# Brew & You

Source

## BEER

I'll try to review a different beer on a regular basis. So you stop by often. Feel free to comment about the featured beers and serve up your own suggestions as well.

So let's get started! I'll prime the beer pump with this offering:

This week is brought to you by Duvel.

From all the beers I mention, it may sound like I'm a heavy drinker. I'm really not (I only weighed 202 lbs at last check). There are far heavier drinkers than me.

There may be a science to drinking, but I only ascribe to two main principles:

1) My hand flies up and my mouth flies open

2) My fly goes down and THEN I pee

There is another 'principle' that I thought I'd share with you, based on my own personal observation. One can drink all they want and not get drunk as long as they are fishing.

When I was at my training base in Biloxi, Mississippi, awaiting Further Instruction (AFI) I had a couple of months to fish. Keesler AFB sits on Mullet Lake. This is where the Mississippi meets the Gulf of Mexico and forms a lake. Awesome fishing there, because where fresh water meets salt water there are a variety of fresh and salt water fish swimming about.

Most the time I fished directly off a pier, but sometimes I rented a flat bottom boat with either the Rutherford or Johnson motor. The cost was eight bucks for all day, and came with a tank of gas.

I loved the pier so I could use my brill net. That's a small (less than 5 foot diameter) cast net with about a 20 foot rope you put on your wrist so you didn't loose it. It's round (hence diameter mentioned above) and weighted around the perimeter.

You grabbed one part of the edge of it and draped in a certain manner across your arm, holding the opposite edge in your teeth. You threw it out in an arch spinning it so that it opened up in a large circle. It is always a good idea to let go of the net with your teeth. The net would sink to the bottom catching fish along the way.

It takes some practice, but it is a lot of fun once you get the hang of it. No baiting hooks, and you never know what you'll pull up, unless you can see what you are casting for. I will never forget the first successful cast I made. I pulled it out, and to my amazement there were 5 little fish in there! One was a glass catfish, another was a 4 inch Menhaden (some call a Mossbunker) and I can't remember the other 2. Hey, I said I would never forget the first successful cast, not all the details!

Luckily for me an elder fisherman was watching me with amusement. He was telling me what I had, as I was throwing them back into the water. As I reached for one little fish about 3 inches in diameter. Yes it was round and puffed up like a balloon, apparently to make it more difficult for me to swallow it. As I reached into the net to grab it the old fisherman said "wait!." He reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a Bic pen. He stuck it in the mouth of the fish and it was quickly snapped in half!

"That thar is an oyster fish son. Better not stick yer finger anywhere near that one" he told me. "They use them jaws there to break open oysters. That's why they calls 'em oyster fish."

I took an ice chest with me fishing everyday. In it I had four quart bottles, or 24 bottles (a case) of Miller, or Budweiser, or other cheap macro brewery beer. I'd fish, and eat those fish, and drink all day right there on the pier. There were a couple of grills right there and picnic tables. Everything you need for a great day of fishing and drinking. Not once did I ever get drunk! That's damn near scientific proof of what I told you at the start. As long as you are fishing, you never get drunk. At least when drinking beer and eating the fish you catch.

It's a good thing I had my ice chest with me on my fourth or fifth successful) cast. I threw a perfect cast. The net looked like a Frizbee, and landed on the surface with a barely noticeable slap. It sunk quickly and as I began to pull it up it nearly pulled me off the pier. Son of a bitch! What the hell do I have in there? I know why sailors curse. Has to do with the constant surprises the ocean serves up. I barely got the net on deck, and four other fisherman ran over to me with their ice chests and bait buckets. The Menhaden were running and it took nearly 10 minutes for the millions of them in that school to pass the pier on their way back to the ocean.

I filled up five ice chests and three bait buckets. Of course, the ice chests had lots of other fish and bottles and cans of beer. I learned how to put the hook through their heads right through the eye sockets. They don't die that way, and swim around until something eats them.

That day hooked me to casting nets, and I understood why Jesus' disciples used nets right then and there! It's not even fair for the fish. They don't stand a chance. I don't fish for the sport. I fish to eat! When someone asked me if I want to go fishing, I always say, "No, I want to catch fish."

Two other things real quick and then we can get down to business. I was with a buddy on the boat and knocked the bait bucket into the water while baiting our hooks. The shrimp started swiming out of the bucket and the bucket was sinking fast. I threw the net at it and caught the bucket just in time! As I untangled the bucket from the net, I saw about a pound and a half fish.

It was the ugliest fish I had ever seen and I pulled it loose from the net throwing it into the lake. My buddy yelled, "No!" but too late. "That was a flounder, you stupid idiot." For those that don't know. Flounders are bottom dwelling fish mostly. He had come to the surface to get some shrimp from our bucket free gratis. God played a trick on them and gave them 2 eyes on one side of their head. Actually, they swim along the bottom sideways, and over the millions or billions of years, the bottom eye crept around to the other side.

Lastly, have you ever heard a string of Croakers? I was pulling in striped bass as quick as I could toss out my line one evening at the end of the pier under the sodium vapor lamp. When the guy next to me grew tired of fishing, or satisfied with his catch, he pulled up his stringer of Croakers. A small, skinny, green fish that made a sound like a frog. I nearly fell down laughing to hear about a dozen of them all going at the same time!

Now to the biz of fizz. I love the sound of beer as it foams and fizzes. Not everyone pays that kind of attention to their beer, but I love everything about it. Last week my bro-n-law served me up a Warsteiner Premium Velum. A tasty Pilsner from Germany. When I got back to town, I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a sixer of Warsteiner Dunkel, they didn't have the velum. Dunkels are good too. It's an ale brewed with a toasted barely usually weighing in at over 5% ABV.

This week I bought a six pack of Krombacher, and also went to Maiko's Japanese Restaurant where I imbibed Sapporo and Kirin Ichiban. Pronounced icky, not itchy bon.

I love Japanese beer. They use lower amounts of malt and grains and some are made with rice, corn and potato. They are a bit sweeter than a wheat based beer because of the rice and sorghum or sugar used. My nephew and son were having saki bombs. It's like a depth charge but with a glass of saki already in the larger glass. Then you pour the Kirin in and drink it all down at once. You may also, drop the saki glass into the beer.

Last night I bought some Hoffbrau Munchen. These little munchkins are 11.2 oz 330 ML bottles, so I felt a bit shorted. I must admit the taste made up for the 0.8 ounce of beer less than the typical bottle of beer that comes in a six pack.

I also picked up a bottle of Duvel. The one in the larger bottle (of course) here:

http://www.duvelmoortgatusa.com/?cat_id=5

Since it is a generous portion at 1 pint, 9.4 ounces, and weighs in at 8.5% ABV, and it's early yet, I'll tell you about it later.

Anyways, I enjoyed reminiscing. As always, celebrate life and lift your glasses, bottles, and cans, because...

We're not doers we're beers!

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monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

Ahh that's cooooooold! The little convenience store on the corner has a lot of beer and they keep it very cold. They should they charge 3 bucks more a sixer.

Leinekugels Oktoberfest is a German style Marzen. Delicious! I love Octoberfest Beers. Sunday night wifey is taking me to North By Northwest Microbrewery for beer and German food and music. I'm getting a Howler (an apothecary decanter....er ...pitcher of beer & you can take the pitcher home). Don't know what I'll get. They have a beer made with a special flowering Arcadian hops that has an interesting aftertaste to it....maybe....

Cheers!

• Author

monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

This weekend's beer is rather sad. My wife brought home some special brew for the gluten intolerant person. I suspect a gluten allergy, so I am removing it from my diet. Alas, wheat and barley are in most beers.

So the beer this weekend is Redbridge made by Anheuser Busch. It is a gluten free sorghum beer. I hope you never HAVE to drink this. Though tolerable, I could never subsist on a diet of this beer.

Raise a glass, and send your prayers to the god of suds, that I do NOT have a gluten intolerance. I shall surely die without my beer, and I would rather suffer unto death than part company with wheat and barley beer.

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monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

This weekend, I was listening to great bands and drinking a German beer called WARstiener Dunkle. Awesome dark brew. I was in a small tourist community called Gruene (pronounced Green) along one of the few white water rivers in Texas, called the Guadalupe.

I had Reuban sandwhich 4 inches thick with a cold one, and walked a beautiful cobblestone and cedar chip path sprinkled with Texas Madrone, mesquite, Magnolia and Cypress trees. The landscapping was awesome with Yellow Bells, Blue Plumbagos, Butterfly Bushes, Salvia Gregi and Scarlet Spires to mention a few.

I walked right by Dusty Hill of ZZ Top on the way out of there.

Wish you could have been there!

• Author

monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

This weekend's beer is Shiner Holiday Cheer. My wife brought it home for me and the lad. I haven't had a Shiner I didn't like, although this one is my least favorite. Why? Because it has pecan and peaches in it. Not that I don't like fruit or nuts, just not in my suds. It is a Dunkelweizen, whatever that is (look it up yourself). What I know for sure is that it is a dark ale, a malted wheat and barley brew.

Holiday Cheer presents a thick frothy head and a dark caramel and pecan color. It has a fruity sweet aroma, unbeer like in my opinion, and not what I am looking for. Do you want me to tell you what kind of food it goes with? Probably pecan pie and peach cobbler. What do I know?

Who gives a rip what I think anyways? I suppose some do, and they expect me to give the whole wine like, adjective-filled poetic drivel. That's a bunch of subjective bullshit if you ask me. As the good Sargeant says, "Just the facts ma'am, just the facts." That's what you'll (mostly) get from me.

Cheers! Enjoy life. Lift your glass and celebrate, why? Because...

We're not doers we're beers!

• Author

monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

This week is a continuation from last weekend in preparation for going to Frankfurt next May. Frances McDowdal told me that they drink out of large two liter steins. Hopefully I'll be in shape, and prepared for the heavy lifting.

For me, there's no science, or art to drinking beer. It's a way of life. I'm not a Connoisseur, I'm a beer lover. I don't have a sophisticated palette, or refined taste, I have cravings. I don't drink out of beer glasses holding my little finger out. I drink out of the bottle. I don't carefully pour the beer down the inside of the glass to avoid the foam. I drink the foam! Do I savor the flavor? Hell no! After waiting all week, I gulp down that beer like I was my cousin the elephant, traveling all year across the Savannah just to get to the fermented berries of the Marula Tree!

Don't believe National Geographic who want you to believe elephants don't get drunk:

Take it from an Old World Monkey, all animals like to get a drunk on from time to time:

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2011/09/th

But of course, these guys read each others journals, and eat/drink from the same trough, so what did you expect from the Smithsonian?

Now on to Beck's Dark. It's what I'm drinking (no, I don't imbibe beer, I drink it) this weekend. And Monday I'll probably be weak at both ends. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it! Else, how would anyone know what to think, if not for the MonkE.?

Beck's Dark is brewed in St. Louis, MO. at the Braurerei Beck & Co brewery. It orginated in Bremen, Germany. How do I know?

Because it's written on the bottle. Would they lie on a beer bottle? Some things are sacred, after all. Some things one can just rely on. I say it is the beer label. There have to be laws after all. One can't just say whatever they want about beer.

On the six pack it says Beck's Dark is German Quality, and "Brewed Under the German Purity Law Of 1516." So, I am assured that t s pure as the driven snow. The reason that they say all this on the bottle, of course, is because it is NOT a German beer at all. It is an American beer, born in America, brewed in America, and bottled in America.

Why does it say German all over the bottle and packaging? Because they copied a German recipe, no doubt. Even Americans are smart enough to know when to do this. If you copy a great brew, you get a great brew.

OK, so here goes, I'm opening the bottle right now. For your edification, I will pour it into a glass. Failing eyes didn't see that bottle was green until I poured out some of the dark liquid. Woah! what a foamy head on it. A brownish color foam, not like those lilly white foams on other beers. A 50% ratio of foam to beer in the glass. Don't know what that means really, someone care to clue me in?

Not gonna tell what the IBU is (International Bitterness Unit) I find that not unlike a rubber ruler, as there are high bitterness unit beers that taste sweet to me, and low bitterness unit beers that taste bitter. No strong smell (not aroma-smell damn it, beer has a smell to it). Second pour foam ratio is 2/3rds to 1/3rd foam. Hey, I'm making this up as I go along. What'd you expect?

Conclusion: Probably go well with a Country Fried Steak! I like it, and if MonkE likes, you will too! (sure Monk, sure).

Raise your glass and celebrate life! Because...

We aren't human Doers, we're human Beers!

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monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

This weeks beer choice, comes unexpectedly! Typically, we don't drink beer during the winter months. Starting after Thanksgiving we switch to our favorite hard liquor, the resume our beer drinking in the spring.

Mt wife's choice was Anisette, my son's was a Japanese Plum Wine, and mine was a Highland Scotch.

Unexpectedly, Mrs. Mind was too tired to prepare a meal, and didn't want me to, as I make such a mess. So we went out to the new Mexican Restaurant, Dos Salsas. (Two [Hot] Sauces).

Damn buena comida. [Damn good food.] I had the Carne Asada. [Steak] With napolitas, [Cactus sauteed in vinegar and chile oil]. Fried rice and Charro beans.

The beer of choice was Modelo Negro. My wife had a Dos Equis but didn't like it and returned it for a Pacifico. The Dos Equis was the not the Especial and a a draft beer had little flavor. The Pacifico is a light flavored and colored beer that goes well with most any Mexican food. All beers came with a wedge of lime. I'm stuffed, and hapy and slightly buzzed. We all had to use take home containers, because of the generous portions, and the fact that we drank too much beer.

I impressed my wife by telling the waitress:

Nosotros gustamos la comida, pero me dweli el estomago poquito. Mas que cerveza! I don't know if I said, or spelled this right, but what I meant was: "We liked the food, but my stomach hurts a little. Too much beer!"

Lift your glass, enjoy life, because...

we're not doors were beers!

• Author

monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

I meant to mention that we extended this years beer drinking season because of the hottest year in recorded history for central US, and the second driest since the dust bowl.

It made it down to 20 degrees in some of the outlying areas.

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monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

Brew & You's Special New Year's Eve Edition - Bringing Use The Brews In The News

Or, should I say Microbreweries in the News? I don't know about your neck of the woods, but in Austintatious we have Micro-breweries popping up all over the place. A great way to check out what's popping in your town is the Brewing News:

http://www.brewingnews.com/

Last time I checked, Austin had 15 Microbreweries, with more in the works. The laws are strange, and varied when it comes to booze, so one can't always find the microbrewery nearest them. For instance there is a burger stand that makes their own beer called Whip In. Not the beer, the burger joint is called Whip In. They can not advertise that they make, and sell their own beer. If you figure out why this is, let me know. It'll be a while before I can drink my way to that side of town.

This week we all had colds so we stayed in tonight. No matter how sick I am There's no way I'm bringing in the New Year without a few brewskys. I mustered up enough strength to haul a 12 pack of Shiner, the Shiner Family Reunion and a large bottle of Stella Artois. The twelver has Shiner's mainstay, Bock, Black Lager, Blonde, brewer's Pride Selection, Hefeweizen, Kosmo, and a special guest beer called Prickly Pear . I can't do everything for you, remember I'm under the weather, so you'll have to look these up for yourself if I haven't already covered them for you.

Anyways, this is supposed to be about Microbreweries. Last week we went out for dinner, and a movie. The place was called Flix Brewhouse. They had 50 local brews including 11 of their own. We watched Les Miserables while eating Ten Day Scottish Ale Green Chile Stew. Awesome large hunks of tender beef cooked with carrots, onions, and green chilies. Delicious!

My choice of beer was the 10 Day Scottish Ale (also in the stew). Awesome 8 percenter. Apparently the beer is pretty powerful because I actually enjoyed watching Wolverine, and the Gladiator singing to each other. Who'd a thunk it?!?

If there are microbreweries in your home town, frequent often and don't forget to celebrate and raise your glass...because

We're not doers were beers!

Happy New Years! Wishing you and Yours the greatest year of your life...until the next one!

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monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

This abbreviated, less inebriated, version of Brew & You is brought to you by Dos Equis.

It was rather warm today in the Southwest, so I took a trip to the Ice House for a quart of XX Lager Especial. I chose the Dos Equis over the Corona Familiar for only one reason. The bottle is green. I prefer beer that comes in a green bottle over beer that comes in a brown bottle. Don't ask why because I don't know. There is no science to my drinking. The only thing that I have down to a precision is this: every time my hand flies up, my mouth flies open. Every time I pee my fly goes down...first.

Oddly enough, I purchased the brown refillable Growler at the brewhouse over the green one. Does the beer taste different coming out of a green bottle?

So what is an Ice House, you ask? We call convenience stores Ice Houses, because they used to be called that ...because they sold primarily ICE, and beer and cigarettes. Then they added all this other unessential shit like bread and milk. Now there's no end to, "Honey run down to the Ice House and get some milk."

Screw 7-11's and Wag-A-Bags. Just keep the beer cold, that's all I frickin' ask.

Have a cold one on me, and don't forget to lift your bottle up and celebrate life, because....

We're not doers, were beers!

• Author

monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

I forgot to mention that the doctor said that I am NOT wheat intolerant. Praise the God of Grog!

Of course, we don''t have purity laws, and the breweries make a lot of wheat and barley brews. I heard that in 1989, even Germany allows breweries to make wheat beers, but most of their 1500 some-odd breweries stick to the German Purity Laws.

• Author

monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

Brew & You presents: Beer College. Let's go to school, ya'll!

In this weeks humble offering, I would like to talk less specifically about a particular beer, and more generally about beers...in general. In particular...Specific gravity.

So iron your cap and gown, and prepare to graduate into the real world of beer. I'll put on an authoritative appearance, to get you into the right frame of mind to be brainwashed. If I'm going to have my brain washed, I'd prefer it be with beer! Just so you don't think Beer College is boring, we'll start with our Alma mater:

It's of dear grog to you I'll sing

And to dear grog I'll always cling

I like my cup filled to the brim

And I'll drink all you'd like to bring

And its oh dear grog thou art my darling

And my joy both night and morning!

Beer 'has' gravity. Yes specific gravity is very important to brewing. During the fermenting process, the *wort density changes as the yeast converts the sugars to alcohol. The beginning gravity (called Oringinal Gravity[OG]) is compared to the the Final Gravity (FG). So what we are saying is the specific gravity during the fermentation process, the OG & FG, is talking about the ratio of sugar to alcohol. The alcohol by volumn (ABV) is figured by comparing the OG to the FG.

For you philosphers, there are several scales for the OG, but the Europeans mostly use the Plato scale. Since the wort is also the term used in wine making, and we are talking philosophy here, here's a quote from Louis Pasteur who invented the pasteurization process, "A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world."

For you math-heads out there: In purely technical terms, "specific gravity is the ratio of the density of a sample to the density of water." It is expressed by this formula:

SG_\text{true} = {\rho_\text{sample} \over \rho_\text{water}}

What are the effects of gravity? Specifically, Specific Gravity...try to stay focused please. Well, it may have more to do with one's particular tastes than the actual ABV number. Or shall I say, the ABV may have something to do with how the beer tastes, but I prefer the higher ABV brews for more economical reasons. The higher the ABV, the lower the beer per buzz ratio. IOW, if you're not tracking, it takes me less beer to get a buzz, and that saves me money!

Far more important, IMHO, is the attravitve force of beer that increases the number of ladies gravitating to the Pub, or micro brewery. I'm not chasing women, I'm married (and usually Mrs Mind is with me). I'm there to drink! There's an old saying, and it might get me in trouble, but what the hell..."A woman is as old as she looks, but a man isn't old until he stops looking!"

One last item before all this knowledge goes to your head (really the most important thing is the head on the beer) and that is the International Bitterness Unit (IBU). Personally, I find this to be a rubber ruler, and practically useless information. By rubber ruler, I mean that one can drink a beer that has a high IBU, yet tastes sweet, and a beer with a low IBU that tastes bitter. My wife claimed that she doesn't like bitter beers, like some of the heavy wheaty brews, yet one of her favorite beers has an IBU of 100. Not sure what is behind this IBU, but suspect that it may not only be related to gravity, but something else like the type of hops and additives.

We'll look at this with a bit more depth next class, and also cover Ales, and Lagers. Until then, there is no homework assignment (as if you needed one).

So lift your bottle, or mug of grog, and celebrate life...because....together now:

"We're not doers, we're beers!"

*What is wort? For the love of beer man! Look it up yourself.

• Author

monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

Welcome to this week's installment of Brew & You's Beer College.

In wine there is wisdom

In beer there is strength

In water there is bacteria - German

OK, I said we'd talk a bit more about the IBU. To tell the truth I'm lazy today, and bored with the IBU. So...Here is what

wikia has to say about it:

"The International Bitterness Units scale, or simply IBU scale, provides a measure of the bitterness of beer, which is provided by the hops used during brewing. An IBU is measured through the use of a spectrophotometer and solvent extraction.

It is not equivalent to one part per million of isohumulone or isomerized alpha acid as is sometimes reported. Instead it is the result of an empirical formula whose development was based on tasting beer samples and correlating the perceived bitterness to a measured value which represented the total concentration of bitter compounds in the beer."

http://beer.wikia.com/wiki/International_Bitternes

See? It's too subjective as it uses an empirical formula (read opinion based on some foam head named Joe's perception. So let's forget that and move on to something else. Well, one last thing that may explain why a higher IBU tastes less bitter than another brewery's lower IBU rated beer. Remember I told you last week that during the fermentation process the ABV is a result of the ratio of QG to FG? As the sugar breaks down into alcohol, it stands to reason there is less sugar in the beer with the higher ABV beers. I have noticed that a beer with a higher alcohol by volume MAY taste more bitter. BUT this is not necessarily true, because of the kind of hops used, and additives like citrus, or fruit. There are a variety of hops with varying sweetness, and sometimes they use the flower head of a particular hop. IBU is not a very good indicator of the bitterness, IMO.

Moving right along...

There are two broad categories of beer, and that is the Ales, and the Lagers. It has to do with the fermenting process, and the stability of the yeast. The colder temperatures cause the yeast to settle to the bottom, hence:

Ale- is top-fermented -higher temp...faster fermenting process

Lager- is bottom fermented -lower temp...slower fermenting process

Ales are pales, or ambers, and also wheat beers, stouts, and porters. You usually drink these at a higher temperature than the Lagers. Preferably around 50 degrees F.

The lagers typically are less fruity than ales. IOW, typically not as sweet. Examples are Bocks, Dopplebocks, Marzens, and Pilsners, to name a few. These taste best served at 40-45 degrees F.

Pilsners are the most popular beer in the US, but with all the micro, nano, and craft breweries popping up, there are plenty others to choose from. And speaking of that, next week we will cover macro, micro, nano, and craft breweries.

Now, let's dispense with the stinkin thinkin, and get on with the drinkin!

I had a wide variety of beers this week.

My bro-n-law gave me a couple of Warsteiner Oktoberfests - A Marzen. Germany has 5 types of beers. I hope to drink them all,

so I can tell you about them. I've had the Marzen, the Bock and the Dunkle so far.

I love the 6, and 12 packs that have a variety, like the Shiner Family. This week I purchased a 12 pack...the "Best of Belgium" It had six Stella Artois, and three each of Leffe and Hoegaarden.

Leffe - First brewed in 1240 by monks of the Abbaye de Notre Dame de Leffe. Golden ale.

Stella Artois - originated in 1366 in Leuven, Beligium as a holiday brew, but became popular year round. Stella is Latin for star. A lager with malted barely and European hops.

Hoegaarden - A cloudy wheat beer from the 15th century and a villa by the same name. A bit spicey with Curacao orange peel and coriander.

Last weekend after writing up the Brew & You, my wife wanted to go out and eat at the Westside Brewhouse. They had 51 taps

and 60 bottles. Wooo Hooo! I ate a burger called "Heart Attack with cheese" & fries, and had a flight of beers called "Taste of Texas"

Fireman's Four - From Blanco, Texas

Blond Bombshell - Conroe

Pedernales Red - Fredricksberg

Austin Amber - Austin

My wife had the "Taste Of Austin"

Stash IPA

Rogness Yoga

512 IPA

We ate, and drank at Whole Foods yesterday, and I had a flight of three beers from local breweries. Two lagers and an ale. I can't remember what they were called, but who cares? They don't offer these particular brews in bottles, so you can't get them unless you come to Austin.

While we were eating we each had a bottle of beer. The wife had Session Lager, out of Oregon, the lad had Brooklyn Dry Irish

Ale (care to guess where its from?) and I had Negra Modelo, from Mexico.

Beer is like sex, you can live without it but why would you want to? And...even bad beer is better than no beer!

Lift your glass and celebrate life ... because we aren't doers, were beers!

• Author

monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

Brew & You

Howdy hey! This is the third, and last in the series of Brew & You's Beer College. Sure, I'll talk about some of the technical stuff from time to time, like how different styles of beer are made, but you can't go to class forever! Well, I suppose you can. Here in Austin, Texas there was a man found on campus for decades. Multiple generations had gone to class with him. Everyone called him pops. He was in his 90's last time I saw him. He had been attending the University of Austin full time for as long as anyone could remember. If you asked him what he was studying this simester, he would say, "Party."

That's the kind of attitude that gets you far. He went to college for love of learning. It was a big party for him. Well, I drink beer for the love of it. It's a big party for me! Life's a big party. Let's get started, and may the party never end!

I promised last week that we will cover macro, micro, nano, and craft breweries. So here goes.

Macro breweries are like Anheuser Bush. Coors, Miller, etc. The big guys. They produce millions, and millions of gallons of beer every year (over 6 mil). These breweries own about 90% of the industry. Boo, hiss! Their beer generally tastes like piss (I'm told).

In the US, micro breweries can not sell more than 15,000 barrels of brew per year. That's in 31 gallon barrels. If you don't have a calculator handy, that's 465,000 gallons. Most of that (75%) they have to sell outside of their brewery. This is good, because that means many of them have other local microbrewery beers available, so they can have a greater variety, and sell more beer. Way to think things through beer guys!

A nano brewery sells a thousand times less. Geesh! Did I need to tell you that? Yeah, Americans need to be told that kind of information. We hate the metric system. It's makes too much damn sense!

Finally, a craft brewery sells less than 6,000,000 gallons per year, and can't be more than 24% owned by another alcohol beverage company.

Bonus: Home brewery. Hey, no one tells me how much beer I can brew. Well, they might, but I'll never listen. As long as I drink it all myself, or offer it to friends in my home, screw 'em! There are Macro Breweries that offer home brewing kits. Hey if you can't join them, beat them! Samual Adams is one such brewery.

So that's it. Not much else to say. Well, there probably is, but who gives a damn? On with the party!

This week I went to a play with my wife, called 33 Variations. Not my wife, the play was called 33 variations. It was story about Beethoven. Fantastic, enjoyable play with one of Austin's premier pianists playing the variations, and even some dancing and brief nudity. The Mind's are a cultured bunch. My wife proved it by ordering a glass of wine, and I had a beer. Her wine cost nine dollars a glass, and my beer cost 5 dollars a glass. It costs to be cultured!

My beer choice was 1554 Belgium Black Ale from New Belgium Brewery in Colorado. The dark foamy ale was delicious! Try it,

you'll like it! Or maybe not. How would I know what you'd like? Like Christians, or Atheists, there are no two beer drinkers alike. Or, so I'm told. What do I know? What does anyone know?

Enjoy life. Lift your glass and celebrate....because....(all together now)...We're not doers, we're beers!

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monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

Oh, yeah. That bottle top on the Grolsch... is what they call a swingtop. It' s a smaller version of what you may see on some Mason Jars.

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monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

This week's Brew & You brought to you by the Pope!

First, I need to report on the Duvel I had last Friday evening. It was the bottle conditioned Belgian Golden Ale. I didn't have a tulip glass, but my two lips loved sipping Duvel through the glass I did have! For sure one of the best smelling beers ever! Wines have aromas or bouquets, or whatever. Beers have a smell.

Something about the way the foamy head delivers the fragrance...did I just say the F word?

Anyways, great buzz for the less than two pints. I'm not used to anything over about 6% ABV, so the 8% was unexpected. Great buzz to dollar ratio. Will definitely do this again!

This week I tried a six pack of Spaten Optimator. It's a Dopplebock. That's twice the bock for the buck. It is a toasted barley malt beverage with a flavor similar to molasses and has an abv of 8%. Says on the side of the green bottle: malt liquor.

That reminds me of the Shlitz Malt Liquor commercial back in the late 70's. A matador is sitting in the center of a bull fighting ring at a small table. A waiter brings out a can of Shlitz Malt Liquor and pours it into the glass, then leaves. The man takes a long swig, and puts the glass down. A second later a bull comes up turns around and kicks the table and the man into the air. Nothing is said, but the image conjures up the words in your mind: Shlitz Malt Liquor kicks your ass!

The Optimater does a pretty good job too. Let's be honest, we don't just drink beer for the taste.

OK, I said this week brought to you by the pope.Thursday I bought an Italian beer, Peroni Nastro Azzurro in honor of the Pope's last day on the job.

Peroni is a pale lager that's been around since 1963, although the brewery was founded in 1846. A bit more carbonated and fizzy, with a sour aftertaste. Not one of my favorite brews. But hey it's fitting, this one wasn't one of my favorite popes either!

Good thing I went out to celebrate last night and got a beer bong to wash the taste of Peroni out of my mouth. We went to a restaurant that offers great meals and local brews. We had the Live Oak Large Bark Lager in a beer bong.

You can see a happy fellow holding a beer bong here:

http://brickhousetavernandtap.com/locations/austin

The beer bong holds 100 ounces of beer in it. What else did you think would be in it? It's called a BEER bong for crying out loud! Anyways we got a half filled one since we were having dinner. It turned out to be 5 pint glasses worth. It went well with my Drunken Pork Cops. Center cut chops with a whiskey glaze. Very spicy, and served up with mashed potatoes and string onions.

That's it for this week. Don't forget to celebrate life. Raise your glasses. You know the drill!

We're not doers, were beers!

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monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

Come to think of it. Five pint glasses is 80 ounces. The waitress said that the bong held 100 ounces, maybe she meant a half beer bong held 100 ounces and we got shorted! Someone call a mathematician and let's get to the bottom of this!

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monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

This week's Brew & You is brought to you by Guiness

Guiness Black Lager to be exact. Rick Chandler is always talking about Guiness, so I asked Mrs Mind to pick up a six pack yesterday, since she was shopping for groceries.

The Irish like to drink, and they really know how to brew a great Grog! BY grog, I mean alcoholic beverage, not weak beer (as it used to mean). The Guiness is anything but weak in flavor. The roasted barley gives it a robust flavor, but doesn't overpower the palate. The ABV is lower than I prefer at 4.50%, but the taste makes up for it.

Guiness Black Lager is cold brewed (well, of course it is...it's a lager!) and so tastes best chilled to around 45 degrees. I like to loosen the bottle cap and put it in the freezer for about 8 minutes. Be careful, if you don't remove or loosen the bottle cap and forget it is in the freezer you're asking for trouble. The Beer will freeze and that's not good, but the bottle can crack or even explode! If you do it right, the beer will have a bit of ice crystals that melt as they hit your tongue refreshing and bursting with flavor.

Coming up is Saint Patrick's day and I'm meeting my sister and her family at the St. Patties Day Festival for clogging, grogging, and celebrating my nephew's graduation from the university summa cum laude. He's a bright lad that graduated with honors (that's what summa cum laude means) and a GPA off the chart. He's probably too smart to let his uncle get him drunk. But I can try anyways! He's worked hard and deserves to celebrate heartily!

Here's the website if you're interested it the lineup:

http://www.stpatricksdayaustin.com/

Next week, I'll be continuing to honor the Irish by getting a family pack of their brews. Can't wait! See you then!

Don't forget to celebrate life. Raise your glasses, bottles, and cans (yuck! Cans? Really. Oh well. To each his own) ...because...

We're not doers, were beers!

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monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

This week's Brew & You is brought to you by the Irish

The beer choice was an 18 pack of Irish beer. They call it the Irish Beer Collection:

Guiness Draught, a nice dark chocolate colored stout, out of Dublin, 4.20 ABV,

Smithwicks Irish Ale, a red Ale out of Kilkenny, formerly brewed by the Franciscan Abbey monks, and

Harp, a Lager brewed by Guiness, 5.0 ABV.

A very enjoyable collection of beers that I had never tried before, at a good price from COSTCO. Great dollar to beer ratio.

Stouts and Lagers are two of my favorite styles of beer. Talking to a brewer from the Austin Brew House in the beer line, I discovered that different people prefer Ales over Lagers, or Lagers over Ales, due to the way our bodies process the yeast.

As you already know, Ales are top fermented for about a month, and Lagers are bottom fermented for about three months, and each are fermented at different temperatures. The fermenting process effects the quality of the yeast, and hence the individual tolerance to the yeast.

Saturday morning, I took a shower and washed with Irish Spring. It's a manly scent...but she likes it too! I put on a green shirt and headed to the Irish Festival with my wife and son. We met up with my sister, bro-n-law, and nephews at the gate.

We got stamped, and headed straight to the food and beverage line. While in line, my wife gave me her pint of Smithwick's minus something between a sip, and a swallow. My son had retrieved it for her while we waiting to get the food.

I had an Irish Po Boy and fries. It's a sandwich with corned beef and cole slaw. I washed it down with a Thirsty Goat, an amber ale brewed by Austin's Thirsty Planet Brewing Company.

After enjoying the Clickety Cloggers do their six dances, I had an Irish Goat. This is a Thirsty Goat with Guiness stout poured on top of it. Several folks nearby were enjoying a Black Cider (apple cider with Guiness poured on top of it) and something I think they called an Irish Bomb. It was Jameson's Irish Whiskey, Bailey's Irish Cream, and with a Guiness poured on top.

Watching the older cloggers indicated to me that, as my wife suggested, the cloggers are an aging lot. It's a lot of fun, but a dying art. Although it is mostly an American Folk Dance now, it probably originated out of Wales and England. Instead of wooden clogs, cloggers wear a tap shoe with a special moveable tap that pivots on a hinge making a stacatto sound.It reminded me of a couple of decades ago, when my wife and I joined the Central Texas Cloggers. Our teacher was John Grand-Daddy-Long Legs. If you saw The Best little Whore house in Texas, with Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton, John was the one doing the windmill across the scene. We got pretty good at it. My wife was a dancer, so I was happy to join her in what was something new for her. That way we could both start out on the same foot, so-to-speak.

I was pretty good, I must admit, but it aggravated an old knee injury. My wife had to stop when she was about seven months pregnant, we didn't want her dropping the kid in the middle of a performance. We had to dance up to the Teacher in a pair of battle boots, five sizes too large, to receive our graduation certificates. Although we really enjoyed the experience, we never clogged again.

Although I didn't drink any of the green Beer...I was little green around the gills this morning, speaking with a different accent ....and...If seeing is believing...I now believe in Leprechuans! I was formerly an Aleprechuanist. After enough Irish beer, it takes little ocnvincing that the little fellows do exist!

Thank the god of Ireland for the hair of the dog that bit you. Maybe your grandad told you, like mine told me. Always save a little of whatever you are drinking for the next morning. If you wake up with a hangover, take a sip of "The Hair Of The Dog That Bit You." Well, I wasn't really hungover. In spite of the impression I may give you, I don't drink to get drunk.

Yesterday was no exception. I only had seven beers all day. The most enjoyable part was spending an hour talking to my newly graduated nephew about the Scientific Method and various physics related topics. He told me in literature that one has to define their key terms before a presentation. It's called a trope. He said he gets so angry with folks that just don't understand certain things...so I advised him to get to used to it. Only a small percentage of people will ever understand anything.

One thing that I understand, is that we should always celebrate life. So lift your glasses, because...

We're not Doers we're Beers!

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monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House

Isle of Beer brought to you by Brew & You (Formerly Suds & Buds)

I went down to the HEB Superstore to try something new. It's called, 'Create Your Own Beer Sampler.' At the end of the aisle of beer (that's got a nice ring to it - Aisle of Beer...conjures up images of an Isle of Beer...) is an end cap fridge with several dozen types of beer. On a rack in front of it is a stack of folded six pack cartons. You get the idea. Of course a sixer costs more this way. Each bottle costing from a buck sixty five for a Texas beer to $4.95 for an exotic (like Duvel). MY selection consisted of two Germs, two Belgians, a Brazilian and an American. It's been a while so I need to catch you up a bit before continuing with Build Your Own. Of course, I embibed a few brews from various micro-breweries with names like Enchanted Rock Red from a restaurant and micro-brewery in Fredricksburg, Texas, to Black Lager at a restaurant and micro-brewery in San Marcos, Texas, and High Esteem from the Blackstar Co-op Restaurant and micro brewery, in Austin, Texas. Hey I get around! Far too many beers to review. Who cares what I think anyways, right? I mean what tastes like dishwater to you, may be sweet as honey to me. I like Porters and Stouts, and prefer Lagers over Ales. So what? You have to actually drink one and then the conclusion is yours to make. Here's my list in order of favorite to least favorite: Warsteiner Dunkel Guiness Extra Stout Amstel Light Paulaner Salvatore Double Bock Saint Arnold Warsteiner Premium Velum Paulaner Original Munich Premium Lager Moosehead Lager Samuel Adams Boston Lager Leinie's Canoe Paddle from Lieninkugels Grolsch Premium Lager Heineken Session Magic Hat Number Nine Icehouse Hey, don't look at me in that tone of voice! It's been about seven or eight weeks since the last Brew & You. I didn't drink all those six packs in one week for crying out loud! Although, come to think of it, that is doable...on the Isle of Beer where beautiful buxom women in string bikini's deliver ice cold bottles to your table on the pristine white sand beach overlooking the clear blue green waters of..."Huh? Yes dear. OK." Folks, be back in a moment. I need to take out the trash. So, where were we? Oh yeah, the aisle of beer mix and match. As I was saying, I chose two Belgian beers, Leffe Blonde and Stella Artois. I've talked about these before so I won't repeat except to say the Belgians have probably been brewing beer the longest. They know what they are doing and you can't go wrong with a Belgian Brew. One of the Germs was a Bavarian- Paulaner Hefe-Weizen. Hefs are not my favorite suds to sip because of the fruitiness to it. Sweet beers, I call desert beers, are not my cup of tea. This one was pretty tasty none-the-less. The interestingest beer of the lot is probably the Brazilian. Xingu Black Beer. I said I like Porters and Stouts. It's the roasted malt taste I go for, and this one has it. http://www.xingubeer.com/site/ Here's what one reviewer said: "Poured this 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a dark brown color, produced a thick off white head, decent retention and left some lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of citric lemon, dark fruit, coffee, chocolate and roasted malt. Medium bodied, not really a traditional Schwarzbier but it is worth a try. The flavor profile consisted of roasted malt, slight hints of coffee and chocolate. It was a little thin. Overall, decent- not great." Freakin moron! There's no chocolate or fruit in there. See why I don't like reviews? It's made with corn and manioc. Manioc is a tropical shrub (also called cassava) cultivated for its edible root. They make stews and gravies with it. Hey, I don't care if they filled the bottle with the Xingu river, and put parrot droppings in it. It has that roasted malt flavor I'M looking for in a black beer and a decent buzz for less than 5% ABV. AND of course it's not a traditional Schwarzbier (German Black Beer). It's made in the tradition of an old Amazon rainforest beer probably originating somewhere around the same time as Schwartbier (1557). What the heck is 'decent not great' anyways? That reviewer probably has his head on sideways, not just his hat. The other Germ I chose was Trumer Pils out of Salzburg. Guess what? It's a Pilsner - duh! It has a green bottle. That's nice. Brewed under the German Purity Laws. Water, Hops, Malt and Yeast. That's it! Pure and simple. Finally the American beer - Bass Pale Ale. It's actually a popular Pale Ale originating in the UK (we won't hold that agin' 'em) but brewed in the US and also in Belgium. Anyways it is produced by Anheuser-Busch and was my least favorite of the mix. The probabilities are 0.001 to 1 that you will like it too. At least that's my prediction. Btw, the Bass is touted as the world's first pale ale. Don't forget to raise your glass and celebrate, because... We're not doers, we're beers! • Author monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House Brew and You - Here's To You David! Today I lift a glass...er bottle of Horny Goat's Hopped Up and Horny! Sorry, I won't dirty a glass with this beer. Of the two major classes of beer, Ale and Lager I prefer Lagers. Probably my least favorite of Ales is the IPA. India Pale Ale. Too bitter. It's beer mixed with grapefruit juice, or at least that is how it tastes. The bitterness lingers on the palette. It's only redeeming qualities are the 6.2% ABV and the labeling. I suppose it's appropriate for the state I'm in. The bitterness of the passing of my favorite cousin, David, lingers too. It's not that we didn't expect it. We have expected it for thirty years! The doctor told my cousin he needed surgery for the arterial veinous malformation making up a fist size portion of his cerebral real estate. He suffered from many seizures and one finally took him out this week. He fell against the edge of the coffee table and ruptured his spleen. He slowly bled to death without anyone the wiser. He lay on the floor for many hours. But he did not complain of any pain, and had no bruises, or any other indicators that he was bleeding out. He repeatedly denied he needed the doctor and begged to be left lying there and that his wife NOT call the EMTs. She honored his wishes. She had honored his wishes 30 years ago whebn the doctor told her that David would die in a few days or weeks and surely within the year, if he did not have the surgery. The odds of surviving the surgery was 50./50. He declined. The doctor attempted to get his wife and mother's signature for the surgery agaist David's wishes. The doctor called Emily late one night and told her, "You're killing your husband. If he doesn't get this surgery, he will die." Fricking Dr. trying to intimidate Emily, but she held firm. She supported her husband's decision and he lived another 30 years. Had he not been injured in the fall, he might have lived another thirty years. We had a lot of great adventures, David Lee and me. We were the dynamic duo. The best of friends. More like brothers than cousins. Like two fingers on the same hand. Every family has its in-laws and its outlaws. David and I are cohorts in crime. We understand that rules and laws are made to be broken. We even make our own rules…just so that we can break them! David is the Butch Cassidy to my Sundance Kid. Summers at the farm on Knuckols Crossing road were filled with excitement and experimentation. Tasked with the job of burning the trash, Auntie Net would give us two kitchen matches. David taught me how to light the fire with just one so that we could light the grape vine with the other. Of course he knew to stand close to the fire so that our clothes smelled like burning trash. I also learned NOT to swallow the chewing tobacco! We were filled with sodie water, vim, and vinegar. If we experimented too much we were also filled with castor oil. We’d fill ourselves with Big Red and Dr. Pepper, and we’d fill various go carts, tractors, and scooters with gasoline. I never got my fill of summers with David Lee. I am the city cousin and he is the country. One windy day, David convinced me (and that was never a difficult thing for him to do) that we could parachute off of the roof. We climbed up top with a bed sheet, and waited for a big gust. When we opened the sheet, David on one end and me on the other, we discovered only too late that we were facing the wrong side of the house as the wind dragged us off backwards. It would take a bit of thinking and some practice, but we were not deterred. With wind going in the right direction and conditions just right, we finally did leap off the roof opening the chute as we did. The wind suddenly died and we crashed into the ground and rolled in stickers and spear grass. We laughed and laughed as we picked the stickers off of each others backs. This quickly turned into a spear grass fight, and later we practiced playing a blade of grass. David showed me how to hold a blade of grass between my thumbs, and if you blow on it just right you get a wonderful throaty squeal. Better than a Gazoo and nearly as fun as a Jaw Harp. AND …he can turn his hands into a whistle better than anyone I know. He lost some of the fingers on one hand but that just made him better at it! A few years ago I was playing my wooden flute and he was playing his hands. He was able to get an entire octave of notes! David not only marches to the beat of his own drum, he has always been the band leader I’ll always be in his band. This coming week, I'll place some of his ashes under our favorite tree on the old property. I'll cry a bit, no doubt. I miss him. Here's to you, David! To bitter beer and better memories! • Author monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House ‘Beers That I Like’ Who gives a flying flip what I like? Do you know me? And even if you did, if you haven’t tried the beers I like, you couldn’t possibly know if you’d like them. It’s sort of like the Johnson Pain Scale. If the doctor hasn’t kept a record of YOUR particular pain levels, the Pain Scale is worthless. Maybe after a few beers for comparison and evaluation you’d have something to go on. That is, if I think they are good, you try them, and then you think that they’re good, you might want to try the beers I like in the future. There’s still no guaranty. Why? Because it’s only my opinion. I try not to give them. I try to give, as the good Sergeant Friday says, “Just the Facts, ma’am.” WAIT! Facts are opinions from authority, and there ain’t none! Only beer drinkers. Who gives a rip about their drinkin’ thinking anyways?’ Maybe you prefer Lagers over Ales. If so, there’s a chance you’ll like Porters. If you like Porters, you may well like Stouts, and if you love Stouts, maybe you’ll actually like Guiness Extra Stout. Why? Because I like it enough to risk life and limb to drive in the worst rain storm we’ve had in months to get it? Or, because the Irish are real stinkers…er drinkers? No, and NOT because the mathemagicians will give you a high probablility that you will like it because you said you prefer Lagers, like Porters, and love Stouts. There is NO telling whether or not you will like Guiness Extra Stout just because Rick Chandler likes it, or because I’m drinking it right now and got soaking wet in the down-pouring rain to get it. It’s all very subjective! So don’t ask for my recommendations. The so-called experts really irk me. Another thing that irks me, is when a radio disk Jockey tells me how much he likes the next song he’s gonna play. Screw him! STFU and spin the records asshole! I want to hear the music and decide for myself. I also want to drink the beer and decide for myself. You should too. But don’t take my word for it. What do I know? Now, after having said all that I’m going to break my rule and tell you about all the beer I have drunk, drunken, drank, whatever, since the last Brew & You. I’ll tell you which ones I liked and which ones I didn’t like. Then you can try them for yourself and see what opinions are worth! Henry Weinhard’s Private Researve Northwest Style Lager – check Zeigenbock Amber Beer – check Ommission Handcrafted Lager – check Lobo – The Premium Texas Lager – check Brooklyn Lager – check Lobo Negro – check Guiness Black Lager – check Rahr & Sons Texas Red Amber Lager – check Horny Goat Blonde Lager - check Shiner Black Lager – check Third Shift Lager – check Hoengarten - uncheck Stella Artois – check Newcastle Brown Ale – uncheck Boulevard – check Samuel Adams Boston Lager – check Asahi Beer – check Spaten Munchen – check Premium O’douls – uncheck. The wife brought this pseudo beer home. It’ unleaded and shouldn’t even be called beer. Blonde Leffe – check Nineteen – check La Fin Du Monde – check Well, there you have it. Be good, if not, be sanitary, and above all lift your glasses and get out there and live life to the fullest, because we’re not doers we’re beers! • Author monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House Brew & You With the government shutdown, the likelihood of not being able to get beer is looming on the horizon. http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/north_bay&id=9281715 If anything can stir people and encourage a revolution, this may be it! It’s certainly revolting. Mostly affecting craft beers, microbreweries can’t get their permits if government officials are on furlough. I don’t know what I hate worse, the government officials still in office, or our (yours and mine) continually electing criminals. What ever happened to tar and feathering? Not sure if there are enough feathers on the planet to cover all their fat asses, but something should be done. I’d suggest throwing empty beer bottles into the Boston Harbor as a formal protest, but that would be pollution. With all the hot gas emanating from Washington, I’m not sure the planet can take the extra strain. OH WELL! Screw the political commentary, let's drink beer! This week’s beer is from Germany. Spaten Optimator Dopple Bock. That’s what I’m having. What are you drinking? Lift your glasses and celebrate life, because we’re not Doers we’re Beers! • Author monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House One of Texas' finest breweries is the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. This week I tried the Hefeweizer. Hef has a hint of citrus flavor. I bought it b4 I realized it had lemon and orange in it. I normally don't like the flavored beers. I was pleasantly surprised with this one. It has a bit of clover honey, but that and the citrus doesn't overpower the hops in this tasty wheat ale. So hop on over to your beer selling establishment and try a sixer for what ales ya! Tonight, I'm drinking an Octoberfest brew from Munich, Germany in anticipation of my traveling to Germany coming up in 2013. If there is one thing I like better than an Octoberfest, it's finding one in November! This one is Spaten Oktoberfest, and like all the Germs I've imbibed, this one goes down good! I don't know what Ur-Marzen means, but I know this: Yum! Tasty Beer! But don't take my word for it, travel on down to the liquor store and get you some so you can see what all the brew-ha-ha is about! Lift your glass and celebrate life because, "We're not doers, we're beers!" • Author monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House Brew & You Halloween is done, and all the little boo-gers and Hallow-weiners are home happily munching on their sweet loot and bouncing off of the walls. We stay home these days and miss out on the huge crowd of festive trick-or-treaters on 6th street. Our son stopped trick-or–treating well over a decade ago, and we got burned out after 50 plus years of same-o holidaze. Ma prefers ice-cream and I like pie, anyways. Still, I enjoy watching my wife enjoy handing out candy to little Frankies, Caspers, and especially Little Princesses. Last night she anointed each Little Princess that edged up to the door with candy and a wave of her magic wand. You press the button on the wand and it makes this melodic magical spell casting sound as it flashes colorful lights. Princesses and parents alike were delighted. I fell to sleep on the couch, as usual, content to watch with my ears as the small stream of monsters and pirates trickled in and eventually dried up. Not very many this year, but all the candy still managed to get passed out about the same time that I did. In the early 80’s my brother and sister and I went to the 6th street Halloween Bash. Sis was Edith Prickly, brother was Dracula, and I was a nuked out soldier. The green stuff was glow in the dark. (Pic below) My brother was a magnificent Dracula, I guess he was the one taking the picture. Growing up...we always made our own costumes. Apparently this year (pic below) was the one where the TV show ‘Scarecrow’ was popular. I’m the one with a plume feathered hat. I even started a gang at school with a few buddies called the Scarecrows. Of course it was a secret organization and we met at the tree house to plan our raids. Pantry raids. Panty raids came much later. Mom was great at making stuff with Plaster of Paris. We would sit in a chair while she took strips of newspaper dipped in starch and draped them over our vaselined faces. Then the plaster was smoothed over that and in half an hour or so we had a form fitted mask. Those days may be over, but I can always remenice…remi…recall those memories at will. But before I forget what today is…it's Stella Artois day! Stella is a Belgian Lager, that they have been delivering to grateful guzzlers for about 600 years. I’ve talked about it before, so you can read through the old posts if you want. Tomorrow is the Celtic Festival, so there will be more beer drinking, along with lots of music, dancing, and sports. I always enjoy the Log Toss. Nothing like watching large men in skirts throw these huge, several hundred pound (15 foot or 20 foot long) poles. Quite a feat. The babes love to watch this. I love to watch the babes! Let’s not mention this to the misses please. Lift your glass and celebrate life… BECAUSE WE’RE NOT DOERS, WE’RE BEERS! Note: To see the pictures go here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RationalScientific • Author monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House • Author monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House Brew & You Brought to you by Miller's new Lager, Fortune. After a hard week at the office, researching, reading, writing, publishing, and slinging shit, nothing satisfies me more than a few ice cold brews. Mrs. Mind kindly brought me some new lager by Miller, called Fortune. Nice dark, long-neck bottle with a simple label design. It is not bad for a major brewer like MillerSAB corporation. First time I have enjoyed one of their beers in a long time. It satisfies my thirst for lagers, and also my preference for a higher ABV per Dollar value. At 6.9 percent alcohol by volume and under 8 bucks, it's a bargain in my view. Raise you glass and celebrate life, because we're not doers, we're beers! • Author monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House This Brew & You Brought to you by SXSW and Rainey Street If there’s one thing that I hate, it’s an exclusive attitude, or prideful arrogance. Patriotism, as if my country is better than yours… That sort of thing. BUT I gotta tell ya, I dig my town, Austin, Texas. I’m sorta proud of it. Because if there’s one thing I love, it’s celebrating life. I do it at the drop of a hat. Hell, I celebrate Trashday! And Austin has lots of celebrations! Every year, for the last 27 years, Austin celebrates music, movies and more with South By Southwest. There’s a lot to love about Austin, Texas, once you get past the fact that it’s a capitol city. But Austin’s not just powered by hot air, it’s powered by music, and this year’s SXSW hosts over two thousand bands from around the country and around the world. The 2014 Music Pocket Guide has a 38 page artist index with an average of 63 artists per page. That’s a whopping 2394 musical artists! They were everywhere last night, and probably over 100,000 people were swarming like ants all over the 6th Street, Convention Center, Parmer auditorium and downtown area. Not to mention there were haps from Lake Travis to Towne Lake (Now called Lady Bird Lake - but I won’t call it that) from South Congress to North by North West Restaurant and Micro Brewery. If you never heard of SXSW before, you probably have this year because of the tragic event outside Cheerup Charlies Inside. While running from the police, a drunk 21 YO man in a stolen car crashed through the barracades and ran down 24 people killing two. While very sad and tragic, we can’t let that asshole dampen our spirits and the shows must go on! The wife, my son and I headed downtown for the festivities and parked along Towne Lake so we could walk up Rainey Street and toss back a few beers. Rainey Street is pretty new to Austin. It runs parallel Interregional Highway 35 from the Colorado River to Cesar Chaves street by the old Weygel Iron Works (now a restaurant with some of the best B-B-Que in Texas) and of course, the Convention Center. Before making our way to the Convention Center to check out the…well… conventions we stopped at the Craft house. Craft is a pub featuring dozens of Texas brews from Dallas, Houston, Fredricksberg, Blanco, San Antonio, Austin and more. I had the Double Brown, an extra stout beer so black the sun wouldn’t shine through it! Seriously, I held it up to the sun and nearly poured the beer out on my head, but I couldn’t see through the glass. At the Convention Center, I walked around the poster convention and saw hundreds of thousands of art by way of posters. In the music convention room, I picked up copies of Guitar Player, American Songwriter, Music Connection and Modern Drummer. I played an acoustic Taylor guitar and grabbed one of their Wood & Steel Guitar guides, checked out the mastering software, headphones, mics and amps, and talked to a few musicians from around the country. After picking up a few more magazines, like SXSWorld with a nude pic of Lady Gaga on the cover, Sag-Aftra and Culture, we all headed back down Rainey Street to eat. Because the restaurants were packed, with people lining up for as much as two blocks outside, we decided to go to the Whole Foods. Whole Foods Natural Grocery has great food you get cafeteria style and pay for it by the pound. They let you open up your beer or wine and walk around inside or on the patio. Upstairs the bands were playing and we decided to stay for Lisa Marie Presley. That’s right, Elvis’ daughter, formerly Mrs. Michael Jackson. I grabbed a sixer of Harp Lager and we pulled up a piece of turf grass next to some lovely lasses. I have to say I really enjoyed the band. Lisa has a great deep mellow voice and played a mean set of skins when she wasn’t shaking the tambourine. The band rocked slowly and got more and more powerful as they rounded off the set with a rock boogie tune that had me dancing and hollering. Of course, the fact that I had been drinking a lot of beer helped. A friendly couple next to us met up with some friends who wanted to go elsewhere so they handed me a cold can of Happy Camper IPA out of New Mexico. The next band was Last National and they were rocking the house as we headed out to the Parmer auditorium and Butler Park to catch Los Lonely Boys and whatever else was happening around there. Along the way were dozens of Pedi-cabs and Cars2Go electric cars, cyclists, skateboarders and lots and lots of cars and pedestrians. There's even this thing where eight people peddle it while drinking beer and wine. It's round with one sober guy in the middle who steers the thing! We even have the Duck Tours. A bus that rides around town lake and then right into it! It's also a boat! I embarrassed my family by doing my rock star “Heeeeeey Baaaaaby” routine to various young ladies as we rolled down the street. We decided not to go see Lady Caca, or Willie Nelson at a Jimmy Kimble taping, and instead headed home to rest in preparation for Saturday’s events. My sister and her family is coming up from San Antonio and we’re going to party all over again. Sorry you couldn’t be here. I’m having a blast and feel as good as if I’m running naked through the jungle. Lift your glass and celebrate life because…. We’re Not Doers, We’re Beers! • Author monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House Oh Yeah... Of course there were lots of movie stars like Nicholas Cage and Robert Duval around town because of the Hollywood stuff. But we just went to the free venues so we'd have plenty of money for food and beer. There's too much to do in the time we have alloted (three trips to town). • Author monkeyminds 3 years ago from My Tree House This Friday's Brew & You Brought to you by Pilsner Urquell As the name implies it is a pilsner. I can tell you all about how it’s brewed, its history and all that, but you can read about it here: http://pilsnerurquell.com/age-gate I can tell you what I think about the taste, the buzz, the overall experience, but who gives a fuck what I think? It’s all subjective. Pilsner Urquel claims to be the first golden pilsner (1842), and they ship it cold to preserve the flavor. My grandmother used to drink what she called Colorado Kool Aid. If there was a heaven, she’d be there drinking it right now. Coors. They brew cold and ship cold to preserve the flavor. But that’s all subjective. You won’t find me trying to convince you that this beer is good or that one has a bouquet, or any of that subjective crap. I do like it, but then I’ve never met a beer I didn’t like. Even if I did, you’d probably like THAT beer. So screw grading and degrading beer, it’s a waste of your and my time. All you need to know about it is that Pilsner Urquell is a Czech beer. They’ve been brewing and sipping suds for hundreds of years, so they probably understand a thing or two about making the stuff. You reckon? Pilsner is a pale lager, and this one has an ABV of 4.4%. It comes in a green bottle- if that floats your boat and even if it don’t! It comes in a nice attractive package of six 12 oz. bottles. Careful transporting it though, there are no separators holding the bottles apart, and get it home quick to keep it cold. Really, you newbs are probably wondering, “Why the hell is MonkE talking about beer in a science forum anyways?” Hey we don’t ask why, or reason questions in science…that’s religion ask your priest. Ha HA! Honestly, making beer is technology, drinking beer is an art, and talking about it is just plain fun! Things get serious in a science forum, and it helps to take the time to chill a beer and to chill out. Friday’s, if I feel like it, I post something about beer. It’s called Brew & You, formerly Suds & Buds. But you pot heads tried to steal that name, so I changed it. So what have I drunk/drank/drinken (I never know which one to use) since last we talked? Miller Fortune, Peroni, Moretti, Kosmos, Shiner Special Reserve, Brewer’s Pride Selection,Shiner Bock, Shiner Black Lager (all those Shiners came in a Family Pack…if I’d drank ‘em all at once there definitely would be some shiners, but I don’t drink and brawl), Nineteen, Moosehead Lager, and two others I don't recall. I put the bottle caps n a jar and then I remember what I had between Brew & Yous, but two don’t have anything written on them! Fuckers are messing up my system. I’d write the breweries if I could ever remember who they are. Anywho, don’t forget to lift your glass (or bottle) and celebrate life because…. We aren’t Doers, we’re Beers! • Author monkeyminds 2 years ago from My Tree House Blessed be the Micro Brewery! Recently, I took some time off to just enjoy family and do some serious beer drinking. Actually, there was nothing serious about it, except the quantity and the variety. As we arrived in my home town, Austin, Texas, the wife and I stopped at the new Ale House where we enjoyed the Big Chum Vanilla Porter. Although we had the draft, we discovered the canned version as a small nitrogen delivery device in it that activates when you open the can. So here’s something we haven’t talked about before (and hopefully never again): Nitro Pours. Nitro pours are becoming more popular at the Micro Breweries and pubs because of the way they soften the taste and texture of the grog. I won’t pass judgment on you if you prefer the soft edges of life to the cold hard facts of reality, sissy! Breweries add nitrogen to their kegs and bars add the stuff as they draft it to you. Anything to appeal to women and getting them drunk, is OK by me, but to my thinking porters are your choice if you like the toasted malted barley and higher ABV to dollar ratio. Why mask the flavor, and why cut down on the head? That’s what it does. Anything that cuts down on the amount of head I am getting is not going to be very popular with me! One Brewmaster (from the Blanco, Texas brewery that makes Fireman’s Four) sent out his minions to promote their brewery. They came up to us while we were drinking their new seasonal Porter, and asked how we liked it. I forgive them for what the guy said because the girl offered to buy me a pint of their Pilsner and gave me a coozie. Or, is that Koozie? Who cares? Anyways, the guy asked if my wife ever poured a Porter over a scoop of icecream. Holy Shades of Nick Nolte in Cannery Row, Fatman! You just go ahead and drink your flavored, pampered, headless brew, you cultured, Politically Correct, gourmet, foo-foo brew gurus, and I’ll continue to think you’re nuts. Taste is all subjective anyways, so knock yourself out! Moving right long… My wife and son and I enjoyed each other’s company and a few different seasonals at Austin Beer Works Brewery. These are the makers of Pearl Snap and Peacemaker. We tried the Gringo de Mayo, Griddlebone, Black Thunder and Spud Light. Nix on the potato beer…. Yeeeech! We had some freaky fries and danced to a Mowtown music making band called The Hot Sauces at the Lake’s premier hangout the Oasis. They opened a new micro there called the Texas Oasis Brewing Company. I had a Pilsner called Luchesa, which can be found around town and then we had the Lake Monster. Bingo! A strong Porter weighing in at an impressive 9.0 ABV! Later in the week I took my son to the Alamo Drafthouse where we enjoyed their Brackenridge Porter while watching Furious 7. The movie was a riot, with plenty of muscle cars and muscle men. The most salient point here being this: Duane Johnson’s character’s favorite brew is Corona and Kurt Russell’s favorite is the Belgian Brews. OK, that’s it for this one. Don’t forget to be more like me. I’m a responsible drinker: I only drink when I’m by myself or with somebody. Don’t forget to celebrate life and lift your glass or bottle because we’re not Doers, we’re Beers! • Author monkeyminds 2 years ago from My Tree House Brew & You What do Warsteiner Premium Verum and Hennessy have in common? A Depth Charge! The French Sub, Surcouf, avoided getting depth charged by the Germans as she was being refitted in Brest for a jammed rudder and a non-functioning engine. She snuck across the English Channel and hid in Plymouth. Read about the German Kriegsmarine at the French Armistace and Operation Catapult if you are interested in Second World War history, the Germans, the French, and the British. Anyways, what’s more fun than a German S-boat depth charging a French Sub? French Cognac depth charging a German beer! I heard about XO, a Cognac Beer and decided to make my own since the liquor store didn’t carry it. Here’s how you make one: Drop a shot glass of Hennessy Cognac into a glass of Warsteiner Premium Velum. Not bad, and mine is a weak 8.0 ABV either. Why go to all the trouble? Well, I’ve been putting on a little around the middle and the wife has been poking me in the stomach like I am the Pilsberry Dough Boy. I figure a few less calories couldn’t hurt. The only ways that I can think of to cut the calories, is to drink light beer, drink less beer, or drink no beer. Well, since “no beer” is out of the question, and I don’t like light beer, that left the less beer option. Now, I don’t just drink for the flavor, I want the buzz. Not drinking enough to get a buzz is almost as bad as drinking light beer or unleaded coffee, smoking nicotine free cigarettes, or practicing coitus interruptus; are all just plain dumb! I mean what’s the point? So high Alcohol to Volume ratio seems the way to go. Two ways to achieve this. Buy it, or make it. I like to experiment (hey this ain’t science), so there you have it. My Grandmother would mix odd things (like watermellon and salt) and when I questioned her she would always say, "It all goes to the same place." Now, I questioned the logic, but realized if you are too pig-headed to try something new and unusual, you stand to loose out on a good experience. Then again, I would like to have missed out on a few experiences like mixing Strawberry Hill and Vodka, or Cherry Kool-Aid and Everclear. Cheers! Lift your glass and celebrate life! We’re not Doers, we’re Beers! • Author monkeyminds 21 months ago from My Tree House Brew & You (Formerly Suds & Buds) Variety Is the Spice of Life So why not spice up your life by trying new and unusual brews? I have to admit. I’m the kind of person that says, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” and like most of us I don’t like change., therefore I stick mostly with the same old, tried and true, Lager, or Porter. Someone once said, “If you keep doing what you’ve done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve gotten.” I responded, “Good, that’s how I like it…things to remain chronically the same!” And another yahoo once said, “90% of the thoughts we have today, we had yesterday.” Can’t believe I just did that! Who cares what someone once said? Does it make sense, if so why? And do we check it out, or think it through, or, just Polly-parrot it until the bullshit becomes a meme? Apparently, we just Polly–parrot it until it becomes a meme. I Googled, “Someone once said…” and found 130,000,000 results. I went through each and every one of those results, and here’s what I found every single time: Someone once said, “90% of the thoughts we have today, we had yesterday.” Not one source told me who that someone was. All of those references were made by folks like Deepockets Chopra (he also said in the same paragraph that the mind was outside of the body) and other self-help gurus. How in the bajesus did someone count those thoughts and come up with, “We have an average of 60,000 thoughts per day”??? AND what poor bastard took their$50 dollars and wrote down all those thoughts?

Your thoughts purportedly race along at one every 13 milliseconds. 1 ms = 2.77778e-7 secounds. So 13 of those equals 3.6111e-6 per hour. There are 86,400,000 ms per day. That means one may have as many as 664,614 thoughts in a 24 hour period. What? That’s 10 times the number quoted earlier!

We have about 100 billion neurons. Neurons fire 10-20 times per second: 200 Hz tops. Any thought process requires a limited number, typically one hundred sequential steps, for completion. That represents 100 neural spikes with a switching time of a few milliseconds. Because you would need 100 billion processes to get anything done in real time, the human brain utilizes caching. Caching consists of recognition, which is association and completing of patterns. Most cognition consists of caching, and you piece together images or patterns rather rapidly - in effect, a massive parallelism. Hmmm, I guess someone COULD have 60 thousand thoughts in a day. But what WERE they thinking?

Perhaps, some people do think a lot of the same things over and over and over. I remember as a teenager I thought about pussy at least 59,000 times a day and the rest of the time was food, or whether I should kill that stupid shit that cut me off in traffic or not!

Anyways, what does any of this have to do with variety? Hell, I don’t know. I go off on tangents some times. But I have been thinking lately that I have been too much of a creature of habit, and decided to try something different in regards to beer.

My wife and I went to a new beer mart called Hamirck’s Market; Best Mom & Pop Bottle Shop. One may drive through, and pick up their favs, or go inside and drink a few to see what they’re like.

Since they offered a build your six pack deal, I cruised around and picked out 4 beers that looked interesting, and my wife got two. The old lady, who is always saying variety is the spice of life, got two different bottles of pumpkin beer! I got a Dopplebock, a Russian Extra Lager (whatever that is), a Pilsner and an Octoberfest. It was \$24.75 for that sixer! AND, so much for variety! We had Lagers, Pilsners and Porters. As usual! Here they are:

Mine:

Hecht Gchlenferla Fiche (Dopplebock)

Baltika 9 (Extra Lager)

Victory Festbier Octoberfest (Amber Lager)

Voctory Prima Pils (Pilsner)

The Wife’s:

Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale

Red Hook Pumpkin Porter

Lift up your glass and celebrate life, because...

We're not doers we're beers!

• Author

monkeyminds 18 months ago from My Tree House

Brew and You Christmas Issue

Hope there is lots of good cheer for you and your family this year.

I bought my son a Beer Advent Calendar from Costco:

You start at the First of December and drink one per day until Christmas Day.

All German beers. I’ve never seen any of them in the US. They are all labeled in German, and not intended for an English speaking audience.

I also got him a special mug that looks like it never empties. You put it in the freezer and then put your beer in it. That keeps it cold. When there is no beer left it still looks full with foam and everything.

He still has his Beer making kit from last year, because it’s a lot of work to make beer. It’s just so easy to drink it, that you really have to be motivated to do all that work.

Speaking of motivation. Craft breweries and Distilleries are exploding in the American market.

I’ve thought of opening a distillery myself, but then I’m too lazy. It’s just so easy to drink it, that you really have to be motivated to do all that work. Oh yeah, I said that already.

There’s a real interesting history of distilling liquor, and much of it revolves around the Appalachian Mountains especially during the prohibition years. It’s still a way of life there, but can get you put in prison.

Jimmy Jones probably knows a lot about it. Perhaps he’ll let me in on an old family recipe. Or maybe he can pass along Popcorn Sutton’s famous Shine. I think he was from around there. Or, maybe Barney Barnwell’s mash will be forthcoming?

Moonshining is an important part of American history. Probably the first woman to become a millionaire in the US was a moonshiner by the name of Willie Carter Sharpe “queen of Roanoke rum runners.”

If I can get my hands on a good recipe for scotch, I’d be tempted to make a small batch (for myself, of course). The large distilleries can not really compete with the small batch moonshiners in the taste department, and there is still a large demand for it.

Take some corn, barley, rye, peat and some sugar and you have the makings of a Highland Scotch.

You need to sprout the corn. Then roast the barley and rye with some good Hickory chips and ground the grains into to a fine flour.

Do not grind the corn, just add it to the rest of the ingredients. This is the mash. You put the mix into a barrel of water with a ph of between 5.6 and 7.

Add the yeast and mix it all up to a homogenous mixture. Seal the barrel but run a tube out through a hole in the tope into a mason jar with some water in it. When the water starts bubbling, the mix has begun fermenting. When the mash is not sticky to the touch, it’s ready!

Interesting aside here, fermentation illustrates an extinction mechanism. This metabolic process converts sugar to acids and gases to alcohol, until the yeast exceeds its carrying capacity and dies off. In this case yeast extinction is good for humans!

Now the mash is ready for the still. You put the mash into the still. This can be a copper or steel pot

You can bypass the fermentation barrels if you use the submarine blackpot still.

Hey Jimmy Jones, can you get me in touch with Jim Tom, legendary Appalachian moonshiner? I have some questions for him. Just academic, of course.

Anyways, you heat the mash with a 2 inch blue flame, being careful not to scald the ingredients at the bottom of the still. Don’t forget to seal all the joints from the pot to the cap to the arm and thumper with moist oatmeal or flour paste. We don’t want to lose any of that steam or alcohol fumes.

At the top of the still is the cap which collects the steam and redirects through the arm to the thump keg (also known as the doubler). The steam separates from the alcohol and this effectively doubles the alcohol volume for delivery to the flake tank, This is the condenser or worm. Keep fresh water flowing through the condensor tank at all times during the run.

After the mash reaches a temperature of 173 degrees F, the system will begin to produce alcohol.

When the liquid starts dripping out of the condenser coil at the end of the system, place the coon pecker in there to direct the flow into a jug.

The coon pecker is a bone from a raccoon. You ask “Why don’t we have a bone in our peckers?”

Well, that’s a question man has been asking since forever!

Be sure and pour off the first few ounces of this because it is mostly methanol and can make you blind or dead!

Using a hydrometer you measure the foreshot for the ideal percentage of 140-150 percent alcohol. The value goes down until, at the end, one has about 80 proof alcohol.

That’s it for now. Don’t try this at home, you might blow yourself up, or wind up in jail.

Enjoy your holiday and don’t forget to celebrate life. Raise your glass of beer, because although we sometimes drink shine, we’re not Doers we’re Beers!

• Author

monkeyminds 13 months ago from My Tree House

This Weeks Brew & You requires something a bit harder than suds with buds. This week requires something hard, and I'm not talking about my dick. I'm talking about W. L. Weller Special Reserve. A smooth bourbon whiskey.

Not that I mind talking about my dick. I can keep it up all night. But it's been a hard week. A hard week deserves a good stiff drink. So if you're gonna go getting soft on me, now's the time to cry in your beer. Tell me about how hard your week's been. I'll be drunk enough soon to tell you, "I love you man."

For you Newbs with Boobs, I truly don't mean to sound so crude, but I am so it comes out that way.

If you ladies think that's an apology, you and I need to crawl into a closet and get something straight between us! I don't apologize for being a crude, rude and socially unacceptable dude. Not on Friday night, anyways! Later on in the week you can take this up with me, and you'll likely get an apology or something like one. But tonight I'm gonna get drunk and blame everything on alcohol!

Anyways, this bourbon is the original sour mash Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey they've been distilling since 1849. It's likely the very first wheated whiskey, and American con...cones...conasewers...boozers have loved ever since.

It's smooth but not wimpy, packing 90 proof by volume.

Don't go limp on me now...raise your glass and celebrate life!

• Author

monkeyminds 11 months ago from My Tree House

Drinky Drink Drink

In honor of a friend, David, who is living in Mexico, I'm dedicating this Friday nite to Tequilla. I'm going all Mexican on this one.

Hornitos Anejo. Now I'm making a Maggie. A shot of Anejo in 6 ounces of Jarritos Limon (soda) and 2 ozs. lime flavored mineral water.

Hey! Not bad! After this I'm dong straight shots. Yeah! I'm honoring our member!

Stop me if you've heard this one...

This is a tequila drinking story harking way back to my outlaw days.

I flew 40 keys to a friend in Colorado. On the flight I thot about the bottle of Mezcal with the agave worm in it I had brought with me.

The idea was to get drunk with Rick and watch him eat the worm. I figured that who ever got the last shot would get the worm, right? I mean it had to stay on the bottom to the very last drop.

I figured that if I poured the shots right he'd get the last shot.

When I told him that I brought a bottle of his favorite tequila he was elated and agreed that whoever got the worm in their glass had to eat it.

By the time we got to the bottom of the bottle we were drunk as elephants on fermented berries, and sure enough the worm landed in his glass.

He started to eat the worm and I grabbed his hand. I said, "Hey the deal was whoever ot the worm made the other guy eat it." We argued for a while and finally agreed on a compromise. Each of us would get half.

There's a reason you should probably NOT eat the worm. The worm spends his entire life eating on that maguey plant he calls home. Something about that makes him a hallucinogen to those who eat him.

Here's to gusano de maguey, or to the Mariposa!

AND I's not a myth as some will tell you. Would I lie to you?

• Author

monkeyminds 9 months ago from My Tree House

Brew & You

You know what they say? When Moma's happy, everyone is happy, especially me!

I bought a build your sixer at Hammrick's Beer Market for Mrs. Mind. I chose 6 porters. Mama likes porters. I got a chocolate porter, two vanilla porters, a nitro porter, a small batch Lodon style porter, and a black butter porter. Yum Yum!

While I'm waiting for her to get home I'm having Shiner Bock. I call it chicken beer. One night I was at a B-B-Que joint and 6 people were ordering beer. As the server pointed to each one in succession they said, "Bock""Bock""Bock""Bock""Bock" "Bock."

OK, maybe you had to be there. Or, maybe you had to be drunk. But it was funny to me at the time.

I hope you have as much fun as I do with life. I'm like all serious and shit around here. Notice how I never kid around? But when the quitin' bell rings, or the sun goes down, or the sun comes up, or it's a holiday like Trash Day, I'm gonna try to have some fun.

Life's too short, to take it so seriously all the time.

Now let's get down to business. Let's have some fun!

Lift your glass, and celebrate life because were not doers, we're beers!

• Author

monkeyminds 7 months ago from My Tree House

Brew & You

This special edition of Brew & You is brought to you by Catalina Island. Off the coast of California, just a skip across the Pacific Ocean (26 miles from Long Beach), is a small island called Santa Catalina.

For 30 years, Art Good’s Jazz Trax festival has been held there in the little town of Avalon at the Avalon Casino and Ballroom. Mrs. Mind and I have had “attending the festival” on our bucket list for 30 years, and we finally checked it off this month.

Jazz Trax was celebrating its 30th year and coincidently there was another reason to celebrate. The Wrigley’s built Avalon Casino and Ballroom 87 years ago. This was bitter-sweet for me because my father just passed away at the age of 87. The Wrigley’s also built Wrigley Field in Chicago. Since the Cubs are in the World Series this year, the Wrigley’s were in attendance Saturday Night enjoying the music of Grace Kelly, celebrating Jazz Trax’ anniversary and the Cubs return to the MLB World Series (playing against the Cleveland Indians). The Wrigleys have a mansion on the island at the top of a mountain.

Of course, the first thing that I did there was find the beer. The island has a nice selection of crafted beers which can be obtained at the Catalina Island Brew House.

I enjoyed an IPA at the Lobster Trap called Indica IPA. It had a taste that reminded me of something I used to try from California…I can’t quite place it….but I know it has to do with something California is known for.

The glass was appropriate since I was having Thresher Shark just caught by the owner of the restaurant the day before. He told me it had to sit in ice for 24 hours so the muscles could relax allowing the steaks to tenderize. We ate a lot of fish there including Sea Bass and Yellow Tail. There’s nothing better than getting your fish fresh from the Pacific Ocean. I tried, but didn’t taste any Fukushima.

We enjoyed a submarine ride along the coast, and saw lots of Calico Bass, Baramundi and Opal Eye.

The Baramundi must of migrated from Asia and Australia, as they are generally from the Indio-West part of the Pacific. It’s a type of sea bass. The Opal Eye is called that because his eyes are bright blue opalescent. I jettisoned some food to the buggers and they know who are their benefactors.

The ocean was clear and the weather was fantastic. Touring the harbor via sub was nice but also above water was stunning. Lots of boats and tremendous sunsets.

Those are ways to get around the island, but there are different ways of getting around on the island. Mostly walking, cycling and Segways for the tourists, but the main mode of transportation is the golf cart. There is a 20 year wait to get a car, truck or SUV on to the island. The majority of these are Yamahas, Club Cars and an occasional Cushman, but here’s one I found customized to look like a 48 Chevy!

Of course the concert was three days of fantastic jazz artists from the Average White Band to Acoustic Alchemy. Our favorite was a young woman by the name of Grace Kelly. One of the best sax players I’ve ever heard, and a great singing voice as well. You may recognize her from the sound track of the TV series about detective Harry Bosch.

All and all, Mrs. Mind and I had a fantastic time listening to great jazz, taking in great views, breathing fresh ocean air, and drinking tasty beer along with a little Glenfidditch Scotch for me. Whether you’re there for a jazz festival, snorkeling, parasailing, fishing or hiking, Catalina Island is a great place to visit. You’ll likely enjoy meeting and talking with some of the 3,000 residents there as well. Folks are friendly, and the Island life is a good life!

OK, folks, that’s it for now. Lift your glass and celebrate life because we’re not Doers, we’re Beers!

• Author

monkeyminds 13 days ago from My Tree House

Brew & You

Brought to you by Draft Houses everywhere!

I feel for those persons that live in towns, cities or villages where there are no Draft Houses. Where we live, in the Austin, Texas area, there are dozens of breweries, mini and otherwise. Whether you are out for the brew, the food or the flix, there is always the opportunity to try a local craft beer.

I hope to cover a few of these, movie houses, restaurants, and brew pubs in a series of Brew & Yous. Today I'd like to focus on one of the premier spots in Austin, Texas called the Oasis. This huge facility boasts 5 levels of decks overlooking the beautiful Lake Travis. Folks come here to watch the sunset and try some of their own specialties like ....Lake Monster.

There are three stages, and cover bands like the Brews are always beating out some great tunes to dance to. Their restaurant serves up Tex Mex and Americana cuisine and cocktails. The Long Island Tea or Margaritas can give you the one two punch, so be careful, or you'll go down for the count.

The grounds are covered with phenomenal sculptures, fountains and gardens. There are quite a few places to spend your money, like a record store and a chocolate shop.

We are trying to drink our way across Texas, and by we, I mean me, but Mrs Mind usually comes along to keep me and the son in line.

The down side (if you choose to call it that) is that eventually you might drink yourself into the Pour House. This is a pub that recently opened nearby. Maybe I'll show you that one next week.

Until then:

Lift your glasses and celebrate life, because...

We're not doers, we're beers!

To see the spectacular images go here: