Burning down the house

Brewing is a fairly simple process. The hardest part of making a good beer is sanitation. Or so I thought. This chapburned down his apartment while trying to brew beer. I don’t think I’ve warned of that anywhere on my site, so here’s the suggestion: Don’t leave your home when trying to make beer.

Oh, and don’t just use sugar.

Battle for the Belt Redux

The battle for the belt is over, and I’ve not heard who won yet. However, here are my votes:

1) Austino Amber – Mill Creek, WA – This was a fantastic amber, and if its his first, he’s got a great recipe to work with. The hop profile was excellent; bright and floral with a superb bitterness. The sweet malt body was an excellent compliment.

2) Quasar Pils – Crystal Brewery, Portland OR – The only pils this year, and a damn fine example. The pour had excellent clarity and a wonderful creamy head that lasted the entire beer. The aroma was smooth and hoppy, but a nicer floral hop than traditional Saaz. The taste was a mouthful of lager malts and left with a crisp bite. I hope this shows up again this summer.

3) Big Bully Organic IPA – Hillsdale Pub, Portland OR – In the past I haven’t thought the world of this beer, but it was by far the best IPA served. It wasn’t too overt, but the favorable hop aroma and flavors and clean malt body made it an easy drink.

There were a number of other good beers, but so many of them, mostly stouts, weren’t distinct enough to stand out. Though they were good, I couldn’t tell which I’d had once I set the taster back down. I remember the Bucket Dance Oat Stout, Sumatran Stout, Bitter Bridesmaid IPA and Ankeny Amber favorably, and will definitely have them again.

McMenamins's Battle for the Belt

Today is the annual McMenamins Battle for the Belt. We’ve been in years past, and have had a great time trying all the myriad of locally brewed flavors. The Hillsdale pub was our neighborhood pub up until recently, but we still consider it that, and make frequent visits to sulk or celebrate in a dark corner booth. I think we’ll be taking the in-laws today to imbibe.

Neptune Lager

I dreamt that I was the first person to brew beer on Neptune. Naturally, it was a lager. What else could take the extreme colds? It was a strange dream, but after waking I figured I should brew a Neptune Lager. I’ll make sure to brew it as soon as I have the time and space to lager. But I call dibs on the name.

Rogue Garage Sale

Rogue is hosting a Beer & Chocolate tasting with Fred Eckhart tonight. We decided not to go because of the cost, $25/person. We’ll have to do it next time around, because it sounds like a great time.

Instead, we spent most of that money on Rogue’s Garage Sale, which involves selling cases of their beer for a good discount. There were some real bargains, like Mexi-Cali Rouge and Chamimellow for $15/case, but most were $20-$25 a case. Scott and I are splitting 4 cases – Brutal Bitter (!), Shakespeare Stout, Mocha Porter, and Younger’s Special Bitter. What a treat, and at $2 a bottle!

So that’s our Valentine’s day, in Beer. I think fondue is on the menu too.

Romulan Ale

Out of curiosity, I picked up a bottle of Romulan Ale from John’s Marketplace yesterday. The beer wasn’t anything special. It was better than I expected though. Sadly, its not an ale, but rather a german style pilsner.

The novelty of the beer is what made it great. It turned my mouth blue, and I spilled some on my dog, who promptly licked it up, turning his mouth blue. As a result, the yellow lab he was playing with was left with a couple of blue streaks around the neck. What about the day after affects? Well, everything wasn’t turned blue (to my disappointment), but rather green. But that’s what you get for $1.55.