Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Where in the world was World Wide Kev?

Where was WWK instead of Bob's this week?

  1. It's home of the greatest city wide pre-event party that I have ever slept off.
  2. Bourbon
  3. Moonshine
  4. Muhammad Ali
  5. Baseball bats
Answer? Louisville Kentucky.  The night before the Kentucky Derby is absolutely wild.  All of the dregs of society come out for a bender, and crawl back under their rocks when the sun comes up.  After that, the ladies with the big hats show up.  The semi-dregs (me in 1990) go to the infield and drink crappy mint juleps.


Quilmes is a pilsner from Argentina that was a hit from the Bob's world tour days.  $6MMm and I knocked a couple back while his wife whipped us at pool last night.  As you can see, Quilmes is an instant party.

Grade: B

Drafts From the Cultural Hub of the Midwest: Magic Hat #9

Can you tell that yesterday was my last day at work for the year?  The Big DIPA was a beer from last week.  I learned the painful way that you don't get 3 big mugs at Bob's.

Web Stuff:  #9 — Not Quite Pale Ale

A beer cloaked in secrecy. An ale whose mysterious and unusual palate will swirl across your tongue and ask more questions than it answers. Just how much wood could a woodchuck cuck?  What is chucking wood?  A sort of dry, crisp, refreshing, not-quite pale ale. #9 is really impossible to describe because there's never been anything else quite like it.

Sounds like a bunch of hocus pocus:  It is a very odd beer.  It feels viscous.  I describe the texture as buttery.  It also has a peach flavor.  Odd, but good.
Grade:  B+

Kulmbacher Eisbock

I finished my 312 last night and thought that I'd chase it with a bottle.  I looked at the board to see what the current featured beers are.  Eisbock.  Rings a bell.  A nice light German beer is just what the doctor calls for.

Whoops!  Ice bock is a style of brewing in which the beer is partially frozen in order to remove the water.  This creates a high alcohol, dense beer.  It's very malty.  If that's your thing, you'll like this one.  Still not my thing.

Grade: C+

Drafts From the Cultural Hub of the Midwest: Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale

Web stuff: 
Brewmasters Notes:  Densely populated with flavor, 312’s spicy aroma of Cascade hops is followed by a crisp, fruity ale flavor delivered in a smooth, creamy body. This gives 312 a balance of flavor and refreshment that never fills you up and won’t let you down.

Recipe Information
Style: Urban Wheat
Alcohol by Volume: 4.2%
International Bitterness Units: 20
Color: Hazy Straw
Hops: Liberty, Cascade
Malts: 2 Row, Torrified Wheat

The 411 on the 312:  This is always a beer that I have drank as a chaser.  Consequently, I've totally missed out on the subtleties of this beer.  It has a slight lemon flavor that is reminiscent of a shandy.  Very refreshing, even on a day when the walk to Bob's had me chilled to the bone.
Grade: B+

Drafts From the Cultural Hub of the Midwest: Heavy Seas Big DIPA

Web Stuff:
Big DIPA – Double IPA

Hops: 5 Kinds of Hops
Malts: 3 Kinds of Malts
ABV: 10.6%
IBU: 75.5

Big DIPA – Double IPA, is the first in the Heavy Seas Special Edition Series due to be released in mid June. Hopped 3 times in the brewing process, Big DIPA has an earthy hop aroma. In keeping with the Heavy Seas philosophy we've made a big beer with a surprising balance. The best part is that you’ll hardly notice it’s 10.6% ABV (est). The label artwork was created by Kurt Krol, one of our brewers who also helped to develop the recipe.

How does it taste?  It starts out sweet and floral with a slightly bitter aftertaste.  A few more sips later and the bitterness starts to dominate the beer.  Fortunately, after a few more ounces, the 10.6% ABV "that you'll hardly notice" kills the bitterness and it goes back to being a pleasant drink for a pleasant buzz.  It's the taste bud version of beer goggles.
Grade:  A-

Monday, December 28, 2009

Overheard during Monday Night Football

Tirico:  Handling the ball is like a rock right now.
Jaws: It, it, it, it's hard and it's slippery.  I mean there's a little bit of... uh dew on the turf.  The ball is cold.  In fact, we were grabbing some balls and they were slipping out of our hands.  Hands not as quick as Brett Favre.

Easy fellas.  It's a family show.

Now we know how they stay warm in Minnisota

William Penn Colonial Style Lager

The beer distributor in PA told BHC that this beer is just like Yuengling, but better.  It's not and it's not.  It's very sweet, like a glass of carbonated barley syrup.  If you are a fan of sweet, malty beers.  Check it out.  I'm not, so....

Grade: C

(The "like Yuengling but better quote" was originally attributed to BHC's dad, and it's been corrected.)

Goose Island Summertime

Yes, it's the end of December, and as I type, it's snowing.  I'm sure that you will understand if I'm in the mood to say that Id rather be at a place called Goose Island.  For my imaginary purposes, Goose Island is a tropical paradise in the South Pacific.   Therefore, it's summer there.

Web stuff:

Brewmasters Notes:  The color of sunshine I remember the sun.  Can't say that I expect to see if for a few months, with a light fruity aroma ahh, the infamous beer fruit rears it's head again and a hint of fruity acidity, Goose Island Summertime is the perfect summer session ale. A Kölsch beer brewed in the traditional German fashion, you’ll find yourself enjoying and savoring each sip of summertime as much as you do those hot summer days and cool summer nights.

Style: German Style Kölsch
Alcohol by Volume: 4.7%
International Bitterness Units: 20
Color: Sunshine
Hops: Mt. Hood, Saaz
Malt: 2 Row, Wheat

What's Kölsch beer?  Kölsch is a local beer speciality, brewed in Cologne, Germany. It is a clear beer with a bright straw-yellow hue, and it has a prominent, but not extreme, hoppiness. It is less bitter than the standard German lager beer, Pilsner. Furthermore, Kölsch is top-fermented at a relatively warm temperature (13 to 21°C, or 55 to 70°F) and then cold-conditioned, or lagered.

How does it really taste Mr. Sunshine?  Disappointing.  It's just another beer.  I expect better from Goose Island.

Cost: $7.99 6 pack
Grade: C
Cost Adjusted Grade: C

Two Parts Wry Observations: Ravens at Steelers


The Steelers are still alive, but just barely.  They got a lot of help from the Ravens yesterday as they collectively shot themselves in the leg. AKA, pulled at Plaxico.

They need two of these 3 things to happen.  Raiders beat the Ravens (Won't happen).  Bengals beat the Jets (Look for the Bengals to rest their starters.  Therefore, not gonna happen.)  New England beats Houston.  (See Bengals vs Jets.)  This is what happens when you lose to the Browns, Raiders, and Chiefs.

Special thanks to the Colts for being a bunch of quitters.  You are undefeated, winning the game, and pull your starters.  A gutless move that will result in watching the Super Bowl from home again for the Colts.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Hey! It's getting late.

Merry Christmas from Two Parts Rye!
It is Christmas Today!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Columbus is Officially out of Christmas Ale

It's gone from the stores.  Bob's has emptied it's last keg.  Mobs of crazed Christmas Ale drinkers are roaming the streets looking for the last tasty drop of the season.  I've tried giving them egg nog and it has no effect.  Only more Christmas Ale, or a good nights sleep can cure them. 

World Wide Kev is Jonesing

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yuengling Traditional Lager

BHC gave me a mixed six of PA beers that you can not get in Ohio.  The first up is Yuengling.  America's oldest, continually operating brewery.  Everyone likes Yuengling.  It's lack of availability in Ohio is always perplexing.  I've had it on tap in Nashville, at a Titans game of all places.

It's a nice clean, crisp lager.  Not sweet, not to bitter.  It goes down easy.  A great session beer.  Especially on NFL Sundays.

Grade: B+

What in the world is... Fernet Branca?

Bill Cosby Explains it best...

How does it taste?  It smells minty, and you think to yourself: "How bad can it be?"  Then you drink it.  It's not as bad as Bill Cosby describes it.  It is harsh.  It tastes like wood, mint and pepper.  Not a great combo.  In Argentina, they drink it with cola and it's somewhat refreshing.  Add a squeeze of lime and it's even better.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Unibroue Trois Pistoles

Web stuff:  Brewed with four selected malts and four exotic spices, Trois Pistoles beckons with a subtle sweetness that makes it surprisingly smooth and satisfying for a beer of such strength and complexity. Its cocoa and fruit notes make it an ideal dessert companion to semi-sweet and dark artisan chocolates.

Trois Pistoles (Three Coins) is named after a small village in the region of Les Basques in Québec.  Founded over 300 years ago, Trois Pistoles gave birth to several legends, including one about a sailor who dropped his tumbler overboard and exclaimed, "Trois Pistoles!" in reference to its worth in old Spanish currency.

Another, the Legend of the Black Horse, involved a local bishop who conjured up a good devil (appearing in the form of bridled black steed) to haul large brick stones to construct a new church. When someone accidentally removed the bridle, the black horse suddenly vanished just as the last remaining stone was to be set. This stone is still missing, as can be seen when visiting the village church in Trois Pistoles.

Enjoy this beer as an after-dinner drink or you can bundle it with a gift box of dark chocolate truffles or semi-sweet chocolate bars.  Winner of 6 Gold and 1 Silver Medals from the Beverage Testing Institute since 1998.

How does it taste?  After first sip, Gross.  I don't like Belgian style beers.  (I know that this beer is from Quebec),   It's the yeast.

After the second sip, it's still gross.  In the early days of the blog, I used to have a topic called rapid fire fridays.  There is a store in our neighborhood that has wine and beer tastings every weekend.  During a few of these fridays, I noticed that I actually liked belgian style beers if I was drinking it after I had tried a bad red wine.  I've tried drinking a small glass of good red wine (I don't buy bad reds), and it had not helped. 

After the third sip.  It's ok, but it's probably because I'm getting buzzed.  I reason that it's got to be the tannin in the wine that makes the beer work for me.  So I grab Sauza Anejo Tequila, which is very tannic.  Sip half a shot and try again.  I almost can't taste the yeast.  Let's try another sip of tequila.  I swish it around like mouth wash.  I sip the beer and it still tastes bad.  What to try next...

Hey, look at the post time.

Update!  Serveral minutes after the original post.  I am now tasting a nice deep prune flavor.  I can also feel my eyebrows grow and no longer need glasses.

Cost:  Mix and Match 6 pack. It was a gift, I would not intentionally buy this.
Grade: D

Two Parts Wry Observations: Steelers vs GB

A lot of so called experts will tell you that Mike Tomlin made a foolish gamble by attempting an on-side kick with less than 4 minutes in the game when the Steelers had a 2 point lead.  Those idiots have not been paying attention.  When it happened, I liked the call.  BHC liked the call.  Troy Aikman did not.  We can forgive him, he's been hit in the head a lot.

Once again, the Steelers secondary folded like a cheap card table.  However, this time, the offense had over two minutes to drive down the field and Ben pulled another victory from his tush by hitting Mike Wallace with a tip-toe catch in the end zone.

Their playoff chances are slightly closer to slim than none.  They need to win out (slim chance), they need the Eagles to beat the Broncos (Highly likely) , New England to beat Jacksonville. (Likely), and god knows what else.  I hope that they make it.  However, when you lose to the Browns, Raiders, and Chiefs, don't be surprised when you end up staying home in January.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Two Parts Rye: House Bourbon Challenge McAfee's Benchmark

This isn't really part of the challenge.  This bourbon was bought for a purpose.  Instead of the artificial, glow in the dark, sugar bomb, not really a cherry, marischino cherries that you buy in the grocery store, I prefer to rehydrate dried cherries in bourbon and use those in my Manhattan. 

It's the holidays, so I was looking for something inexpensive, but palatable.  I've never had Benchmark before.  It's label says that it is made by Buffalo Trace.  It can't be too bad.  Can it?

It has a more rye in it than the Trace, which gives it a bit more bite.  It also tastes thinner.  In other words, there's not much else going on flavor wise.  It's not great, but I was not searching for great.  I was searching for adequate.

It makes a piss-poor Manhattan.
Cost: $8.95
Grade: C
Cost Adjusted Grade: B
Manhattan Grade: D

Friday, December 18, 2009

Full Sail Wassail

Web Stuff:  A few unmistakable signs tell us when winter has arrived here in Hood River. The waterfalls in the Gorge start kicking out the jams. The snow report for the backcountry regains its hold over us. And the Wassail starts flowing once again. We’ve brewed Wassail every holiday season since 1988, and it’s now as much a part of the festivities as sharing a roaring fire with our closest family and friends. A deep mahogany color, Wassail is brewed with four different malts and a blend of Pacific Northwest hops, giving it a malty full body and a pleasantly hoppy finish that appeals to both hop and malt lovers alike. In other words, a Christmas miracle.

Time for the airing of the grievances!  First of all, wassail is a spiced punch made with juices, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc.  It doesn't have anything to do with beer.  They could have been clever and called it Wass-Ale, but they didn't.  It's a thin boring brown ale that is too bitter and has no complexity.  These numb-nuts don't know what the hell they're doing. 

Drinking two of these would require a Festivus miracle.

Cost: Mix & Match 6 pack
Grade: C-

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Breckenridge Avalanche

Web Stuff:  Subtlety. That's what makes our Avalanche amber ale such a treat. We blend pale and caramel malts – and just a kiss of bittering hops – to create a refreshing-but-flavorful, any-time beer. Aromas of pale grains, a semi-sweet middle and a clean-as-Colorado-snow finish make this our best-selling beer.

How does it really taste?  I feel like I'm in a slump.  I keep drinking beers that are accurately described by their marketing department.  What am I going to make fun of?  I guess "clean-as-Colorado-snow" cries out for me to say that clean snow is not yellow.  I just can't make myself stoop that low. 

It's another good session beer.  Good flavor, but not overpowering.

Cost:  Mix & Match 6 pack
Grade: B

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Guinness 250 Anniversary Stout

This one will be quick.  It's everything that you love about Guinness, but better.  Guinness is the beer that taught you just what the hell stout is supposed to taste like.  Dark, bitter, but not heavy.  Love it.

Cost: Mix & Match 6 pack
Grade: A-

House Bourbon Challenge: Buffalo Trace vs Bulleit

This is actually a rematch from my pre-blog life.  I had a pre-blog life?  Bulleit used to be my house bourbon of choice.  At some point, I decided that Buffalo Trace was worth the extra nickel.  Let's see how they stand up to one another side by side.

Bulleit is just harsh.  It's all tannin and corn.  The harshness does contrast well with vermouth in a Manhattan.  As always, the Trace is still great for the price.

Bulleit Bourbon
Cost: $20.10
Grade: C
Cost Adjusted Grade: C+
Manhattan Grade: B

Great Lakes Elliot Ness

The Great Lakes Tour de Beer continues!

TYPE/STYLE: Amber Lager: Created by Anton Dreher of Vienna, Austria, during the mid-19th century.

FOOD COMPLEMENTS: Spicy dishes, pork, pasta and sausage.

BRAND NAME: Named after one of Cleveland's most respected safety directors who frequented the Brewpub's bar during his tenure from 1935-1941 and, according to popular legend, was responsible for the bullet holes in the bar still evident today. Margaret Conway, the mother of owners Patrick and Daniel Conway, worked with Ness as his stenographer.

How does it taste?  It's mostly bitter, with a slight bit of sweetness at the finish.  Nothing floral about these put-hair-on-your-chest hops.

Cost Adjusted Grade: Mix & Match 6 pack
Grade: B-

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Great Divide Brewing Co Samurai Unfiltered Rice Ale

Web Stuff:  Samurai is an easy drinking, unfiltered ale that changes the status quo for unfiltered beers. The addition of rice gives Samurai a slightly fruity, crisp, refreshing and clean taste. This is definitely not your everyday unfiltered beer. 5.1% ABV

How does it really taste?  It is slightly fruity, crisp, refeshing, and clean.  But what does that really mean?  This is a tough one to describe.  It's like someone took Budweiser, and made it good.  The homebrewer in me likes that it's nice and cloudy.  It goes down nice and easy.  A great session beer.

Cost: Mix & Match 6 pack
Grade: B+

Harp Premium Lager

Label Stuff:  The smooth, crisp taste of Harp is the proud result of a traditional Irish recipe using only the finest all-natural ingredients.  It's authentic spirit and award-winning flavor have made it a favorite of those who appreciate good beer and good times in equal measure.

How does it taste?  Move along.  Nothing to see here.

Cost: Mix & Match 6 pack
Grade: C

Monday, December 14, 2009

Brooklyn Pennant Ale '55

I feel weird drinking a baseball themed beer in December.

Web stuff:  Available all year round.  As Brooklynites, we revere the memory of the 1955 World Champion Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team, so we had to name a beer in their honor.  The Dodgers revered it so much that they moved to Los Angeles in 1958.

Brooklyn Pennant Ale is a honey-colored pale ale with a brisk malt palate and finely balanced hop character.  Pennant is a traditional English-style pale ale.  The pale ale style developed in the early 19th century, and was calle "pale" because it appeared so in comparison to the darker ale styles of the day (East India Pale Ale was a stronger, paler, more bitter version of the style).  Brooklyn Pennant Ale is brewed from Scottish Maris Otter Malt, which is justly prized for it's toasty, biscuity flavor and round smoothness it imparts to beer.

How does it taste?  The hops are not real strong, but they are flavorful.  The malt is neither toasty, nor biscuity.  The beer itself is somewhat thin for this time of the year.  I do like it though.  It would make for a nice session beer in the summer.

Cost: Mix and Match 6 pack
Grade: B

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Two Parts Wry Observations: The Steelers Should Replace James Farrior with James Harrison's 62 year old Mother

Apparently Akron has the dumbest cops on the planet.

Police in Ohio say the mother of Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison has been charged with assault following a brawl at a game-watching party in a community hall.

Akron police say 62-year-old Mildred Harrison was one of three people cited after the fight at a Veterans of Foreign Wars post Thursday.

Police say it's not clear why the party turned violent about 10 p.m., during Cleveland's 13-6 upset of division foe Pittsburgh.

Victims have told police they were pushed, punched and struck with beer bottles.

I'll solve this one for you deputy dog.
  • Steelers and Browns fans hate one another.  Especially in that area.  I grew up there. + Beer
  • Her son plays for the Steelers. + Beer
  • She's cheering for the Steelers in a city that is 40 minutes from Cleveland. + Beer
  • Beer
Keep kicking ass Mildred!

Magic Hat Roxy Rolles Autumn Seasonal

Technically, winter does not start until Dec 21.  After slip-sliding my way home from the Allegheny mountains this morning.  I have to disagree.

Web Stuff: As the leaves line the trees with colors bright,
the Autumnal Amber Ramble comes into sight!
Roxy Rolles pours in her wake foliage fallen
and a perfect pairing of malt and hops.

I think that my Tiger Woods poem is better.

How does it taste?  It's very hoppy.  If you like hops, it's good.  $6MMm is a fan.

Cost:  Mix & Match 6 pack
Grade:  B

Friday, December 11, 2009

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold

Since were singing the praises of the Great Lakes Brewing Co.  Let's talk about Dortmunder Gold.

Web stuff:

Dortmunder: During the mid-19th century, seven breweries within the city of Dortmund, Germany, began brewing beers in the same manner, resulting in what has come to be known as the "Dortmunder" style.


Because neither malt nor hops dominate this beer, it complements most foods, especially salads, fish and chicken.

How does it taste?  It is well balanced and pairs well with food.  I think that it is slightly salty on it's own.

Cost: $7.99 a six pack
Grade: B
Cost Adjusted Grade: B

Two Parts Wry Observations: At least I had Christmas Ale

It usually does not take me this long to get a post up after a Steelers game.  But I figure, if the Steelers don't care about the season, why should I?  The salvation of the evening was that Bob's still has Great Lakes Christmas Ale on tap.  This is BHC's favorite beer.  The poor fellow was at a different bar for the game, and they were out.  He was double sad.  The $6MMm loves it too.  Pittsburgh and Cincinatti fans can come together and enjoy a beer from Cleveland.  Weird.

Web stuff: Christmas Ale

A holiday ale brewed with honey and spiced with fresh ginger and cinnamon.
ABV: 7.5% ABW: 6.0% IBU: 40

How does it taste?  I think that it tastes like nutmeg and ginger.  It's not too overpowering, but it is  a drink to savor.  Don't worry, you will finish it faster than Big Ben reads pass coverage.  BHC says "Tastes like Christmas!"  If you're looking for any last minute gift ideas for BHC....
Grade: A-

Special thanks to A beer in Hand is worth Two in the Fridge for finding this "holy shit, that's funny" video.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Barons Black Wattle Superior

It's an Australian beer made with the mysterious wattle seed.

Label Stuff:  Crafted for those who demand the finest of beers, Wattle Seed Ale's character is born from the select blend of roasted barley and wheat, with subtle hopping and the unique infusion of Australian wattle seed.  The resulting beer offers a superb balance of flavour and complexity, richness in colour with a lasting creamy head.  A truly robust yeat provocative ale.

How does it really taste?  Like caramel.  Which would be great if I was eating candy.  I'm drinkng beer.  It's too sweet for me, but I can see how folks would like it.

Cost: $8.99 six pack
Grade: B
Cost Adjusted Grade: B

Two Parts Wry Observations Tiger, Tiger

Tiger, Tiger not so bright
Wrecked his escalade in the night
Why were you out at 2 AM?
You got your ass whipped by Elin

She grabbed a club and yelled fore!
Tiger ran out the door
Hit a hydrant and a tree
Damn you caller ID

If privacy is your wish
No scars forming the Nike swish
You let girlfriend call your home
Think with your brain, not your dome

Not one or two or seven
By last count it’s eleven!
Fame is your real appeal.
They’ll get 6 figure book deals.

Your wife is hot. Swedish born
Some of those girls did porn
She moved out, tired of your shit
Why do you prefer plastic tits?

Tiger, Tiger not so bright
Wrecked his escalade in the night
Why were you out at 2 AM?
You got your ass whipped by Elin!

Session #35 to be hosted by the beer chicks

Christina and Hallie from Beer for Chicks will be hosting January's session.  They are giving us an opportunity to look back at the best and worst in beer for '09, and to give our beer year's resolutions for '10.  This session will be on January 1. 

My first resolution is to have this post done before January 1st.  Clicking the publish button will be the most complicated task that I will be able to handle as I try to shake off New Year's Eve by getting drunk for the Rose Bowl.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Chutes & Ladders Golden Ale

Label stuff: The Chutes and Ladders Golden ale is a crisp, clean American ale.  Perfect for extinguishing your fiery thirst or when you crave an ice cold beer.

In other words.  Overpriced Budweiser.  Actually, it's more like overpriced Miller.

Cost: $7.99 six pack
Grade: C+
Cost Adjusted Grade: C

Gregory Graham 2006 Sauvignon Blanc

I think that his red wines are quite impressive.  Lets take one of his white's for a spin.

Label Stuff:  The rocky, red volcanic soil and clear, crisp mountain air at out Crimson Hill Vineyard provides the optimum conditions for the production of premium wines.  Quality is paramount in every detail from pruning to bottling. 

How does it taste?  It's a nice mellow example of the grape.  Crisp, somewhat sour, with a hint of pine.  When I jam my nose deep in the glass, I get a nice grapefruit aroma.  It's good, but not quite $20 good. 

Cost: $20
Grade: B
Cost Adjusted Grade: C+

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Drafts From the Cultural Hub of the Midwest: Avery DuganA IPA

Web stuff: Beer Style: Double India Pale Ale

Hop Variety: Chinook, Centennial and Columbus
Malt Variety: Two-row barley, dark aromatic, caramel malt
OG: 1.076 ABV: 8.5% IBUs: 93
Color: Deep Gold
Availability: Limited release. Inaugural batch was released in early October '09. Brewed whenever we have a little extra tank space and a desire for dank hops!

Lupulin Rapture Incarnate! Apparently, lupulin is extracted from hops and it makes you sleepy.  I'm sure that the 8.5% abv has nothing to do with it.  As fervent devotees of hops, we found ourselves on a quest to create a transcendental IPA capable of quenching our voracious lupulin desires. Our mantra became "unity of bitterness, hop flavor and aroma." Enlightened, duganA IPA was born: A brutally bitter, dank, piney and resinous ale designed for those seeking a divine hop experience.
How does it really taste?  It's a decent double IPA.  Nice floral, pine, and citrus aroma from the hops.  It's a tad too bitter.  Thanks to the high alcohol content, when you get half-way through your mug, you won't care.
Grade: B

Monday, December 7, 2009

The session #34: Stumbling Home Roundup

Thanks to everyone who contributed.  I feel that Friday is a state of mind and I will accept late entries if anyone else wishes to contribute.

K dub at gives us quite a treatise on the art of stumbling home. 

Family life has hindered Jay at Brookston Beer Bulletin's bar life.  He gives a history of his favorite bars from various points in his life.

The Beer Nut tout's Dublin Ireland's best bar for craft beer, The Bull & Castle.  Part of the fun of this subject is that I'm finding good bars from all around the globe.

A post from Pac-10 country.  Mario from Brewed For Thought took the transportation aspect of the session to heart.  He bussed to the "Toad in the Hole" in Santa Rosa, CA.  They serve cask conditioned ales that sound quite tasty.

Erik from Top Femented recognizes that stumbling home is not that great of an idea.  He gives us a tale from his Boston  where he drank many yards of cider and only made it home with the support of the many lampposts along the route.

Devoid from Beer Taster tells a couple of tales, one from the past when small town canadian law enforcement was a bit more understanding.  Fast forward to modern times, drinking and walking can be a challenge as well.

Baltimore Man from A beer in hand is worth two in the fridge tells about Mike McGovern's Irish pub which sounds like a great family/neighborhood establishment.

Jimmy from Hop Wild takes the transportation angle as a challenge.  Sadly, he finds that all the establishments within walking distance of home in North Carolina don't cut the mustard.  Somebody please build this man a decent pub.

Jon from the Brew Site does not have a place that he calls his regular watering hole.  He usually drinks from home or at nearby friends homes.  However, there was that one time...  Be sure to check out the comments section to see what his wife has to say about that one time.

Peter at Better Beer Blog tends to skip stumbling and go straight to crawling.  Atta-boy.  He lives in SF now, but tells us of a bar from his younger days in San Jose.

Alan from a Good Beer Blog was not too impressed with the topic as it has nothing to do with craft beer.  He has posted for every session and shares a series of poems about a passed out friend who was saved by a savory snack.  I disagree with the lack of connection to craft beer.  To prove my point I have crafted two bad haiku's on the subject.

Mrs Rye says you
are drunk.  How many beers did
You have? I say threve.

Craft beer is full of
alcohol.  Makes me crash bike.
Too many ouchies.

Daniel of Endosymbiosis has access to many great bars and microbreweries Kalamazoo.  He instead sings the praises of bars that don't cater to the craft beer drinking, but serve good beer anyway.

I would have never had found this one if it wasn't for google analytics.  Thinking brew talks about some activity in Raleigh

Finally,  Derrick, OSU alum and current Bay Area Beer Runner tells us about a restaurant/brew pub that he visits with his kids.  I can't do this one justice, so please hit the link and read on.

Geistbeer tells us of a place in flagstaff that is like home.

Thanks again everyone.  Who's got #35?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Two Parts Wry Observations: NFL Week 13 Groundhog Day

As I watched the Steelers blow a 4th quarter lead 3 times in the same game, I couldn't help but wonder "why am I surprised?  It's the exact same game every week.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Session #34: Stumbling Home

This month's session is being hosted by me!  The subject is your favorite local watering hole.

If you have been following this blog on a regular basis, it will come as no surprise that I will be talking about the “Cultural Hub of the Midwest”, Bob’s Bar.

What makes Bob’s so special? The beer folks, the beer. It’s a bit of a hole in the wall, located in a small strip mall on a busy road. What I like to tell people is that they have 30 beers on tap, and their crappy beer is Guinness. It’s only a mile from my house which makes it well within stumbling distance.  Once upon a time, Mrs. Rye's cousin was in town for a visit and I told him that there's a place down the road that has Chimay on tap.  His response was typical.  "Can we go there now?"

The drinking buddies: World-Wide-Kev and the 6 Million Dollar Man. At the end of the '08 church softball season, we decided to do their “world tour” at Bob's  (130 beers are on the tour.  Why, oh why didn't I start the blog last year?). $6MMm and I finished the tour early this year. WWK is pacing himself. He’ll probably finish in 2012, just in time for the Aztec Armageddon.  We call him World-Wide-Kev because he'll say things like" "I can't come next week, I'll be in the Ukraine." or Paris or New York or Seattle...  The 6 Million Dollar Man has had a lot of parts replaced for a 40 year old and I suspect that some of them came from Area 51.  I've been coaching 3rd base and when he swings the bat he breaks the sound barrier.  The ball goes whizzing by, and two seconds later you hear the ping of the bat.  He hits it foul.  But it's still impressive.

Low on decor.  High on beer.

The curse of the big mug: When you finish the tour, you get a 25 oz mug, engraved with a phrase of your choice. You can fill your mug for the price of a pint. It’s a good deal. During happy hour, it’s cheaper to drink there than at home. The downside is that 25 oz of a 10% abv beer will knock you on your butt. Hence, the name of the session and the caveat of no cars allowed.

What did you have engraved on your mug? “STOP CALLING IT A SMALL GROUP!”

Huh? At about the same time we started to go to Bob’s, there was a push in our church for people to form small groups that they could meet with regularly and discuss spiritual matters and what-not. Admittedly, a beer tour was probably not what the pastor had in mind and we are not officially church sanctioned.

Jim:  Honey, I'm off to Bob's to meet my small group.

The draft line-up as of 12/1/09

Magic Hat #9
Delirium Tremens
Chimay White
Founder’s Backwoods Bastard Bourbon Ale
Loose Cannon Heavy Seas
Great Lakes Christmas Ale
Stone Ruination
Leiny’s Fireside Nut Brown
Hazed & Infused
Lagunitus IPA
Stone Pale Ale
Dogfish Head Theobroma
Dragon’s Milk
Elevator Brewing Co. Procrastination Doppelbock
Brooklyn Lager
Dogfish Head 60 min IPA
Barley’s Brewing Company IPA
Founder’s Breakfast Stout
CBC Pale Ale
Great Lakes Elliot Ness
Great Lakes Edmond Fitzgerald
Strongbow Hard Cider
Stella Artois
Lindeman’s Framboise Lambic

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What in the world is...Tuaca

What in the world is Tuaca?  It's a sugary orange liqueur that in a naive, younger time of my life, I was tricked into buying by sexy radio commercials.  I've had this bottle for over 10 years.  Tonight we kill the last shot.

Web stuff:  Tuaca is a brandy based liqueur inspired by the Renaissance period of the 16th century.  According to legend, it was created for Lorenzo the magnificent, ruler of Florence, Italy.  Lorenzo was a well-known patron of the arts, supporting Michael Angelo, Da Vinci, and Bottecelli.

From left to Right.  Da Vinci, Lorenzo the Magnificent, and Bottecelli.
I'll leave it to your imagination to decide how he supports Michael Angelo.
Hint, it's in his pants.

In 1838, brothers-in-law Gaetano Tuoni and Giorgio Canepa took inspiration from the Renaissance-era recipe and crafted their version of the liqueur.  Gaetono and Giorgio drived the brand name from their own surnames and called it 'Tuoca', which evolved over time.  Tuaca was first exported to America in the 1950's after American servicemen were introduced to the brand in Livorno, Italy where it is still made today.

Cost: $26.70
Grade: B  (It's sweet triple sec)
Cost Adjusted Grade: C

Negra Modelo

My case of "big beer fatigue" continues.  The only known cure is to drink simpler, balanced beers.  Eventually, in time, you will again crave a big beer.  Pray for me.

Negra Modelo is a Munich Dunkel Lager.  Click here to find out just what the hell that is.

Label Stuff:  Dark Beer  That's the kind of non-bs description that we like at Two Parts Rye.  Kind of difficult to  mock though. 

How does it taste?  Initially there is malty sweetness, balanced by nice bitterness on the finish.

Cost: $7.99 six/pack
Grade: B
Cost Adjusted Grade: B