Sunday, October 26, 2008

Beer Week

What a week! Let's see, just a quick run down:
  • Wednesday, I brewed with DT for the first time, whipping out a clone of Summit Winter, which is just hitting shelves here in MN. It was super-thick, and should be fermenting fine. On the way home from his place, I swung by the Muddy Pig for the Lagunitas kick off party. Still crowded and got a glass of the Gnarley Wine. Yummy.

  • Friday I brewed a batch of my standard India Brown Ale. Then that evening, at the last minute, I was invited by a friend to Stub and Herbs for the Darkness Eve party, a gathering of beer geeks from around the country who were in town for the release of Surly Darkness the following day. Don brought along some beers to trade, and we ended up drinking with some blokes from Ohio. They cracked open bottles of 07 and 08 Dark Lord from Three Floyds. 07 was incredible, 08 will be in a few years.

  • Saturday culminated in the afore-mentioned Darkness Day. I volunteered to work the event, so didn't have to worry about getting there early to get any bottles (the first 700 people had a chance to buy up to 6 bottles at $16.66 a piece). I dropped $100 and got my bottles, plus a few extra at the end of the event for friends who couldn't attend. Merry Christmas!

Here are some photos from Don's lot, which looks very similar to mine. Love that label!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Change on all fronts

Ah, autumn in Minnesota. Change is in the air, with particularly notable occasions this season. [Disclaimer--fall is easily my favorite season]. Yeah, I love the change in color, change in temperature, change of wardrobe, and this year, change in leadership, change in direction of the country, and change in my family. My sister had a little girl--Nora Lorraine--on Tuesday, adding another birthday to the week (Dylan turned 6, his good friend Lily turned 5, and I know increasingly more people born in October).

And, with every passing day, I'm more convinced that Obama will be our next president. Clearly helping things along the way, in addition to Obama's consistent message of change and stellar campaign organization, is McCain's rapid approach towards running one of the worst campaigns ever. I mean, no way in hell should I get a single phone call or piece of mail, because of who I am AND where I live, yet I've gotten four and three respectively. But I say, "keep 'em coming!"

The Minnesota beer scene is also changing, with the market continuing to expand. My most anticipated return to the market is Lagunitas, one of the first California breweries that grabbed and shook me ten years ago. Hopefully their crazier brews will also trickle in.

As the Oktoberfests are cleared out of the aisles, the winter beers are flowing in. I'm a big fan of most 'em, but Summit and Schells are at the top of my list. Again, "keep 'em coming!"

Homebrew Update
I've been digging into some of the darker beers that were made last December and January, as we fooled around with lagering and reusing yeast. Unfortunately, the resulting beers have been less than impressive, especially since all-grain brewed beers seem to be so much more satisfying. Which is also unfortunate, since the length of time that it takes to brew all-grain beers has significantly put a damper on the brewing efforts.