Saturday, October 30, 2010

Clear your schedules and get your drinking arm ready to go!

Take a peek at some of the fun events coming up for November, what the what?! I believe I'm going to have to clone myself another pissed liBEERian or get my minions to attend events on my behalf. There is just no way I can do it all!
I don't appreciate being teased with  pics of DFHead 90m IPA laciness that is on tap all the way in San Antonio. But even I can't argue that it's gorgeous.
Ta Da... Novembeer!

11/2 - Style Night featuring Fresh Hop Ales @ 99 Bottles, Federal Way 5-7:30p
11/4 - Tacoma Science Cafe @ Harmon Brewery, Tacoma 7p
11/4 thru 11/6 - Cask-O-Rama @ Beveridge Place Pub, Seattle 6p-12a
11/8 - Tap Night Tacoma #6, Tacoma 6-9p
11/11 - Walking Man Brewers dinner @ The Eastburn, Portland 6-9:30p
11/12 thru 11/4 - Hoping to fit in a pre-birfday jaunt down to PDX during this weekend for a Big Daddy Kane brewery crawl, Portland (Stay tuned! I will be blogging about the detailed, mapped out, Google created itinerary of this plan sometime next week...)
11/13 - Beer Trek 2010 @ Phinney Center, Seattle 7-10p
11/15 - Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Party @ Brouwer's Cafe, Fremont 5p
11/17 - The pissed liBEERian celebrates her 29th birthday! (I accept spankings in lieu of gifts)
11/17 thru 11/21 - Walking Man 10th Anniversary celebratory goodness @ Walking Man Brewing, Stevenson
11/18 thru 11/23 - Jetting off to New York for 5 fun (& ale) filled days with MGD. I am super stoked to hit up some east coast craft brew. Ithaca Flower Power and Iona (hailed as Brooklyn's Irish pub for those who aren't a fan of Irish pubs), you are 1st on my list.
11/24 - Honey, the Parkway Ruined Thanksgiving @ Parkway Tavern, Tacoma 5p (Hahahaha, I love the name! I don't care how jet lagged I am from flying in from NY the night before. I also don't care how energy deprived the mandatory All Staff conference leaves me the next morning, I am going to this event and dragging everyone I can with me.)

Hope you can make it out for a few of these events and support local craft beer, I know I'm going to do my darnedest. 

The pissed liBEERian

Friday, October 29, 2010

Here fishy, fishy, fishy...

Listen up home skillets! Dogfish Head just announced on their Blogfish that they will be releasing and distributing the following beers during November and December:

Olde School
Burton Baton
My Antonia
Chicory Stout
World Wide Stout
Bitches Brew

So far I haven't marked off the Olde School, Squall, My Antonia or Chicory Stout from my Dogfish punch card. I don't have a DFHead punch card, I am a pathological liar. Now that I just thought of it, I'm totally making one. This weekend. Bring on the poster board and glitter. Kuh-raaaaaaft thyme!!!!

For a more detailed list of Dogfish Head beer release schedule, check out my previous blog (An ode to all things Dogfish) on the matter. It's super informational 'n stuff.

the pissed liBEERian

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I drank with the wench and came out a winner!

I was recently interviewed by a fellow beer blogger, Drink with the Wench. Check it out, in case you are in the mood for some over sharing. Trust me, there are things about me you didn't even know you wanted to know. I lack a filter 98.7% of the time. Thanks Wenchie!!


The Beer Blogger Interview Series
Curious what goes on in the minds of your favorite beer bloggers? Well, The Beer Wench is and she has embarked upon a mission to interview as many beer bloggers that she can — from all over the world. Are you a beer blogger? Do you want to share your story? Send me an email!


Beer Blogger Interview

Full name: Tracy Cornelius
Twitter handle: @PissedLibeerian
Name of blog: The pissed liBEERian
Current location:
The 253 (Tacoma), WA

Background “Snapshot”

1. Where did you grow up?
Small town girl from Camano Island, Washington.

2. What sports if any did you play growing up, through college and beyond?
I played on a bowling league at the ripe age of 12. I still bring it up to this day (16 yrs later) if I ever go out bowling with friends. I like to talk up my skills so I’m picked first for teams then amaze them with my gutter balls.

3. How old were you when you had your first beer?
I was 22 years old. Yes, you read that right, and in case you are wondering, I am making up for lost time now. At least, I completely surpassed the era of drinking cheap beer, and I can have whatever I want whenever I want.

4. If you can recall, what is the story of your first beer? Where did you have it? What style and brand was it?
By the time I decided to start drinking, it wasn’t really a big deal since I wasn’t trying to get away with anything, so I don’t recall my first beer.

5. Where, if applicable, did you go to college? What did you study? What additional activities, organizations, sports did you partake in during college?
I tri-majored in Psychology, English and Anthropology through Washington State University’s Distance Degree Program. You might be asking yourself at this point, “What the heck would someone do with that kind of degree?” The truth is I don’t know either. I find it humorous that the pissed liBEERian got her university education from the biggest party college in the state while never setting foot on campus and hardly touching a drop of alcohol til she was out of college.

Craft Beer Epiphany

Every craft beer enthusiast has at least one pinnacle craft beer experience that completely changes ones perspective on beer. I refer to this mind-blowing moment as a “craft beer epiphany.”

1. What was your first craft beer epiphany? Recall as many details about it as you can:
June 19th, 2010… I remember the day, well. Attended the Brewer’s Festival in Kenmore, WA for the first time. About halfway through the day I handed over my little wooden token to the Schooner Exact booth and had my first taste of Seamstress Union Raspberry Wheat. I call it the non-fruity fruit beer even guys like it! I think I spent an additional 10+ tokens getting more Seamstress Union that day. I couldn’t get enough, and it started me on the journey that has brought me here today. Once that pink hued liquid hit my mouth, I was bound to never be the same again.

2. Have you have additional craft beer epiphanies since the first? Detail as many of them as you wish:
I would say following the Seamstress Union encounter, my most note worthy craft beer epiphany was at Seattle International Beer Fest over 4th of July weekend in 2010. Sunday featured a special pour from Delaware’s Dogfish Head Brewery. On tap was the 120m IPA, World Wide Stout, and a Black and Tan made from the two called Heaven & Hell. My partner in crime and I were first in line and felt like festival celebrities. Had to make a dash out to the car to collect more glasses after we did the math: 2 people, 2 glasses, 3 beers = Epic Fail.
This was my first experience liking an IPA, and the whole event was just so surreal. It was an amazing weekend, and the Heaven & Hell was to die for. I enjoyed it to the very last drop and even got back in line for another round, which we barely got before the kegs blew. After SIB, I was committed to advancing my palate and integrating IPAs into my collection of loved beers.

Beer Blog Background

1. How long have you been writing your beer blog?
My first post was on August 2nd, 2010. A craft beer mission statement of sorts.

2. What inspired you to start writing your blog?
I was having too many ale-induced/inspired adventures and had to start keeping some kind of a record. I really got into trying new craft beers and having the time of my life with friends in the process. My whole world has been different since the beginning of the summer, like something out of the Matrix. Seamstress Union opened my eyes as if I had chosen the red pill (or pink in this case) and now see the Real World.

3. Why did you choose the name of your blog?
I work for a library + I love beer + I enjoy random English slang (hence pissed instead of drunk) = the pissed liBEERian

4. What are you personal goals for your blog? What do you hope to achieve with it?
I hope this blog mostly entertains and informs those who read it. I’m trying to spread the word about the greatness of craft beer (especially local craft beer) and maybe convert a few people to the dark side. Since I find myself so amusing along with the random experiences that happen while drinking, all I can hope to inspire is a few chuckles along the way.
If I could make a blog related wish, it would be to get paid to do what I do. Go out, drink & review beer, and make a living in the process. If someone wants to offer me a job in marketing for their company, that would be amazing too. You haven’t seen obsessed until you’ve seen me enthusiastic about something, I go ALL the way with it.
At this time, I will totally settle for meeting a host of awesome people in the business and enjoying life one pint at a time.

5. What is one of the coolest things that happened to you as a result of being a beer blogger?
Free stuff and lots of attention! That’s what comes from having a fortunate face, a big rack, and being a chick who is really into beer tasting as a hobby. The blog is becoming more widespread locally and around the globe (it warms my little liBEERian heart to see blog hits in places like Slovenia, Australia & Turkey), so I am getting more recognition personally. I’ve gotten free tickets to events and free beer, lots of random swag, and the opportunity to get to spend time with some really cool folks who own/run breweries around the Northwest.
When someone comes up to you in a bar and says “Hey, don’t you have a blog?” all I can think is “It’s pretty damn awesome to be me right now.”

6. What are you top 3 favorite beer blogs/beer websites?
  • 99 Bottles’ Shopkeeper Blog
  • Beer Blotter
  • Blogfish by Dogfish Head

Beer Talk

1. What are your top 3 favorite beer styles?
Barleywines, Wheats and India Pale Ales. This last one (IPA) was a hard won battle. Initially, I could hardly stand to have an IPA in my mouth, let alone swallow it. It took me two solid months of drinking IPAs because I wanted to like them, and now I do. Love ‘em.

2. What are your top 3 favorite breweries?
  • Schooner Exact of Seattle, WA
  • Dogfish Head of Milton, DE
  • Big Al of Seattle, WA
3. If you could work with or for any one brewery, which one would it be and why?
Without a doubt, Schooner Exact. They are a small brewery that started up during 2006 in Seattle owned by Heather and Matt McClung with brewing help by Dave “Hutch” Hutchinson. Due to being so awesome, they were both able to quit their day jobs to run the brewery full time. Kudos to them, living the dream! They are friendly and down to earth people who I have had the pleasure to get to know over the last few months. It started with my obsessive pursuit of Seamstress Union which caused me to email the brewery on a regular basis to find out where kegs of it had been recently delivered to Tacoma, WA.
They seem like a close knit organization and you gotta love a group of people with a sense of humor. Take for example their beer, The Shocker. A delightfully enjoyable combo of 2 parts Raspberry Wheat and 1 part King Street Brown. They brew over a dozen varieties of beer including seasonals and special-event beer. They are as fun to chat up in their tasting room as they are to hang out with at events.

4. Are you a home-brewer? If yes, what is the most unique and interesting beer recipes you’ve brewed as a home-brewer?
I see so many interesting beers that are being made, and I can’t get my hands on all of them. I think it would be fascinating to become a home brewer at some point, maybe when my life slows down a bit. Possibly once I hit the big 3-0 I’ll feel some need to become domesticated and that includes making my own brew. For now, I will just enjoy the fascinating creations of others. There are plenty to try!

5. Do you have any beer certifications (BJCP, Cicerone, Siebel, American Brewers Guild)?? If so, what are they?
Sadly, I do not. However, I do possess a bar towel from CAMRA though, Campaign for Real Ale. A group that promotes good-quality real ale and pubs, as well as acting as the consumer’s champion in relation to the UK and European beer and drinks industry.

6. What is your favorite beer and food pairing?
It’s simple but does the trick–pizza and beer. To me, they will always be a perfect match. Maybe a nice pesto and artichoke pizza with a mild IPA. I am hoping to add some more knowledge to my plethora of brain waves and enlighten others, so I am currently working on putting together a 10 course menu featuring a variety of beer selections. The book that has been my savior in planning this event: “He says beer, She says wine” co-authored by Sam Calagione and Marnie Old.

The Personal Side

1. What is your current day job?
My 2 day jobs include working for the library system (bet you think I pulled the ‘liBEERian’ thing out of nowhere ’cause it’s hot, right?) and a local university as an online technical liaison.

2. If you could change your career at this very moment, without any restrictions on what you could do, what would you want to do and why?
I’ve never felt like I was on one solid career path since growing up so my interests shift greatly at times. Although I love what I currently do for a living, I would really like to pursue a career in Marketing or PR. I’ve learned a lot about myself this last year and have realized that I have some skills and/or attributes that would probably lead me to a lot of success in this field. Being a spokesperson or marketing for a company I truly love and believe in would be a dream come true. I have been told that I am a marketing persons dream when it comes to events and fun things going on. I’d do anything if I have a reason. IE Beer Punch cards. I think I could be great at creating these events. I am intelligent and creative and personable which I think are all assets to this particular field.

3. Are you married? Children?
I am not married and have no kids. As a woman who is almost 30 you may be thinking I’m ugly or that something is wrong with me, but neither is true. I assure you it is by choice. I am not in any hurry to settle down, I am enjoying my life with virtually nothing holding me back from doing what I want to. The other things will come when they are meant to, if they are meant to.

4. Outside of beer and writing, what are some of your other hobbies?
When I’m not blogging it up or doing empirical research for the blog, my free time is usually divided between reading and exercising. Gotta work off all those beer calories somehow! I am hoping to participate in a marathon & a triathlon in 2011. Time with family and friends are my first priority, and I will always find enough hours in the day to try and do it all.

Off The Beaten Path

1. If you were a style of beer, what style would be an why?
An IPA. They are always the most inventive and uniquely named beers (I have about 20 different nicknames) plus you never really know what to expect when you go to drink one. The nose could be floral or citrusy: Is she wearing Victoria’s Secret Pink or Clinique today? The tastes can range from mild to extremely bitter: Will she be sweet and adorable or a little crazy and sexy? Don’t even get me started on the mouth feel…

2. You were caught smuggling beer illegally, which has now been made punishable by death. Right before you are sent to the executioner, you are offered one last beer. What beer would you chose and why?
A Schooner Exact Seamstress Union Raspberry Wheat. It’s my favorite beer in the world. Although many would choose an ale more profound or complicated, it is not only the taste of SU that appeals to me but all that it represents. The flavor would not only explode on my tongue, but it would remind me of: what it has been to learn about and love beer; the people I have met and befriended because of my beer pursuits; and the best summer of my life being full of love and laughter.
To me it is the equivalent of hugging a diary or licking a photo album, it takes me back.

3. If I contracted you to brew a beer (or design a beer recipe) called “The Beer Wench” — what style would you chose and what, if any, extra ingredients would you add?
A brew called “The Beer Wench” would have to simply be a Barleywine. Sweet and smooth going down but will knock you on your ass once you’ve finished with it. Extra special ingredients… a surly smile and a hair toss on her way out the tavern door.

4. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
Without a doubt, TELEPORTATION. Gas prices are a killer, and I spend most of my time in my car since my life is so nomadic at the moment.

5. What is one of the craziest things you have ever done and lived to tell the story?
Wow… now that’s a loaded question. Let’s just say that every time I’ve gone to the Top of Tacoma bar in the 253, it’s led to an ‘experience’. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great place to drink and dine. Randomness seems to ensue whenever I hang out there.

6. What are your thoughts on bacon?
I have never been a huge lover of bacon. My desires usually lean toward a big, fat, juicy sausage. However, now that I’ve gone all vegetarian like in the last 6 months let me just say this: I’m super happy for people who are bacon obsessed. You can find it everywhere and in everything. It must be a dream come true.


Photo Credits by MGD & the pissed liBEERian, Editing done by Basil

Monday, October 25, 2010

My liver is currently on a 10 day involuntary vacation.

I am currently thinking about the moment when I made the following statement: "Heaven forbid I ever get pregnant or have to go on antibiotics. The blog shall not suffer!" With that being said, today is Numero Uno of a 10 day break from every kind of imbibing. No worries, I have no buns currently in my oven but need to take some medication which requires that I ingest nothing fun for a period of 10 days. It won't be a horrible thing, everyone needs a break sometimes. Right? Riiiiiiiiight.

I just have to rearrange my thought process to not get all sad like when a cool event is going on that I can't take part in. I can write about all kinds of non-beer-drinking related things and catch up on some half finished blogs I've had laying around in my Draft file. Plus, I always think it's nice to put the ole system on self cleaning mode once in awhile. I might as well (try to) cut out all the caffeine and refined sugar while I'm at it. I promise that it will only makes me a cranky bitch for about 2-3 days!

While on this drinking and bar hopping hiatus, I send out a teeny tiny plea to my loyal readers. If there is anything beer related you would like to read more about or see in this blog, give me a holler. I'm open to ideas and am all about pleasing YOU.

Hugs & Kisses & Stuff
the pissed liBEErian

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Shocker: Surprisingly Enjoyable!

Surprisingly enjoyable, so says the tap handle anyways. I was on a Seamstress Union hunt sometime in late July and heard the delightful rumor that Parkway Tavern may have some on tap. Wrong. Negatory. Denied. However, imagine my surprise when a little beauty called 'The Shocker' was pouring. It was a special brew made by Schooner Exact for the 75th Anniversary of Parkway (congrats!) and there was a bit left over.

The folks @ SE gave me a tap handle sticker!
'Twas a beautiful sunny day so I grabbed myself a pint and headed out to the patio to enjoy some literature with my beer. Well I was holding a book in my lap, but there was little to no reading going on. I had to text MGD immediately to tell him all about my find! He demanded a picture of me holding/drinking the Shocker while doing one. Naturally, I didn't see how I could manage the flexibility while keeping all of the liquid in my glass so I said "Nope, sorry." He replied that if I didn't take a picture of me drinking it while throwing the sign he would call Parkway and have me thrown out immediately.

Oh... you want me to throw the Shocker sign (not perform one) while holding my drink! Gotcha. Being the picture whore that I am, I turned to my fellow patio goers and asked them to snap a quick pic.

Alright, let's get around to the reason I am writing this. While I was describing the Raspberry Shocker to a friend last night I mentioned that the beer is made up of 2 parts Seamstress Union Raspberry Wheat and 1 part King Street Brown. Let me say that again... 2 pink & 1 brown. Maybe all of that blond hair dye has finally gone to my brain because the relevancy of the drink components never even occurred to me. I don't have 'aha' moments, I have 'duuuuuuuh' moments with epic authority. Seeing as it took me approximately 3 months to figure this out... Hahahahahaha.

Nicely done Schooner EXACT, nicely done.

Throwing my Shocker, while holding The Shocker @ Parkway Tavern. 
the pissed liBEERian

My buddy Spock throws his own variation...

    Options are always good...                                                                     Local flare outside the Top of Tacoma...            

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oly Oly Oxen Free, the drive to Olympia makes me go "Wee"!

A random, sunny, day drive (sunny but let's not kid ourselves, cold as balls 'cause it's October in Washington folks) led me down to Olympia for the day. Not only was the good ole Jetta pointed south anyways, but MGD & I had an inkling there were some ale related places we wanted to visit in Oly. So until our inklings became full blown ideas, we started at a familiar location, the Fishbowl (also known as Fish Tale) Brew Pub. I have a similar opinion of the Fishbowl to that of the review I linked for y'all but can sum it up pretty shortly that the place just doesn't do it for me. Nothing strong sticks out to justify this opinion, just not a huge fan of the pub or their beers. I did try an interesting Ginger Beer there though, which tasted like liquefied honey. 

<-----  FishTale Brew Pub sandwich board. Hot damn MGD, you make a picture be what it should.

 Full blown idea hit us at some point, and we decided to seek out the Gravity Beer Market. There was a decent selection and friendly, knowledgeable staff. Bought a few bottles to try at home (good thing I carry a cooler in my trunk) and got some suggestions for other cool places to hit up in Olympia, namely the Eastside Club Tavern. After the Tracy energy vacuum that was the FishBowl (you've never seen a girl of my hyper activity level go downhill so fast, trust me), I needed a definite perk me up.
It has to be said that I was very skeptical of the ECT when we first walked in.  The interior ambiance of  Eastside leaves a bit to be desired, but after chilling at the bar for about 10m, we mutually realized that we had struck gold. ECT offers up extremely knowledgeable (and nice) bartenders, loads of entertainment value (Foosball, pool, ping pong & pinball) and check out the beer selection below!! 3 huge white boards full of awesome ales pouring that you would rarely find all in one place. As we kept reading the board, our excitement kept ramping up. I think some mini bar stool booty shaking of happiness was definitely going on.

Trip VI @ Cicada

I think the over stimulation truly set in when I thought to myself (and probably voiced out loud) "Oh man we're never going to make it out of here and I'm hungry!"  So we tried a few of their options while figuring out a place to get some nomz. The bar minions at ECT were talking about how bomb Cicada Restaurant is and suggested it to us as a dinner option. The restaurant's sweet potato gratin was recently featured in The Tacoma Weekly Volcano's 50 Favorite Dishes, so down the street we headed. Just a few blocks away and of COURSE they were out of sweet potatoes. Silly me. So instead we dined on some mushrooms and scallops while washing it down with my favorite Unoaked Chardonnay by Airfield Vineyards and a New Belgium-Elysian Trip VI Fresh Hop IPA. The meal and feel of the place were both truly enjoyable; I highly recommend adding it to any sojourn down to Olympia.

Headed back to Eastside Club Tavern for a nightcap and some bar games. Imagine my astonishment when they had the Lord of the Rings pinball machine I played (and loved) years ago!!! After having a mini emotional breakdown of excitement, we got some quarters and proceeded to dominate this thing for at least an hour. Guess what? I still rock at it! Even if the moving Balrog in the middle would capture half our balls (thus being renamed the Ball-hog) and make us spend more money, we had a stinkin' blast.

I am a person who is easily amused, often over stimulated and finds the majority of my happiness in taking pleasure in the small things. I won't say it's rare that I am truly impressed, but I was beyond impressed that my opinion rose so highly after my initial take. Eastside Club Tavern... you totally rocked my world. I had a very fun night and can't wait to see what else you will be offering on tap in the near future. I give you lotsa stars out of lotsa stars and will be back very soon.

Even when it's below 50'... we don't let sunny days here in WA stop us!
the pissed liBEERian

Monday, October 18, 2010

Confused about U.S. things like the rest of us? At least get the beer part sorted out for yourself.

The article below was published in Birmingham Weekly on 10/14/10. It contains some pretty interesting ideas for working your way through a few different styles and brewing companies to get a better understanding for American beer.  I've had 3 out of the 10 beers listed (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Stone Arrogant Bastard & the Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA) so apparently I better get busy on the others if I want to round out my beer knowledge.

"As recently as the 1970s, America was the butt of jokes in world beer culture. There were only a few dozen breweries, all producing little more than straw-colored lagers with minimal flavor. Today, our country boasts over 1,600 breweries leading the world in creativity and quality in brewing. To better understand that transformation, I propose drinking ten different beers that illustrate the nature of modern American beer. Not all in one sitting.

1. The first beer in this round of exploratory drinking absolutely has to be Anchor Steam Beer. In the early 1970s, steam beer was the only style of beer indigenous to North America. I’d argue that in the last few decades Americans have created quite a few new styles, but steam beer is the godfather of them all and today’s craft brewers owe a debt of gratitude to Anchor for persevering through the darkest days of brewing on this continent.

2. Second on your beer tour should be Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, the first American pale ale ever brewed. The key point to learn from this beer is that it set the standard for American brewers amping up traditional English styles with extra hops and alcohol. The same pattern would lead to the American IPA, the double IPA, the American brown ale, and the American barley wine. Those categories now boast thousands of examples across the country, and it really all started in 1980 with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

3. After you ponder how three decades ago Americans took UK brewing traditions and created new styles of beer, toast the inspiration coming full circle with a BrewDog Punk IPA. BrewDog is a Scottish craft brewery that is heavily inspired by American craft brewing culture. Thirty years ago it was radical for American brewers to brew traditional Scottish ales. Today it’s radical for a Scottish brewery to produce an American-style IPA. And this influence continues to spread across the world.

4. Not only have we taken European beer styles in new directions, we have also perfected European beers in their original form. A great example of this is Allagash FOUR. It features four malts, four hops, four sugars, and four yeast strains, and it is every bit the equal of any quadruple brewed by any brewer in Belgium. Who needs to buy imports when beer as good or better is being brewed right here in the USA?

5. I’ll tell you who needs imports: me. While Americans have mastered almost every beer style known to man and created more than a few of our own, there are some European beers that we have yet to surpass, and Cantillon Saint Lamvinus is one of them. No one would argue Vinnie Cilurzo at Russian River is not a virtuoso in the field of brewing sour beers. But he still has not surpassed the mastery of the brewers and blenders at Cantillon, who have been perfecting the art of lambic brewing for over 100 years. As far as we’ve come, Belgium’s traditional lambic producers still have some secrets Americans have yet to uncover.

6. Next up is Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Not only is Boston Lager at the top of the heap when it comes to sales of American craft beer, the Samuel Adams brand deserves credit for keeping American craft beer alive during the late 90s, when the initial craft boom looked to many to be a fad that had passed. Lots of craft breweries from the first big wave folded, but Samuel Adams continued to grow and proved the segment had staying power.
7. Whiskey barrel-aged beer is entirely an American invention, and the brewery that started it all was Goose Island with their Bourbon County Brand Stout way back in 1992. And it’s still recognized as being among the best there is. Sip this one from a snifter and carefully ponder American creativity at its finest.

8. Although imperial stouts were not invented by Americans, the modern obsession with them started here. The phenomenon of crazed hordes traveling hundreds of miles for a chance at buying six bottles of one beer started with Three Floyds Dark Lord Imperial Stout. The beer debuted in 2004 and has hovered near the top of BeerAdvocate’s list of top beers in the world for most of its existence. It’s only available at the brewery, and only on one day a year. That day has turned into a massive beer festival with thousands of attendees who all bring and share beer. And it has spawned several very successful copycat events all centered around rare, hard to obtain imperial stouts. We have Three Floyds to thank.

9. I think nothing is more emblematic of modern Americans’ perspective on craft beer than our love of absurdly-hopped beers. And the most iconic example of that theme is Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. It was created by Sam Calagione, now the most recognizable spokesman for American craft brewing. 90 Minute is unique in that it doesn’t feature just two or three hop additions that are common for most beers; it is continuously hopped for a full 90 minutes during the boil. It’s nuts, it’s delicious, and no European brewer would ever have dreamed of such a thing.

10. And finally, the last beer you must drink to understand modern American brewing is Stone Arrogant Bastard. It was one of the first beers to defy classification to such a degree that a new catch-all category was created for it, American strong ale. It’s a robust 7% ABV, amber in color with a thick caramel malt backbone, and intensely hoppy. But the most American thing about it is the self-righteous diatribe screen-printed on every bottle, explaining how most drinkers aren’t worthy of the beer because they’ve wasted their lives drinking fizzy yellow light beer. American brewing is dosed with a lot of hubris and attitude, and Arrogant Bastard is the epitome of that."

Learning is growing & variety is the spice of life.
the pissed liBEERian

Friday, October 15, 2010

Jubelpalooza @ Parkway Tavern

I've come to the very sad realization that I can't switch all of my work shifts in the name of beer events, just most of them. As I was stuck doing paid slavery until 9p on 10/13, I begged, pleaded and did everything on my knees that I could think of to get my very best ale minion down to the Parkway Tavern @ 6p for...

Parkways 11th Annual Celebration of Deschute's Jubelale 6-9p

You wish you had a Deschutes skate deck...

We'd been entering in the Jubelpalooza contest all week (while filling up our Tacoma Drinks WA Beer punch cards) and at some point the liBEERian learned how to read and noticed the entry slip saying something like "must be present to win." FML. Taking one for the team, MGD got there shortly after the festivities began to represent our beer drinking team. I knew our luck was in place when I scored 2 Diet Cokes for the price of 1 from the vending machine @ work. I won nada that night (unless you count the Black Butte T-shirt TPG3 found in the grass outside as we left), but MGD scored BIG TIME. Check out the swag   ------------------- >

Lineup for the evening (the ones we sampled are starred):
Jubelale '08          *The Abyss Imperial Stout '09
Jubelale '09         Mirror Mirror Barleywine '09
Jubelale '10         Black Butte Porter XXI '09
*Cask Jubelale '09                     *Oktoberfest
*Nitro Jubelale '09    Miss Spelt Hefewiezen
*Superjubel '08                          *Hop Trip
Jubel '10    Green Lakes Organic Amber

I love events @ Parkway; they are high energy and crazy busy. Usually, it is standing room only, but you end up meeting some interesting folks that way. Other than having cool peeps come out (thnx MGD & TPG3!) for the sake of my blog, since I couldn't get there until 9p, here are 2 things that really made my night:

 1. You know you've hit true (local) celebrity blogger status when someone comes up to you at an event and says, "Hey you write a blog, don't you?!" Score. And here I thought having blog hits in places like Slovenia & Australia was the cat's pajamas...

B. It was thought by MGD (correctly) that I would truly love the Hop Trip ale. Sean (awesome Parkway beer dude, sorry if I Miss Spelt your name) thought it would be the first to 'tap out' of the lineup so he stowed away a sample for me just in case. Bloggy fist bump of awesomeness to you Sean, fanx! (btw I did totally heart the Hop Trip; I can't wait to try it on tap @ the brewery when we road trip it down to PDX).

If you didn't make it out to this Jubelpalooza, try for 2011, fun times were aplenty.

Hoping nothing in this post is Miss Spelt, the pissed liBEERian

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

And we now conclude the 'Tacoma Drinks WA Beer' event 2 Growlers richer & what can only be described as a happy ending known as 'Tap Night Tacoma'.

Ahhhh, the invention of the beer punch card. Bingo style sheet to be defiled with special made Red Hot & Parkway stamps with the promise of a special edition Tacoma Drinks WA Beer Growler upon completion. Somebody let it leak that I am a marketing persons dream; this event was MADE for me. A legitimate reason to go drink and review lotsa awesome ale. Okay guys... you talked me into it.

There is way too much randomness to go over from 10/1-10/11 so I'll just list up the ales we had and other B.S. I personally find muy importante to our overall enjoyment. Enjoy!

Go Team Washington!

 Pike Dry Wit, Elysian Men's Room Red, Big Al Harvest. 2 crazy days @ Tacoma Craft Beer Festival. 1 visit to the Schooner Exact tasting room & a Jack Johnson concert to follow. Nautical Night @ Parkway involved 7 Seas Cutt's Amber & Ballz Deep, Port Townsend Oak aged Scotch Ale on cask & Old Bawdy Barleywine & Green Tea Gold, Snoqualmie Stout, Schooner Exact King St. Kriek. Harvest Night @ Red Hot entailed Two Beers Fresh Hop & Pumpkin Spice and Schooner Exact Gutter P'nkn & Fresh Hop. Enjoyed some Elysian Immortal IPA, Scuttlebut Hoptopia and Port Townsend Straight Stout on nitro.

One night @ home I tried out the Wells Banana Bread Beer... yeah, whoa. I passed out early so I didn't have to finish it and could pass THAT buck. Took trips to both World Beers on 56th in Tacoma and 99 Bottles in Federal Way for Dogfish Head swag and lots of bottled goodness. At this point I think we are set for the next 10 private beer fests... I'm currently formulating a private punch card to use so we can start working on some of the stuff I've been stocking up on. I think it might help open up some room in my fridge for actual food. A brewery crawl to visit both Odin & Big Al in West Seattle. Will blog more info on those trips later...

Back to punch card drinking... Fish Tale Organic Amber Ale, Elysian The Immortal IPA, Lazy Boy Belgian Gold, Schooner Exact Fresh Hop, Two Beers Crooked Belgian Wit, Snoqualmie Black Frog, Big Al Sourlicious on cask, Boundary Bay IPA (the head had a cool swirly nebula and we missed the effing photo opportunity which equaled sadness for this girl because I heart astronomy.) Hit up Crown Bar in Tacoma for some mac 'n cheese, burgers and fried oysters. Yes, the best eating decisions are ALWAYS made late at night.
Moving on to the pinnacle of our adventure...

VICTORY!!! Growler #1 secured. Final beer stamp was Diamond Knot Industrial XIPA. Finished #6 @ Red Hot. They took my picture but walked away quickly when I started giving my acceptance speech so I did it in my head. Had a Fremont Interurban IPA, hit up some pesto pizza @ PSP then onto Parkway to finish things off.

As you can tell from the picture, the sun shineth down on our victory ales...
and again... VICTORY!!! It truly creates a sweet mouth feel. The winning beers for Growler #2 was the Big Al IPA and the Burris Octoburrfest. Once again, 6th to complete a card @ Parkway. Did you know that 6 - 5 = 1? That's right. Number FUCKING 1. Forgot the foam finger at home... sigh. Must be more boyscout-ish in the future. You would think that I of all people would carry around a beer drinking survival kit of some kind for these occasions. Oh... now THERE'S an idea!

We kick it old school.
Rounded out the night with Mac & Jack's Imperial IPA & Elysian The Immortal IPA then onto the Alehouse in University Place for some Schooner Exact Seamstress Union and a teeny Shuffleboard smack down.

Does this seem like a lot of booze? Guess what? That's because it is. There were 24 beers per punch card and by 10/11/10 we were the owners of two Growlers'... you do the math. Then factor in 2 FULL days @ Tacoma Craft Beer Festival, visits to 3 breweries and a few other random locations... Yeah. Wow is right. Don't worry, we're impressed with us too.

Bye bye paycheck...
Bye bye healthy liver...
Bye bye all of my free time...
Hello 11 days of awesome time spent with MGD. Having many a laugh, many a pint & many an awesome memory to bring home in addition to our limited edition Growlers.
"No babe, we can't stay in tonight for a movie and a few beers. Yes, I know we have filled Growlers burning a hole in the fridge. We chose to accept this mission and still have empty spots on our cards... put your shoes on. Now. Please." (insert irresistibly cute pissed liBEERian smile) See Example A(ale) below, could you say 'no' to that? :) If your answer is 'yes', well... you shouldn't.

Could this shirt be more perfect? I truly do heart WA beer. Thanks!
Mustered up some (nonexistent) energy for one final day of TdrinksWAbeer. After all, it's freaking Tap Night. I rambled on last week about how great this event is, how everyone should come out for it and questioned why there wasn't better advertising for it. I couldn't be a lame ass no show and ruin my street cred.

Tap Night Tacoma #4, I ask you... when & where else could I find Georgetown Lucille IPA on tap, cask AND on the Randall; all in one evening? Seriously people, nowhere. (okay that may or may not be a lie, but F off; it seems pretty awesome to me!)

Due to all of my strenuous efforts in punch card filling out... I didn't accomplish much for Tacoma Tap Night. However, here is what I was able to sample due to the combined efforts between myself & MGD:
  •  E9 - Dry Hopped IPA
  • Doyle's - Morland Old Speckled Hen (plus a hummus plate because I was working on the equation of 'super hunger + cranky = hankry')
  • Parkway - Mac & Jack's (new!) Yerba Mate IPA (the Double Mountain Vaporizer was the listed cask ale for TNT but that was before they decided on the dates for WA beer week. Therefore it had to be thrown out like the little piece of Oregonian trash that it was. Hahahaha, I'm totally kidding. That was just fun to say.)
  • Swiss - Georgetown Lucille IPA

My pick of the night would have to be the M&J's Yerba Mate. A very enjoyable IPA but my stomach was really done tolerating any level of hoppiness. It was starting to feel like the apocalypse was happening in there. Thank the sweet flying spaghetti monster for MGD, he totally carried this event. Considering I almost left after visiting E9 I was so sick of drinking. I know, okay, I know. A super scary thought. A day or two off and I'm back to normal, ready to blog it up and make some arrangements for the next few events. I won't abandon you, my faithful readers!! Here, take a free hug.

Anywho... like I was saying. Favorite beer was the Yerba Mate but my fave moment was when I drank it so slowly that eventually MGD just took it from me. Then said "Are you actually going to drink anything tonight, or are you beyond done? Steal my beer instead..." and handed me his ever so lovely (partially emptied) Schooner Exact Gallant Maiden. Happeh sigh.

We also found it to be highly entertaining that out of the 24+ Parkway ales on tap, it was pretty impossible to find something we haven't already tried over the last week or so. Yay for punch card drinking. We truly know how to get 'er done. I believe the pivotal moment that brought us here was when I was looking over our 2 collective cards in dismay and thinking "How on Earth are we going to finish 1 punch card let alone 2? Did you actually NEED a Growler?" I handed the sheets to MGD who stated "This is a piece of piss. It's on like Donkey Kong. Get your coat." Who knew we could be so efficient as a team?

Thanks Red Hot & Parkway! You made my October totally interesting. It hasn't been the easiest 11 days of my life, but it was worth every bit of my time and energy and moola. Can't wait to see what y'all come up with next.

Check out my previous blogs (also known as: amazingly funny & marvelously informative musings by thePL) on Tacoma Craft Beer Festival and Tap Night Tacoma if you crave more oh-so-delightful information.

switching to the H2O for a damn minute, the pissed liBEERian

 Oh and BTfreakingW... you only dream of having minions as amazing as I do. Much like the Beer Bitch who writes for NWBrewing News and has her feet rubbed down as she scribes her articles, I am equally blessed. Spent many an hour out drinking while spending our punch card completion night in style. MGD brought me this awesome morning care package the next day because I was too tired & cranky to cure myself from so much fun. Heart bubbles.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Good to the last drop.

In fact, all it's drops are good. Helloooooooo Schooner Exact Seamstress Union. Found this precious tap flowing at the Ale House Pub & Grill in Tacoma, WA last night. What a perfect reward for filling out not 1, but 2, Tacoma Drinks WA Beer punch cards (thank you very effing much, we even impressed ourselves). Rock star status... official. Plus the added bonus of realizing I am a kick ass shuffle board player. Holla!

Check out the Ale House sometime. It's a cool enough local joint with a ton of taps going (almost everything Full Sail carries!), sports to watch & games to play and hosts trivia night on Wednesday where you get to spin a big Price is Right style wheel if you win. Big money, big money!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

TCBF... the reason I do what I do.

2nd Annual Tacoma Craft Beer Festival!

How better to express my gratitude and awe of the previous weekend than to simply say "Thank you, from the bottom of my yiddle pissed liBEERian heart." I may have had more fun than one person (or even a whole group of me and my peeps) could possible handle. After spending some time compiling notes, memories and general randomness that occurred over both days; I felt it would be better to review the event in lists and pictures (in this case, they truly do say a thousand words) so that you don't need eye bleach, a nap and a hug by the time you are done reading this.

                       Top Brewers 
Me chillin' @ the Schooner Exact booth
Schooner Exact. Well... duh, it's my blog and to me they are PERFECTION. Really enjoyed talking with Heather and Matt McClung (owners of SE) about all the greatness that is them. Was treated to a specialty pour of Seamstress Union on Friday night (cue random ass dance of happiness which lead me to spill a drop of my beloved 4oz. Time to simmer the hell down and get serious!)  & found out about a few places SU is pouring locally @ this moment in the 253. Thanks for being so great guys!

Big Al Brewing Company Who doesn't love a company who's logo is: Live your dreams, drink ours. Epic. Got my right chesticle branded with their logo & about a million pics taken. Sorry Mom, but we all have our talents. Booth runner Micah was a laugh and we sampled some of their Chili IPA which was crazy good. Can't wait to try some more and will definitely be looking for Big Al first @ the next event I attend.

7 Seas Brewing Company A bidding war over the growler shown which resulted in us being $150 poorer, my winning smile becoming sore, amazing promo pics being taken & a promise of some blog worthiness and a visit to the brewery. Sounds like a winning combo to me. Can't wait to go see Mike & 7 Seas up north soon, y'all made this event very special for me and you have my thanks. Keep doing what you are doing.

Odin Brewing Company  They were serving up Thor's Fury and were probably some of the most hilarious people I met all night. Mad props to Dan for not giving me his glitter Odin T off his back (even though I could totally SEE the other shirt underneath) and promising that if I visit Odin, I can have one for free. A promise of free swag and legit reason to visit a new brewery... yeah I'm a hard sell; see ya Friday.

Amazing Ales on Cask
Showin' off the guns!
Airways Sky Hag
Oskar Blues Gubna
Everybody's Brewing Country Boy IPA

Most Memorable 4oz Pours
Walking Man Black Cherry Stout
Airways Sky Hag (cask)
Schooner Exact Seamstress Union (Friday night special, freshest of the fresh)
Big Al Chili IPA
Odin Thor's Intrigue (this was mistakenly labeled as Thor's Fury)
Two Beers Infused 20:20 Blonde

Top 5 Things I Went Home With 

1. 7 Seas limited edition growler. Thanks Mike, you fought a good fight but our charms are a force to be reckoned with.

2. Breasticle (temporary) tattoos featuring Parkway Tavern & Big Al, that still won't come off

3. An unexpected win in the bean bag toss game. Take THAT and like it Basil!

4. 8 plastic 4oz TCBF taster glasses.

5. Memories to last a lifetime, until the next Tacoma Craft Beer Festival that is.

Best places in the 253 to start and end your TCBF experience
Parkway Tavern - Friday, stopped in for some pints before and after. Hitched a cab from here both days. Next time we go with a limo or a town car so we can rock our celebrity status. Amazing after party on Saturday, it has to be said.
Puget Sound Pizza - grabbed some bomb sammies for lunch on Friday before heading down. Then ended up there again Saturday to enjoy some wonderfully awful karaoke.

Utter Randomness that really made my weekend!                 
1. Getting a shout out (plus some free beer tokens to try and win me over to the dark side...) from the Red Hot dude @ the cask pour. It's nice to be recognized for my work as a liBEERian. Total happiness sprung from loathing.

2. In an effort not to throw anyone under the bus I will attempt to be discreet, which is not my strong suit. As the event concluded, we picked up our (empty) 7 Seas growler. Before we actually left the venue, it was no longer empty. Thanks for the free fill up, I was wondering what y'all do with that left over beer. *Please note, the growler was produced and given to me by 7 Seas but they DID NOT fill it*

3. Found an abandoned wooden beer token in a port-a-potty urinal. Events unfolded from there in the following order: Took a picture. Thought about how desperate one would have to be to grab it. Wondered how high the comedic value would be if I personally snagged it. Laughed my ass off that I even considered touching it. Got a bit sad that I didn't think of such an awesome social experiment first. Went inside to my peeps and showed them the picture, then said "See this token in the urinal? It's now in my purse." I love me, I'll do anything for a cheap laugh.

4. As I was standing outside the bathrooms Saturday night, perched on the back of a truck; got a new compliment that I have never heard before. Some dude walked by me, did a double take and walked back and said "You look amazing. I'm not hitting on you but I wanted to tell you that you look so classy, everything that you have going on right now. Total class." Pretty sure there are very few people who have been around me when I'm actually talking who would call me classy. At least I got the look part down that night, thank you blue dress.
5. FOOD! Tasted pickle/bacon/absinthe flavored toothpicks and will remember to bring some eye bleach next time for all of the hairy ass Parkway tattoos I saw. Plus devoured a burrito bigger than my head. Noshed on different varieties of malts and actually LEARNED something about beer and it's different flavors. Imagine that... thank you my devoted teacher for always trying to make me more 'studious'.
The apex of my weekend was realizing (as if I didn't know already) that I have such amazing people in my life who are ridiculously supportive of me and consider my journey to be a shared one. They show up for events, will write down beers I consume and hold my free swag in their big purses & pockets. Outrageously barter for unobtainable goods and make sure I meet the right people. I wish I could encapsulate these moments in time we've all shared together. Magic in the making, over WAY too soon.
I love beer. I love my blog. I love what I get to do with my time concerning both. I'm having the time of my life in every way and THEY are the one's who make this possible for me. Thank you, you know who you    are.     

 What a great way to end the day. A beautiful view, empty glasses and big smiles.
A parting shot as the sun sets and the tasters begin to empty...

Cheers, the pissed liBEERian 

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