Saturday, June 27, 2009

I Feel Like the Governor of South Carolina

Between work, school, and vacation, I have severely neglected my blogs. It's as if I was lost on the Appalachian Trail or in Argentina visiting my mistress or some shit like that.

So, in the spirit of keeping things updated, I thought I'd fill you in on what was missed. Will I chronicle every beer I had over the past two weeks? No. But here are some highlights...

I was able to make out to Sycamore a couple of nights in a row for some good beers. I sampled an '09 Matilda from the folks at Goose Island. This was a great Belgian style strong pale ale. I had an Orval later in the week and the Goose Island pale compared favorably. The second night at Sycamore rewarded me with a Founders Red's Rye Ale which is an excellent example as to why ryes might be the next big thing in beer. I also enjoyed some Southern Tier Choklat as my buddy's wife ordered a bomber she needed to split with us.

In between those two visits to Sycamore, I did fit in a Brother David's Tripel from Anderson Valley. While this beer is not the best example of the style, it do go well with the gyro and spinach pie I picked up from International Cafe.

My blogging friend from NYC returned the favor and sent me some great beers. I have yet to taste any of them. We actually left on vacation (more on that below) the day after the shipment arrived. So, in my stash sits a Brooklyn Local #1, Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, Hair of the Dog's Fred, Weyerbacher Twelve, and a '08 Goose Island Matilda. My plan is to hit the Matilda first as I just had the '09 version recently at Sycamore.

As I mentioned before, we traveled to North Carolina for a vacation. No, we did not spend a week in Asheville. Rather, we spent our time on the Outer Banks which was great, sans the few beer options. My father-in-law and his wife very graciously rented a cottage on the beach for his two kids and their families. Luckily, there was plenty of beer as both my fil and brother-in-law are homebrewers big beer enthusiasts. I was the only one to bring his own. They both liked it a lot. My fil commented that it was pretty good for a rookie.

Aside from my homebrew, we feasted on Magic Hat #9 (still not sure about fruit beers), various selections from Trader Joe's, and some Dogfish Head. The DfH came from a grocery store R and I discovered. They had both 60 Minute and 90 Minute IPA's. I couldn't pass that up. This salvaged what could have been a somewhat disappointing week in beer. That is, until we discovered Harrika's Brew Haus.

The Brew Haus featured beer, tea, and related collectibles. (And next door was their wine and cheese house.) It was a restoration/gift shop/craft beer/party house/tea room kind of place. The beer selection was first-rate. They even had a couple of beers on tap. I chose the Harpoon Summer Beer since I really didn't need another Fat Tire. (Apparently, New Belgium was a newish addition.) If you ever are in the Emerald Isle area, you must stop by this little joint at least for a drink. Due to limited space in my suitcase and limited time to drink, I just picked up Weyerbacher's Insanity and Heresy as well as a Dogfish Head Palo Santo Maron.

So, there you have it. I'm caught up. Sure, I drank a Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale and an O'Fallon Five Day IPA, but that was basically the meat of my two week hiatus from this blog. There's more to come as I have a dinner with a Belgium strong dark ale and a blind tasting on which to report. Cheers!

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