Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saturday Beer Plan

Visited Belgium by way of Canada. Started with the Fin du Monde, the terrific Tripel from Unibroue. After confirming that the Monde was not finis, followed up with a Belgian strong ale--the Maudite. Damned! It was good. Then had the Arrogant Bastard. The West Coast Bastard topped the Unibroue, in my opinion.

There was an interlude after that, an interlude that included other beer. As a result, I can't really comment on the Saison other than to confirm it was consumed.

Friday, January 29, 2010

2$ Tuesdays

Yeah, I know it's Friday--I been busy, ok?

The Port City Music Hall is a beautiful venue that features some terrific music: local, regional, and beyond. Read about it in more detail here.

Beyond the music, though, they have a great deal on Tuesday nights: pay the 2$ cover and all their draft beers are $2. And they have some great beer. Like the Victory Hop Devil (the tap is pictured here with a pleasantly surprised and moderately buzzed beer locavorian, who, at least on this evening, included Downington, Pa as local, provided that it was poured locally. And it was.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Our Little Jewel of a Beer City By the Sea...

....gets some nice (and appropriate) recognition in the Atlantic. You can read about it here.

Not to be picky, but Geary's seems slighted. At least they had a recent glowing review for their HSA in the prestigious Beer Locavore!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

My Go To Beer

Malty, hoppy, goodness. Consistently pleasing. And, frequently available. They might even have it at the fucking Thatchers (ok, that's a stretch--you're probably in Harpoon IPA land there).

For a different take on the old stand-by the GLB has the HSA on cask now. It's great. Frothy malty hoppy smooth good stuff. But the rest of the extensive menu at the GLB can prove distracting. I wandered in yesterday and had a cask conditioned HSA. It was great, but then I found myself wandering in Yellow Snow.

I need to figure out a go to food for those times when I'm with a group and appetizers are being ordered and I'm so hungry I could eat at the Thatchers. What's the secret? Do I special order? Ask them not to deep fry the quesadilla? Why is everything deep-fried and covered with cheese, anyway?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Local Taverns

George's Tavern had a long history as a classic working class bar. Its successor, Awful Annie's, was just plain awful. The current tavern at the same location (a third of the way up Munjoy hill), the bar soon to be known as Mama's Crowbar, is well worth the trip. Here's why: a small, esoteric, terrific draft beer selection supplemented by a tremendous offering of bottled beers. A visit there earlier this week found the 4 taps filled with the Allagash Black; Rogue Yellow Snow; their signature beer, Allagash Curieux (yellow); and, straying from the color scheme, Anchor Steam, one of the world's great session beers.

If I still lived on the hill I'd be a regular. As it is, the Crowbar is worth the trek from the West End. The 5 K roundtrip hike is probably just what I need to walk off the black and yellow.

There's live music and lively discussion and beer (nothing else to drink except maybe cider). There's a restroom. And a piano. They could probably rustle up a bag of chips if you asked politely. It's cash only. And it's a nice addition to the Portland bar scene.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Problems in Belgium

InBev, the Belgium-based, Brazilian-funded multinational corporation that owns, among other brands, Anheuser-Busch, reported quarterly profits of $1.55 Billion in their most recent earnings announcement. That's Billion, with a "B". Not good enough for the greedy suits, though, so they've announced plans to shitcan many of the people who make the beer. The people who make the beer are pissed off about this, and have protested by giving the beer away (free is an appropriate price for Budweiser), among other acts. You can read about it here.

Beer Trips

Beer tripping is hard, given the general lack of mass transit in this country. I can't really figure out Ebenezer's, for example. Great place, fabulous beer, but how the fuck do you get home afterwards, given that it's 2 hours drive from anywhere? I guess you go in the summer and pitch a tent. The new Lion's Pride (same ownership) in Brunswick is more accessible and has a couple of cheap hotels just a short walk away. I'm planning a trip there. Hoping to convince the research assistant to come along.

After dropping Sam off at school last weekend, and as a reward for completing 400 of the 450 mile round trip journey, I stopped at the Portsmouth Brewery for a bottle rocket. It's a terrific IPA and the 1 pint tester proved enough of an incentive to buy a growler, finish the drive home, and consume the growler. It was hoppy, and I was happy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beyond Beer

On Monday and Tuesday nights Pom's Thai on Congress street has a $1 sushi special. Best sushi in town? No. Benkay, Yosaku, and Miyake can fight over that honor (although Shima might get my vote). But it's not bad. I recommend ordering 8 or so, then doubling up on the best of the lot (tonite I reordered the magaro, the hamachi, the unagi, and the ebi) and you'll have a tremendous meal for a very reasonable price. Wash it down with a hot sake'. Tip generously. And it's still under $25.

Friday, January 8, 2010

It's On

Not only does the GLB have the King Crimson, they also have the Dogfish Head/Sierra Nevada Collaboration brew: Life and Limb.

I prefer the Peak KC. It's hoppy, without being over the toppy, and red and bitter and just plain good. The Life and Limb is fine, it's a kind of extreme brown ale. but it's a bit sweet for my tastes.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Back into the Battle

With the help of a volunteer research assistant I sampled some local specialties recently. A nice, smooth, malty brown wheat beer (Matt's Wheat) is a home brew success. Drinks like a session beer but packs a six and a half percent ABV wallop.

Less successful, despite a long track record as a Maine classic: the Burnt Trailer. Equal parts Allen's Coffee Brandy and Moxie, this drink is pure wretched. I was just barely able to choke mine down. And, uncharacteristically, when my research assistant gave up on hers after a mere sip, I was unable to finish her drink. A shame. And we were in Westbrook, which seems like an appropriate locale.

On a more positive note, while the folks at Peak Organic aren't currently working on a large batch Ruckus (the unequivocal hit of the 2009 Maine Brewer's Fest), the do have a new Imperial Red Ale, the King Crimson. It may not be readily available until later in 2010, however.