Monday, August 30, 2010

Idiot Sauvin... bringing people together since 8/28/10

 Due to not keeping a running post that I edited as each day went by, it has to be said: "The details of my revelry are a bit fuzzy." We'll see what all I can remember, it hasn't been too crazy in my little piece of the planet.

Wed. 8/25
Ale - (please keep in mind this list is divided by 2, although everything was shared) Avery Hog Heaven Barleywine, Scuttlebutt Hoptopia, Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Bock, Lagunitas Brown Shugga, Port Brewing 4th Anniv. IMP IPA. There may have been 2 additional ales consumed once we moved deck side but I do not recall. @ Steilacoom Pub we both tried the Elysian Mens Room Red. @ home we busted out the Bitches Brew (don't get kewt, that's the beer name) I've been saving, a recent Dogfish Head release.
Location & Companions -Jakes Bar & Bistro, Steilacoom Pub then on to MGD's house to watch "Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels"
411 - Got together, to seek out sunshine while casting away our troubles from a long work week & family troubles. However, by the time we made it out to Jake's, the sun was on it's descent and the wait for a deck table was long; so it never happened. Stupid golf tourney getting in the way of my Vitamin D, crowding the place up. My pasty stems will get evened out eventually, I'll keep wearing skirts in vain 'til summer is officially over.
  Very impressed with Jake's overall. Nice selection of ales on tap in addition to a long list of specialty rotating beers. Tried the snapper, Thai shrimp skewers and seafood fettuccine; all great in my mouth. Mouth feel: awesome. Can't wait for Jake's round two so we can kick back a bit more when it's not so crazy. Post Jake's we took a moonlit walk up to Steilacoom Pub, which was entertaining for me personally. I continue wearing this jean skirt I love although it gives me nothing but trouble. As it continues to ride up and up and up, all I can think is that these hips don't lie. Well they lied to me dammit!! Maybe it's too small and I'm living in a size 12 fantasy world. Eventually I gave up w/ my battle and just let it ride up to look like a big scrunchy denim belt around my waist. Whatever, who's going to say anything in Steilacoom?
  The pub was kinda dingy and I felt a bit out of place (maybe it was everyone staring while I adjusted my belt/skirt to cover my naughty bits as we walked in). Most likely it was the transition from Jake's to the Steilacoom Pub. Very different atmosphere. Grabbed pints of Elysian Mens Room Red which I've been excited to try. Pretty decent stuff, have to grab a bottle @ 99 to try in the comfort of my own home and review. I stopped after 1 pint (ie designated home finder)and MGD got a 2nd ale but I don't recall the name. It was no bueno apparently as his response was "One sip was good, we can go whenever. I'm not going to finish that." Weird, right? "No beer shall go unfinished" I declared while jumping up out of my hunter green plastic chair! So I did what a good gurl does, I downed the rest. Okay not really, I was over it & winding down so we walked back to the the car. What's a chick gotta do to get a damn piggy back ride 'round here?
  Drove home and was convinced that tonight was the night for some Bitches Brew. Holy flying spaghetti balls that was a dark beer. I don't mind stouts but I just wasn't expecting... well... THAT. (that = what I poured into my glass) MGD felt one sip of it was enough of a contribution (is this going to be a fucking theme? he's supposed to finish my gross beer) on his end so the rest was all mine to enjoy. Great... It wasn't bad but it's not a kind of beer that I can drink a lot of. Yet being the enthusiastic supporter that I am, I would never say not to trying/finishing/taking a bath in ANY Dogfish Head brew. Note to uninformed self: read the description online so at least proper expectations are in place. "a bold, dark beer that's a fusion of three threads imperial stout and one thread honey beer with gesho root." Got it.  

Thurs. 8/26
Ale Buffalo Bill's Orange Blossom Cream Ale, Boulevard BC Single Wide IPA, SE's SU (growler)
Location - MGD's house, watching Battlestar Galactica & contemplating why I've never finished a crossword puzzle besides the one's in People 'zine. I see "Ra is the Sun God" and lose all interest.
'Sup - 2nd trip to Tobacco Pipe & Cigar. Had a fun chat with an employee about awesome craft beer and revealed my much coveted holy grail location of Dogfish Head acquisition: MSM deli. He seemed totally worthy of knowing. Plus, he let me shamelessly promote this blog with minimal (noticeable) eye rolling. Next time I go, some Dogfish Head World Wide Stout damn well better still be there. Just sayin'. 
Hadn't had the Orange Blossom in a year or two, and even though I enjoyed it, pretty sour ale. I used to looooooooooooover it. Meh... movin' on up in the ale world. Single Wide IPA was good. I'm told IPA gets better when you let it warm up a bit. I think I need to sit down and let this phenomenon happen and see what I think. Right now, I just don't know. MGD thought it would be a great beer to try on tap so I take that as a personal mission. Naturally. Oh Siiiiiiingle Wide... where arrrrrrrrrre you?
Sat. 8/28
Parkway IPA Festival 2010

Totally popped my cherry on the Parkway IPA Festival Saturday. I was so excited for this event and believe me, they did not disappoint. Got all sexified post workout with Jo for the festivities, walked up 21st/I street and was like "whoa", the place was packed and hoppin'. Then I was like "whoa" because I hardcore tripped over the sidewalk. Fucking Tacoma. Haha, gotta start the night out right I guess.
Got our little blue star wrist stamp and headed right in to the back of the huge ass line. While I hate waiting for most things beer related, it did give me a sec to collect myself. Busted out my itemized IPA list with my top choices bolded for easy referencing. My preparation skills are to be envied, I should be an honorary Girl Scout (hint to Jo). Both pints and 6oz tasters were being served so @ this point my over stimulation hit a leve 5.6 due to the atmosphere, the prospect of getting some hops in my system and calculating just how many we could reasonably consume with no DD. 
I have to stop for a moment and say how much I heart Jo. 
She is always down to do random stuff that I enjoy & come up with, plus she is all kinds of enthusiastic about shamelessly promoting my blog. She wanted me to select her IPAs so that I could have the ultimate experience & try everything I wanted to. Good fwend right there. She's a keeper.

Each trip to the bar resulted in a double fisting. Round 1 left me feeling pretty bummed because my first choice, Elysian Idiot Sauvin, had already blown. DAMMIT. So we just went from there and ordered it all up at random. Didn't see any familiar faces within, so we headed outside. Pulled up a piece of brick and tried to remember what was in our 4 collective hands. This got more humorous as the night progressed. 
However, the Idiot Sauvin had a more divine plan for us. 
Invaded the brick space of the owner of Amocat Cafe and fellow IPA seeker and enjoyer. He happened to have an entire pint of Idiot Sauvin and offered it up graciously amidst my protests that "my lipgloss will effect the flavor! just sayin".  Ended up a threesome all night; talking beer, blogs, and our fave brewers. Had some random friends and family make appearances throughout the evening much to my delight.  It was a great time had by all.
It has to be said with much authority, that sharing tastings is a much easier endeavor with multiple people. We had approx. 15 different IPAs that night, at least that I kept track of. And one mystery pint left on our ledge by a previous group. Yes... I tried it. And have decided that it must be the one and only Our Lady of the Hop Hop Messiah ale we couldn't acquire earlier in the evening (despite the hints of iced tea-ness) Being the bravest one of the group, we'll never really know for sure, will we? So it's my call.
Here's a list of IPA's we were able to try that night (alphabetically of course)
(For non beer aficionados, ABV %: alcohol by volume & IBU: international bitterness units, measures the hoppy bitterness which is important in IPA drinkage for it can create the awesome Tracy IPA face. Sexy.)
  • 2 Beers Infused Summer Hop (ABV 7.1, IBU 68)
  • Airways First Class (ABV 5.5, IBU 40)
  • Black Raven Trickster (ABV 6.8, IBU 67)
  • Dogfish Head 90minute (ABV 9, IBU 90; like I wasn't going to have this one, cereal)
  • Elysian Idiot Sauvin
  • Georgetown Lucille Cask (ABV 7.2)
  • Harmon Citra Single Hop (ABV 7.4, IBU 100)
  • Hale's Nitro Supergoose (ABV 7.1, IBU 80)
  • Hale's Over the Hop (ABV 8.8) Name was fitting, we could barely finish it was over the top/hop/top/hop. Majorly skunkified.
  • Maritime Pacific Double Dry Hopped Imperial (ABV 7.5)
  • Naked City Hoptrocity (ABV 9)
  • Oskar Blues Gubna Imperial (ABV 10, IBU 100)
  • Port Brewing Mongo Double (ABV 8.5)
  • Southern Tier Randall (ABV 6.9) *this is the only beer I took notes on per Jo's reminder. "Notes: Mild." Yep, that's it. Hahahaha. Apparently I was still in the mind set 'I'm here for research!" After about 5 tastings I swiftly switched to 'I'm here to drink!' Yay for my granola bar dinner, I gotta sort out my food/drinking timing. Chaperones or those w/ sufficient amount of relationship credits to boss me around, feel free to apply within.
  • Stone Double Dry Hopped (ABV 6.9, IBU 77)
  • Walking Man Homo Erectus (ABV 9, IBU 100)
  • Mystery Pint, why not? It's a night of revelry and I have a mouth of steel. Still convinced it was Our Lady of the Hop Hop Messiah...

Overall I call the night a success in my heart of hearts. I spent an hour trying to secure a veggie dog which led to a RedHot like experience I'm trying to get over, made my Tracy IPA face several times. (it's been awhile since that's come out, now that IPA's are befriending my mouth. MGD: you would have loved, they were hardcore faces) Had fun conversations and waxed poetic about Dogfish Head & Schooner Exact. I'm sure a haiku or two were written. Thanks to all who came out, new fwends and old, you made my 1st Parkway IPA Fest a memorable event. Good fwends and good ale go together like all things that are mutually awesome. Can't wait til round 2 next year and my first Barleywine Fest in April! In the meantime, will start thinking about organizing a Non-IPA Fest like all you pansies were talking about for a grip. ;)

Signing off with a happy tipsy smile,
Your pissed liBEERian

P.S. It has to be said that it's probably (definitely) time to call it a night when I've started searching for some lip gloss (B&B Works Liplicious Frozen Daquiri) I had lost weeks ago in the Parkway womens restroom. Good. Night.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A week in the life... Take 1.

To me, a week begins on a Monday. Lunes. Poniedzialek. Lundi. I don't get those people who think it starts on Sunday. Is it a religious thing? Or an attempt to make Monday into Day 2 of the work week, in order to hate it a little bit less? I personally love Mondays, fresh start & new adventures to be had.

I am trying to keep tabs on all the beer that I drink, yet find it hard to really sink my teeth into sites like I think because I suck at defining beers beyond "balls to the wall, hells yeah this is good!" and that really gets in the way of my quest to appear smarter than I am. I'm slowly learning some super sexy descriptive terminology that I can use (somewhat correctly) though. What it means to be floral, sour, lacey, what is fresh & not from a keg.

I'm sure this plight will either scare me into becoming a card carrying member of AA (sorry, guess that's coin carrying depending on how long you stick with it) or at least make me go back to calorie counting. I just don't want to forget anything that goes into my mouth! As I prefer not to harass my loyal readers with a daily update, I plan to compile libations during the week and post it on the day of rest. Keeping in mind that I may at some point experience a week where I drink nothing at all... yeah, anywaaaaaays.

There are particular elements I find important in all beer drinkage that I will try to include so that you can really get a grasp on what my mental/emotional/physical state was at the time of ingestion:
-what I drank
-what I thought of what I drank (messy analogies and adjectives will be thrown around)
-where I drank
-possible food pairings
-possible friend pairings
-and the oh so important: how I felt about it as a whole package.

Or it will be just a list of what I drank and when. Because I'm lazy and it's a pain to type a lot through my phone while @ a bar and having fun. So we are off and running, here goes Week 1.

Tuesday 8/17
Ale - Dogfish Head Theobroma (Very different than I imagined it would be. Imagined it would be spicy/sweet and possibly thick, much like DFH's Sah'tea. Yet it was a mild and a very tasty ale, totally worth the hoarding of a few weeks awaiting MGD's return) & SE's Seamstress Union (uno Growler to share, usual awesomeness that it is. Currently trying to seek a balance between enjoying til the last drop/drinking it as fast as I can so I have a reason to go back to the tasting room/not hoarding it because it will go bad... so I was informed.)
Location/Person enjoyed with - MGD's house. Okayokayokay, his bed. That's where we like to drink while watching movies. Plus dude was all laid up with issues o' de spine. Poor guy. Kept him nicely stocked with ale though, to help ease the suffering. I'm a good nurse like dat. Watched Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Time Travelers Wife (thnx babe) & fell asleep to some episodes of Battlestar Galactica.
Food - Hummus Plate x 2 from the Top of Tacoma. Very tasty combo of hummus, onions, grilled pita, tomatoes, cucumbers & kalamata olives. With a side of super sexy breath.
Wrap Up - Chill night in general, good for a Tuesday. I tend to not have a lot of down time during the week, especially if I'm at my own home. It was nice to eat, drink, kick back in some 600tc business and do just about nothing for a bit. The food was just what my body wanted (light and satisfying) and the beer found a happy home in there too.
SE's Seamstress Union sighting!! On tap @ Top of Tacoma. Too bad my to go Hummus Platterz were ready to go when I arrived so I couldn't stay for fresh pintliness. If the SU isn't enough to bring me back later this week, the new treasures in the vending machine are.

Wednesday 8/18
Ale - Schooner Exact Seamstress Union raspberry wheat (uno pint)
Location - @ home, on my couch. listening to country music with my roomie and getting overly annoyed with Facebook's photo editing/organizing
Nomz - enjoyed with a faux chicken burger
411 - Tasted excellent but I have a sneaking suspicion it's what kept me up til 2a. I think if I drink beer @ night, I need to drink to excess for a restful nights sleep. Lesson learned.

Thursday 8/19
Ale - SE's SU (2-3 pints, I honestly can't remember because I didn't pay)
Location & Fwends - Top of Tacoma Bar. Decided to hit it up post workout with my buddy JoLyn for general SU consumage and local paper reading (dammit fucking Stranger not having the "I saw you" section). Was pleasantly surprised to see MGD saving our fave corner booth when I showed up. Score! (BTW, great prices on pints @ Tops. $3.00 and it wasn't even happy hour)
Nomz - decided that I had already had hummus and Boca burger within a week @ the Top, I should get the only other thing I eat there, a caprese salad. Note: Tops has uh-maze-ing food, I'm just a weirdo who doesn't eat meat. It's limiting. Can I get some basil with a side of mozzarella and tomato? Yummy! Oh... and one single salt & vinegar chip. Yep, still gross. Confirmed. Jo almost gave me her pickle, I asked for it and she lovingly turned her plate in my direction. I inquired if she liked pickles and she revealed that she loves them, but would let me have hers. True friend right there, what a sexy bitch.
The Haps - Usual good antics @ Tops. Overly drunk people made of pure muscle being boisterous and entertaining. Since MGD & I had bugged the owner/employees about obtaining some Seamstress Union for us... it felt amazing to go and pay homage to their greatness. Tops and SE, you rock! Oh and it's worth mentioning that the vending machine is full of awesomeness again. Think KitKats & Pregnancy Tests. PBR 40oz beer koozies &  huge temporary tattoos of '253' in scrolly pretty red letters. Which I know own at the low low cost of $4.00.

Friday 8/20 
(btw... it's hitting me as I review my week in drinking that I drink a lot. Maybe not a ton at once, but often. No worries, I'm sure week 1 is just extra exciting...)
Afternoon - Captain of solo mission
Ale - SE Seamstress Union, 2 pints. Trying to finish off my growler so I have a reason to head back to SE.
Location - My bed @ home, sitting around all dressed up and nowhere to go while listening to music and eating grapes. I would have eaten more if I had known that was going to be all I had for dinner. Waiting around, doot dee doot.
This is a two parter so hang tight.
Evening - Private Beerfest #4 @ MGD's house.  
Ale -Dogfish Head Punkin ale, Spanish Peaks Honey Raspberry ale, Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron (bought this ale to round out my DFH cap collection but the ale was darn tasty), Rogue Brutal IPA, Dick's Silk Lady, Houblon Chouffee Dobbelen IPA Trippel
Location & Partner in Crime - MGD's casa, mostly in the cucina. After tasting #5 or so, moved to the living room because standing was becoming difficult. Threw on some Bob Marley, lounged back in my favorite chair looking cute in my new sundress, and let the night progress to where all private beerfest adventures end up. Use your imagination. 'nuff said. However I will say that Friday night was a first for me. I have never been reprimanded for not drinking enough or keeping up. Sweet nothings of "Drink your beer!!" came at me multiple times. Not sure why but it was kinda hot. Promises to drink faster next time, although I was 2 pints deep at the beginning and skipped dinner. Just sayin'.

Saturday 8/21
Ale - SE Seamstress Union, Growler finish off
Location - @ home watching Unforgiven

Sunday 8/22
Ale - lotsa Seamstress Union, by the pitcher.
Locations - Top of Tacoma Bar for the 2nd meetup of my shuper shweet book club: Literature & Libations.
(we meet up every 2 wks to read our own books & share suggestions, drink coffee/ale/etc depending on the location of choice. Totally chillaxed time with fun people. A great time to be had by all, come check it out! We will be posting our next meetup soon. 6 members in attendance and counting... not too shabby as we have doubled our members from round 1)

There is my week in review, holy cow it was a fun one...
the pissed liBEERian

Saturday, August 21, 2010

There are 24 usable hours in every day.

I have always been a person who enjoys having plans. I enjoy making them and changing them and letting them run me ragged. Burning the candle at both ends is a way of life for this girl. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy downtime and relaxation as much as the next person (well I try to at least) but I'm not truly content unless I'm feverishly adding things to my planner and multiple calendars. I enjoy having things to look forward to and here are some beer related events on my upcoming agenda. Hoping that a few of these suggestions will give you something to look forward to as well. Let's send summer out with a little kiss kiss bang bang.

August 28th/29th, 2p-2a (Tacoma) 40+ IPAs, 4 grilled pigs, and some veggie dogs for the weir-dooooooooz! (please envoke 12 days of Christmas tune while reading that)

September 10th, 11a til close (Seattle) Showcasing approx. 60 IPA's on tap for your mouthy enjoyment. Sure to be a well attended event, it's their 5th annual.

Sept 24-26th, hrs vary between 11a and 12a daily (Seattle) Multiple beer gardens, Miss Buxom contest, Steins n shit, entertainment, pumpkin carving with chain saws and a Brew-Ha-Ha 5k on Sunday. Now... where did I put my beer wench outfit?
Oh... there it is!

Oct 1st (5-9p) Oct 2nd (12-8p) Food, craft beer & live music, right in my own back yard?! Not sure where you could go wrong with that scenario. I'm buying my tickets early. It's the 2nd TCBF, my first experience. Tacoma is a great place for craft brewing experiences. Honored to live in the 253.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Why blame beer when you can blame something else?

I completely understand the concept of moderation in all things. I just don't understand that concept as it applies to me. Not only am I a typical Scorpio (ocd, passionate, determined & single minded/laser focused when I want/like/love something), but I am also just me. The girl who usually gets her way with little to no overt attempts to do so. I'm a product of the life I have been leading for these last 28yrs on the planet Erff. I rarely get told no, things usually work out in my favor and I tend to get away with doing whatever I want. To my detriment, I am so used to this happening in my life, I have come to expect it. Or at the very least I become greatly confused when things don't go my way. Bad news & a recipe for inevitable disappointment or a big fat reality check made out in my name.

That got a bit tangenty, sorry... here is my point: I have a hard time balancing the scales that contain in my life. Love, family, friends, work, drinking, exercising, free time, social activities: you name it. I am @ one extreme or the other. Excess, excess, excess; all the time. I had stopped drinking about 7mths ago, mostly for diet/weight loss reasons. Partying was the majority of how I spent my free time prior to January 2010 and it was becoming a big problem for various reasons. By combining a sans alcohol lifestyle with a strict exercise and food regimen, I lost a good amount of poundage. I did miss beer & my friends though. Now that I'm at a (mostly) happy spot in my fitness related goals I have come back from the dark side and added hoppy goodness back into the fold.

I am truly a person who in her heart, craves having it all. I think moderation is necessary for this because I've come to a point where there are literally not enough hours in the day to have and do it ALL. And I hardly sleep as it is! So although this particular rant has little to do with beer consumage, I am trying (and failing miserably) to point out that you can both eat and drink in moderation and still lose weight and be healthy. I was dating a man who had me convinced this was incorrect, led me to give up beer 100% and scoffed at the idea of me being a full time vegetarian. Except one time when he 'allowed' me to have a Coors Light and I looked at him and said "Thanks but I'd rather drink water than that crap. I still have some fucking standards." Granted he did serve his purpose in keeping me on the straight and narrow with my eating and exercise; thnx dude.

I feel more like myself again now that I can consume a delicious hopped up brew. I can train for a triathlon & spend most of my free time at the gym, stay a happy vegetarian while still drinking what I wish. Will be feverishly trying to fit in all my other passions and pursuits along the way. I can, and will, have it all. Why blame beer? If you are living in excess, the problem is you. Trust me on this one, I know. I am the only person who consistently gets in my own way and I no longer require anyone else to tell me how to not do that.

Take care of yourself, live how you want, follow your heart. If you like beer, fucking drink some beer. Just pass on the chocolate cuppie cake or run an extra few laps if you want to drink more than a few. Check out this hilarious article by the Beer Bitch, a writer for the Northwest Brewing News paper. She inspired this rant of mine so I painstakingly typed it all up for your enjoyment. I hope it tickles you as much as it did me.

Why Blame the Beer? by the Beer Bitch

"Ahh-the dog days of summer: fantastic beer, good food. These are indeed the days, my friend. So while I perch my hot pink tipped peds on the rail of Casa De Bitch's deck, sipping a very nice double hopped IPA, I can't help but ponder the bad rap beer gets.

But alas, I almost forgot my super attire. My demure styling starts with Daisy Dukes and an itty-bitty tanker (it's summer, and not much else is needed). There's a frosty home brew to my right and my number one minion to my left to answer my bidding. The golden tresses are piled atop my head in a mass of half hazard curls. My minion is rubbing my feet as I dictate this article to my latest not taker (who has yet to achieve true minion status.)

But I digress. Why do people blame their girth on beer? Could it be a portion of the cause of weight gain? I'll give you that. But have you stopped to take a look at what you are shoving down your gullet as you sip the swill you call home brew? Never mind that you are chowing down a 16-oz. steak with a baked potato, sour cream and cheese, or that this meal was primed by consuming an entire bag of potato chips and half a box of Oreo cookies first. No, that's not where your calories come from, you say. It's the beer!

But surely, your wide girth can't be from the light beer you love to consume! The big boys claim only 64 calories, the Bud man, 108, yet this is what you blame for your disproportionate belly. If you want to think so, be my guess. Heaven knows your home brew should ( I say, should) have more flavor than the urine-yellow water of the light beers, and yes, a few more calories, too. As for me, i would rather have a great tasting beer and a hundred more calories than to have to choke down any light beer at all.

What we have lost sight of is portion control in this country. The aforementioned 16-oz. steak is enough meat for four (4) portions for adults! You also don't need a potato the size of Idaho with a gallon of sour cream and a pound of cheese on top. And so you finish your meal that would feed an entire third-world household with a beer or two to wash it down.

One day you wake up and realize, although you are standing up, you have no idea if your shoes match or not. (Let me explain this for the befit of those whose brains may have also become obese: you are too fat to see your own feet) Time to go on a diet! And what's the first thing you cut out? The beer!

God forbid you would reduce your caloric intake down to a healthy level, or get your over sized butt off the sofa and maybe get some exercise. Maybe play with your kids in the yard, throw a ball for your dog or take your significant other for a walk?

Like the making of good beer, there is no quick way to lose weight. Both take time (and discipline). If you want to be thinner, take life (food and beer) in moderation. For each additional 3,500 calories you take in , you'll gain a pound. But the opposite is also true: cut back by 3,500 and you'll lose a pound.  Occasionally in life, even the Beer Bitch has to compromise. No, I'm not willing to give up my evening libation, but I am willing to walk a couple extra miles, go for a bike ride, or do an extra hour of yoga. I do this so I can consume what I want, when I want- in moderation.

So are you listening, my lowly home brewer? (Do you ever listen to me?) Unfortunately we, as Americans, often live up to the way that those in many other countries view us, as fat and lazy. If you consider stirring your wort to be a workout, think again. You want to be able to drink that second beer and not feel guilty (not that you have ever felt guilty - after all, you think your beer is actually drinkable, which should make you feel very, very guilty) Pus the lawn mower instead of riding it, park your car at the far end of the parking lot and take the stairs instead of the elevator! Try that for a week or two and you might find by the time you get to the top of the third floor you aren't gasping for air, looking like a fish out of water. And you'll be ready for a beer, too.

So as you contemplate the deep abyss you call your navel, pick out the lint, get your butt off the sofa and go for a walk.  Your beer - and your belly - will thank you for it. I have spoken."

"Why Blame the Beer?" by Beer Bitch. Northwest Brewing News. Aug/Sept 2010 Volume 9 #4

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Shouldn't every week be IPA week? What do I do for the other 51 weeks?

What. A. Weekend. It's Wednesday and I still feel worn out but that may be for other reasons.

Got the grandiose idea to hit up Tap House Grill in Seattle this past weekend for their IPA week. Granted it was 2 weeks long and MGD & I were only able to hit up the last wknd of it due to 1/2 of our ale searching team being out of state. How many IPA's can YOU drink in a 48 hr period??!! We made a good show of it, I feel that we accomplished a lot actually. Both beer wise & other...

Hit up the following places in no particular order: Schooner Exact BC, Elysian BC, Tap House Grill, Collins Pub, Bottleworks Bottleshop, BROUWER'S (go ahead, get excited, new fave place in 206), Big Time Brewery... I think that's it ale wise. Also made stops at Olympic Sculpture Park to play in the water & the Red Lion Hotel for some mandatory "Tacoma is a long trek away after all that drinking" rest. Although locating a hotel downtown with vacancies was trek enough.

Things to note (or better known as "Best Recognize Biatch!"):

1. Schooner Exact is possibly as close to heaven, as this gurl is ever gonna get. We visited their tasting room not once, but twice. Made some new fwends, had a ton of laughs, made an attempt to get Schooner Exact ale distributed to the East Coast (non-cost effective, fail), drank way more non-Seamstress Union beer than I intended (thank you Gary!) & discussed the finer points of the Shocker. (the obvious awesomeness that it is in general, not to mention a special edition raspberry ale SE brewed) Also scored some awesome swag: Multiple pint glasses, a t-shirt, growlers full o' da gud shtuff, Shocker tap handle sticker plus iron on (The Shocker. Surprisingly Enjoyable!) and a host of good memories. Will be back soon! Start working on more SU for me guys.

2. Big Time Brewery & Alehouse kind of sucked Big Time, mostly service related complaints on my end and I didn't really dig the feel of the place. Interesting ales on tap, however. Enjoyed an IPA dubbed Mary Hoppins (an English Summer Ale that's practically perfect in every way, yo!) and Bhagwan's Best IPA on cask (mild n' tasty for an IPA); then I got to business delving into some (tasty) Old Sol Wheatwine Ale after being told my chauffeuring services were cut off and to enjoy my little beer drinking self. (score! it's good to be understood) Service sucked, just one Germanic looking ale wench for the whole place but we entertained ourselves with some local brewing newspapers & city magazines after we had acquired some deep dish leave the toppings on Delfinos Eetza.

3. Bottleworks Bottle Shop - pretty darn awesome shop with some nice selections and good prices. Creaky wood floors, beer stickers slapped on every surface and a cozy if not slightly grimy/well loved atmosphere. They also feature 4-5 beers on tap to enjoy in addition to what they sell in bottles. Still a 99 Bottles gurl in my heart tho. A stop @ Bottleworks led us to...

4. BROUWER'S!! Sweet Cheese and Rice. Insert happy Tracinator sigh. Suuuuper cool place. IDK where to even begin. If you've been there, you just know. The way the place looks alone is frickin' cool, front door is a bit ominous. Long wood bar with high backed leather bar stools. 2nd floor balconies with a birds eye view of everything below and outdoor deck area. Small stage area with couches for either customers or I could see a sweet lil acoustic show happening for my personal enjoyment. The setup of this joint is great, comfortable and inviting. Friendly and helpful ale minions working. PHENOMENAL beer selection.

64 beers on tap, many of them unique/special/hard to find; over 300 bottled beers (a bit on the spendy side for some of my faves but an impressive collection nonetheless), lotsa scotch, & if the Mahi mahi sliders are any indication of the rest of their menu; the food is bomb diggity too. The piped in tunes didn't really 'go' with the atmosphere but it wasn't annoying by any means. Downed a DogFish Head Festina Peche to start, just for good measure. Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout. Just the smell of it tasted like creme brulee. Yes, you read that right. It was potent and delicious. Should have had a s'more with it. Sampled the Corsendonk Apple Wit and Double Mountain India Red Ale on cask.

Come to think of it, I'm not sure why we even left...? I had sleeping bags in the Jetta. We both couldn't stop ooh'ing and aah'ing over every aspect about this place. While MGD may currently feel that he can't tell me "no" when I really want something (a lie he tells himself); I highly doubt he would be that hard of a sell to revisit this place or the 206 in general.

5. Tap House Grill Seattle is, well... Tap House. Large selection as always, volcanic goat cheese appetizers (taking me back to SIB wknd) & 60 special IPA's on tap for the occasion. And I think some sort of sushi hit my mouth @ some point in the evening but at this point in our sojourn who can tell what went in there? Plus a winning pre-season Redskins game. Magic! Tasted the following ales:
-Green Flash Imperial IPA
-Midnight Sun XXX Double Black
-Oskar Blues Gubna Imperial IPA
-Southern Tier Oak Aged Unearthly
-Dirty Ho (Hoegaarden & Guinness black and tan... it was that kinda night) (yes i am one and yes i had one)
-This is all I wrote down/remember and deciphering my handwriting after so much hop ingestion was quite a feat my friends.

6. Collins Pub. Good downtown staple. Nice beer selection with a small but delectable menu including a Vegan Field Roast burger that was uh-maze-ing. Great place to wind down on the patio and watch the craziness that is Seattle street life.

7. Elysian BC. Night time stroll from Collins to this locale, wanted to try a few ales. Big place and very busy. Found 1 seat at the bar to share but was service was spot on and immediate. Enjoyed a red ale of sorts, can't recall name of it. But it was yummy so I mouthified it. Can ya tell the details are getting fuzzy?

All in all it was a very fun time to be had in Seattle. Found some new locations to patronize and had great, unplanned, sunshiny adventures with one of my fave people; matching wrist wear included. All three of the suns I planned on coming out for us, did just that.

To be topped off on Sunday by some time spent at my G'mas beach cabin on Camano Island with my whole fam-damily and a few hours catching up my best friend Bex b4 driving back to the 253.

Photo Credits - Camera Phonez by Myself and MGD.

Signing off while currently planning the next big adventure...
Pissed liBEERian.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Magical Beer Providers - MBP

I feel like a kid in a candy store. A kid in a candy store who forgot her Aderall and who is in possession of a credit card with no limit. I'm better now. Calm even. A big glass of red wine will do that pretty effectively. I have happened upon a local oasis of some highly sought after ales this evening.

Ever since Seattle International Beerfest this summer (2010) I have been on a small (but elaborate) mission to acquire DogFish Head bottled ales. Specifically their 120 Minute IPA and World Wide Stout. @ SIB they hosted a special pour of each of these ales in addition to a black and tan mix of the two. This whole event was deemed magical by my cohort and I. We were 1st in line an hour prior to pouring. Made a run to the car for more tasting glasses so we could take advantage of our numero uno position and get as much ale as possible. Looked behind us to find about 100+ people eagerly waiting the pour to begin. And it was worth it my friends. Worth it. Sigh...

Right. Anyways. In an effort to duplicate this magical concoction I have been on a hunt. 120' IPA is a big fat negatory everywhere, but the 90min IPA does the trick just fine. Found a bit of WWS @ Whole Foods in Seattle and Bellevue but that supply dried out and all the local beer stores don't carry it no mo neither. Supply EXHAUSTED! Lame.

Looked on the DogFish Head distributor map today for fun and saw a local deli on the list. MSM Deli on 6th Ave, Tacoma. The place looks like a dive on the outside. Think broken down gas station that doesn't supply any gas. Best deli subs in the 253 are created within. There is a reason they are named the Magical Sandwich Makers. Visit my friends, and soon. If not for the sandwiches, for the beer selection (which you can enjoy there w/ your sammy).

At this point all I can say about me as a person is that I get disappointed very easily, especially when I get excited about something. Probably because I plan out everything I do & how I want things to work out; to the nth degree. Not to mention, I get single minded over things I want or desire. With life being what it is, many things get in the way of my best laid plans. Constantly. However, one would think I would have learned my lesson at the ripe age of 28 that the most surprising fun and unexpected perfection is born out of random spontaneity & unlikely circumstances.

Cue my reaction @ the refrigerated section at MSM. Sweet Lima Bean! They carry a TON of DogFish Head ales. Some I've never seen and a plethora of my much sought after World Wide Stout. I did that thing where I'm in such a state of happy shock I don't even know how to process or proceed. Total brain overload. So I play with all the bottles, check prices, take pictures and TM them to Cole (co-DFH lover), and in general do a spastic internal dance of ALElation.

Other than the stockpile I am purchasing to hoard and to share, I am stoked to try the following 2 ales:

Fort - Belgian Ale brewed w/ pureed raspberries 18% ABV 49 IBU
Saison du BUFF - Saison brewed w/ sage, parsley, thyme & rosemary. 6% ABV
This beer is a collaboration between DFH, Stone Brewing Co. & Victory Brewing Co. Same recipe brewed 3 times, once at each brewery. Muy interesante.

This pished liBEERian is @ this very moment in time, quite content. Knowing what I desire is accessible and waiting for me. I love getting what I want when I want it when I didn't even know that I could have it so easily. :) Eagerly awaiting private beer fest #3 to sample all of these tasty libations I've been collecting. Goodness knows I can't handle all this ale alone.

Cheers & happy Hump Day!

Monday, August 2, 2010

My Questitude

pissed = drunk (not mad)
liBEERian = me

I have noticed a theme developing in my life over the last 2+ mths or so. The search for delicious ales, delivered to me either in full pint form or 4oz tasting glass, has officially BEGUN. I think Brewer's Fest 2010 officially started my slight obsession. Some people critique food, some people breakdown vino & it's many elements. For others... there is beer.

I started drinking beer about 6yrs ago. Started LIKING beer around 3-4yrs ago. All of my male friends and brother have a pretty diverse palate when it comes to ale and I was starting to feel a little left out, possibly uncool. So I made myself try new things (new @ that time =ed anything that wasn't Corona w/ lime wedge) and failed miserably. Beer was purdy gross. I resigned myself to loving the oh so palatable Blue Moon & the occasional Mac & Jacks Serengeti Wheat. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy both but my mind and mouth crave more. Sigh... what's new?

Beer exploration took an abrupt halt when I stopped most of my drinking (vino and mixed drinks consumed rarely, beer never) to pursue fitness and weight loss for a stint of 6mths. Still keeping fit and active but have slowly added tasty ales back into my diet. Stoked to hear this today, true or not:

Now that I have a few beer related festivals (along with the drunken bruises and fantastically fuzzy memories to prove it) under my belt, I have been fervently pursuing info from breweries around the nation, as well as local pubs for specific brews. The beer that got me started on such madness is Schooner Exact Brewing Co.'s Seamstress Union, a raspberry wheat ale. I had it for the 1st time at Brewer's Fest 2010, handed over my little wooden chip not knowing the magnitude of what was about to hit my mouth. I then proceeded to spend many more chips (my own and my date's) at their corner tent location. 4oz a pop is not enough to get my fill!

I spent the following weeks harassing the brewers @ Schooner Exact (who were kind enough to load me with info on the beer and where they had most recently delivered kegs in Tacoma) along with local pubs to find out where and when it was going on tap. Finally found it @ 1022 South in downtown Tacoma. Walking from work to my car @ 9p, I phoned Chris at 1022 to inquire on SU and I think he was as excited as I was over the ale "come on down!! we have it right here for ya". Met my partner in crime, Cole, for a pint. It was a mutual consensus that it was a) amazing and b) just as good if not better than we remembered. I felt fairly relieved that I hadn't built it's amazingness up in my head. Even though I will submit, I am fairly enamored with Seamstress Union. NOTE TO SCHOONER EXACT... take it off seasonal, make it year round!! Still planning on marching my charms down to the SE tasting room in Seattle to talk them into this.

Some of us require Seamstress Union year round. I was told specifically "I don't want to be around you when SU isn't available any longer". Hahahaha, enuff said. ;)

Ale related goals and the Essential point of this BuhLog:
-not planning on writing such a novel every time, this is just a small peak for you into my plight. Straight to business from here on out.
-review beers I've tried
-review pubs & breweries where I have sought out these libations (current fave: Parkway Tavern)
-find cool suppliers of eclectic bottled brew (current best a tie between 99 Bottles and Whole Foods)
-report on the many random occurrences that tend to happen while consuming the good brew (free age related beer & leaving SIB w/ 2x as many glasses as we started with)
-learn to love IPA (it is a type of brew that seems to have the most variety available and the coolest names, I think I can make it happen. I am single minded to a fault when there is something I want.)

See ya on the other side...
pissed liBEERian
aka Tracy
aka 5 Thousand other aliases

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