Monday, February 11, 2013

2/11: Flying Dog's In Heat Wheat

Hi all.  The team I coach is in a tournament now, so it is a hectic week. I am glad that my bocce team had a bye tonight, otherwise there might not be a post this week.  Seriously, tomorrow I have a meeting at 6, and basketball practice at 8; Wednesday is our multi-course pre-Valentine's Day dinner; Thursday is a basketball game; Friday is Card Party!; Saturday we have both a league game and a tournament game.  So enough about the rest of my life, you've probably come here for the beer...

In last week's post I mentioned beers that I had had, without saying anything about them.  Let me now talk about some of the beers that I've had in February...

 Trader Joe's 2012 Vintage Ale: 
They say...
Drawing upon centuries-old Trappist Monk brewing traditions, the Belgian-style dark ale is bottle conditioned on lees (aged in the bottle on fresh yeast). This year, it results in finely structured brew that presents rich, malty (mildly sweet) flavor, with notes of cocoa and mulling spices.

My reaction...
Being a "dark ale" I was surprised that it wasn't black or brown, but rather reddish/golden.  At 9% abv, it was a winter warmer, that was bubbly and spicy and a bit sweet.  It had red wine notes.  So their was a mulled wine aspect to this beer.  An interesting beer.

Killian's Irish Red:
It is a lager, and it tasted largely like a mainstream lager.  The difference was that the malt was slightly roasted, which showed up in some slight "toast" and "caramel" notes on the tongue and accounted for the reddish color of the beer.  But it looks more different than it tastes.

Is a Mexican lager.  The brand is not a craft beer.  It is a beer designed for quenching a thirst on a hot day, or cooling your mouth down after eating some spicy food.  It is not very popular with Anglos in America, but the brand is popular with Mexicans and Mexican Americans.  Tecate sponsors several Mexican soccer teams and advertises primarily on Spanish-language television.  But they are starting to advertise to Anglos with the tag line... "It's not beer, it's cerveza."  Can the guy who wrote "Foster's, it's Australian for beer" sue?

Flying Dog's In-Heat Wheat Hefeweizen:
They say...
Flavor notes: Huge banana and clove notes.

I didn't taste either.  Instead I tasted a subtle cotton candy note on the finish.  It wasn't cloudy like the
hefeweizens I have enjoyed before.  It was a good wheat beer, but it didn't strike me as a hefeweizen.

Happy Valentine's Day.  Have a good week.  Go Raiders!

-Jim from Milwaukee

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

2/6: Five beers in six days

After month #1 of My Year of Beer, I was was tired.  Not tired of drinking beer, but tired of writing about drinking beer.  A post takes about an hour to write, and this is not my whole life or my career.  On Friday, February 1st, I worked until quitting time, walked to my car and found that my car wouldn't start.  I called my wife for a ride because I needed to get to one of my volunteer gigs - the monthly fish fry at my church.  She was able to get me to the fish fry 10 minutes before the doors opened.  (Just 20 minutes late.)  Other volunteers had organized my station, so I was ready to go when the doors opened.  My station?  I sell beverages; bottled water, soda and yes - beer - cans on Miller Genuine Draft and Miller Lite and bottles of the "mystery" Beer of the Month, (BOM).  This month the BOM was Killian's Irish Red. 

As the fish fry was wrapping up, one of the guys from the kitchen offered me a cup of the beer they use to batter the fish. (Pabst?) And when the event ended I was able to have one of the BOM's with my fish fry.  Then it was time to go home.  At home we had invited over my home-brewing friends; Jim S. and Jon P. (and their wives) - with whom we are hosting the "Beer Dinner" in June.  Jon and Jim brought beer - as did my father-in-law.  We opened a bottle of Trader Joe's 2012 Vintage Ale and shared its contents.

The next day, after getting my car battery replaced and coaching my basketball team, I attended a sheepshead party that was a fundraiser for my church.  While playing cards I had two bottles of New Glarus' Spotted Cow.

Over the next four days, I had three days of work, two basketball practices, my bocce night and a can of Tecate with dinner tonight.

So let us recap.  I worked a fish fry and attended a sheepshead party in successive nights.   That is why they call me...

-Jim from Milwaukee