Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Thrill Is Gone

I had one of my two remaining Ballast Point Sculpins last night. Fresh, it is one of my favorite beers. Several months on the floral aroma, so prominent a few months ago, is much less pronounced. It's still a good IPA, but it's lost its magnificence. It looked great. I had it stored in my "beer closet." I think the closet gets too hot and might help explain the fast degradation. I need to drink my other IPAs soon. I have Stone's 10th Anniversary in the same closet along with Stone's Vertical Epic series going back to 04-04-04. The 10th lost its hop presence several months after release and I am not encouraged about its progression in my closet. I need to sample a VE to see how they are progressing (or digressing.)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blueberry Hill

There is a hamburger chain, Blueberry Hill, near our house that has $2.50 pints from 4pm to 7pm every night. We go here once or twice a month. It has a selection of local beers, and I usually get Coronado Brewing Company's Mermaid's Red Ale. They also have some AB distributed beers - Stella, Hoegaarden and Bare Knuckle Stout, along with several Karl Strauss selections. Apparently, Blueberry Hill swapped out Stone's IPA for Karl Stauss' Stargazer IPA - ouch. I guess it was too hoppy for some customers - double ouch. It still carries Arrogant Bastard in bombers, which I think I will get next time.

Update: The pours here stink. The waitress fills the pints and they come with a good one-half to inch head. Too much in my opinion.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I do not like Denver's Airport. I was there yesterday an hour before my flight. It took thirty minutes to get through security and take the train to my terminal (B), which was speedy for this airport. The Denver Airport has longest security of any airport I know because all airlines use the same security gateway. No time for Beer Roving. I was looking forward to trying to find some Great Divide. The one restaurant I saw that was selling beer had Bud Light and Coors Light, and the "craft" exceptions were Sam Adams and several offerings from New Belgium, not even worth a reference.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

The Laker's won, barbecued some New York Strips and sausages and had a Baskin-Robbins ice cream cake, all in all a dang good father's day. I had a Union Jack cooking dinner. The beer is excellent. I wish it came in a bomber. You can see from the picture that it is dwarfed by the imperial pint glass. Twelve ounces is not enough.

For the Laker's game I enjoyed a Lost Abbey Inferno. This beer is great. I am not sure why it is called Inferno, though.

It has distinct flavors, but is an overall mellow beer. It is true to its Belgian heritage. With a name like Inferno, I would be expecting something on the order of Lost Abbey's Judgment Day. I am trying to think of other Biblical-reference names that would be appropriate: Eternity, Epiphany, Revelation or Salvation. I don't know, just some thoughts. I'd like to see Lost Abbey brew a wild hopped up Belgian and call it Apostasy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Random Updates

Here are a few thoughts on some beers I had over the past few weeks: Lost Abbey's Inferno is amazing and worth a separate post... I was impressed with Kona Brewing's Fire Rock Pale Ale. It had much more flavor than I would have guessed coming from Hawaii. Note to self, trust taste buds not bogus assumptions... My second attempt at Port's Shark Attack Double Red Ale was as underwhelming as the first. I like the regular Sharkbite but am not thrilled with the double version. In my opinion, it's too heavy, has too much alcohol presence and too little carbonation... Lost Abbey's Judgment Day is serious. I shared a bottle after tasting several other beers and what a way to end the night. It is a flavor explosion with pronounced raisins. It's a sipping beer that demands attention. I would like to try this by itself (not after tasting four other beer styles) and savor it over a few hours. I have two in my "beer" closet as part of my second Patron Saint subscription.

More On the Pour

Here is a Wall Street Journal article on short pours and "false" pint glasses. It is annoying to get a short pour, especially at today's prices. I found out about the false pint glasses in Sacramento in April. At a restaurant (whose name escapes me) I asked for a 12-oz beer rather than a pint and the waitress told me not too worry because the beer she was going to bring was not a full pint. The glass looked like a pint glass but had a false bottom, as shown in the article above.

Short pours are routine at restaurants, especially chains. I had a short-short pour at Trophy's here in San Diego a few weeks ago. Short pours are not limited to beer either. At Sammy's, a local pizza chain in San Diego, the wine pours are abysmal. The glasses are small and the pours anemic. A glass of wine should at least last until your meal comes. The wine is full priced, too, with a glass of wine ranging from $7 to $9. If you are going to Macaroni Grill (as mentioned in the article), not only will you get a "falsie," but it will likely be a short pour, too. Eating at better, non-chain restaurants is one solution. I have found that local restaurants where the owners are serious about food tend to have better wine and beer, and the pours reflect this attitude.

It's strange that the article above mentioned short pours and false bottoms in Portland. When we were there a few weeks ago I was impressed with the quality of the pours, not a short pour in three days. I even dubbed a good pour a Portland Pour.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Cool Label

Here is cool label from McMenamin's Sunflower IPA. I removed the label from the bottle. The beer was as good as the label is cool.

Monday, June 2, 2008

We're All Union Jacks

The Baby's reference is obscure, but I found myself humming its Union Jacks while drinking Firestone Walker's Union Jack IPA last night. It is a fantastic beer and turns upside down my opinion that California's central coast is weak on hoppy beers. The Union Jacks I had had a strong, floral, hop aroma with a balanced bitterness that enhanced its drinkability. Its color was a clear, deep amber and its small head was tight and light tawny. I bought a six-pack in Ventura over the weekend, but would prefer it in a bomber. I have found previous Firestone beers solid, but not spectacular. Its Pale Ale is very good. Firestone Walker has outdone itself with Union Jack.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

48 Taps at Philly Airport

The Jet Rock Bar and Grill at the end of the D Terminal in Philadelphia's International Airport has forty-eight beers on tap, at least according to its menu. This is the most I've seen at any airport bar. I checked the taps and on closer inspection the forty-eight were mostly macros and foreign beers. The only craft beers I saw were one from Vermont's Long Trail, Vermont's Magic Hat's 9, and Victory's HopDevil Ale. Anchor, Sam Adams and Yuengling Brewery were also represented but are not craft beers anymore. The rest were as expected - Bud, Miller, InBev, Coors and their derivatives along with Heineken and several others. Sure it was macro heavy, but it still had more choices than any other airport bar I've seen.