Wednesday, June 30, 2010
At a gas station: Stone, Alaskan
At Target: pretty decent variety for a national chain, including the very tasty Deschutes Inversion IPA
At Safeway (grocery): plenty, but I restrained myself to only picking up Stumptown Tart, one in Bridgeport’s Big Brew series, which is 50% ale aged in oak barrels and 50% ale brewed with raspberry
Here's a look at Safeway's "good beer" selection. Yes, it's not huge, but it's the grocery store.
The next two are things I wanted to pick up, but figured I'd better wait until we purchased a dedicated beer fridge or in no time there wouldn't be room for food in the fridge.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Our impending move to Portland is fraught with anxiety and uncertainty. The decision to "go west, young man," was indubitably sound in the midst of a Minnesota winter, but now that we're in the balmy throes of spring with summer 'round the corner, the logic begins to look suspect. Does it make sense to leave friends and family behind, some of whom we may not see again? Certainly, career-wise and financially the move doesn't make sense. We've got a pretty nice thing going, socially, in the Twin Cities. Those bridges aren't burned, but they currently smolder. Pardon my mixed-metaphor, but the siren-song of the greener grass over yonder fence beckoned…and thus we go, for good or for ill.
Ours is a household where practicality and logic reign (or so we like to think). And yet this decision, based strongly on emotion and hope, is contrary to our natural inclination. As much as this might be a warning sign of a regrettable decision, I think this may be cathartic, in a way. Life is short and, I suspect, the list of regrets may be long by the time the wife cashes my first life insurance check. I hope that on the tally of my life, the box titled, "made stupid/ill-conceived, emotionally-driven, financially-ruinous yet ultimately fulfilling decision," is not unchecked at the end of the day.
These thoughts are a bit contemplative and sobering on a Friday morning. We'll see how they play out on a Friday evening with a few belts under my…er…belt. And at the end of the day, and at the western edge of our nation, I'm sure Portland will provide as many catalysts and causes for beer musings as the Twin Cities have. And while the observations may focus more on my fleas, the homeless, the crazy hippies and those d-bags from California, I'm sure the irreverent tone and sophomoric content will remain the same.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
The Blue Door Pub
They haven’t been around long but they’ve made a huge impression both on beer lovers and burger lovers. Being both, I can’t get enough of this place.
Last week we went and I knew I had to try out the Gatsby. It was yummy. But so was the Oatmeal Stout from Summit; somewhat “out of season” by some standards but for the stout lover, it’s always welcome. And the Furious. Can’t go wrong with a Furious.
This week, “dragged” along by the Shervey’s I had to revert to my personal favorite, the Jiffy Burger. Peanut butter, cheese, mayo, pickles, bacon, beef – someone had a revelation of deliciousness when they thought this one up! I also greatly enjoyed the Latin Kisses, fresh jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in thick cut, caramelized bacon. The beers this time were closer together and a bit more seasonal – Summit Horizon Red and Bells Oberon – but none the less tasty.
As an aside, something that I won’t have to miss, and I must give tons of credit to for helping me remember what I drank a month, a week, or possibly a day ago is HopChart. You’re awesome and we’ll be keeping in touch as I drink down the beers in Portland.
Friday, June 4, 2010
There are a few places in town, Buster’s on 28th and the Gnome pop to mind first, that carry excellent cheese and excellent beer. But did you know Faribault has a place, too? It’s The Cheese Cave, a retail cheese shop that also has a demonstration kitchen AND serves beer.
Last night was celebrity bartender night and since Mag is friends with one of the folks that would be pouring, we hopped in the car and headed down 35 with the McG’s. Bellying up to the bar behind the retail section of The Cave we found a great selection: four Summit brews on tap (Oatmeal Stout, Horizon Red, Maibock, and Extra Pale Ale), four Odell brews in bottles (5 Barrel Pale Ale, 90 Shilling, St. Lupulin, and IPA), and to appease the non-craft crowd, bottles of MGD. That’s a pretty good line up for a small place anywhere, much less in a town of less than 15,000 people.
I started off with the Oatmeal Stout – oh, the creamy goodness! But since the rest of the group was drinking Odell brews I finished my pint of creaminess and followed the herd. That was the right choice as I haven’t been to the liquor store since they hit the Minnesota market and I had forgotten just how much I enjoy their beer. The IPA particularly hit the spot (maybe it was the bitterness of the day) and who doesn’t enjoy a bucking elephant?
As would be expected from a place named The Cheese Cave, they have excellent cheese. They serve as a retail outlet for the Faribault Dairy Company (ya know, those folks who make St. Pete’s) but also offer a wide variety of cheeses from around the region and across the country. We got two of their cheese plates – one with three blue cheeses and one with, well, three other cheeses. Don’t get me wrong, the three I can’t remember were really good, too, but they were all white and since I didn’t lift one of their menus on the way out you’ll just have to trust me that it was worth getting.
I’ll beat you to the punch and apologize right now for writing as much or more about the cheese as the beer. And for not having any pictures. I know you like to look. Anyway, if beer and cheese is your thing, too, the short drive down 35 should be on your to do list.