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Ah, wheat beers... the grand daddy of beers.  Doing a little research I just read on The BeerAdvocate that this style dates back as early as 1040 AD in Germany in one of the world's oldest established brewery, Brauerei Weihenstephan.  This beer was created because wheat was a major product of the time and as with anything else, if the availability of an ingredient is large - why not use it?  These beers are generally brewed with 50-65% wheat and the rest is using the malted barley.  They are many times left unfiltered to leave the yeast in the beer to continue is magic process.  There are many styles of wheat beers out there.  If you want to learn more about wheat beers - please visit the above link to get more education.

I found a nice new bar in Greenfield PA called Hough's last night.  Actually, found they had a link in BarSmart.com - didn't even know that link was around any more.  Anyway, this bar really had its act together.  The beer selection was extremely nice.  For a Wednesday night the crowd wasn't to bad.  I got a great Burger for dinner.  My father in law was a bit unfortunate with his sausage sandwich (it looked to be a little undercooked).  He didn't notice it till it was to late.  Last I heard he survived!  Anyway... I ordered up this little diddy.  Dream Weaver by Troeg's Brewery.

This was a great beer.  I don't find myself drinking unfiltered wheat's often - so I constantly forget to 'twirl the bottle' at the end of the pour to get all the great yeast to come along in your beer.  It is always upsetting because the yeast is what makes the magic happen.  It is the living being that eats this wonderful sugars and creates the magic of alcohol.  Anyway, on first sip or two of this beer - I found myself thinking it was a little pungent.  But as I drank it the flavors started evening out a bit more.  I'll attribute this to drinking an Oberon right before this (one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE wheat beers ever tasted); unfortunately that left a challenge to my taste buds to recover.  Anyway, I powered through the start of this and I'm glad I did.  By the third or fourth sip I started getting all the great fruity esters that come with the yeasts of this beer.  I definitely tasted some hints of banana and citrus mixed.  I did manage to get a few drops of the nice yeast to drip into my glass - leave lava lamp type glumps of goodness floating around my bottle... a fine living being.  I almost felt like I should name the liquid Frank or Bob.  Anyway, it was really a great crisp refreshing beer.  I will definitely be looking for a few more of these in my travels.

Thanks again Troeg's.  I can't wait to make a visit up to Hershey take the tour.  I saw on Facebook today I believe it was the Tours have or are starting soon!  Count me in!  I'm sad to see you guys not in Harrisburg but Hershey is a great second choice to keep it home - maybe you guys can GROW and buy out Hershey Park and make it right and American once again!

 
 
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!
 
 
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_Papa Elf: Oh, hello. You're, uh, you're probably here about the story.
[the pages flip to show Papa Elf talking to the camera]
Papa Elf: Elves love to tell stories. I-I'll bet you didn't know that about elves. There's, uh, probably a lot of things you didn't know about elves. Another, another interesting, uh, elfism, uh, there are only three jobs available to an elf. The first is making shoes at night while, you know, while the old cobbler sleeps.
[Cuts to elves doing work on the cobbler's shoes while the cobbler snores with his head on the table]
Disgruntled Cobbler Elf: Lazy bum! Couldn't even make a clog!
Papa Elf: You can bake cookies in a tree.
[Cuts to exterior view of a tree, which bursts into flames]
Papa Elf: As you can imagine, it's, uh, dangerous having an oven in an oak tree during the dry season.
[the elves inside run out screaming]
Tree Elf: I want to make shoes!
Papa Elf: But the third job, some call it, uh, "the show" or "the big dance," it's the profession that every elf aspires to. And that is to build toys in Santa's workshop.

This beer is enough to make you mad though I'm not sure why this particular elf is mad.  Therefore, I went out to the Troegs' site to see if I could find the story.  Maybe he was fired from Santa Workshop and sent to work in the tree house making cookies.  After all, no elf would be happy being transferred to such an unsafe profession trying to bake cookies inside of a tree.  Or maybe someone called him short; or a midget; I don't know.  This elf is Mad.

As I write this I stop and review the label on the brew, maybe they are using the term Mad in a different way.  I look at the bottle I begin to think.  He isn't an angry elf.  Maybe he is mad or CRAZY.  The "jolly" elf stands with an empty glass of brew with both eyes a bit crossed.  He has a green funnel circling behind him in the background.  The elf almost seems to be beckoning me to follow him into the green psychedelic tunnel.   He holds over his right shoulder a couple of red cherries with yellow cherry stems as if they are holding all the presences that lie in this bottom.  That must be why they talk of "jolly/cheerful/warming the heart" on the site and the bottle.  Troegs seems to leave this decision of "MAD" in the trusted hands of its holder and their own imagination.  Trust me when I say 2 or three of these 12 oz'rs will have your imagination rolling.  These bottles weigh in at a huge 11% alcohol.  But the cherries, honey and sweetness seem to mask that alcohol as I remember some of the sweet flavors of the first wine coolers I ever tried did to the alcohol from with in their own bottles.

This beer pours an almost cheery red.  Looking down into the glass I feel like I have to stir or filter for the cherry stems.  They have to be hidden in this drink some where.  There just can't be any way to get this much cherry BURST in a normal every day ale.  This is not your normal every day brew.  This is Cheerful; Happy; JOLLY.  The pour was a nice mellow pour with a gentle head.  The head disappears faster than "Thomas the Elf" (Our elf on the shelf that visits every year before Christmas) does on Christmas morning.  Maybe the head too is heading for warmer weather in the tropics as I suspect Thomas does once he packs his bags at the North Pole after working so hard watching my girls.  The taste is explosive.  It is extreme sweet; almost to sweet if you aren't ready for it.  I liken the sweetness to maybe a Mad Dog 20/20!  Yes, I compared a Troegs to a Maddog.  No it isn't disgusting and wino like in any way - just sweet.  That is what we do here at 365!  We push the envelope!  We get a little crazy (usually when drinking an 11% ale).  But if you are ready for it, it isn't to sweet; so be ready!  The honey is there to help.  They must be using the honey and cherry tastes to mask the alcohol and to make this beer seem happier and fun.  Which in itself is a little crazy mad and honestly down right sneaky!  There is actually a nice bouquet to this beer.  I can put my nose in to the glass and breath in all the goodness.  I smell almost the same cherry goodness you get when you open a jar of red cherries.  The mouth feel is very vibrant and soddsy!   The carbonation explodes in your mouth and makes it light and fresh.

Over all I really like this beer.  I could not and would not recommend drinking more then 2 or maybe 3 if you are feeling a bit frisky!  But it is a great Christmas seasonal brew.  So, Christmas is over.  Thomas is long gone and warm in some tropical island get-away (well deserved mind you).  Yet I sit here day in and day out working my nose to a grind.  Each day, trudging across the hall to a bank of monitors that sit there anxiously awaiting my stone cold glare as I attempt to make a quarter or two to pay the Christmas bills that Santa left behind.  I'm lucky to find myself in the situation that this brew was left over.  I will definitely be seeking another one of these in 11 more months.  Because, if you didn't realize there is only 342 shopping days left till next Christmas.  So, here is to Christmas 2011 - you were extremely good to me and the family here at 365 beers!  And cheers to 2012 - so far these 17 days in have brought the family here at 365 much happiness and joy!

Note: The beginning quotes come compliments of  imdb quotes