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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
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
It was a Wednesday evening in the hood, and the ladies were at Wilder's estate for a Stampin'Up party (in reality an excuse for the ladies to drink wine). This gave the lads from the BC4M a chance to sneak down to Bim's for a tasting session. Once again we had assembled a bevy (i.e. metric Butt Ton) of new beers from various sources. First up was Capital City Brewing's The Big Dipa (10.5%), a double IPA that exclaimed, "enhance your inner pyrate" which by the spelling is a reference to the San Francisco light in the loafers brand of "pirate". This beer however was no pushover as it drank like a shot over the bow. A big bold, hoppy grog of deliciousness, this was befitting to serve the scurvy scalawags of Blackbeard's fleet. It rated a very good, so we moved on to a double hopped IPA from Breckenridge Brewery. Small Batch 471 (9.2%) was so smooth and easy to swallow Bim said, "I could drink this shit all day", while Wilder exclaimed, "no fucking way this is 9.2%". Another beer that rated a good which was a pleasant way to start the evening off. Next was Thomas Creek Brewery's Deepwater Doppelbock (6.25%) which was about as close to a doppelbock as Landshark Lager is. All these guys did was take a MGD64 and add caramel color to it. We love doppelbocks, but this was very thin and watery with no sweetness at all. It is more akin to being a weak amber ale than a bock so it only rated a so-so. Undeterred we popped the top on a Firestone Union Jack IPA (7.5%). With a label that boasted a picture of an Irish Grizzy Bear hammer fisting Liberace the steroid guzzling gay lion, it poured crystal clear and was in the words of Ricky Bobby, "delicious and cools you down on a hot summer day". It received a good. Lagunitas WTF (Wilco Tango Foxtrot) (7.83%), as opposed to more correct "whiskey tango foxtrot" was self-described as a "multi-robust jobless recovery ale" (WTF does that mean?). It was good but not overpowering and we all agreed this was a stellar session beer. Generally, we somehow always end up with a hefe-weizen or wheat style beer to try at these meetings. Fred usually expresses some sort of facial expression that implies (damn, we gotta drink another freaking clove bomb?), but we must rate every beer we can find, regardless of our personal biases. Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbeer (5.4%) was a typical potpourri of spice that shouted, "the beer inside this bottle sucks". To cleanse our taste buds we tried a Williamsburg Ale Works Brewmaster Reserve Bourbon Barrel Porter (9.0%). This was vintage 2010, bottle number 1864 and while this isn't Wilder's favorite style of beer, he was the only dissenter from good for the group. With mild vanilla, coffee and rich bourbon flavors,this is a solid beer to sip on a cold winter night. Next up was Terrapin's Side Project Cap'n Krunkles Black IPA (7.5%). Ole Captain Krunkle was supposedly the most feared pirate on the high seas. This black hole of a beer poured as smooth as a freshly asphalted highway and tasted even smoother. Crazy Ken said he loved eating bowls of Cap'n Krunkle as a kid until Snake reminded him the cereal was actually called Captain Crunch. This was an excellent beer that we wanted more of. Bim retold the story of how as a young midshipman aboard the H.M.S. Cameltoe that he had shared a bottle of scotch with the then Lieutenant Krunkle. Both men also shared a love for turkish bath houses, and one evening they had gone on a whiskey fueled massage parlor binge while on liberty in Istanbul. Because Krunkle (or the Krunk as his friends call him) had had a life altering experience in the bath house with what turned out to be a Moroccan lady-boy, he had become the flamboyant satin camisole wearing pirate who commanded the frigate "Flying Pantaloon". From that day on, every sailor on the open seas feared the day Captain Krunkle would board their ship and exclaim, "Give me your booty!" After laughing our asses off at Bim's sea story, we opened a bottle of Brewery Ommegang's 3 Philosophers (9.8%). This craft brewer likes to make artisanal Belgian style beers, and this one was excellent. A blend of ale and a Belgian kriek, this was a cherry flavored cordial that would be a perfect companion for a rich dessert. Next up was perhaps the most unique beer any of us had ever encountered. Russian River's Supplication (7.0%) was a bottle conditioned sour ale that is aged in pinot noir barrels, and was in the words of Bim, "sour as fuck", while Fred and J. Wilder both loved the tongue curling tartness. This was a unique style of beer, and since some members said sucks while others said RFG, we gave it a so-so. We had never tasted a beer anywhere in the same zip code as this one and Bim suggested it would make a perfect nightcap for Cap'n Krunkles life partner Jaques Le Flame. Only 3 beers remained, so we went back to a conventional beer, Hoppin Frogs Outta Kilter Wee Heavy Scotch Style Ale (8.2%). The bottle featured an Amazonian poison lipped river frog, and Snake brought the house down with his childhood story about barefoot frog gigging in the piranha infested waters of South America while on a mission trip to the Jonestown commune in Guyana. This beer tastes nothing like chicken he said, although it easily was the best Scotch ale we had ever tried and it rated a good. Next was a bottle of Avery Brewing's Maharaja (10.41%). An Imperial IPA, in the tasting glass it looked like an aquarium of sea monkeys. The bottle had a picture of either a New York cabbie or 7-11 clerk who was probably named Kongpesh or Gunjan but damn the Maharaja was a very good beer. As we drank this hoppy delicacy, we all agreed it was excellent and deserved the coveted RFG. The final beer of the night was a re-tasting of Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale (8.7%) which had received a good on Five men and a baby night. Extremely smooth as well as hoppy, this tasted even better than the first time and we deemed this another RFG. The night had come to a close and as we stumbled out of Bim's stately manor, we performed our ritual bottle heave into the "recycle" container that is located 400 feet behind the house. Luckily for those protect the planet types, no native species were injured during this process. We then dispersed with the standard disclaimer for our group, 'What happens at the BC4M, stays at the BC4M"... Until next time....
Posted by Beer Club 4 Men at 1:21 AM
Thursday, May 20, 2010
For our regularly scheduled meeting, we assembled at Bim's house around the fire pit on his veranda and welcomed a guest to the festivities. Fred had told all his co-workers about the BC4M and about all the great beers he was getting to taste. Dave (a 3 time paper mache medal winning homebrewer), otherwise known to all as Cliffy (in reference to the Cheers character Cliff Clavin) was invited to join in the festivities. Cliff came well prepared, bringing with him a selection of beers from St Georges Brewing in Hampton as well as his own personal keg ( a 3 gallon roadie that he can kill at a single red light). First up was Old Dominion Brewing's Dominion Millenium Ale (10.5%). Brewed with honey and English malts this gave us a good start to the evening, as it was strong, flavorful and ending with a sweet kick. A real ass kicker, this is not a beer for the college keg stand crowd and it received a solid good. J Wilder noticed the label which displayed a 12 point buck and stated "what a rack", although we think he was looking at pictures on his I-phone at the time. Next up was the pac-man yeast hounds from Rogue and their Chatoe Rogue First Growth Single Malt Ale (4.8%). Plain and simple, this shit SUCKS. It tasted like a a bottle of seltzer, which meant ZERO taste. Smelling "kinda like a beer", it was described by Fred as a "big bottle of rip-off emptiness", and Bim said, "empty and without a soul". Next up was Full Sail Hop Pursuit Brewmaster Reserve (6.0%). Why the fuck the brewmaster reserved this shit one will never know. Fred broke out in a perfect rendition of Sheriff Buford T. Justice and exclaimed, "I am in high speed pursuit of the missing hops", followed by that immortal baseball homerun call "the hops have left the building". What a worthless bottle of poop this turned out to be. A new seasonal offering from our friends at Troeg's, Java Head (7.5%) was opened next. D-rail said it was as "smooth as a hershey bar, and then it falls off the counter" while Cliff said it tasted more like a coffee porter than a stout. It only got a so-so since it didn't finish with any gravitas (thats right I said gravitas, go look up that 25-cent word). Reaper's Mortality Stout (7.5%) was then shared and other than the cool graphics on the bottle (a picture of Edgar Allen Poe's raven sitting on his skull) this beer didn't light the lamp and only got a so-so. Finally a decent beer was poured, as we got into a Goose Island Nightstalker (11.7%). Sweet, smooth, and blacker than space, it poured like Gulf of Mexico seawater. This was a great beer and Sheriff Justice said, "only a tick turd or possums pecker wouldn't rate this an RFG", but evidently D-Rail's middle name is possum and this only got a good (as close to RFG as da law will allow). Tuppers Keller Pils (5.0%) and Tuppers Hop Pocket Ale (6.0%) were gifts from Cliff, and we now wished he had left them at home for the neighbors. The Keller Pils tasted more like a Gatorade G3 than a beer, and Fred thought somehow the brewmasters had mixed up a batch of Tide detergent with Grape Kool-Aid to make this filth. Definitely a sucks, but not the worst beer we have ever had. The Hop Pocket Ale was so-so, but tasted more like a mass marketed sessionbeer than a microbrew. We then tapped Cliff's car keg which held some St George's Pilsner (5.0%). Nothing to write home about, this was a solid session beer that is way too easy to drink. It got a so-so to good and we thought we were done for the night. However, Bim decided we needed to finally break in to the Belgium style sample pack he received as part of his reward for his research on bedroom swings (something from perhaps whatever that means). Gulden Draak (10.5%) was a dark triple style ale was thick and rich, like fortified Aunt Jemima's syrup but tasted very very good. We then opened a grenade of Augustijn Ale (8.0%) that was a typical Belgian ale, and rated a so-so. I am sure there are people in this world that love a Belgian style beer, but the BC4M isn't them. The final beer of the night was Bornem Double Abbey Ale (8.0%) which tasted like a late night stack on pancakes. If you ever find yourself malnourished or perhaps after running a half marathon and in need of a energy boost, drink a 4 pack of these calorie bombs. The meeting was then subsequently adjourned and we departed for the evening. We bid adieu (or see you the fuck later) to Cliff as he recalled one of his immortal theories, "A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. When the herd is hunted, the slow and weak in the back are killed first. The speed and health of the herd keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as its slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know kills brain cells. Naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers". And that dear readers, is a little known fact...
Posted by Beer Club 4 Men at 6:24 PM
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Wednesday night provided the BC4M a chance to have a sneak peek of a few beers before our regularly scheduled meeting (and yes that meant more than one meeting this week). Snake and Prince Mike (along with their better halves) had gone for a weekend retreat to the OBX (the outer banks of N.C.) for those of you unfamiliar with the area , and had brought back a couple of growlers of beer from the Outer Banks Brewing Station. Even though this is America's first wind powered brewery (a fact not lost on Fred considering his day job), we wanted to support the locals by trying out their wares. Since Snake was due out of town for a big corporate meeting at the Bunny Ranch, we decided to sample the new beers with him at Prince Mike's house. Bim, J. Wilder, Fred, 10pm (WTF, he actually showed up), and Snake (who arrived promptly at 9:30, when we had started at 8) were eager to try a new local brew or two. Fred also brought the last bottle of Pliny the Elder for 10pm to try since he was out of town on the 300 night. We poured a round of Pliny and everyone agreed it was still fucking awesome. Even 10pm looked up and said, "thats a damn good beer, I really like it". Since this was to be a short meeting, we only had 3 beers to rate. First was Outer Banks Brewing Station's Shipwreck Stout (7.2%), which was dark, chewy and chocolatey. It was surprisingly good, even though it seemed like they had brewed this beer with the salvaged remains from the bilge of the famed schooner Thar She Blows, which was lost amidst the hellish waters of Back Bay in 1902. Next up was the second growler from Outer Banks Brewing Station, Sledgehammer and Tongs (11.0%), which was a Strong Belgian/American style ale. J. Wilder said he loved the idea of seeing a sexy young thang swinging a sledgehammer while wearing a thong, until we pointed out to him that it was TONGS, not thongs (although truth be told, he was surely on to something, perhaps the newest T-shirt idea for the BC4M store?) Self described as a powerhouse, this was sweet at first sip and then you get hit with the hammer. What a powerful one-two sucker punch from this strong, smooth and creamy bottle of "liquid love". "The way I like my beers" exclaimed Bim, who went on to say this was a "pubic hair on a gnats ass away from RFG". We all concurred that this was a great beer, and we plan on refilling the growler on our next trip south. The final beer of the night was Mikkeller's Draft Bear (8.0%), which was completely different than the other beers of the night. We couldn't come up with a way to describe it other than it was different, almost a class of beer unto itself, but without any distinctive flavor notes. We liked it and called it a so-so to good. We then adjourned the meeting with two thumbs and a t-back up since we had plans to crack open more beers the following evening. Until next time, remember the official greeting of the BC4M, "This thongs' for you".
Posted by Beer Club 4 Men at 5:36 PM
Saturday, May 15, 2010
It was a beautiful sunny Saturday in the Hampton Roads area, and by coincidence, The Virginia Beer Festival was in town, and what could be a better setting for a BC4M meeting than that. Bim, Fred, Johnny W. and D-Rail along with their better halves (except of course D-Rail who wasn't allowed to bring his pet Gaboon monkey to the festival) arrived at the gorgeously re-done Town Point Park along the banks of the kepone infested Elizabeth River in Norfolk. The echoes of the beer swilling throng were our beacon as we marched towards the festival entrance. We had seen the festival literature that promised upwards of 80 different brewers, so our goal was to sample at least 40 0f them. As we entered the park we saw that the crowd was fairly thick and we then knew we would be lucky to sample even a fraction of the beers represented. The beer tents were arranged into two semi-circles, so we started at the line that was the shortest. Straub Brewing (one of the oldest brewers in America) was first with their Straub Light (3.2%) which was nothing short of so-so as it had little taste and no alchohol followed by Straub Special Dark (4.1%) which was promised by the keg tender to be "the best beer at this festival, you will be back for more". After we all tasted this shit in a glass, we decided that the old man had obviously been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder suffered during the Crimean War campaign of 1853. This crap was awful and once again, just because you put the word "special" on a beer doesn't make it good. Next up was a BC4M favorite brewer Dogfish Head with their Shelter Pale Ale (5.0%) which was smooth and easy to drink and rated a very good. The lines were long as fuck and the time allotted was short so we decided the best way to sample as many beers as possible was to split the group up so we could get in multiple lines at a single time. Another favorite, Stone IPA (6.9%) was next and it too rated a very good. We continued our success with Terrapin Brewing's Hopsecutioner (7.3%) which was so good it was as close to RFG as we could get. This was easily the best beer of the day for the group. Hoppy and citrusy, this beer is ultra smooth and tasty. We also tried Terrapin's Rye P.A. (5.3%) which was also tasty, but not quite up to the standards of the Hopsecutioner. As we made our way through the lines, we were also showing off the latest fashions from the upcoming Summer 2015 line from the BC4M design emporium. Our latest creation from the diabolically creative staff at J.Wilder's Forever Searching Studios was a hotline blue tech t-shirt that proudly showed off the BC4M website. If it wasn't for the industrial strength fibers used in the making of these shirts, it is highly doubtful any member would have come home with a shirt on. Countless ladies were grabbing at the shirt to see if it really stated what their eyes had seen. Beer club for men they asked, what about women? To which each member dutifully replied, you can follow us on the web and give us suggestions, but voting rights are strictly male only (take that Gloria Steinem). Amazingly enough, most of the women we talked to thought it was ok to have a club like this (or maybe they were too drunk to protest, or perhaps Fred's charm had won them over, nah they were drunk). We then tried New Holland Golden Cap (6.25%), a saison style ale. Fred wondered if the label should have said Golden Crap because this was utterly undrinkable. Sucks, horrible and many other unmentionable words came out after tasting this byproduct of a pig sty. Dear readers, if you ever see the words farmhouse style on a beer, run away as fast as you can. Generally, the farmhouse term comes from the beer makers use of the runoff from cleaning the horse stalls in making this swill. We moved on to Hofbrau Munchen (5.1%) which was a German wheat beer that tasted just like its bottled counterparts, full of clove and spices. Not our favorite and it got a so-so. We then saw a little slice of tree hugger heaven when we saddled up to the Nectar Ales booth. We tried Red Nectar Ale (5.5%) which was refreshingly good and tasty and the Humbolt Brown "Hemp" Ale (5.2%). Brewed with hemp (Woody Harrelson must be so proud), all of the members sans Fred liked the hemp flavored ale, as he said only dope smoking snail darter lovers would subject their taste buds to this garbage. We then somehow got in the line that served Crispin Cider (6.9%) which tasted much that same as any other apple juice with some grain alcohol in it. It only rated an o.k. as it didn't seem to have a clothes dropping affect on any of the ladies at the festival drinking it. Moving along, we came upon a tent that featured Olde Richmond #11 (5.5%) and Olde Richmond #4 (5.0%). We had never heard of this local brewer so we were anxious to try their wares. Interestingly enough, the beers are made by the lads from St George's in Hampton. The #11 was a Virginia style IPA, sort of a cross between English and American styles. It was decent, but not hoppy enough for the group. The #4, an amber colored ale was much better as it got a good and had subtle chocolate notes to go along with its rich red color. Definitely a very good session ale. We then waited in line for a beer that the KrazyItalianIrish girl had suggested we try, the Ommegang Hennepin (even though it is a Farmhouse saison), but as we chatted up some prospective followers to the blog, the line seemed to get very short. No wonder, the one keg of Ommegang that was at the festival had gone empty. We were pissed that we had wasted 15 minutes of valuable drinking time on a floated keg but moved on with the speed and agility of a Marine Battalion. Hoping to get a pitcher of one of our favorite beers, we soon found out that even the pitchers had sold out. Luckily, Fred's much better half charmed a table full of guys that probably argue over what the better beer is between Bud Select and Miller Chill to give up a pitcher for use by the BC4M. As we looked at the clock, we were fast running out of time, so we tried a 21st Amendment IPA (7.0%) which rated a very good, probably the second best beer of the day. We then made our way over to a new local brewer from Norfolk, O'Connors Brewing. We tried three of their beers, the Norfolk Canyon Pale Ale (5.0%) which tasted like they used actual Norfolk Canyon seawater to make it, the Red Nun Red Ale (5.0%) which tasted like they used the remains of the can of turpentine used to clean the red bouy (or red nun) in the mix and finally the Green Can Golden Ale (5.0%), which was easily the best of the bunch. We actually filled our pitcher with the Green Can and throughly enjoyed the rest of our time at the festival finishing it off. As we gathered our chairs to leave, we had several homebrewers come up and ask us if they could bring their beers over for us to rate. Of course, we are always on the lookout for new beers, so anyone that has a good homebrew for us to try is more than welcome to contact our public relations department for further information. We then departed the gates for the short ride back to our home base when J Wilder decided we should continue the festivities at his house. We arrived in time to order some pizzas and sit around the fire pit with the olympic sized pool in the background providing a tranquil setting for another session of tasting. Wilder had found a new group of beers at Total Wine from Pikes Brewing in Seattle. We had a 6 pack of samplers including Pike Kilt Lifter (6.5%) that 3 of the 4 thought was decent but Fred said "this tastes like 40 mule team borax". It was more malty than hoppy, and none of the wives with us lifted their kilts after drinking it so the group gave it a so-so. Next was Pike Heirloom Amber Ale (5.0%) which is labeled an amber ale, a pale ale and Pike ale on the label. Obviously they didn't know what they put in the bottle, but it was decent and drinkable, although D-Rail said he liked Bud Light better than this. (For that flagrant technical foul he was ejected from the voting for the night). We then opened a Pike Tandem Double Ale (7.0%) which boasted the claim that the brewery was "family owned" to which Bim said "what family is that, the Manson's?" This belgian ale boasted flavors of bread and treacle (which we thought must be some sort of European saltwater mollusk, only to find it is it syrup derived from sugar cane refining). This is an awful beer and we noticed on Beer Advocate that this beer is now retired. No shit, I guess even the Pike guys realized they had mass marketed a home brew version of concrete cleaner. After eating some pizza to cleanse our palettes, we opened a Pike Monks Uncle Tripel Ale (9.0%). A typical belgian grape juice flavored wheatsicle, this one left no one desiring more than what was in their glass and we were thinking Pike's would be out of business before too long. But to the amazement of all hands, we found a couple of winners to round out the night. Pike IPA (6.3%) was a so-so to good IPA that wouldn't have made the trip from England to India, and instead have made it to perhaps Bermuda, but it was easily the best of the beers we had tried so far. Fred was nodding off by now and his normally elegant (some have even said it is almost female like) penmanship was dissolving into a writing style that only a one-eyed chimpanzee with arthritis could emulate. After downing a Red Bull to revive him, we opened the last beer of the night, Pike XXXXX Extra Stout (7.0%) that was excellent. This is a classic stout, and we could drink this all night. Finally a beer worth tasting again and again. The taste was more chocolatey than coffeeish, but it went down smoothly. With the final beer downed, the group departed reminiscing on the day. Thousands of BC4M business cards had been handed out (special thanks to our gorgeous wives for performing that task), new friendships made, and multiple beers tasted. We look forward to perhaps seeing some of you in June when we storm the banks of Brown's Island in Richmond for the World Beer Festival. Until then....Erst mach' dein' Sach dann trink' und lach!
Posted by Beer Club 4 Men at 12:00 AM
Thursday, May 13, 2010
And so the immortal night was upon us. A major milestone, beer number 300 was ready to be tasted. We gathered at Fred's to watch a BC4M classic, The 300 and to drink some of the most highly rated beers in the world. We searched high and low to accommodate the wishes of our ardent followers, (special shout out to the Lady Cobra and KrazyItalianIrishGirl for their excellent suggestions) . After exhausting every local beer store for the required libations for this storied night, we found two great sources for the exotic, rare beers that we were asked to rate. Cheers to Freddie from Beveragesforlessinc.com and Randy from ArchersLiquors.com. Most of the beers we drank that night came from these two guys. Freddie is quite the character and BC4M Fred (who stumbled upon his website while frantically hunting down the rare beers) described him as the Zohan of beers. If you need a beer, and I mean just about any beer, he will either have it or find it for you. The assembled phalanx included Founding Fathers Bim, Fred and Snake and associate members Prince Mike and D-Rail. Just when we were about to start the meeting with our customary moose-knuckle war cry, King Leonidas himself (Johnny Wilder) came dressed in an outfit befitting a character from the movie Hairspray. Who knew that the ancient Spartans had 4000 thread count Egyptian cotton loin cloths? Wilder, always with the flair for the dramatic, exclaimed in his best Scottish-Greek accent, "BC4M, take heed this warning, for tomorrow you will despair in the agony of your vexations, but tonight we DRINK!". I think what he meant to say was that we would be (in the immortal words of D-Rail's Irish-Honduran grandmother, hung the fuck over) after this decadent night of revelry. With the movie serving as our backdrop we opened the first of what promised to be an amazing night of beers. Hornsby's Amber Draft Hard Cider (6.0%) was a write-in choice as selected by our loyal followers. Amazingly, the BC4M has somehow managed to attract the attention and following of several gorgeous young ladies. One of them had written in and told us that like tequila, a good hard cider would definitely make her clothes fall off. Armed with that bit of information, we knew we had to rate a cider even if it isn't quite the same thing as a true beer. After we each had tasted what Fred called "carbonated Mott's applesauce", we unanimously agreed that for a cider this wasn't half bad. It rated a so-so to good and a few members suggested it even makes a great mixer with lagers, known as the Snakebite. Next up was another suggestion from our dear fans. Fresh off the FedEx truck from Ron Burgundy's hometown of "Stay classy San Diego", the Beer Zohan had delivered us a couple of Russian River Brewing's Pliny the Elder (8.0%). As all good history buffs know, Pliny the elder was the Roman historian and naval officer who before he died following the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, created the Latin term for hops, "Lupus salictarius or wolf among scrubs" since back before modern farming took place, hop plants grew wild among the trees. Pliny was piney, hoppy and very aromatic, but everyone instantly knew, this was definitely an RFG. An all around excellent beer, this double IPA is truly amazing. It is a must taste for anyone that considers themselves a craft beer connoisseur. Next up was a couple of beers that are made by 3 Floyd's Brewing,a company that many consider to be one of the finest in North America. 3 Floyd's Dreadnaught (9.5%) was another beer submitted by our readers. An Imperial IPA, the bottle featured a picture of what looked like Captain Kangaroo riding a whiskey barrel all jacked up on Mountain Dew. This beer poured strong and finished even stronger. It was a big bold IPA, the citrusy hops balanced with a hint of malt, this was an awesome beer and it also received an RFG. The night was off to an incredible start as we then opened a 3 Floyd's Behemoth (10.5%), a barleywine style beer. The label on the bottle showed a picture of what appeared to be one of ole' Popcorn Suttons famous ex wives. I seemed to recall hearing the tale of his second ex wife, a young lumberjack by the name of Bettie Sue Snotlicker who also happened to be Asheville, NC's first Rutabaga Festival Queen. Seems the boys at 3 Floyd's had unearthed a painting of her at the festival for use on their Behemoth bottle. The bottle was capped with a sky blue colored wax that must have been leftovers from one of her weekly chest hair removal appointments. Much like the stories of Bettie Sue, this beer looked sweet but packed a serious whollop. It was said that Popcorn wouldn't run off at the mouth if she was around since she would donkey punch him if he got out of line. This beer lives up to the name but compared to Dreadnaught, it only rated a so-so to good. Beer number 300 was next, and as promised, we opened the Dogfish Head Raison d' Extra (18.0%). Not to be confused with their already RFG rated Raison d' Etre (Bim's personal favorite), this is a bigger bolder version with a vintage date of 2005. This bottle was the reward that J. Wilder had received after he had bartered for it by performing his infamous naked longboard surfer dance at the DFH brewpub in Delaware (videos may still exist on Youtube). Hoping Johnny hadn't danced for a bottle of industrial strength vinegar, we commenced to taste this dark nectar. The first sip was unreal. Quotes like, "Oh hell yea thats good", and "Thin through the waist with a nice brown tan" were followed by Bim exclaiming this beer was so good that, "I would drink this off an Ecuadorian streetwalkers buttcrack". This is one sweet ass beer, and there is no way you can do anything but sip this syrup, but once again, we all agreed another RFG was upon us. The next beer we sampled was rated #6 in the world at ratebeer. Alesmith Speedway Stout (12%) was a dark as asphalt bully that poured a three finger head and smelled like 7 am at Starbucks. Seemingly bottled with the remains of what came out of the engine from the winning car at the Daytona 500, this beast leaned more towards a coffee flavor than the predicted vanilla or chocolates that others had written about it. This was deemed a good, but not quite up to RFG standards. Up next was Reaper Ale's Redemption Red (6.2%) which was like drinking a Bud Light compared to the alcohol bombs consumed earlier. This was a decent session beer, that was simple and easy drinking. Maybe we were jaded after having sampled all these heavier beers, but this one rated a so-so to good. We then reached into the fridge and pulled out a beer we had searched high and low for. Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout (11.2%) was a beer that Fred had read about during the Asheville road trip weekend. After having read hundreds of glowing reviews, we decided we had to have it. The bad thing is, its brewed once a year and they just dont make enough to go around. Bruisin Ales in Asheville was out of stock and they weren't getting anymore for the year, and no one in Virginia had any. Even the online guys were out of stock. Luckily, Bim looked up a beer megastore in Kentucky called The Party Source. Sure enough, the website proclaimed that they had some. Fred even called the shop to see if he could buy it and have them ship it,but some antiquated (old ass for you tards) laws prohibited them from doing so. Luckily, Bim's oldest daughter was graduating from college and his parents were coming to see her. Why is that important dear readers? Well they live in Cincinnati, right across the border from the Party Source. Thankfully, on the trip down to Va, they stopped by the store and Bim's dad successfully fought off 2 liberal arts coeds and a professional hair stylist to come away with the last 4 pack they would have for the year. Now, since we have been building up this vaunted beer for a while we all knew it could never live up to expectations. However, it is rich, velvety smooth and fiery like a strong bourbon, and finishes up with a hint of coffee flavor. Almost an RFG, but some of the members aren't fans of these bourbon barrel beers so we gave it a very very good. We then tried a similar beer from our friends in Illinois, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (13.0%). Pitch black, this stuff would blot out the sun at mid day. Smoother than even the KBS, this was in one word, OUTFUCKINGSTANDING. Do whatever you need to do to get your hands on this stuff, it is without a doubt one of the best beers we have ever tasted. The final beer of the night was from the OBX, Weeping Radish Brewing's Black Radish (5.3%). Having tried two of their other beers and being quite disgusted with both of them, we didn't expect much from this. Yet like that road side dive that looked like a health code violation but had the best cheeseburger around, we were happily impressed. Easily the only beer that they make thats worth a shit, it is a good summer evening beer. We had reached the end of our journey for the evening, but we were pleased with the outcome as we had welcomed 4 new RFGs to the club. The night had ended, but not before we hearkened back to the words of the famed Greek orator Erectocles who said of us, The BC4M did what they were trained to do, what they were bred to do, what they were born to do..............DRINK!
Posted by Beer Club 4 Men at 8:01 AM
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
With the Virginia Beer Festival fast approaching, the creative genius of the group, Johnny Wilder (or J Wild to the crew) decided to have a collaboration of ideas with the Founding Fathers on designing a T-shirt to wear to the festival. What better way to stoke the flames of imagination than to crack open a few new beers and see what sort of new virtuosity develops. First up was RedHook Rope Swing Summer Pilsner (5.3%). Seemingly brewed with rope salvaged from Davey Jones' locker, this beer didn't knock any ones socks off and was a typical ho-hum run of the mill summer style beer and got a so-so. If the choices in the local store were down to Keystone Light and this, then choose this. Otherwise, leave this mediocre swill on the shelf. Next was Flying Dog's Woody Creek White (4.8%), a Belgian Wit style beer, which poured just like every other mass marketed white beer available. From the first taste you know your drinking a wheat beer, that clovey, spicy note in every sip. Another so-so beer. The night was definitely starting off very weak. If Van Gogh was forced to drink this beer, he might not have had the balls to cut his ear off and instead would have severed his tongue. We then opened a new seasonal from New Belgium Brewing, Skinny Dip (4.2%). Self described as a summer style beer brewed with kaffir limes (limes evidently grown in diesel fuel), this had to be one of the worst beers ever. Fred said, "I would rather drink the runoff from the sprinkler system than have to taste one more sip of this shitty mess". Most of the assembled just poured theirs out rather than subject their taste buds to anymore abuse. We decided to go back to Flying Dog's Snake Dog IPA (7.1%). These guys have some interesting bottle labels, and usually have a decent beer. This one was very hoppy (in a good way) but some members asked where the malt was. J Wilder exclaimed, "I love this feisty bitch". This one rated a definite good. Trying to keep the good times rolling, we opened a Flying Dog Double Dog Double IPA (11.5%). Now this is the type of beer that generally gets us excited. Big hop aromas followed by the big alcohol bite, this one was like chewing on a pine cone ( a big ass pine cone). A split vote was given, half for so-so, half for good. Designs for the t-shirt were slow to materialize (Bim drew a picture that only a 4 yr old would be proud of that sorta looked like a mosquito riding a shot glass, design DENIED). We decided the answer to our lack of productivity was another cold beer. Sam Adams Imperial White (10.3%) was our next choice. A big, bold, strong beer, Fred said it was as smooth as "a freshly Pledged coffee table", while J. Wilder said "I feel a bit short-shafted, its an RF without hitting the G-spot, but its damn good". This one is a great beer and in fact all the Imperial Series from Sammy A are either RFG or very good. We then tried another new seasonal, Troeg's Flying Mouflan (9.3%). The bottle looked like a cover from an Aerosmith album, and it was described as Nugget Nectar pushed off the side of a cliff. No one seemed to know what a mouflan was so Fred suggested it was the tasty dessert served at most roadside Mexican joints. Snake brought up the fact that as a young lad growing up in the wilds of Turkmenistan he and his brothers would hunt wild mouflans for dinner. "Tastes like porcupine, Dee-licious" exclaimed Snake. A quick search on the encyclopedia for dummies (i.e. Wikipedia) showed that the mouflan is actually a type of sheep. Known to be very cunning and agile, Snake said he gained his all-neighborhood track speed from running down these rams over the Caucasus Mountains. This barley wine style beer was a solid good. Since we seemed to be on a roll with some good beers, we decided to keep the party going and pulled out a Coastal Brewing Pamlico Amber (4.7%). Wow, this shit SUCKS. One member said, "take a glass of unsweet tea and remove all taste, then piss in it and it would still taste better than this awful crap" This stuff was simply horrible. To cleanse our palates, we opened the last beer of the night, Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat (4.9%). As you know, wheat beers generally don't rate high on our list, but this 12 oz bottle of "fruity pebbles" was a sheer delight. This was pretty damn good, but like a bowl of sugary cereal, you cant take on a lot of this stuff. This would be an ideal beer (light as a feather and just sweet enough) to get your new girlfriend to try when you take her out for the 6.99 soup and salad special at Olive Garden (you cheap bastard). The evening had come to a close, and a design still hadn't been agreed upon. Even though the canvas was still blank, in our minds we say "a great beer will always beat shitty art".
Posted by Beer Club 4 Men at 7:50 PM
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Buenos nachos, mi amigos y amigas, donde esta tu cervezas? Once again, Cinco de Mayo had arrived, so we decided to throw a little neighborhood party down near Snake and Bim's to celebrate the wonderful heritage that our compadres to the south (well at least the ones that haven't hopped the border and settled here illegally) have. Wives, kids, new neighbors and many of the BC4M members (except for D-Rail who was busy translating for a landscaping crew and couldn't make it) all descended on the 1/16th acre of weeds we proudly know as the circle of sod. Sure, there is even some family history involved too. Fred said he fondly recalled listening to his grandfather revel in stories of how great grand pappy General Beauregard Chimichanga led his band of rebels (i.e. Southern boys) up and down the east coast planting all those pesky South of the Border billboards for his amigo bueno Pedro. Toiling in the hot sun all those days gave the boys a thirst for the craft brews that Pedro used to smuggle from his homeland, beers long since lost to history. Home brews such as "el diablo del mantequilla" which roughly translates into "the devil's ball sweat", and "gallito del lugar" which means "the spitting rooster" were beers that were meant to be savored not swilled. To honor all the hard work that our forefathers had put in while blazing that path of day-glo kitsch along I-95, we decided to sample a few of the best cervezas we could get our hands on. First up was Dos Equis Lager Especial (5.0%). Just because you write the word 'especial' on the bottle doesn't mean its actually any good. Typical of the cerveza style, this beer is thin and drinkable, but why in the world would you pay more than say 5 pesos for this garbage. Sure, they actually have a great ad campaign going on right now (featuring Bims look-alike twin brother, the World's Most Interesting Man), but hey muchachos, if you spent half your ad money on ingredients maybe this beer would get more than a so-so. We then tried a can of Modelo Especial (4.4%). A pilsner style beer, this is watery, but decent. Next was Bohemia Clasica (5.3%) which is a special brew that zee Germans brought with them while they were looking for artifacts in the Mexican jungles during Raiders of the Lost Ark. Another thin, watery bottle of mediocrity, the best thing about this was the cool pic on the label of that great Aztec King, Chief Big Cock Feather. If he actually had to drink this crap,he might have thrown every Kraut beer maker working in Cancun off the temple as a sacrifice. History books say smallpox wiped out the natives when the Conquistadors arrived in Mexico, but we think it might have been this beer that did it. America's favorite bottles of nothingness, Corona (4.6%) and Corona Light (4.1%) were next. Who in America hasn't fallen prey to the clever marketing schemes of this friend of the beach. A cold Corona and a slice of lime and your an instant cliche. Even if your local watering hole is serving a whole bucket of these "beers" for 5 bucks, they are still RIPPING you off. After drinking the Corona Light, Bim said, "now I know what the hell Rogue means when their bottles say free range coastal waters";"They must be using Corona light instead of water". With the exception of Prince Corona Mike, all hands said so-so and sucks to the beers even Mexicans turn their noses up at. We then opened up a Dos Equis Amber (4.5%) which Fred called "a dark version of nothingness". Its no damn wonder they are clamoring to come up here, their beer fucking sucks. Another in a long line of so-so's. The next to last Mexican beer of the night was Tecate (4.5%). No flavor at all, this beer seemed lazy and lacked any distinctive characteristics at all. Hell, if we bottled some of our home brews and labeled them "cerveza", we all could probably be able to retire. Sol (4.5%) was the last of the hop and malt free beverages we were to try for the evening. Imagine if you will a long hot day of yard work (and yes of course I know what your thinking about Mexicans and yard work, where are you D-Rail?). Now after you take a shower to rinse off the grime, you collect the shower runoff and bottle it. Congratulations, you just made your first bottle of Sol. We couldn't end this festive night on a down note, so Wilder brought out a few new nuggets to try. Avery Brewing and Russian River's Collaboration not Litigation Ale (8.91%) was a very spicy wheat style beer that had a distinctive clove taste that drove us to score this a so-so to good. We then opened a Southern Tier Krampus (9.0%) which is a Helles style lager. Helles is German for "light" and these beers are otherwise known as pale lagers. The writing on the bottle described the story of the Krampus, which is this horned creature that goes out with Jolly old Saint Nick during Christmas and punishes the bad kids. One member thought Krampus was, "the feeling you get when you drink the water while on vacation in Guatemala". Southern Tier makes some weird ass beers, most of which suck, but this one was actually good. Snake then pulled out a Harpoon Summer Beer (5.0%). This is a Kolsch style beer ( a lager style beer that is actually made with ale yeast). This is a great beer for drinking on a hot summer day, light and refreshing and it rated a good. Since we had tried a bunch of light beers all evening, the final two beers for the night were considerably stronger. Sierra Nevada's 30th Anniversary Stout XXX (9.5%) was next . Sporting a slick looking bottle, we expected a bonafide gem when we poured a round. Fred declared it was like drinking a bottle of liquid smoke. A second glance at the bottle stated that the founder of Anchor Brewing, Fritz Maytag had come back to brew this special beer. Fred said, "Maybe Fritz should either go back to selling washing machines or back in freaking retirement cause this stuff sucks". Finally, we had a second tasting of New Holland Dragon's Milk (10.0%). From their "high gravity" series this garnered a so-so cause most members took a big sip and then realized they were actually drinking a cheap-ass bourbon. Definitely take your time with this one, it isn't a beer to shotgun. The night had come to an end, but the adventure never ends. Until our next rendezvous, Stay thirsty my friends...
Posted by Beer Club 4 Men at 8:40 PM
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Saturday was the 136th Run for the Roses, better known of course as the Kentucky Derby. In our neighborhood, we generally have some sort of get together (i.e. party) several times a year. During the warmer months, we have a little something called a 'flamingo'. These parties started sometime in the past when J. Wilder put two plastic flamingos in his yard and invited everyone over for some food and fun and of course, drinks. After the first one, he would then simply plant the flamingos in someone's yard and they would in turn host the event. Before you knew it, the whole neighborhood had adopted the idea and we seemed to have flamingos every weekend. Nowadays, we simply say, hey all, we're having a flamingo and we go get the birds from whomever currently has them and plant them out front and wait for the neighbors to show. We generally have 25 or 30 flamingos a year depending on the weather. So to kick off the 2010 CHC Flamingo season, J. Wilder suggested a Kentucky Derby party. Mind you, only Fred probably watched the actual race, but all the ladies dressed up with fancy hats and dresses and one guy (Fred) showed up with a sweet new hat in an outfit that had the rest of the BC4M members saying (who's the goombah?). This wasn't to be an official tasting night, but while the ladies of the hood gathered on the deck to tarry with the grape, we decided to sneak in a BC4M session. Da fellas (in true Jersey goombah-eaze style) gathered around Wilder's new firepit next to the lagoon pool and each got a full serving of draft Michelob Shock Top (5.2%) from a keg that 10pm brought over. We were off and running. Say what you will about mass marketed swill from the likes of Michelob, but on draft (DRAFT mind you), this was actually damn good. One member said, "damn that tastes a whole lot better than it does in a bottle". Another comment was, "shit, I didnt think Budweiser had it in them to make something this decent." Next up was a new beer from our friends that hail from Ole Tommy Jefferson's woods, Starr Hill Brewing's Lucy (4.4%). "Strange and exotic, said Fred, almost like a lime flavored lifesaver candy". Most of the group rated this a so-so, but the J. man and Fred liked it. Not for everyone, this is a unique brew that should be reserved solely for warm evenings when your with a group of fancy pants yuppies from D.C that don't know shit about what constitutes a good beer. The third beer of the evening was Sierra Nevada's Summerfest (5.0%) , a new seasonal that really went down smooth with a classic easy drinking hop finish. This is a great beer to enjoy while your out crabbing, or sitting on your porch watching all those young ladies whizz by on their rollerblades (yea if it was still like 1999). The final beer of the evening was Atwater Block Brewery's Vanilla Java Porter (5.5%). This bottle held a lot of promise, as it proclaimed to be one of the most admired beers this brewery makes. The first, second, third and fourth sips left very few of us thinking we had actually tasted java or vanilla but it did sorta taste like a porter. It got a so-so since it left us hanging. The party started to wind down by this time as a lot of folks had to get up early for various reasons the next day. We decided to call it a night and prepare for the upcoming neighborhood Cinco De Mayo celebration that was sure to violate multiple treaties and international laws in the process. Until our next episode dear friends, keep drinking like a horse.
Posted by Beer Club 4 Men at 4:58 PM