Nov 2008 29

A great beer should always be associated with a great name.  I still get a kick out of Dogfish Head’s no longer named Golden Shower and can imagine two brewers concocting the moniker after a long night of drinking ended with one peeing on the leg of another. Lost Abbey beers have seemingly pious names for strong, spell-binding brews that make me recite Benjamin Franklin’s affirmation that “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” They’re equal opportunity for Sinners and Saints alike. And what’s not to say we don’t have a little of each of those in us?

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Dec 2008 07

I’ve almost recovered from the beer-topia that was the 12th Annual San Diego Strong Ale Festival.  It took just two nights, a turbulent cross-country plane ride, and a hangover, ironically named for the position you resemble over the toilet if don’t want one in the morning.  The VIP ticket cost just $40 but was worth infinitely more than that and I imbibed in some of the finest brews of 8% and above potency, worshipping and drowning in it like Madonna in a swimming pool filled with Kabbala water.  I’m surprised we weren’t required to sign our soul over to the Hop Duvel in order to accept the tasting glass at the door, although the lineup did warn you to request short pours if you were determined to sample a case worth, so they wouldn’t have to wheelbarrow you out. More like scoop you off the ground and pour you into the Bette Davis Center…

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Dec 2008 15

surprisedsarah_r1

My nametag doesn’t occupy a particular barstool at my local bar, but I am a frequent visitor as Imbiber of the IPA, Paramour of the Porter, Savorer of the Schwarzbier, and all the styles in between. My bar tab is under a certain piece of male anatomy had it been tossed into the air, earned after a night of earnest sampling.  For my 23rd (again…) birthday, I was greeted by a small gaggle of friends gathered at “My Special Place” for a surprise party.

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Dec 2008 22

With temps in the single digits, I’m chiseling ice off my windshield like a trekker at the summit of Mount Kilamanjaro.  The windchill is so bitterly cold I briefly contemplate peeing on my leg to warm myself up, only to realize it would ice over so quickly I’d just end up with a frozen line of yellow snow congealing my pants to my body.  I weigh the pros and cons of getting my car unstuck from this frozen tundra of a driveway. Maybe I should go back into the house, throw on some flannel PJ’s, eat Lucky Charms with a milk stout, and watch National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.  Then my one defrosted brain cell reminds me it is the night of my favorite watering hole’s customer appreciation Christmas party.  Visions of tulip glasses dancing in my head, I continue scraping until the sheet of ice crashes on the ground like jagged pieces of glass.

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Dec 2008 30

Goodbye to 2008

Posted In Beer

I started celebrating New Years Eve the day before, stopping by Capone’s for a promising lineup of Christmas and Winter Ales. I ordered a four top of Jenlain Noel, Corsendonk Christmas, Summit Porter, and Tsjeeses.

Not a bad selection if I don’t say! The Jenlain Noel has a spicy, slightly bitter citrus zest blended with a dark fruit and roasty flavor. It is a very drinkable beer with the cherry and plum flavors balancing the dryness. The Corsendonk Christmas has a huge malt profile with a molasses sweetness paired to a spice, possibly anise (black licorice like), and ginger. The carbonation can be a little overwhelming initially but does subside. The Summit Porter is a deeply roasted coffee, oatmeal, and chocolate smell and taste. It can be a little acrid, such as burnt coffee, but I am also a Starbucks addict, so I savor a dark coffee.

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