Thursday, December 25, 2008

Snow Days

It has been snowing for 10 days now and we have been hitting the beer cellar pretty hard. The recycling bin is starting to overflow and the city has not been able to pick up for over a week now.
Bottles are starting to pile up in the kitchen as well.

Fortunately my friend Marc doesn't mind driving in this weather (a 4 wheel drive Honda Pilot helps a lot), so he saved me from rotting in the house and took me down to Portland a for a few beers.
Yesterday we started off at Hopworks for lunch, a mug of Abominable Winter Ale, and a glass of Cask Barrel Aged DOA for dessert.

From there we headed over to Amnesia for a Copacetic IPA and 2007 Sleighjerker.

After that we headed up to Saravesa for one more beer (A Russian River Blind Pig) before heading back home.

Now that is what I call a good Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Bruery Now Being Distributed In Oregon

According to The Bruery's Blog, The Bruery, located in Placentia, California is now being distributed in Oregon, and soon in Northern California. It's kind of hard to believe Oregon is getting it first! Check out their web site for more information.

I have had the chance to try most of Brewer/Owner Patrick Rue's beers at a few private tastings and most recently at this years Great American Beer Festival. Their beer is mostly Belgian inspired and very tasty. These beers are very much worth seeking out. I can't wait to get some locally!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bottle tasting at Cascade Brewing/Raccoon Lodge

I spent the afternoon at a bottle tasting over at Cascade Brewing/Raccoon Lodge. I'd tried some of brewer Ron Gansberg's beers at the GABF this year and was very impressed by the beers that I'd sampled at their both, so I was looking forward to this tasting today. I was not disappointed as Ron was a very gracious host.
He pulled out all sorts of goodies including a 3 year old barley wine, a beer he was calling "Half Beer" which was Flanders Red blended with Cherries, and a beer I think he is calling "Shekar" (a sour spice strong blonde ale fermented with a "White Wine Grape") all of which were quite remarkable. Then he started pulling samples from the tanks in the brewery. There we tasted some truly special beers like his wonderful Apricot Flanders and very tasty and well balanced blended that I can't remember the name of (I must have been drinking). I think it might have been called P’Quad. (Edit: Vlad the Imp Aler.)
Then we went into the walk-in cooler to have some Drie Zwarte Pieten “Sang noir” which will be served at the Holiday Beer Festival this year.

Cascade Brewing is a brewery to watch out for. There are some really good beers coming out of this little gem of a brewery.

Not at all a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Beervana I think!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thursday afternoon/evening in Portland

My friend Marc and I went out on Thursday and hit a few good spots:

Lompoc 5th Quadrant - Brian has a great Fresh Hopped Lager on right now.

Green Dragon - I had a Beer Valley Pig Skin Pale Ale - Really delicious!

Roots - Toasted Coconut Porter & Fresh hopp-opotamus, Fresh Hop ale. Mmm...

Then we went over to Bailey's Tap Room for a Bottled Barleywine Tasting -

Alaskan Barleywine
AleSmith Old Knucklehead
Avery Hog Heaven
Green Flash Barleywine

We ended up over at the Tug Boat - I can't recommend any of the house beers but they do have some good guest taps. And the atmosphere is great! I had a Fish Tale Winterfish which was great.
There is a great write up on the Tug Boat by Angelo on his Brewpublic blog, check it out!

I wish I had pictures but I forgot to bring my camera... Next time!

All in a days "work" in Beervana!


Saturday, October 18, 2008

More Random GABF Pictures

Hanging at the festival with my Portland friends Mark Campbell and his wife Lisa Morrison (a.k.a. The Beer Goddess)
Photo by Tom Dalldorf

Matt from Double Mountain Brewing with Tracey, Barney, & John of Full Sail.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More GABF Pictures

I can't stop talking about Swifty winning a silver metal for his Keller Beer. I'm so freakin' proud and happy for my friend! Here is a picture of Swifty with his metal!
Congratulations again Swifty!

Photo by Mark Kizer

Sunday, October 12, 2008

More GABF & Random Pictures

Jeff Alworth at Beervana posted the Oregon winners at this years GABF. He also has some well done analysis on the Oregon winners.
Go read!
Now some random beer pictures:

John Harris of Full Sail and Me - People keep getting us mixed up, really!

More GABF random stuff later...

Fredericksburg Brewing Wins Gold

I also wanted to post about our good friends at Fredericksberg Brewing. Rick Green of Fredericksburg Brewing was won Gold in the Keller Beer category for his Helles Keller beer!

Great job Rick!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Brian Peters of Uncle Billy's Takes Home GABF Silver!

Swifty Peeps a.k.a Brian Peters of Uncle Billy's Brew & Que has won a silver metal in the Kellerbier/Zwickelbier category for his Hell In Keller beer! Great job Swifty!

I have to leave for the airport right now but I just wanted to post the news this morning since I was too tired from the celebrating to post last night.

I also want to thank Swifty for giving me the opportunity to represent and serve for Uncle Billy's Brew & Que. I had a blast!

I'll post a rap-up with some pictures later today...


Thursday, October 9, 2008

I'm in Denver - It must be GABF time again!

I got in last night and headed to the Falling Rock were I was to meet with friends food and beer. Then we headed over to the Pre-GABF warehouse Party where many good beers were opened and enjoyed.

It's always good to see friends old and new at this event.

Things got a little blurry later...

Now I'm sitting waiting for my wife to get in town and then head down for Thursday night session. As usual, we are going to Thursday and Saturday day sessions. This time I will be represented Uncle Billy's Brew & Que and working some at the Friday night session at the both.
For the first time in a long time I have mapped out some of the breweries I want to hit. We'll see how well I stick to that plan...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hood River Hops Festival

I made it to my first festival since officially moving here. The 5th Annual Hood River Hops Festival was a blast. The weather was pretty good other than it dumping rain a few times. There were enough good beers on tap to keep me busy between the rain downpours. One of my favorites of the festival was Vernon the Rabbit Slayer from Big Horse Brewpub (from right there in Hood River). Vernon is a big fresh hopped Double IPA with tons of flavor and body. Another of my favorites was also a fresh hopped beer - Elemental Ale from Pelican Brewing in Pacific City, OR.

Overall it was a nice small festival and a good start to a busy festival month and season. Next week I'll be in Denver for the GABF once again! Than back home for some more fresh hop festivals (if I survive GABF).


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

2009 Hop & Brew School

This years hop & brew school was once again fun and informative. The main speakers this year were Tomme Arthur of Port Brewing, Steve Drsler of Sierra Nevada, & Bryan Selders of Dogfish Head.
There was good news about the harvest this year: Yield is up an average of 27% over last year. And on average alpha acid % are up. We still are going to see a tight market this year, which means high prices still. But we should see a loosening of the market next year if all goes well.

Of course, the highlight of the event is always the tours of the hop fields:

I'll post more picture to my Flickr account. I'm going to post some video I took of the hops being harvested as well...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Most of the move is over.

I have not posted in forever!
Well, my wife and I have made it to the Pacific Northwest. For now we are renting a house in Vancouver, WA which is right north of the Columbia River from Portland, OR. I still have to go back and get the a lot of stuff and put our house on the market, but I got the pets moved and Teresa has started her new job (in Battle Ground, WA) on time, so all is well.

Tomorrow I will be heading up to Hop Union in Yakima with my good friend Marc for their Hop and Brew School that I have been going to every year for the last 5 years. This year I don't have to travel quite as far!

Teresa gave me a great new camera for my 40th birthday so I will be posting more and adding more pictures soon.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cask @ Uncle Billy’s Brew & Que Tonight (Tuesday Night)

I don't know what it is but there will be a cask tonight at Uncle Billy's. I hope it's some of the Anniversary Ale, which is delicious.
Whatever it is it is always great. As usual, Brian will tap it around 7:30~8:00PM.
Support local craft beer!
See ya there.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fred Fest 2008

My wife & I went to Fred Fest 2008 at the Hair of the Dog Brewery in Portland, OR a few weeks ago on May 10th. The event is a fundraiser for the charity of Fred's choosing. This year proceeds went to Parkinson's Resources of Oregon in memory of the late, great Michael Jackson, The Beer Hunter.
We also used the festival as an excuse to look at houses and neighborhoods.
Here are a few pictures of the festivities:

The line getting in.

Marc & me in line before the festival.

Birthday cake.

Fred from the wood.

Me, Marc Martin, Fred Eckhardt, & Lisa Morrison.

Singing happy bithday to Fred.

There's Marc in the crowd.

Here's a list of the beer line up:

Brewery Beer
1 BridgePort Brewing Bourbon Barrel aged Old Knucklehead Firkin
2 Laurelwood Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Olde Reliable Barleywine
3 Widmer Brewing Altbier!!!
4 Lompoc Brewing Oak aged LSD
5 Deschutes Brewing Br. Abe Belgian ale
6 Rockbottom Brewing Oak aged IIPA
7 Cascade brewing 2006 Wild Blackberry ale ( Flanders red style)
8 Lucky Lab Brewing Double Alt
9 Hopworks Urban Brewery 2007 Kentucky Christmas
10 Hair of the Dog Cask Fred from the Wood
11 Full Sail Brewing Bourbon BBL aged 1998 Old Boilermaker
12 Rogue Brewing Brewer Ale
13 Roots Brewing 2006 Pinot Noir Oak aged Epic
14 Ninkasi Brewing Dry Hopped Cask Tricerahops
15 Firestone ????? (This was Union Jack IPA -Yum!)
16 Jim 2007 Holiday Ale Fest Collaboration with HOTD
There were a few others in bottles like Stone Russian Imperial Stout and some others I can't remember right now...

Needless to say Fred Fest 2008 was a blast!

New Beginnings

It has been pointed out to me numerous times that I need to post something new to my blog. I've had plenty to write about but I have some big news that I wanted to tell all my friends in person first. I have not made it everyone yet. To those I have not gotten to or missed, my apologies (you know who you are).
So here is the big news: my wife and I have decided to move to "Beervana" - Portland, Oregon. This decision has been a difficult one to make. We have been talking about moving to Portland since the first time we visited 8 or so years ago when our friend Marc wooed us there for the Oregon Brewers Festival . Since then I have been going there 2 to 3 times a year for beers festivals and hop school (at Hop Union in Yakima, WA). Marc has said many time that we are up there so much we should just move. The time is right for both my wife and me to go. So here we go.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Cask @ Uncle Billy’s Brew & Que on Tuesday Night

Once again there will be a delicious casks tomorrow night at Uncle Billy's. This months cask is Brian's Summit IPA dry hopped with Amarillo.
He usually taps it around 7:00 ~ 7:30PM
Come out and support great local beer!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Great Beer Tasting

Here are some pictures from the latest tasting I attended. These pictures were taken by my friend Dan.

Cask Beer and other things

There is a cask at NxNW on Wednesday night about 7:30 or so. I'm to sure what it is, but I sure it'll be good.

Also, Lee Nichols interviewed a bunch of brewers (and me) for a story on the hop shortage in this weeks Austin Chronicle
I think it is very well written and informative.

That's all for now.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Cask @ Uncle Billy’s Brew & Que on Tuesday Night

Brian at Uncle Billy's sent this email to the Austin Zealot yahoo group today:


The cask at Uncle Billy's is Bitchin' Camaro this month. It will be
tapped between 7:30 and 8:00 pm. And if all goes well, it will be


Sounds good to me!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Cask beer @ North by Northwest

Because it deserves it's own post:

There will be a cask of Extra Special Bitter (dry hopped with Warrior hops!) at NxNW on Wednesday, February 27th. I think Ty will tap it around 7 ~ 7:30p.m.
Be there for the sake of good beer!


Friday, February 22, 2008

No posting for 20 days!

I haven't posted in a while even though there are things to write about. This week was pretty busy. By busy of course I mean I went out after work 4 nights in a row to have a beer! It went like this:

Monday Night: Teresa & met up with some friends at the The Flying Saucer for their Monday night $2.50 pint special. There are not that many beers on the special but it worth a look. Let it be known that this is not my favorite bar. The prices are high, it's crowed and the wait staff (women) have to wear "sexy" school girl outfits. I won't get into the whole bullshit sexist views the management and/or owners seem to have. I'll just say that good beer sells itself. And when I go into a bar I look for good beer, clean lines, and good service. I will give them that the servers are attentive. I hear that the other Saucers keep their lines clean, so that's good.

Tuesday I brewed again with Brian at Uncle Billy's. We brewed with malted oats, which is a grain I had been wanting to brew with for a while. I mentioned it to Brian when he was making a grain order and he ordered it to give it a try. We brewed a stout. We will see what the oat malt contributes to the finished beer. I just know it was kind of bitch to use because it did not want to crack in the mill. Brian tightened the mill as tight as he could so it would crack. Everything else went pretty well after that. It is always a privilege to brew with Brian!

That night I met up with a few other brewers at the Ginger Man. It was a small group this time but there was a new face. I met Kevin from (512) Brewing. He is a nice guy and has some exciting ideas. I will be fun to see this brewery get off the ground. The brewery's blog is a good account of the development of a brewery.

Wednesday night I went to my old haunt the Draught House (DH) for some drinks with co-workers and pizza. I ran into Ty from NxNW Brewery. He is going to have a cask beer this Wednesday (Feb. 27th). It will be his Extra Special Bitter. As he puts it a "proper cask"! I look forward to that one!

Thursday night it was back to the DH for some beers with some of my friends in the homebrew club I am a member of the Austin Zealots.
Wow - That was a long week (and my longest post so far!).


Monday, February 4, 2008

Cask beer @ Uncle Billy's

I have been pretty sick the last 4 or 5 days with the flu but I wanted to mention that there is going to be a cask of Atomic '55 IPA at Uncle Billy's tomorrow night. Seeing how I am still sick, and I don't want to spread this crap, I will not be there. But I'm sure some of you can help drain that cask in my absents.
If you have not had it yet, the Atomic '55 is very tasty IPA utilizing Nugget and Fuggle hops (if i remember correctly) . Enjoy!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dinner recap.

Okay, I did not get the menu quite right :
We did have Smoked chicken quesadillas paired with the Back 40 Blonde

The tomato bisque was not smoked - it had hickory seared scallops & basil paired with the Bitchin' Camaro

The salad had blue cheese dressing with apple wood smoked bacon, and Roma tomatoes paired with the Heystack Hefe

The smoked bone in pork chop came with Ancho Sweet Potato paired with the Atomic '55 IPA

Chocolate breed pudding, cream anglaise & caramel sauce paired with the Insomniac Coffee Stout or Whiskey Wee Heavy (I have no knowledge of where this came from ;-)

All said it was a wonderful dinner! The food was great as was the beer! Kudos to Brian and the staff at Uncle Billy's for putting this dinner together!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Menu for Brewer's Dinner

The menu for the brewer's dinner looks pretty good. This is what I can remember:
Smoked Chicken Quesadillas
Smoked Tomato Bisque
Salad with Fried Goat Cheese -
Bone-In Pork Chop with a Ancho Chile Sauce
Bread Pudding
Brian has some great pairings planed including a very special beer for the dessert course.
Sounds great to me.

Brewer's Dinner and Stuff

As already reported by Lee on his blog I love beer Uncle Billy's is having a brewer's dinner this Sunday January 27th. There will be 5 courses and 5 beers including a welcome beer for $45. It starts at 7PM but if you get there a little early you can get your welcome beer and hang out. I'll be down at Uncle Billy's today brewing with Brian so I will find out what the menu is and post it later today.
Also, there is going to be a cask beer at North by Northwest next Wednesday at 8PM. I don''t know yet what flavor it will be but I will call Ty to find out and post it.

That is all for now. I'm heading down to Uncle Billy's right now to help Brian brew a smoked porter.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

First post of the year!

Okay, so it's been almost a full month since my last post. I have a lot of material that I've gathered in that time. Some pictures from a couple of the 3 beer tastings I've attended and a some other stuff...  More later on that.
But now some bad news... This is from the Probrewer interactive fourm:

Major Three-Tier Decision in Texas
Judge allows out-of-state shipments; but ruling supports wholesalers

In a major decision affecting the very basis of the three-tier system, Judge Sidney Fitzwater of the U.S. District Court of Northern Texas ruled yesterday that allows out-of-state retailers to ship beer and wine directly to consumers. The catch is, out-of-state retailers must purchase only from Texas-licensed wholesalers, making the decision a major victory for wholesalers and three-tier advocates.

The decision, which suggests in the ruling that wholesalers are an imperative component to alcoholic beverage regulation, is a benefit to craft and specialty brands, who rely on a diverse and abundant wholesale network to get brands to retail.

Although hailed as a victory by both sides, if the ruling stands that out-of-state retailers must first buy the brands from a licensed wholesaler within the state of Texas before shipping directly to the consumer, this would imply a solid affirmation of wholesalers rights, providing strong legal ground for distributors in future cases legal challenges.

This news is a little disturbing. It shows Texas is going in the wrong direction as far as beer laws are concerned. 

More posts as I have time...