Friday, February 27, 2015

Beer Journal #51: Dank, Aprihop, Slow Ride, Dark Penance, yumyum, Velveteen Habit & More

Lakemaid Beer: Miss Catfish
The Fisherman's Lager
Brewed and bottle in Stevens Point, WI

I sampled this lager on 2/20/15.

As you can see, this label has a photo of a lovely mermaid. I went to the Lakemaid Beer website and discovered that this beer is bottled with several different labels featuring the fish caught in Wisconsin with a different mermaid on each label. Cute!!

I found this individual bottle of beer at Woodman's in Janesville, WI at the low price of $1.05. That's the lowest price I've paid for a beer since I began my beer drinking hobby.  

Kalamazoo Stout
Stout Brewed with Brewers Licorice
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Comstock, MI

On 2/21/15, a sweet Saturday, I savored this beer.

On the Bell's Brewery website, I learned that the drawing on the label front was created by a local artist.

Straight off the label:
"Here's where we tell you about this full-bodied stout's delicious roast flavor. But really, you've already got the bottle in your hand so why not find out for yourself?"

My thoughts: As the label promised, Kalamazoo Stout is delicious.

Velveteen Habit
India Pale Ale
Ale Asylum
Madison, WI

I enjoyed this beer at Grand Avenue Pub in Beloit on 2/21/15.

Right off the label:
ALC. 7.5% BY VOL.
"Bursting with Citra and Cascade hops, this IPA has a juicy hop presence with a rich malt spine. Heavy-handed dry hopping lend a rapturous floral aroma that will linger on your palate as well as your mind."

My input: I contacted Ale Asylum to find the thinking behind the beer name and labeling. They responded with this:
"Thanks for the feedback! Our concept for this branding was inspired by the Velveteen Rabbit, a children's book. Our Co-Founder Otto Dilba rendered "Little Bugger" (the character depicted in the logo) himself and we're not quite sure what was going on in his brain while doing so but it worked out great."

I was thrilled to get their response and can't wait to visit their brewery.

Black Butte
Deschutes Brewery
Bend, OR

I filled my glass with this porter on 2/22/15 and loved sipping it during the afternoon hours.

On the label, I found:
5.2% ALC. BY VOL.
Crafted for explorers everywhere since 1988.
An opening volley, this pioneering dark ale signaled Deschutes' renegade intentions. Its creamy mouthfeel, complex layers, hop edge and chocolate finish personify passion-forward brewing.
Bottle conditioned to keep your beer fresh and enhance the flavors our brewers intended. This may leave a fine layer of yeast in the bottom of the bottle.

My thoughts:
I like this colorful and uplifting label. 

American Session Ale
Three Floyds Brewing LLC
Munster, IN

Twas 2/23/15 when I filled my beer glass with yumyum ale.

Borrowed from the label:
Welcome to flavor country. This pale ale has just the right malt backbone to support an explosive juicy hop profile derived from a new blend of proprietary hops. We hope you enjoy it.

My input:
The character on the label front seems to be in his own weird world with his scepters in his many hands and his two pink cats. I must add that he's entirely welcome to do his own thing while I do mine.

Dark Penance
Imperial Black India Pale Ale
Founders Brewing Company
Grand Rapids, MI

On a Tuesday afternoon, 2/24/15, I selected this beer from my stock in the refrigerator.

The label info includes:
8.9% ALC. BY VOL.
100 IBUs

My thoughts: To counterbalance the dark mood invoked by the image on the label front and the beer name, I included one of my whimsical friends in the photo. I've noticed that many beers tend to promote darkness and craziness. Don't get me wrong, I find some amusement in all of those labels. For unknown reasons, today, I needed to lift the mood. 

Slow Ride
Session IPA
New Belgium Brewing
Fort Collins, CO

My second beer on 2/24/15 (my afternoon off) was Slow Ride.

The label reported the following:
Enjoy by: 03May15 (I love a fresh beer)
Geared for sessioning, SLOW RIDE is cushioned with tropical aromas and fruit-forward hops. Ready, set, go slow.

My input:
I found a funny video on the New Belgium Brewing Co. website which I shared on Facebook. In it, a sofa on wheels really exists with people riding it!

CHEERS to riding bikes and other things!  

Czech Style Pilsner
Lagunitas Brewing Company
Petaluma, CA

After working an eight hour day on 2/25/15, I grabbed this beer when I arrived home. After going through my ritual of recording the beer name on my calendar, opening the bottle and pouring it into my glass, entering the beer name on my computer list, photographing the bottle, the glass of beer and an item of interest, applying the label lifter sheet to the label, I got down to the serious business of savoring my beer.

Label offerings:
Alc. by Vol. 6%
Like Adam and Eve, Isaac and Ishmael, Mao and Confuscious, Good and Evil, Day and Night, Hittites and Visigoths, John and Lorena, or Groucho and Moe, Ales and Lagers are as different as can be. Still, we must love each for who they are, separately but equally with liberty and justice for all. Cheers!

My input:
I love the unique statement that every Lagunitas beer label has along the edge of the square enclosing the beer name. I always find them to be especially entertaining.

IPA brewed with apricot juice
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Inc.
Milton, DE

After another eight hour work day on 2/26/15, I took ahold of this beer and wouldn't let go. I resembled the crazed rabbit pictured on the label, biting into an apricot. Work often does that to me.

The label told me:
7% Alc. by Vol.
2014 6th Annual Dogfish Seasonal Art Series, Jermaine Rogers, LTD Edition

My input:
The apricot flavor was subtle and appropriate. I enjoyed this IPA more than some.

Imperial Red Ale
O'So Brewing Company
Plover, WI

Today, 2/27/15, another half day of work for me, I selected this beer from my refrigerator shelf.

The label is close-mouthed. Finding no help there for the beer name choic, I checked on my computer for the definition of dank. Besides the one I knew, I found one in the Urban Dictionary. It states: dank is an expression frequently used by stoners and hippies for something of high quality.

Consequently, I declare, right alongside the stoners and hippies of the world, that DANK is a dang good beer of the highest quality.

CHEERS to everything in the world that's brewed.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Post That Almost Wasn't!

I glanced out the window overlooking our backyard and found the same old birds I've been seeing for what seems like forever. 

I wasn't motivated to get my camera.

Yet, as I considered my options, I changed my mind.

Look at that bird, caught in flight. I would have missed capturing that if I hadn't reconsidered.

Would I like to be thought of as the "same old Cheryl."

I venture to say that nobody wants that, including the birds in my backyard.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Random Selection of My Photos

All of the bird photos were taken as I looked into the backyard.

Our winter getaway on Siesta Key 

My sweet scented hyacinth

Lon had a camera long before I did. He encouraged me to get one so I could photograph the things that caught my eye. 

Now, I can't imagine life without the ability to capture and share my world.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Beer Journal #50: Winter Lager, Shine On Ale, Storm King, Pride & Joy and More

Winter Lager
Seasonal Brew
Lager brewed with spices
The Boston Beer Co.
Boston, MA; Cincinnati, OH;Breinigsville, PA;LaCrosse, WI; Latrobe, PA

I'm right on target as I drink this beer on 2/15/15. It's definitely the proper season for Winter Lager.

The label tells me:
5.6% ALC./VOL.
For brewery-fresh taste, enjoy before month notched, that is, June.

German brewers may have been onto something centuries ago when they created bold, rich bock beers for the winter. For our brew, we created a dark wheat bock subtly spiced with fresh ground cinnamon, ginger & orange peel for a deep smooth flavor that's perfect on a cold winter's night. Cheers! Jim Koch

Shine On Ale
Central Waters Brewing Co.
Amherst, WI

The sun still shines in February. SHINE ON ale was my brew of choice today, 2/16/15.

Upon searching the small print on the label, I discovered:
An easy-drinking ale made with Wisconsin-grown barley, Shine On delivers baked-fresh, bready maltiness and a bright, clean finish. Brewed to commemorate our switchover to solar power, with a portion of all sales going to the Midwest Renewable Energy Association.

A L E , S U N , E A R T H  A N D  S K Y

Anchor Porter
Anchor Brewing Co.
San Francisco, CA

I threw out my anchor, settled in my chair and enjoyed this porter on 2/17/15.

The label tells me:
"San Francisco's famous Anchor Porter brand is made in one of the smallest and most traditional breweries in the world by the Brewers of Anchor Steam Beer. Our old-fashioned porter is virtually handmade, with an exceptional respect for the ancient art of brewing. We use 100% malted barley; generous amounts of fresh whole hops; entirely natural carbonation; and a simple, natural brewing process that is like no other in the world. The deep black color; the thick, creamy head; and the intensely rich flavor of Anchor Porter, made in San Francisco since 1972, have earned this delicious and unique brew a worldwide reputation for outstanding quality. It is aesthetically pleasing and wholly superior in every respect."

Belgian Style Pale Ale
Goose Island Beer Co.
Chicago, IL

I waltzed with Matilda on 2/18/15.

Straight off the label:
Wild in character, a complex ale with dried fruit and clove aromas and a satisfying dry finish.
Belgian Style Pale Ale fermented with the wild yeast Brettanomyces Bruxellensis.
Bottled on 13OCT14
Develops in the bottle over 5 years. Contains live yeast. A sediment may form.
Serve in a wide mouth glass. 

Storm King
Imperial Stout
Victory Brewing Co.
Downingtown, PA

On 2/19/15, I enjoyed this glass of stout.

Label info:
9.1% Alc./Vol.
Enjoy by: 14 NOV 2019

Emerging from the deepest shades of darkness, a rolling crescendo of flavors burst forth from this robust stout. The thundering, hoppy appeal of Storm King subsides into the mellow subtleties of roasted malt, exhibiting an espresso-like depth of character in its finish. An exquisite blend of imported malts and whole flower American hops merge harmoniously in this complex ale. Discover the dark intrigue of Storm King, as it reveals the rich, substantial flavors that it holds within. Cheers!
Bill      Ron
The Brewmasters of Victory

Pride & Joy
Mild Ale
Three Floyds Brewing LLC
Munster, IN

Today, 2/20/15, I sampled this mild ale and found it to be not so mild after all.

I took this info off the label:
A classic session ale, Pride & Joy mild combines subtle maltiness with a soft, citric hop nose. Like all our beers, it's brewed for our own demanding tastes. We won't compromise; neither should you!


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Beer Journal #49: PsycHOPath, Brown Shugga', Old Fezziwig Ale, Satin Solitude, Robust Porter & More

Louie's Demise
Amber Ale
Milwaukee Brewing Co.
Milwaukee, WI

I enjoyed this beer on 2/10/15.

On the label I found:

That's local flavor.

Satin Solitude
Imperial Stout
Central Waters Brewing Co.
Amherst, WI

I enjoyed Satin Solitude on 2/11/15.

The label reads like this:
"A liplickingly creamy stout prized for its drinkability, Satin Solitude is crafted with a mix of specialty malts, from caramel and chocolate to roasted barley, to achieve its deep dark appearance and satin-smooth finish. Best enjoyed by a crackling fire on a long winter's night."


India Pale Ale
Rush River Brewing Co.
River Falls, WI

I drank this IPA on 2/12/15.

The label held this information:

Unfiltered       Unpasteurized

Bubblejack (under the king's bust)

Ingredients: water, barley, wheat, hops & yeast.

Robust Porter
Smuttynose Brewing Co.
Hampton, NH

On 2/13/15, I selected this beer from my rather large selection cooling in the refrigerator.

Stamped directly on the bottle, I found: Best by 6/08/15 and ABV 6.6%

On the label, I found this request:

"Come visit our brewery and restaurant at Towle Farm in Hampton, New Hampshire. And check us out online at for events, releases and great Smerchandise in our e-store. As always, thanks for saying:
Make mine a Smutty!"

My input: I appreciate the unique brewery name and the trio on the label.

(I use Label Lift to remove the labels from all of the beers I drink). 

Old Fezziwig Ale
Ale brewed with cinnamon, ginger and orange peel.
The Boston Beer Co.
Boston, MA; Cincinnati, OH; Breinigsville, PA

I selected and enjoyed this ale on 2/13/15.

The labels around the bottle neck and on the front were full of information:

5.9% ALC. BY VOL.

"Old Fezziwig Ale is in the tradition of special seasoned beers for the winter Holidays, and takes its name from the festive character in Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol.' This is a hearty, rich, brownish-red ale that gets its character from large amounts of specialty malts. These roasted caramel and chocolate malts give it a very full body and a smooth taste that's then spiced with a touch of cinnamon, ginger and orange. Happy Holidays!"

My input:

I like that a Charles Dickens character was honored. The festively adorned label is splendid indeed. 

Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale
Ale with natural flavor added
Anderson Valley Brewing Co.
Boonville, CA

Winter Solstice was my second beer on 2/14/15.

Straight from the label:

6.9% Alc. by Vol.

Bahl Hornin' (Good Drinking) since 1987

"Brilliantly clear dark copper color with a dense tan head. Caramelized malty and spicy aromas redolent of cinnamon, allspice, black currant, and black licorice. Pleasantly creamy with a silky body, sweet caramel flavor, hints of seasonal spices and a clean, malty finish."

My input:
A bear with antlers on the label; only in California? 

Brown Shugga'
Sweet Release Ale
Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Petaluma, CA

My first toast to Valentine's Day was made with this sweet release ale on 2/14/15.

As always, I examined the label and wasn't disappointed with my find:

O.G. 1.100    Alc 9.9% by Vol    I.B.U. 51.1

"We believe this Special Ale is Something Unique. Feeding Brown Cane Sugar to otherwise Cultured Brewery Yeast is a'kin to feeding Raw Shark to your Gerbil. It is unlikely to ever occur in nature without Human Intervention. And it looks weird besides. But it has happened and now it's too Late."

Net contents: 12 Fluid Oz's of Malt, Brown Sugar, Hops, Yeast, and Water.

Life is Uncertain. Don't Sip.

My input: What is there not to like about this beer's entertainment value? 

Intense Pale Ale
Wisconsin Brewing Company
Verona, WI

I had this pale ale at Grand Avenue Pub-Bar & Grill in downtown Beloit with Lon on this Valentine's Day, 2/14/15.

On the label, I found:

ALC 8% BY VOL    IBU 80


My input: I wonder if my brain looked like the one on the label when I left the pub? It definitely affected my thinking because I forgot to photograph the bottle with its label intact. Before I knew what I was doing, I'd ripped the label off.



Friday, February 13, 2015

Syttende Mai Run (Madison to Stoughton, WI) May 16th, 1981

Lon found this picture in a drawer last weekend. It was taken down the final stretch of a 20-mile run that I participated in back in 1981. The run was part of the Norwegian Independence Day celebration which is held annually in Stoughton, WI. 

By the look on my face, you can see the determination it takes to run that far; the many hills added to the challenge.

My time was 2 hours and 56 minutes.

Oh my, that was 34 years ago!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Beer Journal #48: Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale, Supper Club, Golden Monkey, Celebrator, Midas Touch & More

Indian Brown Ale
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Inc.
Milton, DE

I drank this bottle on 2/7/15 and loved it.

Straight off the label:
7.2% alc. by vol.
A clean, well hopped brown ale brewed with caramelized sugar and hopped liberally and often.

Supper Club
Capital Brewery Co., Inc.
Middleton, WI

On 2/7/15, I sipped this beer.

Straight off the label:
A Wisconsin State of Mind
Not Bad 

Golden Monkey
Tripel Ale With Spice Added
Victory Brewing Co.
Downington, PA

On 2/8/15, I met Golden Monkey for the first, and last, time. (That's because my quest is to drink a different beer every day).

Straight off the bottle label:
9.5% Alc./Vol.
A magical, mystical Monkey whose golden soul glows with the wisdom of the ages. This radiant ale is rich in the spirited tradition of Belgian-inspired brewing. Our Golden Monkey is both playfully delightful and profoundly satisfying. Exotic spice from the EAst rounds out this global journey to joy. Get on board. This Monkey's bound for glory!

Celebrator Doppelbock
Finest Bavarian Double Bock
Ayinger Brewery
Aying, Germany

I celebrated with this beer on 2/9/15.

Straight off the label:
6.7% ALC./VOL.
Dark, Malty, and Rich
Brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot Purity Law of 1516 

Midas Touch
Handcrafted Ancient Ale
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Inc.
Milton, DE

I savored Midas Touch on 2/9/15.

Straight off the label:
9% Alc. by Vol.
Handcrafted ancient ale with barley, honey, white muscat grapes & saffron.

Copper Lager
St. Louis, MO

I first was introduced to this beer on 2/10/15.

Straight off the bottle label:
5.7% ALC./VOL.
Proudly brewed with grains from America's heartland and toasted malt for a smooth, signature taste.

I didn't give this beer rave reviews but then, I must intercede, this beer only cost me $1.05.

Hop Head Red
Double Red India Pale Ale
Green Flash Brewing Co.
San Diego, CA

On 2/10/15, I enjoyed this double red IPA.

Straight off the bottle label:
8.1% ALC. BY VOL.
70 IBU
Amarillo Dry-Hopped
A beautiful blend, Amarillo Warrior Nugget Rich Caramel Malt Base.
This perfect ten is a HOP HEAD TURNER. A luscious beauty, Hop Head Red exudes resinous hoppy qualities from Amarillo, Warrior and Nugget to overtake the full-bodied depths of a caramel malt base. Captivating and seductive floral aromas and alluring hop flavors are the result of dry-hopping with mountains of Amarillo. The blissful union of Double India Pale and Red Ale make Hop Head Red an unforgettable obsession. Experience love at first sip. Every time.