Friday, May 28, 2010


No…not my estimated blood alcohol for the weekend.

No…the ABV of a Miller product.

The answer is the distance between our Portland apartment* and one of the many brewpubs in town. It’s not exactly stumbling distance but it is a pretty straight shot so as long as I get myself pointed in the direction, it shouldn’t be half bad.

*In case you haven’t heard (we have been keeping it relatively quiet so don’t feel bad if this is how you find out), we’re moving to Portland, OR at the end of June.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

32 Beers

32 beers on tap and I had 2. Yup. That sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it? I mean, how often does one get the chance to have nearly the entire line up of a brewery on tap at the same time?
Last night Stub & Herb’s hosted this amazing opportunity as part of the Minnesota Craft Beer Week festivities. Flat Earth loaded up their taps with a combination of standards, specialty beers, and infusions. And as much as I have loved some of those infusions, the two beers that captured and kept my attention for the night were Rode Haring Flanders Red Ale and Extra Medium.
For those unfamiliar with the beers, Rode Haring is a blend of Extra Medium (American wild ale) and Biere de Garde. It’s aged for over a year so once a batch is gone there’s going to be a bit of a wait until the next batch is ready. I finished my last bomber from the previous batch around the first of the year and have been thirsting for the new batch ever since. And rather than quenching that thirst, last night’s pints of these tart and kinda funky beers only primed me to get my hands on more.

Monday, May 17, 2010

May Beerfest #2: Bazaar

Two beer festivals within the span of two weeks is a pretty good pace, especially considering that we haven’t even hit the height of beer festival season. Blog and Mag conversed about the first, Arborfest, and they’ve kindly agreed to let me fill you in on the Stillwater Brewers Bazaar.
Like Arborfest, this is a “different” festival. What I mean by that is that although I end up running into a fair number of people I know, there is a pretty high percentage of people that are not your typical beer fest buddies. Both are fundraisers so it’s likely that there will be people who are more interested in supporting their respective organization than the beer that’s being poured. On top of that, for the Bazaar I get the feeling that there are plenty of walk-in/local folks who hear about an event that’s right in their town and decide to show up.

Surprise beer of the fest: Schell’s Stout
I would have thought somewhere along the way I would have tried this beer, but I will swear to you, the flavor was not familiar at all. It’s a great, easy drinking stout containing plenty of the coffee flavors I love.

Best brewery location of the fest: Lift Bridge
They made sure to show up early and were rewarded by what was probably the best spot for a brewery to set up shop. The top deck was the only open air deck and it was a perfect day to enjoy it.
Best part of the fest: Drinking great beer with a bunch of fellow beer geeks on a beautiful spring day.

Best story from the fest: Ask Mag
It involves a drunken guy in the bathroom and a disturbing picture.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Get Your Condoms and Beer Here - Arborfest Review

Hi! I'm Blog. I report all the happenings for the two fleshbags that created me. I don't get out much myself, so I'm pretty reliant on second-hand information from the aforementioned fleshbags for any juicy news I post. I asked the chubby fleshbag if I could interview him for a piece I wanted to write about last night's 10th Annual Arborfest. He agreed to share his thoughts with me as long as I refrained from innuendo, snarkiness, perversion and torturous grammar in my reporting. I readily agreed, of course. What a sucker.

Blog: So, fleshbag, tell me about Arborfest but don't bore the shit out of me.

Chubby Fleshbag: Uh...okay. Arborfest is a beer event put on as a fundraiser for Family Tree Clinic. It's actually a pretty great event. The $50 ticket is also a contribution to the organization. The event is a classy affair, without being pretentious. And the event, to all outward appearances, runs like clock-work; very well planned. They have a fine selection of local craft beer offerings, a smattering of wineries, ample food to enjoy, and music. Unlike many other beerfests, this one doesn't get over-crowded and the...

Blog: Booooring! Let's move on. Did you get yourself all blotto?

Chubby Fleshbag: Nah, but there were quite a few interesting beers. Most breweries don't roll out tons of special offerings for this event like they do at some other beerfests, but there were still plenty of solid, familiar beers and some newer, great beers.
  • Rock Bottom had a very solid line-up, but the highlight was their vanilla-infused stout. The vanilla was balance just right so as to not overpower the beer itself and the aromatics were fantastic and improved as the beer warmed up.
  • Bob at Great Waters was sharing Myna Bock which I really enjoyed. That's worth a trip to GW this weekend to get some more.
  • Another beer that I found interesting was Vine Park's IPA. It's an all-Fuggles IPA, which gives it very different aromatics and flavor than most other IPAs I've had.
  • But the hightlight of the night for me was Schell's Schmaltz's Alt aged in pinot barrels. I saw this beer aging at the brewery a few months ago while on a tour there and I've been itching to try it ever since. I love Schmaltz's Alt to begin with, so this was a treat for me. The pinot-barrel aging added a subtle aroma to the beer, more redolent of wine than of wood. The barrel's imparted a slightly sour flavor to the beer that was quite enjoyable.
Blog: Yeah, well, if you didn't get blotto and act like an ass, then I guess I just don't care. I live vicariously through you, you know. So, you need to start stepping up your game otherwise you need to find a new blog to hang out with; maybe one interested in gardening or talking about feelings.

Chubby Fleshbag: I think the fact that you live on the internet has corrupted you. You've been surfing too much pR0n and TMZ, haven't you?

Blog: Hellooooo! It IS the internet, you know.

Chubby Fleshbag: Touche.

Blog: Let's get into the dirt. Anything about the shin-dig annoy you?

Chubby Fleshbag: Honestly, not really. Last year the live music got a bit loud and the event planners trying to hush everyone in the middle of the event to present some stuff and that put me off. This year the music wasn't live, so the volume could be moderated better. It got a bit loud at one point, but they addressed that quickly. Overall, the event was very well done in my opinion.

Blog: Jesus, dude. I much prefer hearing your take on events when you've had too much to drink and your head is throbbing, hands are shaking and you're sweating like a whore in church. What else you got?

Chubby Fleshbag: Hee hee, a couple of gals working the Barley John's table had a cask explode through the bung hole. The wall behind them was sopping and they had a nice puddle of beer under the table. Unfortunately, the beer was a loss.

Had quite a few good and interesting conversations last night too. But none of them were inappropriate, so I guess you're not interested in hearing about them.

Blog: Correctamundo! Tell you what, fleshbag. Brewer's Bazaar is next weekend. Why don't you try harder at that event to get me something juicy that I can work with. Don't eat that day and bring a tazer with you or something.

Chubby Fleshbag: Well, I guess I could tell you about my Thursday night at the Twin's game. I didn't think I'd make it to Arborfest last night because of.........

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Beer Fridge

It's been about six months since I last let you peer into my beer fridge so take a look at what we currently have stockpiled.As you can clearly see, there is a wide variety and quite a lot of Surly in there. There's some of the standard stuff - Bender, Furious, Coffee Bender - as well as some harder to find stuff - Darkness, Four, Abrasive.

We're probably at our all time low on growlers, having just polished off two (Vine Park Black Bavarian and Fitger's Honeymoon Stout) Sunday night with friends. The lone full growler is the second of two Great Water's Giant Star. We drank the other just a couple weeks ago and it was still quite tasty even after sitting for about six months.

There's some random Belgians, mostly given to us by other people. There's also a few bombers that are relatively new that I'm looking forward to checking out - Boulevard Smokestack Series Rye on Rye, Deschutes Hop Henge, and New Holland El Mole Ocho.