Thursday, October 25, 2007

Music, fun and a good cause

Wanna have a good time and support a good cause? Then follow the link to see – and hear – about this amazing music, mingle and munch event being held at the Fine Line CafĂ© on November 3. The goal of the event, besides the great music and fun, is to raise AIDS Awareness. Clare Housing and the Minnesota AIDS Project are the beneficiaries – please show your support by joining us on November 3. Costumes are encouraged, though not mandatory. But when was the last time you put on your platforms, raised your hair and donned all your glittery goods for a raucous night of hilarity, all for a great cause?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

At least Iowa is good for something

Despite my consistent whining about some of the good beer that is unavailable in Minnesota, all it takes is a trip to a state that doesn't have it as good as we do to bring me back to reality. Last weekend, I was in Iowa for my college homecoming and took the opportunity to visit a local liquor store to check out their wares. I had called ahead, and so I knew that they would have some Gumbalhead from Three Floyds--an excellent hopped-up wheat beer. I picked up three bottles of that (anyone wanna trade?), and a variety of other beer that isn't found in Minnesota.

In case you can't read the labels, from left to right, that's Gumbalhead, Hoppy Brewing Hoppy Face Amber Ale, Blue Frog Red Frog Ale, Lost Coast Pale Ale, ReaperAle Deathly Pale Ale, Millstream Iowa Pale Ale, and MacTarnahan Mac's Ale. The ones I've tried thus far are solid.

Sure, none of these beers come to the North Star State, but Iowa--at least Benz Liquor Depot in CR--doesn't have nearly the quantity of quality craft brews as Minnesota. And no Surly either.

Homebrew Update
Oh, where to start. It's been a busy summer and fall, filling the basement for winter. The Barleywine, Double IPA, Alt, Sweet Stout, Belgian Dubbel, and Winter Warmer are in bottles and the Steam, India Brown Ale and IPA are fermenting. With Tony's coaxing, we've begun to get off-recipe and tweak some of the kits, even making up our own. The Winter was a real treat to brew, as we added a little of this and a little of that. We doubled the grains, added some molasses, fresh ginger, honey, coriander, cocoa powder, juniper and dry hopped it in the primary. When we bottled it it reminded me a bit of Anchor Winter. The Double IPA is excellent, the hops balance the alcohol, which is probably around 7% abv. We have a couple empty carboys to fill, so I'm sure we'll be back at it next week.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Autumn Beer Review Review

Alright. The 2007 Autumn Beer Review. It started out rainy and cold. But the prospects of drinking good beer--and lots of it--kept me and Ben warm as we waited in line. It was one 1pm when we got in, and our first stop was at the Pizza Luce booth for some nurishment before imbibing.
The first couple beers I had were great--Summit ESB on cask and Town Hall's Mango Mama, their Masala Mama IPA with Mango. Here's a list of everything I tried--at least everything I checked off. Note these were 4 oz samples, sometime less, and I tried to stick to beers I had never had before. For more info about each one, check out the program.
  • Schell Snowstorm 2007

  • Barley John's Dark Knight

  • Brau Brothers Ring Neck Braun Ale

  • Fitger's Procrastinator Dopplebock

  • Fitger's Starfire Pale Ale

  • Fitger's Contentment

  • Fitger's Cherry Batch 2200

  • Great Water's Flying Circus IPA

  • Great Water's "It Will Make You a Man" IPA

  • Great Water's Knights who say "Nee" ESB

  • Herkimer Oktoberfest

  • Lake Superior Winter Warmer Barleywine

  • Town Hall Mango Mama

  • Rock Bottom Saison

  • Summit ESB

  • Summit Oatmeal Stout with Brettanomyces

  • Surly Dahmer

  • Surly Bourbon One

  • Surly Darkness 07

  • Avery Kaiser Imperial Oktoberfest

  • Big Sky Montana Trout Slayer Ale

  • Leinie's Oktoberfest

  • Left Hand Juju Ginger

  • New Holland Barrel-Aged Strong Ale

  • North Coast Brother Thelonius Dubbel

  • Rush River Lost Arrow Porter

  • Schmaltz Lenny Bruce Rye IPA

  • Sprecher Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale

  • Tyranena Three Beaches Honey Blonde Ale

  • Tyranena Bitter Woman IPA

  • Tyranena Rocky's Revenge Bourbon Barrel-Aged Brown Ale

  • Tyranena Hop Whore

  • Tyranena Devil Made Me Do It!

  • Tyranena High Class Broad

  • Victory Hop Devil

My faves were the Dark Knight and Mango Mama. Thanks to WankerWeasel for some of the photos (more here).

Monday, October 01, 2007

What is Radiohead worth?

Yes, I was at the Autumn Beer Review, yes it was awesome. But what is even more awesome is the marketing of Radiohead's new album. What do you think it's worth? I'd pay $10, maybe $15, ok $20 dollars for it. No? One dollar? Ok, you can have it.

You decide what it's worth, and that's the price you pay.

Or, you can buy the box set for about $80, which will include two vinyl albums, a CD version of the new album and a second CD with additional new songs, artwork and photographs of the band. I wish I had a record player.

Do I event need to say how brillant this is? Radiohead is pushing the industry to accept the change that is confronting them. Of course, they have the fan base willing to support them, and a HUGE tour and merch revenue stream, but for big bands who want to make it, this may be a way to go. Do ya think [insert Top 40 R&B band here] could mak it?

Contemplate, and I'll be back with my tasting list from of ABR.