Friday, December 14, 2007

Disaster Narrowly Avoided

After grabbing a beer out of the beer fridge earlier this week I noticed that we were dangerously low on beer. Really, there was only 1 bottle left (ok, that doesn’t include the 3 cases Mag picked up for New Year’s Eve but that doesn’t count because I’m not supposed to touch that stash). So on my way home from work I decided I had no choice but to make a quick run to the liquor store. That liquor store being Cellars meant I was setting myself up for some ridicule and I wasn’t disappointed. I missed the beer tasting they hosted last weekend and that wasn’t going to be allowed to slide by. However after some good natured ribbing I got plenty of good input on the many new things they had since I was last there. In the end I picked up Dark Horse One- an oatmeal stout ale that is nothing like the locally famous One from Surly but excellent in it’s own right. I’ve had plenty of oatmeal stouts that often feel light in the stout area. Not so with this one! This is a full bodied stout that rivals the other two of their line up I’ve tried- Crooked Tree IPA and Black Bier. If you see any Dark Horse in a liquor store, pick it up! You won’t be disappointed. The other one I picked up was Sam Adam’s Imperial Pilsner. I’m not generally a pilsner fan but add “imperial” on there and at the least I am intrigued. Sam Adams may no longer be one of the small guys but this is an outstanding beer, regardless of the brewery that produced it. I told the beer gurus over at Cellar’s I might be back tomorrow and after picking up two four-packs of excellent beer there’s a good chance our beer fridge will once again be in the dangerously low category by tomorrow morning.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Random Sunday Thoughts

Despite my last post about an affinity to drink on Sundays, Kris and I decided not to go out for a few beers and dinner least as of 5:22 P.M. The self-control we sometimes exhibit is amazing. We did have a chance to grab a few beers at the Longfellow Grill and the Muddy Pig last night. I enjoy the Muddy Pig more and more each time we go. The only downer is that it can get a bit chilly. The top notch beer selection makes up for it, though. I had a chance to try Ommegang's Chocolate Indulgence. It was decent. I think I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have only because I'd just been drinking something else and only had a sip of the Ommegang. The Surly Smoke was much more enjoyable. I also enjoyed watching our Miller Lite drinking friend make faces after tasting our beers, especially the Bubblejack.

In a breach of tradition, Kris and I made a decision not to buy tickets to Winterfest this year. The first couple of years that we went when it was in the Hamm's building and then the St. Paul College Club were really enjoyable. We met a lot of great people and enjoyed the beer and atmosphere. Neither one of us enjoyed the Landmark's atmosphere. I know it's about the beer and all that, but the Landmark was just a bit of a buzz-kill. Or maybe it was the vibe we got from the crowd. The high price coupled with these other things just made us want to take a year off. Too bad. I think we'll drop our $90 in an environment we enjoy more.

At 6:02 P.M. a call to drink beer came in. So much for self-control. Bottom's up!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sunday Slummin'

I don't know what my problem is, but I seem to like drinking on Sunday's...often more than other days of the week. Maybe it's my way, albeit a small way, of sticking it to The Man. Or maybe it only happens at times when Monday productivity isn't high on my list of priorities. Who knows. Who cares.

Buster's is quietly becoming one of my favorite places to frequent. Hard to figure. We miss our favorite server, Aimee. The stools at the high tables are uncomfortable, as are the booths. I don't like coming home smelling of fried food. And yet I find the place to be warm and comfortable and I enjoy the beer selection. The food and beer menu are both good and getting better. Or maybe I was just feeling really good today b/c this weekend was the first weekend that Buster's was open for Sat. and Sun. brunch at 9 A.M. They don't have a fried egg sandwich per se, but they do have a fried egg croissant and a BLT w/ fried egg. Anyway, it's a good place to hang out and drink good beer.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Blue Nile

Last night I finally made it to the Blue Nile. Their name always seems to pop up in news about good beer and special releases but for whatever reason I just hadn’t gotten around to making it there. So thankfully Kat and Scott called and invited me out with them for some imperial stout drinking. Having paid more attention to MN Beer lately than me, Scott knew they were having Surly Darkness, Bell’s Expedition Stout and Old Rasputin all on tap last night. Since there were three of us and three beers to be had we ordered all three and proceeded to enjoy some very fine beer. I ended up being the odd man out, choosing the Expedition Stout as my favorite of the three although “best glass” certainly goes to Surly for their very nice Darkness goblets. When placed side by side Old Rasputin was the least favorite however all three are great brews and I wouldn’t be disappointed drinking any of the three any day of the week. Blue Nile is an interesting joint with some great snackies and a great bartender who ensures a fine selection of beer. I’m already looking forward to my next visit!