Wednesday night here July 25.  Yes, I'm still behind on the blogging.  As I started out, I knew the blogging was going to be tough but never quite this tough.  Building these links/thoughts/pictures/ect and organizing them into something semi-readable is a bit trickier then I thought.  My props to people that do this for a living.  Though, if my day job wasn't spent on a computer all day and I didn't quite despise technology as I do it may be easier for me.  I'm half way through the first week of work from vacation and things are going pretty smooth.  The weekend can't get here soon enough.  I should say happy birthday to my sister in law as we were over at her house tonight to celebrate her b-day from yesterday.  Also, August is closing in quickly on us.  Will not be to much longer till I start talking about Turkey Beers and Santa Clause brews!  Lets talk about some beer:
Landshark - Lager - Grade 2.5
First FUN day of vacation we hit Universal Studios Island of Adventure for the day.  I have had a strong desire to get my glimpse of Hogwarts and the castle since it opened.  Also, the Orland Margaritaville is one of the Margaritavilles my wife and I have been trying to get to together in some years.  We have been to Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Jamaica (2 there), and of course Key West.  We decided to make this the stop for dinner.  As you can see from the picture I did as the song suggests: "I like mine with lettuce and tomato; Heinz 57 and french fried potatoes; Big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer".  What more appropriate beer to drink here then the Landshark Lager?  In my opinion, this isn't a bad beer.  But just like a girl that was "bad looking and has a great personality" it isn't a keeper.  In general, everywhere I see it it is overpriced.  It is thin and refreshing and cold.  It pours a nice gold yellow in the glass.  It’s hard to give me a COLD lighter lager style beer in 97 degree weather with 50% humidity that would not be enjoyable.  As a side, we did get the Butter Beer in the Harry Potter attraction and it was good.  It was different.  I think the definition would be a mix of cream soda and butterscotch ice cream it was then topped with a thick layer of heavy whipping cream whipped to a very thin creamy consistency.  We bought the frozen ones and they are non-alcoholic so all ages can enjoy.  I was a "bit" disappointed in Universal but then we are a Disney World family so that is hard to top in our book.

Rogue - Voodoo Doughnut - Bacon Maple Ale - Grade 0.5
The one nice thing about this beer was that it had many of the ingredients on the side of the bottle.  It was showing roughly 3 brands of smoked malts.  This beer was "extreme" even from the beginning with the PINK LARGE bottle that had a New Orleans Black Magic type person on the front of the bottle.  The other nice thing about this beer was the company/family were were in enjoying the beverage beside.  We were visiting family in Miami and they were throwing a Bacon & Beer party.  I think someone got a little to literal with this as the original intention was to have food cooked with bacon and GOOD beer that would go with that food.  Well "lucky for me" someone found this gem of a beer that seemed to be the epitome of the party.  Those two were the only two nice things about this beer.  It was rough to drink.  I thought the Billy's Chili beer was rough well this was equally rough.  The grain bill on this recipe had 3 different sets of smoked malts: Briess Cherrywood Smoked Malt, Weyermann Beechwood Smoked Malt, House-Smoked Hickory Malt and a few other none smoked.  The smoke comes across huge.  Forget the german purity law - this beer has 13 different ingredients you can find on the label; not only the smoked malts above but you can also find Applewood-Smoked Bacon, Pure Maple Flavoring.  There was a huge amount of sweetness coming from the "doughnut" that it is talking about on the bottle.  I got a lot of anise and clove spices coming through in the body of the beer.  The flavors were big and intense.  There was little head to speak of on this beer.  True to my point of this blog, many beers have a great story and this beer will always remind me of some of the great new friends I met.  Also, I got to hang out with good family and friends.  Other than this beer, the party was a HUGE success.  Good times; thanks for hosting us for the week Uncle Wayne and Aunt Nancy.

Florida Beer Company - Key West - Sunset Amber Ale - Grade 2
This beer "hails from" Melrose, Florida.  I found while down in Florida that there are not many breweries in the area.  I ran across 2 or 3 that I could find.  I did find a few "brewery" beers like this one that CLAIM Florida residency but that were out source brewed in other states (North East seemed popular with the one or two I saw).  I guess they want tourists to THINK they are drinking local.  I'm not sure how I feel about this and would like to do a bit more research on this to find out really what the story is here.  My original thought is that the water sources down there are not very good.  Though there is a lot of water down there the drinking quality of said water has some things to be desired.  The waters of Orlando and mid-Florida have a very sulfur smell coming right out of the faucet.  This amber beer was enjoyed at lunch at Alabama Jack's (the site was not accessible at which is a shame as I wanted to give them some props on my site) down in the Key's.  There was something big going on because AJs was packed.  We had to wait for a seat and Uncle Wayne said that is not usually the case.  The food was alright (the Conch Fritters are a MUST GET) but the atmosphere was the Key's.  There was a local band playing some blues/country type music in the corner while 2-3 70+ aged girls danced on the floor inviting anyone that wanted to join them for a spin up to the floor.  It was fun and relaxing and enjoyable right on the water way.  I'm talking about everything else here as the beer was not the "refreshing enjoyable" part of the day.  It was not bad.  It was average at best.  It weighed in as a light bodied beer that seemed to be trying to be medium.  The head of the beer was light and the smell was a copper metallic nose.  It was medium malt with a sharp lager flavor.  It was clean and refreshing and cold with a bit of creamy background.  Not a beer that I would enjoy often but while in the Key's it is fun to have one just to say you had a 'local' beer.  I guess their marketing worked on me.

Once again, thanks for stopping back and please post what you are drinking if you have a minute.


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