So here it is, Wednesday night June 6, 2012 – I believe tonight is the night that I catch up with my blog finally.  I’ve been trying for a few weeks now and it has been difficult.  Summer/life/work has all challenged me and gotten in my way.  Yet, I’m attempting to prevail and still pull this challenge off.  School is almost over for my 6 year old and soon she will be a 2nd grader!  Yikes, they grow up fast!  My 3 year old is turned 4 in just 7 days!  And that is very exciting and Mountour Day at Kennywood Park is this Saturday!  All very exciting stuff going on here around 365 Beers!  I have been trying to keep up with my exercise routines as well lately.  It does not seem to be helping with weight but I do feel a bit more energetic lately for sure.  The house showings continue on and on.  Enough about me – on to the beer:
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6/2 – Breckenridge Brewery – Avalanche – One of my readers asked if this is how my second daughter got her name.  The answer is not “directly”.  My wife and I actually had the name Breckin picked out for a boy; oddly enough I could never imagine having a boy named Breckin!  Brecken fits my daughter so perfectly.  Of course, I love the city of Breckenridge and a lot of what Colorado has to offer, one of those things being this brewery.  This beer pours a nice golden amber in color into the glass.  It leaves a nice light white film of head on top of the beer in the glass.  This beer has a very copper almost penny smell coming from the glass.  I also get a little dough or flour type smell from the glass as well which is interesting.  The feel on the tongue is an even swish of goodness.  It crosses from the front to the back of my tongue leaving interesting notes of flavor throughout my mouth.  The carbonation explodes in  your mouth with a great bursting mouth feel for sure.  The flavors come through with an initial spicy citrus fruit.  The notes of caramel and butterscotch seem to come to mind as I sip on this Amber beer.  The finish is sweet and leaves you begging for that next sip.  In all this beer was extremely drinkable.  I actually attempted to use this beer in a beer cocktail Saturday night.  I used 6 12oz cans of Avalanche, 1 oz of pineapple juice and 6 or 8 oz of Galliano.  It was different.  It was neither my best beer cocktail, nor my last but I don’t think I would suggest you “waste” this beer on that cocktail.  It wasn’t worth it in my opinion.

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6/3 – Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh – Lager – ½ liter draft – crisp yellow light and refreshing.  This was a perfectly brewed beer.  I had this at the Pittsburgh Hofbrauhaus with a few light munchies for lunch.  It was a great lunch with the family and great place to relax.  I do not have a great deal to say about this beer in general.  It was medium bodied beer that was enjoying to the last sip.  It paired well with appetizer plate of sauerkraut balls, fried pickles, potatoes cakes, and pretzels.  I love going to this restaurant and wish we got there more often.  Their beers are some of the finest beers I’ve sampled in my opinion.

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6/4 – Ayinger Brewery – Brau-Weisse – I picked up a huge strawberry ester smell from the glass.  This was a huge smell as I could smell this from the pour with my nose nowhere near the glass.  This beer has a little bit of a sour or bitter bite to every sip.  This added to the refreshing nature of this beer.  It really was a nice balanced wheat beer with the hops where the yeast of this beer steals the show.  What you see from the picture on the left is the nicely poured beer in the middle with the bottom of the bottle – yeast collection – in the left most glass.  I got the idea from Affligem and Draft Magazine as they are having a contest to go to Belgium.   As part of this promotion they are also giving a select few people a pouring tray with two Affligem Blondes ( I was a lucky select ant).  It may be in bad taste that I’m reviewing a true German Bavarian beer and mentioning a Belgium tour and beer.  To the true purists out there go my apologies.  I find greatness in so many beers I hope not to offend too many people.  In their tray they suggest pouring the beer gently at first and saving the bottom and presenting as in the picture for the drinker to decide whether to completely ignore the yeasty goodness, drink it separately or add it to the original brew as it does have an effect on the taste of the product.  The yeast definitely gives the texture a bit cloudier, dusty texture in your mouth.   It almost mellows out the carbonation a bit and lies on top of it when drank in such a small portion by itself.  In my opinion when poured together, it gives this beer a nice even keel of bitey fruity esters, and cloudy rich yeast goodness.  The bananas flavors ring from this glass.

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6/5 – Victory Brewery – Lager – This beer pours light with very little to no head on the glass.  It has a very bright smell of earthy grassy notes.  I get a bit of citrusy spiciness bite in the front of my tongue.  It was a medium to light bodied beer.  It was a nice bright lager with a huge drinkability.  There isn’t really much excitement to speak of here but just all together a good well built beer.  The balance of earthy hops and caramel malty hop really make this an easy drinking well balanced bright beer.  I want to thank Victory for another fine craft beer to sit and enjoy any time of year.


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6/6 - Cerveceria Modelo - Negra - OK, I'm not going to try to hard to find your site any longer.  If I don't find your website on the first page of GOOGLE with like your name in it - I'm done.  I don't do this for a living and besides a few free beers and a product or two from promo sites I've made no money or extras on this journey.  So, I am not going out of my way at this point to find you.  This is one of those beers.  I see it is part of a group and may even some how be related to InBev in some fashion.  Anyway, lets just review this beer and be done for the night and all caught up - shall we?  This is a Munich Dunkel Lager (thank you beeradvocate.com for that assistance - I thought it might be on first sip but wasn't entirely sure) brewed in Mexico.  It pours a darker amber or light Pepsi color in the glass.  There is a thin almost not present head on top of the beer.  The carbonation flows heavy through the internal parts of the glass.  I get a cherry coke type smell from the top of the glass (I must really be craving a soft drink).  The body is a medium to heavy mouth feel.  It comes across with burnt/dark malt grains through the drink.  There is a really tart bit to the dark malts that you drink.  I have had this in the basement for a bit so it has definitely aged maybe a bit longer then it should.  I could see sitting around sipping a glass of this some night or maybe this complimenting a nice steak cooked on the grill for sure.  It may even be nice for cooking in a marinade of some sort.  It does have some underlying complexities in the flavor but the over all opinion is dark, roast, burnt malts.

As usual, thanks for reading my blog.  Thanks for being patient while I caught up.  Lets see if I can keep caught up over the next few weeks.  Have a great night.

 
 
My original concept of this site was to do a beer a day.  I really wanted to be able to blog about it every day as well.  That is most definitely the trickiest part of this whole adventure.  I just can't seem to take 30 minutes a day to write up a blog.  I don't think this is a problem for the site as I'm getting my point across that I'm learning more and more about beer.  This new part time job I picked up is there to help me learn more about brewing while teaching newbies how to brew as well.  Quite frankly I love the concept and am having a great time.  Just one more avenue opening up in my quest for the ever perfect job.  This weekend started with great weather on Friday night enough to hang out side with some good friends; Saturday then brought some crappy weather which created a perfect day to work at the brewery; and on to Sunday a truly inspirational day.  To be discussed in my next blog.  So for now, on to the catch up brews.
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4/21/2012 - Church Brew Works - Pious Monk Dunkel - Again, this picture is not the best.  It was taken at Rockefellar's Bar in Kennedy Township on an iPhone after a long day at the brewery.  This beer was in honor of me getting to meet one of the brewers from Church Brew works in person.  During this Great Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week there are tons of activities going on around the city with tastings and meetups all over the town.  It is really turning out to be an incredible week.  I'm terrible with names and I couldn't find it on line but I thought it was Steve.  Great guy and I remember he talked about brewing at several breweries - starting at Kona and working in Coors for sometime and now currently at the Church.  It was great to have him share his knowledge and hang out for a bit.  So, on my way home I picked up dinner and while I waited I sat and drank the Pious Monk Dunkel.  This beer was a nice darker brown in color in the glass.  Poured with a nice clean white head on top of the glass.  It was crisp and clear as a good lager is.  As I've stated before, Lagers seem to have some sort of quality that doesn't really work for me as much as many also in general.  And this beer is no exception.  It seemed nice clean and crisp but left me thinking it was a little light and watery.  As I'm no expert this maybe exactly what they are going for with this beer and to that if they are they achieved.  But to me as a dunkel I thin little more malty goodness and medium bodies beer.  This is just my opinion though - if you do see this beer or any other of the Church Brew Works beers please check them out.  And even better - get over to the brewery and enjoy an incredible meal paired with one of their fine beers.  It is a nice experience to be had by anyone for sure.

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4/20/2012 - Dogfish Head - 120 Minute IPA - I have been excited to get my hands on this so naturally when I found the bottle at a spot in York I picked up two; one to try now and one to age for a nice long time (How long?  Not sure).  I had expectations to put this one on a pedestal and make a large fuss about it and a grand blog about it.  And would have done that had I been keeping up with blogs on a day to day basis - but alas, I'm just trying to keep u with the pace.  So, to that end, I bring you the "holy grail" of IPA's as it is affectionately called at the brew house.  This is a brew that is boiled for 2 hours and continuously hopped for those 2 hours.  Now, it is typical for a beer to be brewed for about 60-75 minutes and hopped nicely at the 60 minute the 15 minute and 2-3 minute boil roughly.  Generally, these three stages are for Bittering, Flavor, and Aroma in that order.  But in 60, 90 And the ever elusive 120, they are continuously hopped from start to end getting all the acidic oily nectar from the beautiful hops that are used.  This beer pours a nice light to medium brown in the glass, the head retention is low as is common in many higher hopped IPA type beers.  The thing that grabs you by the face and smacks you twice about this one is the high percentage of alcohol in every pour.  I believe this ranks in around an impressive 18% abv.  It is large and in charge!  It is almost a whiskey alcohol type of a flavor to it.  It warms your innards with every sip.  One surprising thing to me about this beer was that the hop content was some what "low" or maybe a misleading as this was an extremely SWEET beer.  I was thinking the heavy amount of malts used to balance the hops and create such large amounts of ABV would be the root cause of this.  As this beer is made to age, I think it was very young to be drinking now.  But I did enjoy this together with a friend as this beer really should be.  I hope to be able to enjoy the second bottle I own in a few years with that same friend so we can look back and discuss the experienced journeys this bottle has traveled.  In general, this was a very strong beer.  Not for the weak of mind or palate.  But if you muster up the kahunas to partake in such a beer; do as I did and share the wealth with a friend or two of your choice.  This is not a beer that should be traveled alone!

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4/19/2012 - Williamsburg Ale Works - Washington Porter - Right off the bat I am going to apologize for the photo.  This one might as well not even show a picture being this bad.  This is by far the worst picture so far.  But luckily for me not the worst beer.  Thank you to the site for showing the make-up of this beer:
Composition:2-row, Caramel, Chocolate, and Biscuit malts with a touch of Roasted Barley. American Fuggle hops.
I enjoyed this a bit more then I expected I would as a porter.  This poured a dark brown to black in color.  I believe I enjoyed this a little cooler then it should have been as the flavors were a bit off in the beginning.  I think as the beer warmed up the chocolate, coffee, and biscuity bread like recipe shined through.  It was nice and rich in those flavors and maybe a little bit lighter then expected.  In general, a nice porter for those darker beer fans out there.  For me, these beers definitely have their time and place and that isn't usually often for me.  But in general I enjoyed this one.  Thanks again Aaron for your contributions to my challenge.  They having been helping me nicely this past few days.  This actually went really well with a peice of that chocolate cake in the background.  If I could just get my wife to stop making such goodies like this I may have a chance to lose a pound or two.  She seems to like to blame the beer but I'm not so sure!

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4/18/19 - Tsingtao - Lager Beer - So, my wife and I took our oldest on a little dinner date to P.F. Chang's for something a little different for her to experience.  In the background, I have the Hockey Game on - Sad to say the Penguins couldn't get through to the next round.  This night was great.  Jordan loved her chicken and noodles and my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our meal - Pepper Steak and Kong Pow Shrimp if I remember right.  Well, a perfect pairing for the spicey meal was this crisp clean lager.  The first sip of this beer was nice and refreshing.  It is a light body low alcohol kind of beer.  It is refreshing and crisp with a hint of nutty sweetness.  I thought I got some hints of corn but the site does not talk of corn in the recipe at all.  This drink very much complimented the spicy dinner nicely just as the website said that it would.  Please try this when you are out and about.  An interesting fact on this beer is that the site states that it is the number #1 consumer export of China!  And I can see why, it was really good.