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.


 
 
You ever have one of those days?  It wasn’t exactly terrible, but there really isn’t a whole lot to show for it.  I started the morning by taking the Odyssey up to Wexford Honda for a recall.  I don’t know why (maybe it was my own attitude) but that place gives me the creeps.  I’m sure all the guys that work behind the counter are nice honest guys and all.  But this is the second trip up there and I just get those not so good feelings.  Like today, I paid nothing but I feel like I still somehow got ripped off.  I don’t know, either way, I had to find a place to work so I went up to the Wendy’s.  Not known for its “breakfast menu” though they have one – I sat there for about 1.5 hours.  The breakfast sandwich was not good.  And the store was depressing.  Not to mention I had to make an emergency stop to the Orthodontist today because of some issues with my braces this made my past day and a half of eating not all that happy.  And to top it off, it is 12:30 and I just hung up on a work call that I got last minute to fix something that I wasn’t able to do anything about.  On one note, I’m happy/glad my boss has the confidence in me to call me at 10:00 on a Wednesday night.  On the other, it sucks that I don’t have the knowledge/tools/ability (be it my fault or the fault of others) to be able to fix this and I hate not being able to fix things.  Enough about my day though, on to the beers.
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5/19 – Troegs Brewery - Sunshine Pils – The beer pours golden and clear in the glass.  I had this beer a bit later on a Saturday night.  The smell came through very strong hoppy malty pilsner kick.  The head on the beer was nice silky and smooth.  All told an enjoyable beer to drink in the summer time.  Nice medium body in the mouth feel.  I really did enjoy this beer.  Add on note - After writing the review of the Tommy Knocker below – I immediately felt like I was writing a similar review.  Upon some investigation I did find that this beer is categorized in the Saison style of beers.

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5/20 – Boulder Beer - Sweaty Betty – This beer almost had a glowing fluorescent yellow tint in the glass.  It was very cloudy in the glass added to the glow of the glass.  I really probably drank this a bit colder then it was originally intended to be drank but in general a nice beer.  Large amounts of banana and fruity ester smell flowing from the beer.  Definitely got the bready yeasty smell coming from the glass.  The malts and hops are there to support the main character of yeast in this glass.  It definitely had a nice amount of carbonation in each mouth full.  The funny story behind this beer is the kid behind the counter at Market District mentioned “wow, someone finally bought Sweaty Betty.”  I just asked him if it didn’t seem to be a big seller and why?  He said that he personally hadn’t sold any and that he wasn’t sure exactly why – if it had to do with the name or not.  Either way, it was sort of humorous to me.

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5/21 – Tommy Knocker Brewery– Saison –Back to these mischievous “impish, gnome-like men are the Cornish equivalent of Irish leprechauns and English brownies” otherwise known as Tommy knockers.  The Saison beer is often called“farm style ales” brewed in the cool months coming out of winter and preparing for the warm summer months working the fields.  This beer originates from the French-speaking part of Belgium <some notes I found at BJCP>.  You can find it more of year round now but traditionally brewed for the summer.  My initial impressions were that I viewed it as a cloudy yellow liquid.  This particular version gave me heavy degrees of me heart burn with every sip (some beers have done this and I haven’t figured out rhyme or reason to why).  It is refreshing and a bit tart for sure.  It definitely has some earthy grassy tastes in it.  I could see this being nice and refreshing after a long day in the fields but would have to overcome the huge amount of heart burn that it gave me in this glass.  As you can see in the picture, I’m beginning to day dream these days about my vacation in July.  I’m taking 2.5 weeks off and traveling south.  The Keys are a nice place to relax and unwind and I can’t wait to get that tropical breeze and a nice brew in my hand.  I hate to wish away June… but all these summer beers has me dreaming about my vacation get away in July!


 
 
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Brooklyn Brewery does good beer.  I've always been excited to try new things from their brewery, of course Sorachi Ace no exception.  A friend of mine had a box of bottle goodness at his house last night.  We were surfing through the collection and decided to make this our starter beer.  Since, we were so excited about it I also decided to make this my beer of the day (yesterday).  This is a saison (or farmhouse) style beer.  These are are mid level alcohol beers brewed in the winter time and meant to be drank in the hot summer months.  Farmers would brew this and bottle condition the brew in the cellar.  When summer rolls around and they finished their daily chores in the fields they would reward themselves with one of these nice often times complex brews.  BeerAdvocate describes this style as follows "many are very fruity in the aroma and flavor. Look for earthy yeast tones, mild to moderate tartness. Lots of spice and with a medium bitterness".

As for Sorachi Ace, I think it hit its mark on the complexity level.  There was so much going on with this brew I'm not sure where to begin.  Should I start with the extremely yeasty almost ester'sh smell coming from the popping of the cork?  Or should we go with the very acid lemony rind type taste that you get from the first sip?  This beer has a lot going on.  There was definitely an earthy quality to this beer as if the farmer wanted this beer to represent the fields he worked in.  It was not a bad beer in the least and definitely deserves a spot on the would try again list.  The beers name is actually the key character ingredient of this unique bottle.

The guys over at BrewDudes blog provided some information on the hop.  It was originated for Sapporo Brewery originally from Japan.  It has Lemony aroma and flavor.  With an acidity level range of 10.7 12.2%.  It is typically used for bittering.  It would be appropriate for any beer that is looking to add a little lemony goodness to it in particular the Saison style is probably.  This Sorachi Ace bottle actually states that this tastes like "sunshine in a glass".  I'm not sure that is the description I would use for this beer.  It was refreshing and light and fun.  Even with the champagne bottle conditioned yeast they used.  It was definitely well carbonated and bubbly.  The mouth feel did resemble a glass of champagne.  All in all it wasn't a bad beer.

On a side note, this is a farm house ale.  Farmers are a big part of this country and the world.  They work hard all year long to produce fruits, vegetables and meats so that we can feed our families.  They are the backbone of civilization in many ways.  When I think of Farmers and Farm Houses it usually takes me to a large family of people.  Sometimes 3 generations of people living under the same roof.  I normally envision multiple kids running around of all ages.  It just takes me to a simply time in my mind and a much quieter and calm world.  Last night, a conversion struck a chord with me having to do with our own mortality.  Dictionary.com defines mortality as "the state or condition of being subject to death; mortal  character, nature, or existence."  As I type this, I am thinking very much about my own life.  I love my wife, my children, my parents, and sister and her family, and am very blessed to have great friends all around me to enjoy this world with.  I want to send a heart felt thank you and appreciation out to them all for being there for me in the good times and the bad.  Mortality is a bitch - and every once in a while smacks you in the head.  Its a good thing though - it gives you a second to stop and appreciate everything you have and even appreciate the things you do not have.