, you can already guess from my enthusiasm its almost a beer. As great science fiction movies would say "Would you like to know more".


I could keep going and who knows maybe I will do the history of beer as breakfast in the future but for today's point, get over it! Grab your favorite stout be it coffee or otherwise, sit back with the paper on whatever day your weekend may be and cherish in the fact that you're celebrating history and not breaking a single rule for life.

Enjoy your beer, enjoy your life!

Monday, June 26, 2017


What did we do? Well we have a cool shirt for you to be a honorary brew reviewer. We think you'll like them. Both men's and woman's styles. We will ship anywhere in the continental US included in your price. We know you like beer as much as we do and this shirt will let you be just as cool!

How much to be awesome? Only $15.00

All orders will ship no later than August 1st.

All Sizes 15.00
includes shipping in continental US

We know this shirt is cool but we want to hear your ideas for slogans. We've seen some really cool ones and wonder if our fellow beer drinkers can come up with even more awesome ones. Like usual you'll get no credit and nothing from it but hey you can tell a tale to anyone you'd like.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mistakes - Great and Not so

I'm sitting here at Escape brewing thinking, it's amazing how many mistakes make really good things. A and I have been to so many breweries over the last few years and a common theme is an oops beer on tap. They never mean to and doubt you'll ever see it again but they all have them.

It's like a great chef, they say in pairing food you taste each bite, you consider the emotion that it brings forward. The memory from the smell and the visions of childhood wonders. Like the smell of fresh baked bread making you recall the bakery down the street you had to pass on the way to school. You didn't have that memory? Neither did I but that's why we aren't great chefs.

Anyways back to beer. Always be willing to try that beer in the bottom right corner of the sign. Great breweries admit their mistakes, they wear them with pride and gosh dang a few of them that will never be duplicated again, you'll wish for, you'll desire, you'll crave one last sip and damn it they won't let you fill the growler.