I’ve been trying to catch up on these blogs.  With tonight’s four blogs I will have 4 more plus tomorrow night’s beer to blog.  Things have been calming down here around the house with summer quickly approaching.  I suspect the kids not having a “specific” bedtime next week and no real schedule will make things a bit easier for the wife and I to get a little of our own things done from time to time.  Of course, that also means the girls will probably be up a little later each night so there will be less alone / quiet time either so we’ll see how that goes.  Here at 365 we are working on our vacation schedule for July.  If nothing changes anytime this week – we are planning to head to Florida and enjoy a little sand and sun (ok a lot of sun) for a week with my wife’s aunt, uncle, and cousins that live down there.  I look forward to having a drinking buddy (Uncle Wayne) for a week to experience my beer tasting adventures together.  I can’t wait for the time off.
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5/29 – Cerveza Tona – Lager Especial – Most known for their coffee beans, Nicaragua also exports sugar, bananas, cotton and of course tobacco.  Oh, there are some exports that go, shall we say, under the radar.  And of course, there are some legal things like cerveza – Spanish for beer.  This is a Nicaraguan Beer that I’m drinking tonight.  This beer has characteristics of being light and crisp, bubbly and refreshing (to my surprise as well).  I do not think it would qualify as a “craft beer” in any sense that I can tell but on a hot day in the cotton or tobacco fields I would definitely be racing down the street to find me the first spot that sold an ice cold refreshing one of these.  It definitely had some corn sweetness to it but in general it really was not a bad beer.  Interesting factoid, I did a quick search to find “famous Nicaraguan’s” and the CLOSEST I could come to knowing was Mick Jagger’s wife – which had it not said that is who she was – I wouldn’t have even known that.  I wonder if I should get a bit more worldly educated out there or is Nicaragua just not that happening these days.

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5/30 – Yuengling Brewery – Bock Beer – I really need to stop putting these beers in the freezer first to cool down quickly.  I don’t plan my evening out nicely and usually end up not thinking about which beer to drink till about 8:30 at night.  Need to work on my basement beer fridge for better storage ability.  Anyway, I drank this beer a little later in the night.  The smell was nice and malty.  Very much like a nice bock beer should be.  I’m a fan of a good bock beer but this beer was a bit light on everything.  The body was light, the head retention was not the best, in general as a Bock beer I was not a fan of this one.  It was not “undrinkable” but just fell short of a good bock beer in my opinion.


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5/31 – Twisted Pine Brewery - Billy’s Chillies – Well the brewery’s name has Twisted in it so that tells you something.  The first “chili pepper beer” I tried that I remember was at the Wynkoop in Denver Colorado.  I haven’t really ever seen these chili beers anywhere other than Colorado though.  I’m sure they are out there.  And I am sure that they are for someone.  I remember the Wynkoop’s being a bit less powerful then this beer.   I drank this beer over at the “Final Approach Lounge” (aka my Father In Laws garage) while playing some darts with the neighbors.  The noise is HUGE pickled hot pepper from the glass.  It really came across with a huge spiced pickled jar of liquid.  It was bright yellow and bubbly in the glass with a nice white bubbly head on top.  The site talks about the beer being a wheat base; though I found it hard to notice anything resembling beer in the glass other then the yellow color with the white frosted head and carbonation brewing throughout.  It took all I could to finish this beer.  It was hugely over run with hot spicy habenero and Serrano peppery spice. 


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6/1 – Lavery Brewing Company – La Bealtaine White Fire Wheat Ale – As copied from the site, "this beer is named after the Festival of White Fire which celebrates the defeat of winter’s adversities and the anticipation of summer’s bounty".  This beer is brewed with Pilsner and Wheat malts – it was cloudy in the glass with a caramelized sugar light brown’sh yellow.  Most wheat beers I come across usually show case the wheat and yeast of the beer.  This one with the “Fire Wheat Ale” show cases a “fiery” hoppy bit to the beer.  For my own tastes it sort of came across a bit flatter then I would have liked or expected.  And for sure to me it could have been balanced with a little less hoppy bite that I assume is possibly coming from the Zythos hops.  This hop is a proprietary hop bland of Northwest’s most unique hop varieties (as mentioned on www.rebelbrewer.com).  These hops were created to lend a hand and match perfectly to an American style IPA.  These are usually the IPAs that I tend to shy away from.  I could probably drink one or two of these but I would not be able to drink many of these as it is a bit too citrusy and powerful for me.  For me, the grapefruit and citrus flavors coming from this beer were too much.


 
 
May 29, 2012 is an ugly rainy Tuesday night!  The kids are “sort of” downstairs playing, the wife is making MORE cupcakes; she just finished making 20 dozen cupcakes for a local winery called Winery at Wilcox and some Wine-ee Women event (hope they are enjoying them).  I’m sitting back and reaping the benefit of some left over ingredients (ie wine) that was not completely used in the recipe.  Seems like as good enough of a time as any to get caught up on my writing – lord knows I need to get caught up.  This is officially the 150th day of the year.  What an exciting year it has been and we are not even half way through yet.  Can’t wait to sit back and read through this year’s events in the future and recall all the beers I’ve drank.
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5/16 – Victory Brewing Company – Lizard Bock – If you haven’t read much about me you may not know that I lived out in West Chester from ’96 – ’01.  In that time, I did get a chance to check out this brewery once or twice years ago.  On pulling into this place recently I immediately noticed the expansion – no doubt from how incredible this brewery is doing!  This brewery is a staple in my diet.  I attempt to drink their beers when I see them and enjoy most everything I got.  On entering the brewery I was immediately impressed by the décor.  It was a brewers dream – very open and approachable.  The bar in the back is very impressive with a few large copper kettle pot tops feast your eyes on.  The beer selection was huge.  Of course, I drank the sampler and was impressed by many of the beers.  Happily the rauchbier that I drank was the best of the week (of a few that I tried from various locations), well brewed Victory.  But I chose the Lizard Bock as my beer of choice.  Amazingly enough, I do not have a picture of the beer itself… instead I took a picture of the menu for Lizard Bock.  Since the menu talks about the beer in great detail – and I did not take great notes – I’ll simply state that I really remembered enjoying this beer nicely.  I remembering it being a bit sweet and malty, with just enough hop kick to balance this beer and make it REMARKABLY drinkable.  I only enjoyed one of these as I was rushed out of the bar for reasons not to mention here.  I also was happy to have one of my long time readers find me and introduce her to me.  Unfortunately we were not able to catch a beer together but there will always be another time.  I had a very enjoyable dinner with co-works out this night and can’t wait to make it back to the brewery to enjoy a bit more time here.

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5/17 – Amstel – Light Lager – Amstel Light has been around for a very long time.  The website plays a nice little move about the fact that the beer has been started 104 years before my birthday.  So that makes it and me old!  On that note, I don’t have a lot to talk about this beer.  I would “assume” most of my readers on this blog have tried this beer.  It is light and crisp and somewhat refreshing.  It is a steady “safety” beer if you get to a place that doesn’t have good beer.  I got to enjoy this at a friend’s Italian club just on the outskirts of Philly.  The people were pretty cool and it was a decent night out.  Personally, a bit smokey for my tastes but a fact I quickly looked past.  Unfortunately, I did not win any money from the Cash Bash and I was dead tired from a LONG week at education.  FORTUNATELY, I finally got to meet a friend’s family and got to enjoy the hospitality.  I do not make it to these types of clubs to much anymore but it definitely had a nice feel to it.  Everyone knows everyone, they are all able to crack jokes and have a great time.  All in all a good night!  The beer… well, I honestly think it was probably a bit bad from sitting around but in general this is a nice enjoyable beer.

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5/18 – Victory Brewing Company – Summer Love – I did not get to enjoy this one at the bar Wednesday night.  I was happy to save this one for a 6pack from Wegmens as I’m heading out of Corporate from a long week of education.  I had a long road in front of me and wanted to ensure I had some nice beer to drink when I got home and finally relaxed.  This was not the only beer I picked up that day of course.  The drive home on the PA Turn Pike was a little rough actually; long and boring and as tired as I was I stopped twice once to grab some lunch and the second to grab a cat nap in one of the rest areas.  I made it home safely and cracked open a Summer Love.  I was excited for this with Summer right around the corner.  I figured I would grab a case of this and be settled in for whatever summer has to offer.  It pours a nice bright yellow clear liquid in the glass.  The head is light and white on top.  First sip of this beer is robust;  it has a crisp pilsner taste with some hints of spicy hops that scream through the glass.  To me, this ‘spicy after taste’ makes this not such a home run in my eyes.  I get that it is refreshing on a hot summer day; but this beer gives me severe heart burn from the hops.  There are a few beers out there that accomplish this with me.  Mostly, it seems to be some Belgian Brews that do this most often to me but this one is strong as well.  I get some earthy grass notes in the back of my mouth.  Its very carbonated.  I think it is a “GOOD” quality beer that many people will love but it is not the beer for me.  This is not the beer for me to enjoy in mass quantities.  Can't like ALL their beers ;).

Thanks for stopping by for a read.  I hope you enjoy.

 
 
So, life has been catching up with me - and this website not "saving nicely for me" is frustrating.  So I had a couple things on here about things - but I'm just going to get right to the beers cause I lost all that on a non-save event.  UGH.  Anyway - so here goes:
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3/26/12 - Breckenridge Brewery - Pandoras Bock.  I love this style of beer.  I did a little poking and found this site Madison Dining that talks about Bocks being Lent beers.  I wish I could get to the link to show you more - maybe you can.  Looked like it was going to be a nice read.  Anyway, this is a Jan-March Beer.  I always love this season of beer.  It is right up my alley - and always a refreshing change from all the dark stouts and porters that came from Christmas.  This beers are crisp and a bit spicey.  They are fully of thick malty goodness in the glass.  There was light head retention in the glass.  I really really enjoyed this beer.  I love the brewery in general and the style of beer so there is no surprise I would love this beer.  I hope to get a few more of these before the season is completely out (as it already may be gone).  I didn't really notice anything to revealing about the smell but I'm never great with this anyway.  In general - I love Bock Beers and I think if you've never tried one - GO OUT NOW AND TRY IT!  Don't wait till next year... find one and drink one and fall in love like I have!

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3/25/12 - Samuel Adams - Irish Red.  This beer poured a nice dark red pour in the glass.  A nice aggressive pour left a pillowy dirty white 2 finger head on top of this beer.  The malt stuck around and clung to the sides of the glass the whole way down the drink.  In general this was a nice beer.  It gave out nice caramel notes.  It had a nice light spicy note to it that I believe came from the hops in the glass.  It had a nice silky texture to the drink as comes with these styles of beers.  This beer was the day after a large drink so I drank this a little later in the evening and enjoyed it slowly.  It was probably just a bit warmer then it needed to be but all told was a nice beer.  As I've found with Sam Adams in general - I have found it hard to say anything bad about their beers.  They make a great beer for every style.  They may not always make the best of the best nor do they often make the most exciting.  But they do make a great quality beer to sit around and drink.  Thank you for a consistent quality in your beer Sam.

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3/24/12 - Troegs Brewery - Troegenator DoupleBock Beer.  At 8.2% alcohol this beer brings A LOT to the table.  The definition as per German Beer Institute Site states a DoppelBock as:
Definition:  Doppelbock (literally "double bock") is a stronger and usually darker version of the Bavarian Bockbier. It is exceptionally malty, with very little bitterness. Standard Doppelbocks may have as much as 7% alcohol by volume. In the strongest versions (around 10 to 13%), you can actually taste the alcohol.
So, it is no surprise this is right up my avenue.  There is not a great head retention on this beer.  But the flavor and the malts SHINE through.  The bitterness levels are low and the beer is smooth.  I do get some nice malty notes of smell from the glass (maybe even some hints of cherry).  In general this is a great beer.  I had to cheat and drink this beer once again tonight as the beer from the picture from Saturday is later in the evening after several others and well, lets just say I knew my notes would not be great.  As I said, my best friend was in from out of town and we received a surprise visit from another one of my friends that lives close by.  All 3 of us had some GREAT catch up time Saturday night.  Good times.

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3/23/12 - Flying Dog Ales - Road Dog Porter.  This was a great beer.  This beer ways in at a nice 6.0% alcohol.  I didn't save great notes from this Friday night - so going by memory.  I remember I liked this beer.  It was a nice roasty malt flavor.  I don't remember to dark and burnt of a flavor but a nice medium roast.  I remember the head retention stayed with the glass nicely and it drank smooth.  I think the one thing I remember for a porter it was a very light beer in texture.  This lightness really made this a drinkable beer.  Made it nice and enjoyable.  A friend of mine recommended this one and though it was good - it wasn't one of my favorites.  Again, I'm not really a porter or dark stout type drinker so this shouldn't surprise.  All told it was a nice drinkable beer.  And the beer was enjoyed as the kickoff to a great weekend with my best man/best friend/buddy from high school.  It was a good time, Friday night was even another Wine Cupcake making session for my wife and a friend of hers.  So the lightness of this beer when really well with the winey goodness of her cupcakes.  Text me if you want her recipes and/or more information on those cupcakes.

Wow, so this was a long post - I'm going to hold of posting today's beer (blogging this on 3/27/12) till at least tomorrow.  But I had an enjoyable weekend and am glad I stayed with the challenge.  I am excited about tomorrow as I am checking out the call from last Friday - again - if the news works out I'll talk more about this later.  There is a lot to be considered and discussed.  In the end if it works out and I move forward with it.  This blog will be the FIRST (well second as my wife will probably be the first ;) ahah) to know!  Thanks for listening and until the next blog!