Thursday, May 24, 2007

What The Firkin Is That?

Well, just got back from the Bell's beer tasting with Kris, Mike, Gene, and Jeff. Phil Platt of the UofM's Campus Club throws a pretty nice party. There was a nice selection of sausages, nasty cheese (or yummy cheese if you like the fancy-schmancy stuff), steaming pretzels, and some mustard that about melted my sinuses. Oh, and did I mention beer. A Bell's rep, Jason, brought six different Bell's for sampling (Oberon, Two Hearted, Pale, Third Coast, Amber, Expedition Stout). The highlight was the firkin (cask) of Two Hearted. I over heard Phil say something like, "We'll have to see if we can get Summit to do this." Well done, Phil! If Gene is willing/able to loop us in to future events, I'd love to stop in for a scotch, porter, or wine tasting as well. Nice venue. Nice event.

Jason did make mention of efforts by local craft brewery and distributor reps. to host a real ale/Belgian beer tasting in the Twin Cities given that Chicago is no longer hosting such an event. I'm not much of a Belgian fan, but I'm sure I could be convinced to fall on this grenade. There isn't any specific time set, but Jason thought they'd shoot for something in the fall.

After the Bell's tasting we stopped by Spill the Wine for a bite to eat. The place was hoppin', the decor was comfortable, and the wait staff was very knowledgeable (at least compared to me) of wines and friendly. I think everyone enjoyed their food and Jeff and I enjoyed our drinks (he, some kind of ginger sour and I had several glasses of wine). Spill the Wine offers several various wine flights (3 samples) that are switched up each week. It's a great way to sample wine. I had a chance to try my second Malbec, which was very enjoyable.

Despite the fact that I'm not even buzzed and cannot justify 2 A.M. 'za, I had a good time. Maybe I should try this whole "moderation" thing more frequently? Yeah, and then I'll make my run at Broadway and buy some new clothes...pshaw!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Arborfest & The Pedal Pub

Friday, May 4th was our first visit to Arborfest at the campus of Macalester. The organizers did a great job putting together a classy and fun event. I especially liked the condom trees flanking the entrance. One would have thought that a night of drinking would have ultimately led to me absconding with a pocket full of condoms for future use in some sophomoric prank, but I think our end-of-night plan to grab chow at Mickey's Diner in downtown St. Paul probably had priority in my one-track mind. The event is a fundraiser for the Family Tree Clinic (, so the high ticket price ($40) is a bit more palatable. I highly recommend!

We also got a chance to meet Al Boyce who many of you probably have seen at other beer events wearing a pick and black bowling shirt and sporting a pony-tail and beard (all of which I approve of...well, except for the pink part...that's just me). Al was wearing the bowling shirt that night, though, but rather a T-shirt advertising his new venture, The Pedal Pub ( If you haven't heard of it, check out their site. I'm getting a bit antsy about gathering a few friends who don't-truly-know-better to go bar hopping. Anywho, check it out.

Finally, as often happens at beer events, we made a few new friends. All in all, not a bad night. The next morning, however...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I recently found myself on the wrong end of some Russian beers. Baltika #4 and #9 to be exact. Good stuff on the take-off but the re-entry was a little rough. Or maybe it was the vodka...or the Leinenkugel's...or the nachos...or the 'za... Anyway, not the most inspired post (and not in the most inspirational mood), but it's a start.

Hmm, there's a Campus Club Bell's Brewery tasting this Thursday, 5/24. I'm quite certain the good folks at Bell's will light the fires of creativity.