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We are still alive!!! Despite a prolonged absence, we are alive and well. It takes a lot of work to keep our fans entertained, and to be honest, we are the laziest fuckers you will ever meet. That, and the fact that we have 3 members who are retarded and only 2 who are functionally literate, and you can see how this is such a chore. We are basically no smarter than a hoard of howler monkeys

Friday, April 30, 2010

Snake's pretzel hound rodeo

Thursday night was out for a meeting this week since some of the members were gonna be out of town, so we decided to move our scheduled tasting to Friday night. It was a remarkably pleasant evening, so the gang assembled on the deck at Snake's hacienda for a night that went down as one of the funniest times we have had. Fred brought over a plethora (Latin for a whole shit load) of beers for us to sample. Starting the night off was one that Snake's son in-law had brought back from Canada. Having a Canadian beer to start off was ironic, since earlier in the evening, Fred and BimBim had gone to the oceanfront for a few drinks with their better halves and got the opportunity to share a table with 3 Canadian sailors. They definitely were a hoot to hang with, but they didnt know jack about good beers. One of them ordered a Coors Light and exclaimed, damn thats good. Gahan Brewing's Island Red (5.3%) was the Canuck beer we tried, and it was a decent ale, one which you could drink a lot of, especially if you were catching lobsters off of Prince Edward Island where this is made. We rated it a good, and moved on to Fort Collins Brewery's Barrel Licked Bock (10.2%). The bottle said it took "14 months to get this bock just where we wanted it". Its aged for over a year in a cellar, and 8 weeks in oak barrels. This was a smooth, but very sweet bock, even though the label said it had "ephemeral charred notes". Everyone looked at each other and said, WTF is that supposed to mean?, Fred suggested it was the taste you get when you actually lick the barrel this syrup was fermented in. In hindsight, it meant a taste that was fleeting, but hey, who said any of us were Harvard English professors. Next was Olde Hickory Brewery's Doppelbock Lager (9.0%). This was one of the beers we brought back from our roadtrip and it was a native Carolina beer. Other than the UNC mascot, I never knew bighorn rams lived in North Carolina like the ones shown on the label. Maybe they were lookouts for ole Popcorn Sutton and his moonshine stills. Then again, geographical inaccuracies are often overlooked by us if the beer is good and this one was definitely good. Widmer Brothers The Original Drifter Pale Ale (5.7%) was offered next, and it was decidedly different that the bocks we had just had. This one was very light and rated a good, as one member said "tastes like a grapefruit thirst quencher". Next was a Lagunitas Imperial Stout (8.2%) which had a great story on the side of the bottle, but only if you can read a story written in a font that would easily fit on the side of a grain of rice. Seriously though, look this one up on the net and read the hilarious story of a "wild eyed charlatan in pre-Bolshevik Russia". Another solid beer indeed, so Fred then reached into the cooler and produced a Tucher Bajuvator Doppelbock (7.2%), an import from Bavaria (Germany for those that didn't pass 7th grade cartography). Doppelbocks are our favorite beers as most of you know, but this sure as hell aint one of them. "This sure as fuck isn't a Celebrator" said one while another said, "This tastes like an alcoholic Grape Gatorade", while a third said, "That's a doppelbock? No fucking way". This beer was way too watery to even consider it a bock much less a doppelbock. This is more akin to a real bad quad style beer than a bock. Sucks. On to Smuttynose Big Beer Series Maibock (6.2%). A self described "robust seasonal lager" we all looked forward to trying this "bottle conditioned in 2009,2010,2011, 2012" beer. WTF? Ummm, this is 2010 right? Are we about to jump in the DeLorean with Marty Mcfly for an episode of Back to the Future? I mean, I know the economy is rough and we all need to cut costs, but seriously, you guys are so fucking cheap that you have to pre-print labels 2 years in advance? Minus 2 points already...which isnt good for a beer that only rated a so-so to good. Try again in 2 years fellas. Next was a second chance for Fort Collins Brewery's Maibock (6.5%) which was rated a so-so on the roadtrip. This one was much better than the first and was quite tasty, without being weak or thin and rated a good. It had long since gotten pitch black outside, so we then tried Clipper City Brewing's Heavy Seas Siren Noire (8.0%). This is an Imperial Chocolate Stout and it poured like a batch of melted 80% cacao chocolate. This beer was a real stout, heavy and thick without weighing you down, with a hint of sour (like a dark chocolate) would taste. A solid beer all around. Since we were at it, we poured another dark as night beer, Terrapin Brewing's Side Project The Dark Side (8.5%) which was a Belgian Style Imperial Stout ( they take the fruity yeasts the Belgians are known for and throw it into a stout style beer). "Dark as the underside of Vaders cape" screamed the bottle, and it was velvety smooth, like a "creamy milky way bar", but the taste fell flat and it only received a so-so to good. The first one to finish his glass was Snake, who proclaimed, "I'm dry as toast over here!", to which another heavy battleship of a beer was pulled from the cooler. Full Sail Imperial Stout (8.0%) only got a so-so, cause it tasted like someone had poured the beer out and replaced it with a throwback to our old college days Evan Williams bourbon. Another import was up next, Schloss Eggenberg Doppelbock Dunkel (8.5%) which poured a nice mahogany color but didn't do much for us as it tasted a little flat but still had good flavor so it garnered a so-so. We we 13 beers in, and we had promised not to rate more than 15 beers since our taste buds were probably ruined after more than 10-15 beers in one sitting. We took a little break while we pondered our last 3 beers of the night and had a few snacks. We were all pretty well feeling the effects of these heavy beers, so J Wilder decided to get up and smash a pretzel rod against Bim's forehead. One of the members said, "I just saw a pretzel fly to centerville turnpike." (a road near our hood). This blatant assault with a salty weapon had sent a piece of pretzel flying 200 feet into the backyard. Bim and Wilder decided to go measure just how far it had gone. While they were out there, the dog of Snake's son inlaw went to help find the pretzel. When the boys saw Tucker, they decided they would try and catch him. Tucker is a rambunctious ball of energy and let me tell you, we bout pissed ourselves watching those two numbnuts out in the yard trying to corral that dog. Tucker looked like a 4 legged Barry Sanders as he outfoxed his two drunken foes. After they got winded, they brought themselves back up on the deck for the final beers of the night. Southern Tier Brewing's Jah-va Coffee Stout (11.0%) seemed like the perfect wakeup call. Supposedly brewed using Jamaican coffee beans, this beer had as much coffee taste as a whopper with cheese does. Nonetheless, it tasted pretty good, but maybe they simply mislabeled this one in the brewery. The next to last beer of our pretzel bashing adventure was Mikkeller's Beer Geek Breakfast (7.5%), another Imperial Stout. This one was decent, but nothing overwhelming, as it lacked any standout tastes. We then opened a bottle of Orkney Skullsplitter (8.5%) which had received the coveted RFG in Maggie Valley. The rest of the group enjoyed this one just as much, and Snake said, "Thats fucking good!". And so another drunken evening had ended. Pretzels smashed, dogs chased and beers both good and bad consumed. Until our next adventure......ride that doggy.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Longshot Night

"While the wives are away, the BC4M drinks more beer". And so it was another night of beer tasting. A few of the ladies auxiliary wing of the BC4M (otherwise known as the wine club for women) decided to have a night of bacchanalia (or lots of chatting while gulping down the vino) down at 10pm's house. Bim and Fred went to J. Wilder's for a quick sampling of this years Sam Adams Long Shot winners. Generally, two random folks and one Sam Adams employee are selected as the winners of Sam Adam's annual homebrew competition and then their recipes are made into beer that is sold to the masses. First up was Mile High Barleywine Ale (9.8%) made by Ben Miller of New Mexico. The bottle said this was the 100th homebrew that old Ben had conjured up. It might not be a well known fact, but the BC4M members have been avid homebrewers for several years, and in fact we were making beer (well technically it is beer) long before we ever thought about rating beers for sport. Several of our homebrews, namely CHC Best Bitter, Swamp Fire Ale and Pole-smoker Porter have garnered the attention of not only the E.P.A., but the A.T.F. and the U.S. Surgeon General for their toxicity to the general public. But unlike the lads in the BC4M, it seems old Ben Miller knows how to make a good beer. As resident brewmaster BimBim said upon reading the bottle, "Only his 100th homebrew huh, I hate that fucking guy already". We poured a round and all agreed, this was one damn fine beer, smooth, rich and extremely tasty. Next up was Old Ben Ale (9.0%), brewed by Mike Robinson of the granite state, New Hampshire. Fred said, "why the hell is it called old Ben Ale, shouldn't it be named Old Mike Ale?". This poured a nice rich head and received a solid good, but not as good our first longshotter. This beer had a robust amount of sweetness to it, not overpoweringly sweet like shotgunning a bottle of Aunt Jemima's maple syrup would be, but it was sweet nonetheless. Finally, the last of the 3 Longshots was opened, the Lemon Pepper Saison (6.4%) which was made by Sam Adams employee Jeremy White. When we (i.e. most sane people) think of lemon pepper, the first thought is probably a grilled chicken recipe, or maybe even fish. But oh no, Jeremy said, lets put that shit in a beer. If I was Jim Koch, the founder of Sam Adams, I would first fire Jeremy for making "grilled tilapia in a bottle", and second I would fire the numbskull who actually tasted this "Long John Silvers drive-thu special" and said, we have a winner. Whoever drinks this shit and says it is good either, doesn't drink beer, or has had his or her tongue removed. Fred took one gulp and poured his out, while the other two members drank their "chicken of the sea" and said this stuff SUCKS. Too cleanse our palates of this awful concoction, we drank another bottle of Flying Dog Horn Dog (10.2%) which is a Barleywine style Ale. We first drank this in the mountains of N.C. and loved it, but we had to have another taste. This is what a good beer tastes like Jeremy, and although not quite an RFG, it was very good. Since it was a school night ( we all had to work the next morning), we adjourned and reveled in the fact that we got to sneak in a meeting on a non-regularly scheduled night. Be afraid dear readers, you might be drinking our beer next year when we win the 2011 Longshot contest. Until then, Prost!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell night

After surviving the 20 beer blitzkrieg of our record setting meeting, the boys decided that an evening of cinema was in order. The resident literary expert, BimBim, had recently discussed the merits of a little book of supposedly true to life stories he had stumbled across. Bim said this book would be banned in most countries, and any woman that actually said she liked the book was obviously swinging for the other team. "I Hope they serve beer in hell" was the name, and someone in Hollywood thought it would be a good idea to turn it into a movie. Fred found the dvd at the local Target (or Tar-zhay as the locals know it). What better thing to do while watching a new movie than try a few beers? With no real theme for the beers, we simply cracked open what was in the beer fridge, a mix of previously drank but not rated beers and some we had never sampled. The first couple of beers were from Dogfish Head ( as you all know, we love the DFH), 90 Minute IPA (9.0%) which was incredibly smooth, for a heavy hopped beer, this is velvety smooth, and rated a good, on the cusp of RFG. We then tried the 60 Minute IPA (6.0%) which was good but not as smooth as the 90 min. The boys at DFH can make a killer IPA, and they actually have a combo IPA, the 75 Minute Johnny Cask that takes the IPA to whole new level. The only member to actually taste Johnny Cask is J. Wilder (see the attached picture from the DFH brewpub, thanks for bringing some back douche) and he said it blows both the 60 and 90 Minute versions away. Can anyone say Road trip? Next up was Founders Brewing's Double Trouble IPA (9.4%). These guys make some great beers, and we are still patiently awaiting the arrival of their KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout, the beer that has achieved legendary cult-like status as the best beer in America). This one was described as,"smooth hoppy goodness" although according to Jon Wilder, "it didn't make me all hard like the 90 Min did". A great beer indeed and to think, we hadn't even started the movie yet. If you have kept up with our postings, you know one our new favorite brewers is Oskar Blues, which has had 3 of their beers receive the coveted RFG. We tried their newest canned slice of heaven, Gubna Imperial IPA (10.0%). Boasting over 100 IBU's (thats International Bitterness Units, a method of describing how bitter a beer is based on the amount of hops used. The top of the measurement range is about 100, and this self-desribed "hop grenade" says it is over 100). We surely believe it. But let me tell you dear readers, this beer SUCKS. Even your favorite beer maker can fuck shit up, and Oskar is surely singing the Blues with this can of "onion flavored dishwater", or as resident curmudgeon Fred said, "this is like drinking a can of Roundup, only Roundup tastes a lot better". Fred was certainly happy he had wasted 15 bucks on these 4 cans of herbicide, but hey, they have a great batting average when it comes to making good beers. We cleansed our palate and then popped the cap off of Primator Doppel Bock (10.5%). We love the bocks and doppelbocks, but this so-so rated beer tasted like "fortified maple syrup" and one member said, "oh yea, if I run out of Cocoa Pebbles in the morning I just pour a bowl of this stuff, its the same fucking thing". Another insane beer from Dogfish Head, Fort (18.0%) was poured for all the members. 10pm showed up just in time to try this beer brewed with over 1 ton (2000 lbs. for you folks that slept through weights and measures class in 3rd grade) of pureed raspberries. All but 10pm gave this a good, he said it was so-so. This unique beverage tasted liked a much improved version of Boone's Farm Wine, but still retaining the carbonation of a beer. Somehow the movie still hadn't started and J. Wilder had to bid adieu to take his bride out for a date, and 10pm was playing the role of chaperone for a few of the BC4M wives and their night on the town, so it was down to a 3 pack of beer hounds. We went ahead and started the flick and tried a few more beers. Lefthand Brewing's Chainsaw Double Saw Tooth (9.0%) was offered next and all of us said "thats a damn good beer, we could drink alot of this smooth elixir". Bonus points for the label on this beer being wicked cool (insert joke here about how lame it is for a Southerner to use a Yankee term like wicked cool). Thomas Creek Brewery's Kind Beer Pale Ale (7.3%) was next, and it was better than the Chainsaw and rated a Good to almost an RFG (we will drink this one again with full membership present to see if it actually will join the hall of RFGs.) While we tasted this one, the movie got going, and let me tell you, there are some side-splitting, beer shooting out of your nose moments to be had. I can't go into too many details, but if crude language and sexual humor isn't your thing, don't waste your money. If your capable of laughing at a scene of a guy running through a hotel lobby while vainly attempting to keep from pooping his pants, well then welcome home. Guys, unless your girl is completely drunk, or rides a bigger motorcycle than you, or can out bench press you, or is a butch named Pete, keep this movie away while she is around. She would probably be happier if she walked in on you up late one night watching Skinemax than laughing at the antics of Tucker Max. Even though Bim said the book was 1000 times funnier and grosser, this movie was full of laughs. Guys (and no I don't mean you girly men that drink Bud Lite w/Lime), get some cold beers and prepare to laugh your fucking nuts off. The final beer of the night (honestly by coincidence) was Flying Dog's Raging Bitch Belgian Style IPA (8.3%), which was how many of the girls in the movie would have been described by any dude that still has a full sack. Good but not RFG, we had ended the night with 3 straight beers that are very good indeed. The movie ended and soon after so did our night, but our quest for new beers is neverending. Until next time..."Drink up bitches!"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

200th Beer tasted, 500th viewing of the blog

So, it was another Thursday in the CHC, (what those in the know call our humble little abode of Carriage House Commons). As you loyal readers know, Thursday generally means a BC4M meeting and multiple beers to be tasted. The founding fathers sans 10pm all gathered at Fred's for a night that was sure to go down in the record books. What record might we be referring to you dare ask? Well, a quick check of the official log book showed we were only 8 beers shy of 200 official beers having been reviewed. After consulting with the official accounting firm of the BC4M ( The Law offices of Humptycrank and Grundlemunch) to ensure our numbers were correct, we were off to the races. We still had some leftover beers from the Maggie Valley roadtrip, so we started off with Highland Brewing's 15th Anniversary Auld Asheville Vintage Ale (9.5%). Yea, we know, how in the hell do you start the night off with a alcohol bomb like that? Well we never proclaimed to be rocket surgeons, (although if you actually knew what our day jobs were, you would run for the hills). This had the typical sweet taste that many high alcohol beers have, but it was oh so smooth. What a great way to begin, this garnered a good +, which isn't an actual grade, but we really enjoyed this one, (but WAY too much writing on the bottle, we just want to drink the beer, not get a free English Lit tutorial at the same time). Next was French Broad Rye Hopper Ale (5.9%) which was a very smooth IPA, but not overly hoppy and it got a good. Another French Broad product, 13 Rebels ESB Ale (5.2%) was poured next. As one member observed, "this shit tastes like liquid crunch and munch", "are we drinking peanut brittle?" Never buy this stuff unless you get suckered in by the wicked cool name and label, but seriously, it SUCKS. Highland Brewing's St. Terese's Pale Ale (5.2%) was a golden ale that poured smooth and tasted good. This is the kind of beer you drink after cutting the grass or doing yardwork, we all stated we could drink this stuff all day long. We followed that with another from Highland Brewing, Kashmir IPA (5.6%). As most beer snobs know, IPA or India Pale Ale, are ales that were seriously hopped to provide a preservative to the beer so that they would be drinkable once they arrived in India from England. This beer was good, but would have only made it as far as Morocco before being skunked (NOT enough Hops). We moved on to Mother Earth Brewing's Sisters of the Moon (6.9%) which was another IPA which was described as "another greenpeace nugget of so-so". Nothing fancy, nothing special, but if you got nothing else to drink, it might (and we mean MIGHT) suffice. Asheville Brewing's Ninja Porter (5.25%) was offered next. (Who knew the mountains of western N.C. were filled with invisible japanese assassins. Maybe Ghost Mountain in the Sky is really a secret ninja training camp). For a porter, this one was pretty damn good, and it didn't have a heavy feel to it. A quick review of the night showed we had just rated beer number 199, and so a special beer was retrieved from the garage beer fridge (what, you don't have a fridge in the garage solely used for keeping extra beers cold?, Shame on you for saying your a beer nut). Paulaner Salvator DoppelBock (7.9%) was opened since we had been told by various reviews online that this beer was superior to the best doppelbock known to man, Celebrator. A thorough tasting revealed a sweeter than normal bock, and while it was good, it simply pales in comparison to Celebrator. We had made it, 200 beers reviewed, followed by a quick look online that showed we had over 500 hits on the blog page. We had arrived in the digital age, I mean, we even have several hot chicks following us on our blog. Beat that Drunken Polack, or "The Beer Friends". Not satisfied with stopping at beer #200, Jon Wilder produced some fresh new beers from Danish brewer Mikkeller. We tried 3 of their fine brews, Sauvin Single Hop IPA (6.9%) which was very good, Simcoe Single Hop IPA (6.9%) which also was good and the Nugget Single Hop IPA (6.9%) which got the coveted RFG! J. Wilder exclaimed, "Real damn good". Three out of the four assembled agreed, this was one real fucking good beer. We then watched as Johnny pulled out the first beer of its kind ever to be sold in Hampton Roads. The lads from wee Scotland, Brewdog, had finally seen to it to allow one of the former colonies of jolly old Great Britain to partake in their original high alcohol content beer. Tokyo* (18.2%) which was deemed in excess over the pond because it encouraged binge drinking, is self-described as an "intergalactic fantastic oak aged stout malt with cranberries and jasmine" Before they got famous with Tactical Nuclear Penguin (32%) and before they set the world record for ABV in a beer (41%) with Sink The Bismarck, they produced this little gem. And a gem it is, watch out people, this is like drinking bourbon, you gotta SIP this stuff. "Fire in the hole" is how to best describe this dark mynx, and it rated a solid GOOD. After we all had a chance to cleanse our alcohol saturated taste buds, we opened a bottle of Divine Rebel (12.1%), a collaboration beer from Mikkeller and Brewdog. Seriously, only 12% alcohol? This is like drinking a Miller Lite compared to the firewater we just guzzled. This is also one of those beers aged in Scottish Whiskey Casks, but it tasted as if they aged it in a cask of rotten maple syrup. At 13 bucks a bottle, these guys should be ashamed of themselves, this stuff didnt suck, but was a marginal so-so. We then moved on to Mother Earth Brewing's Dark Cloud (5.1%) a Munich-style dunkel (which is German for dark, hence the cute name that the ganja crew making this stuff calls it). Surprisingly, this turned out to be their best beer by far (we are generally partial to dark beers). A solid good, cheers to our tie-dyed sandal wearing beermaking brothers to the south. The night was still young to us, so we opened a bottle of Stone's Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale (7.2%). Despite the salutations on the bottle that said we weren't "worthy" to drink this and "its quite doubtful you have the taste and sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth", we said fuck them and poured a round for all hands, (they obviously printed the bottle without knowing that the BC4M existed, but they live on the left coast which voted 2 nimrods, Boxer and Feinstein to the U.S. Senate, so once again we say Fuck them. But even if they say stupid shit on the bottle, this is a damn good beer, remarkably smooth and drinkable, a beer you could drink all night (and then pass out drunk as a one-eyed hoot owl after). We then found yet another bottle from the eco-friendly hemp loving boys at Mother Earth Brewing with their Weeping Willow Wit (5.0%). Witbeir (or White beer) are those beers formally brewed without hops but instead use fruit flavorings (called gruit). Modern day metrosexuals drink this type of beer when they order a Blue Moon (made by Coors). We certainly don't enjoy drinking these beers since we don't use "product" in our hair and we change our own oil, but we do have to taste every beer we can get our paws on to fulfill our sacred quest. Thankfully, we only had to taste this garbage once. Running low on beers, we said, "hey,we haven't even rated old faithful", the beer that made St John's Gate in Dublin famous, yes thats right, Guinness (4.2%). No words needed, we all love this beer. Sure it has become the "en vogue" beer for beer lover wannabe's to drink in order to look "hip" and "trendy", and sure there are better dark beers out there, but just like your favorite cheeseburger, Guinness will never let you down. Third to last for the evening was North Coast Brewing's Acme California IPA (6.5%), which was another solid beer that would make for an enjoyable evening. Good all around, we would drink this one again. We then tried Belhaven's Twisted Thistle IPA (6.1%) which got a so-so. We then ended the night with Lagunitas The Hairy Eyeball (8.7%) which is one of the "maltiest" beers they make. We all said this was a good, and it has a cool name, but then again, this was beer number 20 of the night. Hell, at this point along our drunken path, we might even have rated Milwaukees Best a good...are you out of your freaking mind? We would never sully our reputations by doing that. Anyway, the meeting was adjourned, two milestones achieved. Next up is beer number 300 (we will crack open the Dogfish Head Raison d' Extra (the bigger bolder version of Raison d' Etre) that is being held in a top secret beer fridge nearby) and the 1000th website hit. Thanks to our loyal followers, keep commenting and let us know how we are doing.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Squirrel Nut Sippers, Brown Ale Night

Ahhh, the first taste of spring, the flowers and trees showing signs of new growth, and cars, houses, yards and clothes covered in fucking pollen.........LOTS of it. This must have been the biggest yellow dusting we have seen in years, but that doesn't stop the BC4M from tasting new beers. In honor of the coming spring, we decided to delve into the collection of Brown Ales that Fred had stored up like a squirrel in winter with his nuts, (not those nuts). The members assemble at J. Wilders for a night of debauchery (generally that means slim jims, cheese dip and pretzels), First up, a local product from Richmond, Va, the Legend Brewing Brown Ale (6.5%). This is a great,easy drinking beer that 10pm once had on tap in his kegerator. This is a good beer to drink on any occasion and it elicited a good. Next was Carolina Brewing's Cottonwood Low Down Brown Ale (5.4%). On the label it had a picture of what looked like Sean Connery as the king in First Knight, and surely he didn't approve of this swill. Words like Chewy Sour garbage were thrown out as this rated a SUCKS and a WTF, never buy this shit again from Fred. Onwards we march, to Left Hand Brewing's Deep Cover Brown Ale (4.3%). This was rated a good and as one member stated, "a solar powered green peace ale", and another who shall remain nameless (Bim Bim), "great mouthfeel, chewy, followed by a mouth hug". The only thing the rest of the members wanted a mouth hug on was (well never mind, anyone should be able to figure out what we mean) Contact us if you need clarification. Crack the top on RJ Rockers Bald Eagle Brown (5.5%) which SUCKS cause as Fred said, "a carbonated taste and malt free beverage, did RJ forget the malt and hops?". Our next offering was Brooklyn Brewing's Brooklyn Brown (5.6%) (brewed in Utica NY according to the bottle) which was a so-so to decent, nothing special, just there, and as a member stated, "I would drink this again, but only if i was in Utica". A slightly off subject beer was next, Anderson Valley Brewing's Boont Amber Ale (5.8%) which boasts a picture of what looks like the offspring of a horny grizzly bear mating with a moose elk. Imagine if you would those golden days of pre-cable TV when Marlin Perkins and his trusted assistant Jim would go off on an adventure on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. I can hear Marlin now as they witnessed the majestic horned moose bear, the king of the vegetarian salmon chasers. So-so was the result of this "mass marketed home brew" although the discussion on the label proved to be entertaining. Our favorite craft brewer, Dogfish Head was up next with their Indian Brown Ale (7.2%). As you loyal readers know, we love the DFH, but they are 50/50 when it comes to making good beer, but we will vow to try all of them, taste buds be damned. Better after the first sip, this got better tasting as we drank more of it and it rated a good. Another curveball to the brown ale then came up as Fred produced an import from Scotland packaged in a special box that said, "Ale matured in whiskey casks" Hand numbered at #12915 (out of 20000) we thought, lets break open this vixen from our ancestral homeland (all of us except D-rail, who was descended from Ghengis Khan, the great poet laureate from Kazakstahn). Harviestoun Ola Dubh Ale (8.0%) was dark as night, gloopy, as if we were cracking open the engine on a Studebaker after 100,000 miles and drinking the results. However, don't let looks deceive you dear readers, this was a Good on the cusp of RFG, thick rich dark goodness, do yourself a favor and buy one today. As J. Wilder said, "if this was a brown ale it would be an RFG". Next up was part deux of the collaboration beer between Brewdog and Stone, Bashah (8.0%) which was rated by the boys on Popcorn Sutton night. Still rating a solid good, only Snake dropped it a grade saying, so-so to good. Alas, maybe the WC4W ladies were right, we might have been too tipsy to call this one back on that mountain. Kind Beer's Belgian Style Red Ale (6.0%) (WTF said Fred, this is BROWN ale night) but we drank this anyway, another dope smoking red diaper doper baby beer, that rated a Good, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Back on track, we tried our second favorite East Coast brewer, Troeg's Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale (4.4%). Great session beer, Another winner from our boys in Pennsylvania, GOOD. On to Avery Brewing Co.'s Ellie's Brown Ale (5.8%). Like Coors, it is brewed with Rocky Moutain Water, but it sure as fuck tastes better than the "banquet" beer ( maybe Coors is for a banquet full of Arabs that got their tongues cut off for lying). Good to very good, we would drink this by the case. Next, was Smuttynose Brewing's Old Brown Dog Ale (6.7%) which was also another solid session beer, we were on a roll with good beers. Opening the fridge saw us try a commercial mass marketed beer, Newcastle Brown Ale (4.7%) which nearly everyone has tried at some time in their drinking past. "The one and only" according to the bottle, "says who?" Fred said, "The Michelob of brown ales" it was a so-so. Out of brown ales, but still wanting to drink, we went back to Fred's and gathered a mess of beers we had yet to try. Legend Brewing's Tripel Ale (9.0%) was a so-so. Yea we know, its a belgian style ale. Ever wonder why we don't judge many Belgian beers? Cause we don't like Euro-trash wannabe ales. To top it off, a picture of a squealing gay unicorn on the label made us all think WTF. Caldera Brewing Co.'s Oregon Brewed IPA (6.1%) was passed around next, and it garnered a great, but not as good as the king of IPA's, Ranger. The latest release from Troeg's, Sunshine Pils (5.3%) was next and it got a good, but it isnt their best offering, D-Rail stated, "Compared to Bud Light this is a good". . Starr Hill's The Love (4.6%) was a wheat style beer (J. Wilder dont likey the wheaties) that rated a so-so with a strong citrusy taste. And then, the moment arrived. Basically, our favorite brewers are Troegs, Stone, Dogfish Head and a little operation in Colorado, Oskar Blues. They make their beer in cans, (thats right, like screw tops on wine bottles, can beer is here to stay), We decided to try a can of their Gordon (8.7%), "Big red sticky". Gordon is named for Gordon Knight, a beermaker's beermaker who perished fighting forest fires in Colorado at age 52. Cheers to the man who lived passionately and gave immensely. On the can it says "If you know Gordon Knight, this beer needs no explanation, if you didn't we're sorry" RFG, the smoothest beer any of us had ever tasted. It was so good, we opened another one of their offerings, Old Chub (8.0%) a scottish style ale, that was almost as good as Gordon and also received an RFG. ( 2 RFG's in a row and from the same brewer nonetheless......incredible!). Armed with the 2 newest members of the RFG class, we trudged on, well past 1 am by now. Ska Brewing's ESB (5.7%) was the 3rd canned beer in a row and while not an RFG was deemed a good. "Lip up fatty" proclaims the can. Only two beers remained, Big Boss Brewing Co.'s Hells Belle (7.0%) from NC, had a great bottle, "Run away, Take Her on" shouted the label, but after tasting her, she got a so-so. The final beer of the night Paulaner Hefe-Weizen (5.5%) boasted 360 years of brewing, since 1634) (somehow those numbers don't add up to 2010 but they are German and they aren't known for science or mathematics are they?) It got a good, and with that, our drunken journey had ended for the night. Thankfully, the farthest one has to walk home is 10 houses away, so we all made it home to rest up for another beer-stravaganza......

Friday, April 9, 2010

5 Men and a baby

Upon our return from the mountains of western NC we found all but one original founding father on a friday night with not much to do but of course, sample beers. J. Wilder and Fred took it upon themselves to install a new dining room light for Wilders wife. Being accomplished home improvement gurus, the lads decided that installing a new light during the fading hours of the day would be easy and quick. Lets just say that the scene looked like 2 monkeys and a get the idea. After an hour and a half of f-bombs, and looks of WTF are we doing this for on a Friday night instead of drinking good beers, we decided to head off to Snake's place for a meeting. Snakes son in law and brand new baby daughter were there to join us as we started off the night with SOUTHERN TIER BIG RED (9%) . This is an Imperial Red Ale and generally Southern Tier produces a mediocre beer that is packaged in a bottle that is plastered with faux-pulitzer prize winning chit chat about the aromas of Hallertau hops or the complex caramel malts used to make their swill. Another disappointment, as this beer rated a so-so based on no discernible flavors that stood out. Drinkable yes, but why pay 6 bucks for this when there are so many better choices available. Next up, WILLIAMSBURG ALE WORKS TAVERN ALE (5.6%) an American Brown Ale that delivered a slightly smokey taste that got better as u sipped more. More SO-SO than Good, but on the cusp of being a decent beer. We love supporting local brewers, and Williamsburg Ale Works is better than average. On to a NC local brewer, THE DUCK RABBIT PORTER (5.7%). The self proclaimed "Dark beer specialist" (says who?), this was a true disappointment in a bottle. The BC4M declared them to be the"Mediocre to crappy beer specialists". Thick dark flavors that left no senses on the palate, this was easily the worst porter this group had ever had. Another NC beer, MOTHER EARTH BREWING ENDLESS RIVER (4.9%) which is a Kolsch style beer (German style for clear, hoppy and top fermenting). As tax paying citizens, the BC4M members generally frown on excessive greenpeace, tree hugging, snail darter loving, granola bark eaters smacking us over the head with their "Peace, Love, Dope" politics, but if they make a good beer, we will sure as fuck drink it. By the name of this place, surely you can guess that the boys that work here are 420 friendly. A drinkable beer with a slight tang at the end, it rated a SO-SO. A trip to their website showed a montage of the hippie paradise where they make this stuff,"2 green thumbs up" according to their mantra, while Fred (the resident grumpy young man) said, "2 middle fingers up, to this sucky beer". On to a very good brewery, one who makes good to great beers on a consistent basis, STONE SUBLIMELY SELF-RIGHTEOUS ALE (8.7%) Brewed originally as their 11th anniversary ale in 2007, this was rated a GOOD as it was quoted to be "a magnificent hoppy elixir, a truly great lager" Smooth, easy drinking and hoppy, what a combo. Next was part deux of SKA BREWING MODUS HOPERANDI (6.8%). As you may recall from the Smokey Mountain Beerfest, some of the wives said we were too drunk to adequately rate some beers, so we brought some back for the other members to try. 10pm and Snake both said GOOD, "as true an IPA as we had ever had even as we read their left coast relax and get toked tree hugging nonsense on the can" This was the last beer of the night as we all played the role of 10pm and left earlier than usual. Dont fret dear followers, another glorious night of beer sampling and humor will be here soon

Sunday, April 4, 2010

1st Annual Popcorn Sutton Smoky Mountain Beerfest

Roadtrip! Off to Maggie Valley, NC for a few days of great beer drinking. Before I go any futher, I need to give props to a truly great beer store, Bruisin Ales in Asheville, NC. If you get within 100 miles of Asheville, check this place out. A very cool spot with 700 beers. We could have spent a week here! In the immortal words of Ricky Bobby from Talledega Nights, "If you don't know who Popcorn Sutton is, then fuck you!" He's only the most famous moonshiner of all time. With 3 members present (Bim, Johnny, and Fred) we had a quorum and were ready to judge. We started with Shiva IPA (6.0%) from the Asheville Brewing Co. This was not all that hoppy, but a good session beer with a cool bottle. MORE HOPS! It was a so/so. French Broad Brewing's Wee Heavy-er Scotch Ale (7%) was next. I once knew a French broad, and she was hot. However, there were no real scotch ale (or French) lovers here, and it rated only a so/so. New Belgium 2 Degrees Below Ale (6.6%) had a mixed start. It was a little citrusy, then the taste dropped off, but still was thought to be a good. New Belgium Mighty Arrow Pale Ale (6%) was better than there other offering. It started sweet, ended hoppy, and kept our tongues feeling dry. It was a good. Lagunitis (Censored) Kronik (5.9%), "rich copper ale", appealed to the pothead deep inside of us, but the taste was not right. It tasted metallic, as if brewed with real copper mining water. Johnny thought it tasted like fajitas (WTF???). New Belgium Fat Tire Ale (5.2%) states that it's "balanced well"... Says who? we thought it tasted more like a flat tire, with too little carbonation. It rated a so/so. As a side note, the home's refrigerator stopped working, causing the milk to spoil before we were able to fix it. This led to the home's owner to text me the following: "keep the beer cold... fuck the milk!" I couldn't have said it better. Boulder Beer Co. provided Hazed and Infused Dry Hopped ale (4.85%). This beer actually tasted like it was brewed by some dope smokers who forgot a few ingredients, and it rated only a so/so. Next was a collaboration between the kings of Scotland (Brewdog) and the Kings of California (Stone). Their little magic gathering of the minds produced a little black labeled bottle of goodness called BASHAH (8.6%). This was a Black Belgian Style Double IPA and it was really damn good. So good, we decided to get more and let our fellow founding fathers give it a rate. You could drink this stuff all night long. SKA Brewing, from Durango CO, provided a can of Modus Hopperandi IPA (6.8%). There was a split decision, as one member thought it tasted like a burnt flat tire, while others commented that it was canned goodness despite the fact that it was brewed by a bunch of dope smoking red diaper doper babies. It rated a good. New Belgium Ranger IPA (6.5%) was next. We were not all that impressed with their first offerings, but this shit was awesome! It was an easy RFG, and called the standard by which IPA's should be measured. Well Done New Belgium! Duck Rabbit Brown Ale (5.5%) ( a beer with a label featuring some weird animal that the straight guys interpret to be a duck, while the gays see a rabbit) , was just OK Dog, and rated a so/so. Nothing we'd ever buy again. Hoptical Illusion IPA (6.8%) from the Long Island Brewing Co., was next. It was good, but it's not an IPA. Are they high? Still, if you ignore the fact that they're passing this off as an IPA, it was a good beer and rated such. Skullsplitter Ale (8.5%) from the Orkney Brewery in Scotland got us on our feet! "Outfuckingstanding!" An awesome RFG, without a doubt, plus, who doesn't like a beer called Skullsplitter? Lefthand Brewing's 400lb Monkey English IPA (6.7%) was a real downer. First, it's solar powered. As said before, the only green you need to brag about is how green your hops are. Someone commented the following, "where are they shipping to, Newfoundland?" If anyone knows what this means, please post a comment. (It was later determined to mean, IPA was meant for shipping to India from England, hence the hops to preserve the beer. Since this crap had no hops, the comment was, how the fuck far are they shipping it from England, cause this swill would go skunky long before it made it to India) This was looking to be a banner night. Thirteen beers down, 3 members, everybody toasted. Somewhere around this point, Fred busted out a damn near perfect rendition of It Takes Two (80's old school rap by Rob Base and DJ Easy Rock).... complete with dance moves. Who knew that beer turns on his hip/hop idiot savant switch! Next up was Fort Collin's Maibock (6.5%). No comments, other than a rating of so/so. Sweetwater's Danktank Quad (11%) was next. The beer was no good, and to make matters worse, the bottle is covered with writing. Do they think they're Pulitzer Prize winning poets? Bim dumped it out after only a sip, a rarity for an 11%'er. It was a split decision between a so/so and sucks. Stone Levitation Ale (4.4%) was next. It was really hoppy and liked by the group, rating an IPA. New Belgium 1554 "enlightened black ale" (5.6%) was next. It says it's "keeping time in a bottle", sort of like our homebrew, which we describe as "keeping crap in the bottle", except that this one is good, and rated such. Oskar Blues is fast becoming one of our favorite breweries. They make good beers, and have the balls to put their beers in cans, right up there with other great beers such as Schlitz, Steel Reserve, and PBR. That said, they really have a winner here in their Ten Fidy Imperial Stout. (9.5%). "This dog'll hunt!" What a great beer! RFG!!! Highland Brewing Co.'s Gaelic Ale (5.8%), followed. This American amber ale was good, but nothing extraordinary. We ended this 21 beer night with Flyingdog's "Horndog" Barleywine style ale (10.2%). The concensus was that this was an RFG, but our nagging wives, who can taste and comment on beers but not officially vote on them, thought that we may have been too innebriated to call this one an RFG. And, in hindsight, they were probably right. I can admit it here since one of them read this blog! Thus, we have repurchased all the potential RFG's from our friends at Bruisin Ales, and will try them again on our home turf.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

English Night

Hail to our English brothers, tonight's your night! I don't know who decided to do beers from across the pond, but why not? We've all seen those drunken hooligan soccer fans kicking the living shit out of each other. They ain't drinking KoolAid! What is it that makes these guys so violent? We aimed to find out just that. The night started with Wychwood Scarecrow, Golden Pale Ale (4.7%).This is an organic beer, which automatically makes us skeptical. The beer was a little fruity tasting, but the label had a cool picture of a scarecrow, which we all liked. That said, we rate the beer, and this was only a so/so. Next up was Wychwood Fiddler's Elbow (4.5%). Another great bottle with what we believed to be a picture of Willie Nelson jamming on a fiddle. Who knew that Willie was so popular in England? However, the beer was only a so/so. Samuel Smith Old Brewery Tadcaster (5%) was next. It lacked taste, and rated only a so/so. Greene King's Abbot Ale (5%) was our first English canned beer with a widget. We like widgets... magical little devices that shoot carbonation into canned beers when opened. The can had a cool picture of some dude who looked like the pope. Who knew that the pope was a beer drinker? My parish priest used to like to share dozens of beers with me when I was an 8 year old altar boy, until we both passed out, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. The widget was cooler than the beer, which rated only a so/so. Next up was Morland's Old Speckled Hen Ale (5.2%) which was brewed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the MG. It's named after some old car that used to sit out on the brewery grounds. Tasted a little like they brewed it with the MG's used oil! The can looked like an Olde English 500 Malt Liquor which earned it a few points. Still, it was a so/so. Tetley's English Ale (3.6%), was the weakest of the alcohol beers, but when you open it, the widget sounds like an F-14 with full afterburners. This beer was smooth and creamy, but rated only a so/so. Boddington's Pub Ale (4.7%) also boasts a widget, but it tasted flat and rated a so/so. Fuller's London Pride Pale Ale (4.7%), finally brought us our first Good. This beer is quite tasty. This was followed by another English staple, Bass Ale (5.0%). This beer is said to have been enjoyed by both Buffalo Bill and Napoleon, among others. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for the BC4M, and it rated a good. And that was it for the Brits. Time to break out some others... First up was Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale (4.7%) which is brewed in NY. We like the idea of this beer being "tempered over burning witches", but would rather it be brewed the old-fashioned way. It rated a so/so. Ayinger provided the Altbairisch Dunkel (5%). This Bavarian Dark Lager was a thriller. Every sip tasted different. The first sip was dog urine, the second was fairly good beer, and the third was awesome. It rated a solid good. Widmer Brothers Drop Top Ale (5%) was what was in my keg, and it hadn't been rated yet, so tonight was the night. This is a clean amber, easy to chug, slightly sweet. It rated a good. And the last beer of the night was the Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar (6.2%). Fred, like the giant squirrel that he is, stocked up on nutty ales, and needed to start unloading them, hence the Rogue. This beer is REALLY HAZELNUTTY!. It is the turtle sunday of beers, and was described as a desert beer, best served warm with whipped cream. It was a good. That was it... all out of beers. So Fred broke out the Blenheim's Ginger Ale. This is some hot, spicy shit! An RFG of ginger ales! The elixir of the South! No doubt the sweetest firecracker in existence! And to cap off the night, in a nod to Tank, we finished with a shot of Maker's Mark, chased with a Dogfish Head Pangea. The Maker's rocked... the Pangea still sucks. It was a jolly good show, but the night was over.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Wilder Turns 37

In honor of Johnny's 37th birthday and Michele's 47th, we gathered at Fred's to sample a few birthday gifts. First up was the newest beer from Rogue. This is called Imperial Youngers Special Bitter (7.4%). This beer has an ass-kicking bottle, and it smelled right, but the taste was bland. Major props to the Rogue guys for their bottle, but the beer netted mixed reviews. Michele liked it, but the others thought it lacked something, namely a beer taste to match the cool bottle. It had a great sweet smell, with a funky aftertaste and rated a so/so. Next up was Rogue's signature pilsner, Morimoto (8.8%), possibly named after Japanese Iron Chef Morimoto-san. Another awesome bottle, white with Japanese kanji writing. Having lived in Japan, I am fluent in the language of our eastern yellow brethren, and I correctly interpreted it to say "Death to America". That said, the beer had an odd smell, but a better taste and rated a good. These bottles are great. We sometimes like to hurl bottles into the woods after really good meetings, and these bottles will sail with the best of them.