So, I’m writing this Saturday June 2; so far the day is shaping up to be a decent day.  I had a nice Friday night with my daughter at “take your parent to karate” night.  Also, got a nice work out in and am definitely feeling the effects today.  We did a little running around as a family this morning and have a get together tonight at a friend’s house.  I’m actually “diving into” the world of Beer Cocktails.  I’ve been doing some reading about them lately and figure I might as well try them before I knock them.  Tonight’s cocktail will be using my beer of the day of Avalanche Amber.  We’ll see if it is a success or not.

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5/22 – Flying Fish Brewery – Farm house Summer Ale – This is a Saison style beer that I’ve talked about in the past.  I was a bit confused because this did not match the beer I had of the Tommy Knocker Saison I’ve had the night before.  This beer was a clear yellow, crisp lager.  The nose had a yeasty bready smell to it.  The head was nice and white.  It had a nice bubbly carbonation.  I got a bit of pepper in the initial sip.  It had somewhat of a creamy texture to it.  I noticed a bit of malty sweetness in it but not to hoppy.  It was a nice medium bodied beer.  I definitely enjoyed this beer a bit more then the Tommy Knocker from the night before.


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5/23 – Victory Brewery - Prima Pils – Crisp clean clear light yellow pilsner.  Smooth white head.  It had a nice flowery spice kick in the back (earthly in taste) from the hops.  Balance of hops to malt was very enjoyable.  After watching the video on the site I learned Prima in German means “excitedly good” or great.  I think they hit this one out of the park – it is refreshing and highly drinkable.  I want to thank you Victory for this wonderful addition to the craft beer world.  Also, trying to do some light reading in the background as you can see as well.  I've really enjoyed the subscription of BeerAdvocate that my wife got me for Christmas this last year.


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5/24 – Leinenkugel Brewery – Big Eddy - Wee Heavy Scotch Ale – Huge malt complexity in the taste and smell.  The beer was a dark brown to black pour in the glass.  The smell was woody (oak) grain smell coming from it.  There was also a granny smith apple smell to it.  The head was almost none existent after the initial pour.  It had a thin body to it not quite as heavy as the “Wee Heavy” would suggest.  I definitely got the taste of barrel and alcohol from the glass.  I noticed a huge hint of dark cherry and even maybe a light hint of cinnamon actually.  The bottle suggests a huge level of complexity and this beer doesn’t disappoint.  I even got some vinegar/sour taste going on.  I can’t be sure if that sour taste was coming from the yeast or what.  The body was a bit lighter then I would prefer for suggest a complex flavored beer.


 
 
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Ever wonder why a Hamburger is called a Hamburger and it doesn't have any ham in it?  Could it be some crazy McDonald's sales pitch?  Or did Burger King have a pet pig?  Well I decided to check it out for you - it gets its name as so many other things out there get its name from the place of its origin.  That is right - Hamburgers were born in Hamburg, Germany.  The history is quiet interesting if you want to see a bit more of it check out what I found at TLC Cooking Site.  Or do some searching on your own because I'm here to talk about what goes great with hamburgers and that is beer!

More specifically yesterday's beer was B.B. Burgerbrau.  This beer is brewed in the Czech Republic.  I am not going to pretend I speak different languages but the closest site I could find for this beer may be HERE.  I can't seem to find anything resembling this bottle but I do see a lot of beer stuff, so we'll go with that for now.  This beer poured a nice solid yellow in the glass.  It had a thin light coat of head covering the top of the glass.  The smell of a pilsner style beer or German Lager is never pleasing to me.  I can not get the exact smell straight in my nose but it is not pleasing.  The taste on the other hand is a whole other story.  I have found Pilsner's I like and some I don't.  I'm putting this one in the LIKE category.  It was mostly pleasing medium bodied beer with a nice medium malty sweetness.  There was little trace of hops through the glass.  The nice thing about this beer was that it had a somewhat creamy taste to it.  This may have been a refreshing choice to drink with a jalapeno turkey burger had it not been for the nice heavy carbonation in the glass.  Instead of the creamy goodness calming down and helping with the bite - the carbonation picked up each kick of spice and slammed it around in my mouth.  It really did help accentuate the hotness of this turkey burger that I tried.  But in general this was a nice pairing.  One I would love to enjoy again and again.  In general, nice pilsner beer.

 
 
So here is this past weeks line ups...
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5/7/2012 - So my 4 day weekend is over and its back to work tomorrow.  Not looking forward to that so I might as well get my last few minutes of rest now.  Sitting back and watching a little television and drinking my beer of the day.  Today was my wife's decision to do her version of "Cinco de Mayo" since we didn't since we didn't celebrate on Saturday for a few reasons.  So, she made some guacamole and chicken tacitos, and a mini-margarita that was not to shabby.  I didn't have any more Mexican beers but I did happen to find a Presidente down in the basement.  This beer pours a nice bold yellow with a medium level of carbonation.  The head is light on top and just enough to coat the top of the beer.  I have not grown any fonder of the pilsner smell of beers.  They just have a smell that I can't put my finger on yet.  If I could actually label the smell as something with a positive connotation it probably would appeal to me more.  I chilled this down extra cold tonight as I don't remember being a HUGE fan of this beer.  Drinking this ice cold I could have a few of these.  It is actually a nice crisp pilsner.  It has a nice malty sweetness in every sip with a low hop profile.  Its crisp and fresh from the bottle.  And actually quite refreshing.  I think I was plesantly surprised the last time I drank this beer as well.  I am going to sit back and enjoy the last of this beer before my real job starts up again tomorrow.

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5/6/2012 - Bell's Brewery - Oberon - This is by far one of my favorite wheat beer's out there.  It is also by far one of my favorite summer beers out there.  When I say, this beer is SUMMER in a bottle I'm not kidding.  It is fruity and sweet and refreshing and citrusy and down right balanced and good.  It holds all the characteristics of a wheat beer with the smooth wheat sweetness.  It throws in some banana and citrus sweetness with the ale yeast that is being used to brew this sun shine in a bottle.  It is a crisp orange color in the bottle though I drank this one out of the bottle. 

Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of this beer as I wasn't going to pick this one as my beer of the day.  I was going to save this one for its own blog with a glorious picture.  But my wife had just finished the Pittsburgh Marathon with her team.  She completed her longest run to date at her fastest time.  Her distance was 5.5 miles in 61 minutes and change.  I am extremely proud of her accomplishment.  I actually did make it down to the city and probably ended up walking over 4-5 miles in the day back and forth.  We did go out to celebrate for dinner but unfortunately the beer selection was a bit low for what I was interested in drinking.  And by the time I got home, I was really to tired to sit and drink a new beer.  So, luckily I had drank this beer earlier that day at our friends house who also ran that day - she ran the half marathon and in a PR time as well!  Congratulations to all Pittsburgh marathoners out there.  You guys ricked that city yesterday and inspired me to go out and get a new pair of shoes.  Yes, I have to get back on the training schedule.  Thank you for that.

As a tribute I added the picture of my wife crossing her leg of the marathon on Sunday.  This makes me warm and happy like a fine summer day or a Oberon in a glass!  Congrats baby!

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5/5/2012 - Grupo Modelo - Pacifico - Clara - From this site I found on line -
Cinco de Mayo—or “Fifth of May”—is a Mexican holiday that commemorates the victory of the Mexican army over an invading French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It is not, as many people mistakenly believe, Mexico’s Independence Day. Although the Mexican army was eventually defeated, the Batalla de Puebla became a symbol of Mexican unity and patriotism. With this victory, Mexico demonstrated to the world that it was willing to defend itself against foreign intervention.
I actually am one of those that thought it was Mexico's Independence day.  I also mistakenly wished a Spanish friend of mine once Happy Cinco De Mayo in all seriousness.  I have never said my global historic education on wars and geography have been the best.  And I guess this proves it.  So, on that note I decided to pick up a Mexican beer in celebration.  I asked the guy at Market District for his recommendation and this was the beer he suggested.  Very nice light pour in the glass.  This beer really was a nice crisp pilsner beer.  It had a little bit of an off taste for my tastes but if served nice and cold I could definitely enjoy a few of these on the Mexican Riviera or anywhere in Riviera Maya or anywhere else for that matter.  I think this would be a great beer to share with some friends for a nice warm sunny day.  May have to revisit this one again.

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5/4/12 - Hardywood Reserve Series - Mocha Belgique - Belgian Chocolate Porter brewed with locally roasted coffee.  As you can see I actually shared this with a few of my friends; always a good time to do this.  This beer had a lot going on.  This beer was very robust with flavors.  Huge hits of chocolate and coffee go through this beer.  It talks about on the bottle a coffee tasting session with local coffee brewers to determine the one that they would collaborate with their beer.  This was a very nice touch.  To me, this beer was like drinking iced espresso.  It was very robust and smacking you in the face with flavor.  I'm sure this beer partners well with someone's palate out there.  Or there may even be a great dessert out there waiting to be paired with this reserve series.  But this beer was not for me now.  It is a 7.2% alcohol volume and a "reserve series" so maybe this beer was intended to be aged for a bit.  It seems like it could definitely benefit from some mellowing in the bottle over a few months possibly.

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5/3/12 - Dogfish Head - Noble Rot - Before I get to this beer, I tried a Brooklyn Monster Barelywine from Brooklyn.  I was torn on whether I could use it or not as they used an infuser to infuse the beer with Cabernet soaked oak chips.  Since it was a barley wine, I found the chips hard to decipher through all the other richness going on in that beer.  I'll definitely be looking to try the Brooklyn again sometime.  Not to mention try Bocktown's Infused Beers again another time.
Now onto the Noble Rot; their site describes this as a saison-esque brew.  I've been intrigued by this beer for sometime.  I've seen it out and was hoping to get a glass of it.  The beer came to me in a snifter as a bright yellow beer.  I actually had it sit in front of me while I finished my meal.  I wanted to enjoy this beer solo.  The bubbles were flowing through the beer almost like champagne.  It had a nice silky white head on top of the glass that hung around for the whole beer.  The smell gave a definite sour kick right of the top.  Maybe a little green apple smell to it.  At first, I didn't think I noticed the carbonation - but what I came to learn through the drink was that the carbonation was so robust that it caused the liquid to explodes into air.  Almost a dry champagne like consistency.  I got notes of green apple and pairs in every sip.  It was a sweet flavor but dry texture if that was possible.  Over all, a very unique beer that I enjoyed immensely.

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5/2/12 - Starr Hill Brewery - Northern Lights IPA - This beer poured a yellow orange in the glass.  As I held the glass in the air my wife asked if I was "Wishing on a star" and I probably was.  Its been to long since our family has been to Disney.  And we have to get back.  This beer had a large kick of citrus and hopy spice to it.  The malty sweetness was a little on the light side to really balance out the hoppy bigness in this glass.  I got a lot of citrus notes such as grapefruit and lemon kicks to it.  The body was a decent medium body for drinking but definitely was not my favorite as beers go.  This one to me is to hoppy and rich for my blood.  In general, I would recommend this beer to the hop heads of the world that haven't tried it.  But for my tastes, I'll back away from this next time I see it.  This was another beer brought to me by my friend Aaron.  Thanks again for the contributions.

As always, thanks for following me and look for the winner to the Photo Contest.  I've almost got it all compiled and ready to show.