Sunday, September 23, 2007

Autumn Beer Review

Next weekend is the 2007 Autumn Beer Review. This is the first "official" review-fest-tasting I've been to, and there'll be over 40 breweries and 100 beers. That being said, I'd pay the $25 ticket fee just to visit the historic Grain Belt Brewery where it's being held. Surly's line-up alone is another thing I'd spend the $25 on. If previewing the 2007 program doesn't do it for you, I don't know what will.....check it out here (thanks to for the scoop).

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Rushin' ahead

Rush River, one of my favorite local--if you consider western Wisconsin local--beers, began selling their Unforgiven Amber and Bubblejack IPA in bottles this week. I had one of each tonight, and they totally stand up, and may even be better, in the bottles. Both have an, um, noticeable hop presence that may offend the timid drinker, but RR uses the hops wisely. Of course I always forget how much I love Rush River each time I order it, and I'm glad it's available at the liquor store now.

I do wish the bottles listed the IBUs or ABV, at least with the IPA, but it isn't like I'd stop buying the stuff if it didn't.
Welcome to the off-sale market, Rush River!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ramstad's out, who's in?

You've all probably heard that US Rep. Jim Ramstad today announced his plans to not seek re-election , setting the stage for a massive endorsement and/or primary fight in Minnesota's 3rd congressional district. Polinaut has a good story and nice map of the district, if you're so inclined, but I like the rumor and speculation myself, Minnesota Democrats Exposed on the right and MNPublius on the left.

Of all the DFLers listed as potential candidates, I like State Sen. Terri Bonoff. She's done a great job portraying herself as a uniter from the middle, which she is, and if she were to happen to lose, the DFL would still hold onto that seat as she's not up until 2010. State Reps. Melissa Hortman and Maria Ruud are also attractive, but those are tough districts for any other DFLers to hold on to. Plus, Sen. Bonoff is a leader on early childhood issues, which personally makes her appealing since I work in that field. None of them have announced yet, so my opinion at this point (or any other point) hardly matters.

I'm glad I don't live in the 3rd.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Twin Cities Imbiber Issue #2

Law changes this year allowing co-called strong beer to be available at the state fair received wide coverage in the mainstream media, but there are some things they didn't tell you. Other changes to Minnesota's liquor laws will benefit everyone from small brewers to the University of Minneosta. However some key reforms are still needed.

Perhaps the most significant provision for beer enthusiasts is a change allowing brewpubs and small breweries to sell 750ml bottles of their brews....

To read more about law changes in an article I wrote, check out issue two of Twin Cities Imbiber magazine, available on-line now and on newsstands soon!

Oktober is...

Autumn has certainly arrived in Minnesota. Evening temps are in the 40s and 50s, sunlight is disappearing, and Oktoberfest beers are filling the shelves. I'm biased towards ales year-round, but I like to sample the local Oktoberfest lagers every year, among them Summit, Schells and Surly. Both Summit and Schells offer up good examples of what an Oktoberfest should taste like, and this year is no exception. Summit did an especially solid job, and I may just pick up a 6er of it. On to Surly.

By far one of my favorite breweries these day, Surly never disappoints. SurlyFest is deeeee-licious. Imagine a typical Oktoberfest, but loaded up with hops. Not to mention their cans are beautiful. I wish all their beers were available year round.

Well the poll results are in for what people want to see at Capitol Brewhaha: 8 voted for more beer, 8 for more about my life, 2 for more politics and 1 for more of the same. I remember from my college stats class that N has to equal at least 30 for any poll to be valid, and since N=19 here, I will ignore the findings and write about what ever I want.


This one's for you Mom

Dylan my 4-almost-5 year old son started school last week. The first day was tough--he almost fell asleep in my arms walking the 2 blocks back to our house from the busstop. But now he looks forward to it everyday.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Not my life

My mom's been giving me some flack in the comments over at Jane's blog, apparently because I don't post enough about my family and my life. True 'dat. I succumbed very early on to the inherant self-centered, egotistical nature of blogs, going so far as to only write about the things I want to write about, and if my family, friends and really anyone at all wants to read about it (or not) than so be it. I like writing about beer right now, have had my beer musings published a couple times (there goes that ego thing again) and so that's what I'm going to write about. Love ya mom, but you'll have to head over Jane's way to read about someone's personal life (which is a good one to read about!).

But being that I am a caring person, take my new poll to your right and maybe I'll alter my posts. Or maybe not.

Homebrew Update
I came home from France to a wealth of beer at my doorstep. Ready for the drinking is an extra pale ale, a hopped up amber and a Fat Tire clone. All are drinkable, but the EPA is luscious. Well balanced but still giving a nice hop punch. Tony and I bottled our barley wine and Belgian Dubble this week, and dry hopped the double IPA, all of which can be opened around Christmas. A winter and German Alt are on the deck for brewing soon.